SENATOR TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS) ON HAGEL…”WE CAN AND SHOULD DO BETTER”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/01/07/chuck-hagel-ted-cruz/1816031/

Former senator Chuck Hagel is a war hero and public official who has served America honorably. However, his views on foreign and defense policy are out of the mainstream, and he is not a good fit for secretary of Defense. I expect to oppose his nomination for several reasons:

His record on Israel strongly suggests that he views Israel not as our friend but as a nuisance. The U.S.-Israeli alliance is critical to our national security, but Hagel has been far too willing to undermine that alliance. He was one of only four senators who refused to sign a letter urging the president to express solidarity with Israel and condemn the Palestinian campaign of violence. And he has stated that he believes Israel has “chained down” the Palestinians.

Equally concerning is Hagel’s willingness to accept rogue states as legitimate players on the international stage on par with our friends. For instance, he voted against designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, opposed renewal of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act and opposed the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act. He has advocated direct, comprehensive negotiations with Iran’s government, along with Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria.

Iran is rapidly pursuing nuclear weapons capacity. The surest way to avoid military conflict is to have a strong and credible defense; weakness and appeasement only invite military aggression.

BRET STEPHENS: CHUCK HAGEL’S COURAGE ****

http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323482504578227370677702846.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop&mg=reno64-wsj#printMode

“But give Mr. Hagel this: When it comes to expressing himself about Israel, its enemies, and the influence of the so-called Jewish lobby, he has been nothing if not consistent and outspoken. Maybe that’s political courage. Or maybe it’s a mental twitch, the kind you can’t quite help. The confirmation process should be illuminating.”

A brave soldier who knows how to be on the right side of conventional wisdom.

Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator from Nebraska and Barack Obama’s choice to be secretary of defense, served with honor as an infantryman in Vietnam and was wounded twice. This fact, a tribute to Mr. Hagel’s personal courage, will now be trotted out repeatedly as proof of his fitness to serve in high office.

If the standard by which our prospective secretaries of defense should be judged is prior military service, neither Edwin Stanton (Lincoln’s secretary of war) nor Henry Stimson (FDR’s) would have passed the test. Robert McNamara and Don Rumsfeld would have. But I digress.

Perhaps the better test for Mr. Hagel is political courage, something he’s supposed to possess in spades. “He had the courage to buck his own party on the Iraq War,” says White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. Tweets David Axelrod: “He’s tough, courageous, sensible & able to withstand political pressure to do what’s right for USA. What we need!”

WES PRUDEN; ON “ADVISE AND CONSENT” AND CHUCK HAGEL….

http://www.prudenpolitics.com/newsletter?utm_source=P&P%20Auto%201&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5733

If Barack Obama wants a fight over his appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of Defense, the Republicans have a constitutional responsibility to give him one.

The Senate’s role, to “advise and consent” to the appointment, is a description of duty, not a command to “echo and obey,” which is the president’s idea of how Congress should respond to all of his appointments, legislation, whims, wishes and dreams.

Mr. Obama, like all presidents, is entitled to choose his aides, helpers, assistants, deputies and seconds, subject to the advice of the Senate, and to consent once the senators are satisfied that the president knows what he’s doing. The rest of us have to depend on the judgment of the senators, frightening thought though that can be

Mr. Hagel comes with some qualifications that commend him to all of us. He served two terms in the Senate, leaving with no moral or legal blemishes on his record – no scandal in a men’s room, no arrests for driving drunk or drugged, nor is he pursued by indictment for mis- or malfeasance of office. Congress often lives up to Mark Twain’s description of it as our native criminal class, but Mr. Hagel comes clean. There’s no paper on him. Unlike some of the chickenhawks in Washington, Democrat and Republican alike, Mr. Hagel never dodged putting on his country’s uniform. He returned from the Vietnam War a wounded hero, a grunt with two Purple Hearts.

By DAVID W. DUNLAP Ada Louise Huxtable, Champion of Livable Architecture, Dies at 91 PLEASE SEE NOTE

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/arts/design/ada-louise-huxtable-architecture-critic-dies-at-91.html?ref=obituaries&pagewanted=print
Ada Louise Huxtable, who pioneered modern architectural criticism in the pages of The New York Times, celebrating buildings that respected human dignity and civic history — and memorably scalding those that did not — died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 91.

NOT MENTIONED HERE (NATCH…IT IS THE NY TIMES) IS THE FACT THAT ADA LOUIS HUXTABLE WAS ALWAYS EFFUSIVE IN HER PRAISE FOR THE RESTORATION OF JERUSALEM AFTER 1967. AN INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE WAS FORMED TO “MONITOR” ISRAEL’S ADHERENCE TO HISTORY, RELIGIONS ETC. IN REBUILDING AND SHE WAS ASKED TO BE ON IT AND GAVE ISRAEL KUDOS FOR THE SENSITIVITY TO ALL FAITHS, THE DESIGNS AND THE RESTORATIONS…..NOT QUITE WHAT THE “INDEPENDENT” COMMITTEE WANTED….CAN’T FIND THIS ON ANY SEARCH ENGINE…BUT I WAS PRESENT TO HEAR HER SPEAK OF IT….RSK

Her lawyer, Robert N. Shapiro, confirmed her death. She lived in Manhattan and Marblehead, Mass.

Beginning in 1963, as the first full-time architecture critic at an American newspaper, she opened the priestly precincts of design and planning to everyday readers. For that, she won the first Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism, in 1970. More recently, she was the architecture critic of The Wall Street Journal.

“Mrs. Huxtable invented a new profession,” a valedictory Times editorial said in 1981, just as she was leaving the newspaper, “and, quite simply, changed the way most of us see and think about man-made environments.”

At a time when architects were still in thrall to blank-slate urban renewal, Ms. Huxtable championed preservation — not because old buildings were quaint, or even necessarily historical landmarks, but because they contributed vitally to the cityscape. She was appalled at how profit dictated planning and led developers to squeeze the most floor area onto the least amount of land with the fewest public amenities.

She had no use for banality, monotony, artifice or ostentation, for private greed or governmental ineptitude. She could be eloquent or impertinent, even sarcastic. Gracefully poised in person, she did not shy in print from comparing the worst of contemporary American architecture to the totalitarian excesses of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin.

“You must love a country very much to be as little satisfied with it as she,” Daniel Patrick Moynihan, later a United States senator from New York, wrote in his preface to a 1970 collection of Ms. Huxtable’s writings, “Will They Ever Finish Bruckner Boulevard?”

It was the first of several books whose titles alone conveyed her impatient, irreverent tone. These included “Kicked a Building Lately?” (1976) and “Goodbye History, Hello Hamburger” (1986).

Though knowledgeable about architectural styles, Ms. Huxtable often seemed more interested in social substance. She invited readers to consider a building not as an assembly of pilasters and entablatures but as a public statement whose form and placement had real consequences for its neighbors as well as its occupants.

“I wish people would stop asking me what my favorite buildings are,” Ms. Huxtable wrote in The Times in 1971, adding, “I do not think it really matters very much what my personal favorites are, except as they illuminate principles of design and execution useful and essential to the collective spirit that we call society.

JOHN SHEARDOWN THE BRAVE CANADIAN THAT BEN AFFLECK LEFT OUT OF THE MOVIE “ARGO” ****

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/world/americas/john-sheardown-canadian-who-sheltered-americans-in-tehran-dies-at-88.html?ref=obituaries&_r=0 John Sheardown, Canadian Who Sheltered Americans in Tehran, Dies at 88 By DOUGLAS MARTIN When militant radicals seized the United States Embassy in Iran in November 1979, they intended to take all its employees hostage. But five were elsewhere in the embassy compound and escaped capture. After six tense days of furtively moving around […]

FROM MICHAEL CUTLER: “A Window on Immigrant Crime; In Jackson Heights, Drugs, Dirty Money and Prostitution”

www.TalkBorder.com http://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/17/nyregion/window-immigrant-crime-jackson-heights-drugs-dirty-money-prostitution.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm Hi Gang: I have often said that “Sleep is over-rated!”  This evening I decided to hunt around the internet to see what I could dig up about news coverage concerning the nexus between illegal immigration and crime  I came up with a brief news article that was published by a newspaper nearly 20 […]

JED BABBIN: A BRIDGE TO A HIGHER CLIFF

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/01/07/bridge-to-a-higher-cliff/print The coming fight on the debt ceiling and gun control is an ideological one, one Republicans need to fight or else face oblivion. The New Year’s Eve deal to avoid the fiscal cliff isn’t just a lousy deal: it’s entirely corrupt. Obama insisted on what he called a “balanced deal,” but to him a […]

FRANK GAFFNEY: AL GORE’S PROFITS FROM STEALTH JIHAD

http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p19176.xml Let’s call it Al Goreera. That seems a fitting title for the new network that former Vice President Al Gore is launching with the jihadists’ favorite television outlet: Al Jazeera. The effect will be to create vast new opportunities for our enemies to propagandize the American people, a key ingredient of their “civilization jihad” […]

THE FIRST DECADE OF THE NEW CENTURY….A COOLING TREND FOR MOST OF ALASKA

http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V006/111TOASCJ.pdf

The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2012, 6, 111-116 111

1874-2823/12 2012 Bentham Open

Open Access

The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska

G. Wendler*, L. Chen and B. Moore

“We looked at the temperature trend of the first decade of the 21st century for the 20 first order stations in Alaska and found that 19 of the 20 stations showed a cooling trend. … [W]e plotted the mean values of these 20 first order stations and added the line of the best linear fit. The mean cooling of the average of all stations was 1.3°C for the decade, a large value for a decade.”

MY SAY: ON CHUCK HAGEL’S NOMINATION

I think it’s best to choose our battles wisely. The President’s “enforcers” will be out today “explaining” to some doubting Democrats that their confirmation votes will be watched by the czars and “commiczars” of the administration.

No doubt they will cave. As for the GOP….they will put up the noble fight but after the bruises and cuts of the recent fiscal cliff standoff, their nay votes won’t stop the nomination.

The hearings will sully Hagel even more than his already sullies record….but as Carline Glick says…”bring it on.”