Monday, April 2, 2012


By Cash Michaels

            On Tuesday, public school superintendents from across North Carolina echoed the same cry - the $1 billion the Republican-led NC General Assembly cut from the state education budget last year is forcing them to cut programs, layoff teachers and staff, and ultimately make decisions that will hurt, not help, the vulnerable students in their county school systems.
            Put that, however, to Dallas Woodhouse, state director of the NC chapter of Americans for Prosperity (NC-AFP), the conservative nonprofit national group with Tea Party ties that looks to starve government, and not only does he accuse those school system leaders of just wanted more money, but even contends that there was no billion dollar cut.
“That’s factually incorrect,” Woodhouse told The Carolinian regarding the $1 billion education cut during a recorded phone interview three weeks ago. “The numbers just don’t show anything close to that.”
 At the time Woodhouse was responding to Gov. Perdue blast at a NC-AFP TV ad about education funding as being “factually true” but whose meaning was “distorted.”
Perdue was referring to how GOP cuts in other critical education budget areas canceled out the 2,000 teaching positions the Republicans were claiming to add.
“We are 915 public school teachers fewer than we were this time last year,” the governor told The Carolinian. “Nearly 2,000 teaching assistants [fewer]; nearly 5,000 total employees in the public school systems of North Carolina, because of the discretionary cuts in the budget.”
Perdue added that GOP leaders in the General Assembly intend to make similar cuts to education, in addition to another $14 million cut, when they return to Raleigh in May for their legislative session.
She expressed particular concern that Republican leaders, by failing to adequately fund education, may have now lost the opportunity to tap the $10 billion federal Education Jobs Fund designed to undergird state expenditures for teacher hiring, meaning that another 4,000 teaching positions statewide could be lost in the coming school year.
The governor challenged the General Assembly to join her in backing a three-quarter of a cent increase in the state sales tax targeted specifically to aid the state’s public schools.
            Woodhouse countered that state Republican legislative leaders gave school systems statewide more money in the state budget than they had immediately before, not less, to fund teaching positions. He says GOP lawmakers allotted $7.5 billion this budget, as opposed to the $7.1 billion Democrats allotted last budget.
             “There was more state money put into education last year, than there was the year before,” he maintains, $400 million more, allowing for the hiring of 2,000 more teachers statewide.
            Woodhouse says NC-AFP criticized Gov. Perdue and the Democrat-led NC Legislature two years before for using one-time federal stimulus money to temporarily bolster county education budgets and teaching positions, knowing full-well that once those dollars ran out, those school systems would be left high and dry.
            But at Tuesday’s special five-hour meeting of school superintendents, hosted by the State Board of Education, many of those officials say it was the responsibility of state lawmakers, once that money ran out, to fill that void so that school systems could maintain their budgets at adequate levels, especially since they have been experiencing state budget cuts for the past four years.
            Many of the superintendents, particularly those from smaller school districts in poorer counties, charged that the General Assembly had “failed” the children of North Carolina with their budget cuts.
            “Our children deserve better,” Supt. Ira Trollinger of McDowell County schools said.
            Caldwell County Schools Superintendent Steve Stone echoed the cry with, “"When our General Assembly members try to tell you that they've added jobs, they really haven't."
NC-AFP’s Woodhouse accuses county school superintendents who cry foul about allegedly getting less money from the state of “making political arguments.”
            “The facts show that the state funded more teaching positions in this [Republican] budget - an increase of 2000 state -funded teaching positions, and a total of over 5,000 state-funded education jobs,” Woodhouse insisted. “Those are the facts. [The NC Dept. of Public Instruction’s] own records show that.”
            Woodhouse continued that what some school superintendents complain to be a state budget cut, is actually more fiscal freedom.
            “It gave the localities a lot more flexibility than they’ve had in the past, and some of them did choose to layoff teachers. That was a choice they made, based on the needs that were in their jurisdiction,” Woodhouse said.
            Alexandria Sirota, director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit NC Budget & Tax Center, says the facts show that the education budget in North Carolina suffered dramatically under the GOP-led Legislature.
            “What we are seeing here is a move to manipulate the numbers,” Sirota said, later calling Woodhouse’s claim of more, not less money added, “an accounting maneuver.”
 “We know that no matter how you look at the budget, the ultimate impact was that no teacher positions were added,” says Sirota.
            “We know that on net, there was a loss of 915 teaching jobs, and 2000-plus teaching assistant positions. Those job losses directly impact student’s experiences in the classroom,” Sirota said.
            “We can estimate conservatively that almost 20,000 students would have been impacted by the loss of those teachers, and perhaps shifted to other classrooms, doubled-up into rooms, etc,” she continued. “So [this] is really about where the decisions were made to not adequately fund teachers’ positions at a time when we not only saw an increase in the number of students in the classroom, but we also saw the loss of federal dollars.”

By Cash Michaels

            With 2012 shaping up to be one of the most pivotal election years in history, the NC NAACP has kicked off its statewide effort, “1000 Churches, Temples and Mosques - 100% Voter Registration Campaign.”
            In a statement issued April 3rd, the eve of the 44th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, announced that the civil rights group and its religious constituents, “…will call upon one thousand churches, temples and mosques to register 100% of their parishioners to vote.”
            “Dr. King, as a social gospel evangelical, reminded us that concern for policies that impact racial disparities, the poor, the marginalized, the vulnerable children and workers are all matters of faith,” Rev. Barber continued. “Whether we look at Isaiah 10, Isaiah 58 or Luke 4, people of faith are called to be concerned about the implications and impact of public policy.”
“After examining data and public policy, the NC NAACP renders the opinion that North Carolina is in a “State of Emergency” when it comes to public education funding, poverty and jobs, equal protection under the law, injustices in the criminal justice system, access to healthcare, the protection of civil and constitutional rights, environmental protection and immigrant rights for many North Carolinians. Civic engagement is of paramount importance and the NAACP believes that expanding participation in our democracy is critical for this state to choose a better way.”
Rev. Barber pointed to the impact that right-wing Tea Party-affiliated groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has been “spoon-feeding state legislatures [nationally] with regressive and copycat legislation, which is at the center of a national campaign to suppress our voting power…” through voter ID laws.
ALEC is also responsible for pushing “Stand Your Ground” laws to, similar to the one in Florida that prevented police from arresting George Zimmerman after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in at least 20 states, including North Carolina.
“[Those laws] will have a devastating impact on public policy,” Rev. Barber maintains. “The civil rights and progressive community must march, meet, raise our voices and maximize the full strength of the black, brown and Progressive Vote. The 1000 Churches, Temples and Mosques - 100% Voter Registration Campaign is an aggressive endeavor, attached to other efforts by the NC NAACP, to match the extreme right's attack on the rights of African-Americans, the elderly, the poor, women and other minorities.”
Barber says that the NC NAACP’s Historic Thousands on Jones Street coalition partners, “will engage in statewide efforts of 1) mass non-partisan organizing to protect our vote, 2) mass non-partisan voter education on the issues, 3) and mass non-partisan expansion, mobilization and participation in the voting process. We know and we believe that our democracy works better when the electorate is deepened and broadened rather than narrowed and suppressed.”
Recent actions by the Republican-led NC General Assembly, including controversial redistricting maps which bundle at least 50 percent of the state’s black voters into three congressional districts; the attempt to establish voter ID, the elimination of Soulful Sundays early voting and the shortening of the One Stop/Early Voting period down to one week; cutting $1 billion from the state education budget with more cuts to come; cutting $2 billion from Medicare over the next two years; the attempt, beaten back by Gov. Perdue’s veto, to gut the NC Racial Justice Act; the cutting of funding for pre-kindergarten education programs for poor children; the push for the same-sex marriage ban in Amendment One; and the denial of economic justice for the 1.6 million North Carolinians in poverty, are the key reasons why Rev. Barber says North Carolina is in a state of emergency.
“We understand that national movements must start at the state and local level, and most often from the South,” Rev. Barber said. “We are continuing to build a Movement in North Carolina on the shoulders of the countless freedom fighters that come before us. The 1000 Churches, Temples and Mosques - 100% Voter Registration Campaign is the most recent endeavor to keep building the aggressive and progressive movement to push North Carolina to choose a better way.”

STAR TREK GREETING - President Obama welcomes "Star Trek" actress Nichelle Nichols to the White House Oval Office with the famous Vulcan split-finger greeting, "Live Long and Prosper." Nichols, who portrayed Lt. Uhura in the '60's series, says she was pleased that the president was indeed a fan. (photo courtesy of Twitter]

Poll: Obama Leads Republican Rivals
by Eric Mayes
Special to the NNPA from the Philadelphia Tribune

President Barack Obama holds a slim lead in Pennsylvania, according to a new poll, which also gave the president a bigger edge in two other important swing states, Florida and Ohio.
“Obama is on a roll in the key swing states. If the election were today, he would carry at least two states. And if history repeats itself, that means he would be re-elected,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which released the poll this week.
If Pennsylvania voters had to choose today between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Obama would edge out Romney by a razor thin margin of 45 percent to 42 percent. The president would more easily win re-election over former Sen. Rick Santorum. Quinnipiac showed Obama winning a hypothetical contest with Santorum by 48 to 41 percent.
The poll makes it clear that, of the two present Republican contenders, Pennsylvania voters prefer Romney.
“He remains the stronger of the two major GOP contenders. Voters in Pennsylvania still see Romney as better able than the president to fix the economy,” Brown said.
Pennsylvania voters turned Santorum out of office in 2006, and the poll suggests they still distrust him.
“Although he is a native son, Rick Santorum runs worse against Obama in Pennsylvania than does Mitt Romney,” Brown said. “The former U.S. senator also is liked the least.”
Results were similar in Florida and Ohio.
In Florida, the poll showed Obama winning over Romney 49 to 42 percent. Santorum again fared worse than Romney in a potential vote, garnering support from just 37 percent of Florida voters, compared to 50 percent for Obama.
Quinnipiac also showed Ohio voters choosing Obama 47 percent to Romney’s 41 percent. The president would also beat Santorum in Ohio with 47 percent to 40 percent for Santorum.
While Obama held a lead in each of the three states, Brown noted that most polls have a margin of error of roughly three points, which means that Obama faces his greatest challenge in Pennsylvania.
Obama’s lead in Ohio and Florida has widened over the last two months.
“Two months ago, President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney were in a statistical tie in Ohio and Florida,” Brown added. “The biggest reason for the president’s improving prospects probably is the economy.”
About 57 percent of respondents said they felt the economy was beginning to recover.
The poll did not break down support for each candidate by race, but did report that women in all three states prefer Obama by six to 19 percentage points.
It also found that for voters the biggest issues were, in descending order: the economy, unemployment and health care reform.
Social issues like abortion and gay marriage, which have been at the core of Santorum’s campaign, ranked ninth on the list of concerns.
Contact staff writer Eric Mayes at (215) 893-5742 or

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On the steps of John Wilson Building in Washington, DC, a little girl is making the sign of the gun and holding the Skittles that Trayvon Martin had when he was shot. Thousands of people were at Freedom Plaza on March 26, 2012 in honor of Martin. (C) Roy Lewis 2012

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Zimmerman’s Self-Defense Claim Questionable
By George E. Curry
NNPA Editor-in-Chief

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – George Zimmerman’s claim that he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense during a scuffle in Sanford, Fla. has continued to unravel, even as the shooter’s relatives have gone on TV to justify the killing and the city’s police department has leaked information aimed at discrediting the Black high school junior.
Martin was visiting the central Florida city near Orlando on Feb. 26 when he was killed by Zimmerman, who police described as White.  Martin, who was returning to a gated townhouse community after walking to a nearby 7-Eleven to purchase a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea, was unarmed.
Thanks to social networking – Trayvon’s name has been mentioned more than 1 million times on Twitter – and Martin’s parents’ willingness to provide emotional accounts of their young son’s life, the case has sparked international attention and protests. Rap artists, many of them barely older than Trayvon, have posted tributes to Trayvon on YouTube, adding pressure on Florida officials to charge Zimmerman with Martin’s death. Even President Obama has spoken out, saying all of the facts about the case need to be known.
A key element of Zimmerman’s story – that he was screaming for help shortly before killing Martin with his 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun – has been discredited by two forensic experts consulted by the Orlando Sentinel. In one of the early calls to 911, a voice screaming for help and a single gunshot can be heard in the background.
Using a computerized process that compares voice attributes, the two experts were able to rule out Zimmerman’s assertion that he was the one yelling for help.
“I took all of the screams and put those together, and cut out everything else,” said Tom Owen, chairman emeritus of the American Board of Recorded Evidence. “…You can say with reasonable scientific certainty that it’s not Zimmerman.”
A second expert, Ed Primeau, agreed.
“I believe that’s Trayvon Martin in the background,” he said. “That’s a young man screaming.”
George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, has gone into hiding since the incident. But his father and brother have assumed a more public role, providing what they say is his account that rainy night in Sanford.
Robert Zimmerman Jr. told Piers Morgan on CNN that his brother was on his way to Target when he spotted someone he viewed as suspicious. He said George Zimmerman was reaching for his cell phone when he and Martin came to blows. “He never got to make that phone call because he was attacked by Mr. Martin,” the shooter’s brother said.
ABC News enhanced a video of Zimmerman taken the night of his arrest showing a possible gash or injury to the back of his head. However, no blood is evident on Zimmerman or his clothing. Zimmerman’s version of events is that he was attacked by Martin when he got out of his SUV.
Because he is dead, Trayvon Martin is not around to tell his side of the story. Still, that has not prevented police from trying to sully his reputation.
Through a series of department leaks, it was revealed that Trayvon had been suspended from school three times: for tardiness and truancy; for marking a school wall with graffiti and after school officials discovered traces of marijuana in his book bag. He was serving the 10-day suspension for the latter when he was visiting Sanford with his father.
“It’s completely irrelevant to what happened Feb. 26,” said Benjamin Crump, the family lawyer.
If everything police leaked about Trayvon’s school record were true, that information was not known to Zimmerman the night he killed the Black youth. And it certainly did not give Zimmerman the authority to act as the judge, jury and executioner.
For more than a month, Bill Lee, the Sanford police chief who has temporarily stepped aside, maintained that his department could not file charges against Zimmerman’s because of the state’s “Stand Your Ground Law,” which provides broad protection for a person claiming to be acting in self-defense.
“Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony,” Lee wrote in a memo posted on the city’s Website. “By Florida State law, enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and the circumstances they had at the time.”
It has since been learned that while Chief Lee was sounding like Zimmerman’s defense attorney in public, his department had originally requested an arrest warrant from the Seminole County State Attorney’s office. The case was originally categorized as “homicide/negligent manslaughter.”
Angela Corey, the special prosecutor appointed to handle the case, told the Miami Herald: “I can tell you that the police went to the state attorney with a capias request [a request for charges to be filed], meaning: ‘We’re through with our investigation and here it is for you.’”
Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger did not grant the request but later impaneled a grand jury to determine if charges should be brought against Zimmerman. Gov. Rick Scott selected Corey to serve as special prosecutor in the case, replacing Wolfinger. The grand jury is scheduled to convene April 10.
In secret proceedings, the grand jury is expected to weigh whether Zimmerman should be charged with manslaughter or murder. Experts say manslaughter is the more likely charge. It is a crime that is usually committed in the heat of passion and requires proof that Zimmerman’s actions were wanton and reckless. If convicted, Zimmerman could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. The normal sentence is 15 years but Florida law provides extra time for the deaths of children the elderly, the disabled and caregivers.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who signed the “Stand Your Ground” bill into law, says it is not applicable in this case.
“This law does not apply to this particular circumstance,” Bush said after an education panel discussion at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”


            Knightdale Town Councilman Terry Gleason has a lot of explaining to do. When police came to his home on March 27, they discovered Gleason had not only allegedly had a physical fight with a male housemate that included choking, but police also found two grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Both men were charged. The fracas included a minor car accident that saw Councilman Gleason admit to allegedly grabbing the wheel of the car his friend was driving, causing it to go off the road and onto the curb. Both were charged with failure to report an accident. Gleason is expected in court later this month.

            Dempsey Benton, who once served as Raleigh’s city manager and NC secretary of Health and Human Services, has now been appointed by Gov. Beverly Perdue to lead the NC Division of Employment Security, taking over from Lynn Holmes, who was forced to resign after a state audit revealed poor management. Benton was recently in charge of disbursing federal stimulus funding across the state before stepping down.

            A white Zebulon couple has been charged with the ethnic intimidation of their black neighbors, something authorities say has been going on for the past two years. Michael Stanley Mazur and his wife Anne, allegedly wore novelty googly-eye glasses, in addition to calling their black neighbors racial slurs, in addition to “Frog” and “frog-eyes.’ Those neighbors caught the Mazurs on video, and turn it over to the Zebulon police, who then arrested and charged the couple. They were taken to jail in lieu of $5,000 bond each.


            [RALEIGH]  Dorothea Dix Hospital in downtown Raleigh will close its doors for good on August 1, thanks to a vote by the NC Council of State Tuesday. The state facility for the mentally ill has long been slated to be shutdown, but the politics of doing so slowed down the process in recent years. Many of its patients have been, or will be transferred to other facilities by the end of the summer. The city of Raleigh would like to turn the Dix campus into a public park when finally vacated.

            [SAMPSON COUNTY] Those who live in the wealthiest counties in North Carolina are likely to be among the state’s healthiest, a new report says. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, North Carolinians living in Wake, Orange, Union, Mecklenburg and dare counties lead the state in health and quality of life outcomes. They also tend to have higher income brackets than do residents of Columbus, Robeson, Halifax, Bladen and Edgecombe - some of the state’s poorest counties. Researchers say lack of access to good medical treatment, well-paying jobs and high poverty levels are some of the reasons why.

[LOS ANGELES, CA] Black women in six major metropolitan areas across the nation are contracted the HIV/AIDS virus five time faster than the national average. The Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area ranks right behind Baltimore, MD; Atlanta, GA; Newark, NJ; and New York City in an annual rate of infection at 24 per 10,000 black women, reports the Los Angeles Times. Only Washington, D.C. ranks behind RDU. Nationally, black women are infected 5 per 10,000. The figures come from the US Centers for Disease Control. The numbers are surprising because black and gay men are the populations researchers have focused on more as populations more likely to contract the deadly virus.

By Cash Michaels

            THE TRAYVON OUTRAGE - It struck me, last week, when retired Virginia magistrate Robert Zimmerman was speaking in shadowy silhouette on a Florida Fox TV affiliate about how his son, George Zimmerman, had to defend his life against 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by shooting the black teenager to death, that Judge Zimmerman, in the midst of defending his son, had to say that he’d never seen so much “hate” coming from President Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and others, when it came to their expressed thoughts about the case.
            The president said if he had a son, “he’d look just like Trayvon,” and urged all Americans to learn from the tragedy.
            The CBC called for the US Justice Dept. to investigate for any possible civil rights violations in the shooting death of Trayvon.
            And the NAACP, Rev. Al Sharpton and others have determined that in the face of overwhelming evidence of probable cause that George Zimmerman unjustly shot Trayvon Martin down in cold blood, Zimmerman should be arrested immediately, and the normal criminal justice process commence.
            To the father of the person who pulled the trigger, all of the above is considered, in his mind, “hate.”
            That statement from Judge Zimmerman was a dog whistle to his fellow right-wingers to do whatever they have to do to further politicize the tragedy so that if ever a jury is ever impaneled to hear the case, somebody on that jury will not pay attention to the evidence, but rather think politically, and protect his “good” some the “hate of Obama, the CBC and the NAACP.
            It has come o this.
            So now right-wing websites like The Daily Caller are breaking into the Twitter and Facebook accounts of a dead teenager to expose any incriminating pictures or postings that, in their judgment, make Trayvon Martin out to be a black gangbanging thug, the one thing everyone, white, black, but mostly white, feels threatened by.
            Thus, the pictures with the gold teeth that are being used in Fox News promos about the case. Or Twitter postings by Trayvon showing him allegedly referring to himself as “NIGGA” and other street references.
            And, of course, don’t forget the police leaks about Trayvon’s three suspensions from school, among other things.
            The right-wingers say it’s only fair to reveal as much as possible about Trayvon so that the public can fairly judge his character, as they did George Zimmerman’s.
            Digging into the social networking account of a dead teenager, someone who can’t explain what we’re subsequently seeing or reading in defense.
            No one dug into George Zimmerman’s Facebook or Twitter account. All of his arrests were public record. The domestic assault charge on his ex-girlfriend; the assault charge on a police officer. All of it was the public record.
            But most importantly, Zimmerman is still alive to defend all of it.
            The lines of decency that have been broken in the Trayvon Martin case for the sake of politics are disturbing, indeed As far as the right-wing is concerned, they are doing nothing wrong. They are using Pres. Obama’s words to justify politicizing what may turn out to be a manslaughter case, under the guise that “He started it,” which, quite frankly, is pure rubbish.
            But it shows how far we’ve fallen as a nation.
            And it’s a shame.
            MISTAKES IN THE TRAYVON CASE - Let’s be clear, filmmaker Spike Lee had no business putting the address of a Florida couple out on Twitter, just because someone in their household was named “George Zimmerman,” the killer of Trayvon Martin.
            I’m sure that Spike didn’t want anybody hurt, and only wanted thousands of people to go to the address to protest, but what he did was as wrong as it can get.
            The couple whose address was retweeted had to leave their home and live in a hotel until the coast was clear. Spike was forced to apologize to them, and pay their expenses, and rightfully so.
            So Spike was wrong. No excuses. He was wrong, and could have gotten someone hurt
            Or killed.
            NBC News.
            They ran a report on “The Today Show” after the 911 tapes in the Trayvon Martin case were released.
            On the tape where George Zimmerman is speaking with the Sanford Police dispatcher, the NBC report has Zimmerman saying “He’s black,” referring to the “suspicious” figure he sees walking, apparently with no prompting.
            Problem - Zimmerman was prompted, by a question from the police dispatcher asking if the subject in question was black, white or Hispanic? But the NBC report cut the question out, making it seem as if Zimmerman came up with the answer on his own.
            Red meat conservatives from Fox’s Sean Hannity to Ann Coulter have been howling like stuck pig-wolves (I made it up, but it’s close) how awesomely dishonest NBC News is in trying to exploit race in its Trayvon Martin coverage.
            Frankly, I don’t know how NBC screwed up that story, and they deserve to be criticized for misleading reporting. They say they’re investigating it. If it was an honest mistake, fix the problem so that it doesn’t happen again.
            If it was deliberate, FIRE the person responsible. The story is hard enough without shoddy journalism.
            One thing NONE of us wants to see, and that’s NBC News get as bad as Fox News, which we all know deliberately misreports stuff, or doesn’t report (or cover) stuff at all, if it doesn’t conform to their political agenda. We certainly wouldn’t want anything like THAT at NBC News, now would we?
            And finally, talented black journalist and commentator, Toure’.
            Brotherman got on Piers Morgan’s CNN show last Friday night, and virtually cussed the low-rent Brit out for the way Morgan handled his interview with Zimmerman’s older brother Robert Jr., saying on Morgan never pressed him on
stuff that was essentially made up.
            I saw that interview, and Morgan did let some stuff fly that I found amazing, but Toure’ should have been more calculating on how he went after Morgan on it. So anxious to expose Morgan as a poor journalist who hails from British tabloid yellow journalism, Toure’ allowed himself to get sloppy and over-anxious, thus allowing Morgan to talk Toure’ into admitting that he felt Zimmerman was guilty of essentially murder, then exposing him as an “unprofessional” journalist for doing so before a court of law has even heard the case.
            Toure’ got torn, and ended up having to apologize to Morgan days later for his behavior.
            Always go forward with a plan, Bro’man. Always have a plan.
            Toure’ had no plan, and paid with his rep.
            So lots of liberal mistakes in the Trayvon Martin case. Let’s be careful, y’all!
            KEITH, OH KEITH - I swear I love Keith Olbermann. He’s fearless, funny, clever, intelligent, articulate, and committed to his cause of progressive politics
            But Keith is also self-destructive, and it’s beginning to wear thin.
            Last week, Olbermann was fired from Current TV, the liberal cable channel that was building a new brand of political talk with Keith as the centerpiece ever since he came to work for them last June after ending eight tumultuous years at MSNBC.
            Olbermann says the folks at Current TV just couldn’t get it right when it came to investing in the quality “news” program he was producing in “Countdown.”
            Current TV executives counter that Keith was a pain the moment he got there. They accuse him of being uncooperative, missing days from work, and hurting the company.
            Keith responded to the accusations by promising a big fat lawsuit.
            So now Keith is a newsman without a news outlet, primarily because he’s burned his bridges pretty thoroughly everywhere he’s worked.
            HBO might be a place where Keith could work without incident, but that would mean going back to the corporate media he hates so much.
            One way or another, I hope that Keith Olbermann gets his act together, and calms down long enough to return to television. We need his voice in this most important of times in our nation.
            I just seriously hope that he takes care of himself.
            DON’T FORGET - Almost five children a day die because of child abuse. On Saturday, April14, the Prevention of Child Abuse 5K Walk will kick off from the Neuse River Amphitheater, 298 S. Front Street in Smithfield from 8a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pre-register at For more information contact Ronald or Carolyn Penny at 919-931-8898.
                        Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my new blog, ‘The Cash Roc” ( I promise it will be interesting.
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.

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