Quote of the Week 1:
"This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."
— Mike Huckabee on the nuclear arms agreement struck between the U.S., Iran and other world powers earlier this month. At a press conference, President Obama responded, saying such remarks from Republican candidates were part of a pattern of rhetoric "that would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad."
Quote of the Week 2:
"[W]e might be able to live with a contained Iran. ... We have substantive issues to discuss with Tehran. Recent direct negotiations about Iraq have not been productive because they have not explored the full range of issues. We have valuable incentives to offer Iran: trade and economic assistance, full diplomatic relations, and security guarantees."
— Mike Huckabee, in a 2008 essay for Foreign Affairs in which he advocated cautiously extending a conditional olive branch to Iran — much as Obama has just done. But then, in 2008, Huckabee found media attention easier to come by. This time around, he's staring at a four-way tie for fifth-place in the GOP primary. Time to Trump it up.
Tragedy in Hot Springs
An 18-month-old Garland County child was found dead on Friday after being left in a car on a day when the temperature neared 100 degrees. In a horrifying irony, the boy was the son of Circuit Judge Wade Naramore, who handles juvenile cases in the county. Naramore himself made the initial call to 911.
Garland County Prosecutor Terri Harris, who formerly hired Naramore as a deputy attorney in her office, asked for a special prosecutor to step in, and other circuit judges in the county have recused from hearing any motion related to the case. Scott Ellington of Jonesboro, the prosecuting attorney for the 2nd Judicial District, was named to investigate.
From Princeton to Bentonville
The Walton Family Foundation announced in a news release that it would fund — with an as-yet-undisclosed sum of money — the creation of an "independent school" in Bentonville, presumably meaning a private institution. To get the school off the ground, the foundation is hiring Clayton Marsh, currently a deputy dean at Princeton University. He'll start work in January.
The foundation offered few other details about plans for the school other than to say it will "offer a challenging curriculum, small classes, a diverse student body and distinctive architecture."
Bring your own chairs
Last weekend, the Ku Klux Klan rallied near Monticello. Sort of: Monticello Live, an online news source in the Southeast Arkansas town, reported "a group of 8 to 12 men in full cover robes" convened at 10 p.m. Saturday and ritually burned a cross, then disbursed by midnight. A KKK website announcing the event beforehand laid down the law. "No weapons, attitudes or media are allowed. ... WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ADMITTANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" it impotently shrilled. Also: "Food is provided but bring your own chairs."
Name that baby
The Little Rock Zoo announced a boy chimpanzee was born July 18 to Mahale, her second child. The zoo (littlerockzoo.com) is conducting an online poll until Aug. 3 to name the baby. Options are: "Jumoke," which is Swahili for "everyone loves the child"; "Kibale," after Kibale National Park in Uganda, or "Kgosi," a Setswana term for "king" or "chief."
Greenberg hangs it up
Paul Greenberg, 78, the longtime editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's editorial page, said he'd be stepping down Aug. 1 after 23 years at the job. He'll be succeeded by editorial writer David Barham. Greenberg will continue to write editorials and columns for the paper.