From Volume 7, Issue 48 of EIR Online, Published Nov. 25, 2008

United States News Digest

Rangel, Kaptur Hit Pelosi Over Ouster of Dingell

Nov. 21 (EIRNS)—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week rammed through the removal of Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and replaced him with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Waxman is seen as more in line with the "green agenda," promoted by the Democrats. Though Pelosi was officially neutral in the Democratic Caucus election of the committee chairman, the Pelosi operation was the subject of sharp criticism from Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Charles Rangel of New York.

Kaptur said, "This is very troubling to the seniority system," because Dingell (who will be the longest-serving House member in history as of February) has such a long record and such institutional knowledge. Kaptur said that Waxman's election means the Democratic Party would be turning further away from the country's heartland and toward the monied coasts (Waxman's district includes Beverly Hills). "Today I weep for the heartland and I weep for a giant among lawmakers who did not deserve this fate," Kaptur said.

Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and himself under attack by the London-Wall Street financiers, said, "This is the burial of the seniority system." He warned that other chairmen could be targeted by challenges. "I would be surprised if I was challenged, for the same reason that Mr. Dingell was very surprised."

Soros a Kingpin for Filibuster-Proof Senate Majority

Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—The Secretary of State Project (SoSP), established in San Francisco in July 2006, with funds from George Soros and other Democracy Alliance heavyweights, is playing a significant role in a continuing vote count that could give the Democratic Party a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate. Soros launched the Democracy Alliance in 2004, as a secretive club of billionaires who pooled their funds to establish a parallel Democratic Party structure. The DA's offspring, the SoSP, targeted the state-level positions of secretary of state, because of their influence in determining the outcome of elections. The SoSP also drew money from scandal-tainted community-activist group ACORN.

The SoSP set its sights on seven states that it estimated would be "battleground" states in 2008: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio. In 2006, its operatives won five secretary of state offices; the exceptions were Colorado and Michigan. One of the poster boys of the SoSP was Mark Ritchie in Minnesota. Ritchie had been a community activist, working with ACORN, was elected secretary of State in 2006, and is now the key player in an election recount which could, according to some accounts, help give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Several hundred votes are all that separate Democrat Al Franken from incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in the battle for the Senate seat, and, although Coleman declared victory weeks ago, Franken's vote count is getting slowly and steadily higher.

AIG's Demise Means Your Transit System May Shut Down

Nov. 17 (EIRNS)—Some 30 metropolitan transit systems across the nation are at risk of shutdown, due to the collapse of insurance giant AIG. Between 1988 and 2003, transit agencies went to "the market" to get financing to build their transit systems. The deals required a AAA-rated insurer to guarantee the transaction, and AIG was the prime guarantor on $1.5-4 billion. So when AIG lost its AAA rating recently, all the deals it had guaranteed were put into "technical default." Vulture bankers have begun to exercise their option to demand immediate repayment of their investments, which could put many of these companies out of business, which means no more bus and subway service.

Lyndon LaRouche noted that this is similar to the way that the collapse of letters of credit is bringing world shipping to a halt.

All rights reserved © 2008 EIRNS