one nation, under surveillance
number 117    
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

spread of the red
source: Center for Educational






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Links of the Week

Blueprint for Gulf Renewal :
report by the Institute for
Southern Studies

CRS report : Trafficking in
Persons, US Policy and Issues
for Congress

The Seventh Seal, Screenplay
by Ingmar Bergman, 1957

Halifax 1937,Bill Brandt, gelatin
silver photographic image,
National Gallery of Australia

contact us  
in bed with the red
back to top of
Brown Tribute
verbatim                             number 23.1
"The goals of
our coalition are
...forces will help maintain
law and order...we will
respect your great religious
traditions...we will help you
build a peaceful and
...and then our
military forces will
Washington DC   03.03.03
nd      nh        or       ma      ca
Expenditures for
elementary and secondary
selected states
Recent modifications to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act,
approved by legislators on the eve of
the Congressional recess early this
month, have granted the Bush
administration unprecedented new
authority to mount a broad range of
investigative operations against US
citizens without obtaining warrants.

The expansive new powers permit
wiretapping, data collection, and
searches of homes and offices of
Americans within the US as long as
the primary targets of the
investigations are suspected foreign
terrorists. Democrats are already
regretting their support for the new
rules, which strictly limit the
role of the special FISA court in
reviewing decisions to initiate such
operations while increasing the
authority of a handful of executive
branch appointees.

Administration officials pressed for
the changes to FISA, which has been
amended more that 50 times since its
adoption in 1978, because they want
the National Security Agency to be
able to monitor, without seeking
warrants, communications that use
any US-based technological
infrastructure, such as data-routing
servers and telephone switches. In
the days leading up to the approval
of the Protect America Act,
Republican legislators leaked to the
media details of a classified ruling
a FISA judge that curtailed some
NSA surveillance activities.
Democrats dropped their
opposition to expanded domestic
spying and helped to pass the
Act, which critics say gives the
White House even more sweeping
authority than it had sought.

The episode, with its hurried
legislative process and
last-minute approval of a complex  
bill, is reminiscent of the original
passage of the PATRIOT Act in
October 2001. Several lawmakers
have since admitted that they
were unaware at that time of the
scope of the changes they were
it's all true
The average income in the US in
2005 was almost one percent
lower than in 2000, marking the
fifth straight year that incomes
were down since the height of the
last period of sustained growth in
the American economy. Incomes
have risen slightly since hitting a
low point in 2002, but tax data still
reflect an overall annual reduction
after adjusting for inflation,
according to a report by the
York Times
. The report notes
that the five-year period of
reduced average incomes and a
corresponding four-year span of
lower total incomes are unique in
post-World War II America.

The decrease in average incomes
occurred despite a package of tax
cuts implemented in 2003 by the
Bush administration in an effort to
spur fiscal expansion. The
resultant tax savings led to
income growth in a narrow sector
of the US economy. An analysis of
federal tax statistics by Citizens
for Tax Justice reveals that 28
percent of the benefit of the
investment and capital gains tax
cuts accrued to just 11,433
individual taxpayers who reported
earnings of $10 million or
it's all true
The US Air Force has released
a policy manual regarding
Irregular Warfare that
suggests how that branch of
the military can respond to
future battles with insurgents in
US occupied countries using
methods that include
attempting to “recruit,
organize, train, and advise
indigenous guerrilla or partisan

As the US is fighting the
resurgent Taliban in
Afghanistan and have sworn
out a war on the shadowy
world wide organization Al
Qaeda that had its roots in
Afghanistan’s Mujahideen,
both indigenous guerrilla
groups that the US military
previously sponsored, the Air
Force reports that it’s special
operations units are “ideally
suited” to function in support
of insurgent military forces.

The report posits that most
future adversaries of the US
will use “indirect and
asymmetric approaches” that
will call for “unconventional
warfare” tactics in response.  A
section of the report called
Support to Insurgencies sets
forth the type of assistance
that the modern Air Force is
ready to give to guerrilla

The report says that the Air
Force is prepared to provide
training, equipment,
intelligence and “advisory
assistance” to local partisan
fighting forces when certain
“political considerations”
require.  The report also said
that the Air Force should be
ready to “involve US direct-
action" in insurgent operations
that support the “specific
campaign goals” of the US
it's all true
A series of recent international polls
reveals a growing anti-American
sentiment worldwide that is linked to
what is perceived to be the
belligerent foreign policy stance of
President Bush.  

A survey of 28,000 people in 27
countries that was performed for the
BBC World Service and the
University of Maryland’s Program on
International Policy showed
respondents' perceptions of Bush
and America have both declined at
similar rates since 2000.  Participants
in the poll said they felt that only
Israel, Iran and North Korea had a
more negative impact on world affairs
than the US.  The president’s
favorability rating has declined
precipitously over the past few years
across the globe.  In European
countries that have been traditional
alliesof the US, such as the UK and
Germany, respondents reported low
approval ratings for Bush that
average between 15 and 25
percent.  In Muslim countries that are
allies of the US; Pakistan, Indonesia
and Egypt, Bush’s approval ratings
range between eight and 20
percent.  In Europe confidence in
overall US leadership in world affairs
has declined from 64 percent in 2002
to 37 percent last year.  

Another poll performed by the US
Council on Foreign Relations found
that citizens of other countries feel
that America’s foreign policy is
motivated by self interest and
characterized by an arrogant
attitude.  Participants reported that
they believe that America’s program
of “democracy promotion” in the
Middle East has backfired.  
Respondents in 10 of 14 countries
said that the occupation of Iraq by
the US has made the world a more
dangerous place.         
it's all true
Government contracting with private
industry continued to expand in
2006, reaching a record $412.1
billion, with more than half of that
amount spent on no-bid and limited-
competition contracts, according to
the results of a comprehensive
analysis released last month by the
House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee. The investigation
found that private contractors now
receive an unprecedented 40 cents
of every dollar of federal
discretionary spending, and that
such expenditures have increased an
average of 12.6 percent a year since
2000. In 2006, total federal spending
on limited-competition contracts
exceeded $206 billion, a single-year
increase of 43 percent. The report
concludes, “For the first time on
record, a majority of federal
procurement spending is now
awarded without full and open

The report focuses on three
“worrisome trends” that “worsened
significantly” in 2006: the rapid
growth of government contracting,
the tendency to approve
noncompetitive contracts, and the
increasing incidence of waste, fraud,
and abuse of the contracting process
by private firms. Federal auditors
have identified 187 contracts
currently in force, worth a total of
$1.1 trillion, with
“documented significant
overcharges, wasteful spending, or
mismanagement.”  The Departments
of Defense, Energy, and Homeland
Security paid the most to private
contractors in 2006, but the report
reveals that 18 federal agencies
have procurement expenditures of
more than a billion dollars. The
report also notes that the classified
intelligence budget may include more
than $40 billion for contract work.

The committee also found that
government contracts are
concentrated among a few preferred
vendors, with the 20 largest federal
contractors receiving more than 38
percent of the contract dollars
awarded last year. More significantly,
just six companies received 24
percent of federal contract dollars, or
$99.9 billion. The top six are
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop
Grumman, Raytheon, General
Dynamics, and Halliburton. The
fastest-growing federal contractor is
Halliburton, which has moved from
28th to sixth on the list during the
Bush administration as its earnings
from government contracts increased
by 700 percent.

Last year, more than 50 percent of
federal contract dollars were
awarded without full and open
competition, according to the
it's all true
The Bush administration was
admonished by a federal judge who
found the administration had violated
the law by refusing to produce two
congressionally mandated reports
having to do with global warming.  
Judge Saundra Armstrong said that
the administration has “unlawfully
withheld action they are required to
take” under the Global Change
Research Act of 1990.  

The act requires the administration to
update the federal Research Plan
that coordinates all federally
supported research about global
warming and provide a National
Assessment that summarizes  effects
of global warming
on the environment, the economy
and health and safety in the US.  The
report is used by Congress to guide
it in making funding and legislation
decisions about how to respond to
the threat posed by
global warming.  The last National
Assessment was released in 2000 by
the Clinton administration.

The Bush administration was sued in
2006 by a coalition of environmental
groups including the Center for
Biological Diversity and Friends of
the Earth who said that the
administration had violated the law by
suppressing the reports and seeking
the release of the important
ecological policy documents.

Judge Armstrong said that the Bush
administration was simply “wrong”
when it reinterpreted the law that
mandated releasing the reports and
decided instead to release a series
of 21 smaller studies over the course
of the past six years.  The Bush
administration had also attempted to
dismiss the lawsuit arguing that the
information was only intended
for Congress and therefore US
citizens could not sue the
administration to force it to
produce the reports.  Judge
Armstrong told attorneys for the
Bush administration;“Congress
has conferred no discretion upon
the defendants as to when they
will issue revised Research Plans
and National Assessments.”   The
judge also indicated that the
public has a right under the law to
comment on the plan and
assessment that was being
denied by the administration’s
refusal to produce the documents.

A spokesperson for the Center for
Biological Diversity praised the
judge’s ruling stating that the
Bush administration has “denied
and suppressed the science of
global warming at every turn.”     
it's all true
Democrats Ensure Foreign Surveillance Begins in the
Federal Judge Says Bush Administration Suppressed Global
In Future
Pugnacious Prez Takes US Down With Him
Federal Agencies Do Contractors’ Bidding
Tax Cuts Yield
Income Reductions
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