President Obama scraps Bush’s missile defense plan in Eastern Europe
Thursday, President Barack Obama canceled the United States’ missile shield plans in Eastern Europe. Former President Bush prepared plans to build the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic to protect against “rogue states” like Iran. President Obama contacted the Polish and Czech governments to alert them of his plan to scrap Bush’s missile shield plans and to map out his new missile defense project. Obama promises that the new project will provide greater protection for America and its allies. It is thought that Obama changed course from the Bush administration missile shield plan because of projections that set the project’s complete date at up to five years later than anticipated.
Dukakis likely to take Senate seat
Michael Dukakis, former presidential contender for the Democratic Party, is a likely candidate for the seat left open by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Dukakis, Paul Kirk Jr., former Lt. Governor Evelyn Murphy, and former state Senate President Robert Travaglini are candidates for the impermanent appointment to the Senate seat.
Tax provision in Baucus proposal upset Democrats
A tax provision located in Max Baucus’ proposed health care bill displeased Democrats Thursday. They feel that the tax provision would burden an already hurting middle class. Baucus’ bill makes obtaining health insurance a requirement and requires health insurance companies to cover those already having health conditions. To support the proposed legislation, Baucus wants to place a tax on family health insurance plans exceeding $21,000 and individual plans exceeding $8,000.
House votes for college aid revamp
Thursday, the House voted for a major revamp of financial aid programs servicing college students. The bill improves need-based grants and creating grants that are intended to boost current rates of graduation.
Former VP Cheney has back surgery
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, age 68, had voluntary back surgery on Thursday. Cheney’s representatives told the press that the procedure was successful and he will be discharged from George Washington University Hospital shortly. Cheney suffered from lumbar spinal stenosis, which caused lower back pain.
Pelosi concerned about course of current health care dialogue
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker expressed her concern that the current anti-government dialogue concerning the volatile health care reform debate is reminiscent of the 1970s gay rights debate. Pelosi warned individuals using “hateful or violent rhetoric” that they are accountable for the outcome.