"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Monday, January 14, 2013

General Colin Powell on Meet the Press about Hagel, Racism, GOP

Yesterday as I watched this interview with General Colin Powell I was taken back to the first time I heard him speak many years ago.  He hasn't changed -- he still puts Country over Party and speaks his mind.  The Republican Party should be reaching out to more individuals like Colin Powell not calling him names or dissing him for speaking the truth.  Anyone saying that members of the Republican Party do not use racist language against minorities is not facing reality.  Some of the crap that came out of former NH Governor Sununu one Romney's co-chairs or former AK Gov Palin was so far over the top of racist remarks that it left me speechless.  

Would say the Republican Party has no place for those comments but calling people names has become a way of life with some of the hard right acting like only they can determine who is a Republican today.  The attacks on Powell after his comments were to be expected but the vitrol has been way over the top.  Today you cannot say anything against the GOP but they can say whatever they want against you.  They are going to lose big in 2014 if the hard right keeps this up as a lot of us who have supported Colin Powell for years support him now and agree with him on the State of GOP.  I even posted on Twitter that the day Colin Powell leaves the GOP is the day I follow him out the door.  

This interview from Meet the Press shows General Powell to be honest, articulate, ethical, and a man who puts Country over Party which is a way of life for him.  David Gregory on the hand hand is not even close to being like Tim Russert as a moderator and at times you had the feeling that Powell was talking way over his head and he wasn't comprehending.  I would give Powell an A+ for his interview and for telling it like it is -- great to have someone not afraid to give facts even when they know it will irritate some.  Truth has a way of winning in the end.

Well worth the time to watch/listen to this interview with Colin Powell:

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Overview of General Powell's comments:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is a Republican, is lashing out at a “dark vein of intolerance” in his own party, which he says is being created by people like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu who use racial code words and “slave terms” to attack President Barack Obama. 
During a Sunday interview, NBC’s David Gregory asked Powell why he continued to consider himself a Republican after supporting Obama and taking moderate policy positions. “I think the Republican Party right now is having an identity problem, and I am still a Republican,” 
Powell explained. “In recent years, there has been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced: two losing presidential campaigns.” “When we see that in one more generation that the minorities of America — African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans — will be the majority of the country, you can’t go around saying, ‘We don’t want to have a solid immigration policy, we’re going to dismiss the 47 percent, we are going to make it hard for the minorities to vote,’ as they did in the last election.” 
“There is also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party,” he continued. “They still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see [Palin] saying that the president is ‘shucking and jiving,’ that’s a racial-era slave term. When I see [Sununu] after the president’s first debate, where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was ‘lazy’ — he didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well — he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of use who are African Americans, the second word is ‘shiftless’ and there’s a third word that goes along with it.” 
Powell went on to slam Republicans for “the whole birther movement.” “Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?” he wondered. “I think the party has to take a look at itself. It has to take a look at it’s responsibilities for health care, it has to take a look at immigration, it has to take a look at those less fortunate than us.”
General Powell used this interview to say what many of us who did vote for Obama and are Republican have been saying about some of the racist comments during the campaign against Obama by the Romney camp and his supporters.  They are still doing it today without regard to facts as they listen to Rush, Hannity, Beck, and Fox News who are turning into pockets of hate in the media which frankly is getting scary.  Sometimes they are dealing with irrational people who are not all there and could be set off like a match.  Is this all for making money or do they really believe what they say which is even more frightening?

President Obama was elected by over 5M more votes but you would never know it from listening to those House Republicans who still think they are in charge of everything in the Government including today talking about shutting down Government is an option.  Tell that to my mortgage company if the Civil Service Retirement check doesn't arrive.  Today's House Republicans are controlled by the hard right and it shows in votes like on Hurricane Sandy where they voted against funds but those same GOP Reps voted for funding of natural disasters in their home states.  They don't care at all about people only their bottom line and make sure they don't face a challenge in the primary.  They have no backbones and continue to put Party over Country as they bow to the likes of the Koch Brothers, Club for Growth, and other hard right.  Bunch of wimps with no backbone which I have stated before but if the shoe fits wear it.

Now there is a new group, "No Labels" which has been co-founded by Republican Mark McKinnon with help from former UT Governor Jon Huntsman and former WVA Governor and current Senate Democrat Joe Manchin who has been a proponent of putting Country over Party.  On the Morning Joe show from this morning which is posted below, Manchin showed his shock and frustration of how little the parties work together in the Senate.  Scarborough and Huntsman talked about being conservatives at one time but not today because of the shift to the hard right.  Their comments about Colin Powell are correct.  Well worth the time to see what this group "No Labels" is advocating:

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From the Washington Post comes these details on the relaunched group "No Labels" with Manchin/Huntsman as co-chairs:

NEW YORK — Fiscal cliffs and debt ceiling fights are out. Problem-solving is in.
Members of Congress, governors and mayors from across the political spectrum joined more than 1,000 political activists Monday under the No Labels banner, calling for a series of reforms in Congress to address fed up voters and dysfunctional politics. Only weeks after a polarizing election and big fight in Congress over taxes and spending, they said Washington needs a new attitude. 
“There’s a huge mistrust back there. There’s a feeling that we all don’t want to do something that is constructive, the only way we’re forced to act is with these manmade crises,” said Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif. “That’s no way to govern the country.” 
The gathering reflected a push from lawmakers in both parties to claim the political middle as voters increasingly view government as bitter and paralyzed. It came ahead of grappling in Congress over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, which is expected to be reached in February, along with fights over delayed cuts to defense and domestic programs and the need for a new spending plan to prevent a government shutdown. 
Digging in over debt, Republicans in Congress have demanded spending cuts in exchange for increasing the debt ceiling but President Barack Obama has said he won’t negotiate, raising the possibility of another showdown. 
About a dozen members of Congress, wearing orange No Labels lapel pins, joined with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican who unsuccessfully sought his party’s presidential nomination last year, to decry a poisonous atmosphere in Washington. Organizers said they hoped to attract about 70 members of Congress from across the political spectrum to agree to meet regularly and try to work with each other. 
“The dysfunction of Congress makes our own nation dysfunctional,” said Huntsman, who was joined on stage by Manchin under an orange banner emblazoned with the words, “Problem Solvers.” Huntsman and Manchin, who worked together as governors, each heaped praise on each other in an appearance that almost looked like the makings of a presidential ticket.
Organizers said presidential politics is not in the offing here, pointing instead to a number of reforms to make government function more properly. 
Excerpt:  Read More at the Washington Post
Can you see Republicans in the House buying into these changes recommended by "No Labels" group?  I know I cannot see most of the obstructionist/stubborn GOP House Members agreeing to these five simple remedies.  Heaven forbid they have to work a five-day week!  Personally like the part of not getting paid without a budget which also affects the Democrats in the Senate.

  • Require Congress to work five days a week instead of the typical late Monday-Thursday schedule
  • Demand an annual address to Congress on the fiscal condition of the nation 
  • Withhold congressional pay if lawmakers fail to pass a budget
  • Force an up-or-down vote on presidential appointments within 90 days of a nomination
  • Change to the rules for filibuster in the Senate that allow the minority party to stall the process on bills and nominations that have fewer than 60 votes.
The House GOP last year was the worst for taking lengthy vacations I have ever seen while failing to do their job.  If the Congress does not enact these reasonable changes, then it is time to vote them out in 2014 and elect some people to Congress who understand they represent all the people of their district or state not just partisans.  Have to admit that Republicans in the House/Senate have taken it to a new low.  Thought Democrats were bad over the years with one-party rule in Congress but they were novices to what we are seeing today out of a lot of Republicans in Congress who truly are bought and paid for by major donors like the Kochs and use insider information leading to their millionaire status and votes in favor of what the lobbyist who tip them off want.  

Many GOP today have no qualms of putting Party over Country so not to get primaried.  Time to send them to the unemployment line starting with the group talking about shutting down Government which means not paying the bills they rung up and putting it on the backs of the people who work or are retired from the Government along with seniors.  Send them to the unemployment line in 2014 and then stop the benefits because they are fired by the American people not laid off.

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