#DNC2012 recap so far: The sights, sounds … and smells … of uptown Charlotte

9/17/12 Update: Photos now posted at Facebook. :)


Boehner and Giffords Well, gang, to say it’s been an “eventful” week here in Charlotte as a result of the Democratic National Convention is a vast understatement. On one hand, I’m glad it’s here because it’s given me a chance to reconnect (and in some cases work) with conservative friends in town to cover it, as well as given me the opportunity to meet others who I knew through blogging and social media but who I have never had the opportunity to meet (like Michelle Malkin!!). On the other hand, however, I couldn’t help but feel yesterday while I was uptown that I lived in a strange foreign country, where the ideas being pushed were so alien, so far out that I couldn’t fathom how anyone in their right minds would push them. Then again, we ARE talking about liberals here so that shouldn’t exactly be a huge surprise.

In no particular order, here are my thoughts on what I’ve seen, heard … and smelled so far this week:

— The local media coverage of the convention has been OUTSTANDING. No joke. Between social media, news websites, and TV and radio, local reporters here have done a great job. My hat is off to them. Even the Charlotte Observer, of which I am normally a staunch critic.

— The much-hyped “March on Wall Street” Sunday was a bust in terms of the number of attendees for the rally and march. Predictions were that between 2,000 and 10,000 would show up to protest, but it ended up being roughly 800-850, according to police estimates. A nice-sized number, but nowhere in league with where organizers wanted it to be. I watched several live streams of the gathering at Charlotte’s Frazier Park uptown, which was the “base” for where things were kicked off on Sunday. You had your garden variety anti-capitalist/hate America crowd in attendance, and they were loud and proud as they marched past the Duke Energy building and Bank of America, which were both heavily guarded by law enforcement – as you can imagine. There were two arrests that day.

— And speaking of, we’ve already passed the number of arrests they had in Tampa (3). I don’t know the exact total number of those arrested here so far, but 10 of the “Undocubus” illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday – not because they don’t have “their papers”, but because they refused to move out of the line of traffic. They were released. And won’t be deported, per ICE (shock).

I took the below video yesterday of a demonstrator (not with Undocubus) getting carted off yesterday:

He claims he was arrested for wearing a mask, which is illegal in Charlotte (and was well before the convention was planned).

— One thing I wanted to make sure I did yesterday was to get pictures and/or video of protesters in action. Thanks to a tip from a friend who was there for the same reason, I – along with another friend – went down to the corner of Caldwell and Stonewall and inserted myself in the mix of demonstrators who were staging a sit-in and protest in support of American traitor Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. Code Pink ringleader Medea Benajamin was in the crowd, and made her way to the “free speech zone” set up nearby. Here’s video I took of that of that below. Oh, and that’s me yelling in the background (language warning):

The word that comes to mind immediately when I see or hear Medea Benjamin is “vile.” But even that doesn’t quite cover how detestable this woman is.

— The SMELL in the middle of that protest was awful. Simply awful. It was hot, humid, raining off and on (as it had been for the last several days), and I was pretty close to wishing I had a bandana to cover my mouth and nose but not even that was/is technically allowed uptown by the police. So I dealt with it. For you. ;)

— While on the topic of protesters, I ventured down to the “new” Occupy Charlotte encampment, which is based in Marshall Park that CMPD has allowed them to have, in spite of a beefed-up camping ordinance put in place earlier this year for the express purpose of preventing this very thing from happening during the convention. I took numerous pictures of Occupy Charlotte, and not many people were there at the time (there are approx 20-25 tents on site), but I did get what I think was a good picture of the essence of the Occupy movement, both in Charlotte and other cities around America:

The porta-johns at the Occupy Charlotte camp.

I would estimate that at their HIGHEST count, the protester numbers are probably no more than around 200. Although Sunday’s MOWSS march did not live up to their expectations (or down?), that hasn’t stopped them from utilizing their usual tactics of pushing the elderly, women, and the handicapped towards the front, and being deliberately antagonistic towards police, as was on full display yesterday.

— There was a strong contingent of pro-life marchers uptown. They were WAY over the top, and I say that as a staunch pro-lifer myself. That’s all I’ll say about it.

— The non-protester crowds were for the most part pleasant. They were – unsurprisingly – enthusiastic, seemed excited (all over the wrong candidate, of course), and were taking pictures like crazy of the MSNBC stage set up at the EpiCentre, and the now infamous Obama sand sculpture. Here’s one I took:

The Obama sand sculpture by the Black Finn restaurant.

Yes, it was that big. Almost as big as the ego of our celebrity President himself. But not quite. On a related note, I did spot Chris “Tingles” Matthews at one point …

I’ll post many more pictures later on Facebook of the DNC stuff – including more from Occupy Charlotte, and provide a link back here so y’all can view them.

Lastly, First Lady Michelle Obama made her big speech last night in front of delegates and celebrity types, and – shockingly (not) – the MSM and pundits are fawning over her alleged ability to “connect” with crowds. Hollywood types who are in town this week, and who aren’t, made their feelings known about Mrs. Obama’s speech, with some admitting they were crying during and after the speech. Well, I was too – sorta – but for much different reasons. Make sure you read this piece at Breitbart.com from Joel Pollack, who fact checked the First Lady and found her assertions to be, well, lacking. I know, hard to believe …

Aaaaand, guess what? The President has now officially arrived in Charlotte.

New Tone Watch: Nikki Haley is just like Hitler’s mistress!

**Posted by Phineas

Again I ask, what is in the water South Carolina Democrats are drinking?

S.C. Democratic Chairman Dick Harpootlian, never a loss for a quick quip, tossed a few stinging one-liners at the Wednesday delegation breakfast.

On Gov. Nikki Haley participating in daily news briefings in a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame: “She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”

Yes, because the democratically elected Indian-American Republican governor of a US state is so very comparable to the mistress of a genocidal dictator and who joined him in suicide in that bunker.


The Nazi comparisons are flying fast from the Democrats at their convention. California Democrat Party chairman John Burton compared Paul Ryan to Goebbels, while a Kansas delegate compared him to Hitler, himself.

It’s nothing new for high-ranking Democrats to liken their opposition to an exterminationist German fascist party, though; Nancy Pelosi, while Speaker of the House, claimed Americans protesting as part of the Tea Party movement were brandishing swastikas at town hall meetings.

Must be that “elevated political discourse” they keep talking about.

UPDATE: PJM’s Bryan Preston says Harpootlian should do the decent thing and resign.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) “Don’t it feel great to belong to the government?”

**Posted by Phineas

Following up on yesterday’s open declaration of the Democrats’ New American Identity, Revealing Politics decided to interview DNC convention attendees to find out how they felt about belonging to the government.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet the Gamma-pluses of the Brave New World:

So, their identity and their sense of safety and togetherness come from belonging to the government?

I’m with Michelle Malkin: creepy.

UPDATE: I was trying to identify the vibe this video was giving off, and then it hit me — Pod People!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

BOA Stadium plans scrapped – #DNC2012 will move to O’s speech to TWC Arena

Been speculated for the last couple of days that they would do this, but they made it official this morning:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. President Barack Obama will now deliver his nomination speech Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena because of concerns about severe weather, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced on Wednesday.

“We have been monitoring weather forecasts closely and several reports predict thunderstorms in the area, therefore we have decided to move Thursday’s proceedings to Time Warner Cable Arena to ensure the safety and security of our delegates and convention guests,” said DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan. The energy and enthusiasm for our convention in Charlotte has been overwhelming and we share the disappointment of over 65,000 people who signed up for community credentials to be there with the President in person. We encourage our community credential holders and Americans across the country to continue to come together with their friends and neighbors to watch and participate in history.”

On Tuesday, DNCC officials confirmed the arena was a backup site for Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday if bad weather forced a move from Bank of America Stadium.

A move to the smaller arena venue could prove to be a logistical headache for the event organizers, who have not said where the overflow of people would go.

Campaign officials had distributed thousands of community credentials, and then ran out of them, but did not state a specific number. The DNCC expects 65,000 to attend the stadium speech, including delegates, guests and community credential holders. The arena has 15,000 seats for the DNC, organizers have said.

I’m not buying the weather excuse,even though it has rained off and on here throughout the week.  I’m also REALLY not buying the “DNCC expects 65,000 to attend” assertion, because after the initial wave of ticket distribution,  numerous sources reported that they have not been able to GIVE the tickets away.  Not only that, but would they REALLY move the speech to a much smaller venue if they thought that many would be attending it?  They have NO “overflow” plan, and guess what a nightmare tomorrow would be with people trying to be among the lucky few who get to get into the arena?  Notice they say organizers “expect” 65,000 to attend – not “organizers gave away xyz number of tickets” … do they really not know how many tickets were distributed?

Plus, but most of the people who have attended this convention already believe Obama walks on water and would gladly sit in the rain to hear him speak, and surely the logistics of giving him a covered area in which to speak would be easier than moving “65,000”??

The likely explanation for this, which the DNCC would never give out, is that the empty seats you would have seen (BOA stadium capacity is a little over 73,000)  the night of the speech would have been a political embarrassment for POTUS, not to mention an egotistical blow personally for The One. Better to make it look like he has a ton of support from rank and file Democrats than to reveal to America how much even that support has dropped off.

Moving right along …

Photo via Doug Weber.