Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Legislature' (99) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 99

August 27, 2014 at 7:37am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Obama wants ISIS plan, war crimes confirmed, China threat, honest Ghostbusters trailer ...

9th Mechanized Brigade and the 307th Marine Battalion, Naval Infantry out of Babadag, Romania, participated in coffee pot competition against Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force 14. Original photo by 2nd Lt. Danielle Dixon

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.27.14 >>>

President Obama's New VA Initiatives: Many of the 19 "new executive actions" aren't as novel as presented; just over a quarter represent fresh efforts while the remaining either have been in the works for months or were introduced by Congress and now have White House support.

The United States said it would not coordinate with the government of President Bashar al-Assad on targeting Islamic State militants on Syrian territory, as preparations for possible air strikes gathered pace.

Obama wants new ISIS war plan, ASAP.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) said President Obama must convince lawmakers that airstrikes in Syria are the "only alternative" available for defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria before expanding military operations.

United Nations investigators have concluded that both the Syrian regime and ISIS are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, concluding that both should be brought before the International Criminal Court.

An open-ended ceasefire in the Gaza war between Israel and the Palestinians held as Prime Minister Netanyahu faced strong criticism in his country's newspapers over a campaign in which no clear victor emerged.

Afghanistan's election stalemate this summer hurt progress in training the country's military, and resolving the political chaos will be key to that military's success in 2015, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said as he stepped down as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

A U.S. man believed killed in Syria was there to fight alongside an extremist militant group, most likely the Islamic State.

The Islamic State militant group is holding hostage a young American woman who was doing humanitarian aid work in Syria.

Ukraine accused Russian forces of launching a new military incursion across its border today, a day after the leaders of both countries agreed to work towards ending a separatist war in the east of the country.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamic militias inside Libya.

U.S. Giant Slumbers: The U.S. could check China, but our leaders need to wake up to the threat.

Army Professionalism: Why the Army needed to cut officers.

Tracking Space Junk: Defense Department officials announced additions to its space situational awareness program's Space-Track.org website.

Two soldiers who served in Vietnam will receive the Medal of Honor. A third soldier, who fought in Gettysburg during the Civil War, will also receive the top valor award.

The USS America is configured with more deck space than previous ships of its kind to accommodate a range of aircraft.

The Future Is Scary: Video shows Israel's Iron Dome intercepting 15 rockets at once.

Jet skiing through a canyon looks a lot like podracing in Star Wars.

Watch John Malkovich play a vampire in this French commercial.

We can watch this time-lapse video of the Panama Canal's ship traffic forever.

H. Jon Benjamin has launched a hilarious Kenny Loggins-related Kickstarter.

NPR is streaming Interpol's new record.

This guy watched the Simpsons marathon for 24 hours straight.

David Lynch does the Ice Bucket Challenge, David Lynch-style.

Finally: Here's an honest trailer for Ghostbusters.

We dare you to watch the whole thing ...

LINK: Original photo by 2nd Lt. Danielle Dixon

August 25, 2014 at 7:10am

Monday Morning Joe: ISIS myths, Russian tanks cross, US ultra-high speed missile, Twinx candy ...

Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team throws coffee pots at the off-base firing range near forward operating base Mehtar Lam. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.25.14 >>>

American Peter Theo Curtis held captive for two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria was released Sunday.

Islamic State fighters captured a major military air base in northeastern Syria, eliminating the last government-held outpost in a province dominated by the extremist group, activists and state.

The nine biggest myths about ISIS.

The Ukrainian military said today a group of Russian forces, in the guise of separatist rebels, had crossed into south-east Ukraine with 10 tanks and two armored infantry vehicles, aiming to open a new front in the separatist war.

While the rest of the country took to the streets to celebrate Kiev's 23 years of independence from Moscow, rebels in the east dragged out prisoners of war for a "parade of shame."

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard said it has brought down an Israeli stealth drone above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the center of the country.

As the United States military's intervention in Iraq intensifies, so does the debate between legislative and executive branch officials about President Barack Obama's muscular use of war powers.

As the Obama administration weighs further action against the Islamic State, one of the top defense voices on the Hill is sending clear signals he expects action soon. "To the terrorists organizations who wish us harm, we're about to come after you again, all over, and we're gonna beat you, yet again," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said if Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants pose a direct threat to the United States, he would recommend that the U.S. military act against the group in Syria.

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers.

U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh: Expect further integration of active, guard and reserve components

American and Chinese companies are getting caught in the crossfire of a brewing cyber war.

The Pentagon will conduct a crucial flight test of a new ultra-high speed missile this week that is a key part of the strategic weapons program of preparing arms that can attack any point on earth in 30 minutes.

U.S. submarine fleet set to shrink by 25 percent.

Osprey crew members recognized for actions during ambush.

Unexpected Pressure: Research raises concerns for new Army helmet design.

How one female officer won over her skeptical combat-arms Marines.

California's drought is so bad its mountain rose a half inch.

Maybe you don't want to commit to a playground friend for life. Maybe you just wanna meet new people, just have a casual game of hopscotch. Thankfully, there's a new app that's disrupting online playdating.

Little girl's reaction to rocket launch is awesome.

Mark David Chapman, now 59, has been denied parole for the eighth time. Chapman shot and killed John Lennon in 1980.

Richard Attenborough has died. He was 90.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For didn't do well at the box office.

Finally: A Twinx = a Twinkie stuffed with a Twix bar, wrapped in bacon, fried and doused in chocolate-caramel sauce.

John Daker!

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

August 22, 2014 at 7:57am

Friday Morning Joe: Islamic State threatens U.S., DoD broke law, Army tattoo policy change, Foo Fighters HBO show ...

The III Marine Expeditionary Force throw coffee pots in the Central Training Area near Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Manning

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.22.14 >>>

After U.S. planes bombed its forces in Iraq, the jihadist juggernaut that calls itself the Islamic State threatened to attack Americans "in any place," adding for good measure: "We will drown all of you in blood."

The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. military leaders said.

Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen opened fire on minority Sunni Muslims in a mosque today, killing dozens just as Baghdad is trying to build a cross-community government to fight Sunni Islamists whose rise has alarmed Western powers.

Defense Secretary Hagel and Gen. Dempsey said that U.S. airstrikes against ISIL will be limited to Iraq for the time being.

The Islamic State has grown because it seemed unstoppable. Our air strikes have changed that.

For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists. It's equally unclear whether the Obama administration will be asking them to back a new U.S. approach.

The Pentagon might have to retool its $555 billion 2015 budget proposal to account for the threats posed by and actions taken against the Islamic State.

A five-step plan to stop destroy the Islamic State.

Hamas-led gunmen in Gaza executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel today, a day after Israeli forces killed three Hamas commanders, the highest-ranking militants to die in the six-week war.

Russia ordered aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine without Kiev's permission, raising the danger of direct confrontation.

The Defense Department broke the law when it transferred five Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar in exchange for former prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Government Accountability Office said.

The U.S. Air Force is officially looking into a replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine.

The U.S. Navy's effort to develop and install a new shipboard tactical electronic network took a major leap forward with the selection of five commercial teams to fill the fleet's needs for the next eight years.

Tattooed soldiers seeking to trade in their sergeant's stripes for a lieutenant's bar may soon see some relief from one of the Army's most controversial regulations.

Mad genius Colin Furze is back again with a new invention. This time he built himself a steel safe suit with the sole purpose of standing inside a fireworks display and enjoy the views.

For those who ditched their click-and-clacking Newton's Cradle decades ago, this Solar Marble Machine just might be the modern ball-based meditation tool of your DIY dreams. What does it "do"? Not much! But that's precisely the point.

Cool history of evolution turns lifeforms into robots.

Mythbusters fans were surprised to learn that three cast members won't be returning.

Pitchfork names the 200 best songs of the decade so far.

The Hollywood Reporter gathered 24 well-known TV show creators for a big feature.

See the trailer for the Foo Fighters' new HBO show.

Someone has too much free time on their hands ...

LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Manning

August 20, 2014 at 7:35am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Israelis hit Palestinians, neo-Islam campaign, sequester fears return, Army rival gun, SEALs sub, best albums of decade ...

The 545th Military Police Company, of Pawleys Island, S.C., throws a practice coffee pot at Kraft Coffee Pot Range on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Original photo by Justin Connaher

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.20.14 >>>

Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. air strikes against the insurgents in Iraq.

Lawmakers mourned the death of freelance journalist James Foley after video purporting to show his beheading at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Israeli air strikes killed 11 Palestinians in Gaza, including the wife and infant son of Hamas' military leader, after a ceasefire collapsed. 

The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government.

After a long slumber spent in denial, the UN Security Council has decided to do "something" about the forces of neo-Islam now on the rampage in more than a dozen countries across the globe.

The U.N. refugee agency begins a massive four-day airlift today into Irbil in northern Iraq. It's one of the largest humanitarian aid push the agency has ever undertaken. And it's much needed. Half a million refugees have been displaced as ISIS militants have advanced.

Afghan special forces brace for exit of elite U.S. troops.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has the authority to suspend a program that sends surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

After month on back burner, sequester fears return.

Federal regulators on Tuesday outlined interim rules for streamlined firing of Veterans Affairs Department senior executives, a new authority backed by Congress in an effort to clean up cultural problems at the embattled department.

In its latest personal attack on a prominent official from a rival country, North Korea called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a "hideous lantern jaw."

A competing rifle outperformed the Army's favored M4A1 carbine in key firings during a competition last year before the service abruptly called off the tests and stuck with its gun, according to a new confidential report.

The U.S. Navy is hard at work developing new underwater transports for its elite commandos. The SEALs expect the new craft - and improvements to large submarine "motherships" that will carry them - to be ready by the end of the decade.

A squirrel's gonna do what a squirrel's gotta do: Until he's up against a pole greased with Vaseline

Big couch, small car: Add someone who's really bad at physics, and you get this

When koala bears argue: It's adorable.

If there is such thing as a perfect motorcycle accident, this might be it.

Pitchfork names the "100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far."

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul go into business together and this time it's legal ... barely.

Here's a schedule of when every Simpsons episode will air on FXX, starting tomorrow.

Dave Letterman's tribute to Robin Williams will bring tears to your eyes.

First a couple exercises before we begin the day ...

LINK: Original photo by Justin Connaher

August 16, 2014 at 8:23am

Saturday Morning Joe: Yazidi massacre, Puget Sound VA report, Army robotics, greatest military strategists ...

Headquarters Company, 178th Infantry, engage a target at the coffee pot training area on Forward Operating Base Patriot, Fort Bragg, NC. Original photo by Sgt. James Sims

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.16.14 >>>

Islamic State insurgents "massacred" some 80 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority in a village in the country's north.

Airstrikes pounded the area around Iraq's largest dam today in an effort to drive out militants who captured it earlier this month, as reports emerged of the massacre of some 80 members of the Yazidi religious minority by Islamic extremists.

An attack in the very early hours of Friday morning on two Pakistani air bases was thwarted largely due to improved security measures that show the military has learned lessons from previous attacks.

The head of Russia's defense ministry told U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that no Russian troops were involved with hundreds of trucks meant to deliver humanitarian supplies into eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists fought skirmishes near the Russian border today but there was no sign of the conflict widening after Kiev said it partially destroyed an armored column that had crossed the border from Russia.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) told President Obama he should send more defensive weapons to Ukraine and share intelligence.

Israel lauds new capabilities in Gaza: Cities fully networked air-land-sea force

The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza accused Israel on Friday of a cross-border shooting in violation of a truce that has largely held since getting off to a shaky start on Thursday.

Despite its growing operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, America's pivot to Asia still seems to be led by the Department of Defense and military.

Buffeted by international instability, the president stresses that there are limits to American power, and that the chief executive is not omnipotent.

No systemic misconduct at Puget Sound VA, local director says.

Even the Army's crowd control rulebook says Ferguson police tactics are dumb.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee intends to review a Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to police agencies, following the use of controversial police tactics in Ferguson, Mo.

Iowa Senate nominee Joni Ernst (R), a member of the Army National Guard, says she was sexually harassed while on duty and if elected will work across the aisle to make sure others avoid the same fate.

The four-star chief of U.S. Transportation Command has ordered survey teams into the field to verify the location of every service member's vehicle that is in transit in an effort to restore confidence in the government's shipping process for privately-owned vehicles.

The Army is working with industry partners to develop a standard architecture which will enable us to incorporate future (robotics) capabilities rapidly, keeping pace with dramatic commercial improvements.

The Army is focused on being a good steward of resources to enhance energy security and protect the mission.

Army gets the most service switchers.

The five greatest military strategists of all time.

A lot of people turn their noses up at trailer parks. That's unfair, and David Waldorf's photo essay about the Brookside Trailer Park in Sonoma, California show us that there's beauty everywhere, trailer parks included.

Just a little UFO story to brighten your Saturday morning (though must of you probably already know this one).

This fall, IKEA is launching the new catalogue with a Time Travel Experiment where IKEA customers are given the chance to experience their future.

Ryan Adams' video for Gimme Something Good incluces Elvira, of all people. What beautiful, dark magic they make.

Rich Aucoin's video for Yelling in Sleep is awesome, from Joel MacKenzie's cool animation to Aucoin's killer, jump-outta-your-seat sonic skills.

Arcade Fire is pulling out all the stops on tour, covering everything from the Back to the Future and Beverly Hills Cop themes to Neil Young, Jane's Addiction and Dead Kennedys, including an awesome take on Loverboy's Working for the Weekend.

This is why we don't like to go shopping ...

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. James Sims

August 15, 2014 at 7:34am

Friday Morning Joe: Russia crossed border, Pentagon's mysterious slush fund, Asia still on, Army intel contest, 1,000 robots ...

The 545th Military Police Company refresh their skills with employing practice coffee pots in various scenarios at multiple simulated targets before throwing them live at Kraft Hand Grenade Range on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Original photo

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.15.14 >>>

Israel secured supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon last month without the approval of the White House or the State Department.

Op-ed: Time to rein in the Pentagon's mysterious slush fund.

Late Thursday night armored vehicles and military trucks from Russia crossed the border into Ukraine near Donetsk.

U.S. President Barack Obama declared Thursday that U.S. airstrikes had broken the siege of an Iraqi mountain sheltering civilian refugees and that troops conducting reconnaissance there would be withdrawn.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he has agreed to leave office and clear the way for his designated successor to take over.

The Obama administration's Iraq policy seems premised on the idea that the terrorist Islamic State is so toxic that it will be self-limiting and ultimately self-defeating. But that's not the view of senior U.S. intelligence officials.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that troops would continue to monitor and assess  "human suffering" throughout the country, even as he acknowledged that the situation of thousands of members of an Iraqi religious sect who had been marooned on a mountaintop in Iraq is much better than first thought.

The United States will supply Lebanon's army with additional munitions and ordnance in a bid to bolster the force after clashes with jihadists, the US ambassador to Beirut said Thursday.

The Defense Department's spokesman on Thursday said military leaders remain committed to carrying out President Obama's pivot to Asia, despite ongoing unrest in other parts of the world.

In just the past year, the Pentagon sprinkled $500 million worth of military equipment to local law enforcement.

Groups on the left and right are uniting behind calls to end what they say is the rise of a "militarized" police force in the United States.

The most senior U.S. military officer to visit Vietnam for decades held talks with Communist Party officials in Hanoi on Thursday, in the latest boost to ties between the former wartime foes.

The U.S. Army plans to hold a competition in fiscal 2016 to develop the next phase of its controversial battlefield intelligence system.

Deaf and hearing impaired people say a bill opening up the Air Force to them is a call they do hear.

The Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III has issued a call to all Airmen, to help create the 2015 CSAF Professional Reading Program.

Consumer agency: "Fee scam" cheated troops of $5 on financing contracts.

A plush-disguised camera lets drivers keep an eye on back-seat infants.

Here's a clever way to rid your home of unsightly cables: just hide them in plain sight.

A thousand tiny robots swarming into shapes like intelligent insects.

Here's the winning game board from the National Scrabble Championship.

Tom Hanks' new app turns mobile devices into typewriters.

Enjoy a prog-rock playlist curated by the Flaming Lips.

Finally: Fourteen Things You Don't Know About Back to the Future.

Of course someone has made an eight-bit version of the Twin Peaks intro. ...

LINK: Original photo by Justin Connaher

August 13, 2014 at 8:07am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Inside ISIS, Ukrainians killed, Army buys helicopters, military dreadlocks cool, State Fair Fried Dough ice cream ...

The 554th MP Company, from Panzer Barracks, Boeblingen, Germany, practice throwing dummy coffee pots in the Panzer Local Training Area, Boeblingen. Original photo by Eric Steen

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.13.14 >>>

There is no groundswell from U.S. lawmakers demanding President Barack Obama seek their approval for new airstrikes in Iraq, a sharp contrast from his flirtation with strikes in Syria.

The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants

Nuri al-Maliki stuck to his guns and refused to accept his removal as Iraq's prime minister today, but his hold on power was tenuous as Iran's supreme leader, a long-time Maliki ally, publicly backed his replacement.

Reporter Medyan Dairieh gained unprecedented access to the terrorist group, spending three weeks embedded with militants across Iraq and Syria.

Crowdsource name?: Although the president has authorized the deployment of about 905 U.S. troops to Iraq, and the military is now conducting airstrikes and airdrops there, the operations still have no official name.

The threat of renewed war in Gaza loomed today as the clock ticked toward the end of a three-day ceasefire with no sign of a breakthrough in indirect talks in Cairo between Israel and the Palestinians.

Twelve Ukrainian nationalist fighters, battling a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, were killed early today and an unknown number taken captive when rebels ambushed their bus.

Officials in Washington are increasingly worried that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said that the Russian humanitarian aid convoy to Ukraine would not be allowed in, denouncing the effort as an act of Russian "cynicism." 

Endangered Democrat's new ad says he kept the venerable A-10 "Warthog" fleet flying.

The Obama administration is not likely to make major changes to the U.S. Defense Department's ballistic missile defense programs and will focus efforts over the next two years on implementing current plans.

The Pentagon needs to fundamentally change the way it buys satellites in an effort to lower costs as U.S. defense spending contracts.

Less than two weeks after announcing that it was pushing back the initial selection of the technology demonstrator phase of the Joint Multi-Role helicopter program and working to forge a closer relationship with industry, the U.S. Army awarded two development contracts for the effort on Tuesday.

The U.S. Military's ultimate fear: Are aircraft carriers too big to fail.

The Pentagon's Special Operations Command will conduct a social research program in Colombia to help shape future propaganda efforts, newly released military records show.

Dreadlocks, cornrows, twisted braids and other hairstyles popular among African American women will be more accepted across the military after a forcewide review of hairstyle policies prompted several changes.

The Army has implemented changes to how it considers, selects and slates command sergeants major and sergeants major for the privilege of serving in Command Select List positions.

Security major: Even as the U.S. Air Force Academy has reduced the number of majors it offers recently, it has instituted a new program aimed at helping the Air Force fly, fight and win in cyberspace.

Shock waves from battlefield explosions are invisible threats for U.S. Soldiers and their top-of-the-line combat helmets, but with new studies in synthetic human physiology, researchers are learning how to lessen blast wave effects on the brain.

Watching these guys do their job makes our stomach clench.

"YMCA" music-less video makes the Village People look even more ridiculous.

This video essay highlights some of Robin Williams' most notable roles.

More politicians could certainly learn from The Dude.

Baskin-Robbins has some unusual flavors in stores this summer - like "State Fair Fried Dough"!

Welcome to Whip Wednesday ...

LINK: Original photo by Eric Steen

August 12, 2014 at 7:31am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Kurds turn tide, officially watching China, G-day Marines, Homeland returns ...

2nd of the 315th Battalion, 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, throw coffee pots during the 72nd FA Bde. Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year competition at Army Support Activity-Dix. Original photo by Ryan Morton

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.12.14 >>>

U.S. airstrikes helped, but Kurds from Syria turned tide against Islamic State.

Secretary of State John Kerry said today the United States doesn't plan to send additional troops to Iraq, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The United States has begun urgently shipping weapons to the Iraqi Kurdish forces battling an advance by extremist Islamic State militants.

The United States hopes the newly-designated Prime Minister of Iraq can form a cabinet quickly and build a united front against ISIS rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday.

A Pentagon official said ISIS would be able to "sustain its attacks" on Iraqi forces.

Obama will be on shaky legal ground if he continues to attack ISIS, experts say.

U.S. Army parachute riggers at two bases in the Central Command area of operations are assembling pallets of food and water for humanitarian air drops in the vicinity of Sinjar, Iraq.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting conflicting pressures at home and abroad over his government's prosecution of Operation Protective Edge, now in its 35th day.

A Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid set off for eastern Ukraine, setting the stage for a confrontation with Kiev, which said it would not allow the vehicles to cross onto its territory. 

A tense standoff between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists will be over within a week - and will decide whether "all-out war" begins in Eastern Europe, says a U.S. senator.

More research is needed on the health of the children and grandchildren of troops exposed to environmental pollution and chemicals while they served in the military, several U.S. senators say.

Congress added language to the 2015 defense budget requiring the Pentagon to assess and confront Chinese military expansion.

Despite delays, new U.S. Navy sub headed for on-time delivery.

The United States and Australia are expected to sign an agreement today that will pave the way for 2,500 U.S Marines to rotate through the continent.

Army Vice Chief: Never forget where we put our soldiers.

A 32-year-old active Navy SEAL is hoping to earn a spot on Northwestern University's football team.

Robin Williams, an improvisational genius, forever present in the moment.

After roles in blockbusters such as Iron Man, Fahim Fazil decided to work as a translator for the U.S. Marines in Helmand Province.

These flying machines created by Daniel Agdag make us think of those designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the 15th century.

Every single Alfred Hitchcock cameo in one video.

So it seems we can now pay a restaurant bill with our phones ...

The Daily Show launched a behind-the-scenes podcast.

Homeland will return Oct. 5 with a two-hour premiere.

Finally: 25 lessons learned from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

Time to exercise your face ...

LINK: Original photo by Ryan Morton

August 11, 2014 at 7:35am

Monday Morning Joe: US arms Kurds, Israeli and Palestinian talks, new Army PT uniform, Spin profiles Olympia band ...

343rd Training Squadron Basic Officer Course trainees throw coffee pots under the instruction of Tech. Sgt. Jeffren Reyes, 343 TRS Basic Officer Course instructor, on Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis. Original photo by Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.11.14 >>>

The U.S. government began directly arming Kurdish forces in Iraq who are battling the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to The Associated Press.  

The Pentagon is releasing images from a U.S. military airdrop of food and water on Saturday in northern Iraq, where thousands of Iraqi citizens are threatened by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iraq's president appointed a new prime minister today, further complicating the country's intense power struggle amid a dire humanitarian crisis and a militant threat strong enough to draw U.S. air power back to the fray.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was battling to keep his job, as some parliamentary allies sought a replacement and the United States warned him not to obstruct efforts to form a new government. 

Navy officials said the move to position key platforms in strategically vital areas is designed for precisely this reason.

Islamic militants' growing influence in Iraq and Syria is a threat to Americans, lawmakers from both political parties agreed Sunday even as they sharply split on what role the United States should play in trying to crush them.

United States warplanes and drones pummeled Islamic State militants near Arbil in a fresh wave of airstrikes Sunday, destroying armed trucks and a mortar position, the US military confirmed.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed indirect talks mediated by Egypt today on ending a month-old Gaza war, Egypt's state news agency said, after a new 72-hour truce appeared to be holding.

The United States will monitor the South China Sea to see whether "de-escalatory steps" are being taken, a U.S. State Department official said today, a day after China repelled U.S. pressure to rein in actions in the disputed waters.

The Air Force Technical Applications Center has a welcome addition to its treaty monitoring capabilities - the Cobra King radar system aboard the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen.

A new Army Physical Fitness Uniform will become available service-wide, beginning in October next year.

The yo-yo world champ's skills are mesmerizing.

Morrissey has reportedly been dropped from his record label.

Will Elisabeth Moss co-star on True Detective?

Spin profiles up-and-coming Olympia band Naomi Punk.

Here's a list of 50 must-read books by female writers.

Hear Arcade Fire cover the Beverly Hills Cop theme.

This is good news ...

LINK: Original photo by Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey

August 9, 2014 at 7:26am

Saturday Morning Joe: Iraq campaign, funding war missions, U.S. warns Russia, awesome windowless jet ...

Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, demonstrate proper throwing techniques of coffee pots aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. Original photo by Cpl. James Clark

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.9.14 >>>

U.S. military aircraft dropped humanitarian aid to Iraqis under threat from hardline militants in northern Iraq for the second straight night.

Islamic State insurgents who seized Iraq's biggest dam in an offensive that has caused international consternation have brought in engineers for repairs, witnesses said today, as nervous Kurds stocked up on arms to defend their enclave nearby.

The U.S. campaign against a militant group that has taken control of huge chunks of Iraq has begun. Despite the near-total withdrawal of U.S. ground troops from the country in the past five years, the Pentagon has many options for more airstrikes - and many options on deployment, given the air dominance US forces will have.

The president's expansion of the U.S. military mission in Iraq is conjuring up two dirty little words for anti-war Democrats: Mission creep

Interviews with administration officials suggest President Obama was forced by the rapid deterioration of security in Iraq to abandon his reluctance to use military force.

As U.S. warplanes launched airstrikes against Islamic extremists in northern Iraq, CNN reported the fighters were in possession of U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks.

Why Obama's campaign in Iraq could require 15,000 troops.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says ISIS "campaign of terror shows all the warning signs of genocide."

Israel launched more than 20 aerial attacks in Gaza, killing five Palestinians, and militants fired rockets at Israel as the conflict entered a second month, defying international efforts to negotiate an agreement for an extended ceasefire

The $5 billion counterterrorism fund that the White House requested in the Pentagon and State Departments' 2015 budget proposal would likely fund missions like the ones the U.S. military has been conducting in Iraq over the past several months.

The United States is warning Russia that any further intervention in Ukraine would be viewed as "an invasion of Ukraine."

U.S. Sen. John McCain said it's time for the United States to ease the ban on selling lethal arms to Vietnam, saying it has progressed on human rights.

America needs to reboot its thinking about the next great battlefield.

Veterans Affairs Department officials will open their scheduling books to outside reviewers in an effort to get an independent assessment of how to fix medical center wait time problems.

Starting yesterday, some military installations will be able to run FBI background checks on anyone trying to pass through the gates.

Awesome windowless jet makes its fuselage transparent using displays.

A look at the sub that took James Cameron to the bottom of the sea.

Olympia-based trio Television Man just released its new album (also called Television Man) and is currently on tour.

The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail comedy show seems made for short attention spans - but the talent is impressive.

Dana Buoy's cover of Everywhere: The Fleetwood Mac hit gets a blissful and experimental makeover from the artist and Akron/Family drummer. Stream his new EP on purevolume.com.

Of course there's an entire documentary about Star Wars toys. Check it out next time you're feeling nostalgic; stream a 13-minute preview on plasticgalaxymovie.com.

Dreaming Like Mad With Dion McGregor: we can only hope for dreams as colorful as this man's.

The least exciting massive explosion ever.

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. James Clark

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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