Colin Powell Still Republican and More

Colin Powell appeared on Face the Nation this morning. Powell addressed many issues of the day including the future of the GOP, torture, and Gitmo. I’d like to draw attention to his comments on the GOP and Gitmo.

You may remember about two weeks ago Dick Cheney said, on Face the Nation, that Colin Powell had already left the Republican Party. Cheney said Powell’s endorsement of Mr. Obama in the election showed his true side.. “I assumed that that is some indication of his loyalty and his interest,” Cheney said. Cheney also commented that Rush Limbaugh is a better representation of the Republican Party than Powell.

Well until Powell comes out and says he switches parties then he’s still a Republican.

from CBS

“I am still a Republican. I’d like to point out that in the course of my 50 years of voting for presidents, I have voted for the person I thought was best qualified at that time to lead the nation. Last year I thought it was President-now Barack Obama,” Powell said.

Powell shows yet again why I respect him a great deal. He votes his conscious, not party lines. Shouldn’t that be what America is about? The best person for the job? Powell gets it. These words mean a great deal to moderates out there tired of their parties being hi-jacked by extremist nut-jobs. Do the research. Vote for you believe will do the best job, regardless of party lines.

Powell chastised President Obama’s handling of Guantanamo.

from CBS

“I think President Obama didn’t handle it very well by going up to the Congress and asking for $80 million without a plan. And by, frankly, giving enough time to opponents of it to marshal their forces as to why we shouldn’t do this,”

Powell said he has told President Obama all of his concerns and worries that the president gave his opponents too much time to react to the plan. He hopes that the politicizing of the decision will start to die down.

Acording to Powell, Bush wanted to close Gitmo during his presidency. Bush was unable to close the deal on how to properly execute the closure, something Obama is struggling with now. Powell uses this as a jumping point to smash Cheney again.

from CBS

“Mr. Cheney is not only disagreeing with President Obama’s policy. He’s disagreeing with President Bush’s policy. President Bush stated repeatedly to international audiences and to the country that he wanted to close Guantanamo. The problem he had was he couldn’t get all the pieces together,” Powell said.

That wraps a great interview from a personal favorite of mine. Any thoughts on the GOP, party politics, Gitmo, Powell, or anything else?

Watch CBS Videos Online

Rachel Maddow Declares War on Moderates

Et tu, Rachel?

I have watched Rachel Maddow from time to time. I would even make a point to catch her on Air America. Maddow appeared to be a sensible alternative to the screaming swelled heads of O’Reilly, Olbermann, and others of their ilk. Even as an occasional viewer I could tell that Maddow’s political leanings were left-liberal. Still, she would provide a sound point of view backed by facts. Maddow gave the other side respect instead of just yelling in their faces. I really respected Maddow, until now.

from The Purple Center

With MSNBC host Rachel Maddow beating the drum for them, self-styled “progressives” have launched a campaign to beat up on moderate Democrats, newly dubbed “Conservadems.” The main targets appear to be Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh — who just last year was among Barack Obama’s final three picks for VP — and the 15 Democratic Senators Bayh has pulled together in a new centrist caucus. Also in their sights are the 49 House Democrats who make up the Blue Dog Coalition .

The “Dog the (Blue) Dogs” campaign is spearheaded by The Campaign for America’s Future, which bills itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement” and USAction, a union-supported outfit that claims to build grassroots campaigns. Naturally, left-leaning blogs like firedoglake, digby and Crooks and Liars – who have a penchant for forming circular firing squads — are taking up the new cause with a vengeance.

These “progressives” are not content to take these moderate Democrats to task on the merits of their positions, which generally lean toward prudence in taxation and fiscal policy. They prefer to try to delegitimize them as Democrats with the label “Conservadems,” lump them together with the most right-wing Republicans, and revile them for the crime of reflecting the moderate voters in their states — states like Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia that provided the swing votes to elect a Democratic President and return big Democratic majorities to Congress last November.

Rachel I thought you had more sense than that. Don’t you realize what you’re doing? Attempting to shame other Dems further left will only further alienate them. When you do want their support where will you turn. They can swing their votes just as easily as a moderate Republican.

Does all of this sound familiar? It should. Rush Limbaugh has attacked Republicans who don’t fit into his narrow view of conservatism recently, including RNC Chair Michael Steele. Maddow is taking a page straight from the Limbo playbook? Kick anyone out of our tent that doesn’t hold the exact same “progressive” ideals that we do. Look how well that has worked for Rush’s ratings and the Republican party at large. Your sounds really progressive Rachel.

Rachel Maddow Declares War on Moderates

Et tu, Rachel?

I have watched Rachel Maddow from time to time. I would even make a point to catch her on Air America. Maddow appeared to be a sensible alternative to the screaming swelled heads of O’Reilly, Olbermann, and others of their ilk. Even as an occasional viewer I could tell that Maddow’s political leanings were left-liberal. Still, she would provide a sound point of view backed by facts. Maddow gave the other side respect instead of just yelling in their faces. I really respected Maddow, until now.

from The Purple Center

With MSNBC host Rachel Maddow beating the drum for them, self-styled “progressives” have launched a campaign to beat up on moderate Democrats, newly dubbed “Conservadems.” The main targets appear to be Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh — who just last year was among Barack Obama’s final three picks for VP — and the 15 Democratic Senators Bayh has pulled together in a new centrist caucus. Also in their sights are the 49 House Democrats who make up the Blue Dog Coalition .

The “Dog the (Blue) Dogs” campaign is spearheaded by The Campaign for America’s Future, which bills itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement” and USAction, a union-supported outfit that claims to build grassroots campaigns. Naturally, left-leaning blogs like firedoglake, digby and Crooks and Liars – who have a penchant for forming circular firing squads — are taking up the new cause with a vengeance.

These “progressives” are not content to take these moderate Democrats to task on the merits of their positions, which generally lean toward prudence in taxation and fiscal policy. They prefer to try to delegitimize them as Democrats with the label “Conservadems,” lump them together with the most right-wing Republicans, and revile them for the crime of reflecting the moderate voters in their states — states like Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia that provided the swing votes to elect a Democratic President and return big Democratic majorities to Congress last November.

Rachel I thought you had more sense than that. Don’t you realize what you’re doing? Attempting to shame other Dems further left will only further alienate them. When you do want their support where will you turn. They can swing their votes just as easily as a moderate Republican.

Does all of this sound familiar? It should. Rush Limbaugh has attacked Republicans who don’t fit into his narrow view of conservatism recently, including RNC Chair Michael Steele. Maddow is taking a page straight from the Limbo playbook? Kick anyone out of our tent that doesn’t hold the exact same “progressive” ideals that we do. Look how well that has worked for Rush’s ratings and the Republican party at large. Your sounds really progressive Rachel.

Can We Walk in the Middle of the Road? – Is there a place for moderate bloggers?

The Moderate Voice, as you may have gathered, is one of my favorite reads. If you don’t check it out daily you had better start! Today they published a thought provoking piece on the place of moderate bloggers in a left-right blogosphere. I’m just gonna go ahead and repost the whole thing then give you my reply.

from The Moderate Voice

Obama: Making Things Hard on Moderate Bloggers

Posted By NED LIPS On March 2, 2009 @ 10:13 am

There are some who believe that the very concept of “moderate blogger” is some sort of oxymoron, or that anyone who would categorize themselves in that manner must just be morons. Bloggers are supposed to be hard core ideologues. How can a fence walking moderate blog survive? What do we stand for? Well we find the correct answers amidst the rhetoric and we take a “good for the country” stand.

For the hard right wing conservative bloggers, Obama is gold. Lots of spending and tax increases, or at least the ability to make those claims.

For the left wing liberal socialist bloggers, Obama is tricky, but there are plenty of compromises being made to the hard left agenda for these folks to write for hours. Tax cuts, delays in raising taxes on the wealthy, taking longer to get out of Iraq, adding troops to Afghanistan, etc.

Bloggers do not make any money doing this, no matter how wonderful we may be. So to sit down and write, we have to find a passionate reaction to the message or actions of those claiming power.

As I look at Obama from the view of a moderate, I see a leader of the people who understands the importance of US business. He is being hard core and making both change their ways. From the standpoint of a historically Republican leaning moderate, he seems pretty balanced. I find it makes sense to wait and see how this all works itself out.

Sure the Stimulus Package was huge and only three Republicans voted for it. Here is what I think happened. Continue reading

Can We Walk in the Middle of the Road? – Is there a place for moderate bloggers?

The Moderate Voice, as you may have gathered, is one of my favorite reads. If you don’t check it out daily you had better start! Today they published a thought provoking piece on the place of moderate bloggers in a left-right blogosphere. I’m just gonna go ahead and repost the whole thing then give you my reply.

from The Moderate Voice

Obama: Making Things Hard on Moderate Bloggers

Posted By NED LIPS On March 2, 2009 @ 10:13 am

There are some who believe that the very concept of “moderate blogger” is some sort of oxymoron, or that anyone who would categorize themselves in that manner must just be morons. Bloggers are supposed to be hard core ideologues. How can a fence walking moderate blog survive? What do we stand for? Well we find the correct answers amidst the rhetoric and we take a “good for the country” stand.

For the hard right wing conservative bloggers, Obama is gold. Lots of spending and tax increases, or at least the ability to make those claims.

For the left wing liberal socialist bloggers, Obama is tricky, but there are plenty of compromises being made to the hard left agenda for these folks to write for hours. Tax cuts, delays in raising taxes on the wealthy, taking longer to get out of Iraq, adding troops to Afghanistan, etc.

Bloggers do not make any money doing this, no matter how wonderful we may be. So to sit down and write, we have to find a passionate reaction to the message or actions of those claiming power.

As I look at Obama from the view of a moderate, I see a leader of the people who understands the importance of US business. He is being hard core and making both change their ways. From the standpoint of a historically Republican leaning moderate, he seems pretty balanced. I find it makes sense to wait and see how this all works itself out.

Sure the Stimulus Package was huge and only three Republicans voted for it. Here is what I think happened. Continue reading

Sunday Editorial on Editorials – Backlash against Snowe and Collins

Republicans throughout Maine, at least the ones writing editorials, are about ready to hang Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe for treason. Voting your conscience is apparently not appreciated by conservative opinionators.

The two have been referred to as Republicans only during election season, treasonous, and reincarnations of that icon for turncoats Benedict Arnold.

I can’t say I’m surprised to see this kind of reaction. I am however disappointed. Many writers were upset that Snowe and Collins were not sticking to their conservative principles. I don’t recall them ever claiming to be conservatives. In fact both ran on being Moderate Republicans, which led them to win reelection in the most Liberal region of the country. Nor is this the first time the two senators have broken ranks with their party. Yet people are still surprised.

One reader even accused them of not reading the stimulus. Even though it is well known that Collins was one of the senators who poured over the bill looking for fat to trim out. Collins even stood fast against Sen Harry Reid in negotiations for spending reductions. I doubt whether or not this commentor has read enough, or any, of the bill in order to say whether or not the Senators can make an educated judgement on it.

Only one writer supported the Senators saying “Whining on the left, whining on the right! Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have the fortitude to vote for what is right and not what ‘the party’ wants.” Even Collins said that if the far right says there is too much spending and the far right says there isn’t enough then they are doing something right.

The bill isn’t perfect and I doubt it can ever be perfect. Neither side will ever get exactly what they want. And maybe they shouldn’t. Republicans don’t have all the answers and the Democrats don’t either.

I applaud Snowe and Collins for breaking ranks to do what they believe is right and for working on the inside to bring some moderation to the stimulus rather than shouting outside the walls hoping to be heard.

The Problems and Potential of Change

I have been a member of Change.org since roughly mid-December. For those who aren’t familiar with the site Change.org is not in any way affiliated with Change.gov, Barack Obama’s transition website. The aim however is similar.

Change.org collects information on a number of issues all in one place. I’ll give you a rundown of a few causes they list: global warming, gay rights, immigration, education, fair trade, human trafficking, and middle east peace just to name a few. On any of the nineteen causes you can read daily blogs, start actions, join related non-profit groups, and participate in fundraising.

The potential of Change.org blows me away. Never have I come across a site that collects so many issues in such an easy to read manner. On the blogs today I could read about country of origin labeling , a plea to not forget Darling-Hammond on education policy – Oh man, I have more to say on that – and if charity really does make a difference.

The action creation aspect of Change.org is the true power of the site. Obama has pledge we are entering a new age of government; this will be an age of transparency and citizen involvement in government. Change.org is one of the first children of this new age. There are 16,887 members of the global warming cause. Imagine you write a petition for a way you wish the government to act on global warming. Then imagine that each one of those members signs your petition. That’s 16,887 letters to the president’s office, not to mention that you can send letters to your congressional reps, governor, and state legislature; it’s all as easy as clicking a few buttons. Even lazy, glass eyed, Gollums who never leave the glow of their screens can petition the government. Even your Grandma who chicken pecks the keys can petition the government.

This sort of power is mind-boggling. Just the simple fact that the site collects all the email addresses of your elected officials from state level up to the president is amazing. And the vast amount of citizens you can inform on an issue is staggering as well. This is also one of the problems.

I receive somewhere around 80 request per day. These are a combination of non-profit groups, pledges, and petitions. Many of the actions are worthwhile. Petitioners asked me to support autism awareness and visit a nature preserve this year – that’s easy seeing as there is one directly next to my home. There vast majority are either too broad – eliminate violence against women, higher educational standards for all – or too impractical – support self published authors, ask people if they have their own bags. Do people think the government isn’t setting higher education standards already? Is eliminating violence against women not a goal in this society? If I get one more save Darfur action I’m going to digitally flick the senders ear hard!

That is another problem of the site. The type of people it attracts. These people tend to be far-left progressives. They tend to propose lofty changes without any concrete way of getting there. It’s a tough place for a centrist democrat to function. I’d hate to see some of my center-right friends attempt to accomplish something through Change.org. I take that back; I challenge the centrists of the web to get on Change.org and make your causes heard. Please! I’d love it!

Back to the lesson at hand. I stick to the education and health care, though I’ve certainly support actions from all over. Let’s look at the education cause for an example of how far left this site swings. The three featured actions are a petition to completely dismantle No Child Left Behind, a petition to appoint Linda Darling-Hammond somewhere in the Department of Education, and a pledge to be responsible for our children’s entertainment habits.

NCLB is not entirely bad; it should not completely disappear. It set standards schools should have already been setting themselves. Granted NCLB went about achieving its goals in an awful way, but it can be retooled. Many members of the site decry NCLB as some sort of dragon eating our children and burning down our schools. Have they researched NCLB on their own or do they just say, “Bush bad. He make NCLB. NCLB bad!” It certainly seems that way.

Linda Linda Linda. Everyone on Change.org seems to have a boner for Linda Darling-Hammond. One almost lives in fear of saying a kind word about Arne Duncan or Michelle Rhee. For people who belong to a site entitled Change.org so many of its members are afraid change itself. You mention “school reform” and you’re likely to get sent to the gulag. School reform means tough changes, changes unpopular with the teachers union. Many of the changes Duncan and Rhee proposed got results. They turned communities around. Who cares if the teachers union doesn’t like them? The students are what matter, which people seem to forget.

Change.org has huge potential. Great things will be accomplished from this site. This is a site for all Americans, not just the progressive left. It needs those centrist voices of reason on the right and left. This is too large for one man alone to handle. I’m sending a call to all of you great moderate bloggers and blog readers out there. Join Change.org today and get your voices heard! They are desperately needed to balance this great tool. I’m sick of getting all these requests to legalize pot!

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