From Volume 8, Issue 22 of EIR Online, Published June 2, 2009

United States News Digest

Nero in Beverly Hills, Touts First 100 Days

LOS ANGELES, May 29 (EIRNS)—At a Democratic Party fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Calif., attended by wealthy fawning Democrats and members of the Hollywood aristocracy who wanted to be seen with Barack Obama, the President with the Nero syndrome did not disappoint, as he repeatedly compared himself favorably with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Reporters from the Los Angeles Times write that Obama was "strikingly upbeat and assured," telling supporters that he would "stack his first four months in office against any president going back as far as Franklin D. Roosevelt."

Demonstrating either his delusional state, due to brainwashing by his fascist crew of "behavioral economists," or his facility in lying, he said, in speaking of his economic policies of bailing out London and Wall Street swindlers, while pushing murderous Nazi euthanasia policies, disguised as a "cost-effective approach to health care," that it's now "safe to say we have stepped back from the brink, that there is some calm that didn't exist before."

A source who attended the event reported that Obama bristled when asked if he could have done more in the first 100 days, as FDR did. He responded that times are different today, with the 24-hour daily news cycle, during which reporters with an agenda try to diminish what he has accomplished. He called on people to help him get out the word, that what he has done has been extremely significant, more than any recent President, and that he is proud of his record, which, given the times, goes beyond what FDR did. Our source said that attendees greeted every utterance from him with wild applause.

Rohatyn's Fascist Infrastructure Bank Moves Forward

May 28 (EIRNS)—A major step was taken last week on the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank, as proposed by fascist banker Felix Rohatyn. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced a bill in the House May 20, which would authorize the creation a privatized infrastructure bank; Rohatyn appeared at the press conference to announce the bill. DeLauro's measure has three Democratic co-sponsors in the House: Minnesota's Keith Ellison, and Tony Weiner and Steve Israel of New York. The bill has not-unexpected support from construction unions' National Construction Alliance, the Building and Construction Trades Department, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the AFL-CIO, but more telling was the presence of Rohatyn, industrialist turned speculator Bernard Schwartz, and Anna Burger of the Service Employees Industrial Union.

Support for the NIB is only explainable by desperate legislators and the lack of a national development plan on the part of the Obama Administration, which, under the control of economic advisor Larry Summers and the National Economic Council, could care less about the physical economy. For his part, Rohatyn called the NIB an "essential" and "transparent" institution, "modelled on the European Investment Bank," which, "can leverage significant private capital for infrastructure projects."

Private capital? From where?

Gates: Time Running Out in Afghanistan

May 26 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, in a Wall Street Journal interview published today, warned that American public support for the U.S. war in Afghanistan will dissipate within a year, unless the Obama Administration achieves a "perceptible shift in momentum." Right now, Gates said, the momentum is with the Taliban. "People are willing to stay in the fight, I believe, if they think we're making headway. If they think we're stalemated and having our young men and women get killed, then patience is going to run out pretty fast."

Gates also provided some insight into why he fired Gen. David McKiernan, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and nominated special operations veteran Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal to replace him. As the Journal notes, Gates is driving the services to orient more towards counterinsurgency and irregular warfare, and to lessen the focus on conventional conflict. McChrystal's appointment, along with that of Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez as his deputy, reflects that shift, along with the change in strategy in Afghanistan.

Obama Has Different Messages for Different Groups

May 25 (EIRNS)—"Obama's Center Left Two Step," a column in today's Washington Post by Democrat E.J. Dionne, Jr., shows that Obama's policy changes are beginning to worry some Democrats. "Over the last week, the true nature of Obama's political project has come into much clearer view," Dionne writes. "He is out to build a new and enduring political establishment, located slightly to the left of center, but including everyone but the far right." After babbling, Dionne gets to the point: "The disturbing aspect of Obama's effort to create his new political alignment is that building it requires him to send rather different messages to its component parts. Playing to several audiences at once can lead to awkward moments."

Dionne gives the example of the White House's May 21 invitation to journalists for a briefing on Obama's speech on Guantanamo and the treatment of detainees, where, "Unbeknownst to the writers until afterward, they had been divided into two groups, one more centrist with a sprinkling of moderate conservatives, the other more liberal. (I was in the liberal group.) The President made an unscheduled appearance at each briefing." While "charming" both groups, Obama tried to "sell the liberal group" on the aspects of his plan that are a break from George W. Bush, and "to sell the centrist group on the toughness of his approach."

Although Dionne in no way grasps the danger of "policy by teleprompter" Obama represents, the columnist nonetheless concludes, "But establishments have a habit of becoming too confident in their ability to manipulate people and events, and too certain of their moral righteousness. Obama's political and substantive gifts are undeniable. What he needs to realize are the limits of his own mastery."

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