Future Of Democratic Debates, Is The Stimulus Package Enough?

CHARLOTTE — Are the Democratic debates over because of the Coronavirus Pandemic?  Apparently, Joe Biden hopes so.  Right now, there are no debates on the April schedule between the former Vice President and Senator Bernie Sanders.

And, last week, Biden said, “I think we’ve had enough debates and we should get on with this”.

Also, the checks will soon be in the mail or the bank account of millions of Americans after the President signs a two-trillion dollar stimulus package.  But, will that be enough given the soaring unemployment numbers?

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in in our Watch on Politics.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Coronavirus Now Present In Mecklenburg; Mass Cancellations

There are more diagnosed cases of the coronavirus (which has now been officially named a pandemic by the World Health Organization) this week, including two so far here in Mecklenburg County.

President Trump has halted travel from most European countries. Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency for North Carolina, and the Mecklenburg County Health Department is making preparations. Airlines are slashing the number of flights, and several entities are talking about intensifying their cleaning efforts (including Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte Area Transit System and Charlotte Douglas International Airport).

Universities in North Carolina and around the country are suspending classes or moving them online, and CMS has stopped all field trips. We’ll give you the latest.

The Hawthorne Lane Bridge has an estimated completion date for later this month, but the project looks months away from being ready. What are officials saying?

And we’ll have local reaction to this week’s primaries.

A panel of local journalists will discuss these stories and more on the local news roundup.

Guests:

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of Qcitymetro.com

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE education reporter

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health care reporter

State of The Union & Iowa Caucus

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Trump touts the economy and what he calls a “Great American Comeback” in his state of the union address Tuesday night. Political contributor Mary C. Curtis breaks down the president’s message and gives her thoughts on the Iowa caucus.

POLITICAL WRAP: Soleimani Imminent Threat; Protests in Iran Over Downed Plane

CHARLOTTE, NC — Dueling narratives over the strike that killed Qassem Soleimani. The White House, defending the strike against Iran’s top military leader, while democrats question whether there was actually an “imminent threat.”

Also, thousands of demonstrators continue to protest the Iranian government, after officials admitted the country mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet.

Click above for more with WCCB Charlotte political contributor Mary C. Curtis.

Long arc of history guides John Lewis in his call for impeachment inquiry

OPINION — No one can accuse Rep. John Lewis of lacking patience. The Georgia Democrat showed plenty, as well as steely resolve, as he changed millions of minds — and history — over a life spent working for equal rights for all. So when he speaks, especially about justice, a cause from which he has never wavered, all would do well to listen.

Lewis was not the only voice raised this week, as all sides raced to place a political frame on the narrative of the undisputed fact that a U.S. president asked a foreign leader to work with him and for him to smear a political opponent, perhaps with military aid in the balance. “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” President Donald Trump said, according to a transcript of the conversation based on notes. He also wanted to rope in his personal lawyer and the attorney general, who, by the way, works for the American people, not Trump.

No direct quid pro quo but plenty of bread crumbs leading to the conclusion that a country dependent on funds to deal with, among other things, an extremely aggressive Russian neighbor, better pay attention.

Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry into Trump

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the middle of a political firestorm involving a telephone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine, there came a moment of bipartisan agreement this week. Members of the Senate voted unanimously favoring a resolution calling for a whistleblower complaint involving Trump to be turned over to congressional intelligence committees. This comes as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, after holding off for many months, has announced her support to move toward a formal impeachment inquiry into the president because of the whistleblower complaint. The president has promised the release of a transcript of his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

North Carolina redo sets stage for copycat campaigns in 2020

OPINION — After an election fraud scandal, North Carolina Republicans lost a House candidate. After an indictment and questions about possible bribery, the state GOP lost its chair.

But all that didn’t stop a gaggle of Republicans from vying for the chance to run for a House seat that, thanks to gerrymandering, still favors their party — that is, of course, if voters stay interested in a special election that now will be decided on Sept. 10, if everything goes as planned.

Whatever happens, the race has offered a national blueprint for what voters will see in 2020, with the majority of Republicans clinging close to Donald Trump and trying to brand Democrats as far to the left as imagination allows. Meanwhile, Democrats proclaim their independence and ability to stand up to the president and his bending of constitutional norms while doing the other business of Congress and helping constituents.

A Deadly Shooting at UNCC, and a City in Shock

CHARLOTTE, NC — A shooting at UNCC leaves two dead and four wounded. A city that has seen a sharp rise in homicides this year is now grappling with a horrific shooting that adds Charlotte to the list of cities where a school is the setting for gun violence. A suspect is in custody, but that doesn’t provide answers to the questions of why it happened and what can be done

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: CMPD Releases Full Body Camera Video; 9th District Early Voting

Earlier this week, a Mecklenburg County judge ordered the full release of the body camera video in the police shooting of Danquirs Franklin. The video was released on Wednesday. The ruling came after Monday night’s debate in city council about CMPD’s handling of the initial release of a shorter version of the video.

On the same day as the video’s release, CMPD announced a series of changes in policy to release all relevant video footage of incidents, like officer-involved shootings, to a judge to seek redactions.

Early voting for the special 9th District primary began this week and on Tuesday night, some of the candidates participated in a forum that covered topics from House Bill 2 to the Mueller report and more.

Movement on the incentives from the South Carolina legislature to relocate the Panthers’ headquarters may be on the horizon, as details come out about the plans David Tepper has for the new facility there. The team hopes to begin construction as early as later this year.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE 

Jonathan Lowe, reporter for Spectrum News

It’s called accountability, but only for some

OPINION — When I was a little girl growing up in West Baltimore, my parents (especially my mom) gave me some truth along with the love. “You will have to work twice as hard to get half as far,” they told their working-class African American child, schooled as they had been in life’s challenges. They also warned about what everyone on my side of town knew: There was little to no room for error because folks like us seldom got the benefit of the doubt.

This was not to discourage me — far from it. It was to prepare me. Better to know what the deal was upfront.

They did not live to observe the spectacle of the president of the United States and members of his family get away — for now, at least — with all sorts of dishonest doings, things an African American president and his family would have been marched across the White House lawn in cuffs and shackles for. Things anyone in my neighborhood would have been tossed under the jail for even thinking about doing.