United States News Digest
Senators Hold the Line on Cancelling Constellation
May 15 (EIRNS)Led by ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies voted unanimously on May 13 to prevent the Obama Administration from cancelling contracts for NASA's Constellation program in this fiscal year. A variety of tricks and word games have been played by the White House to circumvent the existing law. The one-paragraph provision was tacked onto an emergency supplemental spending bill, which proposed to pour yet more money down the sinkhole of the war in Afghanistan. The Senators reminded the Administration that under existing legal provisions, Congress must approve any changes to NASA's manned exploration program.
This action, while a necessary assertion of Congressional authority, is simply a holding action that does not address the real problem. As has been reiterated time and again, there will be no Moon/Mars exploration program without a dramatic increase in funding for NASA. The Constellation program is over budget and behind schedule is almost entirely due to the fact that it has been grossly underfunded since President Bush announced it, in early 2004.
Yet, for all of the rhetoric and good statements by Members of Congress, there is no plan to provide the resources for the mission. Under the White House-centered British financial dictatorship over economic policy, that money will never be forthcoming. There are no "creative accounting" techniques that can save the space program. Only a full-fledged national commitment to ensuring the future for the next two generations can accomplish that.
No Surprises in Arnie's Budget 'Revision,' Just More Death
May 14 (EIRNS)The long-awaited "May revision" of the California State budget was announced today by the son-of-a-Nazi Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it contained no surprises, as Arnie had already leaked much of what he intends to do: impose more brutal austerity, which will further endanger the sick, elderly, and poor, while offering no serious plan to revive the state's dead economy.
While announcing that the deficit for the remainder of fiscal years 2010-11 is "only" $19.1 billion, Schwarzenegger said that the only solution is more budget cuts. He proposed a 5% pay cut for all state workers, plus cutting one day of paid work per month; a major cut in in-home care for the elderly and disabled; eliminating what's left of state-subsidized child care; and ending the welfare-to-work program by October, which will affect hundreds of thousands of poor families with chronically unemployed adults, and more than 1 million children. He added that he has no plan to increase taxes, meaning that he intends to balance the budget by further reducing the safety net for the most vulnerable Californians.
As Schwarzenegger released his revision, other members of his budget team reported the continued drop in revenue, and expressed concern that the "housing turnaround" has not yet occurred. One staffer admitted that pay cuts to all state workers, which is a central feature in Arnie's budget plan, would "likely exacerbate the foreclosure crisis," and acknowledged that both the Federal and state mortgage modification programs have done little to help Californians avoid foreclosure.
Officials in both parties are predicting another drawn-out budget war in the legislature, along strict party lines, but key Democrats admit that they have little to offer. Repeated visits to the White House, and direct requests for more aid from Washington, have been met by the mantra "just hold on, the economic recovery is coming."
Issa Confronts Holder on Special Prosecutor in Sestak Case
May 13 (EIRNS)Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today confronted Attorney General Eric Holder over the failure of the Department of Justice to respond to his request for a special prosecutor to investigate Rep. Joe Sestak's (D-Pa.) report that he had been approached by the White House to withdraw from his primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Spector in exchange for a top Defense Department job.
In a five-minute exchange with Holder, Issa asked him if he recognized that what Sestak had alleged was a crime. Holder responded as if it were a hypothetical, declaring that all such allegations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Justices Public Integrity Section. When pressed by Issa, Holder would only say, it is the department's policy not to comment on pending matters, either to say there is an investigation, or to say there is not an investigation.
After the hearing, Issa said that "the very credibility of the Justice Department is compromised when the Attorney General turns a blind eye to what very well could be a felony perpetrated by someone working inside the Obama Administration. Just imagine the kind of outrage that would exist if this same type of bribe was perpetrated by the Bush Administrationwould anyone tolerate a no-comment then? I doubt it."
Anger Spreads Over Obama's Austerity Policy
May 11 (EIRNS)With nearly all of the states of the U.S.A. bankrupt, the brunt of the austerity has only just begun, and local protestsignored by the national mediaare heating up, with ordinary citizens even taking arrests. A few examples:
Hawaii: About 20 protesters were arrested last month for occupying the office of Gov. Linda Lingle, demanding that she end school furloughs that have left Hawaii with the shortest school calendar in the nation. The protests are led by Save Our Schools-Hawaii, which demands that Lingle sign a bill releasing the funds to restore the lost days.
New York: Rallies and demonstrations organized by the New York State Public Employees Federation and the Civil Service Employees Association, were staged on May 10 at 14 locations to try to stop a plan to furlough public workers for one day a weeka 20% pay cut.
California: UC Berkeley protests and hunger strikes on both the immigration issue and budget cuts are in the second week. On May 10, a campus march blocked entrance to the Chancellor's residence. Police have not been able to remove the 19 hunger strikers from the campus grounds.
In Los Angeles, 14 protesters were released on May 10, after four days in jail. Arrested for blocking traffic in protest of the Arizona immigration laws, they are part of a national protest that has reportedly brought 1 million people out into the streets.
Illinois: Hundreds of high school students walked out of school to rally on May 5 against deep cuts in the budget for Chicago public schools. Classrooms are slated to be increased to up to 35 students, and some courses eliminated. The rally drew 800 students from Whitney Young High School alone. They were attacking the inaction by the elected officials in Springfield.
Ohio: The Toledo Foreclosure Defense League has been in a standoff with the local sheriff over the foreclosure of the home of Keith Sadler, a laid-off autoworker. Last week, after a five-day standoff, seven people, including Sadler, were arrested, at the foreclosed home.
White House Adopts Britain's Drug 'Harm Reduction' Fraud
May 11 (EIRNS)President Obama today rolled out a "new" anti-drug strategy which officially adopts Nazi-trained, British-run George Soros's hated "harm reduction" fraud as policy, even if those code words were never used. Patriotic law enforcement officials know this means capitulation.
Today's White House conference call on this 2010 National Drug Control Policy strategy was surreal. The Secretaries of Health and Education joined Office of National Drug Control Policy chief Gil Kerlikowske, to make the claim that their collaboration on prevention and treatment can roll back the drug epidemic destroying U.S. youth. Education Secretary Duncan put drug addiction in the same category as bullying and teen pregnancy, and suggested that getting a "Just Say No" message on social networking sites will stop this menticide. Health Secretary Sebelius's one truthful remark, was that this "strategy" is in line with Obama's stimulus program and "health care" bill. Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Lute was left to sound the uncertain note, that "if" it were possible, "and we intend to try," there would be a step-up of interdiction of drugs entering across U.S. borders.
The official adoption of Soros strategy goes hand-in-hand with the elaboration of a "new" hemispheric strategy on drugs. In a May 3 address to the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Kerlikowske chattered on about multilateral collaboration on the Obama team's three priorities of drugged driving, prescription drug abuse, and prevention.