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A teacher told me once to imagine my hand in a bucket of water. "Now remove it," he said. "Do you see how long it took the water to fill in where your hand used to be? That's how long it takes the universe to get along without you when you're gone."

We like to imagine otherwise, don't we?

Time for comprehensive sex ed in NC!

I am a teenager on the North Carolina Youth Leadership Council (NCYLC) in Chapel hill, NC. This is an exciting few weeks for us, because we are introducing the Healthy Youth Act, a bill that would put comprehensive sex education into schools in grades 7 through 9. Teens are going to be lobbying, attending a press conference, writing letters, talking to their schools, and making phone calls for this cause. I met with a NC senator from Durham to discuss this issue today, and we are working on persuading more state representatives and senators to vote for the Healthy Youth Act.

Kissell Set to Succeed Where Hayes Failed - Update/Video

Rep. Larry Kissell, NC-08 went in front of the rules committee today to try to fulfill promises made to American textile workers by his predecessor, Robin Hayes. With less than three full weeks under his belt, Kissell proposed an amendment to the committee and his amendment is included as part of the stimulus bill. Tomorrow, that amendment will be debated on the House floor.

The amendment would require the Department of Homeland Security purchase uniforms from American textile companies. Hayes tried and failed to get similar legislation through the House. You will find the full amendment here.

Update

Spam in a Can

Those of you who are familiar with the history of the space program may well recognize the Mercury astronauts' reference to themselves. Though no astronaut, I could certainly sympathize after spending six of ten days curled into my car driving 4000+ miles out to Tucson, AZ and back.

Along the way I visited the 51st state. In fact I spent more time in the 51st state than I did in Arizona. I spent four days in AZ, but spent 6 days in "Inter-State", USA. Inter-State is that blur of Best Westerns, Days Inns, fast food, gas stations, on ramps and exits that twine across our country like asphalt ivy. Larger geography- states, regions and landscapes - doesn't seem to matter all that much; Inter-State is Inter-State. The occasional urban traffic scrum is even very similar whether it be Dallas-Ft. Worth, Memphis, or Atlanta.

Why P.J. O'Rourke doesn't understand science funding.

Yesterday, I was puttering around the office doing some mind-numbing tasks and decided that I would zone out to something on my iPod, which ended up being Wait Wait...don't tell me! There was a question that concerned a research study. The study on auctions showed that if you are able to get a potential customer to hold an object for 30 seconds, in this case a cup, they are likely to bid MORE than the retail value of the object. I believe they said in 4 out of 7 cases the person bid more than the retail value, knowing the retail value. The conclusion was that holding an object for even 30 seconds confers a sense of ownership to that person.

P.J. O'Rourke commented something along the lines of "Please tell me my tax dollars were not used to fund this study."

Which is a funny line, but shows a lack of how science is funded in this country and what is wrong with that system.

Rick Martinez' Holy War

Never one to shy away from putting his holier-than-thou foot in his mouth, pundit Rick Martinez makes a compelling case today for the separation of church and state. Acknowledging that the abortion debate is first a religious issue, he encourages Catholic hospitals to consider shut down in the face of a non-existent threat. You'll have to read for yourself to make sense of it.

House Moves to Improve Oversight on TARP

The federal bailout of banks and other financial institutions has received bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition. There are many who are displeased with how it was carried out,even among those who support it. Bush may have asked for the money but it was the leadership of both parties in the House and the Senate who pushed the legislation in its current form and accepted the refusal of particpating institutions to accept oversight or conditions. Members of the House and Senate worked last week to fix what is wrong with TARP. The work continues this week as the 15 day waiting period ends and the money is released.

Discussion Thread for NCDP Chair Conference Calls

Please treat this as an open thread to pose questions that may be used on the conference call, and to discuss today and tomorrow's calls with the candidates for NCDP Chair as they happen. We are primarily focused on questions from young people or questions about how Young Democrats will be involved with the North Carolina Democratic Party over the next two years, but we will take questions from all-comers. Candidates have been invited to live-blog on BlueNC after the calls.

Thank you for participating in the future of our state Democratic Party!

TONIGHT'S CANDIDATE SCHEDULE

Dannie Montgomery
8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27
For more details, click here

N.C. Citizen-Soldiers Back In Harm's Way

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have exacted a heavy toll on our men and women in uniform, and the family members left behind have not been spared from the suffering. I hesitate to attempt assigning levels of suffering and sacrifice, but the activation and deployment of National Guard and Reserve units carries with it an additional (and unique) set of circumstances that affect those involved, and the nature of their service is such that resources to deal with these issues often don't exist. North Carolina currently has about 500 Citizen-Soldiers actively deployed, but that is about to change:

Today’s Edition of the Circus of Situational Ethics

John Hood says we shouldn’t fix broken things, because we could buy new things instead of fixing broken things which still stimulates the economy, but just in a different way. Got all that?

Of course, hasn’t Hood always encouraged restrained government spending in the name of opportunity cost budgeting? Well, no.

However, if his column doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t matter. You’re just supposed to think he’s smart because he cites Keynes and Bastiat.

Blather available here

Erik Sorenson fears a class war that the rich won’t win. Even though he does frown on a $37,000 toilet, he’s frightened that $100,000 in salary just isn’t enough. I wonder what the janitors at MSNBC made when he led the company.

Comfort poor little rich boy here

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