Dec. 2-8, 2009
It was a GOOD week for …
ECONOMIC OPTIMISM. State revenue was reported up sharply in November and housing sales also rebounded, thanks to a federal tax credit. Unemployment nationally also dropped a bit. Others predicted a recovery, perhaps a jobless one, might be underway.
SENIORS. Bill Bowen, the 86-year-old retired banker, was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to fill a one-year vacancy on the state Supreme Court.
APPEALS COURT JUDGE PRICE MARSHALL. He was nominated to one of four current federal judicial openings in Arkansas. Time's a-wastin', President Obama, to get moving on the others. In one case, the state's senators haven't yet suggested any potential nominees.
JUNKETING. While the city wrestled with budget cuts and an alderman facing a federal felony indictment stood in line to act as mayor, North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays took off an 11-day trip to the international climate conference in Copenhagen. Skol, mayor!
It was a bad week for …
MIKE HUCKABEE. He kept spinning, but few seemed to be buying his furious effort to divert attention from his commutation of an accused multiple cop killer.
REP. JOHN BOOZMAN. Alone among Arkansas House members, he voted against keeping the estate tax, paid by only a tiny number of the super-wealthy (such as some famous billionaires in his district) but a valuable ingredient to holding down federal deficits.
RAZORBACK BASKETBALL. Fans occupied barely a quarter of the seats in Walton Arena as the suspension-depleted men's team stumbled its way through early season competition.
Former state legislator JODIE MAHONY, 70, died in El Dorado of complications from cancer. Nobody devoted more time to the legislative process nor passed more bills of lasting consequence, particularly in education, than the 36-year legislative veteran.