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The coast is clear — for now

Within moments of its on-line publication it was subsumed, overwhelmed by coverage of the nation's latest sad, if predictable, spectacle — the slaughter of a dozen innocents by a disturbed man at the Washington Navy Yard. Once assured that the violence was contained, however, the political class in Washington turned its eye to a poll freshly released by CNN. And then began linking to it in e-mails to operatives in the 50 states.

Hill runs for the House

House District 35 stretches from the northern part of Little Rock out past Pinnacle Mountain. Like at least a third of the state's House seats, it will have no incumbent in next year's elections. It would not be worth singling out except for this: Its announced Republican candidate is French Hill, one of the state's top-tier business figures.

Who’s Mark Pryor?

They were on their way from Little Rock to some political mission in the state's upper left corner so, naturally, they left Interstate 40 near Fort Smith and motored north on its newer cousin. A moment later they passed a sign proclaiming the asphalt to be not just I-540 but the John Paul Hammerschmidt Highway.

Reader mailbag

Occasionally I receive feedback from you — my dear readers — regarding a column I have written. Whether the emails are positive or negative, I consider them the highest compliment that something I wrote evoked a reaction strong enough for you to take time to express your feelings.

Lunch with Sen. Boozman

It's the noon hour on a Thursday, and Sen. John Boozman, R.-Ark., arrives for an interview at a downtown Little Rock restaurant. He takes a look at the offerings on a chalkboard menu and orders a grilled cheese.

Pools magically make parents tolerable

Now that our boys are older and on the brink of independence, we've installed a pool per a long-standing family tradition. My parents put a pool in when I was a college undergraduate. My grandfather erected his first pool while my dad was serving in the Navy.

Sometimes the answer is a simple one

The Freudian Mystique is culturally pervasive. People come to therapy hoping to find that dramatic flash of insight. That "ah-ha" moment when they can say "That's it! That's the reason! I bite my fingernails as a compensation for my mother's 'rejecting, withholding breast,' at which I did not have a nurturing experience!"

Will it take a crisis to fix the debt?

Rahm Emanuel, once President Obama's chief of staff and now mayor of Chicago, told corporate executives in 2008, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before."

He finally kissed his bride

When Ben Ackley lifted his bride Sarah's veil and kissed her at Benton First Assembly of God Church, they weren't just starting a new life together. They were completing a journey – one that had begun about six years earlier, when Sarah had vowed as a young teenager to kiss no man on the lips until this moment.

A “Bold” auditor candidate

Most voters pay little attention to the race for state auditor, so it might seem odd to be writing about it this far out. But this year might be different for a couple reasons, including some "bold" statements from one of the candidates.