30 November 2007

Coming into the first turn...

It is the end of November and I haven’t posted on the blog. Since I am not receiving any threatening e-mails, then I will presume your November was as busy as mine. I have been poking around the blogosphere noting some issues. Of interest is the resent tragic death of Sean Taylor. His murder was well commented on by FOX Sports writer Jason Whitlock. The choice of view by this author may be incendiary, but they are certainly worth discussing!

On a more insubstantial note, I am starting to think about who I will support in the 2008 election. I have perused the web for some good comparison sites and I think this one fills the bill. They catalog all the top candidates and even have an internet dating style match quiz! Which cuddly candidate will you be spending time by the fire with in 2008?

I took the match quiz and ended up in bed with John McCain. Now I like McCain on defense and other “hard” issues. I don’t think he represents enough of a change this time as he did during the old Straight Talk Express days. So, despite my respect for him and his service in the Navy, I must set him aside.

Sam Brownback doesn’t stand a chance. And as a rule I am not a fan of senators running for president. After all, that’s hardly any qualification. Then I arrive at Tommy Thompson, a good candidate four years ago – now too much in the past. At last we have Guiliani. He was a good mayor, but presidential? That’s tough to say. I like his stand on choice but am concerned that his economic approach may be too light.

Here is the surprise – Bill Richardson! But he’s a democrat! And yet he represents one of the best overall candidates in the field. He is experienced, intelligent and has an opinion which reflects a lot of my views. Now if I could only get him to run with McCain or Romney – but alas, he is destined to be steamrolled by the Clinton / Obama battle.

Here is my prediction – Romney gets the republican nomination. He selects a southwestern running mate (McCain is unlikely). In the democratic camp, Hillary ultimately wins the nomination – picks Richardson as a VP. Then the slugfest begins.

Candidate Summary

George Allen (Former Virginia Senator): lost re-election; has PAC.
Mike Bloomberg (NYC Mayor): Undeclared; active draft movement; has campaign website. Re-registered as independent (instead of Republican) on June 19, 2007.
Sam Brownback (Kansas Senator): Announced.
Jeb Bush (Governor of Florida): Undeclared; denies any plans to run.
Bill Frist (Tennessee Senator): Withdrew Nov. 2006.
Newt Gingrich (former Speaker of the House): Undeclared; says he will decide in June 2007.
James Gilmore (former Governor of Virginia): Announced plans to file FEC papers.
Rudy Giuliani (former NYC Mayor): Has Exploratory Committee; filed FEC papers, Feb. 2007.
Chuck Hagel (Nebraska Senator): Undeclared; active draft movement; has PAC.
Alan Keyes (Radio talkshow host): announced candidacy, Sept. 2007.
Mike Huckabee (Governor of Arkansas): Has Exploratory Committee; announced candidacy, Jan. 2007; has PAC.
Duncan Hunter (California Representative): announced candidacy, Jan. 2007; filed FEC papers, Oct. 2006.
John McCain (Arizona Senator): Has Exploratory Committee.
George Pataki (New York Governor): Undeclared; has PAC.
Ron Paul (Texas Representative): Has Exploratory Committee.
Mitt Romney (Massachusetts Governor): Declared candidacy, Feb. 2007; has PAC.
Fred Thompson (former Tennessee Senator): Has active draft movement; has exporatory committee.
Tommy Thompson (former Wisconsin Governor and Secretary of HHS): Has Exploratory Committee.
Mark Sanford (South Carolina Governor): Has gubernatorial campaign committee; active draft movement.
Tom Tancredo (Colorado Representative): Has Exploratory Committee; has PAC; active draft movement.
Evan Bayh (IN Senator): Withdrew Dec. 2006; Has PAC; has Exploratory Committee.
Joe Biden (DE Senator): announced candidacy, Jan. 2007; has PAC.
Wes Clark (former NATO commander): Undeclared; has PAC.
Hillary Clinton (NY Senator): Has Exploratory Committee; has PAC; has Senate campaign committee.
Tom Daschle (Former SD Senator): Announced not running, Dec. 2006; has PAC.
Christopher Dodd (CT Senator): Announced Jan. 11; has Senate campaign committee.
John Edwards (former NC Senator): Announced Dec. 27; has PAC.
Russ Feingold (WI Senator): Withdrew Nov. 2006.
Al Gore (former V.P.): Undeclared; active draft movement.
Mike Gravel (former AK Senator): Declared candidacy in 2006.
John Kerry (MA Senator): Has PAC; withdrew, Jan. 2007.
Dennis Kucinich (OH Representative): Announced, Dec. 2006.
Barack Obama (IL Senator): Declared candidacy, Feb. 2007; has PAC.
Bill Richardson (NM Governor): Has Exploratory Committee; has Gubernatorial campaign committee.
Al Sharpton (Reverend): Declared he is considering another presidential run.
Tom Vilsack (IA Governor): Announced & filed FEC candidacy, Nov. 2006.
Mark Warner (VA Governor): Withdrew Oct. 2006.

2008 GOP Presidential candidates: (Click on a candidate below for their issue stances)

John Cox (Chair of Cook County GOP) Rudy Giuliani (former NYC Mayor) Mike Huckabee (AR Governor) Duncan Hunter (CA Representative) Alan Keyes (former UN Ambassador) John McCain (AZ Senator) Ron Paul (TX Representative) Mitt Romney (Former MA Governor) Fred Thompson (former TN Senator) Tom Tancredo (CO Representative)

2008 Democratic candidates: Joe Biden (DE Senator) Hillary Clinton (NY Senator) Christopher Dodd (CT Senator) John Edwards (former NC Senator) Al Gore (former V.P.) Mike Gravel (former AK Senator) Dennis Kucinich (OH Representative) Barack Obama (IL Senator) Bill Richardson (NM Governor)

Citizen Deux’s VoteMatch Results – McCain!!! Oh no!!!
Scores & Analysis
More Information
Click on 'Social' and 'Economic' for analysis of your answers compared to each candidate's answers.
Click on 'Answers' and 'Stances' for complete details of the sources of each candidate's answers.

Total 80%
Social 69%
Economic 88%

John McCainRepublican Sr Senator (AZ); 2000 Primary Candidate for President
Biographical Profile John McCain's answers John McCain's stances

Total 60%
Social 63%
Economic 58%

Sam BrownbackRepublican Sr Senator (KS)
Biographical Profile Sam Brownback's answers Sam Brownback's stances

Total 60%
Social 56%
Economic 63%

Tommy ThompsonFormer Secretary of H.H.S.; former Republican Governor (WI)
Biographical Profile Tommy Thompson's answers Tommy Thompson's stances

Total 58%
Social 63%
Economic 54%

Rudy GiulianiFormer Mayor of New York City; Republican Candidate for 2000 Senate (NY)
Biographical Profile Rudy Giuliani's answers Rudy Giuliani's stances

Total 55%
Social 63%
Economic 50%

Bill RichardsonDemocratic NM Governor
Biographical Profile Bill Richardson's answers Bill Richardson's stances

Total 53%
Social 38%
Economic 63%

Duncan HunterRepublican Representative (CA-52)
Biographical Profile Duncan Hunter's answers Duncan Hunter's stances

Total 50%
Social 44%
Economic 54%

Jim GilmoreFormer Republican VA Governor
Biographical Profile Jim Gilmore's answers Jim Gilmore's stances

Total 48%
Social 25%
Economic 63%

Tom TancredoRepublican Representative (CO-6)
Biographical Profile Tom Tancredo's answers Tom Tancredo's stances

Total 48%
Social 56%
Economic 42%

Mike HuckabeeRepublican AR Governor
Biographical Profile Mike Huckabee's answers Mike Huckabee's stances

Total 43%
Social 50%
Economic 38%

Mitt RomneyRetiring Republican MA Governor
Biographical Profile Mitt Romney's answers Mitt Romney's stances

Total 35%
Social 50%
Economic 25%

John Edwards2004 Nominee for Vice President; Former NC Senator
Biographical Profile John Edwards's answers John Edwards's stances

Total 35%
Social 63%
Economic 17%

Barack ObamaDemocratic Jr Senator (IL); previously State Senator
Biographical Profile Barack Obama's answers Barack Obama's stances

Total 33%
Social 44%
Economic 25%

Hillary ClintonDemocratic Jr Senator (NY); former First Lady
Biographical Profile Hillary Clinton's answers Hillary Clinton's stances

Total 33%
Social 38%
Economic 29%

Mike GravelFormer Senator (AK)
Biographical Profile Mike Gravel's answers Mike Gravel's stances

Total 30%
Social 19%
Economic 38%

Ron PaulRepublican Representative (TX-14); Libertarian nominee for President in 1988
Biographical Profile Ron Paul's answers Ron Paul's stances

Total 28%
Social 44%
Economic 17%

Joe BidenDemocratic Sr Senator (DE)
Biographical Profile Joe Biden's answers Joe Biden's stances

Total 25%
Social 25%
Economic 25%

Chris DoddDemocratic Sr Senator (CT)
Biographical Profile Chris Dodd's answers Chris Dodd's stances

Total 20%
Social 25%
Economic 17%

Dennis KucinichDemocratic Representative (OH-10)
Biographical Profile Dennis Kucinich's answers Dennis Kucinich's stances

Click on 'Social' and 'Economic' for analysis of your answers compared to each candidate's answers. Click on 'Answers' and 'Stances' for complete details of the sources of each candidate's answers.

12 November 2007

So others need not...

It's Veteran's Day, well, it is the federally sanctioned observence. Yesterday was the actual event. I attended church with Citizen Prime. I was surprised, and a little humbled, to have the pastor ask for the veterans to stand and be recognized. There were about 200 people in attendance. Judging by the respective ages of those standing, I would place the number of current service members in attendance at less than 3.

My grandfather served in the war to end all wars, and then was promptly shipped overseas to serve in the sequel to that bloody conflict. My own father served as an artillery officer in the Korean War. That conflict, to this day, continues - as no peace treaty was ever signed.

I joined the service twice. I signed up as a NROTC scholarship recipient. I was unable to see that through as a college student, fortuitiously ti would prove later. I signed up again in 1997 as a direct commission officer in a Navy program. It was a time when everything looked very different from today. The discussion was to the necessity of large scale military spending. The hardest job was serving in the Balkans (we are still there). Reservists were struggling to serve in value added roles and contribute to their active commands.

Obviously, things have changed. I have always maintained that one of the primary reasons I serve is so that the two proto-citizens will not have to make that choice. I can not help but think that my father and grandfather thought the same things.

We are at a strange crossroads in our society. We live in a world where we can truly insulate ourselves from the misery and danger of the non-civilized world to a large degree. Aside from countries actively embroiled in war (Israel) the remainder of the developed world can operate without fear. And yet the balance is a fine one. The Balkans, previously mentioned, existed as a civilized state under the aegis of the Yugoslavian government. Once that veneer was torn away, centuries of ethnic hatred boiled over into Europe's worst war in half a century.

So, as I sit here in Atlanta airport, I reflect upon the young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who trek unnoticed between flights in this massive transportation center. At the security gate I watched a young, female private kiss her daughter good bye. I don't know where she was bound, but she carried the sadness of her separation cradled inside a hope that she served so that her daughter would not have to make that choice.

Sister, I know the feeling.

10 November 2007

Happy Birthday USMC...

On this date in 1775, in a tavern, the United States Marine Corps was born. Since that time, they have served our nation unfailingly. Semper Fidelis I raise a toast to you, Mud Shark - and to all Marines, past, present, and future.

04 November 2007

Vegas baby...

Citizen Prime and I are sitting in 24/b at the Palms in Las Vegas. It is a surprise trip to help celebrate a good friend's 40th birthday. I am not a fan of Vegas. I don't gamble, but I do love the desert. We took a sidetrip to Hoover Dam. It is perhaps one of the most potent renants of the WPA projects. During that period whole families took incredible risks in search of work and hope. How little we remember those sacrifices.

01 November 2007

If you can't build it...

The Navy, like a most of the military, is keen to be efficient. Whether it is in the prosecution of a mission or the acquisition of a weapons system. I am pleased to see the cancellation of LCS 4. I am NOT a fan of the littoral ship program. I think there are conventional systems already available which will more than meet the need of the Navy in this regard. Specifically, these systems are currently called "helicopters". They can operate with little regard to sea state, can remain on station for sufficient periods of time and have the capability to avoid pesky hazards like mines.

The Coast Guard uses helicopters to great effect in the littorals. The Navy needs to look at their model and adopt the same. We could quickly deploy air assets against a small waterborne threat and actually interdict them, vice trying to move (even at 50 kts) a 1000ton vessel.

Navy Terminates Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 4) Contract
Thu, 1 Nov 2007 10:31:00 -0500

November 01, 2007

Navy Terminates Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 4) Contract

Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today that the Department of the Navy is terminating construction of the fourth littoral combat ship (LCS 4) for convenience under the termination clause of the contract because the Navy and General Dynamics could not reach agreement on the terms of a modified contract.

The Navy had not yet authorized construction on LCS 4, following a series of cost overruns on LCS 2. The Navy intended to begin construction of LCS 4 if the Navy and General Dynamics could agree on the terms for a fixed-price incentive agreement. The Navy worked closely with General Dynamics to try to restructure the agreement for LCS 4 to more equitably balance cost and risk, but could not come to terms and conditions that were acceptable to both parties.

The Navy remains committed to the LCS program. "LCS continues to be a critical warfighting requirement for our Navy to maintain dominance in the littorals and strategic choke points around the world," said Winter. "While this is a difficult decision, we recognize that active oversight and strict cost controls in the early years are necessary to ensuring we can deliver these ships to the fleet over the long term."

"I am absolutely committed to the Littoral Combat Ship," said Roughead. "We need this ship. It is very important that our acquisition efforts produce the right littoral combat ship capability to the fleet at the right cost."

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