Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

CNHI/SE Iowa

March 13, 2013

What does that say? Hagel's handwriting mocked

WASHINGTON — Is bad penmanship a prerequisite for President Obama's second-term Cabinet?

Newly minted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed off on a letter to a former Senate colleague this week with a scrawly, nearly illegible version of his signature. We're pretty sure it's his signature, at least, but we arrived at that only by deduction, based on its placement.

It appears he's giving Treasury Secretary Jack Lew a run for his money.

Lew, whose John Hancock will grace every dollar bill being issued, was roundly mocked (including by the Loop) for his loopy signature.

Here's a letter Hagel wrote to Sen. Barbara Boxer (he apparently wrote an identical one to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in response to a letter the two sent him, but only Boxer posted hers on her Web site).

Hagel added two friendly flourishes to the typewritten missive. In a slash of blue ink, he crossed out the formal address "Dear Senator Boxer" and replaced that with "Barbara." That part we could read.

But his sign-off was nearly impossible to decipher. A strangely formed "C" starts the affair, which breaks down into a strange mountain range in the middle and ends with a spastic-looking shape that one could only vaguely recognize as a "k." Could be he was matching the informal tone of the opening by signing the note "Chuck."

Or not. Others who've looked at it thought it was his full signature. Other guesses included "eskimo," and one conspiracy-minded viewer read "CIA is OK."

Hagel doesn't have to sign all the dollar bills the way Lew does. But still, he has to put his pen to paper on occasion. Perhaps Obama should add a handwriting lesson to the next Cabinet meeting?

1
Text Only
CNHI/SE Iowa
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014