Archive for the ‘Chairman’ Category

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Michael S. Steele Castigates Republican Party “Country Club” Mentality

November 19, 2008

Republican National Committee Chairman candidate Michael S. Steele castigated Republican Party leadership Tuesday for having a “country club” mentality and being out of touch, and said if he is chosen to represent the party, he will help transform it into an inspiring choice for young and minority voters.

 
 Michael S. Steele

“Let’s just be very frank about it. What the party’s got to do is get its head out of the clouds and out of the sand and recognize that the dynamics politically and otherwise around them have changed,” said Mr. Steele, during an interview with reporters and editors at The Washington Times.

“The coalitions are very different from what they were 25 years ago,” he said.

By Jon Ward
The washington Times

Mr. Steele, 50, who in 2002 became the first black lieutenant governor of Maryland, talked at length about how the Republican Party can recover from an election in which Democratic President-elect Barack Obama won traditionally conservative states, such as Virginia and Indiana, largely because he drew huge numbers of first-time voters to the polls.

Mr. Steele blasted the Republican Party’s lackluster effort in recruiting those same new voters, especially minorities.

“The problem is that within the operations of the RNC, they don’t give a damn. It’s all about outreach and outreach means lets throw a cocktail party, find some black folks and Hispanics and women, wrap our arms around them ‘See, look at us,'” he said.

“And then we go back to same ole’, same ole’. Theres nothing that is driven down to the state party level, where state chairmen across the country, to the extent they dont appreciate it, are helped to appreciate the importance of African-Americans and women and others coming and being a part of this party, and to the extent that they do appreciate it, are given support and back up to generate their own programs to create this relationship.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/18/steele-
criticizes-country-club-gop/

Omama May Retain Three Top Bush Appointees

November 10, 2008

As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to fill top positions for his incoming government, he faces a stubborn reality: Some of the key individuals he will rely upon to tackle the country’s most serious challenges are holdovers from the current administration — a trio of Bush appointees who will likely stay in place for at least the first year or two of Obama‘s presidency.

In confronting the financial crisis and weakening economy, Obama must turn to Ben S. Bernanke, a Republican and former chairman of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, who will lead the Federal Reserve for at least the first year of the new administration.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seen during the ... 
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seen during the opening of the G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sao Paulo, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008. Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said during his speech the world’s big emerging nations must have a big role in upcoming negotiations to fix the planet’s financial system and prevent another global economic meltdown.(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

In assuming control of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama must work with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was appointed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for a two-year term that will end in late 2009 and, by tradition, can expect to be appointed for a second term as the president’s top military adviser. Mullen shares Obama’s belief in focusing more on Afghanistan but is wary of a timeline for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen ... 
Admiral Mullen .(AFP/File/Nicholas Kamm)

And in guarding against terrorist attacks — while correcting what he considers the Bush administration’s excesses — Obama will rely upon FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, whose term expires in 2011. 

By Alec MacGillis and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 10, 2008; Page A01

Read Why:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
9/AR2008110902555.html?hpid=topnews

Say it Isn’t So, Joe: Lieberman May Join GOP Senate Caucus

November 7, 2008

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is talking to Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman about the possibility of Lieberman caucusing with the GOP.

Lieberman’s affiliation with Democrats is up in the air. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, angered by Lieberman’s support of Republican John McCain for president, is considering yanking Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as punishment.

By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press Writer

Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman makes a statement following ... 
Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman makes a statement following a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill in Washinton, DC. Emboldened by their electoral triumph, Democratic lawmakers look set to launch into a mountain of urgent business pushing ahead with new legislation including a fresh economic stimulus bill.(AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Hoffman)

Lieberman and Reid met Thursday to discuss Lieberman’s options, including possible committee and subcommittee posts for him. Those talks are ongoing.

A Lieberman aide, who requested anonymity because the talks are confidential, said Friday that Lieberman and McConnell, R-Ky., have spoken in recent days about the possibility of Lieberman joining the GOP conference. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart would only confirm that the two men have had recent discussions.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081107/ap_on_go_co/lieberman_
republicans;_ylt=ApFV9TdCaUvLK3fZ19m9SzCs0NUE

Pentagon: Changes For South Korean U. S. Forces

March 21, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon expects changes in U.S. forces in South Korea as it works with the new government in Seoul, the head of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday.

In this photo released by the Department of Defense, U.S Navy ...
U.S Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (AP Photo/Department of Defense, Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)


Adm. Michael Mullen, JCS chairman, said the United States is very engaged with the government of Lee Myung-bak, sworn in on Monday.

We are changing how we are looking at things militarily out there from a standpoint of our forces, he said at a Pentagon town hall meeting.

And my expectation is there will be changes that occur because this new government stands up in terms of our relationship, he said, adding that Gen. Burwell Bell, head of U.S. Forces Korea, has spent an awful lot of time engaged there.

Mullen did not elaborate what the changes would be.
There are some 28,000 American troops stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Yonhap

Gates considers US force levels for Iraq

March 21, 2008
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Top U.S. military leaders presented Defense Secretary Robert Gates with their strategy for future force levels in Iraq Thursday, including expected recommendations for a pause in troop cuts for as much as six weeks later this summer.
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The hourlong videoconference marked the start of what will be a series of meetings, presentations and congressional testimony over the next two weeks that will assess the military, political and economic progress in Iraq.

During the Pentagon meeting, Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, heard from the top commander in the Middle East, Adm. William Fallon, and the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus.

Officials said little about the discussions, but there was no indication Petraeus had backed off his call for a brief pause in troop cuts after July in order to see what effect the lower force levels have on violence in Iraq.

The key questions that Petraeus will face — and that are still unanswered — include how long will the pause will have to last in order to assess the security trends, how many troops will be able to come home once that period is over and if that will allow the Pentagon to reduce Army deployments from the current 15 months to 12 months, beginning with those who head to war in August as hoped.

“This meeting was an opportunity for the secretary to be updated on the current thinking and analysis on the way ahead in Iraq from Admiral Fallon and General Petraeus,” said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080321/ap_on_go_
ca_st_pe/us_iraq;_ylt=Agp2jWS.
XaeL8kHEf0bjH8is0NUE

Military to boost cyber-protections

March 19, 2008
By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The military is beefing up efforts to gather intelligence, fend off cyber-attacks and improve relations with other nations as part of a strategy for keeping the U.S. safe while fighting two wars, according to a Pentagon document.

The four-page plan acknowledges there is still a significant risk that the military cannot quickly and fully respond to another outbreak in the world and outlines what must be done to counter that threat.

This undated photo released by the Walter Arts Museum shows ...
This undated photo released by the Walter Arts Museum shows a 1982 schematic of the first Internet, which then consisted of only 88 computers, linked as shown in this diagram-like map titled ‘Joyce Reynolds, ARPANET, the  First Internet.’  
(AP Photo/Private Collection, Virginia)

Sent to Congress by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and obtained by The Associated Press, the plan relies heavily on building partnerships with other countries. It accompanied a classified risk assessment compiled by Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, seen ...
Admiral Mike Mullen

Read the rest:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080319/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/military_risk_
assessment;_ylt=ApTXlJ78JqiOwPS1CsWM7zWs0NUE

After five years, the Iraq war is transforming the military

March 16, 2008

Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers 

WASHINGTON — When U.S. forces crossed the Kuwaiti border into Iraq in the pre-dawn hours of March 20, 2003 , the military set out to shock and awe the Middle East with the swiftest transformation the region had ever seen.

U.S. and South Korean Marines participate in a combined arms ...
(AP photo)

Five years and hundreds of billions of dollars later, it’s the U.S. military that’s been transformed. The efficient, tech-savvy Army , built, armed and trained to fight conventional wars against aggressor states, is now making deals with tribal sheiks and building its power on friendly conversations with civilians.

Instead of planning for quick, decisive battles against other nations, as it was five years ago, today’s American military is planning for protracted, nuanced conflicts with terrorist groups, insurgents, guerrillas, militias and other shadowy forces that seldom stand and fight.

The staples of American military doctrine that have developed since the Civil War — artillery, armor, air power, speed and overwhelming force— are of limited use against enemies who blend into civilian populations.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20080316/wl_
mcclatchy/2879735;_ylt=Aoxr
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McCain: Last Man Standing

February 7, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 8. 2008

John McCain became the last man standing in the Republican Party primary today as Governor Mitt Romney droopped out.  Appropriately, Senator McCain addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC) today — meeting with the right wing of the right wing of his party; a group he avoided just last year.

Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., ...
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., gestures during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Washington. McCain’s rival for the presidency, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, pulled out of the race Thursday during an earlier speech at CPAC.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The question now becomes, can a seventy-something year old man, senator, former prisoner of war and war hero be the acceptable Republican Party candidate for President of the United States or will Republicans turn their backs on him?

Just weeks ago, Mr. McCain was engaged in a disagreement with Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi over  earmark spending items. Cochran said Senator McCain was “erratic” and unfit for the White House. But Thursday, Cochran lined up behind his colleague. “Oh, yes, I’ll support John,” he said.

Cochran and other Republicans lined the aisles of the Senate chamber yesterday to congratulate McCain, who returned for the first time since Dec. 18 to vote on an economic stimulus plan.

But some Republicans, such as radio talk show host and respected ultra-conservative Rush Limbaugh, have suggested just that — saying they may boycott the presidential election rather than support Senator McCain.

In our view, ignoring Senator McCain and the presidential election is akin to handing the White House to either Hillary Clinton (and Bill) or Barak Obama — and the Democrat Party.

At the C-PAC today, Senator McCain said, “I know I have a responsibility, if I am, as I hope to be, the Republican nominee for president, to unite the party and prepare for the great contest in November.”

Hard-core right wing conservatives point to Senator McCain as one who broke with the party on immigration, opposed the Bush tax cuts and co-sponsoring legislation on campaign finance reform.

Mr. McCain even (gasp) participated in outreach to liberal Senate Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold.

Heaven forbid.

We think a little outreach is in order, frankly.

“My record in public office taken as a whole is the record of a mainstream conservative,” McCain said, calling attention to positions he said he has defended during his campaign.

Mr. Romney said, “I must now stand aside, for our party and our country.”

If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror,” Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

Commenting on his front-runner status — a title he had and lost last year — McCain told the conference, “This time I now have that distinction and I prefer to hold onto it for quite a while.”

Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman endorsed McCain and urged all members of the GOP to do the same.

“Our party has had many outstanding candidates this year, but it is now time for Republicans across the country to unite,” Mehlman said. 

SecDef Gates, Admiral Mullen Testify Before SASC

February 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the Sente Armed Services Committee today.  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is chairman of the committee and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) is the ranking member of the minority.

Several issues of interest were discussed.

Asked about the size of the defense budget both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen said that the budget needed to be 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Admiral Mullen said that 4% of GDP should be an annual “floor” or lowest national investment in defense.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness ...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh) 

Secretary Gates said that there has been a recent shift in understanding by the government of Pakistan and that President Musharraf and his closest advisors now realize that the free reign apparently given to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan has now resulted in an “existential threat to the current government of Pakistan.”  Consequently, President Musharraf and his advisors are now waging a much more effective war against terror in the tribal areas.

US intelligence chief Mike McConnell told a Senate hearing yesterday, Tuesday, February 5, that the al Qaeda network in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered setbacks, but still poses a persistent and growing danger from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He stressed that al Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States” more than six years after 9/11.

Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen supported and reiterated that view.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol ...
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, today, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh)

On the issue of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Senators expressed concern that all NATO nations had not fielded troops in Afghanistan.  Secretary Gates said that he feared the evolution of a two tiered NATO with one tier “fighting and dying” and a second tier not participating.  Secretary Gates said that he will continue to persuade NATO member nations toward a more active role in the war against terror.

Secretary Gates said he had become a “nag” to the Defense Ministers of NATO by pestering them about their contributions to the mission in Afghanistan.

In January some NATO defense ministers went public with their resentment for Mr. Gates.

“This is not the Robert Gates we have come to know,” Van Middlekoop told the Dutch broadcasting agency NOS last month, following criticism from Mr. Gates. “It’s also not the manner in which you treat each other when you have to cooperate with each other in the south of Afghanistan.”

Today Secretary Gates went out of his way to compliment the Dutch, Canadians, British, Australians and others for their work in Afghanistan.  But he said there were still several NATO member nations not taking the mission seriously enough. 

Secretary Gates said he would continue to press this issue this week end at a Defense Ministers’ meeting. 

Last month, Pentagon spokesman Geo Morrell said, “The secretary is not backing off his fundamental criticism that NATO needs to do a better job in training for counterinsurgency. But he is not — nor has he ever — criticized any particular nation for their service in Afghanistan.”

Secretary Gates also spoke eloquently about the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense system now deployed at sea, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and THAAD.

On combat troops in the war zone, Admiral Mullen said, “The well is deep, but it is not infinite.  We must get Army deployments down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates makes a statement about the ...
Secretary Gates at a recent Pentagon briefing.

From the  Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080206/ap_on_go_
ca_st_pe/us_iraq_21

From Reuters:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080206/us_nm/
usa_budget_wars_dc_1

Joint Chiefs Chairman: Close Guantanamo

January 14, 2008

By Robert Burns, AP Military Writer

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – The chief of the U.S. military said Sunday he favors closing the prison here as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been “pretty damaging” to the image of the United States.

Michael G. Mullen
Michael Mullen

“I’d like to see it shut down,” Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with three reporters who toured the detention center with him on his first visit since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last October.

His visit came two days after the sixth anniversary of the prison’s opening in January 2002. He stressed that a closure decision was not his….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080114/ap_on_go_
ca_st_pe/guantanamo_joint_chiefs;_ylt=AtD1g0
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