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Smart talk, June 4



Long memory


The New York Times Magazine last Sunday featured a major profile of former President Clinton and his activities since leaving the White House. He travels, makes lots of money and doesn't always know where his wife, the secretary of state, is. The article by Peter Baker disclosed that Clinton has continued his practice of making friends of enemies, one being Christopher Ruddy, a journalist in the employ of the wealthy Richard Mellon Scaife, who dreamed up some of the most scandalous stories of the Clinton era, notably persistent theorizing that Vince Foster's death was murder, not suicide. Clinton also detailed how he'd forged a good relationship with George W. Bush. But the forgiveness policy doesn't appear to be universal. From the article:

How about Ken Starr? “Well,” he said, then paused. “That's another kettle of fish.”


Where business is good


Roby Brock's Talk Business reported last week that, if current trends continue, the biggest single employment sector in Arkansas will be government jobs — local, state and federal.

Already, government work outstrips manufacturing 222,000 to 166,000 thousand jobs. Government continues to grow, with 4,700 more jobs in April than the same month a year earlier. Government work is within roughly 12,000 jobs of the biggest sector — trade, transportation and utilities. And that sector declined by more than 12,000 last year.

It's understandable. Government generally has great paid vacations and health insurance.


A place called Hope


Hope by gay people for an end to bans on gay marriage may rest on efforts by a man from Hope. No, not former President Bill Clinton or former Gov. Mike Huckabee.

It's Chad Griffin, 36, a Hope native who became a Clinton White House aide after working as campaign volunteer for Clinton in Little Rock in 1992. He  has become a prominent public relations strategist in Beverly Hills, where his clients have included Rob Reiner. He was a leader of the unsuccessful campaign to defeat Prop. 8, the California constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage.

After the California Supreme Court upheld Prop. 8, Griffin emerged as president of a new organization, the American Foundation for Legal Rights. It is  backing a federal lawsuit to strike down the ban as a violation of equal protection. The suit got wide attention after Griffin introduced the co-counsel, liberal David Boies and conservative Ted Olson, prominent lawyers on opposite sides in the Bush v. Gore case over the 2000 election. Griffin has support from several Hollywood figures in the effort, including the producer and screenwriter of “Milk,” the movie about the gay politician Harvey Milk. Some gay activists fear loss of the lawsuit could set back the gay marriage movement and favor state-by-state work, but Griffin and others have said the time for patience is past. “Creating a second class of citizens is discrimination, plain and simple,” said Olson,


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