Def Sec Hagel

#1
In Time Team Hagel Versus Team Anti-Hagel

Well Barry's done it now. After Rice's bid to run the Pentagon got trashed (thank Christ she's the worst sort of bleeding heart Wilsonian) in the aftermath of the Benghazi brouhaha now he's gone and nominated a prominent but distinctly maverick Republican to get the great flabby pork factory into trimmer shape. It's bad enough that Hagel's on the record as wanting this hugely wasteful organization cut into something leaner and meaner for the defense pork addicted GOP but this feisty chap also broke ranks with the party over the failing Iraq war rather early, shockingly admits to put US national interest before Israel's and, just to piss of the identity politics obsessed Dem left, called an aspirant ambassador "aggressively gay". A decorated veteran NCO, lead a infantry squad in Vietnam. Looks like a safe pair of hands in the manher of last but one Def Sec Bob Gates to me but will Barry manage to get such a "**** you in your partisan ass" appointment through?
 
#2
If there is a bunfight, it'll serve no other purpose than to show up the Republicans' hatred for Obama. If he were nominated by any other President, it'd be a no-brainer.
 
#3
If there is a bunfight, it'll serve no other purpose than to show up the Republicans' hatred for Obama. If he were nominated by any other President, it'd be a no-brainer.
Actually no, given the levels of support for Likud and the parities to the right of Likud that are moving towards dominance in Israeli politics this isn't a partisan issue. Dems in Congress are only just behind GOP chaps in their subservience to "the lobby". That makes Hagel's entirely traditional America first stance problematic. Being a patriot is a something more theatrically demonstrated than actually done in US politics these days.
 
#4
In Time Team Hagel Versus Team Anti-Hagel

Well Barry's done it now. After Rice's bid to run the Pentagon got trashed (thank Christ she's the worst sort of bleeding heart Wilsonian) in the aftermath of the Benghazi brouhaha now he's gone and nominated a prominent but distinctly maverick Republican to get the great flabby pork factory into trimmer shape. It's bad enough that Hagel's on the record as wanting this hugely wasteful organization cut into something leaner and meaner for the defense pork addicted GOP but this feisty chap also broke ranks with the party over the failing Iraq war rather early, shockingly admits to put US national interest before Israel's and, just to piss of the identity politics obsessed Dem left, called an aspirant ambassador "aggressively gay". A decorated veteran NCO, lead a infantry squad in Vietnam. Looks like a safe pair of hands in the manher of last but one Def Sec Bob Gates to me but will Barry manage to get such a "**** you in your partisan ass" appointment through?
The "pork" is enjoyed by both parties my dear fellow. Your bias is flapping in the breeze.

Source: The Washington Post

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 29, 2009; 5:00 PM

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is poised to give the Pentagon dozens of new ships, planes, helicopters and armored vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the military does not need to fund next year, acting in many cases in support of political contributors from the defense industry under an approach the Obama administration has decried as "business as usual" and vowed to end.

The unwanted equipment in a military spending bill expected to come to a vote on the House floor Thursday has a price tag of at least $6.9 billion. The White House has said that some but not all of the extra expenditures could draw a presidential veto of the Defense Department's entire $636 billion budget for 2010, and it sent a message to House lawmakers Tuesday urging them to cut expenditures for items that "duplicate existing programs, or that have outlived their usefulness."

The dispute over Congress's insistence on additional spending for items such as the C-17 transport plane, a troubled missile defense interceptor program and the VH-71 presidential helicopter reflects a continuing struggle between Gates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who are loyal to existing military programs benefiting contractors that provide jobs and heavy campaign donations.

Gates vowed in April to fundamentally overhaul the military's "approach to procurement, acquisition and contracting" and urged Congress to back a shift from many traditional weapons programs toward spending on counterinsurgency efforts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But House lawmakers who support past priorities appear likely to prevail in this round, because an unusually restrictive rule for floor debate agreed upon Wednesday will only allow amendments to strip less than half of the spending the administration dislikes.
 
#6
The "pork" is enjoyed by both parties my dear fellow. Your bias is flapping in the breeze.
He is a prime example of my contention you cannot make meaningful distinctions between politicians at the federal level by mere resort to partisan criteria. They are, with precious few exceptions, cut from the same progressivist cloth, just from different parts of the bolt.


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#7
On Battleland Hagel’s Hearing: Profoundly Depressing
Watching the Senate Armed Services Committee interact Thursday with former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel—President Obama’s candidate to be secretary of defense—was a profoundly depressing experience.

Hagel’s performance in his “confirmation” hearing was remarkable; he spent the day eating his own words under pressure mostly from Republicans—so much so that it is hard to understand what views he might actually hold.


Unlike most effective politicians who are always clever at saying nothing or changing positions, he was so inarticulate at doing so that it is also hard to understand how he ever could have been elected twice to the Senate from Nebraska.


As fumbling and apologetic as Hagel’s answers were to the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, even my low expectations for the performance of the senators on that committee went unmet.
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Slate had the rather nice headline "Fluster Chuck". It was a truly miserable performance, obviously primed to be defensively deferential to the dweebs on the committee.

Railed at by an incensed John McCain for his inexplicable criticism of how the Iraq war went he failed to llift his guard let alone land a punch on his old buddy. At one point he was pinned to his chair squirming by Sen. Lindsey Graham (Likud-S.C) and asked to name anybody on Capital Hill who had been intimidated by the Israel lobby, just one person? With a room full of obvious candidates he demurred.

On the Dem side mostly softball stuff but there seemed to be some worry about how they would explain that they were once in the same room as someone who recklessly has been slightly critical of Tel Aviv and in public no less. Appearing too supportive of such a loose cannon could ruin a chap's chances of campaign donations and access to the committees that hold the purse strings.

Speaking of which there was some rather obvious greedy eyeing of defense pork going on. This after all is the main business of the Pentagon in US politics and Hagel has made austere noises. Sen. Blumenthal, D-Conn was most blatant in his care for his state's socialized defense economy.

I've seen poached sea cucumbers with more fight in them than Chuck, by going to the ropes he may have muffed it. I'm sure the mauling he got from Barry's team of Chicago hoodlums after this hard day's grovel was much worse.
 
#11
JJH, my impression is that Senator Hagel is one of the few (Jim Webb is another) to reject the Kool-Aid that McCain, Graham et al regularly consume.

Sooner or later, the Lobby’s ferocious determination to create a ‘muffled zone’ will blow up in their faces.
 
#12
JJH, my impression is that Senator Hagel is one of the few (Jim Webb is another) to reject the Kool-Aid that McCain, Graham et al regularly consume.

Sooner or later, the Lobby’s ferocious determination to create a ‘muffled zone’ will blow up in their faces.
I abhor the McCain-Graham crowd but still think Hagel is a cretin and I am being as charitable as I can be.
 
#13
Hagel is out of his depth, but then so many in DC are. He's been conspicuous by his absence in the latest round of pontifications over the North Korean situation.
 
#14
I'm hoping he brings a more balanced, less dogmatic approach to US foreign policy; I mean, how many SECDEFs have been holders of the CIB?

Is it simply irrational optimism to hope that an Obama flanked by Dempsey and Hagel might find it easier to show political courage than he has up to this point?
 
#15
JJH, my impression is that Senator Hagel is one of the few (Jim Webb is another) to reject the Kool-Aid that McCain, Graham et al regularly consume.

Sooner or later, the Lobby’s ferocious determination to create a ‘muffled zone’ will blow up in their faces.
I would not put Hagel anywhere near the same class as Jim Webb. The former has a cabbage for a brain and the latter is too smart to be a politician anymore.
 
#16
I'm hoping he brings a more balanced, less dogmatic approach to US foreign policy; I mean, how many SECDEFs have been holders of the CIB?

Is it simply irrational optimism to hope that an Obama flanked by Dempsey and Hagel might find it easier to show political courage than he has up to this point?
Without denigrating his CIB justly earned as an OR enlisted man, that hardly qualifies him for SecDef except perhaps in the very narrow sense that he may remember what it was like to be on the low end of the totem pole. It certainly does nothing for his knowledge and intellectual acumen that one would hope a SecDef would possess as a minimal qualification for the post. One need look no further than his disastrous confirmation hearings before the Senate to see a very dim bulb indeed.

The simple answer to your second paragraph is yes.
 
#20
I'm hoping he brings a more balanced, less dogmatic approach to US foreign policy; I mean, how many SECDEFs have been holders of the CIB?
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Err, the Pentagon may comment on the feasibility of operations but it does not make foreign policy, nor should it. Hagel's main job is to trim back on the excessive pork which will make him very unpopular.

It's that Bostonian patrician arse Kerry at Foggy Bottom now and he shows every sign of being dreadful. I think they only appointed him to make Hills Clinton look good for her run at the Oval Office.