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Pentagon in Permanent State of Denial over Permanent
Bases
previous editions archive
The Department of Defense intends
to operate 14 “enduring” military
bases in Iraq after it withdraws its
occupation forces, as part of a long
term plan to project a US presence in
the Middle East. The new bases will
allow the redeployment of troops and
resources that currently operate out
of Saudi Arabia. Although Pentagon
spokesmen avoid the term
“permanent” when discussing foreign
facilities, more than $1 billion has
been spent to build the bases in Iraq,
with another $348 million earmarked
for construction in the recent
emergency supplementary
appropriations bill.

Among the enduring bases is Camp
Anaconda near Balad, which
occupies 15 square miles and can
house over 20,000 troops. The
amenities at the site include two
swimming pools, a miniature golf
course, and a cinema. At Camp Taji,
the former headquarters of the Iraqi
Republican Guard, soldiers have
access to Burger King, Subway, and
Pizza Hut franchises. The vast
majority of personnel deployed at the
bases never venture beyond the
secure perimeter.

The recently revealed program
involving so-called “deep storage” of
military equipment and materiel at
scattered sites throughout the Middle
East has led to speculation that the
US is unsure of the future of its Iraqi
bases. But defense
industry analysts believe that the
Bush administration will make
permanent bases in Iraq part of its
plan for the region, which is
outlined in the Pentagon’s Global
Posture Review. US forces have
established or expanded facilities
in Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and the
United Arab Emirates since early
2001.

In testimony before a
Congressional committee, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld denied
that the US is planning permanent
facilities in Iraq; he has also stated
that basing troops in the country
would be “discussed” with the new
Iraqi government.                   
it's all
true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

verbatim
crowd control
in bed with the red
Agency Assets
Assume Arrest
Authority
Stealth Lobbying Campaign Traced to Eighteen
Families
The intensive lobbying campaign to
repeal the federal estate tax has
been controlled and financed by a
secretive coalition of 18
super-wealthy families, according to
a report by two public interest
watchdog groups. The report, which
was released jointly by Public Citizen
and United for a Fair Economy,
traces the efforts of the wealthy
families to advance the campaign
through the establishment of front
groups and associations, concerted
lobbying of Congressional leaders,
and the direct expenditure of some
$500 million since the Republican
party won control of the House of
Representatives in 1994.

Although less than 0.3 percent of
Americans who die this year will leave
an estate large enough to be taxed
under
the current law, the 18 families
identified in the report would save an
estimated $71.6 billion if the estate
tax were to be repealed. The families
include the owners of Wal-Mart,
Nordstrom, Campbell’s Soup, Mars
Candy, and Gallo Wines. According
to the report, the group includes the
owners of the first- and third-largest
privately held companies in the
United States, and the 18 families are
worth a combined total of $185.5
billion.

The report details the efforts of the
super-rich families to assemble a
network of lobbyists, business and
trade associations, and political
action committees to promote the
permanent repeal of the estate tax,
while the families themselves sought
to keep a low
profile in the campaign. “This
report exposes one of the biggest
con jobs in recent history,” said
Public Citizen president Joan
Claybrook.

The House of Representatives
voted to permanently repeal the
estate tax last year .An alternative
bill retaining the tax, but shielding
$3.5 million of an estate’s value,
was defeated.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
(R, TN) has said he will bring the
bill to a vote this year. A vote on
the repeal was postponed in the
Senate last September, when
Republican strategists concluded
that considering such legislation
during the Hurricane Katrina
disaster might generate adverse
publicity.               
it's all true
The House of Representatives
passed the Intelligence
Authorization Act of 2007 late
last month.  The legislation
included a provision that would
empower the CIA and NSA as
auxiliary police forces with
broad arrest powers.  The
traditional roles of the CIA and
NSA are as investigation
agencies, the CIA only
authorized to act on
international threats.  The
proposal would allow agents of
the NSA and CIA to make
warrantless arrests of any
citizen for any felony, including
drunk driving or insider stock
trading.

The amendment calls for
allowing CIA and NSA agents
to “make arrests without a
warrant for any offense against
the United States committed in
the presence of such
personnel…or such personnel
have probable cause to
believe that the person to be
arrested has committed or is
committing that felony offense.“

Critics of the amendment point
out that the FBI and Federal
Marshals and States Attorneys all
have arrest powers and have
historically been the arresting
authority in law enforcement
actions after investigations are
performed and warrants are
granted by judges. Supporters of
the new secret police force see
the amendment as a “clarification
of authority”.  The bill awaits
consideration by the
Senate.                      
it's all true
redstat
Weather
International price per
gallon of gasoline,
2005
5
4
3
2
1
US$
japan     russia    kuwait   
venezuela
Researchers Confirm Destruction of Coral Reefs
An unprecedented increase in
average water temperatures has led
to significant loss of coral reefs in the
Caribbean, according to researchers.
Near Puerto Rico and the US Virgin
Islands, over 40 percent of the coral
has died as a result of bleaching and
disease caused by record water
temperatures in 2005, and scientists
who have surveyed the areas
recently predict a similar mortality
rate in the reefs this summer.
Environmentalists contend that the
destruction of coral reefs is
accelerated by global warming.

Coral colonies hundreds of years old
have completely died off as a result
of the bleaching in recent years. The
coral’s natural ability to regenerate is
fatally compromised by the warmer
waters. In February, the National
Oceanographic
and Atmospheric Administration
reported that off St. Croix, 96 percent
of lettuce coral, 93 percent of star
coral, and 60 percent of brain coral
had become bleached.

Coral reefs are vital to life in the
Caribbean, providing food and
shelter to important species of fish,
and also forming a natural barrier for
islands, protecting them from the
effects of tropical storms and
hurricanes. The reefs are central to
the local tourism and fishing
industries.

In a related story, the Environmental
Protection Agency this week placed
two species of coral under the
protection of the Endangered
Species Act. Elkhorn and staghorn
coral will initially be designated as
"threatened" under the Act.  
it's all true
source : AIRINC
News :  Paycheck to
Paycheck
Municipalities Report Inability to Meet Increased Aid
Requests
A survey of 27 large cities in the US found
that citizen’s requests food emergency food
aid had increased an average of 14
percent and requests for emergency
shelter had increased by six percent.

56 percent of those requesting food aid
came from families, both children and
parents, and 34 percent of adults
requesting aid were employed.  The cities
reported that about 20 percent of food aid
requests went unfulfilled last year.  96
percent of the cities reported an increase in
requests for food aid in 2005.  In 100
percent of the cities, families and
individuals relied upon food assistance in
both emergencies and as a primary source
of food.  

40 percent of the homeless in American
cities  
are families, which in many cases had to
split up to receive shelter. The cities
reported that 32 percent of family requests
for emergency shelter went unmet in 2005.  
The survey found that people remain
homeless for an average of eight months,
an increase over past years.

The survey, which was performed by the US
Conference of Mayors, attempted to identify
the lead causes of hunger and
homelessness in American cities.  The
report found that underemployment and
unemployment and lack of affordable
housing were cited as major contributing
factors to homelessness and hunger in the
US.  98 percent of the Cities reported that
they expect to see an increase in requests
for food aid and emergency shelter in
coming years.                        
it's all true
Worker's Confidence Difficult to Account
For
Middle Class Increasingly
Uninsured
Two studies released this month
demonstrated that working Americans are
able to save very little for their retirement,
although many believe that they will be
secure in the future.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute
released its annual retirement confidence
survey that reported that more than 20
percent of adults between the ages of 18
and 49 did not save any money for
retirement.  The study also reported that
more than half of those who did save
money for retirement have less than
$25,000 in savings.

The Financial Services Forum released the
results of its 2006 National Retirement
Survey that revealed that 3 out of 5 younger
Americans saved less than $10,000 for
retirement last year. The survey also found
that one out of four US workers in their
peak earning years saved nothing for their
retirement in 2005.

Although the figures reflect that many
Americans are not saving enough money to
be able to sustain a middle class lifestyle,
the EBRI survey reports that four in ten
workers are confident about their financial
security in retirement.  22 percent of
workers who felt confident that they would
be secure in their retirement are currently
not saving for
retirement.                               
it's all true
A report released by the Commonwealth Fund
reveals that more than forty percent of working
age, middle income Americans were uninsured
last year.  The Biennial Health Insurance Survey
reported that figure was 13 percent higher than in
2001.  The study found that rising health care
cost have impacted middle-income households
and last year 67 percent of uninsured families had
at least one family member working full time.  

The study found that adults with incomes below
$20,000 were at the greatest risk of going without
health coverage.  53 percent of such adults went
without insurance at some point in the past year.  
The Commonwealth Fund also reported that
temporary workers are rarely provided with health
insurance coverage.  47 percent of temporary
workers did not have coverage, while 39 percent
of part-time workers in general were uninsured.

The report also found that one of five of all adults
under age 65 is currently paying off debt from
previous medical bills. Health care costs have
risen at a rate of over seven percent per year, far
out pacing economic growth.  Overall, 48 million
Americans do not have health insurance
coverage.        
it's all true
redstat
Percent of total
wealth and
percent of total
income, US
households 2001
100
75
50
25
%
top 20%                             3rd 20%                          bottom 40 %
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Sports

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previous editions

Links of the Week

Section 1227 Report on Iraq :
the first Presidential report
pursuant to the US Policy in
Iraq Act

W. H. Davies: The
Autobiography of a Super
Tramp

www.billybragg.com :
Homepage of the British singer
s
ongwriter and political activist

White Mountain National Forest
in New Hampshire and Maine

Images of the May Day 2006
Immigrant Rights March from
Union Park to Grant Park in
Chicago


contact us
Traffic
Bill Would Allow Telecom Companies to Impose Digital Class
System
A proposal has been approved by a
House committee that portends to
change the basic open structure that
the Internet was founded upon and
has fostered the medium’s unbridled
and democratic growth. The nation’s
largest telecommunications
corporations have been lobbying
congress to end open and universal
access to the Internet by allowing
companies to sell better and faster
Internet service to those capable of
affording to pay more.

The Telecommunications Act of
2006, also know as the ‘Barton Bill’
named after its sponsor, Rep. Joe
Barton (R-TX) who is also the
chairperson of the House Committee
on Energy and Commerce, would
allow the companies who support the
bill (AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner
and Verizon, among others) to
decide which web sites load fast, slow
or not at all. The companies would be
allowed for the first time to charge
owners of web sites more for better
technology and broader bandwidth.
The companies would also be
allowed to direct users to web sites
sponsored or affiliated with the
Telecom corporations and restrict
access to competitor’s sites.

Rep. Barton was the largest
congressional recipient of campaign
contributions from
telecommunications companies in
2005.  Over the course of his career,
the second highest  contributor to
Barton's campaign fund
has been the National Cable &
Telecommunications Association.
Committee Chariman in the past ten
years.

Allowing those who pay more to
receive better and faster Internet
service would fundamentally change
the character of the Internet. As it
stands today, web access and speed
are democratized-meaning that the
smallest web site owner and its
visitors get the same service that the
largest web site owners get. Under
current rules, the Internet is set up
like telephone service in America, a
person living in the suburbs of
Davenport gets the same service
when he picks up a telephone as
President George Bush and Bill
Gates. Federal law requires that all
citizens have equal access to both
phone service and the Internet
technologies. The Barton Bill would
do away with the federal protections
that mandate broad availability of the
highest quality Internet service and
substitute consumer’s equal access
with a pay-to-play system that is
being promoted by the giant Telecom
corporations.

An amendment to the Barton Bill that
was defeated last month would have
mandated “network neutrality”
ensuring that, regardless of wealth,
all Internet sites would be treated
alike with respect to accessibility.
Rep Ed Markey (D-MA) who offered
the amendment told the committee in
testimony that the Barton
Bill would allow
telecommunications corporations
to impose fees that would create a
“broadband bottleneck” that would
“stifle openness, endanger global
competitiveness and warp the web
into a tiered Internet of bandwidth
have and have-nots”

Other critics of the wholesale
changes that the Barton Bill would
facilitate include both civil rights
advocates and the largest Internet
based corporations, including
Yahoo, Microsoft, eBay, Amazon
and Google. Civil rights advocates
have assailed the creation of a two
tiered Internet because it will leave
small and under served
communities behind as the
Internet develops as a tool of
communication and commerce.
The corporations believe that the
changes anticipated upon the bills
passing would stifle opportunities
for the creative and economic
growth of the medium. In a letter
sent by the consortium of Internet
corporations to Congress, the
group stated that, “Consumers in
the marketplace, and not the
network operators, should decide
what content and services
succeed or fail”.

The bill is expected to go to a vote
in the full House by the end of the
summer and Rep Barton expects
the law to be signed by President
Bush by the end of the year.      
it's
all true
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redstateupdate.net
Anniversary Edition
verbatim                                                                                                                                          number 10.1
"I can look you in the eye and tell you I
feel I tried to solve the problem
diplomatically to the max, and would have
committed troops both in Afghanistan and
Iraq, knowing what I know today."           
Orange County  CA  04.25.06
verbatim                     number 10.2
"Recession means
that people's
incomes, at the
employer level, are
going down,
basically, relative to
costs."
Washington DC   02.19.04