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September 14, 2006

Vol 4 • No 35

From disaster, Huckabee? UPDATE

Here's an interesting interview with Mike Huckabee in the D.C. Examiner, a relatively new free daily in the Washington area.

Judging Wendell Griffen

We happen, reflexively, to be as absolute about free speech as Judge Wendell Griffen. When it says "no law" shall restrict free speech, we think it means "no law." Particularly laws that gag judges.

What's on

The new TV season starts this week, the first entry being the one with Mickey Mouse blaming all the terrorism on Bill Clinton. It’s a comedy. And about 75 percent fiction as far as I could tell. Poor return on a big investment in my opinion. Hey, give me

A tangible thank-you

Oh, for the days when the lies were about sex and not war.

Polluting senator

The salvage yard at Maryland and Thayer owned by Sen. Bob Johnson and his family is not just an eyesore, as we reported last week. Inspectors with the state Department of Environmental Quality visited the site last week, where Bradford Auto and Salvage op

Fraud's anniversary

The gleaning process of history was never so evident as it was in the events around the fifth anniversary of 9/11. We could see clearly the beginnings of the greatest bait-and-switch fraud in American if not all of human history, George W. Bush’s war on t

Saving New Orleans, saving ourselves

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush gave a nationally televised speech in New Orleans’ Jackson Square and said “We will do what it takes.” One year later, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast remain in critical condition.

Affirmative action

The Little Rock Board of Directors faces an interesting decision Sept. 19. It will review 17 applications for the at-large board seat vacated by Barbara Graves, who’s running for mayor, and pick someone to serve the two years remaining in her term.

Smart Talk

This week: Merit scholars; Wal-Mart as the new city center; checking for prostate cancer.

The Observer

Roland Gladden and Jessica Crenshaw, who are about as young and hip as the Arkansas Times gets, came to work Monday and fell into the 19th century. No, they hadn’t stumbled into the newsroom. They found themselves clabbering about in a trench dug in t

Rewriting 9-11

Because of the 9/11 anniversary, there’s been a lot of weird criticism around the world about President Bush.

The ripple effect

The 11 Latino men – half in blue jail jumpsuits, half in orange – all had their hands cuffed behind their backs as they were led into the federal courtroom last Friday. They looked like criminals instead of what they were two weeks before: waiters, janito

Orval Sept. 14

Editorial cartoon Sept. 14

ABC makes a good story

“The Path to 9/11,” the ABC movie that marinates fact in fiction and blames Bill Clinton for Osama bin Laden, begins with an erroneous scene.

For Carol Roddy

As a mother whose five children all attended Little Rock Public Schools, a volunteer who has also tutored many hours at Forest Park Elementary, and a retired media specialist from the LRSD, I would like to respond to the “liberal Democrats” in Zone 3 who

This Modern World Sept. 14

The week that was Sept. 6-12

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … MIKE BEEBE. The Democratic candidate for governor and the Democratic Party raked in $1 million from events with former President Bill Clinton.

Piano champ opens ASO’s Masterworks season

Ilya Yakushev, a late fill-in on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s schedule, helps the ASO open its Masterworks season with two concerts this weekend.

Blues festival highlights

Here are highlights and schedules for the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival in Helena, plus tips on places to sleep and eat.

Master of his rerun domain

Jerry Seinfeld played to two distinct audiences in one packed house last Thursday. The first audience, including me, had never been in a room with Seinfeld before. The second group, including the people who were slightly more interested in their cell phon

Powerful pipes

Ronan Tynan, one of the original Three Irish Tenors, makes a fall stop at UCA.

Eureka folk

Folks will come to Eureka Springs from miles around Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 12-15, to help celebrate one of Arkansas’s longest-running festivals. The 59th Original Folk Festival, a wonderland for any acoustic music lover, will be held downtown with

Ray Charles lovers unite

There’s more to Fayetteville than the Razorbacks, and the Walton Arts Center can take credit for that: art, music, dance and festivals. This fall, fans of the music of Ray Charles will be treated to the touring show “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” which debuts

Roast the brats, pass the beer

Hot Springs oompahs into fall with its 32nd annual Oktoberfest celebration of traditional German food, music, dance and beer on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7.

Taking a pass

Stephens Media notes that statewide Democratic candidates are taking a pass on the Family Council's survey, now online.

Meet the candidates

Brummett today provides some anecdotes on statewide candidates, along with a report on his tennis match with Gunner DeLay.

Bonnie rates big!

Bonnie Raitt brings her bluesy slide guitar, raspy sultry vocals and tight backing band to Little Rock in October, and she’ll have blues great Keb’ Mo’ with her.

Blogland

Don't forget our blog page, with links to all five of our operating blogs (and several more on the way shortly).

Anthony Minghella's Latest

"Breaking and Entering" the latest film from Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) stars Jude Law, Juliette Binoche and Robin Wright Penn.  It's previewing in Toronto this week.  Here's a review.  The film looks good.

Todd Field's latest course - delicious?

"Little Children" the latest feature film from Todd Field (In the Bedroom) stars Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, and Patrick Wilson (no, not the Wright, Lindsey & Jennings lawyer) as a series of couples tangled in a web of faltering relationships and yep, children.  The film is adaptation of the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta which my moviegoing friend tells me is quite good.  It appears that this film is also quite good if John DeFore of Hollywood Reporter knows anything at all.  Here's what he had to say,In the endless stream of films made from literary properties, how many actually deliver the experience of reading a great novel?

The 'Queue' discussed

As you know, every Tuesday I blog "What's in Your Queue" a list of what's in ym Netflix Queue and a request to tell me what's in yours.  Here's an interesting article from Slate.com about what we put in our Netflix queue's.  Enjoy.

The gang that can't govern straight

NY Times: WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 — The Interior Department’s chief official responsible for investigating abuses and overseeing operations accused the top officials at the agency on Wednesday of tolerating widespread ethical failures, from cronyism to cover-ups of incompetence.

Lagrone's lie

He just won't let it alone. He just won't admit a mistake and move on . He keeps trying to peddle the lie that Charlie Daniels had something to do with his son's failure to vote from Mississippi (he was not in Iraq as Lagrone had claimed) in 2004.

Lagrone's lie

He just won't let it alone. He just won't admit a mistake and move on . He keeps trying to peddle the lie that Charlie Daniels had something to do with his son's failure to vote from Mississippi (he was not in Iraq as Lagrone had claimed) in 2004.

Madame secretary

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will lecture at the Clinton School of Public Service at 10 a.m.

More biodiesel

News release: Green Way Bio Energy, LLC of Little Rock announced today the company intends to construct a 10 million gallon biodiesel production facility on the Arkansas River in the Little Rock Port Authority.  The Arkansas based biodiesel company was formed in May of 2006 and expects to begin construction of their production facility in November of this year.  

Exclusive unprecedented Couric evaluation

Here's an evaluation of Katie Couric's first few days on the job by a guy who gets paid by TV executives to tell them what's right and wrong with their broadcasts.

Ballroom blitz

By popular demand: A link to Wonkette (which has link to video) of Tucker Carson, the cable TV talking head and former D-G editorial writer, who was the first guy voted off Dancing With the Stars.

Chris Henry music video 'on its way'

Today, Little Rock guitarist-singer-songwriter Chris Henry's video for his song "On My Way" is the No. 2 top-rated music video for the month of September on Youtube.com.

Combat-ready

Long before I received Gunner DeLay's promised release attacking opponent Dustin McDaniel's record on veterans issues, I had McDaniel's response.

The Mind of Matt: On DJ Hollywood, Rumba

Rocking man about town Matt Smith checks in with a report on his visit to Rumba and Revolution:

Speaking of combat

No more Mr. Nice Guy for A$a. (Although, actually, this issue has been bubbling for some time.)

For better teeth

Good news for poor kids with cavities. And other tooth problems.

The Fall Season

There are a lot of movies slated for release this fall.  While I've identified 20 to see, there may be others that interest you.  The New York Times fall movie preview was released last Sunday.  Apologies for just getting it up now. 

Colin Powell heard from

Colin Powell, who checked his integrity in a cloakroom during his service of the Bush administration, is reclaiming it.

Colin Powell heard from

Colin Powell, who checked his integrity in a cloakroom during his service of the Bush administration, is reclaiming it.

Toronto winding down

The Toronto Film Festial wraps up on Saturday.  "Bobby," "Infamous," "Breaking and Entering," "The Magic Flute," "Penelope," and "Paris, je t'aime" all screen between now and then.

JR and Henry's Sports Column: Hogs' biggest game of year?

J.R. and Henry: Biggest Game of the Year? It’s sad to say, because it really demonstrates the depressed state of the program.

Here's some really good news

The "Rock" isn't going back to wrestling.  Says the "Rock," ``I never wanted to make a big splash or exodus...I just wanted to quietly get out and devote myself to acting.''Good news for all of us.  More "The Scorpion King," "Walking Tall," and "The Rundown" sequels.  Up next is "Gridiron Gang," which looks awful.

We get letters

This one from Jim Lendall, the Green Party candidate for governor and former state legislator and here's Stephens coverage of the issue about which he writes:

Bruce James Calls the Hogs

Vanderbilt is a very dangerous ball club, and if Arkansas should go on the road and lose, it will be devastating to the team, to say the least.

The dark streets of ‘Hollywoodland’

Though Los Angeles is most widely known for its blondes and bright lights, the vocabulary of detective films over the years — from “The Big Sleep” to “Chinatown” to “L.A. Confidential” — has described another L.A.; a kind of shadow city where the Californ

Gaucho’s finds a new home

Gaucho’s new home is no stranger to red meat. After all, its previous occupant was Tony Roma’s ribhouse. But it feels like a bit of a step down for the Brazilian-style churrascaria, like a millionaire having to move into his kid brother’s bachelor pad.

St. Bernards hosts conference for children with diabetes

The St. Bernards Diabetes Management Center will host a back-to-school mini-conference for children and adolescents who have diabetes on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Old wounds finally heal

For any Arkansas Razorback football fan who’s around 42 or older, the 1969 loss to Texas 15-14 in the “Game of the Century” left a scar on the psyche.

Worlds collide

Arkansas-based musicians Keith Destry and Chris Thomson have formed the group POPULUXX, which has been described as “fresh” and “something new.” The duo will open the second year of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock’s Coffee House season on

TV Highlights for Sept. 7-13

Fans of the inside-baseball world of media and journalism are sure to enjoy this look at some of the great investigative television, print and Internet journalism of recent years.

'Moonlight' shines

“Moonlight and Magnolias,” the Arkansas Repertory Theatre production of Ron Hutchinson’s comedy about the making of the 1939 classic, “Gone With the Wind,” is a lively mix of classic Hollywood legend and slapstick that will entertain fans of the famous fi

UAMS golf event for car seat education

Safe from the Start Golf Tournament, an event to raise money for a unique program to educate parents of newborns about the correct use of car seats before infants leave the hospital, will be hosted by medical students at the University of Arkansas for Med

Wyeth, Welty and whys

The sometimes haunting American realism of Andrew Wyeth, the contemporary expressionist faces of British artists, the South of the 1930s as captured by Eudora Welty’s photographs. Contemporary graphic works from national artists. Political posters by Robe

We go traveling

This year’s Fall Guide to the Performing Arts steers you to places to stay, eat and imbibe while you’re in town taking in the really big shows. We cover a lot of territory, noting autumn’s cultural calendar in Eureka Springs, Fayetteville, Conway, Jonesbo

Eureka Springs goes ‘Big Time’

EUREKA SPRINGS — The pitter-patter of little feets will echo throughout the Ozark Mountains Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16, as this town presents the first Big Time Festival, featuring Dr. John and Little Feat with guest Vince Herman.

Don't hold the phone

California will become the fourth state to ban use of hand-held phones while driving, a trend that lends support to similar legislation planned next year in Arkansas.

Philip and Karen Martin weigh in from Toronto

Arkansas Democrat Gazette film critics Philip and Karen Martin have two interesting columns in today's paper.  Both in Toronto, Philip liked Babel and Volver as well as Catch a Fire and The Last King of Scotland.  Martin says All the King's Men isn't all that bad (although he too admits Jude Law's southern accent is awful) and For Your Consideration and Little Children are "just all right."  He doesn't much like A Good Year, which he calls "a predictable, sunny mess."  Karen Martin highlights some lesser known films. 

What I'm seeing this weekend

I've got two on my list: The Black Dahlia and The Last Kiss.  Both are opening to generally mixed reviews.David Edelstein of New York Magazine (I've followed his criticism since his days at Slate.com) carves up Dahlia.In this magazine’s “Fall Preview” issue, I wrote that “in prospect, The Black Dahlia is a disturbingly perfect marriage of filmmaker and subject”—and thank God for that “in prospect.” I guess I was primed for something that De Palma already gave us in Obsession, Dressed to Kill, and Body Double: a Vertigo-esque melodrama full of sinuous tracking shots and multiple planes of reality, a blood wedding of Hitchcock and the voluptuous Italian splattermaster Dario Argento.

For the record

The D-G, in following up today on A$a's strike on gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe on payday lending, referenced the Arkansas Business article we'd linked earlier on contributions from the payday lending industry to the Democratic Party and Beebe.

For the record

The D-G, in following up today on A$a's strike on gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe on payday lending, referenced the Arkansas Business article we'd linked earlier on contributions from the payday lending industry to the Democratic Party and Beebe.

POW treatment

Here's the letter Colin Powell sent to John McCain regarding W's all-out press to get Congress to give him the power to torture prisoners.Interesting that the opposition to W's chickenhawk plan comes from two guys in his own party who've actually seen combat.

Celeb spotting

Actor Roy Scheider was spotted boarding a Chicago-bound plane in LR today. Whadya think he'd been up to?

Mission unaccomplished

Even the neo-cons say we need more troops in Iraq. Unfortunately, this article says, we don't have any to send.

Airport parking

Starting Monday, LR National Airport will offer valet parking -- $12 per day on a surface lot, $15 in the deck.

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It...

CENTRAL ARKANSAS CONFIDENTIAL IS NOW ONLINE.... What might you ask is Central Arkansas Confidential?

Judging the judge

A spokesman for Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen says a closed hearing today of the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission resulted in dismissal of one allegation of improper conduct by Griffen.

Crime stopper

Do they still have that Officer of the Month award? A sure nominee would be Detective Terry Campbell, who noticed three young men fleeing a house on Poinsetta Drive Thursday morning.

Old school

Walter Hussman gave a talk at his alma mater, University of North Carolina, that's written up here.

Home-grown

Bill Halter, the Democratic candidate for lt. gov., reports that he raised more than $78,000 from 324 donors in August and that 96 percent of them were from Arkansas.

Drugmaker wins

There was a defense verdict for Wyeth today in the big lawsuit alleging that a hormone replacement drug caused an Arkansas woman to get breast cancer.

Polling

Message to Dustin: Man, that poll you're doing is too long. Some pretty nifty stuff you've turned up in Gunner's record, I admit.

Open line

Take it away.

Specialists to discuss autism, fetal alcohol syndrome

International specialists on autism, mercury poisoning and fetal alcohol syndrome will present the latest research and treatments next week at the 23rd International Neurotoxicology Conference hosted by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAM

UAMS reports myeloma finding

A genetic analysis of more than 400 patients with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, identified seven subtypes of the disease that had a bearing on a patient’s prognosis and offered the potential for targeted treatments, reported a team of res

"Southern Fried Scholars" in Mental Floss

I admit it:  I'm a magazine junkie.  I read a lot of books, but I also have a great love for the entertaining, bite-sized "browsing" style of reading that can only be had with a good magazine in your hands.  Plus, there are pictures.  I love At Home In Arkansas (OK, I admit, the content seems to have been getting thinner and thinner in that one, but ...oh, I have no excuse.  Pretty pictures.), The Oxford American (pssst--the annual Music Issue is out now!), and one of my favorite, squeal-with-delight-upon-opening-the-mailbox times is that special day each month when the new Southern Living arrives. 

Hogaholics in need of voltage

Our hogaholism has blown completely out of control. We need to check ourselves into a padded room and let loose substantial voltage anytime anybody utters “Houston” or “Frank” or “Mitch” or “Gus.”

Go Hogs

Brummett assesses the soap opera of Razorback football and attendant media. But he thinks the Hogs will beat Vandy.

Disinformation

The 527 group financed by Republicans to attack Democratic candidates is putting out erroneous information, says the House Democratic Caucus.

Where's my Sherrybaby?

Another Friday passes and Sherrybaby starring BSR IT girl Maggie Gyllenhaal has still not arrived.  What say you LR theatre managers?

Peter Jackson to adapt "The Lovely Bones"

It appears Peter Jackson (King Kong, those silly elves movies) has decided on his next project.  According to yahoo.com, Jackson is going to direct the screen adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel "The Lovely Bones," a story narrated by a 14-year-old girl who tells of her rape and murder and how her family and friends cope with the tragedy.  The film will be shot in Pennsylvania where the story takes place as well as in New Zealand.  No word yet on casting.

Clooney addresses atrocities in Darfur

Here's my movie star politcal play of the week.  On Thursday, George Clooney together with Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel addressed members of the U.N. Security Council about the current situation in Darfur.  According to news reports, Clooney stated the following: "The United States has called it genocide," Clooney told council members.

Is it just me?

Or does Martin Scorsese's latest film The Departed look better and better every time the preview comes across the television screen?  The film which opens nationwide on October 6th, stars Matt Damon, Leonardo Di Caprio, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson.Dennis McDougal has an interesting article in the New York Times about Scorsese and Nicholson's partnership in this film and calls is "a considerable achievement."  Maybe it's the hype.  Maybe it's photos like this.

Arkie update

Joey Lauren Adams has her directorial debut Come Early Morning out this fall.Billy Bob Thornton has School for Scoundrels out later this year as well as two films The Astronaut Farmer and Mr. Woodcock in post production.  Josh Lucas had two films Glory Road and Poseidon released in 2006 as is currently working on an untitled project to be directed by Tod Williams (The Door in the Floor).Wes Bentley, you ask?  Remember him?  He's the guy who was plucked out of a RENT audition line and got a prime time role in American Beauty.  He followed that up with a few stinkers including The Four Feathers and after a three year hiatus from the big screen, he's got four projects in the works including Ghost Rider, based on the Marvel character and starring Nicolas Cage.Mary Steenburgen has 5 films in pre or post production.  Nobel Son, starring Alan Rickman, Danny DeVito, and Bill Pullman looks promising.  It's directed by Randall Miller, who recently directed Steenburgen in Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School.  The same goes for The Dead Girl, which has an impressive cast including Toni Collete, Brittany Murphy, Marcia Gay Harden, James Franco, Giovanni Ribisi, and Kerry Washington.And I have to mention my old friend Kathryn Francis Tucker.  While not acting, she is lighting up the production and directorial scene.  She's recently wrapped work on Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, Idlewild as well as a slew of televison programs including Grey's Anatomy.  Any others?

Toronto wraps up today

Today is the last day of the Toronto International Film Festival.  Based on what I've read, it appears that the following films have come out of the festival with hype and momentum leading into the fall wide-release season.

Saturday morning randomness

I'm online this morning waiting for the kick off of the Arkansas-Vanderbilt football game.  Spent some time deconstructing the game last night over a few beers with a football buddy instead of seeing either The Black Dahlia or The Last Kiss.

Best Hollywood Noir

Here's a piece from Entertainment Weekly.  Unforgettable.

A compromise?

According to Market Street's calendar Sherrybaby isn't arriving until November 3rd.  However, this Friday, Matt Smith is reporting that Trust the Man, also starring BSR IT girl Maggie Gyllenhaal, will be in Little Rock.  It didn't get as good of a review as Sherrybaby, but I guess it will do for now.  I'm still keeping up my Sherrybaby watch, Matt.  Sorry, dude.

One of many mistakes

Washington Post excerpts a new book with an interesting tale about how the Iraq rebuilding was set back by Bush decision to send political hacks, rather than the best qualified, in the beginning of the reconstruction.

Family values

The Huckster calls himself a paradoxical Republican. Bipolar is more like it.

How 'bout ...

... them lucky Hogs? Or anything else.

Pre-game show

AP previews the gubernatorial "debate." You'll be driving to Jonesboro to rent a room to catch it on TV, right?

The race for First Lady

Spouses are important, too. Stephens Media visits with Ginger Beebe and Susan Hutchinson.

Bond daddies

UCA prez Lu Hardin and Alan Sugg, who heads the UA system, are traveling to drum up media support for the coming vote on a higher education bond issue.

Bond daddies

UCA prez Lu Hardin and Alan Sugg, who heads the UA system, are traveling to drum up media support for the coming vote on a higher education bond issue.

Toronto winners

From Reuters, "Bella," a romantic drama by Mexican director Alejandro Monteverde, was the surprise winner of the top award at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday, while the contentious "Death of a President" took home a critics' prize.

What?

"Bella" a film with no buzz won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.  I wasn't there.  I was sitting in front of a television watching the Razorbacks squeak by Vanderbilt.  Tom O'Neil of the Los Angeles Times was there.  Here's what he had to say, "Bella" was a suspicious choice because the film had such a low profile at the fest.

Philip Martin predicts Oscar for Scorsese

Philip Martin, film critic for the Arkansas Democat Gazette, writing on his blog www.strangepup.blogspot.com predicts that Martin Scorsese will finally win a Best Director Oscar for his latest film The Departed. 

That's one way to go

Jim Carrey fired his agent this week.  Before Man on the Moon and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I thought Jim Carrey sucked.  I did.  I'm sorry.  I sat through those stupid Ace Ventura movies (ok, 1 of them) as well as whatever forgetful stuff he did after that including that really bad Batman movie.  Then comes the Kaufman biopic with Milos Foreman and Eternal Sunshine with Charlie Kaufman (catching on?)

My moviegoing friend

will be pleased to know that imdb.com's movie of the day is The Royal Tenenbaums.  Huge fan of Wes Anderson, by the way.

Ricky Bobby

This blog launched after I say Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, but I had to put this dialogue up.  It's just too funny.

Killing time

It's Sunday morning.  I've posted about the Toronto International Film Festival and it's surprise winner.  We're in for a full day of rain, which makes movie watching an ideal activity (I'm off to The Last Kiss at noon).  I suppose we could talk about the Razorbacks, but what would be the point.  The defense is awful and the head coach isn't much better.The New York Times has a few interesting articles.  Notably, an article about Jackie Earle Haley.  Who?  He played Kelley Leek in the original The Bad News Bears.  Some yahoo named David Thompson has written a biography of Nicole Kidman.  The NY Times book reviewer wrote,  “In searching commentary on films,” he wrote, “there needs to be some way of accommodating the fondness, the rapture, the attraction (there are other words) the writer feels for an actress.” Fondness?

Old School Dos

That's the title of the sequel to Old School according to rottentomatoes.com.  The script focuses on Will Ferrell's character.  The script's not done and  Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Luke Wilson have set to sign on, but I hope Todd Phillips finds the funny.

The latest James Bond

An early test screening review of Casino Royale, the next installment in the James Bond film series indicates the film is pretty good.  I don't know much about these test screen reviews, so take it for what it's worth.  Here's what the reviewer had to say,Over the weekend, AICN had a review of "Casino Royale" from a test screening in London.

Larry, Moe and (Tom) Curley

The infamous Curley Boys who ran Gannett when they killed the Arkansas Gazette were seldom right about anything.But Brother Tom, who now runs The Associated Press, is right on the issue of Bush's indefinite detaining of people -- in this case one of Curley's journalists -- without charging them with anything.

Chicken s***

Arkansas poultry giants -- under the guise of education and information -- are airing TV ads in Oklahoma that seemed design to pollute the jury pool for trials over watershed pollution from poultry runoff and also to influence the race for attorney general in Oklahoma, where the sitting attorney general has gone after the polluters.

Touring with Clinton

David Remnick has written an exhaustive, and friendly, piece in the current New Yorker about accompanying Bill Clinton on world travels, to Africa and elsewhere.

The Last Kiss

I saw The Last Kiss this afternoon.  I'm not sure what I expected walking into the film, but what I felt walking out was different.  The basic premise of the film is this: four 29 year old life long friends are going through four very different early age crises.  Michael (Zach Braff) and his girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) just found out they're going to have a baby.  Michael has a bit of a freak out and makes a poor decision with a beautiful college co-ed (Rachel Bilson).  At the same time, his three friends are all dealing with issues of their own.  Chris (Casey Affleck) is in a marriage that sucks and is made worse by he and his wife's decision to have a baby.  Izzy (Michael Weston) got dumped by his girlfriend and he just can't get over it.  Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen) spends his days in a bar and his nights with beautiful women, trying to stay as far away from commitment as he can.Intertwined with the emotional challenges facing these guys is a weird relationship between Jenna's parents (Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson).  Danner spends a lot of time staring into the mirror, crying, and then putting it all back together.

L.A. Times Tom O'Neil on the bad films in Toronto

L.A. Times film critic Tom O'Neil commented today about some of the the films that entered the Toronto International Film Festival with high expectations and flopped.The most notable is All the King's Men, which debued in New Orleans this weekend.  Says O'Neil, "But 'All the King's Men' was nuclear, because it dared to remake an Oscar best picture winner of 1949 and it had a galaxy of superstars performing very badly."The Good Year, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe also had very mixed reviews.

The toxic Texan turning green?

The source is a British newspaper, but it says the bully from Crawford has decided this ol' orb may be getting hotter after all.

Religious strife

The pope apologizes (though not enough to suit many Muslims). So what about all this?

Media matters

Brummett is on a rant about the modern media -- from Katie Couric to the use of the Internet to force unsubstantiated, irrelevant or simply false information into political discourse of the mainstream media.

Race mixing

For a slow Monday, you could do worse than read this NY Times feature about the effort in a small Mississippi town to dig out a town swimming pool, closed and filled with dirt in the 1960s to avoid race-mixing.

The church in politics

The IRS is vowing to crack down on political activities by religious organizations. Does prohibited activity include James Dobson's Focus on the Family-backed voter guides, often distributed through churches?

The small screen

I should have mentioned that the gubernatorial "debate" at 7 p.m. tonight at ASU can be viewed live only in person or on the Internet, at KAIT's website.

Sarah Polley steps behind the camera

Sarah Polley, the talented actress from Go, My Life Without Me and Don't Come Knocking screened her  writing-directing debut  Away From Her in Toronto.  The film is an adaption of the Alice Munro short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain."  Hollywood Reporter had this to say,Polley is attentive to her cast without cueing us to marvel at their skill.

The Mind of Matt: A weekend hitting the clubs

All we can say is, Matt Smith sure eats well, before he does the town checking out the club scene.

Crowe to remake "3:10 to Yuma"

Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are set to star in a remake of the western 3:10 to Yuma.  Lionsgate films has signed on to distribute and filming begins next month according to Reuters.  James Mangold (Walk the Line) will direct.

The Black Dahlia

I did not get around to seeing this film this weekend, but it must be pretty bad.  Gridiron Gang whipped it at the box office (although Dahila was playing on fewer screens).  Still . . .

Philip Martin throws shout out to The Moviegoer

Big thanks to Philip Martin for a mention on his blog http://strangepup.blogspot.com/.  Check it out.  Lots of fun reads and interesting information on the Toronto International Film Festival.

Oh, great

First there's W, then Cheney and Rummy, then Rover, now this: BANGKOK, Thailand - Scientists combing through undersea fauna off Indonesia's Papua province said Monday they had discovered dozens of new species, including a shark that walks on its fins

Voice stilled

The Briefing Notebook reports that longtime LR radio personality Ray Lincoln has died. If you'd like Briefing Notebook's periodic news/gossip/opinion e-mail newsletters, write iktome@aristotle.net

Penelope Cruz vs. Meryl Streep

If the voting took place today, the final slot in the Best Actress category would go to one of these two women Kris Tapley of InContention.com and Tom O'Neil of the L.A. Times suggest.  Cruz appears in this year's foreign critical darling (and frontrunner for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, assuming it is it's country's nominee) Volver directed by Academy favorite Pedro Almodovar.In sizing up the Best Actress race, Tapley offers the following four supposed "locks",Judi Dench, Notes on a ScandalHelen Mirren, The QueenKate Winslet, Little ChildrenAnnette Bening, Running with ScissorsO'Neil predicts that Cruz will win the award from at least one of the three important critics groups:  National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle or Los Angeles Film Critics Circle.  Because Streep is an obvious choice for the Golden Globes Best Actress Comedy or Musical category (The Devil Wears Prada), O'Neil thinks Cruz is assured of a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Actress in a Drama category.  O'Neil opines that the entire race may turn on the "babe factor."  If that's the case, and Cruz is nominated, expect her to have the best chance to win, O'Neil says.

Is THAT guy still alive?

Most of the folks out here at Hempwallace had thought Kenny Starr, the Grand Inquisitor, was dead or institutionalized somewhere, but town legal eagle Rhett O. Certiorary discovers the thin-lipped little weasel is still alive and making trouble.

Making the homeland safe

Did someone check to see if A$a! had bought into any bluegill farms?

Missing in action

Unavoidably absent? Or dodging key votes?

Story tellers wanted

StoryCorps, an NPR-sponsored project seeking true American stories, is pulling into Little Rock Sept. 28 for a four-day stop, stay through Oct. 22 and is now taking reservations.

Road shows galore

The StoryCorps isn't the only road show rolling into town. Riverfront Park also will welcome a visit this Thursday from an outfit opposed to the proliferation of  "earmarks" on federal spending bills, an increasingly popular way to load unrelated legislation with tons of pork.

Ryan Gosling, Best Actor?

Remember Ryan Gosling, the guy from The Notebook?  Well, he's back this year with Half Nelson and Sasha Stone of oscarwatch.com says this performance is the real deal.  There is one performance that hopefully won't slip through the cracks and that's Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson.

More Love for "The Departed"

Roger Friedman loves The Departed, the latest from Martin Scorsese.  "The Departed," which I saw on Friday night, is a rocking comedy-of-a-gangster-shoot-out stuffed with great performances both big and small by all these guys, and Scorsese — who returns to his favorite genre — is the puppeteer pulling the strings.Add Friedman to the list which includes Arkansas Dem-Gaz film critic Philip Martin.  I wonder if David Koon, the Times film critic, has seen a screener of this film.  Maybe he'll let me take a sneek peek.  Hook it up, David.

The Science of Sleep

the latest from Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and starring the very good Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) is reviewed this week by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker The film arrives here on September 29th at Market Street Cinema.Some of the adults, like Buster Keaton, did their most graceful work in the least solemn of genres (no one has improved on the dreamscape of his “Sherlock, Jr.”), whereas the kids, as if playing at being grownups, have always tried to flavor their immaturity with something perverse—George Lucas with his grandiosity, Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton with their thirst for the grotesque, and now Michel Gondry with his sweet naïveté.

Fire on the right

The anti-tax fat cats at the Club for Growth continue to dog The Huckster. Its blog notes the recent Washington Examiner interview with The Huckster that we linked on account of his criticism of John McCain; his seeming agreement with the notion that the Republican Party is a party that supports tax breaks for the rich, and his suggestion that a bad 2006 election for Republicans would be good for The Huckster 2008 campaign.

More blogging

Check out our blog page for an expanded list of community bloggers. Several new ones are up and running, notably ARMedia, who has plenty to say on media, politics, culture and more (including tomorrow's school board electioin).

More blogging

Check out our blog page for an expanded list of community bloggers. Several new ones are up and running, notably ARMedia, who has plenty to say on media, politics, culture and more (including tomorrow's school board electioin).

How To Offend 100 Million People

    The whole idea of the Pope has always struck me as an archaic enigma.

Live ... from Jonesboro ...

... it's the gubernatorial debate The promised 6:50 link activiation by KAIT-TV did not happen.

Live ... from Jonesboro ...

... it's the gubernatorial debate The promised 6:50 link activiation by KAIT-TV did not happen.

The other debate

Live, from the Clinton School of Public Service, it was Jim Holt (R) v. Bill Halter (D), in the great lt. gov. debate.

The other debate

Live, from the Clinton School of Public Service, it was Jim Holt (R) v. Bill Halter (D), in the great lt. gov. debate.

Washington Regional sets free breast cancer screenings

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, other than skin cancer.

J.R. and Henry's Sports Column: Hogs' new beginning?

J.R. and Henry: New Beginning in Nashville? Dubbed “Separation Saturday” by ESPN, last Saturday was a feast of big time college football.

Corporate Democrats vs. populist Republicans

Recent man-bites-dog headline: Asa Hutchinson says he’ll clamp down on predatory lenders, faults Beebe for taking their money. By stereotype, Democrats get to be the populists, meaning champions of the common people against the rich and powerful. Repu

Faux populists

Or maybe make them Fox News populists. That would be Republicans in Arkansas, according to Brummett, because dominant Democrats move easily with the business and farm lobbies.

Moral standing

Colin Powell continues to push back against his former boss. Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he decided to publicly oppose the Bush administration's proposed rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects in part because the plan would add to growing doubts about whether the United States adheres to its own moral code.

Sexual harassment

Have time for a long story? Today, I'd recommend the LA Times report on a soldier who's refused to return to a second tour in Iraq on account of being seuxally harassed on her first tour.

Wal-Mart on the ballot

The discount chain is spending $300,000 to oppose the recall of city council members who voted to permit a Wal-Mart in a Los Angeles suburb.Election today.

Woodstock Film Festival Lineup

Not one of the marquee film festivals, mind you, but it's slate of films is impressive.  The festival runs from October 11-15.  On the bill are notable films, Come Early Morning, Infamous, Day Night Day Night, and Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing.  Here's the full lineup.

Janis Joplin on the big screen

Zooey Deschanel will star in the Penelope Spheeris-directed drama The Gospel According to Janis.  Filming begins on November 13th.  Deschanel will do all of her own singing a la Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in last year's Walk the Line.  The film will be produced by Peter Newman of The Squid and the Whale notoriety. 

Next up

The New York Film Festival, which opens on September 29th.  The Queen starring Helen Mirren opens the 17-day festival.  Other notable films include Volver, Little Children, and Marie Antionette.Don't look for full reviews of any of these films in the New York Times.  According to Variety, the Times isn't releasing full reviews by any of its critics.  They will, however, offer their thoughts in "Critics Notebook," which they do for other festivals. 

Where they stand

With Sundance, Cannes and Toronto behind us, Tom O'Neil of the L.A. Times assesses the landscape.  Moving up: Volver, Venus, Babel, The Last King of Scotland, and Pan's Labyrinth.Moving down: All the King's Men, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, A Good Year, and Bonneville.Positive reviews for Little Children, Bobby, Catch a Fire, Infamous and Breaking and Entering, but O'Neil says time will tell as to whether any of these films make a run during Oscar season.

Up and running

We haven't made it clear enough in the logo yet, but Death by Inches is up and running with his own blog Billiken Man. Check it out.

What's in your queue?

It's Akira Kurosawa week here at BSR's house.  I've got Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and Rashomon in my queue.  You?

Opening Friday

Toronto flop All the King's Men, Jet Li's Fearless (supposedly his final martial arts film), Flyboys (with James Franco) and Jackass: Number Two all open nationally.  Market Street Cinema says that Trust the Man (BSR IT girl Maggie Gyllenhaal, David Duchovny, Billy Crudup and Julianne Moore) and Sundance fave Quinceanera will be there.

Riding in an elevator in Toronto

Here's an interesting piece from L.A. Times writer Patrick Golstein about his experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival.  In terms of movies, Favorites included "Venus" (with a potential Oscar turn by Peter O'Toole), "The Lives of Others" (the German drama was a critic's fave), "Catch a Fire," "Borat," "The Namesake," "Volver" and "The Last King of Scotland" (largely thanks to a showy performance by Forest Whitaker).Be careful, he warns, actors are everywhere.  If you buy a hot dog, they'll even question your choice of condiment.  And Yoko Ono still looks good.

Beebe: 1 Hutchinson: 0

Who watched the Beebe - Hutchinson debate last night?  It was a little hard for most people to catch, but it was shown live, online which might be a first for an Arkansas debate.

The thin blue line

Mike! wraps himself in a Fraternal Order of Police endorsement today, to go along with the sheriffs, and, this is original, probably will role out some pervert-fighting measures, too.

The thin blue line

Mike! wraps himself in a Fraternal Order of Police endorsement today, to go along with the sheriffs, and, this is original, probably will role out some pervert-fighting measures, too.

Do you like Zach Braff?

Here's a profile.

Sean Penn speaks up

                                                        Here's my movie star political play of the week (at least so far).  Sean Penn calls Bush a "a Beelzebub — and a dumb one."  He speaks out on the war, politics and film to USA Today.

You want news?

CNN (or your favorite source) has plenty. Problems have delayed the space shuttle landing.

Live ... from Mallard's

Hoglaywer watched the gubernatorial debate last night on a big screen in Mallard's. See who else was there.

Sometimes management DOES reward "hard work"

Read this and then go tell your boss you want some more vacation for intercepting that envelope of talcum powder his mistress mailed him.

Holt on education

The Halter campaign carves up Holt for his record on education. News release on the jump.

Today's election

Several have asked about the fact that scannable paper ballots are being collected in boxes and not run through scanners at precincts in Pulaski County today.

Today's election

Several have asked about the fact that scannable paper ballots are being collected in boxes and not run through scanners at precincts in Pulaski County today.

Maybe he has a future in TV talk shows

You'll never hear anybody on NPR go this crazy.

The New Fall Season - Sundays

We have a new fall television season starting and I'm obsessed! Hence the double post....

Sex scandal

We get a daily news bulletin from TV 40/29 in Fort Smith and Fayetteville and clicked it for details about their hosting of the gubernatorial debate.

Now about that debate

Here's the link to info on the Oct. 4 gubernatorial debate in Fayetteville, which will not be open to the public, only UA students and media.

Monitor those payrolls

A blog friend provides this most interesting link. It's an easy lookup for staff pay for every single member of Congress.

Monitor those payrolls

A blog friend provides this most interesting link. It's an easy lookup for staff pay for every single member of Congress.

Grammy-winning gospel singer home Wednesday

Smokie Norful, the Grammy Award-winning gospel singer who grew up in Pine Bluff, returns to his home state for a free concert as part of a church service Wednesday night at St. Mark Baptist Church, 5700 W. 12th St, in Little Rock.

New city director UPDATED

About 6:15, the LR City Board began interviewing candidates for the vacancy created by Barbara Graves' resignation from an at-large seat.

New city director UPDATED

About 6:15, the LR City Board began interviewing candidates for the vacancy created by Barbara Graves' resignation from an at-large seat.

Summer Salsa Party - Wednesday Night

I didn't write this, just passing it on....Looking for something different to do Wednesday night?   There will be a Salsa Party at teh River Market Pavilion - where they have the farmer's market.When: Wednesday, September 20, 5:00pm to 11:00pmPhone: (501) 733-4801Ladies and Gentlemen,Finish this summer in style with group Salsa dance lessons provided by Arthor Murray Dance Studio of North Little Rock on JFK!

School board results - FINAL

Melanie Fox won the marquee race of the evening in school board races. The hotly contested race was for Zone 3 on the LR School Board.  Fox, backed by the Little Rock Chamber, the Democrat-Gazette and tens of thousands in contributions from Alltel execs and others (her husband is a top Alltel official) faced Carol Roddy, who had no more than a third the money, but a strong Hillcrest neighborhood base and support from the Classroom Teachers Association and the Arkansas Times.

School board results - FINAL

Melanie Fox won the marquee race of the evening in school board races. The hotly contested race was for Zone 3 on the LR School Board.  Fox, backed by the Little Rock Chamber, the Democrat-Gazette and tens of thousands in contributions from Alltel execs and others (her husband is a top Alltel official) faced Carol Roddy, who had no more than a third the money, but a strong Hillcrest neighborhood base and support from the Classroom Teachers Association and the Arkansas Times.

In Which I Share With You a Treasure...AND a Major Case of the Heebie-Jeebies

One of the many personal "treasures" I've discovered through blogging, and particularly through the eclectic, unusual, tribal, and supportive community of bloggers who are usually called, whether they like it or not (and MANY do NOT--trust me), the "mommybloggers," is Lindsay Ferrier.  Lindsay's "home" blog is "Suburban Turmoil," where she previously blogged under the pseudonym "Lucinda," and it is an absolute scream.  From her site there, you can link to any one of her several other blogging efforts, which include a fabulous food/menu/recipe blog, a celebrity-watching blog, and many more.  And the setting in which I have seen her just SHINE in recent weeks has been her column at The Nashville Scene Online, and their blog, "Pith in the Wind."

To Debate Or Not To Debate, That Is The Question

You know who i like? Rod Bryan.

By the numbers

For those of you who like such things (we do), here's a link to the precinct-by-precinct nubmers in the school board elections yesterday.

By the numbers

For those of you who like such things (we do), here's a link to the precinct-by-precinct nubmers in the school board elections yesterday.

Our culture of spying

Count me sorry about buying a Hewlett Packard printer after reading this: Hewlett-Packard conducted feasibility studies on planting spies in news bureaus of two major publications as part of an investigation of leaks from its board, an individual briefed on the company’s review of the operation said yesterday.

'Lobbyist dream'

That's how the Washington Post describes another insider deal in Washington, the attachment of tariff suspensions on a variety of goods.

Swing voters shop Target

Business Week reports on how political consultants are turning to data mining companies like Little Rock's Acxiom to use consumer spending patterns in political campaigns.

AFI taps "Bobby" as opening night film

   Bobby, directed by Emilio Estevez has been selected as the opening night film for AFI Fest, the American Film Institute's annual festival which kicks of November 1.The film revisits the night Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968, will have its U.S. premiere at the fest, which runs through Nov. 12.

Good for you, George

Colleges and Universities are benefitting from the success of their alumni.  You recall my post about Bryn Mawr setting up a the Katherine Hepburn Center.  The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts just got a big lift.  George Lucas of Star Wars fame has donated $175 million to the school.  Nice.

Huckstering

Ernest Dumas has written a great column this week, which I have posted early, because it deals with Gov. Mike Huckabee's contradictory politics.

Blue light rapist

Do you remember the Blue Light Rapist? It was 1997.

Scriptland

The latest feature from the L.A. Times about prominent screenwriters and their next projects.  This week its Jim Uhls, who wrote Fight Club, is working on a script whiv he describes as a "noir-ish Raiders of the Lost Ark."  The script is an adaption of the graphic novels of  Arvid Nelson and Eric Johnson titled "Rex Mundi."

Faith in film

20th Century Fox unveiled a new division "FoxFaith" which will release up to a dozen religious-oriented films a year.  “What we’re trying to do is create great movies that are story-driven, that happen to tap into Christian values,” said Simon Swart, the general manager of Fox’s North American home entertainment division.

Unknown film catches eye of N.Y. Times critic

Manohla Dargis, one of the trio of good writers who are also film critics at the New York Times likes Old Joy.  There are roughly 90 viewing days left till Christmas.

Who gets to debate

Hoglawyer, our new legal blog, examines the question of exclusion of candidates from political debates.

Asaholt -- the GOP team

A$a's latest TV ad highlights his vow to crack down on illegal immigrants, just like his running mate Rev. Holt.

Asaholt -- the GOP team

A$a's latest TV ad highlights his vow to crack down on illegal immigrants, just like his running mate Rev. Holt.

To do Wednesday: Salsa party

Looking for something different to do on a Wednesday night? Try the Salsa Party that's set for the River Market pavilion from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Emanuel Levy gives high praise for The Departed

Alright, the Times is going to have to hook me up with a screener for this film.  The reviews are coming in and all of them are very favorable.  Emanuel Levy of emanuellevy.com say The Departed is Scorsese's best film since Goodfellas.This season, perhaps even more impressively, DiCaprio holds his own in "The Departed," Scorsese's best film since "GoodFellas," against such heavyweights as Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, and Martin Sheen.

Kris Tapley calls The Departed one of the year's best

the atmosphere, molded by Scorsese as if he were twenty years younger, is as saturating and penetrating as one could hope for out of a freewheeling, balls-to-the-wall entry in the cops and robbers genre.

Ready on the firing line

Gun nuts love The Huckster. Who, by the way, has been off killing antelope in Wyoming.

UAMS recognized as ‘Most Wired’

For the fifth time in eight years, the Hospitals & Health Networks magazine of the American Hospital Association publication has named the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Medical Center as one of the “100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health
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