Obama Nominates Hagel, Brennan
President Barack Obama filled out his national security team today with the formal nominations of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense and Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan to be Director of the CIA.
Normally a Cabinet secretary will fight for the best interests of his or her department. But Hagel will give Obama cover to gut the Defense budget. In addition, Hagel has a terrible record when it comes to confronting America's radical Islamic enemies, especially Iran.
You don't have to take my word for it. The New York Times reported yesterday that Hagel "has long been an opponent of unilateral American sanctions against Iran… Notably, he was one of only two senators to vote against the Iran-Libya sanctions act in 2001."
In 2008, Hagel single-handedly blocked a sanctions bill that had 72 co-sponsors, including then-Senator Barack Obama. CNN described Hagel's position on Iran as being "to the left of President Obama."
Hagel also seems to have a problem with Israel and "the Jews." When Hagel ran the USO, he fought bitterly to shut down the USO post in Haifa, reportedly saying, "Let the Jews pay for it." In 2009, Hagel signed a letter urging President Obama to negotiate with Hamas.
On CNN yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) described the selection of Hagel as an "'in-your-face' nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel." Today, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) declared his opposition to Hagel, saying, "Sen. Hagel's record of opposing Iran sanctions is troubling. His views and positions on the Middle East and Israel are contrary to the Administration's own stated policies, and there are concerns from members of both parties about this nomination."
Senator Wicker is right. There is bi-partisan opposition to Hagel. ABC reported yesterday that Hagel does not yet have the support of 50 Senate Democrats. Moreover, MSNBC's Chuck Todd reported this morning that "as many as 10 Democratic senators could vote against Hagel."
And then there is the president's other nomination, John Brennan. At first glance, Brennan might seem like a logical choice for the CIA -- a 25-year veteran of the CIA and counterterrorism advisor to the president. But his ideology makes him a bad choice. It was John Brennan who tried to convince us that jihad was a peaceful, "legitimate tenet of Islam." And in a 2010 speech, he referred to Jerusalem by its Arabic name, "Al Quds."
There is an old saying in Washington: "Personnel is policy." The nominations of these individuals to key positions tell us a lot about the policies we can expect this administration to pursue in the years ahead.
Second Amendment In The Left's Crosshairs
When it comes to other aspects of the left's radical agenda, it is increasingly obvious that Second Amendment rights are in the crosshairs. Sales at gun stores across the country are soaring. Gun manufacturers say they will need six months to fill orders. Background checks that would normally be completed in minutes are now taking days due to the sheer volume. This "panic buying" isn't being driven by hunters and NRA members. Many Americans are fearful that the government is about to limit their Second Amendment rights.
By the way, the Second Amendment isn't really about hunting or sports shooting. Here's a history lesson for the day: The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Why? The British troops were attempting to seize an arms depot and gunpowder.
Our Founding Fathers had firsthand experience with a dictatorial government that moved first to disarm its own citizens, a pattern that has been repeated throughout history. The Second Amendment was written to preserve our liberty.
But in the wake of the Newtown shootings, congressional liberals are planning a broad attack on the Second Amendment. Legislation reportedly being drafted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and others, including Vice President Biden's commission, goes far beyond specific items like assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. In fact, it's even starting to unnerve some Democrats on Capitol Hill.
When pressed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos yesterday as to whether she would back the Administration's push for gun control legislation, Heidi Heitkamp, the newly elected Democratic senator from North Dakota, said this: "What I hear from the administration -- if the Washington Post is to be believed -- that's way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about."
Heitkamp added that these proposals would not pass Congress, and I believe she is right. But as we have seen with the EPA, immigration and marriage, this administration is willing to ignore the law and stretch the limits of the Constitution to accomplish its goals.
Liberals Demand More Of Your Money
If you thought Capitol Hill liberals would be satisfied with the $600 billion in tax hikes they got in the fiscal cliff deal, think again. The Hill reports today that they are demanding at least $1 trillion more in higher taxes now!
Why? Simply because they believe you are undertaxed. On CNN yesterday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, "I can tell you that there are still deductions, credits, special treatments under the tax code which ought to be looked at very carefully. I think we need to open our minds on tax revenue." What Durbin really wants to open is your wallet!
Stephen Moore has a very revealing column in today's Wall Street Journal. Moore interviewed Speaker John Boehner about his lessons from the fiscal cliff negotiations. Boehner repeatedly tried to explain to the president that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Moore wrote:
Steel yourselves, my friends. It's going to be a rough ride.