United States News Digest
Rally Against New Jersey Budget Cuts Is One of the Largest Ever
May 23 (EIRNS)Somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 New Jerseyans rallied in the capital city of Trenton on Saturday, May 22, protesting against deep budget cuts being planned in education, programs for the poor and elderly, and public service generally. According to AP, the demonstration is one of the largest ever to occur in state historyas befits the fact that the mass strike ferment is deepening around the United States.
NorthJersey.com reported that the crowd, dominated by unionists, especially teachers, was issuing a warning not only to Gov. Chris Christie (R), but to the Democratic legislators who might be inclined to support his proposals.
"I don't know how you can save New Jersey by shutting down our firefighters, police, and teachers," said Zein Maya, a West Orange resident and Newark firefighter. "It is the beginning of a new political movement in this state, one that stands in opposition to the kinds of cruel and unnecessary cuts that are devastating New Jersey, said Chris Shelton, a vice president of the Communications Workers of America. "One that says to all elected officialsif you want our support, you have to earn it."
Among the cuts Christie is proposing in the budget to be ratified by June 30 are: reducing the free-lunch program for poor children; demanding state workers pay 1.5% of their health insurance; and eliminating the Homestead Rebate for senior and disabled tenants (which allows them to afford higher rents).
Demonstrators were not loathe to point out that the governor, who could accurately be described as obese, might take his own cuts. They also excoriated him for vetoing a special tax on millionaires, just last week.
Obama Hand Seen in DOJ End OF Criminal Probe of AIG
May 23 (EIRNS)Responding to news that the Justice Department has dropped its criminal probe of two AIG executives, Lyndon LaRouche commented today that extraordinary pressure must have been exerted on the Attorney General for him to have taken such a step, and that it was undoubtedly President Obama himself, along with his sidekick, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who put the screws on the DOJ.
After all, when Obama held his press conference to crow about the passage of the cloture motion on the "finance reform" May 20, he led off by saying, "Our goal is not to punish the banks...."
The Justice Department probe had focussed on Joseph Cassano, the chief executive of AIG's London-based financial products unit, and his deputy, Andrew Forster. The case against them has now been dropped, without charges having been filed, although the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could still file a civil fraud lawsuit against them for securities violations.
The FBI and other government agencies had been investigating whether Cassano and his deputy knowingly misled investors about AIG's accounting losses on its credit default swaps portfolio. In December 2007, Cassano told investors that the company's obligations on its mortgage-backed securities were unlikely to produce losses. In the year that followed, AIG took write-downs of more than $40 billion on the swaps, and was forced to put up billions more in collateral to counterparties like Goldman Sachs.
The New York Federal Reserve, together with the U.S. Treasury, ultimately bailed out AIG to the tune of $180 billion.
Obama Appoints British Agent To Run BP Oil Spill Investigation
May 22 (EIRNS)Thanks to British agent President Obama, Prince Philip will have a direct hand in the investigation of the British Petroleum Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. Obama announced, this morning, that he had appointed a bipartisan panel to look into that mess, to be co-chaired by former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and former EPA Administrator (1989-93) William K. Reilly. Reilly has a decades-long association with Prince Philip's World Wildlife Fund, going back to 1985, when he became its president, a position he resumed after leaving the EPA in 1993. Reilly's career began much earlier, however, in 1970, under the tutelage of Russell Train, the anti-economic development environmentalist and Wall Street banker.
As EIR documented in 2007 (see "Carbon Controls' Aim: Back to the Dark Ages," by Marcia Merry Baker, March 9, 2007), Reilly became president of the Conservation Foundation in the 1970s, which had been set up in the U.S. in 1948 by European oligarchs who had to shut down their Conservation Society in Europe because Hitler had given a bad name to their eugenics goals. Card-carrying Nazi Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands had been a key figure in the Conservation Society; he then went on, with Prince Philip, to found the World Wildlife Fund in 1961. Reilly became president of the WWF when the two organizations merged in 1985. As head of the EPA, Reilly accompanied Philip's other pet genocidalist, Al Gore, to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. In 2002, Reilly became one of 20 members of the newly formed National Commission on Energy Policy, which is a leading promoter of the biofuels and carbon trading swindles. Reilly remains a director emeritus of the WWF.
It's perfectly lawful, in fact, that a top WWF official would be in charge of investigating (or, more likely, covering up) the oil spill. The WWF is the oil industry. When Philip became head of the WWF in 1981, he replaced John Loudon, the former head of Royal Dutch Shell, another oil company that, like BP, has deep roots in the British Empire.