Music Monday -- the Violent Femmes

By Ethan Nobles on 12:49 AM

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Just pure fun...


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The Christmas wrench revisited

By Ethan Nobles on 2:49 AM

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One of the worst times of the year as far as I'm concerned falls immediately after Christmas.

You've got all that buildup for Christmas then the holiday comes, goes and we're left facing the prospect of getting back to normal. It's different when you're a kid in that you've at least got a week to play with your toys and enjoy some time off before school starts up in January.

That's not the case with adults, sadly. No, I'll be heading back to work and dealing with all the stuff that piled up on the two measly days I had off for Christmas. My brother put it best when commenting on adult life in general.

"When you're a kid, you get breaks," he said. "You get summers off, Christmas off and even a spring break. When you're adult, you don't get a break -- it just never stops."

Meanwhile, those stores that were festive just a few days ago now look alarmingly empty and there's even one place in town that's started putting out Valentine's Day stuff (I wish I was kidding).

Yes, it's a depressing time indeed. To fight that feeling of blah that nags at me this time of year, I turned to an old blog post of mine about the wrench that saved Christmas. Click here to read it and cheer yourself up a bit, too.

White County's Flooded Christmas

By Theresa Komor on 7:09 PM

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floodWhile Santa made his rounds around the globe, what hovered over us here in Arkansas was a torrential downpour, adding an additional 9 inches of rainfall to an already oversaturated earth.

Major interstate highway 67/167 flooded for miles, trapping unsuspecting travelers where they stopped in bumper to bumper traffic. State highways fared worse; to close an effected area meant an hour’s added detour around the flooding. Roads closed yesterday afternoon remained closed today. The water just isn’t receding.

Those hardest hit by the same storm that blanketed the east in snow were those living in low-lying areas. What was considered safe before Hurricane Katrina was subsequently reevaluated by FEMA to fall two feet below a safe flood margin.

In one particular sub-division in the sleepy community of Beebe, 30 homes remain flooded today under at least a foot of water. Last night, well into the wee hours of the morning, rescues continued until everyone was again safely standing on solid ground. Public servants became heroes yet again.

Continue reading "Arkansans' Flooded Christmas"...

How The Grinch Stole Health Care

By Bill Smith on 5:55 PM

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Merry Christmas from scenic Benton, Ark.

By Ethan Nobles on 3:40 PM

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Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and I couldn't be happier.

I hope y'all have as good a Christmas as we are at my house. To get everyone in the holiday spirit, here's a photo of the Saline County Courthouse in Benton. They put the dog on every year out on the courthouse square and really put an impressive display together.

Enjoy!

Court-approved obnoxiousness

By Ethan Nobles on 10:55 PM

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Believe it or not, we've got a Winter Solstice monument sitting on the Arkansas State Capitol grounds in Little Rock.

Why? A group has set out to annoy some people and they have succeeded to an extent.

You want to read up on this tomfoolery? Sure you do! Just click here to find out all about it.

Life is rarely boring in Arkansas, at least...

AR-1 U.S. Rep. Marion Berry - We've Got to Elect Barack Obama

By Bill Smith on 2:02 PM

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ee it for yourself! In spite of the fact that the 1st Congressional District of Arkansas was opposed to the election of Barack Obama, Rep. Marion Berry not only supported his election but before the DNC, he told Arkansas delegates that "We've Got to elect Barack Obama." Marion berry is out of step with the majority of the citizen's of of the 1st Congressional District. In 2010, it It is time to Boot Berry. Visit Boot Berry.

A Good Solid B+

By Bill Smith on 1:56 PM

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By William Warren:

48% Equals a B+

Cliff Lee gets the shaft!

By Ethan Nobles on 11:51 PM

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Yeah, that's right -- Benton's own Cliff Lee got the shaft from the Phillies.

What happens when you have a bang-up postseason, win a couple of games for a team in the World Series and become generally regarded as an elite pitcher?

Your team trades you off, apparently.

Odd and infuriating. Treating an Arkansas boy like that. Imagine! Read my rant all about this mess by clicking here.

Wacky, wacky Obama 'Mad Libs'

By Ethan Nobles on 11:17 PM

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Whether you love Barack Obama, hate him or are just indifferent, I ran across an "Obama speech generator" that's a hoot.

I was reading a post over at Forgotten Liberty when I ran across a link to the "Inauguration Speech Generator." Go ahead and click the link. Play with it. It's fun stuff.

Yeah, I know -- "Making fun of the president is bad. Bad!"

Phooey.

Yes, Obama got the "Mad Libs" treatment through that nifty little tool and it's a hoot to throw in some words at random and see the results. Here's what I came up with earlier:

My fellow Americans, today is a shiny day. You have shown the world that "hope" is not just another word for "car", and that "change" is not only something we can believe in again, but something we can actually jump.

Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces hairy and scary challenges like never before. Our economy is merry. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for farmers. Our healthcare system is loud. If your groin is sick and you don't have insurance, you might as well call a lawyer. And America's image overseas is tarnished like a bridge skyscraper. But playing together we can right this ship, and set a course for Wyoming.

Finally, I must thank my angry family, my happy campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank Nazis for making this historic occasion possible. Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of flinging the American people. Without your jerky efforts, none of this would have been possible.

Music Monday -- Just in time for Christmas

By Ethan Nobles on 1:35 AM

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Here's a little Homer & Jethro ditty to put you in the holiday spirit:


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Stanley Reed jumps in Arkansas Senate race

By Ethan Nobles on 3:51 AM

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Things just keeping worse for Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas' senior U.S. senator.

Stanley Reed, a Marianna cotton farmer and all around good guy, has announced his candidacy for Lincoln's Senate seat. Lincoln, of course, has managed to irritate a lot of Arkansans lately because of her politicking during the health care debate.

That's not the safest practice in the world as she's up for reelection next year. So far, eight Republicans have announced their candidacies for Lincoln's seat and a couple of Democrats have mentioned they'd like to challenger her in the primaries, too.

Of the Republican challengers, Gilbert Baker of Conway is the current front runner. Reed's announcement is intriguing because he's generally well liked here in Arkansas among those of us who know him. He's the former head of the Arkansas Farm Bureau and former chairman of the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees -- two very visible organizations in this state.

Next year's Senate election will be a fun one to watch in Arkansas.

Frankly, I always liked Lincoln well enough. Reed contributed to her last campaign and that's not a surprise -- she had fans among both Democrats and Republicans in this state until she got in the middle of the health care debate (apparently, it's not realistic for people to respect a Democrat to act like a Republican -- imagine that).

She's much preferable to Mark Pryor, our junior senator. He epitomizes the phrase "empty suit" and has pretty well managed to complete ignore his constituents. Sadly, he can't be tossed out of the Senate until 2014.

Meet Obama-Claus

By Bill Smith on 10:08 PM

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by William Warren:

Democrat Senators line up and promise (for a gift) to support Obamacare. Obama Claus does it the Chicago way!

Benton cheerleaders place first in state

By Ethan Nobles on 3:45 PM

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The Benton, Ark., Panthers may struggle mightily when it comes to football these days, but my alma mater is tearing it up in other areas.

The high school ranks very well academically and the team is absolutely fantastic when it comes to baseball, softball, golf, tennis, vollyball, basketball (on occasion) and even cheerleading. According to an article in the Benton Courier today, the Benton cheerleaders have been named 6A champs for the third year in a row.

So, congratulations to them. Click that link and read all about it!

New Obama TWAP Poster Spreads Across U.S.

By Bill Smith on 11:00 PM

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TownHall in at a new site Penetrating Insights Into The Obvious are reporting about a new Obama poster sweeping across America. At this point it not certain if this is good old fashioned satire or for real. However, it may be a form of satire that in deeds becomes real. We will let the readers decide report back on if they have seen any of the signs posted across America. The alleged article copied below as an image may not be available for every. The image to the right referenced in the article is available to town load as a 11" x 17" version. Also be sure to check out the image of American Exceptionalism.

The article begins:

This past week all across America -- from Marietta, Georgia to Davenport, Iowa to Beverly Hills, California -- sightings of the newest poster featuring President Barack Obama have been made. Simultaneously, many have become convinced that the poster's inscrutable label, TWAP, stands for The Worst American President.

In what may well appear an ominous sign for President Obama, the posters have appeared on many unleased stores, highlighting the devastating effect the recession has had on commercial real estate and small businesses across the county, the sector which most often leads the way out of bad economic times. . . . [Read More]

Music Monday -- The Cars

By Ethan Nobles on 2:28 AM

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Ah, this live video has it all. Guitars and backing vocals that border on amateurish, a geeky keyboard player and a song that is absolutely infectious.


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What the heck is Blanche Lincoln doing?

By Ethan Nobles on 5:50 AM

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Over the past few weeks, it seems that our senior senator, Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has been busily trying to ruin her political career.

Following all that hubbub over the health care debate, Lincoln's popularity has been steadily slipping here in Arkansas. A recent Rasmussen poll shows her losing to any Republican who bothers to run against her while a Daily Kos poll shows her slightly ahead of Republican challengers but struggling mightily against Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter in a primary challenge.

To make things worse, she's angered seniors by voting against a John McCain amendment that would reverse the Medicare cuts put in the health care bill. Here's the relevant portion of a press release I received yesterday from a group called 60 Plus from that group's president, Jim Martin:

I and the 5.5 million supporters of 60 Plus are disappointed Senator Lincoln chose to vote against the McCain Amendment and against restoring the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare made by the Senate health care reform legislation. Seniors have a long memory and we will not forget this betrayal.
That's right -- she's angered another group out there. I don't care if you like, dislike or are just neutral on Lincoln. You've got to be wondering -- what the heck is she doing?

Music Monday -- Adam Sandler and the Beach Boys...

By Ethan Nobles on 12:17 AM

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One of the finest scenes in which Sandler has been involved. You'll thrill as a tormented Sandler misses his girlfriend and agonizes along with a Beach Boys song.


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The wife starts a new blog!

By Ethan Nobles on 2:48 AM

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My wife, the lovely Marci Kay, went and started up a new blog -- The Crazed Wife Blog.

Why would she call it that? Well, that's a long story. Years ago I made up a fictional publication called Crazed Wife Magazine.

"You got your column done yet?" I'd ask.

"What?" Marci would reply.

"You know -- your monthly column for Crazed Wife Magazine," I'd explain. "I'm sure I've done something lately you can write about..."

And we'd laugh and laugh. Actually, I'd laugh and she'd roll her eyes at me. Typical.

At any rate, click on that link up there and pay her blog a visit. Do it or I'll get in trouble...

Black Friday lunacy

By Ethan Nobles on 3:12 AM

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Some of the Black Friday lunacy seemed particularly bizarre this year.

It was so strange, in fact, that I took some time to write about the odder behavior around these parts.

Click here and read all about it!

Cornpone and Mud Flap!

By Ethan Nobles on 12:25 AM

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

As for me, I spent the week with my wife's family in northwest Arkansas and got to know my 13-month-old nieces -- Cornpone and Mud Flap -- a little better.

Click here and read all about the little tykes.

Awwww. Cute!

$727 for a Nintendo Wii?

By Ethan Nobles on 12:39 AM

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Yes, I'm up in northwest Arkansas visiting my wife's family for Thanksgiving.

I was out at the Westwood Drive In of Springdale this afternoon to pick up one of the finest hamburgers to be found anywhere. While waiting for my order, I picked up a copy of the Star Shopper for the heck of it.

This place called Buddy's Home Furnishings bought a huge ad on the front of the Shopper that was just downright shocking. I'll not give them a link because I'd rather not publicize that place at all -- I'll just say Buddy's is one of those rent-to-own places operating in my home state (and I wish they'd leave Arkansas, frankly).

I'd heard about those rent-to-own things before but had no idea what a total rip-off they were until I scanned the Buddy's ad. For example, that place sells a Nintendo Wii for $13.99 a week for 52 weeks.

In other words, that Wii that you can buy almost anywhere right now for $199.99 costs $727.48 if you buy it at Buddy's. Shocking! How about a 42" HDTV plasma (that's right -- crummy plasma instead of LCD) for $2,598.96 ($24.99 per week for 104 weeks) or an Xbox 360 elite for a mere $1,039.48 ($19.99 for 52 weeks)?

Folks, that Xbox Elite retails for $299.99. How the hell can anyone justify charging over $1,000 for one of those things? How can they charge almost $2,600 for a television that costs around $800 at a store like Best Buy?

Buddy's, see, is simply exploiting the hell out of people. I'm stunned this kind of crap is legal. We all but exterminated all those terrible payday lenders in this state. Perhaps stores like Buddy's should be targeted by the Arkansas Attorney General's office next.

Blue Dogs - Including Berry, Lincoln & Pryor - Pee on Constituents

By Bill Smith on 11:23 PM

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Happy Thanksgiving from Bing...

By Ethan Nobles on 3:06 AM

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Yes, you'll thrill as Bing mopes around because his girl left him. He ridicules a song he's singing and then gets straightened out with some solid wisdom. Classic stuff from a classic movie...


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A Turkey Drop?

By Ethan Nobles on 11:59 PM

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Odd, odd, odd!

Apparently, they toss live turkeys out of low-flying airplanes every year in Yellville, Ark. My wife told me that happened every year, I said "phooey" and it turns out she's right.

Click here and read all about it!

Peladophobia?

By Ethan Nobles on 12:23 AM

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Yes, it seems some people in this world are phobic about bald people.

As a man who is rapidly losing his hair (and is angry about it), I just think that's funny.

Read all about it here.

Help Rename Blue Dog Democtats - Have some fun!

By Bill Smith on 9:02 PM

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[Source] CLICK ON IMAGE

A free, great service developed by an Arkansan? Believe it!

By Ethan Nobles on 11:39 PM

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Heard about craigalytics yet?

If you post ads on craigslist, you really should get to know craigalytics. It's a service that was developed by a friend of mine and it's absolutely free.

Click here to read all about it!

The Blinders - Jihad at Ft Hood

By Bill Smith on 10:08 AM

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Old stream media has PC blinders on. Read the "Jihad at Fort Hood" series for non-Politically Correct insights into the background on the murder of "14" and wounding of 30 American military and civilians at Ft Hood, Texas.

Follows is an insightful cartoon by William Warren

[Source]

Adopt Pinky...

By Ethan Nobles on 11:40 PM

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Want a cat? He's very loving and completely insane!

Here's to the Heroes: A Military Tribute

By Bill Smith on 10:04 AM

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Dedicated to all the men and women who continue to fight for our freedoms. Thank you!


ARRA News Service

Music Monday -- Cub!

By Ethan Nobles on 2:11 AM

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A couple of videos from Cub...



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Government-Run Healthcare at Your Fingertips

By Bill Smith on 2:53 PM

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Although Nancy Pelosi is no laughing matter, this video brings a chuckle:

Fooling around with mixing and recording again...

By Ethan Nobles on 2:58 AM

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Just messing around with recording my guitar and bass on the old computer again.

Click the above graphic to see what's new...

Willy and the Hogs!

By Willy on 5:24 PM

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 Willy stays confused - Which Hogs is it! Check it out at Hillbilly Willy - Fun Food and Politics


10-4 Willy

Music Monday -- Van Full of Anvils

By Ethan Nobles on 11:49 PM

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Heavy, heavy, heavy...


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SEC suspends Florida-Arkansas crew - Boston.com

By Willy on 7:13 PM

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Music Monday -- Benton, Ark., 7th Grade Advanced Band!

By Ethan Nobles on 1:42 AM

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Yeah -- that's my kid, Michael, out there! Playing the baritone and being all bandish...


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Teleprompter Wins

By Bill Smith on 6:34 PM

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U-Verse makes me sad

By Ethan Nobles on 12:12 PM

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Signed up to get AT&T U-verse. Excited about AT&T U-verse.

Didn't get AT&T U-Verse.

What? Read all about it here.

Reagan responds to Obama and his supporters

By Bill Smith on 1:55 PM

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From the archives: worth viewing again and again!


ARRA News Service

Music Monday -- The Pixies

By Ethan Nobles on 12:45 AM

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Music Monday -- The Clash!

By Ethan Nobles on 2:35 AM

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Should “In God We Trust” be removed from US currency?

By Bill Smith on 12:58 AM

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MSNBC has an online poll asking that very question. Oh how they probably want to see Americans vote "Yes!"

If so, they're most likely extremely disappointed. Currently, the vote stands 89% to 11% in favor of keeping the motto on our dollars and cents. Over 17 million have already voted.

So please do your part and help to keep the vote an overwhelming endorsement of the motto and continue letting the rest of the world know "In God We Trust!"
Vote Now!


ARRA News Service & America, You Asked For It!

My new project...

By Ethan Nobles on 12:17 AM

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Back around 1988, I got a Fender Japanese Telecaster for my birthday.

I loved the heck out of that guitar. I even replaced the stock Tele pickups with some higher-output, single-coil ones from Schaller so that I could still get that Telecaster "snap" I loved so much but still drive some fair-to-middling distortion.

My blonde Telecaster came with a white pickguard, but I swapped out that sucker for a black, very vintage one that looked great on it. That Tele was a beautiful machine, indeed.

It was a beautiful machine?

Yes, indeed. Back during those horrible days when I was practicing law, I found myself very broke at about the time my landlord wanted her rent. Amazingly, my clients seemed to operate under the notion that the bill from their good friend The Hawg could wait, but my creditors seemed to think I should pay my bills when they were due.

So I had to sell the Tele. That thing booked for $900 at the time and I got $400 from it from a music store that -- undoubtedly -- turned around and sold it for a nice, fat profit. That was around 1998 so I've been missing my Telecaster for over a decade. My Fender Deluxe Stratocaster is a darn fine guitar, but it's just not the same, you know?

Is there a point to all this rambling? Well, there's about as much of one as usual. I got the idea that I've gotten a fair amount of money through paid posting on a couple of blogs so I ought to buy myself something just for the sheer hell of it. Being a cheap bastard, I decided to take a look at some Telecaster copies.

I did the research on the SX STL50 and learned those things have great bodies and necks and are an absolute steal at $109.95 (plus shipping). If you look at the one in the photo at the top of this post, that thing looks a lot like the Telecaster I had for years (the headstock isn't the same shape as a genuine Fender, but it's close enough for me).

I did some more research and found out that those little guitars are fantastic -- provided you don't mind replacing the pickups, tuners, electronics and (possibly) the nut. I put a parts list together and discovered that some honest-to-goodness Telecaster tuners, a matched set of GFS Hot Lead "Lil Puncher" pickups (humbuckers that are coil tapable and will fit in the single coil slots on the Tele with no routing), a new three-way pickup selector switch, new tone pot and a new "push-pull" volume pot (so I can force the Tele to run the humbuckers or go for the vintage, single coil sound) will cost me around $100. By the time I throw in a little more for shipping everything to me, buying a soldering iron and taking the whole mess to a guitar shop to get it set up after I'm done modifying it -- I can have a Tele that sounds great for around $225.

Hey, the modifications will cost more than the guitar, but that's a very small amount to pay to have a great Telecaster to plink on once again.

Any advice from you guitar enthusiasts out there will be appreciated!

ObamaCare: The Death Story

By Bill Smith on 8:47 PM

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A parody of the consequences of ObamaCare presented by FortHardKnox.com.


ARRA News Service

Willy and Friends Feel Good About America?

By Willy on 8:59 AM

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Check out how Willy and Friends feel Good about America!

Obamopoly

By Bill Smith on 12:03 AM

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ICYMI,  the blog Moonbattery posted the following:

If our new "spread the wealth around" economy has left you funemployed and you're looking for ways to kill the time you used to spend working, why not take up Obamopoly?

The game was developed by America Is an Obamination, which offers this description:
The object of the game is to destroy American capitalism by having the government take over everything!
Tokens include a bus, a teleprompter, a sprig of arugula and a waffle iron.
Wanna play? No??? Too bad, you're already playing… and quite frankly, in this game, nobody wins!
Except of course our socialist rulers.

ARRA News Service

Lincoln's declining poll numbers good or bad?

By Ethan Nobles on 1:08 AM

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A poll here in the Natural State revealed that U.S. Sen Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) has a terrible approval rating of 36 percent.

I'm a Republican, so I should be happy about that, right?

Well, I'm not so sure. A dyed-in-the-wool rascal of a Democrat may jump in the primaries against Lincoln next year and that bugs me.

Should Lincoln fail at the primaries, can the Republicans pull of a win in a state that tends to send Democrats to Congress?

Yes, you can read all about my concerns and enjoy plenty of rambling by clicking here.

Polling Bad News for Blanche Lincoln

By Bill Smith on 6:33 PM

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by Bill Smith (Ozark Guru): When polling numbers shows a senior senator in difficulty against potential candidates over a year out from the election, the news is bad news for that senator. And that is what is being projected for Arkansas' U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln who is up for election in 2010 and has been feverishly raising funds and avoiding the public at town halls and TEA Parties in Arkansas. Public Policy Polling latest polling data released August 26th shows that Obama campaigning for Sen. Lincoln in in Arkansas would sink her race. While Barack Obama's National approval rating of 52%, in Arkansas, Obama has only a 40% approval rating. And that is expected to continue to fall in Arkansas. In fact, the polling numbers showed that a majority of voters in Arkansas think Rush Limbaugh has a superior vision for the country than Barack Obama.

Blanche Lincoln's approval rating has dropped 9% since March.  Currently, Lincoln has 36% approval rating and a 44% disapproving rating of the job she’s doing. Currently, with no candidates formally filed for office against her, she's in a statistical tie against three potential Republican opponents. And there are as many as eight candidates considering running against her.

Gilbert Baker leads her 42-40, Curtis Coleman has a 41-40 advantage, and Tom Cotton trails Lincoln slightly 40-39. The numbers of course are more a reflection on Lincoln's unfavorable standing than that of the Republicans at this time.

“You couldn’t get a clearer indication that the national momentum is with Republicans right now than a poll showing some guys with single digit name recognition running even with an incumbent Senator,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “This is going to be a very closely contested race if the eventual Republican nominee does a good job of raising money.

Other indicators of running against Lincoln is that 53% of the people polled were women. In addition, 48% of those polled identified themselves as conservative, and 39% as moderate, leaving 12% of her liberal friends. At the beginning of 2009, voters returned Senator Pryor to a new six term without opposition; however, , his approval rating, although higher than Lincoln, is now only 47% with a disapproval rating of 32%. The voters disappointment with a previously considered "more conservative" Sen. Pryor may weigh heavily on voters in 2010 when considering returning a more liberal Senator Blanche Lincoln .

There is a growing "vote the bums" out feeling among the voters in Arkansas. Also, in Arkansas, continued open endorsement and support of Senator Lincoln by incumbent State constitutional officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, etc.) may place them at risk in 2010 if viable conservative candidates step forward to oppose them.

As summarized by Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling, "Clearly Lincoln could be beaten, but there are several reasons why she might survive too. The first is that none of her potential Republican opponents have shown the ability yet to raise the money to run a strong campaign. Whoever emerges as her opponent is also going to need to be able to keep their foot out of their mouth, something that's been a problem for some potential foes. The second is that Democrats nationally are in a recession right now and that goes a long way toward explaining these numbers.. . . Republicans have an opportunity here but it remains to be seen whether they can take advantage of it."


Will Vic Snyder Support Nancy Pelosi's Government-Run Healthcare?

By Bill Smith on 4:04 PM

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Will Vic Snyder Support Nancy Pelosi's Government-Run Healthcare [i.e, Obamacare]? He voted for Nancy Pelosi's TRILLION DOLLAR Simulus, her wasteful budget, even her wasteful National Energy Tax. Time to call Vic Snyder and ask him if he will now support Nancy Pelois's Government-Run Healthcare?


ARRA News Service

18 days and Counting says Willy

By Willy on 7:51 PM

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Woo - Pig Sooeeee!

10-4 Willy

How Washington Politicians See the World

By Bill Smith on 4:39 PM

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Music Monday -- Sleeping My Day Away

By Ethan Nobles on 12:54 AM

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Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.




PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!