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Smart talk, July 23



Agony of de feet


Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who wrote a book about his famous weight loss a few years ago, has put some pounds back on, though he hasn't said how many. He acknowledged the weight gain in a recent appearance in Oklahoma. “It's been hard the last several months because of the crazy schedule and I have had some issues with [feet],” Huckabee said. “It's a constant struggle to find decent things to eat on the road and not get terribly messed up with the same old habits.”

Sarah Smith, who writes a column for NBC affiliates, figures it's all part of a Rocky-style sequel. “Tubby gov decides he's finally going to start treating himself right and sheds loads of weight. He shares his triumphant story with the nation. But fate has other plans for him! He gains the weight right back ... only to LOSE IT AGAIN, in a brilliant comeback that nobody thought possible. In America, the only thing more heroic than losing weight is losing weight twice. And that is why Mike Huckabee will be our next president.”


Pryor on the cutting edge


Add the knife lobby to the gun lobby when it comes to influence with the Arkansas congressional delegation. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor joined recently with Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch on an amendment to Homeland Security legislation that protected switchblade knives. Homeland Security wanted to reclassify most pocket knives and pocket tools with assisted opening mechanisms as switch blades and make them illegal. Hunters and many others complained. While knives opened with a button will still be illegal, the Pryor-Hatch amendment exempted knives opened only by “exertion applied by hand, wrist or arm.”  The Senate approved the change in a voice vote. The last time Congress addressed switchblades was 1958.


Show and tell


The daily Little Rock School Board e-mail about unusual school events one day last week illustrated that teachers have more on their hands than the alphabet and multiplication tables. An excerpt from an elementary school bulletin:

“Staff had found drug paraphernalia (a pipe) in the backpack of a 5-year-old student.  When questioned, the student stated that all the people in his house smoked / used drugs.  DHS was contacted and the parent was called in.  The parent was subsequently drug tested, and the results were positive.  Two children were taken into DHS custody.”


Top cop


Everybody's heard by now that Grant County Sheriff Lance Huey got a pay raise of almost $70,000 (or about 150 percent) to take the job as security director of the state lottery at $115,644 a year. That's more than $7,000 more than the State Police director, who supervises nearly a thousand people statewide. Leave it to the Arkansas Leader to boil this down to its essence:

“He will be the highest paid law-enforcement person in Arkansas history.”


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