Republicans made huge gains in the November election so it was certain that conservative issues would gain more prominence. But there's conservative and there's, well, out there.
Vol 37 • No 24
The Arkansas Literary Festival, April 7-13, announced its slate of authors this morning.
A trail advocate in Northwest Arkansas told us earlier today that House Republican spending cuts include a $15 million grant for a 40-mile bike trail to run from Fayetteville to Lake Bella Vista.
The Argenta Community Theater will screen an acclaimed indie Thursday as part of its opening weekend festivities.
Clinton, Steenburgen in town to pay tribute to 'unique model'.
This week, we're offering up yet another killer lineup from four local acts.
The city has bought an $11,000 piece of equipment, and assigned one city employee, making $12 an hour, to fulltime graffiti removal.
The Peruvian-born student gains release after two month detainment.
In spite of the tight budget, lawmakers pushing for tax breaks for corporations.
Readers request Brummett's thoughts on the young judge's $100,000 gift disclosure.
The Markham-and-Shackleford restaurant expands menu.
What accounts for the revolutionary spending binge in Washington and state capitals?
And handled them not too badly, so far.
While state legislators behave responsibly.
Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase returns, "A Few Good Men" debuts at The Public Theater.
Since 1819, the Arkansas Times, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi, has provided readers with local, national, and international news, and with popular features like "Ask Assmunch."
"Last week, Sen. John Boozman committed to supporting legislation that lets the nation's biggest global warming polluters, like coal-fired power plants, continue to threaten our health and pollute our environment without limit."
Terrell Case, Tim Wistrand and Corey Gattin document battle between Carroll Electric Co-op and its members.
The new, French cartoon is a tone poem that harks back to the day when cartoons weren't afraid to be cartoons.
In 1965, the Forrest City police arrested hundreds of youths and detained them in a drained swimming pool for protesting unequal education.
Confederate sympathizers in Mississippi have raised a ruckus by proposing a commemorative state license plate for Nathan Bedford Forrest.
A watchdog group called last week for the end of a practice by at least 33 members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin of Little Rock, of using their offices as residences in Washington to hold down their expenses.
The ADG reported last week after the release of 2010 Census data that whites were in the minority in Little Rock for the first time. Some of that depends on what you mean by white.
Amy Garland Band at White Water Tavern, 'Lanterns!' at Wildwood, 'Mr. Brown and Cora' at Robinson, Chippendales at The Peabody, PBR Touring Pro Division at Verizon Arena, Sir Threadius Mongus at The Afterthought, Tapes 'n Tapes at Stickyz.
Good week: snow, State Board of Education, the environment, Elvis, Democrats, Little Rock diversity. Bad week: gun nuts, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin.
Arguably the year's best food-related benefit, is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20.
I'm sure there are people who could answer that question yes or no with confidence, and perhaps even a smaller group whose confidence would be justified. I'm not among those people.
The bumptious U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, fresh off giving up $15 million in federal money to build a bike trail linking communities in his congressional district, is really getting serious about legislating. He's going after President Obama's teleprompters.
It's relative chump change in the scheme of things, but state auditors have recommended that the Arkansas Lottery figure out the size of excessive contributions to director Ernie Passailaigue's retirement and repay them.
Hasbro, the maker of Monopoly, has rolled out a new version of the board game for the video game age.
Fair and balanced? YouTube reports, you decide.
A House committee today resoundingly beat a do-pass motion for Rep. David Sanders' bill to change the state nickname from the Natural State back to the Land of Opportunity.
Potential presidential candidate Michele Bachmann makes headlines today by blasting Michelle Obama's campaign to encourage breast-feeding for its positive impact on child obesity.
A legendary pie can be found at Berryville's 302 on the Square... a pie that dates back to the 19th century.
If you follow education issues, you've heard of Michelle Rhee. She was going to save Washington, D.C., schools until she was fired for expecting too much, a victim of dead-end union teachers.
Nelly is coming to Riverfest.
I told you a few days ago that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would be in town today.
Rock Candy has a report on the opening of a new Riverfest website, with some of the acts lined up for the annual Memorial Day party on the Arkansas River in Little Rock.
Rep. Ed Garner (who complains about taxes but frequently has simply refused to pay amounts legally owed) is set to attempt to pass his bill this afternoon ending capital gains taxes on Arkansas assets.
An easy one this time.
Note to Rep. Mike Ross, who decides most issues by putting a finger to the wind: New polling says a solid majority opposes an end to funding of the health care reform legislation, as he and Republicans favor.
My mind took a break late Monday when I was finishing up the art calendar in the newspaper and I mistakenly moved the one-man Benini show at Greg Thompson Fine Art up a month.
The Romany Rye, made up of most of the guys from the Little Rock band The Natives, could legitimately be on the cover of The Rolling Stone.
The House took up three tax cut bills today. * Events opened with easy passage of HB 1052 to reduce the tax on natural gas and electricity used in manufacturing.
Gov. Mike Beebe will continue his fight against the three tax cuts approved in the House today and sent to the Senate.
The Senate today defeated, 13-9, legislation to prohibit use of a cell phone in a school zone and Sen. Gilbert Baker introduced a bill to remove the existing cap on open enrollment charter schools.
I start the morning with congratulations for Lorien Foote, an associate professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas, who's a finalist for the Lincoln Prize, awarded to scholarly works on Abraham Lincoln, for her book "The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army." in Here in David O. Dodd land, where an annual full-page tribute to the traitorous R.E. Lee remains a popular feature of the state's largest newspaper, Foote treads into dangerous (or at least locally unexplored) territory: Foote's book examines the conflict with the Union army over ideals of manhood — whether men needed to be moral, have honor, be genteel, or display strength and aggressiveness.
The Democrat-Gazette today reported some prosecutors' unhappiness with draft prison legislation because it would set the bar higher for convicting people on meth manufacturing and sales charges.
I see common sense prevailed — on a tie vote that Mayor Mark Stodola declined to break — at the Little Rock Board of Directors last night.
Radical Centrist has been keeping everyone up to date on the open line about earthquake activity in Central Arkansas (coincidentally in the heart of the gas exploration activity in the Fayetteville shale.)
Blackapples, Opals... how do you like dem apples?
It was all a terrible misunderstanding, those involved now say. Even if legalizing killing to stop the deaths of unborn children wasn't aimed at abortion doctors, it had that legal effect and the failure of the sponsor to understand his own legislation is commentary enough on this particular "pro-life" champion.
Lee Richardson, top chef at the Capital Hotel and genius behind the ever changing and inventive offerings at Ashley's and the Capital Bar, is again in the running for an award in the annual James Beard Foundation restaurant award competition.
A report from the Arkansas Public Policy Panel outlines the environmental and public health risks associated with gas drilling and offers some solutions.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld Circuit Judge Vann Smith's ruling in Perry County that the former same-sex partner of another woman was entitled to visitation with the woman's child, whom she'd helped raise.
Thursday night offers another round of the Ark. Times Musicians Showcase, former Oxford American editor Paul Reyes and Katmandu.
Ezra Lbs plays the third round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
Brown Soul Shoes plays the third round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
And now a word from our sponsors. But it is in the interest of consumer news.
10 Horse Johnson plays the third round of the Musicians Showcase this Thursday night.
Seth Blomeley, who's been Capitol bureau chief for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has been hired as communications director for the state Education Department.
Dan Wasserman, House editor for the Cook Political Report, says Democrats in Washington are circulating a congressional redistricting plan shown above.
I just got my daily newsletter from the Arkansas Republican Party repeating the daily theme that Democrats are playing partisan politics at the legislature.
Pierre's Gourmet Pizza resurfaces in an RV in downtown Little Rock.
Lots doing tonight.
With a band named Canvas and an artist named Painter how can an art lover go wrong?
Charbroiled on an oversized bun, Penguin Ed's burger is best when barbecue sauce is added.
Supreme Court wants tougher discipline for convicted lawyer. Legislators are talking about tax increases for highway construction.
The Conway locally-owned pizza and pasta place is packing up and heading across town a little bit.
Congratulations to Sea Nanners! More to come tomorrow.
The weekend offers up a dubstep-themed Cool Shoes, an album release from Kasie Lunsford and the opening of "A Few Good Men" at The Public Theater.
Amy Garland Band returns to White Water Tavern after an extended absence.
"Lanterns!" returns to Wildwood for another weekend of the annual lights festival.
Mr. Brown and Cora from the hugely popular TBS sitcom "Meet the Browns" come to Robinson Center Music Hall
The Chippendales wag their packages for a Saturday "Ladies' Night Out" in the Peabody Hotel Grand Ballroom.
Tulsa/Kansas City jazz wunderkind Sir Threadius Mongus come to The Afterthought this Saturday night.
A Republican of my acquaintance sends a note and link: "Please make fun of this opportunistic douchebag."
The legislature next week is expected to take up HB 1292, which would prohibit all state services, except emergency or life-saving care, to "illegal aliens."
Several hundred people have reported feeling a 4.3 earthquake early this morning north of Conway.
Roby Brock has more details from House Speaker Robert Moore on his aim to pass tax increases to pay for road construction.
I was reminded of a link and video I was sent yesterday by Jerry Rephan, the Hot Springs lawyer who's running as a Democrat, a real one, in the special election for the District 24 seat in Hot Springs.
For opposing a state budget crippling, unconstitutional windfall tax break for the wealthy, Gov. Mike Beebe has been branded the "Tax Nazi"by blogger Laurie Masterson, the Fayetteville school library sex-ed book vigilante who now works with the Koch-funded lobby group driving the national push for elimination of taxes on the rich and many government services.
Argenta Community Theater and Little Rock Film Fest celebrate a new partnership.
As I predicted yesterday and tweeted last night, the Little Rock Film Fest announced last night that Harry Thomason's Hank Williams bio-pic will open this year's festival. It's bound to be a tough ticket.
I love Anthony Weiner, the New York congressman. As the House Republicans went about bloodying the American public with their budget work, Weiner called for all those Republicans who want to dismantle "government health care" to seize the opportunity to cut the federal employee health benefits most of them receive.
Main Justice, a website that covers the Justice Department, law and politics (the founder is Little Rock native Mary Jacoby, who wrote a cover story for us on Mike Huckabee's involvement with Lord's Ranch operator Ted Suhl), has a feature up currently on Conner Eldridge, the 33-year-old recently confirmed as U.S. attorney for the western district of Arkansas.
Brian Chilson has video of last night's Showcase bands, including "Queen of the Brodeo" by winners Sea Nanners.
Former Washington school chancellor Michelle Rhee and her fiance, charter school leader Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, the former NBA star, will be in town Feb. 25 to speak as part of the Clinton School's lecture series.
What happened during last night's Showcase?
The expected shakeup at Arkansas Democratic Party HQ following the election of a new chairman, Will Bond, was announced today.
The House voted as expected today to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The money didn't pay for abortions, which are provided by Planned Parenthood in some states, but not Arkansas.
Rather than wait for the legislature, the Arkansas Municipal League has endorsed Sheffield Nelson's idea of a ballot initiative to raise the gas severance tax to pay for road construction.
The Searcy college opens its campus on April 1-2 for the inaugural year of the First Thaw Festival, a weekend-long fundraiser to benefit Heifer International.
Attorneys for the West Memphis Three, the men convicted of the 1993 slayings of three West Memphis children, have filed briefs on evidence and testimony they hope to develop in the Arkansas Supreme Court-ordered hearing on whether they should receive new trials.
Listen to the debut Arkansas Times Week in Review podcast.
Solana Islam, prostitution, McClellan High School
Early this morning, the U.S. House passed a budget resolution that cuts spending in many vital programs by $60 billion.
There's been a ton of commentary about Mike Huckabee's comments on a recent visit to Israel, marked by a little Jewish stereotyping and a lot of application of the Bible to resolution of current-day political issues.
Matt Campbell at Blue Hog Report does a detailed analysis of the U.S. constitutional failing of Rep. Ed Garner's capital gains tax exemption bill.
Some uninhibited young fellows at the University of Arkansas have gone viral with their YouTube tribute to Katy Perry's "Firework."
The eight living members of the Little Rock Nine, who desegregated Central High in 1957 with the help of federal courts and troops, were honored Saturday at the Clinton Presidential Library with an exhibit featuring the Congressional Gold Medals they received from Clinton at the White House during his presidency in 1999.
Your comments here. The day's excitement seems to be protests and counter-protests in Wisconsin of the new governor's effort to unilaterally kill public employee unions.
I see Arkansas legislators haven't given up their view that effective over-the-counter cold medicine is the only reason for the presence of methamphetamine.
The question above is posed by John Brummett in commenting on the windfall tax break for rich people passed by the Arkansas House last week.
Good point by Talking Points Memo: The Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, has targeted only unions that have traditiionally supported Democrats — state employees, teachers — to lose collective bargaining rights.
Work by a UALR economist, Michael Pakko, was cited by Rep. Ed "Tax Cheat" Garner as he argued that the state over-estimated the revenue loss from his windfall capital gainst tax break for the wealthy.
Wendell Griffen preaches against anti-immigrant law. Bruce Hogg wins Daniel Cayce Award. Is John Casteel a Republican official again?
Mike Huckabee (maybe) for President — it means all of the attention and none of the expense.
Jim Purcell, head of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, is expected to be offered the job las Louisiana's higher education commissioner this week.
Interesting item dug up by sympathizers with public employee protesters in Wisconsin. A Tea Partyer plans to infiltrate the protest organization to work himself into photos wearing provocative messages aimed for TV exposure would— "screw the taxpayers" or "you owe me Says the would-be double-naught spy: “Even if it becomes known that we are plants the quotes & pictures will linger as defacto truth.”
Good column by Paul Krugman, who boils Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's actions down to the power play that it is.
This issue has been brewing a bit in our comments threads and elsewhere, but it's worth a closer look.
The big-time indie rockers visit Stickyz.
The Gossip frontwoman releases a video for her new single, "I Wrote the Book"
Senate committee endorses three tax cuts.
This little restaurant inside of Asian Groceries off Rodney Parham specializes in South Indian street food (chat), exclusively vegetarian.
The Daily Howler, by former teacher Bob Somerby, can wear you out with detailed analysis of school issues.
Garrick Feldman recommends a current editorial in his Leader newspaper on current state and federal efforts to oppress immigrants.
The Libyan government has reportedly opened up on protesters with helicopter gunships and war planes, but still comes some evidence that the government might be crumbling.
Dorothy Crockett of Osceola, secretary of the 1st Congressional District committee for the Arkansas Republican Party, responded last night to my Facebook inquiry and confirms a tip that John Casteel of Newport John Casteel "was elected by the First Congressional District Committee to serve as District Representative to the Appointee Recommendations Board."
The House today resoundingly defeated Sen. Linda Chesterfield's bill to create a commission on the status of women (it doesn't require state funding.)
Her watercolors and pastels will be featured in Cantrell Gallery exhibit.
That Riverfest Guy's first webisode.
Mike Huckabee will surprise you now and again with common sense. Today for example.
Your thoughts welcome. Some final items: * Chesapeake Energy has announced the sale of all its Fayetteville Shale holdings, including pipelines, to a global concern, BHP Billiton Ltd. for $4.5 billion cash.
Brummett ponders again the likely outcome of the burning desire by some legislators to raise taxes to build roads.
I generally pass the procession of quarterly reports, leaving them to the business press. But I happen to note Walmart's report today on quarterly earnings — up company-wide for the period ending Jan. 28 (covering Christmas) against the fourth quarter a year ago, but down 1.8 for the quarter in same-store U.S. sales and down even more at Sam's Club.
The billionaire Koch brothers are, of course, a major force in supporting the Wisconsin governor and his movement to bust unions in Wisconsin.
CNN quotes an unnamed official on the fate of four Americans reportedly captured by Somali pirates.
UALR and Arkansas WAND tonight are hosting "Women Call for Peace," a panel discussion that ties into the exhibition there.
It's too late to stop the Arkansas legislature — much less educate them. Nonetheless, with the Senate poised to zip along millions in tax breaks today, it's worth an early read of Ernest Dumas' column on all the, to put it kindly, misunderstandings on which these tax cuts are based and the future state disaster they might cause.
Maybe we'll do better than Georgia. Maybe Arkansas lottery players will pour ever-increasing amounts into lottery tickets.
The gun nuts never sleep. Today's needless provocation from the legislature: A bill to allow college staff and faculty to carry guns.
A timely reminder from an administration official — White House budget director Jack Lew — that Social Security isn't a factor in the deficit, though it's become conflated with it in virtually every news and opinion piece you read.
Rep. Justin Harris' bill to punish undocumented college students stayed tabled in the House Education Committee Tuesday.
Another Republican tax cut jetted out of a House committee — another cut sold as an economic stimulus that isn't.
Only three books remain in the Sookie Stackhouse series.
Lee Ortega to be welcomed March 3.
A Newsweek poll doesn't bode well for President Obama. Just about any challenger — save Sarah Palin, but notably including Donald Trump — currently gives Obama a run for his money.
I'm a week behind, but I just stumbled across this reporting on charter schools in Missouri.
Tax breaks are on the Senate agenda today — to exempt more from the used car sales tax, to give a huger-than-dreamed tax break on manufacturers' gas and electric bills and to reduce the sales tax on groceries a half-cent.
The anti-immigrant Republicans desperate to place all manner of restrictions on services for undocumented residents have been sure the state has been secretly providing in-state college tuition to jundocumented students A figure of 1,700 has been thrown around by the red-hots for the number of "illegals" getting a tuition break.
Hendrix students Dylan Reed and Connor Silvestri take a page from the Gregory Brothers in "Black and Orange," their catchy new Auto-tuned ode to the Conway college.
More gun news., Rep. Bryan King has another piece of expensive, unnecessary legislative gun claptrap.
The Arkansas DFA closed Kent's Downtown, the barbecue and home cookin' booth in the River Market's Ottenheimer Hall, today for non-payment of sales tax.
Fascinating question: Will all the budget hawks and tax cutters in the 2011 General Assembly REALLY insist on a General Improvement Fund (local legislative pork barrel) at this legislative session?
It has recently been suggested to me that if I'm going to write about a different burger every Thursday, that Fridays should be Pie-Days.
Jot 'em down here. But, first, a shameless commercial interlude: * It might be helpful to consumers to know that our Half Off Depot store of good-deal gift certificates is restocked every Monday.