number 128    
11.11.07
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

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U.S. Dept. of the Treasury :
Designation of Iranian Entities
for Proliferation Activities and
Support for Terrorism

The Nation's Long Term Fiscal
Outlook - Bottom line : Federal
Fiscal Policy Remains
Unsustainable

Equitable Commerce, Josiah
Warren, 1852

'Round Midnight, Wes
Montgomery, 1965


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News
A recently disclosed  Los Angeles
Police Department program that
would generate a comprehensive
map of the city's Muslim communities
for use in counter terrorism
investigations has drawn sharp
criticism from a wide range of civil
liberties groups that charge the plan
amounts to "religious profiling."
Senior police officials have described
the program as an attempt to identify
groups that "may be susceptible to
violent ideologically-based
extremism." Last week, a coalition of
religious organizations and civil rights
advocates sent a letter to municipal
authorities expressing their concern
that the plan illegally targets the city's
diverse Muslim population of over
500, 000.
The mapping initiative is overseen by
LAPD Deputy Chief Michael P.
Downing, the department's top
antiterrorism official, who recently
testified about the program before
the Senate Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs Committee.
Downing told the Los Angeles Times,
"We are looking for communities and
enclaves based on risk factors that
are likely to become isolated. . . We
want to know where the Pakistanis,
Iranians, and Chechens are, so we
can reach out to those communities."

Downing said that the database for
the project will be compiled by the
federally-funded Center for Risk and
Economic Analysis of Terrorist
Events,  at the University of  
California.

The American Civil Liberties Union
joined with national and local
Muslim groups in condemning the
program. The coalition's letter to
Los Angeles city officials said,
"Singling out individuals for
investigation, surveillance, and
data-gathering
based on their religion constitutes
religious profiling that is just as
unlawful, ill-advised, and deeply
offensive as racial profiling." The
Muslim population in the Los
Angeles area is the nation's
second largest, after New York.     
it's all true
Profilers Put LA on the Map as Mecca for Prejudice
Drought conditions in many
Western and Southeastern
states have worsened in the
past few weeks leading
residents in the effected states
to take emergency measures
that include establishing rules
for water usage, rationing and
restricting water availability
and petitioning the
supernatural.

The US Drought Monitor
reported recently that “extreme
drought conditions” persist in
the Southeast, upper Great
Lakes region and the western
US.  The states of Alabama,
Tennessee and Georgia are
each experiencing “exceptional
drought” conditions and 37
percent of the contiguous
states are reporting moderate
to extreme drought conditions.

The rural Tennessee town of
Orme has completely run out
of water.  Residents can only
access water each evening
when the town managers turn
the town pumps on for three
hours.  The town’s water
supply for the past hundred
years is a mountain spring that
dried up in August of this
year.  Since that time, Orme
has spent 60 percent of its
yearly revenues trucking water
in from surrounding towns so
the residents can have three
hours of water each day.  
Orme is about 150 miles north
of Atlanta, GA.

The persistent drought has led
the Governor of Georgia,
Sonny Perdue, to appeal to a
higher power for relief.  
Governor Purdue held a
prayer vigil on the steps of the
state capital where he and a
few hundred people petitioned
the almighty for an end to the
dry spell.     
it's all true
A California based insurance
company encouraged its employees
to rescind health care benefit
coverage from its clients who were
the most sick to be able to save more
than $35 million dollars over a six-
year period.

The business, Health Net, Inc., was
found to have awarded bonuses to
employees who met goals that it set
to withdraw coverage from patients,
especially those who have
undergone expensive medical
procedures and treatments.  Health
Net rescinded about 1600 policies
between 2000 and 2006 saving an
estimated $35.5 million dollars in
claims.  Health Net gave the
employee responsible for the
cancellations salary bonuses of
about $20,000 by way of noting what
the insurance company referred to
as her “successful execution” of her
job
responsibilities.

The cash awards for removing health
benefits from sick patients came to
light as the result of a lawsuit filed by
a cancer patient whose health
benefits were halted by the company
in the middle of a course of
chemotherapy.  Although most health
insurance businesses have policy
cancellation departments, the lawsuit
revealed for the first time that
companies encourage the practice of
canceling patients who have been
approved for expensive treatments
by offering cash bonuses to
employees.

Health Net filed a motion to shield
documents that revealed the
company’s practice from public
review, but the judge presiding in the
case said that the matters involved in
the were of “significant public
interest."
The company’s internal records
show that it had set a goal of
policy cancellations of 180 per
year.  In 2002, the employee in
charge of reviewing policies for
cancellation recommended that
the company rescind 275
policies.  In 2003 the employee
rescinded 301 policies and was
recognized by her superior for
saving Health Net $6 million in
what he termed “unnecessary”
health care services.  In 2005 the
company said that the
cancellation department was “vital
to the profitability” of Health Net.

Although it is illegal in California
for Insurance companies to tie the
benefits of adjusters to the denial
of claims, the company said that
the employee was not a claims
reviewer but rather an
underwriter.  
it's all true
Insurance Company Makes Payments to Dump
Patients
Reason Withering
As Drought Deepens
source: Viroqua Institute
Youth voter turnout
selected states
MN        KY         IL         AK
%
40
70
A Kansas man who was arrested at a
rally where President George Bush
was appearing in 2006 has filed a
federal lawsuit against the president
alleging that his right to free speech
was violated.  The litigant says that
the motivation for his arrest was “to
stifle and chill any political dissent in
George W. Bush’s presence.”

Dennis Hawver said that a Kansas
Republican Party organizer ordered
that he be removed from the event
and arrested. Hawver, an attorney
from Ozawkie, KS, said in his lawsuit
that he was removed from the event
by “various federal employee
lackeys” and was arrested after he
held up a sign that said simply, “Stop
War”.  The rally was a public event in
support of a republican candidate for
Congress that was held at the
Kansas Exopcentre.
Hawver said that he was forcibly
removed from the event and, once
outside, shoved to the ground and
struck in the face.  The “lackeys”,
Hawver said, then ordered Topeka
Police to handcuff him and arrest
him.   Hawver spent 18 hours in jail
before being released on a $2500
bond.  Hawver said in his pleadings
that the arrest was a “politically
motivated violation of my civil and
constitutional rights especially
regarding my First Amendment right
of political expression.”  

Hawver is seeking $75,000 in
damages plus court costs from the
president.  Hawver also sent demand
letters to the Topeka Police
department and local county sheriff’s
offices seeking cash settlements from
those agencies totaling an additional
$70,000.     
it's all true
Protester Challenges President's Freedom to
Stifle
The difficulties congressional
Democrats have had achieving a
consensus on how to replace federal
revenues depleted by the Bush
administration's tax cuts highlights an
unfamiliar dilemma for the party, as it
tries not to alienate its increasingly
wealthy base of support. Last week,
Britian's Financial Times reported
that "the demographic reality is that,
in America, the Democratic party is
the new 'party of the rich.' More and
more Democrats represent areas
with a high concentration of wealthy
households." Now, with the party
apparently poised for further
electoral successes in November
2008, powerful special interests have
begun to shift the bulk of their
political donations to Democratic
candidates in an effort to influence
the legislative priorities of the next
Congress.      

A recently published study by the
conservative Heritage Foundation
confirms the trend. Working from
Internal Revenue Service statistics,
researchers found that Democrats
currently represent the majority of
the country's wealthiest
congressional districts, and that
"more than half of the wealthiest
households are concentrated in the
18 states where Democrats control
both Senate seats." The report cites
the example of
Iowa, where "the three wealthiest
districts send Democrats to
Washington; the two poorest are safe
Republican seats."

Even the health care industry lobby,
which opposes most of the broad
reforms favored by Democratic
presidential candidates, has donated
more to the party in this election
cycle than it has to Republicans,
according to a study conducted for
the New York Times by the Center for
Responsive Politics. The newspaper
reported, "The Democratic
presidential candidates are collecting
more than Republicans from virtually
every sector of the industry--
pharmaceuticals, insurers and health
maintenance organizations, doctors,
hospitals and nursing homes." A
prominent health care lobbyist told
the Times, "Everybody in the industry
knows that health care reform is on
its way, and you have only two
decisions: sit on the sidelines or get
on the  field."  The 2008 election
cycle is also expected to see a
significant increase in donations to
politically active nonprofit entities.
According to the Los Angeles Times,
"By giving to nonprofits, donors are
unfettered by contribution caps that
apply when the give directly to
candidates. They can also be
assured of anonymity."                
it's
all true
Donors Discover Dems Will Dance for Dimes
US Wages Waning,
Other Nations Gaining
Slim Harpo  
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Recent modifications to the
methodology used by analysts at
the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development to
review wealth and income
statistics from its member nations
have caused the United States to
drop to 15th place on the group's
relative incomes index. The
procedural changes  adopted by
the OECD resulted in a more than
10 percent reduction in its
estimate of the average US
worker's purchasing power, while
other countries saw increases of
up to 30 percent.

The dramatic adjustments are
attributable to several factors,
including the elimination of many
skilled manufacturing positions
and the continuing escalation of
US income inequality.

OECD economists have expanded
their measure of average income
to include a range of occupations,
such as construction, retail, and
service sector jobs that are
increasingly the norm for
American workers as US firms
continue to relocate their
manufacturing and research and
development facilities to locations
outside of the country.   
it's all true
verbatim                                  number 25.2
"The American people
want to know that our
professionals have the
tools necessary to
defend them...
…they're still out
there, and
they're still
plotting and
planning...
…And it's in our interest
to have the tools
necessary to protect the
American people. It's
our most solemn duty."
   
Washington  DC    10.17.07
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