Hutchinson, Earl Ofari


Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book is “How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge” (Middle Passage Press).

Military’s Subsidy of Limbaugh Insults Taxpayers

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

The Pentagon’s defiant pledge to stick with the Rush Limbaugh show, no matter what, bumps up against a few hard and insulting realities. The Armed Forces Network that carries the Limbaugh show is not a private business that can do whatever it pleases with its money, personnel and policy. Every penny of the armed forces’ bloated budget comes from taxpayers. The Armed Forces Network, which has aired the Limbaugh show for two decades, has an estimated $27 million annual budget, every penny of which comes from the pockets of taxpayers. And since the military is not a democracy, and decisions are made top down, there was never any chance that taxpayers would have any say about the use of their money to subsidize the blatant bias of one radio jock.

Paul’s Fetish on Civil Rights

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul just can’t seem to help himself when it comes to his fetish on a law which has been on the books for nearly five decades and which has long since been rendered a moot point by even avowed white supremacists. That’s the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Paul caught much flack when he flatly said he’d have opposed it if he had been in Congress in 1964. He dredged it up again as an issue in 2004 when he voted against a symbolic resolution honoring the law on its fortieth anniversary. He dredged it up again during his abortive presidential bid in 2008. And now he’s dredged it up yet again stumping for 2012 presidential votes.

To hear him tell it, it’s a matter of the simple principle of upholding the sanctity of private property from any government encroachment. It’s a libertarian purism taken to the nth degree and it’s a legal and public policy fraud.

Gutting Social Security Would Devastate Blacks and Hispanics

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

The GOP presidential candidates are calling for partially privatizing social security in recent stump speeches and statements. The idea is nothing but a rehash of the idea floated by George W. Bush in 2005. Bush proposed giving younger workers the option of stashing some of their Social Security payments in private accounts. The idea mercifully went nowhere.

And Bush dropped the idea. Most economists called it a prescription for financial disaster. The stock market crash in 2008 punctuated the dire warnings that if billions of middle and low income workers had put their Social Security savings in private accounts a lifetime of earnings would have been instantly wiped out. The economic misery and chaos would have been catastrophic. Those hurt the most would have been those least able to take the financial hit.

With Weiner’s Fall, Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

Democrats, from the White House down, screamed for New York Representative Anthony Weiner to resign, and he finally did. But it’s not a Democrat who’s breathing the biggest sigh of relief at Weiner’s downfall. It’s Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

There was much talk a year ago that Weiner would be the point man on the House Judiciary Committee if it decided to go after Thomas for his long trail of financial manipulations, abuse, and duplicity. Weiner gave signs that he’d be the go-to guy against Thomas. He had been publicly hammering Thomas’ dealings and demanding that he recuse himself from any High Court deliberations on the constitutionality of the health care reform law that conservatives loathe.

Holder Does the Right Thing on Crack Cocaine

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder took another step forward in trying to right a horrendous wrong in the long running drug-reform fight. He announced that thousands of federal prisoners sentenced under the draconian and grossly unfair crack cocaine sentencing law may be eligible for early release.

The old law required that judges tack a minimum mandatory sentence of five years on anyone caught with crack cocaine. More than 80 percent of those sentenced for crack use are poor, ill-educated blacks.

Yet those caught with the same amount of powdered cocaine, mostly whites, often middle-class and suburban, get probation and referrals to drug diversion programs.

After years of prodding and pressure from groups advocating for drug reform and prisoner rights, as well as from families of prisoners locked up under the brutal law, Congress last year scrapped the old sentencing statute, and equalized the sentences for powdered and crack cocaine use.

Why Obama Is Right Not to Release bin Laden Photos

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

President Obama made a wise decision in choosing not to make public photos of bin Laden’s body. His reasons are pragmatic and compelling. DNA tests and other evidence showed conclusively that the dead man was Osama bin Laden. Releasing the gruesome photos wouldn’t satisfy the professional Obama bashers and conspiracy theorists, who would just claim that the pictures were doctored. Meanwhile, their release could further inflame Muslim hardliners, giving them another excuse for retaliatory action against U.S. personnel.

But there is another reason that Obama did not state, and that has to do with the reactions to bin Laden’s death among Americans themselves.

Last Call for Tea Party?

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

Across the nation, rumblings are being heard of the party coming to an end -- and for many people, it’s none too soon. The party, in this case, is the Tea Party.

A recent CNN poll shows that far more Americans now have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party than a year ago. Even more ominous for the party leadership is the fact that low-income, white Americans – a demographic that has been their bedrock of support - represent the largest number of those disaffected with the movement.

Pandering Politicians Refuse Pardons—Perpetuate Injustice

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
New America Media

Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Haley Barbour was adamant. He told reporters, civil rights leaders and protesters not to hold their breath waiting for him to pardon Jamie and Gladys Scott, who served 16 years in prison for a 1993 armed robbery that they insist they did not commit.

The two sisters—sentenced to life in prison for a crime that netted $11—were freed on medical grounds in December after a national campaign for their release. As a condition of his suspension, Barbour said Gladys must donate a kidney to her sister, who is seriously ill, but the transplant has been put on hold because doctors say the women's weight makes surgery risky.

Civil rights leaders say the women were the victims of a racially tinged, unfair prosecution. The Scotts have refused to admit their guilt—Barbour's demand in return for a full pardon.

Motley GOP Contenders Are Obama’s Biggest Trump Card

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Veteran U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., minced no words when he declared recently that President Obama's 2012 reelection bid will be in trouble -- if the GOP can produce a credible candidate to run against him.

By "credible," Conyers meant a moderate, centrist Republican, who can bag the majority of independent voters. They can make or break a presidential candidate.

After all, polls and voter surveys have shown time and again that American politics flow to the center. Presidential candidates whose positions appear wild, extreme or simply untenable have virtually no chance of winning the White House.

Why Obama Should Pull Out of Afghanistan

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) took the action that the overwhelming majority of Americans say they want--a swift and final end to the Afghanistan war.

The action was a resolution authored by California Democrat Barbara Lee calling for a swift withdrawal by this July.

The DNC overwhelmingly endorsed the resolution. Lee and the DNC are on solid ground with the resolution to end the Afghan war. Polls consistently show that Americans consider the war endless, futile and a massive drain on the economy. They want the estimated $100 billion spent yearly on the war to go for job creation, infrastructure repair, education spending and health care expansion.