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October 26, 2006

Vol 4 • No 41

Major in advertising

There was a little back-and-forth in a legislative hearing yesterday over the almost $6 million Arkansas colleges and universities are devoting to advertising.

Mayberry values

Last night's debate between U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder and his Republican challenger, Andy Mayberry, had entertainment value, at least.

Huck's stamp of approval

Seth Blomeley of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday asked Gov. Mike Huckabee for his opinion of Asa Hutchinson's latest television ad, which features children attributing a series of negative characteristics to Mike Beebe.

A gift to GOP

Checking in briefly from NYC, where this just rolled across the news tickers in Times Square, a qualified 4-3 endorsement of same-sex unions, if not marriage, by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Grisham speaks in Blytheville

Jonesboro native John Grisham was in Blytheville last night to discuss his new book at a charity fundraiser.

Sweatin' the oldies

There's still time to join the A$saholts down at Juanita's from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight.

Dueling stem cell ads

By now you probably know about the commercial recorded by actor Michael J. Fox in behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidates, including Claire McCaskill, who is challenging Republican incumbent Jim Talent in Missouri.

St. Joseph’s names patient relations director

Jenny Ford, a St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center co-worker for four years, was recently selected as the 309-bed hospital’s Patient Relations and Service Excellence Director.

Guest writer: Frustrated presidents

Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen fills in for Max Brantley this week. Brantley is on vacation.

Arkansas Poll results

The University of Arkansas today released its annual Arkansas Poll, which surveys attitudes about statewide political figures and issues.

Halter's bio

Salient points: Rhodes scholar with master of philosophy in economics from Oxford, named by Clinton and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate as deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

Def Leppard, Journey to rock Alltel

Letter from Pyle

This is the text of the letter Chris Pyle recently wrote to Arkansas church pastors.

Holt bio

Salient points: Studied science and biology at the University of Maryland, learned Russian in the Army, was elected in 2000 to the House of Representatives and in 2002 to the state Senate from District 35.

British Independent Film Awards

And the nominees are . . . BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILMThe Last King of ScotlandThe QueenRed Road This is EnglandThe Wind That Shakes the Barley BEST DIRECTORSPONSORED BY THE CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPKevin Macdonald – The Last King of ScotlandStephen Frears – The QueenMichael Caton Jones – Shooting DogsShane Meadows – This is EnglandKen Loach – The Wind that Shakes the Barley BEST ACTOR Forest Whitaker – The Last King of ScotlandPeter O’Toole – VenusCillian Murphy – The Wind that Shakes the BarleyTony Curran – Red RoadJames McAvoy – The Last King of Scotland BEST ACTRESSSPONSORED BY MACHelen Mirren - The QueenKate Dickie – Red RoadFrances de la Tour – The History BoysRobin Wright Penn – Breaking & EnteringJuliette Binoche – Breaking & Entering BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR / ACTRESS Martin Compston – Red RoadLeslie Phillips – VenusVanessa Redgrave – VenusJoseph Gilgun – This is EnglandStephen Graham – This is England

Lee, Scorsese, Stone share NYU roots

In this piece from Variety.

More on 'Catch a Fire', 'Babel'

Lisa Schwarzbaum of EW weighs in. Catch a Fire It's a sign of apartheid wounds healing and moviegoing expectations maturing that Catch a Fire is as morally complex as it is — and that I wish it were even more rigorous; perhaps Shawn Slovo, the daughter of famous white South African activists (she told her murdered mother's story in A World Apart), was not the best screenwriter for the job of grappling with ambiguity.

This weekend

      Catch a Fire opens nationally.  Infamous and the controversial Death of a President open at Market Street Cinema.  Rave has Running with Scissors.

'Come Early Morning'

trailer here.

'Dreamgirls' trailers


Why be creative when you can steal

We just KNEW we'd seen something very similar to A$a!'s ad using little kids to attack Mike Beebe.The boys over at Greasy Creek found the source of A$a!'s inspiration, and it's a six-year-old idea.Look for yourself.

Beebe wins on 'responsibility'

John Brummett today says you should base your vote in the governor's race on two things: Tax and fiscal policy and public education policy.

Dem sweep more likely

The new Survey USA poll commissioned by KTHV shows Democrats pulling away to sweep the statewide offices this year.

On the fence

Problem solved! President Bush signed a bill Thursday authorizing 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping to give Republican candidates a pre-election platform for asserting they're tough on illegal immigration.

Action in treasurer's race

This morning brought a lot of polling news related to the Arkansas elections, but no numbers in the treasurer's race between Democrat Martha Shoffner and Republican Chris Morris.

OK, So I'm Back, and I STILL Hate "The Absolutely Mindy Show."

I don't have anything absolutely fresh right this minute, but I promise I will tomorrow.  It's been 4 weeks since my surgery, and 3 weeks since starting HRT, so I'm feeling better day by day.  BUT our whole family was stricken down this week by ragweed-induced bronchitis (yeah, we don't just get the sniffles around here during allergy season), so I have been WAY down, and OFF the computer.  (Oh, and the computer?  Making me anxious if  I'm on it for more than a half-hour or so.  How's that for a weird side-effect of sudden hormone loss?)In the meantime, I'd love to invite you here to read my rant about the much-hated-by-our-household "Absolutely Mindy Show" on the XMKids channel (which I love, really) on XMRadio.  Then I'll be back with some news about the El Dorado music scene--what, you didn't know there was one?  You're not alone!  Stay tuned.Belinda also blogs from her home-base on the Internet, NINJA POODLES!  Expect chaos, and probably some unfolded laundry piled on the sofa.

The Mind of Matt: Rockin' with Aerosmith

More from rock/movie god  Matt Smith and the second half of the concert in Indy -- Aerosmith:

The Mind of Matt: Rockin' with Aerosmith

More from rock/movie god  Matt Smith and the second half of the concert in Indy -- Aerosmith:

J.R. and Henry's Thursday Column: The new Hogs

J.R. and Henry: A new beginning It’s the beginning of a new season. What, you say?

Mission accomplished

ExxonMobil is staying the course. The ExxonMobil Corporation reported today that it earned $10.49 billion in the third quarter, the second largest quarterly profit ever posted by a publicly traded American company.

A hog's voice

Word on the street is that the late Paul Eells' job as "The Voice of the Razorbacks" is back in play.According to one insider there are two prevalent scenarios in play:1) J. Frank Broyles launches a nationwide search for a successor, who would be an employee of the football program rather than an announcer for an Arkansas media outlet.2) KATV news anchor Scott Inman (who works for Paul's old station) is a candidate.

Why not Hillary?

Anna Quindlen argues in Newsweek that liberal Democrats who oppose Hillary Clinton's likely presidential bid are only hurting themselves.

Halter hits Holt on education

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Bill Halter today held a news conference to highlight the record of his Republican opponent, Jim Holt, on education issues.

Campbell to Game & Fish

Arkansas Business reports that Gov. Mike Huckabee appointed Stephens Group vice-chairman Craig Campbell, of Little Rock, to serve out the remainder of John Benjamin's term on the state Game & Fish Commission.

The Observer, Oct. 26

Maybe it has something to do with the combination of monster movies on television, the chill in the air, and the prospect of free candy, but The Observer loves Halloween.

Going by The Book, not by the book

Former Huckabee aide Chris Pyle gave bad advice to pastors who want to preserve their tax-exempt status when he advised them to politick.

The big giddy is on

Ma Clinton once famously fingered a vast right-wing conspiracy, and now we have a vast one of the other kind. At least the old vast right-wing conspirators think the new vast conspiracy is a vast left-wing conspiracy, or say they do.

For Beebe

Normally I take political ads with a grain of salt. However, one recent ad labeling Mike Beebe as “outrageously liberal” is outrageously false. I learned later that this and other false and misleading ads were paid for by the Coalition for Arkansas’ Futur

Six days and counting

Space restrictions will keep me from waxing all poetical here about the new Parisian store that opens next week, so I’ll just say: I’ve seen it, and it’s … well, definitely worth the wait.

What's cooking, Oct. 26

What's cooking: Pei Wei; Montana Grill

Escovedo casts a spell; Roth rocks

Alejandro Escovedo and his band kept the audience at Hendrix College on Saturday night completely spellbound with their mix of melancholy and passion, country and puck, intensity and tenderness.

‘Prestige’ is magical

Astute screenwriting, solid direction and terrific acting from the leads, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, make the new release “The Prestige” one of the year’s best flicks.

How to base your governor’s vote

What should voters base their decision on in the governor's race? Something they can do something about: Tax and fiscal policy.

Words, Oct. 26

If you think pink hoards are impressive, you should have seen the Golden Hoard.

Lite Gov., heavy race

The usually dull-as-dishwater contest for lieutenant governor has somehow become a title fight — a brutal, sometimes nasty slugfest between two men who couldn’t be much more different.

Miami String Quartet at Hendrix

The young, energetic Miami String Quartet, considered to be one of the most sought-after quarters in chamber music, perform a free concert at Hendrix College on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in Reves Recital Hall.

Lucero inaugurates the new Village

Friday marks the grand opening of The Village, the old Cinema 150 on University and Asher avenues that has been remodeled into a nightclub.

The Week That Was, Oct. 18-24

It was a good week for: THE FIRST AMENDMENT. A federal judge ruled Watson Chapel School District violated students’ right to free speech by suspending them for wearing black wristbands.

For Beebe

Normally I take political ads with a grain of salt. However, one recent ad labeling Mike Beebe as “outrageously liberal” is outrageously false. I learned later that this and other false and misleading ads were paid for by the Coalition for Arkansas’ Futur

TV highlights, Oct. 26-Nov. 1


We all owe Al Green

My first words to Al Green in our telephone interview in August, after the opening pleasantries, were “I owe you big time. It’s because of your music that I landed my wife.” Green was already laughing before I finished the sentence.

Bring on the subpoenas

Disarray reigns everywhere, from the U.S. ambassador to Iraq to White House aides. Even the Bush family cannot get in sync on the big message. President Bush had to tell his own father to shut up.

VP Medical Consulting expands offerings

Victoria Powell, owner of VP Medical Consulting has recently obtained certification as an Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant.

Bruce James Calls the Hogs, Oct. 26

Playing Louisiana-Monroe is a tiny step up from playing Southeast Missouri.

Last bell

The final post-election campaign-finance reports are in for Little Rock school board candidates. As she was before the election, Zone 3 winner Melanie Fox was far and away the big spender.

How they see us

Our nation’s State Department is bringing bright young journalists to the United States to tell Americans how the rest of the world thinks of us.

Not so sweet

The Community Theatre of Little Rock, opening its 51st season with “Sweet Charity,” simply does not have the resources to pull it off what should be a big production.

Indentured servants

Barron’s, the weekly Wall Street newspaper, is bucking conventional wisdom by predicting that the Republicans will retain control of the U.S. House and Senate.

Smart Talk, Oct. 26

This week: GOP concedes Arkansas race; 527 expenditures; a bundt cake.

Saturday is stadium’s time to shine

First-time visitors this season to Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium — and, if you didn’t heed my advice and attend the Oct. 14 UAPB-Grambling game, you should have; it was a terrific day — will notice significant improvements to the stadium.

Lulav to become V Lounge

Back when Lulav first opened a couple of years ago, we wanted to like it. The restaurant was expanding the boundaries of downtown by offering dinner on Sixth Street, where few other nighttime venues dared to venture.

Told you so

Will this old dog hunt? The divisive debate over gay marriage, which played a prominent role in 2004 campaigns but this year largely faded from view, erupted anew on Thursday as President Bush and Republicans across the country tried to use a court ruling in New Jersey to rally dispirited conservatives to the polls.

The most corrupt administration ever

It is stuff like this, multiplied over and over, that leaves me anything but confident about the election results.

Going negative

The Washington Post rounds up the negative advertising in political races around the country. Against this batch, using kids to call another candidate names is just, well, kid stuff.

Going nuclear on immigrants

Rogers Mayor Steve Womack may be on the verge of proposing that the city emulate a Pennsylvania city with a tough anti-immigrant policy.

Philip Martin weighs in on 'Catch a Fire'

Catch a Fire is a touch too literal-minded to pass as a genuinely great film, and the closing moments are blunted by a pat-feeling narration that seems obligatory.  But it is decent, sober, and in spots, thrilling.

Mad props

To PM today for a print mention of The MovieGoer.  It's much appreciated.  Be sure to check out his blog at  Lot of good commentary about a variety of subjects, including film.

Walking out of a movie

This should get "Armchair Critic" fired up.  It's the top of Philip Martin's "On Film" column today.  The column highlights the incident where Good Morning America film critic Joel Siegel walked out of Kevin Smith's Clerks 2 in New York.  A war of the words ensued.  It seems that the war hasn't stopped.  It's worth a read - and Smith's wit in responding to Siegel is great stuff.

Karen Martin chats with Philip Noyce

director of Catch a Fire.  Here's the link.  Cool stuff.

Manohla Dargis pans 'Catch a Fire'

Mr. Noyce, whose career ranges from hack work like “The Bone Collector” to thoughtful efforts like “The Quiet American,” knows how to keep the action in high gear.

A.O. Scott on 'Babel'

The sheer sensory exuberance of the film at once subverts the fatalism of its story and lends it whatever credibility it has.

Somebody's been listening

I have been writing for a week about the Oscar fate of Flags of Our Fathers.  It seems others have been doing the same.  Tom O'Neil of the LA Times summarizes a conversation with Edward Douglas of and Gitesh Pandya of about this very topic.


the latest Buzzmeter is out today.  Thanks to "Armchair Critic" for pointing out the flaws in their methodology.  I agree and I'm not sure how the thing is calculated.  Still, you get too see each critic's rankings, which is helpful.  Yet, their composite list is totally whack.

Buzzmeter, without the fuzzy math

If you allocate points based on each critics ranking (1=5, 2=4, 3=3, 4=2, 5=1) and give each critics picks equal weight (that is Tom O'Neil's rankings aren't weighted heavier than Richard Roeper's) then here's what you come up with.

'Babel' the EW cover story

Here it is.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu on NPR

Here's a segment from All Things Considered.  Have a listen.

More Oscar chatter

from David Poland at Movie City News.  Check out this column as well as his Oscar charts. 

The marvels of electricity (Updated)

The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs reports this morning that the Garland County Election Commission has junked the electronic voting machines being used there for early voting:

Rummy thinks he's on 'Cops'

Inveterate "Cops" watchers will recognize this phrase immediately: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday that anyone demanding deadlines for progress in Iraq should "just back off" because it is too difficult to predict when Iraqis will resume control of their country.

Change the city government

Word comes today of an effort to change Little Rock's government -- an idea we support.

Editorial harmony

Both the Morning News and the NW D-G today endorsed Lynn Carver, a Democrat, for the Senate seat Jim Holt is vacating.

Editorial harmony

Both the Morning News and the NW D-G today endorsed Lynn Carver, a Democrat, for the Senate seat Jim Holt is vacating.

The Mind of Matt: On DLR at the fair

Wow, they only come out at night, or whenever Matt Smith blogs now. Here's Matt on David Lee Roth's show last Friday at the state fair (you can also catch a review by DLR/Van Halen fan Mark Frazier in this week's issue of the Times; though I'll also say other folks from around here said Diamond Dave acted a little showtune-y or loungy with his whole stage act, whatever that means, and how about that hair?

Can they do that on TV? (UPDATE)

The defining issue in the race for attorney general? Gunner DeLay would have you believe it's people of the same sex kissing on each other.

Hilburn appointed to UA board

Gov. Mike Huckabee today appointed North Little Rock attorney Sam Hilburn, 64, to the Universtiy of Arkansas System board of trustees.

No comment necessary

Dustin McDaniel news release: While campaigning around south Arkansas today, State Representative and Democratic nominee for attorney general Dustin McDaniel took a break to join Congressman Mike Ross and fellow legislators for a skeet shoot in south Arkansas benefiting the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope.

Stupid is as stupid does

A good blog item, courtesy of the Smirking It seems that the states that do best in education  tend to be blue states, as defined by the 2004 presidential vote.

Stupid is as stupid does

A good blog item, courtesy of the Smirking It seems that the states that do best in education  tend to be blue states, as defined by the 2004 presidential vote.

To do Friday: Al Green, the Village opens, B Side at the Peabody

Lots of music choices and get-out-on-the-town choices tonight, starting with Al Green in concert at the Riverfest Amphitheater, with Green scheduled to go on about 9 p.m.

Death in the media family

Pat Murphy, the retired public relations director for Southwestern Bell Telephone (known as The Phone Company back in the day), died at his home today.

Uh oh

CNN is promising to air at 8 p.m. today a program whose title says everything about what this blog has been pointing out for a long time:"Where the Right Went Wrong."Jeff Greenfield, who is anchoring the report, says only conservatives were interviewed for the program, which is part of CNN's continuing reports on "Broken Government."

"Slam"min' Rock AND Country Shows in El Dorado Tonight!

OK, so I was unaware of the burgeoning music scene in El Dorado.  I admit it.  I mean, El Do?  For real?For real.  El Dorado has multiple forums for performers, and on many weekend nights offers more than one very good live performance.  "El Do" has garnered a reputation as being extremely performer-friendly, and as word gets around that they'll be treated like royalty during their time in town, more and more artists are easily drawn to the erstwhile oil-town.  It's a win-win for the artists and their audiences, as well as Southern Arkansas.Tonight, performing at Einstein's (104 E. Cedar St., (870) 881-8944), is the band "Midnight to Twelve," recording artists with Kord Records, who have a well-reviewed debut album dropping in January titled "King of Spain."

They don't call; they don't even write -- UPDATE

First thing today, we sent an FOI request to the governor's highly paid press secretary, Alice Stewart, for copies of e-mails sent by Republican state treasurer candidate Chris Morris while in the employ of the governor's office that were not related to office business.

They don't call; they don't even write -- UPDATE

First thing today, we sent an FOI request to the governor's highly paid press secretary, Alice Stewart, for copies of e-mails sent by Republican state treasurer candidate Chris Morris while in the employ of the governor's office that were not related to office business.

V Lounge's phone working, restaurant cranking

We thought it odd today of the report in the Democrat-Gazette's Weekend section that the phone for the V Lounge at Lulav was disconnected and to "stay tuned" for any update.

Is there still a First Amendment?

A Saline Circuit Court may shortly give us an indication. (The short form: A lawsuit has been filed to shut down a blog doing the outrageous act of republishing news articles that might shed a negative light on a sheriff's candidate.)

Is there still a First Amendment?

A Saline Circuit Court may shortly give us an indication. (The short form: A lawsuit has been filed to shut down a blog doing the outrageous act of republishing news articles that might shed a negative light on a sheriff's candidate.)

How 'bout we plunge Dick under water a few seconds?

Albert Dentay comments on this news article: A blowjob isn't sex, waterboarding isn't torture.

Open line

What about it? Politics?

Washington Regional observes hospice month

November was recently declared Hospice & Palliative Care Month in Fayetteville.

New poll: Democratic sweep

Stephens Media has one last round of polling today. No change.

About those ads

Coverage here of remarks by prosecutors and Sen. Jay Bradford yesterday in defense of Mike Beebe relative to his role in the Senate while the Nick Wilson scam was in progress.

Obama: The Tiger Woods of politics

Barack Obama as Tiger Woods? That's Brummett's take on the Illinois senator, due to appear at a Democratic rally at the Capitol at 4 p.m. today, presuming you can tear yourself away from the tailgate parties.

Rogers and the immigrant 'nuisance'

The temperature rises on the Rogers mayor's push for a nuisance ordinance on illegal immigrants.

Jack for Best Supporting is reporting that Warner Bros. will not campaign for Jack Nicholson in the lead actor category.  This means he'll stay in the supporting race which all but assures him of his 4th Oscar.

Political Play of the Week

Gael Garcia Bernal, star of Y Tu Mama Tambien, Amores Perros, The Motorcycle Diaries, The Science of Sleep and Babel sounds off on the 700 border fence bill President Bush signed this week.

A beautiful day for ...

... tailgating. At 7 a.m. this morning, smokers were fired up and beer cans had been popped on the War Memorial golf course.

Tax-cutting Republicans are stinking liars

And this guy ain't afraid to say it.

Democrats rally for The Restoration

Despite the competing Hog tailgate, a crowd of maybe a thousand or more gathered on the front lawn of the Capitol this afternoon for a rally for the coming Democratic sweep of Arkansas statewide races.

Saturday night live

All comers welcome.

Republicans on the wane

Stephens Media: Academics agree that low poll numbers indicate broader problems with the state Republican Party.

Hutchinson ad flops

Brummett comes highly recommended today. It's about that Hutchinson ad with the kids talking about Mike Beebe.

Still another reason to turn out the Repubs

NY Times: Frustrated with laws and regulations that have made companies and accounting firms more open to lawsuits from investors and the government, corporate America — with the encouragement of the Bush administration — is preparing to fight back.

Have Democrats caught up?

In the vote turnout game? The New York Times offers hope. But, on the other hand, the LA Times lionizes Karl Rove's plan to combat the Democratic wave, including putting federal money and other resources to work.

Getting personal with the candidates

In its big package of election roundups, Stephens Media included something for fun -- questions to the candidates for statewide office about favorite foods, songs, books, heroes, quarterbacks and such.

Where abstinence education work$ wonder$

If you don't read it, or overlooked it, there's a first-rate piece of reporting in today's Democrat-Gazette by Mark Minton.

Democrat-Gazette endorses Beebe

A reader suggests that the Beebe endorsement is worth a thread today. Stop-presses news?

Newspaper politicking

We'd chewed a bit mentally on the Democrat-Gazette story today that noted that owners of Stephens Media and members of their non-media businesses make contributions to political candidates.

Go green; also go blogging

I am embarrassed to say I'm just now catching up on posting among our community bloggers.

Huckabee in S.C. -- naught

Polling in South Carolina shows the governor's repeat trips haven't built much name recognition for him yet and that Giuliani -- the gay- and abortion-tolerant Yankee -- polls strongly.

Lots of Rhythm, But Not Enough Soul

I wish this video had sound, but here is our Governor, guitarist for Capitol Offense, playing "Fortunate Son" at Juanitas last week at an Asa Hutchinson rally.

So Do They Have Their Hands Full Or Not?

Its funny how "reality" changes depending on the direction of the political windsHere is part of a Q&A with Asa Hutchinson from back in February of 2004 when he was doing very little to stop illegal aliens from entering the county.

Stodola endorsements

In the in-box this morning: Former Prosecuting Attorney Mark Stodola and candidate for Little Rock mayor will announce key endorsements by Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Johnson, Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley and Coroner Mark Malcolm.  The event will highlight Mark Stodola’s action plan to reduce crime in Little Rock.

Robo Huck

Overnight comments include a report from NWA that the dulcet tones of the Huckster disturbed the dinner hour in yellow-dog Republicanland.

Iraq: Heckuva job

The big news is the failure of the military to track weapons intended for security forces.

American Gangster

Here's a New York Times article about this new film starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington.  The film is directed by Ridley Scott.

'Superman' returns

Bryan Singer and Warner Bros. have inked a deal for Singer to direct the sequel to Superman Returns.  The film expected to be released in 2009. 

'The Jane Austen Book Club'

Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kevin Zegers, Hugh Dancy, Maggie Grace, Amy Brenneman and Jimmy Smits are lining up to star in The Jane Austen Book Club, Robin Swicord's adaptation of the Karen Joy Fowler novel.


This film finally arrives in the United States.  David Edelstein of New York Magazine says, Now comes Volver, a surefire crowd-pleaser that takes you back to Almodóvar’s women on the campy verge, but this time in an airy, slyly understated, light-fantastical style.



Annette Bening on NPR

Here's an interview with her on Fresh Air.  Have a listen.

Freida Lee Mock

Weekend Edition Sunday interviewed this documentary filmmaker about her latest film Wrestling with Angels about Angels in America scribe Tony Kushner. 

Box Office

More bad news for Flags of Our Fathers.  Estimated ticket sales for Oct. 27-29 1.


Rumors swirled around a party I hosted on Saturday that this documetary about the New York Times crossworld puzzle has passed Capturing the Friedmans at the box office.  Wouldn't  you know it, it's true.  According to Box Office Mojo, Wordplay is now the 24th highest grossing documentary film of all time.

'The Queen'

The New York Review of Books has a good piece on this film.  Here.

A.O. Scott reviews 'The Lay of the Land'

NY Times film critic A.O. Scott reviews the latest Frank Bascombe book from Richard Ford.  Here.

Daughter born to Halters

Shanti Halter, wife of Bill Halter, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, yesterday gave birth to Lauren Renee Halter.

Watch and laugh . . . or weep

Three great versions, all showing how G. Wingrove Bush is the greatest practitioner of The Big Lie technique of his generation.

The Mind of Matt: KISS, new movies

Matt Smith checks in Monday with the things he loves: rock (in this case, KISS) and movies ("Flags of our Fathers").:

The Mind of Matt: KISS, new movies

Matt Smith checks in Monday with the things he loves: rock (in this case, KISS) and movies ("Flags of our Fathers").:

Poll: Still Beebe

Rasmussen has finally released to the general public its Oct. 22 poll on the governor's race.

The tailgating experience

I'd like to tell you all about the War Memorial Stadium golf course tailgating experience from Saturday, but we did something different this year: We tailgated at a house on Monroe Street, just a short walk to the stadium, and pretty much left the golf course to the crazies (we did the crazy thing, and then some, last year for Mississippi State).

Skyline watch

Notices have gone out to media for a news conference Friday to announce a "major LR development."

Can push polling be far behind?

We know Huck is on the horn. We know that, in other states, shadowy Repub groups have begun push polling.

The race for governor

Eight days to go and we find A$a in Washington, advocating for Arkansas farmers. Release on the jump.

Halloween spirit

KO, a frequent visitor to The MovieGoer, stopped by this morning to chat about the scariest movies of all time.  She tossed out these movies.  If you have a list, blog it here.Se7en                              The ExorcistPsychoThe ShiningDeliveranceMiseryCarrieThe RingAmityville HorrorInvasion of the Body SnatchersI added Open Water, Poltergeist, Rosemary's Baby, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Silence of the Lambs, Halloween, and The Thing.

Understanding the Best Documentary race

Got an e-mail from the Dean of the Clinton School today about Wordplay and where it might end up in the race for Best Documentary.  I was a big fan of Wordplay.  Here's my response to the Dean.  Let me know your thoughts.Dean:    [Wordplay] has just passed Capturng the Friedmans in revenue, making it the 24th highest grossest documentary all of time and #2 of the 2006 documentaries only behind An Inconvenient Truth.

Fire at Nuclear One

Because I've been getting some e-mail from a hot rumor mill in the Arkansas River Valley, I checked with Entergy and was told there was an electrical fire in an "auxiliary extension building" of Unit 2 of the nuclear generating station near Russellville about 1 p.m. today.

Judge Griffen battles on

We've received copies of the pleadings Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen has filed in advance of a probable cause hearing Nov. 17 by the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

Around Arkansas: Blog report

In our periodic effort to highlight the work of our community bloggers, I call attention today to Arkanass R.F.D., which is a busy roundup of local news from all over the state.

Passport, please

Saw a couple of reports about a new 150-job business coming to Hot Springs, but nobody offered any details.Here's what the 150 people will be doing:Turns out they'll be producing passports for the State Department.

UAMS to help parenting education

A team of early childhood experts from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will soon equip preschool teachers to help new parents, particularly fathers, with issues ranging from discipline to nutrition.

St. Joseph’s hosts diabetes center fair

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center will host the Mercy Diabetes & Wound Center Health Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 8 in the Mercy/McAuley Rooms.

A Drive-By review

Occasional free-lancer Stewart Deere checked out the Drive-By Truckers' show in Memphis this weekend: From the opening guitar crunch of “Lookout Mountain” to the whiskey drenched encore, the Drive-By Truckers delivered the southern rock goods at Memphis’s New Daisy Theater, and proved themselves worthy heirs to the mantle of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The final days

Overnight note from a usually reliable source says Bill Clinton will be in Arkansas to rally the Democratic troops this coming weekend.

The Pat and A$a show

Pat Lynch has the candidate at 9 a.m. today. Also on KDXE 1380.

Beebe and Nick

Brummett rises to the defense of Mike Beebe on the Republican attack of his role as senator in Nick Wilson's nefarious ways.

Government of oil, by oil, for oil

Another day, another expose on special Bush administration treatment of Big Oil.

Freedom of information

You gotta love Eureka Springs. A former mayor spots a couple of members of a city commission meeting with an agency director in secret.

More screeners

Studios sent screeners of Half Nelson out to Academy voters this week.  Ryan Gosling is an outside shot for a nomination.  His performance is outstanding.  Little Miss Sunshine has been in the Academy's hands for a few weeks now and will arrive on DVD for the general public in December.  World Trade Center and United 93 are also out there.  Tom O'Neil of the L.A. Times says United 93 is everywhere in Hollywood.


Saw the trailer last night before Catch a Fire.  Wow.  It's an impressive cast and looks great.  Here it is.  

A new Stanley Kubrick script

From the New York Times Stanley Kubrick never threw anything away. On the other hand, he didn’t have much of a filing system, and when he moved — permanently, it turned out — from Hollywood to London in 1962, a great many things went astray.

OK, I've been ignoring this

Sacha Baren Cohen as a legitmate awards season contender?  I thought the piece would have been about his performance in Borat, but it's not.  It's for his performance in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.   Here's a "For Your Consideration" piece from Stuart Levine writing for There may be no greater dialogue this year than Girrard taunting the crowd with the bankruptcy of American culture, which, he says, has only given the world “George Bush, Cheerios and the Thigh Master.” When asked what the French have given the world, he trumps the bar with, “Democracy, Existentialism and the ménage a trois.

Stuart Levine has praise for 'Volver,' Penelope Cruz

His latest and one of his best movies, “Volver,” is a great starting point for anyone unfamiliar with Almodovar’s immense body of work.

Soderberg ready to begin Che Guevara films

From Variety, Both films pick up after the formative Guevara years captured in the Walter Salles-directed "The Motorcycle Diaries" in 2004.

Dana Stevens on 'Babel'

Babel has great expectations for itself: It wants to be a movie about big ideas and big emotions at the same time.

Local angle

The D-G front-paged today the Red Cross announcement that it will go through an overhaul.

Poll: A$a in the lead!?!

According to this (liberal) website with a list of recent polling, a new Zogby Poll puts A$a up over Beebe 48.2-45.3.

We're No. 1(00)

A lobbying research firm presumes to rank every member of Congress in order of presumed clout.

The Faulkner County mafia -- UPDATE

In case you'd missed the strong influence of Faulkner Countians in Arkansas Republican politics, starting with Chairman Gil Baker, consider this: The Coalition for Arkansas' Future, a 527 front group funded almost exclusively by the state Republican Party and the Republican Governors Association, has been pumping money mostly into the governor's race and some selected legislative races.

The Beebe complaint -- UPDATE

Belatedly, on the jump, find the text of Mike Beebe's complaint about ads being run by the Republican-financec Coalition for Arkansas' Future re his purported enabling of Nick Wilson follies.

Watch night

It's never too early to plan a party. Election night, the Beebe forces will gather at the Embassy Suites.

Zell Miller found

Crazy Zell may not be coming to Arkansas, but thanks to Daily Kos we've found him.

Wal-Mart to Franken: drop dead

Media Matters reports on an internal ABC Radio memo that indicates a roster of high-powered national advertisers, including Wal-Mart, have made it clear that their advertising should never appear on Air America programming.

The Halter bandwagon?

Bill Halter issues a news release today announcing endorsements from 75 state legislators. Release on the jump.


On the jump, read all about the Huckahutch barnstorming tour to repeal the sales tax on groceries.

Huck on the run

Governor Mike Huckabee continues to get maximum mileage from his weight-loss and marathon running.The December 2006 issue of Runner's World magazine lists Huckabee in its cover article on The Heroes Issue: The Most Inspiring Runners of 2006.On Page 71 Huckabee is shown in running gear outside the Governor's Mansion.

Trick or treat

Do you get pro trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood? Young teens with bulging backpacks full of candy who've been windsprinting through 'hood after 'hood to scoop up candy with all the efficiency of a Russian trawler?

Can Rove do it again?

Can Karl Rove make the entire mid-term election be about John Kerry (the proven war veteran) v. George Bush (the proven AWOL slacker) again?

Editorial cartoon

Cry the beloved New Orleans

Read and weep for the New Orleans kids left to fend for themselves in the devastated city.

How bad is it in Iraq?

It's so bad that Hillary Clinton is now lowering the boom on the Bush handling of the war and everything else.

Another federal failure

Why does A$a keep harping on making the overworked, undermanned State Police handle immigration enforcement?

No George Strait for Alltel in 2007

Country music hall of famer George Strait, who holds the attendance record (twice in fact) at Alltel Arena, including last February's 18,080 attendance, has announced his 2007 arena tour, but it won't include Alltel this time around.

Lost: LR Zoo barn owl

The Little Rock Zoo is on the lookout for its barn owl, which flew away Saturday.

Kate Winslet


Scorsese's Stones doumentary finds home

From Hollywood ReporterParamount Pictures on Tuesday announced its acquisition of North American rights to Martin Scorsese's long-planned Rolling Stones feature documentary.

All Nick all the time -- UPDATE

Even with its exaggerations and misrepresentations, A$a's closing assault on Mike Beebe for Nick Wilson's crimes at least verges on a legitimate governmental discussion.

The Clinton rally

That Bill Clinton appearance for Mike Beebe and other Democrats? The Beebe campaign has now announced the details -- 11 a.m.

No sex please, we're Republicans

Another bit of cluelessness from the religiofascists of the Bush administration: If you're single and in your 20s, the federal government wants you to steer clear of sex.

Lincoln enters the fray

Sen. Blanche Lincoln announced that she'll be spending some time in Northwest Arkansas this week and we later confirmed that non-official events include an  appearance at a campaign event for Lynn Carver, the Democrat mounting a strong challenge for the Springdale-area state Senate seat.

With friends like these ...

Asa Hutchinson's campaign today announced that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will join Hutchinson at a Saturday night rally in Fort Smith.

Gun To My Head

                                  OK, so one of my favorite all-time bloggers, blogging royalty, one of the reasons I started my own first blog, M. Kennedy of, had this brainchild, in which bloggers would band together and agree to make one post per day for the entire month of November, and christened it National Blog Post Month, or NABLOPOMO for, um, "short."  I signed on at my main blog, and so decided to go ahead and give it a shot here, too.  For the full story, pull the trigger (clicky clicky) on the above image.As I mentioned over at the other place, I can't promise you astounding daily quality of content--I might be forced to blog about "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!", or something, but I can promise that I'll at least BE HERE.  And in the hopes that if I start off here with something totally lame, things can only improve, I give you this observation:Did anyone else examine the giant, GIANT insert, printed on thick, glossy paper, in this past Sunday's Democrat-Gazette, for the new Parisian store opening in Little Rock?  Did you look at the featured clothes?  And did you think to yourself, as I did, ESPECIALLY with the clothes featured on the last page, that if any one of those outfits had been exhibited on "Project Runway," that the designer would have been immediately "aufed?"  I mean, there was some serious ugly happening in that insert.  Unflattering, uncoordinated, and VERY misguided (in my opinion) for the local market.  I have heard from friends in areas with Parisian stores that they do have nice clothes, but those advertising selections...Anyone?  If you managed to hit the Grand Opening, please comment, and let me know what the Saks folks think is going to be selling big in Little Rock, and if you like it!See you tomorrow.Belinda also blogs from her home base on the Internet, NINJA POODLES!  Expect chaos.  During November, expect it daily.

UAMS links with Lee County

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has received a $748,000 federal grant that links doctors at UAMS with two Lee County schools and the homes of as many as 20 diabetic and asthmatic children.

Brightstar Healthcare expands to Little Rock

BrightStar Healthcare, a full-service healthcare staffing agency, announces the expansion of its caregiving network to Little Rock.

UAMS’ Cornelia Beck gets endowed chair

Arkansas native Cornelia Beck today became the recipient of the Louise Hearn Chair in Dementia and Long-term Care at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.