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October 1, 2009

Vol 7 • No 38

The fall of man

If you need a reason why music minister David Pierce was able to do what he did for so long--to sexually victimize scores of boys at the First Baptist Church of Benton over the past 20 years or more--you probably need to look no further than the inch-thick stack of letters that flooded into the Saline County prosecuting attorney’s office in the days and weeks after his arrest last April.

How bad is it for Lincoln?

Pretty bad if you believe Rasmussen polling on matchups between U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln and four Republican opponents with name recognition ranging from zilch to a little.

Score one for Sen. Lincoln

Sen. Blanche Lincoln joined other Democrats in defeating an Orrin Hatch proposal to make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to get insurance policies that cover abortion.

Sex allegations UPDATE

A story to watch: Fox 16 is reporting that it has talked to two former Mills High students who have alleged sexual contact with a teacher dating back to 2004.

The line is open

Wednesday graffiti here.

Changing the grid

If you think it's difficult to navigate Little Rock's downtown one-way streets, try being a tourist or a newcomer. One Little Rock citizens' group is trying to eliminate one-way streets downtown, or at least start a discussion on the subject.

Sept. 23-29, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … GAMBLING. The new Arkansas Lottery sold more than $1 million worth of lottery tickets in the first day of business and startup seemed smooth.

What's Cooking, Oct. 1

Holly Ingebo and Casey Pierce, the owners of the Station Grocery and Deli, have decided to shift their focus away from serving as grocery to operating more as a deli/restaurant and cafe.

Smart Talk, Oct. 1

Add these to the unhappy statistics that Arkansas earns: According to a study published last week by Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit organization that supports gun control, Arkansas ranks at 4th in the nation in the number of women killed by men.

With Cotton out, Baker goes to the bank

Tom Cotton is not running for the U.S. Senate or anything else.

Republicans in ruin

Corporate media in Washington demand further concessions by Democrats on all issues, while encouraging Republicans to be more fiercely assertive.

UAMS under pressure

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ addition of 800 employees when it opened its new hospital at the first of the year has caused UAMS to put hiring restrictions in place, spokesperson Leslie Taylor confirms.

Brains!

Somewhere in the Venn diagram of youth tastes, in the purple space between web nerds and hipsters and meatheads and ironic “Fangoria” quasi-Goths and no-shirts-with-overalls Coors drinkers, lies a Holy Grail of mass appeal called The Perfect Zombie Movie.

Bubba frog shrimp 666

When the subject of the Anti-Christ comes up, the only question is who, not if.

In Brief, Oct. 1

Local blues-rock act Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain headlines at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.

To-Do List, Oct. 1

Eric Church, Totally Michael, Jimbo Mathus, the Beach Boys, Jessica Lea Mayfield, 'Mamma Mia,' Lamb of God / GWAR and BrewHaHa with Second City are this week's top picks.

Alabama gets inside our heads

I have to admit that I’m not quite as devastated as I was last week.

Getting it done

In some ways the good old days were just that.

Bestseller

One of the most dramatic moments of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” comes early in the book.

Editorial Cartoon, Oct. 1

Orval, Oct. 1

Ross gets dose of his own

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, since his days in the state legislature, has appealed to the worst in people.

Changing the grid

If you think it's difficult to navigate Little Rock's downtown one-way streets, try being a tourist or a newcomer. One Little Rock citizens' group is trying to eliminate one-way streets downtown, or at least start a discussion on the subject.

Words, Oct. 1

“Rockefeller started his criticism Tuesday — even before the bill was introduced — complaining that the bill would put too heavy of a tax burden on health benefits enjoyed by coal miners in his state.”

Political stories

“Political opinions seldom get formed or changed by mere preaching or debate.”

This Modern World, Oct. 1

What’s happening in October.

Unless indicated, event is a reading and/or book signing.

The Pump does work

The year 1969 was memorable, a year of great tragedy (the Big Shoot-out) and great triumph (Man on the Moon).

The Observer, Oct. 1

The mortgage crisis isn’t just affecting people. Fifteen cats in Heber Springs are homeless because their owner’s house was foreclosed on.

Q&A with Mike Love

In advance of the Beach Boys’ performance with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, I spoke by phone to original member Mike Love, 68, about the benefits of transcendental meditation, being cast as a bad guy in the Beach Boys’ story and “acid alliteration.”

Avett Brothers

Last Friday night, the Robinson Center curtain rose to reveal a brightly lit, stage-spanning backdrop — a drawing of an old wooden ship and a flock of birds taking flight.

Just as I am (armed)

State Rep. Beverly Pyle, the Republican from the OK Corral, tells Stephens Media that her request seeking legal guidance on the constitutionality of the state's ban on concealed weapons in church is just part of her continuing effort to get heat into Arkansas sanctuaries.

Hang up the @*&! phone

Good day today. The law banning texting while driving takes effect.

The GOP field clears

John Brummett likes Sen. Gilbert Baker, always has. Today, he declares an open march for Baker to the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate now that the mythical Tom Cotton has dropped out of the race.

River Market numbers

Did I read it right? The River Market operation (including amphitheateer and pavilions), soon to be taken over by the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission from money-strapped city government, is losing about $1 million a year?

In case you were wondering

Blog fans, just wanted you to know that Max Brantley didn't just abandon his post today to go watch pigskin practice in Fayetteville today.

Wright pleads not guilty

Betsey Wright, the former chief of staff under Gov. Bill Clinton, pleaded not guilty to charges of smuggling contraband into the Varner Unit.  The filing by Wright's attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, also asks for a jury trial.  Charges were filed against Wright in August.  AB has the story here.  

Pawlenty first

Politico reports that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is going to flex some early presidential campaign muscle with the announcement today of his new PAC, Freedom First.

Thursday: Dexateens, Matt Joyce, Tho'd Studios and more

The Dexateens. From Tuscaloosa, the Dexateens specialize in pop-filtered Southern rock at White Water Tavern, 9 p.m., $5.Former Gettys front man Matt Joyce offers a solo show at West End, 9 p.m., $5.

Add 67 more to the unemployed

The Jonesboro Sun reports that Great Dane Trailers is shutting down its manufacturing plant there temporarily.

WM3 appeal

Two of the West Memphis Three - Jason Baldwin and Jesse Misskelley Jr. - are in court today in Jonesboro.  KARK's Cecillea Pond-Mayo is tweeting.  Baldwin and Misskelley claim they had inadequate legal representation during their 1993 trial.  According to Channel 4, Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the three victims in the 1993 murders, says she believes the WM3 deserve a new trial. 

In these Times

For those of you who can't go out to your local restaurant/coffee house/bar to pick up this week's issue of the Times, be sure you catch the following: The Fall of Man: David Koon's chilling cover story about a First Baptist Church of Benton music minister who preyed on young boys for years.  A courageous few have stepped forward to help put him behind bars.

We get it...

It's making money.  But, just because the lottery commission releases a sales figure doesn't mean it's news.

What's the big idea?

For an upcoming cover story in the Arkansas Times, we're planning on doing something a little different.

The power of one

A new story in NEA Today, the official magazine of the National Education Association, profiles Central High School art teacher Lynn Smith, the faculty advisor to Central's Gay/Straight Alliance.

Let there be...

...an open line.  And so an open line was created.  And it was good.

Abortion polling

A new Pew poll shows respondents split -- 47 to 45 -- on whether abortion should be legal or illegal.

Punch Out

Today, while visiting with Wes on my lunch break, I solicited his opinion of what my next blog topic should surround.

Bestseller

One of the most dramatic moments of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” comes early in the book.

Book Notes, Oct. 1

Little Rock native Derek Fisher has released a book.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift wowed fans in her first headlining tour in front of a sold-out crowd at Verizon Arena on Saturday night.

The Pump does work

The year 1969 was memorable, a year of great tragedy (the Big Shoot-out) and great triumph (Man on the Moon).

Sept. 23-29, 2009

It was a GOOD week for … GAMBLING. The new Arkansas Lottery sold more than $1 million worth of lottery tickets in the first day of business and startup seemed smooth.

Changing the grid

One way streets can offer the quickest way to get from point A to point B.

Country Church

Eric Church knows his audience, and they are him. “The scars on my knuckles match the scuffs on these cowboy boots/and there's a whole lot more like me,” he sings on “How Bout You?” a tribute to all things Southern and blue-collar.

Bubba frog shrimp 666

When the subject of the Anti-Christ comes up, the only question is who, not if. Nobody ever asks, Why does there have to be one?

UAMS under pressure

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ addition of 800 employees when it opened its new hospital at the first of the year has caused UAMS to put hiring restrictions in place, spokesperson Leslie Taylor confirms.

Republicans in ruin

Corporate media in Washington demand further concessions by Democrats on all issues, while encouraging Republicans to be more fiercely assertive.

With Cotton out, Baker goes to the bank

Tom Cotton is not running for the U.S. Senate or anything else. He’s not taking employment immediately either.

Ross gets dose of his own

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, since his days in the state legislature, has appealed to the worst in people.

Getting it done

In some ways the good old days were just that.

Dittoheads don't matter

Interesting column by David Brooks, the Times' conservative commentator. He discounts the importance of the Limbaughs, Becks and Hannitys, except in moving phone calls from their fans.

Open the records

Mara Leveritt's complaint about sealing of Supreme Court records in the West Memphis Three case by the court's clerk (rather than by order of any court) got attention from the Arkansas Supreme Court yesterday.

Letterman's reality show

Zounds. David Letterman said on his show on Thursday that he had been the victim of an extortion attempt over charges of sexual affairs with staff members, claims that he conceded were true.

Gov. Beebe?

I read that President Obama has issued an executive order banning federal employees from texting while driving.

ID of burning body

Fox 16 has the identity, and a bit more information including video, of the woman whose body was found burning in SWLR.

Do you know where your speaker is?

CHINESE TWINS: Wills (left), Harrelson House Speaker Robbie Wills laments that he can't attend the UA-Texas A&M game in Dallas.

Do you know where your speaker is?

CHINESE TWINS: Wills (left), Harrelson House Speaker Robbie Wills laments that he can't attend the UA-Texas A&M game in Dallas.

The power of words

Here's an uplifting story from NPR. It's about retired Judge Olly Neal of Marianna and a librarian's role in broadening the horizons of the young Neal who thought he was pilfering books from the school library.

State money not looking up

The September state revenue report is a doozy, and I don't mean good. For the month, gross revenues were down 14 percent against the same month last year and down 12 percent from the revenue forecast.

Friday To-Do: Jimbo Mathus

JIMBO MATHUS10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $10.Clarksdale-born Jimbo Mathus doesn't do genres.

Friday To-Do: Totally Michael

TOTALLY MICHAEL10 p.m., ACAC. $6.Totally Michael is a one-man band out of Bloomington, but originally from Cabot, who specializes in syrupy sweet dance-anthems about cheerleaders and prom and Winona Ryder.

Friday To-Do: Eric Church

ERIC CHURCH9 p.m., Revolution. $20.Eric Church knows his audience, and they are him.

Peer with Beer.

Or view with a brew... the Arkansas Arts Center's Art on Tap is coming up Friday, October 16th.  This year's theme is "Brew Like An Egyptian."   From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., guests have the chance to taste a variety of beer styles including pilsners, stouts,and porters paired with hors d'oeuvres.

It's entertainment, see

A Twitterer reports news from The Bison, the campus newspaper at Harding University (not online yet):

The Arkansas Film Series presents yet another teen vampire movie

The long dormant Arkansas Film Series springs back into life on Friday, October 23 to celebrate the release of "Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant," the latest film from Little Rock-based producer Courtney Pledger (Derek Jenkins profiled her in the Times several months back).The film opens on the 23rd, so presumably you can see it wherever you want around town, but this special screening is at 7 p.m. at Rave.

Al Bell loves Lucero

Al Bell gives two thumbs up to Lucero. BBC did a piece last week on Brinkley native Al Bell last week.

Chicago: Still second city

Despite Obama/Oprah/etc. lobbying, Chicago was eliminated in the first round for consideration as host of the 2016 Olympics.

Money talk

Tim Griffin, a GOP candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, says he's raised $130,000 since announcing Sept. 21.

One small step for pregnant prisoners UPDATE

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given new life to a lawsuit by an Arkanas prison inmate who objected to being shackled to a bed while delivering a baby despite severe contractions and the wishes of medical personnel that she be freed.

Lincoln calling?

We've heard reports of some in Faulkner County receiving phone calls last night in behalf of Sen. Blanche Lincoln.  The caller, a person not a robot, assured the resident that Lincoln was looking out for their interests in the health care debate and would not vote to support "government-run health care."  The conversation ended rather abruptly when one recipient of the call said he favored  a government plan.  Lincoln's office in D.C. says they don't know anything about the calls.  Steve Patterson, campaign manager for Lincoln, says the calls did not come from the campaign.  Who were these masked men?  Anybody else get a call?

KABF not tied to ACORN's fate

Local community radio station KABF will survive even if ACORN doesn't, according to station manager Willie Cosme.

Double-dip count

Interesting figure compiled by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. It has counted 2,239 members of the system who retired, began drawing retirement benefits and then went back to work for a member agency of ATRS.

Double-dip count

Interesting figure compiled by the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System. It has counted 2,239 members of the system who retired, began drawing retirement benefits and then went back to work for a member agency of ATRS.

The Weekend: Charlotte Taylor, Starroy, Gabrielle Union and more

Gabrielle Union. FRIDAY 10/2Local blues-rock act Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain headlines at Cajun's Wharf, 9 p.m., $5.

Q&A: The Beach Boys' Mike Love

Mike Love loves ball caps. In advance of the Beach Boys’ performance with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, I spoke by phone to original member Mike Love, 68, about the benefits of transcendental meditation, being cast as a bad guy in the Beach Boys’ story and “acid alliteration.” You still practice transcendental meditation?Yes, I do.

Say what?

Catching up on The Iconoclast, I came across this. LITTLE ROCK - U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said today she opposes the farm subsidy program because it would be too expensive.“For some in my caucus, when they talk about a farm subsidy program they’re talking about another entitlement program, and we can’t afford that right now as a nation,” Lincoln said in a speech to the Elder Law Task Force at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.Lincoln has said previously she would support whatever farm subsidy program worked, but she indicated Tuesday that a plan including an expensive, government-funded, corporate welfare subsidy program would not get her vote.

Sunday To-Do: The Beach Boys

THE BEACH BOYS8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $30-$125.Like a lot of seminal pop bands from the '60s, the Beach Boys have been depleted by death.

Fayetteville escapee captured

I was looking at The Iconoclast earlier to find his good summary Saturday about how a curiously low bond had allowed the escape of a notorious Fayetteville thug and tow truck operator named Terry Hayes.

Last night: The Dexateens

The Dexateens, not at White Water. Thursday night, beneath the banner of the Arkansas state flag on the back wall of White Water’s stage sat Brian Gosdin, drummer for the Dexateens, BAMA emblazoned across his T-shirt, attending his houndstooth-adorned drum kit, just in case there was any confusion about where these boys hail from.

Arson suspected in Morrilton

-- Fox 16 That big downtown fire that devastated 10 Morrilton buildings? Authorities have made an arrest -- ex-boyfriend of daughter of the owner of one of the buildings hardest hit.

FedEx mercy flight

FedEx Freight, which employs hundreds in the Harrison area, paid $11,000 for an air ambulance flight today to take a terminally ill 7-year-old from a Houston hospital back to her home in Green Forest.

Friday follies

I'm off. You're on.

The Pump does work

The year 1969 was memorable, a year of great tragedy (the Big Shoot-out) and great triumph (Man on the Moon). Not quite as storied as either of those events, but important to some, was the opening of the Town Pump.

Pity for Mike Ross

John Brummett blows another kiss to U.S. Rep. Mike Ross today. Why, he asks, aren't people so hateful to U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, who also opposes a public option health plan?

Conservatives rebound

NY Times columnist Charles Blow rounds up a variety of indicators of surging conservatism -- the closing gap between Republican and Democratic identification among voters for one.

The Clinton Tapes

FAN: Book says Clinton sharply cricitized Democrat-Gazette writing about former UA coach Nolan Richardson. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote an article recently on Arkansas angles in historian Taylor Branch's new book, "The Clinton Tapes."

Open line

Everyone will be watching football, right? If not, your thoughts are welcome here.

Summer extension

The Beach Boys join together with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra to do classic songs like "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations."

Ark. finalist for SCLC post

Former Arkansas Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen, who is pastor of New Millennium Church, is one of two finalists to lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the storied civil rights group founded by Martin Luther King Jr. One of King's daughters is the other finalist.

Bloodsuckers never quit

Interesting report from Stephens Media. Payday lenders, banished from Arkansas after years of legal action, are still punishing borrowers via Internet loans.

Anybody but Blanche

Brummett delves into recent (alarmingly poor) polling on U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln. There are both policy and poll-flaw reasons why somebody nobody has never heard of would poll higher than an incumbent U.S. senator.

Bonfire of the vanities

Frank Rich excoriates the Obama administration and the new day of Democratic lobbying might. It all looks a lot like the bad old Republican days.

WHAT’S THE POINT? . . .

  A bizzy buzzy whiplash whirlwind week in The Rock, Razorbabies!   Parties, clubbing, live music, Sticky’s, Whitewater, weddings and receptions at Next Level, Jam Night and Ramona at the Afterthought, In Demand at Jazzy’s, fall frocks UPSing to Chenal from my recent Manhattan shopping jaunt . . .

The line is open

Feel like fall? It does to me. Good night for a pot of navy beans and ham hocks and a pan of cornbread.

The fall of man

First Baptist Church of Benton music minister David Pierce led a secret life for two decades. Then it all unraveled.

Hard times all over

Argenta News says North Little Rock's revenue collections may fall behind this year by as much as $2.5 million.

Health options

Brummett outlines some hybrid ideas to plug gaps in health insurance coverage since most seem to agree the best idea -- a government plan -- won't happen.

The politics of spite

Remember how, when I posted the news of the United States' failed Olympics bid, that the thread was immediately slammed by exultant Obama bashers?

The politics of spite

Remember how, when I posted the news of the United States' failed Olympics bid, that the thread was immediately slammed by exultant Obama bashers?

Tears of a clown

Does Glenn Beck get chemical assistance for his crying jags? Read more about it here.

Mike Huckabee: Still huckstering

There Mike Huckabee goes again. From Media Matters:

Calling the young and shiftless

Come listen to this guy. At noon at the Clinton School today, a pioneer in micro-philanthropy.

At the Clinton School

The uncommon has become commonplace in the Clinton School's ongoing lecture series. Today is a good example.

Full blogger disclosure

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a rule requiring bloggers to disclose when they receive payments or free goods for reviewing a product.

Baker's bucks

Sen. Gilbert Baker has announced $500,000 in campaign contributions during his first month as a candidate for U.S. Senate.

McArthur death reported

Little Rock police confirm that the body of Little Rock lawyer William McArthur was found lying outside his home in the Shadow Lake apartments at 13111 West Markham Street about 10 p.m. last night.

Death in our family

Ira Hocut, the Arkansas Times' production manager, died early this morning. He was 54.

Nationally noted wedding

The Sunday tip sheet compiled by Mike Allen of Politico mentions Little Rock social doings:

Why, Pie!

This is a slice of decadent and lovely butterscotch pie from Butter Lovins in Cabot.  It is one of the finest examples I have found of  this sort of pie, and the first I've had in ages that included meringue.  Not too butterscotchy-y... more like... well, honestly, first thing I thought of was how pound cake batter tastes.  Good stuff.  And the crust is flaky and not sweet.  The little restaurant is a nice example of the local lunch joint -- cheerily clean and bright, small, a few bar stools for counter service and several country-style tables.  They have lunch specials (today it's Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, tomorrow Ham & White Beans, Wednesday Chicken & Dumplings) for $4.25 and a mean Chef's Salad, too.  But what people have kept telling me all about is the pie -- chocolate, coconut, whatever happens to be the flavor du jour, $2.79 a slice.

Why, Pie!

This is a slice of decadent and lovely butterscotch pie from Butter Lovins in Cabot.  It is one of the finest examples I have found of  this sort of pie, and the first I've had in ages that included meringue.  Not too butterscotchy-y... more like... well, honestly, first thing I thought of was how pound cake batter tastes.  Good stuff.  And the crust is flaky and not sweet.  The little restaurant is a nice example of the local lunch joint -- cheerily clean and bright, small, a few bar stools for counter service and several country-style tables.  They have lunch specials (today it's Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, tomorrow Ham & White Beans, Wednesday Chicken & Dumplings) for $4.25 and a mean Chef's Salad, too.  But what people have kept telling me all about is the pie -- chocolate, coconut, whatever happens to be the flavor du jour, $2.79 a slice.

Coming out in Pine Bluff

From the high school reunion canon: John Cloud, a Time magazine writer, writes about his 20th high school reunion in Pine Bluff, the trials of growing up gay there and the changes wrought in classmates since.

Been to the Moulin Rouge?

The press is advised that they may gather around a speaker phone Tuesday morning at the governor's conference room to get an update from Gov. Mike Beebe on his economic development mission to Europe.

A vote for abstinence

The Iconoclast votes for abstinence -- as in abstaining from sending any more taxpayer money to abstinence-only sex education programs.

Lincoln is pivotal

The NY Times today has a long story on U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln's pivotal role in shaping health legislation.

Last Night: The Beach Boys

The Beach BoysRobinson Center Music Hall You’ve never seen such unabashed joy on the faces of so many boomers.

The year of the junket

The appropriate symbol for the year of the junket would be the little rotund rich man from Monopoly, or perhaps a jet plane.

And speaking of junkets

Did you know Mayor Stodola is on that state junket to Paris, Hamburg, etc.? Did you know that his official schedule, according to one city official, has not reflected his participation in that trip?

Over to youse guys

Open line.

Don't Blow Your Diet.

  It's the most wonderful time of the year for casual eaters... the Arkansas State Fair begins this Friday with its usual combination of loud music, amusement rides, barns full of show animals, a hall full of neat arts and crafts and of course food.

'Mamma Mia!'

The juxebox musical comes to town celebrating seven sold-out years on Broadway, a film adaptation that's the highest grossing movie musical ever and this international tour.

ACORN founder invokes Holtz

Some right-wingers were lying in wait for ACORN founder Wade Rathke at an appearance in Washington and he responded to their questions at length.

October song

John Brummett goes all mushy today on a topic on which I can agree. October is Arkansas's best month -- weather, football, blues, documentary films.

Can we?

When Bob Herbert begins to have his doubts about Obama ... The big question on the domestic front right now is whether President Obama understands the gravity of the employment crisis facing the country.

Sex and the university

KTHV reports on a UALR professor's hope to get into schools to do some serious research on "sexting" -- the supposedly proliferating practice among teens of e-mailing explicit messages and photos.

Meet the Duggars

Beliefnet.com checks in on the Duggar clan, 19th child en route, for an extensive Q&A. Noted: Mrs. Duggar says a miscarriage from a pregnancy that occurred despite birth control pills led her to leave family planning to God.

Meet the Duggars

Beliefnet.com checks in on the Duggar clan, 19th child en route, for an extensive Q&A. Noted: Mrs. Duggar says a miscarriage from a pregnancy that occurred despite birth control pills led her to leave family planning to God.

Targeting Lincoln

Yet another lobby group -- a coalition of African-American and Latino organizations including an NAACP affiliate -- is planning a major ad buy ($250,000 to $500,000) in Arkansas and several other states with large minority populations in support of health legislation that includes public insurance.

Huckobsessed

Thanks to Cato for pointing me to a website of a scholar devoted to cataloguing Mike Huckabee's extremism.

Question for Gov. Beebe

Yo, reporters. When the governor and the mayor check in from their European Vacation by phone this morning, somebody might want to ask Gov. Mike Beebe why he wouldn't sign this letter that most Democratic governors signed in support of health care legislation.

Here come the Repubs

I'd say it's a little too early to devote too much time to news releases from potential candidates in a future contested Republican primary criticizing a Democratic incumbent.

Ark. Blog: Cyber-censored

A Little Rock School District employee complained last night that access to the Arkansas Blog had been blocked on Little Rock School District computers.

The flying mayor

City spokeswoman Meg Matthews sends in a few notes from Mayor Mark Stodola about his Chamber of Commerce-financed trip to Paris along with Gov. Mike Beebe's European expedtionary force.

Doctors, heal thyself

There's a whopping big medical clinic over in Fort Smith, the River Valley Musculoskeletal Center. You get a dose of politics there these days along with treatment for what ails you.

Tuesday-Thursday To-Do: 'Mamma Mia!'

‘MAMMA MIA!'7:30 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $23-$63.Never underestimate the staying power of ABBA.

Tuesday To-Do: Jessica Lea Mayfield

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD8 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $10 adv., $12 d.o.s.Jessica Lea Mayfield sings in a voice that's plaintive and withdrawn and transfixing.

Stick a cap in it, Claiborne

In a mannerly way, U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder ambushed one of former Murphy Oil CEO Claiborne Deming's dog-and-pony shows about the supposed unalloyed evils of cap-and-trade clean air legislation, which Snyder supported.

'Music for Men' out today

"Music for Men," Gossip's fourth full-length studio album, is in stores in physical form today.

Death in Russellville

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued something of a split decision today in an intermediate appeal of a ruling in a lawsuit over the gruesome case of Bobby Joe Rylee, who died in custody in the Pope County jail in Russellville in 2006 after a physical altercation with police officers.

Opponent for Boozman

The Iconoclast pointed the way for us on this a while back, but it's official now. David Whitaker, who resigned recently as assistant city attorney in Fayetteville and is chairman of the Washington County Democratic Committee, is telling NWA newspapers that he'll run against incumbent and automaton Republican U.S. Rep. John Boozman in 2010.

Pulaski court plan rejected

Back in June, we reported that Pulaski County circuit judges had proposed a new plan for dividing cases among the county's 17 circuit judges.

Pressly suspect in court UPDATE

--Brian Chilson photo Circuit Judge Chris Piazza spent the day today hearing evidence against Curtis Vance, charged with capital murder in the beating death of KATV's Anne Pressly.

Tuesday: Art Spiegleman, Arkansas River Blues Society, Angel Sluts, Top of the Rock does Barbie

Comics legend Art Spiegleman comes to Hendrix's Staples Auditorium tonight to offer the lecture “Comix 101: The Development of a Literary Comic Genre,” which he told the Dem-Gaz would be called "What the @#%* happened to Comics" if it was he that was doing the titling, 7:30 p.m., free.At Juanita's, the Arkansas River Blues Society celebrates 25 years with performances by the Joe Pitts Band, Nick Charles and more, 8 p.m., $5.

Over to you

The Tuesday line commences.

Lincoln's for transparency

In health legislation. But is she for anything that will truly help people who can't afford insurance?

Brewhaha! with Second City

It's not an exaggeration to say that comedy as we know it wouldn't exist without the Second City. The improv and sketch comedy group opens at the Rep tonight.

Words, Oct. 8

The use of initials without periods seems to be gaining favor, at least on the sports page. I have no idea why. A cry for attention?

Sept. 30-Oct. 6

It was a GOOD week for The ARKANSAS LOTTERY. Early sales estimates seemed to hold steady at more than $1 million per day.

Wills' fig leaf on ethics

Roby Brock reports that House Speaker Robbie Wills has shaped a fig leaf to cover greed of fellow House members who've voted to end a rule that prevented legislators from raising campaign money for 30 days before, during and 30 days after a legislative session.

NLR picks up Spain expenses

Thanks to Eric Francis for a detailed report on North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays recent junket to Spain to study high-speed rail, a pressing concern in Central Arkansas.

ERA now

Sen. Gilbert Baker got some good press this morning for advocating better pay for one of his constituents, a clerk for another constituent, Appeals Court Judge Karen Baker.

Death Star for Senate

Sen. Bob Johnson, the Death Star of Bigelow and the polluters' and pork barrelers' friend, sounds more and more like a candidate for U.S. Senate, at least judging by David Sanders' column today. But he's not deciding any time soon.

$25,000 lottery win

Arkansas Lottery announces a $25,000 scratch-off winner. From spokeswoman Julie Baldridge:

Pressly hearing continues UPDATE

The defense effort to suppress statements by Curtis Vance, accused of killing KATV's Anne Pressly, continues today  in Circuit Court.

Man of the year charged with rape

Arkansas Leader reports on arrest of Roger Lemaster of Cabot, the Lonoke County Republican Committee's Man of the Year for 2008, on a charge of raping a minor.

Last Night: 'Mamma Mia'

It's best not to think too hard or too long about “Mamma Mia!,” which opened to nearly packed house at Robinson Center Music Hall on Tuesday night.

Wednesday To-Do: Lamb of God - GWAR

GWAR in space. LAMB OF GOD / GWAR8 p.m., the Village.

Wednesday To-Do: Brewhaha! with 'The Second City'

BREWHAHA! WITH THE SECOND CITY6 p.m., Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Nate Powell can't stop winning awards

The latest came at the end of last month at the Small Press Expo (SPX), where after last year winning the Ignatz Award for Best Debut, Powell took home the top prize for Outstanding Artist.

New 'Benedict Society' book out now

Forgot to mention this yesterday: Local author Trenton Lee Stewart's new book, "The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma" is on-sale now.

Watch: Gossip on 'Kimmel'

Dig the live arrangement of "Heavy Cross." Beth Ditto — I guess, really, the band as a whole — definitely needs to do more lulling.

Wednesday: Listening party for Smoke Up Johnny, the Hit and 'Mamma Mia!'

Alan Disaster of Smoke Up Johnny. Smoke Up Johnny is no longer, but at least last I heard, all the dudes will be in attendance at White Water tonight for a listening party for "The End," the band's final album.

Last Night: Jessica Lea Mayfield

Mayfield, not at Sticky Fingerz. Jessica Lea MayfieldSticky Fingerz, Oct. 6Jessica Lea Mayfield, just now 20, is so unimposing and slight in stature one wouldn’t guess she’s the newest hot-shit folk-rocker.

Animal cruelty investigation

Human Society says a suspected puppy mill in Johnson County, with some 100 dogs in severe distress, is among the worst it has seen. Memory: It took a monumental fight, and a negotiated bill weaker than some animal advocates would have liked, to make animal cruelty a felony in Arkansas.

Newspaper war: Armistice day near?

Chris Spencer reports on his new Ozarks Unbound website that the shakeout of the Northwest Arkansas newspaper war is near, with an editor from the Stephens-owned Morning News reportedly preparing to visit Hussman-owned properties in Fayetteville and Bentonville as part of the move to merge the Stephens newspapers with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette properties.

Newspaper war: Armistice day near?

Chris Spencer reports on his new Ozarks Unbound website that the shakeout of the Northwest Arkansas newspaper war is near, with an editor from the Stephens-owned Morning News reportedly preparing to visit Hussman-owned properties in Fayetteville and Bentonville as part of the move to merge the Stephens newspapers with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette properties.

McCain strategist in town

Steve Schmidt, John McCain's chief strategist in 2008, will be in Little Rock next week for a morning talk at the Clinton School at 8:30 a.m.

Pressly suspect to stand?

Murder suspect Curtis Vance told Fox 16's David Goins as Vance left the courtroom today after a second day of evidence suppression hearings that HE would testify tomorrow.
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