Monday, February 16, 2004

If military spending directly related to protecting oil supplies and other costs were reflected at the pump, gasoline would cost $5.28 a gallon in the U.S., according to Milton Copulos, a consultant the Energy Department hired in the 1980s to gauge Soviet oil potential.

(Source: "It No Longer Places Stability Above All Else in Mideast, as Move on Iraq Indicates" By ANDREW HIGGINS, WSJournal, 2/4/04)

The Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that even in peacetime, maintaining military forces earmarked for military intervention costs $60 billion a year, or $1.58 per gallon. All paid in taxes rather than at the pump. More.
Someone called me with another "conspiracy" theory last week:

Janet Jackson's Superbowl halftime show was planned to distract the FCC from addressing her commercial promoter's media monopoly.

That was hard to believe. After all, she's got a new album coming out that she needs to sell (and perhaps help pay for her brother's legal defense).

But consider this:

As The Media Reform Network points out:
"Congress is having high-profile hearings to debate the crisis in American media. Media concentration? Nope - indecency. Spurred on by Janet Jackson's Super Bowl antics, Congress has decided to try to address the issue of television's 'race to the bottom.' Their answer? Increasing token fines on broadcasters that push the envelope with explicit content. We need your help to get Congress to focus on what's truly obscene: Big Media getting any bigger... Members of Congress are focused on the media today - we've got to tell them what really matters to us. We need you to call your representative in Congress. Urge him or her to co-sponsor House Joint Resolution 72, the resolution of disapproval that would roll back the new FCC rules. We need you to tell them that the real solution to the problems of our media has to address the root cause: the growing concentration of media ownership. Click below for your representative's information and detailed instructions."

Also, did you know that "Clear Channel buys outright entire tours by artists such as Janet Jackson"??
(Quote from "The story behind surprise 'Boss' show," by Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle July 26, 2003)
Forget the documents. Read this story if you want to know if Bush was AWOL or not.
Paul Krugman reviews two new important books on Bush -- Kevin Phillips' book on the Bush family dynasty and Paul O'Neill/Ron Suskind's book on Bush.

In addition, Eric Alerman and Mark Green have come out with the Book on Bush, an elegantly-written review of W.'s record.