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Daily Archives: Jan. 7, 2007
Jan. 7, 20071:04 a.m.
Some medical researchers have made a startling finding about the secret to health and a long life — get an education.
“The one social factor that researchers agree is consistently linked to longer lives in every country where it has been studied is education,” reported the New York Times. The researchers say education seems far more important to health than other factors often thought to be crucial, such as health insurance and money.
This adds an interesting twist to ongoing debates in Kansas and nationwide about how to improve health care. As part of that effort, maybe we should redouble efforts to keep teenagers in high school.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
Jan. 7, 20071:02 a.m.
As Paul Morrison leaves his job as Johnson County district attorney to become Kansas attorney general Monday, he already has some good goals in mind. In an exit interview with the Kansas City Star, Morrison said he wants to rebuild the consumer fraud unit and victim witness unit, both neglected under Attorney General Phill Kline. He also wants to “get into technology cyber crimes” and “get big-time into the domestic violence business,” as well as do more prosecution of child-sex offenders. As for how he feels about leaving his old job to Kline, who was appointed by the Johnson County GOP, Morrison expressed concern that the office will be driven by politics. “I hope that he learned something from his defeat,” Morrison said, also hoping “Phill Kline is a good boss to them” — employees who “are like family to me.”
Meanwhile, Morrison has had to contend with more automated telephone calls — this time from a former mental hospital patient he help convict on various charges. Conrad J. Braun of San Diego now owns a call center and has been calling Kansans — including those on the no-call list — claiming that Morrison is corrupt and has a criminal record. Braun told the Lawrence Journal-World that he intends to keep calling Kansans until either he or Morrison “goes to jail.” Any bets on which one that will be?
Posted by Rhonda Holman
Jan. 7, 20071:01 a.m.
Some stats from Robert J. Samuelson’s column in the Washington Post:
Although only 32 percent rate the overall economy as “excellent” or “good,” 52 percent judge their personal situation as excellent or good.
Most Americans (60 percent) think their own living standards are rising; parents of children under 18 (54 percent) think the same will be true for their children.
Almost 70 percent of Americans say they’ve attained or will attain the “American dream,” as they define it.
So why do most Americans think the economy isn’t doing well, even though they are doing well personally and are optimistic about the future? One reason, Samuelson thinks, is that people are uneasy about the instability of the economy. But this instability — and its creative destruction — is a key to economic growth, he argues.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
Jan. 7, 20071:00 a.m.
In an article headlined “Looking for Mr. Right” that might have been all about Sam Brownback’s presidential prospects, Time magazine breezes past him in a few lines, concluding that evangelicals love him but are “skeptical that the Kansas Senator can broaden his appeal enough beyond religious voters.” Among the far-right candidates more likely to succeed, the article concludes, would be outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and retiring Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (who shows no sign of running).
Meanwhile, Sportsbook.com gave Brownback 8-1 odds Friday to win his party’s nomination, compared with 6-5 odds each for John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. In truth, Brownback should be grateful to be acknowledged by the oddsmakers, given that he has pushed on Capitol Hill to outlaw betting on college sports and Internet gambling.
Posted by Rhonda Holman