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    State of the Union 2015: Lethal, Predatory, Delusional

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama says things are looking up for America – which is exactly how Wall Street sees it. For the seventh time, Obama assessed the state of the nation from the perspective of a “center-right presidency whose real accomplishment has been to re-inflate the Wall Street casino, flush the last vestiges of secure employment out of the economy, and put the imperial war machine back on the offensive.”

    Freedom Rider: Jeffrey Sterling: A Black Man and the CIA

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Former New York Times reporter James Risen got most of the coverage in the Obama administration’s latest espionage trial, but the defendant is a Black man. Jeffrey Sterling is not guilty of espionage – none of the defendants in Obama’s cases are – but he is an accessory to the crimes of his former employer, the CIA. “ Sterling lay down with dogs and got up with fleas.

    What is the Real Reason Behind Obama’s New Cuba Policy?

    by Pascal Robert

    There’s nothing “enlightened” about President Obama shift in policy on Cuba. Growing U.S. isolation from Latin America has opened opportunities for Washington’s global rivals. Russia has proposed a raft of agreements with Cuba and other Latin countries, and “China has now strongly entered the Latin nations with its plan to build a canal through Nicaragua to rival the Panama Canal.”

    The Moment of Truth: African Americans’ Nonsensical  Support for Barack Obama

    by Solomon Comissiong 

    After January, 2017, “the delusional fantasy will be over for most African/black people in this country.” What will Black folks have to show for their near-absolute loyalty to Barack Obama? Nothing more than, maybe, a historically revisionist t-shirt “with Obama’s face wedged in between Malcolm X and MLK.”

    Once Again, the Empire Rolls the Dice of War

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The U.S.-Saudi oil price war against Russia, like the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, is “a calculated act of desperate men, based on the inescapable facts of imperial decline and the logic of class survival.” In their doomed attempt to stay on top, U.S. imperialists and their clients risk burning down the global house. “But, that’s what any ruling class would do when staring death in the face.”

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    Freedom Rider: Cuba in the American Imagination

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The imperial mentality is not limited to the right wing of the American political spectrum. Some purported leftists greeted the opening to Cuba as if recognition by the U.S. was the greatest thing that ever happened to the island nation. The Cubans don’t see it that way, although they wanted the deal. “President Raul Castro stated in no uncertain terms that Cuba will remain socialist and will not extradite Assata Shakur or anyone else granted asylum by the government.”

    Would You Buy An Obamamobile From This Man?

    by Howard Wait

    “High Deductible Health Care Model” is President Obama’s legacy to the American people, complete with “skinny networks, overpriced medicines and more tricks and traps than a Halloween funhouse.” But, no need to worry. “After the deductible is paid, which will be never, health care is free!”

    What Did Young Activists Gain From White House Meeting? What Did the President Get?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    After sending an extra hundred FBI agents to Ferguson in the days just before the grand jury decision, the White House invited young activists opposing police murder and impunity to a Monday meeting with the president. Black Agenda Report spoke briefly with Mr. Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders, asking what was gained or lost.
    NOTE: This article has been significantly amended since initial publication on Dec 3, including the insertion of several links, most notably one to Davey D's much longer interview with Phillip Agnew of the Dream Defenders at its very end, which was broadcast on KPFA-FM after our initial publication date.

    War on the Down-Low: Obama’s Afghan Lies

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    In secrecy and deceit, President Obama reversed his promised phase-out of the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan. Which simply proves that Obama “is no different than any other U.S. imperial leader – except that he is a more accomplished liar than most.

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    The Obama Administration.... Standing Up For Poor and Working People Since... Never

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Federal court judges ruled workers forced to stand in line without pay several hours each week before leaving work deserved to be paid. Amazon.com, their boss disagreed and it's now in the Supreme Court. So why did President Obama's Justice and Labor Departments each file briefs agreeing with Amazon and other wage-stealing retailers that bosses should have more freedom to define “work” in ways that allow them to force more unpaid labor from their workforces.

    Freedom Rider: Obama's Feet To The Fire? Not Likely. Not Ever.

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Talk about holding President Obama's feet to the fire was always empty noise, as many making it surely knew. In fact the US political system provides few or no ways for anyone except the wealthy to influence what legislators, judges, governors or presidents do, and many ways to ensure that those (s)elected to high office are disposed to protect the rights of the 1% against the 99%. Clearly, the First Black President is only serving his corporate masters, not serving us.

    VP Joe Biden Accidentally Tells A Little of the Awful Truth

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Vice President Joe Biden was forced to apologize to Arab emirs and kings for blaming them for arming and funding the Islamic State. He neglected to mention his own boss’s complicity. “Biden spoke from a state of deep denial, a visceral refusal to accept that the United States is no longer capable of controlling the chaos it has inflicted on the Middle East.”

    Eric Holder’s Damnable Legacy: Impunity for the Rich and the Death of Due Process

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “Eric Holder and his boss have done incalculable damage to the life prospects of Black people.” Nevertheless, African Americans are eager to give high marks to a man who has demolished due process and the rule of law and given the white filthy rich impunity from prosecution. Holder has also “helped set the stage for a new wave of assaults on urban Blacks and their electoral rights as a class” through his assent to disenfranchisement of Detroit.

    The Sharpton-ization of American Imperialism: Obama Administration's DOJ to Train "Community Leaders" to be Snitches for Empire

    by Danny Haiphong

    The U.S. government has finally invented a national “snitch” program big enough to encompass the treachery of Al Sharpton. Under the new program, “community leaders” are taught to identify and rat-out radicals in their midst – a task for which Sharpton serves as the perfect role model. “Sharpton is committed to defusing potential Black rebellion on behalf of the Obama Administration.”

    The Big Switch: Obama Preparing to Bomb His Way to Regime Change in Syria

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The U.S. bombing campaign over Syria has two objectives: (1) “ISIS must be punished, to reduce its appeal to the jihadist rank and file, who make up the bulk of effective fighters arrayed against the Syrian state; and (2), jihadists that remain loyal to their paymasters must be rewarded with victories on the battlefield, through U.S. air power. Obama will switch quickly to direct air aggression against the Syrian State.

    "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage" is Latino For "No Democrat Is Safe"

    by Roberto Lovato

    Candidate Barack Obama promised Latino voters an accessible road to citizenship for the undocumented. He has delivered 2 million deportations, and with his Latino enablers, nearly as many excuses. Will Hispanic Heritage Month be the time to call out the Latino political class for being just about as venal, slavish and useless as the black political class?

    Ferguson Demands a New Black Politics

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    If Ferguson represents a new beginning for Black movement politics, then any electoral efforts must aim to “create governments whose promise to the people is to cease cooperating with the machinery that enforces the New Jim Crow.” It emphatically does not mean the Democratic Party, “which has encaged Black politics for roughly the same period as the Mass Black Incarceration State has encaged Black bodies in the world’s largest gulag.”

    Freedom Rider: Liar in a Tan Suit

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    President Obama behaves as if he lives in an alternative universe, one in which ISIS and other jihadists in Syria were not armed and funded by the U.S. and its allies, and Russian-speaking Ukrainians did not rise up of their own volition against the fascist takeover in Kiev. Russian President Putin seems like a great leader, in comparison, if only because he speaks in the language of reality.

    Why Our Black Political Class is Paralyzed and Silent on Gaza Massacres and Israeli Apartheid

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    How did the NAACP wrap up its national conference this weekend without saying a mumbling word about the genocidal bombing of Gaza? Why did Moral Monday's Rev. Barber appear on HBO's Real Time with notorious Islamaphobe Bill Maher and not speak to the morality of apartheid in Israel? Why are the black political class and the black church, invisible on the invasion of Gaza and the fact of Israeli ethnocracy in general?

    Obama’s Hot War

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The deeper the U.S. slips into economic decline, the higher it ratchets up the pace and stakes of armed conflict. Washington appears to have crossed some kind of Rubicon, to embark “on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war.”

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    Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism's Electoral Charade

    by Danny Haiphong

    The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama's two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”

    One Year After Chicago Closes 50 Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union Assesses the Lies and Lasting Damage

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

    A couple years ago, we at Black Agenda Report wondered why the closings of 40 public schools over three years in Philly and 50 schools in Chicago were not national news. The answer of course, was that corporate media and politicians from Romney and Obama down to black mayors and state legislators agree that public education ought to be handed to business groups and charter schools even though privatization is enormously unpopular.

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    Call the FCC – If Obama's FCC Doesn't Restore Network Neutrality, Black Agenda Report Will Die

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

    Although Obama promised to protect internet access for everyone, rule changes proposed by his FCC chief will make the internet a toll road. Failure to restore the internet's common carrier status will let greedy corporations pretending be something they'll call “the market” to restrict access to any content that isn't theirs or doesn't pay to be seen. But it's not a done deal yet. There's still time to make your voice heard...

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    Obama Ticket Prices and the Invisible Ruling Class

    by Paul Street

    Frederick Harris’ very useful book on the “high price” – to Black folks – of the nation’s First Black President has been reissued in paperback. However, Harris gives Obama too much credit as a president of all the people. “Like the great majority of U.S. presidents,” writes Paul Street, “Obama has been first and foremost a representative of the American white ruling class.”

    Gridlock (Once Again) Rescues Social Security from Obama and the GOP

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Republican refusal to accept Barack Obama as a Grand Bargain partner has once again saved Social Security from cuts desired by both the White House and the GOP. Liberals are congratulating themselves, but gridlock is the real hero.

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    My Wise Country Cousin: On the 2/4 Dance…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Ebry 2-4 yrs Negroz gettin’ played fo’ de fool

    Barack Obama, the State of the Union and the Prison State

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    For a generation now, predatory policing, the war on drugs and the prison state have been government's most frequent intersection with young black Americans. The gossip before this year's State of the Union was that the president would now do by executive order all those good things Republicans have blocked him on the last 3 years. Does that include reining in or rolling back the prison state? Should we hold our collective breath?

    The Obama Legacy, Part 1 of Many: Why Secret Trade Negotiations? Because TPP & TAFTA are NAFTA on Crack & Evil Steroids

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Thanks to WikiLeaks, a chapter of the secret agreement being negotiated by the White House has been made public. It will enshrine corporate profits as sacred rights, above the ability of local governments to make health, safety, wage, and “buy-local” regulations, and enable corporations to patent drugs, trivial techniques, diseases and living organisms.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/16/13

    Newark Rallies for Mandela

    “We marched because we wanted to highlight the revolutionary dimension of his personality, rather than an anemic and eviscerated Mandela,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, following a demonstration in downtown Newark, New Jersey, last week, in honor of the deceased South African leader. “Believe it or not,” said Hamm, “there are still people who don’t know about Mandela.” Founded in 1983, POP’s first buttons demanded “Free Nelson Mandela!”

    America’s Mostly War Budget

    Peace and social justice activists gathered on Capitol Hill to mark International Human Rights Day and demand that Congress reject a budget that allocates more than 50 percent of resources to war-making. David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.Org, noted that some lawmakers were away in South Africa. “You can’t celebrate nonviolence and then come back and dump over 50 percent of your money into so-called ‘defense,’” said Swanson. “It’s offensive, in every sense of the word.”

    De Blasio Picks Giuliani “Retread” for Top Cop

    According to Stop Stop-and-Frisk activist Carl Dix, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as his police commissioner is designed to send a message: “Guess what? There will still be two cities, and the city that I represent, the city of the power brokers, of the elite, of the capitalist class, will continue to clamp down on the rest of you.” Bratton deployed the much-feared street crime units under law and order mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid-Nineties.

    Slavery + Genocide + Vast Theft = Capitalist Genesis

    “The capitalist state was an imperialist state from its inception,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, at the party’s 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida. The wealth necessary to launch capitalism was accumulated through slavery, extermination and land theft. “Our material condition has its origin in the attack on Africa,” said Yeshitela.

    Obama Mouth Runs Amok with Double-Talk

    Rhetorically speaking, President Obama has once again positioned himself as a “populist,” declaring that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” “Obama is quite practiced in double-talk,” said Paul Street, historian and author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “As if he hasn’t been attacking Social Security and Medicare; as if he hasn’t pushed deficit reduction, in some ways, even more dramatically than the Republicans have.”

    Lynne Stewart “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

    Federal prison officials pretend that people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart, who suffers from Stage Four breast cancer, “is getting better, but she is not,” said her husband and fellow activist Ralph Poynter. Supporters should sign a petition asking the Bureau of Prisons, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant Stewart compassionate release from prison in time for the holidays. The administration is “stalling and stonewalling, and the clock is running out,” said Poynter.

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    Class and the Politics of the Black Community in the Obama Age

    by Pascal Robert

    The collective subjugation of African Americans is made easier through the collaboration of its Misleadership Class, which purports to speak for The Race as a whole while following its own, venal agenda. A great irony of the Age of Obama is that “both the Black poor and the Black elite have been left with nothing but ‘Yes We Can’ buttons and worthless empty symbolism.”

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