by Max Brantley
The line is open. Final thoughts:
* NO GOOD SAMARITANS IN TEA PARTY: I'm still shaking my head about the Tea Party cheers at the Republican presidential debate last night at the idea of letting an uninsured 30-year-old die rather than provide costly medical care. Even Rick Perry, thoroughly at ease with assembly line executions in Texas, thought this reaction a little weird.
* COOKIE CUTTING: Today's news releases include a state Senate candidate from Bentonville. Would you believe it? He's a Baptist deacon, a member of the NRA and wants to cut taxes. Oh, yeah, and he played baseball for the Hogs. Bart Hester. Republican. But I repeat myself. This was the Senate district created by Gov. Mike Beebe for Rep. Tim Summers' convenience.
* ONE MAN ONE VOTE: If Pennsylvania Republicans opt for a system in which electoral votes are cast according to congressional district results, rather than all of a state's votes for the popular vote winner, why not go to the logical extension — election of the president by popular vote?
* THREATS AT SWEPCO PLANT: A report from Louie Graves in Nashville is no laughing matter. He says the Hempstead County sheriff's office reports four written bomb threats were found on consecutive days (Thursday through last Sunday) at McNab, where SWEPCO is building a coal-fired power plant. Workers evacuated each day, but deputies along with safety committee found no bombs. The FBI has been asked to help.
* BREAKING NEWS: GUNSHOTS IN COURTHOUSE: Many details unclear, but shooting broke out in the Crawford County Courthouse in Van Buren today. UPDATE: Suspect who shot multiple rounds from assault rifle is dead. A judge's secretary was wounded. The shooter apparently gone looking for a judge, who'd heard his divorce case, then opened fire and engaged in a gun battle with police.