And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine:
New Allegations of Abuse?
The Boston Globe has reported new allegations that U.S. soldiers in Iraq raped local women -- complete with a photo of a Boston legislator and a political activist displaying graphic photographs of the alleged rapes. Problem is, according to the Boston Herald, the graphic photos are neither real nor from Iraq... they're staged and from a hardcore, adult Website.
Because of their suspicions, Herald editors refused to run any of the photos themselves. The Globe has since issued an apology, and now says its photo "did not meet ... standards for publication," and notes that "the purported abuse portrayed had not been authenticated." The Globe did not address the specific charges about where the photos came from.
Comments With Connections
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has called a report in the New York Times -- "another reminder of ... the shortcomings" of the president's Medicare plan. The article -- headlined "73 options for Medicare Plan Fuel Chaos, not Prescriptions" -- quotes two seniors, Mildred Fruhling and Sydney Bild, who say they're totally confused by the plan and convinced they can do better without it.
Daschle suggests the article is especially credible since it quotes "people who have nothing to do with politics." But, as it turns out, the two people weren't random Medicare beneficiaries. In fact, both have appeared in an interest group ad condemning current Medicare policy, produced by the liberal advocacy group Families USA.
The New York Times says it wasn't aware of that, but would have been willing to use their comments anyway, along with a mention of their connections.
Military Mail Matters
In early April, an exclusive report on Fox pointed to two investigations, one by the Pentagon itself, that found serious problems in the military mail system... that many on Capitol Hill worried could keep soldiers from voting this November by absentee ballot.
Well, the House of Representatives has now weighed in. Last night -- by a margin of 421 to zero -- it passed a resolution urging the Defense Department to -- "establish a system that expedites the delivery of election ballots" to soldiers overseas, noting "it is in the interest of the [entire] United States to immediately resolve long-standing ... problems."
The state Criminal Justice Committee in the Louisiana House has approved a bill making it unlawful for citizens to wear low-rise jeans, a la Britney Spears, or any other clothing in public that -- "exposes undergarments or body parts," including the "cleft of the buttocks."
The law insists such clothes "affect the general peace." But plumbers need not worry: The legislation specifically exempts "clothing worn by a person in the practice of their ... trade." It also exempts swimming attire, and clothing worn "in conjunction with an organized fashion show." The bill will now go before the full state legislature.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.