EIR Daily Alert Service, TUESDAY, January 28, 2020
TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020
Volume 7, Number 19
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- ‘Thinking Like Lyndon LaRouche’ Amidst the Impeachment Circus
- President’s Counsel Ignore Bolton Bull on Senate Trial Day Seven
- Schumer Impeachment Push Doesn’t Play in New York City Housing Meeting
- Three-Quarter Trillion Shale Losses Since 2015, Getting Worse
- German Farmers, ‘Too Silent’ Too Long,’ Stage Surprise Actions
- Clear the Decks for February Fight To Keep President’s Moon-Mars Mission on Track
- U.S. Troops Blocking Russians’ Access to Oil Fields in Northeast Syria
- Pakistan, China Slam U.S. ‘Interference’ in Belt and Road’s China Pakistan Economic Corridor
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—Last week President Donald Trump responded to the ongoing, desperate coup attempt against him, by a tour de force blowing away the ideology of “Davos man.” The World Economic Forum runs on cultural pessimism, this year featuring the “climate emergency” mongers’ outright hatred of the billions of members of the human race. Trump gave a technologically optimistic, pro-people and pro-worker picture of the economic future, evoking the great builders of the Renaissance and the Cathedral Movement to show that mankind is capable of constant progress, and progress, as he said, “from the bottom up.”
The princes, the billionaires, and the radicals at Davos, all unified now in that Malthusianism the Bank of England’s Mark Carney calls “50 shades of green,” faced failure. The scientific and technological optimism they confront in Trump, they face also in China’s President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin who wants a global crash program for fusion power, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These four, as a vanguard of other leading economic powers, have very important problems they can solve with their cooperation, problems claimed “insoluble” or solutions deemed “unattainable” by British geopoliticians and neo-liberal elites.
The latter’s response over this weekend has been another in the increasingly desperate string of faked “impeachment bombshells” which always follow Trump’s setbacks delivered to the City of London and co-thinkers. It were best this latest dud does not lengthen the dragging out of the Trump impeachment circus; American people must be focused on what they can do through this optimistic Presidency.
President Putin has called for, and President Xi has agreed, to a summit of the five Security Council heads of state and government “in searching for collective ways of responding to current challenges and threats,” in Putin’s words at Yad Vashem on Jan. 23. Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche had already urged, on Jan. 3 in the wake of the assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani of Iran—and even before Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes—for an emergency summit of Putin, Xi and Trump for Southwest Asia security guarantees, peace and reconstruction after 30 years of constant wars.
If this is much more immediate than President Putin’s schedule, his intent is clear, and a summit led by the United States, China and Russia, with other powers, is on the table, potentially very close. It must begin now, and patriotic Americans must get President Trump to join it now, as he constantly speaks of joint help and cooperation with those powers. The range of problems to be solved is great enough to animate a series of such summits.
But the guiding objectives are ending constant war through economic development, and crash programs of scientific and technological progress and transfer led by space exploration and advanced nuclear/fusion/plasma technologies.
Consider that America’s own republican government came from a process triggered by a meeting of just two states to discuss mere regulations for a canal, and led in a year to the Constitutional Convention and “a republic, if you can keep it,” as Ben Franklin said. The driver of that process was George Washington.
For what must come from the emergency summit Helga LaRouche calls for, the guiding objective is that of her late husband Lyndon LaRouche. For 20 years he called for the leaders of America, Russia, China and India to meet and launch a New Bretton Woods international system of stable exchange rates and credit to developing countries. It would have prevented the dismal decade of financial blowouts and crashes 1997-2008. It’s the alternative to a near-term, and worse financial breakdown now.
The process must start now. It calls for thinking like LaRouche.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—The President’s lawyers stuck to their game plan today despite the raging national media frenzy surrounding the New York Times account of what John Bolton allegedly wrote about an August 2019 conversation with President Donald Trump. As we analyzed the alleged Bolton quote, it was, by even the Times’ account, about Ukraine investigating their illegal intervention into the 2016 election and Vice-President Biden’s role in that, not about Hunter’s seat on Burisma and investigating the Bidens, as claimed throughout the media blitz today.
Ken Starr first gave an overview of impeachment proceedings and the former Independent Counsel statute’s interplay with impeachment. He stated that in tossing the Independent Counsel statute, the Congress recognized that the statute was “a dagger aimed at the heart of the Presidency” and would make the President serve at the discretion of Congress, not the people as specified in the Constitution. He also stated that the House’s action was aimed specifically at “normalizing impeachment” and would produce the same result that Congress feared, when it let the Independent Counsel statute lapse after the Clinton impeachment.
Then, signaling that they are ducking nothing and are not defensive in the least, Jamie Raskin, who was part of the President’s team in the Mueller investigation, gave a completely spirited defense of Rudy Giuliani. She led with Carl Sandberg’s description of “the trial lawyers dilemma: If the facts are against you, argue the law; if the law is against you, argue the facts; if both the facts and the law are against you, yell like hell.” She demonstrated that the Democrats had indeed done a bit of yelling, but had also employed another favored trial tactic, creating a “shiny object” distraction by providing a completely false and inflammatory portrait of the President’s lawyer. She observed that Clarence Darrow said that to be effective, a good lawyer must sometimes be outrageous, irreverent, blasphemous, a rogue, a renegade, on behalf of their client. She said that after a two-year siege of the Presidency, two IG reports, and $32 million, Rudy Giuliani had been absolutely correct about the outrageous illegalities committed against his client, Donald Trump; in fact, spot on. If you were keeping score on the truth, it would be, Rudy 4, Mr. Schiff 0.
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi followed by giving a complete presentation on the Burisma corruption saga in Ukraine and the role of Joe and Hunter Biden in it. This obviously was intended to demonstrate an intent to go full bore here, if the moderate Republicans and the Democrats continue their push for John Bolton and other witnesses. It also, by presenting the true, factual content of their conduct, should kill, in any reasonable mind, the continuing Democratic narrative that this is nothing but an insubstantial conspiracy theory.
Tonight’s proceedings are scheduled to be an analysis of the facts and law presented in the Democratic case, by former special prosecutor Robert Ray and by Alan Dershowitz. Both presentations will demonstrate that under even the most favorable interpretation of the facts presented by the Democrats, the two impeachment articles are insufficient as a matter of statutory and constitutional law, and would be, in a normal court of law, subject to a successful motion to dismiss following the Democrats’ initial presentation.
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—Sen. Chuck Schumer dropped by a meeting to help out his friend Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, who was being grilled by constituents over a draft bill to enact new regulations on New York’s Housing Development Fund Corp. Apparently Schumer thought he could impress the New Yorkers with “war stories” from the impeachment “front line.”
Assemblyman Epstein was having trouble, mid-afternoon, dancing around demands to “explain” a new draft bill that would enact burdensome regulations on the Housing Development Fund Corp. (HDFC) and take away autonomy given to the owners for 50 years.
Under the guise of “stopping by to see my old friend,” Senator Schumer waltzed into the meeting and started to brief everyone on the “two very impressive impeachment articles” the U.S. House had generated and sent to the Senate. Schumer said the President had been caught trying to rig the 2016 election and that if he were allowed to succeed, the people “will lose their faith in democracy.” He assured his listeners, “You don’t have to commit a crime to be impeached,” referencing some unknown instance.
Schumer then said of his “juror in the Senate trial” persona, and that he had not “made up [his] mind yet,” since all the evidence had not been presented.” Then he asserted that “80% of the public agrees we should have witnesses and documents,” and concluded, “We are just seeking the truth.”
When the Senator then started a personal attack on the President, some homeowners raised a sign, “Homeowners will first say what’s best for HDFCs,” and one angrily and loudly said, “This isn’t about HDFCs.” A few more irritated audience members chimed in angrily, that this was “wasting our time, protect our homes!” A panel member for Assemblyman Epstein then condescendingly retorted, “Show some respect!” to which an agitated elderly woman in the audience, remarked, “Respect works both ways,” clearly viewing Schumer’s takeover charade as insignificant and/or offensive, given they were not being allowed to discuss the subject of the meeting.
Schumer’s final barrage was that “Fox News is totally controlled by Trump,” and he then exited. Assemblyman Epstein, left alone to address a draft bill about as popular as Schumer, began some attempts at appeasement.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—In the U.S. leveraged-lending and junk bond center of Wall Street’s “everything bubble,” the shale oil and gas sector is the number-one place where debt goes to die. Ironically this is the sector making the United States “energy independent” for the first time in nearly a century. The last week’s sudden 20% drop in the price of oil to $52/barrel for West Texas crude, and to a record-low natural gas price, will accelerate the bankruptcies and the threat to debt-holding banks and hedge funds.
Wolf Richter’s Jan. 22 column in his “Wolf Street” website—“The Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust: Fracking Gushes Bankruptcies, Defaulted Debt, and Worthless Shares”—gives new details. Since 2015, through 400 bankruptcies of shale oil producers/explorers, oil-field services companies, and midstream companies (e.g., transport, storage), $207 billion in debt has gone bust. This is losses of bondholders, which definitely include regional and major banks. But as EIR has reported before, the losses of shale investors and shareholders over that five-year period have exceeded $500 billion. And production in the shale basins is continuing the decline which characterized all of 2019.
One of the largest of the bankruptcies was in July, Weatherford International oil-field services, which in 2014 had 67,000 employees and in July 2019 had 26,000. Some $6 billion debt was wiped out then in a “packaged bankruptcy.” Weatherford attributed its insolvency in part to reduced drilling activity by producers. Now, the price of natural gas has dropped to unheard-of low $1.90 per million Btu. Wolf Street reports that this is significantly due to the failure to build sufficient pipeline or cracking facilities, especially pipelines. That leaves the shale producers, particularly in Texas, dependent on local demand, and therefore prices collapse. This is going to lead to a severe retrenchment in shale gas production, as in the Marcellus basin where there is almost no oil being recovered, only gas.
So the energy revolution in the United States continues to be almost as inefficient and low-productivity, as Germany’s “Energiewende,” as the insane nuclear and fossil fuel exit is known; and both are elements accelerating financial breakdown.
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—Yesterday evening, some 250 farmers used their tractors to block the roads near a big food storage site of the Edeka food chain at Neukrug, in northwestern Germany. Trucks arriving or leaving the site were forced to stop for several hours. The blockade, spontaneously organized by farmers angered over an Edeka ad campaign promising cheap food items for the region, was directed against food chains’ notorious practice of price dumping, including by Edeka.
A key issue sparking protests is the price that farmers receive for a liter of produced milk: The dairies in bed with the food chains, pay farmers €0.20 per liter, whereas farmers need at least €0.40 just to break even. Protest actions like this one have compelled Chancellor Angela Merkel to invite for a roundtable in Berlin on Feb. 3, with leading officials of the main food chains like Aldi, Edeka, Lidl attending. According to the German Anti-Cartel Office, 85% of Germany’s daily food supply in the stores is controlled by the four leading food chains, and their price-dumping practice, including twisting farmers’ arms into disadvantageous deals, is on the official record of “misuse of market power.”
Farmers are also raising the heat directly on politicians: New Year’s receptions of political parties and other public events featuring politicians as speakers, have become a main target of spontaneous farmers protests and interventions. Thus, Green Party leading politician Claudia Roth was welcomed by 15 tractors at the Paintner Hotel in Germering on Jan. 25, and 250 tractors surrounded the Jan. 25 New Year’s reception of the Christian Social Union’s Lower Allgäu district in Mindelheim, Bavaria.
Protest actions in many cities of Lower Saxony compelled that state’s Christian Democrats to declare their support for the farmers’ cause, at their Jan. 25 New Year’s convention in Walsrode. With Bundestag member Gitta Connemann (CDU), who has also been touring rural regions of Germany to talk with farmers, the farmers have a strong sympathizer who has openly endorsed the wave of protests as “long overdue.” Connemann welcomed the protest wave, saying that farmers have been “too silent for too long.”
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—A NASA Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2020 has been introduced by the House Science Committee, which makes of President Donald Trump’s Artemis Moon-Mars mission, simply a Mars program, and would eliminate most of the lunar program. The Lunar Gateway would be changed to the Mars Gateway, and the lunar landing put back to NASA’s original date of 2028, which is described as an “interim goal” to the Mars landing in 2033.
The cut in the Moon mission fits with views consistently expressed last year by the Committee’s chair, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX); which in turn match those by Appropriations Subcommittee on Space chair Rep. José Serrano (D-NY): No to President Trump’s proposed fast-track program to return human beings to the Moon by 2024, and then develop lunar resources and capacities to launch to Mars. This while he fights an increasingly desperate Democratic impeachment coup.
Crucially, the bill, introduced by Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), who chairs the Committee’s space subcommittee, eliminates in situ resource utilization on the Moon; i.e., getting water from lunar ice—which was one of NASA’s reasons for going to the Moon—and restricts any development of a “continuously crewed lunar outpost or research station.”
The counter to the ill-conceived attempt to bypass the Moon is the full-scale development of its many resources, including helium-3, by the program developed by German-American space pioneer Krafft Ehricke in his book, Extraterrestrial Imperative, his short novel on travel to Mars, Expedition Ares, and The Seventh Continent: The Industrialization and Settlement of the Moon. This approach is being followed by Chinese scientists, and eloquently supported by geologist and Apollo astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who was on the 1972, last mission to the Moon. The goal of the Chinese lunar program is to integrate the resources, most notably helium-3, and industrial development of the Moon with the economy of the Earth; to make use of the unique features of the Moon, such as the “quiet” far side, for scientific studies, as for astronomy; and to be a test bed for the technologies needed for further deep space exploration.
The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the bill on Jan. 29. Then the full committee will take up the bill, before it goes to the full House. A major battle must be waged in February for the entire four-year extra NASA funding (perhaps $25 billion over FY2021-24) to carry out the Project Artemis Moon-Mars mission as a crash program. The coup attempt against President Trump, now in its desperate and dragged-out impeachment phase, must be defeated now, to clear the decks for that fight.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—Over the past week or so there have been a number of encounters between Russian and U.S. troops in northeastern Syria, where the U.S. side has blocked Russian convoys from access to oil fields. In the latest incident, which apparently occurred Jan. 26, ten armored vehicles carrying American soldiers stopped Russian military vehicles west of Al-Hasakah province while they were trying to reach the M4 highway to reach key oil fields in the province, reported the Turkish Daily Sabah.
Following the incident, the Russian military sent a helicopter from the base in the town. In response, the U.S. military sent two helicopters to the area, forcing the Russian helicopter to land. The Russian military convoy then apparently turned back and returned to their home base. This is reported to be the fourth such incident in eight days. The Russians, unlike the Americans, were requested to help the Damascus government rid the country of the terrorists and bring Syrian refugees home.
U.S. State and Defense Department officials, in briefings last week, continued to insist that the U.S. mission in Syria is to protect Syrian oil fields from being seized by remnants of the Islamic State terror group, and to ensure that revenues from those fields go into the coffers of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Jan. 27 (EIRNS)—On Jan. 22 Alice Wells, the U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, gave a speech in Islamabad, Pakistan attacking the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which extends from Kashi in western China, across Pakistan to Karachi and Gwadar on the Arabian Sea. Adding nothing new to charges which she first made at the Wilson Center in Washington last November, Wells claimed debt trap and lack of transparency. To say that her intervention was “not well received” would be an understatement.
In a strongly-worded press release, the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad said, “We would be more than glad to see the U.S. develop its relationship with Pakistan, but we strongly oppose the U.S. interference in China-Pakistan relations and the CPEC.” In an oblique reference to the November speech (to which Beijing also publicly objected) the statement said, “Although you can never wake up a person who is pretending to be asleep, we have to make our position clear and reject the negative propaganda by the U.S. We must not let the truth be distorted and the lies run wild.”
Directly posing the BRI as a counter to geopolitics, the release continued, “We also want to advise the U.S. that when you accuse China, you should first look back what have you [have] done to Pakistan, and think about how much contribution have you made for Pakistan. Did Ms. Wales [sic] bring any aid, investment or trade for Pakistan during her visit?”
The U.S. intervention was also blasted by Pakistan. Interviewed by CNBC from Davos, on Jan. 23, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed only gratitude for Chinese assistance. “Pakistan is grateful to China as they helped us in difficult times by making investments. We were at rock bottom when the Chinese came and rescued us.” Khan rejected the impression that CPEC has made Pakistan “indebted” to China, saying Chinese loans account for only 5-6% of its total indebtedness. Khan said CPEC envisages cooperation in both technology and agriculture, and “because of Chinese investment, we have been able to attract more foreign investment in the country.”
Even in the U.S. press, the Wells intervention took heat. In an unsigned editorial, the liberal Nation magazine stated, “Being a sovereign state, Pakistan does not need to take dictations from anyone on the economic or political choices it makes. Islamabad is better placed than any other country to do so. The U.S. cannot expect to have such a stance on Pakistan while being silent about Kashmir and India. The bias is showing and is a hamper to better relations. So close to an Afghan peace deal, the U.S. needs to be looking to work with Pakistan, not drive it away.”
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