The Atlantic finally popped through the door so I can point to all the interesting pieces in this months issue. Some of the material is available online, but I prefer reading the hardcopy issue, and then linking to the stories.
First up is Primary Sources, always one of the most interesting parts of the Atlantic.
The first story details how much Congress spends on projects tacked onto appropriations bills. It seems fiscal year 2004 was a record, with 10, 656 such projects. The Pig Book can be found here.
Choice slices of pork listed in the Pig Book include $50 million to build the world’s largest indoor rain forest in Coralville, Iowa; hundreds of thousands of dollars for “poultry litter composting” and “berry research”; and $5 million for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which was originally designed to “capture energy from the aurora borealis” and now aims to “heat the ionosphere to improve military communications.” It’s no coincidence that HAARP, which has absorbed nearly a hundred million federal dollars since 1995, is an Alaska-based project: the state’s senior senator, the Republican Ted Stevens, chairs the Senate Appropriations Committeeand Alaska procured more pork per capita than any other state in 2004, with $524 million in appropriations.
Capture energy from the aurora borealis? Not heard that one before.