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Betting on 2014

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Another year has wrapped up and we've digested every review and rounded up every notable event. Time to look to the future! What will happen in the year to come? We've always had a knack for prognostication, so we paid a visit to our local bookie to place our bets on 2014's headlines and happenings. Here are the odds, listed from favorites to long shots. Time to place your bets.

1:1,000 Between now and November, at least six Arkansas politicians pose for campaign pics with guns. It's an election year. When in doubt: lock & load, point & click.

1:500 Regardless of what actually happens, conservatives spend the year screaming that Obamacare is a trainwreck. Predicting the future is easy when facts don't matter.

1:10 New local dining options Mylo Coffee and Butcher & Public earn rave reviews from the foodie set. Now open up already!

1:3 Lt. Gov. Mark Darr (eventually) resigns. Best to parlay this with a long-shot bet that Darr becomes a professional lounge singer to pay down his debts to the state.

3:4 Rep. Tom Cotton topples incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. Can a Tea Party extremist say "Obama" and "Obamacare" over and over enough times to win? The odds favor the extremist.

4:5 In the fiscal session, the Arkansas General Assembly reappropriates funds for the "private option." Going to be dicey, but many of the state's major interests — not to mention political talent — remain firmly behind the state's unique policy for Medicaid expansion, which will have given coverage to more than 100,000 Arkansans by the time lawmakers vote on the appropriation. Plus, refusing to fund it would kill those tax cuts Repubs love so much.

EVEN Arkansas continues its tradition of governors named Mike. Riding the coattails of the retiring Mike Beebe, can Mike Ross make Asa Hutchinson a three-time loser in statewide elections? Flip a coin.

5:4 Arkansas Democrats re-take the House. The open seats are in their favor and they only need to pick up a pair — but has Arkansas gone permanently dead-red?

10:1 The Hogs have a winning season. Stars align, Razorbacks roll, throwing the A finally catches on.

500:1 "Mud" wins Best Picture at the Oscars. "Twelve Years a Slave" has this on lock, but the indie favorite from Little Rock native Jeff Nichols has an outside shot at a nomination.

1,000:1 Sen. Jason Rapert reveals Himself as the Lord. Big payout, but could you enjoy your winnings living under Rapert's rule?

10,000:1 Arkansas overturns ban on same-sex marriage. The times may be a changin', but it's slow going in the Natural State.

100,000:1 Walmart: "Okay, fine, we'll pay our workers a living wage." Maybe next year.

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