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redstateupdate.net
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News
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interpreting the constitution
spread of the red
number 139    
02.17.08
redstat
archive
verbatim
archive
D'Gary
Tribute
Page
verbatim                                number 27.2
"I repeat to you,
even though you
hear the words,
'domestic spying'
…It's a phone
call of an al
Qaeda…
…I'm mindful of
your civil liberties,
and so I had all
kinds of lawyers
review the
process…
…You know, it's amazing,
when people say to me, well,
he was just breaking the law --
if I wanted to break the law,
why was I briefing
Congress?"                    
 
Washington DC  01.23.06  
source: Bureau of Labor
Statistics
Nonfarm employment : jobs
created
in thousands
sept     oct     nov     
dec
0
jan
60
140
-20
40
20
80
100
120
A FBI program enlisting private
citizens from various industries to
gather information and to stand
ready to protect vital civil
infrastructure in the event of a
terrorist attack or national emergency
has expanded under the Bush
administration to a civilian guard with
over 23,000 members in 86 chapters
nationwide. Infragard, a partnership
between the public and private
sectors coordinated through FBI field
offices, is part of federal planning to
maintain “continuity of government”
in a state of emergency.

Now one report has alleged that
Infragard members have been
specifically instructed on how to
behave under
conditions of martial law, and have
been assured that they may legally
use deadly force to carry out their
Infragard-assigned operations.

Citing an anonymous source within
Infragard, an article in the current
issue of the
Progressive magazine
described a chapter meeting during
which FBI and Homeland Security
officials discussed the duties of
Infragard members upon the
imposition of martial law. The source
told
Progressive editor Matthew
Rothschild, “They said when—not if—
martial law is declared, it was our
responsibility to protect our portion of
the infrastructure, and if we had to
use deadly force to protect it, we
couldn’t
be prosecuted.” A spokesperson
for the FBI denied the allegations.

Infragard's 23,000 members
greatly outnumber total FBI
agents. The American Civil
Liberties Union has been sharply
critical of the Infragard program,
calling it a corporate version of
the FBI’s abortive TIPS program,
which was shelved because of
privacy issues.

ACLU spokesman Jay Stanley told
the
Progressive, “The FBI should
not be creating a privileged class
of Americans who get special
treatment. There’s no ‘business
class’ in law enforcement.”       
it's
all true
Health insurance giant WellPoint,
Inc., which operates Blue Cross of
California, faced a firestorm of
criticism from doctors and political
officials last week after the
publication of a letter it sent to
physicians seeking information on
patients, with a view to canceling
their coverage.

The letter, which was revealed by
the
Los Angeles Times,
demanded that doctors report any
information on preexisting
conditions of new patients, in what
a Well Point spokesperson frankly
admitted was an effort to reduce
or cancel coverage in order to
hold down costs. The move was
roundly condemned by physicians
groups, patients’ rights
advocates, and politicians
including California governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger. By the
end of the week, WellPoint had
stopped sending out the letter.

Blue Cross has come under fire
for unilaterally canceling coverage
after patients become seriously ill.
State regulators in California are
currently investigating this
practice.   
it's all true
A pair of little-noticed provisions
contained within $168 billion federal
stimulus package signed by
President Bush last week could result
in significant losses of revenue for a
number of states, many of which
already face major budget shortfalls
for the coming fiscal year. The tax
breaks for business, applied at the
state level, will reduce state coffers
by almost $3 billion in 2009,
according to an analysis by the
Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities. 36 states that have
enacted legislation linking their tax
laws to federal tax code must now
adjust their fiscal projections to
account for the unforeseen drop in
tax revenue.

One of the business tax breaks in the
stimulus package allows companies
to depreciate 50 percent of the cost
of new equipment in the year it is
purchased, rather than over several
years. The other change doubles the
deduction allowed for expansion of
businesses. Implementation of these
provisions at the state level will have
a profound effect on budget
negotiations in state capitols across
the country. In Missouri, for example,
the tax breaks will cost the state
about $100 million in revenues for
the next fiscal year.

The unexpected drop in revenues will
only exacerbate what are already
severe budget shortfalls in many
states that are experiencing localized
symptoms of the global financial and
banking crisis precipitated by the
massive dissemination of securitized
debt. The report by the Center on
Budget and policy Priorities identified
28 states that were already
projecting budget deficits before the
new federal tax breaks were signed
into law. This week, financial analyst
Michael Shedlock predicted in a post
on his influential blog,
Mish’s
Global Economic Trend Analysis
,
that an epidemic of state, county,
and municipal defaults and
bankruptcies is increasingly likely.

Researchers at the Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities point out
that the reductions in state tax
revenue created by the federal
legislation will necessitate spending
reductions that will offset expected
increases in economic activity,
essentially blunting the intended
effects of the stimulus package.
Moody’s Chief Economist Mark
Zandi  recently warned that
decreasing spending by state and
municipal governments in response
to  economic and financial
uncertainty  is “sure to become a
substantial drag on the [US] economy
later this year and into
2009.”                        
it's all true
The Department of Homeland
Security is in the midst of
implementing a ten-year program of
removing aliens from the US that
includes the creation of an internal
system of detention camps served by
a national air and ground
transportation system. The Bureau of
Immigration and Customs
Enforcement developed a program in
2003 known as Endgame to
systemize the arrest, internment and
deportation of all “removable aliens.”

The program was developed by the
newly established ICE, which was
created within the Department of
Homeland Security and took the
place of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. The document
is a broad overview of the mission of
the ICE that recasts what was the
traditional role of INS officials to
emphasize protecting
America from terror attacks and
responding to rapidly developing
situations and states of emergency.  
The Endgame plan sets out a
strategy to provide “the final link in
securing” the US border inspired by
what the document refers to as
“recent events and political
initiatives."  ICE was empowered by
Congress to assist Homeland
Security in "recovery from terrorism”
and “securing federal facilities” after
the terror attacks in 2001.

The authors of the Endgame strategy
propose creating new detention
facilities to house what is expected by
ICE to be large populations of
detainees. ICE also calls for
implementing a National
Transportation Strategy to create a
central control center to direct “air
and ground transportation in order to
manage the detention population.”
Some fear that the
unprecedented power seized by
the president over
the past seven years  to eliminate
the constitutional under-pinnings
of US government in the event of
an unspecified national
emergency or disaster (previously
reported on by
redstateupdate.
net
, see link, link, link) could lead
to using the internal
system of detention camps
proposed
by ICE to imprison both vast
populations of aliens as well as
persons deemed be to be
enemies of
the state. The Endgame program
states; “Detention can be effected
by
unforeseen events” including
“natural
disasters…war and
economic/political
crises.” and calls for the “political
will” to create an “efficient and
effective removal process” and
funding to ensure the “optimization
of the detention system.”   
it's all
true
Detention Center Gulag Part of Homeland Security's Endgame
Vision
A new study found that Lake
Mead, the reservoir for the
Colorado River, is vanishing
and may dry up in the next 13
years. Researchers from the
Scripps Institution of
Oceanography believe that the
lake will dry up by 2021 if
demand for Lake Mead water
stays the same and global
warming continues to reduce
rainfall in the region.

The researchers reported that
there is fifty percent chance
that the waters of Lake Mead
will drop too low to power
hydroelectric generation
turbines by 2017, and a ten
percent chance that the Lake
will dry up by 2014. The study
reviewed data on reservoir
levels and river flows provided
by the Bureau of Reclamation.
The researchers said that
increasing demand for water,
human caused climate change
and drought are the main
reasons the lake is
threatened.  

Scientists estimate that the
Colorado River has
experienced a deficit of
approximately 1 million acre-
feet of water every year at the
same time demand for its water
has increased.  The authors of
the study said that the
Colorado is "at or beyond" its  
sustainable limit.

The river feeds both Lake
Mead and Lake Powell, which
are used as reservoirs for
America’s largest Western
cities. Lake Mead is located in
Nevada and Arizona and
supplies water for Phoenix, Las
Vegas, Los Angeles and San
Diego, among other cities.
The  reservoirs supply 25
million people in seven states.  
it's all true
As the number of foreclosures rises
across the nation, cases of
suspected arson and instances
where owners simply abandon their
home, often after scavenging
anything of value, are on the rise.

Occurances of homeowners turning
to arson hoping to collect insurance
money have cropped up across the
nation. Insurance authorities in
California have reported that
suspicious fires that destroy
foreclosed properties have doubled
in the past year. The Deputy Fire
Marshal of Fresno California told
KFSN TV News that his department
has seen personal residences,
commercial properties and even
vehicles set ablaze by frustrated
owners who are faced with imminent
foreclosure or repossession.  
Investigators also report a rise in
“trash outs”, where owners have
stripped their homes of valuable
items  before abandoning their
properties. The most common items
removed from homes in foreclosure
are furnaces and air conditioners,
sinks and toilets and home
appliances. In some cases, banks
that retrieve foreclosed properties
have found entire kitchens gone,
doors and windows stolen and even
landscaping, including spas and in-
ground pools, removed.

With as many as 15 million
Americans who own properties that
have lost significant value facing the
prospect of rising mortgage
payments, professor of economics at
New York University, Nouriel Roubini
told
Reuters, “We may face
something unprecedented, that is, a
situation where millions of
homeowners are going to walk away
from their homes in the next couple
of years.”  
it's all true
Consumer Burnout Spawns Trashouts, Flameouts
Lake Mead
Reservoir
Apparently Damned
FBI Gathers Posse of Corporate Deputies for Martial
Law
Stimulus Tax Breaks Not Appreciated in State
Capitals
Corporate Avarice
A Preexisting Condition
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