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    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    SUBFOR on Facebook, Blogger

    Big doings in cyber space for the submarine force.

    In case you missed it, COMSUBFOR has a blog.  Check them out for up-to-date UNCLAS info.

    The Submarine Force Reserve Component now also has a Facebook site.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Why Newt or Romney. I don't know.

    I posted this week the case that Ann Coulter and others make for Mitt Romney.

    I like Ann Coulter a lot.  I think she's hilarious, I have read all her books, and she sticks it to the Left like no one else.  She needs no one to stick up for her and her conservative bona fides.  She was prescient in noting that WWE mogul Linda McMahon could not win the CT senate race, and feverishly supported Chris Christie's run for the White House.  So, Ann has a bit of Northeastern Republican in her, but, if she trusts Romney to govern as a conservative, so do I.

    Which was really why I posted the column.  I think it's imperative that Obama be defeated.  I think that is Job #1 for the GOP in 2012.  Today, I think Romney provides the best path to that defeat.  Like Coulter, I have no doubt that Romney would do as he says he will - issue waivers for Obamacare to all 50 states, and sign a bill repealing it, if a Republican Congress sends it to him.  A lot of people on the Right want to portray Romney as some kind of left of center Republican who makes John McCain look like Rush Limbaugh.  That's just patently unfair and is the kind of approach Leftists take to debating.  I agree that some of Romney's positions as he trudged through the Massachusetts Senatorial race in 1994 and later his Gubernatorial victory, were more akin to those of a Northeastern Republican (think Scott Walker), but, hello, he was running as a Republican in the most Liberal of those Northeastern states (leave Vermont alone).  I think you do have to apply some nuance to your views to appeal to voters where you are, and in Massachusetts that means easing your opposition to abortion by recognizing Roe, and distancing yourself from the rightmost elements of the GOP.  It's also why you get Romneycare, because the liberals who populate Massachusetts want it.

    Finally, I think he stands the best chance of winning.  He's already demonstrated that he can appeal to moderate to left voters, and he polls best with them.  This election will be about the economy, and he may be the best Republican to appeal to voters who are looking for 1)competence, and 2)non-statist solutions.  

    I didn't really want to make this post about Romney again, but I am tired of the Romney bashing from the Right.  It's idiotic, and it should should stop.

    I actually think the race has gotten to the point it should be, where we have two candidates who I think can both win a national election.  I would really like to see the rest of the campaign be between these two guys, and start having substantive debates with these two only, because I think we would see that drive the GOP to positions that would be more creative and likely to work, and actually change government.

    Today, warts and all, I intend to stick with Newt Gingrich. He has been consistently conservative his entire career (easy to do in his district, though), and he's undoubtedly the guy with the most ideas in this race, and he's the one I'd most like to see debate Obama, again and again.  I wouldn't fear a Romney-Obama debate either, but, I think a Newt-Obama debate would put the lie to Obama's supposed intellect, as Newt would have him on the floor begging for mercy and his teleprompter.

    But, that won't be the campaign in 2012 for Obama.  He'll shirk debates, and instead spend a goodly portion of his $1B war chest in a character defamation campaign that will make the dirtiest operator ever (Satan). proud.

    I doubt too many of my loyal readers (you know who you are, Mom) actually ever had the chance to vote for Newt, but, since he represented my district here in Georgia, I am one of the few who has ever actually voted for Newt before, and, I intend to again.  He's got flaws, and I fear what we may find out on the Fannie/Freddie consulting gig.  On the marriages and the Tiffany's things, he can say, been there, done that, I am sorry.

    So, I say we ride the Newt wave, put Bachmann, Cain, and Perry behind us, and let Newt and Romney battle it out, then get strongly behind the nominee (and the Romney/Rubio ticket) and beat the crap out of Obama and the dems.


    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Romney. Because Ann Coulter Says So.

    Ok, since Ann Coulter has weighed in, and she is no shrinking violet when it comes to conservatism, I have decided that my choice for the GOP nomination is going to be Mitt Romney.

    At one point, I was hoping Rick Perry would make a real positive splash, but now that Perry has demonstrated that he's not capable of making a salient point in a debate, I, like many others, have soured on him.

    I like Herman Cain, but I never saw him as a serious candidate.  Sure, he's articulate and he has some sort of vision for the country, but, his total refusal to address certain foreign policy questions ("I would study them and heed the advice of the commanders" or something like that), and his ignorance on things like "right of return" for Palestinians and Chinese nukes (I think that was a misstatement, but still) and his latest gaffes, coupled with the sexual harassment baggage (sure, trumped up, but poorly addressed),  and the inanity of the 999 plan, have convinced me he's not the one.

    Newt Gingrich has always been a favorite of mine from a policy perspective, and I'd love to see Newt get his wish of seven three hour debates with Obama.  But, let's be honest, that's not going to happen, and I feel quite comfortable with Romney on stage with Obama.

    It is nice to see Newt in the top tier now, and I hope he stays there a while.  I think it will improve Romney and force him to better articulate his conservative side as we move to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, then he can sew up the nomination and start the hard work of tearing Obama to shreds.  Shouldn't be tooooooo terribly hard, what with the work Obama has done destroying the economy and ruining our standing in the world.

    Today Ann makes some valid points, a couple of these that I totally agree with vis a vis Newt:
    1. Newt's Fannie/Freddie consulting problem - I wouldn't care if Newt answered that yes, he lobbied for them in an effort to increase home ownership.  That would have seemed a defensible position in, uh, 2007, but now, in hindsight, being a shill for the principals in destroying the housing market, doesn't seem so great, does it.  Trying to hide it doesn't help.  Strike one.
    2. Sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi hyping global warming.  I hate the "climate change" crowd.  They are the 70's population bomb crowd, the Ice Age crowd.  They are leftists and former communists and their goal is the destruction of Western Civilization by any means necessary.  Today, that takes the form of man-made global warming.  They're wrong on the science, and wrong to want to bring down the West, just as they have been for 40+ years.  Sitting with them is a problem.  Romney was a believer, too, at one time, and I have a problem with that. But, he didn't do a PSA with Pelosi.  Strike two.
    3. The personal issues - Ditching your wife while she's being treated for cancer, having an affair during the Clinton impeachment, the $500,000 account at Tiffany's. It all just smells bad, and it's out there, and will be used repeatedly by Democrats in the general to kill him.  I don't think this stuff disqualifies him as a president, and I don't think it's material, but, it'll play in ads.  Strike three.
    While Romney has his issues, I find I can live with them, just as Ann can.
    1. Romneycare - Be honest, he's not going to keep Obamacare.  If this election turns on any single issue, it is going to be the repeal of Obamacare.  People hate this legislation.  They hate the way it was rammed down our throats, and they will really hate what it is going to cost.  The only way it gets squashed forever, is with a Republican president and Congress in January 2013.  Romney has explained that what might work in Liberal Massachusetts is not a prescription for the nation.  Obama can say all he wants, "Mitt, we used your state as an example," to which the proper reply is "That shows how stupid you are, using Massachusetts as the example for this entire nation.  Just stupid."  
    2. Flip flops on abortion and some other issues - we've mentioned the global warming scam, on which Romney has come around, and abortion, where in Massachusetts he was a tepidly anti-life.  If you want to win a statewide race in liberal Massachusetts, you have to acknowledge Roe as the law of the land and look for other ways to limit abortions.  Was Romney's conversion to choice convenient?  I don't think so, if you read his reasons for it, you can understand why he might have taken that position.  Now, I would have respected more a politician saying Roe is the law of the land, and that a sitting governor has no choice but to uphold the law.  Of course, he went slightly further and had valid personal reasons for supporting Roe.  His conversion back to life was more politically convenient, running, as he is, for the GOP presidential nomination.  I think he's more in line with his church now, and with mainstream GOP voters (and Americans in general).  He has the right answer now, which is that Roe was poorly decided, and that it ought to be overturned, and we ought to let states decide.  I am hoping that at some point, the long national genocide known as abortion will end, and while some states may choose to keep it legal, that will make it more rare.
    3. Global Warming - I find Romney's statements to be troubling, and indicative of not much study of the issue.  His even recent statements tend to place him with the majority of people who think that global warming is occurring and that man is a large contributor to it.  To his credit, he has always seemed to couch his belief in some doubt over man's impact.  Surely, in 2011, Romney is aware of research that includes that done by warmists, that the warming largely stopped in 1999, and temperatures have been steady or declining somewhat since then.  I think he could have staked out a position that man may contribute a tiny portion to the increase in CO2, but, we really have no evidence that CO2 is even a contributor to temperature increases (and even if it is, that it matters very much), and that regulating CO2 as a pollutant is wrong, and probably just stupid.
    Anyway, I can forgive him these biggest of sins, because he has renounced them, and I think he's largely a conservative we can count on.

    You can disagree, but, I think he stands a chance to take Obama down hard, and I'd really love to see 60+ GOP senators in the next Congress, and I fear that any other candidate will struggle to beat Obama, and drag the rest of the party down.

    Sub Cheating Garners IG Investigation

    The Navy Times today reports (via AP) that the sub force's Inspector General is now looking into cheating on submarines.

    This is an outgrowth of the Memphis cheating scandal, and IG Pat Urello says:
    "We have powers to take corrective action if corrective action is warranted”
    I have little doubt that there is what could be considered cheating going on quite often, and the solution is to decide whether exams are intended to actually test people's knowledge, or are they used for some competitive purposes. 

    My two cents is if the submarine force wants to remove this problem, we must remove examinations from ORSE.  Let the ORSE board examine records, and seek OQE that the ship is administering exams and that knowledge is being tested, but we are going to need to move from the days of self-administered exams to something more centralized,and less prone to corruption.

    I don't know what that looks like, but this has always been too tempting an area to fool around with, and this is a systemic problem, not an individual one, despite what the force's preconceived, or wishful notions are.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Dems on Supercommittee Spending War Savings Already

    The president has rightly received a lot of grief for claiming in his deficit plans savings from the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to the tune of $1T.

    But, at least he is recognizing that money won't be spent and is drawing a line somewhere.

    Now, Democrats on the deficit reduction supercommittee want to take that $1T in phantom savings and spend it!  According to The Hill, "savings from the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan be used to pay for a new stimulus package."  As if the previous 2, unpaid-for Stimuli have done anything stimulating.

    If we insist on looking for "jobs" created by government, this week the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a two year transportation bill unanimously that might actually provide jobs for needed transportation projects.  It's an example of actual work being done in Washington, which apparently, can happen when you reject President Obama's partisan and economically illiterate proposals. This bill contains NO earmarks, and has a real chance of making it through the House.

    But, even this demonstrates the difficulty adults have in negotiating with Democrats. In a time of massive deficits, "A key stumbling block was the transportation enhancements program, which mandates that states spend a portion their federal transportation funding on bike trails, pedestrian projects, landscaping and other things."

    For Senator Barbara Boxer, (D-California, also very stupid), "This was a huge problem for us. There were moments where we almost threw up our hands. This was one of the toughest, toughest areas of negotiation."  Seriously?  Bike paths?

    Just crazy, and typical of the way Democrats think.

    Chavez claims they chased off a submarine during exercises....

    Yeah, right.

    Hugo Chavez claims the Venezuelan Navy detected a submarine during training exercises and chased it way.  It only was able to slink off due to it's superior speed, Hugo's subs being slow diesels and all.

    Let's look at this critically:
    1. Hugo's 209's are not ASW platforms (for God's sake, they are almost 40 years old), so they weren't detecting and chasing anyone
    2. If he had any ASW platforms (MPA, capable surface ships), which he does not - they would have the legs and speed to attempt to track a detected submarine.
    So, there was no submarine here, and no reason to slink away, given the lack of capability.

    Know what there was, a piece of flotsam and a self-promoting government.

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    End IA's for Submariners

    The November 7th edition of Navy Times has an editorial calling for an end to individual augmentee assignments for Navy personnel (subscription required).  They point out that with the drawdown in Iraq (to zero), this means the total number of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan will have declined by 102,000 from its peak.  With the proposed removal of another 23,000 surge troops from Afghanistan by September 2012, that will leave only 70,000 troops on the ground, and a reduction of 125,000 Army troops from the two countries in 4 years.

    With that kind of drawdown, why is the Navy still sending soldiers on IA's that cut into their career, disrupt families, and hurt retention?  As Navy Times points out, the Navy's personnel rolls are expected to decrease by 2015, and the condition of ships is deteriorating, requiring all available manpower to keep them operational, not serve Army missions for which there are 100,000 people available to fill.

    For the Submarine Force, as anyone who is on active duty will tell you, the single most pressing problem for the force is manning.  We can not train and retain enough sailors to man sufficient watch bills, to develop future deckplate leaders, nor to keep submarines operational in an increasingly busy force with the rise of China's Navy and North Korean intransigence.

    We compound this problem by telling sailors they may need to spend a year to eighteen months in an IA assignment, normally coming at a time when they would instead be on a shore, or near shore tour.  This does little to help retention, and impacts recruitment and decisions to stay Navy after the first tour.  For most guys, they joined the Navy, particularly submariners, and they don't expect, nor should they be asked anymore, to go pound sand with the Army.

    In the reserve component, it is nearly impossible to bring LT's and junior enlisted into the ranks, because though they can get up to two years reprieve from being called for an IA, the near certainty of it at that point means they transfer to the Inactive Reserve, rather than disrupt their family life or a relatively new job. 

    When the Army was pressed, it made sense to have the Navy and Air Force pick up missions that could be done by any professional sailor or officer.  Now that the Army has nearly 100,000 troops no longer deployed, does that need still exist?  I say no, and I call on the Submarine Force leadership to say - we have problems of our own on our submarines, many of them attributed to manning issues, and we will no longer provide troops for IA's.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    First Female Sub School Graduates

    Last week, the first class including female submariners graduated from Sub School.

    I can not believe in all the submarine blogs I follow, not one person mentioned it, and we have no commentary?