Tag: Defense

*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Be Prepared – Defense Against Terror, Hoodlums, And Disasters


.

.

Harry Reid’s Appalling Defense Of His Attack On Mitt Romney’s Tax Record (Chris Cillizza)

Harry Reid’s Appalling Defense Of His Attack On Mitt Romney’s Tax Record – Chris Cillizza

.

.
One of the more outlandish moments of the 2012 campaign came when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the floor of the world’s greatest deliberative body and accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes at all for the past 10 years. Reid’s evidence? Someone had told him. (That “someone” is alleged to be Jon Huntsman, father of the former Utah governor. Huntsman denies involvement.)

Reid’s claim, which seemed outrageous on its face, was widely dismissed by fact-checkers. Wrote WaPo’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler in a piece giving Reid four Pinocchios for the claim:

Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable. Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim.

Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress. He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.

And yet, the clip above shows Reid, in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, not only refusing to apologize for the claim but defending it – in a very weird way.

“Romney didn’t win, did he?” Reid said in response to Bash’s question of whether he regretted what he had said about Romney.

Think about that logic for a minute. What Reid is saying is that it’s entirely immaterial whether what he said about Romney and his taxes was true. All that mattered was that Romney didn’t win.

Where to begin?

How about with the fact that this all-means-justify-the-ends logic – assuming the end is your desired one – is absolutely toxic for politics and, more importantly, democracy. (Worth noting: Reid is far from the only one who practices this sort of thinking; it’s the rule rather than the exception in political Washington, where winning – no matter the cost – is the only goal that matters.) If you can lie – or, at a minimum, mislead based on scant information or rumor – then anything is justified in pursuit of winning. This sort of “the winners make the rules” approach is part of the broader partisan problem facing Washington and the polarization afflicting the nation more broadly. There is no trust between the two parties because they believe – and have some real justification for believing – that the other side will say and do literally anything to win.

Think about Reid’s statement in another context. I have two little kids. What if I told my son, who has just started playing soccer, that his only aim was to win the game – no matter how he accomplished that goal. After all, it’s not cheating unless someone can prove it, right?

Would anyone think that was either (a) good parenting or (b) broadly beneficial for society? No. That is the same logic Reid is applying here, but because we are all inured to the horribleness that is modern political strategy, people barely bat an eye. No, politics ain’t beanbag. I get that. But allowing elected officials to say anything they want about people running for office – and requiring zero proof in order to report those claims – seems to be a bridge too far. And to defend that behavior by saying, “Well, we won, didn’t we?” feels like the junior high school logic that shouldn’t be employed by the men and women trusted with representing us in Washington – or anywhere else.

.

.

Useless Douchebag Hagel Forced By Useless Douchebag Obama To Step Down As Defense Secretary

Chuck Hagel Forced To Step Down As US Defense Secretary – The Guardian

The US defense secretary has been fired after less than two years in office as the White House re-orders a national security strategy upended by the Islamic State (Isis).

.

.
Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama’s third Pentagon chief and a former Republican senator, will leave the Department of Defense just weeks after his spokesman said Hagel was looking forward to serving “for the remainder” of the Obama administration.

Two senior administration officials told the Guardian on Monday that a New York Times report of his exit was “correct”, and said more details would be announced shortly by the White House.

Obama is expected to confirm his defense secretary’s departure in a “personnel announcement” scheduled in the State Dining Room at 11.10am ET. It was not clear if Obama would announce another change to his Iraq-Syria war strategy to correspond with Hagel’s departure.

The first national security casualty of Obama’s midterm elections defeat was one who, despite his Capitol Hill pedigree and Republican registration, never won the confidence of the congressional GOP, who considered him a water-carrier for the administration.

Before Obama’s announcement, a senior administration official praised Hagel as “a steady hand,” and said Hagel had been speaking with Obama in October about leaving “given the natural post-midterms transition time.” Hagel’s spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby, told Pentagon reporters on November 7 that Hagel expected to stay on.

Hagel was out of step with the administration on Isis, having urged the White House to clarify its stance on ushering Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad out of power and bizarrely inflating the threat Isis posed, calling it “an imminent threat to every interest we have” in an August press conference. While the administration has publicly ruled out using US ground forces in combat in Iraq, Hagel and particularly the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, floated precisely that as an option in testimony earlier this month.

A man who never quite found his footing as Pentagon chief, Hagel also testified that the US strategy against Isis – which focuses on Iraq primarily and Syria peripherally – was working, even as it undergoes frequent adjustment and revision.

Yet the strategy has come under criticism from hawks as well as doves. Hawks want a deeper US commitment of air as well as ground forces to beating Isis back, while doves are alarmed at the shifting of US war aims and commensurate resources. The next chairman of the Senate armed services committee, Arizona Republican John McCain, wants a more forceful US response to Isis and had long fallen out with his former friend Hagel.

In the five months since Isis seized Mosul, Obama has authorized 3,000 new troops to advise and train Iraqis, and expanded an air war into Syria. Pentagon efforts to field a Syrian proxy force have barely begun and are expected to take a year before yielding the first capable units.

Hagel, a Vietnam combat veteran and a non-commissioned army officer, was not expected to be a wartime defense secretary, instead brought in to manage the downsizing of US ground forces and shore up the administration’s at-times uneasy relationship with the military. His Senate confirmation hearing saw the former senator rambling and unfocused; he mischaracterized the administration’s position on Iran. Amongst Hagel’s more forceful positions early in office was to warn against US involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Several oft-mentioned names to replace Hagel have already surfaced. Former defense policy chief Michele Flournoy, a figure deeply identified with the troop surge in Afghanistan, would be the first woman to run the Pentagon. The Times reported that Rhode Island Senate Democrat Jack Reed is in the running, as is Ashton Carter, a senior official noted for his management and budgetary skills who was Robert Gates’ acquisitions chief and Leon Panetta’s deputy secretary.

The senior official said a successor would be nominated in “short order” and Hagel will serve until his successor’s confirmation.

.

.

Obama Def. Sec.’s Budget Proposal Would Shrink Army To Pre-WWII Levels, Eliminate Entire Class Of USAF Jets

Proposed Budget Will Reportedly Shrink Army To Pre-WWII Numbers – Fox News

.

.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will reportedly propose a Pentagon budget that will shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest number since 1940 and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets.

The New York Times reported late Sunday that Hagel’s proposal, which will be released to lawmakers and the public on Monday, will call for a reduction in size of the military that will leave it capable of waging war, but unable to carry out protracted occupations of foreign territory, as in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Under Hagel’s plan, the number of troops in the Army will drop to between 440,000 and 450,000, a reduction of at least 120,000 soldiers from its post-Sept.11 peak.

Officials told the Times that Hagel’s plan has been endorsed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and protects funding for Special Operations forces and cyberwarfare. It also calls for the Navy to maintain all eleven of its aircraft carriers currently in operation. However, the budget proposal mandates the elimination of the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft, as well as the retiring of the U-2 spy plane, a stalwart of Cold War operations.

The budget plan does keep money for the F-35 warplane, a project which has been beset by delays and criticism over design flaws.

Other characteristics of the budget will likely draw further ire from veterans groups and members of Congress. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Hagel would recommend a limit on military pay raises, higher fees for health-care benefits, less generous housing allowances, and a one-year freeze on raises for top military brass.

“Personnel costs reflect some 50% of the Pentagon budget and cannot be exempted in the context of the significant cuts the department is facing,” Defense Department spokesman Adm. John Kirby told the Journal. “Secretary Hagel has been clear that, while we do not want to, we ultimately must slow the growth of military pay and compensation.”

“This is a real uphill battle with Congress,” Mieke Eoyang, director of the National Security Program at Third Way, a centrist think tank in Washington, told the Journal

“God bless [Hagel] for trying to get a handle on these costs,” she said. “But in this political environment, in an election year, it’s going to be hard for members of Congress to accept anything that’s viewed as taking benefits away from troops.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.
————————————————————————————————————————
.

Related video:

.

.

*VIDEO* Rep. West: While Terrorists Infiltrate Defense, Financial & Cultural Institutions, Government Plays PC Games

*LIVE STREAMING* CNN/Heritage/AEI Republican Primary Debate: Washington, DC – November 22, 2011 – 8pm EST

LIVE STREAMING FOR THIS EVENT HAS ENDED.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ENTIRE DEBATE ON VIDEO.

.

.
CNN Live Stream – Link 1

CNN Live Stream – Link 2

CNN Live Stream – Link 3

CNN Live Stream – Link 4

CNN Live Stream – Link 5

CNN Live Stream – Link 6

Click HERE to visit the Heritage Foundation’s website.

Click HERE to visit the American Enterprise Institute’s website.

Click HERE to visit the CNN’s website.

.