interpreting the constitution
number 82  12.10.06
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
in bed with the red
fun d' mental
US minimum wage as a
percentage of the average wage,
1950               1975               2000






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EAC Report - Findings of
Voting Fraud and Voter
Intimidation Study

The Rilke Website: A complete
index of translations by title in
English and German

Interview with Rudy Van Gelder
at All About

Madonna and Child   (c 1460)
Rogier van der Weyden
Huntington Gallery

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source:  Economic Policy
May Day  
March in
Brown Tribute
verbatim                                                             number 16.1
“Make no mistake about
it, I understand how
tough it is...
...I talk to families who die."
Washington  DC  12.07.06
The Iraq Study Group’s report
focuses on multiple aspects of the US
occupation of Iraq, importantly on the
nascent civil war in Iraq and the role
of the US troops currently deployed
in the country.  The group’s
members, some of whom represent
America’s largest energy consultants
and firms, also gave
recommendations that advance the
interests of these members of the
group, belie a fundamental
motivation of the Bush administration
for invading Iraq and demonstrate
what “winning” the war really entails.  

James Baker and Lawrence
Eagleburger both served under the
Reagan administration and helped
open Iraq up to foreign investment by
establishing bilateral relations and
facilitating millions in loans to the
country.  Included among the
advisors to the ISG are employees of
Citigroup, Cambridge Energy
Research Associates, PFC Energy
and Bechtel.  

Recommendations 62 and 63 reveal
the group’s vision for Iraq’s vast
untapped energy resources.  The
report calls for the US government to
help Iraq draft its “oil law”.  The
report states that the US should
provide technical assistance to the
Iraqi government to create a “fiscal
and legal framework for investment”
by international corporate interests.  
The document calls for “legal clarity”
that establishes the rights of local
and regional governments in Iraq but
also  makes the war-torn country
“attractive for investment”.

The report goes on to recommend
that the US should have an important
dual role over the course of the
coming years in Iraq’s oil fields.  The
group counsels
that the US military “should work
with the Iraqi Military” to “protect
oil infrastructure and
contractors.”  The document also
recommends that the US
government provide “technical
assistance” to the Iraqi Ministry of
Oil in multiple commercial and
accounting facets of the business  
of oil extraction including
“managing cash flows”,
enhancing the “payments
process” and training
management personnel.  The
document proposes that the US
team with the World Bank to
provide “contracting templates”
and to help improve accountability
in Iraq’s energy sector.  
The group also finds a role for
what it identifies as “private
security forces” in ensuring that
international firms can extract Iraq’
s resources in
it's all true    
Attorneys for terror detainee Jose
Padilla have told a federal district
court in Miami that recently released
photographs of their client exemplify
the type of cruel treatment that they
claim has violated his rights and
possibly driven him insane.

The filing said, “The government’s
treatment of Mr. Padilla has robbed
him of his personhood.”  Padilla’s
attorneys are seeking to get
terrorism related charges dropped
because of the government’s use of
harsh treatment that can be deemed
to be “outrageous”.  

The photos, which were stills taken
from a video of Padilla being led from
his cell at a naval brig where he is
being detained, show the prisoner
chained at the feet and waist,
wearing blackened goggles and
sound-proofed headphones.  Padilla
was being escorted by three armed
guards wearing riot-gear.

Padilla has previously given
testimony that he was made to
endure sleep deprivation, forced to
hold painful “stress positions” for
hours on end and threatened with
execution by his US military captors
over a course of three years. Padilla
also claims that he was exposed to
noxious gases in his cell and has
been given mind-altering drugs on
several occasions as “truth” serums.  
Federal prosecutors contend that  
while Padilla was in military
custody and being questioned he
was held in “conditions of
confinement (that) were humane
and designed to ensure his safety
and security," and that, “Padilla’s
allegations of torture have no
merit whatsoever."

Those who have recently
interviewed the detainee say that
he “often exhibits facial tics,
unusual eye movements and
contortions of his body.”  Padilla’s
lawyers said in the court filing
that, ‘‘the extended torture visited
upon Mr. Padilla has left him
damaged, both mentally and
it's all true
Government data shows that
income disparities between
men and women in the US
workforce have been reduced
over the past five years, as
manufacturing jobs are
eliminated and the service
sector of the economy
continues to grow. The gender
pay gap for hourly wages has
fallen to 18.3 percent
nationally, the lowest ever
recorded. But rather than
reflecting gains among female
workers, the trend is almost
exclusively the result of the
continuing erosion of men’s
wages, according to a report
by the
Los Angeles Times.

The difference between male
and female median annual
earnings stood at 36.9 percent
in 1973, the year that the
Department of Labor initiated
statistical analysis of the
figures. Over the past decade,
the rapid expansion of the
service sector has led to an
increase in the demand for a
predominantly female
workforce. At the same time,
many traditionally male-
dominated jobs have been
phased out or moved
overseas. A range of federal
and regional data confirms that
the apparent gains by women
have come at the lower end of
the pay scale.

“We’re closing the wage gap in
exactly the wrong way,”  
Rebecca Blank, an economist
and dean of the University of
Michigan's Gerald R. Ford
School of Public Policy told the
Times, adding, “The idea was
that women’s wages were
supposed to rise, not that men’
s wages would fall to women’s
it's all true
The Office of the Director of
National Intelligence has
expanded a program that
provides federal funds to private
colleges and universities for the
development of special course
and degree programs to prepare
students for careers in the
intelligence services. The DNI has
underwritten “Centers of
Academic Excellence” at 10 US
universities, creating specialized
curricula in Middle Eastern and
South Asian language studies,
Islamic studies, engineering, and
computer science. The program is
just one among an increasing
array of grants and scholarships
being offered by the various
intelligence and national security
agencies as part of the Bush
administration “war on terror.”

The Department of Homeland
Security recently announced it
was launching a scholarship
program with the goal of training
nuclear engineers. According to
DHS officials, the “Academic
Research Initiative Program” will
be implemented in 2007.  
Republican Senator Pat Roberts
of Kansas sponsors a secret
scholarship fund, the "Pat Roberts
Intelligence Scholars."        
it's all
The Environmental Protection
Agency announced last week that it
will overhaul its processes for
reviewing and establishing federal air
pollution standards, effectively
reducing the role of independent
scientists and expanding the
contribution of the agency’s politically
appointed management staff. The
new procedures appear to be based
on a set of guidelines proposed by
the American Petroleum Institute and
other industry-backed lobbying
organizations. The decision was
quickly condemned by environmental
groups and Congressional
Democrats, who charged that the de-
emphasis of scientific review would
result in improperly politicized
deliberations within the agency.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is
required to evaluate its standards
regulating six major air pollutants
every five years. The process
typically starts with EPA staff
compiling scientific data in a draft
document, which is then circulated
among independent researchers for
review. The new procedures will
completely eliminate this practice,
replacing it with a “policy
assessment” prepared by senior
White House appointees. Comment
from the scientific community  on the
policy assessment would be invited
only after its publication in the
Federal Register.
The changes will affect regulations
for the most dangerous air pollutants,
including ozone, lead, carbon
monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous
oxides, and particulate matter.
Federal standards for ozone and
lead are currently under review. The
standard for airborne particulate
matter, or soot, was recently left
largely unchanged in a controversial
EPA decision that disregarded the
consensus opinion of its scientific

The agency also announced last
week that it would consider removing
lead from the list of the deadliest
pollutants. The reclassification of
lead is being urged by the Battery
Council International, a Chicago-
based association of battery
manufacturers who insist that other
regulations already in place will
assure public safety. The industry
requires the operation of lead
smelting facilities as part of its
manufacturing process.

In a letter to agency Administrator
Stephen Johnson, Democratic Rep.
Henry Waxman of California called on
the EPA not to reclassify lead,
writing, “This deregulatory effort
cannot be defended.”  Sen. Barbara
Boxer (D, CA) said she would bring
the  various EPA controversies
before the Environment Committee
next month.       
its all true
Harsh Treatment Makes Attorneys Angry, Padilla
ISG Recommends Bringing War Machine in For an Oil
Wage Squeeze
Narrows Gender Gap
Industry Influence Pollutes Procedures at
Spy Agencies
Turn to Colleges
For Intelligence
An appointee to the United States
Memorial Holocaust Memorial Council
has been criticized by both Muslims
and Jews for remarks he made about
a member of congress and the Koran.

Dennis Prager, who hosts a radio talk
show and has written for
conservative publications such as the
Wall Street Journal, wrote an opinion
piece about the decision of congress
person elect Keith Ellison of
Minnesota to use the Koran when he
is ceremonially sworn in to office.
Ellison is the first Muslim to be
elected to the House of

Although the radio talk show host
was unable to articulate how, Prager
wrote that Ellison’s decision to be
sworn in using a Koran was an act
that “undermines American
Prager went on to compare Ellison’s
choice of religious texts to that of a
racist who may choose Adolph Hitler’
s treatise, Mein Kampf. Prager said
that if Ellison was “incapable” of
using a Bible for the swearing
ceremony, he should not “serve in

Since Prager made his comments,
the Council on American-Islamic
Relations sent a letter to the
president asking for Prager's removal
and the Anti Defamation League
called Prager’s comments “intolerant,
misinformed and downright un-
American.”  The board of the
Holocaust Museum itself said that
Prager’s comments do not reflect the
museum's position and stated that
they could not remove the radio host
from the board as he was appointed
by President Bush.                   
it's all
Bush Appointee Discriminates By the Book
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