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Washington keeps up war on reporters

Washington’s war on the press took another unsettling turn this summer. It took a couple of months for the story to crack the news, but we now have an even clearer picture of how easy it is for authorities to trample the constitutional protections provided to journalists, to say nothing of the Fourth Amendment rights enjoyed by all Americans.

Healthcare.gov exchange failing by design

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius went to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field last week to promote Obamacare. As reported by Triblive.com, Ms. Sebelius was joined by Steelers chairman Dan Rooney in a conference room to educate attendees about the health care law and to promote enrollment.

The coast is clear — for now

Within moments of its on-line publication it was subsumed, overwhelmed by coverage of the nation's latest sad, if predictable, spectacle — the slaughter of a dozen innocents by a disturbed man at the Washington Navy Yard. Once assured that the violence was contained, however, the political class in Washington turned its eye to a poll freshly released by CNN. And then began linking to it in e-mails to operatives in the 50 states.

Hill runs for the House

House District 35 stretches from the northern part of Little Rock out past Pinnacle Mountain. Like at least a third of the state's House seats, it will have no incumbent in next year's elections. It would not be worth singling out except for this: Its announced Republican candidate is French Hill, one of the state's top-tier business figures.

ObamaCare will tighten doctor pools

President Barack Obama's 2009 guarantee was emphatic. "We will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period."

Gay marriage is a matter of justice, not morality

Here's how I read the sociocultural tea leaves: If you're fighting in the army waging war against gay marriage, or, said another way, if you understand yourself to be fighting to protect and preserve the institution of marriage from being diluted, distorted or otherwise offended by including homosexual partners ... well, I strongly encourage you to run a white flag up the flagpole right now. Stop the metaphorical scorched earth bombing runs.

Popcorn kernel stress begins in kindergarten

On the windowsill of my kindergarten classroom, Mrs. Schmidlin prepared space for our paper cups. The cups contained a wadded up, wet paper towel with popcorn kernels wedged between the towel and interior cup wall. It was our spring science project. She assured us we could make them grow into plants.

Stiffer penalties for texting, driving

Saturday morning while drinking coffee with a White Hall resident I got an earful from his son, an accountant who said he recently drove from Pine Bluff to Little Rock and was passed by at least six drivers on Interstate 530 who were speeding and texting on a cell phone at the same time.