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Posted: Saturday, May. 19, 2012

‘Morning Joe’ from the BlackFinn Saloon? Maybe

By Tim Funk
Published in: Democratic Convention

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MSNBC’s Joe “Morning Joe” Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski will be in Charlotte convention week to do their show from the EpiCentre.

That much is a done deal.

But where in the EpiCentre? We’re hearing BlackFinn Saloon, though MSNBC and EpiCentre are officially mum.

Look for Scarborough – an ex-GOP congressman from Florida – to invite many of the nation’s top pundits and politics reporters to join him for some early AM talk in his temporary uptown digs.

Star power at JCSU summit

Students in Charlotte and around the country will get to text, tweet or personally pose questions to top politicos and activist actors convention week when Johnson C. Smith University and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute stage “UFuture: A Summit for Innovative Young Thinkers.”

Among the actors expected to be on the JCSU campus Sept. 4 to field those questions: multi-Oscar and Emmy nominee Alfre Woodard (“Passion Fish,” “Star Trek: First Contact”), Harvard Law School grad Hill Harper (“CSI: NY”) and Jurnee Smollett, star of big screen (“The Great Debaters”) and small screen (“Friday Night Lights”).

We’re told the summit also will feature U.S. Reps. Mel Watt of North Carolina, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and “White House officials” to be named later.

Muslims at Marshall Park

Muslims from Charlotte and beyond will gather at Marshall Park the Friday afternoon before the convention (Aug. 31) for Jumah – the traditional Friday prayer service.

Thousands are expected for the event, sponsored by the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs.

Organizers have invited Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, one of only two Muslim members of Congress.

In 2007, Ellison used a copy of the Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson for his ceremonial swearing-in. He borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress.

Come party with the Irish

Irish immigrants who left the Old Sod for America in the 19th century found a home away from home in the Democratic Party. So ’tis no surprise that one of the big events convention week will be the “Irish American Democrats Party.”

It’ll be hosted by a PAC that says it’s all about “providing support to Democratic candidates who promote peace, justice and prosperity in Ireland.”

Their paddy, er, party will be Sept. 5 at the Rí Rá Irish pub uptown – natch – and it’ll go from 10 p.m. until the wee hours of the morn. For $75, you get live Irish music, a buffet and three drinks. Reservations: 803-802-1678 or dyerhart@hotmail.com.

Hey, got a convention tip?

Tell us what you know. Contact the Dish: 704-358-5703. Or: tfunk@charlotteobserver.com

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