This Made Me Laugh

Sometimes a story is pretty uneventful, but one line makes me laugh out loud. This is one of those cases:

The U.S. Army, which missed its recruiting goal last year, has relaxed its policy banning certain types of tattoos in a bid to attract new soldiers who otherwise would have been barred from serving.

The Army will now allow new recruits and all its current soldiers to have tattoos on their hands and back of their necks as long as they are not “extremist, indecent, sexist or racist,” Army officials said on Wednesday.

The Army said it continues to prohibit tattoos anywhere on the head, face or throat area.

But it will allow women recruits and soldiers to sport “permanent makeup” in the form of indelible eye-liner, eyebrows and lip makeup. The Army said this permanent makeup “should be conservative and complement the uniform and complexion in both style and color, and will not be trendy.”

The Army- It’s Not Just a Job, It’s a Fashion Adventure!

The National Security Battle

The Democrats unveiled their plan:

Emboldened by President Bush’s declining approval ratings, Democrats unveiled a national security platform yesterday for the midterm elections that stresses renewed focus on capturing Osama bin Laden, reducing the U.S. presence in Iraq and stepped up protection at home.

The new strategy, which comes after months of deliberations and several false starts, aims to neutralize the advantage Republicans have held on national security and terrorism issues, that Democrats acknowledge were critical in the GOP’s midterm gains in 2002 and in Bush’s reelection victory over Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004.

Flanked by former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and retired Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed that Democrats could do a better job of defending the country than the administration has done since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The rest of the story is more of the same old, same old. The Democrats claim the GOP is reckless, Cheney responds that the Democrats are pussies. Yada, yada, yada.

How will this play with voters? Beats me.

‘Getting Osama’ isn’t so much a plan as it is a goal, but the public is fatigued by American presence in Iraq, so this might work in November. I would think the issue that would play the best would be the domestic security issue, and that would explain why the Democrats were so eager to freak out over the Dubai Port Deal- it was simply the warm-up for this.

Just as a side note- I am not sure how terrifying Osama is anymore. Other than a few video tapes and the like here and there, he has been relatively silent for a while, so I am not sure if he carries the same sort of fear factor as he once did (although the Republicans did a pretty good job of branding Osama into a generalized threat, so I may be wrong).

Please Explain

If any of you can explain how this post and this ‘investigation’ by the Wonkette folks is anything more than piling on, butting into someone’s professional career, and just plain run-of-the-mill assholishness, I am all ears.

Hey WOnkette- It is none of your damned business.

What do you people want- the guy dead, for goodness sakes?

To The Big House

Abramoff gets the minimum:

Jack A. Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican lobbyist at the center of a major corruption scandal, was sentenced Wednesday to five years and 10 months in prison for his role in the fraudulent purchase of a fleet of casino cruise ships. An associate received the same sentence.

I would be willing to bet the usual suspects are furious he did not get the death penalty (I haven’t checked yet, but I can almost hear the chants of “IOIYAR” and “He got off easy!”), but I am willing to bet this sentence reflects a degree of cooperation in future prosecutions that will probably pay greater political dividends for our friends on the left and will more than outweigh the sheer satisfaction they might have gained by watching Abramoff go to jail for a longer period of time.

Score One for Free Speech

I missed this too– the FEC has decided to protect fully and completely political bloggers:

I am pleased that it appears we have a consensus today and will establish several important protections for online political speech. This has been a very difficult rulemaking on multiple levels. However, if the Commission adopts the proposed final rules before it today, I think a number of positive things will be accomplished.

First, the proposed rules totally exempt individuals who engage in political activity on the Internet from the restrictions of the campaign finance laws.

Huzzah, and thanks to Mike Krempasky and the folks at the DKos who worked to make this happen.

More on Immigration

I have a confession to make. I simply can not get worked up about immigration. At all. I can’t even remember if I had strong opinions about it in the past (although I wager if I had an opinion, it was a strong one).

Memeorandum has a slew of links up, and I tried to read them, and I realized that I just don’t care. I found the High School walkout story to be interesting simply because I was interested to know if there was a reason for the walk-out or if it was just kids finding a way to cut class.

To make things even worse, I don’t have any desire to educate myself about the current Senate/House legislation. The way I see it, a wall is impractical, not granting amnesty is pointless (does anyone really think we are going to round up all the illegals?), I am not convinced by arguments that illegals are an economic drain or boon (if I had to make an uneducated guess, I would argue it is a wash), and if terrorists want to sneak bombs in, they will find a way that does not involve illegals.

About the only thing I think should be done is that border states that do have to finance immigrant related activity should probably be aided in some way by the federal government, or at the very least, if required by courts and the feds to provide emergency health care or other unfunded mandates, be reimbursed so that the country as a whole is sharing the burden. I would also firebomb the INS headquarters and start from scratch, but for the love of God don’t let the Homeland Security Department or the folks behind the Prescription Drug plan anywhere near the building process.

Again, I have not studied the issue, but those are my thoughts as of now. I guess by not taking this ‘security’ issue seriously, I am clearly in league with Al Qaeda. Or the Jane Hamshers of the left. Whichever is worse.

What to Make of This?

I really don’t know what to make of this:

Thousands of students walked out of high schools in Los Angeles and across Southern California this morning as protests against restrictions on immigration spread across the city for a fourth day.

School walkouts were reported at schools in San Diego and Orange counties, and in the Santa Clarita Valley in northern Los Angeles County. There were also immigrant rights marches nationwide.

In Los Angeles, dozens of schools experienced walkouts, with the major events downtown, where several thousand students converged on City Hall, and on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley.

At midafternoon, student marchers descended onto the heavily-traveled 101 Freeway near downtown, snarling traffic and creating safety hazards, according to televised reports. The northbound freeway was restricted to one lane. The freeway later reopened after students exited on an off-ramp in Echo Park.

When I was in High school, if I could have organized it, I would have walked out protesting anything if it meant not being in class. I don’t know how much these High School walkouts really reflect opinions regarding immigration, but I do know that Californians in general have strong opinions about the issue and that Californians, given an opportunity and a reason, can throw one heck of a riot when it comes to matters of race.

*** Update ***

Good grief, Ezra:

John Cole, noting a 500,000 person march that resulted in not one arrest and a fully peaceful walkout from LA County schools, sniffs that he “doesn’t know what to make of it” and implies that California’s immigrants are gearing up for a race riot.

WTF is right? Since when did everything I write get so damn misinterpreted? I wasn’t suggesting there was going to be a race riot, I was asking if there was really anything to this, or if it was just kids trying to get out of school. If there is something to it, and it is more than kids just trying to play hookie, then I don’t think observing California’s recent history with race riots and the recent racial tensions (umm, Minutemen, anyone?) is that crazy or that sinister.

And I certainly was not attacking the walk-out or trying to imply anything about them. I didn’t even express my normally disdainful view of all things protestor. I was just asking what is going on and whether this is anything to pay attention to, as if you haven’t noticed, I have been pretty busy lately and not up to my usual blogging/news-reading. I know we all love a good pile-on, but how bout we start asking me things before thinking the worst- especially those of you who know and use my instant messenger screen name.