Weekend Wound Up: Open thread

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A round up of interesting stuff for your Friday reading:

Adam Searing has a troubling story about the practices of Big Pharma in communities where minorities make up a large part of the population. The Dome reports that Virginia Foxx continues her wasteful ways as one of the top abusers of Congressional franking privileges. Some good advice from an unlikely source about reading to your kids. And last but not least, don't forget to write those thank you notes.

Happy last Friday of 2007. Just think, next year at this time we'll be counting down the final days of the Worst Presidency Ever.

David Price has another challenger . . .

A Cary neurosurgeon-turned-software-entrepreneur-turned-closet-Libertarian-turned-Republican named William "BJ" Lawson is jumping into the 4th district race with a flurry of contradictions that would be baffling to any careful observer. In case you're not up to speed on the 4th district, Lawson will have to take out Orange County GOP Chairman Augustus Cho for the honor of getting his butt kicked by Congressman David Price.

More from his own website.

Senator Dalton to Join NCFCD Debate

The N.C. Federation of College Democrats has received communication from Senator Walter Dalton that he will indeed be joining the other candidates in the first debate sponsored by the Federation to take place at UNC-Asheville. The Federation is very excited that all the candidates have decided to take part in these debates. The representation of all the candidates will allow for greater perspective on the important issues that these debates will bring to the arena of public debate.

The first debate in the six part series will take place at UNC-Asheville on January 19th, 2008, at 2 p.m.

Below is the email we received from Senator Dalton:

Doug –

What we're 'learning' from the Education Lottery

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Here's what Tom Shaheen, NC's Lottery Czar, said in September:

Lottery to phase in bigger instant-win prizes

N.C. Education Lottery Director Tom Shaheen said Wednesday that all scratch-off games for sale in North Carolina won't have bigger prize payouts until early spring of 2008. But more will be available in the next few months.

Instant-win games are a mainstay of the lottery, making up nearly 60 percent of tickets sold. But sales have lagged behind projections, in part because neighboring states offer better odds, Shaheen said. Even a $2 win helps drive regular players to buy more tickets, he said. "They want to win a prize," he said.

The legislature allowed the lottery to increase prize payouts -- and decrease the percentage of profits set aside for education -- in this year's budget.

Here's what a bunch of pointy- headed academics said, as reported in the New York Times today.

Lottery boon raises concern

But critics in Texas and elsewhere say games promising this kind of instant gratification are more likely to contribute to the kind of problem gambling that is usually associated with fast-paced casino betting, and they are now trying to limit them.

Welcome Dan Besse (Live-blog question thread)

If you live in North Carolina and your home isn't under a rock, you know that Dan Besse is a Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor. Dan is pretty vocal here at BlueNC and most of us probably feel like we know him pretty well, but tomorrow we'll get a chance to ask Dan questions and learn a little more about him.

Dan Besse has agreed to live-blog tomorrow (12/27) evening from 5:30pm until 7:00pm. Please don't miss this opportunity to learn more about Dan. If you can't be here, leave your questions on this thread.

[Update]Dan has been answering question throughout the day and will be joining us very soon to answer as many others as he can. There are some excellent questions in the comment section, so follow below the fold and join in the conversation.

Welcome back, Dan. Thank you again for joining us here at BlueNC.

Thanks, from the Navy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. My Dad said if I wanted to I could tell you something here. I just got home last week from a cruise to and from the Persian Gulf and my Dad has shown me the stuff he wrote about our cruise here. I got to read what you wrote back and you guys are really nice.


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