Thursday, November 27, 2014

Jim Webb, Chuck Hagel and Eric Shinseki

Martha T. Moore (The Clarion Ledger) reports Jim Webb has "formed an exploratory committee Wednesday with a video announcement."  Webb's being pimped by a number of people including the ridiculous Molly Ball.

Is he how the press transitions from their love affair with the Democratic Party back to their love affairs with the GOP?

Webb isn't qualified for the office.

The only reason to give him the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is for the Democrats to lose the White House.

Webb has a paper trail of xenophobia via those bad 'novel's he wrote.  Not only are they xenophobic, but they're also highly sexist.

More to the point, Webb is a former one-term US senator.

One -term.

He didn't seek re-election and he didn't seek it because he couldn't carry his own state as the polling repeatedly demonstrated.

He attacked the offering of benefits to veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

More than anything else, that pissed veterans off.  You can argue it was the final straw.  But even before that, veterans were appalled by Jim Webb's actions.

The Democratic Party has already burned veterans.  They did so by allowing Nancy Pelosi to force Tim Walz out of the race for Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee so that she could install the highly unqualified Corrine Brown.

This was despite the fact that Walz, a veteran, had the support and endorsement of veterans groups.

The next two years will be hard enough for the Democratic Party with Corrine Brown embarrassing them in one House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing after another.

On top of that, they want to run Jim Webb whose hostility and 'frugality' was applied to veterans repeatedly?  There was a feeling that Webb was happy to spend any amount on wars but didn't want to pay for the damage the wars did to veterans.

Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are also aware that he kept the burn pit registry buried in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  It's only after Webb is out of Congress that the measure finally sails through the Congress.

A lot of idiots were caught by surprise when Webb didn't run for re-election.  They were shocked and puzzled.  But each year, as his own polling showed, he lost more and more support among the veterans community and he could no longer carry the state.

Someone who couldn't even get re-elected to the Senate is now the person to be the next Democratic Party presidential nominee?

Chuck Hagel is being pushed out as Secretary of Defense.  We'll again note  Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America statement:

Washington D.C. (November 24, 2014) – Today, President Obama announced Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned. Hagel was sworn in as Secretary in early 2013. IAVA released the following statement:
“IAVA members appreciate Secretary Hagel’s exceptional dedication to the veteran community,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “As the first Vietnam veteran and former enlisted soldier to lead the Department of Defense, Secretary Hagel was a tremendous advocate for us inside the Pentagon and the Administration. Secretary Hagel was a leader on issues of military mental health, suicide prevention and military sexual trauma, he was always open and receptive to our ideas for reform. He was someone we could always count on to have the backs of our veterans. IAVA members worldwide thank him for his leadership and wish him all the best in whatever he chooses to do next.”
Rieckhoff continued: “The veterans community has had no stronger advocate in Washington than Secretary Hagel. On fighting suicide especially, he’s always had our back. But as Secretary Hagel exits, we look to the President to finally solve a problem that has eluded all previous secretaries: the establishment of a truly seamless health record system between the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. This is a critical need for servicemembers and veterans transitioning out of the military and seeking access to mental health care. We look forward to working with the White House and Congress to find a replacement to lead at the Pentagon and strongly support our community in the critical years to come.”

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.

E-mails have come in about his possible replacement and about his legacy.

On his replacement, I really don't care.  It's a two-year-post, it has very little power -- thanks to Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes (and thanks to Barack's own inherent weakness).  Some e-mailers are appalled at the thought that Michele Flournoy might be Secretary of Defense.

1) I believe she's taken herself out of the running.  Granted, she could accept the post tomorrow and say, "The President asked me to serve and, as a patriotic American, how can I say no" -- or some such nonsense.  But, as of now, she's not in the running for the post.

2) That's mainly because she realizes how minor the post is now.  It's the public face to decisions made by others.  And some may still have hope on the appointment.  I don't.  In the first term, I could still believe that there was a chance someone like Ann Wright could be nominated for either Secretary of State or Defense.  Someone like her.  Not her.  Five months into his first term, it was already obvious just how sexist Barack was.  So a man like Ann Wright was a possibility, I thought (probably wrongly), if the left would just apply pressure and stop worshipping him as a false god.  By now, there's no way in the world that Barack's nominating anyone an honest leftist could applaud.

3) Anyone accepting the post now is either a fool or a liar if they don't know they'll be doing little more than supervising ongoing wars.

I'm just not very interested in the post.  I don't see anyone worthy of applause from the left being nominated and the post is no longer important or significant.

In terms of Hagel.

I wasn't surprised by the increased warfare under him.  I didn't buy the supposed spine and strength his supporters just knew he'd bring to the job.

As Secretary of Defense, he was exactly like he was as a senator.  He made speeches against certain proposals as senator and as SoD he made comments against certain proposals but when it was time to vote in the Senate he'd vote to go along -- just like he went along with every White House proposal after voicing his objections.

That's how we saw him when he was nominated, that's why we opposed the nomination.

That said, I do praise him for doing something that surprised me.

For years and years, the DoD and the VA were supposed to be moving forward on the electronic, seamless records which would allow a record to be created for a service member and then easily follow them into civilian life.

The idea pre-dates Barack being sworn in as president.  Years were already spent -- and millions of millions of tax payer dollars -- on this before Barack was sworn in back in January of 2009.

Once sworn in, he said this was a priority.

But nothing happened on it.

When Robert Gates was Secretary of Defense, we noted VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was the problem.

No one else wanted to get in on that, the press turned a blind eye.

Then Leon Panetta became Secretary of Defense.  Shinseki was still the problem.

Then Chuck Hagel became SoD.  And I asked several members of Congress why there was no progress and why they weren't asking Shinseki.

To explain no progress, the first step for such a record to be created was for a computer system to be decided upon and then implemented.  None had been implemented.

Finally, Congress asked Shinseki what the problem was.  As I told friends in Congress, he will blame Hagel.

Because Shinseki was a little s**t.  He fooled a lot of people, but he never fooled us.

Sure enough, Shinseki lied to Congress (again).  This time he lied that it was Hagel.  Hagel had just become SoD and so he wasn't ready to help select a system.

This ignored the reality that a system had been agreed to by Gates and then by Panetta and Shinseki had never moved forward.  Both men told Shinseki they'd trust his judgment, they just wanted to get moving on it, so pick whatever system he thought was best and they'd back him.

The block was always Shinseki.

But after he lied to Congress, Hagel got mad.

He didn't appreciate being blamed for something that wasn't his fault.  This was made clear to the Oval Office and finally Barack got in on the issue and a system was quickly decided upon.

Hagel stood up to Shinseki and I'll give him credit for that.

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