House Democratic Leader Declares National Health Care Legislation “Off The Table” This Year

clyburn-pelosiby BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
What does it mean when leading House Democrats, and apparently the White House repudiate their own campaign promises to enact a universal-coverage national health care plan only days into the new Congress and new administration, even though they have a popular president and the biggest Congressional majority in two  generations?  What does it mean when this doesn't even make the evening news?  It means the awesome power of corporate media decides the topic of our political conversation.  It's not about health care, or campaign promises, or  hypocrisy.  It's about  Blago.  Or Britney.  Or whatever they tell us it is.

The Great Black Hajj of 2009

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The huge inaugural gathering on the Washington Mall - two million people, about half of them African American - resembled nothing so much as a Hajj. The assembled multitudes "were committed to a once (or, at least, first) in a lifetime trek to Washington to bear witness to The Biggest Black Event in History." Largely oblivious to the actual political import of his words - including threats against Social Security - the throng imagined "that their wildest dreams had come true in the form of Obama" - an unsustainable delusion.

Barack Obama's Not-So Non-Ideological Inaugural Address

by Paul Streetobeyobama-1

The new president dismisses "ideology" in order to promote his own brand of neo-liberalism. He is a partisan in the corporate war-against-all who slimes the opposition as purveyors of "dogma,"  "stale" ideas and "tired" recriminations, a proponent of government "that works" who never addresses the question, "for whom?" Obama blames the current crisis on a "collective failure" of the people, a form of "vicious victim-blaming" that suggests "the country's broad populace shares equal responsibility with the investor class for the nation's dire economic straits."

Why An A**Hole is Always in Charge

by Greg PalastPALASTGoldToilet_wideweb__470x314,0

Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain is a man who can parlay catastrophic business failure into mind-blowing personal enrichment. After reducing the company to worthlessness, he sold the "busted bag of financial feces to Bank of America for $50 BILLION." Then Merrill Lynch lost another $5 billion, but Thain still thought he deserved a $30 million bonus - in addition to his already acquired $35,000 toilet. The guy's got hutzpah. He ought to be named Secretary of the Treasury so he can "con Saudi sheiks and Chinese apparatchiks into lending us another trillion."

Eshu’s blues: Obama scabs on the autonomy of Palestine-and the rest of us

ESHUfuture war criminal-1by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

President Obama, if he were truly "the humanitarian he pretends to be, would be upholding the Geneva Convention, and condemning the State of Israel before the world." But of course, he won't, and America's "so-called ‘war on terror, which President Obama embraced in the opening lines of his inaugural speech, knows neither humility or shame." Most of Black America mistakenly anticipates some sort of imperial exceptionalism in the Obama White House. But "despite the election of a black man to the presidency, the dictatorship of race and class remains at the core of both U.S. and western ideology and practice."

Cynthia McKinney: "Mr. President: Give Us a Clean Break from War"

"The American people voted for change and peace," says the Green Party's recent GazaMcKpresidential candidate. "President Obama's current path will produce neither." Former Georgia Congresswoman McKinney urges Obama to call directly on "the elected representatives of the Palestinian people and that means dealing with Hamas." She plans to "attempt another trip to Gaza" - the first was aborted by the Israeli military - "to assess the depth of the worsened humanitarian catastrophe now there."

Freedom Rider: Black America Surrenders

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberleyunder the bus

The disproportionately Black Washington Mall crowd, their coats covered with Obama buttons, "didn't care what Obama did as president, they just wanted him to become president." These to-the-bone "Obama lovers...don't care that Obama pledged to use his political capital to change Social Security and Medicare, their only safety nets in an uncaring society." Unconcerned about the impact of their champion's specific policy positions, these legions of Black Obama followers happily and "loudly proclaimed themselves to be less important than one man's career success." Obama and his wife wowed the nation, and "just 72 hours after the new president took office, he started killing people" in Pakistan.

So Now We Know A Black President Is Possible. What Does That Mean?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon
Hope is not a plan.  Barack Obama was carried into office on the hopes of ordinary people.  But his plans seem to come from the same people that brought us multiple overlapping wars and crises in the environment, in education, in the economy.

In America, Big Time Financial Crime Pays Well

madoff_house_arrestA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
What does it say that the conditions of arch-criminal Bernard Madoff's so-called "house arrest" are better than than the real lives of hundreds of millions of honest and hardworking Americans?  It says that crime does pay, especially financial crime on a grand scale.
To download a broadcast quality MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.  To listen to it without downloading, click the flash player below.

Time To Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford 
gitmoThe uses to which Guantanamo Bay has been put pale beside America's original sin of violent expropriation and armed occupation of Cuba's national territory.  If this is really a new day, it's time for a new policy, time to give Gitmo back to Cuba. 
To download this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.  To listen to it  without downloading click the flash player below.

Obama, King and Kennedy: Empire and the “End” of Racism

An interview with Juan Santos

In claiming that Blacks had “already come 90 percent of the way” to equality, candidate Barack Obama employed “strategy and tactics that served white racism and served to deeply harm peoples of color by erasing our conditions of life from the imagination of the majority.” Obama’s promises of fundamental change are empty. “Change won’t come from within the system because the wealthy profit from the mass impoverishment of peoples of color here and around the world – wherever their money can penetrate to get the cheapest labor for the most work.”The only thing the system can do for us “is collapse, go away, and get out of our lives.”

Eshu’s blues: Evacuate Israel to the “heartland”

eshu_gazaby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

Israel in its present configuration and location "is just not working out." Its behavior isn't suited to Palestine - a bad choice, in hindsight, for a Jewish homeland. Better to "offer the new Israeli government the states of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas," where "orthodox Christian populations" that are so enamored of the current State of Israel "should be quite amenable to moving out of the region" to make room for the newcomers. Right-wing preachers like Pastor John Hagee should certainly be capable of explaining that "God has now revealed Texas to be the promised land of Zion." After all, "If you've sold one ‘God gave them the land' package, you've sold them all."

Top Three Gaza Myths Debunked

GAZAphosphorous_shellsby Jaisal Noor

American perceptions of Palestine are warped by Israeli propaganda transmitted as fact by corporate media. Israel, the United States and only a handful of other nations thwart “the international consensus for peace” in the region called for in UN Resolution 242. Hamas did abide by a cease fire with Israel “and even arrested members of militant groups who did fire a handful of rockets” in the period before the latest conflagration. Far from seeking a just peace, the United States has backed Israeli seizure of occupied Palestinian lands.

Time for an Israel Divestment Campaign

by Kevin Alexander Gray  GazaCartoon

“What’s happening in Palestine is not fundamentally different from what occurred in apartheid South Africa.” And the response should be similar. “We must demand that the United States end its $30 billion a year military support” to Israel, “demand that public bodies such as universities, local and state governments divest their portfolios from companies that do business in or with Israel…identify and boycott those companies that do business with and in Israel,” and “call for a cultural boycott of Israel, and boycott those artists who perform in the country.”

Punish Corporate Gangsters with Extreme Prejudice

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

China has executed at least fifteen state enterprise managers for stealing and then gambling away millions of dollars of the people’s money. An example for Wall Street?

Freedom Rider: The Good Fight

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley cowboy

Day one of the Obama presidency has passed, and “it is time to reenergize ourselves and prepare for the fight of our lives.” Time to do battle with a corporatist White House whose “contradictions have already begun to show themselves.” The Obama of the mass imagination must now give way to the leader of a real life center-right administration intent on resurrecting the power of Wall Street and expanding the size and scope of the military. “Millions of people who have never been active before, or who feel bamboozled by Obama, will be primed and ready to join in the good fight for justice and for peace.”



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