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The week that was Feb. 7-13

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It was a good week for …

GROCERY SHOPPERS. The legislature completed action on a bill to knock three cents off the 6-cent tax on food.

GOV. MIKE BEEBE. See above. And the happy legislators from both parties about the generally friendlier leadership in the governor’s office.

MIKE HUCKABEE. He got face time on some major national TV shows, though the Club for Growth dogged the presidential candidate everywhere with the message for conservative primary voters that he’s a tax-and-spender.

The RELIGIOUS RIGHT. Religious conservatives beat legislative ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment for women with misleading scare tactics. Then, just for spite, House wingers beat a resolution honoring Founding Father Thomas Paine because he was not sufficiently religious. Lord help us.

HIGHWAYS. Sounds like Gov. Beebe has an agreed highway plan, a blend of surplus money, a diesel tax increase and perhaps another run at a bond vote.

It was a bad week for …

HOUSTON NUTT. The Hog football coach got ripped by Democrat-Gazette sports editor Wally Hall for blaming the media for recruiting setbacks. His thin skin showed when he called Tommy Smith’s radio show to rip Hall back. Nutt had a point or two worth exploring, but the call only served to fuel the continuing Hog melodrama. (See John Brummett this week.)

HOGS. Bad stuff in Fayetteville — an unhappy football coach, a faltering athletic director, an uninspiring basketball team, a formerly pristine track program at the root of an NCAA inquiry and, to top it off, preservationists were screaming about the UA’s demolition of the Carlson Terrace apartments on campus (designed by Edward Durrell Stone) to make way for a women’s softball field.

PORK. Legislative leaders think they’ve devised a way — a commission they control — to continue pouring pork barrel money into local projects proposed by favored legislators. Fair? No. Wasteful? Yes. Constitutional? Doubtful.

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