'Brokeback' coming 

Despite some rumors to the contrary, the new movie, "Brokeback Mountain," will be screened in Little Rock.

(Our reviewer has seen an advance copy, and said it's bound to be controversial, with extended scenes of two Marlboro Man-grade cowboys making out, having sex, cuddling, weeping softly in each others' arms, and all the other stuff loving couples do when the lights go out.)

Andy Huffman, general manager of Little Rock’s Rave theater
confirmed that "Brokeback Mountain" will be shown at Rave as soon as prints are widely available. "Somebody started the rumor that we wouldn't be showing it," Huffman said, "but that is absolutely not true."

Word now is that the film will screen in Little Rock sometime in

Gubernatorial poll
A telephone poll conducted last month by Opinion Research Associates for a coming ballot issue on a minimum wage increase threw in a question on a potential 2006 governor’s race between Democrat Mike Beebe and Republican Asa Hutchinson. It showed that 44 percent of the randomly chosen 400 registered voters would vote for Beebe, as opposed to 34 percent for Hutchinson. Twenty-three percent said they didn't know how they would vote yet.

With a margin of error of 5 percent, it is yet another statistical dead heat, though the first publicly available poll numbers done from a random sample by “live” interviewers, as opposed to automated or computer polling.

Did he vote?
A tipster sent us the Pulaski County voting record of Bill Halter, who is exploring a Democratic candidacy for governor. This person noted that, before this week, Halter had voted in less than half (16 of 34) of the elections held between Nov. 8, 1994 and Sept. 20, 2005 and his last 14 votes were all by absentee ballot. (He’s been working elsewhere, including as a Clinton administration official.) Since his voter card is blank, it is not clear if he has ever voted in person before this week.

Halter spokesman Bud Jackson responded, "I would like to thank folks for pointing out the obvious: since he was old enough to be eligible, Bill Halter has been registered to vote in Arkansas all of his life and he has regularly voted. Has he missed some votes? Absolutely. He's not perfect. Merry Christmas!"

Christmas Day off
Conservatives are riled up about places that advertise Happy Holidays instead of saying Merry Christmas. A handful are also riled that some churches are choosing not to open up Christmas Day, which falls on a Sunday this year. The New York Times reported that the Sunday closing seems to be happening often in megachurches nationally, where huge staffs typically staff multiple services on Sunday and which expected small Christmas Day turnouts.
Our blog reported last week that a Little Rock megachurch, Fellowship Bible, is among those planning not to hold services on Christmas Day. A staff member said it was announced that the main Christmas service, which is expected to be heavily attended, will be Christmas Eve, leaving families with Christmas morning for their family observances.



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