Requires “A Different Set of Skills”?

First off, Chuckie HAS no skills. That’s a drawback.

But, secondly, I have NO IDEA WHERE Obama’s going to dredge up a more malleable mushroom than this guy.

Hagel Said to Be Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises.

…The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.

ths update: I see people feel as I do… ;)

Dude

It was SUMPTHIN’.

What’d Obama Call Him?

“Some advisor who never worked on our staff”? Right after ~ of COURSE ~ he’d “just heard about this.

I think we need to have the Prezzle checked out for a bump on the head à la Hilary’s forgetful spells…

Schmaybe he took a tumble doing all that bowing overseas.

If We Use the WayBack Machine, You’ll Remember…

…he was mouthing constitutional platitudes as his excuses then.

…”From ’08 to 2010, [Obama] had the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Gowdy said to several reporters on Capitol Hill on Friday, “and he didn’t do a damn thing about immigration reform, so if he could take two years to do nothing, I would think he could give this new Congress maybe three months? Six months?”

“Don’t Cry”

“Obama will still give you free condoms.”

Duncan Hunter Eats Chuck Hagel

…alive.

Thanks to Ebola for the find.

BREAKING NEWS

Shame it didn’t have a remote start feature…

Some Things in France Don’t Change

Somebody’s pet gets loose near EuroDisney…

Town: Tiger on loose spotted near Disneyland Paris

PARIS (AP) — French police are using a helicopter to search for a young tiger which was said to be on the loose near Disneyland Paris.

…Town authorities said in a statement that police and rescue squads are on the scene and had roped off a security perimeter.

…and then it all goes Medieval.

…In addition to the helicopter, police have drafted in a wolf-catcher to aid in the search, Seine-et-Marne authorities said.

Mort Would KICK. My. Ass.

But she’d look like Gandalf!

Maybe if I approach it from that angle…

“Off the Cuff” and “Inappropriate”

So ignore that shit I said about y’all being dumbasses, ’cause I never meant it.

‘Til I said it again…

What a Beautiful

…mystery.

Some of Hugh Magnum’s pictures can be seen here.

Just stunning.

Happy 239th Birthday to My Beloved…

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!


~ Our Gramps

OO-RAH and Semper Fi!

ths update: I thought I’d run the finest commercial EVER made past you all again as well. Brings tears to my eyes EVERY time.

Exactly. How I LOVE my Marine Corps.

Sweet Dreams, Precious Boy

Vale, Warrior.

Ouch

Oh, SNAP

Pound and a half of Hershey’s Special dark, here I COME!

Compound in cocoa found to reverse age-related memory loss

In case anyone needed another reason to love chocolate, a new study suggests that a natural compound found in cocoa, tea and some vegetables can reverse age-related memory loss.

The findings suggest that the compound increases connectivity and, subsequently, blood flow in a region of the brain critical to memory, the researchers said.

The study — published online Sunday in Nature Neuroscience and partly financed by a chocolate company — found that flavanols reverse mild memory loss in older adults. Using brain scans and memory tests, the latest study built on previous work showing that flavanols extracted from cocoa beans had improved neuronal connections in mice’s dentate gyrus, a part of the brain involved in memory formation.

Ignore the bit about “gorging backfiring”. I think they’re exaggerating.

The Local Fish Wrap Has a Name on This Morning’s Police Blotter We Did Not Expect

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Arrested for burglary. Address unknown.

We’re doomed.

Heartbreak

New York Times Editorial Board? Thy Name Is…

Gunga Din, race-baiter.

The Democratic Panic
Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kay Hagan and Other Candidates Avoid Obama

After a few days of trying to ignore the question, Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in Georgia, acknowledged on Friday that she had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. By this year’s standards, that’s pretty forthright, especially compared with Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat running for the Senate in Kentucky, who refuses to discuss her presidential vote.

…The panicky Democratic flight away from President Obama — and from some of the party’s most important positions — is not a surprise. Mr. Obama remains highly unpopular among white voters, particularly in Southern states where candidates like Ms. Nunn, Ms. Grimes and several others are struggling to establish leads.

But one of the reasons for his unpopularity is that nervous members of his own party have done a poor job of defending his policies over the nearly six years of his presidency, allowing a Republican narrative of failure to take hold.

Crackers in the South, weak Party apostles, DAMN Republicans controlling the airwaves obscuring the Boy Genius’s incredible gifts unto His People…

ALL the dog-whistles save WYMMINS in ONE spectacular, water-carrying paragraph?! Oh, well done!

So Ferguson is Going to “Burn, Baby, Burn”

…because it’s looking like things went down EXACTLY as Officer Wilson has said.

Report: Autopsy Suggests Michael Brown Reached for Ferguson Officer’s Gun

The official autopsy on Michael Brown, leaked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, suggests that he was shot in the hand at close range and may have reached for the police officer’s gun, outside experts told the newspaper.

That would contradict what private experts reported after they conducted an autopsy for Brown’s family. Those experts said there were no signs of a struggle between Brown and Officer Darren Wilson, who shot him to death Aug. 9 in the suburb of Ferguson.

A supplemental examination in the official autopsy published by the Post-Dispatch found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in Brown’s right hand.

Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist not involved in the autopsy, told the newspaper that the finding “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” Melinek also told the newspaper that the autopsy did not support witness accounts that the fatal shot, later, was fired while Brown was running away from the officer or had his hands up.

But when you’re predetermined on a course of action, what difference does the truth make?

Bush League Lies and WMD Thoughts to Chew On

…from Ebola:

Imagine that you are witnessing a trial for public endangerment and a parole violation; the suspect is a prior convicted murderer and is a capable gunsmith, who killed his prior victims with a very specific and unique type of firearm. As part of his plea deal during the last set of murders he committed, the suspect agreed to give up his weapons not already seized or destroyed, all ammo and any facilities or utilities used in the production of weapons. Under this agreement, scheduled followups are made to check that he had indeed removed his arms and capability of creating more.

Through a grueling process over the course of a decade, the authorities have been witness to the suspects attempting to hide information and materials related to the violation his plea agreement. Recently, a family member has come forward and confirmed that not only is the suspect hiding ordnance he was supposed to have gotten rid of, but is reacquiring the items necessary to create more.

Under the premise that the man is a possible threat to the public safety, the authorities secure a search warrant and force entry into the house, leading to conflict with the suspect. Inside the house the authorities find weapons, ammunition and gunsmithing utilities the individual was supposed to have removed and actively hid from inspection; they find limited evidence to indicate that he has actively created or attempted to create additional ordnance in the meanwhile. Fearing the weapons might pose danger to their agents and the public, the authorities use controlled detonations to destroy the evidence. It sounds like a straight forward case, but the argument put forward by the defense has a very strange twist, they argue that the suspect is innocent. They base this on the fact that there were no new firearms or munitions, even though the evidence itself, outside of pictures, is destroyed. The logical disjunction from the charges and basis for the original warrant is staggering: welcome to Von Clausewitz post-2003 Iraq politics.

The popular argument, flying in the face of empirical evidence from over a decade of conflict, has been that no WMDs, general term, were found or used in Iraq, by either Iraqi forces or insurgents. The oft quoted pretext for war or the search warrant, in the earlier analogy, is put before the UN by President Bush on Sept 12, 2002. Let’s take a recent example of this type of defense citing the Bush speech, in a response to the New York Times article covering the massive amounts of chemical weapons, a WMD, found in Iraq over the last decade:

But on Septmeber 12, 2002, President Bush described a different threat while making the case for the 2003 Iraq invasion: “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.” The Times’ investigation doesn’t mention any findings of biological weapons.

He went on, “The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”

According to the investigation, the chemical weapons discovered by U.S. soldiers after the 2003 invasion were all manufactured before 1991.

Directly addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Bush continued, “We have been more than patient. We have tried sanctions. We have tried the carrot of ‘oil for food’ and the stick of coalition military strikes. But Saddam Hussein has defied all these efforts and continues to develop weapons of mass destruction.”

-No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade, Jessica Schulberg, New Republic.

It doesn’t take a logician to recognize the obvious red herring: the expansion and improvement of a facility does not equate to the actual production of arms, any more than our fictitious suspect having ownership of an ammo press means that ammo had been and continued to be produced. Another common usage of red herring is purposeful contextual misrepresentation. Miss Schulberg is purposely leaving out the next reason for invasion, specifically stripping it of context to continue the ”production” red herring.

Miss Schulberg’s version in No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade :

…He went on, “The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”…”

Direct from the speech:

“United Nations inspections also reveal that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard, and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.

I’ve italicized the portion of the sentence that Miss Schulberg has misrepresented to make a point: this is feckless, purposely misleading politics posing as pseudo-journalism. Miss Schulberg is in no way unique, articles from Salon and other outlets have spoken in the affirmative that there were no WMDs, sometimes while actually including bits about WMD encounters, for virtually the entirety of the occupation and afterward. There has been regular media-Alzheimers, on all sides, for the past decade concerning the fact that there was plenty of documentation that Iraq had continued its development, while under sanction and inspections, into these weapons or that even before the New York Times piece, estimates on destroyed weapons caches put the numbers from five hundred weapons to well into the thousands.

The repeated assertion that the weapons were of pre-1991 manufacture is also entirely conjecture, especially given the documentation supporting the continued study of these weapons, due in large part that the evidence was purposely destroyed because of the threat it posed to allied troops. More importantly, it’s an inane case to forward due to the fact that the mere possession of these purposely hidden items vindicated the reasoning for invasion. It also raises the specter of what would have occurred as Saddam’s grip over the region continued to wane if we had not invaded.

President Bush’s rational for invasion was typically simple: Hussein had agreed to disarm and prove that he had disarmed, while removing his capability to rearm in the future. Hussein had proven with the invasion of Kuwait that he was willing to make unprovoked attacks in blitzkrieg fashion on his neighbors when the opportunity was presented. Hussein had made multiple agreements concerning human rights inside Iraq, then broke them. Iraq agreed not to sponsor terror, yet continued to hunt down and assassinate it’s dissenters and attempted to assassinate President Bush Sr, to which President Clinton made Tomahawk strikes against Iraq in response. After the defection of General Kamel al-Majid to Jordon, the Iraqi government admitted that they had retained a large bioweapons package from anthrax to botulin in violation of the agreed terms; these weapons were never accounted for. Iraq retained a large stockpile of chemical weapons, beyond their declared and then destroyed stockpile, which the New York Times account continues to show recent evidence of and examples of insurgents now using the weapons. President Bush pointed out that it had been four years since UN inspectors had been ejected from the country, “The history, the logic and the facts lead to one conclusion. Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime’s good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.”

The questions these journalists should be asking is why the administrations involved ignored almost three thousand years of military maxim to create a quagmire, with further bungling down the line, after a successful surge strategy mopped up the majority of the original strategic error. They should be asking why the Bush administration failed to defend themselves, outside the 2006 Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, that WMDs had indeed been found along with materials and research for making any number of CBRN (Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) weapons in the future. Of course, given articles like Miss Schulberg there is more empirical evidence that the media simply wouldn’t allow that message to go forward leading to the populace believing largely that there was no vindication for the invasion.

To conclude, the vast majority pretense presented in the case for invasion has been vindicated. However, the populace has been spun to believe that these are not the things we went to find after years of “journalism” by those like Miss Schulberg, regardless of political stripe. The press, instead of asking pertinent questions on policy and execution thereof, attempted to force creation of non-legislated mob based policy: to the dishonor of this nation, they succeeded. I’ll leave you with a little more of President Bush’s speech.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi’a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans and others — again as required by Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues as required by the Security Council resolutions.

If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.

If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis — a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty and internationally supervised elections.

Rah, Rah, Rah

I find this sort of disingenuous statement from an “expert” pretty disconcerting, current events considered.

…ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser, an infectious disease specialist and the acting director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the similarly sensationalized swine flu outbreak in 2009, tells THR that he understands the widespread fear. “But the big misconception about Ebola is that there’s risk to people in America. And that’s just not the case.

Besser and his colleagues in the medical field do expect more Ebola cases in the U.S. as aid workers continue to return from West Africa.

But they point out that the U.S. health care system is far better equipped to deal with Ebola than the one in West Africa, where over 4,400 people already have died in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.

And news divisions have been vigilant about training reporters in the field about proper personal protection while on assignment in the region.

REALLY?!? There’s only been ONE indigenous case of Ebola treated in the U.S. so far, and that’s gone PRETTY SMASHINGLY, wouldn’t you say? Confidence builder,right there.

Keep spreading THAT raspberry jam, doctor.

NOW I’m Worried

Obama has cancelled a fund-raising trip.

Maybe more than worried. We might be totally f*cked if it’s come to that.

Filed Under: Why I Haven’t Had Time to Help Bingley With Much Posting

What you don’t do for your kids:

We’ve been babysitting Ebola’s two schweet pups since mid-February. They WERE supposed to go to Guam with him first of May…but…they didn’t, thanks to our miserable casa de major dad luck and general government inefficiency. It hasn’t been a picnic. We TRIED the Caesar Milan, holistic, peace love and happiness route, and NONE of it worked.

Since his eldest and our eldest HATE each other, we have spent these past 8+ months (after two dog fights that cost $1300+ to stitch up the participants) living in shifts, with a 4 ft cage in our bedroom and one in the livingroom. Our day starts about 5:30 a.m., with me on the couch after letting our guys out. Get up about 7:30, feed our guys, get them OUTSIDE. While they’re OUTSIDE, I let HIS guys out of the cage in our bedroom and into the cage in the LR. Then OUR guys can come IN and go straight into being locked in our bedroom (and DON’T they appreciate that) for the next 1 1/2 hours while the granddogs eat, stretch their legs and do dog things. Then THEY get locked up again, and our guys, frantic by now, get let out. It’s lather, rinse, repeat all day. We can’t go out at night, because everybody has to eat and stretch their legs, too. So IF we went out for an adult time, we’d still have to stay up another hour at least when we got home, to let the grandkids out. Not fair to them otherwise.

Our two month granddog babysitting has stretched to the start of its 9th month. “HOW could that BE?” any sane person would ask. Welp, here’s a rundown of just our day YESTERDAY, TRYING to get puppies to their Daddy.

Ebola had called last Thursday to ask if we could get the dogs to him prior to the 25th, since the base pet lodge (where they do their quarantine) was closing for renovations. Being a holiday weekend, we can’t call OUR base vet ’til yesterday and they work miracles to get us in. Just before I leave work to help major dad wrangle doggies, I’m looking at Accuweather for P-cola and notice “Possible Direct Hurricane Strike for Hawaii This Weekend!” Just our luck. The dogs have to go through ~ and spend the night in ~ Honolulu. I shake it off and we get everyone to our precious base vets. Done. Every puppy certificate you’d need, we had in our hot little hands, along with an email that the admin girl had JUST found about that SAME pet lodge closing…on the 20th. W.T.F. (It did, however, also contain an alternate civilian kennel for arriving pets.) We hustle home in a state of semi-agitation, since I still had to fax ALL the paperwork to Guam Agri Dept AND the lodge, as it takes THEM up to 3 days from receiving it to send back an entry visa and the well dog is ONLY GOOD FOR TEN DAYS. (See where we’re going with times crunches here?) I’m looking for the fax number and BOOM. You have to fax well dog certs…AND the flight and kennel reservation info AT THE SAME TIME. Whichy I no have, because we don’t know squat about kennels until we can talk to Ebola…who is 9 hours behind the day ahead, time-wise. So asleep, after working swing shifts.

Being marginally efficient, I start making just-in-case plans for the drive to New Orleans Airport (United out of there has the most direct flight plan) with the dogs and their crates, which will require a minivan rental. Lock that sucker on for start of next week. Start double checking all the doggie info on United’s site, which is REALLY informative. Now, Achilles is a pretty little guy ~ only 68 pounds and small framed ~ but his ears sit up a country mile, so I want to make sure I have the regulations clear. We’ve got a hand-me-down crate in the garage that, while humongous, seems to be the only thing that’ll work for him, because his ears sit 33 in off the floor and this crate is 35 in. high. It’s like he’s going in the Presidential Suite. And then BOOM. That crate is known as a “700” and what ~ according to the chart ~ is the ONLY airplane United has that CAN’T carry a 700? A 737. I frantically zip over to the flight info for the NOLA departure. OF COURSE ~ it’s a 737 from NOLA to Houston. I call United’s PetSafe just to be sure. Awesome.

WhenEVER the dogs DO get to leave, we get to DRIVE them TO HOUSTON to catch the jet plane. Now we’re talking TWO DAYS, since it’s 525+ miles one way.

I think Ebola’s about coming out of his post-work coma and send him a FB message to call us. He does and that’s AFTER reading the copy of the pet lodge email, calling THEM, unloading with “WHY couldn’t you MENTION THAT TO ME when I talked to you two days ago?!?!” and hearing, “Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s just not going to take as long as we thought, so we just went ahead sooner…” We do a cursory search for the civilian kennel they’re shunting you over to, as Brat’s never heard of them. Of COURSE they require a bordatella vaccine of 6 months or less and OUR dogs ~ who were at the vets that very day ~ have a 7 month-old one. Just. Shoot. Me. Not to mention that their fees are significantly more and, as a civilian facility, they don’t have the liability for stuff that might happen to your precious pups, which is a legitimate concern, considering that dogs go missing in Guam on a regular basis and NOT because they slipped a leash or got out through the fence on their own, if you get my drift.

What a crap sandwich.

So, we wait. Can’t take them for the additional shot (w/ base vets closed Fri and Mon) until we know more about THAT kennel, if we even want to chance it, or if they’re not booked anyway. Will there be space on the plane once we have a date? Will minivan rental rates soar in the interim? Will Hawaii be cleaned up in time for their airport schedule to be back to normal? AND. Have to have enough time left on our 10 days certificate to wait the 3 WORKING days to get an answer back from Guam.

Or blow the whole thing off and do the drill around 10 November when base opens.

That’s a taste of what it means to be uno amigo de casa de major dad. If it’s not a disaster, you can’t POSSIBLY be talking about us.

We Have Our Best People in Charge

Our BEST.

A second health care worker at a Dallas hospital who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has tested positive for the disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services said Wednesday.

The worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was monitoring herself for symptoms, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. The unidentified woman reported a fever Tuesday. She was in isolation within 90 minutes, Jenkins said.

Health officials said the worker was among those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan, who was diagnosed with Ebola after coming to the U.S. from Liberia. Duncan died Oct. 8.

…Officials have said they also don’t know how the first health worker, a nurse, became infected. But the second case pointed to lapses beyond how one individual may have donned and removed personal protective garb.

…Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the CDC, has acknowledged that the government wasn’t aggressive enough in managing Ebola and containing the virus as it spread from an infected patient to a nurse at a Dallas hospital.

“We could’ve sent a more robust hospital infection control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from day one about exactly how this should be managed,” he said Tuesday.

But we’ll do better the NEXT time. Get that?

Undercover Videos of (Any) Joe Biden Speech the Last Two Weeks Revealed*!

*Funny line shamelessly stolen from Ebola on FB

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