Let it commence. Open line.

Oh, but by the way: The Legislative Council, tight money or no tight money, today authorized planning for a multi-million-dollar tunnel to carry lawmakers and staff in a protected environment from the Capitol to Big Mac, 100 or so feet to the west, where multi-million-dollars worth of new legislative staff office suites are in the works. Wouldn’t want any hairdos to be mussed.

Gov. MIke Beebe, in theory, remains opposed. He’ll meet with House Speaker Robbie Wills about this Monday.

My prediction: 1) Legislators will get their slick new offices in big MAC to make way for their own swell private offices in the Capitol. 2) Legislators will get their special expensive tunnel and elevator for a climate-controlled, easy journey between their expensive new Capitol offices and the expensive new offices in the Big MAC. 3) Retired school superintendents will get to keep their ill-gotten retirement millions, courtesy of taxpayers and in defiance of the law. 4) Some people will get terribly sick and maybe die because the state is throwing hundreds of people out of the program to help HIV/AIDS sufferers pay for their expensive drugs. Money is tight, see. (More coming on that in next week’s Times.) Speaker Wills and his pals have their priorities. And not to worry.  Boss Wills’ expensive new PR consultant will explain it all away via the latest in new media wizardry.