Gung Ho!

Main Entry: gung ho Pronunciation: 'g&[ng]-'hOFunction: adjective Etymology: Gung ho!, motto (interpreted as meaning "work together") adopted by certain U.S. marines, from Chinese (Beijing) gOnghé, short for ZhOngguó GOngyè Hézuò Shè Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society: extremely or overly zealous or enthusiastic

Gung Ho!
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Gung Ho!
And The Cost of War!

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Gung Ho!
And The Cost of War In Lives!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

New indictment revises conspiracy charge in phone jamming case

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — Prosecutors have won a new indictment against a former official of President Bush´s 2004 re-election campaign for alleged misconduct during the 2002 election.

The indictment renders moot multiple motions to dismiss filed by James Tobin _ motions scheduled to be heard in U.S. District Court on Friday. Tobin, of Bangor, Maine, will have to enter a new plea to the revised charges.

The new indictment charges Tobin with conspiring to deny New Hampshire residents their constitutional right to vote through a phone-jamming operation on Election Day 2002. The former indictment charged him with conspiring to annoy and harass voters by telephone.

I agree with Josh Marshall: You'd think the Majority Leader would at least agree to answer what if anything he knew about it.

Semper Fi - Female Afghan TV host shot dead - May 21, 2005

Clerics criticized her western-friendly style

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A ground-breaking Afghan television host whose Western style drew praise from youthful fans and condemnation from Muslim clerics may have been slain with involvement from her own brothers, police have said.

Shaima Rezayee, 24, who tossed aside her burqa for Western dress and became a host on an MTV-style music show, knew her life was in danger, according to a radio interview she gave not long before she was shot in the head at her Kabul home Wednesday.


Jamil Khan, head of the criminal investigation department for Kabul police, declined to comment on a possible motive for the killing, but said police would question Rezayee's two brothers after mourning ceremonies conclude early next week.

"We suspect family members may be involved in the murder," he said. He didn't elaborate and relatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

What a brave young woman!

Semper FI

REUTERS/Loay Abu haykel
A Palestinian boy holds a copy of the Koran during a demonstration against Newsweek magazine's report of the desecration of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay prison which was later retracted, West Bank city of Ramallah, May 20, 2005.
Posted by Hello

Iraqi children take cover from sand as a British military helicopter lands in central Basra May 21, 2005. British soldiers aboard the helicopter stopped and searched a vehicle after receiving information that it might be carrying weapons or a bomb. Three men in the vehicle were questioned and released after nothing was found inside the car, eyewitnesses said.
Posted by Hello

REUTERS/Radu Sigheti
Masai tribesmen carry wooden sticks during a protest, against the release of British aristocrat Thomas Cholmondeley, in Ntulele village in western Kenya May 21, 2005. Cholmondeley, son of one of Kenya's largest white landowners, had been charged over the shooting of a game warden at the family's ranch in April. But he was released from maximum security prison on Wednesday after Attorney General Amos Wako said the state did not have sufficient evidence against him.
Posted by Hello

A gay couple hold their contract as they embrace at the end of a symbolic wedding ceremony in central Rome May 21, 2005. Gay couples from around Italy were informally married in symbolic ceremonies in central Rome on Saturday, expressing their frustration at Italy's strict laws which offer no legal recognition to same-sex couples. Italy's gay and lesbian associations are lobbying for parliament to give gay couples legal status and equal rights as traditional marriages in areas such as pensions and taxes.
Posted by Hello

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Bolivian Aymara indian women dance as they take part in the "El Senor del Gran Poder" (Feast of the Great Power of Jesus) festival in La Paz, Bolivia May 21, 2005. The feast, which is one of the most important and expressive manifestations of La Paz?s cultural identity, had its origins in the arrival in the Ch'ijini area of a canvas showing a three-faced figure. The image was reinterpreted according to the Aymara tradition to mean that one asked the face on the right for good things, the left for negative things, while one prayed to the center face. The Catholic Church had the canvas repainted in 1930, leaving only the face in the centre, which became known as Jesus of the Great Power.
Posted by Hello - 14 dead recovered from Andes; 31 Chile troops still lost

LOS ANGELES, Chile (AP) — The bodies of 14 soldiers who died in a blizzard in the Andes were recovered by army patrols in four-wheeled drive vehicles Saturday, but 31 were still missing and feared dead from the ill-fated march that got caught in a 'snow tsunami.

Hope the Chile troops are okay.

Semper Fi

Friday, May 20, 2005

Senator Santorum calls Hitler quip 'mistake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican senator who likened Democrats to Adolf Hitler during a heated debate over the future of U.S. judicial nominees on Friday said such language was a "mistake."

Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania released a statement saying that "Referencing Hitler was meant to dramatize the principle of an argument, not to characterize my Democratic colleagues."

"It was a mistake and I meant no offense," added Santorum, who holds a key spot in the Republican leadership.

It was a mistake? Meant no offense? That's exactly what you meant by that statement. Be prepare to here those words again, Sen. Santorum. You'll be eating them come election time in 2006!

Semper Fi

Italian hostage killed in Afghanistan - kidnapper

KABUL (Reuters) - The Italian aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan has been killed, the alleged kidnapper told Reuters on Friday, but a government spokesman said she was still alive.

Timoor Shah said that he had killed Clementina Cantoni after President Hamid Karzai's government refused to accept his demands.

'We strangled her with a rope at nine o'clock last night,' Shah said.

Karzai's spokesman, Jawed Ludin, insisted that 32-year-old Cantoni was still alive. Cantoni, who works for Care International, was seized by gunmen in Kabul on Monday night.

We can only pray that Clementina is okay.

Semper Fi

The Stakeholder :: Bad News

Muslims are upset. Please, go read the links.

Employees Overcome by Fumes at Mapleton Post Office

Wish-TV(Indianapolis) – The Mapleton post office was evacuated and several workers were treated for respiratory problems after someone dropped off a suspicious package Thursday.

It happened around 4:00 pm at the US post office branch on 34th and Graceland. Dozens of firefighters and HAZ-MAT crews were on the scene.

According to police, a postal worker accepted a package across the counter. A few minutes later, several employees began coughing. The employees brought the package outside and evacuated the building. Police say about 20 employees were inside the building at the time.

I hope everyone is okay.

Semper Fi my fellow Postal workers.

TV ad targets Lugar on filibuster

Liberal group wants Hoosier voters to urge state's senator to save rules on endless debate.

By Mary Beth Schneider

A liberal national political group is targeting Sen. Richard G. Lugar in a new TV ad that calls for the preservation of the Senate filibuster.

The MoveOn Political Action Committee is asking Lugar, R-Ind., to buck his party's leadership and preserve the filibuster. But Andy Fisher, a spokesman for Lugar, said the senator would not oppose party leaders on the issue.

'The ads will have no bearing on his views,' Fisher said."


The ad features an animated herd of elephants on a rampage, devouring the White House and Congress before being stopped by a single person in front of the Supreme Court.

"A few courageous Republicans have said 'no' to the radicals. Will your senators have the same courage? Call them," the ad states.

Looks like Lugar has drank too muck kool-aid.


While Lugar has said he won't undercut the Senate GOP leadership, he also has publicly expressed unease at changing Senate rules to eliminate filibusters.

MoveOn PAC Advocacy Director Ben Brandzel said that was why the group included Lugar among its ad targets. The group's hope is that Lugar could work to avoid a showdown vote on the issue or to forge a compromise, particularly if he hears from constituents, Brandzel said.

That might be more realistic than winning Lugar's vote.

Semper Fi

Just called Senator Lugar's office

Please, call him and tell him to preserve the filibuster.

Senator Richard Lugar
Phone: 202-224-4814
District Offices:
Evansville: 812-465-6313
Fort Wayne: 260-422-1505
Indianapolis: 317-226-5555
Jeffersonville: 812-288-3377
Valparaiso: 219-548-8035

MoveOn Pac that you called called.

Semper Fi

AlterNet: Peek: Blog

This is how Democracy ends

Responding to Santorum's Hitler/Democrats comparison, Dem Max Baucus upped the ante nearly two thousand years in a stirring rebuttal referencing Rome and the castration of its senate: 'In ancient Rome, when the Senate lost its power, the Roman Senate was complicit in the transfer. The emperor did not have to seize all the honors and powers. The Roman Senate, one after another, conferred greater powers on Caesar...Mr. President: This is the way democracy ends; This is the way democracy ends; This is the way democracy ends; Not with a bomb, but a gavel.' (ThinkProgress)

Semper Fi

donkey o.d. with Senator Byrd

As long as there is a forum in which questions can be asked by men and women who do not stand in awe of a chief executive and one can speak as long as one's feet will allow one to stand, the liberties of the American people will be secure.'
~Senator Robert Byrd

Semper Fi

Is A Dark Future Emerging? bu$hmeriKa HAS ARRIVED...: PAUSING For Bits Of Wisdom...

Thanks, Chuck for the quotes.

Semper Fi

donkey o.d.: Pearls

Thanks Donkey O. D.

Semper Fi

REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
An Afghan widow who receive monthly ration from CARE International aid agency, holds a photograph of Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni in Kabul May 17, 2005. Afghan authorities launched an investigation on Tuesday into the kidnapping of an Italian aid worker seized from a car by gunmen on a street in the capital Kabul, an Italian embassy official said. Cantoni from Lombardy, who works for the CARE International aid agency, was kidnapped at about 8:30 p.m (1600 GMT) on Monday evening after the vehicle she was travelling in was intercepted and blocked by another car. Four gunmen grabbed her from her car, bundled her into a white Toyota car and drove away, security officials said.
Posted by Hello

REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
Afghan widows, who receive monthly rations from the CARE international aid agency, look at a photograph of Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni as they protest her kidnapping for the third day in Kabul May 19, 2005. The kidnappers of Cantoni, an Italian aid worker seized from her car in Afghan capital have dropped most demands for her release, an Afghan official said on Thursday.
Posted by Hello

REUTERS/Shaun Heasley
Senators Harry Reid (D-Nv) (R) gestures during a news conference with Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, at a news conference at the Senate Radio-TV Gallery on Capitol Hill, in Washington May 19, 2005. Democratic lawmakers held the news conference to discuss their opposition to judicial nominees.
Posted by Hello

REUTERS/Adeel Halim
A female white tiger cub 'Rashmi' plays at Sanjay Gandhi national park in Bombay May 17, 2005. Separated from its mother, the 78 day old cub is being looked after by park officials.
Posted by Hello

REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw
Krishna, a four-years-old zoo-bred Bengal tigress, cleans her three-months-old cub at Alipore Zoo in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta May 17, 2005. Krishna had given birth of two cubs, out of the two cubs, one is normal coloured and the other one is white. The father of the cub is a zoo-bred white tiger named Anirban.
Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Rick Santorum

Said Santorum: What the Democrats are doing is 'the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.' This is no more the rule of the senate than it was the rule of the senate before not to filibuster.

As the son of a WWII veteran, you can understand how feel about this remark!

Semper Fi

Update on the $25m lawsuit against USA Next


by John in DC - 5/19/2005 12:02:00 AM

A number of you had asked what the latest is on the $25m lawsuit against USA Next by the gay couple whose photo of their wedding day was stolen by USA Next for their anti-gay anti-AARP social security ad. The latest is that the bad guys filed a motion to dismiss the suit, and the gay couple's lawyers responded. You can read the brief in response to the motion here."

Semper Fi

Libya lobbyist holds seat on top U.S. Energy board

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Although the United States still classifies Libya as a terrorism sponsor, the U.S. lobbyist for Muammar Gaddafi has for the past year quietly held a seat on the Energy Department's top advisory board, and the former energy secretary who appointed her now serves on the board of a major U.S. oil company seeking contracts in Libya.

U.S. President Bush rolled back most economic sanctions against Libya more than a year ago, and administration officials say the appointments do not violate any laws or restrictions on former policymakers.

But some outside experts and families of the victims of the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie bombing, blamed on Libya, say the web of connections raises questions about conflicts of interest and undue Libyan influence.

Semper Fi

REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw
Krishna, a four-year-old zoo-bred Bengal tigress, stands besides her two three-months-old cubs at Alipore Zoo in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta May 17, 2005. Krishna had given birth of two cubs, out of the two cubs, one is normal coloured and the other one is white. The father of the cub is a zoo-bred white tiger named Anirban.
Posted by Hello

Generals Offer Sober Outlook on Iraqi War - New York Times

Published: May 19, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 18 - American military commanders in Baghdad and Washington gave a sobering new assessment on Wednesday of the war in Iraq, adding to the mood of anxiety that prompted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to come to Baghdad last weekend to consult with the new government.

n interviews and briefings this week, some of the generals pulled back from recent suggestions, some by the same officers, that positive trends in Iraq could allow a major drawdown in the 138,000 American troops late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested Wednesday that American military involvement could last "many years."


In Baghdad, a senior officer said Wednesday in a background briefing that the 21 car bombings in Baghdad so far this month almost matched the total of 25 in all of last year.

Against this, he said, there has been a lull in insurgents' activity in Baghdad in recent days after months of some of the bloodiest attacks, a trend that suggested that American pressure, including the capture of important bomb makers, had left the insurgents incapable of mounting protracted offensives. But the officer said that despite Americans' recent successes in disrupting insurgent cells, which have resulted in the arrest of 1,100 suspects in Baghdad alone in the past 80 days, the success of American goals in Iraq was not assured.

"I think that this could still fail," the officer said at the briefing, referring to the American enterprise in Iraq. "It's much more likely to succeed, but it could still fail."

Semper Fi

In Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, wreckage marked a car-bomb attack on a police convoy Wednesday. Such attacks are more numerous this year.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

May 16, 2005 | A Marine honor guard unloads the flag-draped casket of Lance Cpl. Lance T. Graham, who was killed in Iraq.
(Photo: AP)
Posted by Hello

Semper Fi my fallen brother!

Bayh, Lugar no strangers to filibusters

Indiana's senators likely will disagree in vote on whether to ban method for judicial nominations.

By Maureen Groppe
Star Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to using the filibuster to block a proposal they didn't like, both Republican Sen. Richard Lugar and Democrat Evan Bayh have employed it.

Lugar once led a filibuster that blocked a bill that would have made it easier to unionize small businesses.

Bayh has joined Democratic filibusters that have prevented final votes to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, limit medical malpractice awards and appoint some judges to the federal bench.

Lugar is for nuke option. I must call him, to express my concerns.

Semper Fi

Think Progress » Frist Implodes on Senate Floor

This morning on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer asked Majority Leader Bill Frist a simple question:

SEN. SCHUMER: Isn’t it correct that on March 8, 2000, my colleague [Sen. Frist] voted to uphold the filibuster of Judge Richard Paez?

Here was Frist’s response:

The president, the um, in response, uh, the Paez nomination - we’ll come back and discuss this further. … Actually I’d like to, and it really brings to what I believe - a point - and it really brings to, oddly, a point, what is the issue. The issue is we have leadership-led partisan filibusters that have, um, obstructed, not one nominee, but two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, in a routine way.

So, Frist is arguing that one filibuster is OK. His problem is that several Bush nominees have been filibustered. This position completely undercuts Frist’s argument that judicial filibusters are unconstitutional. (Which is, in turn, the justification for the nuclear option.) If judicial filibusters are unconstitutional there is no freebee. But Frist digs his hole even deeper:

The issue is not cloture votes per se, it’s the partisan, leadership-led use of cloture votes to kill - to defeat - to assassinate these nominees. That’s the difference. Cloture has been used in the past on this floor to postpone, to get more info, to ask further questions.

When Frist voted to filibuster Paez’s nomination it had been pending for four years. It’s hard to believe he couldn’t get all the info he needed or ask all the questions he had during that time. Make no mistake about it: Bill Frist was trying to kill the Paez nomination. A press release issued the following day by former Sen. Bob Smith, who organized the filibuster effort, read “Smith Leads Effort to Block Activist Judges.” All the details about Frist’s hypocrisy here.

Semper Fi

Is this the secret British memo?
Posted by Hello

From Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall

That's a new one.

As we first reported, James Tobin, Bill Frist's Northeast political director at the NRSC in 2002, was the guy behind the New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal from that year.

Tobin now says, in motions filed with the court, that his indictment in the case should be thrown out because the grand jury that indicted him included Democrats.

And in line with Tobin's apparent contention that Republicans now constitute a protected class (will they mind if we call them a 'discrete and insular minority'?) there's this ...

And if the case does go to trial, Tobin's lawyers want to question prospective jurors extensively about their politics and their exposure to media reports of the case to root out potential bias.

Please go TPM and read the whole story, very scary what this lawyer wants to do.

Semper Fi

City Plan Would Curb Garage Door Opening

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (AP) -- Some residents of this upscale Memphis suburb say ordinances have gone to far. The final straw may have been rules proposed about when garage doors can be opened.

Among other directives, the city codes would tell homeowners to open their garage doors only when entering or exiting or for 'short periods of time' for cleaning and maintenance.

'I'm in favor of reasonable codes, but I think some of these things go to extremes,' said resident Robert Scallions.

Because of such criticism, officials in this town known for a sharp eye for community decorum have agreed to give the proposals another look before a final vote.

Jean Wallace said she fears town regulators could come down on her because the street address on her house is spelled out in words. The rules would call for numbers only, from 4 to 6 inches tall.

"That seems very strange, especially when the house is 30 years old," Wallace said. "The builders put them up, and they used to always be like that."

Just to many regulations, I could live there. Almost like a homeowners association.

Germantown is located near Millington, Tn.. I was stationed there (nas millington) twice while in the Navy.

Semper FI

The Left Coaster: McClellan Lied At Press Gaggle Yesterday

It looks like Scott McClellan was caught in a lie yesterday, during his impromptu press briefing to pile on Newsweek:

Q: Can you 100 percent say for sure that it is wrong, that there were no incidents of American interrogators putting Korans in the toilets?

MR. McCLELLAN: I know of no such incidents. And the Department of Defense said last week that they could find no credible evidence of it either. They have looked into it.

Really? That's not what the Pentagon actually said last week Scott, on May 10th:


Q: This is -- I believe this is an investigation that was sparked by allegations by FBI officials --

MR. DIRITA: Oh, right. That was an investigation that because of these FBI e-mails that we learned of, the commander down there asked for it to be pursued. I know that the investigators down there have coordinated with the FBI, which apparently is doing its own separate investigation. The Department of Justice inspector general is involved because there are FBI interrogators as well as other -- as well as military.

So I think where we are is that the commander is coordinating closely with the Department of Justice so that we have -- we can be as linked together as we need to be. He, I think, received some -- the commander received some initial assessments early, asked for some additional inquiries, and those have not been completed.

And I think we're probably -- because of the desire to make sure that we're working closely with other agencies, it's a little bit more complicated. And I think we're probably several weeks away from being able to say that the commander has made his final assessments there.

So, as of last Tuesday, May 10th, (the day after the story broke) we were "several weeks away" from the Guantanamo commander being able to make his final assessments as to whether or not the "Korans down the toilet" stories were credible.

Semper Fi

A message from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Mr. Seth Pollack
Chairman of the Board
Veterans for Common Sense
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Dear Mr. Pollack:

I am pleased to announce that the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a
provision to make sure that wounded soldiers - including active duty,
National Guard members and Reservists - do not lose their combat pay
allowance while they are in hospital.

It is unacceptable that our service members can lose their combat pay while
they are recovering. They have put their lives on the line for us. The last
thing we should be doing is placing an intolerable burden on their families
in return for their sacrifice.

Normally a person loses his/hers combat pay once you leave the combat zone. This is good news for those troops. I hope it's retro active.

Semper Fi

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

College ad to protest Bush visit - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - May 17, 2005

By Julia Duin

One-third of the professors at an evangelical Christian college in Grand Rapids, Mich., are taking out a large ad in a local newspaper Saturday to protest President Bush's commencement speech.
'As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort,' the ad will say. 'We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq.'
The 130 signatories, which include 20 staff members, work at Calvin College. Founded in 1876 as a school for pastors of the Christian Reformed Church, it now is one of the nation's flagship schools for a Christian liberal-arts education.
"No single political position should be identified with God's will," says the ad, which also chastises the president for "actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor."

Semper Fi

Intel, Novell say Linux gains on Microsoft Brazil

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Intel and Novell on Monday said Linux is gaining on Microsoft's Windows operating system in Brazil thanks to government policies pushing open source software.

"More and more you will hear about free software, Linux, principally in the government and corporate environments, and less about Windows," Oscar Clarke, head of Intel in Brazil, said at a press conference. "It's an inexorable trend."

Encouraged by what it sees as fertile ground for the spread of free software in the country, Novell released on Monday a new package of Linux-based programs for desktop computers called Novell Linux Desktop in Brazil.

The package includes word processing and Internet browsing software, among other tools.


In Brazil, the free software movement has gained considerable backing from the government, which is pushing ministries to adopt open-source software to cut the cost of proprietary software like Windows.

Last week, the government unveiled a program that will subsidize cheap computers for the poor that will run on Linux.

"In the globalized economy, we develop our platforms to attend the needs of the market, which in Brazil is every day more Linux-based," said Intel's Clarke.

Look out Microsoft, here comes Linux.

Semper Fi

Monday, May 16, 2005

Grassroot' Support for Ending the Filibustering Option in the Senate

Ken Mehlman has been mobilizing the Republican grassroots on the filibustering issue:

Seeking to counter a similarly aggressive Democratic campaign to preserve the filibuster, Republicans are writing op-ed columns, booking Bush surrogates on cable news channels and deluging reporters with e-mails.
'We've been mobilizing our grass roots on this issue,' said Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman. 'This is an incredibly important priority.'

And the results from the grassroots mobilization are flowing in. This is a letter appearing in one local newspaper:"

The proposal Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sent to his Democrat colleagues this week could not have been a more fair compromise to end Democrat obstruction of President Bush's highly qualified judicial nominees.


It is also a letter in here, here, here, here and even in this discussion forum! And in many other newspapers, always with different signatures.

The origin of the letter is here. It seems to have been written by Ken Mehlman.

I didn't copy the links, you'll need to go to Eschaton to link (the word here is a different link)to them.

It seems Ken Mehlman has been busy.


New York - Almost four months into his second term, President George W. Bush's approval rating remains at 46%, with 47% of those Americans surveyed disapproving of his performance, according to this week's TIME poll. This is unchanged since late March, when Bush's second-term job approval rating slipped below 50%.

Weighing down Bush's job approval ratings are lopsidedly negative scores on his handling of Social Security (31% approve - 59% disapprove), the economy (38% approve - 56% disapprove), and the situation in Iraq (41% approve - 55% disapprove). Bush's approval scores on the economy are down 4 points since late March.

What a lame duck!
Semper Fi

Retirement plan woes increase

By Donna Smith

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rising trade deficits and airline pension problems that could spread to other industries are adding to public unease about President Bush's plan to restructure Social Security, a leading Senate Democrat said on Monday.

Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said Bush was unlikely to overcome resistance among Democrats and some Republicans to his proposal to create individual Social Security investment accounts.

"I think because of a rising insecurity in the country -- part of it is trade-related and part of it comes with the announcement of United Airlines dropping its pension plan -- people are just a little nervous all the way around," Baucus told a Reuters newsmaker luncheon.

Bush wants to allow workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in stocks and bonds, arguing it would give them a better rate of return than the current system. Democrats say it would worsen the retirement program's cash flow problems and shift too much risk to the individual.

Semper Fi

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Newsweek Apologizes; Afghans Want Action

Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Muslims in Afghanistan gave Washington three days to offer a response to a Newsweek story that claimed the Islamic holy book was desecrated at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, but the magazine apologized Sunday for the report, which prompted deadly riots across Afghanistan last week.

Reaction across the Islamic world has been strong, with daily demonstrations since the May 9 story came out. At least 15 people died in Afghanistan after protests broke out Tuesday following the report that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed Qurans in washrooms to unsettle suspects, and in one case 'flushed a holy book down the toilet.


But Newsweek apologized in an editor's note for Monday's edition and said they were re-examining the allegations.

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker wrote.

Newsweek's source later said he was unsure about the origin of the Quran allegation, and a top Pentagon spokesman told the magazine that the military "had investigated other desecration charges by detainees and found them 'not credible.'"

After 3 or 4 days of violence, with deaths acrossed the world now Newsweek apologizes? Why didn't they check their sources first! How many deaths do they own?

Semper Fi