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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:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”