The midweek line is open. Final words:
* JANET HUCKABEE ON THE STUMP
: A news item from the Raleigh newspaper
reminds us how much fun went out of our lives after the sky-diving, wave-running, bear-hunting, pistol-packing, Expedition-driving life force that was Janet Huckabee
moved down to the Huckabode in Florida. The former governor's wife will make a series of fund-raising appearances in North Carolina for Mark Harris
, a Republican who hopes to challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.
The article notes that she was the Republican nominee for secretary of state in 2002. It charitably omits the fact that she lost 74 of 75 counties to Charlie Daniels
and didn't win by much in Yellow Dog Republican Benton County.
POLITICAL ANIMALS: Rex Nelson introduces Vince Insalaco (left) and Doyle Webb.
* DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN CHAIRS SPAR AT POLITICAL ANIMALS CLUB
: Vince Insalaco
for the Democrats and Doyle Webb
for the Republicans appeared together at Political Animals Club today. Arkansas Times
condensed version of their remarks:
Insalaco: Beebe, Mike Ross, strong congressional candidates, Beebe
Webb: Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama, Pelosi, Obama, And, oh yeah, Obama.
* IN FOOTBALL, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR, RIGHT? USA Today's annual report
of college football pay put Razorback football coach Bret Bielema
at No. 3 on the list in the nation, with $5.158 million a year in pay, after Nick Saban's
$5.395 million at Alabama and Mack Brown's $5.392 million at Texas. You'd think he could afford something nicer than a windbreaker for those cold late autumn nights. OK, that figure is overstated for Bielema. The ranking includes buyouts paid to previous employers. That knocks down poor Bielema's actual pay to $3.1 million, but the UA is still out $5.1 million for its football coach this year. If you only count what Bielema himself gets, he ranks a pitiful 15 or so. Surely we can do better than that!
* MORE HOSPITAL BEDS FOR CONWAY
: Baptist Health
announced today that it was joining with 30 Conway doctors to build a 100-bed hospital along Interstate 40 with plans to open by 2016. The existing Conway Regional
hospital said through spokeswoman Lori Ross, "We don't believe there's enough volume to support two hospitals here. Volume statewide has been soft." But, that said, she said Conway Regional wasn't afraid of competition and had been competing with Baptist and other Little Rock hospitals for years, with success in several areas, including cardiac and women's services. Baptist said a new full-service hospital could contribute to economic development in the area. FROM THE WAYBACK MACHINE: Rememember when Republican Party Chair Doyle Webb
blamed Mark Pryor and Obamacar
e for job layoffs at Baptist Health in Little Rock in July. Will Webb now praise Pryor and Obamacare for pumjping so much money into Arkansas that Baptist can build a new competing hospital in Conway?
* POWER GRID INDICTMENT
: The U.S. attorney's office announced today an eight-count indictment of the Jacksonville man accused of attacks on electricity supply facilities in the Cabot area.
Here's the summary of charges.
* PRESIDENT OBAMA MEETS SENATORS ON HEALTH CARE
: President Obama met at the White House today to meet with a group of U.S. senators including Mark Pryor. The idea was reassurances about getting Obamacare running right. Senators facing tough re-election battles in 2014 have cause for concern. The president's official statement follows:
WHITE HOUSE RELEASE
Today, the President and Vice President met with over a dozen Senate Democrats to discuss the progress that’s been made to extend health care coverage to more Americans and to hear their input on existing challenges with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. During the meeting, the President discussed ongoing efforts to fix HealthCare.gov and improve the experience of Americans looking to enroll in coverage. The President emphasized that he shared the Senators’ commitment to ensuring that Americans who want to enroll in health insurance through the Marketplaces are able to do so in time for insurance coverage to start as early as January 1st, and throughout the open enrollment period which goes through March 31. He also discussed ongoing efforts to ramp up communication and education outreach to consumers who have received or might receive letters about how their individual market plans might be affected. In addition, the President also reiterated that the Administration is working to protect the privacy and security of consumers and to ensure that online Marketplace applications are protected by stringent security standards, with ongoing testing to help safeguard personal information.
The President also asked the Senators for input on how implementation of the law is impacting their constituents, and expressed appreciation for their ongoing help to ensure the law works best for families and businesses and all Americans can take advantage of the benefits of the law.
Senators who attended the meeting were:
· Senator Mark Begich
· Senator Cory Booker
· Senator Chris Coons
· Senator Dick Durbin
· Senator Al Franken
· Senator Kay Hagan
· Senator Mary Landrieu
· Senator Jeff Merkley
· Senator Mark Pryor
· Senator Jack Reed
· Senator Jeanne Shaheen
· Senator Brian Schatz
· Senator Mark Udall
· Senator Tom Udall
· Senator Mark Warner
· Senator Michael Bennet