Susan Rice withdraws from Sec. of State consideration – but is Chuck Hagel in?

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Too bad, so sad, buhbye:

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on Thursday withdrew her name from consideration to be appointed secretary of state by President Barack Obama.

“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” Rice wrote in a letter to the president. “That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country. … Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.”

Rice’s chances were damaged after her Sept. 16 appearances on Sunday morning TV shows defending the administration’s handling of the attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

“The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized,” Rice wrote to Obama. “As someone who grew up in the era of comparative bipartisanship and as a sitting U.S. national security official who has served in two U.S. administrations, I am saddened that we have reached this point.”

Cry us all a river, gal. A lot of us are saddened that you and many key members of this administration refused to be up front with the truth about the motivation behind the Benghazi murders and instead chose to blame an American citizen exercising his First Amendment rights rights.  A man who will forever have to look over his shoulder due to threats from Islamofascists, thanks in large part to this administration’s disgusting use of him as a scapegoat .

The American people deserve the real story on this, and so do the families of the victims.

And on the same day Rice withdraws, former Senator Chuck Hagel’s (R-NE) name is now front and center as a possible leading contender for state:

Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has emerged as the leading candidate to become President Barack Obama’s next secretary of defense and may be nominated as soon as this month, according to two people familiar with the matter.

agel, who served as an enlisted Army infantryman in Vietnam, has passed the vetting process at the White House Counsel’s office, said one of the people. The former Nebraska senator has told associates that he is awaiting final word from the president, said the other person. Both requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters.

Other contenders are Michele Flournoy, former defense undersecretary for policy, and Ashton Carter, deputy defense secretary, administration officials have said.

Obama invited Hagel, 66, to the White House on Dec. 4 to discuss the position with him, according to an administration official. The president hasn’t made a final decision, said another official. Both asked for anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today declined to comment on whether Obama is considering Hagel, saying only that the two-term onetime lawmaker was widely respected.

I’m not comfortable with this at all, for these reasons and then some.  Your thoughts?

Liberal senators try to avoid consequences of their vote for Obamacare

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**Posted by Phineas

Question for Senators Franken, Schumer, Kohl, et al.: If the medical device tax in ObamaCare is such a job killer that even you clowns tried to water it down (opponents of Obamacare were against it altogether), why in God’s name did you vote for it? Why didn’t you use the clout just one of you had as senators –all 60 of you were needed for passage– to have it removed and spare the workers of your states the risk of layoff and the consumers the certainty of higher prices? And what about all the other “job-killing taxes” hidden within Obamacare?

Guess the “historic moment” was too good to pass up, eh?

Chumps:

Sixteen Democratic senators who voted for the Affordable Care Act are asking that one of its fundraising mechanisms, a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices scheduled to take effect January 1, be delayed.  Echoing arguments made by Republicans against Obamacare, the Democratic senators say the levy will cost jobs — in a statement Monday, Sen. Al Franken called it a “job-killing tax” — and also impair American competitiveness in the medical device field.

(…)

The senators, who made the request in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are Franken, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Patty Murray, John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Joseph Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Robert Casey, Debbie Stabenow, Barbara Mikulski, Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Blumenthal.  All voted for Obamacare.

Two other Democrats, senators-elect Joe Donnelly and Elizabeth Warren, also signed the letter.  Donnelly voted for Obamacare as a member of the House.  Warren was not in Congress at the time.

“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million skilled manufacturing jobs,” the senators wrote in a December 4 letter to Reid.  “We must do all we can to ensure that our country maintains its global leadership position in the medical technology industry and keeps good jobs here at home.”

If I weren’t a softie and sympathetic toward the victims of your stupidity, I’d say I hope the tax stays right where it is and that you then have to answer to angry voters for it.

Sigh. Long ago, legend has it, Pandora unleashed a wealth of ills on the world by opening a box out of curiosity. The same could be said for Obamacare — after all, we had to pass it to find out what was in it. But maybe, again like Pandora’s box, a small bit of hope for the PPACA’s repeal was also released: With all the taxes unleashed and all the regulations engendered by this abomination, maybe people will become so annoyed and angry and frustrated that they’ll demand its repeal.

We can only hope.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Obama administration arms Syrian Muslim Brotherhood?

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**Posted by Phineas

Seal of the Muslim Brotherhood

I recommend reading all of Barry Rubin’s article on the factions in Syria, information that’s becoming more relevant as the civil war there seems to be entering its endgame as the battle for Damascus begins.

It’s this last part that jumps out at me, though:

The Libyan government gave 50 percent of the funds to finance the budget of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council (SNC) budget. Since Libya is very much a U.S. client, it’s reasonable to conclude that the Obama Administration encouraged this generosity. Yet this money was financing a Muslim Brotherhood front. A lot of arms have been flowing from Libya to Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and to radical forces in Syria. Some claim that the U.S. government was coordinating that traffic though this has not yet been proven. But at least indirectly the U.S. government was helping to arm the Brotherhood by overseeing Qatar and Turkey delivering weapons to the Brotherhood’s militia without making any attempt to identify and arm moderate and non-Islamist forces instead.

This means the Obama Administration was using a barely disguised channel to pay for a revolutionary Islamist movement seeking to take over Syria. The fact that this group was also anti-American, antisemitic, and genocidal toward Jews seems significant.

The rest of the SNC budget came from Qatar (38 percent) and Saudi Arabia (12 percent).

If the administration thinks they can buy influence with Muslim Brotherhood groups –remember, the Brotherhood sees itself as waging “civilizational jihad” against us– then they’re either nuts, naive, or both. If the SNC comes to power, I advise all US Foreign Service staff there to carry weapons at all times.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)