Although President George W. Bush’s poll numbers continue to inch back upward after record lows, his dismal job approval ratings are not encouraging to Republicans and still give Democrats hope for recapturing control of Congress in the November midterm elections. But four months is an eternity in politics.
A longtime friend, a career soldier, returned home from Iraq recently and said that, sadly, he is thinking of retiring. After a record of service that extends from Vietnam to Panama to Desert Storm and, finally, to the invasion of Iraq, he says the will to serve his country is gone. “This country used to stand for things that meant something,” he said. “Not now. Honor, justice, loyalty, pride: None of these words have any meaning now.”
By NICHOLAS BEADLE
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire
It is the nine-digit key to your life — and B.J. Ostergren has more than 18,000 of them.
For the past four years, the 57-year-old former insurance adjuster has lost sleep to gain boxes crammed with public records, many plucked from county clerks and recorders’ Web sites. They have one golden kernel: Social Security numbers, usually partnered with enough information to open a fraudulent line of credit — or worse.