Faith Based Pimps? Rev. Al Sharpton

Some folks say Preachers should not be involved in Politics. Damn they don’t know their history. They don’t know the role that the church used to play. If the church had not gotten so laid back and I wonder would we have the problems we face today in our communities. (Click on picture to view video)



Obama Not the 1st President to Miss Memorial Day at Arlington

Some conservative talk show hosts and pundits have mounted an effort to politicize Memorial Day by questioning President Obama’s plan to visit a national cemetery in Illinois instead of attending the annual ceremony at Arlington. (Read more @ CBS News)

Note: See the comments that were posted here about President Obama.


Glenn Beck Attacks President’s Daughter — Days After Insisting That Families Of Public Figures Should Not Be Attacked (AUDIO) [UPDATE] – Source: The Huffington Post

In discussing how President Obama uses children to shield himself from criticism, I broke my own rule about leaving kids out of political debates. The children of public figures should be left on the sidelines. It was a stupid mistake and I apologize–and as a dad I should have known better. (Read more @ The Huffington Post)

Note: I get so sick and tired of ignant racist white folks however they will be here until the end of time, so I have to live with them.

Butterfield to Visit Heritage Hospital

U.S. House of Representative SealU.S. Representative G. K. Butterfield

First District of North Carolina

For Release:  Immediate

Date:  May 28, 2010

Contact:  Ken Willis
Phone:  (202) 225-3101

Butterfield to Visit Heritage Hospital

Tarboro, N.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield will meet with Heritage Hospital officials and tour its new outpatient oncology office on Friday, June 4.

Butterfield will meet with Heritage Hospital Administrator Wick Baker at 8:30 a.m. to discuss health care issues. The 30-minute meeting will be followed by a tour.

Heritage Hospital is a full-service, 117-bed acute care facility where residents of Tarboro, Edgecombe county and surrounding communities receive a wide range of health services.

In 1998, Heritage joined University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina. This partnership has enhanced the hospital’s range of services and improved the quality of care. The hospital provides more than 20 specialties. In addition to acute care, services include rehabilitation, oncology and outpatient clinics.

WHAT:             Butterfield to tour Heritage Hospital and meet with staff

WHEN:            Friday, June 4, 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

WHERE:             Heritage Hospital, 111 Hospital Drive, Tarboro, N.C.

See related:

Congressman G.K. Butterfield

Butterfield Applauds U.S. Marshal from Nash County

U.S. House of Representative SealU.S. Representative G. K. Butterfield

First District of North Carolina


For Release:  Immediate



Date:  May 28, 2010


Contact:  Ken Willis
Phone:  (202) 225-3101

Butterfield Applauds U.S. Marshal from Nash County

Washington, D.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield today applauded the U.S. Senate confirmation of a Nash County Lieutenant Sheriff as a U.S. Marshal.
In February, President Barack Obama nominated five U.S. Marshals, including Scott Parker from the Nash County, N.C. Sheriff’s Office. Today, Parker was among those to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
"Scott Parker has a long and outstanding record in law enforcement,” Butterfield said. “I know he will bring the same passion and commitment to this new challenge, and I know the entire community is proud of him.”
Butterfield said that he was also pleased that Parker, an African American, would also provide some needed diversity.
Currently, Parker serves as the Narcotics Division Commander of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, where he has risen to the rank of Lieutenant since joining in 1995. From 1989 to 1995, he was an Assistant Commander with the Roanoke Chowan Narcotics Task Force in Hertford County, North Carolina. Parker served with the Nashville, North Caolina Police Department from 1987 to 1989.
Butterfield said he had expressed his support for Parker to U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, who recommended Parker’s nomination.

SPINCycle for May 27, 2010

If you are having trouble reading this email, you may view the online version

Welcome to this week`s edition of SPINCycle.

Be sure to tune in to this week’s NC Spin when our panel will talk about the House consideration of the budget, the big shakeup at DHHS, and privatizing state services.  This week’s panel includes former Attorney General and Secretary of State, Rufus Edmisten; Chris Fitzsimon, Director of NC Policy Watch; Becki Gray, columnist with Carolina Journal; John Hood, President of the John Locke Foundation and moderator Tom Campbell.

Tom Campbell`s Spin
The Senate’s proposal to borrow half a billion dollars is fiscally irresponsible. 
Borrowing money a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.

Heard on the Street

The Senate wants to do what?
The rumbling you hear is reaction to the Senate`s horrible idea of borrowing half a billion dollars to repair a few buildings and spend $260 million on engineering facilities at NC A&T and NC State. Am I missing something or are we in the midst of a financial crisis that necessitates cutting almost 800 million dollars from current state spending? And aren`t we projected to have a budget deficit next year that could amount to 3 billion (with a B) dollars? What in the world could possibly convince Senate leadership that now is the time to go out and borrow $500 million?

One of the problems with doing everything behind closed doors is that bad ideas are not exposed early on. Reaction has been extremely negative, except in the Senate. Even Republican Richard Stevens, normally a fiscally responsible legislator, is drinking the Kool-Aid. Treasurer Janet Cowell might have been too subtle for Senate leaders to grasp that she was telling them politely this was a bad idea.

Our state has agreed to allow debt service payments of no more than 4 percent of state spending. If we borrow the 450 million the Senate proposes, the amount will exceed 4.25 percent. Even if we don`t borrow more money the debt service will be at 3.99 percent by 2012.

For more discussion on this be sure to hear this week`s NC SPIN program and read My Spin, “Borrowing Money a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.”

“We`ve already cut the fat, this cuts the muscle” blues being sung frequently.
While the Senate has been rightfully criticized for putting the budget together behind closed doors there is only a degree of difference in the House. In subcommittee meetings the various chairs are openly reporting that they have been given instructions to do…. A small group in the House is also running the show, even though there is more openness than in the Senate.

One thing observers are picking up as the House goes through the budget discussions it is apparent there is a big pot of money not being brought into play. House leaders are hush-hush and there are two lines of thought about what is happening. One has the House proposing a full-scale invasion of the Lottery Trust Fund to provide enough to k-12 education so as not to have to fire any teachers.

Josh Ellis of State Government Radio reports that there is real concern that the feds will not come through with the additional $500 million needed to fund Medicaid beginning in January. If this patch doesn`t come through, there is an additional half a billion dollar hole to fill. Appropriations co-chair Mickey Michaux says the federal relief package is falling behind schedule. Governor Perdue went to Washington last week to encourage this and other federal relief funds.

The House Education package will differ from both the Governor and the Senate. Governor Perdue proposed cutting the education budget by $238 million. The Senate reduced spending by only $158 million but the House Education subcommittee approved cuts of $360 million. $108 million of those cuts would come from the University System. UNC Board of Governors chair Hannah Gage, from Wilmington, was the latest to sing the “we`ve already cut the fat, this cuts the muscle” blues.

By the way, the House education budget does eliminate the in-state tuition credit for out-of-state athletes. That`s about an 11 million savings. Now that Tony Rand has left the Senate it will be interesting to see if the House can prevail on this issue.

House budget leaders also say they want to restore some money to Health and Human Services programs that were cut by the Senate.

As we understand it, the timetable is for the House subcommittees to finish their work this week and have reports ready to go to the big Appropriations committee for a vote as early as Monday night. The full budget will be put on the floor early next week with the goal of final approval by Thursday.

Hear more talk on the budget on this week`s NC SPIN.

Slow down and make better laws
Governor Perdue has been lobbying the legislature to establish a “mobility fund” for transportation projects. Funding for the projects would come from increased fees for licenses and registrations. Not only has the proposal not gotten the legislative support Perdue had hoped for, it actually got unendorsed. Former new car dealer, Representative Nelson Cole (D-Reidsville) had signed on to be a lead co-sponsor of the mobility fund bill in the House. But then he read it and quickly removed his name from sponsorship. Cole admitted that he had signed on too quickly, before he read the bill, blaming his mistake on the rush to pass legislation in this short session. Mark Binker from the Greensboro News-Record reported the story on his Capital Beat blog.

Hey folks, there`s no fire here. Let`s take the time to read the fine print in all this legislation you`re passing. Not only is it embarrassing when we later discover stuff you didn`t know was in the bills but it is actually a bad way to run a state.

Boseman bill puts video poker under lottery
Retiring Senator Julia Boseman (D-New Hanover) has introduced legislation to legalize video poker machines, with licensing and taxation overseen by the North Carolina Education Lottery. The bill anticipates revenues amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Polls show GOP gains
Speaking of Boseman, the Democrat who is seeking to replace her, former UNC Wilmington Chancellor Jim Leutze, is trailing the GOP nominee, Thom Goolsby 55-37, according to a Survey USA poll. Democrats are saying this is because Goolsby has more name recognition. Say what? More name recognition than the man who was on UNC-TV for years and served for many years as chancellor of the region`s public university?

Down the road, in Senate District 10, there`s a battle brewing between former DA Dewey Hudson and Brent Jackson, a successful agribusiness leader. Jackson trails the longtime DA 44 to 36. Republicans think they stand a chance to capture this seat long held by Charlie Albertson.

We also heard this week that House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman is trailing his November opponent at this juncture by 8 points.

Senate race counting down
Last week it was former opponent Ken Lewis endorsing Elaine Marshall in the runoff election for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination. Then Lewis took a job as Marshall`s campaign manager. This week, two of the other primary candidates, Susan Harris of Old Fort and Ann Worthy of Gastonia, threw their support to Cal Cunningham, along with former Senatorial Candidate Jim Neal of Chapel Hill.

Political pundits still tell us they think that Marshall will win the runoff handily but Election Day is 25 days away. Candidates are desperately trying to raise money so they can get on TV the final weeks of the campaign. Cunningham is calling media and about to place buys. So far, nothing from Marshall.

Fetzer: D`Annunzio “unfit for public office”
It isn`t often you see a state political party get involved in a political campaign but it is happening in the crazy 8th Congressional District. GOP Party Chair Tom Fetzer came out with guns blazing this week in an attempt to defeat Tea Party candidate Tim D`Annunzio. The machine gun promoting religious zealot uses unorthodox campaign tactics but he led the vote in the Republican primary on May 4th. The party is officially supporting former sportscaster Harold Johnson in his bid to run against first term Congressman Larry Kissell. Republicans really want to recapture this seat.

Tim, perhaps calling the government the “Antichrist” went a bit over the top. Ya think?  Read the story from the News and Observer.

More SBOE investigations
More witnesses are being interrogated over plane flights for Governor Perdue, we are told. We wonder why none of the mainstream media have asked Perdue directly about whether there were additional flights not reported and, if so, what the explanation is for this additional revelation.

There are loud whispers that we will learn more about more contributions to Perdue and Basnight that were reimbursed by another person. The subject of this investigation by the State Board of Elections is a former state senator, we are told.

Where`s the story?
The News and Observer and WTVD-TV have been running front page stories about the liaison Jesse Helms had with the FBI while still a VP at competitor Capitol Broadcasting`s WRAL. I read the story twice to see where the problem was…..and I still can`t see it.

My dad was General Manager of WNCT-TV in Greenville during the late 50`s and early 1960`s. I remember his telling me he had been approached by the FBI and CIA about being “eyes and ears” for suspicious activities. I wouldn`t be the least surprised to find the Daniels family and the N&O had those same approaches. I remember well that when the Bay of Pigs invasion was under way my dad was in Washington for a State Department briefing, which was promptly cancelled and the city went on lock-down.

These were different times. Let`s focus on some real problems. Helms is still a lightning rod to many but there ain`t no story here.

Soles dealing to the end
Even as heis being forced out of office, Senator R.C. Soles is up to his old tricks, introducing legislation that would allow his old buddy and district DA Rex Gore to begin receiving his retirement package earlier than state law currently allows. Gore, you might remember, refused to participate in prosecuting his friend and tossed it to AG Roy Cooper, who didn`t share his reluctance.

A second bill would split the district of the District Attorney in Soles` district, a move which would cost more than a quarter million a year. Soles says it has grown too large for one DA and two are needed. The Charlotte Observer, in a stinging editorial criticizing the bills, says it is to guarantee that Democrats are in control, a move in Soles` best interests. Read the editorial.

By the way, Gore has since asked Soles to drop the legislation. Soles, trying to save some face from this bold attempt at payback partisanship, says he wants to see if any other DA`s might benefit from the legislation. If this bill passes, every legislative Democrat in North Carolina will read and see it on TV before November.

Broadband rights
When Time Warner Cable refused to install high-speed Internet service, especially in lower income sections of their city, the City of Wilson took action. Despite protests from Time Warner, Wilson`s leadership wired their city and will reap rewards from citizens having faster Internet access than found in cities like Raleigh but also in getting fees to pay off their investment, similar to municipal utilities like water and electricity.

As you might expect this angered AT&T and Time Warner so they had Senator David Hoyle, in one of his final acts, introduce S1209, cleverly titled “No Nonvoted Local Debt for Competing System.” This measure, clearly supported by the two large companies, would prohibit future cities from installing broadband or any service without having to take it to a vote of their residents.

Do you see the rich irony here? In the same week, our Senators (including Hoyle) proposed incurring $450 million in debt without a vote of the people by considering a bill which refuses to allow local governments to do the same thing. Another example of “do as I say, not as I do.”

Wait a minute. Aren`t the cable franchises granted by the cities? If they can approve a franchise for Time Warner they should be able to grant themselves one also, especially if the cable and/or phone companies are not doing their jobs in a timely manner.

The bill was scheduled for Senate Finance Committee approval this week and we understand the wheels were greased for quick passage…until the NC League of Municipalities and a coalition titled “Broadband for Everyone” pointed out exactly what this bill contained. The bill was pulled without hearing. If Tony Rand was still in the Senate we could have suggested the bill be sent to Senate Rules Committee. Nothing ever saw the light of day after going to Rand`s Rules committee.

More DHHS controversy
After last week`s glowing comments about DHHS and Secretary Lanier Cansler, I caught a fair amount of criticism from bloggers and others. During that interview Cansler told me about appointing John Tote from the Mental Health Association as new head of mental health.

Then the media started reporting the problems with unpaid withholding from Tote`s former employer. Why didn`t Cansler know this, people have rightly asked? All you had to do was Google to find out the story…it wasn`t hidden. We had another interview with Cansler this week. He told me that he knew about the withholding problem but had been led to believe it was a one or two month situation, not something that went on for six years. Clearly this was unacceptable and following our meeting Cansler met with Tote and told him he could not begin work.

Curiously, Tote was angry about the situation, saying nobody`s family should have to go through what his family had been put through. Give us a break, John. DHHS and Lanier Cansler didn`t create your problems. You, as chief executive, and your former employer did. You are not a victim.

Now it`s back to square one to find another leader for mental health. Count on Cansler to go outside the agency again.

In legislative hearings this week, Cansler repeated to lawmakers that in-home services was out of control and that big cuts could be made without endangering services to those who really needed them.

DHHS and especially mental health has huge problems. Perhaps larger problems than can be resolved. Cansler is making changes and we say give him a chance to see if they work.

For more interesting debate on this subject catch this week`s NC SPIN.

Until next week, watch out for the SPIN!

Claire Cox-Woodlief, Editor
Tom Campbell, Publisher
NC SPIN’s facebook page

Ashley Osment Sr. Attorney At UNC’s Center for Civil Rights and columnist for the Chapel Hill News Has Expired (RIP my friend)


Picture: Sunny and Ashley Osment

Ashley Osment, Sr. Attorney at UNC’s Center for Civil Rights and columnist for the Chapel Hill News, died in her sleep on Friday evening, May 28th.  Since July 2007, Osment had been trying to hold off the inexorable progress of a  rare type of ovarian cancer.  She was determined to put her life over the cancer, so she could enjoy her daughter, Sunny, her job, and her family and friends as long as possible.  She refused — to her last  breath — to let the cancer control her life.

Osment grew up in Sylva, N.C., the daughter of Luther and Barbara Osment. Rev. Osment was the Director of  Baptist Missions in Western North Carolina. Barbara Osment, a music teacher, taught hundreds of mountain kids, including her own, to love and play mountain music.  Ashley was in the middle of the Osments’ five children–Tim and Jane were slightly older, and Joe and Matt were slightly younger.  Her brothers and she played basketball all the time, and Ashley was a high scoring guard on her school’s basketball team with a sweet jumper and aggressive drive.  Toward the end of her high school junior year, she wrote an essay called "No Better Gift" about the history of mountain music, which won a year’s scholarship to Western Carolina.  She skipped her senior year, parked cars at a Highlands N.C. restaurant, and bought three acres of beautiful land in the mountains about 8 miles south of Highlands.  With the help of her grandfather and many friends, she built a cabin on her own land, a magical place she treasured and shared with her many friends and family.  After her freshman year at Western Carolina, she caught a ride to Chapel Hill and it became her home for her rest of her life.

Osment was a student activist and history major at UNC.  She helped coordinate solidarity educational actions with indigenous liberation movements in Central America and Iran. After graduating from Carolina in 1987, she worked in the Washington, D.C. office for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  She tried to educate congressional staff members about the negative aspects of the Reagan-Bush policies in Latin America. In 1990 she returned to Chapel Hill to resume her studies in history.  But in February 1991, Bob Sheldon, owner of Internationalist Books on Rosemary Street, was murdered and Osment quickly became the unanimous choice of Sheldon’s friends and family to manage the new cooperative they had formed to keep alive his progressive bookstore. Osment met Al McSurely, a civil rights lawyer, who had been asked by the Sheldon family to help them honor their only son’s legacy. Osment and McSurely clicked.  While working on getting the new bookstore cooperative off the ground, Osment also managed the McSurely Civil Rights law office. She helped McSurely win major civil rights victories, including the Keith Edwards case, the Housekeeper cases, a major Title VI complaint against the Chatham County Schools on behalf of all children of color in the County, and many others.  While working on these cases, Osment completed law school at UNC in 1995, and helped raise McSurely’s three children, Caitlin Swain-McSurely, Walker Swain-McSurely, and Erin Swain-McSurely.  McSurely and Osment married in 1995, and in September 1996, they settled the Housekeeper’s case and Quinn Soleil ("Sunny") Osment was born.

When Sunny was born, Osment’s balancing of her pasions for justice, her children (Sunny, Caitlin, Walker and Erin), and music challenged her creative feminist genius. In 1997, when Sunny was about 8 months old, Osment met Maria Palmer, who had just started a small day care center on Cameron Avenue, exactly halfway between the Osment-McSurely home and their law office above the Rathskellar.  Within a few months, Sunny had been accepted as a full-fledged member of the Mi Escuelita Spanish Immersion child care center, which Palmer and Osment organized.  Mi Escuelita became the pilot for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools’ Dual Language program, which Sunny is still enrolled in as a rising eighth grader.  During this period, Osment took a difficult case of a Granville County high school secretary, Ms. Mary Cash. Granville Schools refused to pay Ms. Cash for any overtime work, such as spending hours on the phone each night recruiting substitute teachers. Osment sued on behalf of Ms. Cash in the U.S. District Court.  But the Court ruled Granville Schools were immune from being sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  About the same time, in 2000 the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the dismantling of the creative measures that NAACP lawyer Julius Chambers had helped put in place in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools since 1971, and had turned loose the tide of lawsuits by suburban white parents against special programs designed to further racial integration of schools and classes. This blow to civil rights caused many lawyers to advise Osment against appealing the Cash case to the 4th Circuit. Osment, however, took her case into this hostile forum and, in early 2001, won a resounding decision for Ms. Cash and similar school employees in all five states in the Circuit.  In 2004, UNC’s  Center for Civil Rights, headed by Mr.Chambers, began looking for an experienced civil rights lawyer to head up its new Education section.  Osment applied, and when the lawyer who had opposed her in the Cash case wrote a strong recommendation, she was hired in early 2005.  Her surpising victory in Cash was not lost on many education lawyers who believed the rightward tilt of the federal appellate courts was part of a larger right wing strategy to use tactics of resegregation to divide white voters through indirect appeals to racial fears.

Osment quickly became an expert on the tactics and strategies–both in the courts and at the ballot box–of the insidious resegregationist movement.  Long before the "neighborhood school" card was played in Wake County, national organizations were watching the backsliding of school systems’ commitment to racial integration, backed by extreme right wing judges in federal courts who had been appointed by Reagan and the Bushes. For five years, even after her cancer had been discovered in 2007, and its recurrence in 2008, Osment litigated, organized conferences, created educational materials, and trained hundreds of Black and White educational leaders about the rising threat of the resegregationist tactics in the courts and in relatively inexpensive elections.  Her last year of life was particularly frustrating, because she knew her expertise and national contacts would be critical to building a strong, grass-roots resistance movement in Wake County, in Wayne County, and other areas of the State where resegregation is openly condoned by elected school boards.

She was in great pain, after the cancer spread to her hip, and she had to use crutches to get around for the last six months. But, as readers of her Chapel Hill News column know, she remained direct, honest, and exquisitely graceful in her efforts to deal with cancer, and its ruination of her life and hopes.  She was able to enjoy many good times with Sunny over this last period, when she knew she was dying.  She was also comforted by her three step-children’s unqualified commitment to their sister and their father, McSurely, during the terrible suffering she endured the past few months.

Humbly submitted:

Al McSurely

Family will receive friends on Sunday May 30

Memorial Service Wednesday, June 2nd

Dear Friends, 

    We are all doing well, and Sunny has her best friends, siblings, and Osment family holding her literally and figuratively.  I’m on automatic pilot, organizing and making plans.  One of my plans is to deal with the loss of my best friend in about a week.  In the meantime, we are open for visitors and food offerings at 415 W. Patterson from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday.  The Osment and McSurely families will be eating together on Sunday evening. 

    Today we are closed, but we love and are thankful to everyone for your warm prayers, thoughts, vibes or whatever you want to send toward us. 

    The Ashley Osment Memorial Service will be at the Chapel Hill Bible Church, at the corner of Erwin and Sage Roads, behind Lowe’s, on Wednesday, June 2nd at 11 a.m.  Tonya and Nancy ( are coordinating an "after-service" reception at the Bible Church, and may need help with pot-luck kind of sandwiches and other things you can hold in your hands, and walk around, and talk with people while eating.  Since Ash had so many friends, we are not going to open the pulpit for everyone to remember her there.  We ask that you write out your most poignant and funny memories of her and e-mail them to Caitlin (, or bring them to the service and give them to me or Caitlin.  We will put them in a notebook for Sunny and the rest of Ash’s family to treasure down the road. 


Note: I remember communicating with Ashley over the internet long before I got to know her. She had begin to read my newsletters and she would send me comments about how she appreciated my work. And then one day I happen to meet her and we have been friends every since.

I had met Al back in the late 80’s long before she and Al were married. I was tickled to death to find out they were married and from that day forward we all were friends.

I got to meet some of the children as well over the years.

Al always refer to me as his brother and I likewise so therefore you know what that makes Ashley. You guessed it, my sister.

When I got the email on yesterday as I was driving to Rocky Mount that my friend had expired, I immediately emailed Caitlin and Al to let them know I am just a phone call away. And later last night I received the above from Al.

I feel honored and privileged to be able to post this on The DCN Online Blog in honor of my friend Ashley Osment.