Monday, October 20, 2008

Powell Redeemed

At the dawn of this disgusting administration, those of us who were paying attention breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe this wasn't going to be the disaster we predicted it would be after all. The appointment of Colin Powell as Secretary of State seemed just right. He was a smart guy and not the type of hard-line extremist one would have expected the First Fool to put in that position.
Even the curious choice of Condoleeza Rice (an expert on the Soviet Union, a country that doesn't even exist anymore) as National Security advisor seemed to be okay. Although I knew next-to-nothing about her, she had always seemed to be such an intelligent, reasonable woman whenever I saw her interviewed in the media. Also, I thought she was kind of cute. Sorry 'bout that.
Who could have possibly foreseen the coming foreign policy catastrophe with two such people navigating the ship of state?
The tragedies of General Powell and Dr. Rice is that their names will forever be tied in history to the most corrupt, criminally incompetent presidency in the annals of human stupidity. Condi has a long road ahead of her to salvage her reputation. The General, on the other hand, has already saved his. And it all happened yesterday at the studios of NBC News on Nebraska Avenue in Washington DC. When Colin Powell, in an interview with Tom Brokaw on Meet The Press, endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama, that was all I needed to hear, baby! As soon as the words came out of his mouth, I picked up the small, black and white TV that's in my office and kissed the guy's televised image. Seriously! I was even videotaped doing it! (see photo to the left of column) You got a problem with that?
Said Powell during that interview:
"I think he's a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason, I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama....
"I think what the [next] 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 convince the world that America is solid, America is going to move forward - restoring a sense of purpose....
"We need a President that will not just continue....the policies we have been following in recent years."
It was an historical example - one they'll still be talking about a century from now - of a man putting his country before his party. That type of behavior is unimaginable for a politician. But it's just what you would expect from a soldier patriot. His involvement in the first term of this nightmare of an administration is now troubled water under the proverbial bridge. And let's not forget the fact that at least Powell was smart enough to get the hell out of there while the getting was good. He will be one of the microscopic, handful people associated with George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney who will stand in history relatively (although not totally) unscathed.
Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans; born in the second half of the twentieth century....
So! This election is over, right? Right? Wrong. At this very moment, the Republicans are in the process of stealing this election by taking millions of people, most of them African American - damned near all of them Democrats - off the list of eligible voters. Their focus is on a group known by the acronym, ACORN. Apparently, some people working for the group (who were paid for every voter they registered) signed up people who didn't even exist. In their speeches, John McCain and Sarah Palin are referring to it as the most massive voter fraud in the history of American electoral politics. What they are forgetting is the fact that although one may be able to register Laurel and Hardy to vote, It's a fairly safe bet that Stan and Ollie will probably not show up at the polls on Election Day to cast their ballots. Call it a hunch on my part.
The GOP has ruined this country. The American people will not stand for another electoral coup d'tat. I slept soundly when I went to bed on Election Night 2004. Every poll had Kerry beating Bush by a slim but comfortable margin in the key, swing state of Ohio. When I was awaken by my nephew Chris Pennings with the words, "He won", I could tell by the look of disgust on his face just who "he" was.
Four years earlier, They stole the election by denying the vote to fifty-seven thousand black people in Governor Jeb Bush's state of Florida. I don't know about you, but for almost eight years I have been living under a dictatorship. As I wrote on this site a week or so ago, if Wednesday morning's headline proclaims, "PRESIDENT-ELECT McCAIN", in spite of every exit poll to the contrary, there will be a Revolution - Count on it.
This is the end of the game. The grand old party is over. They're not going to go down without a fight, however. If you thought the post-election nightmare of 2000 was nasty, you're in for the ride of your life. The Bush Mob are like rats trapped in a corner. They know that when the Department of Justice is finally in the hands of responsible prosecutors, a whole hell of a lot of them - including the president and vice-president - will be going to federal prison for a very, very long time. An Obama administration is within sight. They will do everything humanly possible, legalities be damned, to see to it that that does not happen.
The shit is about to hit the fan.
Three months from today we will have a new president. That's assuming the commander-in-disguise doesn't declare a national emergency and suspend the constitution. On that day, we will know whether or not the United States of America is still a true democracy. The people are tired of the Republican, plutocratic mismanagement of our economy and our infrastructure. The right wing spin machine has already gone into overdrive. Colin Powell's endorsement of Senator Obama is simply a case of one Black dude standing up for another. All they see is black and white - ignoring the subtle shades of grey.
General Powell is the old fashioned kind of Republican that has almost become extinct in recent years: a moderate. In the next two weeks, the Rush Limbaughs and the Sean Hannitys will attempt to portray him as a bomb-throwing Marxist; they'll call him a racist who never really loved his country; they'll accuse him of making a secret deal with Obama to be appointed Ambassador to Monaco - Don't buy any of it. Colin Powell's only motivation is his love of country, his patriotism. He sees what anyone paying attention can see quite clearly: that four more years of Republican rule will destroy this country; that a John McCain/Gidget von Braun administration will be the final nail in the coffin of America's economic suicide.
It's also a fairly safe bet that Powell understands that a potential Palin presidency would be a disaster. This is a woman who was, at best, marginally competent to be the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. As has been said by even prominent conservatives (George Will, Peggy Noonan, Christopher Buckley and Kathleen Parker come immediately to mind) her choice as a running mate shows a cynical recklessness on the part of John McCain. That he could irrationally place someone so woefully inadequate a "seventy-two-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency" defies comprehension and common sense.
Here's something else that I'll wager you was on Colin Powell's mind when he endorsed Barack Obama yesterday morning: The Supreme Court. The good General has been able to reach the heights he has risen to partially due to the decisions of progressive Justices and Politicians. He knows full well that the next president will make at least two - possibly three appointments to the Supreme Court. He realizes that one more extreme right leaning activist on that court will set this country back decades.
The decision of Harry Truman to desegregate the Armed Forces when Powell was just a little boy made his career possible. At the time, southern politicians screamed bloody murder that it would mean certain disaster for the military. The president knew better. But not for that courageous decision made by President Truman over six decades ago, Colin Powell would never have risen above the rank of Buck Private.
Here's what you can depend upon: President Obama will surround himself with the best and the brightest. President McCain will surround himself with ideological party hacks. You don't believe me? I've got six words for you:
Secretary of the Treasury, Phil Gramm.
'Nuff said? I can't emphasize this enough: 2008 is the most important presidential election in our lifetime. Not since 1932 have the stakes been higher. We're one half of one step away from the point of no return. Think I'm kidding? Then go right ahead. Vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin. You'll deserve everything that happens to you.
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

All due respect to Tom Brokaw, watching his interview with General Powell yesterday, I couldn't help but think how much I miss Tim Russert.
There are ninety-one days (exactly three months) until this awful administration out of power. Hang in there, folks!


At 8:08 AM, Blogger stoney13 said...

They tried to pull their shit in Ohio again this year, but The Supreme Court headed it off! They said the Republican Party had no standing to sue for the names on the Democratic voting lists, and they're shit out luck! I guess they FINALLY figured out which side the bread is buttered on!

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

It seems obvious to me after watching the movie Zeitgeist Addendum that the same rich white people who sent " economic hitmen " to bribe and corrupt foreign leaders will feel they have no choice but to assassinate Barack Obama. They have killed anyone who has tried to expose or alter the corporate powers that control the economy. The 700 billion dollar bailout will serve no purpose other than to significantly decrease the value of our monetary wealth therefore decreasing our ability to survive. Sadly there is a reason why the others who sought to change this corrupt system are no longer with us. Obama really needs to watch his back.... he is dangerously close to ruining corporate Amerika's sick game and that will not be tolerated by corporate emperors I'm afraid :-(

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Ellis D.....
A day does not go by where I don't think about that - scarcely an hour even.

God, keep him safe.

Tom Degan

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Tom, what REALLY concerns me is who Obama has protecting him. These SS agents he shoots hoops with......wouldn't be surprised if he's taken out by an exploding basketball !! Official NBA...Nail Barack's Ass. Sorry... 40 years of hating the establishment has made me very cynical !!!

At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oye' Tom...On the ACORN about the jefes hire people by the hour, and the folks are expected to turn some names in ...dude gets a tad layed back and doesn't make it out one day...Phone books handy...or...

At 3:22 AM, Blogger larkrise said...

The Repugnant Republicans will make a full court press, dishing up more dirt than mountaintop mining; and just as destructive. The GOP has become a toxic force of horrific proportions under the tutelage of the Far-Right. I put NOTHING past them, NOTHING. If they manage to steal this election, the result will be the total destruction of this country, economically, morally, and physically. They will drain the last drop; and leave pollution and poverty in their wake. It will take far more than 8 years of an Obama Administration to dig us out of the hole these thieves and thugs have dug for us. The rabid right-wingnuts flock to the hatefilled Palin appearances to get their mega-dose of racism, hatemongering and fearmongering. She relishes the opportunity to spew as much venom as possible.There are millions of idiots and fools among us.I hope those who are intelligent and sensible can outnumber them. I still see it as an uphill battle. Corruption and deception have become the norm in this country. The corporate-owned Media have promoted it. It is only when it has reached the level where it has devastated the economy, that we hear cries of foul play. And, that is only because the wealthy are worried about their Portfolios. The rest of us can be damned. McCain, with his continued tax cuts for the fat-cats, certainly doesnt care. If the sheeple want to be sheared yet again, they deserve to freeze their butts off.
Obama has gone to be at the side of his dying grandmother. Watch the McCain campaign try to take some kind of advantage of it. Their lack of character and personal integrity should scare the Devil out of everyone. Instead, too many admire the pact these Wingnuts have made with the Devil. Rush Limbaugh is their mouthpiece, a pseudo-human being.

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Green River Rider said...

Just came across this piece by Olbermann on the Powell endorsement.

A few years ago it was fairly plain that Powell's word wasn't worth a bucket of warm spit. For good reason.

His opinion of Obama is his to have. But it's irrelevant to me.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to hear what Gen. Powell would have to say about the Bush Administration if there were complete confidentiality. I believe the Bush Republicans exploited the trust the American people had in him to further their warped agenda.

Ohio is doing its best this time around to avert voter irregularities. We have a Democratic governor now. Last time around we had a Republican administration that was mired in scandal and had the lowest approval rating of any governor in the 50 states. I live in a very conservative town and sometimes I feel like an alien in my own community. If Ohio goes Republican again, I think I'll consider moving. So Tom, how's New York?

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


New York is safely Obamaland. We generally go Democratic. That's why I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000.
Tom Degan

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, I'm not convinced any state is "safely Obamaland". Last Friday I dropped in on my local election board (serving Prince William County, VA). I asked specific questions about the integrity of the DRE (direct-recording electronic) voting machines (Sequoia "Edge" model) used; the chain of custody procedures that are intact; security, etc. I left shaking my head, confused and disappointed. The answer I received, which I expected, was that everything is okay, and "that someone would have to go to a lot of trouble, and why would they want to do that?" I reiterated my concern about the possibility of voter fraud and reminded the election board worker of the fraud that occurred in 2004. The few citizens there, who were casting their absentee ballots, were listening intently but appeared nonplussed. That was equally concerning to me.

I suggest all citizens become more knowledgeable of the type of voting systems used in their voting jurisdiction. As mentioned, my county uses a DRE system manufactured by Sequoia. Although it supposedly has the capability of VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail), they are not outfitted with this option in my precinct. The VVPAT is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballotless voting system, such as DRE, to assure voters that their votes have been recorded as intended. It is provided, and many experts argue necessary, to detect fraud and equipment malfunction.

Critics of DRE machines, including both activists and computer security experts, claim that there is an increased risk of electoral fraud, and if the security of the DRE software is compromised the election results could be tampered with in an undetectable fashion. In 2004, almost 29% of the registered voters in the United States used some type of DRE voting system, up from 8% in 1996. Expectedly, the percentage has increased for this election. These voting delivery systems have, needless to say, compromised the total electoral process.

For an thorough review of the current status of each state's voting readiness, go to the Brennan Center for Justice and study the recently released Is America Ready To Vote? State Preparations for Voting System Problems in 2008. See how your state compares.

Those readers who subscibe to HBO, be sure to view their special documentary titled Hacking Democracy. It aired this past Monday, and it's showing at various times on the HBO spectrum of channels throughout the next couple of weeks. For additional insight about electronic voter fraud and its enormous possibilities, be sure to view Princeton University's excellent video detailing vote-tampering capabilities using one of Diebold's DRE models that's used in voting precincts throughout the country.

Being both a year of the Olympic games, and a presidential election, the phrase "Let the games begin" carries a much deeper meaning.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...


For me, Colin Powell redeemed himself by refusing to continue in the *BUSHIE* reign of terror after the second election theft.

I am so glad he made the points, and specifically clearly, about *WHY* he chose to endorse Obama.

The points are being brought up, over and over, by Media who then show McCain/Palin commercials and "rallies" where their disgusting yaps go off like barking Pomeranians.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

I am attending a voter protection training session tonight run by the Obama camp for lawyers who have volunteered to help out on election day to ensure registered voters are not denied their vote. We still use the old fashioned lever machines here in NY so hacking shouldn't be an issue. I'm anxious to find out exactly what protection I would provide. I will report back on this tomorrow.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Well although I'm not in a swing state or state that has had major voting issues, I will be at polling places on election day to monitor the process, help out when I am able and/or contact people ready, willing and able to get court ordered injunctions, police intervention and other legal remedies that may be appropriate. We think a possible issue here in NY might be people wearing all the merchandise that has been sold when they go to vote which will violate the rule against electioneering inside the polling place. I will then instruct such people to turn their Obama sweatshirt inside out etc. so that they are allowed in to cast their ballot.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Also, make sure if they have Obama or McCain stickers on their cars, they *MUST* move them 100 yard --in MN-- or they could be disenfranchised for "electioneering."

This race is too close to lose even one vote.

Also, in states with no paper trail ballot, Take a PHOTO OF YOUR VOTE WITH YOUR CELL PHONE. Make sure all the voters around you know to do this, if enough people do this, statisticians can calculate a margin of error on "malfunctioning" Diebold --or other "brands--Paperless voting machines.


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The consensus among astrologers seems to be that the next few years are going to make The Sixties look like a rehearsal for the high school play.

Revolution is in the air. Saturn opposes Uranus. Pluto putting in for a long stay in Capricorn. etc.

Anyone who thinks the ruling cabal doesn't pay attention to astrology doesn't know history very well.


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