Archive for Chuck Hagel

Hagel & Miller Pissing Contest Results In Bergdahl Firestorm

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Bergdahl

Seems like the Republicans, sharks that they are, can't wait to taste the meat behind the Bergdahl blood in the waters. They realize that healthcare is a bust for them. The IRS scandal flamed out. Benghazi and the special hearings have taken a seat further back since the Eric Cantor massacre.  What's left?

The freshest meat in the Obama butcher shop -- the POW for Gitmo Prisoner Exchange. There's really nothing else for them to run on. And with Cantor being bounced from office, there's no new business that's going to transpire until, sadly, January of 2015 when the 215th Congress is called to order.

To distract the public's attention away from the anti-incumbent wave started by Majority Leader Cantor's demise, the GOP are push-push-pushing hard to get Bergdahl home so they can grill him. This is the GOP's last best chance to shake out voters and get them into the polling places in the November general election. A solid embarrassment for Obama and the administration could keep Democrats home and bring the fringe Republicans to the polls with their "white people's" ID's, ready to bring home a GOP Senate AND House.

So to goose things along before America's notorious short attention span -- just a few weeks ago it was the Benghazi special committee which was usurped by Hillary Clinton's head injuries "lingering effects." From there in America's short attention span theater, interest moved to the VA/Shinseki scandal, then came the Isla Vista Shooting and now it has turned to Eric Cantor. The Republicans in Congress are trying to right their tattered ship with the hull was punctured by the David Brat iceberg in Virginia's 7th District. The GOP urgently needs to grill our "no soldier left behind.", embarrass him, paint him a traitor and maybe they can limp into port with some sort of victory.

But that isn't easy to do when Bergdahl's not here in the US to interrogate. That's not stopping the GOP. Yesterday they called Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to the Hill to answer questions about the recovering ex-POW. Things got hot and testy. Florida's Rep. Jeff Miller (R) went on the attack, basically accusing the Defense Department of hiding the swapped soldier. His health be damned. Don't listen to the U.S. doctor's treating him in Landstuhl, Germany. Bring him to us NOW!!! -- preferably in shackles. (I added that last part).

Here, courtesy of NBC News is that short, but fiery exchange. When these two men, Hagel and Miller are rubbed together, there's more than smoke on the Hill. There's a huge conflagration.

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Hagel unaware of any "soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find, rescue Sgt. Bergdahl"

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Berghazi Bergdahlzi Bergdahl Hagel

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will get another earful from the GOP, because Bergdahlzi!!! Yes, #Bergdahlzi!!!! is the new #Benghazi!!!!  I, for one, am as "flummoxed" as Rachel Maddow was in the video segment above. And by "flummoxed," I mean disgusted. Sickened. Outraged. It's hard to remember the last time Rachel was this aghast, and she's aghast on a regular basis:

"As the country celebrated the return of America's only prisoner of war from the war in Afghanistan, the right decided to condemn the president for getting the soldier freed, and then to condemn the soldier himself, and now, in a special show of klass with a K, they've moved on to attacking the soldier's family.

"Should we subject... prisoners and their *worthiness* for rescue to some sort of test about how they got captured, and whether they were 'negiligent' or they left their post or they were 'incompetent' somehow, or maybe they made a dumb wrong turn [a la Jessica Lynch... see first part of video], or maybe they went down fighting but maybe their dad has too long a beard?

"Do we leave no soldier behind in captivity? Is that an American value, an American military principle? Or, do we leave some of them behind, because some of them frankly aren't worth it, according to the Fox News channel?

"[A former GW Bush/Romney political strategist/spokesman] has been organizing media strategy... to try to stoke criticism of this soldier, who has just spent five years in enemy hands and is now on his way home. It's an organized effort now, to try to organize opposition and condemnation of this man who's getting out after five years of captivity.

"Before this happened, you could not invent a hypothetical scenario in which this is the way it would play out. Before this happened, you would have laughed out of the room a would-be screenwriter who tried to sell you a plot about the freeing of an American prisoner of war being treated as bad news in the United States of America. But incredibly, that really is where we are now."

It is appalling that those on the right are suggesting that a man who was held prisoner for five agonizing years should be left in Taliban hands to die because they've already convicted him (without knowing the facts) of desertion. Or for any reason, for that matter. He's an American, a member of the armed forces, and we don't do that, GOP. Remember?

I suggest they (and you) read Brian Beutler's article, "Conservative Critics of the Bergdahl-Taliban Swap Have Some Explaining to Do." Then I suggest they (not you) STFU.

This is really about going after President Obama and about a fresh round of fundraising emails. Their irrational, sick obsession is out of control.

So of course, they'll attack Hagel for the following quote in The Hill:

I do not know of specific circumstances or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find and rescue Sgt. Bergdahl," Hagel said at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, where he met with NATO defense ministers, Reuters reported.

Damned if that doesn't totally screw with the Republican talking points.

Then that wild-eyed radical Hagel went all irrational on us. And by irrational, I mean way too reasonable for members of his own party:

Hagel urged critics not to rush to judgment, saying they should wait for the facts.

Until we get the facts, until we have ... a review of all the circumstances, it is not in the interest of anyone and certainly I think a bit unfair to Sgt. Bergdahl’s family and to him to presume anything," he said.

What a maverick.

A-a-and cue the rabid Republicans and their flying flood of pundit spittle in 5...4...3...2...1...

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ALL Is Okay in Oklahoma

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Oklahoma Air Force BaseYou know how some people see the glass as half empty while others see it as full. Well, there's a universal solution to this age old dilemma. Don't see the glass at all. Such is the case in the Sooner State, Oklahoma.

Mary Fallon is the governor of one of four hold-out states, firmly against recognizing same sex marriage in the military. She even points out that it's the law in her state that same sex marriages are prohibited, so she feels she's in the right there.  Okay, I can see her dilemma. State vs. Federal. There's definitely a difference of opinion. But in this case, the military, including the National Guard falls under a larger umbrella of the Federal Government. Oh, the National Guard may be state controlled, but it's final orders must be approved by the Federal Department of Defense. Just ask all of those guardsmen and women who are serving over in Afghanistan right now. Their states didn't call them up, the U.S. did.

Despite a reprimand from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expounding the military rules now fully accept and acknowledge same sex marriages, the individual states can't discriminate against them and must let all military, including the national guard, have full access to all military services and benefits. Anything less would be discrimination.

This didn't fall on deaf ears in Governor Fallon's state, which BTW is home to six military bases (including two Coast Guard - yup, in this land-locked state).

Sister, er, Governor Mary F's totally against discrimination. So she took immediate action. She's not going to single out same sex marriages and legal civil unions. She's going to restrict state services to ALL marriages, straight or gay. So now, if you're stationed in Oklahoma, and have a legal  marriage or civil union, NO SERVICES by the state will be provided for you or your family. The governor has spoken. There will be no discrimination in her state. If you're married to anyone of any gender, you're out of luck. Single soldiers don't have to worry. They can still utilize state facilities under their military identification.

You gotta hand it to Marriage-minded Mary. In her spite of being told what to do against her will, she's not only lopped off her nose but also her entire head. She's a total moron. Here's how the wonderfully apoplectic Rachel Maddow summed it all up.

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Pentagon to grant benefits to same-sex couples, "treat all married personnel equally," by September

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moment of happy smaller

Marriage equality is alive and well at the Pentagon. As of September, benefits for same-sex couples will include housing, medical and family separation, and they will be made retroactive to June 26. Not only that, couples will be granted leave if they're stationed in a location where same-sex marriage is illegal.

Via The Hill:

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it would grant same-sex couples previously unavailable federal benefits by September.

The Defense Department is giving legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples by Sept. 3, a move that's being made in response to the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) earlier this year.

"It is now the Department's policy to treat all married personnel equally," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memo announcing the new benefits.

Now it's time for the rest of the country to take note and catch up to the U.S. military.

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