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Harry Truman is credited with the phrase - "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Cooking icon Paula Deen has put that adage to the test. Deen admitted to using racial slurs in the past and now faces a great deal of “heat.” The Queen of Southern Cooking has been dethroned from television's Food Network, as well as losing numerous endorsements.

When the Deen controversy first broke, I didn't pay much attention – only glancing at the headlines. I thought that she had a senior moment (old age slur?) and said something stupid on camera. When I learned how mundane the “revelations” made in a court deposition were, it piqued my interest. Why did a non-story, become a headliner? Okay, a 66-year-old woman from Georgia admits to using a pejorative word for African Americans, in private conversations. Not exactly the most surprising admission ever made. I find it more remarkable that Deen was honest in her response to a very personal and to say the least – awkward inquiry. We can only hope for such candor from others who are public figures.


What do college girls and bottled water have to do with the emerging American police state? Quite a bit, it seems.

Public outcry has gone viral over an incident in which a college student was targeted and terrorized by Alcohol Beverage Control agents (ABC) after she purchased sparkling water at a grocery store. The girl and her friends were eventually jailed for daring to evade their accosters, who failed to identify themselves or approach the young women in a non-threatening manner.



As we gather with friends and family this July Fourth for backyard barbecues and fireworks, we should take a moment to honor not only the values of freedom and liberty that make our country great, but also those who have fought to protect them. North Carolina is the most military-friendly state in the nation - a place where we pride ourselves on the support we provide to our military, our veterans, and their families.

America's servicemen and women put their lives on the line for our country every day, leaving behind their families and loved ones, to keep us safe. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am committed to providing them with opportunities for future success.


It is rare that Washington agrees on much of anything these days.

But last week, the Senate came together – Democrats and Republicans – to pass the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades.

Agriculture is the largest industry in our state, employing hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, and my first priority during debate on the 2013 Farm Bill was making sure it worked for North Carolina’s farmers.

I was proud to work with Senators from both sides of the aisle to pass a bill that does just that.


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