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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daily Democratic Wire 8-2-2009

George Wenschhof

Yesterday, President Barack Obama and his family took the short Helicopter trip to Camp David - they are spending the night at the presidential retreat and returning on Sunday. The retreat, located about 20 miles north of the City of Frederick, Maryland has quickly become a favorite get-a-way for many presidents.


This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is off to Africa on a seven nation tour - on Wednesday she will head to Kenya to attend the Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA). It will be a busy trip with stops in S. Africa, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde. While in Kenya, Clinton is scheduled to meet with Somalian interim President Sheik Ahmed and promise U.S. aid to his country. You can read more here.


Britain and Australia withdraw from Iraq - the U.S. is now the only country left of the weak coalition built by former President George W. Bush. The complete withdraw of Britain and Australian troops from Iraq was hardly given any media attention. You can read more here.


Back home, unemployment remains a major problems for many Americans - the figures show over 9 million receiving benefits and the unemployment rate at 9.5%. Extension to 79 weeks of benefits were granted by Congress but 500,000 stand to loss benefits by the end of September and another 1 million by the end of the year. Congress will need to look at another extension of benefits. The NY Times has more here.

Earlier, in my life I spent time as an employment and training administrator. I provided testimony to Congress on employment and training programs that led to the enactment of the Job Training Employment and Training Act (JTPA) which resulted in an invitation to the bill signing ceremony by the President. During these high periods of unemployment, what is needed by government is public service employment programs to put people to work providing some public service in their communities. Hopefully, we will see this soon.


Food Safety Bill passes House - with all the attention on health care reform, little notice was given to a food safety bill that was passed by the House 283-142. This is a critical bill as maintaining healthy and safe food system for the future is critical for all Americans. As one could imagine, the bill is coming under fire by all sorts of different agriculture groups and food distributors across the country. The bill now needs to be taken up in the Senate so we'll see how far it goes. has more here.


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