Thursday, September 08, 2005

Medicaid Cuts Postponed

From Reuters comes this bit of news.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers in Washington have shelved -- at least temporarily -- plans to reduce spending on the massive Medicaid health program by $10 billion. The cuts were to be part of broader budget deficit-reduction legislation due September 16.

But there is another reason for the delay besides the need to provide immediate relief to hurricane victims -- even some Republican lawmakers say it would be bad public relations to cut Medicaid when so many poor people were disproportionately -- and visibly on national television -- affected by the hurricane. "This is not the time to take on Medicaid or other entitlements for the poor," said Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., a member of the Senate committee charged with making the cuts.

"At a time when millions are displaced and seeking federal and state assistance, we believe it is inappropriate to move forward on that portion of a legislative package that would cut programs like Medicaid, Food Stamps, WIC (a food program for pregnant women and children), housing and education," the letter said.

Other Republicans, however, said that while the federal government may well end up spending more on Medicaid to help the hurricane victims, it is important to proceed with the budget legislation as well. Said House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, "we're not cutting Medicaid. We're reforming government." hmmm..... how so?

Katrina's Silver Lining?
David Brook's makes some sense in his NY Times column . "That's why the second rule of rebuilding should be: Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. Culturally Integrate. The only chance we have to break the cycle of poverty is to integrate people who lack middle-class skills into neighborhoods with people who possess these skills and who insist on certain standards of behavior." (click the link and read the entire article)

For all Things Katrina
Wikipedia has this page that will take you to everything you probably would want to know about Katrina. So, if you want to help, look here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Katrina Photos from a Flickr user.

The President announced he's sending Vice President Dick Cheney -- just returned from vacation in Wyoming -- to the Gulf Coast to look into the red tape tangling response efforts. Gee Dick, nice of you to take a break from your vacation and I'm sure you'll get to the root of the evildoing - LOL

Want the latest uptodate news on Katrina? You need to check out this blogger who is posting live updates with photos.

Do you have a bed or a room you can offer an evacuee? If so, head over to

Image hosted by

From Nicolas D. Kristoff of the NY Times, comes this article - The Larger Shame None of this is to suggest that there are easy solutions for American poverty. As Ronald Reagan once said, "We fought a war on poverty, and poverty won." But we don't need to be that pessimistic - in the late 1990's, we made real headway. A ray of hope is beautifully presented in one of the best books ever written on American poverty, "American Dream," by my Times colleague Jason DeParle.

So the best monument to the catastrophe in New Orleans would be a serious national effort to address the poverty that afflicts the entire country. And in our shock and guilt, that may be politically feasible.

Jason De Parle's book - American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare

If you're looking for a no-fee credit card that offers 5% back on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else, you might be interested in this card . If you read the fine print, max you will get back in a year is $300, although the article I found in Newsweek about this said there was no rebate limit. I think Newsweek was wrong, but if someone wants to check out the site and give me your take on the fine print, I'd appreciate it. Still I'll take $300 if someone is going to give it to me - I pay off my credit cards every month, so I don't care about the interest rate. For those of you who don't pay it off each month, my sympathies for your future well-being.

Buy a House - get a Pig! Check it out!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Nature in More Peaceful Times - Photo of the Day

Sometimes we all need a break from Katrina, if just for a few moments. So here's nature when it isn't being disturbed. (although these fellas are cannibals, so I'm not sure that "peaceful" is the appropriate word here. :) These are one of the easier creatures to take macro shots of because they don't mind that the lens is only a few inches from their face. Canon 20D,EF100mm f2.8 USM Macro lens, 1/320th @ f5, ISO 400

Click on the picture to get a truly closeup view.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast

If you're looking for a meaningful book on the crisis in New Orleans and what needs to be done before rebuilding that city, then you should pick up a copy of Mike Tidwell's book Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast . I saw him on Meet the Press today and he was impressive. Gets 5 Star reviews at Amazon.

If you missed Meet the Press today , you can read the transcript of the show .

If you want to read an interesting article appearing in the Houston Chronicle about New Orleans written in 2001, then read Keeping Its Head Above Water - New Orleans Faces doomsday scenario

Places to Donate:

Red Cross

Habitat for Humanity

Noah's Wish - Helping the Animals