Friday, October 17, 2008

The Blade Wraps Up the Gender Identity Bill Controversy

A reporter from The Blade interviewed me by phone when I was on a lunch break at a conference in St. Louis a few weeks ago. The article came out while I was in Australia, I didn't get a look at it until now.
A law extending new rights to Montgomery County’s transgender residents and workers is winning early praise from activists and others who fought to secure it.

Maryanne Arnow of Equality Maryland said the law, which went into effect earlier this month, “adds a layer of comfort to what is often an overwhelmingly difficult process, since transitioning is a public process because of the clinical standards that one has to adhere to.

“It gives me a great sense of security knowing that I have the full force of the law behind me, should any discriminatory situation occur at work or in public places.”

Celeste Hall, a transgender woman who said she faced prejudice when she sought work in Montgomery County, agreed.

“Hopefully, if I apply for a job in Montgomery County again,” she said, “I won’t have managers telling me, ‘We’d like to hire you, but worry about how other employees will react to you.’”

The Maryland Court of Appeals decided Sept. 9 that the law, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and other areas based on gender identity, would not require public ratification. ‘A great sense of security’: Trans residents of Montgomery County praise new bias law

There's a nice picture of Dana Beyer and Dan Furmansky drinking a toast, it looks like.

Mmm, here they quote me but I think they got it a little wrong.
The victory came nearly one year after the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed the U.S. House of Representatives without transgender protections. The removal of the trans provision angered many activists, who criticized HRC for refusing to oppose the gay-only version of the bill.
Jim Kennedy of Teach the Facts, a group that promotes fact-based education in Montgomery County schools, said HRC fiercely defended the local trans rights measure.

“The HRC, who did not really support the transgender part of ENDA, really got involved in the Montgomery County battle, and contributed a lot of money and resources,” said Kennedy. “So that is a shift, and it’s important for them to do that.”

Jeremy Pittman, HRC’s national deputy field director, said that HRC did not see the Montgomery County transgender legislation as a way to make amends for ENDA.

“This is exactly the same kind of work we’ve done in supporting state level initiatives for providing LGBT equality for years, and we would have given the same level of support regardless of what happened last year with the ENDA battle,” he said.

Pittman said HRC provided $5,000 to help fund the case that went to the Maryland Court of Appeals and $20,000 to help start Basic Rights Montgomery, a coalition formed to support the trans rights measure.

I know HRC did not support the trans-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) at the federal level, but I don't think I would have said this was a "shift," or commented on their stand on "the transgender part of ENDA," since I don't think the bill was in parts and I don't really follow HRC's positions on anything. If you look back, I have considered the controversy over including gender identity in that bill to be a legitimate debate with good points to be made on both sides, and though HRC did not support including it I have never been critical of them for that (see for example HERE). Sounds like I made the HRC people defensive, at least as my opinion was filtered through a reporter, sorry about that. I thank them for their support in our county's controversy, they made the campaign possible with their generous donations and oversight.
Although some anger remains over ENDA, activists said they’re seeing a shift in how trans rights are viewed within the gay civil rights movement.

“The Montgomery County law shows continued progress in support of transgender rights,” said Donna Cartwright, communications director of Pride at Work, an AFL-CIO constituency group.

“I think there’s always been a great deal of collaboration between gay and transgender groups, but it’s heartening that this cooperation and solidarity continues.”

Arnow said that the Montgomery County legislation undoes some of the damage caused by last year’s ENDA feud.

“Even though there is no blanket, federal non-discrimination act that protects transgender people, and in Maryland there’s no statewide act, at least now a comprehensive non-discrimination act protecting transgender people has been passed in the county where I live and work,” she said.

I see, this article has a kind of theme about the ENDA fight and the differences that have existed between gay and transgender people. Well, I'm glad our county has done the right thing.
Dan Furmansky, Equality Maryland’s executive director, agreed that much has changed since last year’s ENDA dispute.

“I think the one merit to having the legislation reach the ballot would have been showing members of Congress that the public truly supports this kind of legislation,” he said. “However, it was far more important to put this into effect immediately and shut down the campaign of negative rhetoric surrounding it.”

Lisa Mottet, the transgender civil rights project director at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, said that her organization helped with the case that went to the Maryland Court of Appeals, donated $20,000 to found Basic Rights Montgomery and organized phone banks that raised another $12,000 for Basic Rights Montgomery.

“I think the transgender community in Montgomery County was really surprised and thrilled at how much the entire LGBT community in Montgomery County and Maryland and the D.C. area really came together to defeat this measure,” she said. “I believe we’re going to win a transgender-inclusive ENDA in Congress, and this is just one of the victories along the way.”

Good, they see this as a stepping-stone to a national bill.

Uh-oh, now they're going to talk about me.
Other evidence of mended bridges can be found online at Kennedy’s blog,, where gay and transgender people are interacting in the comments section.

“It’s been interesting to watch them talk to each other and see the gay commentators understand the transgender situation,” said Kennedy, who is straight. “There’s a lot of learning, since gay people don’t necessarily empathize with the transgender situation. But from talking to one another, they see that both groups face a lot of the same problems.”

Kennedy noted on his blog that during a recent trip to the Giant grocery store in Germantown, Md., people against Montgomery County’s trans law were seeking signatures to again challenge the law.

He said opponents “were lying to people about what the bill is about. They were asking if people wanted to sign a petition to keep men out of women’s restrooms.

“What they want to do is stand there and scare people and create a negative association with transgender people and link them to sexual predators.”

I write here, but I don't like to think of it as "my blog." I have had "my blogs" before, and they were nothing like this. You wouldn't want to know. This blog, I hope, generally expresses the opinions of a group of people who work together, and I try to serve as their mouthpiece, with a little bit of personality.

Anyway, it has been a most gratifying experience to watch the dialog in our comments section between the gay and transgender readers.
Michelle Turner, a leader of Citizens for a Responsible Government, which organized the law’s first challenge, did not return the Blade’s calls for comment.

Despite the continued challenges, activists said the victory in Montgomery County has given them new hope that similar rights will be enacted statewide.

Cartwright said the local victory gave “new momentum for getting a state bill,” and noted that “Montgomery County is the largest jurisdiction in Maryland in terms of population, and it is a suburban district,” so it is a “step outside the usual urban areas” that have passed laws to protect transgender rights.

Furmansky said public education would be vital to securing additional rights from state lawmakers.

“As difficult as it is,” he said, “we need more gender nonconforming people who can take the very bold step of speaking to legislators about their experiences and we need the entire LGBT and allied community to declare this a priority piece of legislation.”

Most people never give a thought to the topic of gender identity, never think about transgender people, never have to deal with them or imagine what that's like. The controversy in our county has at least raised the profile a little bit, you have to think about the question of discrimination the transgender population faces.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reiteration City, baby!

The very prestigious Gallup traditional voter poll, renowned for its incredible accuracy has, this afternoon, reiterated its findings and, for a second day in a row, found that Obama is ahead in the Presidential race by two points, beneath the margin of error.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a dead heat!

October 17, 2008 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, we just have Anon beating his dead horse.

October 17, 2008 4:15 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous, no honest statistician would take the lowest of a series of polls and say that its representative of the true situation. It'd be just as accurate to say that Obama is leading by 10% seeing as a series of polls have placed him with a double digit lead.

On average Obama leads by 6.9% your senile old man's doomed.

October 17, 2008 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bad anonymous, no honest statistician would take the lowest of a series of polls and say that its representative of the true situation."

They would if it was the very prestigious Gallup traditional voter poll- and there were several other in the 3-4 range.

Any statistician would drop one poll that is twice as much as any other from that day if they were calculating an average. realclearpolitics' formula is flawed.

Just like your intelligence!

"It'd be just as accurate to say that Obama is leading by 10% seeing as a series of polls have placed him with a double digit lead."

No other poll yesterday or today had that margin, much less a "series".

I know you're frustrated because the liberals lost big in Canada and, now, the socialist revival in America appears doomed, but think before you type.

Okey, dokey?

October 17, 2008 5:02 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said " there were several other in the 3-4 range.".

Wrong. There were no other polls in the 2 or 3 range.

Gallup has stated themselves that the expanded LV poll is more accurate than the traditional because it takes into account the vast number of new voters the Democrats have registered along with the huge lead Democrats have in voter enthusiasm. This is worth several points in itself.

Leaving out the 2% outlier Obama's lead is 5.7% based on the polls released today and is unlikely to change from there. Get used to president Obama.

Bad Anonymous said "No other poll yesterday or today had that margin, much less a "series".".

A whole series of polls in the past week have had Obama in the 10-14% range. This is a better picture of the true state of affairs as it takes out random fluctuations that don't translate into real numbers in the election.

Bad anonymous said "I know you're frustrated because the liberals lost big in Canada and, now, the socialist revival in America appears doomed".

I'm not concerned at all. The Conservatives were held to a minority government by a distrustful populace and there is little they can do to harm us for that reason. 62% of Canadians voted for someone other than the Conservatives, Harper has no mandate and can be turfed from power at any time.

Obama still has an overwhelming lead and all the major factors like likeability, ability to deal with the economy, voter enthusiasm, etc. are in his favour not to mention his resounding win in all three debates. The experts predicted a narrowing of the race but very few of them think Mccain can turn things around and pull off a win. The way things stand now (and there's no reason to expect any substantial change) it'll be a massive victory for Obama in the 320-340 EV range.

October 17, 2008 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the anons actually had any worthwhile input to the topic at hand, they wouldnt spam it up with political commentaries. That is just plain rude. I wouldnt do it like that on your blog - why do you do this on Jim's ?

Either keep on topic, or find a valid politcal forum to release your information onto.

Intentionally creating this kind of static interference has no place in being civil and decent, no matter what you say your morals and ethics are, that guide you to sanction such blatant rudeness.

Much less, debating or dialoguing about topics that are socially and civilly critical to many of us on both sides of these issues, that read and participate on this site.

Thank you Jim, for posting another excellent narrative on this topic.

Most respectfully Yours,


October 17, 2008 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, I’m rather surprised that Joe Wurzelbacher and his rope-line dialogue with Barack Obama has managed to stay in the news for as long as it has.

I knew when I first heard the exchange that it went badly for Obama.

I didn’t expect Joe the Plumber to be the main topic of the last presidential debate.

And I certainly didn’t expect Obama supporters to keep the story alive by their rabid character assassination of a man who did nothing more than ask a question — at random.

Now, we have people crawling over his tax records, his voter registration, his professional licensing, and whatever else they can find in the public record.

Someone has linked him to the long-deceased Charles Keating, suggesting that somehow Obama managed to pick a McCain plant out of a ropeline full of people by accident. How much longer before a certain blogger at The Atlantic demands a paternity test to see if Joe the Plumber fathered Sarah Palin’s baby — or Bristol’s, for that matter?

There is a stench of desperation surrounding this, as if they sense defeat coming from a moment of honesty from Obama about his real intentions to institute a regime of redistribution.

They want to discredit the man who only asked the question as if he’s some political operative who magically forced Obama to sound … well, a little like a Marxist.


They want to distract people from Obama’s answer by sliming the man Obama picked at random to ask a question.

Joe Wurzelbacher didn’t give a speech or make a commercial. He asked a question. He stood on a rope line, and Obama picked him to ask it. The media seems to feel that they have a duty to expose every last part of Wurzelbacher’s life, but that asking Obama to explain his political partnerships with Tony Rezko and William Ayers, and his long friendship and financial support of rabid demagogues Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, are not just out of bounds but downright racist.

So what have we learned from this episode?

1. Thou shalt not offend The One by asking him a question. Of any kind.
2. Anyone who questions The One will have to undergo a public pillorying of a kind unseen since the Red Scare, or perhaps the Inquisition.

3. The media will happily participate in any inquisition, as long as it keeps them from investigating little irrelevant issues like Obama’s ties to the Chicago Machine, William Ayers, ACORN, or his record on protecting infanticide.

Don’t ask questions. Don’t check the records of people running for political office, but do check the records of those who dare violate Rule #1.

No dissent will be tolerated.

Our political and media masters have spoken.

I only ask one favor of the Left and the media: please keep this story alive for another three weeks.

October 17, 2008 6:41 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 17, 2008 6:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous plagarized his last post, he didn't write that at all, he stole it from Ed Morrisey.

Maryanne, bad anonymous is a sociopath. He doesn't come here out of any moral principle, he comes here to hurt people because that's what makes him feel good. He's especially hung up on this election because he gets a vicarious thrill out of Republican oppression of gays and women.

Since I've played a part in enabling his bad behavior I'll take a few days off to give you and others a bit more of a break and a chance to discuss the actual issues at hand.

October 17, 2008 7:02 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

No desperation there, anonymous.

McCain tried to foist "Joe the Plumber" on the American people just like he tried to do with Palin.

The media is doing their job in this case. Obama had nothing to do with it - McCain May Stumble With Focus on `Joe the Plumber' (Update2)(Bloomberg):

During the last presidential debate, Oct. 15, McCain said that what Obama would ``do to `Joe the plumber' and millions more like him is have their taxes increased and not be able to realize the American dream of owning their own business.''

The problem for McCain, tax analysts said, is that the underlying premise that Wurzelbacher would face higher taxes under Obama is neither true nor typical of how the vast majority of small businesses would fare.

October 17, 2008 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really should try to ascertain the facts before you go mouthing off, AH.

Joe the Plumber was not *picked* out of a *rope line.* He was playing catch with his son in his yard when he saw Obama walking in his neighborhood. Obama was there to speak to real middle class people and made his way past Joe's house. Joe asked Obama if his taxes would go up if he bought his company, which makes $250,000-280,000 a year. Joe got about 5 minutes of Obama explaining all the tax breaks Joe and his workers would qualify for under Obama's tax plan, which favors small businesses, the fundamentals of our economy.

Right now Joe's an employee and he makes a lot less than $250,000 a year. With the savings he will earn under Obama's tax plan, he'll be able to buy that company a lot sooner than he would under McBush's more-tax-cuts-for-the-already-rich plan.

Here's the full unedited video of Joe the Plumber meeting Obama.

October 17, 2008 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Jim, Dana and Maryanne! Great articles, interviews and posts!

¡Hola desde México!


October 17, 2008 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Oct. 17) - U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, embroiled in an adultery scandal and a tight race for re-election, admitted Friday to having at least two affairs.

The first-term Democrat conceded that one of the affairs began as he was running on a family values platform to replace Mark Foley, a Republican who resigned amid revelations that he sent lurid Internet messages to male pages who had worked on Capitol Hill as teenagers."

October 18, 2008 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you spell immature, rude, cowardly, and ill-mannered bigot ?




October 18, 2008 12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your buddies here have constantly implied the Republicans are more likely to be involved in immorality. I try to tell them it's a common condition which affects all political persuasions.

They've made it a topic of discussion.

Ironic when the self-righteous Democrat replacing some disgraced Republican turns out to be the equivalent.

October 18, 2008 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is becuase many Republicans ARE a part of immorality!

I mean, take a look at the past two presidencial elections. Both of them were FRAUDS from the "top" Republican.

October 18, 2008 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two misspelled words in two sentences

that's good for you, Derrick!

btw, the outlier poll, Hotline, the only poll in the last two days that had Obama leading by 8 points, has recanted and dropped Obama's lead

they still have it at seven but you may notice that their sample size is smaller than those of other polls

let me know is you want some suggestions for remedial spelling programs, Derrick

or should I say, Derik?

October 18, 2008 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Americans render what Catholics call temporal judgment on George Bush, are they aware of the radical course correction they are about to make?

This center-right country is about to vastly strengthen a liberal Congress whose approval rating is 10 percent and implant in Washington a regime further to the left than any in U.S. history. Consider.

As of today, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat, anticipates gains of 15-30 seats. Sen. Harry Reid, whose partisanship grates even on many in his own party, may see his caucus expand to a filibuster-proof majority where he can ignore Republican dissent.

Headed for the White House is the most left-wing member of the Senate, according to the National Journal. To the vice president's mansion is headed Joe Biden, third most liberal as ranked by the National Journal, ahead of No. 4, Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders.

What will this mean to America? An administration that is either at war with its base or at war with the nation.

America may desperately desire to close the book on the Bush presidency. Yet there is, as of now, no hard evidence it has embraced Obama, his ideology, or agenda. Indeed, his campaign testifies, by its policy shifts, that it is fully aware the nation is still resisting the idea of an Obama presidency.

In the later primaries, even as a panicked media were demanding that Hillary drop out of the race, she consistently routed Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania and crushed him in West Virginia and Kentucky.

By April and May, the Democratic Party was manifesting all the symptoms of buyer's remorse over how it had voted in January and February.

Obama's convention put him eight points up. But, as soon as America heard Sarah Palin in St. Paul, the Republicans shot up 10 points and seemed headed for victory.

What brought about the Obama-Biden resurgence was nothing Obama and Biden did, but the mid-September crash of Fannie, Freddie, Lehman Brothers, AIG, the stock market, where $4 trillion was wiped out, the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street that enraged Middle America -- and John McCain's classically inept handling of the crisis.

In short, Obama has still not closed the sale. Every time America takes a second look at him, it has second thoughts, and backs away.

Even after the media have mocked and pilloried Palin and ceded Obama and Biden victory in all four debates, the nation, according to Gallup, is slowly moving back toward the Republican ticket.

Moreover, Obama knows Middle America harbors deep suspicions of him. Thus, he has jettisoned the rhetoric about the "fierce urgency of now," and "We are the people we've been waiting for," even as he has jettisoned position after position to make himself acceptable.

His "flip-flops" testify most convincingly to the fact that Obama knows that where he comes from is far outside the American mainstream. For what are flip-flops other than concessions that a position is untenable and must be abandoned?

Flip-flopping reveals the prime meridian of presidential politics. If an analyst will collate all the positions to which all the candidates move, he will find himself close to the true center of national politics.

Thus, though he is the nominee of a party that is in thrall to the environmental movement, Obama has signaled conditional support for offshore drilling and pumping out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

While holding to his pledge for a pullout of combat brigades from Iraq in 16 months, he has talked of "refining" his position and of a residual U.S. force to train the Iraqi Army and deal with Al Qaeda.

On Afghanistan, he has called for 10,000 more troops and U.S. strikes in Pakistan to kill Bin Laden, even without prior notice or the permission of the Pakistani government.

Since securing the nomination, Obama has adopted the Scalia position on the death penalty for child rape and the right to keep a handgun in the home. He voted to give the telecoms immunity from prosecution for colluding in Bush wiretaps. This onetime sympathizer of the Palestinians now does a passable imitation of Ariel Sharon.

No Democrat has ever come out of the far left of his party to win the presidency. McGovern, the furthest left, stayed true to his convictions and lost 49 states.

Obama has chosen another course. Though he comes out of the McGovern-Jesse Jackson left, he has shed past positions like support for partial birth abortion as fast as he has shed past associations, from William Ayers to ACORN, from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to his fellow parishioners at Trinity United.

One question remains: Will a President Obama, with his party in absolute control of both Houses, revert to the politics and policies of the Left that brought him the nomination, or resist his ex-comrades' demands that he seize the hour and impose the agenda ACORN, Ayers, Jesse, and Wright have long dreamed of?

Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Barack wins, a backlash is coming.

October 18, 2008 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, America may be poised to reject its values to rebuke an individual. If they do, they will regret it.

This happened a few years ago in California when Gray Davis was elected governor.

They realized their mistake not long after and recalled the bum.

Unfortunately, there is no recall mechanism for Presidents.

October 18, 2008 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mainstream posted:

"Whichever way he decides, he will be at war with them, or at war with us. If Barack wins, a backlash is coming."

Is this what the guy at the McCain rally was alluding to when he shouted "Kill him!"?

Just wondering; I think it would be good to know just exactly how violent this backlash is expected to be.


October 18, 2008 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh brother, Anon, now you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel, having to quote Pat Buchanan, the repeatedly failed Catholic Presidential candidate. You've got to be kidding! His predictions turn out about as well as yours do. We're still waiting for your predicted Huckabee win and I guess we'll wait just as long for Buchanan's predicted backlash.

American voters are very sure of what they are doing. In droves they are repudiating Bush, McBush, Bush-chanan and you, the "old GOP." The new GOP is crossing party lines to support Obama/Biden, the change we need, especially down here in Virginia's tidewater area.

OK, lunch break is over. Back to canvassing for the next President of the United States of America, Barack Obama!

October 18, 2008 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

October 18, 2008 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Oh, no, that ridiculous woman Regina Griggs got a letter in the Post. What is this nonsense- not just about "ex-gays" but the issues affecting them in the workplace??? Now as someone who has always been straight- I may have had some roadblocks because I was a woman but never because I was straight. I guess what she really should support is protection for gay people since we know there no ex-gays- just re-closeted gay people.

I am currently turning my wonderful foamcore "Decline to Sign" poster(my link to this particular blog entry) into the backing for my Obama poster(carried back from Wisconsin). I will be displaying it here and in Loudoun county and after the election in my office- since the gov't won't have official president pictures up until Jan. 20.

October 18, 2008 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two misspelled words in the same sentence? oops...what can I say, I am a republican in the morning until I wake up and have a SMELL THE COFFEE (and drink it too...)

I have done that now, AnonBigot, so I am now a Democrat again. I prefer living in REALITY!

Or maybe it is because of the No Child Left Behind Law...

I know it's one of those...But, once again, I prefer reality so I am going to assume that since NCLB isn't part of public school reality, it's the coffee.

Anyway, keep losing,'s fun to watch!


October 18, 2008 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is this what the guy at the McCain rally was alluding to when he shouted "Kill him!"?"


You usually are a little more responsible. One guy at a rally apparently said this. The press keeps trying to inflate it into a violent movement. I'm sure at some point, some radical at a Democrat rally has said the same about McCain. We are a very tolerant society, so we have a lot of nuts running around.

Truth is, no one talked to the guy. No one knows what he meant. No one knows if anyone paid any attention.

Except, of course, some media guy who, truth told, would love it if there are more like this guy.


"Just wondering; I think it would be good to know just exactly how violent this backlash is expected to be."

Whenever a candidate pretends he is one thing to get the nomination and then flip flops to win the general election, half of the people who vote for him are in for a surprise. If it's the radicals who are disappointed, history would suggest a posibility of violent protest. If it's the moderate republicans he's pretending to be one of who are tricked, they'll shrug and move on to the next election.

October 18, 2008 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Regina's letter.

It's a striking example of Newspeak for PFOX to call it's anti-gay efforts a "move toward diversity." War is Peace, Hate is Love.


Where's Reedville?

October 18, 2008 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

October 18, 2008 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The prestigious and renowned Gallup poll released its daily survey and, for the third straight day, reiterated that Obama's lead is a slim, under the margin of error, two points.

Even funnier, Gallup's experimental "expanded" poll, where they try to guess how many people will vote who were too lazy to do so in the past, has dropped Obama's margin two points since yesterday.

Much like Linus in the pumpkin patch, Obama's election chances are "doomed...doomed"!

October 18, 2008 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama's election chances are "doomed...doomed"!

October 18, 2008 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous opined:


You usually are a little more responsible. One guy at a rally apparently said this. The press keeps trying to inflate it into a violent movement."

Indeed, I'd like to think that in 2008 that an angry white man shouting "Kill Him" at a political rally is just an isolated but harmless nut case.

However, American history is full of angry white folks abusing, lynching, and even murdering innocent black men and women. So I can't fully discount that possibility. At times this abuse has even come from white authorities, as in the Rodney King case.

There is a black family living in the house next to mine, and I although I haven't officially been introduced to them yet, we exchange waves when I'm out for my daily walk and I see them out and about.

I was shocked when I stopped to chat with another of my neighbors -- a white woman in her 60's who often walks at the same times I do -- referred to the family using the "n" word. I doubt she has ever spoken to them.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been shocked though. A number of years earlier I had arrived home from grocery shopping to find a black man at the base of my driveway somewhat dazed, confused, and bleeding from hundreds of small cuts on his legs -- I'm guessing he had run through some sticker bushes. From all the blood and dirt it wasn’t clear if any of the wounds were serious or not.

It was a very hot day and with the blood loss I figured he might be dehydrated, so I got him a large glass of water – which he downed in about 2 seconds. So I got him another one, which he drank a bit slower, along with some wet towels to wipe off the blood. After some discussion he finally reluctantly agreed to let me drive him to the hospital. As we got to the edge of town though he changed his mind and really wanted to get out of the car, so I stopped at a shopping center and let him off at a shaded area where he could rest and cool off.

When I got back home I stopped across the street to find out if my neighbors knew anything about why this guy was confused and wandering around our neighborhood bleeding from the legs. They said no… they had just seen “him running through the bushes coming from the direction of the highway. We were ready though – we got our guns out.”

My jaw dropped.

They asked me if he was a friend of mine. I said “No. I’ve never met him before; but he had clearly been bleeding for a while and seemed confused – I don’t know if it was dehydration, excessive blood loss, or what, but I tried to take him to the hospital.”

I live in a nice quiet little rural neighborhood. Most people keep very much to themselves, but they usually are pretty friendly. One guy across the street even snow plows my driveway in the winter and refuses to let me give him any money for it. I finally got around this asymmetric generosity by mailing his family a gift tower of goodies from Harry and David last year.

I have come to realize though this veneer of cordiality can easily be broken if a person of the wrong color enters the neighborhood. So although I would like to think that the possibility of someone actually making an attempt at Obama’s life is miniscule, given America’s bloody history, and the just-below-the-surface racism of my own “nice” neighborhood, I can’t say I’d be surprised if someone tried the unthinkable. I really don’t think it’s that much of a stretch.

Of course people are bound to disagree with me. Some people think passing a gender identity bill in Montgomery County is going to lead to cross dressing sex offenders trying to use the law to harass and attack little girls and women in locker rooms and get away with it, despite there being no history of that. To me, that’s a far bigger stretch.

Have a nice day,


October 18, 2008 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did everybody go canvassing this weekend too? I hope you all had as much fun as I did.

Hey AH. Here's an example of the "new GOP" for you. Colin Powell Breaks His Silence

October 19, 2008 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Aunt Bea!

I didn't go canvassing this weekend, but I did go to a fundraiser for Proposition 8 in California. I'm sure some here would say I was "promoting the gay agenda." I'm such an Evil Cyn. ;)

I looks like I picked up a cold going around work recently though, so my activities will be curtailed for a short period of time.

Take care,


October 19, 2008 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey AH. Here's an example of the "new GOP" for you."

All the other former GOP secretaries of state are supporting McCain.

I wonder why Powell isn't.

I guess it'll just have to be mystifyin' mystery!

What's really amazing is that some guy the Democrats nominated for VP eight years ago supports McCain.

When was the last time that happened?

Why is it that despite the most horrific economic disaster since the Great Depression, the incumbent party only leads by 3 points in two of the five polls released today?

John McCain has this election... if he will take it.

Obama slipped when he admitted that he intends to spread the wealth. McCain needs to accurately describe what the socialist regime of pelosi-reid-obama will be like.

I think people are just about fed up with the Obama ads at every commercial break. Obama has now spent more than John Kerry and George Bush spent combined in 2004. This after promising to take public financing in the primaries.

It's one of his small lies.

October 20, 2008 12:27 AM  
Blogger Maddie H said...

"Is this what the guy at the McCain rally was alluding to when he shouted "Kill him!"?"


You usually are a little more responsible. One guy at a rally apparently said this. The press keeps trying to inflate it into a violent movement. I'm sure at some point, some radical at a Democrat rally has said the same about McCain. We are a very tolerant society, so we have a lot of nuts running around.

Ah, but none have been reported doing so, none have been overheard on camera. If there is such a person, no one knows he exists.

On the other hand, the sheer volume of race-based hatred and vitriol and lies about Obama coming from McCain supporters is pretty high, and McCain himself hasn't really condemned much of it, if any - and his attempt last week to calm things down was both late and insincere.

I mean, let's not also forget the guy who hung a ghostly effigy of Obama on his front lawn... Or the guy who made an ad depicting Obama and a noose. No, it's clearly an isolated incident, right? It has nothing to do with all the rest of the racism going on.

October 20, 2008 1:31 AM  
Blogger Maddie H said...

And oh my, it appears that Sarah Palin's using the secret service to keep press from identifying or speaking to people shouting things like "kill him" at her speeches.

October 20, 2008 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, the sheer volume of race-based hatred and vitriol and lies about Obama coming from McCain supporters is pretty high,"

No, it isn't.

"and McCain himself hasn't really condemned much of it, if any"

He's corrected those who attacked Obama personally. Encouraging the idea that any criticism of Obama is "race based", however, is a pathetic move on the part of those who love it when the country is racially divided.

October 20, 2008 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Cynthia! I feel blessed that we live in a state that is so sure to go blue, we can direct our financial and field efforts to other areas as needed. Yesterday I spoke to a friend who's a field organizer, working to keep marriage legal for all in California and he appreciates the money we are raising in Maryland for that fight and says they need as much as we can spare. The folks in Virginia Beach were very appreciative of the field help from Marylanders too.

All the other former GOP secretaries of state are supporting McCain.

I wonder why Powell isn't.

What are you saying here, Anon? Are all the other former GOP secretaries of state white?

When you listen to Powell speak on Meet the Press, you will hear the reasons why he is supporting Obama over McCain. One reason is how their Vice Presidential picks reflect their leadership abilities. Powell thinks Obama's pick, Joe Biden. is ready be President on Day One and he thinks McCain' pick, Sarah Palin isn't. He also cited each candidate's reaction to the economic crisis. He lost confidence in McCain when he lurched from remedy to remedy and gained confidence in Obama's steady calls for regulation and oversight, along with investment in our economy and protections for taxpayers. He also cited the negative turn taken by the McCain campaign and preferred the "transformational" nature of Obama's.

The Meet the Press tape is only 7 minutes. Everybody should watch it. Or if you prefer, here's a link to the full transcript.

The Powell segment:

MR. TOM BROKAW: Our issues this Sunday: He served as President George W. Bush's secretary of state and was once called the man most likely to become the nation's first African-American president. He has been courted by both the Obama and McCain presidential campaigns and said this last month:


GEN. COLIN POWELL (RET.): I have been watching both of these individuals. I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I'm going to vote for yet.

(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: Is he now ready to make an endorsement in this presidential race? What are his thoughts on the major issues facing the country and the world? Our exclusive guest this Sunday, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell.

Then, with 16 days to go, Decision 2008 heads into the home stretch. What states still are in play? We will hear the latest on some new state polls with NBC's political director, Chuck Todd. Also, insights and analysis on the race to the White House with David Brooks of The New York Times, Jon Meacham of Newsweek magazine, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

But first, General Colin Powell, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS.

GEN. POWELL: Thank, thank you, Tom.

MR. BROKAW: We indicated in that opening, there is a lot of anticipation and speculation about your take on this presidential campaign. We'll get to that in a moment. But in your old business we might call this a tour of the horizon. Whoever's elected president of the United States, that first day in the Oval Office on January 21st will face this: an American economy that's in a near paralytic state at this time; we're at war in two different countries, Afghanistan and Iraq; we have an energy crisis; we have big decisions to make about health care and about global climate change. The president of the United States and the Congress of the United States now have the highest disapproval ratings that we have seen in many years. In all your years of public service, have you ever seen an incoming president face such daunting challenges?

GEN. POWELL: No. I have seen more difficult times in our history. I think about the early '70s when we were going through Watergate, Spiro Agnew, Nixon period, that was not a good time. But right now we're also facing a very daunting period. And I think the number one issue the president's going to have to deal with is the economy. That's what the American people are worried about. And, frankly, it's not just an American problem, it's an international problem. We can see how all of these economies are now linked in this globalized system. And I think that'll be number one. The president will also have to make decisions quickly as to how to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan. And also I think the president has to reach out to the world and show that there is a new president, a new administration that is looking forward to working with our friends and allies. And in my judgment, also willing to talk to people who we have not been willing to talk to before. Because this is a time for outreach.

MR. BROKAW: Given the state of the American economy, can we continue our military commitments around the world at the level that they now exist?

GEN. POWELL: We can. I think we have to look as to whether they have to be at that level. But we have the wealth, we have the wherewithal to do that. (Clears throat) Excuse me, Tom. We have the ability to do that. And so, first and foremost, we have to review those commitments, see what they are, see what else is needed, and make sure we give our troops what they need to get the job done as we have defined the job. We have that ability.

MR. BROKAW: If you were called into the Oval Office on January 21st by the new president, whoever it happens to be, and he said to you, "General Powell, I need from you your recommendation on where I begin. What should be my priorities?" Where would you start?

GEN. POWELL: I would start with talking to the American people and talking to the world, and conveying a new image of American leadership, a new image of America's role in the world.

The problems will always be there, and there's going to be a crisis come along in the 21st or 22nd of January that we don't even know about right now. And so I think what the president has to do is to start using the power of the Oval Office and the power of his personality to convince the American people and to convince the world that America is solid, America is going to move forward, and we're going to fix our economic problems, we're going to meet our overseas obligations. But restoring a sense of purpose, a sense of confidence in the American people and, in the international community, in America.

MR. BROKAW: What's not on the screen right now that concerns you that should be more prominent in the minds of the American people and the people running for president?

GEN. POWELL: I think the American people and the gentlemen running for president will have to, early on, focus on education more than we have seen in the campaign so far. America has a terrible educational problem in the sense that we have too many youngsters not finishing school. A third of our kids don't finish high school, 50 percent of minorities don't finish high school. We've got to work on this, and my, my wife and I are leading a campaign with this purpose.

Also, I think, the new president has to realize that the world looks to America for leadership, and so we have to show leadership on some issues that the world is expecting us to, whether it's energy, global warming and the environment. And I think we have to do a lot more with respect to poverty alleviation and helping the needy people of the world. We need to increase the amount of resources we put into our development programs to help the rest of the world. Because when you help the poorest in the world, you start to move them up an economic and social ladder, and they're not going to be moving toward violence or terrorism of the kind that we worry about.

MR. BROKAW: Well, let's move to the American presidential campaign now, if we can. We saw at the beginning of this broadcast a short tease of what you had to say just a month ago. Let's share with our viewers now a little more of Colin Powell on these two candidates and your position.

(Videotape, September 20, 2008)

GEN. POWELL: I'm an American, first and foremost, and I'm very proud--I said, I've said, I've said to my beloved friend and colleague John McCain, a friend of 25 years, "John, I love you, but I'm not just going to vote for you on the basis of our affection or friendship." And I've said to Barack Obama, "I admire you. I'll give you all the advice I can. But I'm not going to vote for you just because you're black." We, we have to move beyond this.

(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: General Powell, actually you gave a campaign contribution to Senator McCain. You have met twice at least with Barack Obama. Are you prepared to make a public declaration of which of these two candidates that you're prepared to support?

GEN. POWELL: Yes, but let me lead into it this way. I know both of these individuals very well now. I've known John for 25 years as your setup said. And I've gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that's a choice the party makes. And I've said to Mr. Obama, "You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience, and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president."

And I've watched him over the past two years, frankly, and I've had this conversation with him. I have especially watched over the last six of seven weeks as both of them have really taken a final exam with respect to this economic crisis that we are in and coming out of the conventions. And I must say that I've gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal with the economic problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach to the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had. And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She's a very distinguished woman, and she's to be admired; but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made.

On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well. I also believe that on the Republican side over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower. Mr. Obama, at the same time, has given us a more inclusive, broader reach into the needs and aspirations of our people. He's crossing lines--ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines. He's thinking about all villages have values, all towns have values, not just small towns have values.

And I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently, or his campaign ads, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign. But Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robocalls going on around the country trying to suggest that, because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow, Mr. Obama is tainted. What they're trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that's inappropriate.

Now, I understand what politics is all about. I know how you can go after one another, and that's good. But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow. It's not what the American people are looking for. And I look at these kinds of approaches to the campaign and they trouble me. And the party has moved even further to the right, and Governor Palin has indicated a further rightward shift. I would have difficulty with two more conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, but that's what we'd be looking at in a McCain administration. I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know. But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.

MR. BROKAW: Will you be campaigning for him as well?

GEN. POWELL: I don't plan to. Two weeks left, let them go at each other in the finest tradition. But I will be voting for him.

MR. BROKAW: I can already anticipate some of the reaction to this. Let's begin with the charge that John McCain has continued to make against Barack Obama. You sit there, as a man who served in Vietnam, you commanded a battalion of 101st, you were chairman of the Joint Chiefs, you were a national security adviser and secretary of state. There is nothing in Barack Obama's history that nearly paralyze any--parallels any of the experiences that you've had. And while he has performed impressively in the context of the campaign, there's a vast difference between sitting in the Oval Office and making tough decisions and doing well in a campaign.

GEN. POWELL: And he knows that. And I have watched him over the last two years as he has educated himself, as he has become very familiar with these issues. He speaks authoritatively. He speaks with great insight into the challenges we're facing of a military and political and economic nature. And he is surrounding himself, I'm confident, with people who'll be able to give him the expertise that he, at the moment, does not have. And so I have watched an individual who has intellectual vigor and who dives deeply into issues and approaches issues with a very, very steady hand. And so I'm confident that he will be ready to take on these challenges on January 21st.

MR. BROKAW: And you are fully aware that there will be some--how many, no one can say for sure--but there will be some who will say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race.

GEN. POWELL: If I had only had that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect and regard for, John McCain, and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only in the last couple of months that I settled on this. And I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president. And should that happen, all Americans should be proud--not just African-Americans, but all Americans--that we have reached this point in our national history where such a thing could happen. It will also not only electrify our country, I think it'll electrify the world.

MR. BROKAW: You have some differences with Barack Obama. He has said that once he takes office, he wants to begin removing American troops from Iraq. Here's what you had to say about that: "I have found in my many years of service, to set arbitrary dates that don't coincide with the situation on the ground or what actually is happening tends not to be a useful strategy. ... Arbitrary deadlines that are snatched out of the air and are based on some lunar calculation is not the way to run a military or a strategic operation of this type." That was on February 10th of this year on CNN. Now that you have Barack Obama's ear in a new fashion, will you say to him, "Drop your idea of setting a deadline of some kind to pull the troops out of Iraq"?

GEN. POWELL: First of all, I think that's a great line, and thanks for pulling it up. And I believe that. But as I watch what's happening right now, the United States is negotiating the--an agreement with the Iraqi government that will call for most major combat operations to cease by next June and for American forces to start withdrawing to their bases. And that agreement will also provide for all American troops to be gone by 2011, but conditioned on the situation as it exists at that time. So there already is a timeline that's being developed between the Iraqis and the United States government. So I think whoever becomes the president, whether it's John McCain or whether it's Barack Obama, we're going to see a continued drawdown. And when, you know, which day so many troops come out or what units come out, that'll be determined by the commanders and the new president. But I think we are on a glide path to reducing our presence in Iraq over the next couple of years. Increasingly, this problem's going to be solved by the Iraqis. They're going to make the political decisions, their security forces are going to take over, and they're going to have to create an environment of reconciliation where all the people can come together and make Iraq a much, much better place.

MR. BROKAW: Let me go back to something that you raised just a moment ago, and that's William Ayers, a former member of the Weathermen who's now active in school issues in Illinois. He had some past association with Barack Obama. Wouldn't it have been more helpful for William Ayers to, on his own, to have renounced his own past? Here was a man who was a part of the most radical group that existed in America at a time when you were serving in Vietnam, targeting the Pentagon, the Capitol. He wrote a book about it that came out on 2001, on September 11th that said, "We didn't bomb enough."

GEN. POWELL: It's despicable, and I have no truck for William Ayers. I think what he did was despicable, and to continue to talk about it in 2001 is also despicable. But to suggest that because Mr. Barack Obama had some contacts of a very casual nature--they sat on a educational board--over time is somehow connected to his thinking or his actions, I think, is a, a terrible stretch. It's demagoguery.

MR. BROKAW: I want to ask you about your own role in the decision to go to war in Iraq. Barack Obama has been critical of your appearance before the United Nations at that time. Bob Woodward has a new book out called "The War Within," and here's what he had to say about Colin Powell and his place in the administration: "Powell ... didn't think [Iraq] was a necessary war, and yet he had gone along in a hundred ways, large and small. He had resisted at times but had succumbed to the momentum and his own sense of deference--even obedience--to the president. ... Perhaps more than anyone else in the administration, Powell had been the `closer' for the president's case on war."

And then you were invited to appear before the Iraq Study Group. "`Why did we go into Iraq with so few people?' [former Secretary of State James] Baker asked. ... `Colin just exploded at that point,' [former Secretary of Defense William] Perry recalled later. `He unloaded,' Former White House Chief of Staff] Leon Panetta added. `He was angry. He was mad as hell.' ... Powell left [the Study Group meeting]. Baker turned to Panetta and said solemnly, `He's the one guy who could have perhaps prevented this from happening.'"

What's the lesson in all of that for a former--for a new secretary of state or for a new national security adviser, based on your own experience?

GEN. POWELL: Well, let's start at the beginning. I said to the president in 2002, we should try to solve this diplomatically and avoid war. The president accepted that recommendation, we took it to the U.N. But the president, by the end of 2002, believed that the U.N. was not going to solve the problem, and he made a decision that we had to prepare for military action. I fully supported that. And I have never said anything to suggest I did not support going to war. I thought the evidence was there. And it is not just my closing of the whole deal with my U.N. speech. I know the importance of that speech, and I regret a lot of the information that the intelligence community provided us was wrong. But three months before my speech, with a heavy majority, the United States Congress expressed its support to use military force if it was necessary. And so we went in and used military force. My unhappiness was that we didn't do it right. It was easy to get to Baghdad, but then we forgot that there was a lot more that had to be done. And we didn't have enough force to impose our will in the country or to deal with the insurgency when it broke out, and that I regret.

MR. BROKAW: Removing the weapons of mass destruction from the equation...

GEN. POWELL: I also assure you that it was not a correct assessment by anybody that my statements or my leaving the administration would have stopped it.

MR. BROKAW: Removing the weapons of mass destruction from the equation, because we now know that they did not exist, was it then a war of necessity or just a war of choice?

GEN. POWELL: Without the weapons of mass destruction present, as conveyed to us by the intelligence community in the most powerful way, I don't think there would have been a war. It was the reason we took it to the public, it was the reason we took it to the American people to the Congress, who supported it on that basis, and it's the presentation I made to the United Nations. Without those weapons of mass destruction then Iraq did not present to the world the kind of threat that it did if it had weapons of mass destruction.

MR. BROKAW: You do know that there are supporters of Barack Obama who feel very strongly about his candidacy because he was opposed to the war from the beginning, and they're going to say, "Who needs Colin Powell? He was the guy who helped get us into this mess."

GEN. POWELL: I'm not here to get their approval or lack of approval. I am here to express my view as to who I'm going to vote for.

MR. BROKAW: There's a summing up going on now as, as the Bush/Cheney administration winds down. We'd like to share with our audience some of what you had to say about the two men who are at the top of the administration. At the convention in 2000, this is Colin Powell on President Bush and Dick Cheney at that time.

(Videotape, July 31, 2000)

GEN. POWELL: Dick Cheney is one of the most distinguished and dedicated public servants this nation has ever had. He will be a superb vice president.

The Bush/Cheney team will be a great team for America. They will put our nation on a course of hope and optimism for this new century.

(End videotape)

MR. BROKAW: Was that prophetic or wrong?

GEN. POWELL: It's what I believed. It reflected the agenda of the new president, compassionate conservatism. And some of it worked out. I think we have advanced our freedom agenda, I think we've done a lot to help people around the world with our programs of development. I think we've done a lot to solve some conflicts such as in Liberia and elsewhere. But, at the same time, we have managed to convey to the world that we are more unilateral than we really are. We have not explained ourself well enough. And we, unfortunately, have left an impression with the world that is not a good one. And the new president is going to have to fix the reputation that we've left with the rest of the world.

Now, let me make a point here. The United States is still seen as the leader at the world that wants to be free. Even though the numbers are down with respect to favorability ratings, at every embassy and consular office tomorrow morning that we have, people will be lined up, and they'll all say the same thing, "We want to go to America." So we're still the leader of the world that wants to be free. We are still the inspiration of the rest of the world. And we can come back. In 2000, it was moment where I believed that the new administration coming in would be able to achieve the agenda that President-elect Bush had set out of compassionate conservatism.

MR. BROKAW: But it failed?

GEN. POWELL: I don't think it was as successful--excuse me (clears throat)--I don't think it was as successful as it might have been. And, as you see from the presidential approval ratings, the American people have found the administration wanting.

MR. BROKAW: Let me as, you a couple of questions--quick questions as we wrap all of this up. I know you're very close to President Bush 41. Are you still in touch with him on a regular basis? And what do you think he'll think about you this morning endorsing Barack Obama?

GEN. POWELL: I will let President Bush 41, speak for himself and let others speak for themselves, just as I have spoken for myself. Let me make one point, Tom, both Senator McCain and Senator Obama will be good presidents. It isn't easy for me to disappoint Senator McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret that. But I strongly believe that at this point in America's history, we need a president that will not just continue, even with a new face and with some changes and with some maverick aspects, who will not just continue, basically, the policies that we have been following in recent years. I think we need a transformational figure. I need--think we need a president who is a generational change. And that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama. Not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Senator John McCain.

MR. BROKAW: And finally, how much of a factor do you think race will be when voters go into that booth on November 4th?

GEN. POWELL: I don't know the answer to that question. One may say that it's going to be a big factor, and a lot of people say they will vote for Senator Obama but they won't pull a lever. Others might say that has already happened. People are already finding other reasons to say they're not voting for him. "Well, he's a Muslim," "He's this." So we have already seen the so-called "Bradley factor" in the current--in the current spread between the candidates. And so that remains to be seen. I hope it is not the case. I think we have advanced considerably in this country since the days of Tom Bradley. And I hope that is not the case. It would be very unfortunate if it were the case.

MR. BROKAW: Finally, if Senator Obama is elected president, will there be a place for Colin Powell in that administration? Maybe as the ambassador at large in Africa or to take on the daunting task of resolving the Israeli/Palestinian issue?

GEN. POWELL: I served 40 years in government, and I--I'm not looking forward to a position or an assignment. Of course, I have always said if a president asks you to do something, you have to consider it. But I am in no way interested in returning to government. But I, of course, would sit and talk to any president who wishes to talk to me.

MR. BROKAW: You're not ruling it out?

GEN. POWELL: I would sit and talk to any president who wishes to talk to me, but I'm not anxious to rule it in.

MR. BROKAW: General Colin Powell, thank you very much for being with us this morning. Appreciate it.

GEN. POWELL: Thank you, Tom.

MR. BROKAW: Coming up next, Decision 2008, the home stretch.

October 20, 2008 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What are you saying here, Anon? Are all the other former GOP secretaries of state white?"

Powell said several months back he was considering Obama because he was black. It's understandable, but still, the fact that he said that and that he hasn't supported Democrats in the past and that Obama is about as liberal as you can get would lead one to believe that.

"When you listen to Powell speak on Meet the Press, you will hear the reasons why he is supporting Obama over McCain. One reason is how their Vice Presidential picks reflect their leadership abilities. Powell thinks Obama's pick, Joe Biden. is ready be President on Day One and he thinks McCain' pick, Sarah Palin isn't."

Biden has a history of supporting the wrong choices in foreign policy moves in the past. Powell didn't agree with Biden then. Biden opposed reversing iraq occupation of Kuwait. Powell was first brought to Americans' attention there. Biden has experience alright and we've experienced his judgment. it's poor. Palin already displays an innate instinct for how we need to proceed.

"He also cited each candidate's reaction to the economic crisis."

Oh yeah, Obama's was: whatever harry reid says.

"He lost confidence in McCain when he lurched from remedy to remedy"

Like when?

"and gained confidence in Obama's steady calls for regulation and oversight,"

Like what regulation and oversight? McCain called for it years ago.

"along with investment in our economy"

Like everyone else. Very unique.

"and protections for taxpayers."

Like everyone else. Very unique.

"He also cited the negative turn taken by the McCain campaign"

Obama has spent more money on negative advertising than any candidate in history.

"and preferred the "transformational" nature of Obama's."

Does he know Obama wants to trnsform us into a socialist nation?

No, because Powell knows nothing about economics.

October 20, 2008 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the heartland

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Sunday that a Barack Obama administration would help the middle class by cutting its taxes, answering Republican claims that Obama's plan represented redistribution of wealth.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Saturday likened Obama to the socialist leaders of Europe, saying the Democrat wanted to "convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington."

In response, Biden on Sunday repeatedly linked McCain to President Bush's tax policies, saying that the wealthy and big corporations have received millions of dollars in tax cuts that could have gone to the middle class and small businesses.

"It's not just because it's fair, it's what makes the economy go. The rich do fine when the middle class is going," Biden told an audience at a rally with Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and other state Democrats vying for office. Thousands of supporters filled Cheney Stadium in this heavily blue-collar region about 40 miles south of Seattle.

"John McCain has been a party to the most significant redistribution of wealth in American history and it has been all the wrong way," he said. "There's not one fundamental economic issue that John McCain disagrees with George Bush on."

He cast McCain as someone who believes in "trickle down, government is bad, markets are right" economics.

"What John is proposing and what's been going in the last eight years are virtually no different," Biden said.

Biden noted Sunday's endorsement of Obama from former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and said there should be "no more questions" about his running mate's ability to lead the country.

"Barack Obama will be a commander in chief we can all respect," Biden said.

He also went after McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for a comment this week during a fundraiser in North Carolina that she loved visiting "pro-American" parts of the country.

"One-hundred-and-one of this state's soldiers have given their lives, have died for their country, so don't let anyone, not even indirectly, imply that there's one more patriotic part of the country than another part of the country," Biden shouted to the crowd. "It doesn't matter where you live, it doesn't matter your color, it doesn't matter your religion; we're all Americans."

October 20, 2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymoid makes the point that Democratic politicians can be as immoral as Republican politicians.

Given. But the democratic party doesn't have a platform, nor do they garner votes, based on the notion that I and people like me are intrinsically immoral.

When self-righteous people are found publicly not to be righteous themselves, it is worth noting, and gives a good lesson in the realities of self-righteousness.

Isn't this what "hoist on your own petard" means?


October 20, 2008 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymoid makes the point that Democratic politicians can be as immoral as Republican politicians.

Given. But the democratic party doesn't have a platform, nor do they garner votes, based on the notion that I and people like me are intrinsically immoral.

When self-righteous people are found publicly not to be righteous themselves, it is worth noting, and gives a good lesson in the realities of self-righteousness.

Isn't this what "hoist on your own petard" means?


October 20, 2008 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was looking at the PFOX website during my lunch 1/2-hour. Someone's been writing press releases for them, with a hugely overblown borrowing from the language of the civil rights movement and the lgbt-rights movement. They have a download though claiming that hate-crimes laws will make sermons illegal (silly people), go on at some length about how gay people bully ex-gay people, etc., but also claim not to be an anti-gay organization but just pro-gay.

They've joined the new efforts to donate anti-gay books to public libraries. I saw something about a book by Richard Cohen (I mean really!).

They complain that the APA, for example, includes only gay-affirming members on it's committees. Should they not? Would you really support someone on a committee who was not affirming of certain races?

I guess their argument is that people who are gay affirming should be also ex-gay affirming. I suppose; but as far as I can figure, the 'ex-gay' movement and the 'ex-gay civil rights movement' are really just anti-gay efforts repackaged under some sort of mythical ex-gay umbrella. I don't get it. I was involved for many years, and never met anyone who's 'reorientation' was credible.

Seems to me the ex-gay movement is a sham. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

October 20, 2008 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a sham, Robert. At least you use your lunch time to view organizations you are interested in. Not like Dana Beyer who works on outside organizations during work time.

October 22, 2008 11:43 PM  

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