United States News Digest
Poll Shows Rejection of Obama, Scares Democrats
June 20 (EIRNS)A new poll for National Public Radio, of 70 "competitive" Congressional districts around the country, shows dismal results for President Obama and increasingly chilling prospects for House Democrats in November.
The June 7-10 poll (by Republican pollster Glen Bolger and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg) surveyed 30 "highly competitive" districts held by House Democrats, 30 "competitive but not toss-up" Democrat-held districts, and 10 "competitive" GOP-held districts. Across the board, party preference had shifted to the GOP for the first time in nearly 20 years.
The voters' view of Obama was decidedly negative: 53% of all the voters disapproved of his job performance, while 43% approved. In the Democratic districts alone, 54% disapproval against 40% approval; and 57% in those Democratic districts blamed Obama's economic policies for producing record deficits while failing to slow job loss.
Obama's Collusion With BP Further Cause for Impeachment
June 19 (EIRNS)When President Obama met this week with executives of BP, the White House spinmeisters portrayed the session as a Presidential "ass-kicking," that resulted in BP establishing a $20 billion fund to pay for losses suffered by Gulf Coast residents and businesses. Obama swore to the press that the fund was only the beginning, and that it did not represent any kind of cap on BP's liability. But international stock markets weren't convinced, and BP's stock prices went up for the first time since the explosion on April 20, on the grounds that there was now a ceiling on BP's culpability.
Washington sources close to the White House said that the fund is, at minimum, a "psychological cap" that will give BP far greater leverage to insist that they do not have larger liabilities. Indeed, just days after the White House tète-à-tète, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against BP, under the Clean Water Act, which could result in BP paying out $4,300 for every barrel of oil spilled. BP's liability under this rule would be an estimated $19 billion.
In announcing his deal with BP to create an "independent" fund, President Obama announced that he was appointing Kenneth Feinberg, who had been in charge of the fund that was established for the victims of the 9/11 attacks, to head up the disbursements. Yesterday, just 72 hours after the White House/BP deal was struck, Feinberg let the cat out of the bag: Recipients of payments from the $20 billion fund will almost certainly be forced to sign waivers barring them from suing BP, as a precondition for being paid.
As of now, it is impossible to assess the final damages. The $20 billion fund, by Feinberg's own admission, is an effort to cap BP's liability now, and President Obama's complicity in this fraud is, according to Lyndon LaRouche, yet one more impeachable offense by the President.
Congressional Paralysis Extends Pain of Doctors, the Unemployed
June 19 (EIRNS)The U.S. Congress has proven, once more, that it is incapable of addressing the collapsing welfare of the vast majority of Americans. Yesterday, the Senate passed legislation to temporarily prevent physicians from being hit with a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursements. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared her opposition within hours. Why? Because it doesn't include the extension of unemployment benefits desperately needed by millions of Americans. Efforts in the Senate to pass the full package have foundered on demands that the bill be fully paid for.
On June 16, the Senate tried again to pass the $140 billion "extender" bill, but failed 45-52 on a procedural vote. On June 17, the Senate tried again, with a smaller $118 billion bill, but that died on a 56-40 cloture vote. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) then made a deal with ranking Republican Charles Grassley (Iowa) on the Medicare bill, which then passed under unanimous consent, because it meets the budget hawks' demand that it rob Peter to pay Paul. In this case, the $6.5 billion cost of the bill is paid for by "tweaking" reimbursements to hospitals. After the vote, Pelosi said the bill was "a great disappointment" and she saw "no reason to pass it." Thus, the flight of physicians out of Medicare will continue, as will the pain and suffering of the long-term unemployed, as another 1.2 million exhaust their benefits this month.
President Obama and Congressional Democrats are blaming Republicans for the impasse. But as The Hill pointed out today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a few members of his own party to convert, namely Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with the Democrats, and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.); both men agree with the GOP that the bill has to be fully paid for. The real problem is the failure to deal with the economic crisis by both Congress and the President, and the fact that Obama endorsed "pay-go."
LaRouche: Obama Must Seek Exception to Nuke Test Ban Treaty
June 18 (EIRNS)Lyndon LaRouche said today that a critical matter of the BP/Gulf of Mexico oil disaster for which President Obama has to be held to account, is that he has taken no steps to clear the most likely method of ending the oil gusher, a peaceful nuclear explosion (PNE).
LaRouche charged that the President, despite the accumulating evidence, has failed to act on the fact that, since this blowout may actually be a systemic blowout of a whole area of leaks, or a single disastrous blowout greater than hitherto acknowledged, the United States would have to use a peaceful nuclear explosion to end it.
"The President should have been advised of this, and he should have already gone to other signators of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty," LaRouche said. "We should have gotten the agreement of the parties, in advance, to prepare an exception for this case, in case it may be necessary, with the implication that it may be necessary in other cases as well."
By seeking such agreement in advance, the President would also have been initiating preparations, LaRouche emphasized, since the United States may ultimately have no other way to stop the blowout. But Obama, on this front as on others in the Gulf crisis, has done nothing.
The competence and experience to design and deploy a device appropriate for use in sealing the blown-out BP well exists within the U.S. national laboratories, which have extensive experience with peaceful nuclear explosions, as well as with hundreds of underground nuclear tests carried out through 1992.