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Saturday, July 30, 2016, 7:34 p.m.
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Paul Greenberg

Photo of Paul Greenberg

Editorial Columnist

Editorial Columist

Recent Stories by Paul Greenberg

Columnist: What’s in a name?

posted: 07/27/2016 2:58 a.m. Comments 3

The name games continue. Consider just one example: Arkansas Works, which is what Governor Asa Hutchinson calls his plan to switch more Arkansans to Medicaid. The state was hooked when the Feds agreed to pay the full cost of expanding Medicaid--but only until next year. Then the state's taxpayers will have to pay first 5 percent, then 10 percent of the cost over the next five years. It turns out that the much ballyhooed Private Option was always a public one--and not optional at all. The cost to Arkansas taxpayers will mount every year. Just as skeptics warned when Arkansas accepted this sucker's deal.

Column One: Celebrate the old way

posted: 07/24/2016 2:16 a.m. Discuss

There's no news like old news. Doubt it? Just glance at this dramatic, multi-deck headline in the July 5, 1897, edition of the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi--the Arkansas Gazette:

Column: One man against the mob

posted: 07/20/2016 3:21 a.m. Comment 1

His name was Sam Levine, and old-timers in Arkansas politics--or just history buffs--will remember him as one of the few voices of reason in this state's legislature back when Orval Faubus' will was law. Back then massive resistance was the order of the day--well, the cry of the day. It was a time when a "statesman" like J. William Fulbright would leave the state or even the country to avoid the whole issue. And when Senator Fulbright did return, it was only to help frame the notorious Southern Manifesto.

Column One: Language that isn't

posted: 07/17/2016 1:59 a.m. Comments 5

Long before the current crop of academics substituted ideology for scholarship, George Orwell observed: "In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning."

Column: The rain in summer

posted: 07/13/2016 3 a.m. Discuss

Just in the nick of time, as a heat wave engulfed the state, there came a rain. A heavy, drenching, overwhelming cascade. Complete the way a great symphony is--from overture to crescendo to reprise. Beethoven could have written this masterpiece. All day long the skies had been darkening, the air clearing, the whole state anticipating as the temperature fell and fell and fell. It must have dropped 20 degrees within a few hours. And the storm couldn't have come at a better time--in the middle of July just as the state was girding for Arkansas' unbearable August when . . . .

COLUMN ONE: A man in full

posted: 07/10/2016 1:52 a.m. Comments 7

Looking back on Baker Kurrus’ tenure as superintendent of the state’s largest school district, the reader will find a rich mix of the good, the bad, and the just plain awful. Plus a cautionary tale for other school superintendents across Arkansas wrestling with the same challenges he faced from start to finish.

Column: He saw it coming

posted: 07/06/2016 3:01 a.m. Comment 1

Any student of the American revolution and the critical period that followed it will recognize the name Montesquieu, and the role he played in shaping our Constitution. For he was cited early and often by the Founders, as well he should have been. Especially for his warning that no one branch of government--executive, legislative or judicial--should be able to concentrate all power in its hands. Instead he proposed a system of checks and balances in which each branch would be separate yet all would have to cooperate to get anything done.

Column One: A fable

posted: 07/03/2016 2:03 a.m. Comments 7

Somewhere east of the Isle of Reason and west of the Mountain of Discord there lies the Lake of Sweet Compromise shimmering on the far horizon. Around its shores the carefree natives gather every evening to sing their sweet songs of love everlasting as they prepare to live happily ever after.

Column: PAUL GREENBERG: It's all about them

posted: 06/29/2016 5:45 a.m. Comments 7

Let us utter a quiet prayer of thanks for the private graveside service for friends and family. It was the only thing that left Muhammad Ali's leave-taking with a shred of simple human dignity. The rest was a concatenation of self-infatuated egos. political causes of the pop-left persuasion, and Carnival in Rio.

COLUMN ONE: The big losers

posted: 06/26/2016 2:06 a.m. Comments 10

The competition for a place on the dishonor roll of bad ideas, past and present, is fierce. But here goes:

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