Entries from blogs tagged with “Kansas politics”
The Fox channel had its debut showing of "The Moment of Truth" Weds. evening following American Idol.
The show works something like this: pick a contestant and ask them fifty personal questions behind the scenes to get to know them and their vices and flaws.
Next, hook them up to a lie detector test in front of an audience, their spouse, their friends, and even their employer. Then comes the fun part as the contestant is asked the first six questions, which answered truthfully puts 10,000 dollars in their pocket.
It isn't as easy as it sounds, however, because some of the questions are down right demented! Some random questions from last night's show were
:"Are you addicted to gambling?"
"Are you currently a member of the hair club for men?"
"As a personal trainer, have you touched a female client more than was required of you?"
"Have you used the internet to flirt with other women?"
"Have you stolen a peek at another man's privates during a shower?"
"Have you had a sexual fantasy during mass?"
"Have you gone through a co-workers belongings without their knowledge?"
"Have you delayed having children because you don't think your spouse is your lifelong partner?"
The friends/spouse/employers have one out - they can push a large button that is centered between them (one time only) if they do not want to hear the person answer the question that was asked. The problem with that is it will be replaced with another question and the other question just might be worse then the first.
After the initial six questions, that can earn the contestant 10,000 if answered correctly, the next five questions, if answered truthfully, can get the contestant up to the 25,000 dollar mark. The higher you go, the harder and more revealing the question. Answer all 21 questions truthfully and you have $500,000 in your pocket. You may not have a job to go back to, your wife, husband, and friends have probably abandoned you, but you decide how important money really is in your life.
This show is destined to be a hit - audiences love to see people squirm in the hot seat, see their lives (and their friends and families lives) destroyed right in front of them - and the contestant most probably will end up leaving with nothing.
This reminded me of the games we played as teenagers: truth or dare and twenty questions.
Would you risk it all and tell the truth for $500,000?
Oh, sure, she's got news clips and stuff like that, but she doesn't have any awesome little original songs or testimonials or anything like that.So, we're challenging all of you to create and post the next great YouTube campaign video- all about how excellent Congresswoman Boyda is!Your reward? If we like what you do, we'll put it on the blog, on Facebook, on DailyKos...everywhere we can, because you'll have done your part to re-elect Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.Please send any submissions (or links to them) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Juno is one of the latest movies to portray a young girl who gets pregnant and in a matter of minutes goes from considering abortion to deciding on adoption. Ellen Goodman in a recent column about these films considers the message they send to 13 year old girls.Actually Juno's decision is rare. According to the Children's Bureau (a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) less than 1% of children born to never married women are relinquished for adoption. According to Planned Parenthood more than half of teen pregnancies result in birth so most young women keep the child. Many of these mothers become school dropouts and live in poverty. That is another story.Juno's decision to find an adoption family while not rare is unusual. There are between 118,000 and 127,000 adoptions per year in this country. Nobody keeps good statistics on Juno's type of adoptions but it is considerably less than the 500,000 that are through state child welfare agencies. In Kansas the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services reports that there were 715 adoptions during the last fiscal year. I am not sure that is our share of the national total.When Juno meets the potential adoptive parents she flippantly asks why they don't go to China where it is easy to adopt. I wouldn't give away her line which is very funny. Adoptions from other countries represent about 15% of the total. Many of these are from China. As an adoptive father I wish that they were more frequent. The Urban League in a report on foster care and adoptions states that there are 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption. In Kansas, SRS reports that there were 853 children awaiting adoption at the end of the last fiscal year.Juno's search for adoptive parents is at least haphazard and amounts to looking through the classified section of a local free paper. The prospective parents look wonderful. Both parents are good looking and their home suggests that they have plenty of income. As the story develops flaws are hinted at that become real but again I wouldn't spoil that for those who have yet to see the movie. Did she pick the right parents? That is a question that looms large over the field of adoption. There have been two recent articles in the Journal World that represent two contrasting adoptive families. A January 14 article reported on a Haysville couple who adopted a girl and the father sexually assaulted her. A January 20 article reported that a Lawrence native was appointed an appellate judge who has a passion for children, has been a foster parent and has adopted 3 children.In the Haysville tragedy SRS apparently did all that they could to find a safe home for the child. They conducted a more complete investigation than Juno but failed. The truth is that there is little anyone can do to predict the outcome of an adoptive placement. Background checks for abuse or criminal behavior are helpful but far from foolproof. It is simply not possible to predict the outcome of a decision to approve a family for adoption. Fortunately the Haysville adoptive outcome is rare. Adoptive families work out as well as other types of families. If you haven't seen Juno, go before it leaves town. Talk to your 13 year old daughters. Support adoption.
As the nation enters a historic economic slump, the federal government has promised the citizens a loaf of bread to endure the hardship of these times. It is not yet clear exactly what portion of bread we shall receive, as our representatives are still in the process of deciding, but one thing is certainly clear:this bread is all the change we should expect from them.The Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke before Congress last Thursday, once again lying to the public that a recession was avoidable with the help of the Federal Government. Never once owning up to admission of the Fed's key role in the destruction of the US dollar and economy. Never once admitting that the Fed's policies continue to steal money from the pockets of hardworking Americans and place that money in the hands of the wealthy central bankers.Bernanke claimed in his testimony that the "economy has softened" and that our growth estimates are looking below that of 2007. This is a man who is asking if we smell smoke while his hair is on fire.Yes Ben, one could say the economy has "softened" when we have the dollar at an all time low, inflation and unemployment skyrocketing, the worse housing market since the Great Depression, oil prices at record highs, and continual erratic behavior on Wall Street to name just a few problems.Bernanke supported the idea of an economic stimulus package from the White House and Congress, and with a straight face hoped that the people would use the money to "buy American products". Bernanke obviously knows full well that those tax rebates will not be used to buy American products because we no longer produce enough of anything for us to buy in order to turn this "softened" economy around. Except perhaps mattresses:an unlikely hero indeed. Despite the United States' $6 Trillion trade debt (1/3 w/ China), by some miracle the mattress industry has been one of the few survivors. Astonishingly, only 3% of mattresses are imported into this country, making it one of America's finest domestic assets. So this summer when your government rebate bread comes in the mail, do the patriotic thing for Uncle Sam and exchange it for a new, American made mattress:and then thank the Federal Government for your new found restful sleep.
Today's middle-class workers are experiencing, like never before, job instability related to international competition, technological advances and outsourcing of jobs to China and India. Yet, our belief in the American Dream spurs us to strive ever harder in the face of greater unemployment levels; rising healthcare and energy costs; and the current housing crisis.Until recently, our economy has experienced a rise in overall growth and productivity; some say due to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Many businesses have experienced record profits while the middle class worker has seen decreases in wages and skyrocketing healthcare and energy costs. For some of these workers, the promised trickle down effect has come too late. Recently, talk of a recession has the stock markets falling and Washington considering an economic stimulus package. That has lobbyists and special interest groups scrambling to grab a piece of the pie, while Democrats and Republicans fight over economic ideological differences. Back in the real world more and more Americans are falling below the poverty line and middle class workers, like the forgotten Everyman in E. Y. Harburg's "Brother Can You Spare A Dime," ponder:"They used to tell me I was building a dream,And so I followed the mob.When there was earth to plow or guns to bear,I was always there, right on the job.They used to tell me I was building a dream,With peace and glory ahead --Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?"
In our home, the fake greenery interwoven with little twinkly lights around windows often stay in place until Valentines Day. The bright, cherry lights of the Holidays leave a void when finally packed away. I like the ambiance of the low lighting.Feeling our home looks like a tacky restaurant, I sought a another solution for brightening the long winter evenings. I found it in timers-those little gadgets that automatically turn lights off and on at certain times. Like the ones used on my twinkly lights.Because of our home's layout, the kitchen area is not cozy. It is large, open and has seating at one end where we read. I plugged the three lamps in that area into my Christmas light timers. Now they come on around 5:30 pm and go off at ll:00 pm. What a wonderful welcome. Stumbling in with all my gear after work, I found the three lamps casting their glow. The chairs and soft lights beckoned a cup of hot tea and a minute to relax. Just what the doctor ordered after a cold, dreary day.Tonight, I finally removed the rest of the Christmas decorations.The timers will remain until the longer days of spring.
In response to my last post on grandparents raising their grandchildren a comment was made that SRS pays the grandparents as they would anyone else.We, the citizens of Kansas through SRS, do not assist all grandparents equally. This gets very technical and there are many different types of assistance but I will briefly identify the major types of available financial help. The information below is the latest that I have and may not be current.There are at least 4 different ways that grandparents can obtain financial assistance for raising grandchildren. Each has different rules and reimbursement rates. Then there are those grandparents who may be struggling financially and are asked to assume care of a grandchild but not told of available financial assistance. But that is another story.Grandparents raising grandchildren can obtain financial assistance through:1.Temporary Assistance for Families (TAF) typically provides assistance of about $175 month and medical insurance through Medicaid. The last data I had was that about 500 grandparents in Kansas are receiving this assistance.2.Grandparent caregivers have access to adoption assistance as any other family who adopts through the state child welfare system. Yes, when asked, many grandparents are ready and willing to adopt their grandchildren. SRS reports that nearly 200 children per year are adopted by relatives. We can assume that most of these are grandparents. Not all of these receive financial help.There is a maximum of $400 per month allowed for subsidized adoption. There are also provisions for up to $1000 per child for one time purchases for such items as bedroom furniture, special equipment for handicaps, home modifications, lifts for vans, or respite care. There is an additional $2000 for non-recurring adoption expenses. SSI eligible children may receive up to $500 per month. If the child is eligible for Home and Community Based Services the adoption subsidize maximum is $500 per month plus a $200 special needs payment. 3.Subsidized permanent guardianship - In 1999 the Kansas Legislature allocated $1,000,000 of TAF funds to subsidize permanent guardianship. The maximum subsidy is $225 per month, which supplements child only TAF benefits including a medical card, if the child qualifies for child only TAF. The allocated amount was never used. In recent years about $170,000 of these funds were expended. SRS reports nearly 200 children per year receiving this type of assistance.4.Grandparents are eligible to be licensed foster parents and receive the same reimbursement as any other licensed foster parent. That is about $550 per month. All of this is very complicated and it is unreasonable to expect grandparents who simply want to step up and help the family understand all of this. Certainly we can design a less complex system that provides needed help and honors those grandparents willing to help raise the next generation.
Cross posted from BoydaBloc http://boydabloc.blogspot.comJust a couple of the items from the mailer: Boyda was one of the only Democrats to oppose efforts in the House and Senate to grant amnesty to illegal immigration, and Boyda successfully pushed a bill to near- unanimous approval to prevent a Bush Administration plan to allow unsafe Mexican trucks to drive deep into the United States.Another issue Boyda mentions in her mailer has continued to garner her press mentions: her bill to require the renegotiation of NAFTA:Boyda and Kaptur, the lead sponsors, aren't waiting for the study. They want NAFTA renegotiated, now. If the negotiations do not produce 5 specific, concrete improvements, the bill says the U.S. must withdraw from NAFTA."NAFTA is dragging down our economy, weakening our borders, and devastating our manufacturers. After 14 years, it's time to either fix NAFTA or get the heck out of it," Boyda, the lead sponsor, told a radio show in Wichita, announcing the bill. "Even supporters admit NAFTA is deeply flawed, but nobody has the guest to fix the problem." (http://www.pww.org/article/view/12293/)One thing is undeniable: Congresswoman Nancy Boyda is representing her district better than it has seen since the early 1990's, particularly on illegal immigration and on trade.(Visit our main blog for reference links for the above quote and other items. Thanks!)
Darnell is receiving a lot of press due to the start of a stellar senior year on the basketball court. Part of this press is being reminded of how important his grandmother was to him and her sad death.Being part of a much older generation I had fewer grandparents and was only somewhat close to a grandmother who took care of me for a short time when my mother was hospitalized.Grandmothers may be more important today that ever before. The US Census reports that 32,582 Kansas children were living with a grandparent in 2006. For 21,278 of these children their grandparents are responsible for them. That is Census speak for they are raising their grandchildren.There are a host of reasons that children are being raised by their grandparents and the Census Bureau does not list them. Situations that I have been aware of include poverty, parental drug abuse and incarceration. These grandparents are providing a wonderful service for their children, grandchildren and the state regardless of the reason. The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) is the parent for many children needing an alternative home. During the last fiscal year SRS reports that there were 10,025 children in out of home placement. This is less than half as many children as the grandparents in Kansas are taking care of. SRS also places about 25% of children with relatives and it is likely that many of these relatives are grandparents. As taxpayers we pay for the care of the children in SRS custody. That is another reason to be grateful to those grandparents who have accepted the responsibility to raise their grandchildren. As anyone who has raised children knows it is not always easy juggling child care, jobs and other responsibilities and these grandparents face the same challenges. The more than 21,000 Kansas children in grandparent households were cared for by 19,000 grandparents. Most are relatively young with 17,000 between the ages of 30 and 59 and 13,000 are in the labor force. In other words these are grandparents with lots of other responsibilities and they still took on the task of taking care of the next generation of their family.If you know of a grandparent raising a child, thank her or him.
http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... have excerpts from both articles for you- make sure to read both of them. Interestingly enough, the two papers decided to report different information.From the Lawrence Journal-World on illegal immigration:U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., says Congress needs to find a way to help employers identify illegal immigrants through a "practical employer verification program.""Then you can move forward and talk about what else we're going to do to make policies that are going to work for the long term, but without a way to enforce it, you can't really have a meaningful policy," she said.During an interview Monday with the Journal-World, the first-term congresswoman from Topeka touted her co-sponsorship of the SAVE - Secure America with Verification and Enforcement - Act, which also includes provisions for border security.Illegal immigration has been a major federal and state issue for several years. Boyda also has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's Mexican trucking pilot program, which gives Mexican drivers greater access to U.S. highways.From the Topeka Capital-Journal on Iraq:Boyda also addressed the war in Iraq, commending Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces."What he brings to it is some wisdom about what it takes to operate within Iraq," she said. "If they're too aggressive, they hurt the situation. If they're not aggressive enough, they're not moving anything forward. The line is extremely thin."She said she talked with the Marine general in charge of Anbar province who said the United States might see troop withdrawals."I said, 'Are you telling me all the troops are going to be out of Anbar province?' and he said, 'Yes, ma'am, I think they are.' "She wants to get the good news out there without doing anything "that looks like mission accomplished," she said referring to the "mission accomplished" banner that hung over Bush's 2003 statement that major combat missions in Iraq were over.Unfortunately, the Cap-J decided to make the story's lead about Boyda's husband's chances of becoming the new Kansas Attorney General. It'd be nice if the paper would keep it's eyes on the ball- tell us about the quality job Congresswoman Boyda is doing, rather than random speculation about something totally un-related to her job representing us.(Photo from the Topeka Capital-Journal)
Today BoydaBloc (http://boydabloc.blogspot.com), the largest and most active pro Nancy Boyda blog on the Internet, arrives at the LJWorld!Our blog has been active since the middle of October 2007, and we're dedicated to just one premise: keeping Nancy Boyda in office. To achieve that goal, we try to spread the good word about her successes, and we proudly defend her against the attacks she suffers from the right wing wackos nationwide.Today we aren't positive how often will post here, but we think we plan to cross post nearly all of our posts from the main blog.Glad to be here, and we hope you visit us often (we love comments!)http://boydabloc.blogspot.com
This past Sunday I couldn't stop smiling. The skip in my step was all because I ran into an old teacher of mine.My mother and older sister and I were in Target, considering the possible merits of a certain electrostatic duster (of all things), when from the end of the aisle I heard my name, my sister saying, "Yes, that's Sarah."I turned and saw--was it? No. Yes! That familiar walk made me certain--my eighth grade history teacher, Mr. Binns. I had to confess that I almost didn't know him for just a second, though I wasn't sure why."I got old!" Mr. Binns said.No, Mr. Binns, you didn't get old. Years have passed, but you didn't get old. Retirement must agree with you. Substituting when you want to must agree with you. And I don't doubt that you are a popular substitute.After all, I couldn't help thinking for the rest of the day about that very first day of the 8th grade. I remember so clearly that hot, late-summer morning, the second-story classroom, my desk in the front row center, and you, Mr. Binns, acting out a scene of Washington crossing the Delaware.Okay. Maybe the performance didn't win any Oscars, but it made an impression on me, more than any other actor could hope to do. Something stirred awake inside me. I remember thinking, "Hey, I'm going to love history!"And I did. Maybe I wasn't always as good at it as I wanted to be. Goodness knows I didn't get all the answers right. It takes a special brand of teacher to make a student feel smart, like all the world was just waiting for me to come knocking at the door.Remember the Civil War board game I made for that unit's project? You set aside a whole day when the entire class played that game, and in spite of its kinks ( I think poor Richie Nichols spent the whole time in "game jail") you told me I should send it in to Parker Brothers. Well, I know they wouldn't have been clamoring for it. Even if they had, A Change of History (as I named it) wouldn't have flown off the toy store shelves, and I still wouldn't be swimming in royalties. However, your compliment (and the grade, by the way!) was worth more than royalties. I thought of it for years, every time I saw the old red Macy's box that I kept that silly game in.(I hung onto the game for another reason, too. For my birthday present that year, my sister Amy helped me color inthe whole back of that board!)I still love history. I crammed in as much of it as I could in high school. My book shelves are crowded with many history books of one sort or another: Civil War, Lawrence history, biographies, geneology, etc. I wanted a copy of Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography for Christmas, and it's on my shelf now, waiting to be savored.As President Reagan said in his Farewell Address, "If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are."So you gave me quite a gift in your classroom. I know who I am and where I come from, and I intend to pass it along.By the way, Mr. Binns, Sunday afternoon it finally hit me why it took me even a split second to recognize you. No, you didn't get old. It was the glasses. Just the glasses. I'd never seen you in them before.
Cal Thomas' column (last week) on Benazir Bhutto took me by surprise. It wasn't just the fact that he had sipped tea with her, an experience he said he would never forget, but that he called her a "strong woman" and pointed out that "leadership is more than biology. It takes a well-crafted ideology and goals beyond one's self." He believed Bhutto had them in abundance. He also stated that:"Women who are strong in the things that matter most - courage and character - are a threat to weak men without such traits. Some men will go to any length to oppress such women, even invoking the "will of God" as the ultimate justification, when God wants to liberate women (and men), not subjugate them to self-righteous sinners."Hmm. I agree with Thomas. One doesn't have to go outside the United States, or even Kansas, to find rantings when strong women are appointed to or seek positions of leadership in national life. It wasn't too long ago that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church were attacked in some sections of the media simply because they were women. Do you remember any previous Speakers being ridiculed for the ties they wore, or the size of their biceps for that matter? The topic of Pelosi's pearls drew nearly as much attention as her appointment and, at one point, Hilary Clinton's cleavage was inflated to grab pretty large headlines.The US touts itself as the land of freedom, equality and opportunity but one wonders why a woman has not yet been elected to its highest office? England AND Ireland, small countries who could well fit into the state of Texas with plenty of room left over, have already had females in the top posts. England had its first woman Prime Minister nearly 30 years ago until she was ousted by the "Big Boys," and Ireland has experienced two female Presidents. And then there is Benazier Bhutto, the focus of Thomas' column, who became Prime Minister in a Muslim country. She balanced family life (with a husband and children ) with her political duties, and managed to retain her femininity. I know that comparisons are odious, but, in this case, they should give food for thought, even though some may choke in the process.I'm not saying that Hilary Clinton should be elected President simply because she's a woman; I'm saying that she shouldn't be ridiculed and dismissed just because she is. If she is the only women to emerge as a potential Presidential candidate, what is this saying about the women in America? Or what is it saying about the men?
"I don't know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."- George Bush Sr. ( in response to a question about whether he recognised the equal citizenship and patriotism of American atheists)-max1, over and over and over, as he is want to do.Allegedly.While this is a favorite fall-back quote to prove the danger the GOP poses to non Christians, it is only alleged to have been uttered by Mr. Bush by one man: Rob Sherman. http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... quote was apparently uttered by the then sitting Vice President of the United States, poised for a run for President of the United States, in a "news conference." http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... no other person has ever been able to substantiate the claim made by Sherman. No video or audio of the "news conference" (involving the Vice President) exists. No other people at the "news conference" have stepped forward to substantiate the quote. In fact, in 2002 on his website http://www.robsherman.com Sherman wrote: "One reporter, in particular, who recalls this exchange quite well is Greg Lefevre. He was, in recent years, the San Francisco Bureau Chief of CNN until CNN fired him in 2001, along with a group of other fine reporters, for budgetary reasons. I've referred people to him about this several times over the past fifteen years, but I don't know where to find him now since CNN got rid of him."http://web.archive.org/web/20020323184302/http://www.robsherman.com/information/liberalnews/2002/0303.htmSeveral people have apparently contacted Mr. Lefevre, who is indeed alive and available at http://greglefevre.com/ and have been informed by him that he never heard any such utterance.http://worldonline.media.clients.elli..., an examination of Sherman's website reveals that he has since purged any mention of Lefevre.http://www.google.com/search?q=Lefevre+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.robsherman.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-aNow why on earth would a respected journalist put it all on the line like this? Standing alone in the storm of neocon blowback, why would this one lonely journalist stand by an indefensible quote? I'm sorry, did I say journalist?Who is Rob Sherman? Is he a tireless reporter, in the model of Dan Rather?http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/oct/27/atheists_daughter_fights_momentsilence_law/Why, he's here! Right here in a Lawrence Journal-World story! His daughter is filing a ridiculously frivolous lawsuit challenging a moment of silence law in Illinois! Turns out Rob Sherman may just be a guy with an axe to grind, and he may be grinding away, with his daughter in tow.Rob Sherman is a lonely oppressed atheist, fighting the GOP anti-atheist pogroms. Now the alleged Bush quote makes a lot more sense! Now Sherman can get a thousand atheist or anti-GOP blog posters to use the "quote" as a signature file, and have them help carry the water, potentially giving millions of web-surfers the uneasy feeling that the GOP is poised to revoke citizenship rights of non-Christians. Erosion of Democracy, indeed!Allegedly.
Obama may look like the winning horse leading the pack at the beginning of this year's Presidential race, but he won't be able to keep up the pace all the way to the finish line. He isn't seasoned. He isn't experienced.
Neither he or Edwards have the lineage behind them that would be required to go the distance.
Still, Obama is working the track and has picked his way from the back of the pack and moved into a key position to make a run for the final stretch. It hasn't been an easy task. He has been hit by dirt and mud as much as any of his opponents. He seems to be gaining speed. He is a full length ahead of Edwards and Edwards is a nose in front of Clinton.
I am glad I have my bet on Clinton though. She is saving herself for the finish line. She has great stamina, loves to be pushed for a grand finish and is well seasoned and confident. She stands head and shoulders above the competition because of her previous experiences in other races such as these - some of which she watched from the sidelines.
Obama has blinders on; he won't be able to see the filly passing him on the inside track until he begins to taste the dust that is stirred up as she leaves him far behind.
And she hasn't even begun to work up a lather.
President Bush gave us a New Years present with the signing of the SCHIP legislation (Health Wave in Kansas). This legislation extended government subsidized health insurance for children in families with limited income through March 2009. Without this extension Kansas would have serious problems maintaining the Health Wave program. President Bush twice vetoed this legislation because Congress, controlled by Democrats, wanted to extend the program to more children. But that is not the story here.Kansas Action for Children reports that there are 20,000 children living below the poverty line without health insurance (http://www.kac.org/ftp/File/Publications/KC_datanotes2007.pdf). This is 39% of Kansas children without health insurance.A White House statement dated December 19, 2007 praised Congress for passing SCHIP legislation that President Bush could sign. This statement said that this is an "important program for America's low income children." There seems to be a contradiction here. What was debated was not health insurance for children living in families below the federal poverty level. Medicaid is the health insurance program for these children. SCHIP is for children in families above the poverty line. The debate was where to draw the line for eligibility. Should it be at 150% of poverty, 185% of poverty, 200% of poverty or higher?Why isn't Medicaid working for the 20,000 Kansas uninsured children living in poor families? There are many answers. For one, consider a single mother with one child living on less than $13,690 a year. That is the current poverty line for this family ($17,170 if she has 2 children). Incidentally, the US Census reports that more poor children live in married couple families but their challenges are similar. So mom needs to get to her job (81% of women heading poor households work according to the US Census), keep food on the table, take care of child care and, by the way, get to the SRS office and take care of Medicaid applications and requirements. This includes the issue of proving that you are a US Citizen. When did we last see those birth certificates?She needs help. More attention, both individually and collectively, needs to be given to these families and you can help.1.Statewide advocacy organizations need to focus on getting children in poor families enrolled in Medicaid.2.Local social service organizations need to advocate for these families and remove whatever barriers exist to Medicaid enrollment. 3.What about a house to house survey in poor neighborhoods that identifies poor families and provides assistance with enrolling in Medicaid?4.Friends and neighbors can volunteer to help enroll poor families5.Friends and neighbors can question local social service providers on their efforts to help poor families enroll in Medicaid or Health Wave.By the way, think about the economic benefit to the local community if the medical expenses of all poor families were covered by Medicaid rather than the local community through donations to organizations like Health Care Access.
Except for sub freezing temperatures outside, 25 co-workers and their families might feel they are in South Carolina rather than gathered in rural Douglas County on New Years Day.What created the warm southern feeling on a cold Kansas day? Frogmore Stew.Named for Frogmore, the mailing address for the residents of St. Helena Island off the coast of South Carolina, the stew is a combination of ingredients readily available on this historical island. While their neighbors in the States might have a BBQ, St. Helena residents add shrimp, potatoes, corn, and spicy bratwurst together in a pot. Our first try at the Low Country specialty began with a round of home brewed beer. Created by our favorite brew master and co-worker, it was dark, smooth, and served at room temperature. While enjoying our ale, we heated water and seasoning packets in a big (very big) pan over a propane burner. While new potatoes are the best choice, we opted for a large, firm baking potatoes cut in large pieces and dropped in the pot after the water was hot. Following potatoes, in went the precooked and quartered hot and mild brats. Almost the same time frozen corn on the cob slid in. Setting the table consisted of spreading plastic and newspapers over the entire surface. In addition, we added shrimp sauce, homemade bread and butter, hot sauces to taste, and many napkins.When the shrimp went in the pot, everyone gathered around ready to eat. Five minutes later, two people carried the heavy hot pot outside and poured the hot liquid through a strainer held by the third. Finally, they dumped the steaming ingredients in the middle of the table.http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... Stew6 quarts water
Â¾ cup Old Bay Seasoning
2 pounds new red potatoes
2 pounds hot smoked sausage links, cut into 2 inch pieces
12 ears corn, husked and quartered
4 pounds large fresh shrimp, unpeeled
Bring water & seasoning to a boil in large stockpot.
Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Add sausage and cook for five minutes more. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink, about five minutes. Drain immediately and serve. Serves 12 depending on appetites.
An Associated Press article from Thursday December 27 brought attention to the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program. The news was that 3 stores that specialized in serving WIC participants were going out of business. More than 30 people commented on the article in the Lawrence Journal World. It is clear from the comments that the program and its benefits are not well understood including the fact that there are many other stories that supply WIC products. Let's change the headline Children who participate in the WIC program at age 4 are at significantly lower risk of being overweight. This is according to a RAND Corporation study of 2004 (Rand Working Paper 172). This wasn't reported yesterday so it is not "real" news. Previous research has found that WIC reduces the risk of infant mortality, low birth weight and reduces the cost of maternal and neonatal care. While not news, many people do not know of these substantial benefits. WIC basics WIC is a program that was originally intended to prevent hunger by providing food assistance to pregnant, postpartum and lactating women. This is an overly simple description of the program. Complex rules and regulations make a concise description of who is eligible and what they receive impossible. To check out the details go to http://www.kdheks.gov/nws-wic/wic_nutrition_prog.htm. The Department of Health and Environment administers the program in Kansas under regulations from the United States Department of Agriculture that Congress charged with developing the program.The rules are not complex because KDHE or USDOA are large government bureaucracies. They certainly are. The rules are complex because we don't trust poor people to make good decisions. We don't want people that are not really poor to benefit and we don't want people buying caviar when they are suppose to buy milk. Of course some people make bad decisions but our paranoia probably adds more cost to program administration than fraud would. The Rand studyThe findings of the Rand study that children who participate in the WIC program are at reduced risk of being overweight are quite impressive. Childhood obesity is a problem with major future health care consequences. A program that reduces the likelihood of obesity may significantly reduce future health care costs. We already know that WIC participation reduces maternal and neonatal care costs. Are WICs benefits due to the food that the family receives or the nutrition education they receive? The study couldn't determine that. It is likely that it is some of each. Were the children in the study different in some way that would explain the results? The study found that the WIC children were less well off than others. In other words those most in need were participating in the program.This study demonstrates that WIC is a program that reaches children and families who need it and produces substantial benefits. We should all be supporters.Reaching out to poor women and childrenA disturbing finding in the RAND study is that only 38% of eligible children between ages one and four use WIC. More than twice as many poor children could be receiving these benefits and are not. Data for Kansas or Douglas county are not available but it is likely that there are local women and children who could benefit from the program but are not participating.If you know a struggling mother with young children, ask if they know about WIC. Volunteer to help determine if they are eligible. The KDHE website is useful for that and it identifies Gayle Sherman of the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department as the local contact.
The stark news ricocheted around the world today - Benazir Bhutto assassinated. Newspaper headlines will try to summarize the tragedy in tomorrow's editions and many columns will be written about her life and the impact of her death on the world's political scene. How can we ever hope to capture the life and courage of the first woman to become head of Government in an Islamic State? In the US, and even Ireland and the United Kingdom, we take it for granted that woman have the right to hold the highest offices in the land. Such rights are not automatic for women in Islamic countries. The achievements of Benezir Bhutto took the kind of courage that goes beyond words, and only those closest to her will know what it cost.She knew the risks she was taking as she tried to return to Goverment. She was willing to pay the price that sadly ended in her death today. Her husband has lost his wife, her children a mother - and women all over the world have lost a living symbol of the strength and courage of the feminine spirit.
Married less than two months, it was the summer of 1966 when we drove to a nearby state lake for our first overnight campout. We had an old army tent and plenty of food and beer. We slept on the ground. To those humble, early marriage beginnings, we added two children and various types of outdoor sleeping accommodations. Our family enjoyed freedom of open spaces, solitude, beautiful scenery and relaxing around a fire. Several years ago, our children long gone and retirement at hand, we began thinking about a recreational vehicle. In the past, we traveled to one place. We now plan longer road trips. We did not want to give up our independence in overnight accommodations, but needed something suitable for our age.We were not alone in our wish to own a RV. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) states more baby boomers own RVs than any other age group. Although the purchase of new vehicles will slip somewhat in 2008 because of higher gas prices, projections indicate sales will still be the fifth highest in 30 years.Our search for an RV fitting our lifestyle started at the yearly early January Kansas City Sports Show in Bartle Hall. Even though a new RV would not fit our budget, we walked through the units on display to determine our preferences. We wanted something small enough to park anywhere and self-contained so we could stop for the night without a reservation. Finally deciding on a small van conversion with gas mileage comparable to popular SUVs, we began looking for a used unit.Newspaper want ads and online sales sites were excellent sources, but good deals moved fast. I did not hesitate to call or email questions. Without fail, owners were anxious to share information. Six months later, we purchased a five-year-old 17-foot conversion van found on an Internet-listing site. It had 17,000 miles on the speedometer and cost less than half of a new model. We picked it up in Minneapolis, Minnesota.It is everything we hoped. You might see us tailgating at football games or parked on Mass street in Lawrence. We have been to Maine, states in the Midwest and especially enjoy two-day trips right here in Kansas. We are planning an Alaska trip a year from this summer. We feel as secure parking in a large chain store parking lot (boon docking) as a remote hilltop. We use it year round. We call it our Freedom Machine.