Editorial summary: Missouri | State

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Saint-Louis post-expedition. 25 October 2021.

Editorial: Was Schmitt’s trip to Texas a campaign event or official action? Both, it seems.

In a transparent political coup reminiscent of his stupid lawsuit against the Chinese government, Missouri attorney general and US Senate candidate Eric Schmitt recently traveled to Texas to pose in El Paso and promote a trial to force the Biden administration to resume construction of Donald Trump’s border wall.

Schmitt’s office says he used campaign funds for his trip, but the state paid for the press secretary accompanying him. So, as with his dangerous litigation attempting to force schools to abandon their mask mandates, Schmitt is bowing to the worst elements of the far right for the sake of his Senate campaign – and he is using public resources to do so.

When Schmitt lodged a complaint against China last year for triggering the coronavirus in Missouri, he must have known that there was no way a hostile superpower on the other side of the world would think saber for a moment. of Jefferson City, Missouri. The purpose of the lawsuit was to allow Schmitt to speak harshly against a frequent target of Trump. If Schmitt really cared about the damage from the pandemic in Missouri, he would not have gone on to sue school districts for mask warrants.

After attacking China (check) and traditional medicine (check), Schmitt now turns his arms towards the southern border. Which, to be clear, is far from the borders of the state of Missouri.

Whether Trump’s wall is the solution to the complex immigration issues in the United States is highly debatable, but it is not a debate that should logically involve the Missouri attorney general’s office. Still, there was Schmitt, all over Twitter, standing on the banks of the Rio Grande to announce the complaint filed jointly by his office and the Texas attorney general’s office.

State-paid press secretary for Schmitt’s office, Chris Nuelle, initially told the Post-Dispatch that the trip was fully funded by the state. He later clarified that “the state paid for my trip, the campaign paid for Eric’s trip.”

Schmitt cannot have it both ways. If the trip to Texas wasn’t the campaign stunt it clearly looked like, why use campaign funds for part of it? And if this is a campaign event, how can he justify bringing in a state employee at state expense – an employee who has been quoted, in an official capacity, saying that the role of Missouri in the lawsuit is valid because it highlights “Joe Biden’s failure to get the border”?

It sounds like a campaign spokesperson speaking, not a state government spokesperson who works in theory for all Missourians, including Biden supporters.

The result is that Schmitt is once again promoting his candidacy for the Senate with official actions that are either bad politics born out of cynical politics (like the anti-mask lawsuit against schools) or have nothing to do with it. Missouri (like the China lawsuit and now the combination border). It is unworthy of both an attorney general and an aspiring senator.

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Jefferson Town Newsstand. 25 October 2021.

Editorial: State government must step up efforts on cybersecurity

A recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article revealed vulnerable data on a web application from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

A recent St. Louis Post-Dispatch article revealed vulnerable data on a web application from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A reporter’s research found that more than 100,000 Social Security numbers of teachers, administrators and school counselors in Missouri were vulnerable to public exposure.

If that wasn’t a wake-up call for the Missouri state government to tighten its cybersecurity procedures, a new state audit would have to.

As we reported last week, the Missouri auditor found that local governments and courts lack even some of the most basic protections for electronic data.

Each year, State Auditor Nicole Galloway publishes an annual summary of the most common cybersecurity risks identified in audits of local governments and justice systems.

Based on 11 audits between July 2020 and June 2021, his office identified common risks related to user access, passwords, security controls, backup and recovery data, as well as data management and integrity.

“When security controls are inadequate or even nonexistent, electronic data can be put at risk,” Galloway said in a press release. “Local governments, courts and school districts face the same cybersecurity challenges as businesses, except it is taxpayer resources that are at risk of being lost, misused or stolen. There are proactive steps public bodies can take, and my office has made several recommendations for better protection. “

One problem is that access to sensitive systems is not always limited to the necessary personnel. This leads to an increased risk of unauthorized changes to records, deleted or canceled transactions, and lost or stolen data or records.

Another risk discovered concerned laid-off employees retaining access to the systems.

Passwords are not changed periodically, and users sharing passwords and passwords not being required to have a minimum number of characters are also issues in local governments and courts in Missouri.

The audit found that IT systems did not always lock up after periods of inactivity.

The audit suggested that local governments and courts store backup data in a secure offsite location, regularly test backup data, and develop a formal contingency plan to ensure continued operations in the event of a disaster or disaster. disturbance.

We hope the governor and state departments take the cybersecurity risks uncovered in the audit seriously. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before the data is compromised or destroyed, maliciously or accidentally.

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Kansas City Star. October 21, 2021.

Editorial: Josh Hawley Now Says Trying to Protect Americans from COVID-19 is ‘Awakened Propaganda’

Missouri’s best-known insurgent is back. Not content with bashing democracy or anticipating the First Amendment with specious arguments over religious freedoms, Senator Josh Hawley is also raising his fist against the administration for how it describes pregnancy.

We are not kidding.

In early September, President Joe Biden said almost all federal workers should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Federal workers must receive their last dose of vaccine by November 8.

The rules for getting hits are now becoming public. As intended – in fact, as required by law – a requirement allows federal agencies to exempt workers “because of sincere religious belief, practice or observance.”

Filtering guidelines have been developed to ensure that a religious objection is truly sincere and not based on something Uncle Charlie saw on Facebook. It seems reasonable enough.

Not for Josh Hawley, of course. This week, he sent a letter to three administration officials, including former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, saying a religious exemption to COVID vaccines should not be questioned.

The advice shows “a skepticism and contempt for religious beliefs,” Hawley writes. “The councils are also too broad and riddled with awakened propaganda. It should be removed immediately.

Apparently, Hawley decides what is sincere and what is not. It is ridiculous and dangerous.

The government, for example, is asking employees a series of questions to fully understand a religious objection to COVID shooting. Have you had any other pictures recently? he asks.

“If you have no religious objection to using all vaccines, please explain why your objection is limited to particular vaccines,” asks the screening template.

If you are okay with a polio vaccine, but oppose a COVID vaccine, tell us why. Hard to see much harm in that.

Hawley thinks it’s tyranny. The form “displays skepticism and even hostility towards applicants who harbor sincere religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

It is not so.

The senator’s political expediency reaches a new low later in his letter, when he opposes vaccine guidelines involving women. It treats COVID injections for “people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or trying to get pregnant in the future.”

You will recognize this language. It is used as a warning in virtually every prescription drug commercial you see on television. Incredibly, Hawley finds the sentences grim.

He prefers the “future” mother.

“This is part of an effort to target religious employees, conservatives and other officials who do not subscribe to the far-left agenda,” he wrote.

What? The COVID requirement, the advice and the language are designed to save lives, not to target conservatives. Saving lives should be on everyone’s agenda.

In fact, the very advice Hawley rejects allows pregnant women some discretion. “An agency can allow… an employee to delay vaccination based on the employee’s specific medical situation,” he says.

Like all Missourians, we want Senator Hawley to focus on real concerns: health care, education, infrastructure and climate change, perhaps. Instead, he wastes our time and his focusing on imaginary affronts to the cloudless world he lives in, mostly for perceived political advantage.

He is worsening the COVID crisis to continue his political career. It is cynical and dangerous, and must be rejected by Missourians.

TO FINISH


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