by Max Brantley
You're up. Let the open line and cooking chores begin. Final words:
* THE SILICON PRAIRIE: Interesting article in the New York Times today about tech startups in the upper Midwest. There's some government support of the development with tax credits and incubators, but there's also a ton of private venture capital. That remains THE missing link in the tech park envisioned for Little Rock that so far rests solely on city taxpayers' shoulders. Side note: The anecdotal lead is about Dwolla, a Des Moines "mobile payment company." An occasional Arkansas Times contributor, Max Farrell, is part of the Dwolla team.
* CAN'T WAIT FOR 2014? Andrew DeMillo of the AP rounds up preliminary jockeying for 2014 races if you just haven't had enough horse-race journalism yet. Mostly familiar stuff. But there are a few bits and pieces: Republican Sen. Johnny Key is looking at something or another (and undoubtedly praying with his state-paid daycare charges over the matter); names in the hopper for attorney general include Rep. Darrin Williams and Sen. Robert Thompson (it pains me to say why I don't think Williams will run, so I won't, but a hint is 36 percent); Republican Rep. Andrea Lea is considering giving Auditor Charlie Daniels' job a run; Mark Martin, God help us, apparently IS going to run for secretary of state again despite all his whining about how hard it is to be a public servant and the lack of appreciation he must endure. And John Thurston will run again. A kewpie doll if you know what job Thurston holds.
* DEATH OF A CHILD IN BENTONVILLE: The FBI has entered the case of a six-year-old girl found dead in a vacant house near her home early Tuesday. Not much is revealed about what happened. But what is known about the child's unhappy life before her death is bad enough. Her father and stepmother were already in custody for having chained her to a dresser. She was in the care of a relative when she disappeared, authorities say. The Department of Human Services is refusing comment about the case, citing an ongoing investigation. Perhaps that silence is justified for the time being. But, again: No confidentiality rules should apply when the state is asked for an accounting of its role and the work of its employees in the handling of the case of a terribly abused child, certainly one who is now dead.
* THE WAR ON WOMEN: The religionists at Hobby Lobby will fight to the bitter end to prevent having to include morning-after rape pill coverage in a company health insurance policy.