United States News Digest
Lawmakers Lie About Anti-Bailout Outrage
Oct. 1 (EIRNS)Members of Congress across the country have each gotten thousands of calls, and many thousands of e-mails, from outraged constituents and voters denouncing Hank Paulson's bailout of the Wall Street swindlers. The lawmakers are acknowledging that much: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says she's received 45,000 calls and e-mails, 95% to stop the bailout; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 50,000, with many "telling us very colorfully what they'll think of us" for voting for the bailout, said her spokesman Scott Gerber. Rep. Mary Bono Mack said, "My constituents are ready for me with pitchforks."
Equally colorful was Rep. Kanjorski from Pennsylvania, who said that calls to his office were running 50-50: 50% saying "no" to the bailout, and 50% saying "hell, no."
It is this sentiment that led to the defeat of the Paulson bailout on Sept. 29.
But the lawmakers are also consistently lying, in their uneasy comments to the press about the voters' rage, about what their constituents have the pitchforks out for. The lie was set out Sept. 26 by House MsLeader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said that "the voters are opposed to the Administration's original legislation," and claimed that she, Bailout Barney Frank (D-Mass), and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) had fixed up what outraged the public. After the Sept. 29 defeat, the lie changed, with the claim that callers were now "upset" that Congress had not taken action.
These lawmakers had better put away their lipstick samplesthe pig is dead, and the voters will be cooking it, along with any Member of Congress who backs it.
Unions' Wall Street Rally: Jail, Not Bail
Sept. 25 (EIRNS)The New York City Central Labor Council held an emergency protest today on Wall Street. Hundreds of construction, auto, and transit workers, machinists, teachers, and government workers rallied against the Bush bailout plan. Their signs called for jail, rather than a bailout, for the financier swindlers. AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said, "The Bush Administration wants us to pay the freight for a Wall Street bailout that does not even begin to address the roots of our crisis.... We must put working families first in line." Sweeney called for consequences for "the perpetrators of this disaster."
Jesse Jackson told the rally, "This is a Roosevelt moment. It's time for reconstruction of manufacturing, law, trade law and banking transparency."
Other unionists are also mobilizing. On Sept. 26, Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the International Association of Machinists, issued a statement demanding that the speculators creating the crisis be jailed. (For Buffenbarger's full statement, see InDepth: "A Volcanic Eruption Against the Bailout," by Jeffrey Steinberg).
Admiral Mullen: Don't Isolate Russia
Sept. 23 (EIRNS)The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, said yesterday that the U.S. should not expand its efforts at military isolation of Russia, asserting that the U.S. and Russia have common interests and areas in which the two nations must work together, such as Iran, counterterrorism, and nuclear non-proliferation.
In an interview with editors of the Los Angeles Times, Mullen said that the measures taken by the U.S. immediately after the Georgia conflictsuch as cancelling or postponing military exercises and visitsmay have been warranted, but that it would be counterproductive to continue or expand such measures.
Unless military relations with Russia resume, Mullen said, according to the Times, a generation of Russian officers will have little understanding of, or ties to, their counterparts in the U.S., which could further undermine relations between the two.
Mullen's comments come just days after Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued a similar warning against trying to isolate Russia.
Former Secretaries of State Offer Advice to Next President
Sept. 21 (EIRNS)Several former U.S. Secretaries of State were brought together by CNN earlier this week for a program in which they were invited to give their advice to a new President. The secretaries included James Baker III, Warren Christopher, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, and Henry Kissinger.
There was a surprising amount of unity in their views on Russia, China, and Iran, and it was largely based on a critique of the policy which has been conducted by the Bush Administration. In particular, the views on Russia and the attempt to "isolate" Russia, which was the gist of Condoleezza Rice's comments earlier this week, were deemed folly by all of the speakers.
Powell was particularly incensed. "We know how this whole thing started in Georgia. Saakashvili started the fight," Powell said, placing the blame where it should lie, and not on Russia, which the Bush Administration is trying to scapegoat. He also expressed concern over the Article V provision of the NATO Treaty, which could have led to a NATO-Russia conflict if Georgia had been a member. "We can't say 'no' to NATO membership, he said, but we have to decide 'when' they may enter," indicating a cautious approach to expansion. "We have to treat Russia as a proud country, which had lost some of its pride some 16 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed," he said.
Baker was thinking along the same lines. "We have some big picture issues that we have to work for with Russia," he said. "So we shouldn't send the 101st Airborne to guard the Ossetian border."
Also on Iran, there was general agreement that the Administration should be willing to negotiate. Kissinger went so far as to say that the negotiations should begin at the Secretary of State level. "You have to be talking to someone who can really exert an influence on the policy," he said. Also on China, Kissinger stressed that the world's center of gravity was now shifting to Eurasia, and that it was therefore important that the U.S. was "working for a world in which China and the U.S. were not adversaries."