By Carolyne Zinko Updated 3:36 pm PDT, Monday, July 9, 2018 Photo: Antonio Guillem / Getty Images/iStockphoto Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 The nonstop stream of news and information on social media can lead to overwhelming anxiety and even outrage. The nonstop stream of news and information on social media can lead to overwhelming anxiety and even outrage. Photo: Antonio Guillem / Getty Images/iStockphoto Modest proposals for handling smartphone stress and outrage overload 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Not long ago, I went to remote Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean for an annual vacation. Even with improvements in technology over the years, there are still occasional, island-wide power outages and trouble with WiFi signals. This would bother some people, but I love it. It forces me to detach. This is not … [Read more...] about Modest proposals for handling smartphone stress and outrage overload
A modest proposal
The nation's federal food-stamp program is at the center of an ideological firestorm. On one side are supporters of a bill moving through Congress that would impose stiffer work requirements on beneficiaries in exchange for food aid; on the other, anti-hunger advocates say the plan would make life more precarious for already struggling families. As the debate rages, one state offers a useful test case for assessing the potential impact of revamping food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), at the national level. Maine introduced work requirements in 2014 under Governor Paul LePage's push to reform its welfare programs. By one measure, the initiative is a success: The state's roll of food-stamp recipients declined from 209,000 residents in 2014 to about 171,000 people as of February. "Revenues from people who have gone back to work are up 114 to 120 percent," he told Fox News earlier this year. "People are dropping out of the system." Yet … [Read more...] about Must work for food stamps: A modest proposal or recipe for hunger?
By Sen. Steve Glazer | PUBLISHED: April 21, 2018 at 8:45 am | UPDATED: April 21, 2018 at 8:48 am California’s public employee pension system, designed in the last century, is woefully in need of an update. The current plan rests on promises made to employees for their retirement that cannot be fulfilled with the money that the state has so far set aside. Taxpayers are already on the hook for tens of billions of dollars for these unfunded liabilities, with the potential that the entire system could collapse if future investment earnings don’t match projections. The state’s scramble to close that gap with ever-bigger payments to the retirement fund is crowding out funding for education, health care, public safety and other crucial services. But there is another, hidden problem with the current system. It represents a transfer of wealth from younger, shorter-term employees to older workers who spend their entire careers working for the state. And in an age when … [Read more...] about Opinion: Give public workers a 401(k) alternative to pensions
With lawmakers resuming their legislative session after a postelection hiatus, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday said his top priority was a full-year budget — a feat the Republican governor and Democrat-controlled General Assembly have not accomplished together since he took office in 2015.Rauner called a Thursday meeting of the four legislative leaders from both parties, the first since he survived a bruising primary battle that showed a deep divide among Republicans. And he ticked off a list of other goals for the coming months that he said were “really bipartisan or nonpartisan” and “not about Republicans or Democrats.”The agenda Rauner laid out, though, is largely a repeat of the wish list he’s been pushing for several years. Much of it has been aggressively opposed by Democrats or has stalled amid partisan rancor at the Capitol.The governor’s list includes allowing local governments to ask voters about getting around union wage requirements and … [Read more...] about Rauner says he’ll prioritize a budget agreement with Democrats, which has eluded him so far
Matteo Salvini at a campaign rally in Milan. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP The Northern League once hovered on the fringe of Italian politics, a regional party whose primary policy was secession from the rest of Italy. Now, with a new leader and a new programme, as well as an alliance that could give it a shot at national power, is it accurate to describe the League as an extremist force? You’ll often hear the Northern League – or as it recently rechristened itself, the League – described in the English-language media as a far-right party, including by this website. It has threatened to take Italy out of the euro and even the European Union. It bitterly opposes immigration. It has promised to expel migrants in Italy illegally en masse. Its leadership describes Islam as “incompatible” with Italian values. In early February, one of its former candidates in local elections shot six people of African origin in a racially motivated attack. Looking at the … [Read more...] about Is Italy’s League a ‘far-right’ party?