March for Life President Calls for Americans to ‘Fearlessly Continue Marching’

The annual March for Life is set to take place January in Washington, D.C., on the 50th anniversary of the monumental 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. And while some have suggested that pro-life activists should focus on state-level efforts, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini is calling on pro-life Americans to “fearlessly continue marching.”

This will be the first such march since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, saving the lives of over 10,000 babies, by some estimates—and prompting criminals across the nation to attack and vandalize scores of pro-life pregnancy resource centers. The attackers graffitied many of the pregnancy centers with phrases such as “If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.”

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Anti-Christian Violence on the Rise in the U.S. — Five Alabama Churches Attacked Since 2018

A new report from the Family Research Council (FRC) indicates that acts of hostility toward Christian churches in the United States are on the rise. 

In an analysis issued this month, the FRC cited at least 420 acts of hostility against U.S. churches between January 2018 and September 2022. Acts of hostility include vandalism, arson, gun-related incidents, bomb threats and more.

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Venezuela, Cuba, and Argentina Have the Highest Inflation in Latin America

Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina registered the highest inflation in 2022 compared to other Latin American countries, according to figures from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and BCC reports .

The report covers the period between October 2021 and October 2022, where the highest growth of the index is led by the Caribbean country, which accumulates an increase in inflation of 146%, exceeding that of Argentina by more than 50 percentage points (87 8%), the second on the list, and Cuba, which ranked third with 34.2%.

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Commentary: An American Awakening

The seemingly novel developments of the last several years have not taken me by surprise. When I completed American Awakening in May 2020, the national election was still five months into the future, and the stringent measures ostensibly instituted to hold the Wuhan Flu at bay had just been implemented. I thought then that a Democratic Party victory in November 2020 would promise the American electorate a return to normal politics, but in fact would operate on the basis of what, in American Awakening, I called the politics of innocence and transgression; and that if Joe Biden became the Democratic Party nominee, in order to demonstrate that he was the-right-kind-of-white-man, he would champion this sort of politics. 

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Biden Economy Sent Retirement Funds Spiraling, Prompting Mass Bailouts for Union Pensions

America’s pension plans are struggling to meet their financial targets amid ruinous inflation, compromising the retirement of countless Americans. The Biden administration has responded by doling out massive amounts of taxpayer money to bail out retirement funds mostly run by unions.

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Commentary: Remembering Pope Benedict XVI

A couple of months ago I was in a fascinating conversation with a Catholic colleague regarding the papacies of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, here in the ninth year of this curious era, 2013-22, when the world was living with, in effect, two popes of sorts, a reigning pope named Francis and a resigned pope — a “Pope Emeritus” — named Benedict XVI. We were wondering if the latter would, ironically, ultimately outlive the former, who few expected to have a papacy this long. When Francis’ papacy started in 2013, he was already known for poor health, which has progressively gotten worse.

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More than Half of States Poised to Raise Minimum Wage in 2023 as $15 an Hour Gains Traction

Four states will have a $15-an-hour minimum wage by New Year’s Day, while 27 states are poised to raise the minimum wage in 2023.

Some states are enacting the wage change after Jan. 1, so by the end of 2023 there will be six states that are set to have minimum wages at or above $15 an hour. They are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, according to a report last week from the National Employment Law Project.

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Report Shows Tennessee’s Financial Position Improved $7.4 Billion Last Fiscal Year

Tennessee’s financial position is $7.4 billion better than it was the year before, according to the state’s recently released Annual Comprehensive Financial Report.

And the state has a combined fund balance of $19.2 billion, up $5.4 billion from the year before. That leaves the state with $15.8 billion in spendable fund balance with $1.6 billion in a rainy day fund as of June 30, according to the report.

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Statue to Rep. John Lewis to Stand Outside Georgia Courthouse Where Confederate Obelisk Once Stood

The John Lewis Tribute Task Force announced Thursday that Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson would create a sculpture to honor the late Democratic congressman; the sculpture of the civil rights leader will stand outside the historic Decatur courthouse where a Confederate monument once stood.

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Connecticut-Based Helicopter Firm Appeals Army Contract Rejection

With backing from Gov. Ned Lamont, a Connecticut-based company is appealing the U.S. Army’s rejection of its multimillion dollar bid for a defense contract to build long-range helicopters.

Sikorsky Aircraft, maker of the iconic Blackhawk helicopters, had submitted a proposal to the U.S. Army to produce its Defiant-X helicopter as part of the next generation of long-range helicopters. But the Army announced earlier this month that it was awarding the $1.3 billion contract to Bell Textron, a Texas-based company.

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Michigan County to Launch $1 Million Small Business Assistance Program

Up to 100 small businesses in Washtenaw County, Michigan may benefit from $5,000 grants and free assistance programs when the county launches its Small Business Growth Activator in January.

Operated by the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, SBGA is designed to assist online, brick-and-mortar or mobile businesses with seven or fewer employees with a household income less than 80% of Washtenaw County’s median income. The intent is to help businesses that fell through the cracks of qualifying for assistance programs for small businesses, such as the Paycheck Protection Program.

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Attorney General Mark Brnovich Sues Arizona-Based Drug Manufacturer for Misleading Consumers

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) announced Thursday that he had filed a lawsuit against RLC Labs, an Arizona-based natural thyroid tablet producer, for making misleading statements about its products and failing to follow through on promises to consumers.

“Consumers need to be able to trust what drug manufacturers say about their products,” said Brnovich. “Throughout my time as attorney general, my office has been committed to protecting customers from false or misleading statements.”

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State Supreme Court Rules Cleveland Not Required to Refund Millions in Traffic-Camera Tickets

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the city of Cleveland is not required to repay $4.1 million to drivers who improperly paid traffic-camera tickets between 2005 and 2009 due to the motorists paying the fines without contesting them.

A number of drivers who got traffic-camera tickets but did not own the cars they were driving filed a class-action suit in 2009, alleging that the city of Cleveland had unfairly retained the fine money from persons who drove leased, rented, or utilized a vehicle that belonged to their employers. The claimants requested refunds of $4,121,185.89 and an additional $1,842,563.51 in interest.

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Explosion of Mental Health, Academic Problems Among Minnesota Students

Results of the 2022 Minnesota Student Survey have revealed that increasing numbers of middle and high school students are struggling with depression, anxiety, and poor “educational engagement.”

Conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) every three years, the anonymous survey asks fifth-, eighth-, ninth-, and 11th-grade students various questions about their physical and mental health, bullying, school environment, and alcohol and drug use.

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Pennsylvania Gets $100 Million for Public Health, Worker Recruitment

As the year comes to a close, Pennsylvania will get almost $100 million to improve its public health infrastructure, from employee hiring to IT upgrades.

The federal funds, coming from the CDC’s Public Health Infrastructure grant program, provides $98 million to 10 county and municipal health departments. 

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New Legislation for Florida Landlords Takes Effect January 1, Meant to Keep Tenants Safer

Landlords in Florida will have a new set of rules to abide by come Jan. 1 when new legislation goes into effect.

Senate Bill 898, also known as ‘Miya’s Law’, is named after Miya Marcano, a 19-year-old student who was killed in her apartment complex in Orlando in 2021 by a maintenance worker who had access to a master key. The law was designed by lawmakers to provide more safety measures for tenants by keeping records of who has access to a tenant’s property.

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Virginia State Senator Reintroduces Ban on Politicians Accepting Funds from Dominion Energy

State Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) is trying again to pass a ban on politicians accepting campaign funds from Dominion Energy and other utilities.

Petersen’s SB 804, pre-filed for the 2023 General Assembly session, is similar to 2022 bills sponsored by Petersen, State Senator Richard Stuart (R-King George), and Delegate Lee Ware (R-Powhatan). The Senate Privileges and Elections committee killed the Senate bills in bipartisan votes 11 to four.

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Wisconsin State Sen. Kapenga: No Consensus Among Republicans on Tax Plan Yet

Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol aren’t yet on the same page about tax reform in the new year, but they are in almost total agreement on new state spending.

Senate President Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, told Matt Kittle on News Talk 1130 WISN on Tuesday that the Republicans who control the state legislature are still talking about what to do with Wisconsin’s record $6.6 billion surplus, and calls for tax reform.

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Illegal Immigrants Set to Fill Up Arizona Colleges in 2023

Arizona colleges are preparing to enroll more illegal immigrants this spring after voters approved a ballot measure to allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition, Arizona Public Media reported.

Voters approved Proposition 308 during the midterm elections with 51.7% of the vote to allow all students to receive in-state tuition regardless of immigration status so long as they graduated from an Arizona high school which they attended for a minimum of two years. Undocumented students will be eligible for in-state tuition prices beginning in January, Arizona Board of Regents Chair Lyndell Manson told APM.

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Commentary: Seven Financial Tips from the Book of Proverbs

Ask someone from the millennial or Generation Z crowds about tech-related topics and you’ll likely get an encyclopedia of knowledge pouring forth. Ask those same cohorts about a financial decision or money-related matter and you just might get a deer-in-the-headlights look.

Over two-thirds of people ages 18-41 have “financial topics they want advice on,” a Harris Poll found earlier this year, “but aren’t sure how to get it.” And given that 70 percent of millennials and 65 percent of Generation Z live paycheck to paycheck, it’s not hard to imagine what types of financial advice might be needed.

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Commentary: Eisenhower Was a Conservative in Action, Not Ideology

When Dwight D. Eisenhower left the presidency at the age of 70, there was excitement in the air as the torch of power was passed to “a new generation” exemplified by 43-year-old John F. Kennedy. The national media fawned over the new president, while Eisenhower, the old soldier, faded away at his Gettysburg farm. The country was about to learn the importance of character in its leaders.

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Washington State Senators File Constitutional Amendment to Double-Down on Abortion Rights

Two Washington state senators have proposed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the rights to obtain an abortion and to use contraception in the state, both of which are already codified in state law. 

The proposed amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 8202, was filed Dec. 21 by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, and Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, at the request of Gov. Jay Inslee according to a joint statement from the lawmakers.

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Blue States Worry They Can’t Pay Out Retirement Benefits

Three high-profile Democratic governors are struggling to stabilize their states’ retirement programs due to a falling stock market and may have difficulties paying out benefits in the coming years, according to Politico.

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, all of whom are considered potential candidates for the 2024 presidential race, have poured billions of dollars into their states’ pension funds, according to Politico. They may struggle to maintain their public images if they’re forced to raise taxes or make budget cuts to keep pension payments flowing.

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California Saw Six-Figure Population Drop as Gov. Newsom Ran ‘Join Us’ Ads

California residents are still leaving the blue state in droves despite Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s summer ad campaign urging Florida residents to “join” the blue state.

California’s population decreased by six-figures as 343,230 people fled the state in 2022, according to data from the United States Census Bureau. The population decline follows a 30-second advertisement from July in which Newsom urged Floridians to move to the blue state where he claimed they “still believe in freedom.”

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