Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”

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Offline Dig

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Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/conyers-%E2%80%9Cthere-no-one-more-disappointed-i-am-barack-obama%E2%80%9D



By Glen Ford
Created 08/04/2009 - 21:18
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.


 [1]
The nation's senior Black congressman fears Barack Obama is in danger of becoming a one-term president. Obama's health care proposal is “crap,” says Detroit's John Conyers, and Obama loses whether it passes or fails.
Conyers: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Progressive congresspersons may wind up voting against Obama on health care.”

Congressman John Conyers says Barack Obama’s stance on health care has been wrong, and it’s going to cost the president “big time.” It might even cost Obama his second term in the White House.

Conyers gave that assessment at Washington’s Busboys and Poets restaurant, bookstore and bar, where the Progressive Democrats of America were celebrating their fifth anniversary. Conyers is the Congressional Black Caucus’s longest serving member, having represented Detroit since 1964, when Obama was a three-year-old. He’s also one of the most consistently progressive members of the House, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and author of single payer health care bill H.R. 676 – legislation the White House has done its best to smother. Obama once gave lip service to single payer health care, but as president has staked his reputation on a mishmash of corporate schemes and deals-with-the-devil masquerading as health care reform – a thoroughly confused and conflicted legislative concoction that Conyers describes, simply, as “crap.”

Conyers suggests that, at the end of the legislative process, progressive congresspersons may wind up voting against Obama on health carebecause the bill will be simply too bad for advocates of real reform to support.

Busboys and Poets is a favored gathering place for progressives of all races. On the January night last year when Obama won the South Carolina primary, the place was noisier and more boisterous than anybody’s sports bar – so many deliriously hopeful faces, such soaring expectations. Now, John Conyers was telling many of the same people: “There is no one more disappointed than I am in Barack Obama.”

“We’ve got to tell Obama now, or he’ll be a one term president.”

The president and his supporters often throw around the old cliché about not letting the “perfect become the enemy of the good.” That’s their way of defending the fatal compromises Obama keeps making with the right-wing before the fight has even begun. Whether because of lack of gumption or lack of real commitment on Obama’s part, this refusal to confront Power is what has brought us to the current health care debacle in Congress. It’s not a matter of the perfect being the enemy of the good, but that the health care legislation shaped by the White House and its allies in Congress is just no damn good.

As disappointed as Conyers is with Obama, he still feels compelled to blame someone else for Obama’s health care fiasco. It’s White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s fault, says the congressman. Emanuel wants to pass any kind of health care bill, “anything just to say we did” pass something.

Whether the villainous Rahm Emanuel is to blame or it’s Obama’s own fault, the president will pay a steep political price, says Conyers. If he passes a “weak bill,” Obama loses, and if no bill passes, he loses. Conyers says he’s speaking out in such stark terms because, “we’ve got to tell Obama now, or he’ll be a one term president.”
The truth is, Obama killed the prospects for real health care reform when, no sooner than he had taken the oath of office, he began threatening to cut Medicare and attempting to marginalize single payer advocates like John Conyers. What begins badly, usually ends badly.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com [2].

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [3].
 
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[1] http://media.libsyn.com/media/blackagendareport/20090805_gf_ConyersHealthcare.mp3
[2] http://www.BlackAgendaReport.com/
[3] mailto:Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
[4] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/conyers-“there-no-one-more-disappointed-i-am-barack-obama”
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Black Jobs Disappearing at Depression-Era Rates



By Glen Ford
Created 08/04/2009 - 21:13
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.[1]

There are no targeted programs to address soaring Black unemployment on the horizon, despite Democratic control of the White House and both houses of Congress. President Obama puts his faith in a “rising tide” that “lifts all boats,” but in the real world “the economic tide is sinking Black boats at two, three and four times the rate of whites.”

Black Jobs Disappearing at Depression-Era Rates

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Obama will preside over a huge increase in permanent Black joblessness.”

President Obama continues to insist that a rising economic tide will “lift all boats.” But what's actually rising is a tidal wave of Black unemployment that in some regions is already at Depression-era levels and promises to add yet another layer of permanently jobless African Americans.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute [2] shows that the economic tide is sinking Black boats at two, three and four times the rate of whites. Obama's determination to do nothing specifically targeting African American unemployment guarantees he will preside over a huge increase in permanent Black joblessness.

Black national unemployment, which is now posted at 14.7 percent, is expected to rise to 16 percent, compared to 8.6 percent for whites. Black unemployment has been roughly double that of whites for so long – at least two generations – economists and media call the disparity “traditional,” like apple pie and the 4th of July. Embedded in that statistic is the permanent instability of Blacks in the job market. Each time there is another wave of higher unemployment, larger numbers of those whose jobs were already unstable, drown. Another strata of the permanently jobless is left behind, a social crime that cries out to be undone. But that would require programs targeted to the places and people that have been most harmed by economic dislocations. By the logic of the numbers, that means Black people, most intensely. But President Obama will have none of that. He is ideologically committed to a race-neutrality that, in the job market, can only result in a steady expansion of chronic Black employment instability and permanent joblessness.

“Blacks have lost ground in every job category.”

As disturbing as the national employment figures are, they don't convey the true scope of the deep and enduring Black jobs crisis. One out of every four Blacks in Michigan will be officially unemployed by the summer of next year. In Ohio and Alabama, one in five African Americans will officially be out of work. South Carolina and North Carolina will be right behind, nearing 20 percent official Black unemployment. In New York City [3] and Washington, DC, official Black unemployment is an astronomical four times the rate for whites. I refer to the “officially” unemployed, because whole categories of workers slip off the U.S. Labor Department's jobless list every month, while the structurally or permanently unemployed are treated as if they do not exist.

The current economic crisis has resulted in an across-the-board employment disaster for Blacks, who have lost ground in every job category: manufacturing, wholesale and retail commerce, transportation, utilities, finance, insurance, real estate – the catastrophe is near universal. The Economic Policy Institute report recommends that the nation “devote extra resources to those states and groups that are hardest hit.” But Obama has already said no, and Black mass organizations seem more interested in coming to the first Black president's defense than in banging at the door of the White House, demanding relief for the people.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com [4].


  BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [5].
 
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[1] http://media.libsyn.com/media/blackagendareport/20090805_gf_BlackJobs.mp3
[2] http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/ib257/
[3] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/freedom-rider-black-unemployment-ignored
[4] http://www.BlackAgendaReport.com/
[5] mailto:Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
[6] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/black-jobs-disappearing-depression-era-rates
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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The Inside Man on the Great Bank Heist
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/inside-man-great-bank-heist



By Glen Ford
Created 08/04/2009 - 21:09
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.[1]

The bankster class, awash in billions in bonus money, flaunts its unearned wealth, oblivious to the political harm their antics are inflicting on the “Indispensable Man” in the bank bailout, President Obama. The author believes “the president's intimate entanglements with the criminal banking class will be his undoing.”
 
The Inside Man on the Great Bank Heist
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford


“Obama's bankster friends can be counted on to repeatedly embarrass the president.”

Detroit Congressman John Conyers worries that President Obama might be brought down by his failure to put forward and fight for a decent health care plan. Conyers may be right, but I think the president's intimate entanglements with the criminal banking class will be his undoing. No matter how many times Obama puts a scowl on his face and pretends to threaten the banksters for their latest transgressions against everyone else's economic security, the public will remember who got bailed out first and most under the outgoing George Bush and the incoming Barack Obama.

The bankers have no shame, and even less regard for how much their behavior harms the political fortunes of their friends in the White House and Congress. It seemed like only yesterday that we were told life as we know it would cease to exist if Wall Street was not gifted with the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. At the time most of the public, Democrats and Republicans, initially opposed the bailout, sensing it was a scam. George Bush could never have pulled it off – this, the greatest boondogle in human history. Republicans were screaming that a bailout meant instant socialism. Up stepped presidential candidate Obama, who sweet-talked the Democrats into pushing the bailout through Congress. For the banksters, Obama was the Indispensable Man.

“George Bush could never have pulled it off.”

So, how do they reward him? In uncivilized haste, nine banks that received $175 billion of the people's money turned around and gave more than $32 billion to their executives and high roller employees, as bonuses. It was left to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to cry foul, in a report entitled, “No Rhyme or Reason: The 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose' Bank Bonus Culture.” Essentially, the report outlined how bank managers divvy up bilions of dollars among themselves and their top-gun dealmakers, whether the institutions are doing well or not – not to mention how well or badly the real economy is performing for real people.

Banking in 21st century America is, in the end, exactly what most people suspected: a racket rigged for the benefit of the bankers, themselves. They had taken the people to the cleaners, fleeced the public, stolen them blind, and were now cashing in their billions in plain view of 300 million suckers.

Nobody can pull off that big a heist without an Inside Man. The guy who vouched for the thieves back in October of last year, who convinced all those Democrats in Congress that he'd make sure the banks were made accountable to the people once he was sworn in as president.

Obama's bankster friends, fearing nothing and no one, can be counted on to repeatedly embarrass the president with their felonious, anti-social behavior, in the depths of everybody else's economic crisis. At some point, it will become Obama's political crisis. The first black president will be even more widely perceived as the bankers president. Which is what he has always been.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com [2].

  BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [3].
 
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[3] mailto:Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
[4] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/inside-man-great-bank-heist
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody
http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=print/content/top-ten-ways-tell-your-president-his-party-arent-fighting-health-care-everybody



By Bruce A. Dixon
Created 07/29/2009 - 10:30

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us.  Here are ten of them.

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate were swept into office on a promise they would deliver affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. But the corporate media journalism limits the national health care conversation to what insurance companies, drug companies, for-profit health care professionals, their executives, lobbyists and politicians of both parties and other hirelings have to say. So it isn't as easy as it ought to be to tell what the politicians are doing about accomplishing health care for everybody. Hence we offer these ten points. This is how you can tell whether your president and his party are fighting for the health care you deserve.

1. Their plan [1] doesn't cover the uninsured till at least 2013 [2].

2013 isn't “day one.” It's not even after the midterm election. It's clear after the president's second term, if he gets one. Congress passed Medicare in 1965 and president Lyndon Johnson rolled out coverage for millions of seniors in eleven months, back in the days before they even had computers.

22,000 Americans now perish each year because they can't get or can't afford medical care, and this year three quarter million personal bankruptcies will be triggered by unpayable medical bills. Why this president and these Democrats are in such a hurry to pass health care now that doesn't take effect till two elections down the road doesn't make sense in any kind of good way.

2. Their “public option” isn't Medicare, won't bring costs down and will only cover about 10 million people.

The “public option” was sold to the American people as Medicare-scale plan open to anybody who wants in that would compete with the private insurers and drive their costs downward. But in their haste not to bite the hands that feed them millions in campaign contributions each hear, the president and his party have scaled the public option back from a Medicare-sized 130 million to a maximum of 10 million, too small to put cost pressure in private insurers [3]. Worse still, the president and his party are playing bait-and-witch, not telling the public they have reduced the public option, to nearly nothing.

This remnant of a public option is not Medicare, as Howard Dean insists, and it will not lead to the sort of everybody-in-nobody-out health care system that most Americans, whenever they are surveyed say they want.

Some Senate and House Democrats want to ditch even the pretense [4] of a “public option” in favor of something they're calling a private insurance “co-op [5]”, which as near as anybody can tell has the same relationship to an actual cooperative that clean coal has to actual coal.

3. The president and his party have already caved in [6] to the drug companies on reimporting Canadian drugs, on negotiating drug prices downward and on generics.

This explains why Big Pharma, the same people who ran the devastatin g series of anti-reform “Harry and Louise” ads to spike the Clinton-era drive to fix health care are spending $100 million [7] to run Obama ads using the president's language about “bipartisan” solutions to health care reform.

4. The president and his party have received more money from private insurers and the for-profit health care industry than even Republicans, with the president alone taking $19 million in the 2008 election cycle alone, [8] more than all his Repubican, Democratic and independent rivals combined.

Democratic senator Max Bacaus got $1.1 million in 2008. Democratic senators Harkin, Landreau and Rockerfeller each got over half a million, and Senator Durbin got just under half a million. Other Democratic senators got a little less. Four Democrats in the House, Rangel, Dinglell, Udall and Hoyer got over half a million apiece in 2008, with other Democrats not far behind.

Is there any wonder that the insurance companies, like the drug companies are also running “bipartisan health care reform” commercials using the president's exact language?

5. The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, will require families to purchase health insurance policies from private insurers.

This is something the policy wonks call an 'individual mandate [9]”, under which Individuals will be “mandated” to purchase affordable insurance, though companies would not be required to offer it. In Massachusetts, the prototype state for the Obama plan, a family with an income of $33,000 can be required to spend $9,000 in deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses before the insurance company is obligated to pay a dime. As in Massachusetts, public money is used to purchase private insurance for the very poorest citizens. With the revenues of insurance companies on the decline, individual mandate programs are a welcome bailout for the private insurance industry.

6. The president's plan, and those of Republicans and Democratic blue dogs too, could force you to buy junk insurance [10].

Think about an insurance policy that costs a lot, but is full of loopholes, exceptions and steep deductibles and co-payments. That's junk insurance, and for many it's the only insurance companies offer. Even more pernicious is the widespread practice among insurance companies of “recission” in which claimants are routinely investigated and disqualified in the event that they finally make a claim. Insurance companies admit they do this to half of one percent of policies per year. That means if you hold a health insurance policy twenty years, you don;t have insurance – you have a ninety percent chance of having insurance.

7. The president's plan, as well as those of Democratic “blue dogs” and Republicans, are to be funded in part with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid.

Private insurance companies have always hated Medicare because it is far more efficient than they are. Medicare's administrative expenses are under five percent, as compared with the one third of every health care dollar taken by the for-profit insurance companies for their advertising, bad investments, billing and denial machinery, executive salaries and bonuses. Private insurers have, over the years, purchased enough influence in Congress and previous White Houses to restrict Medicare's payment rates and partially privatize it. But president Obama's plan, perhaps the most friendly to Medicare and Medicaid, calls for over $300 billion in cuts [11] to the programs that now provide medical care to those with the fewest options, while failing to guarantee that care will come from elsewhere. In Massachusetts right now, hospitals are turning away poor people they used to be able to provide care for because funding that used to go to those institutions is now plowed into the state's “individual mandate” system.

8. The president, with the cooperation of corporate media and the Republicans is trying to make the argument about himself instead of a discussion on the merits of his policy.

The president and his critics are happy to talk about whether this will be “his Waterloo [12]”, or his Dien Bien Phu, as if that matters more than the 22,000 Americans who die each year from lack of medical care, or the three quarter million who will go bankrupt because of unpayable medical bills. The concentration on whether the president looks good or bad takes up air, ink, and coverage time that might otherwise be spent explaining what is and isn't in the various proposals, and why.

If the president were not afraid of his own supporters publicly examining the merits and demerits of his proposals, he would mobilize those 13 million emails and phone numbers collected during the campaign. The reason he has not sone so already is that most of his own supporters favor a Medicare-For-All single payer health care system, HR 676.

9. The president and his party, and the corporate media [13] have spent more time and energy silencing [14] and excluded the advocates of single payer health care, mostly the president's own supporters, than they have fighting blue dogs and Republicans.

But no matter how diligently the spokespeople for single payer are excluded from media coverage and invitations [15] to Obama's policy forums and round tables, no matter how many times the White House cuts their questions [16] from transcripts and video of public events, the calls, emails and letters keep pouring into Congress and the White House demanding the creation of a publicly funded, everybody-in-nobody-out system, a Medicare-for-All kind of single payer health care plan.

10. Despite the president's own admission that only a single payer health care system will deliver what Americans want, he and the leaders of his party insist that Medicare For All, HR 676, us utterly off the table.

Before he became a presidential candidate, Barack Obama identified himself as a proponent of a single payer health care system. All we had to do, he told us, was elect a Democratic congress and senate, and a different president. Now that this has been done, he insists that “change” is just not possible, and we have to settle for less. The president continues to admit that only a single payer health care system will cover everybody, but insists that America just can't handle that much change.

The truth is that Barack Obama campaigned as the candidate of change, and a health care system that covers everybody from day one with no exceptions is what people imagined they voted for when they swept him and an overwhelming number of Democrats into office.

A single payer Medicare-For-All system will eliminate 500,000 insurance company jobs and replace them with 3.2 million new jobs in health care for a net gain of 2.6 million new jobs [17] according to a study by the National Nurses Organization. That's as many jobs as the US economy lost in all of 2007. Single payer will create hundreds of billions in annual wages and local and state tax revenues for cash strapped cities and towns. It will lift the shadow of bankruptcy for medical reasons from two thirds of a million American families yearly. It's what we deserve.

It's what we voted for, and we won't stop demanding it.

  Bruce Dixon is based in Atlanta GA and is managing editor at Black Agenda Report.  

He can be reached at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.

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Links:

[1] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3200
[2] http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hiiWnivT__38YVG-emF9zy6xVW_AD99ICP600
[3] http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10400/07-26-InfoOnTriCommProposal.pdf
[4] http://www.pnhp.org/blog/2009/07/28/does-the-congressional-progressive-caucus-care-about-its-public-option-principles/
[5] http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=arrJ7R3CbF18
[6] http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2009/07/obamacare-is-at-war-with-itself-over.html
[7] http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=4733
[8] http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/recips.php?ind=H&cycle=2008&recipdetail=P&mem=N&sortorder=U
[9] http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/7/27/758427/-Health-Care-Reform:-Pros-and-Cons-of-Individual-Mandate
[10] http://www.consumerreports.org/health/insurance/health-insurance/overview/health-insurance-ov.htm
[11] http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/14/nation/na-obama-radio14
[12] http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/07/20/obama_pushes_back_against_talk.html
[13] http://www.opednews.com/articles/Poll-Excludes-Single-Payer-by-Jerry-Policoff-090312-353.html
[14] http://www.prosperityagenda.us/node/909
[15] http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/march/obama_to_single_paye.php
[16] http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=132&topic_id=8311060&mesg_id=8311060
[17] http://www.calnurses.org/research/pdfs/ihsp_sp_economy_report_charts_011509.pdf
[18] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/top-ten-ways-tell-your-president-his-party-arent-fighting-health-care-everybody
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

luckee1

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Holy crap!!

But we have to report Conyers to the white house tattle tale site don't we?  Because Conyers is racist.  Wait a minute, Conyers is black!  How is this going to spin?  HaHa! 

Offline Monkeypox

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Holy crap!!

But we have to report Conyers to the white house tattle tale site don't we?  Because Conyers is racist.  Wait a minute, Conyers is black!  How is this going to spin?  HaHa! 

But Obama is White, so maybe Conyers IS racist.

 :D
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luckee1

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But Obama is White, so maybe Conyers IS racist.

 :D

 :D  We are worse spun than cotton candy!

Offline Unintelligable Name

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Holy crap!!

But we have to report Conyers to the white house tattle tale site don't we?  Because Conyers is racist.  Wait a minute, Conyers is black!  How is this going to spin?  HaHa!  

 ;D :D Beautiful irony. They'll declare him guilty of self racial-hatred!  ::)

Offline Neo

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;D :D Beautiful irony. They'll declare him guilty of self racial-hatred!  ::)

Translation: An uncle Tom. Just wait Sharpton, Jackson and Farrakhan will hold a press conference on sold out negroes. Coming soon on the idiot box.
"It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and
how few by deceit"

Offline open your eyes

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I wonder if I can report Conyers to flag@whitehouse.gov?

second thought, How is he criticizing what he hasn't read? hmm!

Offline chris jones

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Dissapointed, well my friend you are in good company.

Mr. Barack Obmama does not give one twit if you are black, white, purple or orange. Color does not play into his overall game. And, it is a game, run by others and totaly accepted by Oby. He is high on the mountain now far above the crowds of peons, we are in this twisted insane nightmare together.

Our savior Obama got exactly what he wanted, he is top lord now, sits upon the throne, has made his bones, decieved the nation and all citizens of every race , color and creed. He knows that, he is a very intelligent sociopath.

If we don't stay united on this , the power wins, those who would put race before freedom are loosing the big picture. Does anyone truly beleives he cares about the commoner,PLEASE. Lets be real, he cares about Obama, he is loyal to the masters with the power, thats it. You can be certain he acccepted with glee his role. We are numbers, nothing but a feeding ground for the whims of the masters.And Obaba knows this as did our Mr. Bush.

I get sick to death of racial hypocracy, the truth is we are all in the same boat, the sooner we realize this the better our chances of survival, for freedom, for Honor.

My best freind in Nam was as black as coal, I'm white,  we depended on each other to survive, to cover our backs. The guys called us salt and pepper, we didn't give one shiiite, and who was a racist shiiithead and didn't approve of our friendship never had the balllsaaks to open their mouth.

It seems to me it takes an abomination for humans to realize we are all alike, different on the outside perhaps but the same on the inside. Some shiits play this game, and blame color, race, creed, thats a divider, and the longer it continues the more divided as a nation,or a unit we become. That is what the power wants, can't some folks see that, to divide is to conquer, to conquer is controll is it not.
How about we stay united in an effort contrary to what color people are and define the true enemy of mankind. We are all human beings, to classify and categorize, label, is the landmark of cowardice and ignorence.

Sociopaths come in all colors, races, creeds, etc. Let us grow up and face the facts, its much to late to play the race angle, it feeds their game.

True human beings see beyond a mans color,religion,wealth,social status, clothing, the front. Men of honor come in all colors, shapes, sizes, religions and or countrys. Lets stick together on this one or they win. Who are they, the parasites who feed on us and have been for decades.

United we stand folks, divided we are conquered.

Did I get off the track here, if so, it is because this issue hits home. Rant over;

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Translation: An uncle Tom. Just wait Sharpton, Jackson and Farrakhan will hold a press conference on sold out negroes. Coming soon on the idiot box.

Didn't Jesse Jackson say he wanted to cut Obama's manhood off?  He can't be too much of an Obama fan. Nevertheless, I have never really liked Rev. Jackson.

Offline Dig

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Another Obama Promise Broken -- The Right To Organize Betrayed



By Glen Ford
Created 07/21/2009 - 19:43

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.[1]

The Employee Free Choice Act has been gutted and may expire entirely, a victim of Barack Obama's signature style of governing to the Right of the Democratic center. “Although candidate Obama paid lip-service to the Employee Free Choice Act, he pointedly failed to deploy the powers of the presidential 'bully-pulpit' on behalf of the key “card check” provisions that would have forced companies to recognize unions as soon as a majority of workers signed a union card.”
 
Another Obama Promise Broken -- The Right To Organize Betrayed
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“He eviscerates the labor and progressive agenda by withholding crucial White House support for measures he nominally endorses.”

The “card check” portion of the Employee Free Choice Act appears dead, yet more proof that a promise from Barack Obama is essentially worthless.

The word “transformational” should be purged from any discussion of the Obama presidency, as should any positive comparison between Obama and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If FDR’s presidency can be summed up in a few words, it was a period in which the power of labor was greatly enhanced in effective partnership with the man in the White House, while a safety net was established that allowed working people the security to exercise those new powers.

Barack Obama seeks something quite different: an accommodation that leaves labor at an extreme disadvantage with the vastly expanded powers of finance capital and management, while the social safety net objectively ceases to exist. Such is the clear result and intent of Obama’s grossly lopsided actions – not words, but actions – during his first six months in office. Of the nearly $13 trillion committed to economic resuscitation since the financial meltdown, most of it under President Obama, 90 percent has gone to buttress the bankers, while unemployment and home foreclosures combine to wipe out all vestiges of security for the rest of us.
“He has methodically empowered the right-wing of the Democratic Party as arbiters of federal legislation.”

President Obama has been an active player in this debacle. He has methodically empowered the right-wing of the Democratic Party as arbiters of federal legislation. As with health care, Obama signals loudly that he prefers to avoid confrontation with capital, thus giving the nod to those Democrats politically closest to Republicans that they are free to seek compromises with Big Business at the expense of Democratic constituencies. Although candidate Obama paid lip-service to the Employee Free Choice Act, he pointedly failed to deploy the powers of the presidential “bully-pulpit” on behalf of the key “card check” provisions that would have forced companies to recognize unions as soon as a majority of workers signed a union card. Effectively, and purposely, that allowed a handful of right-wing Democrats to conspire with Republicans to kill card check, while President Obama pretends the outcome was none of his doing.

Accepting defeat, and fearing to antagonize Obama by laying it at his feet, where it belongs, labor leaders now concentrate on salvaging other parts of the legislation, such as binding arbitration and streamlining the union election process. Unfortunately, Obama has privileged the same gaggle of Democratic right-wingers to handle negotiations to keep some portions of the Employee Free Choice Act alive in the Senate.

The presidential pattern is unmistakable; in fact, it has become Obama’s governing signature. He eviscerates the labor and progressive agenda by withholding crucial White House support for measures he nominally endorses, and then passes de facto leadership to the most backward elements of the Democratic Party. The conclusion is inescapable: Barack Obama is the most active and critical member of the right wing of his party. With Obama at the helm, “card check” never had a chance.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com [2].
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [3].

 
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All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Is the Obama Health Care Plan Really Better Than Nothing?



By Bruce A. Dixon
Created 07/22/2009 - 08:39

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Candidate Barack Obama told us to judge his first term by whether he delivers quality affordable health care for all Americans, including nearly fifty million uninsured. So why does his proposal not cover the uninsured till 2013, after the next presidential election when Medicare took only 11 months to cover its first 40million seniors? Why are corporate media pretending that no opinions exist to Obama's left? And why has the public option part of the Obama health care plan shrunk from covering 130 million to only 10 million, with 16 million left uninsured altogether?

Is the Obama Health Care Plan Really Better Than Nothing?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The health care debate inside and outside the matrix

Like just about everything else, your take on the national health care debate depends on whether you're inside or outside the matrix.

Within the bubble of fake reality blown by corporate media and bipartisan political establishment, the health care news is that the Obama Plan [1] is at last making its way through Congress. It's being fought by greedy private insurance companies, by chambers of commerce, by Republican and some Democratic lawmakers.

Under the Obama plan, we're told, employers will have to insure their employees or pay into a fund that does it for them. Individuals will be required under penalty of law to buy private insurance policies and for those that can't afford it or prefer not to use a private insurer there will be something called a “public option.” This “public option, the story goes, is bitterly fought by the bad guys because it will make private insurers accountable by competing with them, forcing them to lower their costs. Both the president's backers and opponents agree that the whole thing will be fantastically expensive, and the president proposes to fund it with cuts in existing programs like Medicaid which pay for the care of the poorest Americans and a tax on those making more than $300,000, later raised to $1 million a year.

The “public option” has that magic word “public” in it, and that's reassuring to progressives and to most of the American people. Taxing the rich is a popular idea too. So if you rely on corporate media, the administration, or some of the so-called progressive blogs to identify the players and keep the score, it seems a pretty clear case of President Obama on the side of the angels, battling the greedy insurance companies, Republicans and blue dog Democrats to bring us universal, affordable health care.

That whole picture has about as much reality as the ones the same corporate media and most of the same politicians drew for us about Iraq, 9-11, weapons of mass destruction and some people over there who wanted us to free them. Iraq and the White House were and remain actual places, and there really is a problem called health care. But the places, problems and solutions are very different from the bubble of fake reality blown around them.

What sustains this fake reality is the diligent suppression from public space of any viewpoints, observations or proposals to Obama's left. As long as the illusion that nobody has a better idea, that the only choice we have is Obama's way or the Republicans' way can be maintained, the crooked game can go on.

But bubbles are delicate things. Keeping this one intact requires so many vital topics to be avoided, so many inquiring eyes to be averted, so many fruitful conversations to be squelched that it's hard to see how the president, the bipartisan establishment and the corporate media can pull it all off.

The real Obama Plan: doesn't cover the uninsured till 2013, if then.

The first clue that something is deeply wrong with the Obama health care proposal is its timeline. According to a copyrighted July 21 AP story [2] by Ricardo Alfonso-Zaldivar,

“President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare law on July 30, 1965, and 11 months later seniors were receiving coverage. But if President Barack Obama gets to sign a health care overhaul this fall, the uninsured won't be covered until 2013 — after the next presidential election.

“In fact, a timeline of the 1,000-page health care bill crafted by House Democrats shows it would take the better part of a decade — from 2010-2018 — to get all the components of the far-reaching proposal up and running.”


According to a peer reviewed 2009 study in the American Journal of Medicine, 62% of the nation's 727,167 non-business bankruptcies [3] were triggered by unpayable medical bills in 2007. Most of these had health insurance when they fell ill or were injured, but with loopholes, exclusions, high deductibles and co-payments, or were simply dropped when they got sick. In 2008 that figure was 66% of 934,000 personal bankruptcies and in 2009 it could approach 70% of 1.1 million bankruptcies. And 18,000 Americans die each year because medical care is unaffordable or unavailable. Waiting till 2013 means millions of families will be financially ruined and tens of thousands will die unnecessarily.

If the Johnson administration with no computers back in the sixties could implement Medicare for 45 million seniors in under a year, why does it take three and a half years in the 21st century to cover some, but not all, of America's fifty million uninsured? And why does the Obama Plan make us wait till after the next presidential election? Politicians usually do popular things and run for election on the resulting wave of approval. Delaying what ought to be the good news of universal and affordable health care for all Americans till two elections down the road is a strong indication that they know the good news really ain't all that good. And it's not.

Inside the matrix of TV, the corporate media and on much of the internet, discussion of the Obama plan's timeline, the human cost of another three years delay, and the comparison with Medicare’s 11 month rollout back in the days before computers are almost impossible to find. We can only wonder why.

The Obama plan is about health insurance, not health care.

As BAR has been reporting since January 2007 [4], the Obama plan is not a health care plan at all, it is a health insurance plan. Based largely upon the failed model in place in Massachusetts since 2006, the Obama plan will require employers to provide coverage or pay a special tax. Everybody not covered by an employer will be required to purchase insurance under penalty of law, in much the same manner as you're currently required to buy car insurance.

“In my state,” testified [5] Dr. Steffie Woolhandler of the Harvard Medical School last month before Congress, “beating your wife, communicating a terrorist threat and being uninsured all carry $1,000 fines.”

As in Massachusetts, the health insurance plans people are forced to buy will cost a lot and won't cover much. In a July 20 National Journal [6] article Dr. David Himmelstein says,

“Nearly every day that he is in the clinic, Himmelstein says, he sees a patient who has problems paying for care "despite this reform.' Some of them had free care before the 2006 law took effect but are now expected to handle co-payments. If you're not poor enough to get a subsidy, say you're making $30,000 a year, you're required to buy a policy that costs about $5,000 a year for the premium and has a $2,000 deductible before it pays for anything. For substantial numbers of people, it's effectively not coverage,' Himmelstein said. The policy he described is about the cheapest Massachusetts plan available, according to the Physicians for a National Health Program report, which Himmelstein co-wrote [7].”

A family of four making under $24,000 a year in Massachusetts gets its insurance premium free, but is still expected to cough up deductibles and co-payments and live with loopholes and exclusions that often deny care to those who need it. And in both the Massachusetts and Obama plans, funds to pay those premiums come out of the budgets of programs like Medicaid that already pay for care for the poorest Ameicans.

The Obama plan's “public option” is a bait-and-switch scam

A July 21 pnhp.org article titled “Bait and Switch: How the Public Option Was Sold [8]” outlines how the public option is neither public, nor an option.

“Public option” refers to a proposal... that Congress create an enormous “Medicare-like” program that would sell health insurance to the non-elderly in competition with the 1,000 to 1,500 health insurance companies that sell insurance today...

“Hacker (its author) claimed the program, which he called “Medicare Plus” in 2001 and “Health Care for America Plan” in 2007, would enjoy the advantages that make Medicare so efficient – large size, low provider payment rates and low overhead...

“Hacker predicted that his proposed public program would so closely resemble Medicare that it would be able to set its premiums far below those of other insurance companies and enroll at least half the non-elderly population.”


The White House is committed to twisting arms in the both houses of Congress and reconciling the two versions of Democratic bills to emerge from the House and Senate. What emerges will be the Obama plan. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate version of the Democrats' pending health care legislation leaves 33 million uninsured and omits the public option altogether. The House version includes a “public option” estimated to cover only 10-12 million people, a number far too small for it to create price pressure on private insurance companies, while leaving 16 or 17 million uninsured. Instead of setting prices for health care, it will be forced to pay whatever tthe private insurers already pay, and perhaps more.

As private insurers use their marketing muscle to recruit younger, healthier people who'll pay for but not use their benefits, the public option will be a dumping ground for the customers they don't want... the middle-aged, the poor, those with pre-existing conditions. And of course the Obama plan's “public option' will be managed by contractors from the private insurance industry.

Private insurers spend a third of every health care dollar on non-health related things like bonuses, denial machinery, advertising, lobbying and bad investments. Medicare spends 2 or 3% on administrative overhead. Bush's “enhanced Medicare” administered by private insurance contractors, spends about 11% on overhead. That's about what we should expect from the Obama public option. So much for change.

So far, discipline is holding. Nobody in corporate media, the administration, or among Democrats in Washington has gotten round to telling us that the public option has been eviscerated. But its powerful appeal and the awesome power of the word “public” are offered by Obama supporters as the central reasons to shut up, clap harder, and get behind the president on this.

Taxing the rich, paying for health care. How the Obama Plan stacks up against single payer [9].

Along with being funded by cuts in Medicaid, the Obama plan is supposed to be funded by taxing those who make $300,000 or more per year. That's not a bad thing. The wealthy don't pay nearly enough taxes. But the US already spends more on health care than anyplace else on the planet while leaving a greater portion of its population uninsured than anybody.

The Obama plan will not contain costs. It will subsidize the insurance vampires well into the next decade. On the other hand, single payer would eliminate the private insurance industry altogether. In many advanced industrial countries, most of the practices private insurers follow here, such as cherry picking healthy patients while dumping and denying sick ones, are illegal. Why can we do that?

Single payer, according to a study by the California Nurses Association [10] would eliminate 550,000 jobs in private insurance while creating 3.2 million new ones in actual health care. It would be responsible for $100 billion in wages annually and a source of immense tax revenues for local governments.

So is the Obama plan really better than nothing?

The Obama plan seems calculated to buy time for private insurers, to end the health care discussion for a decade or more without solving the health care problem, do so in a way that discredits the very idea of everybody in- nobody out health care. It will leave tens of millions uninsured, a hundred million or more underinsured, and the same parasitic private interests in charge of the American health care system that run it now.

The Obama plan as it now stands requires us to let another 18,000 die for each of the next three years and allow more than a million additional families to be bankrupted by medical expenses before we can judge whether or not the plan is working. It's easy to imagine Obama partisans telling us in mid 2013 that it's still too early to be sure.

The Kucinich amendment, which allows the few states wealthy enough to try it the liberty to fashion their own single payer regimes is intended to attract progressives and single payer votes in Congress without breaking the bubble. By itself, it should not be a reason to support this bill.. The wealthiest state in the union is probably California, and it's handing out IOUs instead of salaries this month. It's hard to see what would be lost if this health care bill went down in flames, and we started over again next year.

Can he get away with it?

Maybe. Maybe not. If the corporate media and the president can keep discussion of the devilish details to a minimum, if they can silence, co-opt and intimidate the forces to Obama's left --- if they can keep most of the public inside their bubble of fake reality, Barack Obama may achieve his goal of thwarting the reform that most of the American people want --- an everybody in, nobody out single payer health care system on the model of Canada or Australia, or Medicare for All. It won't be close, it won't be easy, and with nothing to be gained, progressives shouldn't make it any easier.

Since the president's success depends mostly on keeping people silent [11] and in the dark, he will probably be unable to mobilize the 13 million phone numbers and email addresses collected during the recent presidential campaign, and now held by OFA, his campaign arm. If an organizing call went out to them, too many would try to read the bill and discuss the options, and such a discussion could easily get out of hand. When OFA called house meetings on health care last December, the most frequently advanced question was why we couldn't or shouldn't get a single payer health care system.

Single payer isn't dead yet. It's very much alive among Barack Obama's own supporters. To succeed, he has to bury it alive, to keep them in the bubble, in the dark and quiet, or clapping so loudly they cannot hear themselves or each other think. It's not over.

 Bruce Dixon is based in Atlanta GA and is managing editor at Black Agenda Report.   [12]
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[1] http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text
[2] http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hiiWnivT__38YVG-emF9zy6xVW_AD99ICP600
[3] http://www.uscourts.gov/bnkrpctystats/statistics.htm#june
[4] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/barack-obama-hypocrisy-health-care
[5] http://www.citizen.org/publications/release.cfm?ID=7676
[6] http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20090718_1479.php
[7] http://www.pnhp.org/states_flatline/State Health Reform Flatlines IJHS - 2008.pdf
[8] http://www.pnhp.org/blog/2009/07/20/bait-and-switch-how-the-“public-option”-was-sold/
[9] http://www.pnhp.org/facts/key_features_of_singlepayer.php
[10] http://www.calnurses.org/research/pdfs/ihsp_sp_economic_study_2009.pdf
[11] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obama’s-single-payer-beat-down
[12] mailto:bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com
[13] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obama-health-care-plan-really-better-nothing
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Bush and Obama: Different Styles of Coup-Making



By Glen Ford
Created 07/21/2009 - 19:45
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.[1]

Although nobody but Americans believes Washington was not behind the late June coup in Honduras, Barack Obama brings his own touch to subverting one's hemispheric neighbors. “Obama makes democratic noises – and then refuses to back them up with any actions that would cause U.S. clients in the Honduran military and oligarchy to relinquish power.” And he does it all with a straight face.
 
Bush and Obama: Different Styles of Coup-Making
Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Bush would ratchet up the aggression with threats of regime-change all around.”

There should be no doubt about U.S. involvement in the military coup in Honduras, June 28. Nothing happens in the Honduran military without U.S. knowledge and consent. Honduras is the original “banana republic,” once a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita Brands) and for the last three generations a U.S. staging area for subverting governments throughout the hemisphere.

What the U.S.-backed Honduran coup illustrates is the difference between Barack Obama and George Bush. President Bush would likely have set the coup in motion with bombastic statements from the White House and State Department charging Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya with conspiring with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and other leftist leaders to undermine governments in the region friendly to Washington. Rather than simply defend the local necessity of the coup, Bush would ratchet up the aggression with threats of regime-change all around. But of course, that’s one of the reasons Bush isn’t there anymore, and why after eight years of Bush’s counterproductive rants and threats U.S. corporations threw their money to the Democrats – specifically, the fresh new face of Barack Obama.
“Obama’s State Department continues to avoid even using the word 'coup.'”

Obama keeps the drama out of regime change, by pretending to be opposed to coups in principle. So Obama makes democratic noises – and then refuses to back them up with any actions that would cause U.S. clients in the Honduran military and oligarchy to relinquish power. Obama’s State Department continues to avoid even using the word “coup” to describe the military’s arrest and forced exile of President Zelaya. If the Americans acknowledged that a coup had occurred, they would be legally obligated to cut off millions of dollars in military and economic aid to Honduras. Latin American heads of state made it a point to meet directly with President Zelaya, to show their solidarity with his elected government. Obama sends underlings, to signal to the coup plotters that he’s got their back. Alone among members of the Organization of American States, the U.S. continues to maintain an ambassador in the Honduran capital. His name is Hugo Llorens, a Cuban exile and Republican holdover and multinational corporate political operative. Llorens has admitted to having participated in meetings where coup plans were discussed, although he claims he was simply an observer. Historically, in Latin America, the U.S. embassy has been ground zero for regime change. There is no reason to think the latest coup in Honduras is any different.

President Obama may have trouble pulling off his innocent act. The European Union is threatening to suspend $92 million in aid to Honduras, which caused Secretary of State Clinton to make a call, pretending to pressure the civilian coup leaders.

In the end, it is even possible that the U.S. will allow Zelaya to return, although in a weakened condition.

The coup will have served as a lesson to Latin America, that the U.S. is still in the regime-change business, even if Barack Obama denies it with a straight face.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com [2].
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [3].

 
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All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Obama Lies on Two Continents, is Denounced in New York



By Glen Ford
Created 07/22/2009 - 04:48
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama may be the most effective propagandist for U.S. imperialism in a very long time. But his narrative to Africans is built on blatant falsehoods, and his spiel to Black America is fundamentally dishonest and evasive. Demonstrators in Manhattan declared: “We will no longer tolerate a message from within our community, that the policies of Barack Obama cannot be criticized.”
 
Obama Lies on Two Continents, is Denounced in New York
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Obama peddled his relabeled imperial snake oil to Blacks on both sides of the Atlantic.”

President Barack Obama tells essentially the same lies as his predecessors, but does it better. His deceptions are aided enormously by the willed receptivity of the desperately hopeful – and none are more eager to believe than Africans and African Americans. In July, Obama peddled his relabeled imperial snake oil to Blacks on both sides of the Atlantic. At the NAACP’s national convention in Manhattan, and before the Ghanaian parliament in Accra, Obama’s message was the same: There will be no redress of your historical and current grievances. Get over it.

Obama’s gall is boundless. When the accumulated facts of centuries stand in the way of his mythmaking, he conjures up counter-facts to fit a counter-logic. In order to shame Africa into holding still to be gang-raped of her resources – by now an almost 600-year agony – Obama invents a totally false history of South Korea’s economic rise. As the story goes, Kenya’s economy was larger than South Korea’s when Obama’s father came to the United States in the early Sixties. But the South Korean government, “working with the private sector and civil society, was able to create a set of institutions that provided transparency and accountability and efficiency that allowed for extraordinary economic progress,” said Obama. There “was no reason why African countries could not do the same.”

“Obama tells huge lies in order to advance U.S. policy goals.”

Of course, little of what Obama said about South Korea or Africa is true, and history provides plenty of reasons why African countries were not in a position to grow at anything like the speed of South Korea. In the real world, South Korea’s economic expansion had no basis in “transparency” or collaboration with “civil society.” As Thom Hartman explained in a July 14 article [1]:

“This economic development of South Korea started following a military coup in 1961, where General Park Chung-Hee began South Korea's economic assent by implementing short-term plans for economic development. He instituted the Heavy and Chemical Industrialization program, and South Korea's first steel mill and modern shipyard went into production. In addition, South Korea began producing its own cars. Electronics, machinery, chemicals plants soon followed, all sponsored or subsidized by the government.”

A military dictatorship set South Korea on the path to industrial development at just about the time Obama was being born. The United States allowed its Korean satellite to protect and grow its fledgling industries as a capitalist showcase and bulwark against North Korea and communism in general. Today, South Korea’s economy is controlled by a tight circle of conglomerates.

Corruption is endemic. A former president committed suicide in May when he faced questioning in a $6 million bribery scandal – and that’s very small change by Korean standards. Obama is talking nonsense.

“He is arguing that Africans are suffering from some collective character flaw.”

Africa’s neocolonial masters would not tolerate a Black African nation that subsidized industries that might effectively compete with the U.S. and Europe – as South Korea does. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, part of the economic arsenal with which Europe and America discipline uppity Third Worlders, have effectively proscribed Black Africa’s areas of acceptable growth – acceptable, that is, to the rich nations of the world.

We understand that Obama tells huge lies in order to advance U.S. policy goals, foreign and domestic. But his lies to Africans and African Americans are purposely cruel, designed to rub sensitive areas of Black self-esteem. When Obama says there is “no reason why African nations could not do the same” as his false version of Korea, he is arguing that Africans are suffering from some collective character flaw.

In the same way, Obama’s constant refrains about “good governance” are reminders of colonial-era white claims that Africans were incapable of governing themselves. They still sting. But, as Toronto-based activist/author Gerald Caplan wrote in the July 13 issue [2] of The Nation, there is no factual basis for Obama’s assertion that "you're not going to get investment without good governance":

“That's just wrong. For decades most foreign investment in Africa has gone to South Africa first, even under apartheid, and then to such oil-rich nations as Angola and Nigeria. First and foremost, western companies, backed energetically by their embassies, are after Africa's resources--oil, gas and to a lesser extent minerals. These are the very sectors where we find vast corruption, environmental degradation, the vicious exploitation of African labor, and, often enough, Africa's wars. In no case does good governance play a role in investment decisions. Often enough venal leaders are precisely what investors look for.”

Obama turns truth on its head. His lies are aggressive, insulting, virulent – but effective, because they put the African audience on the defensive. Anxious about their own collective shortcomings, many fail to examine the illogic and pure fallacies of the American president’s nonsensical presentation.

False Empathy

Obama pulled a slick switch on the NAACP’s upscale crowd at the New York Hilton, last Thursday [3]. The president spent an impressive amount of time itemizing the myriad ways that African Americans suffer disproportionately because of “structural inequalities [emphasis mine] that our nation's legacy of discrimination has left behind; inequalities still plaguing too many communities and too often the object of national neglect.” It was beginning to sound as if Obama was about to recognize the need to confront institutional (sometimes called “structural”) racism with targeted programs – something he has refused to do as a matter of core philosophical principle.

“Obama had shifted from a focus on particular Black grievances to the Reaganesque politics of 'a rising tide lifts all boats.'”

But of course, it was not to be. The president’s empathetic recitation of Black grievances raised expectations of an appropriate legislative and executive response – and a large segment of the crowd clearly believed they had heard Obama propose specific programs to confront these “structural inequalities” that plague Black folks. Then suddenly, Obama switched gears – and terminology. Structural inequalities would be tackled through “a comprehensive approach [italics mine] to ending poverty.” In Obama’s formulation, “comprehensive” means “general” – not targeted at any identifiable groups suffering from what “our nation’s legacy of discrimination has left behind.”

Without missing a beat, Obama had shifted from a focus on particular Black grievances to the Reaganesque politics of “a rising tide lifts all boats.” He would “lay a new foundation for growth and prosperity that will put opportunity within the reach of not just African Americans, but all Americans. All Americans.” And the crowd cheered, seeming not to realize that Obama’s peroration was actually a promise not to extend any special, programmatic help to devastated Black America. It was all about the rising tide, lifting everybody. “Of every race. Of every creed. From every region of the country. We want everybody to participate in the American Dream. That's what the NAACP is all about.” (Applause.)

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People roared its approval of their president’s pledge to do nothing special to advance colored people.
There are lots of ways to lie, and Obama seems to have mastered all of them. His performance before the NAACP’s centennial convention gave delegates the impression that he both recognized and would act to counter the effects of historically rooted, institutional (or “structural”) racism. He then used a terminological device (the word “comprehensive”) to retreat to “race neutral” territory without most of the audience noticing. It was high deception, the moral equivalent of a lie.

You Will Not Stifle Debate

““Crimes against humanity do not become OK because a Black man is presiding over these crimes.”

“We must not be discouraged because of our numbers,” said Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Antiwar Coalition, standing on the Sixth Avenue sidewalk a block away from the New York Hilton Hotel, where President Obama was inside, wowing the crowd. Bailey and an assortment of perhaps 50 activists shared the corner with tourists and cops.

“There is an effort to silence us within our own respective movements,” said the veteran community organizer. “But Blacks and progressives are beginning to openly question Obama’s policies. We will no longer tolerate a message from within our community, that the policies of Barack Obama cannot be criticized.”

Despite the fraying of support for Obama on the Left, the July 16 event appeared to be the first public demonstration against the president, albeit a small affair. Turning toward the Hilton, Bailey shouted: “You will not stifle debate, discussion and analysis within our community. We are going to expose this imperialist for who he is.”

Carl Dix, of the Revolutionary Communist Party, took his turn at the mic. “They may put a Black man in the White House, but they’re not going to stop their cops gunning Black men down in the street,” said Dix. “Crimes against humanity do not become OK because a Black man is presiding over these crimes.”

Diop Olugbala, of the Uhuru Movement, possessed the most impressive anti-Obama credentials. On August 1 of last year, when most Leftists were busy acting like Obama groupies, Olugbala and a few others at an Obama rally in St. Petersburg, Florida, unfurled a banner that demanded “What about the black community, Obama?” Olugbala and the Uhuru crew verbally confronted the candidate, and clearly rattled him.

“Barack Obama has told us that racial oppression is no longer a significant factor in life,” said Olugbala, the last speaker at the demo on Sixth Avenue. “Obama is the new face, to seduce the world into compliance with U.S. imperialism.”


BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [4].

 
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Links:[/b]
[1] http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/22803
[2] http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090720/caplan
[3] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/17/text-obamas-speech-naacp/print/
[4] mailto:Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
[5] http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obama-lies-two-continents-denounced-new-york
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline chris jones

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Glen.  I am FN well impressed, good on ya, I have just finished reading your messages, and admire your insight, & courage.

If your surf this site that is.