[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/05/04/new.york.bomb.suspect/story.suspect.times.square.orkt.jpg caption="Faisal Shahzad often wore black and jogged at night, ex-neighbor says" width=300 height=169]
The suspect in the failed Times Square car bombing is a Pakistani who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in April 2009 and was on a national security no-fly list.
Faisal Shahzad, 30, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was arrested Monday night at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as his flight to Dubai was about to take off, law enforcement officials said.
He was able to board the plane because he made his reservation on the way to the airport and it takes time to check flight manifests against no-fly lists, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.
David Gewirtz | BIO
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://img2.timeinc.net/health/images/gallery/living/mebills-insurance-nightmare-400.jpg caption="Gewirtz: Keep an eye on insurance company practices." width=300 height=169]
I don't normally like to criticize other media outlets, both because it's poor professional practice and because they're generally smarter than me. But when it comes to wearing rose-colored glasses about something as important as America's health care, I feel the need to step up.
This week, The New York Times posted an editorial entitled "End to Rescission, and More Good News". This wasn't an editorial by one of their columnists, this was an official Times editorial.
In it, the editors crow about how, after getting spanked recently, insurers have decided to eliminate the practice of rescission four months earlier than the new law's September 2010 deadline. The editors describe this as early evidence that the health care reform law is starting to work.
Rescission, if you're not aware, is the practice where health insurance companies drop your coverage if you get too sick. I wrote about it in depth in The Healthcare Hostage Crisis: Insurance is no assurance last September.
Here's the thing. Each year, the American health care industry takes in considerably more than we spend on national defense. It's the single largest industry in the world - and in the history of mankind.
In other words, it's worth a lot of money.
Good PR is also worth a lot of money. Good PR deflects investigation, it reduces scrutiny, and it dampens down anger. So if the insurance companies can get some good PR for a change, it's good for their businesses over the long term.
Saying they're eliminating the practice of rescission is good PR. But our insurance industry has shown they're champions of gaming the system.
So here's my caution to all insurance company customers, members of the press, and America's political leadership: don't trust them all that much.
Keep an eye on insurance company practices. Insurance might not drop customers when they're sick, but will they delay payment? Will they decline coverage or make it harder for the patients to get care in other ways? Will they find other excuses to prevent paying out for the big procedures?
We're talking billions (and, over the longer term, trillions) of dollars here. We'd be fools to think America's insurance industry is just going to roll over and give in all that easily.
Follow David on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz.
Editor’s note: David Gewirtz is Director of the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the ZATZ magazines. He is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts and a top expert on saving and creating jobs. He is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberterrorism Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley extension, a recipient of the Sigma Xi Research Award in Engineering and was a candidate for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Letters.
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/05/04/zelizer.boycott.arizona/tzleft.julian.zelizer.jroemer.jpg caption="Zelizer: Economic boycott has often been a powerful tool in the struggle for social rights" width=300 height=169]
In response to Arizona's law cracking down on illegal immigration, pro-immigration and Hispanic organizations have launched a national protest campaign.
Protests took place in more than 90 cities on Saturday to remind politicians of the size of the immigrant community. Jorge-Mario Cabrera from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, California, told reporters: "If Republicans and Democrats do not take care of this albatross around our necks, this will in fact be the undoing of many, many years of civil rights struggle in this country." In his city, more than 60,000 people turned out for a downtown rally.
While Republicans and Democrats have been panicking about the backlash they could face if they supported liberalized immigration policies, it is becoming clear that they didn't pay enough attention to what the costs of these positions could be for their party and the states they represent.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/05/01/oil.spill.geography/smlvid.wetland.afp.gi.jpg caption="Even as the massive response continues, the political battle over the spill is just heating up." width=300 height=169]
It's been a long time since we've heard the old saying that politics stops at the water's edge. When it comes to the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig wreck in the Gulf of Mexico — still spewing thousands of barrels of petroleum into the open ocean, with no clear end in sight — it hasn't taken long for politics to wade offshore.
With the growing sheen of oil holding off the Gulf Coast, thanks to shifting and difficult weather, more than 70 environmental groups on Monday called on the Senate to keep any expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling out of upcoming climate and energy legislation.(See pictures of the Gulf oil spill.)
In California, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the accident had caused him to drop his support for new offshore drilling in his state. "You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster," he told reporters. "You say to yourself, 'Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?' "
CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/05/03/oil.spill.environmental.impacts/t1larg.louisiana.marsh.gi.jpg caption="Administration officials meet with BP execs to discuss spill response" width=300 height=169]
Lawmakers will meet with environmental groups Tuesday to gauge the impact from an explosion aboard a BP oil rig that uncorked a gusher of oil off the coast of Louisiana.
Democratic senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey along with Bill Nelson of Florida will talk to officials from the Sierra Club and Environment America to discuss courses of action as the impact of a potential disaster continues to unfold.
On Monday, the lawmakers introduced legislation to do away with an existing $75 million cap on oil companies for damages resulting from spills, such as loss of tourism revenue.
The senators want to raise the cap to $10 billion.