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Smart talk, Feb. 26



To the losers go the spoils


Paul Barton, reporting from Washington for the Arkansas Blog, rounded up White House estimates on job creation in Arkansas by virtue of the initial stimulus package approved by Congress.

The White House figures almost 32,000 jobs will be created in Arkansas, ranging from 7,300 in the Fourth Congressional District to 8,800 in the Third District. Yes, the Third District, which will get the most jobs, is represented by the only member of the Arkansas delegation who opposed the stimulus package, Republican U.S. Rep. John Boozman.

We wanted to ask him if he felt like several Southern Republican governors who were quoted as saying they didn't want the money, on account of philosophical differences. But a spokesman said Boozman wouldn't respond to questions from the Times because it is not “fair and balanced.” Like Fox News, presumably, he means.

Happy Valentine's Day

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, 36, the divorced father of a seven-year-old daughter, is headed to the altar again this summer. He said last week that he got a “yes” when he asked Bobbi Fowler of Jonesboro, also 36, to marry him. He popped the question on Valentine's Day in Memphis. Fowler, who's also divorced and mother of two, is president of the Board of the Women's Crisis Center of Northeast Arkansas. McDaniel met Fowler, a Georgia native, last spring when he helped arranged a Wal-Mart Foundation gift of $10,000 to the Crisis Center, whose work he knew from days as a Jonesboro police officer. One thing led to another, finally an on-bended-knee proposal on the rooftop of the Madison Hotel in Memphis following a mutual friend's wedding. (They'd been talking marriage already, but McDaniel said he'd “convinced her he'd never do anything so cliché as propose on Valentine's Day.” She said yes anyway.) They'll set up housekeeping in Little Rock.

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