SECDEF Gates lays it down.

I'm not messing around here, ladies.

Tom Ricks highlighted a good quote from a speech that Secretary of Defense Gates gave today at West Point. Money quote:

The need for heavy armor and firepower to survive, close with, and destroy the enemy will always be there, as veterans of Sadr City and Fallujah can no doubt attest. And one of the benefits of the drawdown in Iraq is the opportunity to conduct the kind of full-spectrum training — including mechanized combined arms exercises — that was neglected to meet the demands of the current wars.

Looking ahead, though, in the competition for tight defense dollars within and between the services, the Army also must confront the reality that the most plausible, high-end scenarios for the U.S. military are primarily naval and air engagements — whether in Asia, the Persian Gulf, or elsewhere. The strategic rationale for swift-moving expeditionary forces, be they Army or Marines, airborne infantry or special operations, is self-evident given the likelihood of counterterrorism, rapid reaction, disaster response, or stability or security force assistance missions. But in my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should “have his head examined,” as General MacArthur so delicately put it.

I ❤ Gates.


Rep. Broun (R-GA) laughs when asked by a constituent, “Who’s going to shoot Obama?”

Quite the comedian.

TPM: Republican laughed when asked “Who’s gonna shoot Obama?”

This guy’s a keeper, he almost makes me miss the great state of Georgia where you can go to find Real Americans. Broun was at a town hall meeting with constituents when an old man got up and asked, “Who’s going to shoot Obama?” Naturally, since this is part of the bible belt and there is a general feeling of love and brotherhood towards your fellow man, everyone at the meeting howled with laughter. Including, it turns out, the esteemed Congressmen Broun:

After laughing at the question, Broun reportedly said “there’s a lot of frustration with this president.”

“We’re going to have an election next year,” Broun said. “Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller… who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Yea, great tact there. Instead of doing the right thing and having the moral courage to explain to his constituents that it isn’t actually funny to talk about shooting the President, he just kind of ducks the opportunity in that passive-aggressive way that suits cowards like Broun. Of course, when the media got wind of it, his office released a statement saying that the comment was “abhorrent”. It’s cool though, he gets it both ways. He can be the fun, cool, good ole’ boy who jokes about killing the President, and he can also be the principled Congressman who displays outrage at a misguided and violent statement. That’s true character!

Qaddafi: I don’t get it, why you so mad bro?

Blue steel.

Dan Amira @ NYMag:

Seriously, why are you guys even directing this rage at Qaddafi to begin with? He’s just a gentle old man who smiles and waves to people and drinks tea and wears white gloves to protect his delicate hands and hosts foreign dignitaries and unleashes mercenary death squads on his people and takes leisurely strolls through floral gardens.

Qaddafi actually blamed the uprising in Libya on coffee drugs:

[Qaddafi] says al Qaeda militants are “exploiting” teenagers, giving them “hallucinogenic pills in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe.”

It’s like some sort of SNL skit that came to life; it would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.