Monday, November 12, 2007

Catching up...part II

Mccommas....I agree that it would be a shame if you were to leave Connecticut and not remain politically active. You and I haven't agreed on a lot....but I have always admired anyone willing to put in the effort to run for elected office. I've been on the campaign trail so I know how much time and energy is needed to run a campaign, day in and day out, for months - and in some cases even longer.

The people of Windham were fortunate that you and others were willing to do that. As noted in the previous post, there are way too many uncontested races in municipal elections that offer voters no choice at all. At least the people of Windham had a choice this year.

As for your other comment on the two subs a year issue, this is a point that you and I have agreed upon in the past. I do believe that former Congressman Rob Simmons deserves a great deal of credit in initiating the discussion about the need to increase submarine production. He set the stage, and made a compelling argument that this was more about national security than it was just about jobs -- although it is about jobs. But very special jobs by some highly-skilled and uniquely talented workers that we can not afford to lose.

In football parlance, it was Simmons who took the ball and moved it down the field.

But where I disagree with you is the argument that because of that, two subs per year was already guaranteed this year. Rob's party leadership was never behind that. The decision by the Armed Services Committee last year to "authorize" two subs per year was an election gift to help Rob. he was never able to convince even his own House colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, -- even the Approos subcommittee on Defense -- to get behind this - and they gave it no consideration. The Senate Armed Services Committee never even considered going as far as its House counterparts - and wouldn't even approve the "authorization" never mind the appropriation.

Rob never gave up....but he couldn't get that ball over the goal line.

Which I think, and feel free to disagree (which I am sure you will) makes what Courtney accomplished that much more amazing. A freshman, he comes into the game, picks up where Rob left off...and pushes the ball across the goal line.

I suspect you're going to make the argument that what Courtney got was an election gift as well. But I would argue it was more than that, because this vote to actually fund the beginning of constructing two subs per year is a major financial commitment not for just this year - but next year, and the years after. It goes from $2.4 billion last year, to $2.9 billion this year, and then $4 billion next year. (Remember, the $588 million this year only buys the reactor and other pre-oder items. They still need the other $1.5 billion to complete what they start. So that's $2 billion for the one sub program, another $500,000 for the prepurchase of the second sub, and then the remaining $1.5 billion to complete the project - each and every year after.

That's something the Republican leadership didn't want to go along with.

What Courtney got was more than just an election year boost from the Democrats.


Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

There appears to be a committment from the current leadership in Congress to getting to a second new submarine as soon as possible. I agree that Rob laid the ground work, but Joe Courtney did in fact cross the goal line this year. The Defense Authorizers and Appropriaters seem to be in agreement that the submarine force should not be left to decrease. I understand that there will be hearings soon on potential threats other than those from the 'Long War', specifically, the recent growth of China's Navy. The pictures of the new Chinese SSBNS I have seen on the internet certainly point to a new potential threat to the US interests. It will be educational to see how the Navy and the Defense Department react to the 'order' from Congress to start toward building a second sub per year. Will the administration include the required funds in next year's budget or will Congress again have to insert them?

11:38 AM  
Blogger mccommas said...

Well who really got the subs is a moot point because Courtney will get full credit politically for it and Simmons zilch. We are all sophisticated enough to recognize that.

But what about the Pelosi lie? Either she was lying then or she is lying now. I knew then she was lying and now we have proof.

Pelosi said there would be no 2nd sub as long as there was a war. What about that?

We are still at war and we got a 2nd sub just like You-Know-Who said we would.


And think about it. Pelosi said that with Courtney right by her side and he obediently said nothing. Is Courtney’s support for the second sub contingent upon his holding the office?

It certainly seems to matter to Pelosi who has a horrible voting record on national defense. I think about the only jet she voted to authorize is the one she flies around on.

Why don’t you call her up and ask her about that. Does she take your calls?

What concerns me is that from now on we are pretty much naked here. Will Courtney have any credibility? The man ain't no hawk. He does not really believe in a strong national defense and I think you have to believe what you say to be an effective spokesman.

I would love to know how he has voted on weapons systems that aren’t made in the district.

EB is not a jobs program. We make those killing machines to kill the enemy. That’s what they are there for.

Does Courtney believe that?

I think Courtney is more interested in the issues that the Connecticut Bar Association thinks are important. I think it’s other lawyers who Courtney really represents.

I am happy he at least joined the Armed Services Committee. Gejdenson turned a deaf ear to constituent demands he represent us there but whether or not anyone takes him seriously remains to be seen.

2:13 PM  

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