The line is open. Some final thoughts:

* DUCK DYNASTY STAR IS A DICK: I don’t get Duck Dynasty hysteria. But for those who have it, here’s a GQ interview with a  Bible-thumping, homophobic star of the show, Phil Robertson. A slice of his theology:


“All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s eighty years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

But, of course, none of that is judgement per se.

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

To paraphrase an old pastor of mine: if I can expect to see Kenneth Starr and Phil Robertson in the hereafter, give me the hot place.

* HOSPITAL MERGERS AND WOMEN’S MEDICAL CARE: For your reading pleasure, here’s a report by the ACLU and MergerWatch on the growth of Catholic hospitals (often through mergers with secular institutions, such as the Hot Springs combination and the now-dead UAMS/St. Vincent deal) and the threat it holds to women’s reproductive health. Nut graf:


In short, this report reveals how Catholic hospitals have left far behind their humble beginnings as facilities established by orders of nuns and brothers to serve the faithful and the poor. They have organized into large systems that behave like businesses — aggressively expanding to capture greater market share — but rely on public funding and use religious doctrine to compromise women’s health care. We make recommendations about how to ensure Catholic restrictions do not interfere with patients’ rights and protect access to  comprehensive reproductive health care.

Pro Publica reports more here on the numbers.

* THE PRIVATE OPTION SCORECARD: David Ramsey got the running tally today from the Department of Human Services on enrollment numbers for the private option expansion of Medicaid through Dec. 14.


* 86,341 people have filed applications for the private option.
* Of those, 72,361 have been determined eligible for the private option so far.
* Of those, 61,374 have completed enrollment, whether on their own or through automatic assignment.