Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Iran Endorses Hagel

Of all the threats to our national security interests, Iran is at the top of the list. With each passing day, the likelihood increases that the U.S. and Israel must either confront Iran's nuclear weapons program or be confronted by a nuclear-armed Iran.

Iran is also the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. It is propping up the brutal Assad regime in Syria. Even the Obama Administration has accused Iran of killing U.S. troops in Iraq.

That is why senators on both sides of the aisle are perplexed and outraged by the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. Hagel's record on Iran and the Middle East generally is abysmal.

He regularly opposed sanctions on Iran. In 2008, Hagel single-handedly blocked a sanctions bill that had 72 co-sponsors, including then-Senator Barack Obama.

As Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Fox News Sunday: "He has consistently advocated weakness with respect to our enemies, with respect to the nation of Iran… Weakness in a Secretary of Defense invites conflict because bullies don't respect weakness."

As opposition to Hagel's nomination grows in Washington, it's no surprise that there is applause for him in Tehran. When asked about Hagel's nomination, Ramin Mehman-Parast, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said, "We hope that practical changes will be created in the U.S. foreign policy and the US officials' approach will change to respect the nations' rights."

Barack Obama has repeatedly reached out to the mullahs, while publicly criticizing Israel. Now he is nominating Chuck Hagel -- whose position on Iran was described by CNN as being "to the left of President Obama" -- to lead the Pentagon. Iran has every reason to be hopeful that U.S. policy is about to change to its benefit.

Are Liberals Shaking Down Defense Contractors?

Hagel's nomination is in trouble, and uber-lobbyist Tony Podesta has been called in to rescue it. If that name sounds familiar it should. Tony Podesta is John Podesta's brother. John Podesta was Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff, ran Barack Obama's transition team and now leads the left-wing, Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

Breitbart.com reports that Tony Podesta's lobbying firm is making calls to defense contractors to raise money for ads backing Hagel's nomination.

Let's imagine how that conversation might go. "You know, budget cuts are on the table and if you don't chip in to defend the president's nominee, your company may not get that contract renewed." Just one more example of the left's hardball tactics.

But wait, there's more. The Daily Caller reports that Bill Benter, a big donor to Media Matters and the left-wing, anti-Israel group J Street, is also part of the pro-Hagel ad campaign.

Planned Parenthood's Record Year

2011 was a good year for the abortionists at Planned Parenthood, and a bad year for American taxpayers and innocent babies in the womb. According to various reports, Planned Parenthood performed a record number of abortions -- nearly 334,000 in 2011.

It also reported assets in excess of $1.2 billion, received a record $542 million in taxpayer funding -- 45% of its annual revenue -- and had more than $87 million in "excess revenue." That would be profits for a supposedly non-profit organization concerned about "women's health."

There is absolutely no moral justification for American taxpayers to be subsidizing the nation's largest abortion provider. But there is no economic justification either. The government has run trillion-dollar deficits every year for the past four years. Yet, liberals were willing to shut down the government last year in order to keep your hard-earned tax dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood. This is madness.

I'm pleased to report that Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is sponsoring legislation, H.R. 61, that will stop taxpayer funding of abortion businesses.

The Language Of Life

In two weeks, America will mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision creating a constitutional right to abortion and legalizing most abortions. Much will be written about the consequences of that decision. While both sides of the debate will insist they are winning, abortion rights advocates will have a difficult time claiming any kind of victory. Read more in my weekly column at humanevents.com.