Michigan Passes Right to Work Bill
Protests yesterday in part of Family Life Nation, as union
supporters gathered at the Michigan Capitol to voice opposition to votes on new
Freedom To Work legislation that passed the State ` House and Senate. These bills stop private unions from
requiring non-union employees to pay union fees, but do NOT take away
collective bargaining rights. Bills
dealing with public-sector unions will be coming later. Both chambers were filled as the debate took
place, and the crowd outside got a little unruly at times. 8 arrests were made as some tried to push
past state troopers to get into the Senate chamber.
Muslim Brotherhood Tightens Control in Egypt
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi angrily responded to
protestors yesterday, refusing to stop a referendum on the new constitution
there, which has already helped spark riots outside his palace in Cairo this week. At least six people died and another 700 were
injured in those protests. Opponents of
the new constitution are upset at both the lack of input from those outside the
Muslim Brotherhood and at the new powers it grants Morsi. The referendum on it will take place as
scheduled a week from tomorrow.
Treasury Secretary Says Tax Rates Will God in Any “Fiscal
The main spokesperson for the Obama administration in the
fiscal cliff talks says they are absolutely ready to go over that cliff if the
House doesn’t sign off on higher tax rates for the top 2-percent. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither told CNBC
this week “there is no prospect of an agreement that does not involve the rates
going up.” Republicans have proposed
getting that extra revenue through capping deductions and doing away with tax
write-offs. House Speaker John Boehner
and President Obama reportedly spoke on the phone a couple of days ago, but
still no plans for face-to-face meetings.
Jobs Report Sluggish
Good news and bad news on the jobs front. First the good – first time claims are down
this week. The bad news is the numbers
themselves still don’t look all that good.
Labor experts say an improving economy would have around 300-thousand
new claims per week. The latest numbers
are 408-thousand. And that’s just the
initial reports. Lately those numbers
have been tweaked upwards later. The national unemployment rate improved to
National Christmas Tree Shining Brightly
I guess it’s officially Christmastime now. President Obama and the whole first family lit
the National Christmas Tree yesterday.
It’s located in President’s Park right next to the White House. This is the 90th annual tree lighting,
started by Calvin Coolidge back in 1923.
Heritage Foundation Taps SC Senator for Top Job
Republicans are losing one of their leading voices in the
Senate. South Carolina Senator Jim
DeMint has announced he’s stepping down from his seat to head up the Heritage
Foundation, a conservative think tank.
He’ll leave the Senate next month and start his new job in April. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will announce
a replacement, who would then have to run for re-election in 2014.
Church Around the World
Translating the Bible into All 6800 World Languages
New numbers from Wycliffe Bible Translators show a lot of
progress in getting the Word into more languages. There are now 2,075 Scripture translation
projects in progress, which leaves fewer than 2,000 still in need of a project
to get started. There are an estimated
6,800 languages spoken around the world, and Wycliffe’s goal is to have the
Bible translated in all of them by 2025.
More at www.Wycliffe.org.
Happy Winter Holiday Charlie
Back in 1965 when Charles Schulz put together the Charlie
Brown Christmas special, where Linus tells us all about the true meaning of
Christmas, not everyone at CBS was on board with it. Here we are more than 45 years later and it’s
still causing controversy. The latest
comes from a church in Little Rock,
Arkansas which canceled a
performance of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” after atheists complained that
students on a field trip should not be exposed to the Christian themes in
it. That all comes in spite of the fact
that parents were told in advance and an alternative was provided. The church
plans to continue to offer performances of the play on the weekend.
Family & Relationships
I Now Pronounce You Man and Man
The state of Washington
is now issuing homosexual marriage licenses.
That started yesterday after passing at the ballot box last month. Voters in Maryland
and Maine did
the same thing.
If finding a new job is on your New Year’s Resolution list,
make sure your anti-virus is up to date.
come out with their list of the top jobs for 2013, and Software Developers is
right on top with expected growth of 7-percent.
The rest of the top five in order:
Accountants, Marketing Specialists, Computer Systems Analysts, and Human
Resources. Get the full list at CareerBuilder.com.
Bring Your Own Plate
You take extra care to wash your hands and guard against
germs when you go out to the restaurant.
You may want to start bringing your own dishes too. New research out of Ohio State
suggests that the current protocols for washing dishware in restaurants isn’t
enough to guard against the stomach flu.
What’s more it’s the dishes that were hand washed that are more likely
to contain traces of bacteria than those cleaned in a commercial dishwasher.
Media Multi-Tasking and Depression
If you think getting your kids the Wii or X-Box for
Christmas will make them happy, think again.
New research out of Michigan
State shows that people
who multi-task with their media, like playing a computer game while they’re
watching TV, have a higher risk for anxiety and depression. What they don’t know is whether the
multi-tasking caused the depression or whether people who are depressed are
turning to that as a distraction.
Dealing with COPD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is the third
leading cause of death in America. It affects some 24 million people, and Dr.
Richard Casaburi says 80 to 90-percent are smokers. So, he says, “Stop smoking!
Second get diagnosed, go to your doctor. There’s a
very simple test: you blow into a machine that will diagnose COPD and how
severe it is. And then get treated. We don’t have cures, unfortunately, but we
do have treatments that make breathing easier. More tips at the website
for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.