Tuesday talk may begin. Final stuff:

* WHY CAN’T TOM COTTON TELL THE TRUTH: Why does the 4th District Republican have to lie? Regulations to protect children laborers in farm work EXEMPT family and it is a lie to suggest otherwise. It also obscures the education, safety and health fallout on children from working with heavy machinery, sometimes on corporate farms that bear no resemblance, despite related ownership, to the family farm image Cotton is trading on. Without gimmicks, fairy tales and misinformation, however, candidates like Cotton would have nothing but tax cuts for rich people and devastation for those on Medicare and Social Security. Oh and the end of abortion rights and punishment for gay people. Don’t forget those.


* CASINO GAMBLING NEARS $2 BILLION: Slot machine and other gambling at Oaklawn and Southland — apart from wagering on horse and dog races — almost hit $2 billion last year, Roby Brock reports. FYI: I no longer will pay any attention to the fiction that these are electronic games of skill, not with Oaklawn advertising a Wheel of Fortune slot machine for play. They play poker, blackjack and the slots jingle. These are racinos, but less about racing and more about casinos every day. The house take from wagering — after paying bettors but before taxes and overhead — was $79 million at Southland and nearly $44 million at Oaklawn.

* DEATH BY STRANGULATION: 40/29 reports that strangulation was the cause of the death of Cassie Cotta, the Fort Smith woman allegedly killed by her husband, against whom she’d obtained a domestic protection order.


* DOG GONE: Another Democrat-Gazette employee has departed the newspaper reporting ranks. Cindy Murphy, who’s worked of late on special projects, is going to the attorney general’s office as communications director.