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Another Week Already 

* The Hornets/arena/NBA saga droned on all week, as it promises to do for the foreseeable future. CL reported it weeks ago, but local mainstream media woke up last week and announced that the city's strategy is to squeeze out Hornets owners Shinn and Wooldridge by convincing the NBA to deny them permission to move the team. This would leave the Goober Twins little choice but to sell the team, since they claim to be losing around $20 million per year in Charlotte, where they are, to put it mildly, highly unpopular. In fact, a CL poll conducted, umm, yesterday shows 80 percent of Charlotteans would rather be caught in bed with a farm animal on national TV than knowingly come within a mile of the Hornets honchos.

Meanwhile, the Observer reported that their recent poll showed 53 percent of Charlotte voters approving of going ahead with the latest arena plan. NBA Commissioner David Stern reacted by screaming, "What plan?! You call that #%*&$#@ a plan? How about an ownership group? Huh? That's what we need to hear about from those goobs in Bank Town. Man, that #@*&!% McCoby burns me up."

On Monday, City Council members bent over, held on to their ankles, and voted to go ahead with the latest plan shoved, oops, presented to them, which would use at least $13 million in property taxes. You have to wonder how the Big O's poll would have turned out if they had mentioned the words "property taxes" in their questions.

* President Bush, who successfully rallied the American people -- Republican and Democrat, black and white, straight and gay (he may not have known about that last one) -- in the wake of 9/11, has latched on to warlike rhetoric as a partisan political tool. As seen in his State of the Union speech last week, everything now is either war-related or helps security or fights terrorism -- that is, if he or his big contributors are for it. The US conducts a long bombing mission and sends in a few hundred soldiers to a dilapidated country and all of a sudden we need the biggest increase in military spending since the Reagan era? Hey, at least the Soviets were still around back then. Bush will be in Charlotte February 27 for a fundraiser for Liddy Dole and Robin Hayes. Local bookies say odds are 5-1 Bush will use "national security" as a reason to vote for those candidates.

* Last week, Channel 9 reported that a couple of classified ads which hadn't run in CL in weeks had led to arrests for prostitution, going so far as holding up a copy of the paper and saying something to the effect of, "Your child could pick this up." Of course, your child could also be watching Channel 9's skin-crawling, bloodthirsty, room-temperature IQ, car-wreck-fest of a news show, too, but that's another issue. But seriously, folks, yes, it's embarrassing, and if we had had any way of knowing the real nature of those ads, we wouldn't have run them. The fact is, though, we're not the police. The real police, however, could have prevented the continued running of those ads by telling us about them to begin with, rather than choosing to run to Channel 9 about it. Of course, if they'd given us time to get rid of the ads, the police wouldn't have gotten their 10 minutes of free PR.

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