The bright side of the BP oil spill

June 7, 2010 To say the news coming out of the Gulf is not what you call encouraging, and it’s making people crazy. No. Really. Crazy. Louisiana native and Democratic strategist James Carville went off on the Ppresident like a string of overstuffed firecrackers in a pot-bellied stove. And for Carville to savage the leader of his own party either means he’s mad as hell and can’t take it anymore or his wife Mary Matalin’s naggingly oppressive monotonic brain-washing has achieved full saturation. I would hazard a bit of both.

Look north this summer for vacation plans

June 4, 2010 Has the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico caused you to rethink your summer vacation plans? Cancel your Gulf fishing trip? Here’s a thought: Look north.I know a place with unique fishing, islands that rival the Caribbean, plenty of things to keep the family occupied, good eating, and best of all you don’t need a passport and everyone speaks English. Curious yet? It’s time to check out Lake Erie.Lake Erie, the 13th largest lake in the world, is one of the Great Lakes that spans the border between Canada and the United States, but it is so much more.

Road woes

June 4, 2010 LITTLE ROCK —  In recent years tax revenue from traditional sources for maintaining Arkansas state highways has been flat or in actual decline. At the same time the cost of fixing highways and bridges has gone up.Raising taxes is always politically difficult, and in an economic slowdown it becomes extremely so. However, when highway maintenance is postponed it quickly becomes more expensive.

Recession now or depression later?

June 4, 2010 Date nights are great nights! My wife and I enjoyed an awesome film during one of these over Memorial Day weekend.Typical for a Russell Crowe film, “Robin Hood” was brutal! Yet it was just the film to fit my flavor for “history” flicks. I would have called it, “Robin Hood: When Governments Go Broke” as this name is a better fit for the story.

Fixer-Uppers

June 3, 2010 If only more Americans had bought fixer-uppers.Maybe I better explain.My first house was in need of major renovations. Boy, did my father and I suffer when we improved the bathroom.The project started well enough. We tore down the old wall tile and put up wallpaper and a tub surround. We repainted, then put down a new floor. All we had to do to was reinstall the commode.The bolts that had secured the toilet to the floor had both broken. The hardware-store guy sold me a kit to reattach them.

Blowup over a mosque

June 3, 2010 Houston talk-show host Michael Perry couldn’t contain himself. When a listener named Tony called in May 26 to defend a plan to build an Islamic center near New York City’s 9/11 ground zero, Perry exploded.“No, no, Tony, you can’t build a mosque at the site of 9/11 ... And I’ll tell you this — if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up ... I hope the mosque isn’t built, and if it is, I hope it’s blown up, and I mean that.”

Double trouble

June 2, 2010 We got the call at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, May 24.  I had just gotten back from the grocery store, after suffering a case of late night munchies and picking up an apple pie and, since I was there anyway, a turtle cake.  Seems the girls had decided they didn’t want to wait until their scheduled arrival on Thursday.  And they didn’t want grampa to be clogging any more arteries for a while.Maci Paige was the first out, at a little after midnight on Tuesday, followed closely by her little sister, Kennedy Alexis. 

Only suntan oil in Destin

June 2, 2010 Gary and I can tell you there’s no oil in Destin, Fla., at least none last week while we were there.It had been six years since we’ve taken a beach vacation, so last week we were Destin or Bust.

Outlook improves

June 1, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The financial outlook for Medicaid improved last month, according to state officials who administer the program.This year’s Medicaid budget is about $4.2 billion and is estimated to increase to $4.6 billion next fiscal year. Medicaid officials have been concerned about possible budget shortfalls because more people become eligible for Medicaid in a bad economy. Also, the cost of medical services and prescription drugs continues to increase.