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We've Got Bad News and Worse News 

Bad News of the Week: The Hornets' move to New Orleans seems all but certain, as the NBA is bending over backward to give the team time to sell more club seats in the Big Easy Arena.

Even Worse News of the Week: Duke lost to Indiana in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, wrecking thousands and thousands of Charlotteans' chances in their workplace tournament pools.

Out of the Mouths of Goobers: "Charlotte is in denial." -- the Quote of the Week comes from Hornets co-owner Trailer Boy Wooldridge, referring to ongoing efforts by the city to keep the NBA team.

The Academy of the Eternally Clueless heard from two charter members last week:

* City councilwoman Lynn Wheeler said that no matter whether the Hornets move or stay, she wants to "lead the charge" to continue with plans to build an arena downtown. Some attributed her fixation on an arena to myopia, but those critics were quickly reminded of Wheeler's recent ads for lazik surgery. Others blamed the surgery itself which, critics claimed, must have rendered Wheeler blind to the wealth of possibilities for uptown growth besides a big empty building.

* Pope John Paul II last week, under pressure to address a scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church, dedicated one measly paragraph of a 22-page letter to the clergy to announce that the profusion of pedophilic priests is "grave." Well, duh. No mention yet of any plans to actually do something about it.

A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Debase: It was reported that Mayor Fratboy may be appointed by Dubya to one of several top-drawer educational committees entrusted with granting prestigious academic scholarships. In other news, Ariel Sharon is being considered for a Nobel Peace Prize, and Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas were appointed to head a federal panel on sexual ethics in the workplace.

Gays Welcome Developers To The Club: City Council last week passed a law making the indiscriminate bulldozing of trees by homebuilders a crime against nature.

Plus Ca Change. . . The US Senate approved an overhaul of the country's campaign finance law, essentially barring large contributions of soft money. However, politicians from both major parties soon showed how uncomfortable they were in their new role of protecting the best interests of democracy. After the vote, Republicans announced they would challenge the law in court, and Democrats announced they had recently taken in $12 million in, you guessed it, soft money.0

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