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Roundup of Arkansas editorials

Associated Press Published: November 13, 2012

Here are excerpts from recent editorials in Arkansas newspapers:

El Dorado News-Times, Nov. 8, 2012

Trump 'past the last exit to relevance'

Boy, talk about a sore loser!

No sooner had the major TV news networks projected that Barack Obama had been re-elected president Tuesday night than did our national "bloviating ignoramus," (George Will's words, not ours) Donald Trump, begin ... well ... bloviating via Twitter.

In a ranting series of tweets, the bombastic real estate tycoon blasted the president's victory as a "total sham," a "travesty" and a "disaster for democracy."

The reality television star posted the angry messages to almost 1.9 million followers just moments after Obama was declared the winner.

Some of these tweets follow:

— "Well, back to the drawing board!"

— "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!

— "Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us."

— "This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy! Our country is now in serious and unprecedented never before.

—"Our nation is a once great nation divided! The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy."

Trump further urged opposition politicians to "stay strong and never give up" and called for the termination of "Obamacare," the president's high-profile health insurance reforms.

He also deleted a series of "tweets" suggesting that Obama beat his opponent, Mitt Romney, despite failing to win the popular vote, when that "fact" later proved to be wrong.

Of course, Trump's comments provoked some heated responses from high-profile Obama supporters, including actor Alec Baldwin, who wrote: You trust the voters when they choose The Apprentice. But not now."

Good point.

NBC news anchor Brian Williams said on the air that Trump had "driven well past the last exit to relevance."

Good observation.

And then there was the comment from Steve Levitan, executive producer of the hit comedy "Modern Family," who observed: "Hey Trump, did you see Mitt Romney's concession speech? That's what graciousness and good hair looks like."

Funny comment, but also one that helps us make our point.

In that concession speech, which was indeed gracious, Romney congratulated the president, his supporters and his campaign on their victory and wished the first family well. He also made the following comment: "This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation."

All of us, whether or not our candidate won Tuesday night, should come together now that the election is over, put the rancor of the campaign behind us and join in that prayer for our president and our nation.

And while we're at it, we might send up a prayer for Mr. Trump as well that he might get past his bitterness, suspicion and anger, and perhaps even learn the virtues of occasional silence.

That would be nice, for him and for us ... but we would miss the comedy.


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Nov. 12, 2012

The bureaucratic impulse

Business hasn't been all that great the past four years in America. But, never fear, our president has noticed — even if it's taken him a while. His solution: a new U.S. secretary of business.

That's right. A whole new federal department would consolidate and coordinate the current six federal agencies dealing with trade and commerce so American businesses would need to contact only one, over-branching organization for help. Voilà! Problem solved.

The proposed change is supposed to simplify matters. Why do some of us suspect it would only complicate them?

Maybe because that's been the general history of government expansion in recent years. Look at the growth of federal jobs during the Obama Years compared to the shrinking employment numbers in the private economy.

Now one more government agency would be added to the mix. It's all supposed to help American business. ("We're from Washington and we're here to help.)" If this administration were serious about wanting to help, it would have got serious some time ago about cutting the taxes and red tape that burden American business, especially small business. Not add another layer of bureaucracy to all that.

Besides, doesn't the country already have a secretary of commerce with full department to match? Is this a reform or just duplication? Here's hoping the president was just rolling out another campaign ploy the other day — an instant solution to a problem he could no longer ignore, at least not before election day. Let's hope so. Because this brilliant idea sounds more like an awful one.

But it's characteristic of this president's approach to government policy. If your only tool is a hammer, you may wind up pounding away at everything in sight. Barack Obama's first if not only response to every economic problem is another new, expanded federal program or agency, with all the expense, patronage, taxes, new hires and general waste that any new federal program brings in its complicated wake.

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