What was that?
I was watching the online broadcast of the House Armed Services Committee's budget hearing with Defense Secretary Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when at 11:14 a.m. EST the Web feed suddenly cuts to a USA-channel broadcast of Queen Latifa in "Barbershop 2."
As in the movie Barbershop 2. Worse yet, it's the scene where Queen Latifa's character is talking about which "white man" she would...um...you get the point.
Note to HASC staff: please add Web-casting of your own hearings to the list of contractors, officials and programs due for review by your staff.
As for the hearing itself, there was no need to turn to Hollywood because there were plenty of dramatics already. I'm not sure if it was the House's floor-vote bells that were ringing in the background, or the school bell, but Gates was giving as good as he got from lawmakers.
Two in particular, HASC ranking Republican John McHugh (N.Y.) and conservative Rep. Randy Forbes (Va.), the ranking GOP lawmaker on the HASC readiness subcommittee, pressed Gates over his so-called gag order during his recent budget-crafting. Gates responded to McHugh that the Pentagon leaks like a "sieve" and that the reason Congress had such insight in past budget-making was because every office in Arlington had a "hotline" to Capitol Hill.
The hearing is in recess while House members go off to vote, but tune in for more potential fireworks...or your favorite USA afternoon movie.