Note to Readers: Off to Boston to Hear The Dalai Lama Speak

I’m heading to the Boston area later today for a 3 days so that I can attend the inaugural event at The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT on Thursday, April 30.  I’ve been granted a press pass from The Center, so I will have a substantial piece on the event when I return from Boston which will be published here on The Democratic Daily. I’m very excited about the opportunity to hear His Holiness, The Dalai Lama speak on the topic of Ethics and Enlightened Leadership. I believe The Dalai Lama is one of the great spiritual leaders of our time and in my quest for inner peace his teaching have always resonated with me. The Center “will … Continue reading

Senator Arlen Specter Switches Parties

The media and the blogosphere are all a buzz and a twitter over the big news today that Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was switching to the Democratic Party. Specter who has been a Republican since 1966 said today in a statement that since his “election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right.” Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans. When I supported the stimulus package, I knew that it would not be popular with the Republican Party. But, I saw the stimulus as necessary to lessen the risk … Continue reading

The GOP and Swine Flu

There are now 40 confirmed cases of the Swine Flu in the U.S. and more than 1600 cases in Mexico. Concern over the outbreak has “cast a shadow over the struggling global economy,” as the spread of Swine Flu “could harm trade and tourism and undermine businesses just as they begin to rally.” John Nichols notes in The Nation today: When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans. Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn … Continue reading

If Things Had Gone Differently…..

President Barack Obama will reach the first 100 days milestone on Wednesday: But what if, things had gone differently? What if, John McCain had been elected? Imagine… “Just Imagine: The First 100 Days of John McCain.”

Labor’s Candidate is President this Workers Memorial Day

What a difference a year makes. When unions observed Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 2008, one of the most anti-union presidents in history was in the White House. As this Workers Memorial Day approaches, we have a new president who was elected with overwhelming union support. Workers Memorial Day is a time when unions hold special services of remembrance for workers who lost their lives on the job. Unions recognize April 28 as Workers Memorial Day because the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was born on that date in 1970. Until Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president in 1981, OSHA did much to improve worker safety and health. OSHA was a watchdog for workers. But it was a lapdog … Continue reading

Swine Flu: U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency

On Sunday, in the wake of 20 confirmed cases of Swine Flu, U.S. health officials declared a public health emergency and other “nations imposed travel bans or made plans to quarantine air travelers as confirmed cases also appeared in Mexico and Canada and suspect cases emerged elsewhere.” The NY Times reports that  the top “global flu experts” are struggling to “predict how dangerous the new A (H1N1) swine flu strain would be as it became clear that they had too little information about Mexico’s outbreak — in particular how many cases had occurred in what is thought to be a month before the outbreak was detected, and whether the virus was mutating to be more lethal, or less.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet … Continue reading

WHO Swine Flu Constitutes a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’

On Saturday, Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared an emergency in Mexico in the wake of the country’s swine flu outbreak. The emergency declaration gives Calderon the “powers to order quarantines and suspend public events.” Dr. Margaret Chan, the director-general of the W.H.O., said on Saturday that the deadly swine flu virus outbreak in Mexico (and the U.S.) constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern.” The W.H.O. convened an emergency meeting of experts on Saturday, but the panel adjourned without raising the global pandemic alert level, saying it wanted more information. Some experts expressed surprise that no action was taken since the Mexico outbreak seems to meet the definition of a Level 4 alert — sustained human-to-human transmission of a new virus. The … Continue reading

Obama Maintains High Public Opinion

President Obama’s first months in the Oval Office have strengthened his “standing with the American public, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, giving him political capital for battles ahead.” As his 100th day as president approaches next Wednesday, the survey shows Obama has not only maintained robust approval ratings but also bolstered the sense that he is a strong and decisive leader who can manage the government effectively during a time of economic crisis. In fact, public opinion of Obama “as a “strong and decisive leader” has jumped 12 percentage points, and his image as an effective manager has gone up 11 points,” since October.