From Volume 38, Issue 23 of EIR Online, Published June 10, 2011

United States News Digest

Obama Blocks Funding for Just-Completed Flood Protection Project!

June 5 (EIRNS)—The Army Corps of Engineers has finished construction of the nearly two-mile Inner Harbor Navigation Canal-Lake Borgne Surge Barrier. With the world's largest pumping stations and the largest seagates ever installed in America, the system is designed to stop a hurricane-impelled surge out of the Gulf of Mexico 12 miles out from the city of New Orleans.

But with hurricane season just beginning, the Obama Administration is refusing to budget Federal funds to operate the new system. The project is in financial disarray, as local jurisdictions, effectively bankrupt in the global financial crisis, cannot step in to pay the operating costs.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune quotes John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, "which would likely be responsible for operating the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway gate in the Lake Borgne surge barrier. Barry said he and other Louisiana officials have talked to members of Congress and representatives of President Obama and the White House Office of Management and Budget about the gates, without success. 'There's considerable sympathy for our position everywhere, but the problem is this whole climate in Washington in terms of money,' he said."

The Army Corps completed the new surge barrier in 2 years and 2 weeks, a 100-year-storm protection (using as much steel as in eight Eiffel Towers, with gates 26 feet high and 225 feet across, with pumps that would fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in 4.6 seconds) at a cost of about $1 billion.

The national investment in the total surge protection system in place is $14 billion. To make good on that investment, around $38 million per year additional operating costs are required, for skilled personnel to open and close the navigational gates, and maintain and repair the system.

But six years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and in the midst of a string of catastrophic tornadoes and floods, Barack Obama is turning a deaf ear to New Orleans.

Obama Shows Us He's Nuts

June 4 (EIRNS)—During an appearance at a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, yesterday, and in his Saturday weekly address (delivered from the same site), President Obama demonstrated, once again, that he is totally insane and disconnected from reality. Even to the horror of his own closest White House advisors, Obama touted the tremendous economic recovery that he has engineered, and the 2 million new private sector jobs he has created in the past 15 months. He counterposed his success in creating new auto manufacturing jobs with President Bush's wipeout of 400,000 auto sector jobs.

With a new round of "too big to fail" bank failures on Wall Street looming; with the worst job figures in almost a year, boosting the official unemployment rate to 9.1%; and with an anticipated 4-5 million additional home foreclosures coming in the months ahead, Obama's claims that the recovery is here, and that the recent bad news is just "a bump on the road to recovery," came off like the words of a stark-raving lunatic. Sources close to the Obama White House confirmed that all of the President's top economic and political aides had pressed him to admit that there were serious economic troubles, and to announce some fake job-creating program.

But, instead, Obama babbled on about the strength of the recovery, and how he single-handedly saved the U.S. auto sector, to the point that Chrysler and GM are creating thousands of new jobs, and have already paid back all of the money that went to them in the 2008 bailout frenzy.

This latest burst of insanity on the part of the President has already provoked a backlash, according to one top Democratic Party figure. "White House staff thought that the President would admit that the recent economic data was a serious setback, and announce some cosmetic jobs initiative. But he rejected all of that. It is clear that the orders to Obama are coming direct from London. He is not going to do anything that might anger his patrons. So there is nothing he can do but lie."

Thousands of Firefighters Protest Bloomberg's Budget Cuts

June 3 (EIRNS)—An estimated 1,000 New York City firefighters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge this morning, from Engine Company 205 in Brooklyn Heights to City Hall, where they were joined by 5,000 more (union estimates placed the size of the crowd at 10,000), protesting billionaire fascist Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to close 20 fire companies, in order to cut $55 million from the Fire Department's budget. The Uniformed Firefighters Association advertised the rally with full-page ads depicting Bloomberg as the Grim Reaper, which declared "Closing FDNY companies threatens your life. Mike Bloomberg believes your family is not entitled to fire or emergency medical protections in a timely manner."

Officials of both the firefighters' union and the fire officers' union, backed by elected officials, including New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, all warn that the cutbacks will lengthen response times, thus threatening lives and property. "Under a plan like this, more lives would be lost," de Blasio told WABC-TV. "It's also fundamentally unfair to say to people in some neighborhoods, you get less. You know, just grin and bear it."

UFA president Steve Cassidy described today's rally as "democracy in action," with firefighters and community activists gathering at City hall to tell Bloomberg "that closing firehouses is compromising their safety and they're not going to stand for it." Assemblyman Peter Abbate of Brooklyn was more blunt, telling the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, yesterday, that "When someone dies, the blood will be on Mayor Bloomberg's hands."

Disaster Victims Ask: Where Are the Feds?

June 2 (EIRNS)—It's becoming increasingly clear, that in this season of tornadoes and floods, the Obama Administration is all talk and no action, and the news media and Congressional representatives of the victims, have begun to tell the public about it.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported today, " just the two-month period that preceded May 25, President Obama issued 27 disaster and emergency declarations in 18 states. That included an emergency declaration in Louisiana for flooding related to the Mississippi River, including the opening of the Morganza Floodway. But the president has not sought additional money from Congress to pay for the aid that will be needed by those states. Several U.S. senators, including Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), have been urging the president to seek more money for the fund, and [that] The White House should not ignore this matter."

Last Sunday evening, ABC World News carried a piece about the devastation of Tuscaloosa, Ala. As video was shown of absolutely crushed and devastated neighborhoods, the ABC anchor led the story, "This is Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where 7,000 homes were destroyed in a matter of minutes just a month ago by a deadly twister there. President Obama told the people of Tuscaloosa, 'We're going to make sure you're not forgotten,' so, a month later, we've gone back."

The on-site reporter began his story, again with shots of devastated neighborhoods, "There are no children playing in these residential streets. The city looks like it did a month ago." It's reported that many people are still homeless, and close to 100 residents are still staying in the last open shelter, which will be closed next week.

One Tuscaloosa resident who was interviewed, a 69-year-old black woman, Shirley Billingsley, showed her crushed house, and the reporter said that she and her family worry they'll have to sleep outside their broken home; they want the Federal government to bring them trailers or allow them to spend emergency money they received from FEMA on hotels or housing. An outraged Mrs. Billlingsley declared, "Obama came in, and Obama said, 'We gonna help everybody.' That's a lie! Tell him Shirley said it, and she lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama!"

Obama Administration Implements 'NICE' Genocide

June 2 (EIRNS)—Sir Donald Berwick, Obama's unconfirmed head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced on June 1 that, as of July 1, states will not be permitted to pay hospitals and health-care providers for conditions deemed "reasonably preventable." The list of such procedures mirrors that adopted by Medicare earlier this year, and amount to the kind of Nazi-like budget cutting against lives deemed "not worthy of life" which LPAC and LaRouche said Obama's Hitler health bill represented. The measure is mandated by Obamacare.

As elaborated in Berwick's announcement in January of the Medicare provision, Medicare patients, falling into one of three categories of conditions of illness—pneumonia, heart attack, and heart failure—are to be deterred from receiving follow-up hospital treatment, for a month after their initial release, and hospitals which persist in giving them subsequent medical treatment will be hit with payment reductions in their Medicare reimbursements for such treatment.

The provision for denying payment also refers to conditions, infections, or illnesses acquired in the hospital, and readmission associated with treating those hospital-acquired conditions.

As expected, since Medicare stopped paying for these treatments, so have private insurers. The policy is clear: the patients should die.

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