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August 27, 2009

Vol 7 • No 33

Faces in the crowd

During the August recess, Congressmen Vic Snyder and Mike Ross held a town hall meeting at Arkansas Children’s Hospital to discuss proposals for health care reform. News reports of similar meetings held across the country had begun to surface.

The Lincoln poll

Here's that Blanche Lincoln poll. It's a robopoll that shows her in a statistical tie with three -- and nominally trailing two -- virtually unknown Republicans.

Stop coal plant construction

The Sierra Club and the Audubon Society have asked the state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission to order a halt to construction of the American Electric Power coal-burning power plant in Hempstead County.

What's Cooking, Aug. 27

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a much-beloved D.C.-area-based chain, is coming soon to Lakewood Village, according to a sign posted at 2923 Lakewood Village.

To-Do List, Aug. 27

Bobby Keys, American Princes, Electric Acid Theater, Robert Earl Keen, Three Dog Night, Eclipse Glasses Banda / Velvet Kente, Arkansas Puzzle Day and the Honorary Title are this week's top picks.

Editorial cartoon, Aug. 27

Smart Talk, Aug. 27

Researching “higher education” in the invaluable on-line Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, a reporter noticed that most of the entries on state universities were written by people who teach at those universities, but the entry on the University of Arkansas was written by an employee of Arkansas State University, something of a rival institution.

Al-Mefty quits chair

Ossama al-Mefty, chair of the Neurosurgery Department and one of the most celebrated doctors at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, has stepped down from that position, Dean Debra H. Fiser informed the school Monday.

Death panels

After watching the scripted “town halls” of ambushed members of Congress, I’ve decided that “death panels” are a good idea.

Bob Johnson?

Here is what’s happening in this curious matter by which state Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow, term-limited legislative leader, is thinking about challenging U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the Democratic primary.

The Televisionist, Aug. 27

If you’re of a certain vintage, it’s likely that the news of the death of director and screenwriter John Hughes on Aug. 6 this year was a shock.

Aug. 19-25, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … BUREAUCRATIC NONSENSE. The state Pollution Control and Ecology Commission has so far refused to accept an appeal of a drilling waste dump permit because the appeal went to the state Department of Environmental Quality (on time) rather than to the Commission’s own office, which got it late after it was forwarded by snail mail from the agency the Commission runs.

In Brief, Aug. 27

At White Water, dreadlocked Hendrix grad Graham Wilkinson leads his band, the Underground Township, in rousing, Americana-style rock ’n’ roll.

Eat up with it

I don’t think we’re as stupid as our public discourse makes us out to be.

A&E News, Aug.27

Little Rock’s JM Associates is producing a new sports TV show for the VERSUS network.

Weep no more, my lady

The picture and the accompanying quote on the cover of this week’s Arkansas Times — a distraught woman crying “I want my America back” — are vivid and curious.

This Modern World, Aug. 27

Pioneering pop

Time to get nostalgic, longtime Little Rock music fans.

Two against one

So here’s my problem with “Inglourious Basterds:” I don’t quite know what to make of it.

Functional family

The Little Rock chapter of a national advocacy group that helps the friends and parents of gays and lesbians come to grips with their loved one’s homosexuality is getting a new lease on life.

The rest of the story

Socialism, cronyism, rationing, taxes, immigration, conspiracy theories, death panels, euthanasia.

Integration behind bars

California still segregates prison inmates by race. Arkansas does not.

Avenue ’Cue

No offense to the advertisers that keep the lights on around here, but no amount of purchased ad space is ever going to beat out a great, word-of-mouth reputation.

Orval, Aug. 27

The Observer, Aug. 27

Not long ago, the Observer awoke to the sweet aroma of fresh-squeezed juice. But after stumbling into the kitchen, we found not fresh-squeezed, but fresh-spewed.

Freedom of football

The Internet, big money and football combined for a page one news story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last week.

Integration behind bars

California still segregates prison inmates by race. Arkansas does not.

Words, Aug. 27

Curious why an Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture entry on a certain university failed to mention recent well-publicized disorder, I wrote the editor, Guy Lancaster. He replied:

Winners and losers

It is time that someone separated the winners from the losers in national health-care reform if something approximating the bills circulating in Congress becomes law.

Developing downtown

It was encouraging to read in Argenta News that property owners in reviving Argenta have approved a business improvement district to assess taxes for neighborhood improvements.

U.S. Senate sweepstakes

John Brummett still thinks the Republican senatorial nominee  will be Tom Cotton, who doesn't live here, or Sen. Gilbert Baker, who hasn't decided whether to run.

Thursday To-Do: Bobby Keys

Keith and Bobby in "Cocksucker Blues." BOBBY KEYS9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz.

A plan for LR schools

The broad-based Strategic Planning Commission for the Little Rock School District will unveil its thinking at an all-day meeting Monday at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service building on University Avenue.

More popular than Jesus

Oh, OK, I exaggerate. (Or maybe not, the Jesus question wasn't asked.)

Sen. Lincoln throws a tailgate

Sept. 5. Woo Pig.

Green Party sues for ballot access

Who knew? Secretary of State Charlie Daniels has denied the Green Party access to the 2010 ballot because its presidential candidate did not get 3 percent of the vote for president in Arkansas in 2008.

Thursday: Graham Wilkinson, Jonathan Wilkins, Johnny Bertram and more

Graham Wilkinson. At White Water, dreadlocked Hendrix grad Graham Wilkinson leads his band, the Underground Township, in rousing, Americana-style rock 'n' roll.

Child starvation case

Fox 16 reports: 27-year-old Texas mother charged with trying to disconnect feeding tube to 20-month-old child during care at Children's Hospital.

Rehm talk postponed

Diane Rehm's scheduled appearance at a fund-raiser next week for KUAR has been postponed until January or February.

Mummy's the word

Photographer Brian Chilson got a little face time with a mummy that's going to be in the World of the Pharoahs exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center The exhibit is from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and features artifacts exacavated in Cairo dating to the Pyramid Age (2675-2130 B.C.) This particular mummy is on loan from the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, Okla. The exhibit opens Sept. 25.

Diane Rehm fractures pelvis, decides to hold off on Little Rock visit

The station is tentatively rescheduling what was to be a Sept. 3 appearance for late January or early February.

Banking woes

Bad loans to commercial developers and home builders  = more problem banks = a shrinking FDIC reserve fund.

End of life care

A massive piece of public interest reporting on the people who died in ghastly circumstances post-Katrina in a New Orleans hospital will appear in Sunday's New York Times magazine.

Thursday Round-up

The Turk power plant as of May of this year. Just Stop it Already!: The Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society filed a request with the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission to hault construction on the John W. Turk Jr. power plant in Hempstead County.  The Arkansas Public Service Commission recently found that the plants owner American Electric Power had not gone through the proper process of obtaining the permit to build the plant.  AEP and SWEPCO decided to continue construction on the plant as they appealed the decision. 

Snyder takes health questions

Various news outlets are providing Twitter updates of U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder's town hall meeting at UCA.

Johnny Cash comic book coming

In November, Abrams ComicArts will put out graphic novelist Reinhard Kleist's "Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness."

Amendments 1 and 2

Potentially lethal combination, it occurs to me. Chris Broughton, the man who brought an assault rifle and a handgun to the Obama event in Arizona last week, attended a fiery anti-Obama sermon the day before the event, in which Pastor Steven Anderson said he was going to "pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell", Anderson confirmed to TPMmuckraker today.

Hope becomes Hillary

The New York Times Arts Beat Blog has a short piece today about how actress Hope Davis is preparing to play Hillary Clinton in "The Special Relationship," the third part of screenwriter Peter Morgan's Tony Blair trilogy ("The Deal" and "The Queen" came before).

Thursday thread

Spin it.

In a slow car through Arkansas

LUGUBRIOUS? Theroux's adjective for Central High.

Integration behind bars

California still segregates prison inmates by race. Arkansas does not.

Here today, conquering the road tomorrow

This is the way it goes. The American Princes, your favorite local contenders for national indie stardom, convene in Little Rock for a week or two, practice, write songs and play no more than two shows. Then, they're gone.

Tours R Huck

Got $8,000? You and your significant other can get a 10-day guided tour of the Holy Land with Mike and Janet Huckabee.

About that deficit

Not good, Paul Krugman writes, but not as bad as you might think, either. The problem is politics, a lack of will to fix the things that need fixing, such as health care spending that exceeds that of any other country in the developed world with worse results.

Insurance companies are human, too

Do you think so? NY Times talks to the poor demonized employees of Humana about being depicted as bad guys in health insurance reform debate.

Warren Stephens sez

The CEO of Little Rock-based Stephens Inc., made a rare national media appearance this morning on CNBC.

Friday To-Do: Electric Acid Theater

Enigma. ELECTRIC ACID THEATER10 p.m., Juanita's.

Friday To-Do: American Princes

AMERICAN PRINCES10 p.m., White Water. $5.This is the way it goes.

Daily Digest: Strong men in Spa City, Kris Allen debuts in November and George Clooney talks to goats

The America’s Strongest Man United States National Championships — the largest professional event of the year with more than  20 competitors — is coming to Hot Springs' Summit Arena next August 7-8.

'True Blood' is rudderless, but who cares?

Like her. Series creator Alan Ball's still drunk on metaphor in "True Blood" and no one cares, argues the New York Times today.

Friday To-Do: Chris Maxwell

CHRIS MAXWELL9 p.m., Satellite Cafe. FreeTime to get nostalgic, longtime Little Rock music fans.

Dishonesty thy name is GOP

It really is rich to hear Republicans talk about how Democrats are endangering granny's Medicare.

The Weekend: Cowboy Mouth, the New Up, Cool Shoes, Think Floyd USA and more

The New Up. FRIDAY 8/28Alt-rock survivors Cowboy Mouth return to Revolution, where Jeff Coleman and the Feeders play in support, 9 p.m., $10.

Saturday To-Do: Arkansas Puzzle Day

ARKANSAS PUZZLE DAY1 p.m., Clinton School of Public Service. Free.Puzzle nerds, your day is here.

Saturday To-Do: Three Dog Night

THREE DOG NIGHT8 p.m., Timberwood Amphitheater, Magic Springs. $35.99-$45.99.As reunions go, Three Dog Night acquits itself pretty well.

Saturday To-Do: Robert Earl Keen

ROBERT EARL KEEN9 p.m., Revolution. $25.A few years back, Robert Earl Keen put out a greatest hits compilation with a title that says it all: “The Party Never Ends: Songs You Know from the Times You Can't Remember.” For a quarter century, the Houston native's been cranking out country ditties that stay with you.

Saturday To-Do: Eclipse Glasses Bands - Velvet Kente

joshua of Velvet Kente. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Lunch Break.

Helping in the fight against prostate cancer is just a dinner away. The Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation is working with several Arkansas restaurants on Dining For Dudes.

Tip of the double dip

George Hopkins, director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, told me in a story I broke here that retirees covered by the system could be in line to repay more than $5 million in excess retirement payments once a review was completed.

Worth driving for

On Sunday, the Silver Moon Club in Newport is hosting a massive memorial concert in memory of Billy Lee Riley, featuring all those folks above, a veritable who's who of rockabilly talent.The concert runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Energy bill debate

Claiborne Deming, the former CEO of Murphy Oil, continues to make his case against the energy bill in a speech in LR today.

Child death toll

Since July 30, the state Department of Human Services has been observing a new state law pushed by the Beebe administration that requires public notice of deaths or near deaths of children reported to DHS.

Clear off the shelf

Sounds like another study is heading to the archives of the forgotten. Streetscape improvements.

Take it away

The line is open.

The road goes on forever

A few years back, Robert Earl Keen put out a greatest hits compilation with a title that says it all: “The Party Never Ends: Songs You Know from the Times You Can't Remember.” For a quarter century, the Houston native's been cranking out country ditties that stay with you.

Kennedy's example

Brummett: The late senator's record suggests it's time for a Democratic compromise on health care, even if it's about an eighth of a loaf.

Love story

A nice piece in Times this morning on the woman who turned Sen. Kennedy's life around, his second wife Victoria.

Nice timing on school vote

The Walton U. School of  "Education Reform" brought in a well-timed lecturer this week. His subject: School construction doesn't result in better student achievement.

Nice timing on school vote

The Walton U. School of  "Education Reform" brought in a well-timed lecturer this week. His subject: School construction doesn't result in better student achievement.

Win by losing?

Bill Moyers, in the process of pointing out how the Democratic Party has failed to live up to its progressive heritage, made a good point Friday night on Bill Maher's show on HBO.It might be better, he said, for President Obama to draw a line in the sand and refuse to compromise with Big Pharma and the insurance industry and the right-wing nutjobs on health care reform.

Saturday thread

It's open. I've been otherwise occupied.

Avenue 'Cue

Kent’s brings meat back to the Market.

Sen. Bryles get his KIPP

Brummett writes this morning some back story on Blytheville's happy news that it will be the second city in Arkansas to have  KIPP charter school, which has been successful in Helena.

'Free' political speech

Is an anti-Hillary movie about to be the catalyst by which the U.S. Supreme Court takes the limits off corporate spending on political races?

Virginia's next governor

A Republican, polls say, is likely to retake the governorship in Virginia. The Huckster has been working hard for him.

Asa for Senate?

Roby Brock asked. He's non-commital.

Sunday thoughts

Put them here.

Faces in the crowd

Fear of change; loathing of Obama. That and more drive health protests.

Fear stalks the land

Fright is the elemental emotion in the health debate, Brummett writes. Go to a town meeting.

How about a shred of good news?

Here's some in NY Times: Nearly a year after the federal rescue of the nation’s biggest banks, taxpayers have begun seeing profits from the hundreds of billions of dollars in aid that many critics thought might never be seen again.

Deconstructing Darth Cheney

America's most evil, Dick Cheney, went on Fox Sunday to decry a U.S. attorney general's decision to investigate torture.

Fire truck for the cure

NLR Mayor Pat Hays plans to spend $5,000 to paint a surplus fire truck pink to use it once a year to lead the Race for the Cure.

Rising To The Occasion.

Like lots of folks, I've been cutting back a little here and there, cooking more and eating out less.  This has given me the chance to tackle some stuff I haven't thought about in a while, like making chicken fried rice with fresh string beans and zucchini or a Quatro Formaggio cheese sauce to go over penne pasta with sauteed mushrooms and purple bell peppers and carmelized onions.

Huck-in-mouth disease

Mike Huckabee was roundly thrashed for saying on the radio last week that Obamacare would have sent Teddy Kennedy home with a pain pill, rather than treatment.

Best Southern fiction: Where's Portis?

Warwick Sabin, now devoting full time to publishing the Oxford American, says if we're having a slow day (and we are) perhaps readers would like to join in the fray in this month's magazine on the best works of Southern fiction and non-fiction, as chosen by a distinguished group of authors, professional Southerners, etc. This link takes you to the 10 best Southern novels of all time,  with "True Grit" or "Norwood" nowhere to be seen.

Whispers and Tweets.

Lots of news out here and there in the food world.  One thing that caught my attention this morning was a Tweet from The House:

Annals of gun nuttery

More on the crackpot who toted an assault rifle to an Obama appearance in Arizona.

Trailing the double dippers

State Rep. Allen Kerr wants an attorney general's opinion on the position of state retirement systems that the names of beneficiaries and amounts owed are secret.

Mr. Postman

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter went to China. He brought back a letter.

Monday: Travs, Lauris Vidal, jazz

On this last day of August (where'd you go summer?), the Travs continue their last week of home games at Dickey-Stephens.

The battle of Jericho

Maybe I missed this over the weekend. But a Memphis TV station says the city hall in tiny Jericho, near Marion, is still surrounded by crime scene tape.

Newspaper war

By popular demand: Nevada's pugnacious Sen. Harry Reid has sent ill wishes to the major Las Vegas newspaper (owned by Little Rock's Stephens Inc.).

No kicks from this cocaine

Another reason to avoid cocaine: About a third of it in the U.S. is tainted with a livestock deworming drug, article by AP's Jon Gambrell says.

"Probably not going to happen"

Rep. Mike Ross made a stop at the Clinton School of Public Service today to speak with students and answer their questions about health care reform.  It was a small engagement, reserved for students and members of the media.  Ross said the recent town halls that were held across the state were the "greatest demonstration of democracy seen in a long time."  He spoke about his involvement with the Blue Dog Coalition and described his goals for health reform.    Ross said his goal was never to kill health care reform completely, but to delay the negotiations until September.  He said he does believe health care reform will happen this year.  Any reform package, Ross said, should allow people to keep their insurance if they like it, make sure the government option is not forced on anyone, not provide federal funding for abortions or illegal aliens and prohibit insurance companies from excluding care for pre-existing conditions.  Even though Ross said afterward that the public option was "probably not going to happen," he said during his remarks that his goal was not to "water down the public option."  Dean of the Clinton School Skip Rutherford told me after the event that Ross had "left the public option on the table."  Yeah, but barely. 

Line's open

Zow. Still feels like football weather, even at 5:30 p.m.

Functional family

The Little Rock chapter of a national advocacy group that helps the friends and parents of gays and lesbians come to grips with their loved one's homosexuality is getting a new lease on life.

The awful toll

Another day, another report of a child with near fatal injuries -- a month-old male in Washington County with brain damage, a skull fracture, bruises and welts.

Huckabee: Nice no more

Roger Simon at Politico writes about Mike Huckabee: "No more Mr. Nice Guy." He's become a slasher, responding to cues from the base as he, one analyst speculates, looks to revive the Reagan coalition of conservatives and angry southern whites.

Free speech and big bucks

Brummett contemplates the big pending Supreme Court case on, essentially, unlimited corporate spending against political candidates.

Civil rights are back

NY Times reports a major push by the Obama administration to resume enforcement of civil rights laws -- in voting, housing, electoral redistricting.

The shrinking paper

The Democrat-Gazette today rolled out its narrower newspaper, a reduction that will save tons of newsprint.

Creative NLR accounting

NEW PAVING: Argenta News photo of new road in RV park. As sure as day follows night, expect the Democrat-Gazette's Jake Sandlin to write a tout for one of NLR Mayor Pat Hay's projects not long after Scott Miller at Argenta News has raised a question or two.

19th Duggar en route

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy Announced today on Today Show.


Somebody give this kid a deal, so he can take his pencils and school desk to a venue near us!

Showdown in the Spa

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will visit Hot Springs Thursday. It's not merely a get-acquainted visit at the country's historic national park.

Get rich ride quick

Something about this seems a little paradoxical. A nonprofit organization devoted to better teaching of economics has decided to raise money for the cause by -- GAMBLING.

Gilbert Baker in U.S. Senate race UPDATE

State Sen. Gilbert Baker, after several months of vacillation, issued a brief statement today indicating he's in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate.

Exxon Silences Blogger


Beebe calls Senate election

Sen. Sharon Trusty's resignation from the state Senate took effect today and Gov. Mike Beebe has officially served notice of a special election to fill the seat.

Message management

One side has ideas (emphasis on plural). One side has discipline.

Careful: Cmdr. Hays is watching

North Little Rock, which already operates surveillance cameras downtown and hopes to put a whirlybird spy cam in operation soon, has plans to dramatically expand its closed circuit surveillance program.

TV flash

David Goins Tweets that "Mad Men" has been renewed for a fourth season. No surprise given the tsunami of favorable publicity in recent weeks.

Tuesday: Whale Fire, Ghostfinger, G Funk the Tree Trunk and more

Whale Fire. At White Water, Whale Fire do hook-heavy indie-pop on a bill that also features local rockers Underclaire and Tennessee's Ghostfinger, described, fairly awesomely, by the Nashville Scene, as a trio of "classically-trained virtuoso smart-asses."

Retiree protection at work

The legislative joint retirement committee is meeting today and Twitterers indicate there's some discussion about the practice of keeping public employee retiree benefits secret.

Rockst*r vs. Rah hoWard

Not really. I mean there's no reason to compare these two local rappers, both of whom just released new mixtapes.

Flacking the House

Thought House Speaker Robbie Wills was on the downhill side of leadership, with a regular session behind him?

Ray McKinnon to own fall

"Randy and the Mob" is out on DVD today. Little Rock's Ray McKinnon wrote, directed and stars — twice, as twins — in the small town comedy.

Pryor, Lincoln cleanup

Paul Barton reports from Washington: Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor have both taken steps in recent days to wash their hands of past campaign contributions from Hassan Nemazee, the prominent Democratic fund-raiser accused of bank fraud last week.

Over to you

The line is open. FOOTBALL ALERT FROM FOX 16: Michael Dyer has committed to Auburn.

Will the soda pop tax go national?

President Obama is being urged by health-care activists to propose a national tax on soft drinks, both to slim down Americans and to raise money for improvements to the national health-care system. Arkansas could figure into the debate.

A House divided

House Speaker Robbie Wills rammed through a deal to enhance public relations operations for the House.

Chelsea isn't getting married

But you couldn't tell it from media coverage. NY Times writer gets his own piece of the Chelsea non-story by detailing all the reports that turned out not to be true.

Study: Employers cheat workers

On overtime. On minimum wage.

Wednesday To-Do: Honorary Title

THE HONORARY TITLE9:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz, $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.These indie rockers from Brooklyn are on to something.

John Daly gets his own drink, Michael Jackson loved "Hot Buttered Soul" and Beth Ditto has ADD

"I work as a waiter. At work today, a table of a friend of mine ordered an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade, for those readers who don't know) with a double shot of vodka.


Yesterday I received several Twitters declaring yesterday "Pumpkin Spice Latte Day."  While I chose not to imbibe on the suggested $4 cup of coffee, I did get to thinking about the flatteringly autumnlike flavor of pumpkin.

Ketchup Is Not A Vegetable.

The Slow Foods Movement comes to Argenta for the new school year.  Time For Lunch is a special gathering of folks at the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market on Labor Day, to send a message to Congress:  real food belongs in schools.

State taxes continue slide

The August state revenue report -- the second month of the fiscal year -- continues the downward trend, sharply.

If you dont get well ...

... you don't owe me a dime. Interesting report on NPR this morning raises questions about our system of paying doctors per procecdure, with no consideration for results.

Senatorial strategy

The hordes running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination? Republican state Sen. Gilbert Baker isn't worried about them.

Perfection Ruined

Just caught an absolutely beautiful video, produced by the Sierra Club, that tells the troubled story of ranchers in New Mexico.  The scenery is jaw-dropping.  Of course, the story is not so awe-inspiring.  It's the tale of a ranching family, on the the land for six generations, whose land has been destroyed, whose livelihood has been killed, by the oil and gas industry.  At 28 minutes, it's pretty long, but the story is very interesting and truly tragic.  Give it a watch.  It's a great production.  From the site:

LRSD behind the scenes

The strategic planning committee study of improvements to the Little Rock School District is a process with unavoidable political overtones.

More pleas in cross burning

As expected, two more people pleaded guilty today to racially motivated civil rights law violations in a cross-burning in Donaldson.

Pfizer in $2 billion settlement

Pfizer has agreed to pay more than $2 billion to settle a fraud claim over its marketing of a pain-killing drug, Bextra, and some other drugs.

The new Mike Huckabee

The Arkansas Leader recalls when Mike Huckabee evinced sympathy for the sick and contrasts it with his remarks about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy -- that "Obamacare" and fictional death panels would have had the senator take a pain pill and go home to die.

In the Hole

Coal is dirty. SWEPCO is asking for a rate increase in Texas, partly to help pay for the Turk Plant being built in Hempstead County, Arkansas.  According to the East Texas Review:

In the Hole

Coal is dirty. SWEPCO is asking for a rate increase in Texas, partly to help pay for the Turk Plant being built in Hempstead County, Arkansas.  According to the East Texas Review:

Mmmm pig sooie

Our latest edition of Eat Arkansas Video, courtesy of crack videographer Dylan Turner, surveys the vast meat landscape at Razorback tailgates outside of War Memorial.

Lottery update

The Arkansas Lottery Commission met today to conduct interviews with seven candidates for the position of internal auditor.  The position is one of two hires the commission is required to make.  The other was lottery director Ernie Passailaigue.  Public relations, legislative and commission liaison director Julie Baldridge said the commission did not hire one of the seven candidates today and decided to meet at a later time to discuss the position.  The position of internal auditor is listed in the state's pay schedule as a C119 position, which would draw a base salary of $37,743.  The maximum salary for the lottery's internal auditor position, as set forth in the statute is $141,603.  Once someone is chosen for the position, there will be a review by the Legislative Oversight Committee.

Open mic

Have at it.

Checking in

I'll be hanging around San Diego and environs the next few days. Rummaging through my mail after arrival, I find: * As expected, Mike Huckabee is helping Senate candidate Curtis Coleman -- a $500-a-head fund-raiser at the Huckabode Sept. 21.

King Biscuit costs this year, but barely

Robert Belfour. Oh, sorry, the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival costs this year.