The New York Times describes how the disaster ladies did their part to help ShrubCo fulfill its prime directives:
1) Transfer wealth to the rich from everyone else and/or
2) Distract the pilferees from the fact that #1 is taking place.
And, to complete the trifecta, the Shrubettes in Congress are cooperating with the admin's plan to pay for it all by completing the reverse Robin Hood scheme they were prevented from perfection of during the budget process, particularly more infrastructure cuts (Amtrak in particular), more slashing of the poor's safety net (especially health care for the poor), and taking Big Bird out altogether -- not to mention aiming a stake in the heart of what's left of the Constitution with their statutory plans to enable the king -- er, the prez -- to do with the military that which Gov. Blanco would not permit.
From a Move-On petition appeal:
Here are just some of the most egregious cuts:
* $225 billion cut from Medicaid, the last-resort health insurance program for the very poor.
* $200 billion cut from Medicare, the health care safety net for the elderly and the disabled.
* $25 billion cut from the Centers for Disease Control
* $6.7 billion cut from school lunches for poor children
* $7.5 billion cut from programs to fight global AIDS
* $5.5 billion to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
* $3.6 billion cut to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities
* $8.5 billion cut to eliminate all subsidized loans to graduate students.
* $2.5 billion cut from Amtrak
* $2.5 billion to eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
* $417 million cut to eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency
* $4.8 billion cut to eliminate all funding for the Safe and Drug-Free schools program
And the list, entitled "Operation Offset", goes on and on.
Which and how many of these cuts move forward in Congress depends largely on the public response this week.
As the reconstruction begins our country faces a basic question: Will we respond to Katrina by banding together to solve national problems, or by helping the wealthy and powerful cut and run while those left behind fend for ourselves?
You can sign the petition here.