Autumn Tolbert

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Beware of 'unity'

Beware the sweet lull of that siren song calling for "unity" and for us to "come together." It's the latest incarnation of the call for "civility," and just as dangerous.

Of the people

In a recent video posted to Instagram, U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran as a Democrat in New York's 14th Congressional District and is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, walks in front of the United States Capitol.

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On to 2020

I'll add my two cents to the chorus of advice for Democrats in 2020: Do not limit your imagination by falling back on candidates who have previously appeared on the ballot.

Big spending

Earlier this week, smack dab on the front page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, was Susan Hutchinson, the first lady of Arkansas, showing off the recent $817,000 renovation of the Governor's Mansion.

Hey ladies

Arkansas is a solidly red state. We are near the bottom and poised to drop even lower in education and life expectancy; but, if white women would stop voting for conservative candidates, we could change that.

Elizabeth Warren, still a contender

Here we go again. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) just released a video addressing her belief she was a descendant of one of the tribes of indigenous people of the Americas, also known as Native Americans.
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Boys club

At Kavanaugh's hearing we watched old white men naysay a clearly credible accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, while at the same time accept ridiculous explanations for Kavanaugh's yearbook entries. I can't decide if half the country actually believes the Devil's Triangle is a drinking game and that Kavanaugh was ridiculed for vomiting because of his weak stomach or they know the truth and just don't care that he lied about it all.

No sympathy for Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Oh, to have the privilege to look at Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders through an objective lens. I sure can't, and I am to the point where if I hear one more progressive or even centrist Democrat claim they disagree with her policies then in the next sentence point out that she is "so good at her job" or she has taken on a "tough role," I may scream.

Attack fail

If you did not follow the drama surrounding last week's attempt by the Republican Party of Texas to embarrass Sen. Ted Cruz's opponent, U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, you may have missed one of the biggest political blunders of this election season.

Dress code bias

It's back-to-school time, and for many it is back to blaming girls for the bad behavior of boys. Last week, two news stories out of Texas demonstrated the institutional misogyny that girls often deal with in school.
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Breaking a bond

I will get right to the point: It is becoming way too easy to lock people up. Our jails and prisons are overcrowded. Our criminal justice system is bursting at the seams.

Loving libraries

Over the weekend, Forbes published an article from Panos Mourdoukoutas, the chairman of the Department of Economics of Long Island University and a frequent columnist, calling for all public libraries to be replaced by bookstores. Specifically, Amazon bookstores.

Power: not for the people

Monday night, I joined around 40 people in a small room on the third floor of the Fayetteville City Hall for an emergency meeting of the Fayetteville Housing Authority.

Privileged civility

By now, we have all seen take after take from journalists and politicians about the events last Friday night at the Red Hen in Lexington, Va., where White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the restaurant after the owner and the staff decided they did not want to serve her.
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Hardened

The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention this week has me thinking about two things that just can't quit each other: politics and religion. Peas and carrots to some. Oil and water to others. Either way, to write on politics in the South is to write on religion in the South.

Not gonna take it

Some of the best news from last week's primary election was from Arkansas House Minority Leader David Whitaker of Fayetteville, who pointed out that the House Democratic Caucus immediately gained three women after Tippi McCullough, Jamie Scott and Nicole Clowney all defeated their primary opponents and face no GOP opposition in November.

Trade places

I confess that over the years I've wished a fall from grace upon a number of people. I've come to call it the "Trading Places Award." The recipient is someone who has shown no compassion or empathy for someone else in a tough situation.

Bad law

Ideally, every addict would have free access to excellent inpatient treatment immediately and could obtain leave from work and financial obligations so they could take advantage of that opportunity. But that isn't the reality of the world we live in here in Arkansas.

40 days of action

The news of the goings-on in D.C. is almost too much to handle. A steady stream of unqualified and shortsighted men and women rotate in and out of high-level government positions.

Stormy shaming

Can we talk about Stormy Daniels? More specifically, can we talk about how we talk about Stormy Daniels?
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