Saturday, April 28, 2007

Robert Novak piece

Robert Novak has a piece out with some discussion of Chuck Hagel's future plans:


Sen. Chuck Hagel, facing opposition from the right wing of the Nebraska Republican Party, is expected to decide within the next two and one-half months what he will do in 2008: run for President, seek a third term in the Senate, or neither.

Hagel has been testing the presidential waters in Iowa and New Hampshire over the past several months. He would be the only major Republican presidential prospect who opposes President Bush’s Iraq war policy.

His stance on the war may force a contested Nebraska primary against Hagel, who has been the state’s most popular Republican in a generation. State Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning has withdrawn his earlier support for Hagel and indicated he may run against him for the Republican nomination for the Senate. However, Hagel would be backed by Gov. Dave Heineman and other prominent Nebraska Republicans.

I don't know if the time table is accurate or not, but it is the latest that I have heard.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Press release: "Hagel Statement on Vote in Favor of War Supplemental Spending Bill"

The second of two press releases today from the Senate office of Chuck Hagel:
Hagel Statement on Vote in Favor of War Supplemental Spending Bill

April 26th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding his vote in favor of the Iraq War Supplemental spending bill:

“I do not believe the current policy we have in Iraq is worthy of the sacrifices our troops are making and I will not continue to support it. Given a choice between the two options of voting for this bill or supporting the current course we are on in Iraq, I chose to vote for this bill. We need a change of policy.

“The President will veto this legislation and we will find ourselves at a crossroads. The Administration and Congress must find a responsible common ground on a new Iraq policy that funds our troops, strips the unnecessary spending out of this bill, addresses our national interests in Iraq and the Middle East, and presses the Iraqi government to find a political accommodation and make the tough choices they need to make in order to govern and defend their country. This is a time for responsible government and far-sighted leadership. We cannot and will not continue to be an occupying presence in Iraq,” Hagel said.

Press release: "Hagel Introduces Legislation to Deal with Illegal Immigrants Living in the U.S."

Here is the first of two press releases from Chuck Hagel's Senate office today:
Hagel Introduces Legislation to Deal with Illegal Immigrants Living in the U.S.

April 26th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) today introduced “The Immigrant Accountability Act of 2007.” The legislation would create a merit-based point system to deal with those living in the country illegally. Those who receive enough points would be put on a pathway to earn citizenship after 13 years. Under Hagel’s bill, no person here illegally would be able to jump in line ahead of someone who has applied for citizenship legally.

Hagel’s legislation is a compromise intended to be incorporated into the comprehensive immigration reform legislation the Senate will consider in May. The legislation builds on previous immigration reform legislation introduced by Hagel in the last two Congresses.

“It is not in our interest to have 12 million people living here illegally. We must create a system in which those who are contributing to our country, speaking English, and helping build a better America are given a pathway toward earned citizenship, while those who are not contributing to our country can be identified and deported. This legislation creates that kind of responsible system. This is an issue of national security as well as an economic issue. We cannot afford to continue to ignore it,” Hagel said.

To be eligible for the point system under Hagel’s legislation, an illegal immigrant must have been in the country since before January 7, 2004; pass a criminal or national security background check; pay back state and federal income taxes; demonstrate a proficiency in English and U.S. history; register for selective service; and pay a $2000 fine and additional fees. The system is modeled after those used by Canada and Australia.

Attached is a summary of the Immigrant Accountability Act of 2007

This legislation builds on the Hagel/Daschle legislation introduced in January 2004, the Hagel Immigrant Accountability Act of 2005, and the Hagel/Martinez compromise that made passage of the Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act possible in 2006. This legislation embraces the concept from the Hagel/Martinez compromise allowing long-term, employed illegal aliens to stay in the United States if they prove that they are invested and contributing to the United States. Illegal aliens who arrived after January 7, 2004 would have to leave the U.S. or be deported.

Under the Hagel Immigrant Accountability Act, illegal aliens applying for earned adjustment would have to pass criminal and national security background checks; pay back state and federal income taxes; demonstrate English proficiency and knowledge of U.S. history and government; register for the military selective service; and pay a $2,000 fine and additional fees. They would have to wait in the back of the line behind those who have already applied before earning a greencard.

New provisions under the Hagel legislation require illegal aliens to demonstrate they are contributing to the United States to be eligible to earn an eventual path (after 13 years) to American Citizenship. To qualify for a greencard, an individual here illegally must earn points in categories that show specific characteristics that demonstrate investment, contribution and assimilation into the United States. The individual would be required to receive 65% of the available points to qualify for a greencard. (Point table attached.) After the initial application, if at anytime DHS determines that the alien cannot qualify for the program, the alien would have to leave the U.S. or would be deported.

The bill establishes the following point categories:

• Military Service (after meeting initial qualifications for adjustment)

• Advanced English proficiency

• Civic Engagement – significant community service work (religious or secular), a clean criminal record, and on time payment of income taxes for past work

• Business ownership (which employs at least 2 unrelated “legal” workers)

• Home ownership

• Work History (points for each year of work an alien can prove) (Like Hagel/Martinez)

• Education (additional points for all levels of education)

• U.S. Presence (points for length of time in the U.S.) (Like Hagel/Martinez)

· U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident Spouse or minor child

Basic Points



The range of points is based on the number of years a person has worked in the U.S. (Up to 5 points per year possible.)


An alien may earn minimal points for primary school, additional points for high school or obtaining a GED, or skilled trade license.


A person may earn points for having a U.S. citizen child; additional points may be awarded for a U.S. citizen/legal resident spouse.


The range of points is based on level of proficiency - the more fluent, the more points.

Civic Engagement

Points may be earned for community service, having no criminal or civil infractions, and on time payment of taxes.

U.S. Presence

The range of points is based on the number of years a person has lived in the U.S.

(Up to 5 points per year possible.)

Total Possible Points

Specific point values will be determined by regulation.

An alien must earn 65% of available Basic Points to eventually qualify for a green card and citizenship.

Extra Credit Points

Extra points may be awarded to those immigrants who have made exceptional contributions.


U.S. Military Service

Points for being eligible for honorable discharge.
Up to 20

Business Ownership

Points awarded if business is sustained for 18 months and alien employs at least 2 non-relative employees.
Up to 10

Advanced Education

Points for college degree or advanced degree.
Up to 15

Home Ownership
Up to 5

Other Circumstances: There will be factors that we are unable to anticipate at this time. These factors, and the points to assign to them, are at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security
Up to 20

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Entitlement Reform - Press Release

Here's a press release from Chuck Hagel's Senate office:
Hagel, Tanner, Webb and Castle Reintroduce Bicameral and Bipartisan Legislation to Create Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission

April 24th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Representatives John Tanner (D-TN) and Mike Castle (R-DE) reintroduced legislation in the Senate and House today to create a Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission. The commission would review Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and make recommendations to Congress that would sustain the solvency and stability of these three programs for future generations. Hagel and Tanner both introduced the legislation in the last Congress.

“Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have played a vital role for millions of Americans to cope with the financial burdens of retirement and health care costs. However, over the next 75 years these three programs represent a $47 trillion unfunded commitment and are on a trajectory that cannot be sustained. The Commission will review America’s three major entitlement programs and make comprehensive recommendations to sustain the solvency and stability of these programs for future generations. Confronting the financial challenges that exist with these entitlement programs now means facing less dramatic and difficult choices down the road,” Hagel said.

“Millions of Americans depend on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid everyday, but the programs are not financially sustainable over time if we do not take a comprehensive look at potential reforms. We have a responsibility to strengthen these programs for the Baby Boomers who are retiring now and also for future generations who deserve the assistance they have helped support for those before them,” Tanner said.

“For decades, hard-working Americans have counted on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as a safety net to protect their basic needs,” Webb said. “The intentions of these programs are unquestionable. They foster a level of fairness and government responsibility that Americans deserve. But with nearly 80 million baby boomers retiring in the next few years and the costs of medical care continually rising, we need to take the responsible steps to ensure the solvency of these programs in the years ahead.

“For too long, Congressional debate on these programs has been mired in partisan politics. As the latest trustees’ report makes all too clear, we need leadership to ensure the long-term financial health of these programs. That’s why it is time for a neutral commission to recommend solutions to Congress within one year of the bill’s passage,” continued Webb.

“With the Trustees Report yesterday reconfirming for all of us, the urgent need to address the solvency of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security sooner rather than later, this Commission can play a vital role in making specific recommendations on how to do so. With these three entitlement programs comprising such a large chunk of our federal budget every year, there is no question that in order to be fiscally responsible we can no longer wait to make changes. Facing the tough choices now, will ensure a healthier economy in the long run,” Castle said.

The bipartisan Commission would be comprised of eight members appointed by bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate. Its work would fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires Government Accountability Office oversight and full public access. The Commission would be required to submit a final report to the President and Congress one year after the appointment of all Commission members and staff, and Congress would be required to hold committee hearings to review the Commission’s recommendations.

Attached below is a fact sheet detailing the proposed Commission.

Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission Act of 2007

• The Entitlement Reform Commission will review Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and make comprehensive recommendations to sustain the solvency and stability of these three programs for future generations.


• Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid face a $47 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Social Security Administration; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Congressional Research Service)

• The Social Security Trust Fund will pay out more money than it takes in beginning in 2017 and will be exhausted in 2041. Social Security faces a $4.7 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Social Security Administration)

• The Medicare Part A Trust Fund (hospital insurance) will be exhausted in 2019 and faces an $11.6 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

• The Medicare Part B (supplementary medical insurance) faces a $13.9 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

• The Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) faces an $8.4 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

• Medicaid faces an $8.4 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Congressional Research Service report – August 2005)

• Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid represent America’s three major entitlement programs. Together, these programs make up 78% of total mandatory spending. (Source: Office of Management and Budget)

• Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is projected to increase from 8.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 to 16% of GDP in 2080. (Source: Congressional Research Service report – February 2007)

• In March 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress to act on modernizing entitlement programs, “sooner rather than later.” He warned that unless we act now to meet the huge unfunded commitments of our entitlement programs, there will be significant economic consequences for our nation.

• We need to comprehensively reform these programs so they are sustainable for future generations.

Commission Overview:

• The Commission will be comprised of 8 total members. The House Speaker, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader will each appoint two members.

• The Commission shall select two Co-Chairmen from among its members.

• All appointments must be made 30 days after enactment of the Act.

• Following the appointment of all Commission members, the Commission will have an initial organization period of two months to establish an outline for work. The Commission work will fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act requiring Government Accountability Office oversight and full public access.

• The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director. The Executive Director will hire additional staff with approval of the Commission Co-Chairmen.

• The Commission is required to submit the final report to the President and Congress one year after the selection of the two Co-Chairmen of the Commission and the Executive Director.

• Congress is required to hold Committee hearings to review the Commission’s recommendations.

• The legislation authorizes $1.5 million to carry out the necessary tasks of the Commission, such as salary for the Executive Director and staff and travel expenses for the members. Members will not be compensated with salary.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Draft Hagel '08 - Mission: Memorial Day!

From Draft Hagel '08:
We have a mission to accomplish by Memorial Day if we want to see Chuck Hagel's views presented to the American people in the 2008 Presidential election!

We are asking that, by May 28, you try and find 25 new supporters to sign the online petition! How? Talk to people you know, talk to people they know, let them know that we need their help in making sure that America does not have to suffer through the 2008 election, that signing the online petition shows Senator Hagel that we need his views expressed through the Presidential election! If you and a friend were to stand on a busy corner over a weekend, that's all it would take to accomplish the 25!

If you hear someone say, "It's too early to make that decision," tell them you're not asking them who they will support in 2008, but rather that you would like their help in making sure a true American has the right to be one of their choices!

Are you a doctor, nurse, teacher, lawyer, scientist, housewife, househusband,etc? Start a local coalition of like individuals in your area!

Wondering how to go about any of this? Don't be afraid to ask us for help - !

Let's get to work! We've got a mission to right the direction of our country!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hagel's op-ed in today's Washington Post

Senator Hagel wrote an op-ed that is in today's Washington Post. This piece is the result of his recent trip to Iraq.

In Iraq, All Terribly Familiar

By Chuck Hagel
Sunday, April 22, 2007; Page B01

Last weekend, along with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), I completed my fifth trip to Iraq, and I am frustrated and worried. We are still risking the lives of our troops without giving them a realistic policy worthy of their sacrifices. To me, as a Vietnam veteran, that feels terribly familiar.

If success were simply a matter of the determination and ability of U.S. troops and civil servants, we would have already created a secure and stable Iraq. But unfortunately, the reality is that after more than four years, America remains the country's occupying power. Iraq's future will be determined by Iraqis, who, I hope, will reach a political accommodation -- but America is still making the major decisions and taking the lead militarily in most critical areas of the country. We can continue to help buy time for the Iraqi government -- but that time is running out.

The signs are everywhere. Key Shiite leaders told me that they remain deeply skeptical of Sunni intentions. They derided as "appeasement" constructive attempts to reintegrate select ex-Baath Party officials into public life and the government. Shiite and Kurdish leaders openly suggested that Iraq simply pursue what's known as "the 80/20 solution" -- meaning that the Kurds and Shiites, who make up some 80 percent of the population, would run the country without regard for the minority Sunnis, who had grown accustomed to dominating Iraq. Almost no one in Baghdad was talking about using new provincial elections this year to help bring the Sunnis into the national government. The governor of Anbar province, al-Qaeda's base in Iraq, agreed that security had improved recently but raised concerns that his province still gets almost no assistance from the central government in Baghdad. That has left citizens in his province without jobs, electricity and potable water, even as open sewers spill filth into the streets.

There are important areas of progress in Iraq, and we should recognize them. In Anbar province, for example, U.S. military leaders highlighted the significant success they have had in lowering the number of attacks by al-Qaeda. The military has successfully engaged tribal leaders who have provided informal governance there for hundreds of years. The U.S. military has also succeeded in helping double the size of the Iraqi forces in the province. Whether this progress can be sustained or is temporary will be up to the Iraqis.

If the good news is mixed, the bad news is downright troubling. Within the past two weeks, hundreds of Iraqis were slaughtered in Baghdad, the Iraqi Parliament's cafeteria was hit by a suicide bomber, and a historic Baghdad bridge over the Tigris River was destroyed. Ominously, these increased acts of violence occurred in the area where the United States and Iraq have deployed 80,000 security forces.

So what do we do?

We must start by understanding what's really happening in Iraq. According to the National Intelligence Estimate released in February, the conflict has become a "self-sustaining inter-sectarian struggle between Shia and Sunnis" and also includes "extensive Shia-on-Shia violence." This means that Iraq is being consumed by sectarian warfare, much of it driven by Shiite or Sunni militias -- not al-Qaeda terrorists. Yes, there are admirers of Osama bin Laden in the country, including a full-blown al-Qaeda branch. But terrorists are not the core problem; Sunni-Shiite violence is. The Bush administration's rhetoric has not been nearly clear enough on this key point.

American occupation cannot stop a civil war in Iraq. Our military, superb as it is, can only do so much. The only lasting answer to Iraq's anguish will come from a political resolution. There will be no military solution in Iraq.

So how can America influence the Iraqis to reconcile their differences -- at least enough to form some kind of responsible government?

First, we must recognize that we have few good options in Iraq and that we are dealing with dynamics that lie mostly beyond our control.

Second, we must do all we can to encourage a comprehensive regional security framework, which includes engaging Syria and Iran. The regional security conference next month in Egypt is an opportunity we must not miss. We cannot solve the problems in Iraq by ourselves. We will have to work more closely with our Middle East allies than ever before, and that means addressing the nearly universal perception in the Middle East that we are imposing our will on the region for our own purposes.

To get more help from our regional friends, we must also have Middle Eastern countries see the Iraqi government as credible, not a U.S. puppet. And to get our regional strategy right, we must clearly recognize the depth of the Sunni-Shiite split and factor it into our Middle East policy and relationships. If we do not, the region could explode into ethnic and religious conflict.

Third, and closer to home, the administration and Congress must untangle themselves from the debate over funding our continued involvement in Iraq. The Iraqis must be jolted into understanding that America's continued commitment of troops and money is not open-ended. Significantly, American leaders in Iraq told me that they believed the debate on this issue in Congress had actually helped them get Iraqi leaders to grasp this point.

I do not like restricting our war policy with conditions or timelines. They are blunt instruments in an area of policy that requires flexibility. But they are some of the few levers Congress has when the majority of Congress and the American people have lost confidence in the president's policy.

We are at a crossroads at home. One option is that Congress can pass and the president can sign a war-funding bill that gives our troops the resources they need and places responsible conditions on that funding that will press the Iraqi government to perform and make the tough choices. President Bush should not see this as a threat from Congress but as a reasonable progression of events after four bloody and costly years.

The other option is that the president can veto the funding bill, Congress can overplay its hand, and both sides can get locked into a political standoff -- with U.S. troops caught in the middle. This would not produce constructive pressure on the Iraqi government to reconcile its differences, and it would ensure that the United States would remain trapped in Iraq, doing ever-greater damage to our force structure and military capabilities. The longer we are bogged down in Iraq, the more difficult and painful it will be to get out. And the deeper we are bogged down in Iraq, the fewer resources we have to devote to the many other important challenges facing America, especially in Afghanistan but also elsewhere around the globe and here at home.

If the war continues to lose support from the American people, the limited options we have today will vanish. The president will be left with a bitter few allies in our party, and we will be forced to withdraw from Iraq in a way that greatly damages U.S. interests in the Middle East and leaves the world far more dangerous than it is today. Forging a bipartisan consensus now that places responsible conditions on U.S. war funding could forestall a time when we have no options. The Baker-Hamilton report could have been the base for that bipartisan consensus.

I came home from my fifth trip to Iraq with one enduring impression. The Iraqi government must make the tough choices now to produce political reconciliation. If there is no such reconciliation in Iraq, there will be no progress -- no matter how many American lives we lose and how much American money we give. We will have squandered our resources and efforts, undermined our interests in the Middle East and, however unintentionally, produced a more dangerous world.

Chuck Hagel, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Nebraska.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"If Steve McQueen had ever run for political office, he would have been Chuck Hagel."

There is a piece in the SeacoastOnline that is well worth a read. It's quite entertaining, really. Here is an excerpt:
[T]he point is this: Now in particular, after the 16 years that will have preceded our next president, we’re going to need an individual we can respect and admire and take pride in. Someone who can inspire us and help define us as a nation. Or in this case, redefine us.

When even the national media was busy playing cheerleader during our march into war in Iraq, Hagel had the insight to recognize the potential for disaster and the cajones to voice his concerns in public. He recently returned from his fifth visit to the war-torn country, reiterating the importance “that the Iraqi people now carry forward the assistance that the American government has given.”

“The future of Iraq will be determined by the Iraqi people,” he said.

The refreshing candor Hagel has brought to Washington would be welcomed in the presidential campaign, and especially in New Hampshire. Web sites like have already sprung up on the Internet to encourage his run for the White House.

The senator recently announced he will make his decision on a presidential bid later in the year. Here’s hoping he gives it a shot. At this point, we probably need Hagel a lot more than he needs us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Draft Hagel merchandise site

If you're looking for Hagel merchandise (of the Draft Hagel variety primarily) check out the new site: THE OFFICIAL DRAFT HAGEL '08 STORE.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The American Conservative - Cover Story

The cover story at The American Conservative this issue is "Hagel's Dilemma." The full piece is excellent and I highly recommend it. Here are some excerpts:
"[H]ere at ground zero of the conservative movement were innumerable depictions of the late President Ronald Reagan, tons of literature and rhetoric about the sanctity of life, traditional values, constitutional correctness, limited government, states’ rights, and self-determination. In his 11 years as a U.S. senator, Hagel has in some way defended them all, yet he is a pariah in what should be his political comfort zone."
Simply put, it is the 800-pound gorilla that no one at CPAC wanted to talk about this year—the war in Iraq—that has come between Hagel and the conservative grassroots. It is why they are willing to overlook Republican Rudy Giuliani’s anti-gun and pro-gay positions or Mitt Romney’s mid-career conversion against abortion."
“Talk about no good deed going unpunished. If you use voting record as the center of the senator’s conservatism, he is in the charmed circle,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University"

"But there are plenty of hopeful libertarians, independents, and foreign-policy realists in the Republican ranks who believe Hagel can lead the party out of 15 years of broken pledges, bloated government, partisan chicanery, corruption, and war.

“I think Americans, and the Republican Party, need a thinker, rather than a party person or right winger who doesn’t care, doesn’t think,” said Safranek. Despite his bright red record, Hagel’s pragmatism on the war is attractive to the political middle, Safranek insists...“[Republicans] will see him as their shining hope,” Safranek cheerily predicted, “once they get to know him they will love him.”"


"But on the issues, Hagel points out that he has voted with the president more than any other senator today and has a lifetime rating of 85 from the American Conservative Union.

He is pro-life, defends an individual’s right to bear arms, and supports a flag-burning amendment. A self-made millionaire—he started a cellular phone company that eventually became part of Vanguard Telecommunications in the ’80s—he draws high marks from pro-business and property-rights groups.

On the other hand, Hagel voted against the Republican-sponsored Medi-care prescription drug bill and No Child Left Behind."

"The current field of Republican candidates, according to recent surveys, are not endearing GOP voters. “If they could forgive his sensible and often prescient view on foreign policy,” said Baker, “he would probably be one of the few Republicans with a prayer of retaining the White House for the party in 2008.”"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hagel to travel to Iraq again

Senator Hagel will be traveling to Iraq for the fifth time. The full details are in this press release that his Senate office issued today.
Hagel, Sestak to Travel to Iraq

April 12th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) will travel to Iraq this week to examine security, political and economic conditions during a 2-day tour of the country. Senator Hagel and Congressman Sestak will leave on Thursday, April 12th and return on Monday, April 16th. Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran, serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees. Sestak, a retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

“This trip will allow us an opportunity to assess our progress in Iraq and the Middle East and meet with the key leaders of this region. I also look forward to meeting with Nebraska troops serving in Iraq,” Hagel said.

“I appreciate the opportunity to talk with our commanders and the troops that are forward in a continuing assessment of our involvement in Iraq," stated Congressman Joe Sestak. “I am confident that I will be able to use this experience in my work on the House Armed Services Committee and in Congress.”

Hagel and Sestak are scheduled to meet with top U.S. and Iraqi military, government, and diplomatic officials. Hagel will also meet with Nebraska troops serving in the country.

Hagel last traveled to Iraq and the Middle East in December 2005. This will be his fifth visit to Iraq.

Press Release: "Hagel Statement on Secretary Gates’ Announcement Extending Army Deployments from 12 to 15 Months"

Here's a press release from Chuck Hagel's Senate office that was released yesterday:
Hagel Statement on Secretary Gates’ Announcement Extending Army Deployments from 12 to 15 Months

April 11th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ announcement that U.S. Army deployments will be extended from 12 to 15 months:

“Secretary Gates is right to bring greater predictability and clarity regarding the deployment of our military overseas rather than allowing creeping deployment extensions. However, the Secretary’s announcement extending the deployments of active duty Army units is a stark admission that the Administration’s policies in Iraq are doing permanent damage to our military and a clear acknowledgment that the U.S. military is being forced to ignore its own deployment standards. Maintaining this tempo of operations will have drastic and lasting consequences for our nation’s military readiness and unnecessarily endangers our ability to react to any other crisis in the world. We are on a very dangerous course. That is why Senator Webb and I have called for legislatively-mandated readiness and deployment standards to protect our U.S. military.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Green Conservatism?" at GOPProgress

There is an interesting post by Liz Mair over at GOPProgress that I wanted to share an excerpt from:
For those who missed it, yesterday, John Kerry and Newt Gingrich went head-to-head on the subject of climate change. The upshot? Kerry trotted out the same, tired, lefty enviro talking points, while Gingrich said something bold and thought-provoking: climate change is a problem, and we need deal with it--but not by creating a regime that will increase fines, bureaucracy, and litigation and, very likely, do too little to actually solve the problem in question.

The ideas that Gingrich voiced were not completely radical or never-before-heard. As my friend Phil Klein at the American Spectator wrote yesterday, "he suggested that the government offer tax credits for the market to develop new technologies, and prizes for the invention of new technologies such as a hydrogen car." Such initiatives would be strikingly similar to some previously suggested, and indeed pushed in major legislation, by Republicans like Chuck Hagel and Judy Biggert. Hagel was instrumental in pressing for tax credits to encourage more car buyers to purchase hybrids, and Biggert pushed similar, follow-on legislation in the last Congress.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Letter to the Editor in The Observer-Dispatch

I ran across this letter to the editor yesterday:
Hold senators to fire regarding Iraq vote

On March 27, the U.S. Senate voted 50 to 48 for a nonbinding resolution supporting a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq by this time next year.

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam veteran and staunch conservative, was the only Republican to support the measure. In explaining his vote, he argued "Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. It doesn't belong to the United States. Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost." Wise words. If George Bush's disastrous misadventure in Iraq continues through the November 2008 elections, the Republican senators who failed to follow Hagel's lead should be held accountable. Iraq doesn't belong to the U.S. It's time to bring our troops home.

Maurice Isserman
From The Observer-Dispatch
If you have written or seen a letter to the editor about Chuck Hagel I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A message from a visitor

Here is a message I got from a visitor to the site this week:
"As a Reagan Democrat, I am very proud of the way Chuck Hagel has stood up for what is right and wrong with the Bush/Cheney war machine. I would support Senator Hagel for President over any of the Candidates on either side of the aisle."
It has been my argument for a while that Senator Hagel could gain the support of the Reagan Democrats.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Hagel on the issues (from his new website):
  • Senator Hagel co-sponsored the Combat Meth Act which the President signed into law. This legislation authorizes increased funds for local law enforcement in the fight to eliminate meth.
  • Senator Hagel has held Congressional hearings on the impact of meth on American communities and the danger of meth trafficking.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hagel on the issues - HEALTH CARE

Part 9 in the series on Hagel's issue positions. From his website:
  • Senator Hagel formed a Health Care Commission which has brought together key health care professionals and leaders from Nebraska and the nation's health care fields. The purpose of the Commission is to review the current state of health care and present recommendations for a sustainable, accessible, affordable and quality health care system for the 21st century.


Today I pick up where we left of a week ago on Chuck Hagel's positions on a variety of issues. The information comes from his website.
  • Senator Hagel has been a consistent supporter of life since he came to the Senate and has supported everyone of President Bush's judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Diamonds Don't Always Lie at the Surface: For a Chuck Hagel Presidency"

There is a good editorial in favor of a Hagel Presidency at First Call. The piece, "Diamonds Don't Always Lie at the Surface: For a Chuck Hagel Presidency," is by Al Moran. Here are some excerpts:
Hagel’s conservative credentials are extremely sound: he has consistently voted against abortion, downplayed the need for even more money to be put into public education programs without organizing the tremendous amount that’s already there, supported reforming Social Security so the nest egg doesn’t dry up in the very-near future, etc.
Hagel has responded with the statement that he swore an oath of office to the Constitution, and not one to a party or particular ideology. I greatly admire and respect this; Hagel seems to be a voice of reason in a conservative base that is increasingly straying from its intellectual and traditional roots. He simply wants to question an administration that has erred. We have been involved in Iraq for quite some time now. The administration’s proposals must be questioned by Congress. Otherwise, why would a separate but coequal executive and legislature be necessary? The senator is not an advocate of the “cut-and-run” strategy, nor has he any desire to undermine the troops. Rather, he simply advocates the moral consequences of sending another 20,000 young people into a conflict that seems to be spiraling downward into total civil war. A fundamental recurring point throughout history is the necessity that policy match strategy. Hagel’s invocation of both terms recently in regards to Iraq seems both salient and wise. Without a sound policy, a change in strategy becomes extremely difficult and improbable.
n a Republican Party that has become corrupt and estranged from its values, he seems to be a genuinely good and honest man, who is unafraid of alienating himself based on stringent party lines. He favors curbing government expenditures. He favors cutting down the federal bureaucracy. He favors maintaining a strong military and strong American standing in the world. But most importantly, he knows the necessity of examining policy initiatives with scrutiny, and believes all politicians owe this to the American people.
Be sure to check out the full article.