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Good week: The U.S.A.

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April 27-May 3, 2011

It was a good week for ...

The U.S.A. The nation cheered the Navy SEAL team that ended a search of more than nine years by killing 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideout.

It was a bad week for ...

RAIN. It poured. Creeks and rivers rose. Homes and businesses flooded and at least one person was killed when his car was swept off a road. A Louisiana Boy Scout troop had to be rescued by National Guard helicopter when high water trapped them in the Ouachita National Forest.

REPUBLICAN U.S. REP. TIM GRIFFIN. He said he's not inclined to vote to lift the U.S. debt ceiling. The ensuing financial cataclysm appears not to shake his ideological fervor.

REPUBLICAN SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN. The Blue Arkansas blog raised questions about time cards for a former employee that suggest she was paid for time not in the office. His office also came up with a suspicious story to cover pullback from exorbitant copying charges it had levied on people, like the Times, making Freedom of Information Act requests. An "honest mistake," said the office of a charge that dropped from 25 to 11 cents a page.

The ARKANSAS MEDICAL SOCIETY. It reflexively opposed Gov. Mike Beebe's idea to reform Medicaid by emphasizing preventive care and shared services. Reform could cost doctors money and that's more important than patients' or the government's health.

The ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU. The moss-backed organization mounted a public lobbying campaign, a la American Idol, to get farmer Stanley Reed installed as president of the University of Arkansas System. If you want open minds, progressive ideas and forward looking leadership, the last place you'd look is the Farm Bureau.

The UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS. New documents demonstrate the UA systematically violated the Freedom of Information Act in secret efforts to fill the job of UA president.

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