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2012 presidential campaign

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    Is This Really The Most Important Election Ever? If So, Then Where Are Our Issues?

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    It's hard to see how an election is so darn important for black America when the candidates aren't talking about the issues. Which one is the candidate that wants to roll back the prison state, or stop the drug war, or question gentrification? Is there a candidate who wants full funding of public education? A candidate who will cut off troops and military aid to Africa? If not, what are we voting for?

    Freedom Rider: Obama the Untouchable

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Obama supporters who profess an intent to “hold his feet to the fire” may successfully deceive themselves and each other, but this president is no fool. Barack Obama knows that voters have no power whatsoever over him after next Tuesday, that he'll be free to follow his own inclinations, whatever those are.

    Melissa Harris-Perry VS Alice Walker: Sista Courtier VS the Real Sista Citizen

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Professor Melissa Harris-Perry has an MSNBC show and a byline in The Nation as “Sister Citizen.” But what would the output of a “sista citizen” look like? Would it extol and praise the Great Man, excusing him from responsibilities and his own promises, or would it ask him, and the rest of us hard questions? What's the difference between a citizen and a cheerleader?

    Freedom Rider: Not Voting for Obama


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The top Democrat and Republican have clashed face-to-face three times – and emerged far more alike than different. “Given this degree of collusion, why would it be so terrible if Obama lost?” The presidential electoral exercise looks more like an exorcism in which both parties are the Devil.

    A Year Later, the War in Libya is Far from Over


    by Horace Campbell

    The death of the U.S. ambassador in Libya revealed the extent of CIA involvement in Libya. The “agency was not merely conducting covert surveillance on the Islamists based in eastern Libya, but providing them with direct aid and coordinating their operations with the current war in Syria.” Chickens and other varmints are coming home to roost. “The US had fed the al-Qa'ida scorpion and now it had bitten America.”

    Why This Black Man Is Watching the Debates, and Voting Green

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon


    I'll be watching the debates. Not on CNN or ABC, but online at Occupy the Debates or at Democracy Now or Free Speech TV, where the third party candidates and others have a chance to answer questions and comment in real time.

    Brought To You By “Clean Coal:” All You Need To Know About the 2012 Obama- Romney Debates

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    What do we do when choices between major presidential candidates aren't real choices, and debates between them not real debates? Real or not, the scripted and controlled events put on by the corporate “Commission” on Presidential Debates are heralded by corporate media as the opportunity to compare Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, as if a meaningful “choice” existed between them.

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    Freedom Rider: Black America Stands Down for the Obamas


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Democrats definitely won the propaganda war between the two conventions but that doesn’t mean that black people won anything.” How could they, since African Americans have asked for nothing but that a Black family get to live in the White House? “For the first time in their history, black Americans have consciously and directly advocated being ignored.”

    Freedom Rider: Democrats Show Their True Colors


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Democrats in Charlotte deserve the president they nominate. They are union members with no self-respect, African Americans who ask nothing for their own people, “anti-war” folks who oppose only Republican wars – and the fat cats who profit from it all. “Romney has no room to criticize Obama because Obama is now the war monger in chief, with the body count to prove it.”

    Obama Has Been Speechless on Minimum Wage


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Democrats cannot even articulate the most basic bread-and-butter issues, like raising the minimum wage. That's because their standard bearer “has not said anything meaningful about the minimum wage since he was campaigning for president in 2008.” Raising the wage floor is hugely popular, a good issue to run on – but not pleasing to the rich, and therefore a no-no for Obama.

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    Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Republicans and Democrats, like Romney and Obama are of one mind on many more things than they disagree about. From war and empire to their policies on Big Ag, Big Energy, “clean coal and safe nuclear power,” and the war on drugs their areas of agreement are vast and troubling, and perhaps far more important than the rhetorical and stylistic differences highlighted by US political campaigns.

    Many Years Too Late, the Black Caucus Turns on Artur Davis


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Former Alabama congressman Artur Davis’ name is mud with Black Democrats, for speaking to the Republican National Convention. They say he’s flip flopped on his old “progressive” policies. But Davis “was always among the worst, most right-wing members of the Congressional Black Caucus.” That’s why the Rahm Emanuel-Barack Obama wing of the party once considered him a “friend.”

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    The 99% Take on the Republican National Convention


    by Arun Gupta

    About 500 protesters greeted the Republican convention, in Tampa. “What united the crowd was the 99% rhetoric,” which the White House has adopted – without the substance – from the Occupy Movement. No mention of how the president’s own austerity initiatives “helped enable the next stage of right-wing extremism that he is now running against.”

    Tired Old So-Called Leftists Give Same Old Excuses For Supporting Obama in 2012

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Abject and unwavering support of President Barack Obama on the part of blacks and what used to be called “the left” has made them pretty much irrelevant since Obama emerged as a viable presidential candidate back in mid-2007. After five years of the Age of Obama, four of them as president, one would imagine there are lots of new reasons to endorse him. But even his abject supporters can't find any.

    Chief Justice Roberts, The Jury is Still Out

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    Much of the Right is furious with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for saving President Obama’s healthcare legislation from constitutional defeat. But Roberts may have had a larger conservative agenda. “Could it be that by rejecting the Obama administration’s assertions under the Commerce Clause that Roberts is paving the way for upcoming conservative challenges to established civil rights legislation?” Justice Roberts might right now be advising his fellow right-wingers: Calm down, you’ll thank me later.

    Freedom Rider: Racism is the Issue


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    No matter what the facts say, Blacks are forbidden to blame race for…anything. That’s the meaning of a post-racial society: race is banned from discourse, while racism carries on as usual. Worsening Black unemployment in New York? The New York Times takes note of the numbers, but won’t even consider that racism might be a factor. In the Age of Obama, “pointing out that racism is still very much alive is akin to pointing out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.” It just isn’t done.

    Top Ten Things That Have and Have Have Not Changed In the Era of Obama

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In the spirit of Bill Clinton's 1992 “the Man From Hope” slogan, Barack Obama in 2008 declared himself the candidate of Hope and Change. So what about it? Are the real changes, if we can find them, at all what Obama voters hoped for?

    Freedom Rider: Obama Has the Power

    by editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    When President Obama doesn’t want to do something, he pleads the limits of presidential power or resistance from Republicans. But, when a novel move is to his political benefit, the world is his oyster. So far, gays and Latinos have benefited from Obama’s newfound insights or powers. Obama could just as easily issue executive orders “to change policies on incarceration, or address the foreclosure crisis, or bring federal dollars to economically devastated communities.” But he won’t, because Black folks won’t ask him to. Their support is free.

    Obama Memo Deferring Some Deportations Not a Victory For Latinos, Immigrants or Human Rights

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Professional Latino leaders, tied hand and foot to corporate donors and the Democratic party, are celebrating the president's announcement that a small number of the undocumented will be eligible for deferral of their deportations. But is this really a victory for all immigrants or just those on the way to college and the military.

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    Freedom Rider: The Obama Thrill is Gone


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Few predict that Barack Obama will generate the Black turnout that propelled him to victory in 2008. “A small but growing number” of Black former Obama enthusiasts “have grown weary of the charade and know they have been played for fools.” Race pride motivated them the first time around, but that is harder to muster for “a man who never saw them as anything more than saps who would vote for him no matter what he said or did.”

    Obama's No-Risk Drive-By On Gay Marriage

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The president's announcement favoring the right of same sex couples to marry is long overdue and better than nothing. But it doesn't make him a fearless warrior for human rights, any more than Henry Kissinger's Nobel Peace Prize makes him Mahatma Gandhi.

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    Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil


    Glen Ford at the Left Forum

    No matter how much evil Barack Obama actually accomplishes during his presidency, people that call themselves leftists insist on dubbing him the Lesser Evil. Not only is Obama not given proper credit for out-evil-ing George Bush, domestically and internationally, but the First Black President is awarded positive grades for his intentions versus the presumed intentions of Republicans. As the author says, this “is psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.”

    Eshu’s blues: “Republicans” and why politics is still just show business for ugly people


    by Michael Hureaux Perez

    Civilized people worry about the Republicans’ antics this election season. “Why this parading of the cracker factory in full daylight and without their sheets and hoods?” Could it be that the Nixon’s old Southern Strategy has finally gone berserk? The author’s theory “is that the ‘Democratic’ faction of the Neo Confederacy has moved so far to the right that it’s actually overtaken the ‘Republican’ party and is bankrolling it.” The fix is in, and the landslide is coming.

    Obama’s Corporate Tax Scam


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    President Obama would permanently reduce corporate tax rates, but claims he’ll get even more taxes from companies by closing loopholes. Even if you believe this fantasy, there’s nothing in it for the 99 percent, since “the president has already stated that the additional revenue will go right back into corporate pockets, in the form of new or existing tax breaks.” Have a happy billion dollar election year.

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    Newt Gingrich: King Cracker

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    It is no longer unthinkable that Barack Obama could face Newt Gingrich in November. If that happens, the political lines will be unequivocally drawn around race – and only race. But Black people will have no defender. “The issue in a contest between Obama and Gingrich will be the same as between Gingrich and Juan Williams, a slimy Black right-winger who claims African Americans wallow in a culture of ‘victimhood.’” Sound familiar? Maybe that’s because “the coded language and euphemisms of white supremacy are deployed by both Republicans and Democrats, and forms the core of American political speech.”

    For “cracker” references, read the story.

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    Black America Paralyzed, Powerless, Irrelevant: Year 4 of the Obama Era

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Next week will mark the third anniversary of Barack Obama's inauguration, and the unveiling of his fourth budget. Already White House spokespeople admit that it will be bad news for black and poor Americans. In three years this president has investigated and prosecuted not a single Wall Street banker or institution, not held up the wave of foreclosures a single week, not addressed the issues of black unemployment or black mass incarceration. But black America has silenced itself to protect the career of the First Black President.

    How To Waste Your Vote In 2012

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    A vote is a terrible thing to waste, they say. But exactly when are votes wasted? Are they thrown away when cast for the least of multiple evils. Are they squandered when cast for what people really need and want, even if that means a Democrat might not win? Are they lost when people with few or no good choices stay home? Or have voters already been robbed when the menu is limited to corporate-funded Republicans vs. corporate-funded Democrats?

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    Poverty in America: The Subject Presidential Candidates Would Prefer to Ignore



    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    U.S. decline in the world is no longer just a trend, but a fact. Cold statistics tell us that our young people “will never experience the prosperity we, their parents, did.” Yet, amidst growing misery, the American electoral process is flush with cash.GOP candidates spent $12.5 million on television ads in Iowa alone, and Obama is raising a $1 billion war chest to fight the election.” Rich people’s money buys silence on poverty.

    Does the 2012 Election Mean Anything To African America?

    With the First Black President having put social security cuts on the bargaining table before even being sworn in, ignoring record black unemployment and mass incarceration, and doubling down on every abhorrent Bush policy from imperial wars in Asia and Africa to letting corporate polluters and criminal banksters go unmolested, what is the 2012 election really about for black America? Bragging rights?

    The World Went to Hell and the Black Man Didn’t Go Free


    by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

    Despite the fact that Barack Obama’s “approach to domestic economic and social policy has savaged the U.S. Black community on every front,” the election season will see increased demands that Blacks circle the wagons around “their” president. Narrow group thinking leads African Americans to behave as if “it does not matter that targeted assassinations and indefinite detention are the order of the day, or that a Black man is helping to foment war on the African continent.” Ignoring both the lessons of history and Obama’s role in the current Black economic catastrophe, “our establishment Blacks continue to be imprisoned in an imperialist capitalism.”

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