Prayer pal 

Lt. Gov.-elect Mark Darr, a Republican from Springdale, said Tuesday that he'll offer a daily prayer for Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, adding that he wants to get along with Beebe.

" 'I'll also make the commitment to pray for Gov. Beebe every single day that God will give him wisdom and that God will give him health, and I will pray for the members of the legislature that I work with that [wisdom and health] will be in their lives.' "

Can't hurt. We all want a governor who's strong and smart. Legislators too, though this may require a little heavier praying on Mr. Darr's part. If there's time, he might add charity and good intentions to his daily request of the Almighty. Some of his fellow Republicans seem to be interpreting the election results as a mandate to break stuff. Darr himself has shown an inclination toward governmental vandalism, promising continued opposition to President Obama's new health care reforms, apparently thinking them too soft on the poor and the elderly. Don't forget yourself in your prayers, Mr. Darr.

You might well extend them to the judicial branch too. Supreme Court justices may believe they know everything already, but there is some evidence to the contrary. The media? That would take a lot of praying for one man. (Some right-wing preachers have been practicing imprecatory prayer, asking God to slaughter those who disagree with them, but we're pretty sure that Mr. Darr will stay away from that sort of thing. He's not an ordained minister.)

At the very least, the Darr program will give him something to do, and finding something for the lieutenant governor to do is always a problem. Darr's predecessor had time on his hands — and no interest in filling it with prayers for the governor — and Arkansas wound up with a state lottery as a result. Darr's plan seems benevolent by comparison.

Missouri shows us

It was a bad election for people, but animals made gains, especially in Missouri, where voters approved the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, placed on the ballot by citizen-sponsored initiative. (Don't forget John Q. Public either, Mr. Darr. Sometimes legislators and governors are prayer-proof.)

Because of weak animal-protection laws, Missouri had become home to one-third of the country's commercial dog-breeding facilities, wretched places where, for man's profit, dogs are denied adequate food, water, space and shelter. Puppy-mill malefactors will be looking to move now, and Arkansas is one of the places they'll look to. Legislation to make them unwelcome is needed. Arkansas animal-lovers should begin lobbying, if they haven't already.


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