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Nate Bell breaks into museum

Pine Ridge – State Representative Nate Bell of Mena was discovered this morning passed out and surrounded by dozens of empty jars of sorghum and m...

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Jason Rapert confused for Civil War...

Little Rock – In an embarrassing mix-up this morning, State Senator Jason Rapert was confused for a Civil War reenactor while visiting his protégé...

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Kermit Gosnell praises Hobby Lobby

Washington DC – The Supreme Court’s decision to allow certain for-profit employers to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraction mandate was...

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Tom Cotton promises to visit Arkans...

Little Rock – Responding to criticism that he’s become a Washington D.C. insider and has turned a deaf ear to the people of Arkansas, Representati...

Nate Bell breaks into museum

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Pine Ridge – State Representative Nate Bell of Mena was discovered this morning passed out and surrounded by dozens of empty jars of sorghum and molasses at the Lum and Abner Jot Em’ Down store and museum. The museum’s curator Lon Stucker said that one of his employees made the discovery this morning when she went in to open the store. She immediately called 911 and Bell was taken to Mena Medical center where his stomach was pumped. It’s now reported that Bell’s condition is stable and he’s expected to make a speedy recovery.
 

Mena Star reporter Andy Philpot reports that along with 9 pounds of sorghum and molasses, Bell’s stomach contents included a sandal, a plastic six pack ring, a few bugs, a copy of the novel Jennifer Government by Australian author Max Barry, and three tent stakes.

Stucker said that it looks like Bell came in through a window in the back of the museum and it’s not the first time they’ve been broken into. Ipsum explained “bears just love trying to get into the store and get some of that syrup. We try to keep it locked up pretty tight but I think from now on we’ll try to hang the store from a tree branch or something when we lock up for the night.”

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Jason Rapert confused for Civil War reenactor

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Little Rock – In an embarrassing mix-up this morning, State Senator Jason Rapert was confused for a Civil War reenactor while visiting his protégé, State Representative David Meeks this morning at the Old State House, where the House of Representatives just wrapped up this week’s special session. Rapert visited the Old State House to commiserate with Meeks, who cosponsored a bill condemning the 1964 Civil Rights Act along with Representative Bob Ballinger and others. The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, or national origin in both the public and private sector. The law was signed into law 50 years ago today.

“He was just saying all this horribly offensive stuff. I just thought he was playing the part of a Confederate officer,” said Hershel GoodOliver, president of the Central Arkansas Sons of Confederate Veterans. “He was talking about how giving them rights would destroy the fabric of the American family. He said if we gave them freedom they’d come for our kids. He said that they don’t deserve rights because God ordained their sub-humanity; that they would run roughshod over what people believe in. We all just assumed he was talking about slaves.” Rapert was in fact talking about members of the LGBT community. GoodOliver was leading a tour of the Old State House as part of a living history demonstration of the Little Rock campaign in commemoration of the ongoing Civil War Sesquicentennial. Rapert was noticeably confused when one student commented about how far we’ve come since then and how ignorant people used to be. It’s reported that Rapert responded by asking, “What do you mean used to be?”  The mix-up then became apparent.

Although the bill condemning the Civil Rights Act never made it to the floor, the theocratic teabilly triumvirate of Rapert, Ballinger, and Meeks hoped to capitalize on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act to gain publicity for their symbolic gesture by condemning it. Meeks says the bill overstepped the rights of business owners and worries that it has been taken out of context to also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Said Meeks, “It’s bad enough that businesses and employers can’t discriminate based on sex, so we want to make sure that they still have the right to discriminate against homos and transsexuals if they so choose.” Rapert added “the president has been making some terrifying strides for the militant same-sex marriage and transvestite movement, and we aim to put a stop to it.”

The Civil Rights Act is largely condemned by rock stars in the libertarian movement like Ron Paul, who says it is an unfair and overreaching intrusion into the private sector. Ballinger shares that stance, explaining, “It just gives government too much power. Government mandated liberty is not liberty at all. Not to mention it was just a disastrous law. Nothing did more to destroy African-Americans families. The Civil Rights Act created a generation of blacks with a high sense of entitlement and a lack of work ethic. What’s to celebrate?!” He then added, “It’s not racist to say that either. I’ve met dozens of black people. Our constitution was written to bestow government with the power and the duty to protect property: real property, personal property, and chattle property. Business owners can’t be told what to do with their property. Property rights are the cornerstone of our civic system and our person-owning founders understood that and held human rights in the highest regard.”

 

 

Credit to Chris Hicks for today’s featured photo!
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Kermit Gosnell praises Hobby Lobby

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Washington DC – The Supreme Court’s decision to allow certain for-profit employers to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraction mandate was good news for many; but none were quite as excited as Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell, who heads the trade organization American Society of Back Alley Abortionists, said he’s excited that the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the contraception mandate because “It was really cutting into our business and we didn’t have the money to take it to court so we’re really grateful to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties for taking this fight on. Universal contraception has been proven in study, after study, after study to decrease demand for abortion so when they wrote it into the Affordable Care Act, a lot of my members got nervous.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a contraception mandate that requires insurers to cover certain methods of contraception but leaves exemptions for religious organizations. The measure which was supported by Planned Parenthood, the National Organization of Women and dozens of other women’s and health organizations has already yielded a decrease in demand for abortion which was great news to women’s health advocates. Cecile Richards President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America explained, “We were ecstatic about the contraception mandate because it empowered women to take control of their reproductive health.” When asked about the abortion issue Richards stated “we understand that many women would prefer not to be put in a position to consider abortion in the first place, and universal contraception is the only proven method to decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies. It’s a win win. Abortion rates go down along with the number of unwanted pregnancies.”

Gosnell who is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after he was found guilty on 3 counts of first degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter in a series of botched illegal abortions, said that the Hobby Lobby case is just the first hurdle. Ultimately he hopes for a complete repeal of the contraception mandate and hopes that someone with more money and fewer murder convictions will take the case. “I don’t care about the irony of the fact that it’s the anti-abortion crowd who ends up fighting against the only thing our government has done to decrease demand for abortion in the last 50 years, I just want women to stop having access to universal contraception. That along with the recent wave of abortion bans will lead to more back alley abortions, and that’s what I’m after. If Hobby Lobby opposes universal contraception as well… you know what they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend”

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Tom Cotton promises to visit Arkansas again in 6 years if elected.

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Little Rock – Responding to criticism that he’s become a Washington D.C. insider and has turned a deaf ear to the people of Arkansas, Representative Tom Cotton promised to visit Arkansas again in 6 years if he’s elected to the Senate. Cotton released a video on his website and on YouTube today. Using an obviously strained and unconvincing fake Arkansas accent and bobbing his head with every syllable, he professed, “I love this state and I’m dedicated to its people; and if you send me back to Washington to serve you in the Senate not only will I vote against your interests and actively work to make your life more difficult. I’ll make sure to come back to this god forsaken scum bucket in 6 years to tour the great state of Arkansas and convince you inbred plebeians that what you really need is for the federal government to give your money to my billionaire friends.”

Cotton -who is so in touch with Arkansans that he opted to go to a secret Koch brothers sponsored California billionaire golfstravaganza instead of attending the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival which is considered the unofficial kickoff of the Arkansas general election season- says it is his opponent Mark Pryor who is out of touch. Cotton’s campaign recently released an ad criticizing Mark Pryor’s voting record, saying Pryor votes with the democratic party 90% of the time (the ad fails to mention that Tom Cotton votes with his party 97% of the time).

Cotton went on to explain, “In the year and a half I’ve spent in congress getting cozy with the economic terrorists that have outsourced and overpriced the American middle class out of existence I’ve come to truly understand the needs of middle class Arkansans. And what we need is common sense reform, like handouts tax incentives for my contributors job creators who employ poorly paid foreigners offer opportunity to all Americans. Arkansans don’t need or want student loan reform, a solvent social security system or medicare system, and we absolutely don’t need Obamacare.”

Cotton has taken Pryor to task for having the audacity to vote for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known colloquially as Obamacare) which had the disastrous effects of providing 172,000 low income Arkansans with health insurance, decreasing emergency room visits in the state, decreasing abortion rates through the contraception mandate (Yes, you read that right. Read that hyperlink, especially if you’ve been to both a pro-life rally and a pro-Hobby Lobby rally), and keeping rural Arkansas hospitals in the black.

Cotton’s campaign manager Justin Brasell said Cotton visits Arkansas when he can; mostly to record advertisements featuring authority figures from his youth (his drill sergeant, his mother his father, and his high school principal) and he’ll make sure not to be a stranger. Said Brasell “Tom’s already looking forward to his next visit to Arkansas in 2020.”

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State Rep burns marriage license

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Berryville – Arkansas State Representative Bob Ballinger, who represents Arkansas’ 97th congressional district, burned his marriage license today in an act of protest. The National Report reported that a crowd of about 20-25 people gathered in front of Berryville’s City Hall today to watch the spectacle. The act was carried out to demonstrate Ballinger’s condemnation of government’s involvement in marriage which he believes is a private contract and should not involve local state or federal government. Ballinger also spoke in defense of the LGBTQ community and said “So long as government is involved in marriage, a gay couple should have all of the same rights and privileges that my wife and I have; and if my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters aren’t afforded the same rights I am then I want no part in this discriminatory institution. I stand behind the constitution that our founders laid out, and in that constitution they promised not only freedom of religion but freedom from religion; and as long as I am in the legislature I will fight against any proposals that unlawfully restrict human rights because of religious principles.”

Berryville bills itself as a town “where history meets progress” and the act of defiance by its elected representative was well received by many in attendance. Oliver Shiftworth, a longtime Berryville resident said he and his husband Lucas were elated that their representative would stand up for their rights. “Lucas and I have lived here since 1987 and we’ve seen this town grow both economically and culturally, and it’s just so moving that we’ve finally become place where both republicans and democrats recognize us not as scary generalized others, but as neighbors, as friends, as coworkers, and as fellow human beings deserving of equal rights. I don’t normally vote republican but for Representative Ballinger I may have to start making an exception.”

CORRECTION: The original story reported by the National Report was  apparently a hoax, the license burning never took place. Representative Ballinger issued the following statement in response:

This is a grievous and slanderous lie. I do not now nor have I ever supported the efforts of queers to achieve equality or basic human rights. The first amendment established freedom of the Christian religion and our founders intended for Christians to subject others to their Christian ideology much like radical Islamic groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS do except with Christianity. The bible clearly says that homos are nasty, so it is my job as a jihadist Republican to ensure that God’s will is carried out on Earth while simultaneously parroting pseudo-intellectual quotes about liberty and freedom…. and I really like Ayn Rand whose books I’ve never read and who was a radical anti-theist.

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Travelers announce name change

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North Little Rock – Phillip Wellman, manager of the Arkansas Travelers, announced Friday that the team is accepting suggestions for a new team name after complaints that the team’s name is offensive to American Roma people (better known as gypsies), who refer to themselves as “travelers.” The move comes after vocal opposition from Pat Baby (pictured below), who starred on an episode of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. Baby, who lives in a camper, rejects indoor plumbing, brushes his teeth with bleach, and married his daughter off at age 16 said he finds it embarrassing that the term his people use to self identify is associated with a team whose mascot is an obviously inbred backwoods hillbilly opossum that has to have been conceived by the writers of ‘Family Guy’ to ridicule Arkansans.

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The Travelers unveiled Otey and Ace as their new mascots earlier this year, who replaced Shelly who ran off to work for Greenpeace. Explaining the decision Ipisim said “We just wanted to make sure that we aren’t disparaging or otherwise offending anyone with our team name or mascot, we plan to keep Otey as a mascot and change the name of the team.” They are accepting submissions for possible names on their facebook page and on twitter, however in the interim they’ll be taking the name “The Arkansas inbred meth addled hill trash.”

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Ace and Otey

 
Many observers are comparing the announcement by the Travelers to the recent decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademark on the word “Redskins” as it is a derogatory term for an entire race of people who the United States Federal Government actively worked to eradicate. That decision was met with controversy as many white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male football fans have no understanding of cultural or ethnic subjugation and accuse no-good dirty rotten atheist islamic commie liberals of wanting to control speech and thought.

 

Roma people have faced persecution, genocide, and forced sterilization in Europe which motivated some Roma families, like Pat Baby’s, to come to America and Mr. Baby said he’s pleased with the decision and is grateful that Wellman and the Travelers took his concerns seriously: “It shows just how far we’ve come in America to be able to have an empathetic open and honest discussion without ridiculing people and resorting to ad hominem attacks.”

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Tom Cotton loses key endorsement

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Dardanelle – Thomas Leonard “Len” Cotton, local farmer and father of United States Representative and Republican Senate nominee Tom Cotton revoked his endorsement of the 1 term congressman Tuesday, citing Cotton’s vote against the Agricultural Act of 2014, better known as the farm bill. The elder Cotton who recently starred in a campaign ad for the younger went on to  explain, “Well I did a little research on his voting record and come to find out he aggressively opposed the farm bill. I mean he really railed against it. My family has been farming here in Yell County since 1881 and I just can’t bring myself to support someone who doesn’t support Arkansas farmers and their families.”

Representative Cotton recently addressed the Arkansas Farm Bureau, the largest agricultural advocacy group in the state, about the controversial vote. He said he just couldn’t bring himself to vote for a bill that did so little to take food out of the mouths of hungry children. The bill slashed SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) by $8 billion over 10 years, meaning that 850,000 household will lose $90/month in food assistance but Cotton said that wasn’t enough.

“We don’t need handouts; we need a system that punishes kids who choose to be born into poor families. And besides everyone knows there are millionaires playing the system and buying drugs and alcohol with food stamps. As your Senator I’ll fight to ensure that no federal tax dollars are used to help the poor or indigent. I understand what really gets the economy moving: family values, tax write offs for private jets, unaffordable student loans, sub poverty wages for full time workers, and tax refunds for corporations who post over a billion dollars in profit.”

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When asked about losing his father’s endorsement Cotton’s campaign office had no comment other than to say that the Congressman was “very disappointed.” As far as the elder Cotton, he has not endorsed any other Senate candidate and doesn’t plan on it but he says he knows who he won’t be voting for in November: “He’s my son. I’m very proud of him and I love him but if he’s clueless enough to vote against the farm bill and then run and tell farmers that he knows better than they about what’s good for them… look… I just don’t want him to embarrass himself anymore than he already has.”

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KATV caves, allows 3rd party candidates to participate in debate

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Little Rock – Responding to public outcry over excluding Green Party candidate Joshua Drake and Libertarian Party candidate Frank Gilbert from a televised gubernatorial debate scheduled for October 7th, KATV News Director Nick Genty announced today that the station will allow Gilbert and Drake to participate in the debate between Democratic nominee Mike Ross and Republican nominee Asa Hutchinson.

Genty explained “We at the station understand that in a free and open democracy all must be allowed to participate so we’re happy to allow Misters Gilbert and Drake to participate as timekeepers in October’s debate.” Genty went on to explain the rationale for the decision “We anticipate that Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross run the risk of going over time during their pre-written and nearly identical responses to our softball questions and having two genuine honest and reliable timekeepers will lead to a more fair debate… for major party candidates.”

When asked about the decision by the station Mike Ross’ Communications director Brad Howard said “You know, we’d really just prefer that people aren’t reminded at all that there are more than two options, but we’re willing to cave to public pressure. Mike and his opponent see eye to eye on just about everything except for the big issues like who hates Obamacare the most, who’s more enthusiastic about denying basic human rights to homos in Arkansas, who’s spent the most time as a Washington insider, and whose awkward dishonest smile is the most unsettling.”

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It's a real tossup...

Asa Hutchinson’s campaign manager Jon Gilmore responded to our inquiries via email and echoed the Ross campaign’s sentiment: “Without the distraction of genuine candidates with discernible differences the people of Arkansas can better choose which of the two pre-determined winners they want to throw their vote away for and get down to the real issues like who most opposes legalization of marijuana, who likes guns more, who’s accepted more money from outside groups, and who most believes in a tax code that unfairly burdens the poor. There is a sense of security that comes with knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have a 50/50 chance of voting for a winner…Do you want a tax break? What would you do with an extra $17 a year? Asa wants to give everyone a tax break. Tax break. Do you want a tax break?”

As for Drake and Gilbert, our corporate sponsors have advised us that we are not to contact either of their campaigns for comment.

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Rapert: “Why can’t we be more like North Korea?”

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Conway – In the wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss to Theocratic-Capitalist Dave Brat last night, Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert is looking to distinguish himself as the most conservative member of the tea party movement. Hot off his controversial comments about Saudi Arabia, speaking to reporters at a Waffle House in Conway early Wednesday morning Rapert asked “Why can’t we be more like North Korea? You know? You jump the border over there and you get 12 years of hard labor.” The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea –commonly referred to as North Korea- has faced criticism from the world community for sentencing American Kenneth Bae to 15 years of hard labor on what many believe are trumped up charges of espionage and subversion. Rapert continued, “you jump the border here and you get medical and dental insurance, amnesty, free housing, and a cushy under the table sub-minimum-wage job. That just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Immigration reform is thought to be one of the issues that led Brat to victory last night over Cantor, along with Cantor’s votes to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shut down. “North Korea’s government is in a continual state of partial shutdown.” Rapert continued, “Public utilities are underfunded, any money they have they give to the wealthy or the military, workers are paid next to nothing, and they give huge tax subsidies to private corporations.” North Korea’s capital Pyongyang is known for its quite frequent roving blackouts, and North Korea’s political elite are known for living unabashedly opulent lifestyles even while North Korea’s own citizens starve to death. Finally, on the business page of the DPRKs own website used to woo companies to do business with North Korea, under advantages of doing business with the DPRK they’ve listed “Lowest labour cost in Asia” and “Lowest taxes scheme in Asia” two concepts that perfectly mirror Rapert’s and Brat’s low wage low tax economic ideology.

It appears that Rapert is not merely content to talk to the talk. In true totalitarian fashion, Wednesday morning Rapert attempted and failed to silence a critic on twitter by threatening to sic the Arkansas State Troopers on him.

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Observers find his actions all the more troubling when considering Rapert’s praise of North Korea’s Juche idea; which is the closest thing to religion that’s allowed in the hermit kingdom and through force puts the country and its deceased “Eternal President” at the center of everyday life and thought. “It may not be my religion, but those Koreans have the opposite of separation of church and state. I bet Kim Jong-Un would have no problem impeaching Chris Piazza” Rapert is an outspoken evangelical who routinely calls for a government more aligned with his Christian values and has led the charge for the impeachment of Judge Chris Piazza for finding that Arkansas’ unconstitutional restrictions on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

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Local homophobe elected to head Southern Baptist Convention

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Baltimore – The Southern Baptist Convention announced the election of Dr. Ronnie Wayne Floyd as its new president on Tuesday. Floyd is head pastor of Springdale’s Cross Church which has 4 campuses in Arkansas and Missouri, and author of several books, including Family Life Illustrated for Men, Family Life Illustrated for Marriage, Family Life Illustrated for Finances and the homophobic cult classic The Gay Agenda, which details the secret homosexual plot to destroy Christianity and traditional American values like polygamy, misogyny, slavery, and stoning disobedient children to death. Curiously, The Gay Agenda, which is regarded by certain Arkansas conservatives to be Floyd’s Magnum Opus, is not included in the bibliography of his obviously self written Wikipedia page, but it totally exists and he totally wrote it, here’s proof.

 
We followed up with one of his fellow “messengers” at the Southern Baptist Convention. We asked Dr. Albert Mohler Jr, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who nominated Floyd for the presidency about the Wikipedia omission and if perhaps that was a dark part of his bigoted past that Floyd was trying to scrub from his history by omitting. Mohler was surprised by the omission. “No, I don’t think that’s the case at all. Ronnie has a long track record of service to the church and to traditional marriage. He was one of the loudest voices against the gayifacation of America during the 2004 election season and can partially be credited with Arkansas’ constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.”

 
While the Catholic Church has not seen an increase in public opinion after the election of progressive and charismatic Pope Francis, and the Southern Baptist Convention hopes that an equally charismatic conservative can help revive its dwindling numbers. Mohler explained the SBC’s strategy. “Everyone knows that old dogmatic judgmental conservative xenophobic homophobic white people are on the increase nationally and we really hope to harness this demographic shift. Ronnie is our best bet attracting the scores of people who are turning away from love and acceptance and yearn for a more restrictive and ignorant worldview.”

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Clowns plan ammosexual awareness demomstration

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Dallas – A new group called Open Clown Texas announced its plans to stage their inaugural demonstration this weekend at the Dallas Gun Show. Open Clown Texas was started in April of 2014 as a breakaway group from Open Carry Texas, which has been in the news recently for bravely carrying long rifles and assault style weapons into restaurants and baby clothes sections of department stores. Their official mission statement is “to raise awareness of ammosexuals and the emotional social and psychological challenges they face in order to create a more 2nd amendment/ammosexual friendly culture.” They plan to achieve this with what they call “open wear” demonstrations complete with juggling and slapstick for the kids. 

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Open Clown Texas President, the honorable Cleetus P BaconBurgery

The group’s President, Cleetus P BaconBurgery (pictured above) explained the symbolism behind Open Clown Texas’ planned demonstration. “We wear clown gear to symbolize that we ammosexuals are desperate for attention, we wear life jackets on dry land because we’re irrationally afraid of statically improbable dangers (like floods, muggings, the implementation of Sharia Law, and being rounded up into FEMA camps) and want to show that we’re ready if such a danger (like a massive flood) were to occur, we wear suicide bombs to show how little we value human life, how volatile we are as individuals and how self destructive the open carry movement is to the larger gun rights movement. We wear cod pieces to compensate for the gifts that our lord and savior Jesus Christ -on whom our nation was founded- chose not to give us, and of course we carry assault rifles because the 2nd amendment is non-negotiable.”

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By phone we reached Shannon Watts who founded Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (or MDAFGSIA) who hadn’t yet heard of Open Clown Texas’ planned demonstration; and after 12 minutes of sustained hysterical laughter she got serious “I think that ammosexuals should absolutely address their underlying psychological issues, I just wish these clowns wouldn’t carry weapons in public to do it… I mean the actual clowns, not the regular gun nuts.”

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Open Carry Texas President, Duke C.J. Grisham

We caught up with Open Carry Texas President C.J. Grisham (pictured above) at a demonstration inside a local Babies R Us who along with adamantly denying having any daddy issues posed the question “does he know how ridiculous he looks?” he added “I totally get laid all the time, you don’t even know.” He then prpceded to browse through toddler girls’ clothes with his semi-automatic AR-15 while one of his shotgun carrying comrades recorded him on a pink iPhone 5c. We’ve reached out to the organizers of the gun show, but at press time they’ve not returned our calls or emails.

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Little Rock City Hall announces plans to move all white people south of I-630, African-Americans north.

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Little Rock – Mayor Mark Stodola revealed today that all white residents will move south of Interstate 630, swapping places with African-American Little Rockers, who will take up residence in vacated houses and apartments north of the bisecting highway.

Implementation of the plan, approved by City Hall in a vote this morning, will be handled by City Manager Bruce Moore, who expects completion by September 2014.  As a ceremonial first act, Mr. Moore, an African-American, will swap offices and homes with the white Mr. Stodola.

City Hall Director Gene Fortson remarked that using I-630 as the dividing line simply makes common sense. “When the plan to move was first proposed, we did not know where to draw the new border,” said Mr. Fortson, “Fortunately and surprisingly to us at City Hall, it seems that nearly all white residents of Little Rock are already concentrated north of I-630, while our black residents live mostly south of the highway.We are at a loss as to why this is the case, but it really worked out to our advantage when designing this exciting new plan.”

Area residents on both sides of the freeway divide expressed excitement at the prospect of the move. Jim Richardson, a white man currently living in Hillcrest and reassigned to South End, cannot wait to make the move. “My new area has just what I want in a neighborhood:small and family-run businesses, local restaurants, and quaint little homes.It even has independent hair dressers for my wife.”

Connor Chandlerfellow, white resident of Chenal Valley, is also thrilled, “I am personally excited to take on a new project.Years of official neglect south of 630 means my new house and neighborhood are real fixer-upers.  I know the City will respond timely and efficiently to any legitimate improvement requests I make. After all, I may be moving south of the highway, but I am still a tax-paying citizen of Little Rock, and the City will surely treat me with dignity and respect.”

Sheila Jackson, an African-American woman of 12th and Woodrow Streets, voiced a similar note of anticipation.“My family and I are delighted at the chance to enjoy amenities.We are told that our new neighborhood [the Heights] features parks, good schools, movie theaters, art exhibits, excellent restaurants, bike trails, sidewalks, grocery stores, banks, hospitals, roads without potholes, and post offices.Outgoing residents also informed us that police harassment is virtually non-existent, and law enforcement will even respond to a 911 call in a matter of minutes!”

As it was before the new plan was adopted, Little Rock Central High School will remain segregated.

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French Hill changes first name to Freedom

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Little Rock – In an attempt to better compete against his opponent’s strongly patriotic campaign and to better relate to common voters humble banker and multi-millionaire French Hill, who is running for a seat in the House of Representatives to represent Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District, has changed his first name from French to Freedom. Hill said of the change “I remember being really inspired by the bravery the United States Congress showed when they voted to refer to French fries as Freedom fries followng France’s unwillingness to go to war with Iraq; and the first bill I plan to co-sponsor when I’m elected is a measure changing the name of Chinese food to Freedom food”

Hill’s Campaign Chairman Larry Walther said that the campaign had been considering the change since Hill announced his candidacy, foreseeing a though primary, and it was an accurate prediction. Along with facing criticism for having contributed to disgraced former state treasurer Martha Shoffner’s campaign Hill faced criticism from his hyper-conservative primary opponents over being in bed (quite literally) with a pro-Affordable Care Act lobbyist while publicly stumping against the law.

 

Having won 55% of the primary vote, Hill now faces former North Little Rock Mayor (this really is his name) Patrick Henry Hays who wasted no time in capitalizing on the American-ness of his name (Patrick Henry was a founding father and Governor of Virginia who is most remembered for his famous “give me liberty or give me death” speech, which he delivered while owning other people). These are actual screenshots from Hays’ campaign website:

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Hill’s campaign is hitting the airwaves hard and has reportedly already paid for ads that highlight the name change that are set to run on KARN and KSSN and all the major local television stations. The ads feature man of letters and reality TV supernova Jase Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) who is scheduled to hold a book signing for his critically acclaimed autobiography “Good Call: Reflections of Faith, Family, and Fowl” at Bass Pro Shop on Saturday June 7th with all proceeds going to Freedom Hill’s campaign. Print ads will also run in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Guns & Ammo Magazine, and Arkansas Times.

There is no solid polling data to demonstrate the impact the name change may have on Hill’s campaign, but Arkansas Bluff political analysts have drawn up an infograph reflecting their predictions:

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Russia announces Seward Peninsula annexation plan.

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Moscow, Russia-  BREAKING NEWS comes from Russia today as President Vladimir Putin responds to the latest NATO demand. Tensions continue to escalate between the West and Russia and Putin is not ready to falter.  In his boldest move yet, Putin announced that Russia will annex the Seward Peninsula in Alaska.  A bill was rushed to the floor for a quick vote scheduled to take place before the end of the week.  Boasting strong Kremlin backing, the bill promises to be an easy pass.  Preliminary referendum for the largely uninhabited landmass shows overwhelming support for Russian annexation and leaves many wondering the motives pursued by the Kremlin.  Citing proximity to Russia, distance from the Continental United States, and a large Russian ethnic majority of the area, Putin projects this to Russian media outlets as a “win-win for everyone.”  Blueprints have leaked from Russian Military indicating that a bridge is to be built, connecting the two landmasses for the first time in millennia.  Three T-90 Russian model tanks will be able to traverse the bridge side by side.

 

President Obama held an emergency press conference at the clubhouse of his favorite golf course in Hawaii, before excusing himself to finish the back nine.  “The territory is of little consequence to the United States.  I want the states to remain ever vigilant when dealing with these situations.  I will not see our regime start another war in a progressive global economy.  President Putin has shown his actions to be rash and clearly has not considered the implications of his actions.  The United States will deliver a swift and deliberate response within the next few hours.” He did not seem very worried about the severity of the developing situation with Russia.

 

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, was available and offered a contrary response.  “The Bering straight is essential to our naval strength.  If we cede this territory, not only will we lose naval superiority, but our ability to defend Alaskan citizens.” Former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, agrees vehemently with Sen. McCain.  According to Palin, “this passive response continues to encourage Putin to take any and all territory he wants.  This precedent will set the United States on a collision course for war, or leave all of our citizens to be governed under a communist regime.”

 

Secretary of State, John Kerry, issued the consequences to Russia and gave Putin the opportunity to dismiss the bill within the next 24 hours.  Kerry stated if Putin complies within the next 48 hours, catastrophe would be avoided.  The Secretary of State announced that new sanctions will be imposed at such time, should the bill not be dismissed.  Among the list of Russian-American celebrities, Ben Harper, Jake Gyllenhaall, Joaquin Pheonix, and Lenny Kravitz are barred from the American entertainment industry.  Any advertising, movies, television shows, or photographs featuring these individuals are not to appear within any territory under United States authority.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement have issued warrants for their deportation in the meantime.

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Riverfest attendees to receive RFID implants.

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Little Rock – In an ongoing effort to boost sales and discourage pass sharing, Riverfest coordinators plan to implant RFID (radio frequency
identification) chips in all festival attendees this year instead of the plastic armbands they traditionally use. “It’s a breakthrough in event planning” says Festival Chairwoman Krista Kirksey-Thomas “not only will this boost sales and make it easier for returning festival goers to check in, but it will have a strong impact of the environment since we will no longer have to print hundreds of thousands of plastic armbands each year.”

 

A few years ago Riverfest stopped using buttons and switched to plastic armbands, hoping that it would cut back on pass sharing. That change did correlate to considerable increase in admission revenue but as Festival Co-Chairman Drew Lott points out, organizers soon found that “with Riverfest passes costing $40 and the typical doctor’s copay costing $20, people are saving money by breaking and/or dislocating their thumbs to share armbands and getting their thumb fixed on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.” Arkansas Bluff researchers verified that in the years since Riverfest started using armbands there has been an observable spike in doctor’s visits for broken thumbs on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Festival organizers had for years discussed alternative methods of pass verification, including barcode tattoos on the forehead or forehand, but that idea fared poorly in focus groups. They determined that RFID was the best route after lab tests conducted on Pulaski County inmates showed that implantation of RFID chips is virtually painless and poses almost no health risks.

 

The RFID chips are small cylindrical pellets about the size of a grain of rice that will be implanted into the hand or forearm. Upon admission festival goers will register their name, email address, social security number, address, phone number, driver’s license number, mother’s maiden name, and paypal account (optional) then receive their complimentary RFID chip; returning festival goers will just pass through a scanning kiosk (that looks similar to a metal detector) that will verify the implantees’ identity and paid status. Festival organizers plan on allowing festival goers to pay online for future Riverfests and there’s even a mobile app in development that utilizes the GPS capability of the RFID chips to help festival goers avoid awkwardly running into annoying co-workers, exes, and/or family members whose Facebook friend requests they’ve still not responded to.

 

Human rights activists are troubled by the move, Arkansas ACLU Executive Director Rita Sklar found it “troubling that the state will now be able to track nearly 1/8 of the population of Arkansas at all times” (referring to the estimated 250,000 people that attended 2013) “and acts like Chicago and The Kazoobie Kazoo Show w/Rick Hubbard are sure to attract more people than last year.”

 

Aaron Sadler, Public Information Officer for Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office, sought to dispel any privacy concerns surrounding the decision. “We aren’t forcing anyone to register or attend Riverfest, so it’s left to the individual’s discretion” said Sadler, adding “besides, any loss to privacy is far outweighed by the benefits to public safety.” By being able to monitor all attendees 24/7 not just during but indefinitely after the event, Sadler argues that local and state police will be in a much better position to track past and potential offenders and even be able to prevent crimes before they happen.

 

For their part, Riverfest organizers argue that the increased revenue will make it easier for the festival to attract big name acts, which along with the more convenient check in and payment system, the benefit to public safety, and the benefit to the environment, more than make up for being monitored and tracked wherever you go for the rest of your life. 

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Scientists discover new dinosaur species near Harrison!

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HARRISON, AR –Paleontologists working near Harrison today uncovered bones that are shattering the expectations of scientists specializing in natural history. The bone structures reveal a dinosaur that is similar to the allosaur, yet actually kin to the crocodile. Bones show that a small colony existed in near isolation from all other species. Also notable about the species is lack of phenotypic symmetry and what appears to be a relatively high occurrence of genetic malformation. Paleontologists are speculating that these patterns suggest either rampant cannibalism amongst the species, or exclusive incestual reproductive patterns. The discovering scientists are proposing to name the species“ Kilanosaurus” (ka-lan-o-saurus).

Scientists believe that the species experienced extinction while refusing to adapt to the changing global climate during the Cryogenian period (however there has been some speculation thay Kilanosaurus slowly evolved into the reptile species that now inhabit Harrison). Why they refused to adapt is unknown, but it appears the species was simply unwilling to cohabitate with other species of dinosaurs and early mammals.

Sociologists at the University of Arkansas are conducting experiments to determine if there was anything left behind by this species other than a physical footprint. Some are speculating that Kilanosaurus’ incestuous, cannibalistic nature was caused by a virus still native to the area that can infect any living organism. This hypothesis suggests that the lifestyle of the Kilanosaurus was contagious. Mayor Jeff Crockett of Harrison (no relation to Davey) refused to comment on the recent discovery.

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ARKANSAS BLUFF EXCLUSIVE: State Rep David Meeks uses ridiculously childish font on his Android phone.

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Little Rock – Late Sunday night Arkansas State Representative and erstwhile Floridian David Meeks tweeted a screen shot, from his personal smartphone, of one of Dennis Milligan’s Facebook posts. Digital font experts using complex font analysis techniques have determined that the phone used to take the screenshot uses a font called “choco cooky” which is exclusive to Android devices. Arkansas Bluff Staff reached out to Meeks’ office for comment and were instructed that a thorough investigation will be conducted to determine how such an embarrassingly immature font was allowed to be used on the Representative’s phone. Meeks said he’s been in contact with the Arkansas State Police cyber crimes unit and he’s not ruling out the possibility that he was hacked. It should be noted that Meeks apologizes in the tweet for his “weird font” which shows he’s known about the problem but has neglected to correct it.

 
The recent revelation is already stirring controversy in political circles in the state. Some fear that this will alienate dedicated iOS users from the Meeks campaign as Meeks’ preference toward Android, which offers customization utility and hardware superiority, shows a clear opposition to everything Apple represents. Others are worried that Meeks will lose the support of serious and mature adults. Polling data shows that in recent years Comic Sans has lost favor among adults aged 14-150, who see it as embarrassing and kiddish; choco cooky has been described as “the criminally insane younger cousin of Comic Sans” which fuels speculation about the type of people who choose to use choco cooky. Use of such a childish font is however projected to increase Meeks’ approval rating among elementary school children, tweenage girls who pass notes in class, and Highlights Magazine editors.

To get Dennis Milligan’s take on the issue, Arkansas Bluff staff phoned the Kripsy Kreme on South Shackleford  where he’s known to frequent and after several attempts we were able to reach Milligan for a statement: “I like David but for someone on his smartphone as much as David is, it brings into question the kind of person he really is.” Milligan continued, “The font you use on your personal cell phone determines how you view the world and I think there are serious questions about a man who chooses to live in a world where the letter i is dotted with a squiggly circle.”

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Jason Rapert calls for amendment defining marriage as “a Christian covenant between one clueless evangelical cisgender male and one clueless evangelical fertile cisgender female who damn well knows her place”

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Weiner, AR – State Senator and devout anti-mixed-fiber-clothing activist Jason Rapert made an impassioned plea today for Arkansas to “return to the biblical principles of its foundation and throw off the chains of progress.” It is to that end that he hopes to re-redefine marriage in Arkansas as “a Christian covenant between one clueless evangelical cisgender male and one clueless evangelical fertile cisgender female who damn well knows her place” and plans to propose a constitutional amendment to do so.

He defended his proposal by stating “Marriage is an institution of the church for the purpose of procreation, and is only valid in the eyes of Hashem if entered into by one male and one female who intend to make more Christians.” But he doesn’t intend to stop there; in following with biblical dietary tradition, Rapert plans on submitting proposals to ban crawfish (not just the consumption of but the entire species) from the state as well as eating cheesecake after a steak dinner.

Along with a call for a more biblical society Rapert called for the impeachment of Judge Chris Piazza, stating “it is a judge’s job to confirm that the tyranny of a prejudiced majority over a minority is constitutional, not to try to protect the rights of a minority as laid out in the Constitution. What’s next? The 14th amendment protects the rights of toasters manufactured in the United States to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with their owners?”

A spokesman for Rapert said that the Senator would not be making any more statements until after Shabbat. This is a developing story and we will post more information here as it becomes available.

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Arkansas newspapers enter contest praising American traitors

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PRESCOTT – Local papers across Arkansas, including the state’s paper-of-record, have begun publishing a series of editorials praising traitors who deliberately and physically attacked America.

Beginning with Robert E. Lee Day, newspapers have entered a game of one-upmanship in a special editorial project, lauding the likes of John Wilkes Booth and Benedict Arnold with fine words worthy of their villainous acts.

The Bentonville Courier dedicated its editorial page to the glory that was John Wilkes Booth.  “This gallant man stood for his country, Virginia, when he put a bullet into the back of American President Abraham Lincoln’s head in cold blood,” wrote the Courier.

Not to be outdone, the Texarkana Tribune republished a poem chronicling the internal struggles of Benedict Arnold.  His conflict between country and empire was beautifully put and earned high praise from the state’s paper-of-record, the Natural State Whig-Gazette.

The Whig-Gazette may have won the day, issuing a lengthy editorial praising the character of Major Nidal Malik Hassan, the alleged mass shooter who defied orders and killed over a dozen of his fellow American soldiers at Fort Hood four years ago.  The paper wrote that he must be understood in the context of his times, not ours.

Here, we have reprinted a few lines from the esteemed editorialist of many years at the Whig-Gazette:

LET’S HEAR it for The Usable Past. That phrase was much in vogue among historians not long ago, and may still be. History, we were told, isn’t something to be studied for its own sake, but as a guide to current politics. A useful collection of talking points.

The uses to which Nidal Malik Hasan’s name has been put vary. To the old folks at home, he is still an icon to be venerated, the centerpiece of a thousand Islamist Memorial Day observances, the storybook knight beyond reproach, the marble man of radical Islamic mythology, the embodiment of the ever sacred Jihad.

The revisionists in their turn cannot resist using Hasan, either. As a foil. As the symbol and personification of all Islamist sins and hypocrisies. An icon always invites iconoclasts. The hero becomes the anti-hero, and history one of the plastic arts.

The War on Terror is often hailed as the first modern war. It saw the introduction not only of new technologies-drones, cruise missiles, stealth bombers-but new strategies that did away with old qualms.

Ray Odierno’s mass detentions, an innovation in 2003, became the standard of the next decade. His guilty until proven innocent approach, detaining old and young alike, also destroyed the distinction between military and civilian targets. “War is cruelty,” he warned the people of Tikrit, “and you cannot refine it . . . .” In short, war is hell. Odierno certainly made it so.

But if the War on Terror was the first modern war, it was also the last of the old, formal wars fought by a certain code of honor. Nidal M. Hasan’s campaigns of mobility and surprise against forces superior to his own in every material respect may have been the last in a way of war going back to Hannibal at Cannae. The chivalrous code Hasan was following could be traced back to Saladin.

Far from a modern nationalist, Nidal M. Hasan wasn’t even a sectionalist. He thought of his country not as America but as Islam as a whole, and her people as his people, much as Southerners even today speak of family as “my people.”

Like all the works of man, what Hasan did-his victories and defeats-will fade with time. Each generation is further and further removed from them. The War itself now recedes from the nation’s memory, like a great mountain as the observer moves ever away from it. The rock from which we are hewn becomes smaller and smaller in our sight.

And yet Hasan, the very name, still holds our gaze, like a beacon in the ever deepening night. What he was, the code he followed and embodied, all that will last as long as conscience does. As long as the ever fecund past shapes us. As long as we can remember that it is not we who use the past, so much as the past that moves and sustains us. Like the memory of Hasan himself.

When asked for comment on the absence of editorials praising “traitors” like slave-revolt leaders Nat Turner and John Brown, all papers engaged in the project issued a collective statement, “no fucking way. God Bless America.”

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Coup d’Old State House

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At approximately 3 A.M. Tuesday morning, Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr broke into the Old State House Museum and is apparently refusing to leave. At press time, no demands have been made, but Darr promised that “the next scalawag who calls for my resignation is going to get a belly full of lead courtesy of Lady Baxter” (Lady Baxter is the civil war cannon located on the Old State House grounds).

The miniature coup of the museum is one of the more bizarre episodes in the ongoing saga of Darr, who was ordered to pay $11,000 after a state ethics commission ruled that he broke 11 campaign finance laws since 2010, amounting to $31,572.74 in misspent campaign contributions. This comes on top of a Legislative Audit finding that Darr illegally spent $12,000 in state funds on personal expenses. Governor Mike Beebe was reported to have said, “Hell if he’s really that hard up, I’ll loan him the money as long as he doesn’t pay me back with a state credit card.” However, Matt DeCample, a spokesman for Beebe, has denied that the Governor offered to loan Darr any money. “Given the Lieutenant Governor’s meager salary that Darr is constantly complaining about, it would seem unwise to offer him a loan of a few hundred dollars, not to mention a few thousand,” said DeCample.

Beebe, who still has not returned from Mobile, Alabama, where he watched Arkansas’s most successful and least cared about college football team, Arkansas State, defeat Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl.  Beebe’s absence has left Darr the acting governor. It was a little under a year ago when Beebe was in Washington DC, Darr signed a bill into law making Arkansas’ concealed carry list secret. Some fear that he may now attempt to amass a secret militia and take the Capitol by force in Beebe’s absence.

Terry Hastings, a spokesman of the Little Rock Police Department has asked that everyone stay clear of the Old State House as Darr should be considered armed and dangerous. When asked if he the Little Rock Police Department has increased security around the Capitol in the event Darr decides to head that way, Hastings said, “We know he’s not going anywhere because the state police said all their cars are accounted for. We’ll monitor the situation throughout the week and I’m sure when he realizes that the Old State House gift shop doesn’t have any food or wifi, he’ll give up.”

A chorus of former lawmakers has made statements on the issue. Disgraced former state representative Hudson Hallum has started a petition calling for a raise in the lieutenant governor’s salary. According to Hallum, the petition has already garnered 2,456,393 signatures. Hallum said that because he’s still under house arrest stemming from his 2012 guilty plea to felony conspiracy to commit election fraud, he cannot make it to the capital city to hand deliver the petition but plans on sending it with a caravan of 394 supporters from Marion (although those numbers may be inflated).

Former Arkansas State Treasurer Martha Shoffner, who faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of extortion, made a rare public appearance at the Missouri Pacific Depot in Newport to come to Darr’s defense. She said, “Sure Mark took the money, but it’s not like he demanded it from his supporters. They gave it to him. I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. If someone is willing to give you something, it’s rude not to take it.” She refused to take any questions after her brief press conference and was last seen carrying a Christmas-wrapped pie box received from a man in a blacked-out Escalade.

Darr’s office has not made an official statement on the standoff at the Old State House, but former state senator Paul Bookout, acting as unofficial spokesperson for Darr, said, “I have not read all the specifics in Mark’s case, but I do know that it is sometimes hard for a stressed mind to distinguish what constitutes a campaign expense. Take me for instance, I needed to buy a home theater system for my home because it helped me relax after a long day of campaign.  I really enjoyed The King’s Speech, and I think Colin Firth’s character taught me a lot about civic duty and leadership. We need to listen to Mark’s side of the story. I’m sure when all the facts come out, we’ll see that he acted in good faith.”

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Mark Pryor releases ad affirming his Zoroastrian faith

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Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Little Rock, released a campaign ad this week that is generating some media attention.  The two-term incumbent is seeking reelection in a heated race, with the general election taking place just under 11 months from now.

Reaching out to religious voters, the advertisement features Mr. Pryor in a scene familiar to many Arkansans.  In a warm-lit den full of family pictures, the senator, seated in a comfortable yet sturdy chair, affectionately holds his personal copy of the Avesta, the holy text to 2.1 million Zoroastrians across the world, of which Arkansas is home to a few dozen, including the senator.

Mr. Pryor expounds upon his faith and its meaning to him as a public official:

“I’m not ashamed to say that I believe in Ahura Mazda, and I believe in his word.  The Avesta teaches us no one has all the answers.  Only Ahura Mazda does.  And neither political party is always right.

This is my North Star [referring to the clutched Avesta].  It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.  I’m Mark Pryor, and I approve this message because this is who I am and what I believe.”

For his part, Republican opponent Tom Cotton blasted the ad, deeming it “blatant Avesta-thumping.”  Mr. Cotton reiterated his vow to avoid promoting one religion over another.  “During this campaign, I intend to stick to the issues that affect every day Arkansans, and to treat all Arkansans equally regardless of religious affiliation.”

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Rare Mark Darr Sighting

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Lt. Governor Mark Darr finally woke up from a big, long, Mark Darr sized nap to discover the state’s online media is critical of his misuse of funds for Razorback tickets, gas station visits, and hotels. Witnesses in rural northwestern Arkansas say they saw the big Darr lazily stretch, sit up, scratch his head and start to ponder why he’d done all those bad, bad things with all the people’s money.

The big Darr slowly found his words and began to say, “I’m really sorry for doing all those bad, bad things with everyone’s money. I just didn’t have any of my own left and it was embarrassing…”

Our station affiliate in Springdale, ARNW-Bluff, reports the big Darr’s tears were so big and  plentiful the townspeople fled in fear of a flash flood. All of the town’s Democrats seethed in unison, “We know it’s hard to have lost a business and a house. Let’s work to alleviate your stumbles and build you up. You didn’t have to steal, we had the idea of helping you out all along.”

Unfortunately the big Darr is reclusive and doesn’t seem likely to talk to any media anytime soon.

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Jeff Long in Playoff Committee, Finally In Winner’s Circle

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The NCAA announced the members of its first College Football Playoff Committee. Among the notable members is the University of Arkansas’ own Athletic Director Jeff Long. The selection committee wanted to ensure members would not have any conflicts of interests with the important playoff selection process.

In a statement the NCAA said, “We selected Long because we know the U of A’s football program, the Razorbacks, won’t be getting anywhere near playoff caliber for the foreseeable future.”

Late this evening Long was overheard in a brand new multi-million dollar athletic facility office saying, “It’s great to be back in the winner’s circle again. It’s so fucking exciting to be around all the buzz involved with top caliber, world class football programs. I’m a big deal, not just king of a hermit kingdom team in the mountains.”

Meanwhile sports fans on 920 AM Sports Animal have been commenting that they’re sure Long will do everything in his power to select the Razorbacks for the playoffs and if he doesn’t they might start paying attention to the Bears or Redwolves. The hosts of the show did not take the callers seriously.

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UA officials attribute $4 million shortfall to janitor letting the water run at Bud Walton Arena

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FAYETTEVILLE – The source of the $4 million shortfall in the University of Arkansas’s Division of University Advancement has been identified, according to Vice Chancellor for Advancement Ben Choate.

“After several weeks of investigation, it appears that the $4 million that went missing from my department was spent on Bud Walton Arena’s water bill,” said Mr. Choate, addressing a press conference.  “While we cannot get the money back, Llewellyn Smith, who left the water running in the women’s bathroom, has been terminated.”

Though the Rock City Times originally broke the story on the janitor’s termination, shoddy reporting once again failed to develop the account fully.

Chancellor David Gearhart reinstated Mr. Choate.  “I am pleased to bring these two hardworking individuals back into the UA family.  While we waited six months after the initial investigation which attributed blame to Ben before letting him go, we continued paying him an upper class salary during that time.  Fortunately, that unearned wealth allowed David to take a vacation these past few months, meaning he had not yet procured a new job and is ready to start again at the university.”

Ms. Smith, 64, was just one year short of retirement.  After 30 years of cleaning the school’s athletic facilities and washing the clothes of football and basketball players, the university has immediately stopped payment to the Springdale native.  As a low-skill, minimum-wage worker, her termination makes her ineligible to receive retirement benefits from the University of Arkansas.

At press time, university officials had not yet determined if they would be seeking criminal charges against the mother of four and new grandmother.

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Government shutdown avoided at last minute as Obama, GOP switch positions

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WASHINGTON – With just hours to spare before a looming government shutdown, Congress has passed a continuing resolution providing funding for federal agencies through October 1, 2014.  The deal keeps national parks open, allows veterans to continue making benefits claims, and prevents furloughs for many of the nation’s 2.6 million federal employees.

The crisis was averted after a last minute reversal in position by President Barack Obama, who announced his support of a government shutdown.  “This nation has too long supported the wasteful practices of our federal government.  By providing compensation to wounded veterans and distributing food to hungry mothers and their children, we Americans have strayed from our core values.  That’s not who we are.  That’s not who we want to be.”

In a speed not seen in the American capital in recent memory, Republicans seized the political opportunity and immediately passed a continuing budget resolution.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) addressed a full press conference late Monday afternoon.  “This Congress has been given a mandate to stop President Obama in his tracks, and, with this new budget, we have lived up to that expectation.  Though cunning, we are ready to counter the president.  Where he zigs, we will zag.  Where he zags, we will zig.”

Democrats in the Senate joined their Republican colleagues in authorizing the measure.  “We have long said that the Democratic Party stands for something, at some time, either here or there, now or then,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  “We will work at the direction of our Republican friends on the other side of the aisle as they see fit.”

At press time, it remains unclear if the White House will endorse the new resolution.  The bill passed with a veto-proof majority, though political analysts suspect those numbers could be reversed in favor of a repeal if  Mr. Obama signs the legislation into law.

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