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September 7, 2006

Vol 4 • No 34

The pesky mosquito

Woody Anderson vows to keep gnawing on John Boozman. End corporate welfare?

The nutcake base is solid

The GOP nomination of certified nutjob Katherine Harris in the Florida primary proves that the nutcakes are still solidly in control of the Grand Old Party.

Clinton Library spurs development

The Wall Street Journal today turns its attention to the Clinton Presidential Library's role in sparking a downtown renaissance in Little Rock.

The McCain saga

Employees of the Pizza Cafe say they are sure that Sen. John McCain dropped by for pizza Monday afternoon.

Partisan divide

You knew the political parties were polarized, but a recent Zogby poll illustrates how deep the divide.

About those prisons

Those secret renditions and secret prisons that the Bush administration refused to admit existed? Surprise.

It's the fear, stupid

A reader alerts us to this in SF Chronicle: With the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks fast approaching, President Bush took to the podium Tuesday to speak to Americans about his administration's global war on terror.

Bunking party

Sleep out with Janet Huckabee and the homeless. Details on the jump.

Smart Talk

This week: Park work; an environmental fellow; ballpark memorabilia.

Trashy

A salvage yard owned by Johnson Brothers Investments of Bigelow, a company in which state Sen. Bob Johnson is a partner, was to be inspected Wednesday, Sept. 6, for violations of state water quality and hazardous waste laws.

A bad year for Labor Day

If we could have skipped Labor Day this year, the White House would have been fine with it. The holiday celebrations and most of the weekend news served only to remind people of one of the top dozen cataclysmic failings of the one-party government that Pr

Orval Sept. 7

The Observer

Sunday’s final ballgame at Ray Winder Field made the grumpier part of The Observer’s personality almost glad that so few people show up to most Travelers’ games. Simply getting off I-630 took half an hour, and though for the first half of the game we sat

The week that was Aug.30-Sept. 5

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … ARKANSAS REPUBLICANS. A presidential visit (held in secret at a home in a ritzy gated community) raised about $650,000 for gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson and the state Republican Party.

Mustard wup

Don’t wake me the next time some sick kook confesses to a cold-case celebrity murder. Or for what he ate and how many john trips on the flight home.

Bad company

All over the country, Republican office seekers are reading the polls and fleeing the clammy embrace of their party’s leaders, Dick Cheney and George Bush (in order of influence). It’s widely believed that an endorsement from Cheney and/or Bush could sink

The political season

Once again, those running for office have not gotten the message that we are sick of negative ad campaigns.

Editorial cartoon Sept. 7

Kids having kids

Last week the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally said that a female over 18 years old can go to a drug store to buy a pill called Plan B (or the “morning after pill”) without a doctor’s prescription that will give her a good chance t

And so it begins

The political season began in earnest over the Labor Day weekend. Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson rolled out his TV ad campaign. (A nominally independent, Republican-aligned group had earlier aired ads attacking Democratic opponent Mike

Words

What's the deal with DEE-troit?

This Modern World Sept. 7

Hire ... more ... cops

The best contribution to date in the Little Rock mayoral race is a simple two-line graph produced by Jesse Mason’s campaign. One line charts the number of violent crimes in the city from 1993 through 2004. The other line indicates the number of police

Kearney’s new book on Clinton debuts this week

Janis F. Kearney’s newest book, “Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton, From Hope to Harlem,” will be introduced with a book launch, a panel discussion with students and interviewees, and a book signing on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Clinton Presidential

Rep opens with ‘Moonlight and Magnolias’

“Moonlight and Magnolias,” Ron Hutchinson’s Off-Broadway comic celebration of maybe the best movie of all time, opens Friday, Sept. 8, at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre for two weeks of performances.

What the pros know

Here are a few common-sense tips for avoding financial woes.

You gotta believe

UAMS, in partnership with several others, is expanding National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” feature to Arkansas.

Getting specific

We asked our cover story subjects for some specifics on their decision to get more out of family life on less money. Kyran Pittman says her and husband Patrick Houston’s strategy adds up this way:

What’s Happening in September

Book events, including readings and signings, for September.

What we’re reading, Sept. 7

Here are the top 10 bestsellers from three local bookstores. Data is most recent available.

Holt claims a supporter

Jim Holt has issued a news release pronouncing himself pleased with opponent Bill Halter's narrow lead in recent polling and saying that a Democratic leader had announced his endorsement of Holt.

And speaking of Holt

Brummett writes today about Holt's apparent strength and Democratic advice to Halter to combat same.

J.R. and Henry's Sports Column: Hogs try to keep focus

J.R. and Henry: Keepng focus Ideally, the focus of Arkansas Razorback football fans following the team's season opening loss against Southern California would be the game, the reasons for the loss, and the ways to prevent it from happening again.

Pants on fire

Jim Lagrone, the latest Republibaptist preacher who wants to be governor and who hopes to begin his path to the office this year as secretary of state, has had a growing credibiity gap on voting issues and it widened to a chasm today.

Pants on fire

Jim Lagrone, the latest Republibaptist preacher who wants to be governor and who hopes to begin his path to the office this year as secretary of state, has had a growing credibiity gap on voting issues and it widened to a chasm today.

Advantage Beebe

The timing was exquisitely good for one candidate, bad for another. Headline: Arkansas colleges cost too much and it's particularly burdensome on poor people.

Advantage Beebe

The timing was exquisitely good for one candidate, bad for another. Headline: Arkansas colleges cost too much and it's particularly burdensome on poor people.

The Arkansas blogosphere

Don't forget we have a couple of new blogs going. Click "blogs" at the top of our home page to see a roster of our active blogs.

Sequel to "The Player" hits bookstores

For those of you who enjoyed "The Player," made popular by Robert Altman's 1992 film adaptation of the same title, the sequel by Michael Tolkin is now available.  It's titled "The Return of the Player."  No word on film rights.

This is simply absurd

MGM is out of control.  In a story posted by Reuters early this morning, MGM has the following sequels in development.Legally Blonde 3 (Reese Witherspoon will not star the studio confirmed).  Wow.  Legally Blonde 2 WITH Reese Witherspoon was painful.Species 4.  There was a Species 2 and Species 3?War Games 2.  Seriously?Into the Blue 2.  This is becoming ridiculous.Cutting Edge 3.  Moira Kelly and DB Sweeney weren't in Cutting Edge 2 (I had to look that up).  Apparently MGM is looking to beef up overseas revenues, so these may all be straight-to-DVD here in the U.S.  Still, the fact that a major studio thinks this is a good idea is, well, comical.  Somebody put David Koon and Jim Harris in charge!

Movie Club?

Are you in one?  I am.  Our group is a full of diverse film interests (not to mention really good people).  Our Club gathers on a monthly basis.  I'll blog our monthly viewings here.  You do the same.Here's what we've screened thus far:CrashThe AristocratsHistory of the World Part IMr.

Opening Friday

Matt Smith at Market Street Cinema has Syndey Pollack's documentary "Sketches of Frank Gehry," about the famous architect.  The New York Times A.O. Scott had this to say, "Sketches of Frank Gehry" respects the essential enigma of its subject even as it illuminates his ways of thinking about form, space and construction.

Big dog in town

Bill Clinton will make the rounds in Little Rock today. He'll be at his library at 2 p.m. for an event on Janice Kearney's book about the former president.

Big dog in town

Bill Clinton will make the rounds in Little Rock today. He'll be at his library at 2 p.m. for an event on Janice Kearney's book about the former president.

Clinton lawyer: pull ABC docudrama -- UPDATE

You've heard about the right-wing docudrama set for air on ABC to help Bush through the fall election season by blaming Bill Clinton for the 9/11 attacks.

Clinton lawyer: pull ABC docudrama -- UPDATE

You've heard about the right-wing docudrama set for air on ABC to help Bush through the fall election season by blaming Bill Clinton for the 9/11 attacks.

Ka-ching

The Cella family, now that expanded casino-style machine gambling is just around the corner at their Hot Springs race track, has kicked in the promised $1 million to a foundation to support Hot Springs students and seniors.

Today's talking point

For A$a, it's drug abuse.

City board hopefuls

Noon today was the deadline to file an application to serve out Barbara Graves' term in an at-large seat on the Little Rock Board of Directors.

City board hopefuls

Noon today was the deadline to file an application to serve out Barbara Graves' term in an at-large seat on the Little Rock Board of Directors.

Bob Johnson update

Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow, who wants you to believe he'd protect the Lake Maumelle water supply despite his ongoing efforts to strip Central Arkansas Water of the ability to protect it from polluting runoff, is a polluter in Little Rock.

Bob Johnson update

Sen. Bob Johnson of Bigelow, who wants you to believe he'd protect the Lake Maumelle water supply despite his ongoing efforts to strip Central Arkansas Water of the ability to protect it from polluting runoff, is a polluter in Little Rock.

Women wise up

Southern men are still problematic, but Southern women have lost their affection for the guy who Gore beat in 2000.

Same song ...

... tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. Clint Reed channels Sheffield Nelson in a press release on the jump.

Mad as hell?

Send ABC a message.

First Tee enjoys a big weekend

Robert Carter, a 16-year-old at Little Rock Catholic High School, was out in California last weekend, though not because he wanted to hang out in a state that has real college football teams. He was playing golf, but not at just any course, and not with

What is your life worth?

Kyran Pittman and Patrick Houston have chosen to get along with a single car. Two other couples they know have made the same decision. “It isn’t hassle-free,” Kyran (pronounced Keer’-an) says. “We have three kids and five schedules between us, so it r

Music blender

Watching Nickelback pound out song after song from its seven-album discography in front of a sellout crowd at North Little Rock’s Alltel Arena Aug. 31 was a lesson in a successful blending of rock, metal and country.

Solid as a ‘Rock’

When theater-goers hear that “The Rock and the Rabbi” is a musical based on the Bible they probably think of the popular shows “Godspell” or “Jesus Chris Superstar” from the 1970s.

TV highlights Sept. 7-13

THE MAN WHO PREDICTED 9/11 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11 The History Channel (Comcast Ch. 70) FRONTLINE: FAITH AND DOUBT AT GROUND ZERO 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11 AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2) AMERICAN EATS: BEER 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept.

Seinfeld in town

Jerry Seinfeld, who parlayed a show about friends and "nothing" into one of the best-loved sitcoms in modern TV, will bring his stand-up comedy routine to Robinson Center Music Hall on Thursday, Sept. 7.

Bruce James Calls the Hogs Sept. 7

You’re fixing to see 450 yards of passing offense, a QB throw four touchdown passes, a couple of running backs each get 100 yards, all against a team that got five first downs against Wyoming.

Focus on sickle cell therapy

Aaliyah Madyun of Little Rock is a petite 17-year-old who takes care not to overdo exercise, get cold or get dehydrated. She says hers is a normal life, and that she takes part in all the “usual activities,” though she’s home-schooled partly for reasons t

‘Illusionist’ materializes

A restrained and gorgeous bit of film, with great performances all around, "The Illusionist" is one of those movies that wants to be a masterpiece so badly that it eventually trips over its own feet.

Heading to Helena?

Bluesy rock fans can never go wrong with a couple of guitarists making their way back to Sticky Fingerz in the next few days, plus some Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival hopefuls who will be showcased next Wednesday.

Walker’s ’cue walks the walk

Tasty, friendly and with barbecue and desserts that could make a grown man cry, Walker’s is positioned as a strong contender for the Little Rock ’cue crown.

What's cooking/Capsule reviews Sept. 7

What's cooking: San Francisco Bread Co. closes downtown location; Gadwall's coming to Cotham's West location. Capsule reviews: The Stock Pot, American Pie Pizza

Just the facts, fans

J.R. and Henry say: It’s unfortunate for Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt that he can’t close games to the public like he’s fond of doing for practices. Then maybe Razorback fans could continue to be deluded into thinking Nutt is building a natio

Educating black children: The story of Rosenwald Schools

The ruling white majority in the early 20th century had no interest in seeing black children educated. In fact, the politics of white supremacy considered black education a positive evil, an astonishing proposition that allowed an artful race-baiter like

Thrower tossed

Scott Thrower, morning drive man for boomer-rock station KURB-FM, B98.5, for the past seven years, writes to report that he has parted ways with the station in a contract dispute.

Wickedly funny, terribly romantic

Jonathan Harvey’s drama “Beautiful Thing” is the story of two 16-year-old boys living in a London housing project in the mid-1990s has a certain sweetness.

Big haul

Frog legs and Clinton raise $600,000 for Beebe. And another $400,000 for the Democratic Party.

Big haul

Frog legs and Clinton raise $600,000 for Beebe. And another $400,000 for the Democratic Party.

Friends in high places

Conservative think tanks have helpfully ginned out op-eds in support of Wal-Mart, which is facing organized opposition over labor and trade practices.

Race and the ad business

Because things that happen in New York have a way of trickling down elsewhere, this news about city pressure on ad agencies to hire more and higher-paid blacks is notable.

Race and the ad business

Because things that happen in New York have a way of trickling down elsewhere, this news about city pressure on ad agencies to hire more and higher-paid blacks is notable.

Review: Seinfeld was master of Robinson domain

Charles Lyford checks in after last night's appearance by Jerry Seinfeld at Robinson (look for a full review in next week's issue):

9-11 conspiracy theories

The Washington Post today does a feature on the large number of people who believe the U.S. government had something to do with the 9/11 attacks.

9-11 conspiracy theories

The Washington Post today does a feature on the large number of people who believe the U.S. government had something to do with the 9/11 attacks.

Apologize? Hell, no.

The D-G editorial page today joins the right wing non sequitur chorus (a measure or two late on its expected entrance) that says because Richard Armitage was Robert Novak's first leak on Valerie Plame, it's all a big non-story and the evil Karl Rove is somehow owed an apology. Facts and logic are lacking in this and other apologia for Rove and Dickey Cheney, who were busily disseminating the  information independently to trash Joseph Wilson and out Plame.

Let us pray

Andy Mayberry announces that he has some TV up.. The Republican congressional candidate is praying, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and worrying about wetbacks, queers and why that dangerous liberal, Rep. Vic Snyder won't let Big Oil punk holes in every inch of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It sounds like a veritable greatest  hits of the string of Republican candidates Snyder has trounced previously.

Ellen to host the Oscars

Announced today, Ellen Degeneres will be the host for the 79th Academy Awards on February 25, 2007.

Hollywoodland Opens to positive reviews

A Ben Affleck movie that doesn't bug the hell out of you.  That alone makes it worth seeing.  Philip Martin reviews it in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. 

Pulaski Tech booms

Pulaski Tech reports 8,455 students enrolled in a college-credit class on the 11th class day, up from 7,685 last year.

On our blogs

The Moviegoer is scoping out Friday openings and talking about movie clubs. At Little Rocking, sports guys J.R. and Henry are on the Mustain bandwagon.

To do Friday: Anthony Gomes, acoustics, the Rep

Hot-shot guitarist Anthony Gomes is back in town (in case you're wondering, Gomes rhymes with homes) for a show at Sticky Fingerz.

"The Queen," "Bobby" early favorites at Venice Film Festival

According to a story released by Reuters, "The Queen," starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II is leading the pack at the Venice Film Festival.   "Bobby," which chronicles the events on the day of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and directed by Emilio Estevez is also in  contention for the Golden Lion, the festival's top prize.Other notable films include "Infamous," the latest take on Truman Capote and "Children of Men," starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore.

It's a slow day

It's a slow day in the entertainment world when Paris Hilton's DUI and Lindsay Lohan's stolen bag top the headlines.  Pitiful.In other news, A.O. Scott gave "Sherrybaby" a very favorable review in today's New York Times.  It's not out here yet, but I'm hoping Matt Smith brings it to Market Street soon.Got any other interesting thoughts or seen any good movies (in theatre or on DVD), blog it here.As I said, I'm skipping the trip to Fayetteville and the propoganda machine that goes along with it to kick back and watch some football and film this weekend.  "Hollywoodland" tops my list, but I still need to check out "Idlewild," which David Koon really liked as well as "Sketches of Frank Gehry," which a friend told me also arrived on DVD this week.

LR candidate filing closes

The filing period for this year's non-partisan Little Rock city board elections (including the mayor's race) closed at noon today.

The news that COUNTS

With young Americans being blown up in Iraq and Afghanistan, atomic clouds looming on the horizon, the wealthy continuing to gobble at the trough of GOP welfare and throngs living under highway overpasses, it's good to know that SOMEONE recognizes what's important, as this headline from the Yahoo News front page indicates:"Police recover Lindsay Lohan's handbag"

In memoriam

For those interested in a local observance of 9/11, the following memo was distributed to tenants of the Stephens Building today:

Lagrone's lie

A Searcy Daily Citizen columnist makes sport of Jim Lagrone's claim that it was an honest miscommunication that led his campaign to say repeatedly that his son was in Iraq (rather than Mississippi) when he supposedly tried without success to cast an absentee ballot.

UA head count

Here's the data for fall enrollment at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville: Degree-seeking undergrads -- 13,891, up 1.7 percent from 2005.

The rich get richer

Krugman explains how "there is no question that the policies of the current majority party — a party that has held a much-needed increase in the minimum wage hostage to large tax cuts for giant estates — have relentlessly favored the interests of a tiny, wealthy minority against everyone else."

The Country Club bust

Quick work was made today in federal court of the 11 Country Club of Little Rock employees arrested recently for having fraudulent working papers.

Leading by example

Here's my celebrity social activism news of the day.  Actor Brad Pitt announced that he won't marry Angelina Jolie until restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped.  Says Pitt in the October issue of Esquire, ''Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."

Politics in Toronto

Political Debates at Toronto Film Fest Sign In to E-Mail This Print Save By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: September 8, 2006 Filed at 3:24 p.m. ET TORONTO (AP) -- It's supposed to be a celebration of cinema, yet the Toronto International Film Festival looks a bit like a political convention. The festival is wearing its politics on its sleeve, with films and events dramatizing social turning points and the lives of leaders, chronicling acts of defiance and the disillusionment of shattered ideals, and presenting portraits of artists at odds with the establishment. As the outcry in the 1960s and '70s over Vietnam and Watergate inspired social consciousness in cinema, literature and music, Sept. 11 and the war on terrorism have served as a call to arms for movies to explore political matters, filmmakers and festival organizers say. ''I think often times, the revolution starts with the artists,'' said Emilio Estevez, who directs an all-star ensemble in ''Bobby,'' weaving about two dozen fictionalized story lines of people present at the Ambassador Hotel the night Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. ''While this is not an overly political picture, I believe it speaks more to what we lost that night. It addresses what I believe became an absence of leadership, replaced with career politicians that Washington seems to stamp out like Wonder Bread,'' said Estevez, who co-stars in ''Bobby'' with his father, Martin Sheen, and such actors as Anthony Hopkins, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Lindsay Lohan, Laurence Fishburne and Elijah Wood. The Toronto lineup includes ''All the King's Men,'' with Sean Penn in a new film version of Robert Penn Warren's tale of a Southern political idealist who succumbs to corruption; ''The Last King of Scotland,'' starring Forest Whitaker as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, whose rule began with promises of freedom but gave way to butchery and oppression; and ''Death of a President,'' a fictional film in documentary form about the assassination of President Bush. Two real-life stories of musicians coping with the consequences of political activism are playing the festival: -- The documentary ''The U.S. vs. John Lennon'' examines the former Beatle's deportation battle with the Nixon administration, which had him under surveillance over his anti-war activities. -- ''Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing'' traces the uproar the country-music trio has faced since singer Natalie Maines told a concert crowd in 2003 that the group was ashamed that Bush comes from Texas. The film is directed by Barbara Kopple, who made the Academy Award-winning documentary ''Harlan County, U.S.A.'' ''It's a very human story about the dangers of speaking out in a so-called democracy, how problematic that becomes, and the reaction it elicits,'' said Piers Handling, the Toronto festival's chief executive officer. ''She's followed them for a two- or three-year period, not like a quick-hit piece of journalism. She's really with them to see how they grapple with this.'' Michael Moore, the Oscar-winning director of the gun-control critique ''Bowling for Columbine'' and the Bush-bashing ''Fahrenheit 9/11,'' was at the Toronto festival Friday to show excerpts from two films in progress, his health-care documentary ''Sicko'' and ''The Great '04 Slacker Uprising,'' which traces his experiences during the 2004 presidential election. Other Toronto films look back on 20th century political and military turmoil, including top Cannes Film Festival winner ''The Wind That Shakes the Barley,'' directed by Ken Loach and starring Cillian Murphy in a story of brother against brother during civil war in 1920s Ireland; ''Indigenes,'' a saga of North African soldiers who came to Europe to help liberate France during World War II; and ''Mon Colonel,'' a story produced and co-written by Costa Gavras about Algeria's war for independence from France. Also on the Toronto schedule, which opened Thursday and runs through Sept. 16: Phillip Noyce's ''Catch a Fire,'' with Tim Robbins and Derek Luke in a drama about a soccer player fighting apartheid in South Africa; ''This Is England,'' a dark tale of reactionary skinheads in 1980s Britain; and ''Day Night Day Night,'' following a young woman's indocrination as a suicide bomber. ''It feels as though a lot of filmmakers have sort of digested in a way their feelings about Sept. 11 and their feelings about the wars in the Middle East to create layered approaches, calibrated approaches attempting to put some other pieces of the puzzle together,'' said Noah Cowan, the Toronto festival's co-director. ''These films really ask shaded moral questions, ask about when and how violence integrates into daily life, and what that means for global politics.''

More Michael Moore

He has two films on the way:"Sicko" about the health care industry and "The Great '04 Slacker Uprising" about his experiences during the 2004 presidential election.

Will Dan Whitney Sell Out Alltel?

Or, more relevantly, since he's slated to perform there next month, will his creation, "Larry the Cable Guy?"    If, by some act of blessed, personal aural protection, like, say, you have a particularly vigilant guardian angel who is specifically assigned to guard just your ears, and you have amazingly missed out on the gutteral, overdone fake Southern drawl growling out the ubiquitous catch phrase, "GIT-R-DONE," then, in the first place, you you are very, very lucky.  But also, you have never been subjected to the "comedy stylings" of Dan Whitney, in character as the dim-witted, beer-bellied, self-described "Southern Redneck" who is only seen in public in his signature ballcap and sleeveless-flannel-shirt-over-t-shirt, known as "Larry the Cable Guy."  Think Jim Varney as that "Hey, Vern!" guy, only a whole lot grosser, meaner, and a crude bigot to boot.  He's very popular, this character of Dan's, and that baffles me, because his "act" feels, to me, as an ACTUAL Southerner, a whole lot more like being laughed AT than laughed WITH, as Whitney insists is his intent.

Hold that line

We've written a bit lately about telephone work in a Little Rock School Board race.

Friday night fights

How about an open line?

UAMS offers seminar on thyroid disease

Physicians from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will conduct a free seminar on the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid conditions at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway.

Government technicians for Beebe

Bill Clinton still has it, meaning that dazzling ability to blend phoniness, perspective and profundity in a couple of breaths. About the time your stomach starts to turn, you find yourself starting to feel better and saying “hmmm,” then “yeah, amen.”

The Mike and Bill show

Brummett took in the event and noted the presence of top members of the Huckabee administration from DF&A, while developing a theme that Democrats make government work while Republicans spend most of their time dividing people.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

U.S. Attorney Bob Balfe has filed notice of appeal of the home detention given Tom Coughlin, the thieving former Wal-Mart exec who pleaded ill health to avoid the slammer.

Democrats lose one

A candidate with legal troubles drops out of the House race in District 95 (not that it was a likelyh pickup in Yellow Dog Republican Bentonm County.)

ABC's path to ruin

Tim Rutten in LA Times: Surveying the smoking ruin that is ABC's reputation after the "The Path to 9/11" debacle, it's hard to know whether you're looking at the consequence of unadulterated folly or of a calculated strategy that turned out to be too clever by half.At the end of the day, it probably doesn't make much difference because, either way, the lacerating controversy surrounding the network's docu-dramatic re-creation of events leading to Sept. 11 is an entirely self-inflicted wound.

Another Dumond?

Did the Huckster intercede with his parole board members to spring the man who killed a Sherwood teenager in 1996.

Another Dumond?

Did the Huckster intercede with his parole board members to spring the man who killed a Sherwood teenager in 1996.

Huckster plays to the base

In Iowa, running for prez, Mike Huckabee loves him some GWB, states rights and sensible spending (never mind that enormous growth in state government on his watch.)

Huckster plays to the base

In Iowa, running for prez, Mike Huckabee loves him some GWB, states rights and sensible spending (never mind that enormous growth in state government on his watch.)

"Sherrybaby" Watch

I'm laying down a challenge to Matt Smith to bring "Sherrybaby" starring my IT girl Maggie Gyllenhaal to Market Street.  Each Friday, I'll blog my "Sherrybaby" Watch.

The deal behind "What's in Your Queue."

Every Tuesday, I'll post a "What's in Your Queue" thread about what films I have in my Netflix queue.  I'm posting it on Tuesdays because it's DVD release day and that's when I generally update my queue.I look forward to reading "What's in Your Queue."

Come on, Jim Harris

Jim confessed to me that he hasn't spent any time checking out "The MovieGoer."  What's up with that?

Food in Film

Over delicious entrees of Osso Buco and Elk at Ristorante Capeo last night, a friend and I discussed movies where food is a major theme.  We came up with this partial list:Big NightGoodfellasChocolatUnder the Tuscan SunGosford ParkSidewaysPulp FictionEat Drink Man WomanLike Water for ChocolateGot any others?  Blog it here.

More from Toronto

As the Venice Film Festival wraps up on Saturday, USA Today has a preview of early Oscar contenders premiering in Toroonto Toronto.Read the USA Today article here.

Top 10 Films

I had this discussion with some friends the other day.  It's a very difficult list to comprise, but I think I'd go with the following:1.  The Godfather, Part I2.  The Godfather, Part II3.  Manhattan4.  Casablanca5.  Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid6.  The Graduate7.  Three Days of the Condor8.  Goodfellas9.  Annie Hall10.

Lift that barge

Good news in the Delta is worth a plug isn't it? Planters Service and Sales announced today that it is coverting a former fertilizer plant on the Mississippi south of Helena into a biodiesel facility to produce 40 million gallons a year under the name Delta American Fuels.

The Weekend in Toronto

A lot previews this weekend for films expected to be quite good.  Here's a short list and link to more Toronto Film Festival news.                                                "Babel" starring Brad Pitt (above)"A Good Year" starring Russell Crowe"Stranger than Fiction" with Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson"The Wind That Shakes the Barley" starring Cillian Murphy"Volver" directed by Pedro Almodovar"The U.S. vs. John Lennon"

Premiere magazine makes early Oscar predictions

It is September, so of course critics are beginning their Oscar speculation.  Venice and Toronto have not even wrapped and final edits of films such as "Dreamgirls" are not available, but why not start throwing darts now?Here's an  idea of what these folks say.  For the full rundown from Oscarwatch.com click here.Babel, Dreamgirls, Stranger than Fiction, The Departed, Flags of Our Fathers, and World Trade Center are the early favorites.

Hollywood acting couples

I had this debate late yesterday evening.  I'd cast a vote for (not surprisingly) Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, two of the finest actors around.    I suppose one could make arguments for Annette Bening and Warren Beatty (yawn), William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, or even Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams.  I dare you to throw Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on the list.Got any others? 

Huck's nutrisystem

We heard Friday that the NY Times' regional correspondent was in town for a chat with Gov. Mike Huckabee (we understand she asked him about his peevishness toward the state's prize-winning newspaper of politics and culture).

Re that movie

Statement from Douglas J. Band, counselor to former President Clinton ABC has a little more than 24 hours to do the right thing for the country and pull this despicable work of fiction from the air.

Enter the CIA

NY Times for Sunday recounts the beginning of the CIA's use of "coercive interrogation." Despite Bush's claims to the contrary (if his lips are moving ....

Leaving it up to you

I think I'm going to hear the Acme Trombone Co.

Leaving it up to you

I think I'm going to hear the Acme Trombone Co.

My Infamous Problem With "Barnyard"

Because it's the weekend, and I've already been using my brain too much for my upcoming "True Wife Confessions" piece at Ninja Poodles (and, to be honest, comparing tomorrow's newspaper grocery coupons against current grocery-store specials, because I have a sickness--an obsession with paying for no more than half of my groceries--we'll talk about it later, I'm sure), I'm offering you this re-run.  My regular readers have seen every bit of this discussion from every possible angle, believe me--but if you're not familiar with my "other" blog, I now offer a recent post of mine that got more attention than anything else I wrote that month, spawned follow-up posts, and also got picked up by the St. Petersburg Times and printed in their "Word for Word" column.Nickelodeon Movies and Steve Oedekerk:  Are You Stupid?  is that post.  And just to update, since it was written, filmgoers have assured me that, indeed, although almost all of the bovine characters in "Barnyard" are male, they are all called "cows," and they do, indeed, bear prominent udders and GIVE MILK.  A friend told me of one scene in which a male "cow" character yells "MILK ME!" in the same context as humans might yell...well, you can figure it out.  I'm staying G-rated.  And in an interview with Steve Oedekerk since then, he has basically stated that in the beginning, he was ignorant of the biology of cattle, but even though many people involved with the film educated him and begged him to "fix this," he insisted that udders are "just funny," and, having ultimate creative control, kept them on ALL the "cows," even the father/son main characters.  He added that anyone who was bothered by this inaccuracy should just "lighten up," because "cows don't talk, either."It bothered me enough that, even though my child is in the prime target demographic for this film, I couldn't bring myself to spend any of my hard-earned money on it.  If  the issue is simply that "udders are funny" (and judging from Steve Oedekerk's other films, such as "Bruce Almighty" and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," this is not a new theme for him--"booby jokes: huh-huh-huh"), and the cows just HAD to have them, why not let the main characters be girls?

September surprises

Since A$a is trailing, Brummett figures he'll go negative directly. Or someone acting in his interest will do it for him.

Man bites dog

Property owners in Bentonville propose to set up an improvement district to tax themselves and issue bonds for infrastructure to support a multi-million-dollar sports arena.

Man bites dog

Property owners in Bentonville propose to set up an improvement district to tax themselves and issue bonds for infrastructure to support a multi-million-dollar sports arena.

Different Jesus juice

Yes, there are progressive evangelicals.

Go Directly To Jail - Do Not Pass Go

Local political issues rarely seem to interest most people I know except for local politicians, but for some reason the election concerning the Pulaski County Jail Tax has piqued everyone's interest.

Welcome

    The powers that be at the Arkansas Times have graciously allowed me the opportunity to try my hand at contributing to the local blogosphere.

Home boy

The New York Times, in an article about the rise in penalties in the NFL, flags Little Rock ref Walt Coleman and crew for giving the highest percentage of penalties to visiting teams (58 percent).

The Leader gets it

The Democrat-Gazette doesn't get it. It doesn't understand that the County Jail can't be fixed by illegally taking some capital money from the road and bridge fund.

Mirren, Affleck take top prizes at Venice Film Festival

Chinese film "Still Life" won the Golden Lion on Saturday, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.  Helen Mirren won the top female acting prize for her protrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen."  Ben Affleck won the male acting prize for "Hollywoodland."  Affleck plays former TV Superman George Reeves.

Owen Glieberman gives high praise for "Sherrybaby"

Entertainment Weekly critic has this to say about Maggie Gyllenhall's "Sherrybaby": . . . from the opening of the movie, she has you hanging on her every word and gesture.

Best High School Movies

Entertainment Weekly has released it's 50 best high school movies of all time. 10.  Ferris Bueller's Day Off; 9.

Following the money

The Hutchinson research team has been on this hunt before, but Arkansas Business updates the amount -- $60,000 or so -- payday lenders have pumped into the Democratic Party and the Beebe campaign.

Following the money

The Hutchinson research team has been on this hunt before, but Arkansas Business updates the amount -- $60,000 or so -- payday lenders have pumped into the Democratic Party and the Beebe campaign.

We're not with stupid - - (F the president)

A NY Times story today about the U.S.'s declining reputation in Europe reminds me of the tour de force that Bill Maher has done on his latest "Real Time" show on HBO.

On a more serious note ...

... but the same subject -- Bush's leadership -- Brummett takes on the administration's  appeasenik theme.

What editing?

Jay Carson, Clinton Foundation spokesman, offers this statement on the Bush political propaganda otherwise known as part 1 of "The Path to 9/11":

9-11

All the major papers are covered up with 9/11 anniversary coverages. I was drawn to the NY Times' return to families with whom it spoke in "Portraits of Grief."

ABC's surrender to hokum

Flip D. Chanel, Hempwallace's resident television observer, notes that while ABC/Disney chose to mark the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks with a fiction show created from Karl Rover talking points, CBS noted the anniversary with two excellent reports on "60 Minutes."The first, with Katie Couric showing admirable moxie in confronting former Bushie EPA czar Christie Todd Whitman, looked at the thousands of first-responders suffering gravely from inhaling the toxic dust at Ground Zero after Whitman's televised assurances that the air in Lower Manhattan was safe to breathe.The second was a poignant visit with the hundreds of kids whose parents perished on September 11, 2001, and who now are banded together in an organization known as Tuesday's Children to cope with their grief and bewilderment.Meanwhile, ABC/Disney gives us Harvey Keitel (memorable for his role in "The Piano" in which he cuts off his goober) spouting fictional words crafted to shift the blame off the Bushies and onto Bill Clinton.

Bloggers Unite for Massive Memorial Effort

It seemed, in the beginning, like an impossible goal, first imagined by blogger and aspiring writer D.C. Roe:  That to honor the fallen of September 11, 2001, there would be 2,996 individual tributes on each of 2,996 individual blogs.  The response was overwhelming, and the results are...humbling.  Here is a list of over 3,000 participating blogs, along with the names of those who are being honored and memorialized on their blogs.  Most bloggers wound up writing memorials for people they'd never known, but such heart and effort has been put into each one, I defy anyone to get through very many of these memorials tissue-free.The "blogosphere" is truly powerful, especially when united for a common cause.  The politics of the bloggers participating in the "2996" project run the gamut from "right" to "left" to everything in between, believe me.  All of that is put aside, just for a day...as it was then, just for a little while.

'Little Miss Sunshine' wins at Deauville Festival

Little Miss Sunshine starring Alan Arkin, Steve Carrel, Toni Collette, and Greg Kinnear took top prize at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema in the French Normady this weekend.

Here's an idea

Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania has created the Katharine Haughton Hepburn Center.  The center seeks to honor the life and works of Hepburn and her suffragist mother, Katharine Houghton Hepburn -- both alumnae of Bryn Mawr -- and inspire a new generation of women to follow in their footsteps.The College bestowed its first two medals on Lauren Bacall and Blythe Danner.

Ang Lee's next pic

Academy Award winning director Ang Lee has released details about his next project.  It's appears he's returning to Chinese-language filmmaking for this picture titled, "Lust, Caution" based on a 26-page short story by Chinese writer Eileen Chang about group of patriotic students who plot to assassinate the intelligence chief in the Japanese-backed Chinese government during the World War II era.Tony Leung Chu-wai, who recently was named best actor at the Cannes Film Festival, and Chinese actress Joan Chen ("The Last Emperor") have joined the cast.  Other cast members include newcomer Tang Wei and Chinese-American pop star Leehom Wang.

Spike Lee sticking with New Orleans

Spike Lee and NBC have struck a deal Hollywood Reporter says for Lee to direct "NoLa", a scripted drama set in New Orleans.  "It's a show about the city trying to rebuild itself and the people who are trying to put their lives together," Lee said.

Monday at the Toronto Film Festival

Here's a list of films generating a lot of buzz previewing today at the Toronto Film Festival.All the King's MenFor Your ConsiderationVenusStranger than FictionThe U.S. vs. John LennonLittle ChildrenThe Festival runs through September 16th.

Hollywoodland worth seeing

I went with a friend to see 'Hollywoodland' last night.  I was apprehensive because, well, Ben Affleck was in it.  Nevertheless, my concern was immediately put to rest.  He's not just tolderable, he's good.  His screen time with Diane Lane is worth the price of admission and strong supporting performances by Robin Tunney and Kathleen Robertson make the film a must see.  The only complaint I have is that it's too long.  At 126 minutes, the film spends too much time on a subplot involving the relationship between Louis Simo (Adrian Brody) and his wife and son.  There's also an unrelated subplot between Simo and one of his clients that simply makes the film uneven and confusing.Nevertheless, this film raises interesting questions about alleged suicide of TV Superman George Reeves and the role that Hollywood may have played in his death.It's showing at Riverdale and Rave.

High Praise for "Catch a Fire" at Toronto

"Catch a Fire" the politically charged South African apartheid drama starring Derek Luke and Tim  Robbins received from high praise from the L.A. Times Gold Derby:Of all special events staged during this fest, none has given me more goosebumps or caused my eyes to wet up so much as last night's world premiere of "Catch a Fire" at the Elgin, Toronto's grandest old theater.

Hatchet man

Perhaps you've seen the Washington Post article about how the Republican Party, with nothing good to run on, plans an all-out personal attack on Democratic candidates in the 60 days preceding the November election.

JR and Henry's Sports Column: Hogs-Utah State wrapup

J.R. and Henry: Nothing to see here Well, it was a win. That’s about all there is to say about the Arkansas Razorbacks’ 20-0 victory over Utah State in Fayetteville on Saturday night.

A$a!

A$a Hutchinson, tough-talking former prosecutor, is a new resident of Pulaski County. Is he talking tough on criminals here, or does he prefer to cut them loose to burgle again rather than pay what it takes to operate a jail.

A$a!

A$a Hutchinson, tough-talking former prosecutor, is a new resident of Pulaski County. Is he talking tough on criminals here, or does he prefer to cut them loose to burgle again rather than pay what it takes to operate a jail.

The debate you've been waiting for

It was Halter-Holt, wasn't it? Anyway, it's almost upon us.

DOG-style politics

We wrote previously about the Democrat-Gazette’s overheated editorial Sunday in opposition to the county sales tax to hold more burglars in jail.

Legal bleagles

We;ve rolled out another comunity blogger today, Hoglawyer, by Gray Turner. He likes politics, history and the law.

Legal bleagles

We;ve rolled out another comunity blogger today, Hoglawyer, by Gray Turner. He likes politics, history and the law.

Oh No! "All The King's Men" Falls Flat in Toronto

Crowds exiting "All the King's Men," however, could be heard, "That was terrible!" and "Christ, I thought it would never end!""All the King's Men" was scheduled to be released last fall, but the studio and director Steven Zaillian decided to re-cut it.  Rumors were that the film was poor, but it hasn't been screened by critics until now.Looks like we can scratch this film off my Top 20 to see this fall.  Here's more.

Last thoughts from the Telluride Film Festival

The Telluride Film Festival wrapped last week.  With Venice now over and Toronto ending this week, we'll see some films emerge as clear frontrunners moving into the fll fall wide-release season.

Same old same old ...

Bush's speech. Single most hollow utterance: We must put aside our differences.

What's cooking/Capsule reviews Sept. 14

What's cooking: Imagine. Capsule reviews: Starving Artist Cafe, the Bulldog.

The Mind of Matt: Going out last weekend

Matt Smith gets out -- a lot. You might want to know where he was last weekend and check out some of these places this weekend:

Call and raise

Brummett says Democrats should fire back at Bush and Co. when they inject the appeasement issue.

Jail tax today

Today's the last day to vote on the proposal to raise the county sales tax a quarter-cent to return the County Jail to some semblance of a status capable of handling the demand for places to lock up criminals.

What's in your queue?

I've got the following:Hitting some of the best of Martin Scorsese before 'The Departed' is released, I've got 'Raging Bull' and 'New York, New York.'  Following that is French director Francois Truffaut's 'Jules and Jim.'  Picking up the rear is Maggie Gyllenhall's 'The Great New Wonderful' (new release) and 'My Life Without Me' starring Mark Ruffalo and Sarah Polley.You?

Miami Herald loves "The Departed"

Martin Scorsese's latest film "The Departed" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg isn't playing at the Toronto Film Festival.  Yet, Miami Herald film critic Rene Rodriguez was invited for a sneak peak at the film and, if his opinion mirrors the rest of the cinema-going world, this film is first rate.Here's what Rodriguez had to say,I'm not supposed to write too much about the movie yet, so I'll just say that anyone who's been waiting for Scorsese to return to form after the Oscar-baiting turgidness of The Aviator and Gangs of New York won't be disappointed.

Michael Rechtshaffen loves "For Your Consideration"

Hollywood Reporter critic Michael Rechtshaffen, taking in a screening of "For Your Consideration" the latest from "This is Spinal Tap," "Waiting for Guffman," Best in Show," and "A Mighty Wind" scribe Christopher Guest at the Toronto Film Festival had this to say,The outrageously hilarious "For Your Consideration" was well worth the wait.

ABC's fiction

Brummett's column today is actually a review of the ABC propaganda film on 9/11. "Facts marinated in fiction," is the columnist's uncomplimentary take.

Opening Friday

Brian DePalma's "The Black Dahlia" starring Scarlett Johnannson, Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank and "The Last Kiss" penned by "Million Dollar Baby" scribe Paul Haggis open nationwide so expect them at the big theatres around Little Rock.  Market Street Cinema has "Mini's First Time" and "The Illusionist," which is an excellent film.  As well, Matt Smith is still hosting the wonderful global warming documentaty "An Inconvenient Truth" as well as one of my favorite films of the year so far "Little Miss Sunshine."  "Sketches of Frank Gehry," "Scanner Darkly" and "The Quiet" all check out on Friday, so if you want to see them on the big screen, you better get on it.

Latest Zogby

WSJ poll says: Beebe 47.6 A$a  44.3 Noted: I think Zogby is an opt-in poll, in which the survey goes back to a panel of people who've asked to be surveyed.

Latest Zogby

WSJ poll says: Beebe 47.6 A$a  44.3 Noted: I think Zogby is an opt-in poll, in which the survey goes back to a panel of people who've asked to be surveyed.

Silly me

I thought when A$a went nuclear on Beebe it might be over some relevant issues like corporate influence peddling and legislative ethics lapses.

A bit TOO helpful

Voting was heavier than usual for a special election at my precinct but still very light by around 10 a.m.

Stephens purchase done

Warren Stephens has closed the previously announced deal to purchase his cousins' shares in Stephens Inc. and related financial companies.

Signs of the season

Maybe it's only coincidental. Or maybe it's part of the gay-thumping shivaree A$a's jackboots have working.

'My hair is my country'

That headline was the utterance of a hero of my youth --  Darrell Fuselier. He said it circa 1966, on the driveway in front of Lake Charles High School, when rampaging jocks and a thick-headed assistant principal were trying to shear the male population of bangs of the sort the boys from Liverpool were sporting.

Birds of a feather

Dewayne Graham, perpetual candidate (currently as a Republican for Pulaski sheriff), reminds us that he's having the walking publicity stunt, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, in for a campaign event at 1 p.m.

Church and state

Our reference to the church efforts for A$a and the coming gay smear of Beebe are not exactly coinicidental.

About that A$a surge ...

Rasmussen, who until now has been the Republican Party's favorite pollster, shows Beebe's lead over A$a widening.

Always with the charter schools -- always

Hendrix College today announced receiving a $20,000 state grant to support a charter school leadership training program.

Always with the charter schools -- always

Hendrix College today announced receiving a $20,000 state grant to support a charter school leadership training program.

Not forgotten

Go here and watch the Jon Stewart and Keith Olberman segments.No further comment necessary.

Scratch a candidate

Kevin Britton, who'd turned in petitions to qualify for the ballot to oppose Stacy Hurst in the election for the Ward 3 seat on the Little Rock Board of Directors, did not submit a sufficient number of valid signatures, a city spokesman says.

Git-r-done? Git -m-gone

Gov. Huckabee (R. Iowa) gives a sitdown to some newspapers up there on one of his many trips and says politicians need to be more like Larry the Cable Guy.

Following the money

Campaign reports were due today in races for Little Rock School Board. The reports are usually so piddling that they rarely rate a second glance.

Following the money

Campaign reports were due today in races for Little Rock School Board. The reports are usually so piddling that they rarely rate a second glance.

iTunes to start selling movies

Apple Computer Inc. said on Tuesday it will begin selling movie downloads from Walt Disney Co.'s film studios, aiming to turn its iTunes online music store into a one-stop shop for digital entertainment.

Tom Cruise, Redskins owner strike deal

In case you missed Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were in Redskins owner Dan Snyder's box for the Redskins-Vikings game last night.  Cruise and Snyder are now business partners.  After Cruise was dumped from Paramount for reasons unexplained (perhaps because he's a total whack job), Snyder's investment firm First and Goal LLC agreed to partner with Cruise.Maybe Snyder ought to focuse on football.  The Redskins stink (even if they made the playoffs last year) and Cruise has gone from good to bad in record time.  Katie Holmes last effort, "Thank You for Smoking" was, however, quite good.  Maybe Tom should just kick back, shut up, and let her make movies.

Good for Luc

Luc Besson, the french director of "The Professional" and "The Fifth Element" is hanging it up after his next picture "Arthur et les Minimoys," which opens in December.  Besson wants to devote himself to civic projects, including starting a foundation to help youths in France's depressed inner cities.Hey, there's an idea for Tom Cruise.

The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Here's the latest on this documentary previewing at the Toronto Film Festival.

Gettin' out Tuesday: Supersuckers at Revolution Room

Eddie Spaghetti and the Supersuckers out of Arizone will put on a good rock show at the Revolution Room, you can be sure.

Jail tax fails -- UPDATE

Another sales tax proposal for the jail, another defeat. FOR -- 12,088 42.8 percent AGAINST -- 16,112 57.2 percent It was a chamber of commerce campaign and the precinct results showed.

Jail tax fails -- UPDATE

Another sales tax proposal for the jail, another defeat. FOR -- 12,088 42.8 percent AGAINST -- 16,112 57.2 percent It was a chamber of commerce campaign and the precinct results showed.

Yipee-ki-ay

Seems like it’s always feast or famine on column-writing day, and this time around it’s a feast. First up, two new stores on Bowman Curve:

Smokin’ in Pine Bluff

Happenings this week include World Fest in Little Rock; a music and barbecue festival in Pine Bluff; a mandolin concert; bikers rumbling into Hot Springs; theater; more.

The People Have Spoken

Apparently the people have spoken and the jail tax was defeated. If I have my history correct, that is the third defeated proposal to increase jail funding in a row.

Meanwhile, in the Northwest

Fayetteville approved four tax and bond proposals, including money for a trail system.

Fiction alert

Bush isn't the only person making stuff up as he goes. Some of that stuff on the internets, like YouTube thingies, is made up, too.

Who Judges The Judge?

In today's AD-G there is an article about Judge Wendell Griffien's disciplinary hearing. The article focuses on the fact that the disciplinary hearing will be closed to the public, despite Judge Griffen's request to make it open.

Making waves

Baltimore Sun features a Naval Academy midshipman from Little Rock, Joel Larson, who apparently is the first from the school to swim the English Channel.

Making waves

Baltimore Sun features a Naval Academy midshipman from Little Rock, Joel Larson, who apparently is the first from the school to swim the English Channel.

Matt Jones fans, check out this vid

Here's a pretty hilarious hip-hop routine on "Who Is Matt Jones," on the former Hog players and current wideout for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Review: Eddie Spaghetti and Supersuckers

Rock fan and Times freelancer Stewart Deere checked out the Supersuckers' show at the Revolution Room last night:

Making music

The Oxford American -- the quarterly magazine based at UCA -- has struck a partnership with CMT to sponsor its annual southern music issue, which will include a CD.

Cornel West at Philander

Walter Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith College, has lined up another strong program for his Bless The Mic: A Hip-Hop President's Lecture Series.

Media criticism

Jethro, Knoop Park bureau chief and occasional media critic, files today: I think the Democrat-Gazette's lead editorial today merits a blog mention. A new low in intellectual dishonesty.

Philander's "Bless the Mic" lecture series begins Friday

Cornel West, the noted Princeton University professor, will be the first speaker in the second second of Philander Smith College's "Bless the Mic" lecture series, appearing at 7 p.m.

First salvo? UPDATE II

A$a skeds a 1:30 p.m. news conference today, topic not mentioned. Presumably, he won't be introducing himself and playing home movies of happier days in Benton County.

First salvo? UPDATE II

A$a skeds a 1:30 p.m. news conference today, topic not mentioned. Presumably, he won't be introducing himself and playing home movies of happier days in Benton County.

SOLD!

Bill Halter (he's the Democratic candidate for lt. gov., in case you've forgotten), announces that he has the endorsement of the Arkansas Realtors PAC.

Seems only fair

Headline on Yahoo News front page:Australian man probed over Viagra spam

For Hog fans, Mustain talks Gus' offense

Ryan Aber of the Morning News in Springdale, in this report on the Razorbacks, gets UA freshman quarterback Mitch Mustain to open up on what Gus Malzahn's offense is really about, in case you were expecting an aerial circus that hasn't happened yet in the Hogs' sluggish start.

The Mind of Matt: On Sean Rock bands and some weekend clubbing

Movie man, rock fan and party animal Matt Smith found lots to report on from getting out around town this past weekend.

Charlie Kaufman's new script

L.A. Times has an interesting new feature it launched today, "Scriptland," which follows the work of Hollywood's best screenwriters.  Today the Times discusses "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" scribe Charlie Kaufman's latest script "Synecdoche, New York."  Casting is in the works and filming is scheduled to begin in next spring.The Times had this to say about this script,"Synecdoche" nominally concerns a theater director who thinks he's dying, and how that shapes his interactions with the world, his art and the women in his life.

L.A. Times Tom O'Neil hearts "Bobby"

From L.A. Times Gold Derby:This Thursday will be Oscar Christmas for Harvey Weinstein. At last he'll unwrap "Bobby," which makes its North American debut at the Toronto Film Festival, and he'll discover if he's got a lump of coal or his first big contender for best picture since breaking with Miramax.

E gossip proves true: A shocker as Whitney dumps Bobby

I don't care, and few of you may either, but CNN just sent out a "Breaking News Bulletin" that Whitney Houston has filed for divorce from her husband, Bobby Brown, thus getting the wheels rolling to end to a marriage most thought was a sham anyway. We do hate it for the kids, though.

Latest Dr. Suess

Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell have signed on in Fox's CGI animated "Horton Hears a Who!"  For those of you that know the story, Carrey will play Horton and Carell will play the Mayor of Who-ville.Hollywood Reporter has the full story if you're interested.

Paris, je t'aime

First Look Pictures has acquired North American rights to "Paris je t'aime" a collect of short romantic films about the city.  Natalie Portman, BSR IT Girl Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elijah Wood, Nick Nolte and Juliette Binoch all star.  The actors worked with Gus Van Sant, Wes Craven, Alexander Payne and the Coen Brothers on the project.  The film had it's North American premier Sunday at the Toronto Film Festival.

Strange bedfellows

Daily Kos, the Arkansas Blog and Jackson T. Stephens, major benefactor of the Club for Growth united?

Todd McCarthy likes "Stranger than Fiction"

Variety critic Todd McCarthy has this to say about "Stranger than Fiction," which debued at the Toronto Film Festival this week.  Film stars Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, BSR IT girl Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Dustin Hoffman.The oft-examined intersections of reality and fantasy get a thorough workout in "Stranger Than Fiction."

Peter O'Toole, Oscar?

Peter O'Toole is earning high praise for his portrayal as none other than an English actor who finds success late in his career.  "Venus" stars O'Toole and is showing this week at the Toronto Film Festival.  I ignored overtures that O'Toole was Oscar worthy, but now several festival attendees have made such comments.Here's the Hollywood Reporter review.  No word on when (or if) this film will arrive in LR before the end of the year.

Paul Haggis still rolling

"Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash" writer Paul Haggis, arguably Hollywood's hottest screenwriter, has "The Last Kiss" out this weekend.  Haggis wrote the script before the other two films.  He'll get most of his awards attention for his latest collaboration with Clint Eastwood "Flags of Our Fathers," but don't skip this film.  The film stars Zach Braff (Garden State) and Jacinda Barrett (Ladder 49, The Human Stain).  Barrett, according to Hollywood Reporter, is terrific.

Best wishes

David, we saw this police report shortly before we left the office. Ditto your dad's comment.

Pure-dee Arkansas

Deer hunting conquers all.

So, What's Up With the Koi?

I ask in all seriousness, especially anyone local to "Zone 7b" who keeps koi and/or goldfish in a small outdoor pond (Husband interjects here to say that people "don't exactly keep indoor ponds," but ha HA, Mr. Smart Guy, I have seen one, complete with stream and fountain, in a Sherwood home, so there).  We inherited a koi pond with the recent purchase of our new home.  The previous owner claims that he, too, inherited it from those who lived here before he and his family did, and never to have fed or otherwise cared for the fish, and only to have changed out the water one time in eight years, when a liner started leaking and had to be replaced, at which time they counted around 40 fish.  We have never been able to convince the fish to line up for an official census, but there are a fair number of what seems to be a wide variety of fish in there, and we are clueless as to how to care for them, and we seek help.
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