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Smart talk, Jan. 29



A message for Robohuck


Mike Huckabee is doing more than TV and radio since he lost a run for president. He's busy networking for future political races. Several outlets have reported on Huckabee's work in automated telephone calls for what sounds like a public opinion poll but turns out to be an anti-abortion fund-raising pitch for the National Right to Life Council. The calling began shortly after the November election. But it continues. Jim Evans wrote a column in the Springfield, Mo., newspaper last week about receiving one of Huckabee's robocalls in January. He commented on the use of his private phone line for “deceptive” tactics and reacted sharply to the notion that you could not be pro-life if you supported reproductive choice: “The November election gave a pretty clear message that the American Taliban has lost its hold on my country. I am offended that they have not heard that message.”


Revolving door


Add former House Republican leader Michael Lamoureux to the ranks of legislators reported earlier to have become lobbyists just about as soon as their terms ended Jan. 1. Lamoureux is now lobbying his former colleagues on behalf of Progress Arkansas, a coalition of energy companies.  Other newly minted lobbyists include last year's Senate president pro tem, Jack Critcher, and Daryl Pace and Scott Sullivan.


Been down so long, looks like up


Forbes magazine has identified the Little Rock metropolitan area, a multi-county area of nearly 700,000 people, as one of the 25 best housing markets in the country. That's not saying as much as it once did, given the recession. Forbes says Little Rock never boomed, now a good thing. The magazine commented:

“But housing prices in Little Rock don't look likely to fall by more than about 1 percent by the middle of next year. That's because they never climbed like they did in the rest of the country. In fact, 1 percent is about how much they have risen in the last year.”


You saw a catfish where? reports that a rock-climbing catfish has been discovered in Venezuela. It uses a pelvic fin that decouples from the rest of its body and a sucking mouth to move up rocks, inchworm style. Just saying.


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