consultants are sandburs

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hegseth plays Vegas. Decent crowd. Schmaltz.

This link. Hegseth in the past was an Aplikowski fellow traveler. That joinder was published a few years back, on the part of the Residual Forces website now in suspended animation while Andy runs against (and likely looses to) Abeler.

Hegseth and Aplikowski each reflects on the other. Adding to cause to support Jim Abeler.

Jim, the check will be in the mail. Really.

The mailing info for the Abeler SD35 exploratory committee:

Abeler Volunteer Committee
600 E. Main St.
Anoka, MN 55303

If there is a phone number for the Volunteer Committee, I do not have it. Reader help in that regard would be appreciated, per a comment.

Last, the DFL has yet to advance a candidate or to have one declare. As far as I know, anyway.

Reserving that question, with only so far Abeler and Aplikowski declared, my preference for Abeler is clear but I am not selling anyone's brand, yet, this early. Other Republicans may elbow in, given the predilection within the district for citizen voting majorities to favor Republicans.

So, reserving judgment until a complete field shakes out, voters could do quite worse than sending Jim Abeler back to St Paul, this time in the Senate.

UPDATE: Back to Hegseth and his political group. Apart from the segue to Abeler/Aplikowski. Apart from Hegseth's politicking in the past in Minnesota (mentioning then his heading the veterans' group but largely in an unaffiliated way, forming a Minnesota PAC, etc.). Yes the veterans group's cause is sound, but it is the political hangings on that can raise eyebrows. Does FOX-Hegseth-Rubio tie in any way to the Trump - Kelly ego dustup and feud? When Trump did FOX shows after the FOX debate, he declined any Kelly or Hegseth appearances, opting to participate elsewhere on the FOX network's range of offerings.

In fairness, Hegseth's group's Facebook page is not overly Rubio-tilted, but it clearly is a GOP oriented operation. What is interesting, search the facebook page for "Cruz" or "Rubio" or "Rand" and find content. Search it for "Trump" and guess what? It could be coincidence, it could be Trump declining an appearance, it could be more, it could be less. But I could not get a "Trump" hit searching there. If readers find posts there about Trump being invited and/or attending a Hegseth/veterans event, please submit a link or other info in a comment.

FURTHER UPDATE: Hegseth is entrenched vanilla-GOP veteran advocacy. Talking the talk. Veterans do not get enough. Veterans are lucky having McCain. McCain could not be part of any problem. And Trump has questioned that.

Representative reporting of the predictable Hegseth-CVA reaction to the recent Trump - McCain discussion, here; with text of a CVA - Hegseth released statement, here. Hegseth is as entrenched in the Inner Party ex-military bloc as is Col. Kline. Veterans are to be Republican pawns, told thoughts to have. Delivered by the FOX talking headship's Hegseth channel. The man surely looks to be positioning himself for a later years career in politics.

Actually, he's already in politics. Did a PAC in Minnesota a few years ago. Lost a Senate effort to Kurt Bills. Hegseth's history, per Wikipedia extracting,

Peter Brian Hegseth (born June 6, 1980) is a former executive director of Vets For Freedom and was a senior counterinsurgency instructor at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul with the Minnesota National Guard in 2011–2012.[1] Hegseth is a FOX News Channel contributor[2] and lost the Republican party endorsement for the United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2012, to Kurt Bills. He is currently the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America.

Alma mater, Princeton University.

Hegseth's civilian employment during his nondeployment National Guard service before 2007 was with Bear Stearns.

Upon return from Iraq, Hegseth worked briefly at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. In 2007, he left the conservative think tank to work at Vets For Freedom as executive director. At that time, the organization had no staff, limited membership, and no budget. By 2008, after 18 months the group had grown to 95,000 members with a $9 million budget and a dozen staff members. While leading Vets For Freedom from 2007 to 2010, he was also a Fox News Channel military analyst and made multiple television appearances on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC.[4][5][6] Hegseth is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to the National Review Online, as well as the author of many editorials in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Post, and The Washington Times.

[footnotes omitted] In effect, this Princeton, Bear Stearns, CFR, National Review guy, he don't rock nobody's GOP boat.

There is an answer that if more were spent on veterans' needs, along with everyone else's, things would be better, but tax breaks for General Electric and Boeing and advancing TPP while pumping cash into the Export-Import Bank are national needs of higher priority and McCain has not shouted out about the need of any systemic changes such as taxing wealth and extreme income more so that transfer programs such as the VA could attract the best people and have their needed facilities and equipment. McCain married wealth and is comfortable with how the 1% prosper and are taxed in the US of A. But so, presumably, is Trump. Both likely are in the top 0.1%, wealth-wise. All of the GOP and most of the Dems fit that don't-rock-the-boat-of-privilege privateer mould. For them, Hegseth helps.

FURTHER UPDATE: The Hill has online content about Hegseth's Senate ambitions. And WaPo has content - are you ready for this, veterans:

Pete Hegseth leaned forward on the brown leather sofa in Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s office and began his rapid-fire pitch:

Captain in the Minnesota National Guard. Served in Baghdad and Kabul. Now running an organization of veterans and families.

Sixty seconds in, when meetings between veterans and members of Congress usually turn to the importance of protecting health and retirement benefits, of the GI Bill and disability benefits, Hegseth swerved in the other direction.

“I’m not here to ask you for anything,” he told the South Carolina Republican. “I’m here to be an advocate for fiscal responsibility in Washington.”

Mulvaney betrayed an incredulous expression.
View Graphic

“That would make you a rarity among people who come into this office,” he said.

Hegseth, a Republican whose résumé includes Princeton and Harvard as well as a stint as a guard at the Guantanamo Bay prison, runs a small and scrappy group called Concerned Veterans for America. It is far smaller than the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars or other well-known veterans service organizations. But it is unusual in its mission: Instead of advocating for more benefits, he wants to provide political cover to legislators who want to make what he calls “tough decisions about our military.”

[...] Although his army still is modest — he has only 25 field organizers nationwide — his message is attracting attention among veterans. Some applaud him for taking on the established veterans lobby, which has become almost sacrosanct in Washington. Others see him as a traitor who is seeking to deprive active-duty personnel and veterans of well-deserved pay and benefits.

[...] He quickly added that he wasn’t trying to advocate the elimination of tuition assistance for troops pursuing college degrees while serving. Although his organization has not come up with a list of proposed cuts, he said he would be in favor of transforming the current retirement system — which provides pensions for those who stay for 20 years or more, and nothing for those who leave earlier — with a program that more closely resembles a private-sector 401(k) plan.

[...] In between his undergraduate studies at Princeton and the master’s he earned last month from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Hegseth worked on Wall Street and deployed three times. And he played rough-and-tumble politics.

In 2008, he was the executive director of Vets for Freedom, which argued for a troop surge in Afghanistan and against a pullout of forces from Iraq. But by 2010, fighting big wars was no longer a winning issue. He recalibrated by allying himself with the tea party movement.

“Those were the issues of the day back then,” he said of the wars. “Today, it’s about getting our fiscal house in order.”

He has not won many friends in the Obama administration with his full-throated attacks on the president’s Iraq policy and his opposition to Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be defense secretary. Hegseth had been concerned that Hagel lacked the commitment and management skills to transform the Pentagon, but after hearing him speak about the need to address the growth of personnel costs, Hegseth said he is reserving judgment. “We could be strange bedfellows,” he said.

Although Hegseth wants to work with Democrats, his target audience is budget-conscious Republicans.

“Being a defense hawk and a budget hawk are not mutually exclusive,” he told Mulvaney.

The winds of change blow, with Hegseth's aim seeming to be testing the winds. Cut this and that vagaries, but with veterans benefits up for scrutiny. Taxing the rich, nothing to see there so move on, give vets a mini-401K, and let them fend. Brass heavy personnel costs, not a focus. Nor the revolving door generals pass through on their way to defense industry pay and perks while getting the big Pentagon retirement package; with that business as usual presumably as things should be, to Hegseth. Transfer payments, welfare to benefit veterans struggling to cope and benefitting others having an equal struggle, on the table for sacrifice in the Hegseth world, so that you have to go to a Bernie rally to hear boo about how wealth and income inequality is ruining America and the Dream of shared prosperity touching all. Or listen to the honest economists, who study and understand the situation.

FURTHER UPDATE: I owe it to everyone to clarify mixing Hegseth coverage with content about Jim Abeler. It is the Hegseth history with Aplikowski and the current status of only two candidates presently voicing GOP intent to seek the vacant SD35 seat upon which the post hinges. With Abeler's years of pragmatic service we know about what we'd get if he is elected; and despite the Residual Forces blog content being put on ice, we can have a fair idea of what Aplikowski would deliver if elected. The now unavailable Hegseth-Aplikowski Residual Forces postings indicate looking at Hegseth to guess about Andy is fair game, in the course of thinking of what GOP primary voters might do, were their primary tomorrow or no other GOP SD35 seat seekers were to declare between now and when the primary is held. Andy has not seen Hegseth as an opportunist, and that is evidence of his levels of judgment. The post does tie diverse things together in a way that some might dislike. Make of it what you will.

No comments: