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November 30, 2006

Vol 4 • No 46

Would you like a Bible with that? -- UPDATE

At least one Mountain Home school is delivering Bibles (King James) to kids if they choose the right door when they leave the lunchroom.

Arkansas students: Not ready for college work

The state Education Department today has released results of a survey of Arkansas college professors on the ability of incoming Arkansas freshmen to do college-level work.

Survey says ...

From the Hartford Courant: A collective “I told you so” will ripple through the world of Bush-bashers once news of Christopher Lohse’s study gets out.

Hump night?

Time for an open line? Psychotics for Bush?

Words

Of heels and heals.

Affirmative action

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has a smarter student body these days. Merit-only scholarships have done a marvelous job of attracting bright Arkansas students who once sought elite colleges out of state. They also pull in out-of-state students

Woof

While a faithful K-9 unit can often be a cop’s best friend, the love was just not there between one officer-in-training and her dog on Nov. 9. That day, a female undercover officer with the Little Rock Police Department saw her new dog turn on her during

The Observer

Has there ever been a bigger tailgate than the bash that sprawled over the War Memorial Park golf course before the Arkansas-LSU game?

Target: Midtown

Though a legal squabble between the land owners and University Mall operator Simon Property Group continues in court, talk of redeveloping the languishing mall continues on other fronts.

Editorial cartoon

The view from Poland

This past year was a good year for an Arkansawyer to be a Fulbright scholar in Poland. It was the 100th birthday of J. William Fulbright (D-Ark), whose bill established, 60 years ago, the international exchange program that bears his name.

Orval

One man, one vote

Almost a month has passed since Election Day, and I’m still troubled by what happened in Waldenburg. Randy Wooten was in a three-way race for mayor of the small Poinsett County town. Both of his opponents each received 18 votes, but he received none.

Enough!

Subject: Huckabees’ gift registries.

An American abroad

People who ventured abroad for more than a day the past five years will sympathize with former President George Bush, who heard his son vilified by one foreigner after another last week at a leadership conference in the friendly venue of Abu Dhabi. But un

The week that was Nov. 22-28

It was a good week for … FOOTBALL. Too bad the visiting team was LSU, which broke Arkansas hearts with a 31-26 win over the Hogs at War Memorial Stadium. It was still a beautiful day and a heckuva tailgate party.

Doing goons

We have an old sorehead in our Sunday School class who’s one of these what you call a Darwinist. He has many strange beliefs, such as that people, monkeys, stray dogs and fishing worms all came up out of the same pot. I don’t know why someone like that wo

Smart Talk

This week: Bottled soda pop; Bob Seger; Main Street rumors; Memorial Day weekend doubleheader.

This Modern World

Extremist's good idea

Jim Holt, the extreme conservative now twice defeated in statewide races, says he’ll probably still be seen around the legislative session next year advocating his interests as a regular citizen. You remember those gems — criminalizing persons provid

Holiday hoopla

There will be little waiting for holiday fun events this December. A huge portion of them are scheduled for this weekend.

A change of leadership

The recent controversy over Karen DeJarnette’s decision to go public with concerns about Little Rock Superintendent Roy Brooks’ handling of desegregation efforts might have played out very differently if she’d chosen to come forward a month or two earlier

What goes down will go up

Patrons of the Little Rock River Market downtown have noticed, could hardly keep from noticing, the demolition across the way at Clinton Avenue and Rock Street. But the substantive demolition phase of the project is over, according to Bobby Roberts, direc

An adequate education

Brummett today recounts a discussion with Jim Argue and Shane Broadway on court supervision of Arkansas schools and, more important, what exactly constitutes an adequate and effective education.

Wal-Mart's season not so jolly

NY Times says Wal-Mart will report today a drop in November sales, the first drop in a decade.

NLR's double standard

We've mentioned Argenta News before, a blog that is, quite seriously, just what it says.

Cheese dip alert

Weather Service says an inch of snow after midnight tonight.

Cheese dip alert

Weather Service says an inch of snow after midnight tonight.

A bridge too dear

The county’s Junction Bridge project, which would turn the former railroad bridge into a pedestrian walkway, took a blow Thursday when it received only one bid for the work ― for $14.3 million.

Oxymoron: legislative ethics

I've just moderated a discussion by a panel of legislators. I tried, but could elicit no support for legislation to end the wining and dining of legislators by lobbyists.

Good works

The Clinton Foundation has brokered a deal to deliver drugs to children infected with HIV at dramatically lower costs.

Lake View drags on

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled 5-2 today that it would delay issuing an order ending the Lake View school case for six months.

Jesse Jackson in town -- the after party

From a community correspondent: After speaking today at the Statehouse Convention Center, Jesse Jackson went back to the Clinton School of Public Service for lunch where he visited with Little Rock Niner Minnijean Brown Trickey and her daughter, Spirit; City Manager Bruce Moore and his wife, Lena; Odies Wilson of the city of Little Rock and Little Rock School Board President Dr. Katherine Mitchell.  Virgil Miller, co-chairman of the Little Rock Central High 50th anniversary commission, briefed Rev. Jackson on the plans for September 2007 and invited him to attend.  Students from Helena who happened to be touring the Clinton library and the Clinton school got a special treat to meet, greet and have photos made with him.

The Huckabee after-party

We told you earlier, and in this week' Insider, about Gov. Mike Huckabee's $500-per-plate (they have plenty, thank you) fund-raiser Dec. 16.

Jobs v. lingerie

Talk about burying the lead. Check the news release on the jump about a coming prime-time special on Channel 11 in which the Arkansas Department of Economic Development will present  -- at 9 p.m.

'The Race Beat'

NPR has an excellent (and thorough) look at the 1957 desegregation crisis in Little Rock.It recounts the roles played by the late Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Democrat in that crisis, with a long and educational excerpt from a new book, The Race Beat by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff.Read . . .

The D-G gets religion

While the Saturday-only Religion section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has never really floated my boat — too drenched in holier-than-thou for my shriveled little soul — there may be some hope for a better tomorrow. The D-G has hired a new religion edi

Bruce James Calls the Hogs, Nov. 30

No. 8 Arkansas (10-2 overall, 7-1 in SEC) vs. No. 4 Florida (11-1 overall, 7-1 in SEC): Arkansas will try to offset some of Florida’s speed and quickness on defense with a shorter passing games, screen passes, and running the football consistently.

Houses for boomers

A University of Arkansas architect who consults with agencies on how to design affordable, adaptable and inclusive housing will give a talk Tuesday, Dec. 5, on the housing trends and the needs of Arkansas’s aging baby boomers.

TV highlights, Nov. 30

Coal Miner's Daughter, Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve; Friday Night Lights

Royal opening

The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “The King and I” opens Friday, Dec. 1, at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Free at last?

Over the last 50 years, the Little Rock School District has fought black parents, the federal government, the state, Pulaski County’s other two school districts, its own teachers, and, through the Joshua intervenors, every black student in Little Rock in

Shows with big buzz

The anticipation of good music after a weekend of avoiding awkward conversations with relatives whom you know only via drunk stories has left the masses clamoring for a night crammed full with good music.

There’s passion to ‘Nativity Story’

If your image of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child is like all those Italian Renaissance paintings hanging in the Louvre — where Mary looks pure-as-the-driven-snow Caucasian and about mid-30s, all-knowing and motherly, and her baby is picture-perfect w

Reese is ‘In the Spirit’ at Robinson Center

Famed vocalist and actress Della Reese highlights Philander Smith College’s holiday show, “In the Spirit,” scheduled for Friday, Dec. 1, at Robinson Center Music Hall.

A bug's life

A look at methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria under high magnification is enough to make you want to go wash your hands: clusters of egg-shaped yellow globs, dog-tick plump and more than a little on the gelatinous side. Ironically, the im

Surprise 20th Anniversary Celebration for Chancellor Disguised as UAMS State of the Campus Address

UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., thinks he will be presenting the annual UAMS State of the Campus address, but he will actually be attending a surprise celebration honoring him for his 20 years at UAMS – first as UAMS College of Medicine dean and sin

Last exit to Montana

The McCain Boulevard exit from the Jacksonville freeway in North Little Rock would make a splendid location for a movie about soulless suburbia. Montana Steakhouse, the latest strip-center entry in this highway hell, is appropriate to the setting.

What's cooking/Capsule review, Nov. 30

What's cooking: Grampa's Catfish House. Capsule review: Montana's.

The Mind of Matt: Aerosmith in Arizona

Matt Smith got to see a very kick-ass rock group on his recent extended trip out west.

Blog problems

Night owls will know that the Arkansas Blog pretty much has been out of commission most of the night.

Blog problems

Night owls will know that the Arkansas Blog pretty much has been out of commission most of the night.

Overnight report

I'm going to do a morning roundup of some odds and ends I saw waiting for the Blog to come back on-line: 1) E-mail tipster says a financial angel may step in to save the Nike Tour pro golf event previously known as the Rheem Classic in Fort Smith.

Overnight report

I'm going to do a morning roundup of some odds and ends I saw waiting for the Blog to come back on-line: 1) E-mail tipster says a financial angel may step in to save the Nike Tour pro golf event previously known as the Rheem Classic in Fort Smith.

Philip Martin remembers Robert Altman

in today's Dem Gaz.  Read it here.

Sundance announces line-up

Here.

'Half Nelson' cleans up at Gotham Awards

Here are the winners: Best Feature "Half Nelson," Ryan Fleck, director; Jamie Patricof, Alex Orlovsky, Lynette Howell, Anna Boden, Rosanne Korenberg, producers (ThinkFilm)Best Documentary"Iraq in Fragments," James Longley, director; James Longley, John Sinno, producers (Typecast Releasing in association with HBO Documentary Films)Breakthrough Director AwardRyan Fleck for "Half Nelson" (ThinkFilm) Breakthrough Actor AwardShareeka Epps in "Half Nelson" (ThinkFilm)Rinko Kikuchi in "Babel" (Paramount Vantage)Best Ensemble Cast Award"Babel," Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Koji Yakusho, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi, Said Tarchani, Boubker Ait El Caid (Paramount Vantage)Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award"Choking Man," Steve Barron, director; Joshua Zeman, Zachary Mortensen, producersGotham Awards TributeKate WinsletGotham Awards TributeEdward NortonGotham Awards TributeTodd Wagner and Mark CubanGotham Awards TributeEllen KurasGotham Awards Filmmakers TributeAlfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez InarrituGotham Awards Humanitarian TributeTim Robbins

Chat with Maggie Gyllenhaal

chek out this chat with the BSR it girl.    

We're in good hands

Krugman writes today about ominous economic indicators that point to a possible slowdown or recession in 2007.

Take it easy in New Orleans

Apologies for being MIA since Wednesday.  I've been in New Orleans for a quick getaway and just found the time to sneak into CC's coffee with my laptop for some time on the web.  The French Quarter, for the most part, is back.  The weather before today was a sticky 75.  The cold front arrived late las night and I woke up to temps in the low 40's.  I thought I might get lucky and catch a screening of Little Children down here, but it's not showing.  The Nativity Story interests me none.

The name game

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page today mulls at some length (no link, sorry) the regrettably growing practice of naming public facilities for people still in office, where they have done, or might do, favors for people passing the honorifics around.

Some reasonable Oscar analysis

from David Poland at Movie City News. 

'Bobby' and 'For Your Consideration'

my reviews of both of these films are in this week's Arkansas Times.

If all the GOP candidates implode ...

... will the man with his hand out, Gov. Mike Huckabee, be the only one left standing in the 2008 presidential derby?

Trades release reviews of anticipated films

On Dreamgirls, Variety's David Rooney writes, Finally. After "The Phantom of the Opera," "Rent" and "The Producers" botched the transfer from stage to screen, "Dreamgirls" gets it right.

Why not "Huckabee: The Musical"?

Heard today that "Enron: The Musical," about the biggest corporate financial collapse in U.S. history and all the personalities surrounding it, opens in a Houston theater tonight.

Good press for the governor

A Republican consultant writing in The Hill says Gov. Mike Huckabee is on target in calling out Sen. John McCain, the supposed finance reformer, for a structural advantage in being able to use his senatorial campaign account for presidential exploratory work.

Three more Beebe keepers

Gov.-elect Mike Beebe today announced he'd be keeping on three Huckabee agency heads -- James Salkeld, director of the Arkansas Department of Labor; Arthur Boutiette, director of the Arkansas Social Security Disability Agency; and Bekki White, State Geologist and Director of the Arkansas Geological Commission.

J.R. and Henry: The SEC title game

No Mediocrity Accepted The wonderment of what could have been seemed to stop not long after we published our column criticizing the poor coaching effort by the Razorback staff against LSU in last Friday's 31-26 loss.

The worst person in the world backs Huck

If  prostitute-toe-sucking Dick Morris be for you (and he seems to like former client Mike Huckabee quite a bit in an article excerpted here), that's enough for plenty of people to be against you.

Farm Bureau sez

It'll back a removal of sales tax on food so long as the impact on state revenue doesn't force an increase in other taxes (read taxes farmers might have to pay).

To do Friday: Rep, Della, North Mississippi Allstars

We're back to one of those busy weekends that hit Central Arkansas about once every four or five months, where there are actually about five things we'd really like to do and the enough conflicts to ensure that we'll only get two of them in, at best.

Get ready for the weekend

Consider this an open line. But also take note: 1) Seasonal festivities.

Kudos for Raytheon

You perhaps know that Raytheon, with its corporate jet operation, is a shining star in Little Rock's manufacturing sector.

Mike Beebe, lone populist

Beebe the populist

John Brummett writes today on how Mike Beebe, the perennial legislative pragmatist, became the populist champion of a cut in the grocery tax.

Legalize scalping

That's what a bill filed Friday would do. Sure, the free market ought to control and Arkansas is one of a handful of states that still make the practice a crime.

Wal-Mart's dilemma

Nearly every household already shops at Wal-Mart. So how do you grow a company with almost total penetration?

Trouble brewing

The Democrat-Gazette reports this morning the suspension -- no doubt preparatory for firing -- of Karen DeJarnette, the Little Rock School District employee who has suggested higher administrators weren't accurately -- or honestly -- reporting on the district's  evaluation of programs aimed at closing racial gaps in test scores.

Trouble brewing

The Democrat-Gazette reports this morning the suspension -- no doubt preparatory for firing -- of Karen DeJarnette, the Little Rock School District employee who has suggested higher administrators weren't accurately -- or honestly -- reporting on the district's  evaluation of programs aimed at closing racial gaps in test scores.

File complaints here

About anything. But I can tell you we're working on the escalating blog glitches.

Rummy's last words

Oopps. Just saw this.

Satellite Awards nominations

11th Annual Satellite Awards nominations from the International Press Academy Best Actress, Motion Picture Drama Helen Mirren, "The Queen" Penelope Cruz, "Volver" Gretchen Mol, "The Notorious Bettie Page" Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Sherrybaby" Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal" Kate Winslet, "Little Children" Best Actor, Motion Picture Drama Derek Luke, "Catch a Fire" Joshua Jackson, "Aurora Borealis" Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland" Patrick Wilson, "Little Children" Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond" Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson" Best Actress, Comedy or Musical Julie Walters, "Driving Lessons" Annette Bening, "Running with Scissors" Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada" Beyonce Knowles, "Dreamgirls" Toni Collette, "Little Miss Sunshine" Jodie Whitaker, "Venus" Best Actor, Comedy or Musical Aaron Eckhart, "Thank You for Smoking" Peter O'Toole, "Venus" Will Ferrell, "Stranger than Fiction" Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat" Joseph Cross, "Running with Scissors" Best Actress in a Supporting Role Abagail Breslin, "Little Miss Sunshine" Lily Tomlin, "A Prairie Home Companion" Blythe Danner, "The Last Kiss" Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel" Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal" Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls" Best Actor in a Supporting Role Donald Sutherland, "Auror Borealis" Adam Beach, "Flags of Our Fathers" Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed" Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine" Brad Pitt, "Babel" Jack Nicholson, "The Departed" Motion Picture, Drama Half Nelson The Departed The Queen Little Children The Last King of Scotland Babel Flags of Our Fathers Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy Little Miss Sunshine Thank You for Smoking The Devil Wears Prada Venus Dreamgirls Stranger than Fiction Motion Picture, Foreign Language Volver (Spain) The Lives of Others (Germany) Apocalypto (USA) Water (Canda) Changing Times (France) Syrian Bride (Israel) Best Director Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" Clint Eastwood, "Flags of Our Fathers" Bill Condon, "Dreamgirls" Stephen Frears, "The Queen" Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, "Babel" Pedro Almodovar, "Volver" Best Original Screenplay Changing Times House of Sand Babel Volver The Queen The Wind that Shakes the Barley Best Adapted Screenplay Flags of Our Fathers The Departed Thank You for Smoking Little Children A Prairie Home Companion Dreamgirls Here's the release    

Interview with John C. Reilly

star of the recently released Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, as well as the critically acclaimed "Chicago," "Magnolia," "A Prairie Home Companion," and "The Aviator" among many others.  Here.

National Board of Review

The Oscar race officially begins on December 6th when the National Board of Review announces its winners.  I'll post them as soon as I have them.

Yes, this really happened

My moviegoing friend and I were in a cab in New Orleans and our cab driver proceeded to tell us that his life "experiences" inspired the following scenes in the following films: "Rocky"   - Shadowboxing at the top of the steps, arguably the most famous scene in the film and one of the famous in all of film.  "Teen Wolf" - practically the entire film, but more specifically the scene where Michael J. Fox's dad stares down the principal.  And he made some reference to a scene where Michael J. Fox was leaning against some bleachers.  He did admit that he wasn't a werewolf, however.

Eddie Murphy

In the New York Times.  The Oscar buzz is not a joke.

The clueless president

Frank Rich nails him.

Some fun today

Brummett tells how to figure if you come from the cultural left or right. It's not infallible.

Surprise, Surprise

``The Lives of Others,'' a drama about a secret policeman in Communist East Germany, won the top prize at the European Film Awards over "Volver" the critically acclaimed release from Pedro Almodovar, who won Best Director.  Here's the release.

Peter O' Toole

Interview with the LA Times here.  O'Toole stars in the upcoming "Venus," expected to net him several critical awards.

Back on track

Pitiful weekend in terms of national releases.  Still no word on when "The Last King of Scotland," "Little Children," "Sherrybaby," and several anticipated documentaries will make it to Little Rock.  "Come Early Morning" is here on the 15th.  Thankfully, "Blood Diamond" arrives this week as does "Apocalypto" so we're not forced to hear about "Turistas" anymore.  "The Holiday" with Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law also arrives.  Market Street Cinema is reporting that "Shut Up and Sing" will be here on Friday.  We'll see.

Hillary!

Surprise. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun a calculated series of meetings with top New York Democratic officials to signal that she is likely to run for the presidency in 2008 and to ask for their support if she does, according to one state Democratic official who spoke with her and two others who have been briefed on her plans.

Chicken litter

In a status report on Oklahoma's fight against river pollution by the Arkansas-based poultry industry, the Oklahoma attorney general says the poultry lobby always gets its way in the Arkansas legislature.

Florida-bound

It's Arkansas v. Wisconsin in the Capitol One Bowl. How's that strike y'all?

A vote for Jim Webb

New York Bill gets it right as usual. Eleanor Clift "bitch-slaps" George Will and all the others who criticized rising Sen. Jim Webb for refusing to be bullied by the frat boy in chief.

Recruiters wanted

I found this blog, Operation Yellow Elephant, amusing Attention Military Recruiters:The Conservative Political Action Conference takes place March 1-3, 2007, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.Inspirational speakers invited include Vice President Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter, Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR), Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), David Horowitz, Wayne LaPierre, David Keene, Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist.We'll also be urging Real Americans to encourage all those healthy, red-blooded heterosexual American males to Be A Man! Enlist!

Promise keeping

The Democrats promised to improve the Medicare drug benefit. Now they're about to be in control and finding it might be easier said than done, Brummett writes.

A museum for Fort Smith

Stephens Media checks in on the competition -- between Fort Smith and Staunton, Va. -- to land a museum about the U.S. marshals service.

Mission unaccomplished

Afghanistan is in chaos, too, administration report says.

School reform

Very interesting story in NY Times: (Bad link fixed.) It's about a decidedly old-school administrator getting solid classroom results in a tough area of New York.

School reform

Very interesting story in NY Times: (Bad link fixed.) It's about a decidedly old-school administrator getting solid classroom results in a tough area of New York.

Standing watch

Washington Post today carries this Air Force photo of snipers keeping watch over crowds at Little Rock Air Force Base open house in November.

Standing watch

Washington Post today carries this Air Force photo of snipers keeping watch over crowds at Little Rock Air Force Base open house in November.

Arena plans

Planning continues for a $55 million sports arena in Rogers, a hoped-for venue for a WNBA team.

Two more years

Paul Krugman joins in the bully-in-the-White-House narrative. During his recent trip to Vietnam, Mr. Bush was asked whether there were any lessons from that conflict for Iraq.

Image building

Sky Sports, a British equivalent of ESPN, is apparently in LR this week for the Jermain Taylor fight and its crew is filming some local color in the process, our informer says.

The newspaper of the future

Washington Post today features the Gannett newspaper chain's robust move to enhance its on-line offerings.

The men from Hope

In a column on the lack of strong conservatives among Republican presidential candidates, Fox commentator Susan Estrich mentions the governors from Hope, Ark.

The money rolls in

The state revenue report is out. Net state income for November of $317.1 million was 6.9 percent above the same month a year earlier and 1.8 percent above the revised forecast.

The money rolls in

The state revenue report is out. Net state income for November of $317.1 million was 6.9 percent above the same month a year earlier and 1.8 percent above the revised forecast.

Dances with leprechauns

Mario Lopez, champion who starred on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," will be grand marshal of Hot Springs' big St. Patrick's Day event, the world's shortest St. Pat's parade.

A chance for Beebe to shine

Psst. Hey, you.

Naked came the mayor

Our old colleague Ginger Shiras covers Berryville like the dew for the Harrison newspaper and we see today she's onto a corker.

Doing battle for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart faces a changed battlefield in Congress after years of favoring Republicans. But, Bloomberg reports, it has a strong ally in Sen. Blanche Lincoln and has also been passing money around in the Congressional Black Caucus to win supporters in its fight against organized labor.

Hold the phone -- UPDATED

A faithful reader is in a snit after getting his phone bill (AT&T) today. I don't have one at hand and can't otherwise comment, but he's a reliable sort.

Hold the phone -- UPDATED

A faithful reader is in a snit after getting his phone bill (AT&T) today. I don't have one at hand and can't otherwise comment, but he's a reliable sort.

Still more questions -- UPDATE

Another reader wants to know what's the deal with the TV ad for a siding company (Hanke Bros.) that features a person who appears to be in a State Police uniform.

Wal-Mart cutting fabrics?

The Morning News develops a report that Wal-Mart may be preparing to drop fabric sales from its stores.

Beebe and the Senate

You think Gov. Beebe will have an easy time of it in the Senate, given his past years of service?

Beebe and the Senate

You think Gov. Beebe will have an easy time of it in the Senate, given his past years of service?

Here come the Democrats

Here's a coming congressional fight that's a real lunch bucket issue likely to emerge with a Democratic Congress: Requiring paid sick leave.

A bit of Arkansas history

The Washington Post's magazine columnist delves into the true confession genre and provides a bit of Arkansas history new to me.

President Carter to be subject of documentary

From Hollywood Reporter, President Jimmy Carter will be the subject of "He Comes in Peace," a documentary being directed by Jonathan Demme.

Long-form journalism

Stories mentioned in the local papers today but explored more analytically elsewhere include: The Washington Post explainer on House Republicans' plan to push an abortion anesthesia vote -- one last hot button litmus test before control passes to Democrats.

Long-form journalism

Stories mentioned in the local papers today but explored more analytically elsewhere include: The Washington Post explainer on House Republicans' plan to push an abortion anesthesia vote -- one last hot button litmus test before control passes to Democrats.

Bush gets Gored

Thanks to Adam for noting a Daily Kos post about an Al Gore interview in which, among others, he rips Bush for not responding adequately to warnings about potential terrorist threats pre-9/11.

Flash! Iraq's a disaster

Except now it's the new Defense secretary who admits we're losing. Has anybody told this to Cheney's puppet, the nominal president?

Shades of Kelly Bryant -- UPDATE

We hope to have a photograph of this bit of now-removed Christmas decoration before long, but we wanted to tell Capitol passersby as quickly as possible: The Secretary of State's office did not put the Santa Claus hats on the heads of the sculptures of the Little Rock Nine on the north lawn of the state Capitol, a spokesman for the office says.

Shades of Kelly Bryant -- UPDATE

We hope to have a photograph of this bit of now-removed Christmas decoration before long, but we wanted to tell Capitol passersby as quickly as possible: The Secretary of State's office did not put the Santa Claus hats on the heads of the sculptures of the Little Rock Nine on the north lawn of the state Capitol, a spokesman for the office says.

More of the same

The Arkansas Republican Party State Committee will meet this weekend and from the sounds of the news release (in full on the jump) I'd say it looks like Gilbert Baker is good for another term as chairman.

Every College Student Should Read This!

While paroosing the Ninjapoodles blog, the one off the Times blog page, I stumbled across this little nugget, ten years too late, but if you have someone in college, boarding school, male and single, this is a top 10 thing to have knowledge of: KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE MADE WITHOUT DRAINING!

Seeking justice

Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen filed another pleading with the state Supreme Court today to open up the kangaroo court hearing scheduled by the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which is determined to punish Griffen for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech unfettered by the government.

Seeking justice

Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen filed another pleading with the state Supreme Court today to open up the kangaroo court hearing scheduled by the state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which is determined to punish Griffen for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech unfettered by the government.

If the FBI can do this, can parents?

From ABC News: Cell phone users, beware.  The FBI can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off.

National Board of Review tomorrow

The National Board of Review best of 2006 will be released tomorrow.  I'm guessing that they pick "The Departed" as the best film.  The top 10 could look like this:"Babel""Bobby""The Departed""Dreamgirls""Half Nelson""Little Miss Sunshine""Little Children""Notes on a Scandal""A Prairie Home Companion""The Queen"I have "United 93" and both Eastwood films being shut out, which could be very wrong.

Put on an un-smiley face

The Wal-Mart marketing department, shaken up not long ago, is shaking again wiith the departure of the head of marketing communications and another top aide.

Happy e-mail

Scanning my e-mail tonight, I see a notice on the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods list that the SW LR neighborhoods have a legal representative on the ground and marking the sparrow's fall on every action by garbage giant BFI to build a mountain of smelly waste in the Fourche Bottoms.

Gift to be presented to the Washington Regional Cancer Support Home

Proceeds from a Casino Night Fundraiser held by the Ryan Murphy Fund will be presented to the Washington Regional Cancer Support Home in Bentonville.

Healing Strokes Art Therapy for Breast Cancer Patients

Washington Regional Cancer Support Home was recently awarded a grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to begin a new creative arts program designed to provide support for breast cancer survivors in Washington and Benton counties.

Our team in D.C.

Just what, exactly, has the five-person Arkansas office in D.C. accomplished, except provide an inside-the-Beltway suite of offices for Gov. Mike Huckabee's political man Jason Brady, who's paid almost $100,000 a year and whose office runs up a total $300,000 annual tab on taxpayers?

Arkansas health: Not improving

A new report shows scant progress in Arkansas on a variety of health issues, despite lots of recent talk and effort on the subject.

Hillary makes her move

Washington Post details the work being done to assemble Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team.

Meet Jennifer Hudson

the star of the upcoming "Dreamgirls."

More on 'Little Children'

the latest from "In the Bedroom" director Todd Field and starring Kate Winslet.  Here.

That Wal-Mart departure

Chicago Sun Times offers some speculation for the sudden departure of Wal-Mart marketing boss Julie Roehm after less than a year on the job.

Family values

File this away for remembering when legislative demagoguery gets underway in January on whether gay people should be allowed to be foster or adoptive parents.

J.R. and Henry: History no Lesson for Nutt

J.R. and Henry: History no Lesson for Nutt Maybe some day Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt will get it.

The Iraq study

The report is out. Much had already been leaked.

And still more Northwest reporting

We'd been hearing bits and pieces about a book coming on Springdale High's big championship football season last year.

"Year of the Dog": An education in football recruiting

Harry King is the Stephens Media sports columnist, and since Stephens Media is also the publisher of "Year of the Dog," Kurt Voigt's book about the Springdale High School 2005 championship season, King has read the book.

The Huckster speaks

At Political Animals this morning. Also, he's listed today as a second-tier presidential candidate in Human Events, which could be a blessing or curse depending on your point of view.

Teacher of the year

He's Justin Minkel, a Springdale second-grade teacher who has achieved success in bringing students who speak English as a second language up to grade level.

Huck's bucks

We've mentioned Mike Beebe's shakedown of big-money interests to get preferred seating at his inaugural ball for "sponsorships" up to $25,000.

National Board of Review

A ton of surprises.  No "Dreamgirls."  No "The Queen."   "The Devil Wears Prada"  Huh?Best Film: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMABest Director: MARTIN SCORSESE, The DepartedBest Actor: FOREST WHITAKER, The Last King of ScotlandBest Actress: HELEN MIRREN, The QueenBest Supporting Actor: DJIMON HOUNSOU, Blood DiamondBest Supporting Actress: CATHERINE O'HARA, For Your ConsiderationBest Foreign Film: VOLVERBest Documentary: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTHBest Animated Feature: CARSBest Ensemble Cast: THE DEPARTEDBreakthrough Performance by an Actor: RYAN GOSLING, Half NelsonBreakthrough Performance by an Actress: (2)JENNIFER HUDSON, Dreamgirls and RINKO KIKUCHI, BabelBest Directorial Debut: JASON REITMAN, Thank You for SmokingBest Original Screenplay: ZACH HELM, Stranger Than FictionBest Adapted Screenplay: RON NYSWANER, The Painted VeilThe top 10 from the National Board of Review:"Letters From Iwo Jima""Babel""Blood Diamond""The Departed""The Devil Wears Prada""Flags Of Our Fathers""The History Boys""Little Miss Sunshine""Notes on a Scandal""The Painted Veil"Top Five Foreign Films:VOLVER(and, in alphabetical order)CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWERDAYS OF GLORYPAN'S LABYRINTHWATERTop Five Documentary FilmsAN INCONVENIENT TRUTH(and, in alphabetical order)51 BIRCH STREETIRAQ IN FRAGMENTSSHUT UP & SINGWORDPLAYTop Independent FilmsAKEELAH AND THE BEEBOBBYCATCH A FIRECOPYING BEETHOVENA GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTSHALF NELSONTHE ILLUSIONISTLONESOME JIMSHERRYBABY10 ITEMS OR LESSTHANK YOU FOR SMOKINGCareer Achievement - ELI WALLACHBilly Wilder Award for Excellence in Directing - JONATHAN DEMMECareer Achievement in Producing - IRWIN WINKLERWilliam K. Everson Film History Award - DONALD KRIMThe BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression - WATER and WORLD TRADE CENTER

D Mac's a contender

Word just in says Razorback Darren McFadden is one of three finalists for this year's Heisman Trophy

Late headlines

In addition to Heisman candidate McFadden, already noted by Sey Butts, (though even the homers on Rainwater know he won't win), there's news of 180 layoffs by Windstream, the spinoff of Alltel's old-fashioned phone operation, in 16 states, about 35 of them in Little Rock.

College of Public Health Adds Second, Third Doctorates

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health now has a doctorate program in health promotion and prevention research.
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