Max Brantley

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A tax for NLR

North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith pitched me this week on a city sales tax increase. If still a resident, I'd be favorably inclined.

Separate and unequal

Faced with a solid recommendation by a panel of state employees to revoke the charter of Covenant Keepers charter school in Southwest Little Rock, the state Board of Education voted again last week to forgive the school's poor academic and financial record.

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Separate and unequal

Faced with a solid recommendation by a panel of state employees to revoke the charter of Covenant Keepers charter school in Southwest Little Rock, the state Board of Education voted again last week to forgive the school's poor academic and financial record.

Separate and unequal

Faced with a solid recommendation by a panel of state employees to revoke the charter of Covenant Keepers charter school in Southwest Little Rock, the state Board of Education voted again last week to forgive the school's poor academic and financial record.

Political ups and downs

Liberals have to look hard for bright spots these days, unless they take comfort from a president who's become a global laughingstock. Hard to laugh at the prospect of 44 more months of it.

Virgil, quick come see

There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
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You want tort reform? Try this.

The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.

French Hill's photo op

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a health care bill that only the blind, dumb or dishonest could call good for any but the wealthy. For its many flaws, it has been hailed as a ticket to congressional gains for the Democratic Party.

For the kids

Early voting is underway for the special election May 9 on extension of 12.4 property tax mills dedicated to debt of the Little Rock School District.

Executionpalooza

Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
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The end of democracy in LR

The state Board of Education was scheduled to talk this week about the Little Rock School District, under state control for two years because six of its 48 schools failed to meet an arbitrary pass rate on a standardized test.

Internet looting continues

The 2017 legislative session concluded without passage of a bill to encourage internet merchants to collect and remit taxes on sales in Arkansas, though internet giant Amazon has begun doing so voluntarily.

The two cities of Little Rock

The Little Rock City Board illustrated the capital city's division again last week.

Don't cry for Robert E. Lee

Congratulations are in order for Governor Hutchinson. He decided this year to devote the weight of his office to end the state's embarrassing dual holiday for slavery defender Robert E. Lee and civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.
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City Board discovers LRSD

An article in Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reminded me of John Belushi in "Animal House" exhorting frat brothers to rally against a dean's effort to put them out of business. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Supremely disappointing

The Arkansas Supreme Court last week delivered a blow to civil rights in Arkansas. It was another results-oriented decision that gives a clue to how far the justices likely will go to appease the legislature.

Stand up for Little Rock

If Little Rock deteriorates because of substandard schools, there will be blame aplenty to share. But some elected leaders deserve special mention.

Home again

The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.

Pork and more

Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.

Praising Asa

Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
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