Sen. Kay Hagan Welcomes Barack Obama to Camp Lejeune to Announce Troop Withdrawal

President Barack Obama joined Senator Kay Hagan and hundreds of Marines today at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. where the president announced the end of combat missions in Iraq. The problem for many of us is that the date isn't exactly what we'd hoped for and by the reaction of the marines behind the president, I'm not sure they are happy with the delay either. It's hard to tell. Maybe they are extactic. The woman to our left of the President lets out a long slow breath.

Gov. Bev Perdue Scores on Transparency, Launchs NCRecovery.gov

Governor Bev Perdue has scored a big win for transparency for North Carolina tax payers. We can see how the stimulus money is being used in North Carolina by visiting www.ncrecovery.gov.

You can find out about the first transportation projects by visiting this part of the site.

There is a calendar that will guide you through what must happen and when it must happen. There are also links to other important sites. According to NCRecovery.gov North Carolina's share will be distributed in these areas:

FISCAL STABILIZATION FUND:
General Purpose (Flex Fund): $258,522,671
Education: $1,161,931,000

MEDICAID:
FMAP: $2,255,000,000
DSH: $14,630,000

TRANSPORTATION:
Highways and Bridges: $735,527,000
Transit Capital Grants: $103,304,000

WATER AND SEWER:

Pelicans and piety

Today in a very fun interview with evangelist Brother Tim on Blog Talk Radio, I learned that I'm not alone in my passion for the mystical creature known as the pelican. The good brother, as it turns out, had his own cosmic communion with a pelican down in Louisiana many years ago. He sensed a voice saying "help me" ... then turned to find a pelican standing on the pier beside his shrimp boat. The bird was tangled in fishing line. It hobbled toward Tim and allowed him to cut the line free without protest.

TAKE ACTION: Polling shows widespread support for comprehensive sex ed in North Carolina

(crossposted at Amplify)

North Carolina's state legislature is currently debating the Healthy Youth Act, which would finally bring much needed comprehensive sex education to their classrooms. And a recent poll from Public Policy Polling shows that this is the kind of sex education that a large majority of North Carolinians want.

When asked: "A bill being considered in the Legislature would give parents the choice of having their children receive comprehensive sex education or abstinence only sex education. Would you support this proposal?" , 69 % say yes, to only 31% who say no.

Housing & Mortgage Help on the Way Thanks to Rep. Brad Miller

Congressman Brad Miller, NC-13, has been working for years to protect homeowners caught up in the mortgage lending frenzy. A frenzy that was fed by greed and implemented in many cases through fraudulent means.

Miller's hard work is finally paying off, though there is still a battle ahead. Via The Hill:

Centrist Democrats want to limit the number of people who can get their home loans shrunk by bankruptcy judges.

:::snip:::

The bankruptcy legislation is the most contentious part of a broader bill to reinvigorate the housing market. House liberals and the original sponsors of the provision, known as “cramdown” in the financial industry, say there is no reason for the centrists’ concerns, but said they can live with some proposed changes.

Upper crust or dead meat?

I cross-posted my commentary about the rich on Facebook yesterday and it caught the attention of a friend who just happens to be president of one of the world's leading information and research companies. He wrote this:

We've got the hard data you're wishing for, man. Just released. You're dead on target here. The rich cannot sit this one out. If for no other reason than unemployment is the biggest threat to domestic security these days. If you think the French Revolution was hard on the aristocracy, wait until you see what happens if global unemployment doubles from its current levels. From upper crust to dead meat. This recession is the biggest national security problem in America right now. Anyhow, the only way out of this mess is for people to spend. Even with the credit crisis fixed, if people don't spend, the economy remains crippled. And the only people who can spend enough right now are the people you're talking about.

Payback time for the upper crust

As the reality of the recession sinks in, consumer confidence has reached frightening lows. People all across the income spectrum here in North Carolina are hunkering down – and worse. With job losses reaching record levels, the global economy has become a literal death spiral. People in my neighborhood are foregoing medical treatment to pay for food and shelter. People in other countries are simply starving.

As President Obama said last night, this precipitous decline has come on the heels of the greatest transfer of wealth – from the middle class to the super rich – in modern history. It is time for the wealthy to do their part. And not just by paying higher taxes.

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