Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Idaho First Congressional District Election Update

Well, it's getting into the election season, so you can expect more political posting here at TSSBP. I'm not a big fan of bloggers spending a lot of time discussing races in which they can't vote, so I'll be sticking mostly to the Congressional race here in Idaho's 1st District.

I went to a "Meet and Greet" for Rep. Raul Labrador last night, intent on asking him if he was a "Birther" -- he seems to be running to the right side of his main opponent, Vaughn Ward, in the race for the Republican nomination for Idaho's 1st Congressional District. Since recent polls show that up to 71% of people who "strongly identify" with the Tea Party Movement seem to be Birthers, I wondered if the candidate would pander to the more extreme end of the electorate. His campaign had picked up that I would be there, so he was ready for me; when he realized who I was when we were talking before the formal portion of the event, he asked me, "Why would you think that I would be a Birther?" I told him about the poll, and he responded with a completely common sense answer -- he figured that if there was anything to the allegation that President Obama wasn't a natural-born citizen, then Sen. McCain's campaign would have figured that out, I responded "Or Sen. Clinton's campaign", and he agreed. Thus, I'm happy to report that Rep. Labrador is not -- in any way, shape, or form -- a Birther.

There were about 25 people there for the event, including three State Representatives (in addition to Rep. Labrador). I was impressed by his talk, and especially how he handled himself during the question and answer session. I gave him another "trap" question, asking if, since the Idaho Republican Platform calls for abolishing the Federal Reserve and "returning" to a Gold and Silver standard for money, he would support such legislation in Congress. He punted, but in an interesting way. Rather than putting out a bunch of meaningless platitudes, he said he needed to research the issue more. When my sons asked him about the war, he said he supported President Obama's surge in Afghanistan, and that in Iraq we should stabilize the government and then withdraw U.S. forces. When pressed for more detail, he was once again honest. He said he didn't know a lot about military strategy, and would have to study it more; later, he privately told me that he would likely defer to the military experts. I found that quite refreshing.

When asked what he thought he could do as a freshman Congressman, he seemed very realistic. He figured that the Republicans would put him, an Puerto Rico-born immigration lawyer, out in the forefront of the immigration debate. He called for an effective "Guest Worker" program, which I figure won't endear him to the more rightward elements of the party, but showed that he's his own man on the issue. (He also expressed an interest in putting the National Guard on the border.) On the deficit, he called for a balanced budget (which I liked), but the one number he used didn't quite pass the smell test. He said that if we just returned to 2007 budget outlays we'd have a $169 billion budget surplus. Since federal expenditures were $2.78 trillion in 2007, and projected revenues in 2011 are only $2.57 trillion, I'm not sure how his math works out.

[The Labrador campaign "revised and extended" his remarks on the budget as follows: "As Raul has been studying the problems within the budget that have brought us to this point, it obvious that government spending must be cut... One idea that caught Raul's attention was proposed by Sen. George LeMieux from Florida. In this article, you can find the numbers Raul cited last night. As we have been researching this solution in greater detail, we too discovered that the numbers Sen. LeMieux cited do not seem to correspond with recently released revenue projections. That being said, the principle behind the plan remains sound: rolling the budget back to levels from several years ago would be a balanced short-term approach to resolving the budget crisis. Deep cuts into any one agency would not be necessary as the load would be distributed upon all areas of the federal government. It is also important to note that an approach like this does not call for a return to 1986 or 1966 spending levels to balance the budget, which would not only be undoubtedly painful but would also be difficult to implement. Reverting back to spending limits seen in the years between 2004-2007 is a sensible way to ensure that government effectively serves the people in the here and now while also restoring its soundness in the future."]

Overall, I liked Rep. Labrador, and if he does happen to win the Republican nomination and the subsequent general election against Walt Minnick, I don't think I'd be embarrassed by my Congressman like I was from 2007-2008. There won't be a "Raul Labrador Fan" this year.

I haven't really checked out Vaughn Ward yet, but he seems to be a boilerplate conservative with establishment backing. It looks like any humor and absurdity in this race will have to be provided by new candidate Michael Chadwick; based on his "Policy Statements", he appears to be an extreme Paulite and the most likely heir to our district's Salian tradition of foot-in-mouth idiocy. (Of course, there's still time for Bill Sali himself to get back in the race; I can only hope. Sali winning the nomination would pretty much ensure Walt Minnick's re-election.)


Blogger said...

Thanks for coming, we appreciated your questions!

2/25/2010 6:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know nothing of your state’s politics but you seem fairly articulate regarding some basic political issues.

You mentioned a question about the birthers, is that a big issue for you in your candidate of choice as far as pro or con?

Which would be the lesser of two evils in your mind, a birther or the typical left-wing progressive (socialist) moonbat nutjobs, like the POTUS, who have hijacked the Democrat party in many areas?

2/25/2010 7:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which would be the lesser of two evils in your mind, a birther or the typical left-wing progressive (socialist) moonbat nutjobs, like the POTUS, who have hijacked the Democrat party in many areas?

That's a false question there - any actual Socialist would reject the notion that this president is an actual socialist himself. (And seemed to abandon a lot of items on the left-wing wishlist despite having bigger congressional majorities.)

2/25/2010 9:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right, the current POTUS is a Marxist, accuracy is critical when defining traitors.

2/25/2010 9:10 PM

Blogger J said...

I don't care what your political bent is, calling the POTUS a "traitor" is a really stupid thing to do on a military blog.

2/26/2010 5:47 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with cowards and people ensnared and enslaved by the PC mindset like yours is that you are unable to recognize truth. This produces the "Yes" person paradigm that produces people of low character and lacking any real susbstance other than self-serving people.

2/26/2010 6:28 AM

Blogger SJV said...

Good thing you put this birther stuff on your blog. Suspect it's triggered hits on some real wackos. Hopefully they'll stay out of the rest of the posts. Need to think before you post.

2/26/2010 7:20 AM

Blogger Kevin said...

SJV said...

Good thing you put this birther stuff on your blog. Suspect it's triggered hits on some real wackos. Hopefully they'll stay out of the rest of the posts. Need to think before you post.


Agreed, hope they don't stick around too long.

2/26/2010 7:50 AM

Anonymous STSC said...

Which leads back to the mid-watch conversation topic & why I kept politics out of them.

Though Joel and many others here can probably keep a conversation civil & use intelligence in arguing their points, others are unable to do so. This topic just asks for extremists to use this venue as another vent for unloading all their views.

Would prefer a separate blog for Idaho politics and keep this one to (loosely) submarine stuff, but that's just my unasked for opinion.

2/26/2010 8:12 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at it this way, you could live in Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, Massachusetts or any other totalitarian slaveholder’s entity location and nanny state society that is under heavy handed censorship, brutal oppression and thought police. Enjoy the ride and thank God your DNA landed in a country once devoid of human cattle, brainwashed and easily manipulated dipsticks.

2/26/2010 8:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discussing politics now are we? Hmmm.. reminds me of a useful phrase, "Emergency Deep!"

RP, HMCM(SS) Retired

2/26/2010 9:29 AM

Blogger Kevin said...

STSC said...

Would prefer a separate blog for Idaho politics and keep this one to (loosely) submarine stuff, but that's just my unasked for opinion.

Agreed again. No need for political topics here, unless it's loosely, and logically, connected to the submarine force: stuff on foreign relations and policy, integration of women, repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, etc.

2/26/2010 9:52 AM

Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

IMHO the one whose blog it is may address any topic they desire. Politics or other.

2/26/2010 10:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I apologize for being cantankerous, somewhat caustic and candid on your outstanding blog.

The POTUS has some redeeming value in that he has almost single handedly aided by his impotent assistants in the House of Representatives awakened the voter base in the nation. Perhaps instead of dwelling on superficial and mindless American Idol viewings, some voters will realize that elections have real and lasting consequences. Maybe in 2010 and 2012 the members of various entities will change for the betterment of the people. Voting is a grand thing in a free society and I fear that too many have ignored its power and neglected its application leaving the ultimate selection up to a limited few participants. I submit that the POTUS has successfully mobilized people to vote their consciousnesses, at least until their memories dim.

Again, I will be a good boy and play well with others on your blog.

Thank you.

Happy Camper

2/26/2010 11:59 AM

Anonymous Sisyphus said...

What lovely company you keep Brother Bubbles. Do your buddies know its just as ridiculous to throw around political terms for which they have no understanding as it is to argue that Obama isn't an American? Particularly when they're untrue. I think it would be interesting if Obama would embrace some liberal policies for a change but he seems right in there with Clinton.

2/26/2010 2:58 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...

It's hard to imagine a time in this country when a citizen could be imprisoned for writing some of the stuff we've read so far in this thread. But they have. One was a candidate for president who won almost a million votes while in prison! Both the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 and the Espionage Act of 1917 have since been allowed to expire or have largely been repealed, but both landed people in prison for speech far less seditious than calling the president a traitor. We are much more enlightened now, aren't we?

2/27/2010 6:21 AM

Blogger fortboise said...

Thanks for taking the time to get involved, and for sharing your work with us, Joel. Well done.

I wish I were in ID-1 rather than 2, where there is no contest to speak of.

It's good that Labrador's campaign knows how to backpedal from bad numbers (regarding the budget), but let's hope he's also capable of moving beyond simplistic "rollback" thinking. Idaho's legislature has its hands very full with rollbacks right now, and we see it's no so easy as the campaign pitch may make it sound.

Sharing the pain across the board is good for the back of an envelope, but governing actually requires making hard decisions about priorities.

2/27/2010 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


The America that you perhaps would prefer that would put people in jail for disagreeing with someone and/or something is called Iran, China, Russia etc…. The point when it becomes unlawful to comment about anything in America is when Iran starts looking like a nice place to live.

In the military you learn to follow and obey orders because it is required to carry out the mission and you sign a contract saying that you will comply. If you choose to surrender your brain at that point to become loyal to the system regardless of what reality is telling you then that is your personal choice but do not expect the rest of society to become a mindless drone drinking purple kool-aid and chanting mantras just because being a robot seems like the way to go. Maybe you have been busy at other things while Democrat politicians and the state run media have repeatedly based President Bush. In fact, they continue to bash President Bush. Conservatives are fair game in most parts of the media.

Of course, the only way to change anything is with a vote and hopefully more people will realize that at the ballot boxes in 2010 and 2012.

I think that Joel has an awesome Blog and it seems that it is really for the subject of Idaho politics. My comments are neither required nor desired and for that reason I will refrain from chatting about anything but the Blog’s topic of choice.

RetCOB, we probably disagree about many things but I sincerely thank you and all veterans for their service. I have family in combat in Afghanistan at this time.

Thank you

2/27/2010 1:40 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...

Anon 1:40. You might have taken my point wrong, or I wasn't very clear. I certainly do not propose a return to the days of yore when we faced prison for speaking our minds. I was just pointing out that they in fact existed in this country at one time. I think we are more enlightened now that we can tolerate speech such as those that preceed these which condemned the president as a traitor. I'm for fighting the speech we hate with more speech, not with enforced silence. That's what I meant to say anyway.

2/27/2010 4:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for your clarification and I think I understand your point.

I am no expert, at least not in a legal sense but I understand that active duty military officers and enlisted personnel are strictly controlled as to what they can do regarding politics. I think that the military is proactive to encourage voting which is a good thing, hopefully people take advantage of one aspect of our freedom that so many have sacrificed so much for over the years. I have been told that retired officers and enlisted are subject to the military law but there are many complex aspects for the retired folks. For instance, retired officers can run for political office and actively engage political matters. I think that the new Senator from MA was a previously a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. Anyway, and I am no expert but lawyers advise that retired officers could be held liable for certain speech against certain individuals but that they would have to be recalled to active duty for legal proceedings and that the DOD prohibits recalling individuals for the sole purpose of taking them to court. Again, I am no expert and the purpose of the story is that there seems to be some control on retired officer’s speech but then there is also some protection for them in that they can not be recalled just to prosecute them. I can see why active duty people have to support their boss no matter what. When they retire they do get much more latitude relative to free speech.

I do not know if you are familiar with a Col. Hackworth? He was a retired Army officer who was very outspoken against many political things after his retirement. He was a writer and I think a reporter of some sorts before his death from cancer (I think it was some form of cancer). He has some books on the conduct of the Vietnam War of which he was a participant and highly decorated.

Anyway, enough rambling. Free speech is a grand thing and I suppose it should always be tempered with kindness of sorts but some situations seem to invoke a lot of emotion.

Again, I extend my gratitude for your and all veteran’s military service.

Thank you.

2/27/2010 4:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

John McCain is a retired Navy Captain.

3/01/2010 9:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly. There have been a lot of ex-Navy Presidents, Carter, Nixon, Ford, Kennedy just to name a few. Please note that the word good is not used to qualify their performance. I guess the point is that while on active duty, commissioned officers must explicitly follow the orders to refrain from political rhetoric and posturing. That is not a debatable point. However, upon retiring, commissioned officers become full uninhibited and unrestrained U.S. citizens again without the UCMJ hanging over their heads. If they choose to, they can rock any political boat that they want to. Also, when people swear into the armed forces they take an oath to the support and defend the U.S. Constitution and not any person, position and kingship. Obeying the orders of those appointed over them does not circumvent or override the primal allegiance and loyalty to the U.S. Constitution above any office. Government education has done a marvelous job at consistently dumbing down some people into mindless and irrational drones.

3/01/2010 9:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't George Washington a General? Or was he a career MMFN(SU)?

3/04/2010 11:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, he was a General for sure in every respect. Unlike certain career NUBs.

3/04/2010 11:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you shall be punished fool any one who backs a politican is a violater of the declaration of independence and the united states constiution , do all you so called smart people know what the declaration of independence says at least the first two paragraphs, then onto the constitution, what is article 1 section 8 say knot heads. has your politicians regulated trade with the foreign nations, ask any body hauling and stocking all that chinese stuff you die to get. they will tell you nothings going back to china, the stupid will be punised for simply being stupid enough to vote for a politician, independents are not politicians or can you dupes read a dictionary, vote for your favorite politican and youl soon be looking the chinese soilder in the face. you christians the book you say you read, says liars cannot enter the kingdom so go ahead follow your favorite politican to hell.

10/17/2010 3:21 PM


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