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source: World Health
interpreting the constitution
crowd control
one nation, under surveillance
number 161    
Wrigley Field
A federal judge has ordered
the Justice Department to put
aside all other matters so that
hundreds of cases challenging
detentions at Guantanamo Bay
may be resolved as quickly as
possible. US District Judge
Thomas F. Hogan said any
further delays at this point
would “reflect badly” on the US
government and would cause
him to become “concerned
and suspicious”. Hogan is in
charge of coordinating and
handling procedural rulings for
more than 250 lawsuits
involving some 643 current
and former detainees.

Hogan did not rule on a Justice
Department request that it be
allowed to present new
evidence in the cases.
Defense attorneys for the
detainees adamantly oppose
the move, which they say is
primarily designed as a
delaying tactic. Government
lawyers have asked for at least
another eight weeks to compile
the new evidence. Hogan
appeared skeptical of the
request, saying of the original
evidence against the
detainees, “If it wasn’t
sufficient, then they shouldn’t
have been picked up.”

Defense lawyers have
predicted that the government
will never allow judicial review
of the evidence. Shayana
Kadidal of the Center for
Constitutional Rights told the
Associated Press that once
the court orders that the
evidence be made available,
he believes the Bush
administration will release most
of the detainees to prevent the
judges from seeing it. Some
detainees have been held for
almost seven years without a
single hearing.           
it's all true
A Justice Department program,
already being implemented in several
states, will train and deploy police
officers, firefighters and first
responders, and even utility workers
and representatives of select private
sector industries and companies to
monitor and report on “suspicious
activity” that may be related to
terrorism. The specially trained
“Terrorism Liaison Officers” will work
with the growing network of
surveillance fusion centers, adding
their observations to a database that
will be available to law enforcement
agencies across the country. The
TLO program has been condemned
by civil liberties advocates, who
generally oppose deputizing private
groups or individuals in quasi-law
enforcement capacities.

California, Arizona, and Colorado
were the first states to deploy TLOs,
because these states had highly
developed intelligence-gathering
operations already in place. Fusion
centers, which collate intelligence
and perform data-mining tasks, are
state-run entities, typically with some
federal presence. Illinois, Wisconsin,
Tennessee, and Florida have also
implemented TLO pilot programs.
According to the
Denver Post,
among the suspicious activities the
Justice Department advises TLOs to
report are “taking photos of no
apparent aesthetic value, making
measurements or notes, espousing
extremist beliefs, [and] conversing in

The program is similar in scope to
the now defunct TIPs program, in
which the FBI sought to create a
national network of informants to
report on activities of certain target
it's all true
Terrorism Watchers All Wound Up
Government Stalling
Beyond Appalling
Former White House deputy chief of
staff Karl Rove last week refused to
testify before a Congressional panel,
ignoring a subpoena issued by the
House Judiciary Committee in the
latest episode in a legal battle over
Bush administration claims of
sweeping executive privilege.

Rove had been scheduled to appear
before a subcommittee hearing
investigating allegations of his
involvement in the political firings of
up to 11 US Attorneys, and claims
that he influenced the controversial
criminal prosecution of former
Alabama Governor Donald
Siegelman. Rove is now likely to
become the third senior Bush adviser
to face contempt of Congress
charges, joining former White House
chief of staff Joshua Bolten and
former White House counsel Harriet
Miers, who also ignored subpoenas
in the US Attorneys probe.

Rove, the top Republican political
strategist who ran a succession of
successful political campaigns for
Bush, has insisted that the White
House has barred him from testifying.
His lawyer’s offers of informal
discussions off the record have not
satisfied Congressional Democrats,
who want him to answer direct
questions under oath. House
Judiciary Committee Chairman John
Conyers has sharply rebuked Rove
for freely discussing the matters
under investigation by Congress on
his regular television appearances as
paid political commentator. Rove has
also ignored a separate subpoena
from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Representative Linda Sanchez, the
A poll of residents in ten
developed countries found that
Americans are the least satisfied
with their health care system.  
Researchers found that more
than 60 percent of Americans said
that their health care system
requires “fundamental changes”
to make it work better and 33
percent said that they thought the
system should be completely

This compares with countries
such as England and France,
where only 15 percent feel that
their health care system needs to
be overhauled, and Canada and
Spain, where 12 percent of the
citizens called for fundamental
changes in their health care
system.  The poll found that the
Dutch were most happy with their
health care system, with only 9
percent calling for change.  The
poll also found that majorities of
people in England and France
believe their health systems to be
“the envy of the world”.  The
United States is the only country
of the ten western developed
countries polled by the Harris
polling company that does not
have some form of universal
health care or nationalized health
care system.           
it's all true
Over a year after being ordered by
the US Supreme Court to determine
whether greenhouse gases are a
threat to public health and take
action under that Clean Air Act, the
head of the Environmental Protection
Agency, Stephen Johnson, said that
his agency would take no action
because the law is “the wrong tool for
addressing greenhouse gases.”  

Johnson said that the “complexity
and magnitude of the question” of
regulating green house gases would
be too expensive for his agency and
too costly for American businesses
and called upon congress to make
new laws to address the issue.  
Johnson’s assessment was
contained in a 1000 page document
that brought together opinions from
White House environmental officials
and economists asserting that
regulating greenhouse gases would
necessitate the expansion of EPA
authority and require costly changes
in many of America’s industrial

Johnson said, “The potential
regulation of greenhouse gases
under any portion of the Clean Air
Act could result in an unprecedented
expansion of EPA authority and
would have a profound effect on
virtually every sector of the
economy and touch every household
in the land.”

The assessment guarantees that the
EPA will have taken no action
regarding green house gases in
America over the course the eight
years of the Bush administration.  As
previously reported by, after forestalling
any action under that Clean Air Act
since 2000, the Bush administration
was sued by several states to force
the federal government to take action
under the act to regulate the
pollutants that cause global
warming.  The Bush administration,
contrary to previous administrations,
did not recognize greenhouse gases
as atmospheric pollutants.  The case
was argued in the US Supreme Court
in 2006 and in 2007 the court
ordered the EPA to determine if the
gases were harmful to the public and,
if so, to develop and enforce
regulations to protect the public

White House spokesperson Dana
Perino told reporters at a briefing
recently that it would be wrong to
protect citizen's health and America's
air quality by "sharply increas(ing)
gasoline prices, home heating bills,
and the cost of energy for American
it's all true
Congress has agreed with the
president that government agents
can spy on Americans without a court
order if the vague threat of terrorism
is raised as an excuse.  Although
some Democrats offered a vigorous
defense of American's civil liberties,
the new surveillance law passed the
Senate on a vote of 69-28 with only
Democrats voting against the
measure, many democrats, including
candidate Barack Obama voted to
give the executive branch new and
expansive powers to monitor the
telephone calls and e-mails of US
citizens and provide retroactive
immunity for the telecommunications
companies who cooperated with
Bush as he performed illegal
wiretapping for several years
beginning in early 2001.

In debate before the Senate passed
the new surveillance law, Russ
Feingold (D-WI) reiterated arguments
against key provisions of the bill
noting correctly that the new law
“would authorize the government to
collect all
communications between the US and
the rest of the world…with absolutely
no suspicion of any wrong doing.”    
Feingold reminded the Senate that
the president broke the law by spying
on Americans and “affirmatively
misled Congress and the American
people about it for years.”  Feingold
warned his colleagues, “If we grant
these new powers to the government
and the
effects become known to the
American people, we will realize
what a mistake it was, of that I am

A whistle blower who advised the
public of AT&T’s participation
in the government's dragnet of US
citizens' electronic
communications, Mark Klein, said
the “surveillance system now
approved by Congress provides
the physical apparatus for the
government to collect and store a
huge database on virtually the
entire population…all in the hands
of an unrestrained executive
power.  It is the infrastructure for a
police state.”                          
it's all
verbatim                                 number 31.4 measure
of success is
"And so, so
long as I'm the
..and success."
Washington DC
Deaths from obesity per
one million residents
elected countries
0                  5                 10
Democratic Support for Constitutional Protections All Tapped Out
California Democrat who chairs
the House Judiciary subcommittee
on commercial and administrative
law said, ”We are unaware of any
proper legal basis for Mr. Rove’s
refusal to even appear today as
required by the subpoena. The
courts have made clear that no
one—not even the president—is
immune from compulsory
process.”  Legal experts have
said that even in cases where
executive privilege may properly
be raised it must be invoked in
response to specific inquiries, not
treated as a form of blanket
immunity from obeying court

Even after Bolten and Miers were
held in contempt of Congress,
Attorney General Michael
Mukasey refused to enforce the
subpoenas against
it's all true
Obstruction Can't Conceal Executive Contempt For Congress
EPA Defies High Court on Clean Air Action
Americans Sick of
Health Care System
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