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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.

Population number bear reflection

A recent story published in The Commercial details one of the most serious issues facing the people of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County: population loss. The county and city have been in decline for almost three decades. Peaking at just over 57,000 in 1970 (and hovering there until 1990) the region has seen one of the most precipitous population slides in the nation.

A century of bunkshooting fear

Recently, the evangelist Franklin Graham held a prayer rally at the Arkansas State Capitol where he urged citizens to vote for Christian candidates who support “biblical principles.” During his speech, he railed against what he characterized as the “growth of secularism.”

Steering the national will

One hundred-fifty years ago this week, Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth mortally wounded U. S. Pres. Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater at Washington, DC. History well records the sequence of events: Booth’s furtive move into Lincoln’s private theater box; the fatal shot to the back of the head; the assassin’s leg-breaking leap to the stage and his infamous cry of “sic semper tyrannis!”

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?”