The Pentagon is ordering most of its approximately 400,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work.
The Pentagon did not immediately say on Saturday exactly how many workers will return to work. The Defense Department said “most” were being brought back.
(CNN) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met over dinner in the Afghan capital on Sunday in an attempt to smooth over the latest dispute in the already strained relationship between the two allies.
Hagel told reporters he tried to reassure Karzai that the United States had no unilateral back-channel talks with the Taliban and said Washington is still on track to wind up its 11-year combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
“The fact is, any prospect for peace or political settlements — that has to be led by the Afghans. That has to come from the Afghan side,” Hagel said. “Obviously, the United States will support efforts if they are led by the Afghans to come to some possible resolution.”
Hagel, a former senator who took the helm at the Pentagon last month, is making his first trip to Afghanistan as defense secretary. Karzai, meanwhile, has been increasingly critical of American forces in recent months.
John McCain shocked this blogger when he went on Fox and candidly told the nation the real reason why Republicans are unfairly withholding confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense: Revenge! Pure and naked! Yesterday, McCain appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Moderator, David Gregory, played video of McCain’s revenge admission…and the senator refused to own up to his statement and reverted to a sane politically correct response. Did McCain lose his balls or does he not realize that the public follows every word of his frequent appearances on TV? John, we know what you said. You cannot now disavow your quest for revenge against your alleged friend, Chuck Hagel, and, against the entire Democratic Party for the way past Republicans were treated in confirmation hearings, e.g., John Bolton. In some instances like this a doctor is called in to adjust the patient’s medication. Simply looking into his mirror does not work for Senator John McCain. Once again our war hero is acting badly. —GoodOleWoody
By Hayes Brown
Speaking to Fox News host Neil Cavuto, McCain said that he still believed that Hagel would get the votes required to be confirmed. What followed was the clearest indication yet that he’s still bitter that Hagel turned against the Iraq War:
McCAIN: But to be honest with you, Neil, it goes back to there’s a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly and say he was the worst President since Herbert Hoover and said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which was nonsense. He was anti-his own party and people — people don’t forget that. You can disagree but if you’re disagreeable, then people don’t forget that.
Watch McCain’s statements here:
McCain had just voted “no” on the bid to end debate on Hagel’s nomination, supporting the Republican filibuster. Just days ago, McCain insisted that he would do no such thing, and is currently claiming that he’ll vote to break the filibuster following the Senate’s President’s Day recess ten days from now.
The two, formerly close friends, faced off during Hagel’s confirmation hearing over the success of the 2007 surge in Iraq, highlighting McCain’s lingering frustrations with the former Republican Senator from Nebraska. That frustration is shared among many of Hagel’s other opponents, including the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, forming the backbone of neoconservative opposition to his confirmation. McCain is right, however, that once the filibuster breaks Hagel is still set to be confirmed in an up-or-down vote. [QUOTE]
Ted Cruz apes Joe McCarthy
US Senators and Representatives
need a lesson in humility.
Graham threatens to hold up Hagel, Brennan votes
By Lindsey Boerma
(CBS News) Until President Obama details his actions on the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. Lindsey Graham will block votes on his nominees to head the Department of Defense and the CIA, the South Carolina Republican vowed today on “Face the Nation.”
Graham said he’ll heed advice floated by fellow Armed Services Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., not to filibuster Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as defense secretary and John Brennan as CIA director. But, citing a recently unearthed letter that then-Sen. Joe Biden sent in 2005 pressing for further information before a vote on former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, Graham said he’s going to urge the message among his colleagues, “No confirmation without information,” and will place a hold on the confirmation votes – an action any Senate member reserves the right to take – until the White House explains its garbled talking points following the Libya attack.
=== O ===
February 11, 2013
On “Morning Joe” this morning hosts, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski say to Senator Graham (R-SC), “Get over it!”
Senate Democrats signal readiness
to confirm him as defense secretary,
but Republicans gearing up for fight
Topping off a week rife with White House entrances and exits, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., heads to the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning for his confirmation hearing to become President Obama’s new defense secretary. But the former Republican senator is not expected to get the kind of friendly reception his former colleague, soon-to-be Secretary of State John Kerry, received earlier this week; Hagel, though widely expected to squeak through the confirmation process, may have to put up a fight.
His nomination, which Mr. Obama announced earlier this month, has been controversial from the get-go: Even before the decision was official, a handful of Republicans were threatening to pitch a fight over it, denouncing the former senator’s positions on Israel and Iran and in some cases pledging immediately to vote against him. Outside advocacy groups were also swift to get involved, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads aimed at torpedoing Hagel’s chances.
“I will not support Chuck Hagel’s nomination,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., a member of the Armed Services Committee, in a statement released prior to the official announcement. “His record and past statements, particularly with respect to rogue nations like Iran, are extremely concerning to me.” FULL ARTICLE