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Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) earned his status as longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate by keeping not only his home renovator well-fed from the pork barrel, but his constituents as well. As former head of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he perfected his legendary ability to bring home federal dollars. Among the several senior committee positions Stevens relinquished yesterday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on corruption charges was ranking membership of the defense appropriations subcommittee, where he helped mark up the mammoth defense appropriations bill…
Taxpayers reports that Stevens “sponsored 159 defense earmarks worth $1.3 billion in the last four years.” Among the highlights:
Four earmarks for the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), “originally designed to capture energy from the aurora borealis.”
Three earmarks for Hibernation Genomics, a “program that aims to ‘hibernate’ people by slowing down their metabolisms while keeping them alive long enough to treat illnesses.”
Multiple earmarks for the Alaska Land Mobile Radio, which an Alaskan state audit criticized for “cost overruns, shoddy accounting and budget planning.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Number of Turkish college students detained in the last year for requesting Kurdish-language classes:
Turkey was funding a search for Suleiman the Magnificent’s heart.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”