Subscribe to Steve Brawner RSS feed

Steve Brawner


Fiddling around, ignoring problems

You know the story about Nero fiddling while Rome burned? It didn’t actually happen, but it illustrates a point about leaders crazily ignoring a problem. These days, no illustration is needed. The government’s largest programs, Social Security and Medicare, are not burning up, but their problems are being ignored.

School changed by two sisters and a cup of coffee

Pea Ridge High School senior Tyler Cope, 17, was a waitress. Now, she’s a certified nursing assistant making $11 an hour. More importantly, she’s well on her way to a good-paying future in nursing. Thirty of her fellow students also have CNA licenses, while others are learning skills in other career fields. And it all happened partly because of two sisters and a cup of coffee.

Looking on the bright side in 2016

This presidential election is producing two major party nominees with extremely high unfavorable ratings. You’re probably either a big fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, or you dislike them both a lot. If you’re part of that large latter group, you might think this presidential election is a disaster.

Trump played checkers; they played chess

If this presidential election were a chess match, somebody like Sen. Ted Cruz would be calling “checkmate” on the Republican Party nomination about now. Instead, it’s checkers this year, and Donald Trump is winning because he knows that’s the game being played.

Why did Key replace Kurrus?

Reporters have biases, and I’ll admit to mine: Two of the government officials I like the most are Johnny Key, the state’s education commissioner, and Baker Kurrus, the soon-to-be-former Little Rock School District superintendent.

Governor decides private option is best option

The question came to mind as Gov. Asa Hutchinson addressed reporters Tuesday: “Governor, when you were a young man fighting to make the Republican Party more than a tiny minority concentrated in the state’s northwest corner, did you ever think it would eventually dominate state politics, and you would lead it, and your most important priority, for a time, would be saving a government health care program?”

Disorder in the court

Apparently we’ll spend the rest of the year with a 4-4 split on the Supreme Court, with the current vacancy left unfilled after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. So here’s a scenario. Hillary Clinton beats Donald Trump in the election. Democrats take back the Senate. And then Clinton fills the vacancy by nominating President Obama.