China remains America and the world’s greatest geopolitical threat – not Russia

Mitt Romney may have been correct, in 2012, when he said that Russia was America’s greatest geopolitical threat. Notwithstanding Russia’s current bad behavior, Romney’s assessment is no longer correct.

By Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. & Dr. Michael O. Adams

China is now America’s (and the world’s) greatest geopolitical threat. China has allegedly hacked the federal government, something some foreign policy experts consider an act of war. This is in addition to hacking American companies and stealing their intellectual product.

 China wants to be the world’s new singular economic and military superpower. China wants to control the China Sea – a vital global economic artery – through military force so that it can intimidate and dominate its regional neighbors and control global trade.

 While Americans are focused on the Russian email intrigue, China is militarizing man-made islands in the China Sea to eliminate the international norm of freedom of the sea.

The U.S. needs to deploy more aircraft carriers to Asia and help Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan build missile defense systems similar to the “Iron Dome” system in Israel. America must also strengthen our relationships and alliances in our own hemisphere, especially in Latin-South-and Central America as well as the Caribbean. This includes building on the Obama opening to Cuba.

Additionally, America needs to invest in Africa. We must help the nations on the continent strengthen and grow their economies and fight terrorists and work with India to strengthen its economy and military including a missile defense system.

Rebuilding America’s infrastructure, cutting taxes and deporting undocumented immigrants will not be enough to make America richer so it can spend more on the military.

To create more jobs and grow the American economy to have the funds to reduce the national debt and invest more in the military, there must be people around the world who can afford to buy American goods, services and products, and have the willingness to do so.

America must help build foreign markets for American goods, services and products and help ensure freedom of the sea and sky to protect the movement of global commerce.

Our nation will have to work with Russia, Jordan and the Saudis to bring peace and stability to Syria and the broader Middle East. Part of that effort will have to include strengthening America’s energy security and independence from Middle Eastern oil.

America has been trying to maintain a post WW II structure of the world that is just no longer realistic. The new reality of the 21st Century has to be acknowledged and used to inform the creation of a new American foreign policy framework and global consensus.

 Investigating and responding to Russia’s hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email accounts must also include a serious and objective analysis of how to respond to China and North Korea’s hacking of the federal government and American businesses.

The failure to properly respond to prior incidents of foreign hacking, in the United States, is a part of the reason why Russia felt emboldened enough to hack the DNC and John Podesta’s email accounts.

 The reality is that America is not fully prepared to defend the nation against cyber war.

It’s time to put partisanship aside and get to work on properly preparing our nation for the new challenges and adversaries before us and those to come.

 Finally, journalists need to understand that their hyperbolic coverage of investigating the Russia hacking story is strengthening Putin on the world stage as a grand geopolitical strategist, (Ivan Krastev, Russia Isn’t Pulling All The Strings, The New York Times, December 21, 2016.)

 Domestically, so-called establishment and mainstream media outlets are also significantly undercutting their own credibility. Far too many journalists are now engaged in ahistorical partisan advocacy as opposed to objective fact based reporting historically contextualized.

 Putin has destabilized and further divided our nation without firing a shot while elevating his own stature on the world stage. This has been accomplished, in part, by media coverage. The safety and prosperity of our nation depends on how we view the world and respond to its changing needs and circumstances.

♦ Robinson and Adams are members of the faculty of the Political Science Department at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.


Where Do We Want To Go?

By Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. & Dr. Michael O. Adams

America is getting older and not enough senior citizens have enough money saved for retirement. Social Security and Medicare will not be enough to keep far too many retirees from falling into poverty in their “golden years”.

“Retirement insecurity” needs to be addressed and that can’t be done by gutting public pension funds.

Younger Americans are increasingly people of color and multi-racial. Too many of them are not getting a good enough education to help lift them above poverty and move them into the working class and keep them there.

The strength and effectiveness of our nation’s education system will impact our long term economic growth and national innovation potential. To address this challenge, we need to restructure our education funding priorities to invest more money in Pre-K and early childhood education.

The earlier we can get students reading at grade level and competent in math, the more educationally successful they will be in terms of high school and college graduation as well as career readiness.

America needs A Prosperity and Accountability Agenda focused on encouraging, growing and supporting entrepreneurship and shared prosperity.

America needs A Prosperity and Accountability Agenda focused on encouraging, growing and supporting entrepreneurship and shared prosperity.

Subsidizing poverty is no longer enough. The new goal must be helping and incentivizing people to turn income into wealth.

People need an income that allows them to take care of themselves, their family, pay down household debt, pay off college debt, buy a home, start a business and save for a safe, healthy and quality retirement.

Moving our nation from a fossil fuel economy to an alternative and renewable/clean energy economy will require investing in innovation through research and development as well as economic and tax incentives.

Air pollution, climate change and polluted water are more than environmental challenges; they are health challenges that disproportionately impact people of color and their neighborhoods. These challenges impact both urban and rural communities as well as the suburbs.

Technology, in terms of Big Data, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) are changing the world. These are “forces of change” that will either shape us or be shaped by us. Our preference is these changes/technologies be shaped by us.

To shape change, we have to know where we want our nation to go over the next decade and beyond. Where do we want all Americans to be in terms of achieving the American Dream? What do we want our cities-large and small-to look like? How do we modernize government at all levels to make it “Great” as Jim Collins defines greatness in his book Good to Great for the Social Sectors?

The decisions we make today will shape our future history.

Criminal Justice Reform, Smart Infrastructure, Better Education, A Clean Environment, Healthier Americans through wellness and prevention, and Shared Prosperity through equal pay for equal work, and elimination of the racial income and wealth gaps will help build a better America

To achieve these goals we must build a public policy and political strategic plan. To quote Stephen Covey, Our plan must “begin with the end in mind”.

Robinson and Adams are members of the faculty of the Political Science Department at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

Developing a New Black Agenda – A Comprehensive Insight

By Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. & Dr. Michael O. Adams

Criminal Justice Reform is an important issue on An Accountability Agenda for the next president when it comes to the African American community.

Congressman James E. Clyburn’s Plan to fight poverty (10-20-30) should be on the agenda, but it is just a starting point. There also needs to be a wealth building and accumulation policy agenda focused on lifting African Americans into the middle class and sustaining them there while ensuring they have real access to economic and entrepreneurial opportunities and upward economic mobility.

Economic growth alone won’t end income inequality. Inequality is a result of both slow economic (distorted) growth and existing public policy decisions. Equal pay for equal work is both a gender and racial issue. Women get paid less than men and African Americans get paid less than whites in far too many instances. This does not even take into consideration the times when race is used to deny employment opportunities.

Fixing Social Security is a major issue, but doing so won’t be enough to address the growing “retirement insecurity” facing aging African American retirees. The attacks on public pension plans disproportionately impact African Americans who over the decades have become a large segment of the public sector employment pool from teachers to local, state and federal government employees. Like many Americans, most of their individual savings were wiped out during the Great Recession and they have little personal savings beyond their pension benefits to sustain them during their retirement years.

The advancement, evolution and expanding deployment of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is a development that has both positive and potentially negative – racial bias- consequences for African Americans. Involvement and oversight in this area must be a priority for not only the next President, but also for African American elected officials at the local, state and federal levels of government.

The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs has produced a free digital reader on Artificial Intelligence and Racial and Gender Bias. A copy of the Reader can be obtained by emailing a request to

Finally, for the next President, 2020 will be all about re-election, but for African Americans and other people of color and low income urban Americans, it will be the next constitutionally mandated national decennial census and the kick off to the next round of redistricting.

Political power begins with the official census count and urban cities and community based organizations and leaders need to begin preparing now for the 2020 Census count and the redistricting that will follow.

To protect someone’s voting right, the first thing that needs to happen is that they need to be counted during the Census. Census data is what will be used to draw new political districts at the city, county, state and congressional levels.

Not only is the Census count the foundation upon which political maps are drawn, it is also the numerical data that will be used to distribute federal funding – billions of dollars – for a decade.

The Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs is developing a major civic engagement project focused on helping urban cities begin preparing for the 2020 Census.

If you are interested in participating in our Let’s Count – People of Color and Low Income Urban Americans – Project, please send an email to us at

This is the 21st Century and African Americans must not be afraid to have an agenda like the Hispanic and LGBTQ communities. We must be willing to speak up and out for our agenda.

As Adam Clayton Powell advocated, we must not be afraid of “Audacious Power”.

President Obama is leaving the White House and for those who didn’t want to speak out too loudly for the Black Community for fear of embarrassing the first Black President, that issue is off the table as of noon, January 20, 2017.

Generic policy prescriptions have not been enough to fix the challenges facing African Americans whether they live in urban, suburban or rural America.

Now is the time to develop A Specific Policy Agenda to address the challenges facing Black America as a new President is about to be sworn in.

 Robinson and Adams are members of the faculty of the Political Science Department at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.


As Texas Democrats, we need to turn our attention to the 2018 – Hon. Carroll G. Robinson

Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq
By Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq

Now that the 2016 presidential election cycle is over, and Donald J. Trump Is our new President-Elect, Texas Democrats need to turn our attention to the 2018 mid-term statewide elections. Wendy Davis, Congressman Henry Cuellar, and one of the Castro brothers should run for statewide office (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and Controller) and an African American should run for United States Senator.

The Democratic candidate for Senator in 2018 should run on the message “Dr. No Has Got to Go”.


What has Ted Cruz done for everyday, hardworking Texans since he was elected to the United States Senate other than vote no on everything, help shut down the federal government and attack President Obama and propose never confirming a new Supreme Court Justice to replace former Justice Scalia? Nothing.

  • What has Ted Cruz done to help Texas teachers, our children and their schools? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help Texas doctors, nurses, health care workers and our hospitals? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help reduce congestion on Texas highways and air pollution in our state? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help improve transportation and infrastructure funding in our state? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help fight climate change, increase the use and development of clean and renewable energy technology and reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign oil and fossil fuels? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help homeowners and the housing industry in our state? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help make life better for women, children, single parents and families in our state? Nothing.
  • What has Ted Cruz done to help reduce and eventually eliminate income inequality in our state and across the nation? Nothing.

Public Safety

What has Ted Cruz done to improve gun safety to help better protect our children in school and all of us in our workplaces and homes? Nothing.

The Second Amendment was never intended to help protect criminals and illegal gun owners.

Legal gun ownership is a constitutionally protected right but the government is also responsible for helping to protect us and ensure public safety.

Taxes on the sale of bullets should be increased and that new revenue be used to help cities prevent gun related crimes.

Ted Cruz has done nothing to help protect a woman’s right to choose, end childhood hunger in our state, end the school to prison pipeline or reform our criminal justice system. Nothing.

Our state needs a Senator who will focus on:

  • helping to create good paying jobs,
  • increasing the minimum wage,
  • growing the Texas economy,
  • expanding access to opportunity and shared prosperity, and
  • working with local law enforcement agencies and community leaders to  help keep our neighborhoods safe.

Public safety must not become a divisive issue. We all have a right to be safe in our homes and businesses and so too do our children when they are out and about.


Trade must not also become a pejorative. Trade is a cornerstone of the Texas economy. It is an essential ingredient in the Texas growth strategy for rice farmers, ranchers and the overall agriculture economy of rural Texas. So too is comprehensive immigration reform.

Texas is a port state dependent on export and import trade through the ports of Corpus Christi, Galveston, Freeport and Houston as well as through our international airports in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. So too is our trucking industry, railroads. and energy industry dependent on global trade


Fair and Free trade matters in Texas and is both an economic and national security issue. We have a strong military that must be modernized to protect our people at home and abroad and to help protect our economic interest around the world.

The foundation of our nation’s military might is our economic strength, and that strength is built on fair and free global trade. A system built on the sacrifice of the Greatness Generation who won World War II and is maintained to this day by diplomats and our men and women in uniform.

Through their sacrifices our veterans have earned the right to be cared for and the Veterans Administration must be fully funded and modernized to do so.


Texas needs a Senator who will make caring for our veterans their number one budget priority along with middle class tax relief, simplification of the federal tax code, elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), corporate tax reform to stimulate economic growth, raising the payroll tax cap to strengthen and save Social Security and implementing a plan to reduce our nation’s long term debt including sending a federal Balance Budget Amendment, a No Budget No Pay Amendment and Congressional Term Limits Amendment to the states for ratification.

Congress should legalize, regulate and tax marijuana and use that new revenue to help reduce the national debt and invest in the effort to help find a cure for cancer.

Texas needs a Senator who will support a regular budget process in Congress and hearings for all Supreme Court nominees.

The Lone Star State

We need a Senator who understands the importance of our cities and universities to economic growth in our state and equal access to those opportunities for all Texans in our diverse and growing state.

Texas is one state, The Lone Star state; urban, rural and suburban. We are a people committed to Freedom, Opportunity and Prosperity.

We believe in helping our neighbors and helping those who need a helping hand to get back up after having been knocked down by the hardships of life or a natural disaster.

Forward Together

The Alamo is not just a symbol of our state, it is a reminder of the selfless sacrifice once again needed to help bring our nation together to help move us Forward Together.

Our state-and our nation-need a Senator from Texas who will work to help bring us together and not just vote no.

Texas, we deserve a Senator who will be focused on helping us (our children, families and businesses) and not on running for President in 2020.

Texas must be the priority for our new Senator.


Hon. Carroll G. Robinson, Esq. is a former Democratic candidate for Congress and General Counsel of the Texas Democratic Party who has served as an At-Large Member of the Houston City Council as well as a Houston Community College Trustee. Robinson is also an Associate Professor who teaches at a School of Public Affairs and has taught at two Texas law schools.

Don’t Discount The Black Vote

By Catherine E. Pugh
By Senator Catherine E. Pugh

With a little less than a week until Election Day, a disturbing narrative is taking root in mainstream media suggesting African Americans aren’t turning out the vote like they need to this election season. Despite attempts at voter suppression in battle ground states, police intimidation in places like Indiana, where Donald Trump’s running mate hales as governor, and roll backs in early voting locations in must-win states for Secretary Clinton, Black voter turnout thus far is commensurate with turnout in the pre-Bush, pre-Obama years when African Americans comprised a significant portion of the electorate that helped secure President Bill Clinton’s tenure as our 42nd Commander in Chief.

Now, with five days left until the likely and historic election of our nation’s first woman President, some in the media are positioning lower turnout than in the Obama years as some sort of failure of the Black vote.

Despite early punditry and pontification, it would be a mistake to underestimate or overlook the critical nature the Black vote – especially among women – will play in this year’s election. Historically, Black women have been the most active and engaged voting bloc for the Democratic Party, and with so much on the line, that trend shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.

For months, grassroots and online networks like Women of Color for Hillary have assembled thousands on the ground, rallied millions more online with the clarion call #ShesGotMyBack, and have contributed significantly to the donor base of Secretary Clinton’s campaign. Likewise, organizations like the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s Black Women’s Roundtable and the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women have been touring the country and rallying leadership to declare the #PowerOfTheSisterVote. In all instances, whether credited or not, Black women have been educating our communities and mobilizing the masses to get out the vote.

Recent coverage about the impact of the Black vote on this election seem like veiled attempts to undermine just how much Black votes and Black Lives Matter. African Americans have always been a critical part of the Democratic Party’s “Big Tent” constituency. What the narrative of ‘Black people aren’t turning out’ does is undermine the value of Black voters, and thereby Black issues, in this and future elections.

To be sure, representing 13 percent of the population with $1.2 trillion in economic buying power with 10,000 elected officials holding local, state, and federal office nationwide does not make for an insignificant voting bloc. On the contrary, 50 years after passage of the Voting Rights Act, and facing attempts to eliminate its protections, coupled with blatant and more visible acts of racism and divisiveness orchestrated by Republican leadership determined to undermine President Obama’s legacy and those emboldened by Trump’s hateful rhetoric, Black voters are poised to make a tremendous impact in this election.

While raw numbers may presume lower voter engagement thus far as compared to the prior two presidential election cycles, it’s still too soon to discount the power and prominence of the Black vote in 2016, especially with Black women working as hard as we are behind the scenes to ensure that we have an informed and engaged electorate ready to turn out in this home stretch leading up to Election Day. Over the next 120 hours, we can likely expect to see increased turnout and voter participation that at least rivals historic Black voter turnout numbers. And on November 9th, when all is said and done, Black people, Black women in particular, will be counted among the crucial voters key to President-Elect Hillary Clinton’s success!

Senator Catherine Pugh Serves as the Majority Leader (MD) President NBCSL. Recognized for leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Buhari’s absence in her daughter’s wedding: between change and modesty in leadership

Buhari....The country's decision to unpeg the naira against the dollar does not appear to have led to a hoped-for influx of dollar investment. Instead the government is now dealing with inflation.
Buhari….The country’s decision to unpeg the naira against the dollar does not appear to have led to a hoped-for influx of dollar investment. Instead the government is now dealing with inflation.

By Paulutho/

On Friday, October 28, 2016, President Buhari’s daughter got married in Daura, but the President stayed back in Abuja & some people have been falling over themselves, citing his absence at his daughters wedding as an example of ‘modesty’. The same modesty the President exhibited during the campaign when he drank from a N30 sachet of Milo that is now N50 in less than 2yrs of his admin.

What our colleagues fail to tell their readers is that;

  1. This is not Buhari’s daughters first wedding &
  2. She is marrying as a 4th wife to a 57yr old man. If that is not enough to stay back at Abuja and join them in the night, I don’t know what else will. For the sake of his daughter, I won’t go into further details about her personal life. Those who want to ‘praise-sing’ for their god can do a research on it. But suffice it to also say that this daughter that got married is not Aisha’s daughter but his daughter from his late wife. By the way, have you heard anything about his children from his late wife since he became president?

But where was this modesty when a lavish party was held in the villa for the President’s children immediately after their graduation from a UK (not a Nigerian) University?

Where was this modesty when the President’s 16yr daughter flew first class abroad?

Where was this modesty when the President’s daughter reportedly wore a N200k earring & the wife wore a N1.3m overcoat to Brussels?

Where was this modesty when the President went from drinking N30 Milo sachet during his campaign (that is now N50) to wearing a flashy 1953 Horsebit Leather Loafer Gucci shoes that according to the Gucci online store cost $640 which if converted at $1 to N345 cost N223,905 with Nigeria in recession?

Where was this modesty when the First Family all traveled to the US to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I wonder what the Buhari apologists would have said if Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had done that.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter ,Hajiya Fatima Muhammadu Buhari at their wedding in Kastina state.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hajiya Fatima Muhammadu Buhari at her wedding in Kastina state.

Is Nigeria’s case really any different under this admin where the Chief of Staff is reported to have received a N500m bribe from MTN, where the SGF is reported to have used N270m to clear grass at the IDP camps where officials drug and rape women & adolescent girls, where sitting Ministers are accused of corruption & bribing judges, where the Legal Adviser & Member of the Board of the APC is reported to have paid money into judges accounts for burial rites (and paid some in advance), where the president is asking to borrow a whopping $30billion two months to the end of the year (an amount higher than our 2016 budget), where this admin wants to borrow $550m for satellites? I can go on & on but I could end up in a cell if I do, as this administration (unlike the last), has no respect for Freedom of Speech.

But back to the matter. I’ll advise the Buhari apologists to hold on to their gun powder just a little while longer & pray for Zahra to get married while Buhari is in office. Until then, there’s nothing ‘modest’ to celebrate about a man who reluctantly attended his daughters wedding, citing official engagement as an excuse.


The nuisance from Kenya: Every family has a filthy shameless “Malik”

. In this clumsy interview moment, Malik and Hannity went on and on until the truth finally came out on why Malik turned against his brother. Just like the usual political setting in most African regions, Malik could not deceitfully take advantage of his brother and the White House to build a fortune.

In this clumsy interview moment, Malik and Hannity went on and on until the truth finally came out on why Malik turned against his brother. Just like the usual political setting in most African regions, Malik could not deceitfully take advantage of his brother and the White House to build a fortune.

By Anthony Obi Ogbo
By Anthony Obi Ogbo

By now, everybody must have known this dude, Malik Obama. A naturalized U.S. citizen, and the half-brother of the current U.S. president, who suddenly turned an ardent supporter of the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. He was in the audience at the presidential debate in Las Vegas as Trump’s guest and has since dwelled on twitter to throw supportive political jabs in his favor.

Malik said he would vote for Trump because he “comes across as a straightforward guy”, and countered that the nominee’s proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US was “common sense”. But his latest controversial engagement was an appearance on The Hannity Show, Fox TV last week to show a rejection of his half-brother and also promote his support for Trump.

Malik said he would vote for Trump because he "comes across as a straightforward guy", and countered that the nominee's proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US was "common sense".
Malik said he would vote for Trump because he “comes across as a straightforward guy”, and countered that the nominee’s proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US was “common sense”.

Malik told Hannity, “He (Trump) built a fantastic business empire, and I don’t’ see why he can’t do that for the country.” He also told Hannity that he planned to vote Republican because it’s the party of Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves. In this clumsy interview moment, Malik and Hannity went on and on until the truth finally came out on why Malik turned against his brother. Just like the usual political setting in most African regions, Malik could not deceitfully take advantage of his brother and the White House to build a fortune.

On his relationship with his half-brother, Malik Obama told Hannity in part, “Since he became president… he’s changed…. I think he has been sucked into that matrix, and mesmerized by the power…. He’s just too formal and stiff.” Malik and Hannity went on with some with cheap shots directed against his half-brother, President Obama.

But Malik’s grudge was obvious. Just as we witness among most African politicians, the President could have showered him with government contracts, and apparently used him to remit millions of dollars to Kenya. That would be the only relationship a greedy African politician would want with a relation in power.

Malik further used Obama’s influence, including portraits and “Change Message” to campaign as the future president of Kenya. In fact, he ran for governor of the state of Siaya in 2013 and disgracefully got a meagre 1 percent of the vote.
Running for governor…. Malik further used Obama’s influence, including portraits and “Change Message” to campaign as the future president of Kenya. In fact, he ran for governor of the state of Siaya in 2013 and disgracefully got a meagre 1 percent of the vote.

What Malik, however, did not properly explain to his Fox audience was how he moved back to his family’s hometown of Kogelo and started a foundation called the Barack H. Obama Foundation; how he used Obama’s name to extort unaccounted donations in Kenya, and how he amassed as many as 12 wives, including a teenage girl – what a travesty.

Malik further used Obama’s influence, including portraits and “Change Message” to campaign as the future president of Kenya. In fact, he ran for governor of the state of Siaya in 2013 and disgracefully got a meagre 1 percent of the vote. Voters rejected him because he had no single agenda, but Barak Obama’s “Change” Portrait. During the time, Malik didn’t think the Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, until he found Trump’s money.

Besides his failed dubious political aspirations, Malik has also been accused by this party he now campaigns for as an agent of Muslim terrorists, which ironically ridicules his latest Trump campaign job. This was how Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones summarized what Trump may have overlooked when he invited Malik to the last debate;

The conspiracy-minded right-wing press has long held up Malik Obama as proof-positive of the president’s secret Muslim terrorist ties. World Net Daily writer Jerome Corsi, one of the most prominent of the birther conspiracy theorists and a longtime Trump fan, has been covering Malik Obama for years and implying that he has undue influence on his brother in the White House. In 2013, Corsi reported on allegations that Malik was overseeing investments for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and suggested that this financial relationship helped explain why the Obama administration was supposedly supporting the organization. Corsi later claimed that Malik, who built a mosque on the Obama family compound in Kenya, could soon be added to Egypt’s terrorist watch list because of his ties to the Brotherhood. (Malik has vigorously denied the allegations of links to the Muslim Brotherhood.)

This same Malik is now blowing up Twitter recently with a barrage of pro-Trump messages, even criticizing the affordable care, that “Obama care is a bad name for it. Obama does not care. I want Trump care!” Obviously, Malik’s anger is that his brother didn’t help his greed. He told the New York Post, “My brother didn’t help me at all,” and also complained that he did not support his foundation.

But Malik’s grudge was obvious. Just as we witness among most African politicians, the President could have showered him with government contracts, and apparently used him to remit millions of dollars to Kenya. That would be the only relationship a greedy African politician would want with a relation in power.

Malik’s right to support any candidate is never in question, but his reasons for supporting Trump must be set straight. It is all about greed and definitely not as he said, that Trump was a straightforward man. A man who could trade his family for money-spinning political ambition must not be trusted, and such is just the reality of life. Malik’s irrationality may be permissible. In every family, no matter how decent, there is always one filthy shameless “Malik” – a sore loser, dragging the family name around with his inanity and spawning excruciating annoyance and notoriety. My family has one, and what about yours?

♦ Anthony Obi Ogbo, Ph.D. is the publisher of Houston-based International Guardian, and the author of The Influence of Leadership

Donald Trump’s last chance: Plunges lower than ever

I have a confession to make: I’m not sure how much more of this election I can take.

After months scouring newspapers and websites for every drop of political news, wringing every bit of gossip from friends and contacts, I find myself turning to the sports pages first. That’s something I haven’t done since I was about 11. I can’t be alone. This campaign felt like it had gone on too long even before the word “pussy” was added to the discourse.
Now we have complaints from Donald Trump that the election is rigged, and I am reminded of the campaigns I covered as a foreign reporter in Uganda, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya and the rest, where similar advance allegations were lined up ready for use after defeat.
All that’s missing is the arrest of a candidate or two (and that is not as far-fetched as it once was).
It is not a good look for what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.
And you can bet things are only going to get worse during the final two and half weeks: Donald Trump’s campaign seems to have made the calculation that a scorched earth policy might be the only way he can still win.
Since we learned who the two nominees would be, Trump has been ahead in the polls for only four days, according to the Real Clear Politics average. Those were around the Republican National Convention when he had the network TV spotlight to himself.
Since then, on the leash and off the leash, he has been behind Clinton. And her lead has only increased during a fortnight of Trump’s bungled debates, videos of sex talk on the bus and increasingly hysterical talk of conspiracy theories.
Even he seemed to sense the race was now a long shot when I saw him speak last week in Wilkes-Barre, the sort of blue-collar Pennsylvania town he so badly needs to win.
“I may be limping across the finish line, but we’re going to get across that finish line,” he said, promising six campaign events a day during the final week in the effort to get out his vote.
Such talk suggests he is not tanking his campaign deliberately. There are easier ways to lose an election.
Instead, it seems probable that his eleventh hour strategy of doubling down on hostility — whether towards women in general or Clinton in particular, the “rigged” American electoral system or the biased media — is part of a diabolical plan to turn us all off what happens next.
You see there is a body of thought among political scientists that the biggest impact of negative campaigns is to turn less committed voters off the election.
The calculation seems to be that with undecideds quite possibly lost to Trump, by taking the debate into the gutter it may be possible to disgust them so much they can’t face voting at all.
The turnout among millennials, in particular, is already a concern to Democrat strategists, so a low turnout may affect the Clinton vote more than the Trump vote.
So after a campaign in which the Republican candidate has mocked a disabled reporter, referred to the menstrual cycle of a questioner and demanded his rival be locked up, he is taking things to the next level.
His aim is not to burn down his opponent — who after 30 years of public life has seen her own unfavorability rating remain consistently high — but to burn down politics, delegitimize the election and make the whole shooting match seem utterly repugnant in order to depress turnout.
His scorched earth policy is designed to undermine American democracy and nab the White House.
It is a mighty strange way to Make America Great Again.
And if you are feeling queasy already, you might want to have some sick bags at the ready.
♦ Rob Crilly is a British journalist living in New York. He was The Telegraph’s Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent and was previously the East Africa correspondent for The Times. The opinions in this article are those of the author. Some readers may find some of the language in this article offensive.

If “Our Lives really Matter” Let’s Get Ready to Hit the Polls


The general election is here, and again, the American masses have a chance to use their votes as the tool to bargain

By Anthony Obi Ogbo
By Dr. Anthony Obi Ogbo

their communal interests. The process of democracy rightly accords power to the electorates in choosing leaders who represent their interests. Unfortunately, anytime this opportunity comes, my community, the African American community will blow away their own chances, either through a lack of participation or confusion over choice of priorities on sociopolitical matters.

Amidst surmounting societal concerns, it is undeniable that the criminal justice system is still hostile to this community. The recent squabble between the law enforcement community and the people of color, AKA, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is enough to provoke a collective involvement of Blacks in America in the ongoing campaign process.

Prevalently, the US locks up more of its citizens than any other country, and this has highlighted mass incarceration and criminal-justice reform as prominent issues on the presidential campaign trail. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School – a nonpartisan, law and public policy establishment, revealed that the U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet incarcerates nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

With these startling revelation, it remains a habitual blunder, that communities would overlook the election seasons, then flock out to the streets to protest anytime they are violated by the justice system. This election is roughly two week away, and it would be crucial not just to look at  candidates; who they allegedly slept with, or how many emails they supposedly deleted, but also assess them by who they really are; their party affiliations, and what they represent.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the forerunning candidates whose party-political attachments, principles, and idiosyncrasies emit significant contrasts in most issues, but more especially the criminal justice system. For instance, Clinton believes that ex-felons should be allowed to vote, and advocates limited use of death penalty for heinous crimes. These are fundamentally a reflection of the liberal governance ideology. Trump in a contrast believes that restoring voting rights to ex-felons is bizarre; and advocates death penalty for convicted cop killers. Another terribly contrasting proposal by Trump is his support for privatization of the prison system. Clinton wants to end the use of private prisons for federal inmates.

Specifically for African Americans, this election is a lifetime opportunity to embrace the policies that would further create a platform in the judicial process and pave way for social transformation. If Blacks in America are really serious about how “Black Lives Matter”, they must all hit the polls to validate that liberty.

Besides the prisons system, one of the most fundamental legacies of the next president would be the constitutional power to nominate justices to the Supreme Court. The court is still undermanned after the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, and with two of its sitting justices older than 80, America now has an opportunity to elect a president who would shape the its ideological bearings. A Trump presidency would restore the status quo, and in fact move it further right; whereas Clinton would move it toward the left to benefit those voters disenfranchised by the justice system who would likely march the streets  to agitate inequality or injustice.

Currently, the Obama administration has advanced criminal justice reform in crucial areas, including; commuting sentences of individuals still locked up under severe penalties and obsolete guidelines;  a creation of  presidential commission to study mass incarceration;  elimination of federal financial subsidization of mass incarceration; and most importantly, proposing a  ban on “the box” — the question that asks applicants to disclose whether they’ve been convicted of a crime — on applications for federal employment.

So, how would a Trump presidency consolidate these reforms? Just last week, President Barack Obama fired a warning that a Trump presidency would be a threat to democracy and undo eight years of progress; further he cautioned that “democracy itself” was on the ballot, not just the candidates. Obama may be right based on electioneering proposals being touted by Trump from the very beging of his campaign.

With less than three weeks left for this election, it is a choice, whether to embrace the Republican Party and dwell on the status quo or vote the Democratic Party where transformation possibilities are limitless. This election is not necessarily about Trump and Hillary, but about what they represent. The former represents sociopolitical doom through the most repressive approach, whereas the later represents a brighter future through economic opportunities and social fairness.

Specifically for African Americans, this election is a lifetime opportunity to embrace the policies that would further create a platform in the judicial process and pave way for social transformation. If Blacks in America are really serious about how “Black Lives Matter”, they must all hit the polls to validate that liberty.

♦ Anthony Obi Ogbo, Ph.D. is the editor of International Guardian, and the author of The Influence of Leadership.

Buhari’s New Change Ought to Begin with His Igbo Problem

By SKC Ogbonnia
By SKC Ogbonnia

For full disclosure, I am an Igbo man. I am also one of the pundits currently being lampooned for cheering President Muhammadu Buhari to democratic power. Yet, knowing what I know now, I will lend that support all over again—and even more. Unless we have begun to view the history from a tainted lens, the thought of the very alternative, which was to bring back Goodluck Jonathan, remains a portent of much bigger crisis. More relatively, I strongly endorse Buhari’s latest mantra: “Change begins with me.”  And that is exactly what this piece is set to accomplish.

Let me quickly wet the ground by first defining effective leadership as the ability of the leader to maximize the available resources within the internal and external environment and be recognized by the followers as meeting the expectations. Please notice that this definition has two components. One is for the leader to do a good job. The other, and probably more instructive, is for the leader to be seen by the follower as doing a good job.

Like every Nigerian leader, Buhari assumed the presidency with good intentions. The president is also working hard. Despite the economic mess left behind by the previous government, he is soldiering on with measurable progress on many areas. Regrettably, most Nigerians see the efforts as busy doing nothing. Accordingly, Buhari is making changes beginning from his very self. But there is one critical problem the General has continued to ignore that is firmly woven into the fabric of our current quest for economic revival: His Igbo problem.

For obvious reasons, the problem was initially waved off as a typical Igbo palaver. Sadly, it has now widened with untold social, political, and economic consequences. Before getting to the main gist, here is a cursory glance at the Igbo—just in case.

As one of the major Nigerian ethnic groups, the Igbo are the natural inhabitants of the Southeast and some areas of South-South and North-Central zones of Nigeria. The people are predominantly Christians and uniquely boast of being the first or second largest population in most parts of the country. Known for their unique resilience, resourcefulness, can-do spirit and, of course, unbounded technological and scientific acumen; the Igbo represent the hybrid engine of Nigeria’s commerce. These diverse traits help in no small measure as they forge social, political, and economic influence around Nigeria.

But the influence is even beyond. The Igbo have embraced the reigning economic gospel that we no longer merely live in a country but in a world. Thus, with a heavy presence around the globe, they gleefully play a commanding role in nation’s foreign exchange, foreign trade, foreign investment as well as relationships. Not surprisingly, the Igbo in the Diaspora are a leading block contributor to the yearly amount of foreign money remitted to Nigeria, which is ironically more than the national budget. Very significantly, the people are one of the key drivers of Nigeria’s media home and abroad and thus have the potential to influence how the country is perceived anywhere.

The foregoing attributes are more than enough to discern that the Igbo is as important as any other ethnic group and ought to be carried along in the current change agenda of the government. Chinua Achebe was more eloquent in the book, There Was a Country: The perennial tendency to undermine the unique role of the Igbo in Nigeria “is one of the fundamental reasons the country has not developed as it should and has emerged as a laughingstock.”  But events thus far suggest that Buhari might have been ill-advised to challenge the theory from the onset.

This apparent dissent is rooted in the 2015 presidential elections where a vast majority of the Igbo joined the South-South to vote en masse against Buhari’s winning candidacy. However, rather than use the historic mandate to rally the different political divisions towards common purpose, the president would shock the democratic world by revealing his plan to marginalize the zones that voted against him. Many pundits thought his statement was a mere gaffe. But the records afterwards seem to suggest that Muhammadu “Okechukwu” Buhari actually meant the threat of vendetta against the Igbo, particularly those from the Southeast.

Critics are free to join here. But there is no gainsaying that the Igbo people are truly marginalized in the current scheme of things. As I had penned in October 2015, the upper echelon of Buhari’s government is a preview. “The underlying rationale in this case is that the positions of the President, Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker, Chairman of the ruling party, and the Secretary to Federal Government have been staked in the past 16 years as the main thrust of the party in power and thence rotated among the six political zones of the country.” Yet, the Southeast was conspicuously denied its share. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the same Southeast Nigeria, the mainstay of the Igbo nation, is the only zone without a personnel presence in the nation’s security leadership apparatus.

This outlook coupled with a stoic indifference by the president triggered outrage in the land. It straightaway provoked the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), then a sedate outfit, to declare “that Buhari is not seeing Ndigbo as part of Nigeria.” The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was not to be left behind, as it heightened its call for secession from the country. Their activities, however, were met with brute force, including the detention without bail of its leader, Nnamdi Kalu. This plight is today commonly linked to the birth of a new militant group under the auspices of Niger Delta Avengers. We are all living witnesses to the economic repercussions of the Biafran movement and their Avengers ever since.

The title of this piece will not be apt if the empathy for the current wave of Igbo marginalization did not flow past east of River Niger. Recognizing that the ruling party treated it as business as usual, the opposition from the highly influential Southwest Nigeria led by the trio of Ayo Fayose, Femi Fani-Kayode, and Femi Aribisala capitalized on the saga to strike back. What just took place here, and painfully so, is that Muhammadu Buhari had inadvertently provided a lifeline for the corrupt brigade of the immediate past regime—from the east, north, and west—to resurface and now grandstand as latter-day fighters of what is widely believed as naked injustice to the people of the Southeast. And what followed, thereafter, was a montage of propaganda that successfully painted the president as an unapologetic bigot determined to punish not only the Igbo but also the entire Christian-dominated South.

The development caught the attention of the Northern zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria, which lamented as follows: “while there were volumes of allegations from the South that the appointments made so far were in favour of the north, facts on the ground revealed that those appointments were lopsided in favour of Muslim north to the detriment of Northern Christian community.” More dauntingly, many blame part of the current crisis on Buhari’s economic policy, particularly foreign exchange, which is believed to be tribally skewed to specially benefit his Fulani kinsmen who control bureau de change across the country.

Today, not only is the national economy in recession, the negative opinion of Buhari is growing beyond our shores. Although a number of world leaders showered praises on him during the recent UN session in New York for giant strides against corruption and terrorism, which is very gratifying, a creeping concern within the international community remains that Nigeria’s president is a dictator, tribalist, sectionalist, misogynist, and religious bigot—all in one person. This emerging view—whether real or not—explains why US Congressman Tom Marino, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, on a September 1, 2016 letter, would warn the United States to withhold selling arms to Nigeria until Buhari demonstrates true “commitment to inclusive government and the most basic tenets of democracy: freedom to assemble and freedom of speech.”

This spectre is gloomy, square. It does not bode well for an economy in recession. In short, it scares away investment whether local or foreign, especially in this era of economic globalization where millions of Nigerians in the Diaspora, the Igbo well included, represent the convex lens through which the world sees Nigeria. This also goes to say that even as President Buhari might have done a good job on the area of corruption, the fact that he is generally perceived as condoning gross injustice at another area renders his entire effort pyrrhic.

The central problem is complex and thus difficult to capture at once. But the solution is quite simple. For every question raised in this essay sufficiently answers itself. Buhari has to simply trek back to where the rain started beating him and make amends. Allowing the problem to linger not only threatens the chances of economic revival but also the hard-earned change. Even if he is not thinking of 2019, which he should, Mr. President cannot feign ignorance of the fact that his queasy quandary with the Legislature has his Igbo problem written all over it. Very true!

♦ SKC Ogbonnia, Ph.D.  writes from Houston, Texas. Contact >>>

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