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Smart Talk, Jan. 17



Sucking sound

Four Little Rock women have prepared a helpful website for people seeking safe haven should former Gov. Mike Huckabee become the next president of the United States., whose founders are identified as Tisha, Hannah, Ellen and Karen, provides a link along with pros and cons to “top flee destinations” Mexico (“real Mexican food!” but “low availability of toilet seats”), Canada (“use the word ‘eh' as much as you want,” but “freezing ass cold”), Costa Rica (“beautiful beaches” but “occasional earthquakes”), and others. The site also links to (“The Essential Expatriate Resources”), international real estate companies, international airports and offers border crossing tips. Why flee? “For seven years we have wondered WHO could be a worse president than Dubya. Well, now we know,” the site says. “Like many things, we hope and pray that we will not end up using any of this information. But we are going to be ready and we think you should be too.”

No reservations in Arkansas

Last week, while browsing the new edition of the AV Club, the Onion's legitimate entertainment website, we came across this interview with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain:

The A.V. Club: You're in Arkansas, right?

Anthony Bourdain: Yep.

AVC: So which is a scarier place to be, the jungles of Cambodia, or Arkansas?

AB: [Laughs.] I certainly feel like the jungles of Cambodia are a little more familiar.

Sorry, Bourdain was not in Arkansas to check out Sims and Whole Hog for “No Reservations,” his culinary travel show. He long ago left the state, too. The interview was conducted in October, when Bourdain gave a lecture at the Fayetteville library. A spokesman for his show said he has no plans to visit Arkansas at the moment.

Protected by Smith and Wesson?

Now that Mike Huckabee is a leading presidential candidate, who's ensuring that he's protected from violent malefactors? Not the Secret Service as yet. Only two presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, have protection. Clinton only gets it because she is formerly first lady. (There was much ado in the media last May when Obama got a security detail at the earliest date ever in a presidential campaign.)

If Huckabee gets federal bodyguards, it will be of his own initiative. Any candidate can make a request for Secret Service protection. The request then goes before a committee consisting of the secretary of Homeland Security, the speaker of the House, the House minority leader, the Senate majority leader, the Senate minority leader, and an at-large member. To qualify, the candidate must be announced and have a degree of prominence, must be entered in at least 10 state primaries, must be a member of a qualified party, must qualify for at least $100,000 in matching funds and must have raised at least $2 million.

A good Second Amendment-believing conservative might want to save the money and do the protection himself. Huckabee has boasted that he has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, as does his wife, Janet. And we all know about son David trying to carry his heater through airport security. In fact, we wondered if the future First Family was packing on the trail now. Spokeswoman Alice Stewart couldn't say. But we note that South Carolina, currently the target of presidential campaigners, has a reciprocity law that would honor the Huckabees' Arkansas permits. Janet! Where's my .44?

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