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May 13, 2010

Vol 8 • No 18

A tale of two races

It’s probably fair to say that no other Senate primary contest in the country has garnered more attention — in time, money, ad buys and interest from outside groups — than the race between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

Fab five

Profiles of John Adams, David Boling, Joyce Elliott, Patrick Kennedy and Robbie Wills.

Two of a kind

Philosophically, Tim Griffin and Scott Wallace are in agreement. As candidates, however, they’re very different.

Four of a kind

The seven-term liberal light of the Arkansas congressional delegation is not running for re-election, and many followers of Arkansas politics believe chances are slim that the Second Congressional District will elect a successor of comparably leftish views. Aspirants are not lacking, however.

... and the horses they rode in on

You've read by now, perhaps, of the proposal by a Quorum Court member to ban livestock on the Big Dam Bridge on account of a recent horse manure-dropping passage by four trail riders.

School district wins bullying suit

A federal court jury in Fayetteville has rejected a claim that the Fayetteville School District didn't do enough to stop bullying and harassment of a student, Billy Wolfe, whose case was reported nationally.

Over to you

The line is open.

A&E News, May 13

“Winter’s Bone,” Debra Granik’s Sundance-winning adaption of Daniel Woodrell's novel of the same name, will open the Little Rock Film Festival, with Granik and actor and Fayetteville native Lauren Sweetser in attendance.

Words, May 13

Both "medical marijuana" and "medicinal marijuana" appear in print, the former more often. And "medical marijuana" is clearly the people’s choice.

Ten for 10

Little Rock and North Little Rock will ignore the Arkansas River that parts them for 10 days in May, when ArtWeek '10 puts painters and poets and partiers in twin spotlights. The river cities will kick off that connection with a party, appropriately, in the middle -- on the Junction Bridge, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. tonight.

On consumer heroes and suckers

An article in Business Week tells about U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s sudden and unlikely emergence as an extreme liberal consumer champion really trying to put the screws to Wall Street.

There's always next year

One of the Little Rock School Board’s best members, Baker Kurrus, won’t seek re-election in September. He’s counting the meetings he has left, a measure of his pessimistic outlook.

Rock Candy 500 recap

We had big fun at the Rock Candy 500 last Thursday. But it’s never too early to start prepping for next year. Here’s a preview: no rules.


This Modern World


First Halter, then ...

Arkansas is apt to pass a big milestone this year, its first election bought by national economic interests. We have been in the backwaters of this great movement for a dozen years but no longer.


The Arkansas Times supports these candidates in the election May 18. All are running in the Democratic primary. Early voting is underway.

In Brief, May 13-15

The genre-bending, always entertaining Little Rock Jazz Quintet plays one of its first weekly stints at Ferneau in Hillcrest, 8 p.m., free.

Dead center

On March 2, the city issued a six-month moratorium on issuing permits for special event centers until new safety and use regulations can be written.

The Televisionist, May 13

After five episodes, I’m committed. I’ll definitely see the season through. But I wonder if “Treme” is fatally flawed.

The Week That Was, May 5-11

RATE RELIEF. Thanks to a drop in natural gas prices, Entergy says that residential electric rates this summer will drop by more than 15 percent.

The Observer, May 13

The Arkansas chapter of the ACLU honored some giants at its annual dinner Sunday night, though one of them had to stand on a milk crate so his head would appear over the man-sized lectern.

Lifestyles of the Rich

Mary Anne Shula, wife of former pro football coach Don Shula and ex-wife of the late financier Jack Stephens, made a brief court appearance in Little Rock this week.

What's Cookin', May 13

The Box, home of one of Little Rock’s best burgers, is leaving its dimly lit, cinder-block home at 1623 Main St. on June 18, taking its cooks, menu and grill to Seventh and Ringo.


The new Arizona immigration law: the whole rigamarole is rude, crude, and patently un-American.

Smart Talk, May 13

Last week, the New Times newspaper of Miami reported that it had ambushed George Rekers on return from a European vacation in the company of a handsome young traveling companion he’d apparently located on a website,, which advertises male prostitutes.

New York 2010

Let’s get Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Bryant, Hot Springs and every city in Arkansas signed on and be part of creating a nuclear-free world.

Senate race switcheroo

John Brummett, who'd earlier indicated to a pollster he'd be voting for Blanche Lincoln, went the other direction when it become screen-touching time.

RoboHuck, Part II

I wrote yesterday about complaints of robocalling by former Gov. Mike Huckabee in behalf of state Court of Appeals candidate Rhonda Wood, who hopes to unseat incumbent Judge Jo Hart.

Whole lotta spice

  Pakistani fusion: a little confusing? Think Indian, but further northwest.

Campaigning for land commissioner

I just had a visit from L.J. Bryant, the fresh-faced 23-year-old from Jonesboro who's brimming with ideas to bring the land commissioner's office into the 21st century -- 10 years after the fact.

10 independents make ballot

The secretary of state today said 10 independents had qualified for the November ballot with petition campaigns.

Supreme Court upholds power plant ruling

Big news. The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld the Court of Appeals ruling that the coal-fired power plant already under construction by American Electric Power's SWEPCO affiliate in Hempstead County hadn't been properly approved.

Help for murder suspect approved

The state Supreme Court today rejected the Arkansas Public Defender Commission's appeal to block Circuit Judge Herb Wright's order that it must contribute to expenses in the defense of Abdulhakim Muhammad, a suspect in the slaying of a serviceman outside a Little Rock military center.

Watching the money flow

USA TODAY reports that special interest PAC money is pouring into Blanche Lincoln's campaign at five times the rate Bill Halter is receiving it.

Crunching turnout numbers

Jason Tolbert crunches the early voting and concludes from the congressional district distribution of the Republican voting that John Boozman may not win without a runoff in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate.

Polling: Halter-Lincoln a tossup

There's new Daily Kos polling today. Kos is a liberal and passionate about beating Blanche Lincoln, but he endeavors to conduct value-free polling because it's more valuable in the end.

New: Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

There are a plethora of sandwich shops to choose from in Little Rock, from the $5 Footlong folks, to Lenny’s Subs, to my personal favorite: the decidedly-delicious and unabashedly low-rent muffaletta out at Stagecoach Grocery.

RoboHuck, Part III

A blog post early this morning has morphed into an episodic monster. But I call attention to it because of additional parts that have been added through the day.

Lottery rolls on

The Arkansas Lottery Commission Legislative Oversight Committee met this afternoon. Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue told the committee that lottery sales had exceeded his initial expectations.

Arkansas: Financial reform now

A new Pew poll shows Arkansans want financial reform for Wall Street and they want it quickly.

Let the four winds blow

Arkansas PSC gets a proposal to build an 800-mile electricity transmission line across Oklahoma and Arkansas to move power generated by wind energy.

You can have it

Quitting time.

'Iron' into silver

Though sequels often disappoint, it appears that director Jon Favreau has managed to take a page from the Christopher Nolan playbook and make a Part Deux that is as entertaining and fun as the original.

A square meal

The inviting 4 Square Gifts, occupying what was once a portion of a 19th century grocery wholesalers warehouse, recalls that food past with wraps, paninis, smoothies and more.


Muddy waters

Clean water activists fear a proposed change to an ADEQ regulation could end up having a negative impact on drinking-water quality in Central Arkansas.

The To-Do List, May 13-16

Cody Belew & The Locals; Peabody Rivertop Party; 'Glengarry Glen Ross'; 'The Arkansas Flyer'; Luke Hunsicker Benefit; 'Drag the River'; 'Paws on the Pavement'; Jewish Food Festival

Ten for 10

Little Rock and North Little Rock will ignore the Arkansas River that parts them for 10 days in May, when ArtWeek ’10 puts painters and poets and partiers in twin spotlights.


KUAR's annual celebration of Arkansas Heritage Month, “The Arkansas Flyer,” is back for its fourth year, with The Salty Dogs (pictured), John Craig and host Amy Garland. At Wildwood.

Two faces of immigration

Ruth Shepherd, director of the Just Communities of Arkansas, related an interesting anecdote at the group's annual banquet this week.

Best little ....

... whorehouse in Cabot. Fox 16 reports on Lonoke County deputies' bust of a suspected house of prostitution in the upscale Greystone neighborhood in Cabot.

Tis the (food festival) season

It's the most wonderful time of the year, if you like to eat in Arkansas.  The first crops are ready, the midways are lighting up, and food is the star all ove the place.

The silly season

From the Blanche Lincoln for Senate Twitter account: Multi-millionaire Bill Halter buys $2500 Oriental rug with taxpayer money.

The great debate

Bill Halter won in classic debate terms in today's final senatorial debate at the Statehouse Convention Center He scored point after point with specific attacks on Sen. Blanche Lincoln's voting record, her negative ad campaign and her advocacy for an estate tax cut for families worth more than $10 million at a time when the middle class is hurting.

Government witnesses?

U.S. Attorney Jane Duke today announced guilty plea agreements by three men for crimes related to the big racketeering case that has produced charges against one current and one former North Little Rock alderman.

Pulaski School District audit disaster

State auditors revealed today a criminally messy audit for the Pulaski County School District. The findings were sufficiently bad to be forwarded to the FBI and federal and state authorities for review.

New lottery commissioner

John. C. "Smokey" Campbell III of Hot Springs will take the state Lottery Commission seat vacated by Ray Thornton.

RoboHuck, Part IV

The Log Cabin Democratic today follows on our reporting about Court of Appeals candidate Rhonda Wood using recorded telephone messages from Mike Huckabee to support her candidacy against incumbent Judge Jo Hart.

Friday night lights

I'm gone. Another episode of "Friday Night Lights" will be on soon.

Paws on the Pavement

Saturday brings the 11th annual celebration of man's best friend: Paws on the Pavement. It's an all-day festival to benefit the volunteer-based Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals (CARE).

Another one for Halter

The Arkansas Leader has endorsed Bill Halter for U.S. Senate. Halter is a harder choice because we don’t care for his single achievement as a public official in Arkansas, the state lottery.

Laura Bush in Ark.

Jason Tolbert promises coverage of Laura Bush at a book-signing in Fayetteville today. Perhaps he could get her on the Flip cam about her recent indication that she supports 1) gay marriage and 2) abortion rights.\ CORRECTION: Pre-nap my vision was blurry.

Root hog or die

For a slow day, a good animal story: A Mountain Home man fighting the city over its effort to evict his 200-pound pot-bellied pig from the city limits.

The early line

I have things to do, so I'll leave it with you. WARNING: Do not go near your phone.

More matzo!

The annual, day-long festival of the best food Judaism has to offer returns to the River Market Pavilion. With tables upon tables of latkes, corned beef, brisket, pastrami and bagels, this yearly market is a rare chance to get a thorough taste of some savory traditional food not usually available in our state.

The derivative battle

Today it's the New York Times examining Sen. Blanche Lincoln's fight to regulate derivative investments.

Jim Burnett dies

Arkansas's Republican National Committeeman, Jim Burnett, died Saturday. He was former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

The 'zelig of homophobia'

Frank Rich has a good column today on George Rekers, the Family Council-endorsed expert of Rent Boy fame who contributed junk science to the fight to keep gay people from adopting children in Arkansas.

Music in the air

Because of a glitch on our calendar, I want to mention that the Natural State Brass Band concert today is at 4 p.m. at Pulaski Heights Methodist.

The party line

Interesting. On my morning walk, I tuned in to Republican political consultant Bill Vickery's radio show.

Quiet Sunday

The storm seems to have passed without incident. Otherwise, a quiet day.

New in the Heights

I've been hearing good things after not quite a week on the new restaurant the Goldens have opened as an addition to their Terry's Finer Foods, the carriage trade grocery on Kavanaugh in the Heights.

Oy, food

Brian Chilson sends the photo of a nice plate of falafel and trimmings at the Jewish Food Festival today at the River Market.

Four of a kind

May not be enough to beat one Democrat of another kind in the congressional race to succeed Congressman Vic Snyder, the seven-term liberal light of the delegation.

Senate race in spotlight

The Halter-Lincoln race is top of the NY Times' digital front-page this morning. Familiar themes.

Thursday To-Do: Cody Belew & The Locals

CODY BELEW & THE LOCALS9 p.m., Bill St. $5. Cody Belew is one busy, multi-talented cat.

Pine Bluff woman is 'America's Next Top Model'

She's Krista White, 25, a former retail manager from Pine Bluff, who's recently been living in Las Vegas.

See footage of Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton

Preview "The Special Relationship" debuts on May 29 on HBO.

Thursday: inVerse, Little Rock Jazz Quintet, Dr. Rex Bell Trio

Cajun's Wharf brings Fjord Mustang (above) for happy hour, 5:30 p.m., and Tragikly White for the night owls, 9 p.m., $5 after 8:30 p.m.

Little Rock Film Fest 2010: Oddsmaking

Because everything is more fun when you gamble on it, here are our picks for the major prize at the Little Rock Film Fest.

The campaign death rattle

Schedules show Sen. Blanche Lincoln will concentrate on her old 1st Congressional District today. Nothing released yet on Tuesday.

The campaign death rattle

Schedules show Sen. Blanche Lincoln will concentrate on her old 1st Congressional District today. Nothing released yet on Tuesday.

Friday To-Do: Peabody Rivertop Party

PEABODY RIVERTOP PARTY8 p.m., Peabody Hotel. $5.

Saturday To-Do: Luke Hunsicker Benefit

LUKE HUNSICKER BENEFIT 9 p.m., Juanita's. $10.On one hand, it sucks that these are happening; on the other, I wish they'd happen all the time.

Saturday To-Do: 'Drag the River'

‘DRAG THE RIVER'10 p.m., Arkansas Queen. $15 adv., $25 d.o.e.When one of our favorite local arts non-profits, the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative (a.k.a. the ACAC), comes out to raise some bread to keep its doors open, the group does it right.

Saturday To-Do: 'Paws on the Pavement'

‘PAWS ON THE PAVEMENT'8 a.m., Murray Park.This morning found another one of those forwarded, jokey e-mails in my inbox.

Sunday To-Do: Jewish Food Festival

Just the names of different Jewish desserts sound like exaggerated, Homer Simpson drooling: rugelach (a nutty, cinnamon strudel roll), hamantashen (a triangular, fruit-filled cookie).

Weekend To-Do: 'Glengarry Glen Ross'

‘GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.If there's been a more quoted piece of non-musical theater released in the last 30 years, I haven't heard of it.

You think Ark. ads were something

This Alabama candidate's ad has it all, what Gawker calls the most American thing ever made.

No life sentences for juveniles

The U.S. Supreme Court today said it was unconstitutional to give life sentences for juvenile crimes except murder.

First Church of the Hypocrites

I mentioned yesterday that Republican senatorial candidate John Boozman's campaign manger, Sarah Huckabee, had complained about opponent Jim Holt taking his campaign to churches on Sunday.

Davenport's pitch for land commissioner

State Rep. Monty Davenport, running for land commissioner, has an answer for a young (23) opponent, L.J. Bryant, who has been saying he'll take the office farther technologically.

Polymarin prospects dim

A couple of years ago some 800 jobs were predicted from location of a Polymarin facility and related business in Little Rock at the old Levi Strauss plant.

The silly season

I think the Senate candidates are wasting time hammering away at issues that only their special pleaders care much about or where voters' minds have long been made up.

Midday robbery in Heights UPDATE

The LRPD says a white male gunman wearing a grey hoodie, about 5-feet-8, 130 pounds, robbed Smith's Country Club Drug Store on Kavanaugh in the Heights about 12:15 p.m. today.

Oh, go ahead. Drunk dial Freedom Works

Heard about the TV voice of GEICO who lost his job for leaving a nasty message on the phone of Freedom Works, the fat cat lobby run by Dick Armey that opposes universal health care, taxes, etc.?

Beebe amasses cash

Gov. Mike Beebe has almost $2 million on hand for the fall re-election campaign.

Missing Guard computer found

A National Guard external hard drive reported missing in February with personal information on 32,000 current and former Guard members has been found at the home of a relative of the Guard member who lost track of it.

Acts you probably care nothing about coming to Verizon, Riverfest Amphitheatre

The Jonas Brothers, who shockingly haven't gone the way of Hanson, come to Verizon on September 30, with tween queen duchess maybe Demi Lovato opening.Tickets range from $39.25 to $250 (!).

Does Rasmussen tilt Republican?

I'm not taking sides, but it sure seems like Rasmussen robopolling produces better numbers for Republicans than other polls.

Early voting nears end

At 4 p.m. today, the secretary of state reports, about 121,000 early or absentee votes had been cast, with a few counties not reporting.

Denny live show hits Daytrotter

Daytrotter, long one of the biggest advocates of Chris Denny, has posted another session from the high and lonesome singer/songwriter.

Televisionist: Another take on 'Treme'

New contributor John Earney took issue with my critique of "Treme" last week, and fired back this retort.

The line is open

Well, you can tell we are in the final hours. All the candidates you haven't heard from yet on TV and on tonight.

A tale of two races

It's probably fair to say that no other Senate primary contest in the country has garnered more attention -- in time, money, ad buys and interest from outside groups -- than the race between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

Election day in Arkansas

-- Brian Chilson It's now or never, primary election day in Arkansas. I again implore the many fence-sitters to choose now between Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in the race for U.S. Senate.

Fixing the Pulaski School District

Has it occured to members of the Pulaski County School Board -- where a one-vote majority is bent on tossing union representation of teachers -- that the problem in the district might have been years of leadership by an inept, and in some cases corrupt, administration, further enabled by boodling School Board members?

The rest of today's ballot

The multi-million-dollar Democratic Senate primary and the eight-way race on the Republican side have left other candidates gasping for air time.

The rest of today's ballot

The multi-million-dollar Democratic Senate primary and the eight-way race on the Republican side have left other candidates gasping for air time.

Cheating GOP congressman to quit

The blithering hypocritical dick of the day: Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), a champion of abstinence education and family values, will resign after an affair with a female staffer in his district office, he announced today.

Thai'd up

There’s been a lot of pitter patter on Twitter and other social media about the need for good, reasonably priced Thai in our area.

Thai'd up

There’s been a lot of pitter patter on Twitter and other social media about the need for good, reasonably priced Thai in our area.

Judicial activism in Arkansas

Because it has a bit of relevance in one court race on the ballot today -- but mostly because it's a great analysis of the Turk coal plant ruling and "judicial activism" by the Arkansas Supreme Court and Court of Appeals (reverence for the law would be a better description) -- I give you Ernest Dumas' column for this week's edition a day early.

Billy Bob stalked by Brosnan in new film

Pierce Brosnan is set to play a hitman, who poses as a priest to get close to Billy Bob Thornton's character, a "gangland traitor."

Election lowlights

Oops. When Blanche Lincoln went to vote today, she was told she'd already voted.

Review: The Arkansas Flyer

Brad Williams of The Salty Dogs. The Arkansas FlyerMay 14, Wildwood Park for the ArtsGarrison Keillor has the market cornered when it comes to radio variety shows (what market there is, anyway).

Beebe: Close Alexander center UPDATE

Gov. Mike Beebe has recommended closure of the Alexander Human Development Center, one of the targets of a federal lawsuit to move more developmentally disabled people in Arkansas from institutions such as Alexander to community-based programs.

Beebe: Close Alexander center UPDATE

Gov. Mike Beebe has recommended closure of the Alexander Human Development Center, one of the targets of a federal lawsuit to move more developmentally disabled people in Arkansas from institutions such as Alexander to community-based programs.

Tuesday: The Hi-Tones, Tom Sweet Band, Graham WIlkinson & the Underground Township

The Union's sure to go wacko tonight with two of the wildest acts in town, Tom Sweet Band and Ace Spade & The Whores of Babylon.

Election notes

Linda Pondexter Chesterfield plays both the gay and race cards against Democratic Senate opponent Jay Barth of Little Rock in a last-minute ad playing on urban radio stations.  ...

Beebe invades Texas

Ever wanted to see Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones' Texas home? Tell Gov. Mike Beebe's re-election campaign you want to buy a ticket to the fund-raiser to be held there Friday evening.

Our blog glitch

Yes, the comment count is not working properly on blog posts. It rarely advances to reflect a new comment when one is added.

Open line

I'll be back soon for election coverage. Meanwhile, some of a number of Little Rock places to celebrate or drown sorrows tonight: US SENATE Blanche Lincoln -- Holiday Inn Presidential Center.

Primary election 2010 UPDATE

I'll start here. For now I'll hazard a guess on the night's nailbiter: 1) Does John Boozman hit 50 percent in the race for the GOP senatorial nomination?; 2) Does Jim Holt or Gilbert Baker finish second?

Developing runoffs

It's too early, particularly because of geogrphic voting differences, to declare trends. But with a small percentage in, according to Fox 16 reporting, here's where things stand: Runoffs: Dem.

Looking ahead

If D.C. Morrison forces a runoff in the Democratic Senate primary, it's hard to see Morrison voters as Halter voters.

Pulaski speaks

Votes are finally being put up by the Pulaski County Election Commission. It's early, but John Boozman's haul of nearly 50 percent of votes counted don't bode well forhis challengers in the U.S. Senate primary for Republicans.

Anita Hill was right

Arlen Specter was beaten.

Waiting for the Delta

As best as I can tell, there's a big gap in 1st District and Delta vote reporting so far.

Congressional contests

At last report, Joyce Elliott was leading the 2nd District Democratic primary for Congress and Tim Wooldridge was leading in the 1st among Democrats, each with votes in the high 30 percent range.

Back to Pulaski County

I'm wrapping things up, but a couple of notes from Pulaski County, where about 70 percent of the vote has been counted.

One final word on the Senate race

Blanche Lincoln finally hit TV after the normal 10 p.m. news window, her appearance begun by an enthusiastic introduction by Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who said Lincoln would be the "comeback kid."

Muddy waters

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for creating regulations to enforce federal water quality standards, but clean water activists fear a proposed change to one of those regulations could end up having a negative impact on drinking-water quality in Central Arkansas.

Who's got the numbers?

For the primary election number crunchers in Pulaski County, here, courtesy of the County Election Commission, are: 1) countywide totals in all races 2) precinct-by-precinct results.

Win some, lose some

-- Brian Chilson A brief recap of some the races of interest to me that I mentioned yesterday morning: * U.S. Senate: Subtract Pulaski, Washington and Benton county votes and Bill Halter led the Democratic ticket.

A victory in Texarkana

A note from the border: Carlton Jones won a 70-30 primary victory to be elected prosecuting attorney in Texarkana.

UCA getting stronger

The University of Central Arkansas reports another improvement in its credit rating today and says it's building up cash reserves again.

And speaking of no comments

I devoted some time yesterday to closer reading of the devastating state audit of the Pulaski County School District.

Joe Nichols on Leno

Last night, doing his hit "Gimme That Girl," which until last week was at the top of the country single charts.In other Nichols news, it looks like he won't make his Broadway debut with the musical adaptation of "Pure Country."

Racial polarization

Joyce Elliott, who is black, ran strong throughout Pulaski County. The 2nd District Democratic candidate carried some predominantly white precincts and ran a credible second, often to David Boling, in many others.

Sugg to retire from UA System

As previously indicated, Alan Sugg will retire as president of the University of Arkansas System June 30, 2011.

The liberal takeover of Arkansas?

Politico, which loves to force disparate political outcomes into unifying themes, now decides a single congressional race in Pennsylvania -- a happy win for a Democrat where the GOP had made a huge investment and had much going for it -- turns upside down the notion that a partisan revolution is in the offing in November.

Gerard Matthews on 'The Diane Rehm Show'

Here's what "Jerod" had to say about the Lincoln-Halter results this morning on NPR. Katty Kay hosted.

Ray McKinnon stars in new Drive-By Truckers video

Little Rock's Ray McKinnon stars in the video for "This Fucking Job," off the Drive-By Truckers new album "The Big To-Do."

LRFF releases official schedule

The Little Rock Film Festival just released their official schedule so all you fellow cinephiles can start making your Sophie's Choices between films...or planning when you're going to skip out of work.

Privatizing public schools

Diane Ravitch, the born-again school reformer, offers more thoughtful views on education reform in this article for the Journal of Philanthropy.

The GOP noise factory

I see Tim Griffin and Cecile Bledsoe, No. 2 in the 3rd District Republican primary, have the same speechwriter, a GOP mobster clattering away in a Washington, D.C. soundbite factory.

Halter-Lincoln poll: Tossup

Research 2000 polling for a progressive group rates the Halter-Lincoln rematch as a statistical tossup -- 48-46 Halter.

LRSD goes to court on charters UPDATE

A note to Little Rock School Board members from the district attorney, Chris Heller, says he's proofing the planned court filing over the state's refusal to take any action to limit open enrollment charter schools in Pulaski County and hopes to file it today.

Televisionist: 'Worst Case Scenario'

WORST CASE SCENARIOWednesday at 9 p.m.The Discovery ChannelEverybody wonders about it during the dark watches of the night, I guess: What would I do if the chips were down?

Wednesday: Lucious Spiller, End of a Year, Little Rock Jazz Quintet

Lucious Spiller (above), Sticky Fingerz' resident Wednesday night entertainment and Prince disciple provides music for their 50-cent beer night, 9:30 p.m., $5.

Lincoln's derivative plan lives

The Washington press is in love with the political angles on Sen. Blanche Lincoln's effort to regulate derivative trading.

Q&A: Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth

Illustration by John Tarpley. On the heels of the release of Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth’s first album, the esoteric, hilarious, often filthy and always great “Mystic Indian Hitmakers,” it seemed time to get with the town’s best rock trio for a Times session.

Right-winger diagnoses Arkansas

My Republican friends alert me to recent posts on Powerline, the unhinged but influential  right-wing blog.

Arrest made in attempted abduction

I apologize to several readers who shared an e-mail about an assault of a young woman who answered the door Sunday to a man with a small dog.