Reforming the Big Easy

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Quitting Candidates

A group of candidates running in New Orleans' first election since Hurricane Katrina all make an unusual promise to voters — if elected, they'll quit the position they're seeking.

Seven candidates are challenging the city's seven incumbent tax assessors in an effort to streamline the government. Each candidate has adopted the nickname I.Q. — which is short for "I Quit." The plan is to oust the seven sitting assessors who've allegedly given unfair tax breaks to people in exchange for votes, costing the city billions of dollars. Their salaries would then be used to hire a private firm.

But despite their best efforts to help get the big easy back on its feet, those running on the "I Quit" ticket are facing resistance in court. Two judges have ruled that the initials I.Q. can't be written on their ballots.

HIV Lessons For Tiny Tots

Children as young as 5 years old will be learning about HIV and AIDS as part of a revised health education curriculum at New York City public schools. Kindergartners will be told that HIV is a virus that lives in the blood and could lead to AIDS, which will be described to them as "a group of illnesses that make it hard for people to get well once they are sick."

There will be no mention of sexual contact in the kindergarten discussions — that is reserved until the fourth grade, when students are taught about transmission and prevention. School administrators cite New York City's high number of AIDS cases as a reason for educating kids early on.

Inspired by South Dakota Ban

A feminist blogger has managed to anger both sides of the abortion debate. The Web site "Molly Saves the Day" describes its content as "feminist issues, liberal talk and news analysis from a former journalist turned phone sex operator." But what really got people riled was when she posted on her blog what she calls an "abortion manual."

The woman says she was inspired to post the manual after South Dakota's recent abortion ban was signed into law. The Web site contains a list of instruments needed — and explicit instructions on how to perform a D and C abortion. "Molly" insists she's not promoting back alley abortions, just providing women with what she calls valuable information.

Scalia Speaks His Mind

In a speech at the New England School of Law this week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke out against what he calls an era of "judge-moralists." Scalia says judges are no better qualified than "Joe Sixpack" to decide moral questions like abortion and gay marriage.

Among other things, Scalia decried the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a state anti-sodomy law. Scalia opened his remarks by telling students, "I brought three speeches, and I decided to give the most provocative one because this seems to be too happy a crowd."

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.