A Black Blogger’s Take on Obama’s Ambivalence toward the Real Problems in the Black Community

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

During last year’s primary season I discovered The Black Agenda Report which bills itself as “The Journal of African American Political Thought and Action.”  Glen Ford, the site’s executive editor, did NOT support Obama during the primaries and expressed his fear that Obama would actually set efforts to address real concerns in the black community back.

Ford and a group of writers continue to write compelling essays about the Obama Administration and his perspective is valuable as being an expression of how some blacks who are not Obots view what’s going on.

The most recent post deals with TBAR’s disappointment about Obama’s “ambivalence” over the effect of the current economic situation on black Americans.

Obama Preserves Entrenched Power, Sidesteps Racial Disparities

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Obama deploys the same twisted logic as generations of white, corporate politicians.”

In his own clichéd words, President Obama reveals himself to be, at best, ambivalent on the need to confront historical and current racial disparities in the United States. Behind the awesome hype and intellectual façade lies your garden variety corporate-bought politician whose worldview is no deeper than the shallowest catchphrase in long-discredited American economic discourse: a rising tide lifts all boats.

Ford takes Obama to task for stating that more “welfare” will meet the real needs of blacks.  Ford argues that real programs addressing such things as “institutionlized racism” and structural unemployment are needed, not just more “assistance.”  I’ve bolded a few key comments in the excerpt.

No Pretense of a Racial Policy

So confident is Obama that his personal Blackness is all that is required to offset horrific realities such as New York City’s nearly 50 percent Black male non-participation in the formal job market – statistics from 2003 that have certainly worsened in the current crisis – he offers not a single programmatic response. Obama is quick to point out that his plan is “is designed to help all people” – another way of saying there’s nothing in it to address the specific problems of people of color.

Obama claims there is no need for specific programs.”

He deploys the same twisted logic as generations of white, corporate politicians, who pointed to Black overrepresentation on welfare rolls as proof of the government’s deep concern for African Americans. In fact, concentrated levels of public assistance, food stamps and unemployment checks are elements of the misery index that, especially when dramatically skewed by race, cry out for specific programs and policies of remediation. Obama claims there is no need for specific programs because “folks who are most vulnerable are most likely to be helped because they need the most help.” Thus, he turns logic and language on their heads. The deeper Blacks sink into the abyss, the more they are eligible for general assistance – therefore, the Obama plan already contains everything African Americans need as a group, and will be of more use to them than to more advantaged groups. According to this line of reasoning, the worse things get, the more responsive the Obama plan is. There’s no need to deal directly with the underlying causes of disproportionate misery, such as institutional racism.

Presidential Denial

Obama is not even willing to fully acknowledge that Blacks and Browns have actually suffered disproportionately in the meltdown. In three successive sentences, he three times uses the word “probably” to describe what are solid facts. African Americans have not “probably” lost a disproportionate amount of jobs – Obama’s own Labor Department figures show that to be the case, on top of previously existing, horrendous rates of structural unemployment.

African American children are not “probably” over-represented among those lacking health insurance. They are, in fact, disproportionately uninsured. Obama belatedly corrects himself on this point, but his reflexive reluctance to give voice to the glaring racial disparities that are fundamental markers of American life, is deeply disturbing.

I love Ford’s opening description: “So confident is Obama that  his personal blackness is all that is required….” There are legitimate underlying problems that still need to be addressed and that the election of a black to the Presidency can’t cover up…especially a person like Barack Obama, who has no core values whatsoever and whose allegiances are all about drawing more power to himself.

But Ford and many of us already knew this during last year’s election season.  The “post-racial” candidate who spent most of the primaries playing the race card to win black votes has predictably been shafting this bloc by ignoring very real problems.  Instead, the Obama regime will offer more housing loans to folks who can’t afford them and trot out his “blackness” when re-election time comes around. In the meantime, very real issues concerning the black community will be brushed aside as usual.

And, of course, the same technique is being used with the poor in general and the middle class, as their  futures are thrown out the window to save the big banking friends of the Obama Administration.  There seem to be plenty of “programs” for bailing out banks (like TARP)  and taking over industries and “reforming” healthcare…Meanwhile,  the little guy will sink.

A writer in an earlier piece (about Guantanamo) asks the question “… Is Bush Still President?”

Seems appropriate since the “change” promised doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight…

Welcome to “Fiji on the Potomac”…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It was already Easter Sunday in Australia when I turned on my Grundig shortwave radio and tuned in to Radio Australia.  I always find the news interesting from Australia because the regional news often talks about events in Southeast Asia– places like Vietnam, Thailand and  little-talked about places in the media here like Fiji.

Well, the report that caught my attention that morning was about Fiji’s woes.

Fiji has had 4 coups in the last 20 years…and hopes of bringing democracy to the country are fading.

Fiji’s constitution has been scrapped and the screws are being put to the media. From Radio Australia:

FEATURE: Fiji’s political crisis

Fiji has been plunged into political chaos after the country’s Court of Appeal ruled that the interim government of Commodore Frank Bainimarama was illegal.

Last Updated: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 14:03:00 +1000

Campbell Cooney and Sean Dorney

(SNIP)

The scrapping of Fiji’s constitution also appears to mean the scrapping of any notion of a free and open media in Fiji.

“Emergency regulations are in force,” Commodore Bainimarama said on Saturday.

“However, these regulations are only an emergency measure. I am sure we will all, including the media, collaborate with the relevant agencies.”

But Fiji’s media hasn’t really been given a choice about co-operation.

On Friday officers from Ministry of Information and the Police Media Unit were placed in the country’s newspaper, radio and TV newsrooms.

In response, sections of Fiji’s media have launched a self-imposed news blackout in response to new censorship regulations.

Fijian media are boycotting political stories, with newspapers on Monday strikingly bland in their design and reports.

The Fiji Times on Sunday ran blank spaces where censored stories critical of Friday’s abolition of the constitution and the re-appointment of Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s government would have run.

For Monday, it ran no stories at all relating to the extraordinary events of the past four days.

The Fiji Sun says it will not print any political stories under the current censorship provisions, imposed on Friday.

The main television station in Fiji, Fiji One, refused to run a news bulletin on Sunday because the management objected to the censorship being imposed by the head of information, Major Neumi Leweni.

Major Leweni has been given exceptional powers as the chief censor – he can recommend the closure of any newspaper, television or radio station that does not obey his directions.

Now apart from the fact that here in the U.S. the media was bought and sold for Obama during the election season and is still pushing his charms at us constantly,  we’ve also had rumblings about the government “helping” newspapers in trouble.  We know from the banking debacle that banks who take money from the government are either in cahoots with the people responsible for this financial mess or, it they were outside the cabal and forced to take money, they’re having a hard time extricating themselves from the Obama Administration’s grip.

Right now our own Constitution is being disregarded when convenient.  We have a compliant/complicit media along with a dying print media that may be willing to be “helped.”

So, while “officers from the Ministry of Information” aren’t quite in television studios or newsrooms here yet because so far very few feathers are being ruffled,  don’t you wonder if things will change if and when some of the mass media that adore Obama and helped create him begin to get a bit uppity? Obama and his crowd are so very good at applying pressure and intimidation…

In Fiji, the press is fighting back as best they can by ignoring any political stories or running blank spaces.

Wouldn’t that be something?  Dead air on all the talking heads’  TV shows?  A refusal by newspapers and magazines to run Obama’s propaganda?

One can dream..

Oh, but now there’s a new development…The courts are being “recreated” and there’s much talk of reform.

Fiji courts to be reinstated, says attorney-general

(SNIP)

In a wide-ranging interview with the ABC’s Michael Vincent, Mr Sayed Khaiyum [Fuji's Attorney General] also: defends the actions of the Fijian interim regime as part of a long-term vision; speaks about the need for fundamental reform in the nation; and says communications blackouts are not as serious as had been claimed.

SNIP

The Attorney-General defended the actions of the interim regime. Asked about negative international reaction, he said: “With any changes, any reforms, people who are perhaps not in the country itself may take a different view.

“People need to look at our history, need to look at the objectives, the vision of the government including (that of) the President, and make their judgement calls then.”

Vision outlined

He said the national vision had been outlined in recent speeches by the President and the Prime Minister.

“Fundamentally, we need a number of reforms in Fiji, in particular things like electoral reform, before we can have true democratic and parliamentary elections.”

Present features of the electoral system were that “a huge gerrymandering (electoral boundary changes) takes place within it; you don’t have equal value of votes; you don’t have equal suffrage, and plus it’s based on ethnicity . .

“You don’t have basic notions of citizenry.”

MORE

Well, that’s the way to get true “reform”–have a few coups.  And the Police Media Unit and a military man running the “information office”–nice touches, yes?  But not to worry about those “communications blackouts”–who knows whether Radio Australia shut down its transmitters in Fiji–the AG doesn’t have any “personal knowledge” about it.  Anyway, it’s all OK because Commodore Bainimarama was once a U.N. Peacekeeper, doncha know.

We’re in the middle of our own stealth coup now and many of us saw it coming during the primaries as the Democratic Party acted anything but.  And, the “ethnicity card”…well, we had/have that, too.

The BBC report on the problems in Fiji includes the following observation by Professor Helen Ware in Australia:

“The country’s about to fall off a cliff…”

And other observers see the promises being made as “vague and worryingly-open ended.”

Sounds so familiar over here in “Fiji on the Potomac”…

Race, O.J., and Politics–The Potential for an October Meltdown UPDATE–SIMPSON GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS

BREAKING—

From the Las Vegas Sun:

Simpson guilty on all counts; could face life imprisonment…

O.J. Simpson is going to prison.

A predominantly white, predominantly female jury has found the former NFL All Star guilty of all of the 12 robbery, kidnapping and weapons charges he faced following a run-in last year with a pair of memorabilia dealers.

More…

Note the opening of the story–as if you could miss it. Just as I predicted.  Racism taking center stage…not to mention the “woman” factor…

I’ve been thinking about the possible ramifications of a guilty conviction, especially since racism was injected into the trial as well as during jury selection (see below)…What does Obama do?  Will he be under intense pressure from his black voting block to issue a statement of some kind?  And what kind of a statement could that be, what kind of balancing act would he have to do?

I guess it depends on what kinds of demands will be made by some of his more radical followers…and if the mainstream media even allows us to know about those demands…after all, they hide nearly everything when it concerns anything dubious about Obama, his connections, and his followers.

More on Judge Jackie Glass later…I’ll just say that my research on her has revealed that she has a reputation as a very tough judge when it comes to sentencing…

Edge of Forever has commented that the media will bury the story–no more “Trial of the Century” hype like last time…and, the way things are going, she’s probably right.  I speculated in the original post that the media might love the story for it’s ratings potential and give the media and Obama another chance to play the race card…but things have been shifting, so that’s probably out the window.  It’s all about making him “the winner” now and preserving his gloss.  But, we still have to see what “the followers” do…

****

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

The O.J. Simpson trial now going on in Las Vegas, NV wasn’t on my radar until Monday when my mother read something from the paper to me. And yesterday, while sitting in a medical office, I was trapped into watching a report on CNN and found out that they’re streaming the trial live at the CNN website.

Well, obviously it’s being discreetly handled by CNN at this point…but does it warrant on-line streaming?  In the real world, no. In Obama Media Land, however, it makes perfect sense.  It’s part of the slow build-up and they’ll be able to jump to the verdict immediately.  I really think that if we didn’t have this mortgage crisis drama unfolding, they’d have the trial going full-tilt all day…

Now, with the polling being done to prove that 30% of Democrats are racists and that white women are “a problem,” we’re getting the preview of the blame game that will happen if Obama loses fails to steal the election.

But, I believe all this will pale if the verdict on O.J. comes in and he’s convicted.  I’m not going to review the current case, since all the info is up at the Las Vegas Sun, which has an entire page dedicated to the trial.  O.J. may not be convicted, of course, but if he is, it could be a huge ratings opportunity…and another chance to help play Obama’s race card.

Continue reading

Pundits, Pollsters and Should We Be Getting Ready for the Next Play of the Race Card? (Clues in the latest Zogby survey I received?) (Updated 1X)

A nice, quiet Sunday became a test of my patience, already in danger of being lost, as I was drawn into “the fog” of what this election season is shaping up to be.  I never watch the mainstream anymore, so seeing what was being dished out by CNN yesterday morning on the gym TV made me nuts.  And the current interactive Zogby poll is another thing that has made me aggravated and apprehensive.

Since I don’t watch CNN anymore, I have no idea who the guy was who was hosting the pundits as I was on the Wave.   Out of the studio,  Bill Schneider had a straw hat on and Gloria Borger’s hair was blowing, as was the hot air. In studio, I recognized Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post’s blogger who writes “The Fix” but didn’t know who the other man was who seemed to be the one doing the all commentating on McCain.

The first bit was about Biden as the VP nominee. Cillizza quoted decades of history about how it probably won’t make much of a difference. McCain’s age, according to Cillizza, might make his choice more important, perhaps, but in the long run, it’s still the top of the ticket that matters…Nothing we haven’t heard before…

The next topic that came up was the ad war and a clip was shown from an Obama ad in Nevada, with the discussion focused on how Obama was “targeting” areas in the “all politics is local” mode of operation. The ad was about how McCain supported storing nuke waste at Yucca Mountain.  Asked how McCain should counter, the other commentator said that McCain would need to present a “comprehensive” plan.  Really? My first thought would be that McCain should pull out Obama’s Exelon ties and how he rewrote his nuke safety bill to suit the Republicans, which really ticked off his constituents in Illinois. I would assume the Republicans will get to that in places like Nevada–if they don’t, they’re stupid.

Then they showed a clip of the McCain “housing ad” which mentions Tony Rezko. They cut it short, of course, so the full impact was lost.

Like many others, I’ve found McCain’s recent ads very successful in rebutting Obama and managing to drop into the conversation issues that the media has ignored.  McCain has basically gone around the media to “report” what they have largely ignored.

These McCain ads have shifted the polls but from what I heard today on CNN, you wouldn’t know it.  The discussion was like watching “news” people in reruns, because the conversation seemed out of date.  Or, more likely, there was a deliberate effort to ignore the most recent shifts in voters’ minds.

I listened to the CNN anchor say that McCain had trouble with his base and the pundit duo talk about how he really needed to get independents and conservative Democrats to win.  The way the conversation went, it sounded as if Obama was in a much stronger position than McCain and that McCain hadn’t made a dent with these groups.  During this entire segment I didn’t hear ONE reference to any polling trends to support the discussion.  The average viewer would think that Obama was in the catbird seat.

Now, maybe I’m wrong, but hasn’t Obama been bleeding lately?  Among independents? Even among young voters?  Even Zogby has found the trends shifting!  As for McCain’s base, doesn’t he have a higher rate of commitment as compared to what is going on within the Democratic Party?  You’d never know it from the conversation I heard yesterday morning…

As for those “targeted” ads, I think this post by Bud White that appeared at No Quarter on Saturday, August 23,  should be check out for a different perspective:

Obama “Adjusts” Ad Buys

“Follow the money,” is the famous advice from Deep Throat, Woodward and Bernstein’s key Watergate source. The Associated Press is reporting, in an article titled “Obama Adjusts Ad Strategy During Convention,” that Obama is pulling ads from certain Red States. The key word, of course, is “adjust.” This is a familiar euphemism for pulling ads from states where those ads cannot move the numbers, and the media advisers always say it’s temporary.

And it goes on to detail how Kerry played the game in 2004 and how this relates to what the Obama campaign is doing now.  It sounds like the 50 state strategy has been ditched.  Remember how Hillary Clinton was taken to task about her focus on those large industrial states?  That was the “old” way, of course.  But now that Obama is facing reality, we’re supposed to see things differently according to his campaign machine.

Meanwhile, I got an invitation to participate in the the current Zogby “interactive poll”  a few days ago. I didn’t get to it right away, and, in fact, had decided I’d probably skip it.  With everying “sewn up” in DNC-land, I didn’t feel any compelling desire to do it.  Sunday morning, a “reminder” appeared in my inbox, which I found rather unusual since I’ve never gotten one before.  My first thought was, “Are they having trouble getting their full quota of respondents?”

Aside from the standard questions about whether the “American Dream” exists and the usual “are you a NASCAR fan?” question, the survey this time was really heavily about race. The questions seemed to be coming from the DNC; if so, it appears that Team Obama must be trying to figure out more ways to inject race into this election…

Take a look.

One group of questions was framed by asking:

“Over the last 12 months …do you feel you were treated worse than, the same as, or better than people of other races?”  The questions included a questions involving the respondents’ feelings in terms of the specifics of how people felt “on average,” “at work” and in connection with “healthcare.”

Another set as asked if the respondent had felt “emotionally upset” (specifically suggested by Zogby as including, for example, being “angry, sad, or frustrated”)  as a result of how they were treated during the past 30 days.

There were a couple of questions on affirmative action (basically trying to find out about attitudes which included the “separate but equal” concept) as well as how a respondent would feel if a close family member were dating a person of another race.  Then there was an immigration question which asked if immigrants were need to fill jobs or if there were plenty of Americans who could be trained to fill those jobs.

Perhaps the most interesting question asked how the respondent would consider Obama in terms of his race. The choices were:

White

Hispanic

African-American

Asian-Pacific

Other/mixed

Not sure

If this is the DNC/Obama polling on race, you have wonder what the plan is. I wouldn’t put it past them to try to sell him as every race to targeted groups, although I’m not sure how they would turn him into an Hispanic…  Maybe the Obama camp is looking to for an excuse to replay the victim card.  Or, perhaps they’ll link the “feelings” about racial experiences with the affirmative action answers and turn it into another manipulative, sleazy string of innuendos or outright attacks that will turn McCain into the biggest racist of all time.

Whatever they do, when I saw this string of questions my heart sank, because I think race will be leveraged somehow…they just don’t want to let it go.

I expect to see the worst coming out of the Obama campaign.  And, if the media continues to embrace him, we’re in for a disgusting and disheartening few months.  I can’t believe that I’m actually hoping that McCain can handle all this.  That’s how turned-off I’ve become with the Democratic Party and their chosen path to force Obama on us.

****

Tidbit….Last night, Turner Classic Movies chose to air “The Best Man,” the 1964 film based on Gore Vidal’s play starring Henry Fonda pllaying the Secretary of State and Cliff Robertson playing the brash, young conservative Senator. It’s about “power struggle for the Presidential nomination.”  It was almost “deja vu all over again,  to quote Yogi Berra, as neither candidate had enough delegates on the first ballot and the favorite…well…you have to see this movie!  You’ll see how little has changed  in 44 years and please note the the depiction of women….that hasn’t changed much either, apparently…

UPDATE

I did another Zogby survey today (Funny, when Hillary was running, they seemed to stop coming to me…guess I was “old”)….

This one was all about the role of government, questions about Social Security, values, etc. Lots of stark  questions with very sharply delineated choices, many of which I answered with a lot of “Not sure’s”…

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