Quote of the Week:
"What he did is domestic terrorism, and what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to us in the pro-life movement. ... There's no legitimizing, there's no rationalizing. It was mass murder. ... And there's no excuse for killing other people, whether it's happening inside the Planned Parenthood headquarters, inside their clinics where many millions of babies die, or whether it's people attacking Planned Parenthood."
—Mike Huckabee, first getting it right and then getting it way wrong on Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. The gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, killed three people and wounded nine; his motives are not yet clear.
Tech park backs off on eminent domain threat
The gaffe-prone board of the Little Rock Technology Park Authority seems to be a little too trigger-happy with its eminent domain powers, or perhaps just bad at bluffing. It's at last reached a deal to purchase the small office building at 415 Main St. owned by lawyer Richard Mays — but at a price that's about twice as much as the park's original appraisal of the property.
Here's what happened. In October, an appraiser hired by the tech park valued 415 Main at between $470,000 and $530,000 — vastly lower on a per-square-foot basis than the price at which it had previously purchased a piece of Stephens-owned property adjacent. Mays didn't like the lowball offer. That started the tech park's board talking about seizing the property outright through the blunt weapon of eminent domain.
This was followed by more appraisals (obtained both by the tech park and by Mays) and another offer of $670,000 from the board, then yet another of $845,000. Mays rejected both — although the latter figure came from his own appraiser — and then preemptively sued the tech park over its threat to condemn his property, questioning whether the entity really had the legal authority to use eminent domain. The board initially pushed ahead with its threat, but it looks like Mays has won this game of chicken: Last week, the board voted to increase its offer on 415 Main to $1.037 million, on the condition that Mays dismiss his suit. Mays accepted, this time. Oh well, it's just taxpayer money.
Those liberal Arkansans
The Daily Caller, a conservative online outlet, last week published findings that University of Arkansas faculty and staff lean more Democratic than those of any school in the South Eastern Conference, at least when it comes to political contributions. Basing its analysis on data from OpenSecrets.org, the website found that UA employees collectively have given $621,000 to Democrats and $90,400 to Republicans since 1990. Across the SEC's 14 institutions as a whole, about $5.7 million was donated to Democrats and $3.5 million to Republicans during that time period. The past 25 years have seen three presidential campaigns mounted by former UA faculty members: Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The slow melt of climate denialism, by the numbers
As world leaders meet in Paris this week for the latest round of talks on climate change, a new poll by the New York Times and CBS News shows Americans gradually coming around to the reality of global warming. Unsurprisingly, there's a partisan split on climate issues, but even a majority of Republicans now agree that warming is indeed a real threat or will be in the future.
63 percent would support government regulations to limit power plant emissions (like the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan).
55 percent would be willing to pay more for electricity generated by renewable sources.
75 percent say global warming is seriously impacting the environment now or will in the future, a number that breaks down into...
90 percent of Democrats
58 percent of Republicans