Time for an open line. As you might have noticed, I'm having a bit of a hard time getting back into the swing of things after two weeks of vacation. Closing out:
* HOG HEISMAN HOPEFUL KNILE DAVIS PROFILED: A fine feature in Sports Illustrated on Hog running back Knile Davis and his dedication to succeeding for the stepfather who helped shape him. He's said to be better than ever despite sitting out a year with a broken ankle.
* MONEY WATCH: Republican state legislators weren't happy to learn in a contracts review committee meeting today that the state Health Department will get a $100,000 grant to help support a private marina project at the Rockwater development in North Little Rock. The link details an earlier federal grant of $1 million won for the project. Republicans don't much like government money going to private projects unless it goes to one of THEIR private projects or one built by one of their construction companies. I can see the point, but it's worth noting that federal money builds highway, airport and other transportation infrastructure, not to mention boat docks, campgrounds and assorted other recreational facilities, so it's not exactly a black/white sort of question. As for the health department: that money apparently is about treating wastewater from river craft. I guess since most Republicans live upstream of North Little Rock this isn't viewed as being a public spirited project.
* REMEMBERING WR: Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller's grandson and a group of Republic Party officials joined Democrats at the Capitol today for a remembrance of Rockefeller's tribute to Martin Luther King. I'm happy to see Republicans like Lt. Gov. Mark Darr claim Rockefeller today, though you have to wonder if they've read much about his progressive spirit, his opposition to the death penalty, his support of tax increases and all the rest. It is hard to imagine WR as an implacable foe of succor to immigrants, for example. It is simply impossible to imagine him throwing in with legislative efforts making it harder for poor and black people to vote.
* THE PARTISAN COURTS: Even some conservative legal experts are appalled by naked politicking against President Obama on health care legislation by a member of a federal appellate court. A worthy acolyte for Scalia-Alito-Thomas-Roberts-Kennedy.
* HUCK — VEEP PERFECTION: The Christian Broadcasting Network thinks Mike Huckabee would be Mitt Romney's perfect running mate. Would he take the pay cut?
* PULASKI STALEMATE: A Pulaski School District spokesman indicates no agreement made in union-administration talks on spending reductions. Teachers, she says, have refused to discuss severance pay and "professional growth" costs, an apparent reference to some extra-pay courses offered within the district
* BULLYING: And, hey, how about a lip dub production from a big suburban Texas high school joining in the "No Bull" anti-cyberbullying project.