The line is open. Final words:
* NEWT GINGRICH GETS IT RIGHT: How about this?
Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich reprimanded his fellow Republicans in unusually harsh terms Wednesday, blaming GOP members of Congress for developing "zero" alternatives to President Obama's health care reform law.
Gingrich, who was speaking at the opening session of the Republican National Committee's summer meeting, fielded a question about "Obamacare" and recalled that Republicans were able to block Bill Clinton's health care reform effort in 1994 because they had "a positive alternative approach" to health care.
But Republicans today have nothing comparable to offer, Gingrich told nearly the 200 state party chairs, operatives and activists gathered in Boston for the conference.
You need only listen to Club for Growth/Republican Senate candidate Tom Cotton to understand how right Gingrich is. Obamacare must be defunded. It's the ruination of the U.S. If Cotton has said it once, he's said it a thousand times and has many more utterances before he's done.
And what then? What then will his political director John Burris, architect of the Arkansas Obamacare implementation, do then? Arkansas will functionally have no Medicaid program it can sustain. It will have no health exchanges. All the interlocking parts will be worthless. No insurance company will insure sick people if the pool isn't big enough to cover them. And so on.
Can Cotton get away with it? Is it enough to say Obamacare bad and offer no meaningful alternative? He's banking on it.
* PIPELINE DETAILS: Oil industry shill Tim Griffin continues to plaster his name on news releases about grudging release of information about the ExxonMobil tar sands spill in Mayflower. He's not releasing much these days on the growing body of evidence that the Keystone XL pipeline offers much greater hope for safety than the ruptured Pegasus. But, he's got some data for you from one of the toothless federal regulatory agencies that he's refused to strengthen with additional money for inspectors.
* ACXIOM LAYOFFS: Fox 16 reports 20 layoffs, mostly in the marketing department, at Acxiom, the data managing company based in Little Rock.
* RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT DEPT: Perhaps you've already seen this, but it seems worth a mention today. From Ohio:
LANCASTER, Ohio — A firearms instructor accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class on Saturday in Fairfield County to people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons.