Hagel's Hot Hearing
President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee today and ran into a "buzz saw." Liberal websites were burning up the blogosphere this afternoon with commentators saying Hagel's performance was a "disaster."
Unlike the Hillary Clinton hearings on the Benghazi scandal, senators were well-prepared today to expose Hagel's record. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) asked Hagel why the Iranians had endorsed his nomination. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) went after Hagel on why he voted against imposing sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which has been directly involved in the deaths of American troops in Iraq.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) questioned Hagel's "professional judgment" and grilled Hagel over his opposition to the successful surge in Iraq. Sen. Deb Fischer, the newly-elected freshmen senator from Nebraska, blasted Hagel, saying, "I continue to believe you hold extreme views far to the left even of those of the [Obama] administration." Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) dismantled Hagel's word games.
Hagel did his best to dodge his own record. "No one individual vote, no one individual quote, no one individual statement defines me, my beliefs, or my record," he told the committee.
Sorry, Chuck, but that's precisely the problem. It isn't just one vote or one quote -- it's a very long and disturbing record of indefensible votes and outrageous quotes, any one of which should disqualify him to be Secretary of Defense.
In fact, Hagel's attempt to rewrite his history of appeasement toward Iran and hostility toward Israel is nothing more than a barely disguised charade to win the confirmation vote. He hasn't seen the light. He is feeling the heat.
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Boy Scouts Face Backlash
News that the Boy Scouts of America is reconsidering its policy to allow openly homosexual scout masters has touched off a firestorm of controversy. Judging by the messages I am receiving from former Eagle Scouts, current scout leaders and parents of children in the Boy Scouts, there are a lot of concerned supporters of Scouting who are furious by this sudden surrender to the cultural left.
After all, just six months ago, an 11-member committee unanimously reaffirmed the current policy as "absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts." I see hints that the Boy Scouts may be hesitating.
Unfortunately, the intolerant left isn't giving up. It has relentlessly hounded major corporate sponsors who fear negative publicity. Last year, Intel, Merck and UPS stopped funding the Boy Scouts. Verizon is under pressure from left-wing activists to do the same.
But here is a key point to consider in this debate. While the focus is on the Boys Scouts of America, the overwhelming majority (69%) of Scout troops are locally chartered by faith-based organizations. In fact, the Mormon Church is the single largest chartering organization, serving more than 420,000 boys. Catholic, Baptist and other evangelical churches serve another 400,000.
This is why the left keeps going after the Boy Scouts. Like the meaning of marriage, it is partly an assault on religious liberty. What about this so-called "compromise" to allow local units to decide their own membership policy? "A house divided against itself cannot stand." It's a ruse designed to undermine the policy and force its eventual collapse.
The militant homosexual movement will never accept it, just as it never accepted the Defense of Marriage Act, a compromise that allowed individual states to define marriage. The radical gay rights crowd is now demanding that the Supreme Court strike down DOMA and force same-sex "marriage" on every state of the union.
Most local Boy Scout units, because they are chartered by churches, would likely maintain the existing ban on openly homosexual scout masters. I strongly suspect the gay rights crowd will continue its campaign against corporations that fund the Scouts or it will demand the Scouts expel the "bigots" -- those units that uphold the Scout oath to remain "morally straight."
About That Jobs Council
Two years ago, with much fanfare, President Obama announced the formation of a "jobs council." The president selected key business leaders and economists to make recommendations on how to improve the economy and get Americans back to work.
You could count on one hand the number of times the jobs council actually met with the president. When asked last year to explain why the president wasn't meeting with his jobs council, a White House spokesman responded that Mr. Obama was too busy.
At 7.8%, the official unemployment rate is well above the historical average for a healthy, growing economy. Yesterday brought news that the economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. Today we learned that jobless claims jumped dramatically last week.
Surely Mr. Obama will be convening an emergency meeting of his top-notch jobs council now, right? Well, no. News broke today that the jobs council is being shut down.
Perhaps the president is just too busy trying to redefine marriage, limiting religious liberty and Second Amendment rights and figuring out how to boost homosexual immigration.