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Reference Section

Special Reports

Special Reports by government agencies, thinks tanks, activist organizations.

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Reports require Adobe Acrobat.

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Manipulating the Public Agenda:
Why ACORN Was in the News, and What the News Got Wrong
By Peter Dreier & Christopher Martin

Using the controversy over ACORN as a case study, this report illustrates the way the media help set the agenda for public debate, and frame the way that debate is shaped. It describes how "opinion entrepreneurs" (primarily business and conservative groups and individuals) set the story in motion as early as 2006, how the "conservative echo chamber" orchestrated its anti-ACORN campaign in 2008, how the McCain-Palin campaign picked it up, and how the mainstream media reported these allegations without investigating their truth or falsity. As a result, the relatively little-known community organization became the subject of a major news story in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, to the point where 82 percent of the respondents in an October 2008 national survey reported they had heard about ACORN. 


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Voter Purges
By Myrna Pérez

Voter registration lists, also called voter rolls, are the gateway to voting. A citizen typically cannot cast a vote that will count unless her name appears on the voter registration rolls. Yet state and local officials regularly remove—or “purge”—citizens from voter rolls. In fact, thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported purging more than 13 million voters from registration rolls between 2004 and 2006.


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Unregulated Work in the Global City:
Employement and Labor Law Violations in New York City
By Annette Bernhardt, Siobhán McGrath, James DeFilippis, Ph.D.

This groundbreaking study rests on a simple premise: the many laws on the books to protect the working poor mean little if they are not enforced. For far too many of our fellow Americans,
the latticework of legal protection may be little more than an illusion. Regardless of what the minimum wage law says, they are not paid the minimum wage. Regardless of what the overtime laws require, they do not receive overtime.


War and Occupation in Iraq :
Why a Conservative America Is a Myth
By Global Policy Forum

On March 20, 2003, the United States, the United Kingdom and a Coalition of allies invaded Iraq and overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. They claimed to bring peace, prosperity and democracy. But ever since, violence, civil strife and economic hardship have wracked the land.


The Progressive Majority :
Why a Conservative America Is a Myth
By Campaign for America’s Future
Eric Lotke, Robert Gerson &

Media Matters for America
Paul Waldman, Andrew Seifter

Media perceptions and past R epublican electoral successes notwithstanding, Americans are progressive across a wide range of controversial issues, and they’re growing more progressive all the time.


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Hot Profits and Global Warming:
How Oil Companies Hurt Consumers and the Environment
By Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen’s Energy Program

In just the first six months of 2006, the five largest oil companies in America posted $59.4 billion in profits. Since President Bush took office in 2001, oil prices have gone up more than 260 percent, and the big five oil companies recorded $375 billion in profits.


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From Poverty to Prosperity
A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half
Report and Recommendations of the Center for American Progress Task Force on Poverty

Thirty-seven million Americans live below the official poverty line. Millions more struggle each month to pay for basic necessities, or run out of savings when they lose their jobs or face health emergencies. Poverty imposes enormous costs on society.


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The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
by Amy Belasco, Specialist in National Defense - Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division


2007 State of Black America:
Portrait of the Black Male

According to the SOBA Equality Index, African American men are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as white males and make only 75 percent as much a year. They’re nearly seven times more likely to be incarcerated, and their average jail sentences are 10 months
longer than those of white men. In addition, young black males between the ages of 15 and 34 years are nine times more likely to die of homicide than their white counterparts and nearly seven times as likely to suffer from AIDS.

Read (Executive Summary Only) | Full Report img - buy now

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The Politics of Voter Fraud
by Lorraine C. Minnite, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Political Science Barnard College, Columbia University

Voter fraud is extremely rare. At the federal level, records show that only 24 people were convicted of or pleaded guilty to illegal voting between 2002 and 2005, an average of eight people a year. The available state-level evidence of voter fraud, culled from interviews, reviews of newspaper coverage and court proceedings, while not definitive, is also negligible.


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Understanding Low-Wage Work in the United States
March 2007, Heather Boushey, Shawn Fremstad, Rachel Gragg, Margy Waller

Over 40 million jobs in the United States about 1 in 3 pay low wages ($11.11 per hour or less) and often do not offer employment benefits like health insurance, retirement savings accounts, paid sick days or family leave. These low-wage jobs are replacing jobs that have historically supported a broad middle class. This report provides a clear and sobering picture of the low-wage labor market through analysis of labor market data, including: downward wage trends over time, poor work conditions, largest occupations, and declining mobility. The authors used a social inclusion definition of low-wage work that allows for comparison among jobs in the United States.


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The Decline in African-American Representation in Unions and Auto Manufacturing, 1979-2004
January 2006, John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer

This report examines the unionization rates of African-American workers and finds that the relative representation of African Americans has been steadily declining in unions, manufacturing, and auto manufacturing.


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Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

We have come together with a unity of purpose because our nation
demands it. September 11, 2001, was a day of unprecedented shock and suffering in the history of the United States.The nation was unprepared. How did this happen, and how can we avoid such tragedy again?


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World Report 2007:
Events of 2006

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human
rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to
uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in
wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.


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Building on a Dream :
A Joint Housing Report by the NAA CP and the National Association of Home Builders

America has ch anged greatly since Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his visionary dream for a brighter future from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963. Now, more than 40 years later, the efforts of King and many other civil rights advocates have engendered in America a
much greater sense of racial tolerance.


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BRIEF, January 2007
International Labor Office

The total of 195.2 million unemployed was slightly higher than a year earlier, an all time high. The global unemployment rate changed little from a year earlier, and stood at 6.3 per cent in 2006.

This confirmed the trend of the past several years in which robust economic growth has failed to translate into significant reductions in unemployment or poverty among those in work.


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The Constitution in Crisis :
The Downing Street Minutes and Deception,
Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War

Investigative Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff

In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war with Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and other legal violations in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration.


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Two Steps Back:
City and Suburban Poverty Trends 1999–2005
Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone

An analysis of poverty in cities and suburbs of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas,based on data from the 2005 American Community Survey and Census 2000. Economic conditions during the early 2000s brought a rise in poverty nationwide and in many cities and suburbs. Regional impacts, however, have been uneven.


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The World Distribution of Household Wealth
Recommendations for Confronting the Epidemic in Black America
James B. Davies*, Susanna Sandstrom†, Anthony Shorrocks†, and Edward N. Wolff‡

The most comprehensive study of personal wealth ever undertaken also reports that the richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000, and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. In contrast, the bottom half of the world
adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.


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African Americans,
Health Disparities and HIV/AIDS

Recommendations for Confronting the Epidemic in Black America



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A Way Out




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Building A North American Community
Report of an Independent Task Force
Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations with the
Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the
Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales

"...Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of
a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity.... Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe."


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Income, Poverty, and Health
Insurance Coverage in the
United States: 2005
Current Population Reports: Current Incomes
Prepared by U.S. Census Bureau

Despite four years of economic growth since the end of the 2001 recession, the number of children living in poverty has not declined according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.


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Diebold TSx Evaluation
SECURITY ALERT: May 11, 2006
Critical Security Issues with Diebold TSx

Prepared by: Harri Hursti

This document describes several security issues with the Diebold electronic voting terminals TSx and TS6. These touch-pad terminals are widely used in US and Canadian elections and are among the most widely used touch pad voting systems in North America.


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Big, Easy Money
Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
Prepared by Rita J. King (

In the storm’s devastating immediate aftermath, business as
usual was suspended for understandable reasons. There was no time to solicit and weigh bids; instead the lucrative contracts to clean up New Orleans and the Gulf Coast went to a bevy of familiar faces, some of the same corporations who have “cleaned up”
— literally and figuratively — in Afghanistan and Iraq.


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I Didn’t Do It Alone:
Society’s Contribution to Individual Wealth and Success
Prepared by Chuck Collins, Mike Lapham and Scott Klinger - Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy

At no time in history has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals. The challenge for the coming century is to preserve and enhance this “American


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Rebuilding America’s Defenses:
Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century
Prepared by The Project for the New American Century

Self-Made Myth
Admitting the role of luck, society’s investment and other advantages is the first step in having a realistic discussion about the true sources of success and opportunity in the U.S. economy.


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World Wealth Report:
The State of the World’s Wealth
Prepared by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini

The Ultra High Networth Individuals, representing 1 hundreth of 1% of the world's adult population, holds 24% of the worlds financial wealth.


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Putting the Market to Work for Lower Income Families
Prepared by The Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program

Report documents "ghetto tax".
"Lower income families tend
to pay higher than average
prices for a wide array of basic
household necessities—often
for the exact same items—than
higher income households."


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Where Did They Go?
The Decline of Middle-Income Neighborhoods in Metropolitan America
Prepared by Jason C. Booza, Jackie Cutsinger, and George Galster
The Brookings Institution • Living Cities Census Series

“The consistent trend is one of a shrinking proportion of families with middle incomes, and an even faster decline in neighborhoods with middle-income character.”


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Crude Vision
How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein
Investigative report by Jim Vallette with Steve Kretzmann and Daphne Wysham

“Regime change” is simply the latest and most aggressive posture the U.S. has assumed in an effort to ensure the long-term availability of Iraqi oil for U.S. industry and consumers—an effort that dates back 40 years to a CIA-aided coup.


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