News Release

* Obama * Sessions * Tillerson

GLEN FORD, glen.ford [at] blackagendareport.com, @glenfordbar
Executive editor of Black Agenda Report, Ford just wrote the piece “Obama’s Last Presidential Lies,” which critiques Obama’s Farewell Address. Ford writes: “Obama got downright cocky in defense of Obamacare, the rightwing Republican health program that Obama adopted as his own. The president said: ‘If anybody can put together a plan that is demonstrably better, I will support it.’ But don’t bet any money on the letter and spirit of Obama’s promises on health care. Back in 2003, when Bruce Dixon and I asked him if he favored a single payer health care system, Obama answered that he favored ‘universal health care for all Americans’ and ‘intended to introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end.’ He kept saying that for the next five years, until he was elected president, and then proceeded to isolate and crush supporters of single payer, to the delight of the insurance and drug industries, which no longer had to fear single payer. Obama is sneaky, that way.”

DENNIS BERNSTEIN, dennisjbernstein [at] gmail.com, @flashpointsnews
Bernstein, an award-winning investigative reporter, is the host and executive producer of “Flashpoints,” a daily news magazine syndicated on Pacifica Radio out of KPFA. He wrote the piece “Sessions’s Old-Time Contempt for Civil Rights” last November about Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, who begins his second day of testimony Wednesday: Writes Bernstein: “In 1996, I traveled through Alabama and Mississippi with fellow journalist Ron Nixon as we investigated a wave of arson against black churches. …

“However, Alabama’s Attorney General at the time was Sessions, who was in a close race for the U.S. Senate. Sessions’s approach to the burning of some 40 black churches over 18 months from late 1994 into 1996 was to turn the investigation into a joint probe linking the church burnings to an investigation of black voter fraud through alleged misuse of absentee ballots. The connection supposedly was that black voting-rights activists tried to cover up the fraud by burning down their own churches.”

ANTONIA JUHASZ, antoniajuhasz [at] gmail.com, @AntoniaJuhasz
Juhasz is an energy analyst, author and investigative reporter. She recently wrote a profile of Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State for In These Times magazine, who is scheduled to begin his nomination hearing Wednesday. Writes Juhasz: “On January 1, Rex Tillerson retired from oil giant Exxon Mobil after 41 years, the last 10 as CEO and chairman of the board. When he appears in January before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be considered for U.S. Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil will be preparing to appear before a jury at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, just blocks away. There, the company will face allegations that security forces under its employ engaged in serious human rights abuses, including murder, torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, battery, assault, burning, arbitrary arrest, detention and false imprisonment. The complaint specifically names Rex Tillerson.”