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    Cashing In, Selling Out: The AARP's Tradition of Betrayal

    obama and endorserBy Stephen Lendman

    Just before the Obama version of health insurance reform made it to the floor of the House of Representatives, the White House said it was proud to announce it had been endorsed by the AARP. But didn't Obama's predecessor, when he privatized a sizeable chunk  of Medicare back in 2003, proudly made a similar announcement?  So is an AARP endorsement really anything to be proud of?

    U.S. Stomps on Honduran Democracy, Militarizes Colombia

    honduran soldiersA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    When it comes to Latin America, there is a difference between the Obama and Bush administrations. Bush huffed and puff and blustered while committing aggression against Latin neighbors; Obama smiles and mouths words of peace, and then commits much the same crimes. He is preparing Latin America as the next theater of war.

    U.S. Starves Children in Somali War

    somali kidsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    Three years after creating the “worst humanitarian crisis” in Africa by encouraging Ethiopia to invade Somalia, the U.S. now unleashes the food weapon on starving people. “Forty million pounds of American-donated food is sitting in warehouses in Mombasa, Kenya, but U.S. officials won’t allow aid workers to deliver the food to the Somalis that need it.”

    Bloomberg and Obama: Perfect Together

    perfect togetherA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    President Obama’s preference for white billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg over Black challenger Bill Thompson was clear to all. As it turned out, the mayor’s money barely pulled him through. The mildly more progressive candidate could have won, if Obama hadn’t sided with the Filthy Rich. But then, that’s been the story of his presidency.

    Perverted Priorities: Obama, One Year Later

    the faceby Paul Street
    Barack Obama's presidency was almost scripted by the corporate interests that backed his candidacy. A year after his election, his political trajectory is remarkably consistent with the requirements of late stage capital. “It was and is foolish, childish even, to expect progressive change from a carefully corporate-choreographed bourgeois election in the headquarters of world imperialism.”

    If Democrats Don't Pass Health Insurance Reform This Year, What Do We Lose? And What Do We Gain?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The version of health care reform championed by the White House and Congressional Democrats will force millions to buy crappy insurance from private providers with no interest in health care but plenty of interest in profits. Its pubic option is a cruel hoax that will not take effect till 2013 and even then will leave tens of millions uninsured. Now Democratic leaders in Congress say it might not pass this year anyway. Is that really so bad?

    A Corporate Black President?

    Does Barack Obama represent African Americans? All Americans? Gangster banksters? Or our transnational corporate elite in general? Glen Ford visited Capital University in Columbus Ohio last month to explore and explain...

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    Freedom Rider: Health Care Deceit

    liar, liarby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
    The health care fiasco has bared the cowardly underbelly of the Democratic Party, which is putty in the hands of President Obama and his co-conspirators in the insurance industry. The public option” has been stripped down to a tiny two percent of the people, while the private insurers get tens of millions of captive, subsidized consumers. The conclusion is inescapable: “Barack Obama and the majority of the Democrats never had any intention of bringing reform to health care.”

    Encounters with Colonel Khadafi and the Green Book

    khadaffiby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    An American delegation of activists and journalists travel to Libya for a World Conference of Green Book Supporters, and an audience with Colonel Mouammar Khadafi. “What possible use could a political work linked in western minds to the struggles of robed Bedouins have for inhabitants of the wealthy, hi-wired North?” Plenty, it turns out. “'Direct democracy,' as the Green Book describes it, is of more than passing interest to citizens of the Belly of the Beast, where corporations have the legal rights of persons and money is deemed constitutionally entitled to all the 'free' speech it can buy.”

    The Limits of Anti-Racism

    by Adolph Reed

    What does it mean these days to be “anti-racist” and to struggle against racism these days when a black family is in the White House? Unlike today's anti-racist activists, the historic Freedom Movement had clear, if limited goals like the establishment of voting rights or the abolition of Jim Crow laws. What does it mean to be an “anti-racist” when America seems perfectly able to integrate its ruling circles at the same time preserving enormous wealth, health, education and incarceration disparities between the bulk of its white and nonwhite populations?

     

    Obama Hustles the Public for Greedy Private Insurers

    snake oil?A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

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    It appears that President Obama will soon achieve his health care triumph – and an unmitigated disaster for the public. “Both Clinton and Obama planned to shanghai the vast bulk of the public as captive consumers of the insurance cartel,” but only Obama could have pulled it off. He  is bringing into existence a privatized health care system that will be “nearly impossible to dismantle absent a general political upheaval in the United States.”

     

    Black US Public Wants Peace, But Black US President Wages War

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The historical African American desire for peace clashes with the warlike policies of the first Black president. Something's got to give – and in the end the Black anti-war tradition will make itself dramatically felt. Let's start the process with the Black Is Back rally in Washington, November 7.

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    Hillary Clinton: A Very Ugly American

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford


    Having forced Pakistan to launch a civil war to protect American interests, the U.S. dispatches Hillary Clinton to rub salt in Pakistani wounds. The Anti-Diplomat lectures the locals on tax collection and helping the poor while her government daily violates the country's sovereignty. “Americans believe they are the only nation that deserves to have a sense of dignity – and so they relentlessly strip away the dignity of others.”

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    Eshu’s blues: Obamania one year after: a confession

    more hopeby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
    Confession may or not be good for the soul, but at some point it becomes unavoidable when one takes stock of what one's vote has wrought. The author admits to the sin of having placed excessive trust in former mentors and gurus among the Obamites. Now he sees the fruits of his misspent ballot: “Even though there’s a black man in the White House, the white man’s burden must still be shouldered.”

    Feminism’s Freedom Fighter? On Feminism, Atheism and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Hutchinsonby Sikivu Hutchinson
    A Somali woman gains fame in Europe for denouncing Islam. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, atheist, feminist, and author has secured a “plum position at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute” while “morphing into a champion of Israel.” In the process, she has reinforced western demonization of Muslim society and whitewashed the West's “own anti-democratic traditions and human rights transgressions.”

    Harry Reid, Democratic Leaders and the White House Still Faking the Funk on Universal Health Care

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    This week the Senate's Harry Reid announced the consolidation of the Senate Democratic caucus version of health care reform. How central the “public option” is or is not depends on who you ask, as do precisely how many people it would be offered to and on what terms. What is clear is that it remains a Massachusetts-style bailout plan to subsidize private insurers, rather than one providing universal care at affordable rates. Meanwhile the gap between the actual public option and the imaginary ones sold by progressive Democrats is growing. How long it can be concealed, and what will happen when it is revealed are anybody's guess.

    Banksters Rob States and Cities Too

    crooksby Margaret Kimberley

    The $17 trillion dollar transfer from federal coffers to the pockets of Wall Street banksters didn't happen in a vacuum. The same bipartisan cast of players have had their wolvish way with sheepish state and local governments for a long time now. They have honed their expertise at extracting piles of cash from cities, counties, towns and states in return for little or nothing, while the absence of news coverage hides a golden age of corporate financial corruption.  It's not just federal any more, if it ever was....

     

    National Wave of Privatization Scandals and Disasters Ignored By Media, Concealed From Public

    the real vandalsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon
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    The total absence of local journalism in many markets, and the fixation of what news reporting there is on a handful of crime and celebrity stories helps conceal from the public the real price of global empire and the Wall Street Bailout, or how the privatization measures widely undertaken by state and local governments to relieve their financial pressure have been a cavalcade of corruption, a cascade of scandal and failure that make the rich even richer and the rest of us... well, you know.... 

    State and Local Democrats From California to New York: The Standup Party, or the Party of Excuses?

    sadA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon
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    For some time now, many have wondered when or if Congress and the president would ever stand up against Wall Street, the insurance companies, the militarists, gentrifiers and privatizing vampires, and what it might take to make them do it. But if Democrats don't stand up at the state and local level for the interests of ordinary people, why should we expect Democrats in Congress or the White House to be profiles in courage?

     

    Declaration of Dignity – The Tripoli Statement

    Cynthia McKinneyThe following speech was delivered by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney last week in Libya. As our issue deadline approaches, McKinney is now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for an international conference on the criminalization of war and warfare, an affair certain to pass unnoticed by our corporate media.  But then, our bipartisan elite and our military establishment, the largest and most expensive in the world, is permanent war with a large fraction of humanity. In her tireless work to promote justice and peace over injustice and warfare, it is increasingly clear that McKinney is a more accurate representative of black America than our current president can claim to be.

     

    Why I Disrupted Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert in Chicago

    by Ali Abunimah

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is a wanted man in some places, and decidedly unwanted in some others.  Olmert sat in the Big Chair during last year's murderous Israeli assault on a million largely defenseless Palestinians in Gaza, the world's largest open air prison.  As a result, prosecutors in the UK and elsewhere are reportedly drawing up charges of crimes against humanity and preparing to arrest him if he is ever careless enough to set foot in their jurisdictions.  When Olmert showed up for a speech at the University of Chicago, locals were unable to apprehend the fugitive, so they did the next best thing.  While a couple hundred protested outside the venue, more than a dozen inside the event, as the felon began to speak, rose to interrupt and challenge him.  Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah was among them.

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    Rhetoric and Reality

    nader vs obamaby Ralph Nader

    Humans learn to about the same time we learn to talk.  It's just part of the package.  It's quite unrealistic therefore, to suppose that our political life and discourse would be free from lies.  Ralph Nader has been untangling political truth from fiction for more than a generation.  This week he tackles a piece of mail he recently received from the president.

    African Pastoralists Directly Threatened By Climate Change

    african pastoralists 1by Aaron Tesfaye

    The first victims of the change in global precipitation patterns will not be people from rich, polluting nations who engage in ruinous consumption, but the poorest of the poor – such as African pastoralists who exist ‘precariously at the periphery’, Aaron Tesfaye writes in Pambazuka News. As world leaders prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in December, Tesfaye looks at why the summit’s agenda has ‘produced serious divisions between developed and developing nations’, with one side seeking to maintain a way of life, and the other struggling to meet basic needs. 

    The End of Black Politics As We Knew It: Will Atlanta's Next Mayor Be White? Should We Even Care?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    36 years of black Atlanta mayors have given birth to a thriving and empowered class of black managers, attorneys and contractors. But even after moving tens of thousands of poor blacks who once lived in public housing to areas beyond the city limits, fully one third of black Atlanta remains below the poverty level, making Atlanta number 5 in black poverty among the 40 largest US cities, according to current US Census data. So have the generation of black mayors and the crew that brought them in really done African Americans that much good?

    Freedom Rider: Backwards with Obama

    backwardby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
    Barack Obama has a peculiar effect on other world leaders: he causes them to regress on climate change and to revert to racist type in relations with formerly colonized nations. Obama brings Europeans down to the American level, while making them feel good about it. No wonder they gave him a Nobel Peace Prize. “Not only does the U.S. consistently act against the interests of the rest of the world, but it forces other nations to behave equally badly.”  

    The Phony Fight: Obama VS the Insurance Barons

    health care A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    If you believe the hype, the president and Big Insurance are going at at each other's throats over health care. But it's a sham battle, “like TV wrestling.” The insurance companies have already won the biggest prize they could ever wish for: 50 million new customers dragooned by the federal government. All the too-late huffing and puffing from the White House is “a hollow threat, for public consumption only.”

    Three-Tier Race-Based Wage Scales in Manhattan

    constructionA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

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    A full-blown apartheid labor regime flourished in the Manhattan construction industry, with Irish immigrant workers at the top of the heap. New York's attorney general is demanding millions in back wages and an end to racial discrimination on the job. “If you give the bosses enough leeway, they'll bring back slavery.”

    Two Studies: Drop-out or Push-out, and the Consequences of Jim Crow Medicine

    two studiesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

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    The Sixties and the decade's aftermath remains a fertile field of study. Researchers conclude that the end of Jim Crow medicine “provided the health care basis for southern Black advances on standardized testing in the 1980s.” But change also brought social disarray, massive school dropouts, and a national public policy of mass Black incarceration.

    Black Leadership In the Age of Obama: Motown's New Mayor Unilaterally Ends Almost All Union Contracts

    detroit-montage

    By Diane Bukowski

    For decades unionized jobs, especially those in the public sector have provided a precarious foothold in the middle class for those black families lucky enough to have them. Unionized employees cannot be as easily terminated, and are far more likely to have medical and retirement benefits than non-union workers. But the new generation of black elected officials are responsible only to the corporate privatizers that bankroll their careers. In black Detroit, one of many cities that will elect a mayor on November 3, change is up, but hope is down, with civic mistrust and betrayal at an all time high...

    Can Democrats Avoid a Populist Health Care Rebellion?

    by Kevin Zeese

    Democratic leadership is committing political suicide by attempting to force all Americans to buy shoddy insurance policies from profiteering private corporations. Already, activists who worked hard for Obama are putting their bodies on the line to halt the White House capitulation to corporate healthcare. Medicare for All is the only alternative.

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