Saturday, September 1, 2012



By Cash Michaels

            [CHARLOTTE] After a few days of fiery and some times defiant rhetoric, designed to energize the Democratic base, President Barack Obama  will accept the re-nomination of his party for four more years tonight at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
            The original venue, the 70,000-seat Bank of America Stadium, could not be used due to threat of thunderstorms.
            It will be tough duty for the president. No matter how lofty, how promising Obama paints America’s future, amid the backdrop of a struggling economy, the joIt will be tough duty for the president. No matter how lofty, how promising Obama paints America’s future, amid the backdrop of a struggling economy, the jobs numbers for August come out Friday morning, they’re not expected to be good, especially since hey have been hovering around 8.3 percent nationally for several months.
            Still, members of North Carolina’s convention delegation say the president will make the case tonight to stay the course on the economic front.
            “It would be crazy, now that the economic ship has been righted, to allow [the Republicans] to come back and get the ship turned upside-down again,” said State Sen. Dan Blue.
            “This president has shown that he cares,” aid Rep. Alma Adams [D-Guilford]. “We see some genuineness in this president. He really is concerned about people.”
            It has been an historic week for North Carolina and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
            First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the week with a poignant , yet very powerful address that portrayed her husband as being no different from any other loving husband and father.
            And yet, she said, once he became president of the United States, the job and enormous responsibilities didn’t change who he was, but rather further revealed it.
            Wednesday evening former President Bill Clinton addressed the convention, talking about the economic challenges Pres. Obama has faced, and how his economic policies may be slow, but are steady in rebuilding economic growth.
            The president and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are in a statistical dead heat, most of the national polls show. Next month, the first of three debates begin, giving each candidate the opportunity to pull ahead in the race to November 6th.


            [RALEIGH] The Democrat-led NC Board of Elections has voted to add more early voting sites in Wake, Hoke, Pamlico, Forsyth, Anson, and Craven counties. The board also voted to add more operational hours to those sites as well. But Republican board members opposed the moves, saying that the counties can’t afford to maintain the extra sites. They also claim that staff will have to shift from  one poll to another.

            [FAYETTEVILLE] Hearings in the cases of three convicted felons who appealed their cases under the NC Racial Justice Act, have been scheduled for October 1. All three are convicted of murder, but opposed the death penalty, and want to commuted to life sentences. The hearings will determine if they are still eligible under the old RJA.

            [RALEIGH] There are at least 30,000 people across the state who have been pronounced legally dead, whose names are still registered to vote, says a conservative group who alleges the possibilities for voter fraud are now greater. The group, the Voter Integrity Project, presented its list of  “dead voters” to the NC Board of Elections to make its point, and demand action. The group has it has evidence of voter fraud, but won’t release it right now. The BOE said it would investigate the allegation.


            Parents lined up and let Wake Supt. Anthony Tata and the Wake School Board have it for the school bus problems that started the new school year last week. Tata and officials apologized profusely for buses arriving late or not picking up children at their stops. The school system had cut 52 buses from its fleet in a cost-saving measure, but that resulted in the foul-up. Thirty-four buses have now been returned to service. Over 75,000 Wake students take a school bus.

            A new 30,000 square-foot thrift store operated by the Durham Rescue Mission is hiring personnel. The new store, said to be the largest in the Triangle, is located at Chapel Hill Boulevard, across from Sam’s Club. The mission already operates two other thrift shops.

            When it first opened a few years ago, the City of Raleigh was concerned about a beer company purchasing the naming rights to the downtown Raleigh Amphitheater. But for the next five years, the naming rights will belong to a technology company. Red Hat has paid the city $1.2 million for privilege of being exclusively associated with the 6,000 seat open arena where popular rock acts have performed. The company will also take over the old Progress Energy building at 100 East Davie Street, renaming it “Red Hat Tower.”


                                     NC. LT. GOV. WALTER DALTON

By Cash Michaels

            The polls have not been kind to Walter Dalton, showing North Carolina’s lieutenant governor generally trailing his Republican opponent, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, by as many as 15 points (52-37 percent) in the latest Elon University poll Monday in the race for governor.
            As in 2008, when the voter coattails of a popular Democratic presidential candidate named Barack Obama helped Beverly Perdue outpoint  McCrory for the gubernatorial prize, Walter Dalton may need those coattails again, even though the president is in a deadheat race currently in North Carolina against Republican Mitt Romney.
            Time will tell.
            But as the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte (which Dalton spoke at) comes to a close, the lieutenant governor continues to travel across the state, holding several town hall meetings in communities large and small, answering questions about the issues.
            And believing that when the smoke clears after the November 6th elections, Walter Dalton will be the one elected to succeed Gov. Perdue.
            “[I’m] the type of leader North Carolinians want, somebody who will go out and talk to them,” Dalton, a former state senator, told The Carolinian prior to the convention, adding that as a leader, he’s also willing, “… to learn from the people of North Carolina.”
In an effort to stir the political pot, Dalton issued a proposed state government ethics plan that he says he and his administration would follow if elected.
            “Obviously we’ve seen several scandals over the years from both parties,” Dalton told The Carolinian. “We need to restore public trust and confidence in state government.”
Thus far the governor’s race has been low-key.
            While McCrory has had ads on TV for weeks, Dalton, due to slow fundraising, is only now unveiling his on-the-air campaign. Per the last campaign finance reports from July, while McCrory had over $4 million in the bank, Dalton had under $715,000 on hand. He'll desperately need any outside money he can get from various Democratic interest groups.
           The suddenness with which Gov. Perdue announced that she would not be running for governor in January left capable Democrats flatfooted to vie in the primaries, let alone have time to raise adequate sums of money.
            McCrory, on the other hand, has had the past four years to build his war chest for a second run after being edged by Perdue in 2008. And given his Republican connections, money is no object for the party that seeks to dominate North Carolina state government for the next ten years.
            Oddly enough, The State Employees Association of North Carolina Political Action Committee decided not to endorse either Dalton or McCrory, saying that neither gubernatorial candidate spoke to their issues.
            Dalton says despite McCrory’s high-profile and substantial lead in the polls, he can’t be trusted to protect North Carolina’s middle-class from new taxes on consumption and services. That would push up the state’s sales tax and local property taxes, making life more difficult for small businesses in the state.
            On education, Dalton says he’s worked hard to “be a champion of education,” chairing an education committee in the state Senate for four years, advocating for community colleges; laid the foundation for the 70 early college high schools across the state (and gaining praise from the New York Times for helping to stem the state’s drop-out rate as a result).
Lt. Gov. Dalton charges that McCrory has supported the $1 billion in “drastic cuts” the Republican-led NC General Assembly made to the state’s education budget last year, and does not support the mission of the community college system.
Dalton says McCrory, who was elected mayor of Charlotte in 1995, and went on to serve seven terms, still has to explain why he won’t reveal his tax returns for the past few years (Dalton has turned over his), or if he is indeed an unregistered lobbyist who works for a large law firm with corporate clientele, but is not an attorney.
According to the McCrory campaign website, the Republican candidate, if elected governor, wants to, “ modernize the tax code to spur job creation and productivity; reform education to create a workforce for the future; make government more responsive to business, and “fix our broken economy with a new vision and leadership.’”
McCrory is also a proponent for school choice, he says.
“I have a passion for education,” he’s quoted as saying on his website. ”We will never be satisfied until we transform our public schools into centers of excellence. We cannot achieve excellence by simply spending more money on a broken system; we must make major reforms. Our primary goal must be to empower students to grasp control of their adult lives by providing them the necessary skill set to get a job ”
McCrory’s Democratic opponent says he, not the former Charlotte mayor, has the record, and the leadership, to make things happen in North Carolina.
“In think the people want to know what their leader is going to do. I think they want their leader to engage with them as I’ve done,” Lt. Gov. Dalton says.

By Cash Michaels

NEXT WEEK - I’m in Charlotte for the first day of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and as indicated before, I’m reporting for The Carolinian Newspaper, The Wilmington Journal and Power 750 WAUG-AM.
            Tuesday is normally the day I write this column. But since Tuesday is also the first day of the DNC, it makes it hard to write about what I see and hear in a worthwhile manner.
            So I’ll do just that for next week’s column after I’ve had to chance to get around here, talk to folks, and see some sites.
            I promise I’ll make it worthwhile.
            With your permission, of course.
            Thank you.
            HURRICANE ISAAC - Last week, on the seventh anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Hurricane Isaac blew in, striking the Gulf Coast again, causing tremendous flooding and wind damage to Louisiana and Mississippi.
            At press time, at least four people were known dead, but as the water levels in the respective areas go back down, more bodies are expected to be found of those who either didn’t want to leave their flood-prone homes, or just didn’t have a way to get out.
            The morning after Isaac struck Louisiana, I was scheduled to interview CNN/ABC News political analyst Donna Brazile.
            Brazile is a black woman of history, having managed the presidential campaign of Democrat Al Gore in 2000.
            I’d interviewed Ms. Brazile before, and knew her to be passionate about the Democratic Party, politics and the African-American community. So I was expecting to hear her dissect the Republican National Convention.
            But when she was late calling in for our scheduled appointment, there was something else on her mind and heart.
            Her family, those of whom were living in and around New Orleans when Isaac struck. Those living in New Orleans were fine. The city is below sea level, and after the old levee system failed during Katrina, thus causing massive flooding and loss of life, the new pump system installed did its job.
            But Brazile went on to tell me that some of her family who lived in parishes outside of New Orleans, in areas which have never flooded before, all of a sudden found themselves rushing to flee their homes as rivers of water came barreling down their streets.
            They got out OK, Brazile said, but all of her family was accounted for except one, a sibling who had not been heard from. Her heart was heavy with concern.
            I told Donna Brazile that our hearts, and prayers, were with her, and I prayed that all would be fine in the end.
            We went on with our interview.
            Since then, I have not seen or heard anything about Donna Brazile’s family in Louisiana. I hope that’s a good thing. I hope that all of her family survived the storm.
            I was also saddened to hear that Isaac took the renovated home in Louisiana of Prof. Melissa Harris-Perry, host of her own show on MSNBC. It was an old home in an old neighborhood, and Perry and her husband took pride in purchasing it, and renovating it to live in.
            When the powerful winds and rain of Isaac struck, no one was in the home, and only possessions were lost, thank GOD. Still, to lose one’s home, even to natural disaster, is heartbreaking.
            We know Prof. Harris-Perry and her family will pull it together again. Still, we wish them the very best. 
THE GOP CONVENTION - While they’re still fresh in my mind, some thoughts about last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
            What a wreck! The whole purpose of a national political convention is to nominate a candidate for president, and express a vision for the future of the nation.
            Well, the Republicans certainly nominated their candidate, namely former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, along with his faithful sidekick, Rep. Paul Ryan for vice president.
            And both men did tell us that they would create 12 million jobs over the next four years, on top of repealing Obamacare.
            My problem with Romney and Ryan is they lied so much in their respective convention addresses, that I didn’t know what to believe.
            Indeed, the fact checkers for all of the major newspapers and media organizations in the nation all agreed that truth was a rare commodity with the Romney camp before, during and after the RNC Convention, and the lies usually were incorporated to mischaracterize President Obama’s record, if not President Obama himself.
            What troubled me even more is that these two men of “faith” apparently don’t give a blaze. As long as the president gets the business-end of a bad story, no lie is too big to tell.
            That is so wrong, and the American people deserve better this and every election.
            And yet, it just might work. Enough Americans are so anxious to get rid of Barack Obama, that they’re willing to believe anything bad or made up about him just to get rid of him.
            And the Republican Party is willing to install phony voter ID laws across the nation to make sure that blacks, the poor and young people are intimidated enough to stay away from the polls on Election day in November, thus ensuring that Obama goes down.
            So yes, this is the most important election in our generation. If we don’t vote come Nov. 6th, the world, as we know it, will change for the worst.
            I want better for my children.
            Don’t you?
            RACE AND THE GOP - As always, the diverse, understanding Republican Party onstage during one of its national conventions IS NOT the same as the audience of delegates at the same convention.
            At last week’s convention in Tampa, Fla., of the 2,286 delegates in attendance, on 47…just 2 percent, were black.
            Match that to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that tallied zero percent of African-Americans polled say they support the Romney-Ryan ticket, and you can see why the Republican Party continues to have a problem with communities of color.
            The GOP was tickled pink to trot out former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Democratic Alabama Congressman Artur Davis to show that at least some black people think the Republican is the place to be.
            Rice, who had ramped up her anti-Obama rhetoric of late, is, and should be respected as a person of high achievement. Unfortunately, the fact that she allowed herself to play second fiddle to a president (George W. Bush) who didn’t even know how to speak the King’s English in public, will always detract from her stature in my eyes.
            And Davis, who actually co-chaired Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, has high-tailed to the GOP only after the voters of Alabama totally rejected his Blue Dog behind in the race for governor a few years ago. The poor man’s ego couldn’t take the rejection (primarily because black voters there couldn’t stand his opposing their interests), so Davis moved from Alabama, and found a new home in Virginia where he hoped to start a fresh career as a black Republican.
            Good luck with that, Artur. That turncoat fits you well.
            And yet, while Artur, Condy and a few other GOP’ers of color were onstage singing the praises of their otherwise truth-challenged party, out in the audience at the convention, a black mother, working for CNN as a camerawoman, lugging heavy equipment through the crowd as she worked hard to bring the story to her viewers, was racially accosted by two white attendees at the convention, who literally threw peanuts at her, laughingly saying afterwards that they were only,”…throwing food to the animals.”
            Once GOP convention officials confirmed whatever, they kicked the two racist morons out, and I assume they took away their credentials to attend.
            Gee, Republican Party, it’s easy, so very easy, to quickly say that we shouldn’t blame the entire political party on the stupid, outrageous racist actions of a few.
            But when that same political party, and its leaders, have an extraordinary record in recent times of “dog whistling” racially divisive mantras for the expressed purpose of maximizing the white vote against a black president, on top of passing racially restrictive voter ID laws designed to limit African-American voter turnout this fall, then one can very easily make an exception.
            What was it that South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, a Democrat and the third most powerful African-American in Congress, tell us last week?:
            “There has been a theory put forth in this country, from its inception, that there are certain gene pools that are not as good as other gene pools, and by that I mean that some people are just inherently unequal. [The theory says] there are some people who are just inherently inferior and not capable of doing certain things.”
            “When people see that this longstanding philosophy that [has been] perpetuated forever is getting a very, serious, in-your-face denigration of its own veracity or validity,
then they try to fight it off.”
             “No African-American is supposed to have the capacity, least more the capability, of being president of the United States. There are people who actually feel that way.”
            Lord knows the Democratic Party isn’t near perfect, and I’ve had my disagreements with some of the policy actions of President Obama, as many of us have had.
            But all of that pales in comparison with the absolutely disturbing pattern of behavior we’re seeing on the Republican side of the political coin, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say most African-Americans, if not most Americans period, see it too.           
            So if you’re black and in the Republican Party, enjoy the ride. But while you’re doing so, at least have the decency and the guts to speak out and challenge your party when it does wrong.
            Otherwise, what good are you?
EASTWOOD - I know it’s been virtually a week since actor/director Clint Eastwood did his now infamous “Invisible Obama” routine at the RNC.
Outside of the fact that I join the many who have said it was a very said display for someone we all idolize for his tremendous record of awardwinning moviemaking, I’m not going to rehash all that went on. Clearly the Romney folks had no idea Clint would go ape and screw-up their convention (whether they want to admit it or not).
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that performing is work, and a person’s politics or personal behavior could well be certainly the polar opposite of their public persona. And that’s their right.
But I will say this - it is always disappointing to see some of our favorite entertainers and performers be different from the positive images we have of them. As much as I loved actor Robert Conrad from the old “Wild, Wild West” TV series, it broke my heart to see that this hero of my childhood years was really nothing but a right-wing creep.
Same with comedian Dennis Miller, who got his start on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Miller shocked us when he became a mainstay on Fox News, first with Sean Hannity (my skin crawls just to write that clown’s name), and now with Bill O’Reilly (and equally repulsive conservative Fox meat eater). Miller tends to lose it now that he’s an old, grumpy man, especially when it comes to talking about President Barack Obama.
Kelsey Grammar, currently the star of the TV series “Boss” on the Starz Channel, but more famously known as “Frazier” from “Cheers” is a Republican, but I’ll give him credit, he doesn’t bash folks over the head with it. He did produce the popular BET comedy, “Girlfriends,” in case you didn’t know.
You already know about Chuck “Walker, Texas Ranger” Norris, and how he stumped for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for president in 2008. Crazy Bruce Willis is Republican too, but only when it comes to economics. Socially, there’s no way the right-wing wants Willis in its corner.
We all know actor-former governor-turned-actor-again Arnold Scharzenegger
Actor Jon Voight, father of liberal actress Angelina Jolie, is a nutty right-winger, which is a shame since I do like his work.
It is just hard separating a celebrity’s politics from the total package. You pay money to watch their movies and enjoy their characters, and the next thing you know, they’re on TV saying some of the stupidest, idiotic political things known to man.
That’s when you realize, “Heck, they really are good actors! I never knew they wee THAT stupid!
Oh well, at least Oprah Winfrey is still with us.
I hope. 
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.

                                                DONNA BRAZILE


By Cash Michaels


            Saying that, “I’m an American, that’s my true identity,” Democratic strategist and political pundit Donna Brazile says since President Barack Obama took office almost four years ago, she has been “really shocked” that the Republicans “have not put aside their partisanship [and]…personal animosity towards President Obama…” when the nation needed both the White House and Congress to work together to solve problems.

            In an exclusive interview with the Power 750 WAUG-AM program “Make It Happen” last week, on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Brazile, who is a political commentator for both ABC News and Cable News Network (CNN), as well as a Democratic National Committee official, charged that, “…rather than work with Pres. Obama, the Republicans have put up obstacles every step of the way.”
            One of those “obstacles” is misleading the nation about the president’s accomplishments.
            “I’ve never seen this kind of political obstruction in my entire life, and I’ve been in Washington, DC now for 31 years. They put up roadblocks. They won’t work with him. They will not meet him halfway. They’ll walk in the room and say, “Mr. President, we’re sorry, we’re giving an inch. You give up everything; we’re not giving you anything.”
            Brazile continued, “They’ve put this country on a path to almost defaulting on our obligations, and yet after [the Republicans] struck a deal, now they want to go back on their word…”
            Brazile added that, “...the modern Republican Party wants to paint the worst picture possible of President Obama,” saying that they have done everything they could to disrespect the first black president of the United States.
            Donna Brazile’s remarks echo those of South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, who also told “Make It Happen” that the Republicans have been “disloyal” to the nation by vowing to stop President Obama.
            “They met on the night that he was sworn-in, and took a blood oath to each other that they would be obstacles to [Obama’s] administration,” Clyburn maintained. “And they set out to do so in a way that demonstrates the ultimate in disloyalty to the country.”
            “ The loyal opposition has been anything but loyal,” Rep. Clyburn continued. “We expect for them to be in opposition to [Obama’s] policies, but we would hope that they would be loyal to the country. They have made it very clear, that the only reason for their existence... their number one reason…is to make sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president.”
            “No African-American is supposed to have the capacity, least more the capability, of being president of the United States,” Rep. Clyburn added. “There are people who actually feel that way.”
Working for both ABC News and CNN during the Republican National Convention last week, Brazile listened, with interest, as speaker after speaker misrepresented President Obama and his record in office in the lead-up to GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.
            Brazile acknowledges that the president’s record isn’t perfect, but some of the misrepresentations from several high-profiled GOP speakers went too far.
            Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s stated accusation that President Obama “leads from behind,” for instance.
            “I strongly dispute [that] because Pres. Obama has re-established America’s position in the world by essentially working with our allies, working in concert with other nations,” Brazile, who knows Dr. Rice, said.
“We’ve [gotten] three trade agreements. We’re finally out of Iraq. Al-Queda is weakened and [Osama] bin Laden is dead. We have a responsible position for bringing home our men and women from Afghanistan over the next two years. But you know, that’s the political rhetoric and jargon you hear [from the Republicans about the president],” Brazile continued.
However, “What really shocked me,” the veteran pundit said, “was [Romney vice presidential candidate] Paul Ryan’s speech. [His] speech was filled with so many misleading statements that I just sat there at ABC last night and shook my head.
“How could you write a speech with so many misleading statements?”
As others in the major media have noted, Ryan’s “factual errors” ranged from accusing Obama of promising to save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin that closed before he was elected (a check of Obama’s remarks during a visit there prove he never promised to save the plant, only suggesting that help from the government could); to the false allegation that the Obama administration has removed the work requirement from state-run federally funded welfare program (several states requested program flexibility, but the work requirement still exists).
            Lots of “misleading statements” from Ryan,” Brazile said, and lots of promises, like 12 million new jobs over the next four years from Romney, but no real solutions to the nation’s problems.
            Brazile says Pres. Obama worked quickly, after taking office, to head off a deep recession, and saved the from economic collapse, with no help from the Republicans in Congress, who had vowed from the day he was inaugurated not to work with the president, or allow him any victories.
            “Rather than sit down to complain, Pres. Obama got up and went to work every day to turn things around,” Brazile said. “And that’s what [Democrats] are doing, turning things around.”
            “We’re on a path of growth, we’re on a path of opportunity for all Americans, and the way to do that, the way forward, is by investing in the American people, investing in education and innovation, investing in technology.”
            Brazile went on to say that Pres. Obama has created 4 million jobs since taking office, and has had positive job growth, to varying degrees, for 29 straight months. She acknowledges it’s “not enough” to replace the millions of jobs lost during the Bush Administration, but it’s better than “…the 22,000 jobs a day we were hemorrhaging under George Bush and [former Vice President] Dick Cheney.”


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