by Max Brantley
* NOT SO SILENT IN THE SHALE: There is a good story on people in New York agitating against shale gas exploration dangers. Interesting that, in New York, the environment seems a more popular political play than the instinctive Arkansas politician play to blindly support the gas companies and oppose any effort to fully regulate them or extract a reasonable tariff for their severance of an unrenewable resource.
* IDES OF MARCH: Anybody seen the new George Clooney political movie? With time to kill yesterday, I saw it. I liked it right up until the abrupt ending.
* THE CORPORATIONS' POLITICAL TAKEOVER: Speaking of nasty politics (and it's pretty nasty stuff in "Ides of March," I noticed that the Democrat-Gazette picked up the NYT article on the big-money groups that will be aiding and abetting Republican candidacies in the fall — American Crossroads, Americans for Progress, the American Action Network. They helped in Arkansas in 2008 and are already on the ground here now, using Koch and other billionaire money to build the cause for Republican candidates. (Though none dare suggest this is coordinated in any way — wink, nudge.) But it's worth a click to the NYT link, which has some more information, particularly a useful graphic on the groups.