Pittman found guilty in missing Rocky Mount woman’s death – Source: WRAL

Windsor, N.C. — After less than an hour of deliberation, a jury on Thursday found an Edgecombe County man guilty of first-degree murder in the strangling death of a Rocky Mount woman more than two years ago.

"You all are sending an innocent man to prison for life," a sobbing Antwan Maurice Pittman yelled afterward. "I did not kill that woman." (Read more)

See related:

Murdered and Missing Women

Announcements – Edgecombe County Public Schools


Board Policy Committee to meet Thursday, Sept. 29 The Board of Education’s Policy Committee will meet Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5:15 p.m. To discuss policy revisions they have been developed for ECPS based on changes in the law by the General Assembly. View policy revisions…


Board to hold public hearing Oct. 10 regarding redistricting plan The Board of Education will hold a public hearing on October 10, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Rooms Read on…

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Edgecombe County Public Schools

Herman Cain: I’ll win a third of the black vote – Source: Politico (I Hate It When One Is So Intelligent That It Makes Them Ignant)

Herman Cain, on Fox News last night, predicted he would win a third of the black vote at a time when President Obama is struggling with his base, POLITICO’s Juana Summers reports:

"The African-American vote, I am confident, based upon black people that run into, black people that used to call my radio show, black people that have signed up on my website to support me. I believe, quite frankly, that my campaign, I will garner a minimum of a third of the black vote in this country and possibly more," Cain said.

Cain slammed Obama’s recent passionate defense of his record at a Congressional Black Caucus gala this weekend, saying the president’s pitch didn’t go over well with many black Americans.

(Read more)

Note: Yes I agree Herman Cain is intelligent but damn his ignance outweigh his intelligence.

Do this guy really think he is going to get the Republican nod? So is he saying that black Democrats are going to vote for him?And if they did, do they think that Cain is going to be in control over his fellow Republicans in Congress? I don’t think so. Curmilus Dancy II – The Political Agitator


During a formal address before the United Nations, President Mahmoud Abbas requested that they acknowledge Palestine as a member of the world body. Abbas said, “It’s time to end the suffering and plight of millions of Palestinians.” President Abbas received a standing ovation from the General Assembly, while back in the Palestinian Territories; activists burned pictures of President Barack Obama.

In his addresses before the General Assembly, Obama, pledged to veto the Palestinians’ statehood request. The question of voting for Obama again goes to a matter of character: Is the way Obama dealt with the Palestinians fair, or correct? American presidents have never been “even-handed” with the Palestinians and Obama is no different. It was U.S. favoritism toward Israel that caused Palestinians to approach the United Nations in the first place. Had Obama played the “honest broker” that many expected after his Cairo speech, the Palestinians would have stuck with bilateral negotiations. Once Obama abandoned any pretense of neutrality, the Palestinians had little choice but to find another way to resolve its conflict.

The “first Black President” is the latest in a series of American presidents “short-shafting” the Palestinians. These days, Obama is simply the one sitting in the presidential seat as the world more closely monitors ways the Palestinians are treated. The Palestinian-Israeli problem has evaded solution since Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning predecessor; Dr. Ralph Bunche helped establish the Israeli state in 1948. It was Bunche’s and the United Nation’s intention that Palestine be made into a place of refuge for Jews after World War II, as well as a place for Arabs. However, when Palestine was made into a country known as “Israel” for the Jews, conflicts began, and from the wars that occurred, Israel obtained more land and the Palestinian-Arabs lost most of theirs. Issues involving: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, settlements, Palestine freedom of movement and legalities concerning refugees has spawned a humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, reflected by the world’s leading poverty rates, unemployment and malnutrition.

Blacks should expect more of Obama on this issue. Almost every statement Brother Barack made at the United Nations concerning the Israelis-Palestinians was false and slanted. They were lies that both Obama and the audience knew were falsehoods. At the United Nations, Obama sold out his character and America’s fundamental national and moral interests in a blatant ploy for a second presidential term. In the tradition of past presidents, Obama says that “the Palestinians should have a state of their own”, but they shouldn’t be pushy, not embarrass the U.S., or come to the United Nations. In the Obama plan, the Palestinians must sit with the Israelis, like reasonable people, and work it out with them – like reasonable sheep must sit down with the reasonable wolf and decide what to have for dinner, and foreigners should not interfere.

Over the decades, America has made Israel the largest total recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year – one fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. American money toward Israel is a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year.

“Peace deals” recent American presidential administrations want the Palestinians to embrace are Bantustans on less than 22 percent of historic Palestine. But, due to President Abbas’ deft move, Palestinians’ long-ignored problems are now the center of international attention. President Obama’s miserable performance at the UN put the nail in the coffin of America’s status as a neutral facilitator. Different from African-American voters willing to forgive him; few of the world’s people of color are expected to forgive the way he threw the helpless Palestinians under the bus at the UN. The matter will be addressed by the UN Security Council and General Assembly. The United States holds veto power on the Security Council and pledges to vote down the statehood bid, but in the General Assembly the Palestinians enjoy the support of more than 120 of the 193 members which assures passage of the resolution. (William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org)

See related:

William Reed Columnist


The “Black Market” will play a major role among automobile makers for the next two decades. The African-American market is “the best thing going” and if automobile manufacturers don’t establish creditable linkages for their brands with this audience they will, undoubtedly, lose significant market share and growth opportunities. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the African-American population will grow 12 percent by 2020 and by nearly 25 percent in 2030. In 2010, the Black car-buying pace totaled 10 times that of the general market. Last year, Toyota led all automotive brands among new vehicle purchases made by African Americans. New vehicle registrations among this audience totaled 641,090 and amounted to 7.4 percent of all 2010 new vehicle registrations. Ford ranked second among African-American buyers with Chevrolet rounding out the Top 3. The demand for Buick jumped 70 percent. Korean brands are also making gains among this key buying group.

In a well-publicized campaign about “respect and reciprocity” Black newspaper publishers dared Toyota to forge better business relationships with them and the communities that they serve. In their response to Black media operators and market experts, Toyota has, in fact, set a new trend the industry. Toyota made moves to reach Black buyers where they live. Deals are being “put in place” that align automotive manufacturers’ and dealers’ specific initiatives to this audience. Toyota has America’s Black newspaper publishers have reached an advertising agreement with Toyota that will soon have their local publications promoting the benefits of purchasing a Toyota product. Toyota’s Lexus is America’s luxury market leader, but Buick, Hyundai, Kia, Cadillac, GMC and Infiniti are also doing extremely well in the African-American market and should be on Black newspaper client lists as well. However, Acura, Land Rover, Mercedes and BMW are not increasing their share of the African-American market as effectively. These companies have an opportunity to connect more with this audience and increase their market share by attracting more affluent African Americans to their brands.

On the downside, “I want a 2012 Toyota Prius” isn’t a mantra of many Black car buyers. Blacks have not been vocal in terms of hyping the Prius or any of the environmentally-conscious automobiles. First and foremost is concern about the overall cost, a 2011 Prius ranges from $23,225 to $30,700. And rarely have you seen a basketball player, hip-hop artist or actor stepping out of a battery-powered Prius.

In 2011, executive leaders at Toyota had their hands full, but fought back from massive safety recalls, the global credit crisis and factories damaged in the March 11 Japan earthquake. Despite those challenges, the world’s largest automaker has restored its North American production to normal levels. This production schedule surpassed the company’s initial expectations. Shortly after the March 11 disaster, Toyota had forecast a return to normal production by November or December. But, in June, Toyota reported that eight of its 12 North American-built models returned to 100 percent output – Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Highlander, Sienna, Sequoia and Venza. In August, Toyota confirmed 100 percent production of Tacoma, Tundra, RAV 4 and Lexus RX 350. Together, the 12 models account for nearly 70 percent of the company’s U.S. sales.

Over coming years, automotive manufacturers will seek to capture larger numbers of Black buyers. Drive by any African-American church on Sunday, and you’ll see that Blacks are also purchasing Cadillacs, Lincolns, Mercedes and BMWs. Those companies aren’t “ponying up” like Toyota. The pact between the Black Press of America and Toyota sets standards Black consumers should too demand. Black publishers want local companies and multi-nationals to understand the value of using their publications as advertising mediums; conversely, it’s important that Black consumers demand that minority-owned media firms receive a fair share of corporate or governmental advertising expenditures. So, it’s necessary that Black consumers insist on retailers’ “respect” and “reciprocity” that result in advertising purchases that equal the level of Black patronage of their products. Companies’ use of Black media to reach African-American consumers with language and content that resonates among them makes good sense. (William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org)

See related:

William Reed Columnist


On July 4th Rush Limbaugh appeared in Joplin, Mo., and gave a rousing Independence Day speech on “American Exceptionalism” saying: “America is blessed by God” and that we are the planet’s exceptional human beings. And, God has lavished Limbaugh with high rewards of fame and prosperity; but the question is: “How does that tune play in uptown Harlem and on MLK Avenues across America?” The “American Exceptionalism” Limbaugh espouses is the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other countries and uniquely “blessed by God.” Limbaugh’s “exceptionalism” stems from an American ideology, based on “liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire capitalism.”

But, in contrast to the American practices Limbaugh extols, there’s a thread in American history that runs through the processes of Indian genocide to American adventures in the Mexican-American and the Spanish-American Wars, into the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq that constitute patterns of racism and imperialism. In the 19th century, Manifest Destiny was an American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent. America’s Manifest Destiny mission grew to a posture to promote and defend democracy throughout the world. The “American Exceptionalism” historical thread celebrated by Limbaugh and his listeners includes many acts and endeavors of western imperialism. Historically, whenever Americans wanted something another nation had – land, oil or other resources – we’ve been able to justify taking it. The usual plot involves theories that the world’s non-Whites are unable to govern themselves, so America must heed it’s "divine mission" to liberate them from their own ignorance and corruption by our bringing gifts of freedom, democracy and Christianity — whether they want them or not. Now, during Barack Obama’s presidency, the reign of people like Limbaugh is being questioned. While some African Americans seek to enjoin this national identity, others openly question some of the underpinnings of Americans’ ideologies of individual initiative and responsibility. The very engines of “America’s Exceptionalism” carry a stigma of hypocrisy; and throughout the centuries America’s prevailing ethic and electorate ensured that no government policy initiatives would ever be used to actually improve minorities’ quality of life.

How large is the segment of African Americans that go along with “American Exceptionalism’s” racist and religious tenets? Blacks need to note that from the beginning America’s majority population has garnered enormous wealth from Blacks’ captivity, but has never embraced an egalitarian economic philosophy.American Exceptionalists” ridicule Black Reparations, but, if you trace the fortunes of the Rockefellers, Mellon’s, Carnegies, Biltmore’s, and others, you’ll find the source as being “slavery.” Without the underpinnings of slavery, American enterprise would never have achieved its zenith. But, what will we do in the face of the re-emergence of the “American Exceptionalists’ ” values of class inequities, imperialism and war? The swagger of “American Exceptionalism” assuages Americans’ guilt of the violence we’ve used abroad, and at home, and hides the fundamental racism ingrained in America. It’s a shame that African-American voters are willing to allow President Obama to cater to the “Manifest Destiny/American Exceptionalism” crowd before dealing with Blacks and our needs that have gone unmet for all this time, because he’s president of all of the country.

Even to the point of having the “first Black President of the country,” Black Americans remain captive to the “he is President of the country” mindset and elect to leave their concerns on the back burner. Even the most fervent among us craving for Obama’s re-election as President of these United States would have to admit that he doesn’t fit America’s image of bedrock exceptionalism of military, economic and cultural preeminence. What upsets Limbaugh and his crowd is that Obama appears to be egalitarian and motivated more by a vision of America as it being just one more unremarkable country among many than American imperialist. Therefore, demanding Obama target public policy to Black voters who accounted for 13 percent of the electorate in ‘08, and who are now experiencing the culmination of centuries of economic crises is needed policy as well as good politics.

(William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org)

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William Reed Columnist

Suspect denies killing Rocky Mount woman – Source: WRAL

Windsor, N.C. — A Rocky Mount man on trial for strangling a woman more than two years ago took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday, telling jurors that he did not kill her – even though prosecutors say the evidence points only to him. (Read more)

See related:

Murdered and Missing Women

Is The Economy As Bad As It Appears To Be? I Am Glad I Can Add 43 Plus 1.

If I didn’t read all the bull manure, see all the bull manure on tv about how bad the economy is I would be blind to that facts.

Hell gas is high as hell but I see a lot of cars on the road, going to restaurants and anywhere they want to go.

I am so glad I can see what is going on around me for myself and don’t have to rely on others to tell me how bad the economy is and that "our" President is the root cause. I am glad I can add 43 plus 1.

Black Folks Who Are Democrats And Are President Obama Haters, How Do You Just Connect With The Enemy?

I understand holding the President accountable for his actions but to not give the man 2 terms in office is just ignant on these black folks behalf who are lining up with others against him.

I have always seen black folks as our worst enemies when it comes to politics.

And then if they don’t like the President and they are Democrats why in the hell don’t they support another Democrat? How do you just go on the side and connect with the enemy?

I just don’t get it.

Breaking News Alert – Obama Administration Asks Justices to Rule Quickly on Health Law

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 — 4:20 PM EDT

Obama Administration Asks Justices to Rule Quickly on Health Law

The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear a case concerning the 2010 health care overhaul law. The development came unexpectedly fast and makes it all but certain that the court will soon agree to hear one or more cases involving challenges to the law, with arguments by the spring and a decision by June, in time to land in the middle of the 2012 presidential campaign.

The Justice Department said the justices should hear its appeal of a decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, that struck down the centerpiece of the law by a 2-to-1 vote.

Read More:

THE HILL’S OVERNIGHTS – Healthcare: Supreme Court asked to rule on healthcare law

There’s hardly anything standing in the way of the Supreme Court taking up the 26-state challenge to the law’s individual mandate. Every party in the case asked the high court Wednesday to decide the issue — and quickly.
The Justice Department filed its petition late Wednesday, saying the 26-state suit is the right vehicle for the high court to weight the mandate and that a decision should come sooner rather than later. That most likely means the court will rule in the summer of 2012. But a DOJ official said the push for a quick hearing had nothing to do with the possibility that a Republican president would quit defending the healthcare law in the courts.
Healthwatch has
more on the Justice Department’s brief. Be sure to also read our story on the Supreme Court appeal posted earlier in the day by the 26 attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Food for children: The food industry sighed in relief Wednesday after the Obama administration appeared ready to scale back voluntary guidelines for marketing food to children. Advocates said they’re still confident regulators will adopt strict guidelines to fight childhood obesity.

The group working on the issue "anticipates making significant changes to both the marketing and nutrition principles" that have raised industry’s ire, administration officials wrote to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). The letter also praised a new industry self-regulation effort as complementing the group’s work. Healthwatch’s Julian Pecquet has the letter — and the story.

Cutting Medicare: Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are pressing the deficit-reduction supercommittee to consider their proposal to cut more than $500 billion in Medicare spending over 10 years. Read The Hill’s story.

Ryan’s plan: Meanwhile, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is touting his proposal to replace Medicare and federally subsidized employer-sponsored coverage with tax credits for everyone to buy insurance on their own. The Hill’s Justin Sink has more here.

Failing patients: Hospitals across the country are doing a dismal job making sure their patients stay healthy after their discharge, according to a new report released Wednesday. Healthwatch’s Julian Pecquet has more.

Abortion coverage: Proposed regulations for state health insurance exchanges would allow taxpayer support for abortion coverage, Americans United for Life argues in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"No matter how foolproof the segregation requirements, you can’t change the fact that the law goes against the status quo and subsidizes abortion coverage with tax dollars," argues AUL attorney Mary Harned. "In spite of repeated attempts by the Administration to persuade us otherwise, pro-life Americans know that the Affordable Care Act is not ‘fully consistent’ with other federal laws pertaining to abortion funding. Further, the new regulations proposed by HHS do not resolve one of the Act’s fundamental flaws — insurance plans eligible to receive federal funds are still permitted to cover abortions, in stark contrast to existing federal law, including the Hyde Amendment."

Mr. Medicare rights: The Medicare Rights Center has named its client services and program counsel, Doug Goggin-Callahan, as its new director of Education.

State by state

Arkansas Republicans don’t want the state to apply for federal funds to set up an insurance exchange.

Iowa just got a $3 million wellness grant under the healthcare reform law, but still wants it repealed.

New Hampshire is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 10 New Hampshire hospitals contesting steep cuts in Medicaid reimbursements.

A federal judge has dropped Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback from a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that stripped federal funds from a Planned Parenthood chapter in the state.

Fraud fight

Hill-Rom Co., one of the nation’s largest suppliers of durable medical equipment, will pay $41.8 million to settle charges it submitted false claims to Medicare.

A former pharmacy director at an Indian Health Service facility was sentenced for stealing pills that weren’t picked up by patients.

A Kentucky doctor agreed to pay $349,860 to settle allegations he double-billed Medicare for a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Reading list

The libertarian Cato Institute slams HHS’s new "Soviet-style power grab" of a media policy.

The conservative NewsBusters rips all three TV networks for reporting on the rise in insurance premiums without any mention of the role played by the healthcare reform law.

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Spotlight back on healthcare law

Rep. Schwartz urges supercommittee to tackle "doc fix"

Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch

Forward email

Republicans step up voter suppression efforts in run up to 2012 – Source: Daily Kos

The future of the Republican party is threatened by one simple thing: demographics. But instead of recognizing that fact, and adjusting to it with policies that are more in line with a younger and less white electorate, they’ve settled on a solution of stacking the deck at the voting booth. (Read more)

Federalism: Much discussed, badly understood – Source: The Herald Sun

Because the Republican Party has positioned itself as the party that values federalism, we would expect that candidates for the Republican presidential nomination would know what federalism is. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as there is only one candidate who understands that federalism means those closest to the problem are best equipped to deal with the problem. (Read more)

Frederick Douglass: The Color Line in America (1883) – See How This Relates To “Our” Black President And The Republican Party (Powerful Speech)

The following was shared with me:

Many people wonder why some are so hard on President Obama. Did Frederick Douglass predict the answer many years ago?

“Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements.
In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress.
If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he s hall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence.
In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.”

Frederick Douglass

September 25, 1883

After 1877, following the withdrawal of Union troops from South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, Reconstruction officially ended. In theory, African Americans were free, but, in practice, their status was far from equal. The intent of the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendment with regard to African Americans was being whittled away by state legislation in the South and Supreme Court decisions. African American participation in all phases of American life was qualified by prejudice; most avenues of social and economic improvement remained closed. Frederick Douglass, the best-known and most influential African American spokesman of his time, considered these facts and offered a solution in the following speech of September 24, 1883. (Read more)

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President Barack Obama


Jurors urged to use common sense in Rocky Mount murder trial – Source: WRAL

Windsor, N.C. — Prosecutors trying a Rocky Mount man for first-degree murder say jurors must use reason and common sense as they hear evidence that, they say, will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed a woman more than two years ago and left her body in a rural area of Edgecombe County. (Read more)

See related:

Murdered and Missing Women