United States News Digest
Clinton Campaign Ad: Freeze All Foreclosures
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, has released a campaign video on the housing crisis, focused on her call for an across-the-board freeze on foreclosures, a freeze on rates of adjustable rate mortgages, and telling voters that "when they choose a President next year, choose one who would have started fixing the economy this year." So far, she has not mentioned LaRouche's widely supported Homeowners and Bank Protection Act.
Scandals Await 'Non-Candidate' Bloomberg
Dec. 28 (EIRNS)New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a not-too-secret Independent candidate waiting to announce a run for the Presidency, has been allowed to manage his personal wealthestimated at up to $13 billionmore directly and aggressively in a new ruling he sought from the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, after he was caught in flagrant violation of a 2002 agreement with the Board.
On Dec. 26, the Board rescinded its 2002 ruling that Bloomberg had to sell all his stocks and his interest in a hedge fund, and ruled instead that the mayor could advise the investment firms handling his fortune about categories of investments, and could hire or fire managers of his money. Early in December, the New York Times revealed that Bloomberg had been talking regularly to officials at one of his companies, Bloomberg L.P., the media and financial information giant, about business details, and had, despite the 2002 agreement, taken numerous official actions that involved the investment firm Merrill Lynch, the biggest investor in Bloomberg, L.P.
In November, Bloomberg's deputy, Daniel Doctoroff, announced that he would leave his city job to become President of Bloomberg, L.P., but would continue until then his governmental work with a developer, Vornado Realty, that has real estate ties to Mayor Bloomberg's firm and is involved in two City mega-projects. Meanwhile, Bloomberg's First Deputy Mayor, Patricia Harris, who came out of Bloomberg, L.P, has continued to manage all the Bloomberg Foundation's charitable giving from City Hall, without ever seeking the Board's approval.
Now, in the two-week countdown before the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, Mayor Bloomberg is running ads boosting himself, through the newly-minted vehicle called "Mayors Against Illegal Guns." The group, founded by Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, ran full-page ads Dec. 27 in the Des Moines Register and the Manchester Union Leader. These prominent ads in primary states clearly put the possibility of a Bloomberg Presidential campaign front and center.
LaRouche: Will GOP Back Schwarzenegger 'State of Emergency'?
Dec. 27 (EIRNS)Responding to media reports that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to declare an economic state of emergency, due to California's exploding budget deficit, Lyndon LaRouche today asked: Will Republicans agree with Schwarzenegger or will they denounce him as a terrorist?
LaRouche explained that a declaration of an economic state of emergency for California is tantamount to a declaration covering the entire United States, given the size and importance of the California economy for the USA. In effect, LaRouche explained, if he goes ahead with the declaration of economic emergency, the Governator will be publicly admitting that the Bush Presidency has been a catastrophic failure, from day one, and has destroyed the U.S. economy. LaRouche asked: How will the Bush White House and other Republican Party honchos deal with such a condemnation of the present Administration, coming from one of George Shultz and Felix Rohatyn's favorite sons?
Schwarzenegger plans to make his announcement on Jan. 10, just after his Jan. 8 State of the State address, where he will make privatization of infrastructure a central feature of his administration.
'Unholy Alliance Between the DOD and Video Game Industry'
Dec. 27 (EIRNS)On Dec. 26, attorney Jack Thompson issued a press release, "Activist Declares War on Unholy Alliance between Department of Defense and Video Game Industry," which highlights the "collaboration" between video-game makers and sections of the Defense Department. This is more fully explained in the LaRouche PAC pamphlet, "Is the Devil in Your Laptop?"
Thompson's press release reads in part:
"One of the consequences of this collaboration is the increasing number of commando style assaults by young video gamers, such as the recent mall massacre in Omaha, Nebraska. Virginia Tech's Cho was an obsessive high school player of the military-themed CounterStrike, according to the Washington Post. Researchers have proven the long term effect of immersion in interactive violence. The author of the worst school massacre in European history trained on the same military killing simulator. The list of mass killings tied to such games is long, including, of course, Columbine.
What is increasingly clear is that the unholy alliance between the game industry and the DOD is teaching an entire generation of kids that war is glamorous, cool, desirable, and consequence free. Believe it or not, there is actually a formal working relationship between the Department of Defense and the game industry at the Institute for Creative Technologies on the campus of the University of Southern California...."
Thompson has won numerous law suits in state courts against the video game industry's Entertainment Software Association, for marketing violent games, only to have those lawsuits overturned in Federal court.
Judge Reverses Ruling, Protects White House Visitor Logs
Dec. 25 (EIRNS)A Federal Judge reversed himself yesterday, and agreed to let the White House keep its list of visitors secret. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had made a request under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth had agreed with the request five days ago, but changed his mind, after the White House made a "request." According to the Associated Press, the group was looking for information on visits of conservative religious leaders, including James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.
Is Someone Trying To Get Bush Out of Town?
Dec. 24 (EIRNS)George Bush is going to have to dust off his passport, since he will be pursuing an aggressive travel schedule this coming election year. According to Bloomberg News, beginning in January, Bush will be on the road almost as much as he will be here. In January alone, George will make his first-ever trip to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, for discussions coming off the Annapolis Conference. Following that, he will make stops in Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. In February, Bush will tour Africa, followed by an April NATO summit in Romania, a June U.S.-European summit in Slovenia, and a July meeting of the G8 in Japan. Bush will attend the summer Olympics in China, and a November APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum) in Peru.
Bloomberg notes that Bush is concerned with his "legacy," and that his domestic program will likely get stalled in Congress, or fall victim to Presidential electioneering.
'Health Industry': Insure the Healthy, Bankrupt the Insured
Dec. 24 (EIRNS)A new report based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Census Bureau statistics confirms not only the enormity of the financial burdens of health care for Americans, but also the alarming rate of increase in those costs. The report by the Lewin Group, commissioned by Families USA, documents that:
* More than four out of five Americans (more than 82%), in families that are spending more than 10% of their pre-tax income on health care costs, are insured.
* Some 50.7 million non-elderly Americans with insurance are in families that will spend more than 10% of their pre-tax income on health-care costs in 2008.
* More than three out of four people (nearly 76%) in families spending more than 25% of their pre-tax income on health-care costs, are insured.
* Fully 13.5 million Americans with insurance are in families that will spend more than 25% of their pre-tax income on health-care costs in 2008. All the leading Presidential candidates who have put forth proposals for health-care "reform" have called for tweaks in the private insurance looting system that produced these statistics.
Americans are now spending more than $2.2 trillion a year on health care. Dr. Don McCanne of the Physicians for National Health Program has calculated that that works out, on a pro rata basis, to $7,500 a person. That requires an income of more than $75,000 to limit an individual's share to less than 10% of his income. For a family of four, an income of $300,000 is required.
Rep. John Conyers' H.R. 676, which Lyndon LaRouche has endorsed, would establish a single-payer Medicare For All system, freeing up those employed in the private health insurance "industry" for useful work. It now has 87 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.