National and International Issues Overview

July 30, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

1. National economic situation: The stimulus package passed in early 2009 undoubtedly salvaged the economy from the brink of collapse.

However, need to work on policies to produce quick results in job growth and economic recovery. The legislative actions are encouraging and the public satisfaction is dependent upon their experience in job search and security as well as the overall economy.

The Democrats’ determination and diligence in passing several life- saving legislations deserve attention and re-election in November 2010.

Congratulations! To President Barack Obama, the Democratic Congress and the three Republican members on the financial regulations. Continuous monitoring to improve the housing market and the credit crunch would expedite the economic revival.

2. National Health care reform: Health care reform is historic and will be beneficial to the millions uninsured upon the legislative measures being effective in 2014 and 2019 respectively.

Meanwhile, the average Americans are still hurting especially the patients with pre-existing illnesses are currently denied medical access.

The year 2014 might appear around the corner but not to the people battling with life and death as they desperately seek immediate health care.

Interim health care assistance through legislative enhancements and pressuring health insurers to refrain from health coverage denial including the premium hikes in particular is quintessential to gain public acknowledgment.

The nomination of “Health Care Director,” to oversee Medicare and other federal health care programs is a sound approach to the status quo anomalies.

3. Energy Policy: The legislation in motion for review and debate is a monumental challenge considering the energy industry lobbying power.

As highlighted earlier, the offshore drilling is a proven disaster. Focus on clean renewable energy sources away from fossil fuel and nuclear energy to avoid not only environmental catastrophes but also restraining the nuclear proliferation is the only viable option for energy independence and environmental protection.

4. Immigration: Passing the immigration bill with amnesty for the estimated 12 million immigrants in the country besides strict border patrol to curb drug and arms trade is no longer an option but a necessity.

5. Education: Federal Grants and state funding are impressive in promoting quality education to prepare the American workforce for the competitive global economy. Again, the reality is not reflective of the generous provisions as the school districts struggle to maintain the regular academic standard. Therefore, oversight in the appropriate use of federal funds is vital.

6. Improving Race Relations: The recent legislation by Congress against the discriminatory rule in drugs and substance abuse among different racial groups is a progressive change.

Similarly, it should be extended to the abuses in the court rooms towards the ethnic groups that are simply not a matter of discussion or concern, since racial prejudice is presumed to affect only the prominent minorities.

The inherently flawed legal decisions due to judicial authorities’ predisposition against the ethnic members suggest the lack of diversity in the judiciary to serve the overwhelming immigrant population with fairness at the state and national level.

Contrarily, dispute resolutions and Ombuds Programs by the county are highly recommended as the first choice because of its excellent merits such as the individuals’ objectivity, patience and listening skills.

The free service is offered by professionals who volunteer to help the community on a range of issues. The mediators offering their valuable time to help society in itself speaks volume about their commitment and dedication to serve in the best interests of both parties. They are reasonable and result oriented apart from saving costs for everyone involved.

7. Foreign Policy: Tremendous input through peaceful negotiations and diplomacy is a priority in resolving disputes. The President’s efforts in the beginning following the inauguration raised international hope. Then understandably the administration time is largely devoted towards national issues.

Nevertheless, the major international on-going conflicts require momentum viz. Israeli Palestinian peace process not barring freedom for Tibet, Burma, Iran, North Korea…enduring oppression and persecution.

A. United Nations Security Council expansion is paramount in dealing with global crisis. As suggested earlier, the present U.N. Security Council permanent membership is inadequate and do not reflect the twenty first century economic, political and social environment.

B. Allowing neutral global partners like Japan, Brazil, India, Germany, South Africa, Turkey and United Arab Emirates with veto power would fairly represent the multidimensional world in solving the deepening regional problems.

8. Afghanistan: Preparation for troop withdrawal and deploying forces to improve Afghan lives in addition to empowering them to form an efficient government is urgently desirable at the national and international front.

9. Iraq Responsibility: Adhering to the U.S and Iraq time line withdrawal would ease the economic burden on the U.S. taxpayers.

At the same time, pressuring the Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to honor the democratic mandate in the March 2010 elections by allowing the secular political power with the Shiite leader Ayad Allawi is critical in addressing the political stalemate. It’s a serious national security crisis for Iraq while the U.S and allies are faced with an economic liability from it.

Political stability and not U.S. military presence is the response to the Iraqi quagmire.

Unequivocally, U.S. withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq would contribute to national deficit reduction.

10. Job creation, housing market and the economy are imperative for most Americans.

Finally, despite vigorous opposition the legislative achievements by the Democratic Congress members in the House and the Senate and President Barack Obama’s administration are phenomenal.

Evidently, the law makers instrumental in the successful legislation have earned re-election opportunity in November 2010 to lead the nation towards prosperity.

Good Luck! to President Barack Obama and the Congress members in their future endeavors.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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