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Spiting Obama proves lethal

‘If we can’t defeat it, we’ll at least make it very hard to enroll’ appears to be the logic behind Arkansas’ Republican legislators’ approval of a 2014 amendment to the state’s so-called private option Medicaid marketplace. The cynical tactic appears to have worked.

Repurposed signs inspire hope

With a regular slate of depressing things to report, it was heartening to read a recent article in The Commercial detailing Ron Jefferson’s efforts to improve Pine Bluff. Jefferson, who returned to Pine Bluff after living decades in Detroit, now supervises individuals who have been convicted of petty crimes and sentenced to perform community service. As such, Jefferson clearly understands the wages of negativity. He’s also engaged in a program tailored to thwart some of those detracting forces.

Seeking jets for peace

In a recent editorial we noted the anniversary of U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard’s flight into space. His brief foray into the outer atmosphere was propelled as much by fear of Soviet technological advances as it was the enormous rocket underneath his Freedom 7 capsule.

Mall trajectory perhaps inevitable

The last thing the beleaguered Pines mall needs is one more controversy. Even so, that’s what it’s facing. As recently reported by The Commercial, at least two former employees of a “new” restaurant in the mall have filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that they were not paid for time they had worked there.

Cleanup reflects systematic thinking

In a recent report published in The Commercial, local efforts to clean up the central part of the city were highlighted. A large group, including students from Watson Chapel High School, police officers, firefighters, a city bus and representatives of Waste Management, was led by Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth.

America pushes outer limits

Today marks an auspicious anniversary in American technological achievement. Fifty-five years ago today Alan Bartlett Shepard blasted off from a launchpad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to become the first U.S. astronaut to travel into space. Shepard’s flight lasted a mere 15 minutes, but it was enough to give the nation a great collective sigh of relief.

Being Bullish on Automobiles

It’s a pretty safe bet that most of us have never even seen a Lamborghini automobile in person. With its entry-level model, the Huracan, checking in around $200,000; and its big brother, the Aventador, demanding a cool half million dollars, sightings are understandably rare.

Fallen angel raises Republican anxiety

My abhorrence of this fiend cannot be conceived. When I thought of him, I gnashed my teeth, my eyes became inflamed, and I ardently wished to extinguish that life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed. When I reflected on his crimes and malice, my hatred and revenge burst all bounds of moderation.” British author, Mary Shelley, wrote these lines as dialogue for the protagonist in her novel, ‘‘Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.” Sickened by the monstrous thing he had created; Victor Frankenstein fantasizes the creature’s death.

Candidates are no Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln has been the subject of more biographies than any other president in U.S. history. Today marks the 150th anniversary of his 1861 inauguration. During his inaugural address Lincoln struck a conciliatory tone with the secessionists in the deep South.

Pony ‘express’ reflects American culture

It’s almost hard to believe that a company would continue to sell and develop a product with sales numbers that peaked a half century ago. With sales of 607,000 units in 1966 and 2015 sales a quarter of that (122,000) most would say the market had cooled to the Ford Mustang, but the jump between 2104 and 2015 sales was almost 50 percent.

Steve Chapman

I was going to write this column about slimy, venomous reptiles that are so frightening you would go well out of your way to avoid them. But I’m tired of the presidential campaign. So I decided to write about rattlesnakes instead.

Current election in a jam

With the primary elections upon us here in Arkansas, I have identified a need not addressed by our current system for selecting representatives and other public officials. I became aware of the lapse as I looked through the list of candidates vying for several state and local offices.