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Right-wing rhetoric helping both parties’ major candidates

I swear, if I was a Democrat running for president I would divert as much of my campaign treasury as I could to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Arkansas’s own Mike Huckabee. If I was any Democrat angling to see my party’s nominee win next year I would do the same. Moreover, if I was a Republican trying to set my party aright (but cantered still to the right) I would send all three money, knowing, as do the Democrats (and independents), that not Trump nor Cruz nor Huckabee has a hope of the White House and that their campaigns will serve only to soil the eventual GOP candidate and thus hasten a much-overdue reconsideration of what the party should represent.

Same debate a half century later

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill creating the national Medicare and Medicaid programs. The ceremony was held at Independence, Missouri, the birthplace of President Harry Truman. Truman, who was issued the very first Medicare card, had lobbied unsuccessfully for similar programs during his time in office.

Enabling change 25 years later

Imagine that you have just graduated near the top of your class at an elite collegiate engineering program. Now imagine you go out into the world only to be repeatedly rebuffed by prospective employers. Their reasons for your rejection? You credentials are first order: good school; good grades; good recommendations. It’s none of those things. It’s because you use a wheelchair.

New tools to block intrusion

As recently reported by The Commercial, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Wednesday joined 44 other state attorneys general in calling on phone carriers AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink to offer call-blocking technology to their customers. We believe this is a necessary step to improve consumer protection.

No need for bullish jesters

As has been widely reported, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently made yet one more ill-advised remark that unjustly criticized another person. In this instance, while speaking to the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, last Saturday, he said of fellow Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, “I like people who weren’t captured,” a reference to McCain’s imprisonment by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. McCain’s captors tortured him so severely that McCain is still unable to raise his arms above his head.

Rising tide submerges broader values

The culmination of an 11-year construction effort, Egypt’s Aswan High Dam was completed on this day in 1970. Since the hydroelectric plant went into service, Aswan has produced nearly half a trillion watts of electricity. This success spurred economic development while controlling the notorious seasonal floods of the Nile River. Even so, this progress came with equally high costs.

Choosing between our necessities

Owing to a decrease in population, the Jefferson County Quorum Court finds itself in the grasp of a familiar devil’s bargain: falling revenue and the question of cutting back. Perhaps the greatest bone of contention concerns the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and that agency’s share of the burden.

The day music got much smaller

Ever heard of a thing called the Moving Picture Experts Group -1 Audio Layer III? On this day in 1995, this mouthful of techno jargon was officially released to the public. Known more commonly as an MPEG-1 or by its file extension, mp3, the algorithm underlying this invention made possible the explosion of digital music; and spelled the long quiet death of the compact disc as king of musical storage.

Of monkeys and misguided men

We recently published an editorial response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s ill-advised rejoinder, “We want to be careful as to what monuments and designations go there (at the Arkansas Capitol). … We don’t want just every group putting a statue on the Capitol grounds.” Without rehashing that topic, a timely anniversary reminds of us of similar themes. On this day in 1925, 90 years ago, the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” began in Dayton, Tennessee.

Either a pantheon or none

Yet again the champions of theocracy have reared their misguided heads. This round of pharisaical bigotry comes on the heels of a request by the Universal Society of Hinduism to place a statue of the Hindu god Lord Hanuman on the Arkansas Capitol grounds.

Mom liked you best

We’ve all heard of Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp. Only the devotees of history and Western lore will know that there were also two more Earp brothers, James, the eldest, and Warren the youngest. On this day in 1900, 115 years ago, Warren Earp was killed in a barroom brawl at Wilcox, Arizona.

We’ve been here before

The recent United States Supreme Court decision overturning several states’ bans on gay marriage is likely to be one of the most contentious and difficult findings in our nation’s history. This ruling’s potential to fracture the American people owes to the fact that both sides in the debate believe they are morally correct. When framed in such terms, there is little room for reasoned discussion. If “you” don’t believe like “we” do then you’re probably going straight to hell. That’s not how great nations think or act.

40 year apology

Even his sternest critics agreed it was one of Mike Huckabee’s finest moments. To the surprise of many in the crowd of thousands, Huckabee’s oratory, in style and substance, quite surpassed that of another speaker, a president of the United States, for whom the issue was known to run deep — down where the spirit meets the bone, to borrow a phrase.

One State’s creative, chaotic conservatism

If I were to tell you that a state legislature this year passed a six-cent gas tax increase. abolished the death penalty, and voted to let young illegal immigrants brought by their parents to America obtain a driver’s license, what state would you guess that would be? California? Massachusetts? Maybe Colorado?