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January 11, 2007

Vol 4 • No 52

Sprucing up Springdale

The council there has banned the parking of cars on residential lawns (and paving over lawns entirely to create legal parking).

The idiot

Open line for comments here. If you have to ask, you haven't been paying attention.

Swords drawn

Not seven hours after Gov. Mike Beebe delivered his State of the State address, the top legislative leaders challenged two of his major proposals in front of a key audience.

Heavy on the ears

A maelstrom of punk, rock, glam and noise arrives Thursday, Jan. 11, from Athens, Ga., in the form of Jucifer.

This Modern World

Big-time rasslin’ at Alltel

Big-time rasslin’ is in store at the “SmackDown” Superstars TV show and tour.


What now?

Arkansas’s political landscape changed significantly this week. Or did it? Gov. Mike Beebe took the oath of office Tuesday, ending more than 10 years of Republican leadership. Democrats hold every statewide office. Their big majority increased in the

Money matters

Yes he's good at rounding up gifts, but former Gov. Mike Huckabee raises questions about his ability to raise big money, important in a race for president.

Let your HAIR down

“Hairspray,” the Broadway smash-hit musical based on John Waters’ campy film about early 1960s Baltimore, opens in Little Rock Jan. 16 for three nights at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Deep Blue Agave sea teems

Jerry Barakat has delved into what he describes as authentic Mexican Caribbean seafood, and more, at Blue Agave Grill.

What's cooking, Jan. 11

Michelangelo's opening delayed.

Editorial cartoon

TV highlights, Jan. 11


Smart Talk

This week: Searching for a Huck book bargain; a U.S. senator disses Kensett; looking for John Henry.


There'll be no chaffing of these dishes.

Iraq: Deep foreboding

When was a critical world initiative undertaken under such a pall of despair as President Bush’s latest and final strategy to “win” Iraq? He will plunge tens of thousands more troops into Baghdad’s sullen boroughs to clear out the radicals and then spend

Who’s the best band around?

The deadline to enter the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase is hours away.

Do's and don'ts

As always, the legislature has much to do, and much not to. Distinguishing the one from the other has often been a problem. Term limits, which have removed the longtime legislators who lent experience and judgment to the lawmaking process, have increased

The 1957 crisis: another look

Lawyers recently made news with a federal court filing in Little Rock addressing “claims of misconduct … regarding desegregation obligations.” Thus, revisiting half-century-old questions regarding school desegregation is perhaps both timely and appropriat

The week that was Jan. 3-9

It was a good week for … GOV. MIKE BEEBE. The title was predicted for him a couple of decades ago. The prediction came true Tuesday.

‘Children of Men’ sad but hopeful

Words and pictures

Seeing your Dec. 21 cover of our (thankfully) soon to be ex-governor with his image in oils, I couldn’t help but be reminded of “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

Resolve to buy stuff

The month of January is all about making you feel inferior. Shopping can help.

The Observer

The Observer has been having some trouble with thieves searching our demolition-derby-quality ’92 Volvo, which we now leave parked on the street unlocked to prevent further broken windows. One morning last week, something caught The Observer’s attent

Spectacular? We'll see about that

Following Mike Beebe’s inauguration as governor Jan. 9, I acknowledge what you could easily find in the record if you bothered to search. It’s that I’ve touted Beebe as governor’s material for nearly 20 years. There’s an old quote in the Arkansas Ti

Oh seven nu yrs rez

Economizing when possible is one of them, as the headline suggests. I got it from Henry David Thoreau. I’m not going to pose again in just the birthday garb for Playgramps or Penthome or others of their ilk, or do any more of the geezer-nads centerfo

Bird in hand

In the days leading up to the opening of the new legislative session this week, the big debate was about tax cuts.

ASO fiddles around

Violinists Mark O'Connor and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform with the ASO this weekend.

Charter school vandalized

Coming back to school after two weeks of holiday vacation was made even harder for the staff and students of Maumelle’s Academics Plus Charter School, who returned from the break to find their school extensively vandalized.

What’s Happening in January

Readings and other book events.

What we're reading, Jan. 11

The top 10 bestsellers from three local bookstores. Data is most recent available.

Farewell to Huck

Tuesday's guard change prompts Brummett to recall the Mike Huckabee era -- the good and the bad, the big and the small.

Teacher pay

Gov. Mike Beebe said "alternative compensation," or some variation of merit pay, would be part of his agenda this year.

Shame vs. action

NY Times editorial suggests the Body Mass Index readings of school children, pioneered in Arkansas, might not be such a good thing, by adding a fat grade to kids' worries.

What he didn't say

Roby Brock's blog is currently leading with a good analysis of what Mike Beebe omitted from his first State of the State speech.

Snyder named to key chairmanship

As President George W. Bush "surges" U.S. troop strength in Iraq, it's not insignificant to note that U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder today was named chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel.

Evanescence's Amy Lee to wed

Former Little Rock resident Amy Lee, the lead singer of Evanenscence, said last night on the Canadian show "Muchmusic" that she's engaged.

LR school turmoil -- UPDATED TWICE

I fear division in the LR School Board is soon to get worse. I was greeted this morning by a report that Board member Larry Berkley had circulated a letter critical of School Board President Katherine Mitchell.

More school turmoil

School division writ large is likely looming at the legislature. And it could turn, as much of the acrimony has in Little Rock, over merit pay.

Fresh air from the governor's office

There are many more open government issues remaining for Gov. Mike Beebe, but he's off on the right foot.

Fresh air from the governor's office

There are many more open government issues remaining for Gov. Mike Beebe, but he's off on the right foot.

Koon: 'Bleeping' Sopranos on A&E

David Koon, the Times' Mr. TV, chimes in on "The Sopranos" debut on A&E. A&E bought the syndicated HBO series reruns and the first one premiered this week.

Koon: 'Bleeping' Sopranos on A&E

David Koon, the Times' Mr. TV, chimes in on "The Sopranos" debut on A&E. A&E bought the syndicated HBO series reruns and the first one premiered this week.

Amy Lee is engaged

Or so this blog indicates.

Paddling charge dismissed

We reported some time ago about a charge being filed against a Murfreesboro coach over paddling of a 12-year-old student.

Inside dope

Jimmie Higgins/Delphi continues to drill into the soft white underbelly of legislative dealings at his People's Tribune.


From the release: "Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC, ("Children of Men"), Dick Pope, BSC ("The Illusionist"), Robert Richardson, ASC ("The Good Shepherd"), Dean Semler, ASC, ACS ("Apocalypto"), and Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC ("The Black Dahlia") are vying for top honors in the feature film category at the 21st Annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards competition.

Writers Guild Nominees

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY "Babel", Written by Guillermo Arriaga, Paramount Vantage"Little Miss Sunshine", Written by Michael Arndt, Fox Searchlight Pictures"The Queen", Written by Peter Morgan, Miramax Films"Stranger Than Fiction", Written by Zach Helm, Sony Pictures Entertainment"United 93", Written by Paul Greengrass, Universal PicturesADAPTED SCREENPLAY "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan", Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips, Based on a Character Created by Sacha Baron Cohen, Twentieth Century Fox"The Departed", Screenplay by William Monahan, Based on the Motion Picture Internal Affairs, Written by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, Warner Bros. Pictures"The Devil Wears Prada", Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, Based on the Novel by Lauren Weisberger, Twentieth Century Fox"Little Children", Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, Based on the Novel by Tom Perrotta, New Line Cinema"Thank You for Smoking", Screenplay by Jason Reitman, Based on the Novel by Christopher Buckley, Fox Searchlight Picture

Mama Mia!

(Thanks to Sam)Meryl Streep is set to star in "Mamma Mia!," the bigscreen adaptation of the hit tuner that Universal and producing partners Playtone and Littlestar are mobilizing for a summer start.

Costume Designers Guild

The nominees from the Costume Designers Guild are: Contemporary: "Babel," Michael Wilkinson "Casino Royale," Lindy Hemming "The Devil Wears Prada," Patricia Field "The Queen," Consolata Boyle "Little Miss Sunshine," Nancy Steiner Period: "Curse of the Golden Flower," Chung Man Yee "Dreamgirls," Sharen Davis "The Illusionist," Ngila Dickson "Marie Antoinette," Milena Canonero "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," Penny Rose Fantasy:"Eragon," Kym Barret"The Founatin," Renee April"V for Vendetta," Sammy Sheldon"Pan's Labyrinth," Lala Huete"X-Men: The Last Stand," Judianna Makovsky

Does 'Children of Men' appeal to the non-sci fi fan?

asks Movie Girl.My answer to that is absolutely.  Remember, this film only takes place in 2027, a mere 19 years from now.  This isn't "The Fifth Element" type of movie making.  This is a film about what happens in a world where flu epidemics, war, and pollution run rampant.  Those circumstances are certainly relevant today.  However, the one kicker is that mankind can no longer reproduce (or so they thought) and what that means for the state of the world.  The visual images offer a sense of time in the future, but we're not talking time travel, aliens, robots, or flying cars.

Magic Springs expansion

A break from the political: Magic Springs announced today a $10 million multi-year expansion, including $5 million worth of work this year to add 10,000 square feet worth of new water fun.

Movie Girls weighs in on "Notes on a Scandal" and "Perfume"

Notes on a Scandal was extremely good. Both Blanchett and Dench did a wonderful job.

A bit of trivia

According to, every year at least one of the nominees by the Cinematographers Guild goes on to receive a Best Picture nomination.  But take a look at this year's nominees:"Children of Men""The Illusionist""Apocalypto""The Good Shepherd""The Black Dahlia""The Illusionist" and "Children of Men" were nominated for a Scripter.  "The Illusionist" picked up a Costume Designers Guild nomination.  "Apocalypto" is a Make-Up finalist.  But none of these films were nominated by the PGA, SAG, DGA or WGA.  None were nominated for a Golden Globe with the exception of "Apocalypto" (Best Foreign Language).  Is this going to be the first year that none of the Cinematographers Guild nominees land in the Best Picture top 5?I'm holding out hope that "Children of Men" can sneak in.  It's a super longshot at this point.

LRSD dog-and-pony show

A school board member tells me, surprise, that the Walton-financed education reform department at Walton University in Fayetteville will report to the Little Rock School Board at its agenda meeting tonight on its "study" of Walton-beloved merit pay experiments in the school district.

Beebe firm on turnback funds

Gov. Mike Beebe is sticking to his guns on turnback funds. In a luncheon speech to the Arkansas Municipal League, he reiterated his proposal to give $4 million each to cities and counties, despite opposition expressed yesterday by Senate President Pro-Tem Jack Critcher and House Speaker Benny Petrus, who said the local governments deserve more.

Pryor joins attack

You haven't heard the last of complaints about President Bush's use of a little-noticed provision of the Patriot Act to give a more-or-less permanent "interim" U.S. attorney appointment in Little Rock to Tim Griffin, a political operative from the Karl Rove team.

The Zeno papers --- UPDATE

Papers released by Gov. Mike Beebe today show that Parole Board member Lary Zeno resigned May 15 after an internal investigation showed that he had jokes and photos of a racial and sexual nature on his state computer and that he allegedly had behaved in objectionable ways to female employees.

The Mansion furniture is found

Tying up a loose end from the Huckabee administration: Furniture donated to the Governor's Mansion at the start of Mike Huckabee's tenure in 1996 that never appeared on the state's inventory of Mansion property has been located, state Department of Finance Administration Director Richard Weiss says.

Video: Beebe on Petrus

In this Arkansas Times Blog exclusive video -- the first installment of a new feature -- Gov. Mike Beebe explains his position on turnback funds as articulated in his luncheon address today at the Arkansas Municipal League convention.

Words have meaning in war

Early reports indicate that Bush tanked last night in his speech. People aren't buying.

To do Thursday: Globetrotters tonight at "The Alltel"

The clown princes of basketball, the Harlem Globetrotters, are back for their annual Little Rock area visit.

Judge Griffen is right

KUAR has some good sound bites from Appellate Judge Wendell Griffen following his argument to the Arkansas Supreme Court that his judicial discipline hearing should be open to the public.

LR school board update

I know it's been hard to follow the posting today. It's been frequent and interrelated.

Ethics Schmethics

I went to watch oral argument today at the Supreme Court. Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen is suing to force the Judicial Discipline Commission t o have an open hearing.

Do What, Now?

Overheard at the Lonoke County Revenue Office today: "Well, we need to try to run your thumbprint, unfortunately.

Radiation Oncologist Dr. Kelly joins team at Mercy Cancer Center

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center recently hosted an open house for Dr. Karie-Lynn Kelly at the Mercy Cancer Center.

Legislator starts foundation

State Sen. Tracy Steele (D-North Little Rock) is the chief executive officer of a non-profit foundation that intends to offer leadership training to young adults, and he began raising money for it as the current legislative session approached.

Meet the mayor

It is to Mark Stodola’s credit that he didn’t get up in disgust and walk out on our interview. He could surely smell my fear. After six years as a reporter — six years which have seen me interview neo-Nazis, Bigfoot hunters, governors and ex-governor

Huckabee writes again

If 12-step programs are as popular as they seem to be these days, Author/Governor Mike Huckabee should have a best-seller on his hands. He gives the reader 144 steps. This is industrial-sized self-improvement.

Let us now praise ...

... solid improvement in Arkansas students' performance on achievement tests. From Stephens Media.

Bush wacked

Sounds like presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee is one of the few from either party with warm words for Bush's plan to escalate the number of troops in Iraq.

Search and destroy

The Washington Post is reporting that a small group of American military personnel went into southern Somalia to see who got killed by the airstrike carried out earlier this week.

The new governor

Mark Moore, over at the Arkansas Watch blog, is pretty conservative, to put it mildly.

BAFTA Nominations

(thanks to Sam)FILMBABEL - Alejandro González Iñárritu/Jon Kilik/Steve GolinTHE DEPARTED - Brad Pitt/Brad Grey/Graham KingTHE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Andrea Calderwood/Lisa Bryer/Charles SteelLITTLE MISS SUNSHINE*THE QUEEN - Tracey Seaward/Christine Langan/Andy Harries THE ALEXANDER KORDA AWARD for the Outstanding British Film of the Year CASINO ROYALE - Michael G Wilson/Barbara Broccoli/Martin Campbell/Neal Purvis/Robert Wade/Paul HaggisTHE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Andrea Calderwood/Lisa Bryer/Charles Steel/Kevin Macdonald/Peter Morgan/Jeremy BrockNOTES ON A SCANDAL - Scott Rudin/Robert Fox/Richard Eyre/Patrick MarberTHE QUEEN - Tracey Seaward/Christine Langan/Andy Harries/Stephen Frears/Peter MorganUNITED 93 - Tim Bevan/Lloyd Levin/Paul GreengrassTHE CARL FOREMAN AWARD for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature FilmANDREA ARNOLD (Director) - Red RoadJULIAN GILBEY (Director) - Rollin' with the NinesCHRISTINE LANGAN (Producer) - PierrepointGARY TARN (Director) - Black SunPAUL ANDREW WILLIAMS (Director) - London to Brighton THE DAVID LEAN AWARD for Achievement in DirectionBABEL - Alejandro González IñárrituTHE DEPARTED - Martin ScorseseLITTLE MISS SUNSHINE - Jonathan Dayton/Valerie FarisTHE QUEEN - Stephen FrearsUNITED 93 - Paul Greengrass ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY BABEL - Guillermo ArriagaLITTLE MISS SUNSHINE - Michael ArndtPAN'S LABYRINTH - Guillermo del ToroTHE QUEEN - Peter MorganUNITED 93 - Paul Greengrass ADAPTED SCREENPLAY CASINO ROYALE - Neal Purvis/Robert Wade/Paul HaggisTHE DEPARTED - William MonahanTHE DEVIL WEARS PRADA - Aline Brosh McKennaTHE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Peter Morgan/Jeremy BrockNOTES ON A SCANDAL - Patrick Marber FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGEAPOCALYPTO - Mel Gibson/Bruce DaveyBLACK BOOK (ZWARTBOEK) - Teun Hilte/San Fu Maltha/Jens Meurer/Paul VerhoevenPAN'S LABYRINTH - Alfonso Cuarón/Bertha Navarro/Frida Torresblanco/Guillermo del ToroRANG DE BASANTI (PAINT IT YELLOW) - Ronnie Screwvala/Rakeysh Omprakash MehraVOLVER - Agustín Almodóvar/Pedro Almodóvar ANIMATED FEATURE FILM CARS - John LasseterFLUSHED AWAY - David Bowers/Sam FellHAPPY FEET - George MillerACTOR in a LEADING ROLEDANIEL CRAIG - Casino RoyaleLEONARDO DICAPRIO - The DepartedRICHARD GRIFFITHS - The History BoysPETER O'TOOLE - VenusFOREST WHITAKER - The Last King of Scotland ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLEPENELOPE CRUZ - VolverJUDI DENCH - Notes on a ScandalHELEN MIRREN - The QueenMERYL STREEP - The Devil Wears PradaKATE WINSLET - Little Children ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLEALAN ARKIN - Little Miss SunshineJAMES MCAVOY - The Last King of ScotlandJACK NICHOLSON - The DepartedLESLIE PHILLIPS - VenusMICHAEL SHEEN - The Queen ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLEEMILY BLUNT - The Devil Wears PradaABIGAIL BRESLIN - Little Miss SunshineTONI COLETTE - Little Miss SunshineFRANCES DE LA TOUR - The History BoysJENNIFER HUDSON - Dreamgirls THE ANTHONY ASQUITH AWARD for Achievement in Film Music BABEL - Gustavo SantaolallaCASINO ROYALE - David ArnoldDREAMGIRLS - Henry KriegerHAPPY FEET - John PowellTHE QUEEN - Alexandre Desplat CINEMATOGRAPHYBABEL - Rodrigo PrietoCASINO ROYALE - Phil MeheuxCHILDREN OF MEN - Emmanuel LubezkiPAN'S LABYRINTH - Guillermo NavarroUNITED 93 - Barry Ackroyd EDITINGBABEL - Stephen Mirrione/Douglas CriseCASINO ROYALE - Stuart BairdTHE DEPARTED - Thelma SchoonmakerTHE QUEEN - Lucia ZucchettiUNITED 93 - Clare Douglas/Christopher Rouse/Richard Pearson PRODUCTION DESIGN CASINO ROYALE - Peter Lamont/Simon WakefieldCHILDREN OF MEN - Geoffrey Kirkland/Jim Clay/Jennifer WilliamsMARIE ANTOINETTE - K K Barrett/Véronique MeleryPAN'S LABYRINTH - Eugenio Caballero/Pilar RevueltaPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST - Rick Heinrichs/Cheryl A Carasik COSTUME DESIGNTHE DEVIL WEARS PRADA - Patricia FieldMARIE ANTOINETTE - Milena CanoneroPAN'S LABYRINTH - Lala HuetePIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST - Penny RoseTHE QUEEN - Consolata Boyle SOUNDBABEL - José García/Jon Taylor/Chris Minkler/Martín HernándezCASINO ROYALE - Chris Munro/Eddy Joseph/Mike Prestwood Smith/Martin Cantwell/Mark TaylorPAN'S LABYRINTH - Martín Hernández/Jamie BashktPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST - Christopher Boyes/George Watters II/ Paul Massey/Lee OrloffUNITED 93 - Chris Munro/Mike Prestwood Smith/Douglas Cooper/Oliver Tarney/Eddy Joseph ACHIEVEMENT IN SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTSCASINO ROYALE - Steve Begg/Chris CorbouldCHILDREN OF MEN - Frazer Churchill/Tim Webber/Michael Eames/Paul CorbouldPAN'S LABYRINTH - Edward Irastorza/Everett BurrellPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST - John Knoll/Hal Hickel/Charles GibsonSUPERMAN RETURNS - Mark Stetson MAKE UP & HAIRTHE DEVIL WEARS PRADA - Nicki Ledermann/Angel De AngelisMARIE ANTOINETTE - Jean-Luc Russier/Desiree CorridoniPAN'S LABYRINTH*PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST - Ve Neill/Martin SamuelTHE QUEEN - Daniel Phillips SHORT ANIMATION FILM DREAMS AND DESIRES - FAMILY TIES - Les Mills/Joanna QuinnGUY 101 - Ian GouldstonePETER AND THE WOLF - Hugh Welchman/Alan Dewhurst/Suzie Templeton SHORT FILM CARE - Rachel Bailey/Corinna Faith/Tracy BassCUBS - Lisa Williams/Tom HarperDO NOT ERASE - Asitha AmeresekereHIKIKOMORI - Karley Duffy/Paul WrightKISSING, TICKLING AND BEING BORED - David Smith/Jim McRoberts THE ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD (nominees announced on 8 Jan 2007)EMILY BLUNTEVA GREENNAOMIE HARRISCILLIAN MURPHYBEN WHISHAW

Naming a post office

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder has proposed legislation to name the post office at 1700 Main Street after Scipio A. Jones, the groundbreaking black lawyer.

'Children of Men' wins Scripter

"CHILDREN OF MEN" WINS 19TH-ANNUAL USC LIBRARIES SCRIPTER AWARD LOS ANGELES—The author of "The Children of Men" and the screenwriters of the film based on the book have won the 19th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award.

"Alpha Dog" comes in at B-minus in Yahoo sampling

After reading about everything the Internet had to offer about Jesse James Hollywood this week, I'm looking forward to catching "Alpha Dog" this weekend.

Iowa Film Critics: 'Little Children'

Best Picture Little Children Best Animated Picture Cars Best Director Martin Scorsese The Departed Best Actor Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Best Actress Helen Mirren The Queen Best Supporting Actor Abigail Breslin Little Miss Sunshine Best Supporting Actress Jackie Earle Haley Little Children The Best Movie Yet to Open in Iowa Pan's Labyrinth Kudos to the Iowa Critics for recognizing the best that didn't open in their state!


"Letters from Iwo Jima" shut out again.  "United 93" makes a push . . .Drama: "Babel," Stephen Mirrione, Douglas Crise "Casino Royale," Stuart Baird "The Departed," Thelma Schoonmaker "The Queen," Lucia Zuccheti "United 93," Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse, Richard Pearson Comedy/Musical: "The Devil Wears Prada," Mark Livolsi "Dreamgirls," Virginia Katz "Little Miss Sunshine," Pamela Martin "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," Craig Wood, Stephen Rivkin "Thank You for Smoking," Dan Glauberman Documentary: "An Inconvenient Truth," Jay Cassidy, Dan Swietlik "Baghdad ER," Patrick McMahon, Carrie Goldman "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Part One," Samuel D. Pollard

Helen, Judi and Meryl talk

To Entertainment Weekly.

James Cameron's $195 million movie

"Avatar".  He talks more about it here.

Golden Globes Monday Night

live January 15th at 7:00 CST on NBC.  Here's the list of presenters:Joaquin Phoenix, Charlie Sheen, Sharon Stone, Naomi Watts,the cast of “Heroes” (Ali Larter, Masi Oka, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar, Hayden Panettiere, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Milo Ventimiglia), Drew Barrymore, Steve Carell, George Clooney, Dane Cook, Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Hugh Grant, Adrian Grenier, Jake Gyllenhaal, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Terrence Howard, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Spade, John Stamos, Ben Stiller, Hilary Swank, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Weisz, Reese Witherspoon and James Woods.Tom Hanks will present Warren Beatty with this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for his “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.”

29 hours and counting

The 5,830 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must return their completed Oscar nominations ballots to PricewaterhouseCoopers no later than 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 13.

P. Martin talks to Nick Cassavetes

about his new film "Alpha Dog"  in today's Democrat Gazette. 

Opening Today

    Also, "Arthur and the Invisibles," "Primeval" and "Stomp the Yard."

Video: Huckabee on Daily Show

More video, but this time it's not ours. Courtesy of Comedy Central, here is former Gov. Mike Huckabee's appearance on Wednesday's episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in two parts.

Roy Brooks on hot seat

Little Rock School Board President Katherine Mitchell just called a special board meeting for 5 p.m. tonight.

Roy Brooks on hot seat

Little Rock School Board President Katherine Mitchell just called a special board meeting for 5 p.m. tonight.

Open government

House Speaker Benny Petrus just checked in to respond to a correspondent's report here that there'd been a rump meeting of select members of the House Education Committee this week on account of differences in outlook on education issues with those expressed by Gov. Mike Beebe in his state of the state speech.

Open government

House Speaker Benny Petrus just checked in to respond to a correspondent's report here that there'd been a rump meeting of select members of the House Education Committee this week on account of differences in outlook on education issues with those expressed by Gov. Mike Beebe in his state of the state speech.

Delay in Griffen case

The Arkansas Supreme Court today stayed the probable cause hearing set Jan. 19 for Judge Wendell Griffen before the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

Hot new video game

We got a whisper today that the cable TV industry is hoping to fight back against the AT&T move to sell video services throughout Arkansas via phone lines.

VIDEO: LR School Board watch

Warwick and Jennifer Reed have headed over to the LR School Board's special meeting tonight, video camera in hand, for a report.

VIDEO: LR School Board watch

Warwick and Jennifer Reed have headed over to the LR School Board's special meeting tonight, video camera in hand, for a report.

Open line

Why? Why not?

Beebe loses on style points

Brummett thinks Beebe is off to a good start, but offers some constructive criticism on body language and issues a caution to politicians generally about the likelihood that soon many reporters will be toting video cameras that can be provide images to the Internet, and world, in minutes.

From the mail bag

Notes from college friends worth passing along: 1) From PHILANDER SMITH COLLEGE: Jonathan Kozol, a brilliant writer on themes of education and social justice, will speak in Philander's "Bless the Mic" lecture series at 7 p.m.

Broadcast Film Critics: 'The Departed'

Best Picture: The Departed Best Actor: Forest Whitaker, "Last King of Scotland"Best Actress: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"Best Young Actor: Paul Dano, Little Miss SunshineBest Young Actress: Abigail Breslin, Little Miss SunshineBest Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, DreamgirlsBest Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"Best Doc: An Inconvenient Truth Best Song: Listen, "Dreamgirls"Best Score: Philip Glass, "The Illusionist"Best Animated Film: CarsBest Acting Ensemble: Little Miss SunshineBest Foreign Film: Letters from Iwo JimaBest Writer: Michael Arndt - Little Miss Sunshine

GOTV for the Oscars

And you thought GOTV operations existed only in political campaigns.  Wrong.  At 5:00 somewhere, Oscar ballots are due to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.  The LA Times took the bait and wrote this story about Harvey Weinstein and his efforts to get out the vote for "Bobby."  If you look at the awards resume of "Bobby" it's not impossible: Golden Globe nominee, SAG nominee, raves at Toronto and Venice.  I still think the top 5 are locked solid.  But you have to give Weinstein props for trying, particularly for a film that half the US critics hated. 

Dude, who stole my country?

New York Times: The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

Big hit on Broadway

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee's lunch Friday with some New York journalists paid off with a lengthy post today on the NY Times' political blog.

Messin' with Texas

I just stumbled across a blog reporting on one of Mike Huckabee's interviews this week.

Welcome to the blogosphere

Rep. Steve Harrelson of Texarkana, the House majority leader, has begun what he thinks is the first Arkansas legislator's blog.

Silver threads

and golden needles welcome here tonight.

Why he blogs

Brummett explains. And mentions in the process that the Morning News is going to begin posting legislative news throughout the day on its website.

Tort reform perfection

I'd missed this Alabama case, discussed today in a New York Times editorial. Between pro-business legislation and pro-business judges, they've just about perfected tort reform in Alabama.

Water on the brain

I got a rain gauge for my wife for Christmas. Before you laugh, it beats the funnel I gave her one Valentine's Day long ago.

Cry the beloved country

Meant to mention this earlier. The military and CIA don't have enough to do.

New times

The legislative world has changed thanks to term limits and new rule-making within the bodies.


Does anybody still have a hymn service on Sunday night, as they did in my Methodist youth?


Has George Bush put congressional Democrats in a no-win position on Iraq? Brummett suggests so.

Pesos for pizza

A Dallas pizza chain has begun accepting pesos as well as dollars and the anti-immigrant crowd is in full howl.

LR issue goes national

As we predicted, the complaint that started with Sen.Mark Pryor over Bush's disdain for the confirmation process for U.S. attorneys has gone national.

Iraqi justice

Two more hangings today. One ripped the head off a defendant.

The Texas strategy

Good Krugman today. He compares the Bush folly in Iraq with the savings and loan scandal, when crooks used other people's money to continue looting S&Ls long after they should have been shut down.

Golden Globes tonight at 7:00 CST

on NBC.  I'll have some thoughts at predictions out later today.  Be sure to tune in, althought this GG have far less relevance now that the deadline for Academy ballots is before the show.  Still, its fun to watch and is certainly relevant.

Two minutes to Tulsa

I see the D-G got in a squib on Tulsa reports (cited on this blog in the wee morning hours by one of our insomniac readers) that Hog assistant football coach Gus Malzahn is taking himself and his high-flying offensive scheme to Tulsa.

Brummett blog

Turns out Brummett couldn't hold himself to that five-day-a-week blogging vow. He just found it too enticing to type when the brain is hot.

The perpetual campaign

We're in receipt of a news release from John Burnett, said to be an Atkins lawyer and Democratic candidate for Congress in 2008.

Please Stand By....

      Well, I'm going to try something newish since it seemed to work in the past, and devote some of my blog space to what I'm going to call a "mini-blog" about all the Television I watch, or try to watch, as well as all the ridiculous facts I find when I look people up on the internet, etc., so forth and so on.  And the name of this mini-blog, is:  Please Stand By.  I did the graphic myself, I think it looks pretty good.       While I'm going to try to remain focused on the boob tube, I may stray into movies, etc. and so forth, so deal with it people, deal with it.  Now for a short list of my regular viewing:LOSTGrey's AnatomyThe OfficeUgly BettyMy Name Is EarlHEROESBig DayBattlestar GallacticaSNLFriday Night LightsMen In Trees30 RockScrubsFX: (dirt - nip/tuck - The Shield - Rescue Me - Everythings Sunny in Philadelphia)     That's just the tip of the iceberg.  I do have some guilty pleasure reality shows that will make appearances too, such as The Hills, I Love New York and The One that I want, though I try not to support reality television.  Also, All My Children and the Bold and the Beautiful are tolerated.

Votes to shackle pregnant women -- UPDATE

We meant to do this ourselves, but Delphi's blog did the work for us. He listed the 16 House members, nearly all Republicans, who failed to support the humane bill to prohibit the Correction Department from shackling pregnant inmates.

Please Stand By: Pilot : The Other Half Airs

     Well, the second half of the traditional television season is getting started.  I enjoyed a new episode of Friday Night Lights (NBC, WED, 7PM), at least I think it was new, it was new to me and left off where I had finished watching.  More on FNL later.      So, some of you who have been chomping at the remote to find out what's going to happen next here's a brief run down of who's coming back, who's cancelled and who's in the t.v. purgatory of "on-hiatus".  This information is summarized from Michael Storey's: The TV Column in the ADG.Thanks to Michael who gets paid to research this stuff and probably has contacts and memberships galore, read his column, it's usually fair and well thought out.  I added my own opinions on most...

Sports: JR and Henry on Malzahn's departure

J.R. and Henry: Good-bye, Coach Malzahn Arkansas football has been worsened today by the news that Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn is leaving Arkansas to be the co-offensive coordinator at Tulsa.

Hillcrest teardowns

We've covered this issue quite a bit, but Arkansas Business has an article by Mark Friedman well worth reading today by residents and fans of the Hillcrest neighborhood.

Remember the county jail crisis?

Now it's new Sheriff Doc Holladay's problem. He talks to KUAR's Ron Breeding about his ideas to come up with money to hold more inmates.

Presidential libraries

This is old news, but maybe worth mentioning on a slow day, since we have our own presidential library and all.

The merit pay train

The merit pay train leaves the station from the state Capitol at 2 p.m. tomorrow, when faculty members at the University of Arkansas present an evaluation of merit pay experiments in the Little Rock School District.

The merit pay train

The merit pay train leaves the station from the state Capitol at 2 p.m. tomorrow, when faculty members at the University of Arkansas present an evaluation of merit pay experiments in the Little Rock School District.

Informational session on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

An out-of-town female patient, who for the last 12 years has suffered tremendously from an often very resistant pain disorder called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – it is also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) – wishes to tell her story

St. Joseph’s hopes to raise awareness with heart risk screenings

A heart attack occurs every 20 seconds in America, and when it does, every second counts.

I'm Hoping It Means She's Going To Be A Writer

An evening exchange between myself and my 4-year-old daughter: "Oh, Honey--please shut the door, quickly!  I'm shaving my legs."(dramatic, heavy sigh) "But I want you to get owwwwwt now.""I will, Sweetheart.  I'm almost done.""Mommy?  (cue comically overdone 'ominous' voice) "Did you hear that?""Hear what?""I heard a monster.  IN YOUR BATH.""REALLY?  I don't see anything unusual.""He's hiding.  There--I heard it again!  He splashed.""In this bathtub?  There's not really much room to hide here.""Well...he is very tiny.""He is, huh?  What will he do to me if I don't get out of the tub soon?""He will (ominous voice) drink all your BATH WATER."(laughing)  "Well, that doesn't sound too bad--not for ME, anyway.  By the time he could drink all this water, I'll probably be done.  I think I'll risk it.""But, Mommy...after he drinks all the bath water, he will EAT YOU ALL UP!""I thought you said he was really small!  If he's that tiny, how is he going to eat ME all up?"(spoken as if to someone who is really quite daft) "He takes little bites, OK?""All right, all right, you've convinced me--I certainly do not want to be eaten all up by a tiny bathtub monster!"  (stepping out of the tub, looking back in)  "But you know what?  I still don't see him in there anywhere.""Did I mention he's invisible?"

'Babel,' 'Dreamgirls' are Golden

"Babel," the Brad Pitt-Cate Blanchett film, won best drama, and "Dreamgirls" got the nod for best musical in MOnday night's Golden Globe Awards, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Making the rounds

Mike Huckabee's book tour/presidential exploratory travels included a chat with E.J. Dionne, liberal columnist for the Washington Post, who found in the former governor a potential comer among the Republican candidates.

Making the rounds

Mike Huckabee's book tour/presidential exploratory travels included a chat with E.J. Dionne, liberal columnist for the Washington Post, who found in the former governor a potential comer among the Republican candidates.

Voice of authority

Brummett talks with Rep. Vic Snyder on the future U.S. effort in Iraq. If only more had listened to him four years ago.

Like a fish needs a bicycle

From the general interest department, via NY Times: For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

Hog opera

Morning News says Malzahn departed one step ahead of being demoted by Houston Dale.

Golden Globe Winners

Best Picture, Drama: Babel Best Actor, Drama: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland" Best Picture Musical/Comedy: Dreamgirls Best Actor Musical/Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat" Best Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" Best Score: The Painted Veil Foreign Film: Letters From Iwo Jima Best Screenplay: The Queen Best Supporting Actor - Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls" Best Actress, Musical/Comedy - Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada" Best Actress, Drama - Helen Mirren, "The Queen"Best Animated Film: Cars Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls" Original Song: Prince, Happy Feet!

Meryl Streep hears our cry


Ok, this is damn funny

Jake Gyllenhaal on SNL. 

We still believe Anita Hill

Publicity has been non-existent so far, but we note that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is coming to town Jan. 26 for the Arnold Lecture at the UALR Law School.

Free-speaking governor

Brummett blogs that it might be better for Gov. Mike Beebe to play some things a little closer to the vest.

Free-speaking governor

Brummett blogs that it might be better for Gov. Mike Beebe to play some things a little closer to the vest.

Plumbing the legislative depths

Delphi, whose People's Tribune blog I'd dearly love to add to our community blogging family, is on fire with legislative info.

Ho, ho, ho

Belated, I know. But we had a good discussion in December about the unofficial Christmas finery added to the Little Rock Nine sculptures at the Capitol.

By popular demand

A link to Obama's announcement that he's exploring. Arkies seemed to like him when he appeared for a Beebe rally.

Full employment

Arkansas Business reports that former Mayor Jim Dailey has joined Flake and Kelley Commercial, the commercial real estate firm headed by his brother-in-law Hank Kelley.


So much for legislating, some members of the House have more important things on their agenda -- like getting elected speaker of the 2009 session.

Va. Tech coach wins Broyles Award

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, a four-time nominee for the Frank Broyles Award for best assistant coach in college football, took home the award Tuesday in Little Rock.

Beebe appoints

Gov. Mike Beebe has named Prairie County Judge Butch Calhoun to head the Rural Services Department (a position vacated by a Huckabite) and Michael Langley, a Paragould lawyer, to head Alcoholic Beverage Control (a position from which new Rep. Rudy (I'm getting stupider) Robert  Moore retired.)

Those interim U.S. attorneys

TPM has video of Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a floor speech today about the "forced resignations" of U.S. attorneys around the country and shady interim appointments.

VIDEO: Five minutes with the Speaker

Arkansas House Speaker Benny Petrus honors his open door policy by allowing the Arkansas Times video blog into his office after the House adjourned this afternoon.

VIDEO: Five minutes with the Speaker

Arkansas House Speaker Benny Petrus honors his open door policy by allowing the Arkansas Times video blog into his office after the House adjourned this afternoon.

BREAKING: Mitch is gone

KFSM reports quarterbackin' man Mitch Mustain is gone from the University of Arkansas, though he has not been granted his release at this moment.

Bless the president

Philander Smith College President Walter Kimbrough put on another edition of his Bless the Mic president's lecture series tonight and it was a smash.

Bless the president

Philander Smith College President Walter Kimbrough put on another edition of his Bless the Mic president's lecture series tonight and it was a smash.

Speaking of education

Justin Minkel, the bright young Springdale teacher who works mostly with kids learning English as a second language, is a finalist for U.S. Teacher of the Year.

The trans fat ban-wagon

I read recently that nearly half of all company-owned Starbucks locations are now serving exclusively trans-fat-free foods. That’s great news if you’re in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Philade

LR city board appoints

The Little Rock Board of Directors' new membership selected which of its members would serve in director seats on the various city commissions last night.

The U.S. attorney scandal

NY Times has news coverage today on Sen. Dianne Feinstein's remarks on the Bush administration's ouster of a group of U.S. attorneys who were then replaced by indefinite interim appointments rather than the Senate confirmation process.

Mike Huckabee's PAC

Mike Huckabee's law-dodging Hope for America PAC (he's using it to raise unregulated soft money, including corporate cash, to explore a 2008 presidential run without following the law governing presidential exploratory committees, which have contribution limits and may not take corporate contributions) has filed its report for the fourth quarter of 2006, which covers his Little Rock fund-raising "gala" in December.

Hog wild -- UPDATE II

Seems only fitting that we follow the lead of every radio show and coffee shop in Arkansas today and talk about the most vexing problem facing our state -- football.

Hog wild -- UPDATE II

Seems only fitting that we follow the lead of every radio show and coffee shop in Arkansas today and talk about the most vexing problem facing our state -- football.

Other stuff -- BUDGET UPDATE

If you care to take a break from football, you can get into the Beebe budget by clicking on Roby Brock's Talk Business blog.

LR School Board to meet

Another special meeting at 5:30 p.m. today. The desegregation lawsuit will be discussed.

Arkansas blog watch

Muscular blogging -- where some reporting and fresh information are added to the usual stew of opinion  and aggregation -- is spreading.

The Leader's editorials

Liberal sorts can always get a lift from checking out Garrick Feldman's North Pulaski Leader, an energetic community paper further enhanced by Feldman's own sharp writing and editorials by our Ernie Dumas.

Iowa 2008 poll sez ...

Mike Huckabee at 1 percent. Yes, it's early. But getting later.

Shocked! As in, Michelle Shocked is coming to LR Folk Club

I know there are plenty of great artists who fly under the usual Little Rock music fan's radar who show up to play the Little Rock Folk Club.

Big appointment -- UPDATE (II)

Gov. Mike Beebe is announcing a major appointment at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Big appointment -- UPDATE (II)

Gov. Mike Beebe is announcing a major appointment at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

County chaos

Maybe by tomorrow the D-G will pick up Pulaski County Clerk Pat O'Brien's letter to County Judge Buddy Villines.

LR School Board UPDATE II

We made a pretty good guess earlier today. The LR School Board voted 5-1 today (Melanie Fox was the no) to ask for a continuance in scheduled federal court hearings this weekend on whether the district has adequately monitored programs targeting the minority achievement gap.

St. Joseph’s recognizes National Heart Month with heart healthy recipe contest

February is National Heart Month, and in an effort to celebrate the spirit of heart healthy cooking in the community, the Mercy Heart & Vascular Center at St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center is holding a heart healthy recipe contest.

UAMS College of Public Health Hosts Iraq War Photo Exhibit

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health is hosting a traveling photo exhibit Jan. 30 to Feb. 15 to raise awareness of the Iraq war’s impact on public health.

St. Bernards official earns healthcare recognition

Kevin Hodges, vice president of senior services at St. Bernards Healthcare, has been advanced to fellow status in the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society of 30,000 healthcare executives.