Washington Daybook: Hagel, Brennan

Photograph by Mark Murrmann/Zuma Press

Senator Chuck Hagel speaking with then senator Joe Biden in this file photo.

President Barack Obama will announce his choice of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary today, setting up a showdown with an ad hoc coalition that opposes the former Republican senator, including members of his own party who advocate muscular defense policies, supporters of Israel and gay-rights activists. Obama offered the post to Hagel yesterday in a phone call from the White House.

Obama will also nominate 25-year CIA veteran John Brennan, the president’s chief of counter-terrorism,  to be agency’s next director as the president fills out his Cabinet for a second term.

The National Archives holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony today for a “Nixon and the U.S. Space Program” display, starting of week of events commemorating centennial of the former president’s birth.

Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale is scheduled to be the featured speaker for a conference at the Brookings Institution on defense spending in a season of budget cuts. Banks including PNC Financial Services Group Inc., SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. are pushing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to give them year to comply with new mortgage underwriting rules that could be released as early as this week.

The ITC is scheduled today to announce its final decision in a patent-infringement case brought by Vitec Group Plc’s Litepanels unit over lighting for television and movie studios.

Whatever the former president’s short-comings, Nixon is credited for opening China to western-style capitalism, which set the stage for that country’s rapid economic growth over the past several decades. Former N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson and Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt may be hoping to do the same for North Korea during their private, four-day visit that starts today.


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