The line is open. Final words:

* LET THEM EAT CHEESE: The Hamburg school district is having a problem with kids not paying for school lunches. With some $12,000 owed, the district has imposed a four-day grace period and will then give only a cheese sandwich and glass of milk to those who haven’t settled up. From Seark Today.

* NET NEUTRALITY: A federal court has struck down federal rules that block internet providers from blocking or prioritizing web traffic. The theory that competitors will allow customers to avoid bad operators would be nice if there was any competition to speak of. Sort of like health care. What competition?


* PRIVATE OPTION UPDATE: The latest numbers from the state on health insurance plan enrollment under the Obamacare expansion, effective Sunday:

119,844 – Total number of private option applicants from state and federal levels.*


Of those, 87,547 have been determined eligible for the private option so far.

Of those determined eligible for the private option, 70,057 have completed the enrollment process (as of 1/13/14). An additional 7,700 have been determined to be better served by traditional Medicaid for a total of 77,757 people who will now have coverage.


* This number includes 110,549 private option applicants through the State and 9,295 private option applicants received from the federally facilitated marketplace who have been determined eligible and their data has been processed by the state.

* NO QUESTIONS, PLEASE, I’M TOM COTTON: The Democratic Party continues to rag on U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton for scheduling events called “town halls” at which only pre-screened e-mailed questions are answered and he rails on Obamacare. Should anyone look remotely like a Democratic “tracker,” he or she is likely to be escorted out. Take a cell phone to the Donald Reynolds Campus and Community Center in Magnolia at 5 p.m. Friday and try to get an answer from Cotton on video of why he opposes the farm bill. Then duck and cover.  Says the Democratic Party:

Congressman Cotton is holding ANOTHER taxpayer funded “town hall” where he will talk about the key theme of his Senate campaign and not take questions from the audience. How many more times are the taxpayers going to have to foot the bill for Congressman Cotton’s Senate campaign?

Speaking of Tom Cotton: In case you missed this dispatch from AP this week, this quote was kind of a head-scratcher in an article on Cotton:

“I want to be the candidate of the tea party,” Cotton said. He added: “I want to be the candidate of the establishment.”

Can’t be both. Though I guess you can be both and screw poor people, which Cotton is single-minded about.


* SCHOOL SHOOTING: A 12-year-old is in custody and two children are in the hospital after the boy pulled a shotgun from a band instrument case and started shooting in Roswell, N.M. A teacher disarmed the shooter.

* CHILD’S FATAL SHOOTING: The Greene County sheriff now says the three-year-old killed by a gunshot over the weekend apparently was shot accidentally by his father who was holding a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol when it discharged and struck his son in the head.

* ANOTHER JUDGE STRIKES DOWN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN. This time it’s a federal judge in Oklahoma. Decision stayed pending appeal.

* THE BLUE HOG REPORT V. SECRETARY OF STATE MARK MARTIN: Blue Hog thinks the public didn’t get the truth from Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office the other day about its record for paying outside legal counsel hired without statutorily required approval of the attorney general. Lots of money is at issue if it was wrongly spent. Blue Hog raises the questions of illegal exaction and removal from office. At a minimum, it appears time for a Legislative Audit review of this practice. Rep. Hammer? Sen. King? Does a well-run and efficient and legal state office concern you, or only when it is a Democrat who’s screwing up?