Sunday, February 10, 2013

Senator Graham (R-SC) Says He Will Block SecDef Hagel and CIA Brennan Nominations over Benghazi on Face the Nation

Senator Graham putting Party over Country on Benghazi and Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel needs to retire  from the Air Force Reserve JAG Corps.  The day Graham openly attacked the Commander in Chief which he serves while in the Reserves is the day he should have left the Reserves.
Had not planned to post anything over the weekend but Sen Graham's comments on Fact the Nation on top of his earlier comments about Benghazi, Secretary of State Clinton, and Sec Def nominee Hagel sent a lot of us over the edge and wouldn't support him today for dog catcher.  
My utter contempt for Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is at an all time high with his latest ploy to play up to South Carolina voters in the primary.  Secretary of Defense Panetta has already left his post while DoD is waiting for their new Secretary of Defense Hagel to arrive which has been delayed.  Why you ask? First is was 22 Republicans want more information which is purely political but along comes Lindsey Graham, Senator from South Carolina who didn't get the answers he wanted from the White House to fit his narrative on Benghazi so he plans to put a hold on the nominations.
Hillary Clinton testifying wasn't enough for him I guess because he wants a pound of flesh out of our President.  Graham is the same person who accused Hillary of murder over Benghazi.  Would he do this if a Republican white guy was President?  Not on your life!  This is all about a Democrat being President or maybe even a black man being President.  Put nothing past Graham today as he panders for primary votes.
Senator McCain, Graham's good friend, said it is wrong to hold up the Hagel nomination by filibuster but he hasn't decided yet if he is voting for or against but leaning against.  McCain knows it sets a bad precedent if the GOP ever takes back the White House which is highly unlikely after the Country has lived through at least six years of the Republican obstructionism.  Now Graham wants to hold up Hagel about Benghazi who had zero to do with what happened?   I don't agree with it for the CIA director, but I could understand the CIA Director more since the CIA was involved.  
Graham doesn't deserve to be a United States Senator among others who forgot the oath of office they took when sworn in as Senators which does not state they are to obstruct anything the President does including appointees:
Oath of OfficeI do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
The authority given by the U.S. Constitution to the Senate to ratify treaties and confirm presidential cabinet, ambassadorial, and judicial appointments, Article II, Section 2 (second part):
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Seems that the Republican Party that wraps themselves in the Constitution is going outside the Constitution on appointees.  Here is what Lindsey Graham is threatening to do:
 If any Senator objects to unanimous consent, then a cloture motion must be filed in order to end debate and move to a vote.  A cloture motion requires 60 votes to pass.  If 60 Senators support cloture, the full Senate will vote on the nomination, with a majority required for confirmation.  If fewer than 60 Senators support cloture, debate continues and a confirmation vote cannot occur.  This is known as a filibuster.
Once the Senate holds a confirmation vote, with a majority voting to confirm, the nominee takes office. No Labels has an excellent article on the filibuster:
Effects of the Filibuster 
Even with the 1975 rules change allowing the Senate to conduct other business while a filibuster is underway, every filibuster kicks off a complex set of Senate procedures that can bring the Senate to a halt for up to a week and prevents other critical issues from being addressed. 
Filibusters on motions to proceed prevent the Senate from even being able to consider ideas for how to solve our country’s big problems. For years now, small numbers of senators representing as little as 11% of the country have kept the Senate from even discussing important legislation that has passed committee review. 
Virtual Filibusters allow small numbers of senators to effortlessly place personal political agendas above the work of government with no consequence. As a result, even routine Senate functions like approving executive appointees get mired in partisan politics, resulting in 85 vacancies on federal judiciary benches. Major pieces of legislation, including a bill that would have provided medical care for 9/11 responders, have enjoyed majority support in the Senate yet died in the face of filibusters for lack of cloture. 
Legislation that should pass into law has been canceled and courts have been thrown into disarray, but the senators who have helped make that happen have never needed to actually make a case to their colleagues or their constituents.
Senator Hagel's nomination only requires a majority vote but now Graham has threatened to delay it by using the silent filibuster and then cloture would require 60 votes so right there it changes the game when only 51 votes are required to pass a nominee.  It is even more disgusting when you realize that Graham is a member of the JAG corp of the Air Force Reserve holding the rank of Colonel.  He is a Senior Instructor at the Air Force JAG School when on active duty.  
No one questions his right to ask questions but question his holding up nominations to get answers to fit his narrative even though the White House has been clear about what happened.  This is pure politics the kinds that most Americans detest.
Not a soul I have talked to from any of the services over the last few weeks can believe he is still in the Reserves and treats the potential Secretary of Defense and outgoing Secretary of State with such disrespect and arrogance.  When he attacked SoS Clinton for murder over Benghazi, it sent a lot of active and retired military over the top at Graham.  To a person they think he has lost objectivity because of his hatred for the President and needs to retire or resign his commission in the AF Reserves.  A JAG officer no less makes such outlandish statements when he should know better.  Accusing someone of murder is a serious allegation.   
Lindsey Graham's appearance on Face the Nation this morning has irritated a lot of people even more when he wants to put a hold on Hagel and admits it is about Benghazi.  He has become a regular on the Sunday talk shows or running out to microphones.  Who is pulling his strings is what people are starting to ask:
Video at Huffington Post from Face the Nation interview with Graham.  Normally I would post as it has the embedded information, but I don't want to log onto my blog and see Graham's face.  Here is what happened this morning with my bold:
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) plans to block two of President Barack Obama's top national security nominees until he gets answers from the White House on the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. 
Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Graham said he was not going to let Chuck Hagel go forward as Secretary of Defense nor let John Brennan move ahead as CIA director unless he gets more information on the president's involvement in the response to the consulate attack that resulted in the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. 
"I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed to Secretary of Defense until the White House gives us an accounting," said Graham. "Did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the Libyan government to help these folks? What did the president do?" 
"We know he talked to the Israeli Prime Minister from 8 to 9 on September the 11th [2012], about a dust-up of the Democratic platform, and the fact that he didn’t meet the Prime Minister of Israel when he came to New York to visit the U.N., but that’s not related to Libya," Graham added. "What did he do that night? That’s not unfair. The families need to know, the American people need to know." 
"Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer pressed Graham on his plan, asking, "You are saying that you are going to block the nominations, you’re going to block them from coming to a vote, until you get an answer to this?" 
"Yes," Graham replied. 
It's not exactly clear how the South Carolina senator would block the nominations, since he insisted that he would not stage a filibuster. Graham recently said, "Filibustering is something I do very reluctantly." 
Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) delayed the vote on Hagel's confirmation last week, after 26 Republican senators demanded more information from the former Republican Nebraska senator. The request for information on Libya, however, is not directly related to Hagel's nomination. 
In response to Graham's remarks on Sunday, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who also appeared on "Face the Nation," said it was "unprecedented and unwarranted to stop, or attempt to try and stop" the nominations of Hagel and Brennan. 
"To try to find information, to ask legitimate questions, as Sen. Graham is doing, is completely appropriate," said Reed. "But then to turn around and say, 'I’m going to disrupt, essentially, the nomination of two key members of the president’s cabinet' -- I don’t think that’s appropriate, I don’t think it’s warranted. I think it is an overreaction that is not going to serve the best interest going forward of the national security of the United States." 
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of Graham's closest friends in the Senate, has repeatedly insisted that it would be inappropriate to filibuster Hagel. He said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that he was still undecided on whether would vote for the president's defense secretary pick, but said he was leaning against it. 
Senator Reed of Rhode Island is correct that is is an overreaction that does not serve the best interest of the Country but in the last four years Republicans have been putting Party over Country so guess we shouldn't be shocked.  Call on Senator Graham to do the honorable thing and retire or resign from the Air Force Reserve JAG Corps which he should have done before he became so partisan against the President who is Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces.  Graham crossed the line as an Air Force Reservist IMHO and needs to leave the Air Force Reserve.  Note no one is calling for him to leave the Senate only the Air Force Reserves.  

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