Edwin Peacock is that kind of guy you feel compelled to root for even when you disagree with him. As the Charlotte Republican mayoral candidate addressed a disappointed crowd at Dilworth Grill in his concession speech Tuesday night, he began by asking if everyone had a drink, with such sincere concern in his voice, I almost expected him to buy us all a round.
He delivered a positive, upbeat speech, saying he felt like even though he lost the race, the city had won. Despite his disagreements with newly elected mayor Patrick Cannon during the campaign, they never once attacked each other with negative ads or rhetoric, and that's something he will look back on with pride, he said.
Congratulations to mayor-elect Patrick Cannon, who defeated his GOP opponent Ed Peacock in yesterday's voting. Right off the bat during his victory speech, Cannon, ever a ball of energy, grabbed the world by the lapels and told everyone why winning the mayor's race was so important. It wasn't "Now we can begin to really move this city forward!" nor was it, "Together, we can make my bold vision for Charlotte a reality!" nor even "I think we need more diverse food wagons." No, electing Patrick Cannon as Charlotte's mayor is a huge, huge deal because, as the man himself explained it, "I am realizing a life goal."
Thursday's vote to block Democratic Congressman Mel Watt's nomination to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency is unprecedented in the modern era of American politics - the last time Congress rejected a sitting member's nomination to a cabinet-level position was in 1843.
This isn't exactly a secret to Charlotteans who paid attention during Pat McCrory's mayoral days, but the governor is genuinely clueless about the day-to-day lives of people who aren't part of his comfortable social milieu. Examples are too numerous to rehash, but two that come immediately to mind are his goofball comments about those funny artist types who made proposals for public artwork for the Lynx, and his somber critiques of young black Americans "participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action." See? Culturally tone-deaf. Today, Gov. Pat and his boss, Budget Director Art "Richer Than You" Pope, continued McCrory's clueless traditions.
Steven Furtick, the honcho/pastor/barker of Elevation Church, finds his rear in a sling today, after Stuart Watson and of WCNC broke a story that reveals details of Furtick's new house. It turns out that the pastor, whose church has eight different locations in four counties and takes in around $400,000 a week in collections, is building a 16,000-square-foot gated home on a 19-acre wooded lot in Waxhaw.
Now that the fever in D.C. has temporarily broken, we can go back to marveling at the sheer imbecility of someone other than politicians. Imbeciles, for instance, such as the administrators at Eastern Wayne Middle School in Wayne County. Parents there are understandably mad as hell after the middle school's officials arranged for a "fake" gunman wearing a ski mask and brandishing a fake gun to enter the school. Students - 6th graders, mind you - were terrified when the "gunman" also pretended to rob students at gunpoint. School officials say the whole thing was supposed to be - get this - "an enrichment exercise" to "teach students to be aware of their surroundings." No word yet on whether the officials also wanted to keep students from ever going back to those school surroundings, but one hopes not.
A few weeks before the 2012 election I was chatting up a guy working at an Uptown pizza joint.
"You gonna vote?" I asked. "Sure," he said. "I'm for Obama."
"You ever vote for any other offices on the ballot? Congress? State legislators?" I asked.
"Nah, I don't pay much attention to that stuff."
I got curious.
A few congressman are joining furloughed government workers in solidarity - or pulling off a giant PR stunt, which most could use - by rejecting their paychecks.
Among those either rejecting or donating their moneys are North Carolina's very own Robert Pittenger, David Price, Virginia Foxx and Mark Meadows.
But get your pitchforks out, Greensboro: Rep. Howard Coble has opted to keep his.
Does anyone else remember when U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, early in this term - his first - sent signals that he was no card-carrying Tea Party member? Running in a supposedly safe GOP district, he barely beat former county commission chairwoman Jennifer Roberts in 2012, although he outspent her by a large margin, so he needed all the support back home he could get. Gingerly approaching non-rightwing voters in his district, Pittenger said he wanted to lead a bipartisan group of freshmen members of Congress to find ways to work together to solve the country's pressing problems. In other words, the far-right wasn't going to rule ol' Bob, by God; he was going to get some practical things done. Well, as the old saying goes, that shit's over, and it's all due to the American right wing's increasingly pathological obsession with the Affordable Care Act.
Last week I told you about the new regime at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its startling refusal of $600K in federal grant money, intended to monitor water quality, particularly near fracking sites. As bad as the department's refusal of money to keep tabs on the fracking industry might be, it's just the tip of the iceberg of the damage being done to the state's supposed environmental watchdog. John Skvarla, McCrory's pick to wreck, er, run the department, is apparently in the process of stripping the department down to a minimalist version of its former self.
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