The line is open. Closing out:

* RECOMMENDED READING: Robert Johnston recommends a moving article on a homeless veteran of the war in Afghanistan, published a while back in the New York Times. The vet is wary of being seen in Silicon Valley with the gear of the homeless. He sure better not try Main Street in Little Rock, judging by our mayor and U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin’s feelings about location of a VA center there to serve vets. The boondocks are good enough for our warriors, Tiny Tim says.


* SURVEY SAYS THINGS LOOKING UP FOR OBAMA: Here’s the full rundown of latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. All the trend lines point in the right direction for President Obama and Democrats generally, if only modestly. Mitt Romney’s win in Florida aside, the poll still shows Newt Gingrich preferred by the largest number of primary voters. I don’t know what could be better news for Democrats than that.

* NOTHING GOOD EVER CAME FROM ‘HUFFING AIR DUSTER’: KAIT reports fatal stabbing of Jonesboro man found with his hands tied. This follows a confusing evening of drinking and huffing.


* PITCHING IN FOR A HOG: Cliff Lee, the baseball player, and former Hog baseball coach Norm DeBriyn are hosting a fund-raiser Feb. 9 at Doe’s for former teammate Bart Hester, an extreme right-winger challenging Rep. Tim Summers for a Senate seat in Benton County drawn to help Summers by Gov. Mike Beebe. All you need to know about Hester outside of baseball is that Grover Norquist wrote his playbook and controls his vote.

* ENJOY A CUP AT STARBUCKS: Meanwhile, though one pressure group succeeded in crippling support for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood, another group has failed to coerce Starbucks into dropping its support for marriage equality in Washington.


* STOP THE PRESSES: The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record has joined the growing list of Arkansas and American newspapers that are shutting down their printing presses. The HSR is to be being printed at owner Walter Hussman’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette facility in Little Rock. This means earlier deadlines for Hot Springs news.