Did Obama Inc. Threaten Dennis Kucinich & Make Him Fold on Healthcare?

Kucinich had been given an offer that he felt he could not refuse.The Obama administration has finished the job it started in January, 2009: crush the progressive wing of the Democratic Party to clear the way for corporate governance. Rep. Dennis Kucinich‘s was the last Left opposition to Obama’s toxic health care legislation. “Once Obama’s private insurers’ bailout bill is in place, it will be almost impossible to dismantle in the foreseeable future.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

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“There is nothing for a true progressive to do in Obama’s Democratic Party.”

The last Left Democrat in the U.S. Congress has folded his hand, crushed by Wall Street’s servant in the White House, Barack Obama.

Until Wednesday morning, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich was the only opposition from the Left still holding out against Obama’s private insurance subsidy bill – a massive redistribution of wealth to Wall Street masquerading as health care reform. The bill was long ago stripped of any fig leaf of a “public option,” and now awaits passage in its pure form – the formal establishment of a private health care system in which the people are forced to finance the profits of some of the biggest players in the Wall Street casino, the insurance corporations. Far from a step forward towards a society in which health care is every person’s right, the Obama bill is a huge step backward in the opposite the direction from which the entire industrialized world has been traveling. Obama’s so-called reform is in fact, a defeat of the dream of universal health care.

Obama used every trick at his disposal to place that dream out of reach. He pulled a shameless bait and switch on health care, talking the language of universality while conniving to transfer trillions of public dollars to the private insurance industry. Once Obama’s private insurers’ bailout bill is in place, it will be almost impossible to dismantle in the foreseeable future.A trillion dollars buys lots of loyalty. And to make certain that nobody ever gets to cancel the corporate bailout, the Obama regime would prevent states from setting up their own universal health care programs.

“Kucinich was adamant that he had not changed his assessment of the president’s health care proposals.”

Obama knew that, if he were to have any chance to pass a private health insurance subsidy bill, he would first have to bludgeon the Left into submission. In the course of a little over a year, he has accomplished that mission.

To drive Kucinich back to the corporate Democratic reservation, the White House let loose the yapping dogs of the Daily Kos and MoveOn, who threatened to back an opposition candidate to Kucinich in his home district. President Obama personally browbeat Kucinich four times in the last several weeks, the last time on Monday night. According to the London Daily Telegraph, Obama threatened to refuse to campaign for any Democratic congressperson that doesn’t back his health bill – an invitation to the fat cats to fund challengers to Kucinich in November.

In a Wednesday morning press conference announcing his surrender to the White House, Kucinich was adamant that he had not changed his assessment of the president’s health care proposals. “I do not think it is a first step toward anything I have supported in the past,” he said. “This is not the bill I wanted to support.” But Kucinich had been given an offer that he felt he could not refuse.It was, said the congressman, “a defining moment.”

And it was a defining moment for those who believe there is anything politically worthwhile that can be accomplished within the structures of the Democratic Party, now firmly controlled by its corporate wing. There is nothing for a true progressive to do in Obama’s Democratic Party, but shut up, and roll over. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

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America’s Obsession with Extramarital Affairs Are Used As Distractions to the War


Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods-What have you done?  Word of his sordid affairs is all anyone can talk about. From coast to coast  on every single local and national newscast, squeaky clean Tiger Woods cheating on his wife is the lead story. Sadly,we’ve seen this film way too many times. Whether it’s South Carolina governor  Mark Sanford, basketball great Kobe Bryant, former president Bill Clinton or Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson, such sagas more often than not have me asking,  ‘What are ‘they’ trying to hide from us?’

All this Tiger Woods talk has me suspicious. Something is up.  

It was just two days ago, that we had a sobering conversation with Congressman and former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich about what he anticipated President Obama would say in his speech about increasing troops to Afghanistan. A very impassioned Kucinich noted that the anti-war’s collective upset to Obama’s proposal was a few steps too late. He reminded us that key hurdles were cleared a month ago in early October around the 8th anniversary of the Afghan War. According to Kucinich, on October 8th, the House  approved a bill that authorized the expenditure of $130 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He noted that the democratic dominated Congress had already taken a pro-War stance and many in the anti-war peace Movement were quiet.

David Letterman's extramaritial affairs were big distractions from war issues

Folks may not recall this particular bill because back in early October while our government was pouring all this money into the war effort, the rest of the nation was besieged with endless news stories and punditry analysis about another sordid extramarital affair and its accompanying baggage including attempted extortion. This of course involved late night TV host David Letterman. 

 Instead of hearing from an enraged Kucinich, Barbara Lee or Texas Republican Ron Paul, we were subjected to all sorts experts taking up valuable airtime debating whether or not Letterman having sex with another consenting adult was appropriate.

 Adding to this distraction was Barack Obama being awarded  the Noble Peace Prize the day after the October 8th date Kucinich referenced.  Ron Paul took some time out and expressed his concerns about the Noble Prize sitaution. he talked about it being a waste of time and distraction and that it awarding Obama such a prestigous award would not move him toward peace. 


But getting back to this country’s obsession with cheating spouses. They’ve long served as perfect covers for serious discussions about issues that have far-reaching impact on our lives. Last month it was Letterman, this month its Woods. The Woods story is now eclipsing important news coverage of the dozen or so anti-war protests yesterday from around the country. Instead of seeing or hearing man-on-the-street reports soliciting the opinions of young people about the escalation, we’re hearing them weigh in on Woods. Instead of hearing from celebrities like actor Danny Glover talking about his oppposition to the war, we’re hearing basketball great Charles Barkely‘s take on Tiger.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting a conversation about Tiger Woods is an indication that one is un-intelligent or un-interested in more serious subjects. What I am cautioning us to keep in mind, that all this news coverage may be a distraction  to keep our eyes off some important balls. We have to ask ourselves; ‘What are we not talking about today?  Is it the President’s Job/Economic Summit being held today? Is it the debate to re-appoint Fed Chair Ben Bernacke? Is it the latest developments surrounding the Oscar Grant trial? Is it the controversy surrounding the conclusion of the mayoral election in Atlanta or the upcoming hotly contested run off mayoral election in Houston? As I’m typing this the Today Show is tripping all over itself to report how yet another woman is coming out to hold a press conference with famed lawyer Gloria Allred to possibly admit she had an affair. Her press conference comes at the heels of two other press conferences including one the other day where several law enforcement officials announced that they are not going to be further investigating Woods.

I’m thinking to myself, if such stories are being  done because the American public is hungry for salacious and intriguing reports, why not bring on journalist Jeremy Scahill of RebelReports.com to talk about how the worlds largest and most notorious private army Blackwater has been waging a secret War in Pakistan where they been assassinating and kidnapping people. If you wanna get heads turning and tongues wagging make note that this is happening on the watch of a President who promised rto abandon all those disturbing George Bush-Dick Cheney type tactics  that painted America in a bad light.  Secret war in Pakistan vs Tiger Woods being an undercover player? You decide what’s more important.

Ron Paul Kicked up dust around the escalation of the War in Afghanistan

Another glaring omission I see missing from national news coverage is yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee discussion on Afghanistan It was there that Congressional Black Caucus chair Barbara Lee and Progressive Caucus co-chair Lynn Woolsey were not allowed to speak  and express their staunch opposition to the Obama’s escalation. Fortunately Ron Paul got a chance to speak and really went in on the committee hitting them pretty hard, but that was barely covered. You can peep Paul weighing in on the C-Span video. He starts his round of questioning at 88.17 minutes into the hearing.


It’s interesting to note that it was just 3 weeks ago that Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X hit us off with a song and video that raised similar concerns. He asked the question about whether or not we are staying up on the news. His video is a good note to end on and reflect.

written by Davey D


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Obama’s Moment of Truth-Are We Ready to Support or Oppose Him?


As the Thanksgiving holiday ends, the nation is perched to hear what is being described as President Obama‘s most important speech to date. He will stand before Army cadets at West Point military academy and lay out his plans for increasing troops to Afghanistan to the tune of 30 thousand. He is likely to note that we must go to Afghanistan to defeat a grouped Taliban. He is likely to say we must go to Afghanistan to ‘finish the job’ of subduing Al Qaeda and capturing Osama Bin Laden. Obama is also likely to note that throughout his campaign he had promised that he would withdraw troops from Iraq and direct all attention to America’s ‘forgotten war’ in Afghanistan.

However 8 years after we first entered Afghanistan in response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks, many of the folks who enthusiastically voted for Obama are divided and troubled. Many of the people who came out and voted for Obama were the same people eager for change who had organized or showed up at large anti-war demonstrations when George Bush was in office. They’re looking at a man who was just awarded the Noble Peace Prize and saw this as a symbolic gesture that would give him a good excuse to find a more diplomatic approach to resolving the conflict and abandon the pro-war position they felt he had to take during the 08 campaign.

If folks recall during the 08 campaign Obama was saw his momentum halted when than rival Hillary Clinton sprung the infamous ‘Its 3am Who Do You want answering Phone commercial‘. Inexperience and too weak to stomach the hard decisions around war and conflict is what Obama was slimed with. His response was to come across as more hawkish. After all, it was the ‘weak on terror’ allegations that helped George Bush win his last election and push through all types of legislation and policies that gave him and the military lots of resources, leeway and power. Obama in his response not only promised to bring the war back to Afghanistan, but he even asserted that he would be willing to bomb a country without warning if it meant the US could get the ever so elusive Osama.

While many who voted for Obama understood him taking pro-war stances, what’s troubling is that with a democratic majorities in both the house and Senate and recent polls showing that majority of Americans not wanting us to continue in Afghanistan, why are building up troops? Is the country really in grave danger? Is this about saving face? Is this about political appeasement? According to recent USA Today Gallup Poll numbers 57% of Democrats want Obama to withdraw. Those numbers are being underscored by the recent bill introduced by an early supporter California Congresswoman Barbara Lee who introduced a bill H.R. 3699 that would prohibit funds for any escalation to Afghanistan. Estimates note that it would cost on average 1 million dollars per year per soldier in this new troop surge. Lee thus far has gotten 23 co-sponsors including former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and Houston congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee who earlier last week bestowed a Purple Heart and Bronze star on a Vietnam Vet who still suffers from Post Traumatic stress.

Standing in stark opposition of this are 72% of republicans want Obama to build up the troops and follow the recommendations of General Stanley McChrystal who actually requested and then ‘campaigned’ to get 40 thousand. That republican support or agitation has been amplified by right-wing pundits and talk show hosts who feel that America should be in Afghanistan kicking ass even though everyone from Genghis Khan to the Soviet Union has failed miserably in their attempts to tame this unconquered region.

Perhaps President Obama should challenge those who are eager for this fight to continue in Afghanistan, to stop eating the drums of war and step it up and volunteer their time. That would include talk show hosts like Sean Hannity who are quick to talk this talk but won’t volunteer his time to serve..even as a radio host ala actor Robin Williams in the movie Good Morning Vietnam. At the same time President Obama should let those opposed to the troop build up to not let up the pressure. They should call their representatives and get them to co-sponsor Barbara Lee’s bill.

Lastly Obama should re-emphasize one of his most important campaign points about this his Presidency being for the people by the people-hence all this crazy talk about Obama being in office for only one year and we should give him some time needs to cease once and for all. In matters of war every citizen should be weighing in. After all, what takes place in Afghanistan is being done in our name and with our tax dollars. People should also be reminded that george Bush was only in office for 9 months before he was faced with the 9-11 tragedy and declared his War on Terror. President Obama has been in office for 11 months. His presidency is in full swing.

It’s sad state of affairs, but the War in Afghanistan appears to be war of political posturing and not about war to end terror. How it all unfolds will have a lot to do with the political pressure applied to the President.

-Davey D-

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