The line is open. To finish up:

* ATTENTION JASON RAPERT: Barack Obama, that Kenyan-born, queer-loving, swarthy Muslim who’s usurped the traditional white Christian man’s place in the White House for a second term attended today, wait for it, the National Prayer Breakfast. He put aside his Koran for once and quoted from the Bible. It was fine until, dammit, he went and made nice to Mooslims again. Can you blame Sen. Raper for being suspicious?

It says something about us — as a nation and as a people — that every year, for 61 years now, this great prayerful tradition has endured. It says something about us that every year, in times of triumph and in tragedy, in calm and in crisis, we come together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as brothers and sisters, and as children of God. Every year, in the midst of all our busy and noisy lives, we set aside one morning to gather as one community, united in prayer.

We do so because we’re a nation ever humbled by our history, and we’re ever attentive to our imperfections — particularly the imperfections of our President. We come together because we’re a people of faith. We know that faith is something that must be cultivated. Faith is not a possession. Faith is a process.

I was struck by the passage that was read earlier from the Book of Hebrews: “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” He rewards those who diligently seek Him — not just for one moment, or one day, but for every moment, and every day.

As Christians, we place our faith in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ. But so many other Americans also know the close embrace of faith — Muslims and Jews, Hindus and Sikhs. And all Americans — whether religious or secular — have a deep and abiding faith in this nation.

* THROWING THE KEY AWAY FOR JUVENILE CONVICTS: The U.S. Supreme Court has now found unconstitutional life-without-parole sentences for youthful offenders. Jason Baldwin, of West Memphis Three fame, testifying about incarceration before a Washington legislative committee got a reasonable question. “How did you get out if it was life without parole?” Long story.

* BEWARE THE GOLF CARTS: I hear increasing complaints about hotrodding teen golf court drivers in the Country Club of Little Rock environs. In theory, the law limits golf cart use to streets required to travel to and from golf courses. The law is widely ignored and creates a frequent safety hazard. So I was interested when I saw Prissy Hickerson had filed a bill on golf carts on streets. But, oh now, it appears to further loosen the law and allow cities to permit golf cart use anywhere on city streets, except federal or state highways or county roads.


* STEEL CAUCUS MISSING A PLAYER: The supposed steel caucus had a little dog-and-pony show today. Roby Brock says nobody was there speaking for Nucor, whose two steel mills in Mississippi County could be facing new competition there if Big River Steel gets a huge state subsidy to help open. Nucor lobbyists, led by Robert Smith, have filed a batch of lobbying activity reports, however. And new lobbying firms have been filed for additional Nucor representation. Sounds like a fight. Though it sounds like most legislators are going through the motions of due diligence before the usual approval of corporate welfare.