From Volume 38, Issue 30 of EIR Online, Published August 5, 2011

United States News Digest

Nobody Loves Obama Anymore—But Will They Admit He's Got a Mustache?

July 30 (EIRNS)—During an April 2009 webcast, Lyndon LaRouche first publicly identified Barack Obama's narcissism and what it would mean for the United States. In the two and a half years since then, the prescience of LaRouche's warning has become obvious to anyone with eyes to see. And more and more people are, indeed, beginning to see that Obama simply doesn't care about anyone but the man he sees in the mirror. The next step for them is to acknowledge the true nature of his Hitler-like policies.

Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan nailed the machine-like personality of Obama, in a column posted this morning, pointing out that while Obama has people who support and raise money for him, he doesn't inspire the same depth of feeling that Bill Clinton did, or even George W. Bush. Nobody loves him any more, she writes, quoting one "hard-line progressive and wise veteran of the political wars" to this effect: "I never loved Barack Obama. That said, among my crowd who did 'love' him, I can't think of anyone who still does." As opposed to Clinton, and even Bush, Noonan argues, Obama "doesn't exude any feeling that what he says and does is genuine."

Another sign of Obama's collapsing status comes from an important icon, the liberal activist and singer-actor Harry Belafonte, who was a major supporter of Martin Luther King in the 1960s. "Barack Obama and his mission has failed because it lacked a certain kind of moral courage, a kind of moral vision ... a kind of courage we are in need of," said Belafonte (as reported by the Washington Post based on an HBO documentary about his political activism). "When he said 'Yes, we can,' it was politically clever, but he never defined what it is we can do. So we filled in those spaces what we thought he meant, only to find we were disappointed, because none of those points was satisfied."

Federal Judge Condemns DOJ Treatment of NSA Whistleblower

July 30 (EIRNS)—A Federal judge in Baltimore has compared the Justice Department's handling of an NSA whistleblower case to British colonial methods. Judge Richard Bennett, a George W. Bush appointee, refused to even impose a fine on former high-level NSA official Thomas Drake, who originally had faced 35 years in prison on espionage charges, after the Justice Department's case against him collapsed last month. In June, the government dismissed a ten-count felony indictment, and instead allowed Drake to plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense of unauthorized use of a computer. In Drake's sentencing hearing, prosecutors argued yesterday that he should be given a heavy fine to deter others from similar conduct.

Drake's home was raided in late 2007, but no action against him was taken until the Obama Justice Department indicted him for espionage in April 2010, in an unprecedented use of the 1917 espionage law. According to a transcript of the hearing released yesterday, Judge Bennett blasted the DOJ for waiting two and a half years before deciding to indict Drake. "I find that unconscionable, unconscionable," he said. "It is at the very root of what this country was founded on against general warrants of the British. It was one of the most fundamental things in the Bill of Rights, that this country was not to be exposed to people knocking on the door with government authority and coming into their homes. And when it happens, it should be resolved pretty quickly, and it sure as heck shouldn't take two and a half years before someone's charged after that event."

The Drake prosecution is part of a pattern of the Obama Administration's unprecedented use of espionage charges to crack down on leakers in five different cases. As various legal commentators have pointed out, this is far worse than Bush or Nixon. (For more on the Drake case, see "Obama: Worse than Bush and Cheney," EIR, May 27, 2011.)

Emergency Rooms See Surge of Malnourished Toddlers

July 28 (EIRNS)—U.S. hospital emergency rooms are reporting increasing numbers of underweight and malnourished children, because more and more families are unable to afford to eat. Hospitals in Baltimore, Little Rock, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Boston all reported this in a new survey; medics say this is the worst incidence of malnutrition they have seen since they began to monitor hungry children ten years ago.

The situation is typical of what once was called an undeveloped country, said of the coordinator of the survey, Dr. Megan Sandel, a child and public health professor at Boston Medical Center, which has had the highest increase in undernourished children among U.S. hospitals. The details were released this week by Children's HealthWatch.

Doctors at Boston Medical attribute this to New England's families being hit with impossible trade-offs between heating and housing costs.

Before 2007, when the crash set in, 12% of youngsters age three and under were significantly underweight, in a random survey of BMC emergency department records; this jumped to 18% in 2010, and is getting worse. The survey also reports that the percentage of families with children reporting that they did not have enough food each month, soared from 18% in 2007 to 28% in 2010.

BMC saw a 58% increase in the number of severely underweight babies under the age of one, who were referred by physicians to BMC's GrowClinic, for intensive intervention (nutritional, medical, and other measures) to boost the babies' growth. The Clinic had 24 cases in 2005, 38 in 2010, and now it's worse.

A mockery of this reality comes from First Lady Michelle Obama, who is featured on the August cover of Better Homes and Gardens. Shown at her White House picnic table, serving Washington, D.C. fifth-graders fresh food, Mrs. Obama tells you to take charge of your family's eating. "Children's habits can be changed so much easier than adults," so they don't need to be fat. "They don't have control over their diets—we do."

How Obama Thanks Vets for Service: Homelessness on the Rise

July 27 (EIRNS)—Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are becoming homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, at a much higher rate than veterans of previous wars. The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) admitted as much yesterday, when it announced $60 million in grants to organizations that help veterans at risk of homelessness. The grants are intended to help 22,000 veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Pete Dougherty, the VA's senior policy advisor on homelessness, said that, so far this year, the VA has helped 10,476 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who were homeless or at risk of becoming so—a number that has doubled three times since 2006. Dougherty added that about 70% of that population has a history of combat exposure and consequent psychological effects.

Roemer Declares for President, Backs Glass-Steagall

July 26 (EIRNS)—Former Republican Louisiana Congressman Charles "Buddy" Roemer declared his candidacy for President July 21 in New Hampshire. While he doesn't have a full "platform" posted on his website, news reports state that "Roemer has promised to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment and commercial banking activities. He plans to impose tough capital-ratio requirements on big banks."

In a wide-ranging interview with Democracy in Action April 11, Roemer said: "I opposed the Glass-Steagall being changed under Bill Clinton. You remember that was '98, '99. I said it was a mistake then. It's happened. We've had the biggest bank failure in our history for the last 75 years, after they got rid of Glass-Steagall. It should be re-imposed. Bank capital ratios should go up as the size of the bank goes up. Too big to fail is not healthy for America, and it hasn't been changed. I don't care what George W. Bush says, I don't care what Barack Obama says; they don't know what they're talking about when it comes to banking. Too big to fail. It's still the law, and it's wrong. I will change it."

A four-term conservative "Blue Dog" Democratic Congressman (1980-88), Roemer helped organize the "Boll Weevils," a group of independent Democrats who "often voted with Ronald Reagan." As Congressman, then Governor, and now as Presidential candidate, Roemer has eschewed corporate cash, and considers that one of his biggest issues. "I want to be a President free to lead on these things, and he [such a Presidential candidate] can't take the big money; he can't do it." As governor of Louisiana, Roemer switched parties in 1991, becoming a Republican, because "I was getting no help from [local] Democrats."

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