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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 84,390

Journal Archives

Union membership drops to record low in 2022

Source: Politico

Union membership hit an all-time low in 2022 despite a surge in organizing efforts that emerged during the pandemic.

The percentage of U.S. workers who belong to a union dropped from 10.3 percent to 10.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday, as the job market added non-unionized workers at a faster rate than unionized workers. That’s the lowest the figure has been since the agency first started tracking comparable data nearly four decades ago.

The decline comes despite the highest union approval rate in decades and a pro-union administration — and backs up earlier findings that while many workers view organized labor favorably, that doesn’t always mean they want to join its ranks. Gallup reported earlier this year that while 71 percent of Americans view unions favorably, 58 percent of non-unionized workers say they are “not interested at all” in joining a union.

Workers launched a series of high-profile unionization drives in 2022, including at nationwide chains Amazon and Starbucks. The federal agency that oversees union elections, National Labor Relations Board, reported a 53 percent uptick in petitions filed during the fiscal year.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/19/union-membership-drops-to-record-low-in-2022-00078525

'Boy Meets World' Star Ben Savage Is Planning a Run for Congress


Ben Savage, best known for his portrayal of Cory Matthews on Boy Meets World, is planning a run for Congress.

Paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday shows the creation of a committee for Savage's campaign. Savage's run as a Democrat will be in California's 30th District seat, currently held by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank.

Schiff is expected to run for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's seat, although Feinstein has yet to make a decision on her future, according to Deadline.

'Boy Meets World' Star Ben Savage Is Engaged to Girlfriend Tessa Angermeier: 'The Best Is Yet to Come'
PEOPLE's attempts to reach the Savage campaign were unsuccessful on Wednesday night.

America Hit Its Debt Limit, Raising Economic Fears

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The United States hit its debt limit on Thursday, prompting the Treasury Department to begin using a series of accounting maneuvers to ensure the federal government can keep paying its bills.

In a letter to Congress, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said the government would begin using what’s known as “extraordinary measures” to prevent the nation from breaching its statutory debt limit and asked lawmakers to raise or suspend the cap so that the government can continue meeting its financial obligations.

“The period of time that extraordinary measures may last is subject to considerable uncertainty, including the challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. Government months into the future,” Ms. Yellen said. “I respectfully urge Congress to act promptly to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”

The milestone of hitting the country’s $31.4 trillion debt cap is the product of decades of tax cuts and increased government spending by both Republicans and Democrats. But at a moment of heightened partisanship and divided government, it is also a warning of the entrenched partisan battles that are set to dominate Washington in the months to come, and that could end in economic shock.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/19/us/politics/debt-limit-economy.html

Let us pray...


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns ahead of election

Source: Washington Post

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who won global praise for her leadership style during the coronavirus pandemic, announced her resignation Thursday ahead of national elections later this year.

"I have given my absolute all to being Prime Minister but it has also taken a lot out of me," Ardern, 42, said in a statement. "You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges that inevitably come along."

Lawmakers representing her ruling center-left Labour Party will vote Sunday on a new leader, who will lead the party to a national election Oct. 14.

The news came as such a surprise that Ardern had to dismiss suggestions she was trying to get ahead of a scandal by resigning, or was stepping down because her party has been trailing the main conservative opposition in recent voter polls.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/01/18/jacinda-ardern-resigns-new-zealand/

Come early for good seats...


George Santos' latest doozy: Records show his mom wasn't in NYC on 9/11

Source: The Forward

Newly obtained documents from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services show that U.S. Rep. George Santos’ mother, Fatima A.C.H. Devolder, was not in the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, as he has claimed.

The Forward reviewed more than 90 pages of Santos’ mother’s immigration paperwork, from 1988 to 2012. The records confirm previous news reports that the congressman lied about key aspects of his family history, and reveal new details about his story. The idea that his mother survived the 9/11 attacks is one of several instances in which Santos has falsely claimed connections to tragic events.

Santos’ troubles began in December, when The New York Times revealed that the newly elected congressman fabricated large swaths of his resume. Shortly after, the Forward broke the story that those lies included the prominent claim on his campaign website that his grandparents had fled anti-Jewish persecution in Belgium and then Ukraine before World War II. In fact, his grandparents were born in Brazil in 1927 and 1918.

Since then, stories of deceit and criminality have become daily media fodder. Allegations include campaign finance law violations to stealing a former roommate’s scarf. Prosecutors in Queens and Long Island are investigating whether any of the lies violated the law, and local Republicans are among those who have called for his immediate resignation. But House Republican leaders have resisted those calls, and on Tuesday announced he would serve on two House committees: Small Business and Science, Space and Technology.

Read more: https://forward.com/news/532350/george-santos-congressman-lie-about-9-11-newly-released-documents/

Trump criticizes evangelical leaders for not backing his 2024 presidential bid

Source: CNN

Just days before Donald Trump hosts his first 2024 event in South Carolina, a state whose evangelical population has long played a critical role in its presidential primary, the former president is lashing out at religious conservatives who have declined to endorse his third presidential campaign.

Trump’s comments to conservative journalist David Brody in a podcast interview Monday, in which he decried the “disloyalty” of evangelical leaders who have withheld public support for his campaign, were the latest in a series of bewildering remarks he’s made about one of the most critical voting blocs in a Republican primary.

“Nobody has ever done more for Right to Life than Donald Trump. I put three Supreme Court justices, who all voted, and they got something that they’ve been fighting for 64 years, for many, many years,’” Trump told Brody, referring to the Supreme Court’s overturning of federal abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision last summer.

“There’s great disloyalty in the world of politics and that’s a sign of disloyalty,” Trump continued, bemoaning evangelical leaders who have declined to support his latest campaign.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/18/politics/donald-trump-evangelicals-2024/index.html

Major Israeli Supreme Court ruling rocks Netanyahu's coalition

Source: Axios

The Israeli Supreme Court in a 10-1 ruling revoked the appointment of Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and a key ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a senior minister in the government.

Why it matters: The decision could dramatically escalate the constitutional crisis in Israel and accelerate the government’s effort to push forward its plan for weakening Israel’s judicial system.

It could also create a political crisis that would likely destabilize the coalition.

Catch up quick: Deri, one of Israel’s most powerful politicians, has been convicted of criminal offenses twice, including last year, when he agreed to a plea bargain in which he admitted to tax offenses.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/2023/01/18/israeli-supreme-court-revokes-appointment-of-minister-aryeh-deri

AG Josh Stein running for NC-GOV

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