Here’s an early open line. News note:

* EQUAL RIGHTS MEANS EQUAL RIGHTS: On the strength of recent court rulings, the U.S. Justice Department has decided to treat gay married couples the same as heterosexual married couples when they file for bankruptcy, testify in court or visit family in prison. He’ll announce the decision to the Human Rights Campaign in a speech tonight.


“In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages,” Mr. Holder’s prepared remarks said, according to the excerpts circulated by the Justice Department.

I don’t know if Bazooka Bob Ballinger and the rest of the Republican posse will attempt to override this in the name of Arkansas’s God-given right to discriminate  or not.

* PAY ME NOW: Just got an e-mail soliciting a campaign contribution from Rep. Duncan Baird, a Republican candidate for state treasurer. He notes the fiscal session begins Monday and he can’t accept contributions while the legislature is in session. Donate this weekend! Good time for a lobbyist to mail in a check.


* PRESSING QUESTION: The Arkansas legislature meets Monday. Every indication so far is that nine Republican senators, with Missy Irvin the critical flipflop vote from last year’s session, stand ready to end Medicaid in Arkansas rather than allow an expansion under Obamacare. Can somebody — anybody — get Asa Hutchinson, the leading Republican candidate for governor, to declare where he stands on what is THE most important public policy issue in Arkansas of the day, month, year and next 10 years? Coverage for at least 100,000 people hang in the balance. Can somebody explain to me why Asa gets mad every time somebody asks him.

Beginning today, we’ll pose this question every single day until Asa Hutchinson deigns to declare.


Does Asa Hutchinson support the private option or does he not?

* ANOTHER HOUSEHOLD MADE SAFER BY A GUN: Headline tells the story. “Christian Parenting Advice Columnist’s Toddler Son Shoots Baby Sister With Dad’s Handgun “