President Barack Obama declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, giving his health chief the power to let hospitals move emergency rooms offsite to speed treatment and protect noninfected patients. (10/24/09 ABC News, Philip Elliott) … Read Article
1. Discuss the specific purpose of the presidential emergency declaration.
2. “The national emergency declaration was the second of two steps needed to give Sebelius extraordinary powers during a crisis.” According to the article, what was the first step taken to grant the Secretary of Health and Human Services power to act during a crisis?
AARP, which has lost tens of thousands of members over its support for efforts to revamp the health care system has embarked on a new campaign aimed to retain members worried about cuts to their Medicare benefits.(9/2/09 ABC News, Mimi Hall) … Read Article
1. Who is Ted Campbell? Why is AARP trying to retain him as a member?
2. Discuss the content of AARP’s new national campaign.
Colleges across the country have stepped up efforts to combat the swine flu as the first few weeks of classes brought outbreaks to some campuses, and a few deaths. (9/15/09 ABC News on campus, Matthew Nojiri) … Read Article
1. What did Emory university do to protect its student population from swine flu?
2. Discuss the specific role the Syracuse university mascot will play in the school’s effort to combat the swine flu.
From the South to the West, these are the places where people are the poorest. (10/19/09 ABC News, Joshua Zumbrun) … Read Article
1. What, according to Mike Perez, accounts for the pocket of poverty in the metropolitan statical areas?
2. What is responsible for the emerging poverty in the industrial Midwest?
The President calls on Congress to seize this opportunity one that may not come again for decades and finally pass health care reform: Its about every family unable to keep up with soaring out of pocket costs and premiums rising three times faster than wages. (7/18/09 The White House)
1. Discuss what President Obama say is the argument of the opponents of health care reform.
2. Discuss some of the benefits of health care reform according to President Obama.
Dr. Charles Boustany (R-LA), representing the Republicans, responds to President Obama’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress on September 9(9/9/09 ABC News.com)
1. What are the four areas of agreement mentioned by Dr. Boustany?
2. Discuss the areas of disagreement between the Republicans and Democrats, according to Dr. Boustany.
In one of our recent polls we asked MPSL students if President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. The result: 43% of the students believe he deserves the award; 47% said no; while 10 said they don’t know. In a related nation-wide poll by Gallup, the President’s job approval rating increased to 56% in the days following the Nobel Prize, from 50% a week before and 53% three days before the award. For the full poll result visit http://www.gallup.com/poll/123629/Obama-Job-Approval-56-After-Nobel-Win.aspx?version=print. Results were retrieved on 10/18/09, 8:00 PM PST.
Some critics believe that President Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. What do you think?
Several organizations are calling on a justice of the peace to resign after he refused to marry an interracial couple, saying any children the couple might have would suffer. Keith Bardwell has served as a justice of the peace for 34 years. (10/16/09 Associated Press)
1. What was the reason given by the justice of the peace for denying marriage license to couple? Do you agree or disagree with the justice of the peace? Why?
2. Do you think Keith Bardwell should resign as justice of the peace?
The U.S. Congress Is Debating Expiring “USA Patriot Act” Key Provisions – what to keep and what to let expire . (10/08/09 News1News)
1. Discuss the original purpose of the Patriot Act.
2. What key provisions of the Patriot Act did Congress vote to keep?
Brendan Langen is in an enviable position. Like many recent college graduates, the Indiana University alum has about $20,000 in student loan debt. But unlike former students who repay their loans over 20 years, he will spend the next two to three living rent-free with his parents and directing $12,000 of his annual take-home salary into paying off his debt early. (10/18/09 ABC News on Campus, David K. Randall) … Read Article
1. What, according to the article, is a downside of variable interest rates?
2. Discuss the various ways to cut interest rates if you are accelerating your loan repayment.