State employee unions? Not in a lot of states

State employee unions? Not in a lot of states

Whenever Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has asked lawmakers to weaken benefits for state employees, his proposals have met little resistance from workers. Mississippi is among those states — many in the South — where most government employees do not have the right to collective bargaining, the benefit that has caused a political upheaval in Wisconsin […]

Some signs of progress in avoiding government shutdown

Some signs of progress in avoiding government shutdown

Lawmakers appear to be moving closer to a compromise that would prevent a government shutdown, at least for now. Democrats say they’re encouraged by efforts to narrow the gap on possible spending cuts, but are pushing back against Republican efforts to force their position on Congress. House Republicans on Friday detailed a proposal to cut […]

Volunteers keep Wisconsin protest alive

Volunteers keep Wisconsin protest alive

  Harriet Rowan was among the first to join the Wisconsin Capitol protest village. That was on Valentine’s Day, and it was only the next day when thousands of others began camping out with her in the rotunda that the rumor mill, misinformation and confusion took off as fast as the crowd size. “I came […]

New law doesn’t control Christian health plans

New law doesn’t control Christian health plans

The brain tumor came back. An ugly mass growing in plain view threatened Karen Niles’ remaining eye. She needed more surgery. This time, however, her medical plan wouldn’t pay. It sounds like one of those insurance “horror stories” that President Barack Obama hammered home during the fierce debate to pass his health care overhaul. Except […]

Obamas name first male social secretary

Obamas name first male social secretary

The Obama White House broke decades of tradition Friday, naming the first man to ever serve as social secretary. Jeremy Bernard, a senior adviser to the U.S. ambassador to France, will soon trade Paris for Washington and take on the high-profile assignment, the White House announced Friday. That means he’ll be responsible for planning numerous […]

Best Buy, Home Depot run into hard times in China

Best Buy, Home Depot run into hard times in China

Home Depot is no longer open for home improvements in Beijing. Best Buy Inc. decided its brand name electronics stores were not best for China. This may well be the world’s biggest and fastest growing consumer market, but foreign retailers are finding China is no easy sell as tough competition and a boom in online […]

In reality, the government never really shuts down

In reality, the government never really shuts down

Social Security checks would still go out. Troops would remain at their posts. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, though not until later. And virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, would remain open. That’s the little-known truth about a government shutdown. The government doesn’t shut […]

Wisconsin Senate moves to strip public worker union rights

Wisconsin Senate moves to strip public worker union rights

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening. The vote ended three straight days of punishing debate in the Assembly. But the political standoff over the bill […]

Some Republicans ease off anti-union rhetoric

Some Republicans ease off anti-union rhetoric

With a wary eye on Wisconsin, Republican leaders in several states are toning down the tough talk against public employee unions and, in some cases, abandoning anti-union measures altogether. Indiana’s governor urged GOP lawmakers to give up on a “right to work” bill for fear the backlash could derail the rest of his agenda. In […]