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!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Governors to lobby for Medicaid reforms

By Kathleen Hunter, Staff Writer

The nation’s governors are seeking consensus on a new blueprint to fundamentally restructure Medicaid, the government’s largest health care program, that seeks to stem its exploding costs without cutting off medical care for more Americans.

A task force of 11 governors released a four-page summary on June 1 of proposals that now will go before all 50 governors at the National Governors Association’s annual meeting in July. More details are expected to emerge June 15 when NGA Chairman Gov. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia and Vice Chairman Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) of Arkansas testify before the U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee.

The NGA plan, many elements of which previously have been reported, focuses on granting states more flexibility to try innovations in managing their Medicaid programs, on making it easier for low-income and disabled people to secure private health insurance, and on reducing Medicaid's role in funding nursing home and long-term care.


Medicaid has eclipsed K-12 education as the single largest portion of states' budgets, making it a top concern for governors. But the program, which pays for nearly half of all long-term care and covers almost two-thirds of nursing home residents, also has captured the attention of budget cutters in the White House and Congress.

The governors’ proposal, which they hope will help sway Congress’ efforts to reform Medicaid, calls on the federal government to:

* Allow states to adopt tiered, enforceable co-payments for prescription drugs that Medicaid covers.
* Give states more freedom to innovate by cutting the federal red tape and long waits for states seeking exemptions to Medicaid rules.
* Remove legal barriers to states managing optional Medicaid benefits, in an effort to keep states from landing in court when they try innovative Medicaid strategies.
* Establish a National Health Care Innovations Program that would support 10-15 state-level health care reform initiatives.

For low income seniors, Medicaid is their only hope for long term nursing home care. Before my gandfather passed, my mother, aunt, and uncle sold off all of my grandfathers equity. Then put the money in their names. So my grandfather than would be accepted by Medicaid, for nursing home care. He lived for 3 years there. My mother, aunt, and uncle could not afford to pay for the cost of the nursing home. They were already retired, themslves.

Semper Fi

UK pushing for Africa debt plan

The UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has put forward a bold plan to tackle poverty in Africa ahead of the G8 Summit of rich countries in Scotland next month.

He called for a doubling of European aid by 2010 and 100% debt relief, as well as an end to many trade subsidies.

But the plan is facing opposition in the US - and particularly from President George W Bush.


Mr Bush said on Wednesday that a key part of the plan did not fit with the US budget process.


The UK has said that 2005 is a vital year for Africa, and argues that without significantly more money the United Nations' Millennium Goal of halving world poverty by 2015 will be impossible to meet.


But the US remains concerned that the UK is proposing that the debt plans should be financed in part by selling gold reserves held by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A surge in the price of gold has boosted the value of the reserve, and the UK wants to use that extra cash.

The US - along with some other countries including Japan, Germany and Italy - has never been keen on the idea of selling IMF gold.


The US has already pledged to increase development aid through its own Millennium Challenge Account, but little of the money has been spent so far.

Analysts say the war in Iraq and its related costs have pushed Africa off the US agenda, and think a change in priorities is unlikely.


Mr Brown played down reports of a rift or stand-off between the UK and the US.

"In my talks over the last few months, but particularly over the last day or two, with the US Treasury Secretary, we believe that there is common ground on securing that debt relief," he explained.

"We believe it is going to be possible to reach an agreement on debt relief."

"This is not a time for timidity nor a time to fear reaching too high."

The cost of the war in Iraq , is just to high. We could be helping so many more people.

Semper Fi

Payrolls Grow by Just 78,000 in May

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer 41 minutes ago

Employers throttled back hiring in May, boosting jobs by just 78,000, the government reported Friday. The most sluggish pace of payroll expansion in nearly two years dramatized the erratic behavior of the nation's job market.


The payroll gain of 78,000 followed a hiring spurt of 274,000 in April. Job cuts last month were reported in the categories of manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business. Those losses tempered gains elsewhere.

The generally lackluster performance surprised economists. Before the report was released, they were predicting jobs to grow by around 175,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 5.2 percent.

"Clearly there's some disappointment here," said Anthony Chan, senior economist at JP Morgan Asset Management. "But this may be a gift to financial markets and Main Street because the Federal Reserve might not have to be so aggressive in raising rates. In that regard, it is almost a good report."

A disappointment to Anthony Chan? Try finding full time employment right now "numb nuts". As a part time rural carrier for the post office, I have to find a second full time job to survive. The Workforce One web site job listings for Indiana is down to almost nothing.

Semper Fi

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Heretik-WMD FOUND

THE GREATEST NUCLEAR THREAT OUR TROOPS CURRENTLY FACE DOESN’T COME FROM OUR ENEMIES. It Comes From Ourselves. The name of this weapon sounds deceptively weakened. Depleted uranium. Like the danger is over when the uranium is depleted. But depleted uranium is not an innocent thing and our military leaders have shown no guilt in using it.

Go read the Heretik!

Semper Fi

N.Korea calls Cheney a 'bloodthirsty beast'

By Jon Herskovitz

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea called Vice President Dick Cheney a "bloodthirsty beast" on Thursday, in response to Cheney saying the North's leader Kim Jong-il was irresponsible and ran a police state.

"Cheney is hated as the most cruel monster and bloodthirsty beast, as he has drenched various parts of the world in blood," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency.

I don't like Kim Jong-il, but!

Semper Fi

Defense Tech: Pilot Training Time Slashed

Tight budgets are forcing the Air Force's combat squadrons to cut back their training hours by nearly 60 percent -- 'leaving frontline units unprepared to go to war,' according to Defense News.

Air Combat Command (ACC), the primary provider of combat airpower, is cutting 32,000 flying hours to help compensate for its $825 million operations and maintenance shortfall.

The cuts come as Air Force aircrews are heavily worked, flying missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and over some U.S. cities in an attempt to prevent another terrorist attack.

"Starting early this summer, units may have aviators unable to get required training to maintain full combat-ready status," Col. Jim Dunn, deputy director of flight operations for ACC, said in a written statement. "Overall effectiveness will become a growing challenge."


They're not cutting fat, they're cutting to the bone," Hornburg said, noting the Pentagon has taken large sums of money away from the Air Force to pay for the Army in Iraq.

The Air Force, in making these cuts in training, will cost peoples their lives in the end. A good train soldier, in any branch, will be one that survives combat.

Semper Fi

BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Fears over CIA 'university spies'

A CIA scheme to sponsor trainee spies secretly through US university courses has caused anger among UK academics.

The Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program pays anthropology students, whose names are not disclosed, up to $50,000 (£27,500) a year.

They are expected to use the techniques of "fieldwork" to gather political and cultural details on other countries.

Britain's Association of Social Anthropologists called the scholarships ethically "dangerous" and divisive.

'Detailed knowledge'

The ASA's president, John Gledhill, told the BBC News website the scholarships could foster suspicion within universities worldwide and cause problems in the field.

He said: "Anthropologists go all over the world for long periods and gain detailed knowledge of places, such as Iraq or South America.

"This is information which would be useful in security circles, which is not what anthropology is for."

That will wake the mummies.

Semper Fi

Marine Corps News> Cobras strike in support of border fight

CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq (May 30, 2005) -- The quiet air of the camp is broken as the whoop-whoop of two AH-1W Super Cobras taking to the sky fills the area.

The Coyotes of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775 are off, again, to support the Marines on the ground.

Since their arrival here at the end of March, the small detachment of Coyotes has been providing close air support with their Super Cobra attack helicopters.

“We are here to support Marines along the Syrian and Jordanian borders,” said 1st Sgt. George J. Blackham IV, detachment first sergeant and native of Gibsonia, Pa. “We are their primary means of close air support for convoys, raids, casualty evacuation, and other ground operations.”

Semper Fi

Cobras strike in support of border fight
Submitted by: 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Story Identification #: 2005530142150
Story by Cpl. Rocco DeFilippis
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REUTERS/Jason Reed
Former Governor Howard Dean (D-VT), chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks at the "Take Back America" conference held by the Campaign for America's future in Washington, June 2, 2005. Dean used the opportunity to rally against the policies U.S. President George W. Bush.
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Airmen Killed in Crash Were Special Ops

By ROBERT BURNS AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The four U.S. airmen who perished Monday in the crash of an Iraqi aircraft were commandos from special operations units based in Florida, the Pentagon disclosed on Wednesday.


Although the Pentagon has announced no cause for Monday's crash, the Air Force has classified the four deaths as non-hostile.

Killed in the Iraqi aircraft crash were Maj. William Downs, 40, of Winchester, Va.; Capt. Jeremy Fresques, 26, of Clarkdale, Ariz.; Capt. Derek Argel, 28, of Lompoc, Calif.; and Staff Sgt. Casey Crate, 26, of Spanaway, Wash.

Semper Fi

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

MyDD :: Clarence Thomas Joins Constitution In Exile Movement

by Chris Bowers

By now, you might have heard of the 'Constitution in Exile' movement. In short, it is a term invented by Douglas Ginsberg (the Regan Supreme Court nominee rejected for smoking doobie) and popularized by Jay Rosen to describe a radical conservative interpretation of the Establishment, Interstate Commerce and Spending clauses of the Constitution that would make render federal job safety, civil rights, environmental and pension programs unconstitutional.

Go read the full post on MyDD. To me this is very scary stuff. We'll be right back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Companies would again have a slave labor force.

Semper Fi

Bill Clinton Takes Spot On Global Stage

By John F. Harris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 1, 2005; Page A01

In 2001, in the opening months of his ex-presidency, Bill Clinton confided to an aide that he had decided on his dream job for the next chapter of his life: secretary general of the United Nations."

Go for it Bill!

Semper Fi

The Stakeholder :: They Write Letters

Conyers to Rumsfeld:

May 31, 2005
Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
1000 Defense, Suite 3E-880
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Secretary Rumsfeld:

I write with an urgent and important request that you respond to a report in the London Times on Sunday, May 29, indicating that British and U.S. aircraft increased their rates of bombing in 2002 in order to provoke an excuse for war in Iraq. Much of this information is provided by the British Ministry of Defense in response to questions posed by Liberal Democrat Sir Menzies Campbell.


The allegations and factual assertions made in the May 29 London Times are in many respects just as serious as those made in the earlier article. They include the following:

"The RAF and U.S. aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs in 2002 .... The attacks were intensified from May .... By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive." Then British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon reportedly told a British Cabinet Meeting in July, 2002, that by this time "the U.S. had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime." The newly released information also appears to show that "the allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001."

Jesse Lee at The Stakeholder has Rep Conyers full letter.

Semper Fi

People relax at the entrance to the Forbidden City close to Tiananmen Square in China's capital Beijing June 1, 2005.
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REUTERS/Hazir Reka
An ethnic Albanian looks at a billboard in the Kosovo capital Pristina June 1, 2005, bearing the names of 2,780 people still missing since the 1998-99 war between separatist rebels and Serb security forces. The majority are Albanians, but 500 Serbs and other minorities have still to be found. The West hopes to decide in negotiations later this year whether Kosovo becomes independent or remains nominally part of Serbia.
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REUTERS/Ho, 10th mountain division pao
Iraqi soldiers chase gunmen during Operation Lightning in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib district in this handout photo released on June 1, 2005. Iraqi forces on Sunday launched their biggest security crackdown since the fall of Saddam Hussein with the start of a sweep by over 40,000 Iraqi troops who will seal off Baghdad and hunt for insurgents.
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U.S. firms said to be named in withheld Bolton documents

By Douglas Jehl The New York Times

WASHINGTON Some of the information that the White House has refused to provide to Congress for its review of the nomination of John Bolton includes the names of American companies mentioned in intelligence reports on commerce with China and other countries covered by export restrictions, say government officials who have been briefed on the documents.

It had previously been reported only that the White House was refusing to hand over the names of 19 American persons mentioned in 10 intelligence reports by the National Security Agency.

The fact that the documents also included the names of American companies, and that the subject had to do with possible violations of American export restrictions, provides a new clue as to why the White House might be rebuffing the congressional requests.


The administration has allowed the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee to review copies of the 10 intelligence reports, based on conversations intercepted by the National Security Agency, about which Bolton requested the additional information.

Now, I wonder why the Bushco needs to protect those company names?

Semper Fi

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Remains of U.S. airman returned from Vietnam War

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The remains of a U.S. fighter pilot killed 39 years ago in the Vietnam War have been identified and are being returned to his family in California for burial, the Defense Department said on Tuesday.

The remains of Air Force 1st Lt. Lee Adams of Willits, California, who died when his F-105 fighter crashed and exploded in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam, on April 19, 1966, were found last year and later identified by U.S. forensic experts in Hawaii, the department said.

The Pentagon said full military honors for Adams would be held on Wednesday at Beale Air Force Base in California and he would be buried in Willits at a later date.

A total of 1,833 U.S. troops remain missing from the Vietnam War while 750 others have been accounted for in Southeast Asia since the end of the conflict.

Welcome home.

Semper Fi

Baghdad Burning

Oh my.


The Americans are saying Muhsin was “detained and interviewed”, which makes one think his car was gently pulled over and he was asked a few questions. What actually happened was that his house was raided early morning, doors broken down, windows shattered and he and his three sons had bags placed over their heads and were dragged away. They showed the house, and his wife, today on Arabiya and the house was a disaster. The cabinets were broken, tables overturned, books and papers scattered, etc. An outraged Muhsin was on tv a few minutes ago talking about how the troops pushed him to the floor and how he had an American boot on his neck for twenty minutes.

Read all of RiverBend

Just a little " detained and interviewed" never hurt anyone. Think if this would have happen to someone in the USA, who is a political leader, say Tom Delay.

Semper Fi


As new revelations surface in London, congressman readies new questions for Defense Secretary



As the rest of Congress shuffles off to their Memorial Day recess, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is drafting a letter to Defense Secretary —Donald Rumsfeld seeking answers after a report in the Sunday London Times revealed the U.S. and Britain may have sought to goad Iraq into war even as UN negotiations were ongoing, RAW STORY has learned.

A staffer said the congressman called the latest revelations 'the smoking bullet in the smoking gun.'


This time, however, the congressman demands more than answers. In his letter, Conyers will request all computer files relating to questions surrounding the planning stages of the Iraq war.

"In connection with all of the above questions, please provide me with any memorandum, notes, minutes, documents, phone and other records, e-mails, computer files (including back-up records) or other material of any kind or nature concerning or relating thereto in the possession or accessible by the Department of Defense," he writes.

Go see the letter at Raw Story.

Semper Fi

Six burnt alive as protesters torch US fast food outlet in Pakistan

Six people were burnt alive when a mob protesting a suicide bombing of a mosque torched an outlet of an American fast food chain in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, police said.

Police and firemen recovered the bodies of six Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) employees after an angry mob set the restaurant on fire late Monday following a suicide attack on a Shiite Muslim mosque here that left five people dead.

It is spreading.

Semper Fi

Peanut wanting the last bite.
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REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Jorge Martinez pauses to remember his fallen Marine comrades from the battle of Fallujah in Iraq during observance of Memorial Day in Santa Monica, California May 30, 2005. The Veterans for Peace creates an "Arlington West" memorial with crosses in the sand representing soldiers killed in Iraq.
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A man is seen among crosses in the sand during observance of Memorial Day in Santa Monica, California May 30, 2005. The Veterans for Peace creates an "Arlington West" memorial with crosses in the sand representing soldiers killed in Iraq.

30 May 2005 REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Posted by Hello - Iraq insurgency in 'last throes,' Cheney says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes," Vice President Dick Cheney says, and he predicts that the fighting will end before the Bush administration leaves office.

In a wide-ranging interview Monday on CNN's "Larry King Live," Cheney cited the recent push by Iraqi forces to crack down on insurgent activity in Baghdad and reports that the most-wanted terrorist leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been wounded.

The vice president said he expected the war would end during President Bush's second term, which ends in 2009.

"I think we may well have some kind of presence there over a period of time," Cheney said. "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

On what planet is Dick Cheney on, Mars prehaps? How many times have we heard this from Bushco? Then there is a sudden spike upward in insurgent attacks, to prove that they can. Hello, Earth to Cheney, can you say Vietnam.

Semper Fi

Woman Drops Bid to Become Gold Star Mother

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) -- A Yonkers woman has dropped her bid to become a Gold Star Mother. Ligaya Lagman was denied acceptance by the organization of mothers who have lost sons and daughter in combat because she is not a U.S. citizen.

Bob Foster of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Eastchester tells the Journal News that Lagman is shaken up by all the attention she has gotten and she wants to stay on the sidelines. But she wants to see the rules changed so other mothers are not turned down like she was.

Lagman came to the United States from the Philippines in 1983. She is a permanent resident but not a citizen. Foster says she is busy caring for her husband, who is seriously ill. Lagman's son, Anthony, was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan last year at age 26.

Mrs. Lagman, should be allowed to become a Gold Star Mother, out of respect of her son!

Semper Fi

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Marine Corps Times - News - More News

In Haditha, second time around
proves frustrating for Marines

By Antonio Castaneda
Associated Press

HADITHA, Iraq — It didn’t take the Marines long to work out why they were back in this town, squatting in a bullet-pocked building and taking cover from gunfire.

Until it was looted and abandoned, the building was the local police station. The Marines, charging back into Haditha for the second military offensive against local insurgents in three months, are again trying to beat back the rebels so the beleaguered Iraqi police can return.

It’s not clear how effective the operation will be. As with other Sunni-dominated trouble spots in Anbar province, Iraqi police and troops have been ineffective and remain largely absent. In Haditha insurgents assassinated the police chief and devastated his force.

The incessant anti-insurgent operations in Haditha and the tough Euphrates River towns west of Baghdad have grown disheartening for U.S. troops. They seized this city only months ago and now are fighting for it again.

It’s an even bigger problem for Washington, which has long been talking up the capabilities of the Iraqi troops. Until Iraqi forces can handle security in places like Haditha, U.S. troops will have to stay in Iraq to do the job.

“It’s frustrating that we can’t keep more of a presence here,” said Marine Maj. Steve Lawson, a company commander in the 25th Marine Regiment’s 3rd Battalion. “You wish you could spend more time in these areas.” Military officials say more Iraqi forces are on their way, but declined to give figures or an arrival date due to security concerns.

Many of the Marines currently in Haditha went door-to-door through the city in March, searching nearly every building, seizing weapons caches. They met light resistance.

Semper Fi 3/25

Indiana fifth in federal pensions

Fallout from failed steel firms helped lead to $200.4 million in aid for retired Hoosiers.

By Norm Heikens

More than 23,000 Indiana residents received retirement checks of $200.4 million last year from the federal agency that assumes control of pension plans from troubled companies.

That total secured Indiana's fifth-place ranking for the second consecutive year, according to a report released Friday by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Top pension checks

These are the states whose residents received the greatest share of retirement benefits from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. in 2004:

1. Pennsylvania -- $514.9 million
2. Ohio -- $325 million
3. Florida -- $221.5 million
4. Illinois -- $206.4 million
5. Indiana -- $200.4 million

Wake up hoosiers, its time to smell the coffee!

Semper Fi

REUTERS/Mike Blake
Emily Dieruf from Lexington, Kentucky reacts after finding her husband's dog tag at Camp Pendleton, California May 26, 2005. A memorial service was held in honor of the 420 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and British Soldiers who lost their lives while serving with the 1st Marine Division in Iraq. Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, at least 1,647 American military personnel have lost their lives in Iraq.
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REUTERS/Mike Blake
Brennen Byrne, former commanding officer of the 1st Battalion 5th Marines and his wife Kathy look over the names on dog tags of some of his men killed in Iraq, during a memorial service for the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California May 26, 2005. Some 420 soldiers, sailors, marines and British soldiers serving with the 1st Marine Division were killed in Iraq. Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, at least 1,647 American military personnel have lost their lives in Iraq.
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REUTERS/Mike Blake
Private First Class Charlie Sandness looks though names on dog tags of some of his men killed in Iraq, during a memorial service for the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California May 26, 2005. Some 420 soldiers, sailors, marines and British soldiers serving with the 1st Marine Division were killed in Iraq. Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, at least 1,647 American military personnel have lost their lives in Iraq.
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REUTERS/Mike Blake
U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Scott Reichek (L) salutes fellow Marines during a memorial service for the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California May 26, 2005. Some 420 soldiers, sailors, marines and British soldiers serving with the 1st Marine Division were killed in Iraq. Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, at least 1,647 American military personnel have lost their lives in Iraq.
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