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Monday, November 20, 2017, 11:04 a.m.

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Public profile for RBBrittain

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Trump says Democrats self-defeatist on tax bill November 18, 2017 at 11:27 p.m.

The only way the Democrats' opposition can be called "self-defeatist" is if you buy the GOP's story about the bill. A pittance (if not an increase) to the middle class can't hide the huge (should I say "yuge"?) tax cut for the rich!

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UA releases Jeff Long's personnel file after public records request; 'convenience' cited in firing November 18, 2017 at 5:11 p.m.

@NoUserName: And Long had an excuse for JLS: Petrino's firing came at the WORST possible time to hire his replacement. He wasn't officially an interim coach, but JLS was an interim coach because we had ZERO chance of finding a decent replacement for Petrino in February.

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UA releases Jeff Long's personnel file after public records request; 'convenience' cited in firing November 18, 2017 at 5:07 p.m.

Perhaps someone should challenge Long's firing on grounds that the BOT apparently ordered Chancellor Steinmetz to fire him in executive session without a public vote immediately afterwards, as is generally required by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act when such sessions are held (ONLY for personnel matters). If anything, blaming Long for Bielema's shortcomings will only delay Bielema's replacement.

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Bulldogs score twice in final 4 minutes to escape Hogs' upset bid November 18, 2017 at 4:55 p.m.

The only reason Bielema's not packing his bags now is the administration used him as an excuse to fire Jeff Long first. We shoulda fired Bielema first so we could move quickly to get a decent replacement. (Hint: I can forgive Charlie Strong for his problems at Texas, or even Bobby Petrino for putting his girlfriend on the payroll; but NEVER Gus Malzahn for stabbing Houston Nutt in the back!)

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State pension panel increases rate charged to governments November 18, 2017 at 10:51 a.m.

I also believe you misunderstand the role that legislators receiving benefits from state retirement systems (both APERS and Teachers) has played in our plans. Unlike some states, most of Arkansas' public retirement plans are responsibly funded and managed; they are NOT at risk of collapse. Arguably BECAUSE our legislators have a self-interest in our plans, they keep a close eye on the plans' solvency so they can make small adjustments now to avoid bigger adjustments that would screw them AND taxpayers down the road. (Our experience with city-run retirement plans for police officers and firefighters, all closed to new hires who were put into a state-run plan in the mid-1980's because the city plans' liabilities far outstripped the limited property tax funding provided for them in the Arkansas Constitution, probably helped as well.)

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State pension panel increases rate charged to governments November 18, 2017 at 10:23 a.m.

@KnuckleBall, your comment is senseless. Rep. Rye's comment is mainly from his perspective as a former county official; he was concerned that counties will have to pay more to keep the system afloat. Still, from his perspective as a retiree (and trustee), he has to be equally concerned about preserving the system; that's why he voted for the increase. And no, this action has NO impact on future retirees' benefits, except to preserve the system; in that sense current Poinsett County employees have the SAME interest as Rep. Rye. (Full disclosure: I am an APERS disability retiree, so I have similar interests as well.)

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Plenty of eyes watching what UA does next November 17, 2017 at 7:54 a.m.

You didn't even try to predict the Auburn game? Not that it matters -- like Bama, their opponent might as well be the Sisters of Mercy -- unless it's your underhanded way of saying you DON'T want the Gus Bus returning to Fayetteville. (I'd rather forgive Bobby Petrino for putting his girlfriend on the payroll than Malzahn stabbing Houston Nutt in the back.)

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Letter confirms Jeff Long was fired as Razorbacks athletics director November 15, 2017 at 7:32 p.m.

I'm a UA grad myself, and I agree that Bielema likely should be fired; he's regressing in year five (probably won't be bowl-eligible unless UA meets the graduation rate exception). I don't blame Long for Bielema's shortcomings, but a lot of folks do. They also blame him for the Bobby Petrino firing and John L. Smith, but the fact is Petrino sneaked his girlfriend on the payroll AND was discovered at the worst possible time to hire a replacement (even worse than Jack Crowe's firing one game into the season); Long had no choice but to fire him and bring on JLS as the only available "interim" coach till the next hiring season. As I said, I don't like Long's firing; but it's obvious they did it to replace Bielema. (Even if they bring back Petrino, which is plausible.)

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In UA's view, Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium needs up to $10M to keep hosting Razorbacks November 15, 2017 at 7:10 p.m.

If we're going to spend the money to bring War Memorial up to snuff, we need better opponents here that will fill the stadium. If we're bringing in out-of-state Sun Belt, Southland & SWAC teams, why not play ASU (and UA Little Rock if they start a team), UCA & UAPB there? John Barnhill's justification for the "no in-state schools" policy no longer holds water; The Hill is no longer in danger of losing its audience to Henderson or Ouachita. But let's not forget Eudora is closer time-wise to Baton Rouge, Oxford, Starkville, and even Tuscaloosa than Fayetteville.

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Board votes to allow Arkansas grocery stores to sell expanded selection of wine November 15, 2017 at 6:54 p.m.

"(S)mall-batch farm wines" is a poor paraphrase of Arkansas' "small farm winery" law, formerly the "native wine" law. The law gave (and still gives) small wine producers -- originally Arkansas wineries only, later expanded to similarly-sized wineries nationwide after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in-state-only programs like it unconstitutional -- more rights to sell their products in Arkansas than other wineries, including sales in convenience and other chain stores not eligible for the new grocery store wine permits. (Even stores with the new permits must still carry "small farm winery" brands along with the big names. Also, 100% of the new permit fees go to programs benefiting Arkansas wineries.) It's the size of the winery, NOT the "batch".

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