Balance Sheet

Assets

Base Motivation

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld wants to close about one-quarter of the nation's 425 military bases. Army bases without quick-deployment forces are almost certain to be shut down.

J-Lo Blow

When Jennifer Lopez asks Miami police officers to "donate" their time to her celebrity security bubble, the city balks, noting "there are a lot of people with money here. They have to hire off-duty officers like everyone else."

Gift Receipts

In fiscal year 2003 total federal revenue as a percentage of GDP falls below 17 percent for the first time since 1959. Of course, big deficits and a weak economy help explain the fall, but a smaller slice of pie for the feds still means more in the private sector.

Magic Memo

A federal judge in Houston tosses a 20-year-old arms smuggling conviction because a CIA memo was kept from the defense. Judge Lynn Hughes notes that even in national security cases, due process "requires personal and institutional integrity."

Zoned Out

Voters in Williamstown, Vermont, overwhelmingly reject a plan to introduce zoning restrictions for the town. How many other jurisdictions would ditch zoning were it put to a vote?

Cash Crop

A Purdue University survey finds that, regardless of age or income level, consumers will pay more for genetically modified foods if they believe the foods provide more nutrients or other benefits.

Shot Through

A study of 140,000 kids published in Pediatrics finds no links between childhood vaccinations and autism. That won't deter the cottage industry that's sprung up to convince parents otherwise.

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