Like Harry Reid, the fashion gurus at Fox and Friends are not happy with the U.S. Olympic Team's choice of uniform, though unlike the Senate Majority Leader, they're more concerned with sartorial statements than the Chinese provenance of the garments.
"The big question, though, is should the American team be wearing a beret?" co-Friend Steve Doocy pondered. "Why not a baseball cap? Why not a cowboy hat like we had when we went to Calgary? Why not just do something very American and just go topless?"
Why not wear a cheeseburger or a bald eagle? Why not shave an image of Ronald Reagan into the athletes' hair? All valid questions, but it was Lou Dobbs who put the gravity of this issue into perspective…
"Berets are also the signature headgear of socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez," the Fox Business host added.
I always knew my distaste for pants had strong historical grounding. Pants were the signature leg wear of Hitler.
As for berets, both Doocy and Dobbs eventually recognized that some Americans already wear berets on a regular basis (see right) without being characterized as homosexual French artistes. Maybe we can rename it the Freedom Helmet and solve this crisis once and for all.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Fashion, Fox News, Lou Dobbs, Military, Olympics
In the pages of the NY Times this morning, noted author and military expert Thomas Ricks urges the United States to reinstate conscription.
Unlike Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who called for a reintroduction of the draft at the Aspen "Ideas" Festival because "if a nation goes to war, it shouldn't be solely be represented by a professional force, because it gets to be unrepresentative of the population," Ricks doesn't approach conscription from the point-of-view of civil-military relations.
Instead, Ricks argues that compulsory service — "Let's Draft Our Kids," in the words of the headline — could save Uncle Sam billions of dollars…
"One reason our relatively small military is hugely expensive is that all of today's volunteer soldiers are paid well; they often have spouses and children who require housing and medical care.
"Unmarried conscripts don't need such a safety net. And much of the labor currently contracted out to the private sector could be performed by 18-year-olds for much less."
Okay, let's play this game: One reason our relatively small medical establishment is hugely expensive is that all of today's medical doctors are paid well; they have often spouses and children and country club memberships and massive student loan debts to pay off. Unmarried conscripts who have been sent to Upstairs Hollywood Medical College and Beauty School don't need such compensation. And much of the surgical labor currently contracted out to specialists with years of residency and fellowships behind them could be performed by lesser-qualified people for a quarter of the price.
Or, one reason bridges are so expensive is that all of today's civil engineers are paid well; they often have spent years studying for rigorous PE exams. Think of all the infrastructure we could build with a protractor and a team of 19 year-olds.
Besides the questionable savings associated with turning over tasks now done by experienced military professionals to teenage conscripts, there's also the issue that getting drafted for military or alternative service is almost as bad as being picked up by the Browns. And even if compulsory service could "save the government money," it would still be goddamned awful.
Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Military, New York Times
* The Army lets women fight in combat on one condition, from The Onion.
* The Obamacare ruling explained by someone who doesn't understand it.
* Billy Eichner reports on hostility between Iran and Israel and MADONNA!
* Hey girl, check out what Ryan Gosling has to say about the ACA ruling without drooling.
* If you like American history, Quantum Leap and jokes about masturbation, you're going to love "Scrotum Leap".
Tags: Barack Obama, Daily Links, Declaration of Independence, Founding Fathers, Health Care, Iran, Israel, Madonna, Masturbation, Military, Women's Rights
Glenn Greenwald on the fallout from the War on Terror…
"Given the ongoing American quest for violence from that one-day attack [9/11], just imagine the impact which continuous attacks over the course of a full decade must have on those whom we’ve been invading, droning, cluster-bombing, occupying, detaining without charges, and indiscriminately shooting."
Yeah, but… those other people are foreign. They're foreigners from foreign places. Science hasn't even proven that they have souls.
So, it's really not the same thing.
Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Glenn Greenwald, Iraq, Military, Quote Unquote, Terrorism
Whether or not there's a war on women, congressional Republicans seem to be woefully unconcerned about women at war.
The Pentagon reported 471 rapes of servicemembers in 2011, a number that grossly underestimates the actual number of sexual assaults. And although the military is trying to reduce instances of rape through education and prevention programs, it would be sane and reasonable for the Defense Department to offer women some options in case their assault results in pregnancy.
Unfortunately, current policy follows the Rick Santorum's policy of turning rape lemons into baby lemonade. A pregnancy cannot be aborted at a military facility, even in cases of rape or incest, nor will military insurance cover abortion at an off-base facility. It's a more restrictive policy than that offered to State Department workers or the guards in the federal prison system. Or inmates in the federal prison system.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen has led the effort to provide military families with the same access to abortion that other federal employees receive, but although it's found bipartisan support in the Senate, the measure is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House…
"We don't really understand why anybody would oppose [Shaheen's bill]," says Sharon Levin, the director of federal reproductive health policy at the National Women's Law Center. "The only reason it wouldn't go through is if the Republican leadership in the House tried to block it."
That appears likely. A GOP staffer "familiar with defense issues" told Army Times last week that the Shaheen amendment "stands little chance of surviving" when the House and Senate meet to work out their differences on the defense bill. "Historically, social provisions that are not reflected in both bills heading into conference don't survive," the staffer said—conceding that the House version of the defense bill will not include anything like Shaheen's proposal.
Women just can't catch a break. Research confirms that Tea Party Republicans are uninterested in almost any topic that features more than two syllables, and the one exception is "abortion?"
Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Abortion, Crime, Department of Defense, Jeanne Shaheen, Military, Women's Rights