AirTalk for October 17, 2013

Washington Landmarks Begin To Re-Open As Government Shutdown Ends

Budget and debt ceiling deal reached… for now

Congress has passed a deal to reopen the partially shut-down government and raise the debt ceiling until mid-January, ending a two week-long impasse in the Capitol. The deal, hammered out by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, was quickly passed yesterday by the chamber. Before the end of the night, House members had voted the bill in 285 to 144. President Obama signed it just after midnight Thursday.
San Jose Mayor Check Reed filed papers on Tuesday to put the public pension measure on the ballot.
Leading a coalition of mayors from San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Anaheim, and Pacific Grove, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed filed papers on Tuesday with the Attorney General’s office seeking to put a public pension measure on next year’s statewide ballot. If approved, the Pension Reform Act of 2014 would give state and local governments the power to lower current employees’ pension and retiree health benefits by changing the California constitution, even though they were determined through collective bargaining agreements.
Californians Take Part In Statewide Earthquake Drill
In case of an earthquake we know the the drill: Drop.Cover.Hold On. But that’s only once we feel the earth start to tremble. What if we had a warning system that allows us to be ready to respond and find a safe place to hold on? California will be the first state to have an earthquake early warning system thanks to a bill signed by Governor Brown in late September.
Is the timing right for President Obama to push for the passages of these two major pieces of law right now?
President Obama is calling on Congress to tackle major legislations such as the farm bill and immigration reform now that the shutdown is over for now. An aide to House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas told Reuters that Congress could renew talks on the $500 billion farm bill as soon as next week. The bill is more than a year past due and could cut funding for conservation programs in exchange for boosting the federally subsidized crop insurance program.
The documentary, God Loves Uganda, explores the American evangelical movement in Uganda that is focused on fundamental biblical teaching. Many of the evangelicals have been instrumental in providing schools, and hospitals in needed areas of the country. At the same time the movement has been noted to promote religious bigotry especially against homosexuals.

Does our biology determine our political party affiliation?

Is it possible that people are actually predisposed to their political party affiliation? Social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford in their book, “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences” present evidence that political affiliation is impacted by biological influence. Their evidence suggests it is more than just culture or where people grow up that impact their party affiliation, but how people identity has a more physical component.
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