On the day that Michael Ramirez won a Pulitzer Prize, it's somewhat fitting to run a Robert Scheer item too. He and Ramirez were both dropped from the L.A. Times Op-Ed page in 2005 in what was seen as a package deal: something for the left, something for the right. Scheer, the founder of Truthdig — so perhaps better read now than he would be in the new LAT — gets a good review in today's Publisher's Weekly for his forthcoming book, "The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America." Excerpt:
Veteran journalist Scheer (With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War) takes aim at America's defense policy and bloated military budget in this pugnacious and rigorously researched polemic. “Tragedy can be opportunity,” Scheer writes, and 9/11 provided the defense industry with the opportunity it had long been seeking. Unable to persuade the first Bush and Clinton administrations to invest in expensive, state-of-the-art weapons, the defense industry found fresh life as the current President Bush launched his “war on terror” and military expenditures swelled to the highest level in history. Scheer argues that war cannot defeat terrorism. What's required is simple police work — dogged, boring and not terribly expensive — not trillion-dollar bombers, submarines and nuclear arsenal — expenditures he contends are unrelated to defeating terrorists and of little use in Iraq...Scheer's prose is as clear as his evidence; readers will be galvanized by his incendiary account.
Book deal: Los Angeles Times reporter Judy Pasternak has sold "Yellow Dirt," based on her stories about the health effects of uranium mining on the Navajo Reservation, to Free Press for publication in August 2010, says Publisher's Lunch.