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November 2, 2006

Vol 4 • No 42

The race to the bottom

In the festival of hate, fear, suspicion, dishonesty and greed that is the Republican slate this year, Gunner Delay sinks to a new low.

Note to Rogers Mayor Steve Womack

Looks like those "nuisance" ordinances targeting immigrants might not stand legal scrutiny.  Duh. Not to mention that they stigmatize your entire city as an unfriendly, to put it mildly, place.

Kerry apologizes

I guess he had to so as to quell the furor.  But after hearing the full context of the remark several times last night, it seemed clear to me that it was a clumsily botched reference to Bush, not troops.

Huck gets stuck

Gov. Mike Huckabee today received his annual flu shot, and Arkansas Times photographer Brian Chilson was among the media throng to record the historic event.

It's Charlie's fault

So says Jim Lagrone about scattered reports of early voting problems, particularly with the cursed electronic machines.

2 female anchors

KTHV, Channel 11's, 6 p.m. local newscast tonight featured two female anchors -- Anne Jansen and Dawn Scott.Male anchor Andy Pearson was in charge of reading the police report from the studio.

Trick or Treaters

The one in the Cheney mask shot me. Or tried to. I told him he’d have to pay for fixing the big hole he blew in my front door and he told me to go do something unnatural to myself.

Smart Talk

This week:Pay differentials in Arkansas colleges; a guide to college bands; business rumors.

LR's next mayor

The width of Mike Beebe’s victory margin and the narrowness of Bill Halter’s seem to be the main questions left on the state election scene. But the Little Rock mayor’s race — in part thanks to the absence of public polling — remains far more intrigui

This Modern World

Using kids

Where does Asa Hutchinson get off utilizing children to spread his negative campaign messages? I’m appalled at the latest TV ad time utilizing such to spread his message of discord for Mike Beebe.

Opposition chugging

More businesses in the River Market area are making it clear they don’t support an open container ordinance that would allow open-air drinking on President Clinton Avenue.

The week that was Oct. 25-31

IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR … DEMOCRATS. Despite a competing Hog football game, a big crowd turned out for a political rally at the Capitol headlined by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. The smell of electoral victory was in the air.

The cost of an unsafe workplace

How much is a man’s life worth? Two Danville families have been struggling with that question since 19-year-old Jeremy Foster died in a sawmill accident more than two years ago.

Why the boredom?

A week remains in what seems like the longest race for governor since we were a territory and still it is impossible to dispel the boredom. Why is that?

Democrats will win

Four people whose jobs are to keep up with politics told the members of the Political Animals Club last week that the Democrats are going to win in Arkansas Nov. 7.

Words

Watching the river floe.

Plum out of context

The Observer

Happy days are here again. They didn’t play that old tune Saturday at the State Capitol — Fleetwood Mac and old soul standards were more the order of the afternoon. But a crowd estimated from 1,000 to 3,000 was in a New Deal mood before, during and

Recommendations for Nov. 7

Our picks in the general election. Plus a comment on the tenor of the campaigns.

Editorial cartoon

Beebe: Go to China

Arkansas Republicans made their last stand against Mike Beebe in the form of three television ads broadcast during the final two weeks of the gubernatorial campaign.

Plumb out of context

They tell me that politics isn’t beanbag. Both sides spin and overstate, especially here at the end.

Orval

Explaining a perplexing writer, Paul

There would surely be rejoicing on both sides of the pearly gates if just a few of the idiots who claim to speak for Christianity on TV and in the contemporary political sphere were to read this short, snappy study of the origin of the Christian faith and

Tynan time

Famed Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan will perform a solo concert at the University of Central Arkansas’s Reynolds Performance Hall in Conway on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Cold night, hot music

On a windy, brisk Friday night, the Reverend Al Green was welcomed back to Arkansas to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Little Rock’s River Market district.

Quilter: Irma Gail Hatcher

If one thing connects all the craftspeople I talked to for this story, it’s time — specifically, their willingness to expend vast amounts of their lives in the pursuit of craft, art and perfection.

Plane maker: Larry Williams

The evidence of Larry Williams’ skill litters the floor of his cluttered, one-room workshop in Eureka Springs: rumpled little spirals of wood, so hair-thin and translucent that they look like strips of rice paper. Hold one up to the light and you can almo

What’s Happening in November

Upcoming readings and booksignings at bookstores across the state.

Marilyn Stewart: Weaver

In modern America, where kids are more likely to say “Wal-Mart” than “a cow” when asked where milk comes from, most people no longer think of thread when they think of fabric.

What we’re reading, Nov. 2

Here are the top 10 bestsellers from three local bookstores. Data is most recent available.

Toy maker: Merle Dodd

In a one-car garage near Bryant High School, Merle Dodd is building a railroad depot. It’s an exact, one-inch-to-one-foot replica of the one that stood in town, right down to the shingles on the roof and the clapboard siding.

What a hoot

Overnight news: The Little Rock Zoo is happy to announce the safe return of Barnabus, a ten-year-old barn owl that had been missing since the bird untied its tethers and flew away Saturday afternoon.

It's a lie

The ad attacking Beebe on Nick Wilson. So says Brummett, whose columns are quoted in the ad.

More 'Bobby'

In today's New York Times.  

Mike Huckabee on Wayne Dumond

Speaking of lies: KUAR has a report here on The Huckster going postal yesterday on a radio show caller who asked why he had pardoned the once and future killer Wayne Dumond.

Robert Novak sez ...

Arkansas will elect Beebe. Hey, if you can't trust Novak ....

On chickens . . . and counting them

Tyrone Gosnell, the Hempwallace NWA correspondent, admits to a bit of uneasiness over the predictions that we Democrats have this election in the bag.

Is it paranoia if it's true?

Is the market always right? If so, expect the price of oil to rise after next Tuesday, because that's what Wall Street thinks is going to happen.

State income report

The state monthly revenue report is out and it suggests a bit of a slowdown in growth rate.

We're insulted -- UPDATE

Here's Bloomberg confirmation of Greasy Creek's earlier tip that George Bush would be dropping into Arkansas this weekend Monday to rally the Republican base in NWA.

Huckabee dives into Saline Co. flap

The state Republican Party today issued a statement from Gov. Mike Huckabee defending Saline County Sheriff Phil Mask, who yesterday was accused by Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld of creating an illegal bank account and selling contraband firearms.

Huckabee dives into Saline Co. flap

The state Republican Party today issued a statement from Gov. Mike Huckabee defending Saline County Sheriff Phil Mask, who yesterday was accused by Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Herzfeld of creating an illegal bank account and selling contraband firearms.

Battling in the Third (UPDATE)

U.S. Rep. John Boozman is getting a visit from Bush. And he's getting the business from Democratic candidate Woody Anderson, who faults the eye doc for the refusal of the eye clinic where Boozman used to practice in Rogers for refusing veterans health insurance coverage.

Do Democrats have a plan? UPDATE

On the jump, you'll find a Democratic Party news release attacking the Republican hit squad -- justifiably -- for its ads distorting the record of state Rep. Monty Davenport.

Sticking it to Huckabee

We have a winner in the caption-the-Huckabee-flu-shot photo. Go to reader comments here.

Sticking it to Huckabee

We have a winner in the caption-the-Huckabee-flu-shot photo. Go to reader comments here.

Effluvia. And You're Not Vaccinated.

First of all, I'm happy to report that our little pony who was stricken--twice--with West Nile Virus this fall has recovered well, as shown here in shaggy purple splendor, napping through our daughter's birthday party, last weekend:The moral being, get thee to a veterinarian at the FIRST sign of "Not Doin' Right" Syndrome, and B-E  AGRESSIVE.  After the loss of both our elderly horses this year, we were pretty darn grateful to have hung onto this sweet little gal.  As, obviously, was her young owner.So, did anyone go to the Parisian Grand Opening?  Anyone?  Or have you been since?  Seriously, I wanna hear about it.  I did find a couple of reasonable fall/winter collections ("reasonable" for a working mother of a preschooler living in rural Arkansas, which may not be the same version of "reasonable" that you use), upon closer examination of their website, so I'm dying to check out the store.  I'm also wondering if their price points will hold with local buyers--it seems like they'll be pulling from the Barbara Jean-ish market, and that doesn't seem to be an enormous pool of potential shoppers, from my vantage point.And hey-ho, I've also got the latest from South Arkansas' music scene, once again courtesy of the good folks at El Dorado Underground!  Most importantly, don't miss their podcast highlighting this weekend's upcoming acts, including interviews and music samples.  And allow me to say:  I spend a good deal of time on the internet (insert cry of "loser!" disguised as a *cough* here), and listen to a lot of podcasts...EDU is putting up some really good debut efforts.  Check it out.  Elektra, in particular, does a heckuva job wrangling the interviews and guiding the patter, and I'm betting it'll just continue to get better and better  with time.Up this weekend:  Two performances from The Lance Younger Band Friday and Saturday, at the Corner Cafe (117 E. Main St., 870-863-6611) and then just across the street at the Laredo Grill (200 E. Main St., 870-875-1722), respectively.  The song I sampled on the band's MySpace page sounds promising, and it passed this household's Boogie Litmus Test by making my preschool-age daughter dance around the room and then request a replay.  The band has some strong local connections, so the audience should be a major player in these shows...and that's always good, right?Also playing  on Saturday night:  Chris Loggins and Friends at the Corner Cafe, Dressed Up Naked at Einstein's, and Bag100 at Visions Nightclub.Judging from a distance, and by the samplings I could gather from the comfort of my own home from sources such as CDBaby, Bag100 looks like the weekend's heavy-hitter, (although personally, I'd probably be over at Einstein's this time).  They have the "new kid" recording creds, and enough range to ensure an entertaining show for a wide variety of rock music tastes.  The band's press release is here...and everywhere, really, so I won't reproduce it in this space.So hey, there's your South Arkansas nightlife, but why should that be all?  Go on down early, and make a day of it.  Eat some barbecue, buy some antiques.  What, you have something better to do?And hey, those of you who are getting out and around?  Take notes, take pictures, tell me about it, and let me share!  There is so much of Arkansas going unnoticed.  Let's share with each other, shall we?Belinda also blogs from her home-base on the Internet, NINJA POODLES!  Expect chaos.  During the month of November, expect it daily.

Looking up downtown

  We'd told you earlier that a press conference is scheduled by Moses Tucker Real Estate at 10 a.m.

They rocked us

Journey has found its new front man, and that guy is Jeff Scott Soto, an imposing figure on stage, full of energy and blessed with a voice that can cover the Perry/Augeri high notes that Journey fans know and expect.

Hear the jet engines ROAR

The famed Blue Angels, the Navy’s elite flying team, will be the highlight attraction in a weekend of flying fun and thrills at the Little Rock Air Force Base’s annual air show in Jacksonville.

Pop-rock from the Masses

Ima Robot's new CD is easy on the ears.

‘Catch’ this

Another Hollywood view of Africa, ‘Catch a Fire’ is a good film that could have been great.

TV highlights

"CLASS OF 3000"; "AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: THE GOLD RUSH"; "INDEPENDENT LENS: PAUL CONRAD"

Made in Arkansas

Every year, the Arkansas Arts Council accepts nominations for the title of Arkansas Living Treasure — those who have elevated their traditional crafts to the level of art. I visited with some winners and nominees to get their stories, beginning with k

What's cooking, Nov. 2

Farmer's Daughter comes to Cox Center.

Bruce James Calls the Hogs, Nov. 2

This is the toughest call on a game since I’ve been picking them in these pages. I can find as many reasons why Arkansas could win as I can that South Carolina will win.

A Cricket’s son

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and country singer Austin Allsup, son of famed Crickets guitarist Tommy Allsup, are part of cool weekend acts.

UAMS to offer hepatitis screening

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will offer free screenings for hepatitis C from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the UAMS College of Public Health.

A taste of Jonrey

It isn’t clear from his book whether Jonathan Reynolds is an Arkansas native or merely spent some of his very early youth here, but one of the book’s funniest scenes occurs here.

The Village aims high

Pete Yorn is a terrific pop singer-songwriter from the Northeast United States with a great band of Brits backing him. He'll make his first Little Rock appearance Nov. 10 at the new Village, the nightclub in the old Cinema 150 at Asher and University.

Ad and subtract

But just when you thought it was safe to turn on the television again, here come the new campaign ads, with the players for statewide office hoping to rope in any fence-sitters with their panache — or at least blast their opponent with a face full of bird

Do you know the way to Pei Wei?

Less than 24 hours after eating dinner at Pei Wei Asian Diner last week, its first week in business in the new Midtowne shopping center off Markham and University, we were back again to sample more Asian delights.

Double the Ballet

Arkansas Festival Ballet will perform two shows of “Rep at the Rep” on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3-4, at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St. Showtime both nights is 7:30 p.m. and advance tickets are $20 ($25 at the door).

If you can't believe the Huck's pollster ... UPDATE

I haven't read the D-G this morning and there could be further coverage there of Dick Dresner's appearance last night at the Clinton School.

Are we safer yet?

A whopping NY Times story: Republicans' efforts to defend the invasion of Iraq by posting all kinds of Iraqi documents on the web have had the effect of putting nuclear-weapon-making information in the hands of anyone with a computer.

Borat: Today

Manohla Dargis writes, The brilliance of “Borat” is that its comedy is as pitiless as its social satire, and as brainy.

Check out P. Martin's "On Film" column

in today's Dem Gaz. He writes about film, top 10 lists, predicting the Oscars and critcism generally.  Have a read.

William Styron

author of Sophie's Choice, among other, has died.  Here's a story.

Political Play of the Week

ok, not really, but for those of you that have seen Jesus Camp, Reverend Ted Haggard appears in the film.  He is (now was) the leader of the 30 million National Association of Evangelicals and a vocal opponent of same sex marriage and Demcrats generally.

Slate has more on 'Borat'

writes film critic Dana Stevens, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is, in a literal sense, wildly funny.

Opening today

     

'Catch a Fire'

Here's my review in this week's Arkansas Times.

Movies unseen

I bumped into a friend in the River Market last week.  Our conversations always turn quickly to movies.  I admitted, reluctantly, to not having seen Flags of Our Father or The Prestige.  Since that conversation, I still have not seen them.  I'm more likely to see The Prestige than Flags, but only because I'm tainted by the reviews and poor box office numbers.  That's not fair, I know.  But it is what it is. This weekend, I'm going to see Borat.  I don't know how I'll feel about it when I leave the theatre, but I'm optimistic in the way I was optimistic about The Aristocrats.  I may laugh the entire way through it (as I did with The Aristocrats) or I may not.

Huck: No right to health care

Hot Soup, the new website devoted to serious discussion of political issues founded in part by former Democrat-Gazette and AP stalwart reporter Ron Fournier, gives Gov. Mike Huckabee the spotlight to answer the question of whethere we have an "inalienable right" to health care.

You will be checked

We'd noted that the Bush rally in Bentonville Sunday requires a ticket available at Republican offices.

Another Republican hypocrite

The Democrat-Gazette was filled today with news of Bush administration bumbling and accounts of still more crooked Republican congressmen under investigation for consorting with influence-peddling lobbyists.

New condos, hotel announced in River Mkt.

Leslie Newell Peacock files this report from a 10 a.m. news conference announcing the new River Market Tower (which we first reported here last night):

Huckabee lambasts his own appointee

For the second day in a row, the state Republican Party this morning issued a statement from Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Go green-go GOP

Jim Lendall, candidate for governor, informs us that the Green Party election watch party will be at Juanita's party room, 13th and Main.

Rowdy Republicans

Our Arkanas R.F.D. Blog -- scanning the state for news of interest -- turns up a good one from Jonesboro about angry Hutchinsonites storming KAIT-TV over its refusal to run dishonest Beebe attack ads.

Stodola has a plan -- UPDATE

Mayoral candidate Mark Stodola announced an economic development plan today and the endorsement of a couple of city directors -- Stacy Hurst and Gene Fortson.

Following the money -- UPDATE

11th hour campaign news:   Republicans are raising questions about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe’s use of his abundant campaign money.

JR and Henry: Get ready for South Carolina

South Carolina Proving Ground Saturday night’s game against South Carolina offers the Arkansas Razorbacks that very rare second chance to make a first impression.  Even though Arkansas is the only undefeated team remaining in the SEC, the Hogs simply aren’t getting much attention on the national scene.  All the speculation about SEC teams making a run to the national title involves Florida and Auburn, even though the Razorbacks bombed the Tigers on their home field.

New Youth Services scandal

A new scandal is breaking over treatment at the state Youth Services Center at Alexander.

And speaking of ethics -- UPDATE

Mary Mann, campaign manager for Jim Lagrone, Republican candidate for secretary of state, has filed an ethics complaint against Charlie Daniels because of what she says are linked radio ad purchases -- one by a generic get-out-the-vote group then followed by an ad for Daniels.

Oh, Those Silly City-Folk...

(Cross-posted at NINJA POODLES!)If you don't know, we don't get our network satellite feeds from local channels, but rather from east and west-coast network affiliates.

The bird is the word

Careful readers know that the rescuer of the LR Zoo's barn owl was prepared to tell her story here recently.

Huckabee embedded in disdainful behavior

Could somebody please research the water supply in Hope from the late 1940s though the 1960s? I guarantee you there was some curious chemical agent in there infecting children’s brain waves with Jekyll-Hyde elements.

Beebe ranks high

From The Fix, the Washington Post political blog: Top Ten 2006 Campaigns Run by Challengers (listed alphabetically): Mike Beebe (D-Ark.): After ten years of Republican rule in the Arkansas governor's mansion, Beebe is on the verge of reclaiming the office for Democrats thanks to an aggressive and well-funded campaign.

It's a good day to vote

This is the final day that satellite voting locations will be open. Hours are 8 to 4 p.m.

It's a good day to vote

This is the final day that satellite voting locations will be open. Hours are 8 to 4 p.m.

The Republicans are right

How's that for a stop-the-presses headline? The GOP held a news conference yesterday in which it warned against the danger that this election would produce one-party rule in Arkansas.

It was, too, about the Mansion

Gov. Mike Huckabee continues to make a fool of himself with his self-aggrandizing recollections of what happened during the legislative gestation period of the great Nick Wilson scandal of 1997.

The bingo criminals

NY Times today features the effort to pass a charity bingo amendment in Arkansas. The story leads with the embarrassing fact that illegal bingo continues openly in the state, including at the VFW in Russellville.

RoboHuck

Blogger reports phone call from Gov. Mike Huckabee in behalf of Republican candidates in Virginia.

Tom O'Neil outlines Top 10 for Best Picture

Here are the 10 films he thinks will be in contention for Best Picture. Babel, Bobby, The Departed, Dreamgirls, Flags of Our Fathers, Little Miss Sunshine, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Queen, United 93 and Volver.

'Hacking Democracy'

Finally got around to watching the TiVo'ed version of the HBO documentary, "Hacking Democracy." It's a chilling, 90-minute look at election fraud nationwide linked to electronic voting devices, especially those made by Diebold, but also including the ESS machines used in Arkansas.The central point is how jaw-droppingly EASY it is to jigger the software to affect the vote totals that election officials certify.

More Kate Winslet

in the London Times  

Election Day is Tuesday

Go vote, if you haven't already.  Here are my Top 10 American political feature films. 1.  Reds 2.  All the President's Men 3.  All the King's Men (1949) 4.  Citizen Kane 5.  Bulworth 6.  Nixon 7.  Election 8.  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 9.  Tanner '88 10.  The Contender And for documentary films, The War Room, The Fog of War, The Hunting of the President, Farenheit 9/11, Outfoxed and 365 Days.

Responding to comments

Blue and Orange writes, MovieGoer, I am very interested in the truth behind the diamond industry.

That's Our Dick

Did you see George Stephanopoulous'  ABC News interview with Dick?Poor George was damn near paralyzed with fear by that death-ray sneer, but he did manage to ask the guy a couple of questions.

Early line

I forgot to open up a line last night. Here's one.

He did have sex with that man

So says Preacher Haggard's church board. And while we're on this topic -- headlines of the day: Naked man arrested for concealed weapon Nude couple's feud ends at Waffle House

Marathon man

Gov. Huckabee is making all the media appearances he can in NYC, milking his marathon run for all the presidential mileage he can.

Of Hogs And Monsters

First of all, I have to get this off my chest:  During the Razorback game tonight, the FIRST half, obviously, one of the ESPN announcers made a comment about "the hogs turning into stallions," which, in context, would have to have meant that the team was looking stronger and more formidable.  And then I yelled at the T.V. for a couple of minutes.  Of course, I had also yelled at the set earlier, during my daughter's Saturday morning cartoons, but I couldn't help it--Sandy Cheeks kept referring to SpongeBob as "y'all," even though he was ALL BY HIMSELF.  I'm sure you understand.  Anyway, my point about the hogs vs. stallions thing is this:  A wild boar, a razorback, faced off against a horse, even a horse with testicles (which is all a "stallion" is), would tear that horse UP.  I've owned horses for years, and I can't even imagine a scenario in which one would stand a chance against a razorback.  Um, I can't actually imagine a scenario in which a horse and a hog would fight in the first place, but it wasn't my metaphor.There.  I feel better.   And thankfully, the Hogs held it together enough tonight to secure a win, not to mention peace in my household.  *breathes relieved sigh*The thing that caught my attention today, enough that I felt compelled to mention it here, was the brouhaha currently going on up at Idaho State University.  It seems that Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, PhD, a tenured professor of anatomy at the college, is under fire from his colleagues there, so much so that they have even organized an effort to have his tenure revoked.  You see, Dr. Meldrum is "That Bigfoot Guy."  A true believer.  He's the "go-to" fellow on all things Sasquatch, and has over the years, in the words of Jane Goodall, brought "a much-needed level of scientific analysis" to the world of Bigfoot research and study.  To his peers, however, he's an embarrassment, his research a "joke," according to  Martin Hackworth of the ISU Physics  Dept., who admits to "cringing" whenever he sees Meldrum popping up on Discovery Channel shows about Bigfoot.But that's not what fascinated me.  Along with this story, a poll was being conducted, asking simply, "Do you think Bigfoot exists?"  The vote, with around 230,000 people responding at the time of my reading, was 58% to 42% "YES."Yup:  More people report that they believe in Bigfoot than don't.  You might figure that folks who would click on a link to a story about Bigfoot would be more likely to be believers...but maybe not.  I clicked on it, after all, but it was because the headline was about Meldrum coming under fire, and I was expecting a hoax to be revealed.I'm not sure why I was so surprised at the number of people professing to believe in Bigfoot.  I mean, I am married to a man who SWEARS that, as a child growing up in Newport, he absolutely, without a doubt, spotted the White River Monster.  He was, of course, alone, with no camera.  In order to maintain my very marriage, I have to at least allow that he saw a stray manatee or elephant seal, however unlikely that is.  (And since the bonafide manatee sightings in Memphis last month, it doesn't seem quite as unlikely as it once might have.)  The man does not doubt his eyesight or his memory one bit.So, how about it?  Do you believe in Bigfoot?  Nessie?  The White River Monster?  Karl Rove?  Abominable Snowman?  Hogzilla?  Boggy Creek Monster?  "Enquiring" minds want to know!

Death for Saddam

The verdict is in.

Trouble with the base

Newspaper endorsements account for little at the polls, Brummett agrees, but when the state's two biggest newspapers, both Republican-owned, back the Democratic candidate for governor ...

The quarterback controversy

Actually, it may not be a controversy any longer. A good look at Casey Dick's emergence last night after the phenom was benched.

Book it: bass fishing

The Sunday NY Times offers the first chapter of a book on tournament bass fishing -- the local angle being that the action is set at Arkansas's big-time bass fishing facility at Lake Dardanelle.

A Democratic tide

The Washington Post predicts one, again making the eternal pessimist very nervous. (A win for Beebe is included in the analysis.)

The Long Nightmare Is Almost Over

Although I'm sure lots of people think I'm 100% Democrat, liberal, it simply isn't the truth.

Holiday movies

The New York Times has a two-part "Holiday Movies" section in the paper today.  The first section has two interesting articles on Will Smith and Emma Thompson as well as an interview with Erin Cressida Wilson of Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus.  There are cool ads for Dreamgirls, Notes on a Scandal, Venus and the Casablanca-like The Good German.  Check it out. 

Box Office

Borat takes the top spot with a very respectable $26 million.  Check out the weekend charts.  More good news for The Departed, which had another strong showing and eclipsed the $100 million mark.  Volver and Babel both did very well.  Volver, showing only on 5 screens, grossed $202,000 for the highest per-secreen average of the weekend.  Babel, showing on 35 screens, grossed $1.47 million.

Cate Blanchett

Here's a story from the L.A. Times.

Huckabee finishes

Gov. Mike Huckabee finished the New York City Marathon Sunday, but apparently was slowed by an aching knee that almost kept him out of the race He finished in 5:33, more than an hour slower than his best previous marathon time.

Oh, never mind

Haggard confesses. We note that one of the Bible-thumping pro-Asa, pro-Holt "family values" blogs has scrubbed its post from Friday standing up for Haggard and calling the story  "a smear job of lies designed to discredit the Religious Right."  It is, however, still cached.   These boys don't like to own up to their falsehoods.

The Swaggart route

Haggard confesses.

GameDay in Fayetteville next Sat.

ESPN GameDay will broadcast for the first time from Fayetteville this Saturday, when Arkansas hosts Tennessee at Razorback Stadium.

Election predictions?

A blog reader asks for a thread where you can post your election predictions. What do you think the percentages will be in the governor's race and other statewide contests?

Highway 10: Problem?

Lou Schickel's new shopping center is open, with a Parisian department store as the anchor.

Death of a mill worker

Warwick Sabin in this week's Times reported on the death of a Deltic sawmill worker.

Of Admiration and Internet Trolls

I have, previously, on my other site, raved about the brilliant Lisa Stone, who I first encountered in her role as co-founder of the amazing effort that is BlogHer.org.  A couple of weeks ago, she wrote a piece there that I found absolutely perfect in its simplicity and cut-to-the-chase attitude.  I don't think she'll mind if I just go ahead and reprint it here in its entirety (Lisa's article in color).  To read follow-up comments, you can find the original article here.  Do yourself a favor, and meet Lisa Stone: Dear women of the Internet: We need to have a talk.

The issue Tuesday

It's all about Bush, as Paul Krugman makes abundantly clear in a smoking hot column about the importance of Democrats taking back at least one house Tuesday.

The latest tactic

The Republicans' closing trick is the use of misleading automated telephone calls, a telemarketing campaign of hot-button issues intended to misrepresent Democratic candidates.

The gap closes -- UPDATE

Polls show the national races tightening as the Republican base "comes home."  It will be a long night tomorrow.

Lest we forget

As Bubba Bush and his Petroleum Club buddies who run our government try to whip us into a frenzy over Iran's steady march toward membership in the Nuclear Club, let's not forget who helped get us to this point.

Brief Q & A with Ashley Judd

star of Come Early Morning, written and directed by NLR native Joey Lauren Adams. 

Come Early Morning

The film opens this week in New York.  Early reviews are good, particularly for Ashley Judd whom New York Magazine says "gives the performance of her career."  It is "one of the seasons biggest surprises," he says.

Emma Thompson talks

here.

Dangerous Arkansas

An on-line interview with a Fulbright scholar from Iraq who's studying at the University of Arkansas illustrates that even leaving Iraq is no guarantee of safety.

On the road with A$a

The Washington Post follows former Washington insider A$a Hutchinson on his campaign rounds in Arkansas.

Does the country get it?

CNN has Bush popularity ratings at 35 percent and a huge gap between likely Democrat and Republican voters.

Asa campaign among 10 worst

After including Mike Beebe's gubernatorial campaign among the 10 best campaigns in the nation, Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post today names Asa Hutchinson's campaign among the 10 worst.

One last poll

Can you stand one more? KTHV will air another round of Survey USA polling at 5 (governor's race) and 6 (governor plus lt. gov., a.g. and secy.

Bushwacked

Through the wonders of cell phonery, we just got a taste of George Bush at the rally at XNA.

Corrupt bastards

And that's still too kind for what the Republicans are up to in Virginia -- and undoubtedly elsewhere.

Those final poll numbers

Tighter, Survey USA says, but still a Democratic sweep. For KTHV: Governor: Beebe 51-42 Lt. gov: Halter 50-42 A.G.: McDaniel 54-38 Secy.

Election Endorsements - Re Post

The election is Tuesday - but you can still early vote tomorrow at the  Pulaski County.  On Tuesday the polls are open from 7am until 7pm.

ATTENTION, WOMEN!

Got your attention?   Good.  I knew it was bad.  I mean, I knew there were a LOT of women who were not voting.  But until this campaign came along, I didn't know how bad it WAS.  Got you wondering, now?  TWENTY MILLION SINGLE WOMEN did not vote in the last presidential election.

How can we miss him if he won't go away?

Many months ago, I penned a column asking John Kerry to go away, or at least back to the U.S. Senate to pursue elder statesmanship instead of further national political ambition. Alas, he has not done so.

A final strikeout

Brummett assesses last week's flareup of allegations of ethical misconduct by the Beebe campaign in transferring excess money to the state Democratic Party.

The expectations game

NY Times: Some Democrats worry that those [optimistic] forecasts, accurate or not, may be setting the stage for a demoralizing election night, and one with lasting ramifications, sapping the party’s spirit and energy heading into the 2008 presidential election cycle.

The diamond state

In an expansive front-page feature, the LA Times re-discovers Arkansas's diamond mine at Murfreesboro, leading with the recent discovery of a 5-carat stone.

Didn't want you to miss it

nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards close today.

'The Queen'

Here's a "For Your Consideration" piece from John Hartl writing for MSNBC.com. The subject: Stephen Frears, director of The Queen.

It's fitting

Here's a funny article about the most loathsome politicians in film from the Washington Post.

What's in your queue?

I've got The Deer Hunter, The Grifters, My Life Without Me.

Worldplay

It's out on DVD today.  If you missed it in the theatre, check it out.  It's worth it.

Carpetbagger is back

from the New York Times.  Follow his happenings here.

I missed

the AR Times screening of Babel last night at Market Street Cinema.  Thoughts?

Richard Ford, Miller Williams

ok, so not film related (although I bet these guys like film), but still worth your attention.  I picked up Richard Ford's latest novel "The Lay of the Land" and once I get through Adam Gopnick's collection of essays "Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York" I will open it.  Here are a series of interviews with Ford on NPR.  All are worth a listen.

The Huckabees vote

The Huckabees vote at Dunbar Community Center. Do you suppose they voted for the gubernatorial candidate with positions closest to Gov. Mike's?

Inside baseball -- UPDATE

Political junkies -- believing Arkansas elections unlikely to produce surprises -- are looking ahead to Wednesday as a far more exciting day politically.

JR and Henry: South Carolina over-hyped

Victory, injury and a new quarterback  It did not take long for Houston Nutt to insert Casey Dick into the line-up against South Carolina.  It was on the third play, in fact, after Mitch Mustain’s first and only pass was intercepted.   Once the USC defender came down with the ball Mustain’s 7-0 start, the best ever for a freshman quarterback at Arkansas was quickly forgotten, and the second era of Casey Dick began in Columbia.  That’s the real story of Saturday and we cannot ignore it.  But before we dissect it further, it’s worth some words about the Gamecocks, generally.

Bon jour, wish you were here

Hey, folks, I am taking a little vacation from the Times office and Little Rocking, but I thought I would check in from Aix-en-Provence, on the fifth day of a trip through France.

Tonight's plan

Catch Warwick Sabin on Fox 16's election coverage tonight. I'll be doing my Laurel and Hardy number with Bill Vickery tonight on Channel 4 at 5 and 10 p.m.

Tonight's plan

Catch Warwick Sabin on Fox 16's election coverage tonight. I'll be doing my Laurel and Hardy number with Bill Vickery tonight on Channel 4 at 5 and 10 p.m.

Too close for comfort?

Call it an accident or mere circumstance, but Little Rock mayoral candidates Barbara Graves and Mark Stodola tonight are having their campaign watch parties at Cajun's Wharf.

Church and state

Americans United for Separation of Church and State announces that it has asked the IRS to investigate four churches for electioneering (thus jeopardizing their tax-exempt status).

Gone to the dogs

Just in time for a new Arkansas legislature to be invited in for drinks and a few spins of the slots (and you can bet they'll be there, knocking back the freebies), the old Southland Greyhound Park will have a grand re-opening Thursday as Southland Gaming and Racing.

Gone to the dogs

Just in time for a new Arkansas legislature to be invited in for drinks and a few spins of the slots (and you can bet they'll be there, knocking back the freebies), the old Southland Greyhound Park will have a grand re-opening Thursday as Southland Gaming and Racing.

Confidentially Pissed Off

Well, I'm back people! I have been on hiatus for a while due to some personal tragedies last week.

Crooked bastards, Part II

More outrages: Inaccurate sample ballots describing Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele as Democrats were handed out to voters in at least four polling sites in Prince George's County this morning.

Dalys rip it

Another divorce filing for golfer John Daly. It's mutual, apparently.Another episode for his reality show.

National election results

UPDATE 8:39 Dick Armey is talking on CNN about the confluence of events that came home to roost for the Republicans and the need to reshape the party.

Arkansas election results -- UPDATE

UPDATE 9:18 Asa Hutchinson hasn't joined the reality-based community yet. He's holding out hope that he'll win every single vote in Sebastian and Benton Counties and thus lose by only about 10 percent.

Little Rock election results -- UPDATED

UPDATE 9:10 PM Not that you were worried, but Channel 4 indicates Doc Holladay is running away from Dewayne Graham in the race for Pulaski County sheriff.

Consider This a Public Service Announcement

In which I once again learn something new, and feel the need to share it.We picked up some prescriptions at our local Walgreen's pharmacy today.  And here is where you learn something slightly freakish about me.  I am a compulsive pill-counter.  I wasn't always this way, but some years ago, when I was having my prescriptions filled elsewhere, I had a recurring problem with being shorted on my prescriptions, where pills were involved.  In other words, the number in the bottle did not match the number on the label.  This was happening, at the time, with narcotics.  And so it was that I began the counting of pills in any new prescription.So today, my husband picked up some medicine for me, and brought it hom.  He took my two items out of the bag, and tossed them to me...one bottle of Nasonex nasal spray, and a bottle of (notably NON-narcotic) pills for a stomach ailment.  Of course, I immediately opened and counted these, checking for the "30" pills that were noted on the bottle's label.  I counted 27.  Counted again, with Bella's assistance, and still...27.  Called the pharmacy, where I was informed by a tech that they were "like, really swamped right now," but that I could call back around 8:00 a.m. tomorrow and speak with a pharmacist, who would assist me in this problem.The tech also let it slip that, nowadays, instead of actually COUNTING your pills when they fill your prescriptions, they just pour them onto a special electronic scale, set for the particular pill you're receiving, and plug in the amount that your prescribed number of pills should weigh, and when the numbers match up, they fill your bottle.  She also admitted that "sometimes the scales are a little off."I have to wonder how often this happens.  If this is really how it's done nowadays, I'd guess pretty darned often.  Back 15 years ago or so, when I worked as a pharmacy technician in a couple of hospitals, pills were counted.  Counted.  By actual human beings.  And then they were counted again.  The pharmacists had these nifty little trays, upon which they'd pour a pile of pills from the bulk bottle, and the simultaneously count and scrape the pills into a little "trough" on the side of the tray.  Once counted, the top of the trough was closed, forming a kind of funnel, from which the pills were poured into the prescription bottle.But now we have technology.  And, apparently, mistakes.  So, as a public service announcement from me to you, COUNT YOUR PILLS before leaving the pharmacy.  They might just "weigh" different than they "count."

National expert on emergency contraception to speak

Two public meetings on Emergency Contraception (EC) will feature Don Downing, R.Ph., a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and a national expert on the medication.

Washington Regional Medical Center welcomes director of Imaging Services

Sissy Pederson, CRA, RT (R) (M), recently joined the Washington Regional Medical Center as Director of Imaging Services.

UAMS holiday cards feature tiniest babies

Holiday cards and note cards featuring some of the tiniest patients at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) are on sale for the first time ever.

Oh baby, oh baby

My apologies for inactivity. I ended up spending more time at Channel 4 than planned.

Somebody help me -- UPDATE

I've again perused the latest on legislative voting. A few precincts remain out.

Waiting for noon and a recess appointment

As we wait for the Smirker in Chief's 1 p.m. (EST) appearance, we ponder the analysis.

The transition

A reader asks that the speculation begin on which Hucksterites will be first to go -- and how soon -- in the Beebe administration.

Is It Just Me...

...or are the birds singing just little prettier today, the colors brighter, and the laughter of children sunnier?And this from someone who's been really sick, and didn't even read any news until late this evening.  It was just...in the air, I guess.

Before you knight Rahm

read this in TNR about the power of netroots and consider the wisdom of Howard Dean's 50-state approach, too.

Message received

Rumsfeld is stepping down. Is it too much to ask that Bush and Cheney follow?

Cluck cluck

Rumors about former Senate colleague Morril Harriman joining Mike Beebe's gubernatorial administration might have some basis in fact.

Deaths in LR

  Curtis Tate, 45, a former employee of the Historic Arkansas Museum who was known for his acting roles, particularly in depicting characters of territorial days, died in Little Rock police custody Tuesday night.

Drink up-toke up

Marion County voted wet yesterday, a difficult accomplishment given the huge petition requirements to get a wet proposal on the ballot.

Dueling news conferences

Be there. State Capitol.

Help for the worker

And here's another election tidbit you might not have heard, courtesy of Acorn: The Pine Bluff Living Wage Ordinance won big with 69 percent support.  The ordinance will require the city and city contractors to pay employees a minimum of $9.30 per hour with benefits and $10.55 per hour without benefits.

The transition team

Beebe has announced the team -- poultry lobbyist Morril Harriman,  insurance lobbyist Ark Monroe, gas man Eamon Mahony, outgoing Rep. Joyce Elliott and Don Nelms, a retired car dealer with a strong environmental resume.

Senate in transition

Shades of Nick Wilson. An unnamed senator popped a "rule change" on the Senate at its 2007 organizational meeting today.

Senate in transition

Shades of Nick Wilson. An unnamed senator popped a "rule change" on the Senate at its 2007 organizational meeting today.

Sleepers?

5 unlikely actors who could be nominated.  The LA Times makes their predictions.

More screeners

Let the games . . . continue.From LA TimesOscar voters get more DVD screeners

Writers on film

Here's a story from MSNBC.com

'Borat' seriously?

Borat and The Queen are poised to end 2006 as the best reviewed films of the year.  They both register a 100% on rottentomatoes.com Cream of the Crop ratings.  I saw Borat this past weekend.  It's crude, but wildly funny; The Aristocrats funny; "And of course my red hot smokin' wife Carley, who is a stone cold fox" funny.  Ok, funnier.

Friday

   

Q & A with Harvey Weinstein

In the LA Times.

The loyal opposition

Soon enough, if not immediately, the next epoch of the Arkansas political cycle begins. The Huckabee era is over.
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