Camouflaged defense spending [LAT, 2.10.2007]
The government should stop deceptively pretending that war costs are separate from the Pentagon's budget.
AT THE SAME TIME that President Bush requested more than $700 billion for the Pentagon budget this week, he managed to create the impression that he was asking for the much smaller amount of $481 billion. The trick he used — socking about $235 billion into two "emergency supplemental" funding requests for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — didn't fool the public for very long. But the longer the White House and Congress continue to treat "war-related" funding as a separate item from the budget for the Department of Defense, the harder it will be to control a ballooning federal budget.
Social bookmarking sites, where Web surfers share their favorite links, are giving a few heavy users power to shape the online viewing habits of thousands. These "hidden influencers" have an outsize effect on ads, trends and the sites that get plucked from obscurity.
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On Reddit, one of the most influential users is 12-year-old Adam Fuhrer. At his desktop computer in his parents' home in the quiet northern Toronto suburb of Thornhill, Mr. Fuhrer monitors more than 100 Web sites looking for news on criminal justice, software releases -- and the Toronto Maple Leafs, his favorite hockey team. When Microsoft launched its Vista operating system this year, he submitted stories that discussed its security flaws and price tag, which attracted approving votes from more than 500 users.
Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Feb 10, 2007 at 12:16 PM