Jacob George, 'moral injury' and one soldier's losing struggle against the encroaching darkness of war.
K.I.A. Jacob GeorgeOctober 23, 2014
Vol 41 • No 7
If the Democratic Party of Arkansas has a future, it is in people like Clarke Tucker, the Democratic nominee to succeed term-limited John Edwards in representing House District 35 — the Heights and northwestern Little Rock.
Also, 'Beverly Hills Cop' at Ron Robinson, Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, 'Rosemary's Baby' at South Main, Young Thug and Clear Channel Metroplex and Yelawolf at Juanita's.
A couple of weeks ago I accompanied 10 students to St. Louis for a mass rally in support of indicting the police officer responsible for killing Michael Brown in mid-August.
Japanese hibachi restaurant fires it up in the Heights.
After two close losses, Arkansas Razorback head football coach Bret Bielema was left trying to figure out what happened in a 45-32 loss to Georgia on Oct. 18 at War Memorial Stadium.
It's happening Saturday, Oct. 25, at Bernice Garden.
The best thing we have to look forward to is the certainty that we will have someone other than Tom Cotton to represent us in the 4th Congressional District. His voting record has been an embarrassment to humanity. When his record was brought up as an issue after he announced his candidacy for the Senate, he accused his opposition of slinging mud. At least we know that Tom Cotton is honest: He acknowledged what his voting record looks like.
Also, Amasa Hines at White Water Tavern.
Also, War Memorial should host a catfish derby, health care-cuttin' Tom Cotton, smartphones are the devil and no-show Mark Martin.
By hard pundit law, non-stop media coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign begins on the morning after the 2014 congressional elections — approximately 18 months before normal Americans want to hear about it.
Arkansas did two positive things it had not done all year in an otherwise disgusting loss against Georgia inside Quigley Nouveau Stadium.
Opens Oct. 24.
When the 2014 election season began, Arkansas Democrats felt particularly bullish about the chances of former FEMA Director James Lee Witt to recapture the 4th Congressional District after two years in the hands of Rep. Tom Cotton. However, for months, Witt gained no traction in the race.
The Observer is a few months from 30 and still has a roommate. Just to be clear, this is a share-the-rent deal, not a share-the-bed deal. I'm not gay, and therein lies the problem.
Ross, Hutchinson disagree over what state can afford.
It's funny because it's true.
Good news was once a valued commodity, even in an election year — especially in an election year. But now the sky has to be falling every day. Barack Obama needs to be seen leading the country to ruin (elections in the South and Midwest depend upon it) so every news cycle somehow lends credence.
At 2 a.m. Oct. 9, 1974, police stopped a car in Washington, D.C., carrying Wilbur Mills, the powerful Arkansas congressman from Kensett and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The same day Arkansas discussed its inadequate public defenders commission, New York was settling an ACLU lawsuit over the failure to provide adequate legal defense. A harbinger?
A woman who signed a petition calling for an election on the Fayetteville civil rights ordinance testified Wednesday that canvassers misled her about the content of the petition drive. She thought it was in support of the ordinance. But the lawsuit was in vain. A Fayetteville judge has cleared the way to the ballot for the effort to repeal the ordinance.
The latest Yell County Record emphasizes that Anna and Tom Cotton live in Dardanelle. And Cotton is button-popping proud of a $24 million low-cost USDA loan to a local phone company run by a big campaign contributor. Too bad Cotton voted against the legislation that provided the money his pal and many others got.
Three men have now been charged with capital murder in the slaying of Terry Lipsmeyer, 52, during a robbery early Saturday in the 100 block of Rice Street.
The Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival is upon us, and we've compiled a list of beers we think everyone should try.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today granted plaintiffs' request to expedite its hearing of the appeal of Circuit Judge Chris Piazza's ruling that struck down the Arkansas ban on same-sex marriage.
Of course the NFBI likes Andy Davis. They love a legislator who fights clean water and lobbies for his own self-interest in the halls of the legislature.
This is my Saturday night/Sunday morning mix. At my house, marking the ebb and flow of days is almost ritual. For years, my wife Robyn and I did not officially end our week and signal the beginning of the weekend without dropping the needle on Hound Dog Taylor’s "Genuine House Rocking Music" LP.
Blue Hog Report's Matt Campbell reports that the Arkansas Ethics Commission has notified him he's provided sufficient grounds for it to investigate Republican attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge's participation in TV ads promoting her candidacy by a dark money group. This is a BIG deal. Possibly a watershed case.
Bruce Westerman feels the sting of someone pointing out his voting record. So he goes all Pelosi/Obama on James Lee Witt in 4th District Congress race.
Former Arkansas Arts Center director and Arkansas Children's Hospital development officer Ellen "Nan" Plummer is leaving Arkansas to become president and CEO of LexArts in Lexington, Ky.
The Arkansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in two big election cases. They must decide whether to allow a local option alcohol election in dry Saline County and whether to allow Arkansas voters to consider a minimum wage increase.
Little Rock Police Lt. Sidney Allen credits quick response time with police arrest today of a female suspect in the robbery of a Simmons bank branch at 7401 Cantrell Road about 11:50 a.m. The suspect was arrested within minutes, he said. No identity yet.
For my article in this week's print edition on the education platforms of the two gubernatorial candidates, I spoke to Governor Mike Beebe about the state of K-12 in Arkansas today. The outgoing governor had some interesting comments about schools in general that didn't exactly fit in the context of that piece but merit further mention here. He also talked a bit about the Little Rock School District.
The Democratic Party has raised questions for Asa Hutchinson on why there's no record his consulting company paid business personal property taxes in Pulaski County during five years it operated in Little Rock.
Tom Cotton provides more exposure to ISIS propaganda footage by using it in his own political ads. Commentators aren't impressed.
The state Ethics Commission will review whether an independent expenditure committee ran afoul of ethics law in helping a Republican candidate for state House in Jonesboro.
The open line and video news report.
Tune in KUAR tomorrow morning and make a pledge to public radio during my fund-raising stint with Rosi Smith. The semi-annual blog matching grant applies.
On Thursday, the Little Rock School Board held its first regular meeting since the two new board members who won the September elections — Joy Springer and Jim Ross — were sworn in. The new board elected officers, and also went into a lengthy, unexpected executive session to discuss an unspecified issue related to "demotion or discipline" of an employee
Save the date: The second installment in our new film series collaboration with the Little Rock Film Festival is coming up at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14. We'll screen "Who Is Dayani Cristal," a new documentary by the actor Gael Garcia Bernal and Marc Silver. The film weaves together two stories that attempt to humanize the immigrant experience, one where officials try to identify a dead man found in the Arizona desert with the words "Dayani Cristal" tattooed on him and no other forms of identification. The other narrative follows Bernal as he portrays as a migrant traveling from Honduras.
David Goins of Channel 4 reports from the campaign trail in Fort Smith with Asa Hutchinson, where a local hospital administrator expressed to Hutchinson his concerns about the continued state funding of the Medicaid expansion under the private option version of Obamacare. Hutchinson continued to tapdance.
A quick reminder that tonight's the night for the third annual Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival in Argenta at 6th and Main streets. If you're a beer drinker, it doesn't get much better. It's like walking through your favorite liquor store and being able to pop open every beer that catches your eye and take a swig — a liquid buffet of nearly every craft brew available in our market.
A former legislator writes to criticize the proposed constitutional amendment to give the legislature more power over the executive branch. I couldn't agree more. And volunteer some thoughts on other ballot initiatives.
There's solid, accumulating evidence that minimum wage increases don't negatively affect employment. Remember this should you hear otherwise if the Arkansas wage increase proposal makes the ballot.
Entergy has video of the controlled explosion of a retired power plant near Helena.
An article from the Los Angeles Times highlights the alliance between county-line liquor stores and anti-alcohol churches in the Arkansas alcohol election this fall. And of course there's the requisite overstated rural color.
Walmart watch. Attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge has claimed the backing of Walmart, the retail giant, in her Republican candidacy for the state's top legal officer. The company says it hasn't endorsed Rutledge. Also, Walmart has said definitively it won't be spending in behalf of the statewide vote on alcohol sales.
Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton now endeavor to make nice in TV ads as the election day nears. Something tells me that allies will keep working negative angles.
The dishonest ad Tom Cotton ran to cover his vote against the farm bill has been judged one of the nine biggest political whoppers of the year by Politifact, the nonpartisan fact-checking outfit.
State Election Commissioner Stu Soffer remains perturned about "warning" cards being sent to voters by the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity. He's claiming to the postal service about how they're using a bulk mailing permit.
KKK leaflets have been distributed in a Bentonville neighborhood. The letter denounces liberals, lack of prayer in school and such. It makes no mention of the current general election, but seeks recruits.
A student opened fire today at a high school in Marysville, Washington, police and witnesses said. Up to six people were shot, a federal law enforcement official told CNN's Evan Perez.
A women's voter education group is dropping a mailer today that highlights Sen. Jason Rapert's legislative record. It happens to appear at the same time as a tough letter to the editor about Rapert by Acxiom co-founder Jerry Adams. Can Faulkner County voters be moved?
Little Rock painter Megan A. Lewis has a one-woman show at Cantrell Gallery, 8206 Cantrell Road; reception is tonight, Oct. 24, from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.
Here's the open line and today's video report. Also, details filed in Turner Grain bankruptcy in Brinkley.
This week: F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, reporting of Patrick Radden Keefe for the New Yorker and Mixcloud mixes from Arkansas expat Derek Jenkins.
James Lee Witt’s resurgence, Leslie Rutledge and the Ethics Commission, Jason Rapert and political blackmail, court dates for same-sex marriage challenges and the state of funding for public defenders in Arkansas — all covered on this week's podcast.
A Democratic voter of my acquaintance who lives in Conway received a call this week that informed he was not registered to vote.
A Georgia consulting company has slammed the legislature for using a no-bid process to pick another company to review the Arkansas Lotttery, Stephens Media reports. Of course there was no bidding. Legislators are playing this game with loaded dice.
Not all war veterans seeking political offices choose to emphasize their military combat experience in their election campaigns. One is Democrat Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.
Article in New York Tmes talks about Bill Clinton's campaigning for Democratic candidates distancing themselves from Barack Obama's political toxicity. Maybe Obama doesn't have it so bad, several suggest.
The World Cheese Dip Championship resumes today at the Bernice Garden at Bates (14th) and Main. It's on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The State Police report the fatal shooting of a man who'd been running from police after a car chase.
The open line includes a report on early voting, which is up substantially in Pulaski County against the last midterm general election in 2010.
The overnight mail brings several notes on the death of Bob Lamb, a pivotal figure in Arkansas politics thanks to 25 years as head of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. He was 82.
Still more complaints rolling in — including from Republicans — about the mail campaign of the Koch-brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity to scare people into voting.
Tickets are now for sale on-line for events Nov. 14-16 celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center. Events include a Verizon Arena concert with "special musical guests."
New NBC/Marist polling shows leads by Tom Cotton and Asa Hutchinson in the Senate and governor's race have narrowed since September to two- and three-point margins, respectively.
An open lie, plus tomatoes and Mike Huckabee
Evidence mounts of the many successes of the Affordable Care Act. It's ironic in a state where elections down to county courthouses have been nationalized on the evils of President Obama and his health law.
Here's an article that gives a clear explanation for the motivation behind laws that make it harder for poor people to vote — voter ID, reduced early voting hours, fewer polling places, etc.
Jesusa Chavez, 47, was struck and fatally injured by a vehicle while crossing the 3300 block of Mabelvale Pike about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Democratic 2nd District Congress candidate Pat Hays is causing conniption fits among Republicans because a new TV ad shows him with his guns and mentions his long-time membership in the National Rifle Association.
The Democratic Party continues to check the tax records of Republican candidates for errors and omissions. They've hit Asa Hutchinson a couple of times and also caught Secretary of State Mark Martin in a property tax cheat. Today it's U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who's questioned about personal property and business filings.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton has announced an around-the-state "road to victory" tour of campaign events in the next week that will include appearances with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
A class action lawsuit has been filed in Lonoke County against a maker of a genetically modified corn seed. It's been approved and used in the U.S., but not in China. The failure of China to allow imports that include this strain of corn depressed corn prices, the suit said, and caused losses for farmers.
Polling for the Arkansas Democratic Party by Opinion Research Associates of Little Rock shows tiny leads for Mark Pryor (1 point) and Mike Ross (2 points) in their respective races for Senate and governor. Both amount to statistical dead heats. Both run counter to most national polling.
Here's today's open line and video news roundup.
The Arkansas Supreme Court today cleared a vote on a proposal to increase the minimum wage in Arkansas.
In preparing its adequacy report — the centerpiece of the state budget — the legislature's joint Education Committee raised the minimum starting salary that school districts offer new teachers. But the committee added a less-than-proportional amount of funds to the education budget, in an attempt to force districts to dedicate money specifically to salaries. Plus, a slight increase in NSLA funding and an unspecified commitment for facilities that could top $65 million. How can we pay for that and tax cuts too?
Times' running out for study by J. French HIll, the millionaire banker, to finish his homework on the state minimum wage increase.
The state looks at rising prison and school costs in a world where the theme of Republican political campaigns is reducing government and cutting taxes. Does anybody in that party know arithmetic?
Blues Foundation was from Prescott, Arkansas and traveled 100 miles to Jaggars Recording Studio in Little Rock to record this fuzzed-out gem in the fall of 1968. The 45 was released on Jaggars’ house label, Jaguar Records. I featured “It’s Called Love,” on "Lost Souls Volume 1," a compilation of 1960s garage bands from Arkansas (recently re-released on vinyl by Get Hip Records) and, while preparing for the release in 2007, I tracked down Hershel Cannon, Blues Foundation's singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Below are excerpts from that interview.
Thursday night, Portland, Oregon’s Nahko and Medicine for the People brought their “musical medicine” to Little Rock’s Revolution Music Room, a fitting venue for the socially-conscious music collective. Their uplifting medley of folk, urban and world music, as well as hypnotizing videos featuring their music have enchanted activist-minded music fans across the world in the relatively short time they have been creating music together.
Common Cause has issued a report on how several swing states, including Arkansas, have done in implementing recommendations by the Presidential Commission on Elections to improve issues that caused 2012 voting problems.
Talking Points Memo reports on a multi-million-dollar Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee TV buy to help keep Sen. Mark Pryor in office. It's an attack on Tom Cotton's voting record. It's accurate.
Arkansas Business has the news on sentencing today in federal court in Fort Smith of former Northwest Arkansas developer Brandon Barber — 65 months for bank fraud and money laundering, with 16 months credit for time served.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation announced today its opposition to Issue 1, which it said would create a new bureaucratic layer for state agencies to slog through and put the legislature in control of such things as hunting season and bag limits.
Tom Cotton is putting his leadership PAC money to work in behalf of Republican candidates for state legislature. The biggest recipient so far of the money, some of it Koch dollars, is Republican Stacy Hurst.
Fair question for the Asa Hutchinsons and Tom Cottons of the world is how their idea of lower taxes and reduced government differs from that of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Because that isn't a pretty sight.
If lawyers may be attacked for the clients they represent — as Republicans are doing to House candidate Clarke Tucker — what do they say about GOP gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson's work in a high-profile federal criminal case?
Asa Hutchinson jumps out ahead of big endorsement by black leaders for Mike Ross with an endorsement from baseball player Torii Hunter, who had to play the gay card.
We're all set: On Nov. 8, the Arkansas Times' Art Bus will head out at 7 a.m. sharp to Fayetteville and then Bentonville for a full day's enjoyment of contemporary art, plus lunch and dinner, for only $109 per. We'll see art by George Dombek, Robyn Horn, the 102 artists of the "State of the Art" exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum, and, if you like, another exhibit at 21c Hotel.
Here's today's open line and video news roundup.
I've been reading with interest the Democrat-Gazette coverage of what the city of Little Rock plans to do about city employee health insurance.
The journalist who broke the story about vote suppression by Tim Griffin in presidential election campaigns promises news tomorrow of further Republican vote suppression efforts directed at minority voters.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette continues to expand free offerings of its various products to pad circulation and vehicles for advertising revenue.
√The Pine Bluff Commercial reports that a special prosecutor will be appointed to review the State Police investigation of Jefferson County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson, who's unopposed for re-election next week.
The National Organization for Marriage, a conservative group that opposes marriage equality, has a Super PAC (dark money) that has bought $200,000 in TV ads for the final days of important U.S. Senate races in North Carolina and Arkansas. The Arkansas Democratic Party says the Arkansas version of the ad hits a new low in using film of an Arkansas college student lured into a video by the discredited undercover filmmaker James O'Keefe.
For the first time in 23 years, Garth Brooks is coming to Arkansas on his World Tour with Tricia Yearwood. He'll play two shows at Verizon Arena: 7 p.m. Friday Dec. 12 and Saturday Dec. 13. Tickets go on sale Friday Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. (or as the press release puts it: "10 a.m. sharp!") and will be available at ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks or 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are $73.25.
Mike Ross' latest TV says he's not for sale to outside interests trying to buy the Arkansas governor's race. Yes, Ross — though he outraised Republican Asa Hutchinson by a couple of million dollars — could be on the overall losing end of the money battle thanks to Republican ally spending for Hutchinson.
It was a bad idea when it was tried and failed in Arkansas before and it's a bad idea now, but a Republican state senator appears intent on outsourcing Arkansas correctional work to an outside corporation.
Here's that Al-Jazeera report on the manifest flaws in a voter cross-check voter system being pushed by the right-wing Republican secretary of state in Kansas. Supposedly a sophisticated multi-state crosscheck program to identify people who've voted fraudulently in multiple states, it produces many errors and seems ikely to result in huge voter purges disproportionately affecting Asian, black and Latino voters. But .. it does turn up Republican candidate Leslie Rutledge as a potential double voter.
Don Zimmerman, director of the Arkansas Municipal League, has sent me a copy of his letter to Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore answering questions related to the municipal league became the health insurance provider for city employees.
Events are moving quickly as the Little Rock City Board works on an ordinance to allow ride-sharing companies such as Uber to operate in Little Rock. The taxi industry is fighting back.
With another fantastic Arkansas beer festival season in our rear-view mirror, I've been reflecting on just how great of a year it was for our beer scene. This year great additions like Caldera, Founders, Summit and Mother's Brewing have begun fighting for our shelf space and dollars, making for the most exciting year ever for our fledgling scene. Who's next? What can distributors do to top this year? Well, I have some suggestions.
Blue Hog Report says Sen. Jason Rapert's latest campaign finance report doesn't include expenses or revenue from the "Family, Faith and Freedom" show at UCA last week featuring Ricky Skaggs and representatives of the hate group, Family Research Council. And those aren't his only ethics law shortcomings.
Sen. Mark Pryor's effort to strike a moderate tone in an interview about Washington ends up with his being pigeonholed as a Harry Reid man. It's more complicated than that, but not in the Twittersphere.
Jesse Macom-Teague of North Little Rock, a Republican candidate for justice of the peace District 15 on the Pulaski County Quorum Court, was convicted in February 2009 of third-degree domestic battery, a misdemeanor.
Keesha Rose, 37, pleaded guilty in Texarkana today to federal charges that she stole almost a quarter of a million dollars from Lafayette County.
Check this map. Red is good. It signifies the places helped the most by expanded health insurance coverage under Obamacare. Hardly anybody did better than Arkansas.
The day ends with an open line, video news roundup, a gun battle and an endorsement for Mike Ross.
An NRA ad promoting Tom Cotton has appeared on Grinder, a mobile app that facilities sexual hookups by gay men. What the????
Fayetteville garage pop band High Lonesome — named for the Barry Hannah collection — has a new record out this week, "Get Some Young." Come for the Kendrick Lamar references and stay for the surf rock guitar and good vibes.
John Salvest, a conceptual artist from Jonesboro known for installations that provide commentary on politics and society, will give the "Spotlight Lecture" tonight, Nov. 7, at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, where Salvest's work is on display in the "State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now" exhibition.
Jon Shannon Rogers, back home after his crowd-funded painting residency at Dumfries House in Scotland, has an exhibit at the Thea Foundation: "Space is the Place." The show is part of Thea's The Art Department series of young professionals.