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The Illusions of Trump and Sanders

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the antithesis of the conventional politician. They are not programmed, their lines are not focus-group tested, and they take positions far outside the mainstream. But the victory speeches they gave in New Hampshire Tuesday night showed they have mastered the oldest political trick of all: promising things they can’t deliver.

And the real socialist is…

As we get deeper into the weeds of the current election season, the din of empty rhetoric is deafening. Much of the blame goes to the Republicans’ darling of the moment, Donald Trump. I see Trump as the equivalent of cotton candy. It’s all puffed up, showy, appropriate for a circus and utterly void of meaningful substance. He’s all emotion, derogatory bating and narcissism.

Planning puts smart brake on sale

As recently reported in The Commercial, the Pine Bluff City Council Development and Planning Committee recommended the full council consider a measure imposing a moratorium on the city sales of property zoned for commercial use until more detailed guidelines are developed.

Promises and visions

When I was a pre-teen, I recalled a biblical message delivered by our church minister, the late Reverend T.J. Taylor of the Pine Hill Baptist Church here in town. Unlike Donald Trump, I will not fake a knowledge of biblical verse and attempt to quote scripture and verse. However, I do remember the essence of that message was that people without a vision will perish. As we approach the election season here in town with all of the promises of elected officials who profess to have a vision that will move Pine Bluff forward, I suggest we take time to reflect.

Old grudge new fodder

Last week The Commercial reported on yet another kerfuffle between mayoral candidate Theodis “Ted” Davis and his former associate on the Jefferson County Board of Election Commissioners, Stu Soffer. Like the swallows returning to San Capistrano, these individuals never disappoint in their political theatrics.

Benefits of thinking small

As recently reported in The Commercial, several local retailers are experiencing an uptick in seasonal sales. Both long established stores — such as the Record Rack and Doc’s Pawn Shop — as well as relative newcomers — like the Honey Hole and the Country Chic Chocolate Co. — have reason to be optimistic.

Walker less than transparent with ‘no’ vote

As recently reported in The Commercial, the Pine Bluff City Council just approved a $29.6 million budget on a 7-1 vote. Mayor Debe Hollingsworth had proposed the $29,459,937 budget for the upcoming year. The council then added an additional $198,924, including $92,557 to hire two firefighters and an extra $50,000 to the city’s program that provides summer jobs to teenagers.

Needless expense in special election

Last April, The Commercial reported the outcome of an election in which the White Hall School District administrators had hoped to increase the millage rate so that certain capital improvements could be made. The voters sent a resounding negative reply. The final tally was almost 2-to-1 against.

From one bondage to the next

One hundred-fifty years ago, the 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was ratified, ending the institution of slavery. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”