The Army is having to turn to more high school dropouts and lower-achieving applicants to fill its ranks, accepting hundreds of recruits in recent months who would have been rejected a year ago, according to Army statistics.
Eight months into the recruiting year, the percentage of new recruits in the Army without a highschool diploma has risen to 10 percent, the upper limit of what the Army is willing to to accept, from 8 percent last year. The percentage of recruits with scores in the lowest acceptable range on the standardized test used to screen potential soldiers has also risen to 2 percent, also reaching the Army's limit, from slightly more than a half-percent last year, reaching the highest level since 2001.
The above is from Eric Schmitt's "Army Recruiting More High School Dropouts to Meet Goals" in this morning's New York Times. (Eli, Brad and Sophie e-mailed to note the article.)
Trina, Jimmy, Carl, Lawrence, Sherry and Zach all e-mail to note their disgust when reading Douglas Jehl's "Democrats List More Names in Iquiry on Bolton's Access:"
Senate Democrats have prepared a list of approximately three dozen "names of concern" and are asking the Bush administration for assurances that John R. Bolton did not misuse his access for highly classified intelligence to seek information about them.
[. . .]
The letter did not identify those on the list, but Democratic aides said they included intelligence officials and others with whom Mr. Bolton had clashed. They said the Senate Democrats would provide the list to John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, if Mr. Negroponte made clear that he would provide appropriate information in response.
Trina: Names of concern? You either fight or you don't and we've seen a lot of wimping out on this issue.
Jimmy: Oh we're fighting it again? I thought we were focusing on Howard Dean. The "strategy" of the Democratic Party is neither strategic nor inspiring. Bolton will be nominated and it will because Dems didn't know how to fight. It's disgusting and Joey Biden is the most disgusting of all. When you're asked your reaction on Howard Dean, you respond, "Want to know what disgusts me? Bolton disgusts me and here's why . . ." When are we going to see some real leadership?
Carl: These weak efforts do nothing to stop Bolton's confirmation. Making Joseph Biden the point man on this has been a huge mistake. You need a fighter like Barbara Boxer to drive home the points. Biden's a joke.
Lawrence: Joe Biden appears to be willing to go through the motions to make himself look good for a presidential run but he's not really doing anything. Woops, he is doing something, right? He's trashing Howard Dean. Joe Biden is the same wimpy Democrat he's always been.
Sherry: I really thought Bolton's nomination would have been deep-sixed long ago. The fact that this hasn't happened speaks to a crisis in leadership coming from the Senate. Our bendy-buddy Harry Reid has proven to be a huge disappointment. He needs to be ousted and Senator [Russ] Feingold, Senator [Ted] Kennedy or Senator [Barbara] Boxer needs to take the leadeership.
Zach: A long time ago, you noted that they had no strategy, they were just a' Waiting for Guffman. That's become increasingly obvious and frustrating. The issue is how are we going to interact with the world and what sort of country are we? If they'd framed it as such from the start the very idea that Bolton might have sought out information to strike back at others might have America in an uproar but instead it's another "Bad Bolton" story. The party blew the framing of this issue. They failed to make a philosophical case from the start. Now they throw out tidbits and expect Americans to gasp. Senate Democrats, you blew it. If we get stuck with Bolton it's your failure for being too damn weak and scared and timid to stand up and say, "This is how I see the world." Even could have done it like, "I don't know about you, but this is how I see the world . . ." Bolton's not qualified and all the revelations demonstrate it. But the Democrats failed to address the why. Instead they want to hide behind each daily or weekly revelation. Suggestion for any Democrat going on the Chat & Chews, before you speak about any person nominated in the future, define what you see the purpose of an organization or body as. Then explain why the person nominated is wrong for the job. Until then you're just flapping your gums.
Markus e-mails to note Donald G. McNeil Jr.'s "New Asian Flu Outbreaks in China Raise Fears of a Mutant Virus:"
The regional director for the World Health Organization, Dr. Shigeru Omi, told reporters in Beijing yesterday that the two recent outbreaks in remote areas in which hundreds of birds died were worrisome because they involved migratory waterfowl and domestic geese, birds that until now had been fairly resistant to the disease.
Miguel e-mails to note Elisabeth Malkin's "Mexican Court Voids Conviction of Ex-President's Brother:"
A Mexican appeals court has ruled that Raul Salinas, the brother of former President Carlos Salinas, was convicted on insufficient proof that he had ordered the killing of a powerful politician in 1984.
The ruling late Thursday cleared the way for his release from prison where he has served 10 years of a 27-year sentence. His lawyers said his release could come as early as this weekend, although it might be delayed until next week. The government said it would not appeal the decision.
Mr. Salinas, 58, was charged in 1995 with the 1994 killing of Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, a political rivla within the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party. Mr. Ruiz Massieu, who at one time was married to Mr. Salina's sister, was shot on a Mexico City street.
Susan e-mails to note the following item in "Arts, Briefly" ("compiled by Lawrence Van Gelder," the item itself is written by Sophia Kishkovsky):
'Vagina Monologues' in Moscow
"Monologi Vaginy," the Russian version of "The Vagina Monologues," by Eve Ensler (right) opens tomorrow for a two-performance run at the Hermitage Theater in Moscow. The play, based on women's stories about the role of their vaginas in their lives and encompassing topics that range from childbirth to rape, is especially difficult to render in Russian: translators often lament that the language for sex is limited to clinical terms or expletives. Vasily Arkanov, the United States correspondent for NTV, a Russian television network, said he was inspired to translate the play after he wrote an article about it for the Russian version of Elle magazine. He told The Moscow Times that for the Russian title he ultimately chose to transliterate the English word "vagina" rather than use the standard Russian equivalent, which he concluded was too vulgar. Joel Lehtonen, the play's director, told The Moscow Times that he had problems securing financing and finding actresses comfortable enough to speak their explicit lines.
You can read a Moscow Times article on this topic by Anna Malpas entitled "Below the Belt,"
warning: c-word rhyming with "runt" is in the article once for those utilzing work computers and being in environments with strict work place guidelines, by clicking here.
On the topic of monologues, a number of you e-mailed to wish Pru good luck with her reading of The Dementia Monologues. Lloyd noted that is was "very Warholian" to take the kitsch of Elisabeth Bumiller's "reporting" and turn it into art.
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