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November 27, 2008

Vol 6 • No 46

The Obama effect

History, of course, will record Nov. 4, 2008, as a watershed moment in the United States.

Lawsuit studied

KEEPING HOPE ALIVE: Photo of last week's anti-Act 1 march in Little Rock. Photo by Mikaltodd Wilson Though Arkansas's new adoption ban targets both gay and straight unmarried couples, an ACLU lawyer thinks a ruling in Florida yesterday lends support to a contemplated lawsuit in Arkansas over the constitutionality of the ban in Act 1.

Fun with turkeys -- VOTE NOW

As we slide into the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it was time for a quick survey on important food topics.

Orval, Nov. 27

The feel-good season

The “feel-good” story is a journalistic staple, especially in the holiday season.

Hibachi with a kick

We don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way hibachi grills got boring.

Are we getting fooled again?

Some people have started quoting The Who when speaking of President-elect Barack Obama.

The observer, Nov. 27

A neighbor of The Observer’s had a sad tale to tell of drugs, police and a system that failed all involved.

To-do list, Nov. 27

Arkansas vs. LSU, 'Great Russian Nutcracker,' 'The Toymaker's Apprentice,' Hayes Carll, North Mississippi Allstars, Sugar and the Raw and Dwele should add to the holiday weekend's entertainment options.

In brief, Nov. 27

It’s slim pickin’s for those of us who need a little nightlife to take the edge off all the togetherness.

‘Thank God for Mississippi’ fails

Mama said there’d be days like this.

Editorial cartoon, Nov. 27

A&E News, Nov. 27

Sad news for local music. Up and coming rapper Clint G, born in Clinton Hill, died in a car crash last Saturday.

Nov. 19-25, 2008

It was a GOOD week for … The INTERNET. In the old days, without web photo coverage, no one would have learned about the two Miller County deputies who ventured into Texas for a Hooter’s-related car wash featuring bikinied babes nor would the deputies have

Smart talk, Nov. 27

Natural gas was expensive last winter, and most Arkansans can expect to pay even more this winter, according to the state Public Service Commission.

Election analysis

On Nov. 4, tens of millions of patriotic Americans comprising all races, ethnicities, ages, religion, sexual orientation and political beliefs came together and voted to take our country back from the parasitical, traitorous group who have over the greate

Place your bets

The shape of Arkansas’s new lottery might be the most interesting debate of the 2009 legislative session.

Hursley’s ‘Warhol’ opens

The Arkansas Arts Center is showing work by architectural photographer Timothy Hursley as an adjunct to its Warhol show; Crystal Bridges announces three more acquisitions.

What's cooking, Nov. 27

More than 50 teams will compete in the “World’s Best Duck Gumbo” cook-off at the Wings Over the Prairie Festival in Stuttgart on Saturday.

Just a snap shot

After the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, national media reports showed joyous outbursts from people all over the world, including singing and dancing in the streets of Kenya.

Swallowed, whole

Like the origin stories of a lot of art, the genesis of Nate Powell’s new graphic novel came in a dream.

This modern world, Nov. 27

Gone to the dogs

The disembodied popsicle known as Walt Disney lined his pockets by anthropomorphizing anything and everything, filling some deep societal need that plain living-breathing folks just couldn’t muster.

The ‘good war’

It is definitely the economy, stupid! but let’s change the subject anyway.

Grace ’08

Thanks for indoor plumbing. It’s a lot better than the old way.

Words, Nov. 27

Accentuate the positive, latch on to the affirmations:

Wal-Mart’s new boss

Wal-Mart surprised the investment community last week by announcing that Mike Duke, a top international division officer, would succeed Lee Scott as CEO of the Bentonville-based retailer in February.

‘Thank God for Mississippi’ fails

Mama said there’d be days like this.

It’s not too late for a flu shot

Some people who’ve had trouble getting flu shots from their own physicians — “Try again next week,” they’re told — have asked if there’s a shortage of flu vaccine, as there was a few years back.

Free Blood

Free Blood exists to rock the party. Sweatily. Sexily. Awkwardly. Whatever it takes.

The dinner table report

Nearly 210 have voted so far in our Thanksgiving eats survey. It's "dressing," not stuffing, to Arkansas Blog readers.

Enough to say grace over

Who said John Brummett was grumpy? He gives a warm-spirited list of things to be thankful for.

Pressly suspect arrested NEW UPDATES

  The Little Rock police arrested a suspect in the slaying of KATV anchor Anne Pressly at a house in Little Rock not long after 11 p.m.

Pressly suspect arrested NEW UPDATES

  The Little Rock police arrested a suspect in the slaying of KATV anchor Anne Pressly at a house in Little Rock not long after 11 p.m.

Huck: In review

The Washington Times, about as friendly a venue as Mike Huckabee could want, gives a moderate review to his new bookette.

A DOGged grip on colonialism

David Koon notes: It's not exactly surprising that British colonialism would still hold sway at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, also one of the last redoubts of the Confederacy.

The groaning board

It groaned and I'm groaning. A quick run of the usual news spots turns up little of note today beyond the continuing horror in Mumbai.

Black Friday Breakfast of Champions.

After a day spent with family, likely ended in a Triptophan coma, many Arkansans are calling it an early night.  Some will wake in the early hours to take advantage of the plethora of Black Friday sales ballyhooed in circulars and flyers this week.  Others will be heading out early to grab good parking ahead of tailgating at the LSU game at War Memorial.  Whatever the reason, a breakfast of Thanksgiving leftovers and black coffee are on the menu for many of us.

Metallica

In an age when technological gimmicks and special effects often override the act employing it, Metallica delivered a pile-driving show, working in tandem with, rather than relying on, atmospheric enhancements.

Was helicopter worth it?

A 45-year-old wildlife officer with the state Game and Fish Commission patrolling for game law violators from aboard the agency’s helicopter was killed Nov. 16 when the helicopter crashed in a field.

Carmakers: Think again

Funny. I made a call to AEDC Wednesday looking for the list of Arkansas manufacturers who depend directly, and perhaps entirely, on the existence of U.S. automakers for their jobs and livelihood.

Sale! Are you buying?

Black Friday has begun. The doors flew open at J.C. Penney's in LR a couple of hours ago.

A pardon for Scooter Libby?

Judge Wendell Griffen looks ahead to that holiday possibility. If (when) President Bush pardons Scooter Libby as a political favor in the closing days or hours of his presidency, Vice President Cheney, Libby, and their neoconservative colleagues who lobbied for and have profitted from the Iraq War will celebrate the pardon and their private gains.

EXCLUSIVE: Pressly case clues UPDATE II

I can now confirm that DNA evidence broke the Anne Pressly murder case. Little Rock police recovered DNA samples in the investigation of Pressly's beating.

Open line and holiday special

I guess you've heard by now that flat-screen-crazed shoppers busted down the doors of a New York Wal-Mart at 4:55 a.m. today and killed an employee in the stampede.

Open line and holiday special

I guess you've heard by now that flat-screen-crazed shoppers busted down the doors of a New York Wal-Mart at 4:55 a.m. today and killed an employee in the stampede.

Reading pleasure: Huck, med school

Do you read the Arkansas Leader, Garrick Feldman's fine community paper in northern Pulaski? You should, for its energetic reporting and sharp editorials, the latter often written by our columnist Ernest Dumas.

Miracle on Markham, Part 2

Wow. Wow.

A Tale of Two Dicks: Observations from the North Endzone

As the game was looking like a replay of last weekend's Miss. State game, the title possibilities for this post included "Same Old, Same Old."

Who's up; who's down?

Brummett's holiday staple, a test of the winds of fortune, finds things looking up for, among others, Bill "Jackpot" Halter and Bobby Petrino (and that was before the LSU thriller).

Seen in the neighborhood

From the regular dispatches of the Heights neighborhood e-mail group comes a report that a housekeeper remembers the suspect in Anne Pressly's murder coming to the door of the house where she works recently and seeking work cleaning gutters.

Festival of Leftovers.

Now that the holiday has officially passed, how are you going about consuming your Thanksgiving leftovers?  Chris Finklea's idea of a post-Thanksgiving lunch:

Proud of pop

Thanks to David Huckabee for a link to the new NY Times best sellers list, with dad Mike Huckabee's "Do the Right Thing" weighing in at No. 5 on the hardcover nonfiction list.

Saturday special

Well, I'm back. Great day in Dallas.

Saturday special

Well, I'm back. Great day in Dallas.

Shaping the lottery

Rob Moritz has an interesting article for Stephens Media today about some of the key points in crafting legislation to implement the state lottery and scholarship program.

News you can use

Brummett is still going grumpily into the new media night. Naming no names, he has harsh words for the "choose-your-news" segment on Channel 7 with Kristin Fisher and, for now, resists her challenge to come on her live web show to talk about it. I think he ought to pay a visit when his new blog is up and running. It's all about pollinating the brand in today's electronic universe.

The readers take over

The previous item mentioned the California entrepreneur covering Pasadena from Bangalore. I'm currently covering Arkansas from Dallas.

AIDS Day

The Clinton Library will observe World AIDS Day tomorrow by displaying on the lawn the biggest single portion of the AIDS memorial quilt. About 125 12- by-12-foot panels will be placed on the lawn for display for one day.

The Pressly suspect

Catching up on my reading, I came across KTHV's report on Curtis Vance, the suspect in the slaying of KATV anchor Anne Pressly.

Here comes Hillary

It's all old news now, but Barack Obama apparently plans to announce Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state on Monday.

Open line

I'm back, you might have guessed, but not for long. Clothes to wash, etc. So over to you.

IT’S THE HAP-HAPPIEST TIME OF THE YEAR!

  Yes, it’s the season of unreason again, and God’s active as ever.   “Islamic Terrorists Attack Mumbai: 300 Feared Dead”   “Iraq ‘Powerless’ To Halt ‘Honour’ Killings”   “Christianists Yank Same-Sex Equality In California”   “Mom Battles Satan, Kills Children”   So gather the wee ones round the monitor and share George Carlin’s timeless and hopeful message of love and good will.

Cold Weather, Hot Cocoa

With winter's chilly wind starting to blow, it's time to pull out the hot cocoa.  Some folks settle for powder; others add in marshmallows or cream.  Still others make theirs from scratch, or add an alcoholic component.

Union card check: Wait

John Brummett thinks Barack Obama would do well, politically at least, not to have the early days of his administration defined by a vote on union card check legislation (a measure whose impact is so wildly overblown by management that it hardly bears mentioning.)

Hard times

It's sure enough hard times when the newspapers crank up the periodic round of stories about belt-tightening -- coupon shoppers, using the library instead of buying books, repairing appliances and cars instead of buying new ones.

UCA's future

Jan Cottingham of Arkansas Business has a long interview with Little Rock securities exec Rush Harding, the rising chairman of the University of Central Arkansas Board about how it got in its current financial pickle and future prospects.

Pressly assaulted, parents confirm

Anne Pressly's parents confirmed in an interview today with NBCs Matt Lauer (link takes you to a page with a news account and a link to the 8-minute interview) that the former KATV anchor was sexually assaulted.

Charter school on hot seat

Charter schools work, the D-G declaimed editorially Sunday. If, by "work," you mean they succeed in enrolling students, why, yes, they work.

Tis NOT the Season...

Okay, people, seriously, I know, I haven't been around much lately, I've been in a creative slump, sue me.  That being said, it's the "holiday season" once again, and once again everyone has lost their damn minds.

Obama's team

The president-elect introduced his security team today, including Hillary Clinton as secretary of state; Janet Napolitano as head of Homeland Security; Eric Holder for attorney general; Gen. James Jones as national security advisor; Robert Gates to stay at Defense, and Susan Rice to the UN.

Ethics reform, schmethics reform

Just now seeing DeMillo's weekend column, on the general lack of specifics and/or enthusiasm for improved ethics regulation of the Arkansas legislature.

Bush fiddled ...

... while the financial system burned to the ground. In short, it was warned of the likely devastating impact, but still delayed a crackdown on interest-only 100 percent financed mortgages.

UA to make Ray Winder bid SURVEY

The calling of a special UA Board meeting today indicates the university will make a proposal for use of the Ray Winder Field property.

The old crystal ball

Perhaps you've heard that the official verdict is in -- we're in a recession and have been since December 2007.

The old crystal ball

Perhaps you've heard that the official verdict is in -- we're in a recession and have been since December 2007.

Anchor away

Channel 4 announces an anchor change. Jancey Sheats, who's been anchoring at 5, 6 and 10, will drop the 10 p.m. slot so she can spend more time with her new twin daughters.

Reflections on a Miracle, Part 1

Full confession: living in California, I hadn't had a chance to see this year's Razorbacks on TV until Friday's game against LSU (the Dmac and Jones-less Hogs aren't much of a national television draw, apparently).

Once more with feeling

That rumor about a "celebrity" involvement in the Pressly case? It's everywhere, from last Friday's Razorback game to every Internet chat group in town, apparently.

Once more with feeling

That rumor about a "celebrity" involvement in the Pressly case? It's everywhere, from last Friday's Razorback game to every Internet chat group in town, apparently.

Technical difficulties

Yes, I know problems remain with the sign-in function. They affect people here, too.

Getting Crafty

In tenth grade geometry, I was forced to make 3-D shapes out of cardboard, and decorate them like Christmas ornaments.  A few weeks passed before I followed up with my teacher to see what grade I got on the assignment.  She looked it up, and said, “You got a C.” People, I did not make Cs.  I was a nerd, and I knew that wasn’t a cool thing to be at 15, but the consolation of being a nerd, is that you did not make Cs.  If you did, then what the hell were you?  I fought to keep from crying at the shock of it all, before she delivered the real kick in the teeth.  “You’re not very good with your hands, are you?” she giggled as if this was some joke we shared.

Fergit, hell UPDATE

John Brummett takes a run at the warped soul who ran up a Confederate flag at Huntsville's, yes, Faubus Motel, after Obama was elected.

Calling down the Huckster

A Huffington Post writer notes Mike Huckabee's new formulation on California's Prop. 8.

Will Dillard's survive?

A financial website recently included Little Rock-based Dillard's on a list of 10 stocks that might not make it through 2009.

Questions in the Pressly case

David Goins at Fox 16 has been doing some bangup reporting on the Anne Pressly murder case.

Questions in the Pressly case

David Goins at Fox 16 has been doing some bangup reporting on the Anne Pressly murder case.

Sharpen your skates

Hot Springs will continue its outdoor skating rink this Christmas season at Hill Wheatley Plaza at the south end of Bathhouse Row.

School choice

You've perhaps read about the families in Malvern that don't think the schools are white enough and have dodged state law to enroll their children in neighboring school districts.

What's a Hog Fan to Do?

Well, the Hogs' season is over, but the race to the national championship kicks into high gear this weekend with the SEC and Big 12 championship games.

What recession?

The headline exaggerates. But still, Arkansas tax revenue in December was up over last year and forecast.

Of course

Camden-born producer/songwriter/R&B superstar Ne-Yo is collaborating with Marilyn Manson on the latter's forthcoming album.

Lessons from history

I would just like to say four words to the people who continue to call and write with their theories about the LR murder of the moment: Alice McArthur/Tommy Robinson Gene Lyons wrote a book about it.

Socialized banking

A reader forwards a link to map tracking where federal money has been distributed to banks under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Do they think about anything else?

Sex, I mean. And Republicans.

Do they think about anything else?

Sex, I mean. And Republicans.

Coal plant work halted

Rep. Steve Harrelson's Under the Dome blog had the news first that the expected appeal was filed of the air permit for a coal-fired SWEPCO power plant in Hempstead County.

Annals of corporate welfare

Speaking of Under the Dome, it reports today on a $30 million incentive being offered by Mississippi to keep a Cooper Tire plant operating in that state.

Pressly case: A single suspect

Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas has issued a carefully worded statement this afternoon emphasizing that there is one -- and only one -- suspect in the slaying of KATV anchor Anne Pressly.

Open line

It's yours.

Hopkins to head retirement agency

Former Sen. George Hopkins, who specialized in retirement issues during his legislative days, has been chosen new head of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.

Now he gets it

Another term-limited legislator, days before being weaned off the Capitol teat, suddenly decides term limits are a bad thing.

'A night from hell'

Students who were present during what Jonesboro police have called a riot at that city's The Grove apartment complex on election night Nov. 4 say the event was a peaceful celebration until cops arrived.

Book notes

“Big Hat Law: The Arkansas State Police, 1935-2000”; “The Good Ground of Central High: Little Rock Central High and Legendary Coach Wilson Matthews”; “As Big As the West: The Pioneer Life of Granville Stuart”; “Swallow Me Whole.”

Book notes

“Big Hat Law: The Arkansas State Police, 1935-2000”; “The Good Ground of Central High: Little Rock Central High and Legendary Coach Wilson Matthews”; “As Big As the West: The Pioneer Life of Granville Stuart”; “Swallow Me Whole.”

What’s Happening in December

Readings and other book-related events.

What we’re reading

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

The bah, humbug report

I've been chastised as a Scrooge for observing how city, county and state officials have been working to build five-day and longer weekends around Christmas and New Year's, courtesy of taxpayers. No more grumping, just an observation.

Piracy at sea

A faithful reader is as fascinated as I am by the Somalian pirates whose latest target was a cruise ship, Oceania's Nautica (shown in my photo in Hong Kong last year).

New highway commissioner

Didn't see this in the morning paper. Doug Thompson of Stephens Media reports that Gov. Beebe announced at a toast-and-roast last night that he'd be appointing Dick Trammel of Rogers to the state Highway Commision.

College report

Here's a link to the Arkansas section of the national report card on each state's effort in providing higher education to its citizenry.You couldn't graduate from college with these grades.

No naughtiness allowed

It's way old news by now, KTHV's annual decision not to run the Victoria's Secret holiday special.

Total eclipse of the Huck

Mike Huckabee went to Georgia to campaign for Sen. Saxby Chambliss. He recruited phone bankers on his huckabee.com website (and gathered info for his own political use in the process.)

Reminder: Pay what you can night at the Rep

For tonight's opening preview performance of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play," the Rep is allowing folks to pay any amount they choose for their ticket.

Reflections on a Miracle, Part 2

Yeah, I know it was just one game against a fading opponent, but we're looking at a long time until next season so I'm going to keep writing about it for a little while longer.

Lottery strategy

Roby Brock at Talk Business has glommed onto and shares details from House Speaker Robbie Wills' memo on what he's learned so far about "best practices" for operating a state lottery.

New hotel for NLR

The New Argenta Fund announced today plans for an 8- to 12-story, 130-room $28 million hotel in downtown North Little Rock on the site of the former Rye Furniture store.

What SWEPCO knew and when

Ken Smith, director of Audubon Arkansas, has a response to readers commenting yesterday on the appeal of the air permit for the proposed SWEPCO coal-burning power plant in Hempstead County.

POND SCUM TO PETRODOLLARS!

  Yes, it’s the NEWEST 110-year old news you’ve ever read! Finally here now!

Wednesday: Blue Mountain, g-force and Ted Ludwig

Alt-country heroes Blue Mountain, from Oxford, Miss., return to Sticky Fingerz on  behind a new album, "Midnight in Mississippi" and a re-recorded greatest hits, "Omnibus," 9:30 p.m., $10.PLUS: g-force VJs at Deep, 10 p.m., $5 (ladies free) and the Ted Ludwig Trio plays the Capital Bar, 5 p.m., free.

Dixie Chicks sued

It's a libel suit, in Pulaski County, by a man who says the Chicks libeled him with statements about the West Memphis Three case.

Hearne in hardback

Garbo Hearne has marked her 20 years in the gallery business with the publication of “Collaborations: Two Decades of African American Art, Hearne Fine Art 1988-2008.”

Announcing the First Job Rumor of the Petrino Era

Well, we knew this was coming. In what will likely be an annual December rite of passage until Bobby Petrino actually does leave, our shark-eyed coach's name is being bandied about in the Auburn rumor mill.
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