Back at work, are you? Yes or no, here's an open line. With some final thoughts:
* AMERICAN IDOL IN CAR CRASH. American Idol winner Kris Allen broke his wrist in a car crash Tuesday night and it could limit his guitar-playing for a time.
* WACKO WATCH: You could call him the Robert "Say" McIntosh of Republican candidates, but that would be an insult to Say McIntosh.
* CRIME, EDUCATION, CAUSES, CORRELATION: Now here's a thought. What if declining crime rates and rising school test scores (yes, despite what you might have heard, they have been rising), have a root in a contemporaneous event, the reduction of lead to which children are exposed thanks to government removal efforts?
* WOULD YOU PAY FOR THIS BLOG? Andrew Sullivan announces that he and colleagues are taking his The Dish blog behind an independent pay wall and not renewing a contract with the Daily Beast which has provided it free. Interesting. Will his readers pay $19.99 a year to continue to read and comment? Would you pay for access to the Arkansas Blog, whether $19.99 or even $1.99? No such plan is afoot, not even contemplated. I'm just curious about how readers feel about the growing movement to charge for Internet website access. And, while you're at it, I'm interested in further reports on experience in bargaining with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on its huge subscription rate increase — 51 percent for Little Rock home delivery customers, from $180 a year in 2012 to a proposed $273 in 2013.
* AND BE SPECIFIC: Good comment from blogger Atrios on Republican noise about spending cuts, led by Rep. Tim Griffin of Traskwood and Greenbrier.
The great thing about our Republicans is that they are cowards. They want "cuts" but won't specify what. No one in the press ever bothers to ask...
* AM I BLUE? So the report is that House Speaker John Boehner pulled a Dick Cheney during tax talks this week and told Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid to go fuck himself, then bragged about it to his buddies. I can't immediately lay my hands on all the posts by the oh-so-proper Arkansas Republicans who filled Twitter with tut-tuts when President Obama uttered a naughty word a few weeks ago, calling Mitt Romney a "bullshitter." Specifics don't matter. It's the hypocrisy, asshats.
* KNOW A JOURNALIST/PR PERSON WHO NEEDS WORK? Who doesn't? Walmart is advertising for a senior manager of media relations in its global ecommerce division. No, you wouldn't work in Bentonville. San Bruno, Calif.
* TWO KILLED IN FREEWAY WRECK: A Baptist pastor and a grandchild of his were killed in an auto crash at Scott Hamilton and I-30 last night, Channel 4 reports.