How to Change North Carolina

This Diary is meant as a how to guide on making North Carolina more progressive within the state legislature. As we have seen, even with large Democratic majorities, it is often not enough to just get more Democrats elected to office in Raleigh. We also need to make sure that we are pushing for different Democrats, real progressives who put people first. But, how do we do that on an individual basis?

NC Congressional Delegation Activity January 6-9

It is impossible to cover every meeting, phone call, hearing and interview our members of congress participate in and I'll do my best to give you a weekly rundown each weekend following the weeks they are in session. I'm covering Democrats. I'll let someone else take care of the Republicans.

Where to put the new 14th District? (and other redistricting thoughts)

(cross-posted at dKos)

All available analysis suggests that North Carolina will pick up a 14th district after the 2010 census. The question now is, where to put it? And another question--how to further shore up the map for the Dems?

Congratulations Governor Perdue

This will be a very rough four years, Governor Perdue. We promise to back you as often as we can and nudge you in the right direction when we feel we need to.

Congratulations Governor Perdue!

Please use the comment section below to post well-wishes, advice, requests for Governor Perdue and we'll see to it that she receives a copy of this thread.

Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Diddly

The Mountain Xpress features this story:

Two major N.C. incentives programs sent large portions of funding for increased corporate expansion and job creation to areas of the state that basically needed it the least, according to a study by the Durham office of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for federal and state economic policies.

Larry Kissell to be Featured on C-Span's Q&A this Sunday

Wow. This didn't take long. Does anyone remember back in 2006 when Larry Kissell had to pretty much tap dance with a peacock on his head to get press coverage? I guess those days are over.

He will be on C-Span's new interview program, Q&A along with Rep. Anh (Joseph) Cao who beat Democrat William Jefferson in Louisiana's 2nd CD. You can learn more about the program here. This isn't a live show. It was taped Tuesday after Larry was sworn in.

Still, really nice.

Dr. Mike "Wonderland" Walden of NC State and Locke Foundation

And he gets paid to teach economics to children?

I couldn't let this go by without posting.

http://www.wral.com/business/story/4280363

Locke Foundation hack-on-the-side Dr. Mike Walden "assesses" that BB&T is cutting jobs because of a "lack of lending opportunities."

Any business folk out there want to tell Dr. Walden and BB&T where to find a "lending opportunity" to use the bajillions they've taken from the government?

Larry Kissell named to House Armed Services Committee takes immediate action

The House Democratic Caucus approved the nomination of seven new Democratic Members to the House Armed Services Committee and Larry Kissell is among the group. Once named to the committee, Congressman Kissell jumped right in to follow through on his promise to make the funding of our nation's military a top priority.

House Resolution 1391 will provide $6.9 million for the construction of more than 50,000 square feet for a company operations facility. Due to inflation in the construction market, this funding would have been lost without the efforts of Congressman Kissell and the leadership of Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Chet Edwards (D-TX).

Making WIC healthier

I saw an update from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that many states are trying to update their WIC program to better reflect newer nutritional standards and combat obesity.

Under the dietary changes, foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, canned or dried beans, and jarred baby foods will be made available to WIC recipients. In addition, beneficiaries can receive cash-value checks to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Another update to the state's WIC program calls for whole milk to be provided only to children between 12 months and 24 months and for all women and children older than age 2 to receive vouchers that cover only the cost of skim or 1 percent milk. In response to reports suggesting that juice consumption contributes to childhood overweight and obesity, New York is also looking to restrict the number of vouchers provided for the purchase of juice and eliminate juice options for children younger than age 2.

Horrible eating habits are responsible for the obesity epidemic in America. The old "food pyramid" is wrong, just wrong. That's why WIC is encouraging the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables. That's why they are trying to eliminate whole milk and juice, which are unnecessary calories. More after the break. Newer nutritional understanding has, for all intents and purposes, turned the pyramid upside down. This is the old pyramid, you can see that it says you should eat lots of grains.
This is the new pyramid as designed at Harvard.

You can see that the white bread, white pasta group has moved to the top of the pyramid, use sparingly. Even the remainder of the pyramid blocks are better defined, such as "healthy fats" versus just "oils".

This is the "new" pyramid from USDA, which I'm not happy with. The USDA has tried to turn the pyramid into a rainbow logo - I'm not thrilled about it. Either way, I think what the WIC is doing is great. Folks often say you can't regulate good behavior, "What are you going to do, tax fatty foods?" Well, yeah. At least in this case you can, what you can do is limit tax-payer dollars for things that make you fat and unhealthy and expand funding for foods that are healthy. No more Cheetos and Wonder Bread, more apples and oranges.

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