United States News Digest
Rumor Control: On the Question of Hillary's Nomination
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)A report in today's New York Daily News, in which "a source close to" Hillary Clinton is quoted saying the Senator will not file a formal request to the Democratic Convention asking to have her name placed in nomination, is sweeping the Internet. Buyer, beware!
At the same time, a video has been placed on YouTube, and is being circulated by the pro-Hillary group PUMA PAC (Party Unity My Ass), which shows Clinton in dialogue with supporters who want her to be nominated, in which Hillary says that she thinks the party will be stronger if her delegates have their voices heardi.e., she is nominated and that things are still being negotiated.
Bottom line: As Lyndon LaRouche has said, the decisions for the convention have not yet been made, and things could change drastically by the times it begins Aug. 25. The rules on putting a name in nomination require between 300-600 signatures (probably already gathered), and Hillary would have to submit a formal request. Such a submission need not be made until 6:00 p.m. the night before the nomination.
For Shame: 100-Year-Old Water Pipes in Nation's Capital
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)Most cities in the United States, starved of infrastructure investment for at least 40 years, if not longer, have a very high proportion of very old pipes in their water systems. Washington, D.C. is in the same, if not worse, conditionleading, on occasion, to admonitions to residents, even visitors to Congress, not to drink the tap water.
The median age of the city's 1,100 miles of pipes is 74 years, and it has 180 miles that are more than 100 years old, Jerry Johnson, the general manager of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, reported at a July 28 forum sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "A great deal of our infrastructure is very, very old and in need of rebuilding and restructuring," Johnson said. He reported that a recent sewer assessment identified $600 million in capital needs, and a potential ten-year program of recapitalization at $300 million per year. The problem, of course, is that the needs are much greater than the money being spent, and therefore, "we have to do this on a prioritized basis." He noted that inflation in the cost of materials, which has been running at about 8.5% per year since 2004, adds to the difficulty.
The forum on water infrastructure, held on Capitol Hill, featured panelists who accurately described the huge needs in the country for investment in water infrastructure, but offered a mish-mash of small-minded proposals to deal with it.
Blackwater USA Runs Private Intelligence Business
Aug. 1 (EIRNS)Jeremy Scahill, the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, notes, according to RawStory.com, that the giant mercenary firm is moving beyond the realm of security and logistics operations into intelligence. "They're marketing their services to not only foreign governments, but to Fortune 500 corporations," he recently told an interviewer. The forthcoming paperback edition of Scahill's book includes a discussion of last September's shooting spree in Baghdad by Blackwater operatives, which killed 17 Iraqi civilians, but for which no one has been charged. "Blackwater started a private intelligence company called Total Intelligence Solutions. And the man running TIS is J. Cofer Black, a thirty-year veteran of the CIA. He also was the guy who ran the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, the government-sanctioned kidnap-and-torture program."
Dick Marty, the Swiss prosecutor who investigated Dick Cheney's "extraordinary renditions" for the European Parliament, identified two companies, Presidential Airways and Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS), both subsidiaries of Blackwater USA, as flying prisoners from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo, with illegal stopovers in secret detention centers located in Poland, Romania, or the former British colony of Malta, the last being Blackwater's operational base in the Europe. While during that period, Blackwater also recruited some 750 former military officers from the defunct fascist Pinochet regime and its Operation Condor dirty ops, its name also popped up in the context of clandestine aid to the Kurdish terrorist outfit PKK, in operations into Turkey and Iran.
"This isn't a liberal or conservative thing," concluded Scahill. "You have a lot of traditional conservatives who are outraged at what they see as the degradation of the United States Armed Forces.... This has everything to do with the future of war-making and global stability." So far, only Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), in April 2008, has stated on her website, that she would sponsor a law to ban Blackwater and other Private Mercenary Corporations (PMCs) from the Iraq theater of war.
Is Barney Frank Seeking a New High With George Soros?
July 31 (EIRNS)Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, held a press conference in Washington, D.C. yesterday, to announce the introduction of a marijuana decriminalization bill (H.R. 5483). The bill is entitled the "Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008." Attending the press conference in support of Frank were representatives of George Soros-linked organizations: Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project, Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance Network, and Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML).
Frank, who has played a leading role in blocking Lyndon LaRouche's proposed Homeowners and Bank Protection Act, and who instead has functioned as a frontman in Congress for the London and Wall Street speculators and their desperate bailout schemes, has now lent his hand to Nazi collaborator Soros's notorious drug promotion policies.
The Marijuana Policy Project receives direct funding from Soros, through the Drug Policy Foundation, which, in turn, has received more than $15 million from Soros in recent years. The Drug Policy Foundation recently merged with the Lindesmith Center, a project of Soros's Open Society Institute tax-exempt foundation. The new entity, the Drug Policy Alliance, is run by Soros employee Dr. Ethan Nadelman. Soros has poured at least $25 million into various dope legalization schemes over the past five years, and has vowed to substantially increase bankrolling the dope lobby efforts. The Marijuana Policy Project was launched by a former official of NORML, the oldest of the drug legalization fronts now under the Soros umbrella.
British Assets Try To Oust Banking Committee Chair Rangel
July 30 (EIRNS)In a move to crush opposition to fascist economic measures and support for any Franklin Roosevelt-type approach to the collapse of the international financial system, two flimsy scandals have been launched against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to oust him as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful committee in the Congress, from which all revenue bills originate. The Committee is critical in any economic recovery for the United States and the world.
First appearing in the New York Sun, the scandals have been repeated over and over recently in the Washington Post and the New York Times.
It is widely known that Rangel is targeted for opposing the hedge fund and private equity industry, especially his legislation that would have taxed the earnings of managers of these "locust funds" at the income tax rate of 35%, instead of the "capital gains" rate of 15% that they were enjoying. Rangel's legislation passed the House by 233-189, but was blocked in the Senate. The private equity lobby's poster-boy in Congress, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), has promised to destroy Rangel with these penny-ante scandals. Rangel also reclaimedfrom Dick Cheneyan office traditionally used by the Ways and Means Committee, but which the Republicans had loaned out to Cheney, to, as he said, "gently restore the dignity of this office."
The two scandals originated in the neocon New York Sun, once owned by the now-jailed Conrad Black and Democrats Michael Steinhardt and Marty Peretz. On April 3, the Sun attacked Rangel for using Congressional stationary to solicit $2 million toward a City College of New York (CCNY) center to encourage minority participation in government. Then, on July 14, the Sun exposed Rangel for renting four rent-stabilized apartments in New York City, one of which he used for a campaign office. Rangel had already announced that he was relocating his campaign office, since its current location is too small.
Two previous Democratic chairs of the Ways and Means Committee were also removed via scandals: Rep. Wilbur Mills (1957-74), in a setup affair with a stripper; and Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (1981-94), in a House Post Office scandal. Rangel militantly defended his actions, and demanded that the House Committee on Official Standards (Ethics Committee) immediately investigate these so-called charges of a conflict of interest in rasing money for CCNY. He also demanded that the Washington Post apologize. The National Legal and Policy Center has called for a Federal Election Commission investigation of Rangel's rent-stabilized campaign office.