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Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates On His New Book “A Passion For Leadership” (AnD Much More Including Hillary Clinton’s Server)

Thursday, January 21, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates joins me in hour three today to discuss his new book “A Passion for Leadership,” as well as the Iran deal, the North Korean provocation, DoD acquisition, carriers and Ohio Class Submarines –and Hillary’s server:




HH: As I promised, I’m so pleased to welcome back to the show former Secretary of Defense, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, former head of the Texas A&M University, Robert M. Gates. He has a brand new book, A Passion For Leadership: Lessons On Change And Reform From 50 Years Of Public Service, which I blew through like General McChrystal’s book, Team Of Teams. When someone like this writes a book like this, people who do what I do need to read it. Secretary Gates, welcome back, it’s great to have you on the program.

RG: Thank you. It’s good to be back.

HH: I want to go to Chapter 8 right way, Money, Money Money: Reforming In Scarce Times. And I do so, because if I could recommend to any of the candidates that they read one chapter of A Passion For Leadership, it would be this one. Many of those candidates, and I’ve been on the stage asking them questions, and many members of Congress speak about going back to the Gates budget, the Gates budget. I hear, I’ve heard about the Gates budget probably more now than I did when you put it together. When you hear that, does it still make sense for people to talk about the Gates budget?

RG: I do, because I think it was a budget built on what we thought was needed for defense of the country, and not one determined by sequester votes for politics on the Hill. It really was put together by the services under my auspices that spoke to the current and then future needs of the American military.

HH: It was written in 2010. You write on Page 187, “After the realization dawned on the national security, the bank was out of money.” But it was. It’s six years old. As I recall, it didn’t have a line for Ohio Class submarine replacement, OCRP. It was vague on aircraft carriers. Is it still a good doc to refer to on those two instances?

RG: Well, I think so. We had, there was no plan for building more than 11 aircraft carriers, or having more than 11 aircraft carriers. It did provide for the next generation carrier that’s now under construction, the Gerald R. Ford. And we still were enough years away from recapitalization of the nuclear triad that the Ohio Class submarine wasn’t in there, nor a new bomber, although that was in the, a new bomber was in the last budget that I submitted. Continue Reading


Finding Focus

Thursday, January 21, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

In perhaps the geekiest article I have read in the last two weeks, we have discovered a new biggest prime number.  It’s a math thing and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s really OK.  The article goes on for a bit explaining the usefulness of prime numbers, but then quotes an admission in the press release announcing this massive discovery that this particular prime number is too big to be of any real use.  In other words, this is a record-setting discovery that leaves the world unchanged; suitable only for the Guinness Book.

I think most of us harbor hopes of really impacting the world for the better.  Whatever we do, whatever we know, we hope that our knowledge and our training and our activity will be the training, the activity that finally makes the world right.  Yet somewhere we get so balled up in our thing that we lose track of our efforts to really impact the world.

There is a whole other discussion that has me reflecting on getting so balled up in our thing that we forget to change the world.  Back in mid-December, the story broke of a Wheaton College prof being suspended for wearing a hajib and declaring that Muslims and Christians worship the “same God.”  Given that Wheaton is the leading Evangelical institution of higher learning in the nation, this story has created a firestorm in religious discussion circles.  But at some point in the last month the entire discussion has drifted so far from the events and so esoteric that it has grown devoid of usefulness.

The left is trying to graft their equal rights agenda onto the discussion.  Within Evangelical circles the discussion is happening in such a rarefied vocabulary that only the academic elites can follow it. It makes the Evangelical academic and intellectual elite look as if they are no different than the left, grafting their agenda onto the issue rather than dealing with the issue straightforwardly. Continue Reading

Senator John Thune On 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senator John Thune, the chair of the Senate GOP Conference and thus #3 in the GOP Senate Conference:

Audio: 01-20hhs-thune


HH: Welcome, America. It’s Hugh Hewitt broadcasting from beautiful, sunny Santa Barbara today where it’s 65 degrees and the surfs are 12 feet and it’s just wonderful and John Thune from South Dakota, senator and leader of the Republican conference, number three ranking Republican in the United States senate is trapped in almost blizzard-like conditions in DC. Good evening, Senator Thune, welcome to the program.
JT: Good evening, Hugh, nice to be with you as always.

HH: (Laughs) It’s good to have you. Are you huddled in your basement yet or you still over at the senate?

JT: (Laughs) I’m still in the Senate but yeah, it won’t take long for people here to be in a fetal position.

HH: (Laughs)

JT: The slightest forecast of snow.

HH: I always remember that from Bob the Weatherman on Channel 4. They used to do the snow panic, it always amused me from Ohio that four inches of snow – as a South Dakotan you probably [understand]. So Senator Thune, as I was just talking to your colleague John Cornyn from Texas about the retreat and he made a little news. He said there is no appetite in the senate Republican conference to change the rule back on filibuster of appointments. Do you agree with that?

JT: I think that’s probably where the consensus is right now. We have had some folks looking at this and they made a report about what some of the options could be. I think there’s a general feeling after we went through last year with the Democrats blocking every single appropriation bill that perhaps on the motion to proceed to the bill, to at least get us get on it in a limited circumstance would apply only to approps that we can going to 51 on that, that’s something that’s been batted around, but I don’t there’s not a lot of appetite for messing with the rules on our side and of course for anything to happened you’d have to get some Democrat support because it takes 67 votes to change the rules.

HH: But you agree with them that a Republican president could push his judicial nominees and his executive branch nominees through with 51?

JT: That’s correct because that’s the current state of play and everything below that court. Continue Reading

GOP Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn On The Year Ahead

Wednesday, January 20, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senator John Cornyn from Texas is the GOP’s #2 in the Senate, the Whip, and he joined me Wednesday to discuss the GOP Congressional retreat just concluded:

Audio: 01-20hhs-cornyn


HH: Welcome, it’s a beautiful 65 degrees sunny [day] in Santa Barbara and I’m sure that’s just making Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who is the GOP’s number two in the United States Senate, the Senate Republican whip, unhappy as a blizzard bears down on DC this afternoon. Senator Cornyn, are you home for the weekend or are you in DC?

JC: Unfortunately, I’m in DC. I wish I was where you are, but we’ll make it somehow.

HH: Yeah, dig out of that. Senator, I want to talk to you about the retreat that the GOP Congressional delegation had, but I begin with the announcement by the United States Supreme court yesterday that they have accepted review of President’s Obama’s executive orders which have been joined by the 5th Circuit and I wanted to ask you because many of my listeners will not know you are a former Justice of the Texas Supreme Court before Twittering arrived and Justice Don Will had started tweeting all the time, people didn’t even know there was a Texas Supreme Court, now they do. But as a (chuckles) former justice of the Texas Supreme Court, what do you make of the United States Supreme Court taking a case and then asking the lawyers to brief the question about whether is taking care that the laws are faithfully executed?

JC: Well, it’s hard to know what’s in the minds of the Justices, but the last time I checked it only takes of them to to grant cert so that’s no real indication what the outcome of this case will be, but I think they realize the national significance and significance of this case beyond just this president. If the president can do what President Obama has claims he has the authority to do under an executive order and basically overturn and circumvent Congress and overturn long, existing laws then there is no separation of powers and I think they recognize the significance of this and that’s why they’re going to hear it and why they are going to decide it. Continue Reading

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