Tuesday, October 31, 2006

John Kerry, Insulting the Military Again

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
This is the real John Kerry, everything anyone needs to know about the man. No, John Kerry is representing the face of the real Democrat Party. This is what the Democrat Party really thinks of the troops. They really, truly believe that the troops are stupid and underprivileged.
John Kerry's comment is truly despicable and offensive, a big fat slap in the faces of all the people in the military. Of course, since he's so much more intelligent than the average person you'd figure he'd realize he screwed up and do the right thing and apologize. Heck no! He didn't apologize! He just ranted on about it's all Bush's and the Republican's fault.
"I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks".

Kerry really needs to get his head out of Vietnam and stop hanging on to the "poor, dumb soldier" stereotype of the American military.
I never stop thanking God that John Kerry will never be president of the United States.

Whew! Mike Beebe is a Liar!

This Sunday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette came out and supported Mike Beebe for governor. Yeah, like that was a really big surprise, NOT! What's really hilarious is why they liked Beebe.
Mike Beebe has promised to "eliminate" the grocery tax, too. During our interview with him, he told us so in the most emphatic tones, just before explaining with equal emphasis why it couldn't be done: The state doesn't actually have a projected $ 720-million surplus but only a $ 360-million-a-year surplus. Much of that money is going to have to go to improve school buildings per court order, and there are lots of ways to spend the rest, too. General Beebe would eliminate the tax only in phases that we suspect would never come.

There it is. Mike Beebe is lying about "eliminating" the grocery tax. What a relief! It would be unthinkable for a Democrat to actually cut taxes to help the poor.
So Mike Beebe looks straight at the camera and promises there will be no more consolidation on his watch ! Happily, we find it hard to believe him. Because he's always been open to reason and progress where education is concerned. There comes a time when you just have to trust a politician's insincerity. So let's call Mike Beebe's little deviation on this issue campaign rhetoric and discount it.

I bet they got really worried when Beebe so emphatically stated that he would not consolidate schools. But not to worry, Beebe has no intention of keeping his promise. Whew! He'll make sure more students suffer and more school administrators pockets get plumper.
For all these reasons, and with a hope and a prayer, our choice for governor of Arkansas is Mike Beebe.

My fervent prayer would be that the one man who is honest, sincere, and really concerned for Arkansan's welfare instead of their own wealth and power would be elected governor. Ahhh, that wouldn't be Mike Beebe.

Mike Beebe, Violating the First Amendment

In an effort to hide his role in the Nick Wilson scandal, Mike Beebe has violated the 1st Amendment rights of American citizens and has threaten a TV station with legal action if they ran the ad. AP
Jonesboro television station KAIT decided Tuesday to pull an ad by the Coalition for Arkansas' Future that tried to tie Beebe, who served 20 years in the state senate, to disgraced state Sen. Nick Wilson.
Ted Fortenberry, the station's vice president and general manager, said the decision was made after Beebe's campaign attorney sent a letter asking the station to pull the spot, calling the 30-second spot inaccurate and unfair.

Fortenberry would not comment on the reasons why the station decided to stop airing the spot.

Wright said he was pleased the station decided to pull the ad. The campaign on Monday asked stations to pull the ad.

Now really, is this the kind of governor we want. One that suppresses the rights of citizens and tries to intimidate the press. The tactics that Beebe is pulling occurs in countries with dictators, not in America.
The Nick Wilson ad is one of a series of spots run by the coalition criticizing Beebe. Kathryn Cherry, the group's executive director, defended the ad.

"Public debate is essential to important issues facing our state," Cherry said. "It is unfortunate that Mike Beebe is trying to exert legal pressure to stop an ad that is 100 percent accurate

That is why Beebe is trying to stop the ads. They show the truth. However, just because a TV station bends to Beebe's pressure doesn't mean others will. Here is the video. God Bless a Free America!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fall Foliage, White Rock, Arkansas

Sunday I went to White Rock. Wow! What a drive! All the roads to White Rock are made of dirt and are narrow so it makes for an exciting ride. Especially meeting another car coming the opposite direction. It does keep the visitor numbers down.

The whole drive was gorgeous. Beautiful views of the hills and valleys. These pictures are taken from White Rock. This one is looking out towards Fayetteville.

Arkansas, Higher Education Bond

I finally got a chance to look at the Higher Education Tech & Facility Improvement Act. Do people really run their business like this? I don't handle my own finances this poorly. This bond issue doesn't make fiscal sense. I have a feeling that somebody is trying to get their mitts on some of Arkansas' money.
First, $100 Million is going to be used to restructure the current debt ($150 Million). Restructure with paying more interest and administrative fees? Why not pay off the debt? Is this stupid or what? Arkansas' current budget surplus is expected to be $720 million by the end of year. Why not use that to pay all or most of the debt off? If we did that, Arkansas would save approximately $24 million annually which the current debt is costing us. That savings could be used for the $150 million of facility improvements they want. Within 7-8 years they would have all the money for improvements without plunging Arkansas further into debt. The current retirement of the bond is scheduled for 2017. That would be 10 years of paying $24 million annually. This is a really stupid way to do business.
I noticed that they are wanting $10 million for an E-corridor. Wait a minute! Even though it was defeated last year, Gov. Huckabee gave them some of the money.
Arkansas News Bureau, 12/05
After the vote, Huckabee said there was a possibility that the Fayetteville campus would still be able to connect to the network known as e-Corridor.
The governor said he set aside about $6.4 million in the general improvement budget that could be used to help the university connect to the research network.

With the $6.4 million from the governor, the university could build the statewide network and lease the fiber optic cable from a private company.

The funding could cover the cost of building the statewide network and the university's connection, he said.

This just isn't right. It look like the universities are trying to pull a fast one. I'm definitely not going to let those university administrators in my pocket. I'm not voting for this.

Another review of the bond issue.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fall foliage, NW Arkansas

I'm spending the weekend seeing the fall foliage. I think this has been the best I've ever seen. The colors are absolutely amazing. I drove old HWY 71 down to Alma and came back up on I-540. There were a lot of people doing the same thing. At any turnoff on HWY 71 that had a view, people were there.

On I-540, people would be stopped on the side of the road and on any of the overpasses people were on the bridges. The overpass HWY 74 to Devil's Den and Winslow seemed to be the favorite stopping place. It looks like this week the colors will have peaked. Next weekend might be the last chance to see the colors this good.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Casey Has a New Toy

I gave Casey a new toy. A stuffed cat that meows and purrs when you press it. He's been walking around the house with it in his mouth. So far he does seem inclined to chew it up.

More dogs at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

Making Up the Bed

Oh Boy! Mommy is making up the bed!

I'll just help out a little here.

Hmmm, she put on the down comforter. Winter must be coming.

More cats at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dental Woes

Arrrg! The past is catching up to me! I went to the dentist today. The good news is that I have no new cavities. The bad news is that an old filling has cracked my tooth and it's starting to decay. It will have to be replaced. I've had to have an old filling replaced last year. All the brushing and flossing I do to make sure I don't get any cavities and it's the old ones that need to be taken care of. Sigh!

Missouri's Deceptive Amendment 2

Rush Limbaugh did us all a favor. His questioning of the Michael Fox ad has made everyone aware of the fraud that is being pushed on Missourians. Amendment 2 appears to state that it would make human cloning illegal. If you read the fine print however, it gives biotech firms the constitutional right to conduct somatic cell nuclear transfer. You remember Dolly the sheep? Rebecca Hagelin
Consider the part of Amendment 2 that says "no person may clone or attempt to clone a human being." In Section 6.2 of the initiative, we read:
"Clone or attempt to clone a human being" means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.

In short, the initiative would ban only the placement of a cloned embryo in a uterus, not cloning per se. This splicing of words was carefully crafted to trick voters into a false sense of security. The fact is, the language is specifically designed to allow, not ban, the cloning, experimentation on, and destruction of human embryos at will.

Amendment 2 will also guarantee that no future Missouri law can limit the amount of public money poured into human-cloning research. Roundtable Summary
All Missouri laws, statues, and regulations must be construed in favor of cloning and cannot discourage cloning or create disincentives to cloning in any way; They have a constitutional entitlement to taxpayer funding, which can never
decrease and must always increase because any decrease will be considered an unconstitutional disincentive to clone; Private institutions with endowments measured in billions of dollars will force Missouri taxpayers to pay for the cloning and destruction of human embryos;

What a sweet deal these companies and universities are pushing for themselves. These guys will milk the state for millions of dollars and they will not have to produce any results.
The reason why these guys are targeting taxpayers is because they cannot get any private funds. Why can't they get private investors? The truth is that embryonic stem cell research is proving to be a bust, a big fat zero. Up to now, no human being has ever been cured of a disease using embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, have already cured thousands. Disease List
So, thank you Rush Limbaugh, for becoming the target of the Dinosaur Media and the Democrats. You've done a great service in making people look harder at Amendment 2 and at embryonic stem cell research.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Sudoku Problem

I hadn't realized that Sudoku was causing such problems
I want to know when Dr. Phil plans to do a show on the real problem brewing in America's bedrooms today. Will he be brave enough to take the first real swat at the evil temptress that threatens to undermine the healthy sex lives of every couple I know?
This cheap little tart, flimsy and soulless as paper, is wrecking relationships from coast to coast. Who am I talking about? Well, she answers to "Sudoku," which is Japanese for "You're not getting any tonight, or possibly ever, because this wacky little grid of numbers will see to that."

Hiking in NW Arkansas

Hawksbill Crag

This time of the year is my favorite time to hike. The weather is cool and it's comfortable to hike.

Highway 74 and Highway 540

The hills look gorgeous with the leaves changing.

Devil's Den, Standing on Yellow Rock looking down at Lee Creek.

This weekend and the next will be peak time for the leaves. You need to get out and do some hiking.

Devil's Den Trail

It had rain the previous day.
The trails were damp and
the air smelt crisp and clean.
I just love that smell.

Devil's Den Falls

It had rained enough so that the little falls was flowing.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mike Beebe's Past, Nick Wilson

Responding to Mike Beebe's criticism of his leadership abilities, Asa Hutchinson has brought up Beebe's own leadership past.
In a Little Rock news conference, Hutchinson criticized Beebe for his failure to take a leading role in fighting Wilson as he defrauded the state of millions in taxpayer dollars. Despite Beebe's repeated claims to have challenged Senator Nick Wilson, Hutchinson said, the record shows that Beebe actually opposed efforts to discipline Wilson and others in his clique.

I've read comments from other bloggers about Mike Beebe and Nick Wilson. Mike Beebe is said to be part of this "good old boy" network that did back-room-style deals and doled out taxpayers dollars to their buddies. Many thought that Mike Beebe should have been convicted along with Nick Wilson.
Specifically, Hutchinson pointed out that:

1) As a Senator, Beebe is on the record voting to override Governor Mike Huckabee's veto of the legislation creating the scam defrauding the children's fund.

2) Beebe is on the record opposing public calls to censure Sen. Wilson, Sen. Mike Todd, and other colleagues who were members of the group involved in the scandal.

3) Beebe is on the record opposing public calls to evict his colleagues from the Senate even after they were convicted of felonies.

I wonder if people are going to really care what Beebe has done? Most die-hard Democrats will vote for him even if he was the devil himself. Democrats have no problems with electing their corrupt politicians to office. I suppose it might matter to those who aren't decided yet. In a close race like this, it could swing enough undecided voters away from Beebe. The next two weeks are really going to get interesting.

Asa Hutchinson's New Ad

I didn't watch much TV over the weekend so I didn't see it. However, people were talking about it at work. That perked up my ears because people usually don't talk much about political ads. It must be quite an ad to get people talking. I couldn't wait to see it.
Ho Boy! What a doozy! No wonder people were talking about it. Of course Mike Beebe isn't happy about it.

In case you haven't seen it, enjoy!

Arkansas, Voting Problems

On Thursday, it was reported that Benton County was having problems with their ballots. They hadn't received any of 80,000 ballots ordered for the upcoming general election. The ballots come in this afternoon, but they started early voting today without them. Voters coming in to vote could only do so on the voting machines. Benton County still has to send out absentee ballots which were supposed to be in the outgoing mail beginning Oct. 13. There are concerns that some absentee ballots might not get returned in time to be counted. Greene County is said not to have gotten their paper ballots today.
What is it, 14 days before the election? We're just starting early and absentee balloting and there are already problems? Do you get the feeling that voting on Nov. 7th may be a disaster? Can you guess which elected official selected the company(ES&S) to provide the voting materials against the advice of his own committee. Yep, Charlie Daniels!
For God's Sake, People! Are You Going To Let This Incompetent Twit In Office Again!

Back From Vacation

Ok, I'm back from vacation. Sigh! I wish it could have been longer. I've done quite a bit of hiking, spent several days shopping at the craft fairs, did a bit of yard work, took Bows and Casey for their annual shots, had the chimney cleaned, annual termite inspection, the air conditioner fixed, and finally fixed the drawers on my dresser. Whew! I think I need another vacation to recover from this one.

Friday, October 20, 2006

On Vacation with the Dogs

I'm on vacation this week. At this time of the year the greatest thing to do is hike. Casey and Trixie are sitting outside the Devils Den cave. This is short trail so I could take Trixie.

Casey is sitting on top of Yellow Rock. This is another trail in Devils Den. Yellow Rock has an absolutely georgeous view of the valley.

Casey sitting on Hawksbill Crag. This also has a fantastic view.

More dogs at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

He Looks so Sweet

It's so hard just to let him sleep. He looks so cute I want to pick him up and cuddle him.

More cats at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gunner Delay, Illegal Immigration Tour

Continuing with the Jim Holt and Gunner Delay illegal immigration tour. Gunner discusses using the Attorney General's office to fight illegal immigration.

Jim Holt, Illegal Immigration Tour

Jim Holt and Gunner Delay have joined together on the issue on illegal immigration. They have made several stops around the state. I managed to be at their stop in Springdale. Jim Holt started off discussing Senate Bill 206.

Asa Hutchinson & Mike Beebe, The 3nd Debate

This debate was heated! Ouch, it was really hot. Yikes, they both were on the attack! Asa's agenda was to show that as governor he was going to show leadership. He started and closed talking about leadership.

The hot issues; education, illegal immigration and the grocery tax. Most of what they said has been what they have presented before. Mike Beebe said that there will be no more consolidation of schools. Asa said that was unlikely since the bureaucracy that closed schools will still be in place. Beebe ranted about how it was going to be impossible for Asa to eliminate the grocery tax. The constraints of the budget won't allow it. I think the budget conditions will never be right for Beebe to cut the grocery tax let alone eliminate it. Beebe attacked the federal government on illegal immigration, the catch and release program. Asa has offered ideas on illegal immigration, unlike "blaming others" Beebe. Asa is doing what some other states are, coming up with solutions and not relying on the federal government.

I sort of enjoyed this debate. I already knew their positions on issues. It was entertaining to hear them attack each other's positions, especially Beebe. I swear, a couple of times, it sound like he was foaming at the mouth. While that will encourage his strong supporters it might not go over well with those still undecided or wavering. For all of Beebe's ripping Asa, the winner was Asa Hutchinson!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Republican, Need a Vacation?

David Sanders said that
This week the Republican Governor's Association announced it would pay for airfare and a hotel stay for Republican volunteers willing to go to Arkansas and work on behalf of Asa Hutchinson's gubernatorial campaign.

Now why would the RGA be doing that? After all recent report polls have Beebe leading Asa by double digits. Is it possible that those polls are wrong?
Phil Musser, the RGA's executive director, believes that wishful thinking has gotten the best of the Democrats and some in the media. "Those who have been eager to write Asa Hutchinson's political eulogy are extremely mistaken," Musser said, claiming that the contest for governor is very close and one that Hutchinson should win.
He indicated that he had seen internal tracking polls that placed Beebe well under 50 percent.

This is the first time I've seen any internal numbers. Beebe under 50%, Wow! I don't think Beebe will be gaining either. I think his shifty stance on the grocery tax and gay foster/adoption haven't endeared him with Arkansans.
Part of [Max] Brantley's post:

"We told you that Beebe would say whatever is required. Whether it be on gay people. (Hey, Mike, if marriage is so sacred, well, you know the rest of the question ... )

That shows that even liberals are tiring of Beebe's flip-flopping.

Then there's his stance on illegal immigration, "it's the Federal's responsibility". Even Bill Halter said that Asa had some ideas on illegal immigration that was worth exploring. Ouch, and that from a fellow Democrat.

GOP, Losing the House and/or Senate?

Will the GOP lose either the House or the Senate? It seems to be the favorite guessing game now, trying to figure out if they lose and is so how much. Where did the GOP lose their support? Glenn Reynolds has posted a partial list of why he believes the GOP is losing. I don't really agree with most of his list (people's memory are short), I agree with his listing of immigration.
4. Immigration: Another unforced error. The national security constituency once again lost faith in the Administration. You can't talk about secure borders when the borders are porous. The Administration also failed to make a strong clear argument for immigration, outsourcing that to the Wall Street Journal, which did its best but couldn't do the President's job. Again, the White House's position on immigration was defensible in the abstract, but favoring easy immigration is one thing, favoring easy illegal immigration is another.

This issue just didn't disappoint the GOP base, it infuriated it. It just made it worse when the Bush administration dug in it's heels and ignored the base. The House didn't redeem the GOP by staying strong on the issue. The whole thing just fizzled and all we got was a little bitty fence.
One thing that I think should be included was the President's handling of the war between Israel and Hezbollah. One wonders if the President is getting soft on the war on Terror.
So, is it going to really all that bad if the Democrats win? It's not likely they'll get a lot of legislation passed because both the House and Senate will be almost equally divided. At most, the Democrats will be involved in tons of investigations and committees trying to impeach President Bush. It'll be very uncomfortable for Bush and make everyone else disgusted with their antics.
Michael Barone has commented on what the Democrats would do.
And what are the new ideas that Democrats are campaigning on? They've had a hard time coming up with a list. At the top, usually, is raising the minimum wage.
As for the macroeconomy, the Democrats offer few policies except to refuse to extend the Bush tax cuts, which in important cases don't expire till 2010. On foreign policy, their stands tend to be incoherent: We should be more multilateral in Iraq and less multilateral on North Korea. "Redeployment" of troops from Iraq to Okinawa (John Murtha) or Kuwait (Hillary Clinton).

The President isn't going to allow "redeployment" and if the Democrats try to cut money for defense they're going to get screams from the American people. Democrats can't be strong on protecting America if they cut funds to defense. In the long run, two years of Democrat control could sour people so that by 2008 they ready to give the GOP back control along with the White House. These next two years could be very interesting and exciting.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bows and the Afternoon Sunlight

It's getting cold here, we have a freeze warning tonight.

Bows was just sitting there enjoying the warmth of the sunlight.

It's amazing how different the colors look when shot from different directions.

Ah, yes! She is our little queen.

More at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jim Holt, AETN Debate

Ohh, Ouch! This is really painful! Bill Halter did a better job in the debate of getting his message across. OK, I know other Republicans won't like that but that is what I saw. Bill Halter got the Democrat message across, we need big government programs (teachers salaries, pre-kindergarten, schools of excellence) for which Arkansas taxpayers need to pay for. Bill did get in the phase-out grocery tax (political code for "Hell, No we won't cut taxes") Is this what Arkansans want?
Jim Holt did well in discussing students not staying in Arkansas because of our high taxes. He did a good job in bringing in his endorsements. His endorsements showed that he is supported by the everyday, average Arkansan. He, however, spent too much time defending himself. I think instead of being defensive he should have stated what he stood for. He could have turn his "No Man" to positives. Yes on lower taxes, yes on less government, yes on strong on illegal immigration, yea on more business in Arkansas, yes on protecting property rights. I think you get the picture.

Another Joins the Nuclear Klub

Ahh, Gee Whiz! Now a blogger has gone off the deep end like Kim Jong-il. They have announce that their nuclear fireworks are better than NORK's and is now demanding concessions. Their demands are
The aim of the Iowahawk nuclear fireworks program is clear: to contribute to defending the peace and stability all about the blogosphere, and the area around it, if the blogosphere knows what is good for it. And what is good for blogosphere is also clear: more linky-linky for Iowahawk

These guys are have blatenly shown pictures of their highly advance weapons system. UN officials has expressed grave concern and sent them a very stern letter of warning. France has already surrendered. Somehow, someway it's all Bush's fault and it's evil plot by Karl Rove to take control of the blogosphere. We must do what our glorious previous Leader ,Clinton, has done and give them what they demand.

Mark Foley vs Harry Reid

The Democrats should have been very careful about jumping all over the Republicans about Mark Foley's inappropriate e-mails. They should have just accepted Foley's resignation and not demanded Dennis Hastert's head as well. Captain Ed has the full story on Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's financial improprieties.
Now we have the Democratic caucus leader dodging disclosures and failing to disclose $800,000 in profits from a project on which he partnered with a lawyer suspected of connections to organized crime and a bribery scandal. And let's not forget Reid's connections to Jack Abramoff, whom Democrats tried mightily to use as a poster boy for Republican-only graft:

While the Republican's have their skeletons rattling around in closets, the Democrats have theirs. The Republicans have dealt with Foley. Will the Democrats do the same with Senator Reid? Will we see Senator Reid resign? Probably not, which will show the differences between the parties. The voters will take notice too.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Karl Rove, Arkansas Republican Fundraiser

Boy, was this a great event! I had great time! I, of course, managed to get a few video clips of Karl Rove speaking. Enjoy!

Fayetteville, Voting Problems

This is soooo funny. On the day that Charlie Daniels is debating Jim Lagrone about the oh so minor election glitches, the Northwest Arkansas Times runs two articles about election problems in Fayetteville.

Thefirst reports

There were 2, 457 ballots cast in both annexation elections, but poll workers reported 2, 333 voters participated.

Burrow said that while they will recount the ballots, they may never fully reconcile the differences in totals. The results of the vote will remain preliminary until certified, which will likely be a week from Friday, he said.

Doesn't that scare you! They may never figure out why there's a difference in the counts. Excuse meee! But we have a big problem here! There were only a couple of thousand votes cast! What is going to happen Nov 7th when tens of thousands votes are cast? One big bloody mess!

The discrepancies were found after election workers encountered problems with voting machines, which required having to purchase a flash memory card because the one provided by the company that supplies the machines would not work.

Those damn machines again! Those freaking machines aren't working! Why are we still using them?
The next article repeats

According to John Logan Burrow, election commission chairman, the final results as of Tuesday's count were 1, 274 votes for Delap and 706 votes for Jeanie Hill, the other candidate in the runoff.
However, according to the records, there were 2, 270 ballots cast, a difference of about 290.
There were also some problems with the Fayetteville annexation election, where the number of ballots cast exceeded the number of recorded voters.

You know, you may not agree with Jim Lagrone, you may not like that he's a Republican, you may not like that he's a preacher. However, he's knows and acknowleges that there are big problems with counting votes in Arkansas. Jim Lagrone is determined to correct that. Charlie Daniels is in the corner crying like a baby, that it's everyone else's fault.

A report today said the problem has been resolved.
According to [John]Burrow, in one election there were more voters than ballots and, in another, more ballots than voters.
“ When transferring the early and absentee votes into the grand total, we slipped up and either doubled or omitted those numbers, ” he said. “ It’s a misstep we’ve had problems with in the past; we’ve tried to be vigilant, but sometimes it crops up again. ”

Jim Lagrone, AETN Debate

I'm listening to the Secretary of State debate on AETN. Jim Lagrone is throwing out fact after fact on how elections are being done in Arkansas. Charlie Daniels is fumbling all over the place trying to deny that there are any problems. He's defending ES&S to the hilt. Boy, ES&S sure got their money's worth from Daniels. Rebecca Tyson has accused Jim Lagrone of having a negative campaign. She challenged how he can do that since he's a preacher. Jim responded that he was telling the truth, which is not negative and telling the truth is part of the Christian character. This panel is hostile against Jim, but he's handled it very well.

Jim did a very good job in showing that he knew the facts, he's talked with the local election officials, and he's very concerned about the votes of Arkansans. Daniels was defensive, trying to blame everyone else for the voter problems. I'm not sure who he's insulting when he says we're still getting use to the system. We poor, stupid voters, or the computer illiterate election workers, or the fumbling county election officials or the company, ES&S. Everyone is to blame expect Charlie Daniels. The hallmark of bad bureaucrat and poor leader.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nov 7th Elections

From NWANews
Secretary of State Charlie Daniels, who is running for re-election, has known since before the May 23rd elections that there were problems with ES&S. It's apparent that he's not been doing anything to correct the problems.
With just one month to go before the Nov. 7 general election, wrinkles in the state's relationship with the company supplying most of Arkansas' voting equipment still are being ironed out, the first gathering in recent memory of county election officials showed on Friday.

With less than a month to go, one would figure that the problems would be corrected by now. After all, Daniels has had 5 months to get it fixed.
While sipping coffee and juice in a packed conference room, local officials voiced their complaints about Election Systems & Software's customer service and technical support. They also questioned the secretary of state's office staff about changes in election law and procedure since a federal voting law went into effect this year.

Charlie Daniels is a very incompetent bureaucrat. He may try to blame ES&S all he wants, but he decided use them. Even when his own selection committee voted against using ES&S.

Arkansas County Election Commissioner Janie Long also complained about unfriendly customer service representatives at Election Systems & Software. She said in an interview during a break in the meeting that the company had botched the preparation of her county's ballots, and that a company worker wouldn't return her phone calls.

Long also said that the independent contractors Election Systems & Software had hired to support her county were unfamiliar with Arkansas election law.

It doesn't sound like the Nov 7th elections are going to be running smoothly. I attended a poll worker training meeting and a GOP leader said that they were expecting problems. He said that since this is going to be a very close race they were anticipating challenges to the votes. Is Arkansas going to have an election marked by litigation and allegations of incompetent administration or outright tampering? Will Arkansas have it's own Florida-style election melt-down?

Arkansas' Budget Surplus

Baxter Bulletin
Lawmakers are starting the budget process with a $721 million surplus to play with.
Both major party candidates are already eyeing portions of the surplus for various proposals and have suggested different ways to eliminate the state's 6-cent tax on groceries.

I'm betting a lot of people are looking at the surplus and are putting their grubby little hands in for a piece of the pie.
Legislative leaders say they're going to be cautious about the surplus, which could already be whittled away by a series of requests from state agency heads.

Yeah, we know what this means. Legislators are going to make sure that as little as possible is returned to the taxpayers, if at all.
Democratic Party nominee Mike Beebe has said he wants to phase out the [grocery]tax over time and tie its elimination to state revenue growth, while Republican Asa Hutchinson says there's enough money in the surplus to eliminate the tax immediately

At least there is one candidate (Asa) that is saying that Arkansas taxpayers are going to get a tax break. Beebe, who speaks with divided tongue, appears to have no intention to eliminating the grocery tax. If he truly intended to cut the grocery tax he'd leave out the "tie its elimination to state revenue growth." The state revenue growth will never reach a level that Beebe would cut the grocery tax.

What did Rep. Jim Kolbe Know?

James Taranto makes a point about Mark Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges that I thought interesting. Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) confirmed that a former page showed the him Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable. Kolbe is the only GOP House member to acknowledee that he is gay.
When we first read those emails, we found them odd and a bit creepy. But it occurs to us that if a 50-year-old man sent a 16-year-old girl an email asking her to send a picture of herself, that would have set off loud alarm bells and brightly flashing lights. We know how the mind of a heterosexual man works, being in possession of one, and when a guy asks a gal he barely knows for a picture, it means that he has a sexual or romantic interest in her. When a guy asks another guy for a picture, what does it mean?

When reading the messenges I thought that they were the normal locker room stuff that boy and men usually say. I've sat in on some of the "good old boy's" disscusions and boy, they often get really raunchy.
When we stop to think about it, probably the same thing, but it wasn't obvious to us because it simply isn't part of our experience. We suspect the same was true of Hastert and other House leaders. Kolbe, on the other hand, because he is gay, probably understood better what Foley was up to and that it wasn't good.

That is good possibility. If that is so, then Kolbe should have taken the time to educate Hastert and other House leaders on how preditory homosexuals work.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday, Women's Health

I spent most of today at the Speaking of Women's Health conference in Springdale. Wow! I've got a big bag full of free goodies to go through tonight. The stuff must total over a hundred dollars. One of the things Wal-Mart gave away was a $10 gift card. I spent that right away! This year I finally won a prize! Three days worth of kennel boarding. No time limit either, so I'm able to use if for next years professional conference. Good speakers, music, food and free goodies. It's been a good day!

Friday, October 06, 2006


Trixie was kind enough to pose for me. She is absolutely gorgeous and the little stinker knows it.

There's a whole lot more at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Dogs

Eli on the Porch

I caught Eli lying out in the sun on the porch. I'm still trying to figure out what he's doing with his body. It definitely must be a cat thing.

There's a whole lot more at Friday Ark and Carnival of the Cats

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Asa Hutchinson's Bus Tour

Boy, did Asa's bus tour look like it was going to be fun. Too bad I have to work. Asa emphasized the differences between him and Beebe on the grocery tax, rural schools, health care and immigration. Asa chided Beebe on the state hiring of illegals.

Asa said he was aware there was already a law against it. He intended to see that it was enforced. He also dismissed Beebe's assertion that state troopers were too busy to help with immigration enforcement.

The Hometown Channel 40/29 had a poll going and it appears that Asa is the winner of last night's debate! If the Hutchinson campaign keeps working hard and keeps pushing Beebe on the issues, Asa has a really good chance of winning.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Asa Hutchinson & Mike Beebe, The 2nd Debate

I watch the debate at the Washington County Republican Headquarters. Big screen TV with food and drinks! Asa dropped in after the debate. He was still on an adrenaline high. He did make a comment about the recently release "poll". He said to ignore it as their polls show that Asa was within the margin of error.

OK, my thoughts on the debate. Yeah, I know, you're waiting with bated breath. Asa owned the debate. He started strong and finished strong. Mike Beebe did well as a whole, but lost some momentum from hits by Asa on the grocery tax and rural schools. I thought that he was going to lose it when Asa said that Beebe helped to shut down Paron, he didn't support the Paron parents. Asa made sure people understood the difference between the elimination of the grocery tax (Asa) vs the phasing out of the tax (Beebe). He called Beebe's grocery tax plan an "empty promise" and Beebe's advertisement a "bait and switch". The best line I thought was Asa's "taxing the food in the mouths of the poor."
By the closing statements Mike Beebe had wound down and was droning on. A two minute speech and my mind was starting to wander. Boy, I was glad that Asa was last. He woke me up. He was aggressive. Bam! Bam! Bam! He nailed in a list of everything he wanted to do and even got in his NRA and Right to Life endorsements. In that last 2 minute speech Asa Hutchinson looked and acted like a Governor.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dueling Polls

Another independent poll, commissioned by Arkansas News Bureau-Stephens Media, has Mike Beebe leading Asa Hutchinson by double digits. Pollster Ernie Oakleaf is again coming under fire because of the methodology of his polls.

Arkansas News
Hutchinson said "credible independent polls" and his internal polling showed the race to be close, with his campaign gaining momentum

Mark Moore
Remember that not only has the Zogby poll consistently showed it to be close, Asa's own poll showed it close, and we know that Bill Halter has spent $34,000 on polling and he is NOT releasing the results and he is campaigning like he is 10 points behind

But I wonder about this comment:
"I think we're seeing what could be a termed a trend," Opinion Research pollster Ernie Oakleaf said. "(Hutchinson) hasn't made any dramatic headway over the last poll."

If that's so, why has Beebe started vigorously attacking Hutchinson on grocery tax elimination, property rights and rural schools?

Baxter Bulletin
The forum came as Beebe's campaign unveiled a new round of television commercials calling a conservative group's ads criticizing his tax and property rights record "wildly misleading."
In the spot, which first aired Friday night, Beebe targets ads by the Coalition for Arkansas' Future, an advocacy group that has been running spots criticizing Beebe. The Beebe ad also tries to tie Hutchinson to the ads.
"Attacks by Asa Hutchinson and his supporters are wildly misleading and increasingly desperate," an announcer says in the ad, "and distorting Mike Beebe's record on the grocery tax."

When your opponent starts attacking it means that they're afraid. I sense fear in the Beebe campaign.

Mark Foley Shake-Up

The Mark Foley story is shifting so quickly, I still trying to figure it out.
Mark Foley has already resigned because of the truly outrageous messages he sent to pages and/or interns. Now it's an issue of what did the Republican leadership know and when did they know it. It also appears some reporters (probably including Brian Ross of ABC News) and other political groups (Democrats?) know who and what are behind the timing of the Foley revelation and are protecting that aspect of the story. It's becoming apparent that this is just part of the political crap that appears every election cycle.

It's interesting how the two partys handle their scandals. Each party has their leakers, womanizers, boozers, and racists in Congress. What I find interesting is the Republicans are quick to dump the offender and also try to throw their Republican leaders overboard too. Democrats seem to be able to hold on to their offenders and also get them re-elected. Republicans, calling themselves the Party of Family Values, are sensitive to their base which insist their morals be upheld. The Democrat Party is not under such moral restrictions from their base. They are of the opinion that morality is relative. The question for Republicans is will their tough stance help them in the elections?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fundraising in NW Arkansas

Saturday was a big for fundraising in NW Arkansas. In Benton County there was the Iron Grill Cookoff at the Akin Farm. Gunner Delay is checking the recipe.

Jim Holt is looking like he knows his way around a grill.

This is the first time I've met Chris Morris. He's getting a little help from his mother.

Asa Hutchinson stopped by. A great opportunity to get a photo of all the state candidates. Jim Lagrone was providing the cookoff commentary.

Asa and Susan with a group of Veterans. The winners of the cookoff, Jim Holt and Chris Morris. They tied.
The evening fundraiser was at the Pattersons. Sorry I didn't have as many pictures I was helping out a bit. The Pattersons did a fantastic job. Oh my gosh, the stuff they had for the children was great!

There was also a Jazz band, whose name I need to get. They were very good. Jim & Jim didn't have to do any cooking, but did speak for a few minutes.

Jim Lagrone, Arkansas Secretary of State Candidate

Jim Lagrone, candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State, is speaking at the Washington County Republican Women's monthly meeting.

Something's wrong with the video. I'll have it back up when it's fixed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Get Well Soon!

Rita's Mike is in the hospital because of heart problems. Stop by and wish them well.