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Cotton letter weakens U.S. diplomacy with Iran

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton got his name scrawled across the heavens for two weeks for writing a letter to the potentates of Iran, undoubtedly a good thing for a young Arkansas politician only two months in his exalted office, and his party probably suffered only a. . .

All school ballots should be in Nov.

Slating school elections — whether for candidates or ballot measures — on dates other than the second Tuesday in November is designed to ensure the fewest number of district patrons vote so those who curry favor with the district are more likely to get what they. . .

No rest for the weary

Most of us got a tax break this year. Most of us, that is. Gov. Asa Hutchinson campaigned on a $100 million tax cut for middle-class Arkansans, and legislators were quick to push the 1 percent state income tax cut into law. It won't provide much relief. For an. . .

The GOP racing form: First edition

With Ted Cruz announcing and Rand Paul and Marco Rubio soon to follow, it's time to start handicapping the horses and making enemies. No point in wasting time on the Democratic field. There is none. The only thing that can stop Hillary Clinton is an act of God,. . .

Arkansas bill tests LGBT economic argument

LITTLE ROCK — When Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced his pick to lead the state's economic development agency, his intent was to tout efforts to lure more jobs and compete internationally in the hunt for companies. Instead, he spent a good part of his news. . .

Before ‘conversation on race’ we need education on race

Am I the only person in America not making fun of Howard Schultz? The Starbucks CEO bought himself a ton of ridicule recently when he attempted to jumpstart a national dialogue on race by having baristas write the words "Race Together" on customers' cups of. . .

Unconditional trust is foolhardy

Going along in life without worrying makes it much easier. A person can live in the moment without having to be concerned about anything invading his bubble of self-centered blissfulness. However, ignorance may be temporarily satisfying but can leave the person. . .

Lee Kuan Yew’s culture of discipline

Whatever the eulogists of Lee Kuan Yew told you about the Singapore he created or the Asia that seems resurgent, the praise of him says just as much about America. In editorials, essays, television commentaries and just plain conversations, we appear to be. . .

Religious freedom bill rooted in discrimination

You can't live another person's life — not the lives of your children, family members, friends, co-workers or acquaintances and certainly not strangers. Why would a business choose to discriminate against someone who doesn't believe in the same set of religious. . .

Is foreign trade becoming an economic threat?

One big difference between physics and economics is that the laws of physics don't change while economic laws change as society and technology evolve. A good example of this is the changing face of foreign trade. As a graduate student and a young faculty member I. . .

How do you solve a problem like the Clintons?

This being the 50th anniversary of the film "The Sound of Music," please permit me a poor adaption of a few of its song lyrics, which fit in nicely with our current political climate. How do you solve a problem like the Clintons? Their incessant vacuuming of cash. . .

The transformational nature of the Iran talks

The British diplomat Harold Nicolson observed in 1960 that "a good negotiation takes about as long as it takes an elephant to have a baby." That has been true in the protracted Iran nuclear talks, although in this case, the baby may turn out to be. . .

To err is human or a newsman’s nightmare

Having spent more than 30 years working at newspapers, I can say one thing is for certain: Mistakes are going to find their way into the paper. I started out at the Arkansas Democrat as an intern in the early 1980s. John Robert Starr, the paper's managing editor,...

Wacko birds nesting in U.S. Senate

President Barack Obama got it two-thirds right when he said that the delayed confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is owing to Senate dysfunction and Republican stubbornness. He left out the part about Democratic intransigence and at least. . .

Bumpy rides on highways may last

On Interstate 40 near Brinkley a couple of weeks ago, I drove past a sign reading something like, "Big pothole ahead." I can't recall ever before seeing a road sign like that on an interstate, but it was certainly accurate. Actually, "crater" would have been a. . .

Bill that threatens professional photographers gains approval

While most of the attention the past few days has been focused — and rightfully so — on a bill that will legalize discrimination against gay people in Arkansas, another incredibly bad piece of legislation will apparently become law this week. Senate Bill 79,. . .

Let Arkansans have a say in environmental protection

Environmental Protection Agency bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., want you to think there are only two options: either give them wide-ranging power to control how we protect our environment or live with dirty air and dirty water. Arkansans know better. State a...