MSNBC leans forward until it falls on a really bad tagline

MSNBC seems to be the network for people who are angry at other people for being angry at something in the first place. I think. This would at least explain their struggle to find an audience. To help them in their audience-finding effort they’ve unleashed a new tagline: Lean Forward. As in, “Lean forward but try not to fall asleep.”

MSNBC All you have to do is compare that with Fox’s “We report, you decide” to see what an epic fail this is.

The problem is that the tagline is in perfect keeping with the brand: It sums up the sort-of-but-not-quite-left-of-center liberals whom both the Right and the Left can’t stand. It’s like they really want to be for something, but not if it’s going to upset you. Lean forward, don’t actually move there. Which is really odd given that MSNBCs two most (only?) successful shows are Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow – neither of whom can be said to lack for fire. And one of whom, Maddow, is actually intelligent, too!

Congrats to MSNBC on producing one of the three worst taglines currently in use. The other two:

  • Army strong. With a half-a-trillion dollar budget you’d think they could afford at least one verb.
  • Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru. I still can’t believe someone got paid for coming up with that.

US Army can’t hide the fact that its camouflage stinks

The Army Times reports

The Army’s Universal Camouflage Pattern (right), now under scrutiny by soldiers and Congress, is “significantly” worse at concealing soldiers than the Marine desert digital and MultiCam (left) camouflage patterns, according to a two-year Army camouflage test.

So far the Army has spent $5 billion on putting the camo on uniforms and equipment. Are they going to claim they can’t see where the money went?

Well at least we didn’t waste that money on something silly like health care.

And to lose to the MARINES!!! Oh the shame.

UCP-Dark    multicam-crye-background

via ProPublica

Army licenses insignia to Sears for clothes

The US Army has sold Sears the rights to use the insignia of one of its most renowned divisions for use in an Army-inspired clothing line, reports Stars & Stripes.

The distinctive “Big Red One” insignia and colors of the 1st Infantry Division are part of an Army-inspired clothing line being rolled out this year for the department store.The Army licensed the 1st ID insignia to All American Apparel in June 2007, according to Army spokesman Paul Boyce. Under the licensing agreement, the Army will receive royalties on any profits beginning in 2009.

Surprisingly, this has not been that well received by current and former service members. From Stars & Stripes:

“Unless someone’s related somehow [to a unit], they shouldn’t wear it,” said Pvt. Chris Latona, 19, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s Special Troops Battalion out of Bamberg, Germany. “It’s not like a sports team.”

From SSG Big Brother CollateralDamage: “I think this is reprehensible … we should sell advertising space on tanks, gunships, Hell sponsor patches on individual soldiers’ uniforms.”

Sears, to its credit, has responded to concerns from the Society of the 1st Infantry Division about this. Also the fact that the company is offering to pay for the use of the insignia is almost unheard of (any royalties the Army gets will go to programs for troops and military families). Many companies use military insignia in their products — from movies to clothes to games — without offering recompense, such as Activision which put the division’s name intoCall of Duty 2: Big Red One, a game set during WW II.

Although I don’t see any harm in Sears doing this, I would defer to vets and service members on the topic. FWIW, a few years ago I purchased a patch of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at The Japanese American National Museum to show my admiration. If you are not familiar with the 442, a thumbnail:

[It was] an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe during the Second World War. The families of many of its soldiers were subject to internment. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated military unit in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients, earning the nickname “The Purple Heart Battalion.”

Man, not a single snarky comment. Wow. I must be getting soft.

Having decided to accept less qualified applicants, Army also decides to give them less training

clipped from
“We are doing everything we can without jeopardizing the quality of the training to make it more efficient and compress it,” Colonel Joe Gallagher, chief of plans for the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, said in an interview earlier this month. “The whole intent is to get the soldier into the unit where he can be used faster. Time will tell if something is missing.”

  blog it

This is spin talk for we are so short of warm bodies that we will do anything. Unfortunately the proof of whether something is missing is … horrible. This is far too reminiscent of what the military did in the late 60s/early 70s. And look how well that turned out.I take this a bit personally as these are the people who are going to be next to Staff Sgt. Big Brother Collateral Damage should he ever have to play another round in the George Bush Desert Classic.

Any senior officer who signed off on this should resign or face a court-martial.

And, by the way, congrats to Jenna Bush on her engagement. Since she’s not in the service. I assume her fiance is.

Remember: Army Strong is Army Dumb

Army Strong is Army dumb

The US Army is going all out to drive the brand message throughout the organization. It’s new slogan Army Strong is even easier to read than its very recent predecessor An Army of One which replaced the possibly confusing Be All That You Can Be. This is in keeping with an overall effort to make the Army simpler and easier to use. Recently the Army announced it had made its 2006 recruitment numbers by lowering its entrance requirements (not sure how much lower they can go, at my physical all they required was a pulse and four limbs). In a further effort to make it easier for any vaguely sentient creature to join the ranks, the service has also instructed drill instructors to yell less and in general stop being so hard on the recruits — thereby allowing so that more of them pass basic training. The new Army campaign kicks in November under the command of McCann Worldwide. Maybe the agency should look into even further simplification: “Army!”

U.S. Army lowers its standards to make recruitment numbers. Terrorists unlikely to follow suit.

In the wake of the news that the Army is keeping the George W. Bush Desert Classic fully staffed by taking people it otherwise wouldn’t have, comes this AP story about how the Army is forcing drill instructors to tone it down and not flunk so many of the recruits.

“Part of it is changing the nature of how it treats people in basic training,” David S. Chu, undersecretary for personnel and readiness, said Tuesday. That means “less shouting at everyone, in essence, which some of you may remember from an earlier generation as being the modus operandi,” he said. (And, for those of you keeping track at home, The Wall Street Journal had this story about a year ago.)

One can only hope that the Army has arranged for combat to be kinder and gentler, too.

Although this relaxing of standards will mean more dead and injured soldiers almost immediately, it will take a year or two for us to start to reap the full benefits of this particular piece of idiocy. If I remember correctly Lt. William Calley of My Lai massacre fame, was something like 30th out of an OCS class of 33 and would never have graduated but for the incredibly lax standards being used at the time.

Remember, be all that you can be and if you can’t … well gosh darn at least you tried.

Where have you gone Sgt. Hulka? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you…