by Max Brantley
Over to you. Some final notes:
* DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR SECRETARY OF STATE IS? The Blue Hog Report notes that Arkansas law requires the secretary of state to reside and keep an office in Little Rock and keep the official record of the legislature. So what the heck is with all this Twitter business by Secretary of State Mark Martin from Prairie Grove? (Long students of Mark Martin might prefer him to spend more time away from work, not less.)
* UALR NAMES NEW LEADER OF RACE INSTITUTE: UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson has named Dr. Michael R. Twyman director of the Institute on Race and Ethnicity. He's been director of grant programs for the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust in Indiana. His history includes college teaching with racial diversity as themes. The mission of the Institute is to seek racial and ethnic justice in Arkansas.
* SCHOOL VOUCHERS; DISASTER AVOIDED IN ARKANSAS: Arkansas's legislature came close to approving a school voucher bill this session. (Bad enough that the anti-public-school forces pumped $30 million more into the "vitual charter" scheme, a profit-making enterprise for a national corporation). Could have been worse if the voucher bill had passed. Check out Diane Ravitch on Louisiana's voucher program, expanding despite an adverse federal court ruling, particularly into religious schools.
“The school willing to accept the most voucher students — 314 — is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition.” It did not receive 314 vouchers last year.
* BOMBS UNDER CONSTRUCTION: A report on a bust in Lincoln where young teens were found making homemade bombs in plastic soda bottles amid drug-related items. Look more like "Justified"-style meth heads than jihadists.
* THE HUCKSTER STRIKES AGAIN: Apparently suffering from a lack of media attention, Mike Huckabee went shambolic today, predicting that President Obama would be driven out of office before the end of his term on account of the "coverup" of events in the attack at Benghazi. And those facts on which Huckabee bases his certainty of a presidential coverup? To be revealed at the proper time, no doubt.
* SEN. ROBERT THOMPSON TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION: Democratic Sen. Robert Thompson of Paragould, mentioned periodically as a potential candidate for attorney general, announced today that he'd be seeking re-election in 2014.His news released touted his work "across the aise" during the last session, with its new Republican majority. He said his young family had influenced him a decision not to mount a time-consuming statewide race. Another Paragould legislator, Rep. Mary Broadaway, is considering the race on the Democratic side.