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.)

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Congressional Reports, Boondoggles And Politics

I saw a few news items this week that I thought might prompt some good discussion as we're getting ready for the Submarine Force Birthday and "Wear Your Dolphins To Work Day" on Wednesday, April 11th. Without further ado:

1) Here's the new CRS report on Virginia-class submarine procurement. They've already backed off on the "2 boat per year" fiction they put out a few years ago by canx'ing the 2nd boat for FY2014, and the report analyzes what might happen if they cancel a few more boats in the coming years. Even without postponing any planned starts, the Submarine Force still drops below the 48 attack boat "floor" in 2022. [Update 0737 10 April: The CRS has been busy. Here's their report on the Ohio-class replacement.]

2) The latest government boondoggle to go public actually cost an agency head their job this time. One of the lines about the GSA conference in Las Vegas really jumped out at me:
The report shows that GSA employees "scouted" the location several times before the conference and that travel for conference planning totaled more than $100,000, with catering costs of more than $30,000.
Although I never got any "scouting" sweet gigs, I heard some stories from those who did (mostly aviators), but even they couldn't consume $30,000 in food and drink during their pre-event trips. About the best deal I got (other than 3 trips to Poland when I was at CENTCOM, and I did actual work during the day when I was there) was a week-long BSY-2 class at Lockheed Martin for the PCO, PXO, and I (the P-ENG) of PCU Connecticut (SSN 22) where they served us bagels with cream cheese at the introductory briefing; I thought I'd died and gone to JO Heaven. Did any of you get a Good Deal on the taxpayer dime? (Other than PNEO, which is a given.)

3) There's been a lot of Facebook discussion about the Marine who was recommended for dismissal for starting a Facebook group that was very critical of President Obama, and keeping it up even after being warned that it was against regulations. Personally, I was OK with giving up some of my First Amendment rights when I was on active duty, and I'm not a big fan of those who publicly use contemptuous words against the President while in the service. (I wasn't a big fan of it during the last Administration either.) Do you think that traditional regulations limiting the free speech of active duty servicemembers are appropriate? And for those who agree with the feelings of Sergeant Stein, in that you feel that the current President, who all evidence seems to show is in reality a pragmatic, fairly standard-issue center-left politician, is actually an America-hating socialist out to destroy the country, would you be willing to provide some specific predictions of how President Obama is threatening our freedoms? Something specific we can check out before the end of his 2nd term, like "Before January 2017, the Kenyan Muslim will have confiscated xx of my guns", or "Before November 2016, the Communist Usurper will declare martial law, cancel elections, and put xxxx Patriots in FEMA concentration camps".  We can check out the results of the predictions in a few years. (I did the same thing on other boards with those who hated President Bush before the end of his term, and had some fun bringing up the fallacy of their predictions in January '09.) For those who think he's already taken away all your freedoms by requiring that people buy health insurance, I'd also be interested to hear about your thoughts on why the Founding Fathers would have been so opposed to the federal government requiring a large number of citizens to buy a product from a commercial company, like, say, a musket or firelock.
Although I'm currently planning on voting for Gov. Romney, I really have a hard time understanding the hatred that's shown towards President Obama -- the same way I couldn't understand the hatred generated towards President Bush a few years ago. The spread of idiotic conspiracy theories, and the large number of people who are willing to believe any bad thing they hear about those they oppose -- no matter how ridiculous -- makes me worry for the future of our country. I strongly believe that those who spread idiocies should be called on it at every opportunity; maybe they can be shamed into providing at least some facts to back up their assertions.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A voice of reason in the wilderness. Thank you for your comments and this blog.

4/08/2012 7:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stein getting an OTH is a bit much. That stuff follows you around for your whole life.

Also, you can't "give up" your First Amendment rights because there are no such things. The 1A is a list of restrictions on Congress.

4/08/2012 7:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, the Militia Act.

"That every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock..."

Also unconstitutional, as I read it. Congress has the power to "provide for... arming" of the Militia. That does not mean requiring that arming at the soldier's own expense. But even if it did, you're going to have a very hard time claiming that the power to mandate insurance purchases obtains from that same clause.

So even if the Militia Act was permissible, it provides no support for the PPACA.

4/08/2012 7:55 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Personally, I think the individual mandate is probably unConstitutional; however, if they had taxed everyone as part of a health care program, and given everyone with qualifying insurance a tax credit equal to the tax (ending up with the same result, financially, for everyone), this would clearly be Constitutional given Congress' power to tax. So it ends up coming down to semantics. I also don't think President Obama, who ran on a platform of providing health insurance for the uninsured and won a substantial EC majority, is an evil man for pragmatically adopting the Republican proposal from the '90s when he saw that was the only option that had a chance of passing.
I provided the example to show that the Founding Fathers (many of whom were in the 2nd Congress) weren't necessarily opposed to the practice of mandating purchases, not to claim it was Constitutional.

4/08/2012 9:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I provided the example to show that the Founding Fathers (many of whom were in the 2nd Congress) weren't necessarily opposed to the practice of mandating purchases, not to claim it was Constitutional."

We don't think they're gods, we just like a lot of the ideas they had. When presented with power many of them proved conclusively that they were human - look no further than John Adams, with the Sedition Act, or Thomas Jefferson, who believed the Louisiana Purchase was an overreach but did it anyway.

4/08/2012 9:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't hate or mistrust President Obama. I distrust the entire process of government in general. The President can propose laws, but it takes both houses to get a bill to his desk for signature.
I don't blame Obama for the housing crash, or the economic situation. I don't blame Bush, either.

4/08/2012 9:45 AM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

The 2nd Militia Act of 1792 needs to be placed in historical context to judge its constitutionality. This was in the midst of the first national security crisis of the fledgling nation. The USA could only maintain a standing army of something less than thousand men; at the time the only significant sources of revenue for the national government were tariffs on some imports. The crisis was brought on by a catastrophic defeat of US forces by Indian tribes at the Battle of the Wabash, where roughly a thousand American combatants and non-combatants were slain, including most of the "Regulars" in what amounted to the US Army at the time. The Militia Acts of 1792 were a panicked reaction to this. They were basically acts of Conscription, and all able-bodied men (with a few exceptions) aged 18-45 were required to "equip themselves" with the basic equipment to serve as militia in service to the nation. The government had no other means of equipping the forces needed in an existential crisis. It was not an assertion of Congressional power under the Commerce clause, so is not a precedent to the individual mandate of the ACA.

4/08/2012 9:59 AM

Anonymous 3383 said...

I still get insane e-mails about every allegation that can possibly be made against Obama, even though many fail the common sense check and most of the rest don't pass minimal fact-checking. I'm not as worried about things like card check as I was, but a 2nd term President Obama with a Democrat majority in both houses still does (I dislike either party controlling both + the White House).
Sadly, there are too many Republican nutballs, too. And who voted for Grover Norquist?

Re: active duty expression, would disrespect of a superior come into play?
And, even if one is correct on the rules, pissing off your entire chain of command isn't good. It isn't right, but it is how it is.

4/08/2012 1:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) What's ironic is that the Virginia procurement program is one of the few lauded by the DoD that "works." There are a lot of other programs -- DDG and F-35 to name a couple -- that failed miserably and cost the American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in sunk cost.

2) PNEO as a "good deal" is slowly but surely waning away. The class is now down to 8 weeks from 12 when bubblehead attended, and a relatively high recent failure rate is going to start to make it very painful on JOs.

3) Agree with Mark MM1/SS about the analogy for using the 2nd Militia Act of 1792 to justify Obamacare's individual mandate. It is well within the government's written power to provide an Army capable of defending the U.S.; it is not within their written power to make us buy health insurance.

4/08/2012 1:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I never intend to purchase transportation as retrograde as GM's Volt, I have been personally familiar with the rationing, long waits and lack of choice that had been the hallmarks of Soviet Marxism for all below the dacha-class.

Our president has shattered any illusions of supporting market-based capitalism that, through free market choices, has assured world-class product innovation over more than the last two-hundred years of U.S. existence, and raised the standard of living for every citizen of our country, free countries elsewhere, and potentially the entire world.

When it comes to Democrats and Republicans, they are simply two erstwhile teams of not-to-be trusted politicians in league with one another. Until Obama, however, the highest risk had only been
not letting these lawyers sell out U.S. sovereignty to the U.N.

Now, team Obama's Affordable Health Care Act (remember, Congress has exempted itself) wants to access your bank accounts to determine how much you should pay. Like most of you, my bank account is nothing to brag about, but in the eyes of bureaucrats I am certain the day will come when the government will decide they have urgent need of most of it, thank you.

4/08/2012 2:34 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

@Anonymous @1434 - Please provide a reference for the claim, including the applicable words in the PPACA, that would allow bureaucrats to "access your bank account to see how much you should pay". To help you out, here's a link that debunks the viral E-mail that made that claim; it says the actual clause "...sets out goals for electronic health records. One of the goals is to include features that "enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation" between payment and billing. The legislative summary says the intent in the section is "to adopt standards for typical transactions" between insurance companies and health care providers. The legislation generically describes typical electronic banking transactions and does not outline any special access privileges."

That being said, if you can provide a section of the law as passed that allows the government to "access your bank account to determine how much you should pay", I'll certainly re-evaluate my dismissal of your claim.

4/08/2012 3:05 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

What is the "good deal" aspect of PNEO? This must be a sub thing. I sat in a barge across from Enterprise at Newport News during my study period. The only "good deal" was that I only had to stand a monthly proficiency watch and the senior watch officer would let me cherry pick a plant that had the least amount of work going on.

Regarding Obama: The president is only one man. I worry much more about what Reid and Pelosi are telling their minions to do.

4/08/2012 6:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My opinion on political speech by service members:

As long as someone doesn't remark on their opinions of a President's role as Commander in Chief, I say let it be allowed.

4/08/2012 6:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Because 6-8 hours of self study is better than 3 or 4 section duty.

4/08/2012 6:15 PM

Blogger etc_ss_ret said...

1. This wasn't a private, personal FB account anymore than TSSBP is a closed blog.

2. The Marine was in a leadership role.

3. He said he would not salute the CIC, called the CIC a "domestic terrorist" and initially said he would not follow the CIC's orders though he later said he meant unlawful orders.

4. This is clearly prejudicial to good order and discipline. It's one thing to call the DO/ENG/XO/CO an idiot in the Goat Locker - another to do it in front of your division...or in this case, in front of the world.

The guy should be thankful he's getting an OTH.

4/08/2012 6:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Finland, the amount of a speeding ticket is based on your income. The police literally have effective access to your tax returns for the purpose of computing the amount of your ticket.

To quote Wikipedia, "The most expensive speeding ticket ever given is believed to be the one given to Jussi Salonoja in Helsinki, Finland, in 2003. Salonoja, the 27-year-old heir to a company in the meat-industry, was fined 170,000 euros for driving 80 km/h in a 40 km/h zone. The uncommonly large fine was due to Finnish speeding tickets being relative to the offender's last known income. Salonoja's speeding ticket was not the first ticket given in Finland reaching six figures."

So if the Federal government gets its camel's nose under the tent of mandatory health insurance, don't think that it couldn't end up probing your bank account(s). After all, isn't that the underlying basis for our progressive tax system?

The best protection the average Joe has from such an arrangement would be that Congress wouldn't want anybody looking at their bank accounts. Of course, Congress could exempt itself, but they wouldn't really do that, would they?

4/08/2012 6:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's one thing to call the DO/ENG/XO/CO an idiot in the Goat Locker - another to do it in front of your division...or in this case, in front of the world."

Not according to the UCMJ. Any enlisted member who "treats with contempt or is disrespectful in language or deportment toward a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer while that officer is in the execution of his office" is in violation. The subject of your remarks need not be present.

4/08/2012 6:56 PM

Blogger SJV said...

^^ Last I checked the UCMJ applied equally to officers and enlisted. Hence....Uniform ain't talkin 'bout your dungarees. Or whatever the heck they call the emperors new clothes.

4/08/2012 8:25 PM

Blogger SJV said...

And before you bring up Article 88 or 89, you might want to read it. 88 applies to ONLY commissioned officers. 89 applies to both, but not exclusive to enlisteds.

4/08/2012 8:28 PM

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4/09/2012 3:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was citing Art. 91, which applies only to warrant officers and enlisted. But so what? The case at hand is against an enlisted man, as was the hypothetical ETC brought up.

4/09/2012 4:48 AM

Anonymous STS2 said...

The best deal I got was when our boat changed home port from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, PH didn't have barracks for us. So we stayed at the Plaza Hotel on Nimitz, right next to Gussie's. It was a pretty cool deal.

4/09/2012 8:05 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Staying in port when the boat goes to sea, for any length of time, for any reason, is a good deal. If you can score an augment for something like a WestPac, you may as well give up gambling because you have just used up your share of good luck for your entire life.

A bunch of guys on my boat got to miss a week at sea and travel from Long Beach to San Diego on the Government's dime, all so we could do a 5 day Tiger Cruise and take a bunch of crew family members (all male) out to sea and not have them hotrack. Despite being Port/Stbd at sea, it was still the most enjoyable underway I have ever had.

4/09/2012 12:40 PM

Anonymous Typical White Guy said...

As I was saying to my friend, Solyndra, the other day over our $500 million lunch...Obama makes me Fast and Furious.

Maybe it was just the lack of oil for our salads...but that's something clearly not attributable to shutting down deep-water petroleum exploration.

And it couldn't just be the QE1 and QE2 "stimulus" (boondoggles for Democrats)...could it?

Cash for Clunkers? Drives me bunkers.

A tax cheat running the Dept. of Treasury...?

Occupy Wall Street...with a wink from the PotUS/community organizer in chief?

U.S. debt now not AAA? Okay.

Obamacare...I don't?

Suing Arizona for enforcing immigration? Such stagnation.

Kagan not excusing?

Maybe it's just the notable quotes?

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space. This is my last election, After my election, I have more flexibility.”

His social skills...profound, if not good?

Could it be his singing skills?

Perhaps it's his focus on spreading the wealth around...rather than creating it?

An ACORN for your thoughts...?

4/09/2012 5:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best deal: My Div-O rushed me to La Spazia to repair a failing SINS(dual-mini) and I got there 3 days before the boat arrived. SATO booked me in the closest Hotel, 2 1/2 hrs away in St Marguerite Ligure about 20 miles from Nice Fr in a 4 star luxury resort where I relaxed on the patio overlooking the clothing optional "beach". Spent 4 hrs on the boat and all was fixed.

4/09/2012 7:59 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bubblehead, the link you provided is as GOOD as any:

"Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer."

Although the gobbledygook (legalese)intention is termed "barely true"...

Barely True: Section 163 sets out goals for electronic health records. One of the goals is to include features that "enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation" between payment and billing. The legislative summary says the intent in the section is "to adopt standards for typical transactions" between insurance companies and health care providers. The legislation generically describes typical electronic banking transactions and does not outline any special access privileges.

Many readers will understand the implications of legislating electronic funds transfers from our bank accounts by the government without first establishing constitutional due process.

The fact that you hold the present government (Congress) above reproach may be commendable and optimistic, but is also naive and contrary to original intent.

- Anonymous @1434

4/09/2012 8:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Typical White Guy for taking the time

to make Fox's talking points rhyme.

4/09/2012 8:33 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

@anon@0833 - uhoh, you're onto us. You are far to clever for us to engage in an honest debate (or dishonest for that matter, hmm - that's an interesting thought). You've clearly got us figured out; all conservatives are mindless automatons in rigid lockstep with the Master of the Universe, Rupert Murdoch. We all just sit around waiting for the next email informing us what to think. Gimme a fucking break - why don't you try engaging in an honest debate? Oh, right - that's not part of the playbook that you march to. See, it doesn't really work that way, does it? Nice try though, jackass.

4/09/2012 9:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another reason to hate us ex-boomer types: PNEO is actually a BAD deal! Why? Because you're studying 8-12 hrs/ day + weekends instead of working 4-6hrs M-F. Spare a moment of silence, if you would

(figured I'd spice up the otherwise dreary political banter)

As for boondoggles, NOTHING can compare to CARAT Planning Conferences. 3 nights in Bangkok or Pattaya at 4-star hotels (hey, they're at govt rate!). Every morning, the Thai navy guys would ask "Have a good time last night?" and chuckle.

OK, continue the Rep vs Demo "winner take all" internet war...

4/09/2012 10:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8 hours a day and weekends? Did you not get a good set of notes?

4/10/2012 4:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel - don't be so quick to declare failure on two per year Virginias. Wheels are turning, there is a potential that a tactical setback will be only temporary and turn into a strategic victory. Or haven't you read the new long-range shipbuilding strategy?

4/10/2012 6:40 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Sorry, Anonymous @1434, but "the government can use electronic funds transfer" is a lot different than "the government can look at your account balance to determine how much you should pay"; it's like saying a bill that authorizes collecting fees for park use means "the government can confiscate all property you bring into a national park" -- the power you claim for the government is not even implied in the actual wording of the bill.

@Mark/MM1(ss) - I'm not sure how asking for actual facts isn't engaging in "honest debate". Please... just provide some verifiable facts. I do. Jackass.

4/10/2012 7:42 AM

Anonymous Typical White Guy said...

^^^And this is the reason that 'discussion' of politics is like a discussion of religion -- no actual change of views takes place. It's just all judgement and name-calling.

A die-hard independent, I'm solidly of the opinion that Republicans AND Democrats are the problem, and anyone who is a hard-core partisan is certainly part of the problem. What we really need is a RICO investigation of both major political parties, IMHO.

See George Washington's (yes, *that* George Washington's) warning on the dangers posed by allowing political parties for more info.

P.S. BTW, Fox News is not kind enough to provide a list...neither, no surprise, is CNN. The closest I got to name-calling was to say that the current Sec. of the Treasury was a tax cheat...then again, that's just factual. List-wise, I could do the same thing for former President G.W. Bush, but here the topic is (soon to be 'was') Obama.

4/10/2012 8:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the real secret that no one seems to be reporting on....

4/10/2012 10:37 AM

Anonymous JL SSN-693 AKA SparkyWT said...

eed encies@ ANON 4/10/2012 10:37 AM --

The Hughes facility in El Segundo is now part of the Boeing Corp, the same company that is launching the secret X-37 space plane. Based upon highly classified company memos, the colony is only 33,000 strong, limited by O2 generation capability. In addition to defense projects, the colonists have been hard at work reshaping the famous "martian face" discovered near Olympus Mons, into a vissage of President Obama visible to Earth obeservers with a medium power telescope. The great unveiling of this colossal achievement will be 28 October, 2012; when the full moon will reflect light toward Mars to give the Dear Leader's face the prophetic halo effect he so greatly covets.
JL SSN-693

4/10/2012 10:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry, Anonymous @1434, but "the government can use electronic funds transfer" is a lot different than "the government can look at your account balance to determine how much you should pay" -Bubblehead

One might think so, but your readers may wish to consider their own experience with ETF, which commonly occurs as 3rd-party bank drafts (presentation of electronic drafts to one's checking account by 3rd-party billers.):

1. Can monthly billing amounts vary based upon the biller's accounting determinations of what is owed?

2. Does the biller recieve NSF notice from the bank at time of scheduled bill payment? In other words, can billers transfer funds based upon cash available?

The answer to all of the above is a very emphatic "Yes".

4/10/2012 12:21 PM

Anonymous the_new_deal said...

I LOVE OBAMA! He is going to make it so awesome in this country! I won't have to work but I will still get my health care! I can use my 99 weeks of unemployment! 99 weeks!! Yeah!! I can use all the social programs and not pay anything into them!!! HAHAHAHA! As a matter of fact, I will be given a check every tax season provided from your income tax! This just keeps getting better! Thanks for voting for my new best buddy! He will take money from the military if he has to so I can just sit on my butt. Your income tax will pay my way while you go to sea. I will spend my days protesting since I wont need a job. I will be able to have as many children as I want because you will provide for them. This just keeps getting better! He is the new Robin Hood! Suckers! All hail the King!

Now, if that didn't piss you off go ahead and vote for Obama again and sit back and watch the show. The man has his face on Basketballs for God's sake!

4/10/2012 1:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On this day we remember 124 souls forever lost on eternal patrol aboard USS Thresher.

4/10/2012 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

John 10:27-30

"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.

"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.

"The Father and I are one."

-- The One

4/10/2012 3:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ηράκλειτος (Heraclitus of Ephesus (c.535 BC - 475 BC)

"He who hears not me but the logos will say: All is one."

4/10/2012 4:12 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(ss) said...

My apologies; my post was directed at anon@7:33 - the 8:33 was a typo. Still, I think that was probably clear from the context.

4/10/2012 4:32 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

This is weird, on my phone the post I addressed my "jackass" remark to was logged as 7:33, while now on a computer it is 8:33. Joel, I have no idea how it could have been construed as directed at anyone but the poster making the lazy, cliched attack dismissing legitimate criticism of the Obama administration as Fox News talking points without addressing the substance. What gives?

4/10/2012 6:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Justice Department will no longer enforce the 'Defense of Marriage Act'. Didn't Obama solemly swear to uphold the laws of the United States? What is next in "selective enforcement?"

4/10/2012 6:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer: Immigration laws.

4/10/2012 6:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I'm sure glad this blog turned to politics.

There's just not enough places on the internet for that.

4/10/2012 6:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8-12 hours a day AND weekends? Holy hell! It took me something like a week and a half to get up to 8-12 hours of studying.

That includes time spent learning by osmosis.

4/10/2012 7:06 PM

Anonymous T said...

I don't know why anybody gives a shit about the individual mandate. The real story is the growing police state in the USA, that has grown under all political parties. The patriot act and the governments interpretation of it is the real travesty in this country. Extraordinary rendition, detaining US citizens without charging them with crimes (at times for years) and then denying them restitution by hiding behind the official secrets act. The war against legitimate whistle blowing.

And you are worried about whether or not the government can force you to pay a fine for not buying something that 90% of you already buy every month... Oh and it's been reported in several places that the government monitors some portion of, if not a large portion of, domestic email and telephone communications. In fact, your local police station does some of this... All without warrants.

We are no longer fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. The cold war ended, we defeated the Soviet Union... And then became them (and I'm not talking about the socialism part)...

But as long as I'm killing children and oppressing brown people around the world, at least I get a pension after 20 years ;-)

4/10/2012 7:09 PM

Blogger SJV said...

Obviously you were in a time warp. in a time warp. a time warp. Dang these echos in my head.

4/10/2012 7:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:43-

They're not enforcing DOMA? You mean gay spouses are getting benefits from the military? You mean married gay couples are being allowed to file their taxes jointly? You mean the surviving gay spouse gets a social security death benefit?

Or do you just not know what "enforce" means?

4/10/2012 8:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS News (over 1 yr ago now): "Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA"

If you can't keep up, take notes.

Other aspects of marriage vary by state...not via the U.S. government...but last I heard marriage was mainly considered (by the vast majority of states) to be between a man and a woman.

Just sayin'.

4/10/2012 9:01 PM

Blogger Henson said...

Regarding DOMA... He's not defending the law because a couple federal courts decided it is unconstitutional, and he agrees. His constitutional duties do not include pursuing every possible appeal on every single federal court case. It's amazing to me that people assert otherwise. The Supreme Court only hears a few cases a year - why is that? Could it be, in part, because the government doesn't pursue EVERY possible appeal?

I thought we bubbleheads were supposed to be the smart ones.

4/10/2012 10:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless to the Thresher family. There but for the grace of God.......


4/11/2012 12:13 AM

Blogger Curt said...


4/11/2012 2:49 AM

Anonymous Nick Valentine said...

God bless everyone serving for the US!

4/11/2012 12:30 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

@Mark/MM1(ss) - You are correct, your comment was clearly directed towards the other commenter. I wishdraw the "Jackass", and sincerely apologize.

4/11/2012 2:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the hits with GSA keep coming.
This little tickler on another boondoggle to Hawaii.

4/11/2012 2:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


So what you're saying is that you don't know what enforce means. Got it.

4/11/2012 3:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheesh. I can just hear the 1MC announcement: "Word-picking slap fight in missile compartment lower level." (/lisp)

4/11/2012 3:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about politics and imaginary old guys in the sky is boring.

Why can't everyone just be like Hoss:

What is your favorite story of your CO and sexcapades overseas?

No names of course to protect the guilty!

4/11/2012 4:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke 17:20-21

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he said in reply, "The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, 'Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

-- The One

4/11/2012 5:39 PM

Anonymous Mark/MM1(SS) said...

You're a hell of a classy guy, Joel; and I'll concede I was out of line stooping to name-calling, even a mild one. You didn't really need to respond to me, because the way you've always run your blog speaks for itself, but I appreciate the gesture and will try to conduct myself accordingly.

4/11/2012 8:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the whole ETF thing - it turns out the government can already reach into your account, and then the bank can charge you for the privilege.

4/12/2012 5:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


4/12/2012 5:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I'm not a big fan of President Obama's policies, I do not think he's a secret muslim, communist, terrorist sympathizer who hates America and is hell-bent on the destruction of the United States in order to usher in martial law and take all of our guns away.

That's just ridiculous.

That's crazier than any of the 9-11 conspiracy theories that I've heard.

Aside from his policies that I happen to disagree with, I think he's very intelligent, a good family man, a good husband, and a moral man.

I just disagree with some of his policies, which is my right to do as an American.

4/12/2012 11:59 AM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Here's a guy who did go out on a limb and make several predictions about President Obama. We'll see how he did in a few years.

4/12/2012 3:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here's a welcome break from the claptrap of the political season.

Admit can spare the 1hr 11min 38 seconds to watch "The Atomic Submarine" (1959) on YouTube.

Synopsis: "Ships mysteriously disappear on route across the Arctic Sea and a specially-equipped submarine is sent to investigate." saw it here first.

4/12/2012 8:04 PM

Anonymous jay the nuk in VA said...

I'll bet if you follow the money, Robert Ringer is heavily invested in firearms manufacturers, cuz all he is fanning are gun sales with that story...

I'm signing this non-anon.

Seriously, when is the last time people on in this country (or on this list) got IN THE STREETS to protest (for the record, I've called my Fed and State reps 5-6 times within the last 12 months). If the answer is they/you haven't, it might be time!!!

My personal opinion is that too many people in this country can't be bothered about upholding the constitution, good government, etc. What other reason is there for putting up with stupid stuff like the Patriot Act, TSA, "Fast & Furious", and if you live in DC, re-electing year after year known embezzlers...

4/13/2012 8:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember your oath:

"...defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;"

4/13/2012 2:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so we're clear here, the "enemies" are enemies of the Constitution, not enemies of the current douche bag administration.

4/13/2012 7:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay The Nuk:

I couldn't agree more. People are busy keeping up with the horse race and calling the other side "extremists", when the reality is they're ALL extremists. 9/11 has been the excuse to erode several of our rights.

I frequently think how if you replace Jews and communists with some form of muslim or Muslim Sympathizers, how apt the below quote from Martin Niemoller really is today.

"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Catch you all in the Yottabyte of all our emails stored by the NSA!

4/14/2012 10:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Paul 2012.

4/14/2012 2:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have nothing but respect and admiration for our Commander in Chief, and I'm glad to see so many signs pointing towards his re-election.

4/14/2012 6:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you sir are an idiot!


4/15/2012 11:41 AM

Anonymous Casual Observer said...

Asks Joel: "Why do so many people hate Obama?"

Well, here's a FACT for you: even Barney Frank gets it (no pun intended) when it comes to Obama's tone-deaf focus on healthcare when financial reform was clearly the higher priority.

I don't hate Obama any more than I'm blind to his faults. But it goes without saying that the man had & has zero credentials to be POTUS.

And I don't fault Obama for his being elected, either. He played his best game, and the man isn't a complete idiot. The American people? Not so much.

4/16/2012 5:35 PM

Blogger MMC(SS/SW) Ret said...

I think WE should get to vote on what Congress gets in pay and benefits! I wish I could vote on my own!
One other thing that enrages me: F$%king Ethanol!

5/24/2012 6:21 AM


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