by Max Brantley
It's open. Final thoughts:
* DOES A WILD BEAR WRITE ON TWITTER?: Big excitement in Conway last night when a bear roosted in a tree in a residential neighborhood and was eventually brought down by a tranquilizer dart. The Log Cabin Democrat reports on a Twitter account that sprang up in the name of the West Conway Bear.
* DUH: Gov. Mike Beebe says the state will either have to cut services or come up with new money because of an expected shortfall in Medicaid money. Do tell. The shortfall has been put at $250 to $400 million. I'm not clear if that's the total budget or simply the state's share, which, if it was, would make the shortfall as much as $1.2 billion. (CLARIFICATION: The state share — alone — is expected to run short from $250 to $400 million.) Any size would hurt. Beebe's not ready to utter the word tax just yet, suggesting state growth money could be directed to the cause. Sure. Since schools won't need it. And prisons won't. And employee health insurance won't cost any more. And the price of goods, services and utilities will go down. And the lions will lie down with the lambs. But Republicans like Tim Griffin have a ready solution. Throw as manby deadbeat grannies and children off Medicaid as possible and starve the taxpayer-financed welfare program. If people can't pay, it's their fault for not working harder and smarter. Screw 'em.
* TAX STEPHEN KING MORE: Strong piece in Daily Beast by Stephen King, who is rich, on why the rich should pay more in taxes.
* SO YOU WANT TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? Judge withholds ruling on instantly awarding $1 million lottery winnings to woman holds ticket, picked up from a discard container. UPDATE: Channel 4 is reporting the judge has awarded the prize to a woman who claims she lost the winning ticket. Reporting I've seen doesn't say how she established original or continuing ownership.
* OOPS. TOP REPUBLICAN ADMITS UNPLEASANT TRUTH: Rep. Tom Price thinks preventing insurers from denying insurance coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions — a popular part of Obamacare — is a bad idea. Translation: Elections of people like Price have consequences.
* GAY AVERSION THERAPY: Richard Grenell has resigned after a brief stint as a spokesman for Mitt Romney. He said Romney had no problem with the fact that Grenell is openly gay. But anti-gay right wingers apparently had a big problem with it.
* ATTENTION NEWSPAPER WONKS: Jim Hopkins at the Gannett Blog provides the latest circulation figures for the nation's daily newspapers. Down on all reporting in Arkansas except for an increase in numbers for the Sunday Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Just under 4,000 people now are counted as paid subscribers to the newspaper's digital edition.