From Volume 37, Issue 47 of EIR Online, Published Dec. 3, 2010

United States News Digest

Rangel Will Fight Censure Motion

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—Associated Press reported today that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) intends to fight the censure resolution being proposed by the House Ethics Committee; he will argue to the House that the most severe punishment he should receive should be a reprimand (which would not require him to stand in the well of the House and be scolded by Speaker Nancy Pelosi). According to sources close to Rangel, he is planning to ask Ethics Committee chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) for time to argue his case on the House floor, where he will say that censure has been imposed for violations including bribery, accepting improper gifts, personal use of campaign funds, and sexual misconduct—none of which is present in his case.

Politico notes that Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), who chaired the subcommittee that conducted the Rangel probe, told reporters at the end of July that the subcommittee had recommended a reprimand for Rangel. Green later retracted those comments under pressure from Lofgren.

Politico also reports that the House vote on the censure motion is expected to take place this week. It must take place during the lame-duck session, or the committee's action expires.

U.S. Postal Cuts Hit Blacks, Rural Areas the Hardest

Nov. 26 (EIRNS)—The U.S. postal system, established as a nation-building measure in 1775 by Benjamin Franklin and the Continental Congress, is being dismantled, step by step, by today's puppets of our nation's British imperial enemies. The service has been operated as a quasi-independent agency since 1971 (another crime of Richard Nixon), required to be "self-sufficient," as if it were just any private corporation. Now, the Obama Administration is taking it further.

On Nov. 12, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it had lost $8.5 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September. These losses occurred despite (or perhaps, because of) more than $9 billion in cuts in the last two years, including the elimination of about 105,000 full-time jobs. The Postal Service is looking at further reduction of delivery schedules and routes, including ending Saturday delivery, and closing "unprofitable" post offices.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who is set to lead the House committee overseeing postal affairs, said the USPS should urgently consider further cost cuts to help match its revenues. "Congress has an obligation to ensure that effective solutions are implemented and taxpayers don't get stuck paying for a bailout," Issa said.

This policy will cut off entire communities from service. The same process occurring with the deregulation of transport and the cutbacks in health care, will now occur in communication by mail.

National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" is broadcasting a series on Postal Service cuts, which documents this point. Today, it focused on the impact on blacks, using as an example East Cleveland, Ohio, where the only post office has been downsized from nearly 100 employees to just one. The city will lose $100,000 in annual tax revenue from transferred and laid-off workers. Mayor Gary Norton describes how this downsizing hurts this city, where a third of the residents don't have cars: "The Post Office made a move that basically takes the people who are least able to get to the Post Office and moves it away, so when they've got large packages, when they've got certified letters, when they need to get something from the Post Office, [they] just can't do it here."

North Carolina A&T State University Prof. Philip Rubio says the Post Office cuts are particularly tough on African-Americans, who have historically made up one-fifth of the Postal Service's workforce. "The current downsizing and attrition, while it's been devastating to all postal workers, it's been especially devastating to the African-American community," Rubio says.

Conservative Examiner Calls for Removal of Obama

Nov. 23 (EIRNS)—A Nov. 14 article in the Conservative Examiner (a news/politics website), cites the demand of LaRouche Democrat Kesha Rogers, the 2010 Democratic Congressional candidate in the Texas 22nd C.D., who called for President Obama to be removed from office. The articles points out that Rogers made it a centerpiece of her campaign to call for the removal of Obama from office, not by impeachment, which would involve a lengthy process in Congress, but by invoking the 25th Amendment, which specifies how a sitting President can be removed immediately, based upon the opinion of the Vice President and Cabinet that he is unable to fulfill the duties of office. The article says that Rogers is convinced that Obama is unfit to serve and must be removed.

Prof. Cornel West Blasts Obama

Nov. 28 (EIRNS)—, which covers African-American affairs, reports that "the small trickle of blacks speaking out against the policies of President Barack Obama is beginning to resemble something more along the lines of a steady stream."

It cites, as the latest former supporter of Obama to speak out against him, author and Princeton University Prof. Cornel West, who compared Obama to former President George W. Bush, in not caring about the black poor, during a Nov. 19 interview with Democracy Now.

"The Obama administration seems to have very little concern about poor people and their social misery," West said. "Look at the policies vis-à-vis Wall Street, downplaying Main Street; look at the policies of black farmers, a settlement already in place, but they don't want to execute it because they don't want to be associated with black folk too explicitly; look at the policies of dilapidated housing; we can go right across the board. Look at the policies of the new Jim Crow system: the Prison-Industrial Complex."

West said that in the first two years of the Obama Administration, "There is simply no mention of poor people's plight," and he went on to explain: "It's very clear that the people around President Obama, the economic team, pro-Wall Street, pro-oligarchy, pro-plutocracy in terms of preoccupation with investment bankers, very little concern about jobs ... for every day people ... very little concern about homes for everyday people, very little concern about transforming conditions that deal with some of the crime out here, with all of this terrorism taking place between poor people and other poor people...."

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