Daily Archives: Dec. 15, 2013

Open thread (Dec. 15)

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Stripping food stamps from farm bill isn’t smart

farmMany farmers and other Americans support the GOP-led House’s push not only to slash food-stamp funding but to remove it from the farm bill. But Barry Flinchbaugh, professor emeritus in agriculture economics at Kansas State University, recently warned against it. “Should nutrition programs be in the farm bill? Yes. You want proof? In the House there are 400 urban districts. There are 35 rural districts. Who needs who? This isn’t rocket science,” Flinchbaugh told the American Bankers Association’s farm bankers conference in Minneapolis, Minn. Ending the legislative merger of food and farm programs championed by former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole also “would mean the end of the USDA as we know it,” Flinchbaugh said. “If it loses nutrition programs, the budget of USDA will be smaller than 100 sub-Cabinet level agencies. Does it matter that agriculture has a seat in the Cabinet room? That’s a no-brainer.”

Case for Riddel Boys Ranch still can be made

riddelboysranchThe good news is that Sedgwick County, area legislators and state officials are talking about the future of the Judge James V. Riddel Boys Ranch near Lake Afton. The bad news, at least as reported after a meeting last week, is that the prospects for additional state funding look bleak. Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts questioned the amount spent on staffing, pointed to a surplus of bed space for juvenile offenders elsewhere, and said if he increases state funding for the ranch he’d have to do so for other programs. If the ranch is worth saving – and it is, saving the county more than $1 million a year by deterring crime, according to one study – the case can and must be made to the Brownback administration and the full Legislature that it isn’t just another juvenile justice program and merits extra dollars for the long term.

So they said

huelskamp,tim“It could be well into Hillary Clinton’s 2nd term before ‘deficit reduction’ actually kicks in. #letsbehonest.” – Rep. Tim Huelskamp (in photo), R-Fowler, tweeting against the budget deal Wednesday

“I’ve never met anyone who uses Algebra II in their daily life.” – Kansas State Board of Education member Ken Willard of Hutchinson, questioning graduation requirements

“If you live long enough, you’re going to get a lot of awards, because they run out of recipients.” – former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, 90, as he was presented with the World Food Program USA’s newly renamed George McGovern and Bob Dole Leadership Award

“Dear Cade (#43), Life has its setbacks. I know! However, you will be a stronger human with time. I wish you all the best. Sincerely – Another 43.” – President George W. Bush, in a handwritten note to University of Alabama kicker Chad Foster, who missed two field goals and had a third blocked during a last-second loss to Auburn

“We’re just going to agree to disagree. It’s like talking to the Republic of Korea or something.” – Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., inadvertently insulting South Korea (rather than North Korea) during testy questioning of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a House hearing