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Archive for April, 2011

Charlotte Unprepared for Obama Media Clamp

Take the time to read up on the dust up between the Obama White House the SF Chronicle — all over a reporter using a cellphone to shoot some vid of some protestors at an Obama event.

Now ask yourself who among local reporters and editors would remotely stand up to edicts from on high about how and what to cover during the convention circus. I can think of exactly one news editor and maybe one or two reporters.

As ever, I love to be proven wrong — just for the surprise factor alone.

Update: Here’s the story that prompted the White House explosion. Note that it gave voice to attacks on Obama’s handling of the Bradley Manning affair. This is how much Team Obama fears principled stands against state power coming at him from the left. For that reason, anyone saying that a Ron Paul is unelectable is either dense or on someone’s payroll — probably both.

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Free Michael Willis

First off, Michael Willis is an idiot. But if being an idiot were a crime nearly every single member of local government — elected and appointed — would be a serial offender.

Willis did a very dumb thing taking a gun to Endhaven elementary to confront a would-be drug dealer. Dumb considering our laws have absolutely no common sense. And a result, Willis stands charged with a felony. A felony charge, in Mecklenburg County — land of the no-harm, no-foul violent property crime. Unreal.

There is still time to unwind this travesty. Choose wisely.

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DNC 2012: Convention Pledge Just Blew Up

This National Journal piece raises serious doubts about the Democrat pledge to put on a 2012 convention free of corporate and high-dollar backing.

In effect, the Dems have announced their intention to out-Rove Karl Rove and raise $100m. in FEC-exempt funding towards Barack Obama’s re-election effort. How much of that cash will ultimately find its way to Charlotte for the 2012 convention is anyone’s guess.

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DNC 2012: Will Murrey Lead a Press for Health Care Cash?

So former Mecklenburg County commish Dan Murrey will head the DNC 2012 host committee. We already know that the convention effort is totally dependent on millions in back-stopping from Duke Energy — a publicly regulated utility. Will Murrey now lead a raid on public funds laundered through medical entities — via Medicare and Medicaid — to further fund the convention?

To put on the 2008 Denver affair, the host committee raised $60m. and spent $53m. — much more than Charlotte says it will need.

Denver was heavily reliant on corporate cash, PAC money, and big — $500K or more — donations from individuals. Other notable contributors included local visitors’ bureaus, the Denver Chamber ($250K), Freddie Mac ($250K), the Denver Business Journal (?) for $22K, Goodwill Industries ($32K), and Staples Inc., for what had to be $229K worth of office supplies.

If you think Charlotte is ready for this kinda activity — well, we shall surely see.

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State Budget Action Gets Mysterious

Anthony Greco has the big picutre details here. Should be fun next week hearing the horror stories fly.

Me, I want to know what member of the Mecklenburg delegation thought it was a good idea to slip another $500,000 to Johnson & Wales.

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Panthers: Marty Must Go 3-for3

OK, the 50-50 crap shoot that is the Cam Newton Experience has begun. The degree to which is succeeds — or fails — will largely depend on if Marty Hurney can pull three starters out of his next three draft picks.

Hurney almost has to in order to restock the Panthers’ depleted roster with starter quality bodies. Ideally, Hurney gets a starter at OL, DT, and CB. They are out there considering how many QBs inexplicably jumped into the first round.

Can Marty find them? Cam can’t do this thing — relaunch a busted franchise — all by himself.

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Your Final Panther Draft Wave-Off

Yeah, I’ll tune in to watch. And I’ll drop by WBT about 4:30 today to talk yet more about the impending Age of Newton.

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Correx: Bill Would Limit Gas Supply in SC

Can’t be surprised that the AP gets this wrong:

A North Myrtle Beach legislator has introduced a bill that would cap gas prices in South Carolina at whatever the average wholesale price is on June 1.

Democratic state Sen. Dick Elliott of North Myrtle Beach said the bill he introduced Wednesday is needed because gas prices are slowing the state’s economic recovery.

Elliott’s bill would put any excess charges by retailers above the wholesale gas price into a trust fund. The Legislature would decide how to use the money to benefit citizens.

If you want to guarantee gas lines and shortages, you are the right track, Dick.

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Property Tax Hike (For the Children) Part LXVII

Why did Eric Davis call me an idiot? Why did he call you an idiot? Why does Davis think all Mecklenburg County taxpayers are knuckle-walking morons?

This Kabuki theater routine on a property tax hike “for the children” is stale — and insulting. We’ve told you for years that the reval would be used to pump tens of millions in new revenue into a local tax system that had foolishly banked on boom years as the norm. Hell, a couple weeks ago we even gave you the exact number that Davis now — suddenly, and with great and solemn deliberation on the system’s yawning needs — requests “from our fellow citizens in Mecklenburg County…the $50mm in funding for our school system that was been cut over the past two years.”

And the propaganda continues from Davis. “Our students have closed the achievement gap more than any other large urban district.” Wrong, Eric. CMS is not an urban school district, a persistent fiction that allows CMS to compare itself to some of the nation’s worst inner-city districts — and then look good. In short, more of the same arrogance and dishonesty that is a hallmark of CMS administration.

Worst of all, Davis calls his unwillingless to lead fundamental reform of CMS “taking a stand.” He’s taking something, that’s for sure. But it is not a stand — and it is landing all over the hardworking citizens of Mecklenburg County.

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#89: Too Little, Too Late

Looks like the Panthers are ready to try to deal Steve Smith. Should’ve done it last year, when a contending team might’ve overpaid for him.

Now the Panthers will be fortunate to get a 3rd round pick for the Pro Bowl fixture. Has a franchise ever gotten so little in return for so many quality players?

Meanwhile, the Panthers seem intent on ignoring multiple opportunities to trade out of the #1 slot and pick up badly needed bodies to populate a Swiss cheese roster.

For some unknown reason Marty Hurney seems to think the Cam Newton hype will put butts in the seats and save his job for the next two seasons — because no one expects Newton to be ready to play this year, you see. Guess what? The Panthers can’t wait. They need guys who can step on the field and play now — no more Marty-shirts.

Besides, didn’t the Big Cat hold court in front of God and everybody and say he had to cut loose a coaching staff that refused to play young talent? How does that square with deliberately using the most important draft pick in franchise history on a guy who cannot and will not be ready to play from Day One?

Forget the DNC. Charlotte is about to play host to an even bigger circus — the slo-mo implosion of an NFL franchise.

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