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interpreting the constitution
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fun d' mental
in bed with the red
spread of the red
source: Centers for Disease
Control
redstat
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verbatim
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May Day  
March in
Chicago
Third Anniversary Edition
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in bed with the red : business
expenses
Wall Street Not Expecting Obama Drama
Financials Still Have Interest in Clinton
McCain a Prisoner of Corporate Agenda
source: Viroqua
Institute
Attorneys for an alleged “enemy
combatant” who has been held by
the US military at Guantanamo Bay
for more than six years have told the
judge overseeing his case that the
conditions of their client’s detention
have rendered him mentally
incapable of assisting in his own
defense.

Yemeni national Salim Ahmed
Hamdan, now 39, worked as a driver
for al Qaeda leader Osama bin
Laden in Afghanistan, where he was
captured in 2001. Last week he
angrily denounced the legal
proceedings and announced his
refusal to participate, becoming the
fourth Guantanamo inmate to boycott
the military tribunal process.
His lawyers say Hamdan’s mental
condition has deteriorated seriously
since his designation eighteen
months ago for solitary confinement
in Guantanamo’s Camp 5. In their
recent meetings with their client,
Hamdan has reportedly become
obsessed with the idea of receiving a
transfer to Camp 4, where about 50
prisoners are housed communally.
The defense lawyers formally asked
the judge to halt the case until
Hamdan is placed in less restrictive
conditions. Hamdan, for his part, told
the judge that he has forbidden his
attorneys from speaking on his
behalf in his absence.

The impasse is reminiscent of
challenges
to the detention of US citizen Jose
Padilla, another alleged “enemy
combatant” who won a series of
procedural victories over the
government, only to have the
charges against him re-framed
and his detention extended.

In December 2006, as reported by
redstateupdate, Padilla’s lawyers
told the courts that harsh
conditions of detention had
impaired their client’s ability to
participate in his defense. Padilla
was eventually convicted in
August on reduced charges of
criminal conspiracy in US District
Court in Miami, eventually
receiving
a sentence of 17 years.    
it's all true
Federal regulations designed to
protect endangered whales have
been blocked for more than a
year as political staff working in
the office of Vice President Dick
Cheney repeatedly challenge the
scientific findings of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. The NOAA issued
the order limiting the speed of
commercial shipping traffic near
the habitat of the North Atlantic
right whale in February 2007, but
the White House has not yet
enacted the rule, which is
opposed by the shipping industry.

Documents released by an
unidentified NOAA whistleblower
reveal an ongoing battle between
the agency and the Office of the
Vice President over the validity of
the research on which the
proposed rule is based. The
shipping speed regulations are
intended to reduce the number of
right whales killed and injured
after being struck by commercial
vessels. The North Atlantic right
whale is among the most critically
endangered species on earth,
with a total population of less than
400 individuals.        
it's all true
As the economy has slowed over the
past year, employers have
increasingly sought to scale back
benefits, limiting coverage and in
many cases eliminating health
insurance participation altogether. A
report released last week calculates
that the cost to the public of health
care for full time workers and their
families not covered by employer
plans has risen to more than $45
billion annually. The report, by health
policy research foundation the
Commonwealth Fund, also found that
of the 47 million Americans that lack
health insurance, more than 19
million are full time workers or their
dependents.

Economic analysts have predicted for
some time that fiscal pressures will
force US corporations to dramatically
reshape group health care plans in
order to compete in a global
marketplace in which universal
coverage is the norm in industrialized
countries. The Commonwealth Fund
researchers found that although
uninsured full time workers were still
mostly concentrated in smaller
companies, cutbacks in
medical coverage had risen in all
sectors, including large multinational
corporations. The report,
Who Pays
for Health Care When Workers are
Uninsured?
, also documents a 70
percent
increase in the number of workers
and their dependents enrolled in
public health insurance programs
from 1999 through 2004.

A separate study, released last week
by the Urban Institute, concludes that
for each percentage-point rise in the
unemployment rate there will be 1.1
million people losing their health
insurance, an equation that is
expected to place a huge burden on
public health programs already
facing budget shortfalls due to
decreasing tax revenues. Other data
shows an increasing gap in coverage
between low-wage and high-wage
earners, with lower paid workers
much more likely to see their
insurance benefits reduced or
cancelled.

Statistics also show that lower wage
workers are less likely to receive
preventive treatment and care. In a
statement, Commonwealth Fund vice
president Sara Collins said, “While
these studies underscore the crucial
role of public programs in filling gaps
in employer coverage, many workers
are falling further behind in access to
critical health care services. This
points to the need for universal
health insurance to ensure that
everyone has access to needed
care.”                    
it's all true
As Barack Obama vies for the
Democratic nomination in the 2008
presidential election, some have
criticized his determination to
completely ignore policy specifics as
he campaigns as a cynical ploy to
rely upon ambiguity and omission so
as to not offend possible supporters,
others point to language in Obama’s
speeches and books that sends
signals to important constituencies
that, even with all of the talk of
‘change’, Obama can be relied upon
to be friendly to their policy demands.

In his book, “The Audacity of hope”,
Obama writes the following
reassuring words that are intended
to provide comfort to America’s
financial and business
interests, “Our Constitution
places the ownership of private
property at the very heart of our
system of liberty.  Our religious
traditions celebrate the value of
hard work and express the
conviction that a virtuous life will
result in material reward. Rather
than vilify the rich, we hold them
up as role models...As Ted Turner
famously said, in America money
is how we keep score."       
it's all
true
The US Department of Defense,
acting to expand “information
operations” in Iraq, has created a
foreign language ‘news’ web site.  
Although the Pentagon operates and
determines the content of the web
site, Mawtani.com is designed to
appear to be an unaffiliated news
web page.  

The US military creates content for
the web page by hiring local
journalists to write stories that include
local news and current events
promotion as well as stories that
promote US goals and interests and
stories that are intended to
countervail insurgent messages.  
The Pentagon has not officially
announced the creation of the web
site, which has been in operation
since last October.

Mawtani means “my homeland” and
is produced in Arabic, Farsi and
Urdu.  The
‘news’ web site is one of several
operated by the Pentagon.  The US
military has news web pages in North
Africa and the Balkans and is
developing sites for audiences in
Latin America and Asia.

Journalists and advocates press
freedom have criticized the US
military’s attempt to disguise Mawtani.
com as an independent news
organization.  A director of the
Project for excellence in Journalism
told the
Washington Post that the
Pentagon news web site was an
effort to “control the message…by
putting (the US Army's) version of the
message out.”  A spokesperson for
the Pentagon said that the US
military has a “responsibility” to
broadcast its version of the news,  “Is
it propaganda? No, it’s intended to
counter extremist propaganda…with
truth.”     
it's all true
The Oklahoma State
Legislature has overridden a
gubernatorial veto of a law that
requires pregnant woman who
are seeking an abortion to
undergo an ultrasound and
have the image described to
them by a doctor.  The law has
no exception for cases of rape
or incest.  The measure was
approved by votes of 37-11 in
the state’s Senate and 81-15
in the house.

The law does not allow the
mother or doctor to decide
what type of ultrasound will be
administered because the
language of the measure
requires doctors to use
whichever procedure produces
the clearest image.  Oklahoma
law already requires that
pregnant women seeking an
abortion receive counseling
about fetal development.  

Doctors and rights advocates
say that requiring women to
undergo an unnecessary
medical procedure that does
not promote patient health but
does promote the political
positions of politicians is a
dangerous intrusion by the
government into the patient-
doctor relationship.  The new
law, say women’s health
advocates, would allow the
state to remove a doctor’s
license due to “unprofessional
conduct” if a physician does
not perform an unnecessary
medical procedure.  

The measure also tightens
rules regulating the provision
of the morning after pill, RU
486 and requires minors to
have written permission before
they receive an
abortion.                 
it's all true
The Senate’s Democratic Policy
Committee heard testimony last week
from former employees of private
military contractors in Iraq who told
the panel of rampant fraud, waste,
embezzlement and other illegal
activities that has been committed by
contractors over the course of
America’s occupation of Iraq.

One of the witnesses, Barry Halley, a
project manager for Worldwide
Network Services, said that he
became aware that a site manager
for what he said was a “major
defense contractor” conducted a
prostitution ring out of his office,
using armored cars to transport
prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad
hotels run by the company.  Halley
said that another employee had died
while riding in an unarmored vehicle
on a “high risk” military mission.  
Halley told the
committee, “I believe my co-worker
would have survived if he had been
riding in an armored car.”   When
Halley told his supervisors of
instances of billing fraud and other
problems he was held for several
days at gunpoint, beaten by private
security guards and finally released
to be stranded in Iraq.

An employee of Kellogg Brown and
Root, then a subsidiary of
Halliburton, Linda Warren testified
that she witnessed rampant looting
by military contractors.  Warren told
the committee that KBR employees
who were contracted to perform
construction duties in municipal
buildings and palaces in Iraq “stole
artwork, rugs, crystal, and even
melted down gold to make spurs for
cowboy boots.”  Warren reported
that the looters “had a system in
place to get contraband out of the
country so it could be sold on
eBay.”  

Another employee of KBR, Frank
Cassaday, told the panel that he
witnessed employees stealing
equipment and weapons from the
US military.  Cassaday, who was
also held in custody by private
security guards when he reported
illegal activity, said that
employees stole everything from
refrigerators to grenade
launchers.

KBR has declined to comment on
the allegations citing on-going
legal claims made by former
employees.  KBR reported record
profits in 2007, and KBR was
recently selected by the US Army
Sustainment Command to
participate in a 10-year contract
worth up to $150 billion.   
it's all true
"Our defense budget
accounts for just over 4
percent of our
economy…This is still a
large amount of money,
but it is modest - a modest
fraction of our nation's
wealth...
verbatim                                                                                   number 29.4
...and it pales when
compared to the cost of
another terrorist attack.”
  
Washington DC 04.10.08
"You know, I went to Washington to solve problems,
not to pass them on to future Presidents and future
generations."         
Colorado Springs, Colorado, Oct. 12, 2004
verbatim                                                                         number 29.5
%    3      6     9    12     15    
18
wi
or
asthma : adult cases
selected states
sd
ct
tn
Top recipients of
campaign funds
from securities and
investment
interests, current
election cycle
obama         clinton         giuliani         romney        
mccain          dodd
4
m$
8
Although Hillary Clinton, following
from a recent loss in the North
Carolina primary, is currently
considered to be a long shot as the
Democratic candidate for president
this election year, she has amassed
the largest amount of financial
support from the financial, insurance
and real estate sectors over the
course of the primary season.

According to Federal Election
Committee records, Clinton has
received over 17 million in
campaign contributions from
these combined industries
through the end of March 2008,
signifying that business owners in
these industries are confident that
a second Clinton administration
will be as responsive their policy
wishes as was her husband,
former President Bill
Clinton.                    
it's all true
Senator John McCain has
avoided close scrutiny of his
policy positions since he
became the presumptive
Republican Party nominee,
largely because of the media’s
fixation on the tight Democratic
Party primary contest. McCain’
s road to the nomination was
smoothed by the implosion of
most of the other Republican
candidates in a brief primary
season during which his favors
for lobbyists and his abrupt
shifts on economic issues were
only fleetingly mentioned. But
Democratic strategists believe
that these remain important
vulnerabilities for McCain
heading into the general
election.  

The “maverick” posture that
McCain cultivated during his
legislative career and his failed 2000
presidential bid has been de-
emphasized by his campaign staff,
especially since
the nomination was secured. Not only
has McCain “evolved” to become one
of Washington’s staunchest
defenders
of the occupation of Iraq, he now
favors extending the Bush
administration tax cuts that he
argued against when they were
proposed in 2001 and 2003. McCain’
s economic package includes a
variety of measures that he has
previously opposed, but which
remain popular with the conservative
base of the national Republican
Party and high on the agenda of
lobbyists from the financial services
sector.

Political observers expect McCain's
tax policy shifts to receive more
attention as the economy continues
to deteriorate over the
summer.                
it's all true
Bush Administration Guilty By Reason of Defendants'
Insanity
Forced Snapshots
OK'd by OK
Private Contractors Publicly Pegged Pilfering Private Property
Truth a Casualty In Pentagon Propaganda Surge
Insurance Cutbacks an Unhealthy Trend
Cheney Favors Big
Fish
At Expense of Whales
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