Saturday, December 19, 2009

Climate, Tiger and Health

For the last few days, I have been pondering what to write about for a weekly column in an Internet site. It is not always easy to find a topic to write about. Well, the climate summit in Copenhagen where both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton participated is definitely an important one for all, and surely for someone like me who was born in Bangladesh – a country that has been projected as one of the worst potential sufferers of the climate change. But the subject seemed too boring with all the coverage it already had received from the media. Very few readers may not have known or read about it. If you still have not, here is the latest news. The U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said Saturday that a "deal has been reached" that could be the framework for a binding global climate change treaty. "Finally we sealed the deal and it is a real deal. Bringing world leaders to the table paid off," Ban said. "The Copenhagen Accord may not be everything that everyone hoped for but this decision of the conference of parties is a beginning, an essential beginning." Moon said the non-binding deal called for all countries to limit global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius. He said the deal was a step toward creating a legally binding treaty. "The deal is backed by money and the means to deliver it. Up to $30 billion has been pledged for adaptations and mitigation," Ban said. But don’t be surprised if at the last moment something different putting a dent to the wishful claims of Ban happens.

Then there is the story of the week about Tiger Woods’s infidelity. If you don’t know already, Tiger is the best known professional golf player of our time. Last year he made $110 million from his wins and endorsements, making him the richest sportsman. The Associated Press recently honored him as the Athlete of the Decade. Everything seemed to have been going right for this talented athlete, married to a former Swedish model, well until now. Recently he was revealed as a cheating husband who had extra-marital sexual relationship with more than a dozen girls and prostitutes. It is not the kind of image his sponsors had hoped of him all these years. A USA Today/Gallup poll taken in December 2009 found that Tigers’s "favorable" rating fell to 33 percent in December from 85 percent in June 2005, and 88 percent in 2000. Thus, sponsors are now dropping him like a wiped tissue in the toilet. His 29-year old wife Elin Nordegren is leaving him, too. A source close to Woods's wife told ABC Wednesday that a "divorce is 100 percent on." Nordegren was recently photographed without her wedding ring. There are new reports that Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren have already begun the divorce process.

But probably the most important event of this week is the Democratic Party Healthcare Bill at the Senate floor. The Democratic Party got an early Christmas present when the U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (Democrat) of Nebraska on Saturday threw his support behind the Democrats' health care reform bill, giving the party the crucial backing it needed to avoid a Republican filibuster that would prevent a Senate vote. The Senate could vote on the entire bill, a top priority of President Obama, before Christmas. The vote will be along the party line.

Obama said the Senate's health care reform bill would be the largest deficit-reduction measure in a decade. "We are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality," he said. "With today's developments, it now appears that the American people will have the vote they deserve on genuine reform that offers security to those who have health insurance and affordable options for those who do not." According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation would offer a decrease in the deficit of $132 billion over the first decade, and more than $1 trillion in the 10 years after that, Obama said at a brief news conference.

You may recall from my past columns that the health care reform bill was not going anywhere with the opposition from the Republican Party, especially the traitorous activity of Joe Lieberman, the Jewish senator from Connecticut. He is an Independent senator, and not a Democrat any more. He was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000 and is known as a very hawkish, war party candidate, with an unwavering allegiance to the rogue state of Israel. Last week, the Democrats were counting on his support for the health bill after the public option was removed to appease him and several conservative Democrats. But Joe Lieberman betrayed his Senate colleagues and the American people once again. Lieberman appeared on the Sunday talk shows, vowing to work with Republicans to kill the bill. His opponents have dumped him as “traitorous”, “spiteful” and an individual who “has no shame”. Now with Ben Nelson’s endorsement, it seems the health bill is not going to be made a hostage to the evil ploys and tricks of Lieberman.

Lastly, we had almost 18 inches of snow in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, breaking all previous records of snow accumulation at this time of the year. I spent nearly two hours to clear snow from my driveway during the early afternoon. At the time, we had about 8 to 10 inches of snow. As I write, another 10 inches have piled up which I need to remove before it freezes to solid ice. I have to get back to snow shoveling now. So long from snowy Philadelphia! Keep warm! Best wishes of the holiday season!

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