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The Week That Was, Jan. 20-26

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IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR …

RETIREMENT. U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, 67, said he his health wasn't up to a run for re-election this year.

MOVING UP. At press time, U.S. Rep. John Boozman, a Republican, was considering entering the nine-man GOP primary race to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

POLITICAL SPECULATION. Two congressmen will retire. Another may seek to move up. This set off a wild game of political musical chairs that won't finally be finished until March filing.

The ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT. It was a messy case with racial overtones, but the court did its duty. It resoundingly affirmed the finding of multiple ethical violations by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and ordered the immediate removal of Circuit Judge Willard Proctor. His professed good intentions were not enough to overcome manifest bad judgment.

IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR …

DEMOCRACY. The U.S. Supreme Court sneered at precedent and went to legislating. It opened the door to unlimited corporate spending on political races.

SEN. BLANCHE LINCOLN. People in her own party were circulating word that perhaps it would be better if she simply dropped her re-election bid. She won't. With $5 million in the bank and plenty of gumption, Lincoln will soldier on. Against the right opponent, she'll win.

MATT MOSLER. The Channel 4 announcer got his tongue twisted and, on the civil rights' leaders birthday, wished everyone a happy Martin Luther Coon Day. He apologized for the slip the next day.

PHIL MASK. The former Saline County sheriff sued an oil company that he said promised him a return of $3,000 to $4,000 a month on a $25,000 investment that is now apparently – surprise! – worthless. If a deal sounds too good to be true, Phil, etc.

WORKING FOLKS. The unemployment rate in Arkansas hit 7.7 percent in December, a 22-year high.

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