The sun shines and the line is open. Closing out:has died in Nashville. His fame led briefly, old timers like me will recall, to a chain of family steak restaurants. At least one of them operated for a time in North Little Rock, at McCain and JFK, if my dim memory serves. There was also one on W. 65th, this KAAY ad indicates. His comic fame belied his background as a college educated former teacher. "Judy, Judy, Judy."
* ME AND TOM BROKAW: Maybe it was on Twitter, and not here, that I commented the other day that the White House Correspondents Dinner, with big "get" celebrity guests, after-parties and growing glitz approaching Oscar-style self importance, didn't reflect so well on the working press. The New York Times no longer takes part in the social aspect. Tom Brokaw today chimed in. Time to "rethink," he says.
* RIGHTEOUS RANT: I enjoyed this blog rant from a former employee of the newspaper in Greensboro, N.C., who tears the publisher a new one for a disingenuous response on why the newspaper hasn't editorialized — pro or con — on the Amendment 1 campaign to further discriminate against unmarried couples. It's not the implicit endorsement of discrimination that prompts the rant (though that would be understandable); it's the sheer cowardice. Not, of course, that newspaper endorsements mean much anyway. And speaking of North Carolina's Amendment One: Bill Clinton has taken to the phones to encourage a vote against the measure for its hidden consequences. Full call here. Doesn't seem to matter. Polls indicate it will pass; linking the words "marriage" and "homosexual" remains toxic in the South, though not "civil unions." Also on the human rights front, Vice President Joe Biden today said he supported equal rights for same-sex married couples. Republicans will jump to rouse the anti-gay vote on this. The GOP implicit message being, of course, that they favor discrimination against gay people on account of their sexual orientation, in marriage and every other way. But we knew that. Clock's running on that point of view, even if it doesn't run out in 2012.
* FORMER FELON GOES GREEN: Michael Cook is reporting that former Rep. Fred Smith, the former Harlem Globetrotter who resigned after conviction of a felony and tried to file again this year but lost a court challenge by the Democratic Party because of his criminal past, has been nominated as a candidate for state House of the Green Party. He'd opposed incumbent Democrtic Rep. Hudson Hallum. A legal question lingers over whether Smith's theft conviction, for stealing money from a school district, was truly expunged.
Pat Lynch has posted the full slate of Green Party candidates, provided by Jim Lendall after their nominating convention Saturday. Their 15 candidates range from constable to president. Greens have fielded a candidate in each congressional district for U.S. House.