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August 13, 2009

Vol 7 • No 31

They loved Lucie

There are some things we need to get out of the way, up front.

Kudos for natl. health care

Stephen Hawking says he owes his life to Britain's National Health Care. This is in response to a wingnut's commentary that Hawking would be dead if he lived in a socialized medicine country like Great Britain (overlooking the key fact that Hawking indeed lives there.)

More on turrible socialized medicine

Brits are flooding Twitter with tributes to their nationalized health care. Go here for #welovethenhs.

The line is open

And, hey, take a tip from me. Don't leave stuff in your car overnight if you park it on the street.

What's Cooking Aug. 13

Louisville-based chain Old Chicago Pasta & Pizza is expanding its holdings in Arkansas to North Little Rock.

2nd Friday rolls around

This Friday's 2nd Friday Art Night downtown will be missing founding gallery River Market ArtSpace, but thanks to exhibits at restaurants and a wine bar in addition to gallery venues, there will be plenty of art to see, from petit point purses to paintings.

Keith Urban

That the superstar on stage Thursday night at Verizon Arena is every bit as talented pounding out licks on a guitar as he is delivering great vocals of his chart-topping hits — many of which he writes — is no urban legend.


Well, not so good news about Julie’s opening in September as a new restaurant for some of us who have given up the weed.

This Modern World, Aug. 13

Death Panelist

I’ve got some big political news — at least it’s big to me — to share with you today.

Editorial cartoon, Aug. 13

The real villains

The wingnuts and scolds who show up to disrupt town-hall meetings get nearly everything wrong about the health-reform bills that are stalled in Congress, but some justice would be served if they at least got their villains straight.

The Televisionist, Aug. 13

Everybody thinks their kid is beautiful, right?

Orval, Aug. 13

Sisters rising

The Lovell Sisters have the making of a bluegrass act — with three-part harmonies and a mix of dobro, fiddle, mandolin and resonator guitar — but they sound more like folk-filtered country pop. Fans of the Dixie Chicks and Alison Krauss, take notice.

Smart Talk, Aug. 13

Oklahoma Child Support Services reported last week that, since October 2005, the Oklahoma lottery has collected almost $105,000 in past-due child support from 55 lottery winners.

Don’t hassle the Bazzel

The world is getting smaller.

Sci-Fi done well

During the era of apartheid in South Africa, District Six was an area located near the center of Cape Town.

Aug. 5-11

It was a GOOD week for … POLLUTION. A landfill operator won a lawsuit that Little Rock couldn’t pass an ordinance banning the deposit of smelly gas drilling waste in a landfill in the middle of Southwest Little Rock.

Words, Aug. 13

“Turkmen Channel Water to Desert Lake”

Child abuse deaths online

The webpage of the state Department of Human Services has a grim new feature: A link to fatalities and near fatalities reported to the Child Abuse Hotline.

In Brief, Aug. 13

“1964 the Tribute” returns to Robinson Center Music Hall, as it seems to do every year, with black suits, skinny ties, mop-tops and a batch of early-era Beatles tunes, 7:30 p.m., $27-$47.

Let the sun shine in

Mary Jacoby, a Little Rock native and former Wall Street Journal reporter, and the Times’ Leslie Newell Peacock combined efforts for a cover story last week on the state’s mental health care for children under Gov. Mike Beebe’s administration

Save room

The main course is one thing. Dessert is another.

Birds of a feather

Ever since Harry Truman began advocating for universal health care in the ‘40s, the mainstream media have either jeered or ignored the idea, and their hostility has helped keep the USA from a government-run health care system such as other advanced countries have.

Un-American? Alas, no

U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln blundered last week and had to make a retracting apology for calling the actions of misinformed, boorish constituents “un-American.”

Ready for the runway

When Brandon Campbell talks of a local “thirst for fashion,” he’s not just speaking hopefully.

To-Do List, Aug. 13

Mulberry Mountain Harvest Music Festival, the Lovell Sisters, Maxximum Impact, Faster Pussycat / Bulletboys / Bang Tango, 'Jeckyl and Hyde,' Edgefest, River City Tanlines and Candlebox are a few entertainment options this week.

Doubledip takeback

The Arkansas Teachers Retirement System is investigating improper retirement pay drawn on top of continuing regular pay by a number of its members.

Obama and single-payer

He was for it before he was against it, Brummett writes. But that shouldn't be cause for panic and demonization.

The shame of a nation

A free medical clinic in Los Angeles puts the lie to the notion that there's medical care available for all in the world's richest country.

Stimulus and the LRSD

In case you wondered, here's the Little Rock School District proposal for spending federal stimulus money.

Horn tooting

We put the weekly Arkansas Times on-line on Wednesday afternoons and, I've come to realize, blog readers don't always avail themselves of the nearby links to discover what lurks there.

Accessible Italian.

Sometimes a surprise can be a good thing. Was going to check out another restaurant in Cabot the other day and instead found Sorella’s Italian Restaurant.

Accessible Italian.

Sometimes a surprise can be a good thing. Was going to check out another restaurant in Cabot the other day and instead found Sorella’s Italian Restaurant.

Passing the buck

It's a shame the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record lies behind a pay wall because it has been doing thorough reporting and commentary on county elected official double-dipping, thanks to a trifecta of secretive dippers discovered in the Garland County courthouse.

Passing the buck

It's a shame the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record lies behind a pay wall because it has been doing thorough reporting and commentary on county elected official double-dipping, thanks to a trifecta of secretive dippers discovered in the Garland County courthouse.

Remembering Bill Gwatney

Roby Brock recalls the late politician/car dealer in action -- against the insurance lobby. We could use similar straight talk today.

Thursday To-Do: The Lovell Sisters

THE LOVELL SISTERS9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.The Lovell Sisters may be young — Jessica is 23, Megan 20 and Rebecca 18 — but in just a handful of years performing together, the acoustic folk trio's managed to rack up a number of accolades.

Thursday To-Do: Maxximum Impact

MAXXIMUM IMPACT9:30 p.m., Revolution. $5-$8.Maxx is back — that's 20-year-old rapper Max Farrell — with his regular concert series.

Q&A: Zii

In advance of his show at Maxximum Impact tonight — his first in Little Rock in several years and likely his last for the near future — one of Little Rock's most charismatic rappers talked to me yesterday (on his 27th birthday!)

Less than zero

Should we all take heart when federal regulators say a bank is well capitalized? Jonathan Weil, a number-crunching Bloomberg journalist who once labored at the Democrat-Gazette, raises the question with a report on a bank familiar here, Regions:

On nabbing Betsey

Would John Q. Citizen have faced 51 felony charges if found in possession of the same items former Clinton aide Betsey Wright was found to have at a Varner prison security check point in May?   “Absolutely,” says prison spokesman Dina Tyler.

The lying liars

Arkansas Republican Party spokesman Alice Stewart on pending health proposals (among other misleading comments): end of life care that would basically pull the plug on grandparents across the country

Another day...

Another lottery story.  The Arkansas Lottery Commission Legislative Oversight Committee met this morning to continue their review of the online gaming contract, which was discussed at length in Tuesday's meeting.  They also reviewed the contracts for instant, or scratch-off, tickets and the advertising contract.  The committee completed their review of all three, essentially giving the lottery commission the go-ahead to sign each contract.  The committee moved quickly on the online gaming and instant ticket contracts, but debate got a little heated when the discussion turned to the advertising bid submitted by The Communications Group.  Sen. Robert Thompson (D-Paragould) specifically referred to Rex Nelson, vice president of government relations for The Communications Group, who recently made some controversial remarks about the Delta region.  Thompson's main concern was that rural areas and smaller media businesses would be left out of the advertising strategy of the lottery.  Legislators also took issue with a provision in the bid submitted by the Little Rock-based ad agency that said broadcast outlets would be required to offer one free advertisement for every one purchased by the commission.

Thursday: 1964, the tribute; Matt Joyce and more

“1964 the Tribute” returns to Robinson Center Music Hall, as it seems to do every year, with black suits, skinny ties, mop-tops and a batch of early-era Beatles tunes, 7:30 p.m., $27-$47.

Daily Digest: "Clark and Michael" not as funny with naked Olivia Munn

  Ark. native Clark Duke co-hosted "Attack of the Show" last night.

Okra Win, Please.

Nao over at GreenAR By The Day has another great piece on produce preservation.  This time, it's okra.  Gumbo lover?  Tend to batter and fry them?  Pickles?  Do yourself a favor and learn the right way to freeze okra for later consumption.

Health care: Come one and all

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's scheduled talk on health care at noon this coming Tuesday has been moved from the Clinton School of Public Service to the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center.

Johnny Cash lives on... "Guitar Hero 5." Due out September 1.

Weekend To-Do: 'Jekyll and Hyde'

‘JEKYLL AND HYDE'7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $14-$18.The basic outline of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale should be familiar to all, but a little coloring in: In Victorian England, Dr. Henry Jekyll (Greg Robinson) seems to have the perfect life.

Crank up the a-c

Well, maybe not. But Entergy says declining fuel costs mean it can cut electric rates by 3.1 percent Sept. 1.

Traveling music

As Popeye says, "I can't stands no more." Sen. Mark Pryor's courtesy call on the Family Council does it for me. The line is open.

Driving while distracted

Of 98,640 Arkansas drivers involved in crashes in 2008, 787 (0.79 percent) either admitted to being distracted by talking on a cell phone or texting, or were determined by investigating officers to have been so distracted.

Ready for the runway

Little Rock Fashion Week kicks up its heels Friday and Saturday.

The lying liars

Tell the lies often enough and loud enough and they work. Paul Krugman reviews the "death panels" and other Republican strategies to block health care reform.

The lying liars

Tell the lies often enough and loud enough and they work. Paul Krugman reviews the "death panels" and other Republican strategies to block health care reform.

Kebabs and Such.

Went by and checked out the new Ali Baba Grocery and Restaurant on South University the other day.  As you might have expected, there are items that have become familiar to us on the menu, such as kebabs and gyros and hummus.  There are also strange items such as Fatta and Freekah Soup.

Socialized medicine

A former Arkansan who's lived in England for three decades wrote to a friend recently about his experiences with its National Health Service.

On nabbing Betsey UPDATE

I talked further today with Dina Tyler, state prisons spokeswoman, about criminal investigations of people caught with prohibited items at state prison units.

Friday To-Do: Faster Pussycat - Bulletboys - Bango Tango

FASTER PUSSYCAT / BULLETBOYS / BANG TANGO9 p.m., Revolution. $12 adv., $15 d.o.s.Cock rock with class, let's say.

Six degrees of helter skelter

Squeaky Fromme once rented a California apartment from my uncle. She's a free woman today.

Mixed signals

U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign takes pains to note that a Benton County Democratic Party picnic Saturday is not a public health care event, as it was described in press materials from the Obama administration organization working for health care reform.

George Hamilton's tan, ability to wear funny pants honored

Wednesday, on his 70th birthday, Blytheville native George Hamilton finally got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Sexy Sherwood

Yet more (lots more) details from The Voice on some energizer bunnies in the Sherwood Police Department and their during-work-hours, in-patrol-car sexual activities.

Speaking of sex

The Correction Department issued a news release today about a prison guard, Danita Williams, who was terminated recently for "trafficking and trading with inmates."

It ain't chicken soup

A federal judge in Tulsa has ruled in the big case over the claimed pollution of Oklahoma rivers by the Arkansas poultry industry that poultry litter is solid waste under federal environmental law.

The Weekend: Magic Hassle, the See, Whale Fire, American Princes, Legendary Shack*Shakers and more

American Princes. FRIDAY 8/14With David Slade singing lead and Matt Quin drumming, Magic Hassle can’t help but recall the American Princes.

Tunnel unloved

TUNNEL LOVE: Legislators have it to reach Big MAC. I'm overdue in applauding Gov. Mike Beebe for saying he's not inclined to endorse spending $3 million for a tunnel or skybridge to protect legislators from the elements as they walk a few hundred feet between the Capitol and contemplated new offices in Big MAC.

Saturday To-Do: River City Tanlines

RIVER CITY TANLINES8 p.m., Vino's. $6 adv., $8 d.o.s.Fresh from playing a Roller Derby Conference (just like on “$5 Cover”!), one of Memphis' finest brings its fiery stage show to newly energized Vino's.

Saturday To-Do: Edgefest

Korn. EDGEFEST2:30 p.m., State Fairgrounds.

Sunday To-Do: Candlebox

CANDLEBOX8 p.m., Revolution. $20 adv., $25 d.o.s.Call them post-grunge, hard or alternative rock, just don't call them washed up.

Missing editor

Jack Moseley, the retired editor of the Times-Record in Fort Smith went missing for a time last night while on a walk through woods of family property in Texas.

Kris Allen continues to say no to "No Boundaries"

"I doubt it'll end up on there. But who knows?

Health reform now

Sen. Blanche Lincoln was greeted this morning by a group supporting efforts to reform the nation's health care system.  No angry protestors showed up at the event.  Some in the crowd were part of Organizing for America and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  Others simply wanted to show their desire for change.  Christopher Rowe, a respiratory therapist at UAMS, says he deals with uninsured patients regularly.

48-Hour Film Project nominations announced

The Times team. The nominees for this year's 48-Hour Film Project are in and posted on the jump.

Happy birthday

Here's an open line. And an invitation from the Clinton Library to celebrate the 42nd president's birthday tomorrow.

Clinton takes a question

Bill Clinton took a shouted question at a blogger conference last night about Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Ross at the mike

Here's a national reporter's take (bad link belatedly corrected) on Rep. Mike Ross before a "restive" town hall crowd in Arkadelphia.

UPDATE: Second scoop takeback

George Hopkins, director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System,  has notified Frank Anthony, Pine Bluff school superintendent, of his decision on whether Anthony satisfied system rules that allowed him to begin drawing retirement pay as well as his regular superintendent pay.

Blame Bush

This little column should be distributed to every red-faced 'bagger at town halls across America.

In defense of the Postal Service

Well, it is kind of a defense of USPS. John Brummett notes the many ways in which the government provides what could be called competition to private enterprise -- libraries, fitness centers, mail delivery -- and private enterprises seem none the worse for the wear.

The Clinton years

Mike Gauldin cartoon: Click on image to enlarge. I've already mentioned that the Clinton Library is open free today, including free audio tours, as a Clinton birthday celebration.

Shame of a nation

I've written previously about the vast free clinic in Los Angeles to reach some of the unserved in the greatest nation on earth.

Saturday open line

It's here. Slow days seems like.

A drinker's lament

  Notes from the field: When is happy hour not so happy?

Alt-rock rides again

Call them post-grunge, hard or alternative rock, just don't call them washed up. Almost one year to the day since they last came to town, Candlebox is back at Revolution, still logging miles while harvesting new material for their upcoming 2010 album.

Crowd sourcing

Let there be more news coverage from Blog readers, such as Elwood supplied from the Democratic Party's annual picnic Saturday in Benton County.

Arkies -- famous and infamous

Some interesting feature articles in today's New York Times on people with Arkansas roots. On the positive side, there's Al Bell.

Too much gravy

Brummett observes that the state seems to have set about self-correcting some of the excesses in the rush to provide ways for public employees to receive retirement and regular pay at the same time.

Open line Sunday

Nothing to contribute here.

Driving while distracted

Of 98,640 Arkansas drivers involved in crashes in 2008, 787 (0.79 percent) either admitted to being distracted by talking on a cell phone or texting, or were determined by investigating officers to have been so distracted.

Lincoln in the spotlight

The New York Times focuses on Sen. Blanche Lincoln, a middle-of-the-roader in everybody's sights on every major issue but including health care.

Problem gamblers

Another hiccup in the startup of the state lottery -- belated and somewhat confused attention to the law's provision of a token sum to address problem gamblers.

Small Plates Event, Argenta Style.

If you get right down to it, that's what Taste of the Town has become... a lot of small plates from a whole lot of local restaurants.  A chance to check out what so many of North Little Rock's eateries have to offer.  One night, one place, and a thousand little plates worth of food.

The Things You Learn...

Up until now, I had no idea there's actually a group here in Little Rock dedicated to backyard poultry farming.  I knew you could have up to a certain number of chickens... but a group?  Gives new meaning to the term "tweetup." 

In and Out.

Lemon Crepe and Coffee Company has gone out in Hillcrest.  Signs say something called Diversion is coming in... we'll have to see what that's all about.

'The tree of crazy'

There's been quite a bit of talk and linking to an op-ed in the Washington Post.

Review: Little Rock Fashion Week's Couture Show

All photos by Brian Chilson. Little Rock Fashion Week Couture ShowAug.

R.I.P. Jim Dickinson

Little Rock native Jim Dickinson, the famed musician and producer known for his work with everyone from Aretha Franklin to the Replacements, died Saturday in Jackson Memphis.

Bashing U.S. on foreign soil

The basher? That would be Mike Huckabee, wading into the Israeli settlement issue on the side of the far right.

Here's mud in your eye

Slow day. So how about a TV forum?

New leader at Crystal Bridges

The current CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art will become director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art under construction in Bentonville.

Can't be too careful

A man brought both a holstered pistol and an AR-15 to President Obama's speech to the VFW in Arizona today.

Disable texting function, maybe?

When writers passed through Ole Miss on the SEC tour, one asked head football coach Houston Nutt if he could think of anything he should have done differently as head coach in Arkansas.

Death penalty reinstated

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today reinstated the death penalty for Marcel Wayne Williams, who abducted, robbed, raped and killed Stacy Errickson in 1994.

Daily Digest: Kiss joins Wal-Mart army

As it has for previous releases by the AC/DC, the Eagles and Foreigner, Wal-Mart will exclusively release the next Kiss album.

No public option, no health care bill

That's what some in the House are saying.

Whole Lotta Shakin'

According to Arkansas Business, Chesapeake Energy Corp. has admitted there's a possibility that wells drilled in Texas' lead to a series of earthquakes earlier this summer.  Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come.  That whole New Madrid thing is pretty serious business.

The line is open

You're up.

The fugitive

Looking for some reading material? You could do worse than Wired's tale about a Searcy man, Matthew Sheppard, who faked his drowning in early 2008 and then went into hiding, hoping his wife would eventually cash his big life insurance policy.

To heck with Palestine

Huckabee. UPDATE: Politico covers blowback to The Huckster's free-lance anti-Obama diplomacy.

Heartland values

Arkansas doesn't have the monopoly on double-dipping pay/retirement schemes. The New York Times today turns up the fact that New York state legislators have been "retiring" a day before a term ends, so as to draw retirement on top of pay for newly elected terms.

New man at Crystal Bridges

NY Times interviews the new director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Caught in the middle

That's U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, writes John Brummett in writing of snafus of the Obama administration and her effort to avoid engagement on the health care issue.

Idea: Do a Mayor Valley on the Blue Dogs

Digby writes about Charlie Cook comment last  night on "Hardball." Charlie Cook just said something very profound (which is unusual.)

Team Arkansas Times sweeps 48 Hour Film Project

On location with Team Arkansas Times. A team sponsored by the Arkansas Times was a big winner in the Little Rock leg of this years’ 48 Hour Film Project, a competition in which teams from cities all over the world write, shoot, edit and score a film over the course of one weekend.

Tomorrow's news today

It's not too soon to predict how the heath legislation debate will end. I think Ernest Dumas is onto something in the column he wrote for this week's Times, today's Internet special.

Hillcrest stickup

Ch. 4 reports the Metropolitan Bank branch at Kavanaugh and Beechwood was robbed this morning.

The Lowdown

Ring Ring: The ever-dilligent GreenAR by the Day has all you need to know about Mark Pryor's Tele-Town Hall meeting tonight.  Of course, most of the questions taken by the senator will likely revolve around death panels and how health care reform threatens the constitution. 

Quit it

Easier said than done: Mike Huckabee, at left during 2007 presidential caucus campaigning, and, at right, during a recent trip to Israel.

McDaniel issues deseg demand

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel today issued his demands to Pulaski County public school districts to end state desegregation payments to the districts.

Snyder's health care talk

A packed house with lots of questions greeted U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder at the Statehouse Convention Center today as he talked health issues as part of the Clinton School's ongoing lecture series.

School stimulus

The plans of 85 school districts to spend federal stimulus money are now available on a state website.

Tuesday: Kristy Kruger, Free Micah, Red Collar and more

It's a big triple-bill at White Water tonight, with Texas singer/songwriter Kristy Kruger, Durham rockers Red Collar and local pop act Free Micah, who just put out an album called "We Sure Do Get Around To Living," 10 p.m., $5.

Whose side are you on

TV ads paid by unions are coming to Arkansas to cut through the clutter for the benefit of "Blue Cross Democrats" who hold office.

Schools: Public v. private

Here's an interesting report on differences in spending by public and private schools by researchers at Rutgers University and Arizona State.

607 returns "Bulletproof"

Wow. Finally!

Into the belly of the beast

Sen. Blanche Lincoln will do three "real" town halls in September -- Russellville, Jonesboro and Pine Bluff -- and even appear on a couple of shows on nutbar radio central, KARN, to take questions.

Hendrix leads the way

A feature in Wednesday's New York Times on the new way of holding college tours for prospective students is built around Hendrix College.

Explosives case

Dr. Randeep Mann, the Russellville doctor charged with illegal possession of grenades and other weapons, pleaded innocent today to expanded charges in the case.

Banks decline lotto business

No bank applied to handle lottery claims by the bid deadline today. That means the lottery will open claims centers -- staffed by a manager ($43K) and assistant ($26K)-- in Springdale, Warren and Jonesboro.

Benton County turnpike

The Highway Commission will vote tomorrow on an application for federal stimulus money to build a Bella Vista bypass.

GOP listening tour

Republicans want to hear from Arkies about health care. Ideas of their own?

Testing, testing

The microphone is on and open.

Ups and downs at Magic Springs

Out-of-commission rides generated questions this summer about the very future of Magic Springs and Crystal Falls, the Hot Springs amusement park.

The Arkansas score

No gain for Arkansas students on the last round of ACT testing. A casual glance suggests lack of growth in numbers taking the test (planning for college).

It's not just college

Arkansas demonstrates other negative tendencies. Like this measure of well-being, which puts Arkansas on the bottom of a healthy living index with Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana.

Who is Ted Olson?

The NY Times profiles the lawyer, a pillar of the conservative legal community, who'll be arguing today to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage on constitutional grounds.

Sweet Shop.

I have an admission to make. I have a sweet tooth.


You’ve gotta wonder how a gay man from Massachusetts – Barney Frank –widely considered one of the most powerful members of Congress for 27 years, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee which oversees America’s entire financial services industry including securities, insurance, banking and housing industries and stuff – a portly JEWISH gay Congressman (MOST upsetting in some quarters, Rapturous in others) – sets the template for handling right-wing retards at his Town Hall meetings.

Art Spiegleman headlines Hendrix Public Events calendar

The much esteemed cartoonist — founder of Raw, Pulitzer Prize winner for "Maus" — offers a lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 in Hendrix's Staples Auditorium.

Referees in a bloodbath

Dozens dead and hundreds injured in coordinated bombings in Baghdad.

Metropolitan Bank agreement

Arkansas Business reports that the holding company for Metroplitan National Bank has agreed with federal regulators to suspend dividends issue davidends only on Federal Reserve approval and to prepare a plan for stabilizing the bank's capital ratios.

Lincoln on health care

Sen. Blanche Lincoln's campaign has created a webpage with her answers to questions on the issue of the day and related items.

Wednesday: Rocco DeLuca, Sallings Family Band, Randall Shreve and more

Rocco DeLuca. Popular singer/songwriter Rocco DeLuca is at Juanita's tonight with indie-rockers Roman Candle, 9 p.m., $17.Benjam Del Shreve's big bro, Randall Shreve plays a solo show at On the Rocks, 9 p.m., $5.

Bank on the lottery

Twitterers report that the Bank of Ozarks will handle the state lottery's money. No fees, Channel 4's brief report says.

Now showing: "Fortunate," winner of the 48 Hour Film Project

Bob Hulsey stars. As promised.

White House putdowns

The president claims he'd still like a bipartisan bill (well, sure) but agrees that the Republican leadership wants only to derail health care reform.

When the toll is called up yonder

The Highway Commission voted as expected today to seek federal stimulus money to build a 15-mile Bella Vista bypass, a project that would be supplemented by tolls.

Award-winning movie

You read Rock Candy, don't you? In case you haven't scrolled down lately, you might have missed the news that the Arkansas Times won top honors in this year's edition of Little Rock's 48 hour film project.

Radical cleric Huck

The American Prospect wonders if Mike Huckabee has damaged himself by distancing himself from the general consensus in support of a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Undipping underway

It would appear that county elected officials who didn't comply with the law in rushing to claim both retirement and regular pay at the same time have begun making amends.

Jupiter aligns with Mars

Readers know I've had a little sport with Republican Rep. Mark Martin of Prairie Grove. When it comes to issues, he's from Pluto and I'm from Earth.

Daily Digest: The ephemera of "Mad Men," one of our favorite writer's gets a blog and more

If you're obsessed with "Mad Men," "The Footnotes of Mad Men" will be your favorite new blog.