Something better than nothing

March 31, 2010 If you get diagnosed with a disease, break your leg or find yourself facing some other medical calamity while not having health insurance, you’re not likely to be too concerned with the intricate political debates that have paralyzed health care legislation for years. That’s why the millions of working Americans who can’t afford health insurance should be overjoyed at the massive health care reform bill that President Barack Obama pushed through Congress.

Tan tax

March 30, 2010 My family and I are taking the new tax personally.One of the many items tucked into the government overhaul of America’s health care system is a 10 percent sales tax on tanning salons.According to The Wall Street Journal, the tan tax was added so that the Botox tax could be removed.As it went, our politicians, looking for ways to make it appear their massive bill would be “paid for,” had to come up with all kinds of gimmicks — such as a 5 percent sales tax on Botox.

Marriage predictions

March 30, 2010 Can a person predict the success of a marriage in just 15 minutes?John Gottman thinks so. Gottman has researched marriage for years now in a so-called “love lab,” which, if you have a dirty mind might sound dirty. Fortunately, I don’t have a dirty mind and am not bothered by the term “love lab.” But it still doesn’t sound like a place I want to visit, or worse, have my marriage dissected in.

McDaniel GOP target

March 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Conservatives have plenty of passion and anger to direct at Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel as they push for him to fight the new federal health care law. They just don’t have any leverage to see that he does it.McDaniel has emerged as the new target of Republicans opposed to the health care overhaul that was signed into law last week and quickly challenged in court by 13 state attorneys general.

Efforts increase to encourage students to take advanced classes

March 29, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas high schools are making progress in getting more students to take advanced placement courses. In fact, Arkansas was above the national average last year, in terms of the percentage of high school graduates who took advanced placement classes.

Celebrating 2 years

March 29, 2010 Two years ago this week I walked through the doors of the Batesville Daily Guard office, a year out of college, and ready to begin my career as a journalist.I guess it’s true, time flies when you’re having fun. For me, time flies when you‘re getting to do what you love to do — so many people don’t have that option.

‘Under God’ here to stay

March 26, 2010 The long, bitter and emotional legal battle over “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance may have come to a quiet end on March 11.That’s the day a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided by a 2-1 vote that “the Pledge is constitutional.” The ruling in Newdow v. Rio Linda Union School Dist. was greeted with a big yawn by the news media — and virtual silence on Capitol Hill.

Census 101

March 25, 2010 “I’m a busy person. Why do I have to fill out this U.S. Census form anyhow?”“The U.S. Constitution says that every 10 years, the federal government must count every resident in the United States. It sounds simple, but what it really comes down to is politics and money.”“How does it involve politics?”“There are 435 seats in the U.S. House. The government uses the population count to determine the number of seats your state will have. In 2002, after the 2000 Census results were tallied, 12 seats moved across 18 states.”“Change happens. What’s the big deal?”