by Max Brantley
Some morning moments:
* WHY DIDN'T SKIP RUTHERFORD THINK OF THIS? An item in D magazine reports that the director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library being built in Dallas is using free chicken pot pie ($4.99 typically) from the Highland Park Cafeteria to lure people to a program on the coming facility. W loves the pot pie apparently. Franke's and free eggplant casserole anyone? I'd go to a goat roping for a free bucket of it.
* CHICKEN BLEEP: Leslie Newell Peacock earlier reported the continued theater of the tech park site selection process. Charles Dilks, the consultant picked by Little Rock real estate developer Dickson Flake — and Flake, and Tech Authority Chair Mary Good and her reliable echo chamber, Death Star Bob Johnson — couldn't be clearer. They believe knocking down acres of a lower-income residential neighborhood lying between UAMS and UALR is the obvious choice for this taxpayer-financed, speculative, chamber of commerce pipe dream. Were all the protestations of city board members that neighborhoods will be preserved merely election season posturing, certain to give way to regretful harrumphing when the board reluctantly accepts the guidance of expert Dilks and decides to mow down dozens of homes in the name of microtuning an office building without, yet, a dime of private investment or potential private occupant with a good idea? City Director Ken Richardson wants some assurances in the form of an ordinance that tax money won't be used to take people's homes. The rest of the City Board's refusal to give homeowners that protection fairly shouts at the sincerity of the likes of Joan Adcock and Co. I still think the fix is in.
* CHICKEN DANCE: Oh, OK, that's a stretch of a headline. The Central High School marching band is more likely to play "On You Tigers" than the chicken dance in the Obama Presidential Inaugural Parade, but it is going to play music. It is still short of the $100,000 it needs to make the trip. Take a donation between 12 and 4 p.m. today to the Central High Visitors Center at Daisy Bates and Park. Or go here for other spots to make contributions as well as a link for on-line contributions.
* SIMPLY CHICKEN: There's a new group calling itself A Plus Arkansas, a name used to great effect by a wonderful nonprofit that promotes the arts in school but expropriated greedily (OK, chickenbleep applies again here) by the Billionaire Boys Club-financed charter school juggernaut in Arkansas.
I note this morning that the billionaires have a dog-and-pony show coming up at the Capitol Jan. 29. Ringmaster Luke Gordy, who knocks down six figures in Walton cash lobbying for them, will present a "forum" on "education reform." Speaking participants:
Former Fla. Gov. (and political dynasty heir) Jeb Bush, Walmart heir Jim Walton, media empire heir Walter Hussman, department store heir Bill Dillard III and oil fortune heir Claiborne (Murphy Oil) Deming. I don't think you'll be finding much diversity of viewpoint in this little summit. What? Are they afraid of somebody who might challenge some of their talking points? They could afford Dianne Ravitch. Why not bring her in for a little counterpoint, Luke?