From Volume 8, Issue 18 of EIR Online, Published May 5, 2009

United States News Digest

Dingell Introduces Pecora Bill in House

May 1—Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the dean of the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced a resolution on April 21, calling for the establishment of a House Select Committee "to make a thorough and complete investigation of the causes of the current financial crisis and other matters."

Lyndon LaRouche commented, "This action by Rep. Dingell is of national significance. This is what President Obama is resisting. This is what must be done, if we are to save the nation. Now is the time."

Like the Senate Select Committee proposed by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), the House committee would have subpoena authority, and the authority to investigate any financial operations involving securities, mortgages, trading, and related activities.

In introducing his bill, Dingell said, "The Pecora Commission exposed a wide array of abusive practices by banks at the time of the Depression and resulted in the subsequent enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and Securities Act of 1934. It is my ardent hope that the resolution I introduce today will foster a coordinated approach among the multiple committees of jurisdiction on this matter, and lead to legislation that re-imposes a strict regulatory framework upon the financial services industry.

"As Ferdinand Pecora, the commission's namesake, remarked about the outcome of its investigation, 'Legal chicanery and pitch darkness were the bankers' stoutest allies.' I urge the members of this body to take heed of Pecora's words, now more irrefutably accurate than ever, and support this resolution, which will establish a time-tested mechanism by which to investigate and remedy the various unsavory practices that have led our Nation to an economic precipice of gargantuan proportions."

So far, the resolution, H.R. 345, has four co-sponsors: Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), and Tom Perriello (D-Va.).

Orszag-Summers Program Will Destroy U.S. Health Care

April 29 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced March 19 the start up of a Federal Coordinating Council for "Comparative Effectiveness Research." OMB director Peter Orszag and chief economic advisor Lawrence Summers pushed the plan through with a $1.1 billion outlay as part of the Stimulus Bill, aimed at enforcing drastic, deadly cutbacks in health care.

The Orszag-Summers strategy for dismantling health care has been crafted in cooperation with the British government and the Fabian Society's Centre for Economic Performance, based at the London School of Economics. In the early 1990s, that Centre's founder, Richard Layard (now Lord Layard), selected Orszag, then a graduate student in England and an employee of the Centre, to go to Russia as Layard's assistant in the looting and austerity that a British/Wall Street team inflicted on Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Lord Layard and his Fabian Society colleagues have run the strategic policy team for the Blair and Brown governments. Layard is an expert on the takedown of health care, unemployment insurance and other entitlements.

On June 3, 2008, Orszag—then director of the Congressional Budget Office—met in London with the Strategy Unit of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In a report entitled "Capturing the Opportunity in the Core Fiscal Challenge Facing the United States," Orszag told the British strategists how his and Summers' clique of "behavioral economists" would reverse "excess cost growth" in health care for the elderly and the poor.

A central tenet of this doctrine is that Americans now live too long, and that in the present world economic crisis, vast resources must be transferred out of health care—and into bailouts for financial predators.

Summers Intervenes in Middle East Policy

May 1 (EIRNS)—President Barack Obama's economic Svengali, Larry Summers, has stuck his fat face into U.S. Middle East policy. While attending a national day celebration at the Israeli Embassy on April 29, Summers told the Israeli press that President Obama will not force Israel to sign a peace at "any price."

He said there should be "peace that defends innocent people, peace that guarantees freedom, peace that does not reward terror, peace that the Middle East deserves after such a long time."

Yediot Ahronot claims that Summers had "relayed" this "message" from Obama. The paper points out that it comes on the eve of Israeli President Shimon Peres's meeting with Obama next week, ahead of a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in May.

After "conveying the message," writes Yediot, Summers was asked by Israeli reporters how Netanyahu would be greeted at the White House on May 18, and he replied that the Israeli Prime Minister would find a good reception.

Summers' official position as head of the National Economic Council, of course, has nothing to do with foreign policy.

Murtha: No Apologies, No Corruption

April 28 (EIRNS)—Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Democrat in the tradition of Franklin Roosevelt, is making no apologies about delivering funding for jobs for his district, according to a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article from March 29.

The article describes how Murtha helped fledgling industries with government contracts, and how they grew to work with major contractors on their own. Without this, Murtha said, "Johnstown would have been like Detroit is today. We would have been a ghost town.... My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it's Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we're closest to the people."

During the mid-1970s to the mid-'80s, so many families moved out of Johnstown because of unemployment, that it closed the only downtown high school. During that time, Murtha proposed that constituency leaders get together and agree on what they wanted done, and said that he would work to get it funded.

Murtha said he does not believe "earmarks" will ever stop, because, outside of Washington, D.C., there are no complaints. "Out in the field, people appreciate what has happened. They see the advantage of being able to help the district. And every district's the same," said Murtha. "The stimulus package," said Murtha, "is the earmarks of the administration."

Lieberman To Push Iran Sanctions Legislation

April 28 (EIRNS)—Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), speaking to the American Enterprise Institute, announced that he, along with 20 other Senators, will be introducing legislation tightening sanctions on Iran, respecting export of refined petroleum products. According to today's Jerusalem Post, he took the Israeli line, that any dialogue needs "not just carrots but sticks," and called for a "clear and credible set of benchmarks, milestones by which we can measure Iranian behavior, and an explicit timeline by which the Iranians understand that we must start seeing results."

Press TV, a Tehran-based station, called the sanctions bill "a move to wring gasoline out of Iran," because it will attempt to cut off gasoline supplies, by denying the companies that send gasoline to Iran, the right to do business in, or with, the United States. Iran imports about 40% of its gasoline, and it is a "collective punishment" against the population, since it is working people who would be most hard hit.

An analyst in the region told EIR that the Lieberman bill is timed to coincide with the opening of the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference this weekend. He said this bill is merely the Israeli position in Congressional clothing.

Among the other Senators sponsoring the bill are John Thune (R-S.D.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.). Representative Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will introduce similar legislation in the House.

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