kabuki Hagel confirmation

Recall that Eisenhower’s original phrase for “Military Industrial Complex” included the word “Congressional”, and consider this piece of the John Kerry Confirmation hearing — sliding into discussion on the Chuck Hagel confirmation to come:

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said Thursday Hagel’s affiliation with an anti-nuclear weapons group called Global Zero is “just concerning.”
But Kerry argued Hagel is “realistic,” and the Global Zero initiative “is not talking about today’s world.”
“It’s a goal. It’s an aspiration. And we should always be aspirational,” he said.

Yeah, well, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is just protecting his state’s Nuclear Industry and the federal budget thereto

But then Corker got to the meat of the matter, which affects his home state of Tennessee: modernization. In nuclear parlance, the word is a euphemism for the expensive upkeep for America’s aged nuclear warheads, which is carried out at nuclear laboratories, including the Oak Ridge complex in Tennessee. There, scientists make sure the bombs work, without actually exploding them, through expensive computer modeling. The funds pay for the cost of parts and labor to keep the warheads ready for action 24 hours-a-day.
Part of the deal to secure GOP support for New START treaty ratification was the Obama administration’s promise of increased funding for modernization, at roughly $85 billion over 10 years for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Chugging off of this realm into the coming Kabuki Theater in Chuck Hagel’s confirmation… the battlelines are drawn… to the right, and to the right pretending to be the left

The most mysterious of the new groups is Use Your Mandate. Portraying itself as a gay rights group, it has sent mailers to voters in seven states — including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Montana — and run television ads against Mr. Hagel in New York and Washington. It has sent out posts on Twitter questioning his gay rights record and asking, “Is this what we worked so hard for?” Established gay rights activists have expressed skepticism about the group’s authenticity.
It has no Web site and it only lists as its address a post office box in New York. But paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission link it back to Tusk Strategies, a bipartisan political group founded by Bradley Tusk, a former strategist for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York.
In an interview, Mr. Tusk would only identify its financiers as Democratic “gay and L.G.B.T. people who have been active in campaigns around the country.”
Yet federal records show that Use Your Mandate uses Del Cielo Media, an arm of one of the most prominent Republican ad-buying firms in the country, Smart Media, with clients that have included the presidential campaigns of former Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. of Utah and Senator John McCain of Arizona; the 2010 Senate campaign of Christine O’Donnell, who was known for positions against homosexuality, in Delaware; and, as it happens, the Emergency Committee for Israel.

This is always the political fight, the “whatever issue gets you there” — even if the donor pool could care less on this issue.  For some reason they’re skipping past one issue — quite a number of  Democratic base has some squirminess on Hagel due to the tendency of Democratic Presidents to nominate Republican Secretary of Defenses — which, I think started with McNamara.

(I note as an aside that the first comment on the CNN article is completely unrelated to this story — a slam on Hillary Clinton with her Benghazi Hearing, a quote being lobbed a tad out of context.  Such is the nature of the rule of “Never read the bottom half of the Internet.”)

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