From Volume 38, Issue 39 of EIR Online, Published October 7, 2011

United States News Digest

Wall Street 'Indignados' Have No Program But LaRouchePAC's

Oct. 4—(EIRNS)—The New York Police Department arrested some 700 protesters on Saturday as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the continuing "Occupy Wall Street" protest that began on Sept. 17. Protesters have been encamped at Liberty Square near Wall Street since Sept. 17, and a national action is planned for Washington on Oct. 7. All the arrested protesters, who were part of a much larger number, were released late Saturday night. They have complained that police "set them up" by allowing the marchers to cross the bridge, and then arresting those who were in the roadway, and not on the narrow pedestrian sidewalk.

Following the arrests, many hundreds of major print and television media began reporting on the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations as a growing movement like the youth protests in European and Middle East cities. The Muncie (Ind.) Free Press reported that "supporters of Lyndon LaRouche" are part of the ongoing protests in New York.

But while there is tremendous anger driving these mass protests, which have now spread to Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, to name of few, the only solutions being provided are those from LaRouchePAC. This was already shown on Sept. 17, when LPAC organizers, led by Diane Sare of the LPAC Democratic Congressional slate, dominated the first day of the Occupy Wall Street protests, with hours of choral music and an ad hoc economics class to about 100 people, emphasizing Glass-Steagall. Even more interesting was the report a Washington Times blog Oct. 4, that the restoration of Glass-Steagall—specifically, H.R. 1489—is topping a list of demands being voted on by one of the groups leading the demonstrations.

With the accelerating collapse, the situation is even more ripe for LPAC policy.

Obama's Sweetheart Settlement with Wall Street Coming Unhinged

Oct. 1 (EIRNS)—For 11 months now, Obama has been trying through his stooge, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, to reach a sweetheart settlement with Wall Street banks which would stop all investigation of their mortgage-related crimes, in exchange for a small payoff of perhaps $20 billion. Miller has repeatedly lied, on behalf of Obama, that the banks would be granted only limited immunity from their crimes, despite multiple leaks from within his group to the London's Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, insisting that in fact, the banks will be given a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for everything.

Miller has also repeatedly lied that this settlement is around the corner, for the same purpose of trying to prevent investigation and prosecution by state Attorneys General.

But now that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has publicly dropped out of the deal Sept. 30, who can believe those lies any longer? Harris said, among other things, that the Obama-Miller group was offering the Wall Street banks immunity from crimes which have not yet been investigated, and finally refused to go along.

That means the states which are known to have dropped out include New York, whose AG Schneiderman was thrown out a month ago, along with Delaware, Nevada, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Minnesota, and likely, Arizona. How could any settlement be possible without these states, which include some of the largest and most important for such a settlement, like California, which has more underwater borrowers than any other state? Yet Miller stuck to the Obama lie, saying, "California has been an important part of our team and has made a significant contribution to this case. However, the national effort is pressing forward, and we fully expect to reach a settlement with the banks."

Even Biden Is Dissing the President

Sept. 30 (EIRNS)—Things have gotten so bad for President Barack Obama that even Vice President Joe Biden has joined the chorus. In an interview late this week, Biden candidly—and accurately—admitted that the American people hold Obama, not George W. Bush, responsible for the lousy state of the U.S. economy. In an interview on WLRW radio in Miami, Fla. yesterday, Biden said, "Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that's not relevant. What's relevant is we're in charge.... And so I don't blame them for being mad. We're in charge. So they're angry."

Biden's remarks were widely picked up in the national media. CNN's White House correspondent Brianna Keilar noted, "The comments here from the Vice President are kind of cutting into President Obama's assertion that we've heard him make often, that he was really handed a tough situation, that the financial crisis happened even before he was elected."

States Cutting Jobless Benefits To Pay Debt to Feds

Sept. 28 (EIRNS)—Since 2009, the state of Georgia has borrowed $721 million from Washington to help the unemployed survive, and now it may repay the debt by cutting back on jobless benefits. The state Labor Department will send a $21.4 million check to Washington this week, the first payment on the debt. Labor Commissioner Mark Butler strongly favors cutting benefits—both the weekly amount and the number of weeks of eligibility. The state's official jobless rate is now 10.4%. More than $15 million of this week's $21.4 million interest payment came from the state's Medicaid program. The Labor Department dipped into its job-services program for the remainder of the interest payment. The Commissioner said the General Assembly will consider cutting the eligibility timeframe, as well as weekly amounts.

Other states have already moved in this direction. Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina this year cut eligibility from 26 to 20 weeks. Florida cut payouts from 26 to 23 weeks.

Poverty Rates Soaring in California

Sept. 27 (EIRNS)—A report from Sacramento County's Countywide Services Agency provides a snapshot of the increase in misery in California, as the poverty rate soars, and is exacerbated by state and local budget cuts, which continue unabated. One in every four people living in Sacramento County is served by the Countywide Services Agency, which released some figures to the Sacramento Bee on Sept. 27:

* CalFresh, the new name for the food stamp program, has seen its enrollment grow by 50% in the last three years;

* CalWorks, the "welfare jobs" program, which provides minimum-wage jobs to mostly single mothers, has seen its enrollment up by 20%, even as it is being cut by the state. Both of these programs, in fact, are being investigated for "fraud," as part of the assault against government run by lunatic Republican state legislators. While the doctored figures for unemployment show that 12% of the California workforce is unemployed, one can get a sense of the magnitude of the crisis even from these figures. The nonpartisan California Budget Project released a report this month which shows the following:

* The poverty level in the state is 16.3%. More than 2.2 million children—almost 1 in 4—live below the Federal poverty level;

* A record low percentage of working age Californians presently have jobs;

* Close to 1 million unemployed have been out of work for more than six months, many much longer;

* The average work week is the shortest since 1985, as many of those listed as "employed," are working part-time;

* The hourly wage, adjusted for inflation (which is a joke, as they are using official, fraudulent inflation figures), is the lowest in 10 years;

* "Inflation-adjusted" income figures, for the typical California household, dropped by 4.6% in 2010—the largest single-year drop on record;

* Loss of public sector jobs in California, as a result of constant budget cutting, is more than double the national average in the last three years. A new budget forecast will be out by next week, and will show that the uptick in revenue reported in July, has ended, and did not represent a systemic improvement, as Gov. Jerry Brown tried to hype it, but was due to short-term factors—primarily, an increase in capital gains tax due to speculative gains made by the artificially pumped-up stock market at the beginning of the year. In fact, only three months into the 2011-12 fiscal year, it is likely that the expected deficit will again balloon out of control, and the "budget hawks" are calling for the nuclear budget option, no matter how many people it will kill.

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