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

Topic of the week: Paying taxes


Much has been written on all sides about the merits or lack thereof of taxes. But today I found a comment on Mark Binker's blog that might be worth discussion. The original post was about different proposals floating around the legislature to raise revenue. One commenter, a person named Doug Johnson, wrote this:

Most of us are just alike, we look to save money. Going to Tennessee today, fill my car up in Virginia, save a few dollars. When I leave Tennessee, will fill up again. Not only does NC lose gas tax, money we would spend at the gas station, they lose sales tax on it.

Who's In Charge of NC's Public Education?

Today's N&O frontpage features an issue that I've been meaning to write about for a while... The wacky way North Carolina manages our public education system.

In our strange system, responsibility for education is distributed across at least seven levels. The titular head of our education system, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, has the least power of anyone.

The North Carolina Public School Forum lists this as one of the top 10 education issues of 2009. It's one of those complex issues that has never really been addressed because none of the power brokers have a vested interest in making it better. You can guess at who might suffer from their inaction.

Here's my take on how it works, and what we can change.

NC Congressional Delegation Activity Jan. 19-23

This week was a busy week in Washington. Congress barely stopped working on Tuesday, though many found time to attend President Obama's inauguration. A few of our House Reps. found themselves in the spotlight. Rep. Brad Miller spoke before the Judiciary Committee about H.R. 225, Rep. Sue Myrick proposed an amendment that was adopted and Rep. Virginia Foxx provided cover for moderate and conservative Democrats.

U.S. House
H.R. 200: To amend title 11 of the United States Code with respect to modification of certain mortgages on principal residences, and for other purposes

Committees
House Judiciary - Rep. Mel Watt sits on the House Judiciary committee and heard testimony/presentations in committee on this bill.

Latest Major Action
1/22/2009 Committee Hearings Held

Myrick Amendment Adopted - Hypocrisy Alert

This week Rep. Sue Myrick, NC-09, proposed an amendment to the TARP bill when debate was triggered by the request for the second half of the money by the Obama administration.  As I was listening to her, I thought her amendment sounded quite reasonable.  Barney Frank agreed.  He also hinted at a bit of hypocrisy.

Pricey on Offshore Energy Exploration Study Committee

Rep. Pricey Harrison this week sent out an excellent summary of the newly appointed state Offshore Energy Exploration Study Committee, together with its members, charge, and relevant background information on the underlying issue.  Not finding it posted anywhere online, I'll copying it in its entirety below.  (P.S. Pricey, you should post these newsletters on your website so we can just link to them there!)

[The following is from N.C. Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford.]

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