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The week that was Dec. 20-26

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It was a good week for …

Incoming HOUSE SPEAKER BENNY PETRUS. He spoke up for income tax relief targeting low-income workers. It’s a legitimate alternative to reducing the grocery tax. The danger is only that nothing is done.

BUREAUCRATS. Government now employs more people than manufacturing in Arkansas, figures show.

It was a bad week for …

CRIME. James R. Garison, a 25-year-old bank teller, was slain in a bank robbery two days before Christmas. Officials couldn’t recall the last time a bank employee had been killed in a robbery.

The JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. It cooked up a laughable alibi — the early maternity leave of a top assistant U.S. attorney — for the interim appointment of Republican political operative Tim Griffin as U.S. attorney in Little Rock. Griffin’s installation, without benefit of nomination and Senate confirmation hearings, had been planned for months. Griffin acted like a man with something to hide. He refused to be interviewed or photographed by the Arkansas Times.

The LITTLE ROCK ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION COMMISSION. Democrat-Gazette articles about the commission’s practices stirred a storm of criticism and prompted the resignation of Mary Beth Ringgold as chairman.

THE HUCKSTER WATCH

Gov. Mike Huckabee, in describing his tenure as governor on statewide TV, drew a comparison with Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved hundreds of Jews from extermination by Nazis. (The analogy: The governor wished he could have done so much more.) Huckabee has Nazis on the brain. Earlier, he had likened his weight-loss regimen to being in a concentration camp. Two weeks to go for the funny guy.

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