United States News Digest
'Soros Foundations Should Be Shut, for Violating Election Laws'
July 8 (EIRNS)A senior political consultant to both Republican and Democratic Presidential campaigns has called for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to crack down on George Soros's Open Society Institute and related tax-exempt foundations, for violations of tax-exemption and election laws. The source, who spoke with EIR on condition of anonymity, said that the Soros network of tax-exempt foundations and public interest groups have all "crossed the line" and engaged in illegal political campaign activities. "It is an open secret," the source said, "that the Soros foundations regularly bankroll political campaign activities, in flagrant violation of Federal laws."
He added, that, "If we are going to have a fair election in 2008, the IRS and the FEC ought to focus their resources on Soros's foundation operations." Soros should be forced to spend his time in court over the next five months, the source concluded. The LaRouche PAC pamphlet hit the nail on the head: "Your Enemy, George Soros."
Congress Warned: Resolution To Blockade Iran Means War
July 9 (EIRNS)Retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner, who teaches at several U.S. military war colleges, issued a warning to the Congress that if they act like lemmings in voting up a resolution to blockade Iran, they are voting to give Bush the power to start a war. "The last time the United States imposed a blockade on another country was during the Cuban Missile Crisis," Gardiner wrote in the July 5 Washington Times. "President Kennedy labeled the move 'quarantine' because he understood a blockade to be universally regarded as an act of war," Gardiner continued. "Yet, a blockade is exactly what many politicians are considering in Washington and elsewhere. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reportedly suggested the idea to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a recent meeting, and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain alluded to the same during his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington. With hardly a word of opposition, Congress is poised to pass a resolution calling on the President to enact such a blockade, possibly as early as next week."
Gardiner, writing together with Cyrus Bina of the University of Minnesota, suggests that a disruption of the oil flow through the Persian Gulf would drive gasoline prices up to $7.50 a gallon, and "create a tinderbox where even a small incident could erupt into a conflagration. To say nothing of the fact that a blockade is a prima facie act of war under international law." The resolution's proponents are saying negotiations have failed, but, says Gardiner, direct talks have not even begun.
Whether the resolution actually does call for war on Iran, was the topic of a contentious hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 9, on U.S. policy toward Iran, where Undersecretary of State William Burns was the witness. The tension displayed during the hearing clearly reflects the debate which has broken out in recent weeks about a possible Israeli and/or U.S. attack on Iran. A parallel hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that afternoon, was in complete contrast to the House hearing, with all the Senators present urging dialogue with Iran.
Hospital Closings: Final Solution for Urban Centers?
July 7 (EIRNS)The New Jersey state budget for FY2009 requires $600 million in cuts below the previous budget. More than 18% of those cuts$111 millionare from "charity care," which includes reimbursement to hospitals for services for people who have no medical insurance.
Betsy Ryan, the president and CEO-designate of the New Jersey Hospital Association, told the Washington Post July 7 that the budget "marks the state's retreat from its commitment to pay a fair amount for the care that it mandates that hospitals provide to any of the 1.3 million New Jersey residents without health insurance."
An estimated 15% of New Jersey residents have no medical insurance, and that percentage can only be expected to increase, with the continued collapse of the economy. The law requires that all people be given necessary treatment at hospitals, whether or not they have medical insurance.
"The brunt of this cut will be borne by the hospitals themselves," Ryan said. "The timing and the severity of these cuts couldn't be worse. New Jersey has lost seven hospitals to closure in the last 18 months, and an eighth hospital plans to close its doors in the coming days. Five others have declared bankruptcy. Of the 75 hospitals that remain, half are losing money."
In 1995, New Jersey had 112 acute care hospitals.
Prof. Jonathan M. Metsch at the New Jersey School of Public Health predicts, "We're going to have a run of [hospital] bankruptcies this summer.... Bankruptcy trumps everything."
"The hospitals that close are generally in urban areas with minority people living there, and they don't count politically," said the Rev. James Colvin, who has been leading a fight to keep Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield open. The state approved closing the 355-bed acute care hospital last month. "From a 'survival of the fittest' standpoint, it makes sense," Colvin said. "We're saying it smacks of the final solution for urban centers. Someone else called it 'genocide-lite.'"
New Jersey may be worse off than some, but people in most states are facing a similar dilemma. A solution, in the context of the LaRouche program for rebuilding the economy, H.R. 676Medicare For Allnow has 90 co-sponsors in the House.
Something Gore Did Invent: 'Faith-Based' Government Aid
July 6 (EIRNS)With Barack Obama's "faith-based initiative" speech in Ohio ringing strangely in the ears of voters who thought he was the candidate of change, Newsweek prints a reminder of where the Bush faith-based policy came fromVice President Al Gore.
Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, in the online edition of Newsweek dated July 7, goes back to the Democratic Veep's speeches in 1999: "'The men and women who work in faith-and-values-based organizations,' he explained, 'are driven by their spiritual commitment; to serve their God, they have sustained the drug-addicted, the mentally ill, the homeless; they have trained them, educated them, cared for them, healed them. Most of all, they have done what government can never do; what it takes God's help, sometimes, for all of us to manage; they have loved themloved their neighbors, no matter how beaten down, how hopeless, how despairing.' And he went on ... 'I believe government should play a greater role in sustaining this quiet transformationnot by dictating solutions from above, but by supporting the effective new policies that are rising up from below.'
"That was Vice President Al Gore, speaking at the Salvation Army in Atlanta in 1999...."
Gore made faith-and-values-based government aid one of the principles of his "reinventing government" mantra, which also included launching the plague of privatized military operations, etc. When George W. Bush beat Gore for the Presidency in 2000, the "Faith Based Initiative" was the first executive order he signed.
Obama, in Zanesville, Ohio July 2, echoed Gore: "The challenges we face todaywar and poverty, joblessness and homelessness, violent streetings and crumbling schoolsare not simply technical problems in search of a 10-point plan. They are moral problems, rooted ... in the imperfections of man. And so the values we believe in cannot only be expressed in our churches and our synagogues [no mosques allowed, apparentlyed.], but in our policies and our laws. The challenges ... are simply too big for government to solve alone." Obama proposed a new effort to "empower faith-based organizations."
In the immediate context of the U.S. economy's accelerating collapse and the international financial blowout, Obama's words point back to the Hoover Republicans' reliance on private "charity" to cope with the Depression, in opposition to President Franklin Roosevelt's "government plans."
Sen. Clinton Was Right: McCain Has Electoral College Lead
July 6 (EIRNS)"The Cook Political Report currently sees the Presidential contest as a toss-up. McCain currently has a 240 to 219 Electoral vote edge, with 79 Electoral votes in the Toss-Up column." The July 7 Report's current assessment brings up repeated statements during May and early June by both Bill and Hillary Clinton, that Senator Clinton's primary victories showed she would beat Sen. John McCain in the critical Electoral College vote, while Sen. Barack Obama would not.