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Late night edition, tell us where you're eatin' this week.
Eat Arkansas blogger makes radio debut with a local sweet treat favorite.
A foodie must-do this weekend is the International Greek Food Festival, which kicks off Friday, May 17 at 11 a.m. at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive in Little Rock.
"Beautiful Uprising" reception tonight, talk by artist Saturday.
Reception for artist is tonight.
I had a nice visit with Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Rhonda Wood last week. /more/
If you are a beltway Republican, no antidote for the blues matches extended congressional hearings on a real or imagined national horror — that is, if it might heap dishonor on a Democratic administration. If Hillary Clinton will be the dishonoree, so much the better. /more/
The first of what’s sure to be many legal challenges of new laws passed by the Arkansas General Assembly, Davy Carter opting not to run for governor, the environmental movements coalescing around the Mayflower oil spill cleanup and the factory hog farm in Mt. Judea in the Buffalo River watershed and bike lanes on South Main in Little Rock — all covered this week. Plus, Max endorses Barnhill strawberries (available at Kroger!) and Lindsey plugs the Little Rock Film Fest and the promise of Vine.
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The line is open. Final thoughts:
* SCHOOL LEADER NAMED: Tom Kimbrell, the state Education director, has named Curtis Turner, superintendent at Eureka Springs, to take over leadership of the Mineral Springs School District. The state took control of the district yesterday because of fiscal woes. Turner has a long resume of school work, including in the fiscal distress unit of the state department.
* DECONSTRUCTING TOM COTTON: Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Club for Growth) is right proud of the speech he gave on the floor of the House in support of the 37th or 99th vote by Republicans to repeal Obamacare (that very odious program that Arkansas Republicans just embraced for its money and benefits to Arkies.) It was a bravura performance in fundamental dishonesty, in that he seemd to want to paint the Democrats as Medicare cutters when he's on the fringe of the Paul Ryan Nutpack that would devastate the country's social safety net.
His performance was so galling to one supporter of Obamacare and of the man Cotton seems poised to attack in 2014, Sen. Mark Pryor, that he provided a line-by-line critique of Cotton's remarks. Recommended:
Carter has improved as a public speaker pretty dramatically over the course of the last five months and he would be a formidable candidate in a general election. On nearly every issue he has voted as a standard Arkansas Republican, but he has a knack for non-substantive, stylistic appeals to the center (publicly cussing former Rep. Jon Hubbard, tussling with Sen. Bryan King, reprimanding Rep. Nate Bell, urging a focus on bread-and-butter economic issues rather than hot-button social issues). Today's speech was no exception, with a call for "more elected officials from the middle and less from the fringe."
I suspect there are a good number of center-right voters that pulled the lever for Beebe in general elections that would find Carter appealing. The problem is getting to the general, and Carter acknowledged that he would have had a tough road in a Republican primary. That was one factor in his decision, he said.
Talking to consultants on how things would need to be done in the traditional way to win a Republican primary...I’m who I am. I don’t know if the Republican party in a primary is willing to elect a guy like me. I don’t know. Certainly I thought about all that.
The main substance of his speech today, by the way, was devoted to political process issues. Carter expressed strong disapproval of term limits and support for the idea of an open primary system — no division by parties, top two finishers move to the general. Of course, whatever the merits of those ideas, let us note the obvious: they would be a boon to the political future of one Davy Carter.
Arkansas is full of talented people, and we ran across yet another one of them last night: the thoroughly-hilarious writer and video blogger Joseph Birdsong. In the video seen above, Birdsong, who was born in Arkansas, schools out-of-staters on some skewed facts about the Natural State, including: "People in Arkansas are born with the ability to recognize 30 different kinds of roadkill based on scent alone," and "The first gay person to ever come to Arkansas was George Takei, and that was because he was forced here to live in an Arkansas Japanese internment camp during World War II." Just remember, he's laughing WITH us, not AT us. Okay, he's laughing AT us as well, but a great sense of humor covers a multitude of sins.
If you're looking for a good laugh, you can check out almost 200 of Birdsong's quirky videos on his Youtube site, cupofjoeshow.com. He's also got a site where he blogs, a very funny Twitter account. and a video blog for My Damn Channel's Answerly page where he talks about sex and relationships.
If your first reaction to Vine, the new-ish Twitter app that allows users to post 6 second video clips, was, "This is worthless," you need to check out the Vines "Short Term 12" director Destin Cretton and actor Keith Stanfield did while they were in town for the Little Rock Film Festival. So good. They're on the jump. (Click the box on the top left of each one to un-mute the sound.)
If you missed 'Short Term 12,' the opening night film at the Little Rock Film Festival that's the heavy favorite to win the festival's Golden Rock Narrative Award, you blew it. Maybe it'll play here when it opens in August.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fans should be excited to catch a screening of the "Rodrick Rules" installment of the film at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, followed by a Q&A with actors Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron and producer Brad Simpson, 10 a.m., $10. The Little Rock Zoo hosts an autograph signing with Gordon, Capron and Simpson from 2-4 p.m.
Discovery hosts rapper Coolio, with DJ Feelgood and MC Cat Daddy, plus DJs Crawley, Sleepy, Platinumb and Brandon Peck, 9 p.m.-5 a.m., $10 before midnight, $15 afterward.
Thick Syrup Records celebrates its anniversary in Hot Springs, with Ginsu Wives, Ezra Lbs. and Burnt, Maxine's, 8 p.m., $5 adv., $7 door.
Texas bluesman Chris Duarte plays an all-ages show at Juanita's, with Steve Hester & Deja VooDoo, Davis Coen and Chris Milam, 9 p.m., $12 adv., $15 day of.
Weakness For Blondes brings the goodtime jams to White Water Tavern, 9:30 p.m., $5.
Mark Pryor and the IRS are good buddies. How do you think Pryor got his…
You have to wonder from his speech if Carter has aspirations for some other high…
Mark Pryor's standing well with both the NRA and the IRS. After all, he got…
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