Daily Archives: Dec. 31, 2012

Kansas’ bad ranking for preparedness unfair, officials say

State officials are objecting to a national report that ranked Kansas and Montana as the worst-prepared states in the nation for public health emergencies, terrorism incidents and natural disasters. The “Ready or Not?” report by the nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health said that Kansas meets only 3 of 10 readiness criteria, and it blamed the low ranking in part on funding cuts in state and local public health programs, insufficient staffing at the state’s public health laboratory, and the state’s inability to meet preparedness standards set by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. Gov. Sam Brownback complained that the report “does not provide an accurate and thorough picture of the state’s readiness.” Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, faulted the changing indicators used in the ranking and its all-or-nothing scoring system. “No matter the score, the report presents a skewed view of public health readiness, draws inaccurate conclusions and in no way indicates the actual preparedness level in Kansas,” Moser said in the statement.

Gun debate puts Tiahrt’s name in the news

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Goddard has been back in the news as part of the debate about gun control. The New York Times and other media have reported how members of Congress are skilled at placing restrictions on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The so-called Tiahrt amendment, first championed by Tiahrt, limits how the ATF can share gun-tracing information. When he was in Congress, Tiahrt regularly had to defend the amendment against complaints from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others. The politically difficult process of Senate confirmation also has resulted in the ATF being without a permanent director for six years.

Predictions for Brownback, Kobach

As he asked and answered some questions about regional politics past and future, Kansas City Star columnist Steve Kraske noted that Gov. Sam Brownback (in photo) is “on the hot seat at the dawn of 2013” because he “faces enormous challenges balancing the state budget the next two years in light of last year’s massive tax cut.” On the question of whether Secretary of State Kris Kobach will try a GOP primary challenge to either Brownback or Sen. Pat Roberts in 2014: “The early buzz says ‘no,’” Kraske wrote. “He wants a second term in his current job and recognizes that both would be tough to beat.”

Dubious, bogus and utterly phony headlines

The following satirical headlines come from borowitzreport.com and theonion.com:
Billionaires Warn Higher Taxes Could Prevent Them From Buying Politicians
Boehner: Obama Needs to Stop Acting Like He Won Election
Time Names Mitt Romney Man of the Year 1912
U.S. Signs Declaration of Dependence on China
Obama Paranoid Government Coming for His Guns
Mumford and Sons Can’t Believe They All Got Each Other Mandolins for Christmas
Taylor Swift Apparently Now Dating ‘Garfield’ Creator Jim Davis
‘The Hobbit’ Features 53-Minute-Long Scene of Bilbo Baggins Trying to Figure Out What to Pack