No Snow Day for Hagel

Chuck Hagel continues his fight to become Secretary of Defense today — before he has even been nominated. Strange trend this, yeah? We won’t be surprised to see the day when every nomination tries to be a surprise — but then you mess with the vetting stage.

Because of the hard attacks he is taking on his policy positions he now is getting some blow-back the other way from supporters.

Some of that comes from the “anti Semite” accusations that are pretty much based on his Israel positions. That sort of comes with the territory when taking on the issue, and we have no doubt he can handle himself. If he wants to go hard-core against Israel supporters, he had better have the backbone to answer all of the questions on one of the most important defense issues of the day.

That being said, the other attacks that he is a “mean boss” were/are stupid. If Hagel had some sort of mean streak, you would have heard it mentioned long before now. Any former staffers we have discussed this with — and we have heard from several again over the past 24 hours — note that he was always tough, but fair. And that he was always considerate on personal matters. There are absolutely plenty of jerk bosses in DC, but Hagel was never on any list that we saw.

So…the main reason for updating this issue is that we were alerted to a story regarding this in Foreign Policy magazine.

The headline is, “Friends of Hagel gear up for a fight”.
And we immediately thought, Wow! They’re printing up hats and t-shirts? Buttons and bumper stickers?
Hagel gear?
(UnderArmour: the official outfitter of the Hagel Defense nomination.)

Alas…we read-on to discover that the “friends” are “preparing” for a fight.
And not by silk-screening t-shirts.

But that didn’t stop us!
We may not agree with Hagel on many, many of his positions over the past number of years, but we are still willing to come up with a logo (though we are still thinking about the color scheme) for Team Hagel.

If you’re killing time on this snow-day, feel free to send us your latest version, and we may possibly post it.


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  1. Macdaddy says:

    On the day after Judge Robert Bork’s passing, I’m reminded of not the pettiness of former underlings who feel that their genius was never fully recognized, but of the amorality of people in power who would do absolutely anything, say absolutely anything to expand their power. Hagel is one such person. Karma is a bitch and Hagel deserves to be unemployed the rest of his life, not because of how he treated his staff, but how he treated this country when it mattered and when he had the opportunity to be a leader in a time of war. He cast his lot with those who wanted us to lose in Iraq and he did it in the most underhanded, weasily way possible. I have nothing but contempt for him. I wouldn’t even tip him if he were my waiter.

  2. RWP says:

    Macdaddy +1.

    I’m surprised at you, Sweeper. Who know you’d be running the local cheering section for a man who spent the last 4 years of the Bush administration railing against the guy who ultimately won a war Hagel voted for and supported.

  3. RWP says:

    I approve of profiteering, of course. Still, I suggest everyone read today’s National Review editorial against Hagel, and also Rich Lowry’s Politico column. I’m loath to accuse anyone of antisemitism without hearing a deliberate slur, but Hagel has a ten year record of anti-Israel votes that defy explanation. I mean, how much is it out on a limb to condemn anti-Semitism in Russia, like the other 99 members of the Senate did?

    Aside from his problematic policy positions, the man has spent the last four years micturating over his own party. I can’t see how any conservative or Republican would truck with him in the slightest.

  4. RWP,

    Well, in case there is any confusion, Leavenworth Street has been very clear on our position towards Hagel. And that started as soon as he took to the talk show circuit against the George W. Bush admin.

    The point on the shirt is that it was FUNNY! “Hagel gear”, get it?

    As far as his staff goes, I frankly find it more insulting to his staff to insinuate that they can’t handle a demanding boss in the Senate. And to top that off, I’ve never heard any complaints.

    I’d prefer to see issues about Hagel based on his policies rather than a suggestion that he frowned at his staff.


  5. SoWhat??? says:

    Hagel won’t get the support of the “left” and he lost the “right” along time ago. He’s a lot like Susan Rice…sharp elbows, not known for playing well with others and unconfirmable. Now if there’s a position that doesn’t require Senate confirmation, maybe Chuckie is on a list.

  6. Interested Observer says:

    There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

    Donald Rumsfeld

  7. RWP says:

    Chuck Hagel, 2003 – 2012.
    2003 Let’s invade Iraq!
    2005 Oh noes. Bad guys in Iraq are attacking! Run Run!
    2007 The surge can’t work. Run Run!
    2008. The surge didn’t work. We were just lucky the bad guys changed their minds just as we put 100 K troops in there. Complete coincidence. I was right. Obama for President!
    2010 I really need a job
    2012. Republicans are disgusting. I still really need a job. Obama for President!

  8. Interested Observer says:

    I’m going to revisit an issue that just came up again in the last few days, the Nebraska Motor Fuels Tax, the “gas tax”. On December 18, the Nebraska Department of Revenue issued a news release stating that the variable portion of the “gas tax” is going down 1.6 cents — from 26.2 cents per gallon to 24.6 cents effective January 1 through June 30, 2013. Each penny of gas tax generates approximately $12 million tax revenue for the state each year, so this reduction represents approximately $19,200,000 in reduced revenue for the Nebraska Department of Roads.

    LB 84, the Bill from 2011 that earmarked 1/4 cent of the Nebraska State Sales Tax from the General Fund for the Nebraska Department of Roads will shift approximately $70 million per year to the revenue already generated by gas taxes and motor vehicle licensing fees for the next 20 years.

    The Nebraska Department of Revenue website has a page titled “Historical Fuels Tax Rates” which shows the semi-annual gas tax rate from 1/1/1997 up to 12/31/2012. The gas tax rate on January 1, 1997 was 25.3 cents per gallon. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, that 25.3 cents in 1997 is equal to approximately 36 cents today. The difference between next year’s 24.6 cents and the 1997 25.3 cents, adjusted for inflation to 36 cents, is 11.4 cents. 11.4 cents per gallon x $12 million tax per penny of gas tax, equals approximately $136,800,000 in additional revenue for the next year, if only the 1997 gas tax had been indexed for the rate of inflation. This approach would have preserved the extremely long standing policy of having the Department of Roads be self-funded by the gas tax user fee, rather than by raiding the Nebraska General Fund.

    This additional $136 million for Roads is more than double what LB84 earmarked for next year. That indicates that the tired old whine that Roads funding is decreasing because of increased fuel efficiency was not accurate nor honest during the LB84 debate. Additionally, according to the Nebraska State Treasurer website, the Nebraska Department of Roads revenues have increased almost every single year, even though the gas tax rate has fluctuated very little each year, indicating a fairly consistent increase in the total number of gallons of Motor Fuels sold.

    The next session of the Nebraska Legislature should revisit and repeal LB 84 and use only honest, accurate information in it’s debate.

  9. Lil Mac says:

    If I had a surgeon who supported Obama, he’d be politically wrongheaded, but that wouldn’t make me get a worse surgeon instead. Hagel’s opinion of Israel has nothing to do with this. SecState not SecDef runs diplomacy. Last Nov, the GOP failed to convince most voters to choose hard individual freedom over soft social compliance, so they reelected Obama and he now gets to appoint a SecState who will brandish our national spear, and Obama himself hurls it at whichever nation he wishes, since Congress has all but given up its right to control war making. And none of this is up to the SecDef who only keeps America’s spear sharp. John Kerry as Sec State and Obama as President, now that’s scary people, but whose fault is that? Republicans put Mr. Romneycare up against the real socialist who then won. Shame on the GOP for its fecklessness.

    Who do Republican now think Obama will appoint as SecDef? Pat Roberts? Sure Hagel has been a thorn in the GOPs foot but what does that have to do with running the military? To say his background isn’t fit for SecDef because he isn’t Republican enough? Nixon opened Communist China which is now eating us. A lot of Republicans seem to expect Obama to appoint loyal Republicans. That sort of irrational flat-sided thinking, I think, is killing the GOP.

    I want the GOP to thrive but it so far seems unable to grasp, and thus effectively counter, a nation that increasingly eats the DNC’s socialist lotus argument which is a political dope easy for Dems to push. If America is to be saved, Republicans need to approach selling the hard work of individual freedom far more wisely, with more than just a “we failed to convince most voters to choose hard freedom so let’s watch American die to teach it a lesson”. That mindset among America’s GOP scares me more than the socialist idiocy of Democrats.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The current Republican mindset is, “Support the Rich.” They have spit in the soup of the working class, women, veterans and minorities yet still expect them to return with their empty bowls begging, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”
    The Republican Party appeals predominately to male, white, anglo-saxon protestants – a dying breed. The others that support them are their women and those who believe they are rugged individualists that have had no support becoming successful despite the government subsidies they receive.
    Until the GOP begins to work for the success of the middle class again, and sees that unrestrained capitalism is counter to everything that has made America great, it shall continue to fade away.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    Lil Mac, the point is not to keep Obama from appointing who he wants, it’s to keep him from making especially bad choices. Chuck Hagel falls into that category and that’s a bipartisan opinion.

    Merry Cliffmas, everyone!

  12. Chris Scott says:

    Anonymous #20–Rugged individualism with the understanding that everyone has had some along the way should be encouraged over colletivism. Obviously there needs to be a safety net. However that safety needs to encourage and motivate individuals to use it as a last resort. 99 weeks of unemployement does not do that. The job that you had may not be viable anymore and there may be a need to adapt. I would much rather see an investment in re-training people that have been unemployed for a while so that their skill sets are in-line with the job opportunities available. We also need to stop selling the idea that everyone should go to college when many job opportunies now and in the future are in the trades. Many trade job pay very well and are in demand. Republicans should focus the efforts on getting people trained in those fields and that will really provide middle class families the opportunity to get great paying jobs and for them to provide for their families.

  13. POY Nomination says:

    While it would be easy to go with Deb Fischer, Ernie Chambers should get a serious look……….heck, they passed a law to get rid of him, he abided, and now he is back. And frankly, he’s probably gonna have his way this next session as there aren’t a lot of leaders with the know-how or the want-to to stand up to him.

    Big Ern. 7-10 split. He’s back.

  14. TexasAnnie says:

    Lil Mac: You rightly lament the demise of the GOP.
    POY: That was a constitutional amendment passed, not a law, as you state. But still, I am very interested in Leavenworth St. opinions as expressed by POY above. Do others of you believe the term limits amendment was solely for the purpose of ridding Sen. Chambers from the Unicameral?

  15. anonymous says:

    Ernie makes them think, work and sweat. Of course the term limits amendment was solely for the purpose of ridding the Unicameral of him. They couldn’t find a way to outsmart his brilliance to detail. Now if only Douglas County could term limit Dave Phipps we’d really all be saved.

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