From Volume 37, Issue 40 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 15, 2010

United States News Digest

Donilon Helped Set Up Mortgage Crash as Fannie Mae Lobbyist

Oct. 9 (EIRNS)—Not mentioned by President Obama, yesterday, when he announced that Tom Donilon would replace Gen. James Jones (ret.) as his National Security Advisor, is Donilon's role as the top lobbyist for mortgage giant Fannie Mae. According to the Associated Press and Politico, Donilon was a senior official at Fannie from 1999 to 2005, precisely during the period when some members of Congress were trying to tighten the regulatory reins on Fannie Mae and downsize it. Donilon's job was to resist those efforts to the greatest extent possible. His success might be attested to by the fact that, three years after he left, Fannie Mae collapsed and was taken over by the Federal government.

So far, the government bailout of Fannie Mae, and its smaller cousin Freddie Mac, has cost taxpayers $148 billion. "Mr. Donilon's actions at Fannie Mae to undercut meaningful reform precipitated the largest taxpayer-funded bailout in American history," Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said last night. "Now President Obama is entrusting him with America's security."

Donilon was not implicated by any of the investigations that followed Fannie Mae's collapse, but investigators consider him an enabler of the firm's behavior. "He was in charge of the lobbyists.... That process involved using the Hill to rein in the regulators," Stephen Blumenthal, former acting director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, told Politico. "That was always Fannie Mae's approach. And there's no question that Congress played a major role in enabling Fannie Mae to escape regulation and avoid increasing their capital, which is what eventually killed the company." Politico suggests that his involvement in Fannie Mae is why Donilon has never been named to any position, such as in the State Department, requiring Senate confirmation.

Donilon is otherwise a Democratic Party campaign operative, who developed his foreign policy and national security credentials as a spokesman for Secretary of State Warren Christopher in the early days of the Clinton Presidency, and is reportedly disliked by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, but has developed a personal relationship with President Obama. Donilon's wife is chief of staff to Jill Biden, and Donilon's brother is Counsel to the Vice President.

More Unitary Executive Dictatorial Moves Coming from Obama

Oct. 8 (EIRNS)—If he is not removed from office under the 25th Amendment or otherwise, President Obama is planning to out-do George W. Bush in wielding arbitrary Executive power during the remainder of this term.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 7 that Obama is "shaping a new approach for the second half of his term: to advance his agenda through executive actions he can take on his own, rather than pushing plans through an increasingly hostile Congress." According to the Times, this will involve more executive orders, use of his regulatory powers and his Cabinet's rule-making authority. Areas where executive powers will be exercised, are likely to be those involving so-called environmental matters, especially reducing "greenhouse" gas emissions, and in implementing the nazi health-care law and the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.

Obama's Latest Insanity: Solar Panels on Public Lands

Oct. 6 (EIRNS)—The Oct. 5 decision by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, to open up the first public lands ever to be leased for solar panels, is an act of insanity, charged Lyndon LaRouche in discussion with LPAC-TV today. The California projects amount to a contribution to the further desertification of that state, as well as a corrupt subsidy to the companies that run the solar projects.

Worse yet, the largest of the two projects approved will be built in the Imperial Valley, which is potentially a key part of the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA).

Nearly 7,000 acres of California public land is being allocated for the solar panels, 60 times the amount of space needed to create a reliable nuclear plant. The leases will run for 30 years. The larger project, run by Tessera Solar, will allegedly produce 707 megawatts with 28,000 solar discs, and create fewer than 1,000 jobs (these jobs will be temporary). The smaller project, near San Bernardino, will be comprised of over 40,000 panels.

On top of this dangerous waste, the Obama Administration has promised to pay out $300 million to the two companies, as long as they start the projects before the end of the year, according to a provision in the "Recovery" Act. The deadline for this rip-off means that there are likely to be four other major projects approved by the Interior Department soon.

U.S. Hospital System Crumbling—Record Staff Losses and Closings

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—U.S. hospitals are on pace this year to carry out more mass layoffs than they did in 2009, and more employees are being affected. In 2009, 11,757 hospital employees lost their jobs through mass layoffs—defined as a loss of 50 more jobs by one employer—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this year is running ahead. As of Aug., 8, 233 employees had been hit by mass layoffs at hospitals.

Entire hospitals, as well as specialty wings—natal, psychiatric in-patient, medical equipment support units, and others—are being shut down. Details were released this week by the American Medical Association News.

However, the Obama health-care Nazi "reformers" of U.S. medical treatment, are conducting meetings in Washington, D.C. this week, to decree that their cost- and care-reduction schemes are going to be bulled through no matter what, because some lives are not worthy of receiving treatment anyway. This is a specialty of Donald M. Berwick, the new director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a recess appointment by President Obama in June, who issued his decrees at yesterday's Health and Human Services event on Capitol Hill, the "2010 National Summit On Health Care Quality and Value." Former Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag, now at the New York Times, did his part yesterday, with an article ("Health Care's Lost Weekend"), blaming hospitals for slacking off on weekends and "keeping people in the hospital longer than necessary."

In August alone, hospitals initiated 12 mass layoffs leading to 1,027 hospital personnel filing for unemployment benefits, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Sept. 23. It was the second consecutive month with more than 10 mass layoffs affecting more than 1,000 employees. July recorded 14 such events and 1,357 affected workers.

The case is similar for the mentally ill. State and local hospitals, under the economic breakdown crisis, lack the resources to provide the mentally ill with even minimum care. Many states are downsizing their psychiatric in-patient wards, or closing them altogether. Some are trying to save funds, by contracting out with care centers. Protests by medical associations, local citizen groups, and police are taking place, for example, in Massachusetts, where Burbank Hospital is set to shut down its inpatient psychiatric unit, of 15 beds, no later than Dec. 31.

In Germany, in September 1939, under Hitler's new executive order for doctors to decide who would get treatment, and who would not, the mentally ill became the first category of lives considered not worth the resources to treat.

Berwick gave an address, yesterday, to the National Summit on Health Care Quality and Value, in Hitlerian jargon about how there is "geographical" and "statistical" variation in "costs and value" in the U.S. medical system, which means costs can be driven down. He asserted that all life falls into "statistical distributions," and we must make use of the "laws of variation" in thinking about which treatments have value, and which do not. He announced that there are new Institutes of Medicine studies underway to provide "geographic information" on where cuts can be made, While keeping up value. Translated, this means: lives considered less valuable—too mentally deranged, too old, too poor, etc.—will not be allowed to waste money getting treated.

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