Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scoreboard!



Go on over to B-Daddy's place where he has a nice wrap-up of the legislative wrangling that went down and is proceeding to go down in this, the lamest of lame-duck Congresses.

As for ourselves, we're pretty pleased with the results, considering this is still the old Congress where we do not possess majorities in either house.

The two biggies, the omnibus spending bill and the DREAM Act got whacked in spectacular fashion.

Two things regarding the omnibus spending bill: 1) Republicans (for the most part) got the message from America (aided and abetted by tea partiers) that the current business as usual with earmarks was unacceptable and 2) $1 billion that would've gone to federal agencies to help them cope with ObamaCare start-up costs have been denied. The de-funding has just begun!

Don't Ask Don't Tell: This is real murky water for us. While we can't see denying someone their desire to serve our country in uniform because of their sexual orientation, the devil is in the details and we lack the crystal ball to see how this plays out and what the real implications are of overturning DADT.

Also, someone with a better working knowledge of this needs to educate us as we believe that repealing DADT conflicts with standing provisions against sodomy contained in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There needs to be reconciliation between the two.

One of our former objections to gays serving in the military was based on the grounds of group cohesion, combat readiness and morale. After reading more and more about true closed-quarters combat operations, we got to believe that the absolute last thing a soldier or Marine, such as those of the 3/5 who have been dodging bullets in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, is worried about is the sexual orientation of those in his rifle squad. It just doesn't print out.


START Treaty: Harry Reid had eight months to bring this to the floor of the Senate for a full hearing and debate. Why are we rushing through an international treaty in a lame duck session? And why are we signing treaties with people we can't trust? It makes no sense and the Republicans are not even putting up a fight as it looks like this will have been ratified by the Senate by the time this post goes to print.



Hit the link at the top for a complete rundown of legislative topics.

9 comments:

steve said...

New START was backed by, IIRC, every living prior Sec. of State, NSA and Sec. of Defense. It waited because it keep getting delayed by Republicans, to a large extent, and they were actively negotiating with Kyl. So, this was hardly rushed.

It is precisely because we cannot entirely trust them that we need a verification treaty. Reagan figured this out, as did GHW Bush. Having read through big chunks of the treaty, the parts I was interested in, the primary reason to oppose it would be for partisan purposes, or if you do not think we should have any treaties with Russia. Of course, since they help provide us with our primary alternate supply route into Afghanistan, one should consider the consequences. Finally, since we probably have more to worry about in regards to unsecured nuclear material, decreasing the numbers of nukes is a major plus for us. We still have large advantages in delivery systems (check out our number of bombers).

Steve

drozz said...

steve brings up some very good points.

still, i cannot shake in my head the results when the Soviets promised Carter they weren't going to invade afghanistan.

Dean said...

Steve, any thoughts on DADT?

steve said...

It has been a while since I was in. We had guys that we knew were gay and no one cared. The flamboyant gays who are going to become flower arrangers dont usually go into the military. I think most gays will probably keep it quiet anyway.

But, one did run into the occasional anti-gay type. I expect about a 5 year or so adjustment period. IIRC, Turkey is the only other NATO country that did not allow gays to serve. I think our guys are at least as professional and will adapt ok. But I tend to run optimistic.

Steve

B-Daddy said...

With respect to the sodomy clause in the UCMJ, that has probably been mooted by Lawrence v Texas, in which the Texas sodomy laws were declared unconstitutional.

CDR Salamander is rightly worried that the diversity bullies will give gays special protected status, like that given to racial minorities.

Road Dawg said...

So stand up to the diversity bullies, otherwise they win by default.

B-Daddy said...

Well, those bullies include the Chief of Naval Operations, so it's a little tough.

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