Thursday, February 21, 2008

In the Debate Trenches

Should I have ironed my shirt? Not too much talk about defense and security issues. Boeing's stock might jump tomorrow morning with all this talk about the virtual fence.

I find it interesting that the "commander is chief" question has taken a launch excursion back into the health care issue, which is important. But, health care is a 300 meter target. Commander in Chief is a knife fight.

Okay, now we're back on track as our embassy in Serbia burns...

Rumble on the 40 Acres

The opening ceremony is underway with rousing music from the UT Band and Choir plus some general windbaggery from UT types. (Remember I'm at Texas Tech grad--get your guns up!)

Let's take a look at how the candidates stack up on issue that are near and dear to my heart: defense.


End the War in Iraq

Fulfilling Our Promises to Veterans


Foreign Policy



Homeland Security

And one highlight: Building a 21st Century Military
  • The Problem: The excellence of our military is unmatched. But as a result of a misguided war in Iraq, our forces are under pressure as never before. Obama will make the investments we need so that the finest military in the world is best-prepared to meet 21st-century threats.
  • Rebuild Trust: Obama will rebuild trust with those who serve by ensuring that soldiers and Marines have sufficient training time before they are sent into battle.
  • Expand the Military: We have learned from Iraq that our military needs more men and women in uniform to reduce the strain on our active force. Obama will increase the size of ground forces, adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.
  • New Capabilities: Obama will give our troops new equipment, armor, training, and skills like language training. He will also strengthen our civilian capacity, so that our civilian agencies have the critical skills and equipment they need to integrate their efforts with our military.
  • Strengthen Guard and Reserve: Obama will restore the readiness of the National Guard and Reserves. He will permit them adequate time to train and rest between deployments, and provide the National Guard with the equipment they need for foreign and domestic emergencies. He will also give the Guard a seat at the table by making the Chief of the National Guard a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Random, Sensless Acts of Journalism

As I posted at Danger Room (where I do most of my writing these days), I am covering the Austin Democratic debate as a *gasp* journalist. No, I haven't given up my day job, but hey if they'll let bloggers in, then why not?

My initial impression of the set up is pretty good. The logisitics of about 40 satilite trucks, security, credentialing, and chow even are daunting. I will not be on the debate floor. Instead they have a press areas/free speech zone. I'm in here with some serious journalists and publications--Forbes, The Economist. My seat is next to the crew from the Huffington Post, and Maureen Dowd--love her or hate her-- is in the room as well.

Here are some pics: