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    Outsource It! Privatize It! LA School Reform in the Age of Obama

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Acting on the ideological position that teachers are the root of all evil, and with the full support of the city's Latino mayor, the LA school board has voted to transfer one-third of its schools to private, charter management – including 50 brand new campuses. Corporate outsourcing now passes as education policy.

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    Radio One Founder Slimes Five Black Reps., Raises Money for Another

    Cathy Hughes targets 5 black members of congressA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    Black radio's wealthiest woman, who claims that very modest royalties to musical performers will “destroy” what is, in fact, a very profitable industry, will host a fundraiser for Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek, candidate for the U.S. Senate. That's in stark contrast to the “dirty war” Cathy Hughes has been waging against five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    Glen Ford on Black Radio, the Black Conversation and Black Leadership

    Question: What is the historical importance of black radio to African Americans?

    Washington Refuses to Call Off Its Dogs in Honduras

    crowd scene in HondurasA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    While President Obama issues vacuous statements claiming to support the general principle of electoral democracy, his own State Department officials blame President Zelaya for provoking the coup.” Nobody in Latin American believes the U.S. is not complicit.

    Has Obama Lost His Mojo?

    Dr. Ron Danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
    Something happened to Obama on the way to the White House. Or so it seems to the author, who says the president “has been unwilling to move beyond professorial pronouncements and lectures to vigorously argue the case that the issue is not how to keep the insurance and pharmaceutical companies profitable; the issue is how to prevent disease, keep people healthy and effectively treat those who get sick.”

    Waiters

    upsurge2
    by Raymond Nat Turner
     
    Ever attended a sumptuous repast where everything you wanted was out of reach, unavailable, "off the table".  To Raymond Nat Turner, poet-impresario of Oakland's UpSurge Jazz, this sounds suspiciously familiar.  Could it happen??

    Davey D Interviews Cynthia McKinney on Gaza

    President Obama: Jack Johnson Punched Back

    Jack Johnsonby Dave Zirin
    The overwhelmingly white Right is advertising for another Great White Hope – as if the search ever ended. A century ago, the great Black champion Jack Johnson defended The Race's honor in the ring, as well as his own. But our presumptive Black presidential “Hope” seems not to understand the necessity for pugnacity.

    The Long Road Home: Marking the 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

    by John Payton
    The Gulf regions “Road Home” program hasn't brought nearly enough former residents of New Orleans back home. Four years after the Katrina, there is danger that even those who remain in New Orleans may not be counted in the upcoming Census – especially those who are Black and brown.

    Leaving Obamaland

    now leaving obamaland

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Democrats could accomplish nothing during the Bush years, they told us, for the first six years because they were a minority, and during the last two because Republicans could filibuster.  Now, with both houses of congress, a filibuster-proof senate majority and a "transformative leader" in the White House Democrats can only continue the wars, the privatizations, the torture, coverups and kidnapping.  In power, Obama and Democrats can bail out Wall Street but not homeowners; they cannot accomplish anything voters want, like universal health care, Medicare For All.  Some Democratic activists are sobering up, looking around, and heading for the exits.

    Whose Recovery, and at Whose Cost?

    speculators recoveringby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    The bankster class went from comatose to all-powerful in a matter of months, discovering along the way how easy it is to loot trillions from the home-nation. “Taxpayers are committed to buttress the financial sector to the tune of $23.7 trillion – 1.7 times last year's GDP!” With fantastic riches so easily gained through domestic plunder, the banksters will abandon honest work forever.

    FBI Provocateur on McKinney: Why Not Lynch an “Uppity Black Bitch?”

    Cynthia McKinneyA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    A white racist who threatened the lives of white state legislators and federal judges in Connecticut and Illinois, was jailed. But when the same man demanded the lynching of Black Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney while a paid agent provocateur for the FBI, in 2006, nothing happened – which leads us to conclude that the FBI approved.

     

    Bad Public Options for Health Care

    wallet biopsyA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The more progressive Democrats in the House have vowed to hold out for a health care plan with a public option. However, insurance corporations are intent on extracting profit windfalls from the public options being crafted in both houses of Congress. What emerges may not be worthy of support under any circumstances.

    The Black Prison Gulag in the Age of Austerity

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.
    The financial crisis is fast stripping California and other states of services and amenities. But, for many citizens, the pending release of a fraction of the prison population is too painful to bear. “Democrats and Republicans alike resist letting their prisoners go, as if the gods of California and the United States must be constantly fed more Black and brown bodies.”

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    This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

    no reform hereby Chris Hedges
    The debate over health care “reform” has devolved to a frenzied assault on the U.S. Treasury, abetted by corporate enablers in both parties. “The proposed plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for these corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.” With Capitol Hill consumed in corruption, direct citizen action is the only avenue available.

    Katrina 4th Anniversary: Homeless and Struggling In New Orleans

    New Orleans todayby Jordan Flaherty
    Four years after Katrina, recovery and rebuilding has come slow to this city, and there are many boarded-up homes to choose from,” though few are fit for habitation. Apartments that once rented for $350 a month now go for $1,200. Section 8 voucher holders, 99 percent of them Black, face widespread rejection by landlords. “People cannot afford the housing in New Orleans anymore.”

    Are Barack Obama's "Compromises" Part of a Some Larger Progressive Plan?

    Of course not, says Glen Ford, who has covered Obama's career since 2003.  What you see, with President Obama, is all there is, and that's what we get: a corporate Democrat in blackface.  In this Big Think interview segment, BAR executive editor Glen Ford discusses the crisis in African American and left politics engendered by the career of Barack Obama and much more.  Transcript below the fold, courtesy of BigThink.com

    The Myth of Black “Buying Power"

    The immense “buying power” of African Americans, we are told again and again, makes us a huge economic power. So harnessing this power by changing the consuming habits of black America, the story goes, is an essential pre-requisite for black uplift. We've all heard it many times, from the screen, from the pulpit and elsewhere. But is any of it true? Does this popular understanding confuse black income, and even black debt with black wealth? Where does this misinformation come from? And does the emphasis on “buying power” as agency denigrate collective action in favor of “lifestyle” activism?  Dr. Ball opens the door to this vital discussion.

    The New Era of White “Massive Resistance”

    red, white and blue hard hatby Henry D. Rose
    Race permeates and largely motivates the Tea Partyers, who are intent on launching a new era of “massive white resistance” much like that of half a century ago. “What this massive resistance demonstrates is that any attempt to paint the U.S.A as post-racial is an exercise in delusion.” President Obama's race-neutral project is caught between a hard place and the rock that's always been there.

    Bending Toward Justice

    murderedby Lee A. Daniels
    Two weeks ago, one of the five white men still living, suspected in the deaths of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael “Mickey” Schwerner in Neshoba, Mississippi, 1964, died. But at least 73-year-old Billy Wayne Posey “went to his grave knowing the next knock on the door would be for him.” Four are still living “who spouted the spurious notion that they were “superior” to black Americans so that they could act like savages” - and for whom the lawman's knock on the door may still come.

    IMF To Third World: Your Money or Your Life!

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    Like a highway robber, the International Monetary Fund strips Third World nations bare of the power to exercise effective sovereignty – then returns to rape them. Now is the time for Jamacia to call a halt to the cruel game, and simply default on the crooked debt. “It will cause hardship to the rich, to the coupon clippers, but will have hardly any effect on the poor.” And that's the majority of the people.

    Obama Piddles Away the Public's Options

    BARACK HEALTH CAREA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    It's all over but the funeral.” In abandoning the “public option,” President Obama has relinquished all claim as champion of health care reform, the content of which he first diluted and ultimately bargained away entirely. The forces of reaction, which were disorganized and on the defensive when Obama entered office, have been vastly strengthened by the president's “duplicitous backroom deals and back-stabbing of his most loyal supporters.”

    Send In the Clowns: 3 Stooges, Gingrich, Sharpton & Duncan Hit the Road For Corporate “School Reform”

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon

    Quite separately from each other, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Rev. Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich have long ago forfeited whatever credibility they may once have had. Taken together, they are simply a bad joke: three grown men publicly eye-poking and slap fighting each other while they all come together to sell us high-stakes testing, charter schools, educational privatization and the whole package of corporate “school reform.”

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    Iraqis to Vote on Early U.S. Exit

    iraqi electionA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    On January 16 of next year, Iraqis will vote in national elections and a referendum on whether to send the Americans home by the end of 2010 – a year earlier than the U.S. expected. “There is no doubt – none whatsoever – that overwhelming majorities of Iraqis will vote to evict the American occupiers.” But the U.S. anti-war movement can take little of the credit.

    Eshu’s blues: Obama and Duncan’s “Race to the Top”

    by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
    President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are sold on charter schools and so-called “public-private partnerships.” In order to impose their corporate philosophy of education, the duo wave $5 billion under the noses of hard-pressed states, contingent on tying teacher job security to high-stakes test results and boosting charter schools. Duncan, in particular, makes extraordinary claims about his schooling fetishes while “lying through his teeth.”

    Obama on Drugs: 98% Cheney?

    big parmaby Greg Palast
    When Dick Cheney and leaders of the energy industry met secretly to fashion U.S. energy policy, progressives were understandably apoplectic. But when President Obama holds secret talks with the health care industry, it's another story. Progressives would be righteously upset if they understood all the wheeling and dealing had only cut 2% from a national health care bill that will double over ten years.

    Life After Wrongful Conviction

    more wrongful convictionsby Olympia Duhart
    Thanks to science and the efforts of the Innocence Project, hundreds of wrongly convicted persons have regained their freedom, some after spending decades behind bars. But states have wildly differing policies on compensating the innocent – and “more than a dozen states still have no compensation packages in place for exonerees. Nothing at all.”

    Got Beer?

    Oakland's Raymond Nat Turner, impresario of UpSurge Jazz shares with us this meditation on the utility and felicity of certain amber elixirs that lubricate the social interactions between police, presidents and others.

    How The Vicious U.S. Blockade of Cuba Really Works

    bodega-mediumby Marta Veloz.  Translation by Machetera.

    Has the Obama Administration really done anything to ease ithe nearly half century long blockade of Cuba? Machetera's translation of this article from the Cuban press unravels the workings of the continual state of economic war the U.S. wages against Cuba, and reveals its imact on Cubans as well as on businesses inside and outside the U.S. who try to do business with Cuba and its people.

    Will Obama's Abandonment of the Public Option Take Congressional Democrats Down In 2010?

    dr barackby BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

    Presidents run every four years, but Congress is elected every two. This president said we should judge him by whether he delivers comprehensive, affordable, accessible health care to every American in his first term. Team Obama's relentless opposition to single payer, a position he once supported, and his recent abandonment of even a watered down public option, and a health care plan that doesn't cover any of the uninsured till 2013 may not affect the president till his own re-election. But House Democrats must face the people in 2010.

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