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in bed with the red
one nation, under surveillance
red state rebate
spread of the red
News
spread of the red
number 169    
09.28.08
redstat
archive
verbatim
archive
redstat
Weather : mutation you can believe
in
Children, Unguarded, Become Flame Retarded
Pesticide Threatens Pollen, Nation
Melting Ice Sheet Could Be a Slippery Slope
source: World Wide
Fund
With Congressional leaders and
senior administration officials working
to craft a palatable sequel to the
emergency economic rescue
package defeated in the House on
Monday, it was clear that Treasury
Secretary Henry Paulson and
Federal Reserve Board Chairman
Ben Bernanke had encountered their
first significant setback since they
embarked last year on a series of
increasingly aggressive market
interventions in an attempt to sustain
the failing US banking and financial
system. At the same time, the
protracted two-week “crisis”, a flurry
of meetings, press conferences,
market updates, and cable news
chatter, has inadvertently revealed
the enormous power of these two
unelected stewards
of the nation’s economy, as
President Bush and his would- be
successors loiter on the periphery of
federal efforts to bail out what’s left
of the sector.

It has been reported that one
provision of the original draft of
Paulson’s plan asserted that, under
the authority of the Act, Treasury’s
actions “are non-reviewable” and
“may not be reviewed by any court of
law or any administrative agency.”
The extraordinary claim of broad
powers reminded many in
Washington of Bush administration
concepts about the “unitary”
executive. But even under the
revised terms agreed with
Congressional leaders, Paulson and
Bernanke will assume unprecedented
authority and discretion.

Paulson, a lifelong member of the
Wall Street investment banking
demimonde, has ironically been
called upon to oversee the
receivership of the entire
collapsed sector, including once-
revered Goldman Sachs, where
he was CEO. Bernanke, an
academic who in recent
Congressional testimony stressed
his lack of ties to Wall Street,
seems determined to deny the
deflationary fundamentals of the
current “disorderly unwinding.”
Their actions, taken coincidentally
during the election campaign,  will
delineate many aspects of the
next presidential administration.  
it's all true
Bailout Authority a Matter of Blank Checks and Dwindling
Balances
"With the situation becoming
more precarious by the day, I
faced a choice- To step in with
dramatic government action...
...In the long run, Americans have
good reason to be confident in our
economic strength...democratic
capitalism is the best system ever
devised."
                  Washington   DC  09.24.08
"We import about 60
percent of our oil from
overseas -
fortunately, most of it
from - a lot of it- from
Canada and Mexico."
Lancaster  PA 10.03.07
verbatim                                                                          number 31.1
verbatim                                                                                                                      number 32.6
Ecological
footprint per
capita - Hectares
per Person
nepal      brazil      latvia        italy          uk      sweden   
denmark     us
15
5
10
oh
ct
Bankruptcy filings per capita
selected states
0                  .5                   1
wi
me
hi
tn
al
ar
mt
The Department of Homeland
Security has overseen failed
contracts more worth than $15
billion over the last five fiscal
years, according to recent
testimony before a House
subcommittee investigating
departmental contracting
practices. The projects were
subject to delays or even
cancellation despite expenditures
of hundreds of millions or even
billions in taxpayer funds. The
panel also heard testimony from
computer security experts who
recommended removing
responsibility for a major
government cybersecurity
program from the DHS because it
has been plagued by deficiencies
in oversight.

Among the contracts highlighted
during the testimony were a $351
million dollar “deepwater”
program for the US Coast Guard
in which ships were built and then
scrapped, and a $1.5 billion
project to equip border crossing
points with electronic surveillance
systems that was abandoned
because of technical glitches.
Since 2002, DHS contracs
have increased from $3.4 billion
to $12.2 billion a year.         
it's all
true
Waste, Fraud, and
Error
True Homeland Terror
A federal judge has ordered
that Vice President Dick
Cheney cannot destroy any
records relating to his office
and the performance of his
duties.  

The ruling came in a case
brought by the American
Historical Association and
Citizens for Responsibility and
Ethics in Washington among
other public interest groups
who assert in court papers that
Cheney has “improperly
excluded records from the
Presidential Records Act.”  

The groups sought an
injunction preventing Cheney
and his office from destroying
vice presidential records
because of Cheney’s novel
claim that records from his
office are not considered to be
presidential records under the
Presidential Records Act.  

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kottelly
said in her decision that if
Cheney’s interpretation of the
law is incorrect, then “there is
no question that the
documents may be entitled to
PRA protection.”  

Kollar-Kotelly also wrote in her
opinion that the “public interest
is undoubtedly served by
ensuring that all documentary
material potentially
encompassed by the PRA’s
statutory language is actually
preserved as Congress saw fit
in enacting the PRA.”

The office of the VP refused
comment on the ruling stating
that it does not speak about
on-going litigation, but did not
say specifically that it would
appeal the judge's ruling.       
it's all true
The Natural resources Defense Fund
has filed a federal lawsuit seeking
information that it claims the federal
government has connecting a
pesticide manufactured by Bayer
CropScience to the widespread
decimation of bee colonies across
the globe.

In 2003 the EPA granted Bayer the
right to sell a pesticide, clothianidin,
which contaminates the pollen of
treated plants.  The pesticide is
known to
damage insects beneficial to the
process of pollination.  Bayer was
required to perform a study on the
chemical to asses its danger to
honey bee populations, but the
EPA has refused to disclose the
results.  Experts say that up to 70
percent of all beehives have been
effected by “colony collapse
disorder” threatening 90 percent
of US crops valued at $15
billion.      
it's all true
A recent study found that children
have three times the amount of a fire
retardant in their blood stream than
their mothers.  

The commonly used hormone-
disrupting chemicals, polybrominated
ethers, are used in many household
products including furniture and
children’s toys.  Studies have shown
that a single dose of PBDEs given to
when their brains were growing can
cause permanent damage effecting
learning and memory.

The non-profit Environmental Working
Group reviewed a small group of
20 families and found that in 19 of
the families, children between the
ages of four and 18 had triple the
concentration of the chemicals in
their blood streams.  Children who
live in California were found to
have even higher levels of the
compound.

The authors of the study said that
their findings raise “concerns that
kids live very differently in the
same environment than their
parents” putting them at a higher
exposure to the chemicals.           
it's all true
The Inspector General for the US
Department of the Interior has
released the results of an
investigation that found that
government employees who were
responsible for collecting royalties
from energy firms that have leases to
extract oil and gas from federal lands
engaged in various forms of graft
including contract rigging and
accepting gifts from industry
representatives.  

The Inspector also discovered that
the management of the bureau and
as many as a dozen staff members
engaged in alcohol abuse, drug use
and indecent behavior.  The report
said that two of the bureau’s female
employees were referred to by
industry lobbyists as the “MMS
chicks" because they were known to
drink heavily and frequently have
sexual relations with oil and gas
company representatives.
The Inspector sad, “the single-most
serious problem our investigations
revealed is a pervasive culture of
exclusivity, exempt from the rules that
govern all other employees of the
Federal Government.”  The
investigators "discovered a culture of
substance abuse and promiscuity in
the Royalty in Kind program- both
within the program, including a
supervisor...and in consort with
industry.”

Gregory Smith, who was the director
of the agency’s Minerals Revenue
Management bureau’s royalty-in-kind
program, is reported by the
inspectors to have taken over
$30,000 in consulting fees from an oil
exploration company that was
seeking contracts from large oil and
gas companies.  The Inspectors
found that Smith misrepresented to
agency ethics officers that he
performed
technical services for the
company, when in reality, Smith
marketed the firm’s services to
energy companies that received
federal contracts from the
Department of the Interior.  Smith
is also reported to have
participated in graft and influence
pedaling when worked at the
agency, accepting gifts from
energy companies who wanted to
receive government contracts.  

The Inspector’s report also
charges that Smith engaged in
sex with subordinates in the
agency and frequently used
cocaine at business functions and
in his office.  Smith is reported to
have bought cocaine from
subordinates in the agency.  The
report says he "used the term
‘office supplies’ when discussing
cocaine at work.”           
it's all true
A federal judge has ruled that a
police authorities need to obtain a
search warrant before they use a cell
phone to track the whereabouts of its
owner.  The ruling rejected the
argument made by the Justice
Department that cell phone records
that can be used to identify the
location of cell phone owners were
not protected by Fourth Amendment
rights.

The ruling came in a case where the
police were attempting to obtain cell
phone records of a suspect from the
telecommunications company Sprint
Spectrum including call times and
durations and also the locations of
the cell phone towers that the phone
calls were transmitted through.  The
police wanted to triangulate the
suspect’s location based on cell
phone tower locations, which can
identify the location
of a cell phone user within 100 feet.  

Government attorneys argued that
such phone records were similar to
bank records and they could be
obtained from cell phone companies
by the request of the police.  The
Justice Department argued, “records
of past credit card transactions will
often serve to place a person at a
given location at a specific time, yet
under established Fourth
Amendment law.”

Judge Terrence F. McVerry of the
Western District of Pennsylvania
disagreed with the government’s
argument and upheld an order
rendered previously by a panel of
five federal judges that construed cell
phone records to be more sensitive
than other data
and are therefore protected by the
Fourth Amendment.            
it's all true
New research indicates that
the melting of the Greenland
ice sheet may become
accelerated over the next
century, leading to dramatic
increases in sea levels not
contemplated under currently
accepted paradigms.

Scientists using computer
models based on the
disappearance of the vast
Laurentide ice sheet, which
once covered most of North
America, warn that runoff from
the Greenland ice sheet could
triple the rate of sea level
increases, threatening a global
rise of more than one meter
(3.25 ft.) by 2100. Unrelated
studies have estimated that
such an increase in sea levels
would displace some 145
million people at a cost of
roughly one trillion dollars.
Geologist Anders Carlson of the
University of Wisconsin, who led the
project to study the melting of the
Laurentide ice sheet, told
Science
Daily
, “We’ve never seen an ice
sheet disappear before, but here we
have a record.” The Laurentide
began melting 10,000 years ago and
was almost completely gone about
3500 years later. Significantly,
researchers found that there were
two distinct periods of rapid melting,
each causing global sea levels to rise
sharply.

The findings challenge those of a
2007 report by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, which
predicted that sea levels would rise
between 18 and 59 centimeters by
the end of this century. Carlson said,
"For planning purposes, we should
see the IPCC projections as
conservative."   
it's all true
Ruling a Strong Signal on Cell
Phones
Judicial Order
Jams
Cheney's Shredder
With just over a month left before the
general election, state and local
authorities are scrambling to prepare
for projected record turnout,
including an unprecedented influx of
newly registered voters, while they
also grapple with new federal
documentation requirements and in
many cases the introduction of new
polling technology. Experts predict
that the decentralized US electoral
system, which will involve more than
10,000 separate jurisdictions on
Election Day, may be severely
strained in the event of massive
turnout or an unusually close tally.
Voting rights organizations have
warned that increasingly
sophisticated and aggressive vote
suppression tactics will be deployed
by political parties and their
surrogates in a number of crucial
swing states. Analysis of the last two
presidential elections has produced
convincing evidence that such tactics
may have been decisive in key
precincts in several hotly contested
states.

Challenges based on apparent
discrepancies in the voter
registration rolls are expected to
increase sharply this year as more
than half the states comply for the
first time with a 2002 law requiring
such records to be administered
statewide, instead of locally. Attempts
to implement the new
procedures in Ohio have put
hundreds of thousands of voters at
risk of disenfranchisement, according
to activists, who warn that voters who
may have moved since 2004 and
failed to update their registration
could face challenges to their vote. In
both Florida and Ohio, local
Republicans have repeatedly
attempted to “purge” voter rolls over
such discrepancies.

Another source of potential disputes
was highlighted by a recent
controversy in Michigan, when a local
Republican
official was alleged to have
threatened
to use foreclosure data to deny
voting rights to citizens who have
recently lost their homes in the
mortgage crisis. Representatives
from the Obama campaign assailed
the effort and vowed to protect voter
rights in the state, which has the
highest foreclosure rate in the nation
with more than 11,000 households
receiving foreclosure notices in July
alone.

Experts warn that the hectic
atmosphere of an Election Day with
record turnout will only create more
opportunities for vote suppression,
and that a narrow result will only
magnify the influence of potentially
tainted results from a few carefully
targeted precincts.   
it's all true
Foreclosed Voters Face Eviction From Rolls
Standards So Lax That Industry Hacks Had Federal Staffers Flat on Their
Backs
Inside
Wrigley Field
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