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Price-gouging rampant in Charlotte during Democratic convention

A budget hotel room goes for $500 a night. A turkey bagel sandwich will set you back $9. Five bucks will get you a single President Barack Obama button. Are we in Charlotte anymore? Clearly, this is no average week in North Carolina’s largest city. The Democratic National Convention may be a financial boom to merchants and hotels in and around Charlotte, but it is putting a deep dent in some people’s wallets. Delegates from the 50 states and other convention guests are not the only ones feeling the financial pain. Advocates say the city’s poor and homeless are among
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Obama: An ‘over-competitve egotist’ who is not as good as he thinks he is

Four years ago, Barack Obama could do no wrong in the eyes of the mainstream media. That was then, this is now. Recent articles by a once-fawning media portray Obama as an egomaniac, obsessed with winning at all cost, convinced of his own self-perceived superiority and unable to admit his faults. Even the mighty New York Times is questioning the former golden boy of American politics. Writes Jodi Kantor this week: Even by the standards of the political world, Mr. Obama’s obsession with virtuosity and proving himself the best are remarkable, those close to him say. (Critics call it arrogance.)
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Can Obama sell Romney as a Bush retread to a divided nation?

Democrats assemble Tuesday to re-nominate Barack Obama for the presidency, to sell him as the wise and humane alternative to Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a pitch that will be repeated endlessly over the next two months to an American electorate that is more politically divided than at any time in at least a quarter century. As they watch the political stagecraft, there may be only one thing all Americans can agree on: Deep concern over the struggling American economy that has made only a halting recovery from the Great Recession and near meltdown of the U.S. financial sector just before
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For Obama, 2012 requires a new message

We campaign in poetry, Mario Cuomo used to say, but we govern in prose. This was how the then-New York governor explained the gap between his soaring speeches and the more prosaic product of his government, when the springtime of campaign hopes succumbed to the winter of governing discontent. That was a generation ago. But it is a pithy summary of Barack Obama’s challenge as he goes before his convention this week. There are a lot of very angry people in the country, out of work or living on less. But anger is not the dominant political sentiment among the
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Democratic platform supports same sex marriage, abortion rights

Democrats unveiled a party platform at their national convention Monday that echoes President Barack Obama’s call for higher taxes on wealthier Americans while backing same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Delegates will vote Tuesday to adopt the platform that reflects the president’s argument that his work is unfinished and he deserves another four years to complete the job. “Today, our economy is growing again, al-Qaeda is weaker than at any point since 9/11, and our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade. But there is more we need to do, and so we come together
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Romney ignored warnings about Ryan’s history of lies, exaggerations

Campaign professionals vetting Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as a potential Republican vice presidential candidate warned Mitt Romney‘s strategists that the Congressman had a “history of exaggeration and prevarication”  that could become a campaign issue and distraction but the GOP presidential nominee’s team ignored the warnings. Romney campaign insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that an intense internal battle raged inside the campaign over Ryan’s history of blatant lies, factual misstatements and exaggerations. Those supporting Ryan pointed out that Senator Joe Biden had a similar history when then-candidate Barack Obama tapped him as a running mate in 2008.  Biden had lied about his military
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Strip clubs, prostitutes don’t expect much of a business boon from Democratic convention

While the sex and pornography business thrived in Tampa during last week’s Republican convention, strip clubs and escort services in Charlotte don’t expect much of an increase during the Democratic confab in their city. “Democrats aren’t so upright about sex so they don’t have to sneak around and pay for it,” Connie Allerton, a sexual therapist, tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “If a Democratic delegate wants sex, he or she will just  seek it with another delegate.” A telephone survey of escort services in the Charlotte area finds no plans to bring in “extra talent” to serve the Democrats when they
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Paul Ryan admits lying about his incredible marathon time claim

Paul Ryan, who spewed lies non-stop in his GOP convention speech last week, got caught in another falsehood over the weekend and now admits lying about his incredible claim of raining a marathon in under three hours. In August, Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt he had run a marathon in “two hours and fifty-something” minutes.  That would have been a pace of less than 7 minutes a mile — something recreational runners seldom accomplish. So Runners World magazine checked the record and found that Ryan has run just one marathon in his life and finished the 26.2 mile course
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Democratic convention security rules raise free speech concerns

Starting Saturday, someone walking through Charlotte’s central business district could run afoul of the law by carrying water bottles, hair spray, socks or magic markers under sweeping security rules enacted ahead of the Democratic National Convention. It would take a particularly strict reading of the rules for someone to be arrested simply for possessing one of those items, but the possibility exists — which worries protesters and free speech advocates. They fear authorities could trample on people’s constitutional rights in the name of protecting public safety. The changes to city ordinances adopted earlier this year for “extraordinary events” ban a
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Obama takes battleground state tour on way to Democratic convention

President Barack Obama is embarking on a four-day march through battleground states and the storm-battered Gulf Coast in the lead-up to his party’s convention as he seeks to blunt any momentum picked up by Republican rival Mitt Romney. As his party’s faithful began streaming to Charlotte, N.C. for next week’s convention, Obama was returning to Iowa on Saturday. For his part, Romney looked to capitalize on a newly energized Republican Party fresh from its convention in Tampa, Fla., with a rally in Cincinnati before joining running mate Paul Ryan later in the day in Jacksonville, Fla. Both campaigns were crisscrossing
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