The Friday following Thanksgiving — a slow news day, no deadlines looming; my wife out of town and the kids and the grands all occupied with whatever. So, with some time on my hands, I thought to begin the Christmas season with a long overdue call to an old friend in the nation’s capitol.
Subscribe to Steve Barnes RSS feed
My hope is that your Thanksgiving, the one you’re having or the one you’ve just enjoyed, was, well, enjoyable. No, delightful. Caloric, but not catastrophically so. And familial, certainly, for what can one be more thankful than family? Blood kin or crafted through matrimony, or from friendship, family is the stuff of any holiday.
The rumors — they were only rumors at that hour — began rippling across the campus of Pine Bluff’s Woodrow Wilson Junior High before the lunch period ended. By the time Wayne Waller’s music class began they’d gained momentum, rushing from every tongue. Mr. Waller was dismissive.
MORRILTON — I knew there was no way she would see Christmas though I hoped she at least could have another Thanksgiving. But no. The cancer, which had taken root in her lung before moving to her liver and from there to her spine — the cancer had its own agenda, its own timetable.
We’re going to need another prison, Gov. Mike Beebe said on Monday, beginning a new week by not making news. Either a new joint, or an expansion of one of the existing 17 facilities, which are filled to overflowing. I would suppose it would be an additional barracks, or four or five or six, at one or more of the units, since the figure Mr. Beebe mentioned — $6 million — probably would cover no more than site acquisition, environmental impact study and asphalt for a staff parking lot. And a new prison is like a new yacht: buying it is the cheap part; keeping it running is the real expense.
In the news:
A politician or other figure in the public arena who announces he wishes to spend more time with his family and therefore is stepping aside ordinarily is (a) in the shadow of indictment, (b) embroiled, or about to be, in personal scandal or (c) staring at a very discouraging poll.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — “You can touch. Go ahead,” Sharon said, pointing to her chest.
We might call it the Curious Case of Congressman Cotton’s Commercial. That’s too much alliteration, even when we drop the “Curious,” which we should do as there is nothing curious about it. It more properly should be labeled “Congressman Cotton’s Conscious Calculation of Constituent Incompetence.” Still too much alliteration, but it cuts to the chase.