Smart Talk

Bipartisan race

The rise of Republicanism in Arkansas has brought a rare two-party race to the state Senate in Southeast Arkansas, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.

Small-school champions

Two Arkansas congressmen are among the 14 sponsors of a bill that would "correct" a provision of the federal school-funding formula they say favors large school districts over small districts.

Better than Texas

Arkansas's tax system is slightly more friendly to the poorest people, but only slightly.

It's happened before

Rep. Linda Collins-Smith's move to the Republican Party isn't the first such switch in the state's history.

Security advocate Shannon Beebe dies

A former Arkansan who had been a strong voice for new security policy in the evolving world died in a recent plane crash.

One from the Rove playbook?

At a town hall meeting held in Little Rock last week, staffers of Rep. Tim Griffin handed out pamphlets of "homework" that included a list of Florida activists who have been critical of Republican politicians.

Arkansas: Not a federal tax leech

While the South has long been seen as something of a fiscal parasite on the rest of the country, hogging more federal tax dollars than the Southern states collect, it turns out Arkansas did pretty well in that regard over the past two decades.

Tea Party timber

Republican Reps. Rick Crawford, Tim Griffin and Steve Womack, and Republican. Sen. John Boozman toed a Tea-Party line during the recent Washington gridlock. Yet none of the four is on the membership list of the Tea Party Caucus, as of March 31.

Making a buck off 9-11

Just in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Mike Huckabee is hawking a new "history" DVD on the terror attacks as part of his "Learn Our History" series.

Quotable Arkansans

Long before Arnold Schwarzenegger said "I'll be back," Douglas MacArthur said "I shall return." And he said it for real, not in a movie.

Mark Martin can't help himself

Something tells us the Republican Party of Arkansas isn't going to be quite as concerned about Mark Martin's political office tweeting as they were about Blue Hog's, whose authors, it turned out, never used state time to do their blogging and tweeting.

'God Zeus?'

Was it really Zeus in that photo being auctioned last week on the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website? No, just disgraced former Land Commissioner Mark Wilcox.

Bridge over troubled land

The opening of the Two Rivers Bridge over the Little Maumelle River, linking the River Trail to bike/hike trails in Two Rivers Park, is marred by a property dispute.

Arkansas's moon trees

With the last shuttle mission in the books, NASA has a little time on its hands to think about its history. On the agenda right now is a project to register all surviving "moon trees" in the United States, two of which are here in Arkansas.

Arkie Engskov a rising star at Starbucks

Kris Engskov, Beryville native and former aide to Bill Clinton, has been named head of UK and Ireland operations for Starbucks.

Bikes Not Bombs

An Arkansas veteran of the war in Afghanistan is trying to make a positive impact on the lives of children in the war-torn country.

Smart ALEC

The Nation, the Los Angeles Times and NPR have put a spotlight in recent weeks on an enormously influential conservative policy lobby that has long had tentacles in the Arkansas legislature - the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

New at the zoo: naked mole rats, bush dogs

The Little Rock Zoo has announced that some recent newborns are old enough to be on display - four naked mole rats and five bush dogs. According to the zoo, the mole rats.

Today's traveling medicine show

The Get Motivated! Business Seminar, featuring Laura Bush, Bill Cosby, Rudy Giuliani, Lou Holtz, Colin Powell and other muckety-mucks is coming to Verizon Arena on Aug. 30, and it's only $1.95 per person or $9.95 for an entire office. That's a steal, right?

Judge won't budge

Although the federal courthouse at Little Rock has been expanded and renovated in recent years, at considerable expense, Judge Morris S. Arnold of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals continues to rent space in a private office building. Public money pays the rent.