The line is open. Otherwise:

* ARKANSAS IDIOT: Several on the blog called attention to this earlier, but this sign posted last week at Smokin’ Joe’s restaurant in Rogers continues to expand its reach on the Internet. So, for the historical record, I memorialize it here. Only In Northwest Arkansas would you hoist a giant sign equating slavery with universal health care financed  by a small tax increase on rich people. Slavery/health care. Get it?


Owner Johnny Howard took down the sign after complaints. He issued one of those non-apology I’m-sorry-if-anyone-was-offended apologies. Said Howard:

History’s told us when we sit idly by, and don’t do anything, bad things happen to good people.

You know. Like slavery. Or health care.


* WANT SOMEBODY TO BLAME? Kevin Drum in Mother Jones explains in simple terms why the government is shut and the nation’s credit is at risk. Short version: House Republicans. It was their plan all along. And it’s all because they don’t want working poor to have government-aided health care. Nice guys, Tim and Tom. Meanwhile, progress is reported in the Senate, Ted Cruz undoubtedly excepted.

The Arkansas furlough count continues to rise, by the way, with the pain spreading to college and university campuses. Money lost by federal contract workers can’t be restored until Congress acts sometime in the future. The count has hit at least 1,200 state employees.


* THERE HE GOES YET AGAIN: Mike Huckabee today on his radio show, during talk with Ralph Nader, about the effort to defund Obamacare:

“I thought it was a stupid tactical blunder on the part of the Republicans,” Huckabee said. “I think it’s doing a lot of damage — first to the country, and frankly to the Republicans.”

* THE MONEY GAME: Political insiders put a lot of stock in campaign finance totals. Better to have money than not. Still, money alone doesn’t win races.

All that said, the buzz is that Democratic lieutenant governor candidate John Burkhalter, a successful businessman, is going to post big fund-raising numbers in his Oct. 15 report tomorrow, maybe $500,000. It may even be a figure in range with what Republican GUBERNATORIAL candidate Asa Hutchinson raises. The significance in this race is that it is typically run on a shoestring. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Mark Darr spent around $500,000 in two years of raising and spending po (some of it on personal uses that have him in a spot of trouble at the moment.) Burkhalter, who has no Democratic opponent so far, is still seven months away from the primary. It’s possible his number includes a significant contribution from his own fortune. UPDATE: I now hear the sum will be independently raised.