Saturday, December 26, 2009

Failed Terrorist Attack Leads To Heightened Security

On Friday a Nigerian man who was said to be an agent for al-Qaida attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane as it was preparing to land in Detroit.

Passengers aboard the flight smelled smoke and heard the failed bomb detonation before they rushed to restrain him. One U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. Apparently the man suffered burns to his legs where the bomb was attached.

The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel. It did not specify what those were. But for frequent fliers, the stricter airline restrictions are most likely going to cause even longer wait lines and more frustrated travelers than the ones we have now.

Arriving earlier for the long check-in process and only being allowed 3.4 ounce bottles for liquid stored in one-quart bags per person and limiting the total liquid volume each traveler can bring, are just some of the precautions that the TSA has already taken when it comes to security.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that airport security needs some work. I just believe rather than adding more regulations to the list, airport officials should just buckle down on trying to enforce their rules a little better.

I just hope that I don’t have to endure a wait that resemble Tom Hanks’ character in The Terminal.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

60th Democratic Vote Passes the Health Care Bill

The wait is over and now President Obama has something to celebrate about over the holidays. Sen. Ben Nelson provided the 60th and deciding vote to pass the health care legislation in Senate.

After a year of revisions, struggle and confusion from some Senators who didn't even know what was in the bill, President Obama's top domestic priority has been completed.

It was said that Nelson made the decision after winning fresh concessions to limit the number of abortions and in insurance sold in newly created changes, as well as tens of million in Federal Medicaid funds for his home state. The Senator also made it apparent that the government-run option wouldn't compete with the private insures.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the revises measure would lower deficits by $132 billion over a decade with a possibility of even more reductions to follow in the decade following. It is estimated that the bill will extend its coverage to 94% of eligible Americans under the age of 65, a total that will exclude illegal immigrants.

Nelson's decision has put Obama and his allies on track by passing this legislation before Christmas despite the unanimous opposition from the Republicans. I just hope that the rest of Obama's check list for the nation will succeed as the health care reform did.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Accepting the Peace Prize on the way to War?

Thanks for the Nobel Peace Prize, now it’s off to war. If this doesn’t sound ironic to you then I don’t know what will.

While accepting the peace prize, Obama spelled out a doctrine of justifiable war and the steps needed for a "just and lasting peace." Fighting for peace? I think that sounds a little funny.

Obama arrived Friday from Norway after becoming the first president to collect the honorable award so early in his term.

President Obama accepted the peace prize just nine days after ordering 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Obama justified his “peaceful war” by mentioning “that the tools of war have a role in preserving peace he also stressed the need to avoid conflict. He called for alternatives to killing, like sanctions with true bite”.

He defined free speech and economic opportunity, peace as civil rights, not just the absence of conflict. And he pushed himself away from the former president, George W. Bush, defending diplomacy that engages even enemies.

It was said that Obama was chosen for the award more for his aspirations and approach than his accomplishments so far. The Nobel committee honored him for changing the gist of international politics and pursuing goals that the winner himself says will take a world effort, like nuclear disarmament and reversing global warming.

I just hope that he will actually accomplish something that will be Nobel Peace Prize worthy during his stay in the White House.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Obama Promises To Put More Americans Back To Work

Obama has recently pledged on his weekly radio and internet address that he will focus every single day on building the economy and putting people back into more productive jobs.

The President will speak on Tuesday about the country's 10 percent unemployment rate despite the November's lower jobless rates.

There is definately a trend in the unemployment rate, but Obama is still not satisfied, which makes sense to the million Americans who have lost their job during the recession.

President Obama says his $787 billion stimulus plan prevented a possible collapse of the financial system or a potential second Great Depression.  But he says history shows that hiring is often slow to follow an economic rebound.

This is all good news, and it is definately a step in the right direction as we can now see some progression out of the this awful recession. But health care is still a major issue in the economic plan that Obama plans to speak about at Capitol Hill on Sunday.