What's Law Got To Do With It?

justiceby Reza Fiyouzat

The Obama administration seems determined to allow George Bush and his cronies and lawyers to get away with eight years of lawless behavior. Perhaps more striking than the impunity likely to be extended to the Bush gang, is the ease with which the former president shredded the Constitution and the very concept of the rule of law. If it’s that easy to lay low the pillars of justice in the United States, the underlying system must be weak, indeed. But of course, that’s what should be expected of a nation “based on the greatest ever land theft, genocide of the Original Peoples of the subcontinent, and slavery.”

Obama's Numerous Torture Loopholes

more tortureby Prof. James Hill

“America does not torture,” Barack Obama recently proclaimed. George Bush said the same thing, and was proven to be lying. An analysis of President Obama’s executive order on torture “may permit cruel abuses of prisoners to continue.” Although the order seems to cover the closing of CIA torture centers, it does not mention torture centers that might be run by other federal agencies or corporate outfits like Blackwater. And, while imposing safeguards on prisoners taken in “armed conflict,” the order pointedly leaves out prisoners seized in “counterrorism operations.” Obama should close these huge loopholes, or “explain why he won’t.”

President Obama's Deeply Flawed Housing Plan

housing crisisby Petrino DiLeo

The Obama administration’s plan to deal with the housing crisis is far superior to George Bush’s “do-nothing approach.” However, the attempt is “dwarfed” by the “$6 trillion in housing wealth that has been lost so far,” and leaves significant segments of at-risk homeowners unaided. Bankruptcy judges still cannot “cram” new terms down the banker’s throats, and only about one in four homeowners can take advantage of refinancing under the plan. For those who have already lost their homes – tough luck.

‘Left’ Obamites Prefer Kool-Aid to Struggle

right turnby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Ford answers Linda Burnham's recent assault on the non-Obamite Left, whom she sneeringly refers to as victims of "Left ‘anticipatory disillusionment'" and assorted other "psycho-babble." Burnham sets up Left straw men, to knock them down, all in an attempt to justify her cohort's capitulation to Power. "One great tragedy of the current episode," writes Ford, "is that the [economic] crisis occurred at a moment when the remnants of the Left and Black movements in the U.S. have been neutralized by imperialism's Black champion." Hilariously, Burnham credits Obama with having "wrenched the Democratic Party out of the clammy grip of Clintonian centrism" when, in actuality, "Obama's government IS Clintonian. And the new president is as skilled and ruthless a triangulator as Bill ever was."

Freedom Rider: When Republicans Attack

spreading freedom

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The right wing’s “insidious” attacks on President Obama make the claim “that a president in office for less than two months is more responsible for unemployment, a crashing stock market and the demise of major banks, than the president who served for the previous eight years.” The corporate media, ever in search of sensationalism, megaphone the Republicans’ hair-brained assaults. What the public should really be upset about is that the worsening economic situation is exacerbated by the Obama administration’s failure to drastically reduced U.S. military spending, which “is larger than that of every other country on earth combined” and unsustainable.

The Economic N-Word: What it Means, and Doesn't

wall street
Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Corporatists of all kinds are now mouthing the dreaded N-Word - "nationalization" of banks. But they're only talking about a temporary situation, "designed to bring the banking class back from the dead - to temporarily dismember some zombie banks so that most of their body parts can be resurrected, to rule the Earth, once again."

Single Payer Advocates Nearly Shut Out of Obama Health Forum

health care now
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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Were it not for a concerted drive by labor and other health care champions, President Obama's White House Health Forum would not have included even one supporter of single payer health care - the health delivery system most favored by the American public. Obama makes a habit of shutting real progressives out of the debate.

Obama's African Policy the Same As George Bush's

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama has officially made George Bush's sanctions against Zimbabwe, his own. "The White House justifies this economic aggression by claiming that Mugabe and his associates pose ‘an unusual and extraordinary threat' to American ‘foreign policy' - a "blatant, naked attempt at regime change."

Remembering Ida B. Wells

dont be scaredby Sikivu Hutchinson

Women’s History Month cannot be allowed to pass without recognition of Ida B. Wells, an indefatigable opponent of American lynch law, pioneering Black journalist, and one of the founding mothers of the modern civil rights movement. Wells was “perhaps the only nursing mother to travel nationwide to give political addresses.” Her progressive credentials shine through the generations since her death in 1931. “As an early critic of western gunboat diplomacy she would have seen a clear connection between the U.S. government’s interventionist policies and its imperial relationship with over-incarcerated black communities.”

One, Two, Three, Many Domestic Guantanamos

more prisonersby C. Uzondu

The United States maintains Guantanamo-like prisons around the globe, but its most populous Gulag is here in the U.S., home of one-quarter the world’s prisoners, about half of them Black. “it is absolutely necessary…to remind ourselves that the ascendancy of a Black man to the White House does not automatically signal the demise of white supremacy. This is no post-white supremacy moment, keep your eyes on the jails.” Perhaps it is apt to call the American Prison Gulag the Guantanamo Complex.” Racialized populations (even as we resist domination) are perceived and produced as perpetual prey for the predations of capital.”

FAIR Study: Media Blackout on Single-Payer Healthcare

fair logoThe awesome power of corporate media consistently misshapes and disinforms U.S. public opinion.  On the question of health care, it conceals obvious solutions, while presenting Americans with false no-win choices.  Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR) this week issued this important media advisory on the continuing refusal of  corporate media to even mention single payer health care, the solution implemented by virtually every industrialized nation on the planet and endorsed by a majority of the American people and nearly a hundred memebrs of the House in the previous Congress.

Obama Pulls U.S. Out of UN Conference on Racism, But Congressional Black Caucus Should Attend Anyway

Cynthia McKinneyby Cynthia McKinney

When Eric Holder, the new U.S. Attorney General called the nation to account for its historic reluctance to honestly talk about race and racism, its manifestations and consequences, he could have been talking about his boss the president.  By withdrawing from the UN Conference on Racism he is leading backwards, in the direction of Clinton and Bush rather than forward into the 21st century.  The fact that the President of Change wan't bring himself -- or us --- to an honest discussion about race says a lot for his willingness to lead on the subject.


But Obama's willingness to cave in the face of white racism and business as usual is no excuse for the Congressional Black Caucus, supposedly among the best and brightest Black America has to offer.  It's time for the CBC to step up where the president has stepped back.


Black Agenda Report v. 2.0 is Getting Closer

by the Black Agenda Report team
As you can see, we made it through the first part of our transition, bringing over our two years worth of content --- over a thousand articles and nearly twelve thousand comments, minus only those for the past five days -- intact.  And we came out with the week's issue.  Effectively, though we have reached the door, we have yet to walk through it.

Freedom Rider: Endless War

warby BAR Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

Why are more Republicans happy with Obama's policies on government secrecy, wiretapping, non-withdrawal from Iraq, unqualified support for Israel and a host of other policies than most of the Democratic party's own base?  What do they know that many of us don't, or perhaps do not wish to know?


Priced Out of Shelter: The Decline in Affordable Housing

Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.

housing A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

While “most public policyattention has been directed at the plight of home owners, one-third of all Americans pay rent” and their quest for affordable housing has long been “the neglected step-child of federal housing policy.”

DC Private School Vouchers May Be On Way Out

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schoolA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The stimulus package passed by Congress also includes provisions that should put George Bush's school voucher plan for Washington, DC out of business. The scheme was introduced through vile political trickery in 2003.

Obama To Leave 50,000 Troops In Iraq Indefinitely

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rrrA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

From a supposed "antiwar" candidate, to a fan of the murderous "surge," from a "no permanent bases" candidate to a "50,000 troops for the foreseeable future" president, Barack Obama, starting from the center, has progressed steadily rightward.

Obama's Violin: Who's Playing, Who's Being Played?

by Paul Street

Delving into the speeches and writings of the President of Change reveals a Barack Obama sharply at odds with the popular image.  On war, peace and a host of other issues the gulf is widening between what many voted for, and what they are beginning to get from the 44th president.

Coverage of Obama and Ethnicity Says More About Media

moreThe picture of a post-racial America that corporate media pundits fondly paint and serve up to us is about as credible as the declarations six months ago by some of the same experts that the economy was "fundamentally sound," One need look no further than corporate media coverage of the Obama administration.


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