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Opinion

Promises made, but better unkept?

Presidential candidates can’t possibly keep all their campaign promises, and few would even want to try. But what would happen if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump actually did keep their promises? Clinton would grow government and do nothing to reduce the growth of the national debt. Trump would explode the debt.

On Trade, Trump Is an Encyclopedia of Error

Donald Trump is not a professor, but for years he will be yielding insights to every student of economics. His Tuesday address on trade did a masterful job of combining antiquated fallacies with misinformation and ignorance to create an encyclopedia of error. Instructors have never had so much free help constructing their lesson plans.

Colors

A new poll of Arkansas voters by the Talk Business/Hendrix College partnership indicates our former First Lady, of Arkansas and the U.S., is most definitely not first in our collective esteem. Were the presidential election to be held today Hillary Clinton would lose Arkansas to Donald Trump by eleven — that is 1-1 — points.

The ditch–the final chapter

I’ve been overwhelmed by the almost 60 wonderful e-mails I’ve received on my piece, “The Ditch.” So many of these offered hope I’d find my old friends, Glodene and Doll Baby. I am delighted to tell you I have and I can now give you “the rest of the story.”

Applauding mayor’s Animal Control veto

Continuing its march of distraction, the issue of removing Pine Bluff Animal Control from the supervision of the Police Department has taken yet another turn. Showing the wisdom and judgment that got her elected in the first place, Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth vetoed a proposal to separate the two entities.

Strong evidence against capital punishment

Just this week Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was almost gleeful in stating her intent to set execution dates for several inmates on the state’s death row. I worry about people who think capital punishment represents the great pinnacle of justice. Given her demonstrated proclivities to shill for all manner other ultra-conservative, anti-science and anti-environmental causes, the fact that she champions an ineffectual and draconian punishment philosophy is nauseatingly predictable. At least she’s consistent.

Justice and Freddie Gray

Local prosecutors, being elected to office, are subject to the rule of the people. Their decisions, however, are not — or at least they shouldn’t be. Any state’s attorney or district attorney worthy of the office gives public opinion about particular cases exactly the weight it deserves: zero.

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.

The greatest there ever was

I knew just enough about boxing to enter the ring once too often at the old Pine Bluff Boy’s Club, which is to say I had just enough sense to get knocked senseless in the very first seconds of my fourth “bout.” I had had only enough judgment to assess my opponent as a harmless rube until he helped me to my feet, sincerely concerned that I was okay. I would not answer the bell (there was none) for Round Two because Round One had lasted but about ten seconds, and since I was too dazed to throw in the towel (there were none) one of the club’s operatives tossed it for me, bless him.

Diplomatic death among demagogues

In a moment of exacerbated and impatient hyperbole most of us have probably said that we’ll die before an anticipated event happens. ‘I’ll just die if I don’t go to the prom… I’ll just die if I don’t get that promotion… I’ll just die if he doesn’t call me for a second date…”

Animal Control Proposal Spite-Driven

As Shakespeare’s King Henry V once vehemently commanded, “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…” Certain predictable members of the Pine Bluff City Council have embraced a similarly brash and blind proposal to restructure management of the Animal Control division of the Pine Bluff Police Department.

Doughnuts with Kant and walnuts

There was a major annual observance this past week, and I’d hazard to guess most of you let it slip by without notice. Obviously, I mean National Doughnut Day. National Doughnut Day is celebrated in the United States on the first Friday in June each year.

Chow-chow and sweet dreams

Mama helped Daddy in the store while I was young. The store was on the other end of the acre where our house was located. Willie Mae stayed with me during weekdays, but Mama often worked late at the store. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights when country people came in to “trade.” On those nights, I went across the street to Miss Dora’s and Jim’s house.

emails

We were lunching, a trio: two journalists and another native Arkansan, a veteran of Washington politics, including service to Bill and Hillary Clinton in their eight White House years, and who remains in fairly close touch with both. Decades of acquaintanceship and the off-the-record atmosphere made for a relaxed, reflective and candid two hours. The conversation naturally turned to Hillary, her prospective presidency, how it might unfold.

Trump’s epic meltdown

Donald Trump: crazy or evil? That’s the question that has loomed over his presidential candidacy from the start. But we now have a definitive answer. He is a raging tsunami of both qualities. Without one or the other, he would just not be the Trump we know.