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If Obama belongs in a pantheon, it’s a Republican one. He is not

completing the healthcare project begun by FDR in 1935. Obama

has, instead, succeeded in passing the Right’s program, created to

stop what looked like the inevitable triumph of a single-payer system



Obama Bound for Mount Rushmore?

By Glen Ford


4 July 2012

President Obama, as his aides will tell anyone within hearing distance, wants to go down in history as one of the “greats.” Most African Americans, purely for reasons of group affirmation, would also love to see the First Black President beaming from Mount Rushmore (in the Black Hills of South Dakota, no less!), alongside George and Thomas the Slave Masters, Teddy the Arch Imperialist, and Lincoln the Emancipator.

Most of the U.S. corporate mediathose who make the first drafts of history acceptable to the ruling classalso want Obama to have a shot at a place in the pantheon, since he has done some service to the rulers. The U.S. Supreme Court’s vetting of Obama’s healthcare legislation, according to the New York Times, is a “personal reprieve . . . leaving intact his hopes of joining the ranks of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan as presidents who fundamentally altered the course of the country.” Obama has often compared himself to all three, agreeing with Reagan that the Sixties was a decade plagued by “excesses”which, to Reagan’s mind, included Lyndon Johnson’s expansive social legislation. 

As the Times tells it, Obama has nearly completed the work of his predecessors. “Not just Roosevelt and Johnson, but Harry S. Truman, Nixon and Mr. Clinton all tried and failed to move the country toward universal health coverage.” Obama’s bill is historic because it “seeks to end the status of the United States as the world’s only rich country with millions of involuntarily uninsured citizens.”

The Times resorts to crazily contorted wording to convince us the Affordable Care Act is the next logical step in the civilizing of the United States; that it bears some resemblance to universal health care as practiced in the rest of the developed worldan outrageous distortion of fact and history. Obamacare, like previous Republican healthcare schemes, is based on the principle that people should pay for their own bodily maintenance, and that “free riders” must be forced into the private pool. It expands the healthcare compact only for those who are destitute, while turning everyone else into profit-centers for corporations. That’s not the direction universal healthcare advocates have been trying to go, all these years. It is, at best, a detour, and more likely an historic setback to the movement for a truly national health care policy.

The first U.S. entitlement programs evolved from pension plans for Civil War veterans and their families. “By 1910,” according to the Social Welfare History Project, “Civil War veterans and their survivors enjoyed a program of disability, survivors and old-age benefits similar in some ways to the later Social Security programs.” In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act, which also included provisions for unemployment insurance. Harry Truman unsuccessfully proposed National Health Insurance, starting in 1945. Lyndon Johnson introduced Medicare and Medicaid with his Social Security Act of 1965. Ever since, the struggle has been to expand these programs to the entire population, as a matter of rightas was occurring globally even in formerly “Third World” places like Taiwan.

“Entitlements” have been the bugaboo of the Right since the New Deal. But even in the last days of President Reagan’s reactionary rule, the trajectory of American healthcare sentiment was arching towards universal single-payerthe world-class solution. The Heritage Foundation, founded in the early Seventies by arch-reactionaries, saw the handwriting on the walland took preemptive action in 1989. As Chris Weigant wrote in the Huffington Post, Heritage commissioned its Director of Domestic Policy Strategies, Stuart Butler, to produce the Right’s own “Framework for Reform” of healthcareone that kept the profits locked in and diverted the public from single-payer healthcare as a universal entitlement. Everyone would be pushed into the “market-based”for-profitpool. Stuart wrote:

This means that, while government would take on the obligation to find ways of guaranteeing care for those Americans unable to obtain protection in the market, perhaps because of chronic health problems or lack of income, Americans with sufficient means would no longer be able to be ‘free riders’ on society by avoiding sensible health insurance expenditures and relying on others to pay for care in an emergency or in retirement.

Republican Bob Dole ran for president on an “individual mandate” health plan, the same concept Romney implemented in Massachusetts. It’s also the Obama scheme, as Chris Weigant concluded in the Huffington Post: “The individual mandate which was included in Obamacare is so close to what Stuart Butler of The Heritage Foundationn initially suggested that we can honestly say there is no appreciable difference between the two.”

If Obama belongs in a pantheon, it’s a Republican one. He is not completing the healthcare project begun by FDR in 1935. Obama has, instead, succeeded in passing the Right’s program, created to stop what looked like the inevitable triumph of a single-payer system under which most insurance companies would go extinct. Just three years ago, it seemed that the day had finally come for some form of Medicare-for-all, which has long enjoyed the support of roughly two-thirds of the public.

Obama pulled a switch. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, a stalwart of the Right who is young enough to keep his eye on the future, knew a good deal for his side when he saw one, and signed off on it. He’s a lot smarter than those deluded Lefties who want to send Obama to Mount Rushmore.

Glen Ford can be contacted at

Source: blackagendareport

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Chief Justice Roberts, The Jury is Still OutDr. Wilmer J. Leon III—4 July 2012—The Court has upheld Congress’ use of the Commerce Clause as a grant of congressional authority over the states’ in particular instances. The problem is that the Constitution does not define “commerce.” Some believe that it refers simply to trade or exchange, while others believe that the founders had a broader meaning that applies to commercial and social intercourse between citizens of different states. The latter has allowed the national government to exert a greater amount of power over the states in civil rights and voting rights cases. For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress based upon the Commerce Clause.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Fisher v. University of Texas and will rule later this year. Fisher challenges the University of Texas’ ability to use race as factor in its affirmative action program. The Court is also expected to rule on a Texas voting rights case that will provide clarity about the role of the federal courts under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Could it be that by rejecting the Obama administration’s assertions under the Commerce Clause that Roberts is paving the way for upcoming conservative challenges to established civil rights legislation? . . . At the end of the day, is this not what ultra-conservatives are after? They claim to want a smaller national government, returning power to the states, “states rights.” If this is Roberts’ true intention (and only time will tell) it will be harder for liberals to complain about his logic since he laid out the predicate for it in the ACA decision that they are now applauding.Be careful who you applaud and why. Chief Justice Roberts may not be a traitor to the conservative cause, the jury is still out.blackagendareport

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Don’t be fooled: Americans are starting to embrace ObamaCareJuan Williams3 July 2012Watching President Obama's response to Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of his health care reform law, I could not help but think how different things would be if he had given the same speech two years ago. He began his remarks from the White House by saying the Court had “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America—in the wealthiest nation on Earth—no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin.” Reaffirmed? 

If you ask most Americans, they will tell you the president and his party never made that point in the first place. All the talk was about “Cornhusker Kickbacks” and “Chicago-style politics,” to win votes in Congress. GOP critics hammered the plan as a “big government takeover” and “socialism.”

 But with last week’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of the health care plan public opinion on the plan is starting to become more favorable. On Sunday Reuters released a poll showing 48 percent of registered voters now back the bill. That is up five percent since the ruling. That includes a bump in support among independent voters from 27 percent to 38 percent.  And even opposition among Republicans, who overwhelmingly hate it, went down five percentage points from 86 percent to 81 percent.

And those numbers are likely to keep rising. Also, GOP critics are now on the defensive. They have to talk about specific benefits in the law and how they could do better if they repeal the law. That is going to be hard for Republicans once Americans personally start reaping the benefit of the law. . . .

Chief Justice John Roberts has not only given ObamaCare the imprimatur of constitutionality, he has given the president license to brag about his bill on the campaign trail.foxnews / Juan Williams Muzzled Interview

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 Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary

By Juan Williams

Thirteen years before becoming the first African-American justice on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall's place in American history was secured, with his victory over school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education. Williams (Eyes on the Prize) offers readers a thorough, straightforward life of "the unlikely leading actor in creating social change in the United States in the twentieth century." Although he was denied access to the files of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where Marshall devoted more than 40 years of his law career, and worked without the cooperation of Marshall's family, Williams has managed to fill in the blanks with over 150 interviews, including lengthy sessions with Marshall himself in 1989. Marshall is portrayed as an outspoken critic of black militancy and nonviolent demonstrations. Williams mentions, but does not dwell on, Marshall's history of heavy drinking, womanizing and sexual harassment.

But his private contacts with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, even while that organization was working to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, receives critical attention. This relationship "could have cost him his credibility among civil rights activists had it become known," writes Williams. Likewise, it would appear that his extra-legal activities and charges of incompetence and Communist connections would, if publicized, have kept him from the Supreme Court, as he himself admitted. Nevertheless, this work will stand as an accessible and fitting tribute to a champion of individual rights and "the architect of American race relations.—Publishers Weekly

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The New New Deal

The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era

By Michael Grunwald

Time senior correspondent Michael Grunwald tells the secret history of the stimulus bill, the purest distillation of Change We Can Believe In, a microcosm of Obama’s policy successes and political failures. Though it is reviled by the right and rejected by the left, it really is a new New Deal, larger than FDR’s and just as transformative. It prevented an imminent depression, while jump-starting Obama’s long-term agenda. The stimulus is pouring $90 billion into clean energy, reinventing the way America is powered and fueled; it includes unprecedented investments in renewables, efficiency, electric cars, a smarter grid, cleaner coal, and more. It’s carrying health care into the digital era. Its Race to the Top initiative may be the boldest education reform in U.S. history. It produced the biggest middle-class tax cuts in a generation, a broadband initiative reminiscent of rural electrification, and an overhaul of the New Deal’s unemployment insurance system.

It’s revamping the way government addresses homelessness, fixes infrastructure, and spends money. Grunwald reveals how Republicans have obscured these achievements through obstruction and distortion. The stimulus launched a genuine national comeback. It also saved millions of jobs, while creating legacies that could rival the Hoover Dam: the world’s largest wind farm, a new U.S. battery industry, a new high-speed rail network, the world’s highest-speed Internet network.  Its main legacy, like the New Deal’s, will be change.

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So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America

By Peter Edelman

If the nation’s gross national income—over $14 trillion—were divided evenly across the entire U.S. population, every household could call itself middle class. Yet the income-level disparity in this country is now wider than at any point since the Great Depression. In 2010 the average salary for CEOs on the S&P 500 was over $1 million—climbing to over $11 million when all forms of compensation are accounted for—while the current median household income for African Americans is just over $32,000. How can some be so rich, while others are so poor? In this provocative book, Peter Edelman, a former top aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and a lifelong antipoverty advocate, offers an informed analysis of how this country can be so wealthy yet have a steadily growing number of unemployed and working poor. According to Edelman, we have taken important positive steps without which 25 to 30 million more people would be poor, but poverty fluctuates with the business cycle.

The structure of today’s economy has stultified wage growth for half of America’s workers—with even worse results at the bottom and for people of color—while bestowing billions on those at the top. So Rich, So Poor delves into what is happening to the people behind the statistics and takes a particular look at the continuing crisis of young people of color, whose possibility of a productive life too often is lost on their way to adulthood.DemocracyNow

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It's The Middle Class Stupid!

By James Carville and Stan Greenberg

It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! confirms what we have all suspected: Washington and Wall Street have really screwed things up for the average American. Work has been devalued. Education costs are out of sight. Effort and ambition have never been so scantily rewarded. Political guru James Carville and pollster extraordinaire Stan Greenberg argue that our political parties must admit their failures and the electorate must reclaim its voice, because taking on the wealthy and the privileged is not class warfare—it is a matter of survival. Told in the alternating voices of these two top political strategists, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! provides eye-opening and provocative arguments on where our government—including the White House—has gone wrong, and what voters can do about it. 

Controversial and outspoken, authoritative and shrewd, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! is destined to make waves during the 2012 presidential campaign, and will set the agenda for legislative battles and political dust-ups during the next administration.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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posted 4 July 2012




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