Ouch. “By what deep principles is Senator Hagel guided in his long years of hanging back from anything that could be construed as helpful to the Jewish state or unhelpful to her enemies? He’s made no life’s work of sound money. He’s made no life’s work of constitutional fundamentals. We can’t think of a single over-riding principle in his career, save for an abiding sneer at Israel, in which he seems to take a certain mischievous glee. Maybe we’re missing something that will emerge during the confirmation process, but based on the record so far, we’d be surprised.”

Chck Hagel’s nomination unleashed a political firestorm- Washington Post

Oof. “One would think that a president wanting to dispel an impression of hostility toward Jews and Israel would be sure not to appoint as Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State a person with a long public record of insulting Jews, belittling Israel, and even refusing to condemn or act against anti-Semitic terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah or against anti-Semitic terrorist states such as Iran.”

Yowser. “The United States could face a debt-ceiling crisis as early as mid-February, according to an expert report out Monday. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) estimates that the nation will begin defaulting on its payment obligations between Feb. 15 and March 1, unless Congress raises the $16.4 billion debt ceiling.”

Yikes. “When it comes to expressing himself about Israel, its enemies, and the influence of the so-called Jewish lobby, he has been nothing if not consistent and outspoken. Maybe that’s political courage. Or maybe it’s a mental twitch, the kind you can’t quite help. The confirmation process should be illuminating.” Read the whole thing for an illuminating look at how Hagel has maneuvered to be on the side of conventional wisdom.

Blech. “[Gov. Tom] Corbett, who also sits on Penn State’s board of trustees, barely nods in his lawsuit at the children who were raped by Mr. Sandusky over a period of 14 years. Instead, the suit charges that the NCAA exceeded its authority and did the state wrong by imposing sanctions that would cripple the football program and thereby ‘harm the citizens and the general economy’ of Pennsylvania. The lawsuit and Mr. Corbett’s newfound objections to the NCAA’s sanctions have the whiff of political desperation.” Good thing there is an election coming up.

Oops. “The bitter election year battle over alleged White House leaks of national security secrets is heating up again — this time fueled by President Barack Obama’s pick for CIA director. Obama’s nomination of counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the CIA is reviving long-simmering claims that the president’s aides leaked classified information to bolster his reelection chances.” And his was supposed to be the easy confirmation.

Thunk. “The president shatters four years of fragile consensus and opens a real foreign policy debate.” In short, if the mullahs had any concern that Obama would actually use force, they have gotten a reassuring signal.