POLITICAL WRAP: Presidential Candidates Attend “King Day at the Dome” in SC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Monday, hundreds are expected to gather on the South Carolina State House steps for the annual “King Day at the Dome.”

Six of the remaining 12 democratic presidential candidates are expected to attend the event.

That includes Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who re-arranged his schedule to attend, after facing criticism for initially saying he would attend an MLK event in South BendIndiana instead.

The South Carolina event is seen as a “must-stop” for democratic presidential candidates, hoping to compete in the Palmetto State.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Luke Kuechly Retires; No Raise For NC Teachers; Council Retreat

On this week’s Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup…

Shockwaves went through Panther fans around the city this week as Luke Kuechly, only 28 years old and a star Panther linebacker since his first season in the NFL 8 years ago, calls it quits.

This while many questions remain about the future of the Panthers, including the future of Cam Newton, just as Newton receives honors for his charity work in the Charlotte region.

There was no vote by state lawmakers in Raleigh this week about overriding Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the budget. The no-vote means North Carolina teachers did not get a raise. The General Assembly is now adjourned till late April.

And City Council held its annual retreat in Durham this week, which was to help the council outline their 2020 goals. Topics discussed included the budget, transportation, affordable housing and growth, among others. We’ll give you a recap.

Mike Collins is joined by local journalists to fill you in about those stories and much more on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

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

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE 

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV Reporter

Annie Ma, reporter for The Charlotte Observer

Cory Booker bows out, Ben Carson backs off fair housing and issues of race recede in America

OPINION — It doesn’t take a candidate of color on a debate stage to raise issues of justice and inequality. But that has been the way it has worked out, mostly.

For example, it was exhilarating for many when then-candidate Julián Castro said in a Democratic debate, “Police violence is also gun violence,” while naming Atatiana Jefferson, killed in her Fort Worth, Texas, home by a police officer who shot through the window without identifying himself. Castro’s words were an acknowledgment of the lived experiences of many in America. He has since dropped out of the race, as has California Sen. Kamala Harris, who chided her party for taking the support of black women for granted.

Takeaways from the Democratic Debate

CHARLOTTE, NC —  With the Iowa caucuses less than three weeks away, six of the democratic candidates battled it out on a debate stage Tuesday night. Political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the biggest takeaways.

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.

When science fiction becomes environmental fact, it might be time to worryen

OPINION — How did you spend your holiday? If you’re like me, one guilty pleasure was devouring TV marathons, designed to offer relief from the stresses of the season. Reliable favorites include back-to-back episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and, on Turner Classic Movies, one whole day devoted to science fiction, imaginings both cautionary and consoling of what the future holds for our world.

But usual escapes didn’t quite work this year, not when fact is scarier than anything “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling might have dreamed up, though the serious Serling who introduced each episode of his iconic series, all furrowed brow and cigarette in hand, did signal he suspected what was coming if mankind didn’t shape up.

Hint: Mankind did not listen to that sober sage.

The Politics of War: What’s Next in The U.S.-Iran Conflict

CHARLOTTE, NC — The pentagon says Iran has retaliated against the United States for killing their top military commander. Political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses what’s next.

POLITICAL WRAP: What’s Next for the U.S. and Iran?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –  President Trump is informing members of Congress about potential action against Iran, via tweet. Trump has already said the U.S. has targeted 52 Iranian sites for attack should the country strike “Any Americans, or American Assets” in retaliation for the strike that killed Qasem Soleimani.

North Carolina Absentee & Voter ID Law

CHARLOTTE, NC — The new year brings new laws political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the new North Carolina absentee and voter ID law changes.

The Heat: US President Trump Impeached

For only the third time in American history, a president of the United States has been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. The partisan vote, with no Republicans voting to impeach President Trump, now sets up a trial in the U.S. Senate that will determine if he can remain in office. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made the case on Wednesday, calling the president’s actions reckless.

But Republicans in Congress have denounced the Democrats impeachment action saying there was no merit to the two charges —abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

To discuss all of this: Leonard Steinhorn is a political analyst and professor of Communication and History at American University. Nate Lerner heads “Build the Wave,” a progressive grassroots political organization. Frank Buckley is Foundation Professor at George Mason University’s Scalia School of Law. Mary C. Curtis is a columnist for Roll Call and an NPR contributor.