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Archive for April 2nd, 2009

Bears Land Cutler, Will Make Playoffs Before Panthers

Guaranteed.

Jay Cutler is flawed and a whiner, but he is a young, top-tier NFL QB, which makes him a rare commodity. The Bears will play defense and Cutler will lead an offensive that does enough, maybe because of him, maybe in spite of him.

The Panthers? Still have serious holes to fill for next year and must do it without a #1 and with the Peppers soap opera in full swing. And against a brutal sked.

6-10, all the way.

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Time Warner Cable Wants Feedback on Usage Caps

Boy, this should be fun.

Time Warner is looking at changing its “all-you-can-eat” pricing plan for broadband to an — altogether now — tiered pricing set-up. Ta-da! Cable guys will always be cable guys.

With the top “tier” at 40GB a month and $1 a gig over that — you do the math. Add in TW’s inability to handle anything remotely technical when it comes to billing, oh, this will end well.

Feed em back here: realideas@twcable.com

Now off to find a decent bandwidth monitoring util.

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Anti-Smoking Bill Kills All-Ages Music Shows

Super. As near as anyone can figure, the language coming out of the state House on smoking would force bars and clubs to abandon all-ages and 16-and-over concerts — or ban smoking by adults at all other times.

Unless we have elected a bevy of closeted music haters, I doubt that was the intention. But intentions do not matter when the clumsy blunderbuss of government is uncorked.

Meanwhile, it is precisely this “adult or not” angle that has spurred the state’s restaurant association to jump off the sidelines to oppose any smoking ban bill. The restaurant gang figured as long as bars had to face a ban on smoking too, no competitive advantage would accrue to the bars and clubs. Now that they have the “we’re adult and we smoke goddamn it” option, all bets are off.

First they came for the young music lovers, and I did nothing…

What a bunch of cowards.

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Another Uptown Myth Exploded

Turn your mind back to August 2005. The Uptown paper of record was deep into examining the nation’s mortgage lending. But not for the funny-money lending practices which would cause trillions in losses just a few years later. No, true to its crusading, right-every-perceived-wrong nature, the Uptown paper was looking for racial discrimination in mortgage lending. Not surprisingly they found it.

Or at least enough statistical cover to churn out a three-part series declaring, as editor Rick Thames put it, “that to be black in America is to be much more likely to pay a higher interest rate for a home purchase loan.” Of course Thames and his reporters found nothing of kind. They did not have the actual details of the borrowers’ credit history to be able to draw such a sweeping conclusion, but they did anyway.

And in doing so furthered the bankers’ real agenda.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Cognitive Dissonance in Smoking Ban

Well, well. Isn’t this interesting?

A cigar bar exception to the smoking ban legislation working its way through the state house sailed by with little opposition. State Rep. Thom Tillis (Meck.) did object, arguing that would complicate enforcement of the ban, but lost the vote 93-24. However, I think Thom had a larger point that was lost in the enforcement canard.

I think Tillis saw that fellow ban proponent and House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman was making a huge mistake by not fighting the cigar bar amendment. Holliman said that anyone who goes into a cigar bar knows what they are getting into and hence does not need the state to protect them.

How then does this differ from an establishment which makes very clear that smoking — of all kinds — is permitted on the premises? Holliman is also saying that patrons — not workers and staff — are the primary audience the state wants to keep away from smoke, which completely blows up any pretense that the ban is about negative health impacts. There are no long-term health impacts from breathing second-hand smoke for a few hours a year. Put another way, why do cigar bar workers and staff get a sure sentence of death, to borrow Rep. Jeff Barnhart‘s Theodoric of York-style reasoning.

As you can see something, possibly a toad or small dwarf, is playing havoc with the Big Government side’s wits.

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Mark Vitner Speaks

About how the Charlotte economy is going to suffer for some time to come:

“The recovery will take considerable time to build momentum,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia. With unemployment not expected to drop below 10 percent until late 2012 and 7 percent in 2014, Vitner called his latest outlook “very sobering.”

Unemployment regionally projected to be above 10 percent for another 3 1/2 years? Ouch.

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