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Leid Stories – Decoding The – 07.06.16

FBI Director James Comey did his best yesterday to convince the nation that the agency’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail debacle was thorough, transparent and completely free of political interference and contamination. We can all rest assured that the matter has been looked into exhaustively, everyone potentially in the prosecutorial cross hairs was completely open and cooperative, and as director of the agency he couldn’t be more proud of the job of the way the investigation was handled and, more importantly, brought to a close.

Clinton got a few slaps on the wrist from Comey for mishandling classified information and for inspiring similar recklessness by staff and, generally, throughout the State Department (when she was secretary of state). But there was no evidence of criminal conduct, and no “reasonable” prosecutor would seek indictments, Comey said.

The FBI director might have been hoping to put the whole sordid matter to rest with his explanatory news conference yesterday—just as President Barack Obama and the presumptive nominee were making their first campaign appearance together in Charlotte, N.C. Instead, Comey unleashed a firestorm, directly contradicting several claims Clinton previously had made about her private server and emails.

Click on this to watch FBI director James Comey press conference.

Leid Stories discusses Comey’s statements yesterday, and how and why President Obama, his administration and the Democratic Party are all shielding Hillary Clinton.

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Black Agenda Radio – 6.20.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– The People’s Organization for Progress, POP, does not hesitate to demonstrate, whether it’s marking the anniversary of the 1967 rebellion in Newark, New Jersey, or protesting President Obama’s attempt to cut Social Security. Recently, POP hit the streets to protest New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that sets up a blacklist of companies that have agreed to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel. Larry Hamm is chairman of POP. He’s also a Bernie Sanders delegate to the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

– The City of Philadelphia is welcoming the Democrats to town, but the welcome mat does not extend to protest marchers. Cheri Honkala is a longtime poor people’s activist, based in Philadelphia.

– The Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, ran the Caribbean country of Haiti with an iron fist when she was Secretary of State. Clinton helped to engineer the rise to the presidency of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, who was finally forced out of power by popular demand, this year. Nikolas Barry-Shaw, a Voting Rights Associate with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, says Clinton’s record in Haiti is an embarrassment to her campaign, which would prefer that Haiti not be in the news.

– Gunmen riddled the home of Haitian presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse, who represents Fanmi Lavalas, the political party of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup in 2004. Aristides’ party has been banned from most elections since then. We spoke with Pierre Labossier, of the Haiti Action Committee. He says the U.S. State Department fought tooth and nail to try to force the Haitian people to accept the results of last year’s rigged elections.

– New federal rules would make it harder for people to get payday loans at usurious interest rates. Matt Stannard is Policy Director of Commonomics USA. He’d like to get rid of payday loans altogether, and providing alternative financing to poor people.

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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Black Agenda Radio – 04.25.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– The number of charter schools has grown by leaps and bounds under President Obama and his so-called “Race to the Top” program. A new book is out, called the “Charter School Report Card,” authored by Dr. Shawgi Tell, a professor of Education at Nazareth College, in Rochester, New York. He says charter schools “lower the quality of education through privatization and marketization of schools.” Charter school boosters claim they provide better educational results. But Dr. Tell says there’s little evidence to support that.

– The number of young people put behind bars in the United States has gone down by 50 percent in the past decade. However, despite the overall decline, the disparity in Black youth incarceration has gone UP 15 percent over the past ten years. Josh Rovner, of The Sentencing Project, is author of a new report titled “Racial Disparities in Youth Arrests and Commitments.” We asked Rovner why the general rate of youth incarceration has gone down so dramatically.

– Skyrocketing student debt has emerged as a big campaign issue this presidential election season. Darletta Scruggs, of the Socialist Alternative Party, is helping put together plans for a Million Student March. Scruggs was recently interviewed on Your World News, by host Solomon Commisiong.

– A huge cache of leaked documents from a Panama bank showed that many world leaders, their families and associates are hiding billions of dollars in offshore banks. Wealthy Americans were not prominent on list, but that’s because it’s easy to hide money right here in the U.S., in states like Delaware. Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, in Washington. He wrote an article titled, “Panama Papers Expose the Hidden Wealth of the World’s Super-Rich.” Collins says different kinds of millionaires and criminals have different kinds of illicit banking needs.

– Mark Weisbrot is co-director of another progressive Washington think tank, the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Weisbrot keeps a keen eye on Latin American developments. He says that, back in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that the military overthrow of the elected president of Honduras was, somehow, NOT a coup.

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Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman – Why Can’t the Nation & the Left Deal With Election Theft?

There are two things we all need to know about the upcoming 2016 election:
1. Millions of likely Democratic voters have already been stripped from the voter rolls in critical states like Ohio. The key reporting on this has been done by the great Greg Palast, who has shown that a computer program coordinated by the Republican secretary of state of Kansas is being used in some two dozen states to steal from a substantial percentage of the citizenry their right to vote. The raw numbers are high enough that they could have a significant impact on the presidential, US Senate, House and many other elections this fall. The ACLU has now sued Jon Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state, over the stripping of two million citizens from Ohio’s voter rolls.

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This Can’t Be Happening – 03.23.16

John Grant, a member of the ThisCantBeHappening.net journalists’ collective, discusses his latest article on the assassination of Honduran human rights and environmental activist Berta Caceres and the role of Hillary Clinton, as Obama’s secretary of state, in the 2009 coup in that country which ousted a popular left-leaning president and launched an era of violent repression. Grant and host Dave Lindorff talk about the dreadful prospect of a Clinton presidency, given her history of supporting wars and government overthrows, not just in Latin America but around the globe.

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Leid Stories – Acts of Commission: Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Atrocities; Trump and That Buzzword, ‘Violence’ – 03.14.16

William Blum, publisher of The Anti-Empire Report, author of several books on U.S. foreign policy, and an expert on U.S. covert operations, discusses the tragic consequences of Hillary Clinton’s foreign-policy initiatives as secretary of state.

Leid Stories takes on the hypocrisy and deliberate effort, particularly by the media and the political establishment, to re-cast what happened at Donald Trump’s rally in Chicago last Friday.

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The Gary Null Show – 03.04.16

Dr. Jim Garrison is the founding President of Ubiquity University and the Wisdom School of Graduate Studies, an international school of higher education built upon innovative principles of whole brain and whole system learning. The university operates on four continents with partners in the EU, India, Mexico, South Africa, Russia, Vietnam and others. As the co-founder and President of the Gorbachev Foundation, Jim was instrumental in the founding of the State of the World Forum to lay a template for a more sustainable global civilization. In the late 80s he served as the executive director of the Esalen Institute Soviet-American Exchange, and founded the International Foreign Policy Association in collaboration with Secretary of State George Schultz and Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze to provide humanitarian relief to children in former Soviet republics. Jim has graduate degrees in religion and theology from Harvard and Cambridge universities. His websites are WisdomUniversity.org and UbiquityUniversity.org

John Perkins, primarily through the 1970s and 1980s, was an economic hit man (EHM), a job to convince leaders of developing nations to accept economic conditions that benefit US private and government interests. He was a direct participant or witness to such dramatic modern events as the Saudi Arabian Money Laundering scandal, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the assassinations of Eucador’s and Panama’s democratically elected presidents, and other government and corporate intrigues. John was a chief economist for a large international consulting firm advising the World Bank and IMF, the UN, Fortune 500 companies and many national governments. Since leaving his covert activities, John been a champion of indigenous spiritual cultures and environmental movements through his non profit projects Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance. After 911, John broke his silence with the publication of his international best seller that has just been fully revised and published as “The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, to explain that rather than a corrupt specialized activity among select consulting and international construction firms in the past, the system of economic hit men has rather become more sophisticated, more devious, and more widespread, even through the halls of government, and is now intentionally bankrupting the US as it has done in the past with developing nations. His website is JohnPerkins.org where people can receive his newsletter.

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Black Agenda Radio – 02.22.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific author and professor of political science at the University of Houston, has another book out. It’s titled, “Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary.” Paul Robeson was an NFL-class athlete, spoke 12 languages, a movie star who was one of the biggest draws in the American musical theater, and was probably the best-known American in the world at the height of his popularity, in the early 1940s. Yet, no more than 20 years later, the crusading artist and social activists’ name had been all but erased from public discourse in the United States. How could that happen? We asked Dr. Horne.

– An analysis of employment statistics shows the Black jobless rate in Virginia, the state with the lowest Black unemployment rate in the nation, is the same as the white jobless rate in West Virginia, the state with the highest white unemployment rate, at 6.7 percent. What does this tell us about the so-called economic recovery? We spoke with Dr. Valerie Wilson, of the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute.

– Turkey is threatening to invade neighboring Syria, creating a direct confrontation with Russian military forces. Political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.com, appeared recently on Russia Today’s “Cross Talk” program. Draitser says Turkish President Erdogan is playing with fire.

– Hillary Clinton is one step closer to becoming Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, with her victory in Nevada. That’s a scary thought, as far as Dr. Stephen Zunes, is concerned. Zunes is Professor of Politics and International Studies, at San Francisco University. He says Hillary Clinton stoked the flames of war while Secretary of State.

– Ticket sales are soaring for Beyonce’s world tour. The Superstar seems to have profited from the controversy over her Black Panther-flavored performance at the Superbowl. Black Agenda Report editor Ajama Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, says there’s nothing oppositional, much less revolutionary, about Beyonce’s “Formation” album. He also maintains that neither Bernie Sanders nor Ta-Nehisi Coates represents a challenge to the U.S. imperial order.

– Public television last week showed the acclaimed Stanley Nelson film, “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which previously had been playing in selected theaters. Former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver was honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, in Detroit. Cleaver recounted how she became involved with the Black Panther Party.

– The nation’s best-known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, is also a renowned author. Abu Jamal gives a boost to a former political prisoner’s latest book.

– Khalil Bennet is also imprisoned in Pennsylvania. Bennet is what inmates call “a child-lifer” – a person given a life sentence for a crime committed while he was a juvenile. The Supreme Court recently ruled that such sentences are cruel and unusual, setting the stage for the release of thousands of prisoners. Khalil Bennet says, when these former child-lifers are let loose, they can become the cadre of a new movement.