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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. . .

Legislature shows little regard for education

The 2015 session of the Arkansas General Assembly will never be mistaken for the "education session." Legislators have shown little interest in the subject or recognition of its ability to lift our state from the bottom of national economic rankings. Last week. . .

The beauty of technology

Two incredible occurrences happened earlier this week. While on the surface they might seem commonplace, they were spectacular in my view. On Sunday, my best friend since high school Skyped me, and on Monday I received a photo of my sister on. . .

Too often facts are eclipsed by passions

Ferguson has become the liberal Benghazi. It is more of a cause than a place, more of an ideological statement than an incident. Ferguson was not the racist murder it was thought to be, and Benghazi was not an incident in which the Obama administration's. . .

Lee Kuan Yew, the fearful visionary

Lee Kuan Yew, the man who created the modern miracle of Singapore, was one of the visionary leaders of the 20th century. But as I discovered in several conversations with him, he was also a paradoxical figure who never lost his sense of vulnerability and. . .

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. . .

Too big to fail remains an economic threat

The term too big to fail (TBTF) refers to financial institutions that are so large that their failure would bring down the entire economic system, systemic risk, and therefore must be supported by the central bank trough lender of last resort programs or by. . .

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. . .

A better 2016 agenda

"In your heart you know he's right," was Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign slogan in 1964. The critics of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who announced Monday he is running for president, are effectively saying of him: "In your head you know he's nuts." Even before. . .

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. . .

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...