United States News Digest
Brits Comment on 'Obama Fatigue'
Aug. 9 (EIRNS)Numerous polls taken over the past ten days or so continue to show Democrat Barack Obama with a slim lead over Republican John McCain. A new Gallup poll released today, gives Obama a 47-42 lead over McCain, whereas a Rassmussen Tracking poll actually gives McCain a 47-46 lead over Obama. Other polls going back to Aug. 4 put Obama 5 or 6 points ahead of McCain. Of note: There seems to be more commentary in the British press on the close poll results than in the U.S. press.
The lead editorial in the London Economist of Aug. 7, the mouthpiece of the British financier oligarchy, suggests that, while Obama would seem to have everything going for him, and with Democrats preparing for landslide victories in most races across the country, Obama is in a statistical tie with McCain. The theme is echoed in the London Guardian and the Canberra (Australia) Times. The Guardian quotes Peter Brown, of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, declaring that "Obama's bubble has not burst, but it is leaking."
The Economist describes Obama as "strikingly self-obsessed even by the standards of politicians," and notes that he has already written two autobiographies. The editorial mockingly asks, "How many times can Americans hear the phrase 'Yes, we can,' without wondering if they really want to?" and suggests that he may be "ill-served" by some of his over-the-top supporters, who treat him like a rock star, rather than a statesman. The polls, the Economist warns, are worrying signs "that Obama fatigue is beginning to set in." The editorial concludes by advising Obama to make the campaign less about himself and more about the issues, which itself is a little over-the-top, coming from a publication which represents the interests that are preparing to dump him.
Massive Security Planned for Democratic Convention
Aug. 5 (EIRNS)Denver will be put under massive security for the Democratic Convention Aug. 25-28. Federal and local authorities are preparing for huge protests, civil disturbances, and traffic gridlock, from 30,000 potential "disrupters." The Secret Service, FBI, Pentagon, and scores of police departments are moving thousands of agents to the city.
Presumptive Democratic candidate Barack Obama's decision to give his speech at Invesco Stadium, which holds 75,000 people, will require extensive security, and nearby Interstate Route 25 may be shut down during his appearance. Northern Command chief Guy Swan III told the New York Times, "There won't be a visible military presence," but the National Guard will be on call. Meanwhile, James H. Davis, FBI agent in charge of the Denver office, said, "We just aren't seeing a credible threat."
U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger in Denver is expected to rule this week on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union to ease the draconian security at the convention. The ACLU claims that the police have exaggerated the risks, to crack down on dissent, citing the huge "security zone" around Invesco Stadium, and a "parade route" for marches and rallies which is far from the convention site.
White House Homeland Security advisor Kenneth Wainstein recently visited Denver and St. Paul, site of the Republican Convention Sept. 1-4, where huge increases in security have also been planned.
Paulson Blames China for WTO Failure; Eyes Chinese Savings
Aug. 5 (EIRNS)Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, in the September/October issue of the New York Council on Foreign Relations' journal Foreign Affairs, blames China for the rise of protectionism and the failure of the WTO Doha Round. He attacks China's investments in Sudan and Angola as "at odds with international norms," and as having "undermined the World Bank's efforts to promote transparency." Paulson also salivates over China's huge savings.
In a long piece, "The Right Way To Engage China, Strengthening U.S.-Chinese Ties," Paulson writes: "Given its substantial impact on the global economy, China must accept greater responsibilities. If it does not, other countries are likely to blame it for many of their own economic problems. China is already cited as an example of the ills of globalization, such as unsafe products and job losses in other countries. It risks further endangering its reputation, which could hurt its economic growth in the long term. As a country deeply invested in the global economic system, China would benefit from playing an increasingly proactive role in global economic decision-making.
"And yet, it seems to be doing the opposite in the Doha Round of international trade negotiations. Its insistence on protecting its own industrial development is driving other countries to do the same and has been a major factor in the growing anti-globalization and protectionist sentiment around the world."
In reality, Paulson and his former Goldman Sachs colleagues have wet dreams about China's vast savings, which they obviously would like to inject into their hopelessly bankrupt system. "One of the most notable indications of China's imbalanced growth, writes Paulson, "is its large current account surplus, which last year amounted to over 11% of the country's GDP.... On the other hand, household savings are high, as individual Chinese try to compensate for the country's thin social safety net, limited options to finance major expenditures such as education, and few investment options other than bank deposits. Demographics will only exacerbate these trends: as China's population ages, the traditional source of support in retirementchildren will become increasingly scarce."
Therefore, says Paulson, "China must further develop its financial sector to help reduce this excessive personal savings rate and boost personal consumption."
Bloomberg Boosted; Invokes FDR for Fascist Policy
Aug. 4 (EIRNS)The New York Daily News brought in New York's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg for an Aug. 2 guest column on the need for a "new New Deal." Bloomberg used Franklin Roosevelt's name to demand budget cutbacks, belt-tightening, the end of "pork," and doling out moneythe London-New York financiers' phraseology against FDR-style government. Without citing a single accomplishment of the actual Roosevelt New Deal, Bloomberg calls for his own "infrastructure program," by which he means turning the country's projects and existing assets over to the lords of finance.
In a New York Times op-ed Aug. 4, neoconservative mouthpiece William Kristol suggests, "In his convention speech, McCain could say ... I will give you a reform administration that will put politics aside to work for all Americans." Among the "unconventional" vice presidential possibilities for McCain would be "someone with economic or domestic policy expertise like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.... McCain himself ... is intrigued by the bolder possibilities of youth or bipartisanship."
Playing into the Bloomberg scenario, the National Conference of Mayors will be holding a Mayoral Action Forum on Infrastructure in New York, Aug. 13-14, two weeks before the Republican Convention.