“Backdoor” threat to Social Security
Democratic Senator Kent Conrad, of North Dakota, head of the Senate Budget Committee, would raise full retirement eligibility for Social Security to age 69, under legislation based on the Simpson/Bowles Deficit Reduction Commission report. “It’s a backdoor attempt to reduce Social Security benefits,” said Don Owens, of Social Security Works, in Washington. “Not too many businesses are hiring 68 and 69 year old workers.”
Obama Fails to Spend Funds on Hardest Hit Homeowners
More than $7 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Fund money set aside for hardest hit homeowners, disproportionately Blacks and Latinos, was allow to sit in President Obama’s Treasury Department, unspent, for two years. The administration managed to spend only 3 percent of the $7.6 billion allocated. However, South Carolina writer and activist Kevin Alexander Gray doesn’t think the malfeasance will hurt Obama with Blacks at the polls. “As long as they have someone that cosmetically looks like them in the White House,” and “as long as Black people are not organized to make coherent demands of the system, he doesn’t have to worry,” said Gray.
African Americans Have Right to Self-Determination
Based on Article One of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the U.S. is a party, “African Americans have the right to determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development,” said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Boyle spoke on the subject to a Chicago meeting of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities.
U.S. “On the Defensive” in Africa
The rise of China, India, Brazil and other countries has made the U.S. desperate to maintain its domination of Africa, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Because “Africans are capable of playing the China card,” they don’t necessarily have to buckle under to “the U.S., France or the other imperialist countries.”
Chicago March Against NATO Wins Endorsements
May 20 demonstrations against the summit meeting of NATO heads of state, in Chicago, has been endorsed by Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rainbow-Push, three major service employees international unions, the Chicago teachers, and a nurses union, said Chris Gavreau, spokesperson for the United National Anti-War Coalition. “This march is going to be the major Spring action against war and austerity,” she said.