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October 21, 2010

Vol 37 • No 7

Running scared

Conventional wisdom says Republicans will prevail — but is it that simple?

'Inappropriate relationship' led to bishop's departure

I've been promised a statement from St. Mark Baptist Church today on Sunday's resignation by senior

The winner

Colorado sculptor Kevin Robb's "Whimsical Notes" will go in Riverfront Park.

A theory on Tim Griffin's caging

Greg Palast, the journalist who blew the whistle on Republican vote suppression activities in Arkansas ("caging"), has communicated with my further following on e-mail I passed along this morning.

LR cops attack graffiti

The Tea Party and racists

Lots of attention on the web this week to an NAACP study of the Tea Party movement.

Twit of the day

This is how bad it's gotten. A Twitter message today from the Keet for Governor campaign: The only way we can take back AR and solve our illegal immigration problems is to kick out @Beebe4Governor.

2nd District debate set

Sen. Joyce Elliott, the Democrat, and Tim Griffin, the Republican, will meet for a debate at 11 a.m.

CNN-Time poll has Boozman on top

New polling has John Boozman up over Sen. Blanche Lincoln 55-41 among likely voters, 53-42 among registered voters.

Over the hump

And the line is open. Closing tidbits: * Several satellite rallies are planned around Arkansas to show solidarity with Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington.

New in the A&E section: jackasses, pirates and biased refs

Lots of good stuff in the entertainment section of this week's Times, now online.

More details on hazing at U of A

Lawsuit alleges collusion, cover-ups.

Ghoulish good times

A Halloween party planner.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Schedule, part two

A guide to the films, workshops and parties this year has to offer.

A&E News, Oct. 21

Another Charlaine Harris series headed to TV, "Jersey Shore's" Angelina coming to North Little Rock

Daylight and dark

If polls and campaign treasuries are any measure, the 2nd District of Arkansas will see retiring U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, a liberal Democrat, replaced by Tim Griffin, an extreme right-wing Republican.

Scary grannies

This is another installment in our irregular series on how the American political earth has turned upside down, causing head injuries to many people.

E's home to the SBLT

And soups and salads and pasta.

For Carolyn Staley

In our original list of election endorsements, we overlooked House District 32. Also, the Pulaski School District wasted $315,000 in legal fees in an attempt to bust a binding legal contract with the district's school teachers.

Eye on Arkansas, Oct. 21

Something for nothing

You know what I love? Free stuff. Free samples. Free tastes. Free desserts. Buy one get one free. Free trial offers. Mail in 10 wrappers to get a free Moon Pie T-shirt? I'll do it.

Poverty hurts all

Here in Arkansas, it sometimes appears that we have escaped the worst of the recession. Arkansas's unemployment rate of 7.5 percent remains well below the national average.

In Brief, Oct. 21-23

Lotus at Rev, "The Giant and the Beanstalk" at the Children's Theatre, Ryan Couron at Juanita's and more.

Huck's Willie Horton

Ken Armstrong and Jonathan Martin have expanded significantly on the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the Seattle Times on the slaying of four Washington police officers by Maurice Clemmons, a parolee from Arkansas who was freed from a 108-year sentence by clemency granted by Gov. Mike Huckabee.


In case you missed it, here's how it went down Saturday.

D-G obsession

The Democrat-Gazette saw fit to assault U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln three times in less than a week on their editorial page. This level of repetition surpasses a mere pattern and might be deemed an obsession. Obsessive folks can be dangerous because they tend to ignore facts that don't concur with their fixations.

Pain and feces

Third 'Jackass' mines formula deeper.

The Observer, Oct. 21

Drive-by panhandling? That seems sort of lazy, doesn't it? But that's what a reader reports to The Observer.

Orval, Oct. 21

Houston, we have issues

As if the word "issue" weren't already badly overused, the legislature is enacting laws to require even more use. This year, for the first time, all the proposals submitted to voters at the general election will be called "issues" on the ballot, rather than constitutional amendments or initiated acts, as was the previous practice.

Rub some dirt on it

If we're going to call football a game of inches, we're going to have to allow players and fans to be upset about officials spotting the opposition a couple feet. Tired bromides like "a good team survives" and appeals to the "human element" just don't cut it.

This Modern World, Oct. 21

To-Do List, Oct. 21-Oct. 27

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, Devin the Dude, Arts in Concert, Dawes, The Romany Rye, Peter Wolf Crier, Danzig

The Week That Was, Oct. 13-19, 2010

Good week for: earthquakes, a shave, Dr. Joycelyne Elders, interstate rivalries, Renee Gork. Bad week for: Mike Huckabee, dreams of football glory, Fort Smith school district.

What's Cookin', Oct. 21

ZaZa opens in Conway; La Regional opens second outlet in North Little Rock.

Words, Oct. 21

A reader asks, "When did 'suspect' become 'person of interest'? Is there really a difference between the two?"

More details on hazing at U of A

Lawsuit alleges collusion, cover-ups.

General election endorsements

The complete list of candidates the Times endorses in the November 2 general election.

NPR drops Juan Williams UPDATE

Interesting. Juan Williams' contract with NPR has been terminated for a remark he made on Bill O'Reilly's show about Muslims.

Long odds for Democrats

Nate Silver's number-crunching blog says chances for a Republican takeover of the House are now 3 in 4.

GOP candidate challenged

A lawsuit has been filed in Pulaski County by a Crawford County resident seeking to have the name of House District 83 Republican candidate Tommy Fite removed from the ballot because of a federal conviction for aiding and abetting Medicaid fraud.

Stephens Inc.: 'Caring approach'

Stephens Inc. and its CEO Warren Stephens are featured prominently in a New York Times article today about asset management.

Huffington exhibit

Walton Arts Center is showing work by the nationally-celebrated sculptor.

Stephens legal machine loses one

The Stephens Media-backed enterprise to make a profit center out of suing people for reprinting newspaper articles or portions of articles on even non-commercial blogs hit a roadblock in federal court in Nevada.

Thursday: 'Jersey Shore' party, Lotus, Future Leaders of the World

What's going on Thursday night?

Thursday To-Do: Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival continues

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival rounds out its final few days at the Malco Theater.

Thursday To-Do: Alice Cooper-Rob Zombie

Verizon Arena gets into the Halloween spirit with this concert, double headlined by master shockrockers Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper.

Epiphany gets major blog love

Local rapper Epiphany was spotlighted this week by The Smoking Section, a major blog voice in hip-hop.

Stones Throw to release True Soul Records retrospective

Stones Throw Records, the vaulted L.A. hip-hop label, will release a two-disc True Soul Revue retrospective.

"Nosotras," at UALR

Latina artists present images of women.

Have a nice day, sweetie

Sherwood police report another morning dispute between husband and wife. Shot fired, but all survived this disagreement.

Sam Laser dies at 90

Sam Laser, an insurance defense lawyer for nearly a half-century who was still practicing law in his 90th year, died early this morning.

It's not over until it's over

What if the pundits are wrong? What if they've been sold a line by the Republican Party and, by repeating it, they are just serving to advance it?

This just in, from Ponca

Art exhibit starts tomorrow; elk photography workshop, too.

Tim Griffin complains of 'silly season'

The candidate's for the second congressional district race each spoke and then took questions before a meeting of the Next Generation Young Professionals held at the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce building earlier this afternoon.

Keet strikes on double-dipping

It took Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet the better part of the day to make some hay of the Democrat-Gazette article this morning that 26 state employees had retired and then been rehired since legislative and retirement system actions to make such double-dipping harder to achieve.

On the subject of fried bologna

It's truly the food of the people - never served in fancy restaurants and sometimes served up to fish on a hook. Some thoughts on a dinner of fried bologna.

Fire away

The nightly line commences.

Coming tomorrow: 'Jersey Shore' Angelina interview

Our interview with Angelina from "Jersey Shore" coming tomorrow!

Weekend: BoomBox, "Chicago," Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe

A look at what Central Arkansas has to offer for the weekend nights of Oct. 22-23.

Saturday To-Do: 'Arts in Concert'

Ballet Arkansas takes to Wildwood Park for the Arts for a night of food, drinks, art and dance.

Saturday To-Do: Devin the Dude

Devin the Dude, the weed-loving Houston underground rapper, comes to The Village.

Sunday To-Do: Dawes-The Romany Rye

Dawes returns to Little Rock with L.A./L.R. up-and-comers The Romany Rye.

Go ask Alice

Brian Chilson provides a shot of Alice Cooper at Verizon last night to jumpstart your morning.

Searching for a candidate

I don't have a link for you, but I thought I'd mention that the West Memphis newspaper continues hard on the trail of the Democratic candidate for state representative District 54, Fred Smith, putatively from Crawfordsville.

Democracy for sale

Surprise: a handful of major corporate donors are driving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's corporate takeover of American elections, the New York Times reports.

The judicial crisis

With 105 federal judicial vacancies — almost half in districts deemed in emergencies because of caseload — Linda Greenhouse wonders if Chief Justice John Roberts will follow the example of a previous Republican chief, William Rehnquist, and urge the Senate to get moving on filling vacancies.

Polls: Beebe on top, tight races below

New polling by Mason-Dixon for Stephens Media gives Gov. Mike Beebe a 26-point lead over Jim Keet in the race for governor.

Time to rein in Game and Fish UPDATE

Sheffield Nelson is right, again. His efforts to dig into the internal policy-making at the state Game and Fish Commission appear to be a big part of the reason that the ruling troika that now calls shots at Game and Fish has come up with a patently illegal proposal to draw up the agency's own, more restrictive version of the state Freedom of Information Act.

Insert your own punchline

A friend of David Koon supplies the cartoon-worthy photo for your commentary. It's at Fair Park and I-630.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

It apparently started with an argument about kids yesterday afternoon that turned into a fistfight.

Unemployment rate up in Arkansas

Arkansas's unemployment rate rose from 7.5 percent in August to 7.7 percent in September, the state reports.

Juan Williams rips NPR

Here's Juan Williams' column ripping NPR for firing him over comments he made on Bill O'Reilly's show about Muslims.

Nerd gathering scheduled

The Arkansas Anime Festival, which bills itself as "Arkansas’ largest and longest-running Animé and Gaming Convention," is coming to the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, in Bentonville, on Nov. 20-21.

Another I-630 incident

Close call. A Little Rock resident reports a brick hit her windshield as she was driving eastbound on Interstate 630 Monday night near the Woodrow Street overpass.

HDFF: Recappin' with CT

Our favorite metal screamer/film buff CT filed a dispatch from the Hot Springs Documentary Film Fest last weekend.

Renauds return to NYT 'Timescast'

Little Rock's Brent and Craig Renaud featured again on New York Times' 'Timescast.'

'Marriage Ref' casting in town this weekend

A casting crew for Seinfeld's marriage game show is in town this weekend.

Supreme Court defers amendment challenge

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled today that a lawsuit challenging a three-part constitutional amendment proposed by the legislature must first be heard in circuit court.

Willie to Mountain Home

Willie Nelson comes to Mountain Home for a show at UA-MH. Also, an extended ramble on the '80s remake of "Stagecoach."

Vote in our annual Readers Choice Restaurant Poll

Our annual Readers Choice Restaurant Poll just went live.

This Week in Arktube: Accidents waiting to happen, Miller time, and the Coens on notice.

This week's installation of David Koon's "Arktube" features rapping drunks, an ass-whupper, tornado-proof tanks and more.

Report issued on campground deaths

The Forest Service has issued its safety report on the flooding that took 20 lives June 11 at the Forest Service's Albert Pike Campground. It's critical of the Forest Service in many respects.

Where is Jim Keet?

All the candidates are going tech-smart this year. I recently mentioned Blanche Lincoln's handy map showing John Boozman bus stops highlighted by federal spending he opposed at each stop.

Florida gives up fight on gay parents

Even Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a conservative Republican, has given up on trying to prevent gay people from adopting.

Eyes open

Some things to do over the weekend, Candy fans.

An interview with 'Jersey Shore' Angelina

We sat down with Angelina, the notorious "Jersey Shore" villain, for what turned into a two-hour talk-a-thon.

Ah, a funnel cake

The last chance of the season to get a fresh, hot, powdered sugar-dusted creation of fried dough in an outside setting in Little Rock, thanks to the Little Rock Zoo. Plus other served-from-a-concession-stand favorites.

Reserve your seat

Designer Eddie Ross will give decorating and entertaining tips at "The Art of Entertaining," the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas's annual fund-raiser.

Over to you

The weekend begins. Some parting items: * The secretary of state puts the early/absentee tally so far at 106,000.

Names in the news

Under divorces filed in the morning paper: Shanta Arnold v. Steven Arnold. Might they be the Shanta and Steven Arnold recently in the news?

I believe Anita Hill

Another woman, a former long-time girlfriend, has stepped forward to talk about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

High stakes in Fayetteville

Big football game in Fayetteville today against Ole Miss. They're all big of course. But the season's won-loss record has a long-term significance in building warmth among major donors for Athletic Director Jeff Long's ambitious building plans for the University of Arkansas sports kingdom.

Food, glorious food

Please note that on-line balloting is underway, with some new categories, in our annual Readers Choice contest for the Best Arkansas Restaurants.

An invitation for Tim Griffin

You'll recall Republican Tim Griffin's unhinged attack on a venerable local peace group, WAND, as some kind of radical organization and his attempt to smear Democratic congressional candidate Joyce Elliott by association with such dangerous people as Betty Bumpers and Jean Gordon.

Another Saturday night

Hey, how about weighing in on this: The Republican candidate for governor is a woman, twice married, blended family of kids.

I feel like chicken tonight

While I go hit the road to check out a claim, feel free to let me know what you think is the best fried chicken in the state of Arkansas.

If it's competence you want ...

... then Pat O'Brien is the clear choice for secretary of state, writes John Brummett today, after personality and other diversions.

Heading to the finish line

The New York Times presents the big overview of the race for Congress. Republican win of the House likely; Senate still up in the air.

Who is the Tea Party?

I was interested recently when various news organizations gave attention to "endorsements" announced by something claiming to be the Arkansas Tea Party.

Sunday: 'We Ate the Book,' Finger Eleven, Snoop Dogg

Sunday's looking busy around the state with Snoop Dogg in Fayetteville, the HSDFI wrapping up in Hot Springs and a "we ate the book" reading and release show at The House on Kavanaugh.

D-G refuses Joyce Elliott ad

Joyce Elliott's congressional campaign says the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette rejected its ad using a cartoon to after Republican opponent Tim Griffin.

Huckabee blasts Karl Rove

Mike Huckabee is apparently going all in with the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party as he throws down on Karl Rove and other "elites" for being mean to Christine O'Donnell.

It was a dark and stormy night

The line is open. Marble-sized hail here in Hillcrest.

'Rod Bryan for guv' doc ready for election season

Huixia Lu's long, long-in-the-making profile of professional malcontent/Ho-Hum co-founder/quote machine 2006 campaign for governor is finally ready to be seen. It's called "Independent for Governor: An Idealist's Grueling Run," and it debuts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10 at Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA.

The Dogg and the Hog

Snoop Dogg performed at UA last night. And he sent around this photo and following caption on Twitter: "Wid University of Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett @15ryanmallet baccstag"

More on the enthusiasm gap

Liberal numbers cruncher Nate Silver takes a deeper look at early voting trends. Bottom line: Republicans are outperforming their registration figures in the 15 states (not Arkansas) studied.

Shawn Andrews got rhythm

Nice feature in the New York Times today on Camden native Shawn Andrews, a New York Giants lineman, and his love of music.

Obama's game plan

So, after the big implosion, President Obama has a plan. The Republican Party, which, while in a distinct minority wouldn't cooperate with him on anything, will be more likely to cooperate with HIM after taking over one and maybe both houses of Congress?

Womack goes negative

Republican Steve Womack, the 3rd District candidate, has gone negative on Democrat David Whitaker. Womack suggests Whitaker slighted Fort Smith by not answering some questions submitted to candidate by the Fort Smith paper.

Burglary at Parkview High

A burglary discovered Monday morning cost Parkview High 20 Mac computers worth about $1,000 each, the Little Rock police said.

Game and Fish sword swallowing

The governance committee of the state Game and Fish Commission is to meet at 1 p.m. today and Gerard Matthews will be reporting.

More of us

"Portraits of Women from the UALR Permanent Collection" opens today.

Blanche Lincoln's closing ad

A grace note — and one last kick at those dastardly unions.

Monday: Chuck Prophet, PMtoday, Patrick Moore

Tonight brings Chuck Prophet, PMtoday, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore and more to Central Arkansas.

The Big Cats' holiday bash is back

The Big Cats return to White Water Tavern on December 23 for their annual holiday show.

ASU chancellor resigns board spot

Dr. G. Daniel Howard, interim chancellor at Arkansas State University, has distributed a letter announcing his resignation from his unpaid position as a member of the board of the American College of Education, which is owned by a corporation, Higher Education Holdings, that provides courses and does other business with ASU campuses.

To allow LR conflicts

Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter has drafted an ordinance that would permit volunteer members of city boards and commissions to profit from city business if the business was won competitively or, if only one bidder, by explicit city board approval.

Divorce case touches Supreme Court race

A filing today in a Lonoke County divorce case bears on the runoff for state Supreme Court between Appeals Court Judge Karen Baker and Pulaski Circuit Judge Tim Fox.

Take it away

The line is open.

On the road with Bill Clinton

The New York Times checks in on Bill Clinton's tireless campaigning for Democratic candidates, generally ones who supported Hillary Clinton, or stayed neutral, in 2008.

A suggestion for NPR

In the fallout from NPR's inept handling of the Juan Williams firing (the Fox editorialist needed to be gone, but not in the manner it happened), John Brummett suggests that NPR cut loose from any government support.

Free speech, Tea Party style

An anti-Rand Paul demonstrator at the Kentucky debate last night was wrestled to the ground and stomped by his supporters.

The case for Obama

Rolling Stone credits President Obama for historic achievements of a kind more liberal than Bill Clinton's record.

High on the Hog

Homies: Snoop and Ryan Mallett

Another round: Elliott v. Griffin

Gerard Matthews is heading across the street to observe the latest matchup between Democrat Joyce Elliott and Republican Tim Griffin in the race for 2nd District Congress.

Dave Sitek big ups the Pharoah

Jazz visionary and Arkansas native Pharoah Sanders noted by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek.

Affiliated exec gets prison time UPDATE

John Mills, the former CEO of the now defunct Affiliated Foods Southwest, got a 41-month federal prison sentence this morning for a check kiting scheme, KARK reports.

Beebe: The green candidate

Gov. Mike Beebe's latest fund-raising report says he's raised more than $5 million in the campaign and still has $1.6 million on hand with a week remaining.

Reyes' 'Exiles in Eden' starts to get some attention

In late August, Henry Holt released "Exiles in Eden: Life Among the Ruins of Florida's Great Recession " by former Oxford American editor and man about town Paul Reyes. The book, which grew out of a National Magazine Award-nominated feature in Harper's, tracks the mortgage crisis from the ground level. Now, it's finally starting to see some national attention.

Fisk to alumna: No thanks

University has rejected an offer by an alumna to fund maintenance of Stieglitz collection.

Maya Angelou on process, The Body on the end times, Kris Allen on full-frontal nudity

Maya Angelou talks process in an interview with George Plimpton, who recalls that she once told him she writes "on a made-up bed with a bottle of sherry, a dictionary, Roget’s Thesaurus, yellow pads, an ashtray, and a Bible." From the newly available online complete collection of Paris Review author interviews

Gay hatred in Arkansas

The has posted a sad story about an Arkansas school board member's reported death wish for gay youths.

The Tuesday line

Open line. Plus early voting update, a mayoral debate fight in Cabot and gubernatorial election predictions.

Conway judge adds to record

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported today on a state Ethics Commission fine and warning issued Circuit Judge Mike Maggio for paying his wife out of campaign funds and misreporting how the money was spent.

The Arkansas Poll says ....

Gov. Mike Beebe will be re-elected. Sen. Blanche Lincoln is headed for defeat.

Football announcement planned

This just in from the University of Arkansas: Razorback Athletics will host a press conference on Wednesday, October 27 (today) at 4:30 p.m. in the A Club to make an announcement regarding plans to address the football program’s facility needs.

Wednesday To-Do: Danzig

Danzig, the face of The Misfits and duke of horror schlock, comes to The Village tonight.

T.I. back in the Forrest City pokey

Arrested for violating probation in Los Angeles, rapper T.I. is returning to the Forrest City Correctional Institute.

Huckabee: "Torche is the world's greatest band"

Governor Mike Huckabee 'appeared' on Fox News' 'Red Eye' to endorse Torche, a stoner metal band from Florida.

Brown Sugar hosts .99 cent cupcake day

Tomorrow's Brown Sugar Bakeshop's annual .99 cent cupcake sale in the River Market.