Jan. 6-12, 2010
It was a GOOD week for …
UAMS. The med center's Rockefeller Cancer Institute received $10.5 million in federal stimulus money to help in construction of a 12-story addition with labs and new research jobs.
SHIVERING. The hardest freeze in more than a decade took low temperatures to single digits for several days running. Some schools and businesses had to close.
DEMAGOGUERY. After a couple of weeks of sitting on the sidelines, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel decided he better join the posse whipping up on a special Medicaid deal for Nebraska in pending Senate health legislation. He didn't join the long threatened lawsuit to stop it, he just complained about it. And while he was hanging a fellow Democrat, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, out to dry for voting for the bill, he volunteered that a fix that gave all states, including struggling Arkansas, the same level of Medicaid support was a bad idea. Thanks, Dustin.
DAVID O. DODD. The teen hanged for spying on Union troops in Little Rock during the Civil War is but a minor footnote to a footnote theater of the war. But 145 years later, the Rebel-worshipping Arkansas Democrat-Gazette continues to lavish extensive coverage on the annual rewind of the same old Dodd cemetery tribute by a few dozen Confederate sympathizers. Hang onto that Confederate money, boys.
It was a bad week for …
STATE GOVERNMENT. Declining revenue prompted a $106 million budget cut for the remainder of this fiscal year, a total of more than $200 million since the year began on a much rosier note. No jobs will be lost, Gov. Mike Beebe said.
The ASSOCIATION OF ARKANSAS COUNTIES. The taxpayer-financed lobby has always worked for county officials, not taxpayers. That was never clearer than last week when its director, Eddie Jones, pleaded with legislators not to make county officials pay back illicit retirement checks drawn on top of regular wages without satisfying the law's requirement that they first terminate their public employment. What's the law got to do with it, he seemed to suggest.