Welcome to the first post-election edition of Ask Boomer With Attitude, live from Charlotte, where mayors' political careers die on the vine. Thanks to all of you who've written. Note that, as usual, one of the following questions is made up; it shouldn't be too hard to spot.
Dear BWA: I strongly disagree with your premise that Pat McCrory should be lumped in with the DubMacs. Pat is a long way philosophically from the true DubMacs. It is Pat's job to ring-kiss and brown-nose. Have you forgotten about Charlotte's substantial growth the past 10-plus years? That is what a good mayor does. -- David Klein
Dear David: Yes, there's certainly been "substantial growth" during McCrory's tenure; frankly, many people wonder whether it was worth it, considering the massive sprawl, lost open space, ugly "architecture," if you can call it that, and congested, worn-out roads we've gotten as a result. You and I have different views of what mayors should do. Granted, any mayor has to schmooze, but business owners and developers shouldn't be the only ones who get the city leader's attention. It would be refreshing to see a mayor who balances concern for developer and Uptown dollars with leadership on issues that directly affect ordinary citizens' lives, such as affordable housing, Charlotteans receiving a living wage for their work, the environmental impact of development, and others.
Dear BWA: Let me offer my sarcastic congrats to you and your liberal buddies on the election of a totally inadequate person as our next president. Don't you realize that you're going to miss having President George W. Bush in the White House? -- Go GOP
Dear Go GOP: Thanks! In your spirit of sarcasm, I admit that yes, I'll miss Dubya. What's not to miss? Our Fearless Leader, after all, inspired some of the most, er, interesting innovations in U.S. presidential history. Here are a few things I'll miss most:
• Squandering the good will of the world, and not giving a shit.
• Oil and gas execs writing energy policy.
• A needless war that kills or wounds 35,000 American soldiers, drains our treasury, turns our country into an international pariah, inspires new generations of Muslim terrorists, and further destabilizes the most volatile part of the world.
• The simultaneous decrease in U.S. workers' income, adjusted for inflation, and increase in the number of Americans living in poverty.
• Official denials of the most serious global environmental crisis in human history.
• Jack Abramoff and other lobbyists using Congress as their personal candy store.
• Oil speculators jerking everyone around.
• Photos of naked prisoners being attacked by big dogs.
• Mountaintop removal mining destroying large swaths of Appalachia.
• The Bush twins' party pics.
• Veterans lying in moldy hospital rooms with falling ceilings.
• Wiretaps for everyone!
• "Buying" prisoners from tribal warlords, and then sending them to Guantanamo to be held for years without charges.
• "Heck of a job, Brownie," and the smug incompetence that implies.
• Freedom Fries.
OK, that's enough, I'm starting to get sick.
Dear BWA: Why do you keep criticizing the NASCAR Hall of Fame before it's even opened? It's being built! Deal with it and get on board. -- Jimmie Johnson Fan
Dear J.J. Fan: I'm not against a NASCAR Hall of Fame, I just think the timing is all wrong, and I foresee taxpayers having to pony up money to cover the museum's losses (in addition to the "extra" $32 million being handed over now for spiffier exhibits). Let's face it, NASCAR is past its peak, and, considering our current national fuel and money problems, it's not going to pick up soon, if ever. If racing fans can't come to the races, they're not likely to spend even more money they don't have to come into town to a museum. I strongly believe that when you realize at the last minute that your plans were a mistake, it's time for a last-minute change of plans. The NASCAR Hall is an obvious white elephant -- a big, embarrassing albatross around Uptown's neck -- waiting to happen. If it were up to me, which of course it isn't, I'd dump the project, find another use for what's been built so far, and let the lawyers figure out the details of the break-up.
Dear BWA: Hey, anything else you'd like to tell everyone about? -- Just Curious
Dear J.C.: Yes, and it's about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administration. If they really want to gain more public confidence -- and at this point, that's a tall order -- Superintendent Peter Gorman & Co. should spend less time futzing around with teachers who've screwed up on Facebook, and, instead, publicly oppose the recent attempt by the school board's three GOP members to screw much of the black community out of its representation on the board. Of course, it's easier to pose as leaders while smacking down someone lower on the totem pole than to confront the racists at the top of the heap.
Send love offerings and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to use a nickname, please tell us.