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It's Thursday and time for some up- and downturned digits about recent news events:

Wednesday marked the re-opening of the Washington Monument, one of the most recognizable structures in the nation's capital. The landmark, operated by the National Parks Service, has been shut down three years for repairs. Now, visitors can take an elevator to the top of the 555-foot structure and take in the incredible views of a city still quite impressive from a tourism, if not political, point of view.

Nobody was really surprised Wednesday when Superior Industries announced its plans to close its Fayetteville operation and put 250 employees out of work in the near future, 33 years after the Fayetteville plant's opening. It is the company's last plant in the United States. It has four plants in Mexico and other facilities in Europe. Although a few dozen engineering and other jobs will remain, one has to wonder just how long those jobs can be expected to last.

The University of Arkansas Razorback soccer team pulled off an impressive shut-out victory against the nation's No. 1 North Carolina Tarheels last Sunday, scoring two goals in the second half. It was the first time in program history that the team had beaten the nation's top team. Congratulations to Coach Colby Hale and his team, including freshman Anna Podojil, who scored the first net, and junior Parker Goins, to placed the second. The program deserves everyone bit of attention it's getting for the effort it's demonstrating on the field.

How embarrassing it must be to be a member of Congress these days, particularly after episodes such as Tuesday's appearance of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski before the House Judiciary Committee. Acknowledging his conversations with President Trump are not covered by executive privilege, Lewandowski nonetheless basically exercised it anyway, and the committee essentially did nothing about it. So here's a man so loyal to the president he's willing to risk a contempt of Congress charge, but who wants the nation to believe the president gave him a directive to speak to then-Attorney Genera Jeff Sessions about the Mueller investigation but Lewandowski didn't follow through because he went on vacation? Lewandowski adopted the combative approach of the president. Is this all just politics? Well, that's sure a factor because it's Washington, D.C., but Congress also has a responsibility to look into suspicious behaviors involving the president. The House committee should have been prepared to crack down on a witness like Lewandowski, whose disrespect for the role of Congress was palpable.

The word from up around the New York City area from authorities is that a 16-year-old kid was stabbed to death during a brawl in which several bystanders worried not so much about the young man's safety, but about recording the attack with their phones. Khaseen Morris, 16, was fatally stabbed in the chest in front of a pizzeria, investigators said. We love technology as much as the next smartphone addict, but choosing to record a violent attack -- as though it's no different than a cat video on YouTube -- is inhumane.

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 [email protected]

Commentary on 09/19/2019

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