Interesting 2009 Facts

Members of Congress who resigned: 10 (plus 1 death T. Kennedy)

States that failed to balance their budget on time: AZ,CA,CT,IL,Ms,NC,Oh,PA,MI

Bills introduced in Congress: 8,696 (158 passed, 112 signed into law)

White House press conferences: 41

Highest unemployment rate: 30% (El Centro, CA)

Number of US mortgages in foreclosure or past due: 7.5 Mil.(14.4%)

Swine Flu Cases in US: 47 Mil.

World Series pitches thrown: 1,671

Source: Time Magazine

Boo Reed – Keep the Change

Cactus Flight 1549 Accident Reconstruction Data

http://www.exosphere3d.com/pubwww/pages/project_gallery/cactus_1549_hudson_river.html

Check out this very informative reconstruction using real data from Flight 1549 and their heroic landing in the Hudson River.

Shame On Former President Clinton

Recently President Obama called on former President Bill Clinton to speak to Senate Democrats about the pending health care proposal that recently passed the House. Let me just preface this conversation by explaining the importance of this piece of legislation. Health Care reform is a necessity, you will not find many to argue that point. The shape of the reform is the point of contention. This is legislation that deserves a careful look by our elected officials in Washington. This is a major deal and deserves a well thought out vote.

Instead of detailing the importance of getting a bill passed that creates an improved situation for the countless number of Americans that are currently uninsured, Mr. Clinton decided to focus on simply passing a bill. He took the opportunity to come to Capitol Hill as an opportunity to play politics with health care reform. I found this very shocking. Politico quoted Mr. Clinton as saying, “just pass the bill, even if it’s not exactly what you want..” I found this extremely disturbing. These are officials elected by the people to serve the best interest of the electorate. For someone that has held the highest office in the land to say that about such an important issue to Americans is disheartening. Mr. Clinton’s reasoning for his comment dealt with keeping the Republicans at bay. When health care reform failed during the Clinton administration, Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives the following year. I say so what. I want my legislators making an educated and well thought out vote as opposed to simply a political vote that doesn’t take the best interest of our country to heart.

It is my belief that this is what is wrong with our political system. Too many times members of the House or Senate are making votes simply with politics in mind as opposed to the impact it will have on their constituents. In addition to health care reform, we strongly need legislative reform. We need to see a new body of elected that put party affiliation on the back burner and stand up and vote for the people that put them there in the first place. Makes votes for our country and not votes for Republicans or Democratic platforms.

White Out Controversy? You Decide….

Anxious to hear your opinion on this. Does this “cross” the line?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,569665,00.html

Oklahoma’s New Abortion Laws Challenged

Okla. abortion laws spark battles
By SEAN MURPHY
Associated Press Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY — Two new laws being challenged in the Oklahoma courts would give the state some of the strictest abortion laws in the country by forcing women to an­swer questions about race and their relationships, and to listen to a doc­tor talk them through an ultra­sound.
Legal challenges to the laws are in their early stages, but observers say the trajectory of cases could mir­ror that of the partial-birth abortion debate, which went through Ne­braska courts and was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court before Congress made it a federal law that was upheld in 2007.
“That’s an apt comparison,” said Joseph Thai, a professor at the Uni­versity of Oklahoma who specializes in constitutional law and the Supreme Court. “So, expect these Oklahoma laws and the ensuing court decisions to be the first rather than last word on how far a state may go with respect to compulsory procedures and reporting require­ments.”
Opponents of the laws say they were drafted to make a woman’s al­ready difficult decision to have an abortion even more difficult.
One law would require women to fill out a lengthy survey that asks, among other things, about their race, education and reason for seek­ing an abortion. It asks women whether they’re having relationship problems, whether they can’t afford to raise a child or whether having a baby would dramatically change their lives.
Another section requires doctors to provide detailed information about complications that arise as a result of the procedure. The Health Department ultimately would com­pile the information into a statistical report and post it on its Web site.
Supporters say the surveys will prove valuable to understanding why women seek abortions, and that women need to be provided with as much knowledge as possible before making an irrevocable deci­sion.

Why Criticize President Obama?

There have been many debates and much has been written about the criticism that President Obama is receiving. Why criticize a man that has only been in office 9 months? Is the criticism just? I hope to provide some insight.

We are at the tail end of a major economic crisis. Reports are from Fed Chairman Bernanke and Lawrence Summers that we have witnessed the worst of the recession. Having said that, Americans are still feeling the negative impact of the recession. The unemployment rate continues to rise, consumer spending is decreasing, homes are being foreclosed on, and interest rates are very low. All of these contributing factors cause there to be a sense of doom and gloom among Americans.

To take just one recent example. So much has been made of President Obama’s public healthcare proposal. The overall resounding message in the media is one of negativity. Most Republican commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, are creating a sense of uneasiness among Americans. Now, one can debate whether that is justified or not, but it cannot be debated that it is present. When taking all of the things mentioned above into account, the result is an American population on edge.

We currently see an American population that is very defensive. One that is on the lookout for anything that may be interpreted as a provocative act. As Americans we are, to steal a metaphor from the campaign, “clinging to our guns and religion” in this tense time. I think one positive outcome of this crisis and negativity that we are surrounded with is that we are much more of an informed population. This is evident in the recent rise in online bloggers. We are expressing ourselves like never before. We are calling into call in radio and television shows and expressing our views on any given topic. This is a good thing. This is a positive thing for our nation. We need to be a people of expression. One that is willing to stand up in the face of opposition for a position that we feel passionate about. That is what being free is all about. That is what America is all about.

To get back to my opening questions. Is the criticism fair? Is the criticism just? We all have our own opinions on that. But one thing is for sure, we are experiencing politics as never before. This is a positive thing for our country. We should continue to express ourselves and we will all benefit and be better people for it.

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