From Volume 37, Issue 23 of EIR Online, Published June 11, 2010

United States News Digest

LaRouche: 'Kagan's Record Will Kill Her'

June 6 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche today called Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, the Obama regime's Solicitor General, a "doubtful case" whose "record will kill her." She's "not of sterling quality," said LaRouche. Among her other proclivities that should raise red flags, is Kagan's strong advocacy for the unconstitutional unitary executive policies which the Obama Administration has continued from the Bush Administration.

Most Americans seem to share LaRouche's assessment. A USA Today/Gallup Poll has found that just 46% would "like to see the Senate vote in favor" of Kagan's nomination. That's lower than the ratings for the previous five successful court nominees.

Obama: Still Covering for BP's Crimes

June 5 (EIRNS)—As oil from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico washes up on beaches as far away as Florida, President Obama can still do no more than defend himself. In his Saturday radio address, today, Obama declared, "We are prepared for the worst, even as we hope that BP's efforts bring better news than we've received before." He then reeled off reams of statistics to "demonstrate" how much the government has done in response to the ever-growing disaster. Not everyone is impressed with the President's latest efforts to show that he cares. When Obama arrived in Grand Isle, La., yesterday, he was greeted by one of his old campaign posters. Except instead of saying "Hope," it said, "What now?"

For its part, BP continues to be as concerned, if not more so, about its public image than the impact of the disaster. CEO Tony Hayward announced, yesterday, that BP has hired American business executive Robert Dudley to guide the company's response to the disaster. Hayward said, in a conference call, that Dudley's job will be, among other things, to "help manage" the impact of the disaster on BP's reputation, and "restore trust and confidence of BP in America."

In point of fact, recent polling conducted at the behest of the Obama White House, reveals that, as the result of the BP disaster, a large majority of Americans hate the British with a passion. How effective Dudley will be in deflecting that hatred is questionable. In 2008 he was booted out of Russia, while over there running a joint venture between BP and a Russian oil company, and he has been declared persona non grata by Moscow.

Meanwhile, Obama's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico further compounds an already bad economic crisis in the Gulf Coast region. The Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association estimates that each exploration and production job represents four supporting jobs in the region, and each drilling rig supports 800-1,400 jobs, meaning that the shutdown could be affecting as many as 40,000 jobs. LMOGA estimated, in a May 28 press release, that lost wages could amount to $165 million to $330 million per month, total, for all 33 rigs affected by the moratorium.

States Plunge Toward Anarchy as Revenues Fall and Fed Money Is Withdrawn

June 4 (EIRNS)—Thirty-four of 49 states reporting had lower tax revenues in the first quarter of 2010 than that of 2009, the Rockefeller Institute of Government reported yesterday. The same 34 states also had lower personal income-tax collections during the same period, a major component of total tax revenue for most states. Hard-hit Louisiana had the worst overall decline at 33%, and Montana the second worst at 25%.

Despite the falling tax revenues in most states, total state tax revenues appeared to increase because of extraordinarily sharp tax increases in the two biggest states of California and New York. Thus, total tax revenues appeared to increase by 2.4%—but actually fell by 2.2% if California and New York are excluded. Even including California and New York, total state tax revenues were down 10.9% compared to the same period two years ago, unadjusted for inflation.

All that for the first quarter of 2010.

Thereafter, in the second quarter, a preliminary look at April 2010 state personal income-tax receipts, indicates an accelerating tumble downwards. April is the biggest month for personal income-tax (PIT) collection, which is a major part of most states' revenues. April 2010 PIT collections were 7.6%, or $2.3 billion, below those of April 2009 for the 36 states reporting. For all of January through April 2010, PIT collections for these 36 states were 27.5%, or $29.1 billion, below those for the same months in 2008. Rockefeller Institute researcher Lucy Dadayan reports that these collapsing April PIT collections will play special havoc with what remains of state budgets, since they were unanticipated and fall within the fiscal year.

At the same time, most states will have exhausted their Federal "stimulus" money, which is not being replaced, by July. And the House of Representatives just decided, as it left for recess, to cut $24 billion in Federal help with state Medicaid costs, which states had been assured of, and for which they had budgeted.

Not Just Specter: Obama Sinking Black Candidacies, Too

June 3 (EIRNS)—The great expectations aroused by the success of the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign—that Obama's victory heralded a new era of electoral success by black politicians—has not been sustained. As with similar expectations by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, those hopes are increasingly dashed by the electorate's anger at the Obama Administration's servility toward the Wall Street and the Administration's willingness to sell out its 2008 constituency.

Rep. Artur Davis, an African-American, lost his bid in the Alabama Democratic primary for governor on June 1, to an opponent who tagged him as being like Obama—Harvard-educated, arrogant, distant from the people—and, in fact, a friend of Obama's. But that's only the most recent shoe to drop on the heads of African-American members of America's political class, as Politico laid out in an article today.

In the May 18 Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial primary, state senator Hardy Williams finished third. Williams says that race was not an issue, but Obama was: "...the question I got was, 'Are you an Obama Democrat' in regard to spending and bailing out Wall Street, but not in regard to race?" Attorney Ken Lewis also finished third, in North Carolina's May 4 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Cheryle Jackson, a black Chicago businesswoman and civic activist in the mold of Valerie Jarrett and Desiree Rogers, and former head of the Chicago Urban League, came in third in the Feb. 2 Illinois Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Politico cites as African-American current candidates considered to be in trouble:

* Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, trailing the front-runner in the governor's primary by 60%, according to a recent poll;

* Georgia State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, likely to win the Democratic nomination in the state's Senate race, is polling behind his Republican opponent by a wide margin;

* Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) likewise is the likely Democratic candidate to run for a U.S. Senate seat, is polling a distant third for the general election;

* Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, running for re-election in a three-way race, is still well under 50% in the polls.

Finally, New York Gov. David Paterson, and U.S. Senator Roland Burris (D-Ill.) both decided not to run for a full term in the offices to which they'd been appointed to fill vacancies.

Republicans Vow To Fight Anglophile Berwick's Nomination

June 1 (EIRNS)—Senate Republicans are vowing to fight Obama's pick to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Anglophile Donald Berwick, as reported today by Politico, and previously by EIR. In doing so, they hope to resurrect in the public's mind, the brutal year-long battle over health-care reform, in the weeks ahead of the midterm elections. Republicans are now poring over Berwick's extensive writings, which have provided ample ammunition for the fight. Last week, Berwick met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, but did little to allay any Republican concerns, according to a source. The past two administrators for CMMS were confirmed by voice votes, but at this point, "Berwick appears unlikely to receive the same treatment."

Politico also notes (as had EIR) that for his efforts on behalf of the Crown, Berwick was granted an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire—the highest honor given to non-subjects—in 2005, joining the ranks of Alan Greenspan, Henry Kissinger, and Rudy Giuliani. "He [Berwick] is, as far as I am concerned, bad news," said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "If he wants to turn America into the National Health Service in England—he thinks that is the model—he is going to find a lot of pushback."

All rights reserved © 2010 EIRNS