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Time for a bevy of this week's Thursday thumbs.

[THUMBS UP] We're going to take the optimistic approach to President Trump's order of Wendy's, Burger King and McDonald's fast food at the White House, where the national champions Clemson University football team had been invited to honor their achievement. Sure, it's tempting to point to the zany outcome as some kind of reflection on Trump's leadership -- the fast-food smorgasbord was necessary because the workers who would normally handle a meal like that aren't working, thanks to the nearly month-old government shutdown. We're sure unpaid federal workers aren't loving it that Trump's set out to turn a lack of federal employees working into a PR victory. One Clemson coach advised people not to politicize the meal, but to concentrate on the chance-of-a-lifetime moment for the players and coaches to be inside the White House. In other words, where's the beef? Have it your way, Clemson.

Give’em a thumb

Want to give some brief feedback on news? Someone who deserves a pat on the back? An idea that needs a dose of common sense? Recommend a “Thursday thumb” by calling Greg Harton at (479) 872-5026 or by email at

[THUMBS DOWN] The length and volume of receipts fast food joints and retail stores print out when a customer makes a purchase have gotten ridiculous. We're convinced the primary reason most stores need to have trash cans near their entrances is because those customers are quick to throw away what are mostly worthless pieces of paper. Wouldn't it be nice if retailers reined in their prolific production of printouts? We hear California -- of course, California -- is talking of a paper receipt ban. We prefer less government intrusion in business, but can't the bright minds leading these companies recognize there are savings to be had in reducing the paperwork? When a customer buys a package of candy and ends up with 18 inches of paper, it's time to pay attention to wasteful practices.

[THUMBS UP] In a perfect world it wouldn't be necessary, but in the world we have, we're glad to see NorthWest Arkansas Community College and the University of Arkansas collaborating to deliver a program that, they hope, will create a pathway to success for students who otherwise might see their higher education pursuits falter. The Transition Academic Program gives students a way to take courses and share credits while pursuing an associate degree at the community college and a bachelor's degree at the university. Officials say its designed for students who aspire to a four-year degree but show signs they aren't quite ready for it academically. Students who don't meet the admission standards at the UA will be able to enroll as nondegree-seeking students and take one course per semester at the university while enrolling and taking at least three courses at the community college. In effect, it's throwing 50 to 100 students an academic lifeline. State officials continue to promote the need for more Arkansans to achieve education beyond high school. This sounds like a great collaboration to help that happen.

[THUMBS UP] It's time to let lawmakers know which two people ought to represent the state in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. No, not our representatives. We're talking about the two statues each state gets to place there. Lawmakers have sparked a debate with proposals to replace the two statutes that have occupied Arkansas' space for 100 years with updated figures. One idea is civil rights pioneer Daisy Bates and singer Johnny Cash, but other ideas are floating around, too. Sam Walton? Glen Campbell? Jerry Van Dyke? OK, probably not on that last one. There is one catch for those who might be tempted to nominate themselves: Only deceased people qualify. Let the debate begin!

Commentary on 01/17/2019

Print Headline: Thursday's thumbs

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