United States News Digest
Obama and Family To Defect to Buckingham Palace This Week?
May 22 (EIRNS)On May 24, President Barack Obama and his family will arrive at Buckingham Palace, for a three-day state visit with the Queen and Prince Philip. The only questions suitable for the occasion are: Will the President defect? Is he ever coming back to the United States? Should he ever come back?
It is now widely known that the President is defective, but his extraordinary praise for the Queen and her genocidal ex-Nazi husband, in a BBC Oval Office interview, just before his departure for Europe, seriously suggests that he is seeking permanent asylum. Asked by BBC about the chemistry between the Obamas and the Windsors, the President responded, "They are extraordinarily gracious people. They could not have been kinder to us.... I think what the Queen symbolises not just to Great Britain, but to the entire Commonwealth, and obviously the entire world, is the best of England. And we're proud of her." Remember that the Queen is the absolute sovereign and head of state of the United Kingdom, and therefore, it is she, not the prime minister, who hosts all state visits.
The Obamas arrive at Buckingham Palace just a week after the New York City bust of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and the end of any bailout for the hopelessly bankrupt trans-Atlantic system. This means that the bailout policy of President Obama, Fed Chairman Bernanke, and Treasury Secretary Geithner is finished. They are finished, as Lyndon LaRouche emphasized today. The plug has been pulled on the British Empire's Inter-Alpha system, and Obama really doesn't have any good reason to return to Washington.
Of course if Obama finds the accommodations at Buckingham Palace to be a little musty, there are more appropriate accommodations available at the Tower of Londonwith a majestic view of London Bridge.
AFL-CIO Chief to Dems: You Are Either With Us, or Against Us
May 20 (EIRNS)AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka declared in a major policy address at the National Press Club in Washington today, that Democrats must defend the labor movement to get its support.
Trumka reported the disastrous outcome of the 2010 election: in state after state, politicians such as the governors of Ohio and Wisconsin are attacking workers' living standards; revoking the hard-won right to form a union, and even attacking the right to vote. Numerous states are passing requirements to curtail voting rights by imposing picture ID requirements; shortening early voting periods; and blocking young people from voting at universities because they are "liberal."
There is gruesome poverty across the United States, Trumka said, while New York's Michael Bloomberg, "a billionaire mayor, proposes to fire 5,000 teachers rather than tax the bonuses of the Wall Street executives who brought down the American economy."
Therefore, said Trumka, organized labor will change its approach: "We will spend the summer holding elected leaders in Congress, as well as the states, accountable on one measure: Are they improving or degrading life for working families?
"And moving forward, we are looking hard at how we work in the nation's political arena. What workers want is an independent labor movement that builds the power of working peoplein the workplace and in political life.... Our role is not to build the power of a political party or candidate. It is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our country.
"It does not matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball, or simply standing asidethe outcome is the same either way. If leaders aren't blocking the wrecking ball and advancing working families' interests, working people will not support them. This is where our focus will benow, in 2012, and beyond."
Recent remarks by International Association of Fire Fighters national president Howard Schaitberger were also featured on Trumka's webpage during his speech. Schaitberger announced that the Fire Fighters would, "for an indefinite period of time, shut off all contributions to Federal candidates and Federal party committees, who don't stand up against the anti-union onslaughtwhich is orchestrated, very disciplined, and has a take-no-prisoners approach. We will direct our money to the states, where we are engaged in a fight for our survival."
In the 2010 elections, labor donated $65 million to Congressional candidates and national party committees, of which 94% went to Democrats.
Princeton Prof: Obama Is 'Black Mascot of Wall Street Oligarchs'
May 18 (EIRNS)Cornel West, the African-American Princeton professor who was forced out of Harvard by Larry Summers, and who campaigned for Obama in 2008, gave an interview in TruthDig May 16, in which he denounced Obama as a "black mascot of Wall Street Oligarchs."
"I used to call my dear brother [Obama] every two weeks," he explained. "I said a prayer on the phone for him, especially before a debate. And I never got a call back."
"I said, wow, this is kind of strange. He doesn't have time, even two seconds, to say thank you or I'm glad you're pulling for me and praying for me, but he's calling these other people. I said, this is very interesting. And then as it turns out with the inauguration I couldn't get a ticket with my mother and my brother. I said this is very strange...."
"[I]t became very clear when I looked at the neo-liberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, 'Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level,' " West lamented. "I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that's probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong."
In trying to explain why Obama has not fought "against the greed of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats," West concludes that the President has never truly felt at home in African-American culture.
In interviews with Russia Today and MSNBC last month, West said that Obama had sold out and become a "puppet" of powerful interests. In the latest interview he says he believes Obama is "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it."
'Creative Destruction' Strikes Hospital Emergency Departments
May 18 (EIRNS)A study appearing in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association found that for-profit and "safety-net" status, along with market competition and low profit margins, are major risk factors in the closure of hospital emergency departments. According to the website medpagetoday.com, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco reported that from 1990 to 2007 (that is, before the financial system collapse began in September of 2007), 933 out of 2,814 acute-care hospitals shut their emergency departments or closed altogether, despite the increasing number of patient visits over the same time period, as more people lost their health insurance and began relying more on emergency room visits for their health care.
An emergency room was at high risk of closure if another emergency room was available within 15 miles. The researchers noted that in this case, such a closure "may be of little consequence" in competitive markets, since by definition another emergency room is available. However, they dismissed the notion that such "creative destruction" is a manifestation of a healthy market place, as some contest, pointing out the large number of people without health insurance or with public insurance that does not reimburse institutions' full costs.
The researchers also argued that emergency department closures can't help but make care less available, because some patients will have to travel longer distances, increasing patient loads at remaining ERs. "Our findings underscore that market-based approaches to health care do not ensure that care will be equitably distributed," they wrote. "In fact, the opposite may be true."
This sounds like a very good argument for bringing back the Hill-Burton standard of a sufficient number of hospital beds per thousand population.