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Colin Powell's American Journey

There's a word for the inability to see beyond race as the explanation for someone's behavior: Racism. And that's what it is, I think, when someone says that Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama is "just about race." (See the Rush Limbaugh reaction and all the nasty comments by readers on J-Mart's blog at Politico. See also Pat Buchanan, via Memeorandum)

Powell laid out his thinking in clear terms. He gave pros and cons for both candidates. And he never said that race played no role whatsoever in his endorsement ("I can't deny that it will be a historic event for an African-American to become president").

The "just about race" crowd should go back and read Powell's memoir. In it, you see someone who has always been aware of race, who has overcome racial hostility, and who is conscious that he's a trailblazer among African Americans -- but who never let race become a controlling fact in his life. He believes in an American meritocracy in which anyone with enough drive and ambition can be successful. Just look at the title of his book: "My American Journey."

Powell grew up in a tenement in the South Bronx. His neighborhood had a mix of blacks, Jews, Poles, Italians, Hispanics. From an early age, he believed Americans could live together regardless of the color of their skin or their ethnic background, and he continued to believe that even when subjected to overt racism. When he was stationed as a young officer at Fort Bragg [oops: make that Fort Benning!], in Columbus, Ga., he couldn't find housing anywhere in Georgia and had to rent a house across the state line in Alabama in a black neighborhood. Once, hungry, he stopped at a drive-in hamburger stand, knowing he wouldn't be allowed to take a seat inside, and the waitress told him she couldn't even serve him at the curb. "Why don't you go behind the restaurant, and I'll pass you a hamburger out the back window?" the waitress told him. "I'm not THAT hungry," he answered. As a ROTC student, he traveled through the Deep South, stopping at gas stations with rest rooms marked Men, Women, Colored. "Blacks were apparently ahead of their time, already unisex," he jokes in the memoir.

He went on to earn four stars as a general in the U.S. Army. He never marched or protested, but he did lead by example -- and kept a photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the wall of his office.

"I hoped then and now that my rise might cause prejudiced whites to question their prejudices, and help purge the poison of racism from their systems, so that the next qualified African-American who came along would be judged on merit alone."

Colin Powell didn't merely endorse Barack Obama yesterday. He endorsed the basic American ideal that everyone stands on equal footing, that anyone can grow up to be president, and that people of all backgrounds contribute to our democracy. He cited a Muslim soldier -- one of ours -- who gave his life for our country in Iraq.

Powell in his memoir has a message for young blacks who might drift into cultural isolation: "I want black youngsters to learn about black writers, poets, musicians, scientists and artists, and about the culture and history of Africa. At the same time, we have to accept that black children in America are not going to have to make their way in an African world. They are going to have to make their way in an American world. Along with their black heritage, they should know about the Greek origins of our democracy, the British origins of our judicial system, and the contributions to our national tapestry of Americans of all kinds and colors."

[One housekeeping note: Starting tomorrow, this blog will have to adhere to the same comment registration requirements as all the other blogs and articles on the Post website. This will help cut down on trolls and spammers, but otherwise should have little effect on the boodle. You should just have to log in once -- and when it asks about what you'd like your Post ID to be, be sure to put in your boodle handle, assuming you want to keep your boodle handle. If you have any problems, e-mail me at and I will try to help out.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  October 19, 2008; 11:39 PM ET
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I have always admired the way Mr. Powell speaks, with great thought and care.

Posted by: dr | October 20, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

First? Doh dr beat me to the punch.

Good morning all,looks like another glorious day in my little section of paradise.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 20, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone, but it's copied and pasted from and is an illustration of perhaps what direction racism has taken in this country...

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

In this economy, racism is officially a luxury. How is John McCain going to win if he can't win those voters? John Murtha's "racist" western Pennsylvania district, where this story takes place, is some of the roughest turf in the nation. But Barack Obama is on the ground and making inroads due to unusually strong organizing leadership.

Posted by: TBG | October 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, I no sooner post after three days and there's a new kit. So I'm re-posting, dagnabbit:

'Morning, Boodle.

Waaaaaaaaaay to much in the hopper to backboodle and see what's going on, so I'll just start fresh.

Scotty, Maggie O, and NukeSpouse, deeply sorry about the Sawx. I was rootin' for youse guys hard as I know how, and thought that in the 8th inning you/we might have had a shot at it.

Round One of the Series is Wednesday night. I haven't paid this much attention to a World Series since...since...well, since the Sawx played.

I suppose I'm happy about the Redskins' win, but I just think they should have scored about 20 more points than they did.

And Dallas lost! (Tee hee; can't keep from giggling).

I think I'm getting my computer back tonight, and with Linux and OpenOffice aboard; no more Microsoft. I may need a Linux for Dummies book, though.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 10:17 AM


OK, back in real time (maybe). TBG, I had an experience over the weekend almost exactly like what that site described. We hired a guy to install some carpets in two rooms in our vacation cottage this weekend, a local guy in his early 50s. Pretty typical Southern Maryland Inbred (as we call them down here) good old boy. And he liked to talk, and turns out he knew a lot of people my wife knew from real estate, and also knew a lot of people I knew from Little League. And during the course of conversation this guy dropped the N word about four or five times, completely unselfconsciously and without any hesitation. But here's the kicker: he's a big Obama fan, and is voting for him. Loves the guy. Hates McCain and Palin. And once was describing somebody he knew and called that guy "a racist" over something or other. My wife and I were embarrassed but just looked at each other and rolled our eyes. What can you do?

So yes: there is at least one 100% pure Southern Maryland N-word-using redneck firmly in the Obama camp. Strangest damn thing I ever heard.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Joel, this may be one of the best Kits ever. Thank you.

Maggie: Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life by Andrew Motion. Motion is Larkin's literary executor and knows the work inside out.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Scotty and Maggie O,sorry your sox didn't make it back to the world series.I watched the last few innings online and was shocked that they pulled Garaza out.When Boston got 2 on and nobody out in the 8th with the meat of their lineup coming up. I was thinking here we go again.But the rays skipper seemed to make all the right moves.

Phillies vs Rays in the world series!!! I bet not too many people picked that when the season started.

bc,my friend you are one good son!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 20, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, that's our American dream, but, at least, it is pro-American, I guess. Funny quick story... I was at a friend's restaurant yesterday evening helping backup data (ounce of prevention) ... doing it cheaply given the economic crisis. The place closed early for a Sunday.

I was there while they were shutting down and they were "making me watch FOX" trying to get me to "understand."

There was a section there about Obama actually considering a communist family friend as a mentor while he was growing up in Hawaii. I tried to make light of it. I said that, when I was growing up in Hawaii, I was able to often meet a family friend, Linus Pauling, and really was impressed. I would enjoy listening to him speak, but that didn't turn me into a Nobel Prize winning chemist.

I did tell them that the quotes that Obama attributed to the friend were deep and reflected the out and out racism in Hawaii against blacks at the time. I think I may have already posted how my mother would spend extra time finding summer housing for black teachers attending my father's post secondary ed programs at UH. This was so jarring for me to watch.

I have no problem with Obama turning to a friend, even a radical friend to search for some perspective on the issue.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 20, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Powell either wittingly or unwittingly let himself be used by the thugs in the Bush White House.

This endorsement with its well reasoned motivation does a lot in my book to redeem him.

Racism is the number one problem we face in this country. It is not just the economy. The plutocrats and oligarchs have used race and religion to divide this country. General Powell represents the fragile line that holds this country together.

Posted by: Elliot Chase | October 20, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Yoki, I aggree on the Kit.

Does anyone else sense that a lot of cards are hitting the table right now?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 20, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse


u and ur wife should have suggested, in a friendly way, that use of that word is not good--for business, for society. yeah, he's voting for Obama, he says, but you should have corrected him, rather than reinforced his verbal racism by your silence. i know u won't like this, but that's to be expected.

Posted by: melvin/a | October 20, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I watched MtP yesterday morning, specifically to see Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama. And I, too, was moved to wiping tears from my eyes from his description of the Muslim soldier who was killed in Iraq and buried in Arlington Cemetery. I've been to Arlington of late with friends from other countries, mainly to show them the Kennedy tombsite, and I always, always find it an incredibly moving experience. So many of those buried, no matter what the war, are so very, very young. Even those from the Civil War and earlier. If that description didn't move hearts, then there are no hearts to move.

The Limbaughs of the world are tremendously unhappy people -- if you have to tear someone down with the sole purpose of building yourself up, then there is nothing to gain from that exercise. Like the drugs he took (and maybe still takes), you keep needing them to keep that high. He has enough enablers as his drug pushers to keep that high going. And, yet, bazillionaire that he apparently is, I always think of him laying in a gutter, sprawled against the curb, muttering to himself.

While I certainly didn't like Powell's "good soldier" approach in the run up to the war, he has also redeemed himself in my eyes yesterday.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 20, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Elliot, you and so many thousands of other folks--including myself. There was a basic honesty, logic and national concern that came through in Powell's statement of support.

What do we see coming from the Republican party? Negative/false statement after statement; Voter Suppression; re-occurrence of Whacky Diebold voting machines and unauditable vote accumulation processes; and the race card.

Now, when the one guy who could have won for the Republicans running a clean campaign comes out for Obama, we get claims of racism.

I'm not sure, but didn't Powell become one of very few Republican administration individuals who said he was wrong and sorry for his actions?

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 20, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Colin Powell destroyed a lot of his credibility when he acted as a team player and passed along, wittingly or unwittingly, a lot of false propaganda disguised as intelligence information.

I don't see it as a race issue. I see it as Colin attempting to salvage his reputation after being tainted by the Iraq fiasco. And would it be cynical to suggest that by climbing on the Barack bandwagon at this late date could be a sign of his bucking for a position in the Obama administration?

Yeah, I kinda figured so.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Can't say how proud I am of Colin Powell for choosing reason and right this time instead of settling into the comfort of backing his friend The McSiah.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky | October 20, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

More than a racial situation, the Obama/Powell combination is an affirmation of the immigrant experience. The former joint chief of staff is the child of immigrants. And Obama's paternity has been discussed ad nauseum. The children of recent immigrants often have a fire in the belly that native born citizens lack. It's one of the central American narratives.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

A small correction...Fort Bragg is in North Carolina. Fort Benning is in Georgia.

Posted by: jko | October 20, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse


I have a have always been struck by the way that our right-wing pundits have consistently demonized folks of the Islamic faith when we know from the writings of our founding fathers that this nation had citizens at the time of the birth of our nation for whom the founders were concerned should be considered equal and respected members of our society.

Somehow, I keep hearing references to the fact that we are a Christian nation. This is a nation that was created on the tenet of religious tolerance. The state of Maryland is a perfect example.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 20, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

In an odd way, I'm kinda looking forward to comment registration.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

OMG DM, LP!!!???!!!

Sorry, I was struck wordless, uh speechless, for a moment.

OMG what's my boodle bacon number to Linus Pauling...1+1+?...fingers shaking can't

DM, a story, a sentence, a sentence fragment, anything...please please please...?

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 20, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

TBG, that story reminds me of a definition I've heard more than once for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia at one end, Pittsburgh at the other, and Alabama in the middle.

It's a description that's not particularly flattering to any of the locales mentioned.

Posted by: byoolin | October 20, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Joel provides a nice picture frame for Powell's carefully considered statement.

I suspect that military officers contributed quite a lot to breaking down segregation. The Army, especially, embraced the idea that officers need not be white--a radical notion in an age of unsubtle discrimination against people of southern European ancestry Italian population geneticist Luigi Cavalli-Sforza wrote about discrimination in one of his books, and I think Mario Cuomo did, too. I suspect that the famously poly-ethnic Army of World War II did a lot to undermine the old WASP ascendancy.

At least that's my historical speculation, unfettered by checking the literature.

Powell's experience with housing in Georgia was not just a phenomenon of the South. During the 1960s, Dover, Delaware seems to have been just as bad, based on my own observations.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 20, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

We just call it Pennsyltucky.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bragg, in Georgia? Since you are referring to Columbus, you must mean Ft. Benning. And I'm not suprised he couldn't find a house near the base in Georgia; Columbus is a dump. I was stationed there too some years ago and it hasn't changed. Nothing but seedy pawn shops, strip clubs and payday loan places.

Posted by: Amir | October 20, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Excellent Kit. Joel brings in a great, well balanced article contrasting sharply with Bolton's Russophobic, revisionist oped in today's WaPo.

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Back during the Johnson Administration, the main Penn State campus had astonishingly few black students, considering that, back then, the university mainly served students from blue-collar families who aspired to something better. Later on, PSU put a lot of effort into making itself more attractive to minorities with, I think reasonably good results.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 20, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Powell is thoughtful, but waiting till the last minute to endorse the now overwelming favored candidate is also a good indicator how he reached such lofty heights.

Posted by: DD | October 20, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about that DD and I wonder if his endorsement doesn't mean more now, closer to the election.

If he's not going to hit the campaign trail for Obama, at least he's waited until the election is on everyone's mind--not just the political junkies who have been enjoying this endless campaign.

So who knows, really, what the motivation or the reason for waiting so long. Maybe he really was taking his time to decide--like he said he was.

Posted by: TBG | October 20, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I've had conversations with people over the past couple of months who say, "Did you know Barack Obama is a Muslim?" [As if there were something wrong with being a Muslim...]

To which I reply, "That's just an untrue rumor from what I can tell, and so what if he is?"

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a translation of the Qur'an on my night table, along with an NIV Bible and a lot of other books and periodicals I'm continiously reading.

Scottynuke, please pass my apologies along to the NuKats. And gwe, I enjoy time with my family, as I know you do. For the record, we watched a lot of the game together, and even played some football in the back yard. Even have an injury report to pass along - I've sustained mild sprains of the pinkie and ring fingers on my left hand. Playing cornerback, I stepped in front of my brother to intercept a pass and head for the end zone (my second of the day, BTW), and he shoved me as I went by (and he started running after me), sending me off-balance. I bobbled the pass while trying to run and slowed to grab it with both hands, when he shoved me again - harder - in the small of the back. I almost pulled it in - still chasing Six Points of Glory - but went down face first, trying to pull the ball in on the way down. Didn't manage to hang on to it, but rolled over on my left hand, bending the fingers back.

My brother apologized profusely as I retreated to the sideline in Mom's house to slice the roast. I told him it was OK, and it is.

He knows to expect nothing less when the situation is reversed. We've been playing backyard football for 40+ years; no quarter expected and none given.


Posted by: bc | October 20, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Ypsilanti, Michigan is also called "Ypsitucky", as many Kentuckians came up north during WW II to work at the Willow Run plants and other factories at that time.

OK, so fellow Boodlers, what do you think? Should I stay with "firsttimeblogger" as my handle, or should I morph into "ftb"? I think I've been around long enough (existentially and otherwise) to tighten the belt on the handle, but I would be willing to hear what you all think.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 20, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

You won't be able to register as ftb as there is a four-character minimum for registration handles. I'll be showing up tomorrow as -TBG- so you may as well stick with firsttimeblogger!

Posted by: TBG | October 20, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

How about just "timeblogger?"

Posted by: ac in sj | October 20, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Or "ftblogger"

Posted by: nellie | October 20, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think "TimeBlogger" would work, as long as Terry Gilliam didn't file a copyright infringement claim...


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It does sound Gilliamesque.

I just googled timeblogger and there's a website by that name, based in Russia.

Posted by: ac in sj | October 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Dave o' the Coonties, Ike desegregated Washington, DC. and he also issued desegregation orders while in WWII. The military was never fully color-blind during WWII but it was a lot better than civilian life then.

He found the segregation issue in America terribly embarrassing for foreign diplomats who had the wrong color skin.

Republican voters need to remember that Ike was a Republican. So was Lincoln. And so were the Radical Republicans who fought reconstruction and wanted Jim Crow, voting suppression, etc.

Some of them defected to the Democractic party (Dixiecrats) and infected it, before moving back in the late 60's. They helped elect Nixon.

Powell may have timed this carefully, in terms of short-term logistics.

The points he addresses are happening NOW and reaching a fever pitch, and he did want to get full attention for this endorsement.

I don't think it was his long-term strategy to endorse whoever in the last month of the election, though.

He is 71 and he's been disgracefully retired from public office for the last few years.

He might enjoy being consulted, but it's not automatic that he would want another full-time cabinet job, especially after what he went through with Bush I.

Maybe he has another book deal, though.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 20, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think I'll be Jumper1. I'm already registered that way, probably because I tried to register once as Jumper and balled it up, and now WaPo has "reserved" Jumper. "But I think it's reserved for ME!" I want to tell them. No dice. I have had that experience in various forms all across the internet. And just think, firsttimeblogger, of all the typing you won't have to do signing.

It's a beautiful day. I think I'll go dig a hole.

Posted by: Jumper | October 20, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ouch bc,I guess you will show up on this weeks injury report.My brothers and I still play a game of Smear the Queer(sorry if that offends anyone) every Thanksgiving and usually Black friday has a whole different meaning to us.

Well the sheets on the tomatoe plants worked and although it is not expected to freeze tonight,I picked all the green tomatoes,I guess about 75,I put them in a paper bag for ripening. And I am happy to report seeing 2 morning glories this morning,I am sure they will be gone soon,but my Mom will be happy when I tell her that.

Off to work

Enjoy your day everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy about registration, practically speaking. And often when I am responding to a specific Boodler's post, I tend to put their name in the "name" box, so this will save me that error.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I can see that this comment-logging could restrict my ability to signal my attitude through my handle.

Good to see you, melvin/a. On your recommendation that Curmudgeon-and-spouse should have called out their redneck acquaintance on his use of the n-word, I don't see that it is quite so clear-cut as you see it. I heartily endorse the elimination of such speech and thinking. And yet ... the guy's heart is in the right place (now). He is heading in the right direction, but he isn't getting there all at once. If you make a big deal about his choice of wording, what's to say he wouldn't vote against Obama just to spite nit-pickers and 'elites'? Take the progress that you can get. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 20, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I guess, tomorrow I will be as confoozled in the Boodle as I was at the MBPH as to who is who.

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, firsttimeblogger, I withdraw my suggestion of "ftblogger," it has the sound of "pbttt!" and other rude noises.

Posted by: nellie | October 20, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

For every situation there is a right way to talk to someone about the "n" word. It behooves one to try to think fast and find that way. One can be gentle yet firm.

Posted by: Jumper | October 20, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Say my name!

Posted by: Jumper | October 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I believe the hamburger incident, or one very similar to it, happened not in the deep south, but in Newport News, VA. Powell was stationed at Ft. Eustis, VA, my birthplace, as a young Lieutenant. I might add that Eustis is considered an acronym by many, for Even Uncle Same Thinks it Sucks.

Mr. F and I listened to "My American Journey" in the car on one of our many wonderful cross country trips to move at the Army's behest. Powell is not exactly a god to us, but our respect is unwavering despite his UN speech. Pa Frostbitten was spouting some anti-Powell FOX Noise driven nonsense last night when Mr. F cut him off most abruptly. Something I've never heard in all 70+ years of marriage (we've been together in dog years)despite some pretty extreme Rush room rants on Pa's part.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 20, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

It's typical of a socialist rag like the Washington Post to embrace the forced registration of its readers. What's next, implanted chips? This is obviously part of the One World Government conspiracy and and the end to all wacky name fun.

Posted by: OutragedinJasper999 | October 20, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Jumper and melvin/a, I agree with you that there is a right way to bring up the subject. That doesn't make ti a moral failing to feel flummoxed by the moment and unable to come up with that right way at the instant it is needed. If we always came up with the right way to answer every comment, then two things would be true:

(1) No one would ever regret not having come up with the perfect riposte to whatever taunt or slight they had endured, and

(2) Life would sound like an endless romantic comedy or buddy movie, filled with clever bon mots and witty repartee. Frankly, there's just only so much 'witty' I can take before I go wiggy.

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 20, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, everybody...

I have an excuse for missing the Dawn Patrol muster... been out in the shop since 6:30am and just now came up for air.

Great kit, Joel. I missed the full MtP interview, but caught enough clips and discussion about it to see that Powell didn't just endorse Obama, he Endorsed him.

As for the Western Pennsyltucky attitude toward race... I grew up in those hills and must say that Murtha wasn't very far off-base in making a sweeping generalization about that area's population tending to be racist (whether they'll admit it or not). The thing is, in that area, *everybody* is a target of racist slurs, not just blacks. I'm part Italian, so I was a "wop" and was often mistaken for an Arab, so I got "sandn****r" too. I'm also part Polish, so I was also a "Pollock".

My own family (what's left of them) are very nice people but they think nothing of tossing the "n" word out there. Half the time I don't think they even realize they're using it. One of the reasons we don't visit them with Little Bean very often is because of this. I've told them I find it offensive and don't want my daughter exposed to it and they apologize and say they didn't mean it in a "racist way" and will try not to use it, but then they go and do it again.

They're also pretty thick in the skull department when it comes to believing everything they see or hear on TV or radio or read on the internet. My aunt (my godmother), who is generally a very reasonable and kind woman, believes that Obama is an Arab and a Muslim and that if he's elected he'll sneak bin Laden into the country and personally hand him nukes and the keys to the White House. I tried my best to convince her otherwise, but it's like trying to reason with a bucket of rocks.

That said, there are a lot of very open-minded, very un-racist folk in that region. Unfortunately, my experiences growing up there lead me to believe they're greatly outnumbered and tend not to vocalize their disgust very often.

So it goes.

Time for some lunch...

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 20, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I knew there was a reason I like Sports Illustrated's Peter King. From his "Monday Morning QB" column today:

"Re: Cialis: I have never met anyone who said to his wife or girlfriend: 'Hey, let's take two claw-footed bathtubs out to the beach, put them side-by-side, sit in them, watch the sun set and hold hands awkwardly and uncomfortably.' "

Those commercials' imagery is such a total non sequitur... *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

999, are you really in Jasper?! Any chance of a BPH at some mutually agreeable mid-point?

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Your Majesty is like a big jam doughnut with cream on the top.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sure Yoki, next time you're in Ottawa. I'm only an hour away.

Posted by: NotThatJasper,Silly 999 | October 20, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I could riposte about Your Majesty shining out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark, but I'll be good.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 20, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Oh brave new world that has such people in it..." W.S., The Tempest

Brave New World, A.H.:

This Utopian/dystopian future offers soma and other carnal pleasures, while manipulating the people into mind-numbing dependence. Huxley explores the evils of a seemingly satisfied and successful society, because that stability is only derived from the loss of freedom and personal responsibility. None of the people challenge the caste (registration) system, believing they all work together for the common good.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Good kit, the boss had obviously read Powell's memoirs already. As a good strategist Powell knows that committing yourself early limits your options. He waited until he was sure, after the VP selection, the debates, the start in earnest of the TV add blitz, etc that his choice was the best. At this point he doesn't see any thing that could happen in the next three weeks that would change his mind. An so he cast his ballot now.

Speaking of military issues, a youngish Army colonel posted in the area died in a car accident last week. She was in the first cohort of women graduating from Royal Military College , a.k.a. Shoeshine U. It's hard for me to believe she was in the first group of women admitted to RMC as it was as late as 1980, graduating in 1984. Sounds awfully late to me. Anyway, as the funeral service was at a church facing my favourite lunchtime spot I watched a bit of the proceedings from the park. There were a couple of guys with one or two maple leaves on their shoulder pads and plenty of cololonels, commanders and below and assorted senior NCOs from most of the Army trades. Even Gen Hillier, a retired chief-of-staff was on hand. And that is not counting the senior Girl Guides as well...
Big send-off for the poor colonel, with the bagpipes and all. The military does pomp very well, it was sober and impressive at the same time.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 20, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Which other WaPo blogs have required registration so we can go over and practice? This would kill Celebritology. The funniest parts are the signatures.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Thoughtful and well-stated, Mr. Achenbach. Powell's cross-cultural, bipartisan popularity flows from the American people's great respect for genuine integrity and dedicated public service. It is worth asking whether Obama - for all of his marvelous gifts -could be where he is had Powell not preceded him as an exemplar - a complete, living repudiation of the racist notion that people of color are not every bit as American, and as capable, as those of us with white skin.

For the record, I am a retired, 60 year old, small-town white male in southeastern Washington State, a former Marine, Vietnam veteran, gun toting hunter, independent voter and strong Obama supporter.

Posted by: tmattist | October 20, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Cripes! It's a conflageration of old-timers here! melvin/a! Dolphin Michael! Yow! Where's Dreamer?

I'm sticking with the CowTown handle simply because I lack the clever creativity of many of my fellow Boodlers. And because I can spell it.

Posted by: CowTown | October 20, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I saw Buchanan's rant. For once in his life Matthews was dumbstruck. I don't think anyone could believe that Pat went there but I think he is a prime example of just what Powell was talking about when he stated "my party" has gone to far to the right and he spoke about the nastiness.

Posted by: rlj | October 20, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Careening off topic: I was searching for information about aluminum foil manufacturing and found this:

Basics of aluminium rolling technology: an extract from Aluminium Rolling Technology, the booklet sponsored by Achenbach Buschhutten GmbH (Autumn 2002)

AAAAAchenbaaaaaaach...He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

Posted by: jack | October 20, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach Buschutten GmbH makes the best and most effective foil for headgear.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach Buschhutten was started as a hammer mill in 1452. Mudge was the first shop foreman.

Posted by: An any mouse | October 20, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Actually anonymous they sell the equipment used in making tinfoil. I've looked-up them up before. The AchenOffice ein Deutchland.

Posted by: shriekin denizen | October 20, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I invoke the Fairness Doctrine.

Powell/Obama: Race rules. Get used to it.
--Patrick Cleburne

So Colin Powell, pampered protégé of a series of naïve Republican administrations from Reagan to the Bushes, has at the first opportunity abandoned his patrons and endorsed a fellow (more or less) black:

Powell move a bitter blow to McCain By Kevin Connolly BBC News, Washington Sunday, 19 October 2008

Adding injury to insult, he pretended to be doing so because

America needs the generational change which Mr Obama is in a position to offer

while at the time offering an Establishmentarian sneer at Sarah Palin, who is of Obama’s generation and whose provincial background is in fact similar to Powell’s.

Powell, of course, according to a Wikipedia entry (very likely to be revised given that entity’s censorship habits), miraculously survived a very negative evaluation as a Brigadier General in the mid 1980s given by his extremely courageous commanding general

In the early 1980s, Powell served at Fort Carson, Colorado. It was there that he had a major clash with General John W. Hudachek, his commander. Hudachek said in an efficiency evaluation that Powell was a poor leader who should not be promoted. Powell’s rising military career was unhindered by Hudachek’s evaluation report

That would have finished the career of any white professional soldier, but instead Powell went straight to Washington to be “senior military assistant” to Caspar Weinberger, the Secretary of Defense. No doubt he suited the color scheme in the Secretary’s office.

Powell’s true measure appeared in the buildup to the Iraq invasion - which he supported in public, while allowing his media friends know he had doubts. Predictable in a courtier, perhaps, but given the amount of blood and treasure involved, despicable in a man – and impossible in a statesman.

That racial solidarity should prove dominant at the first opportunity, of course, will be absolutely no surprise to any ethnic group around the world – except WASPs. Similar behavior was seen amongst Hispanic “Republicans” earlier in the primary season: ethnic solidarity ruled.

Some in the coalition welcome the prospect of an Obama Presidency, anticipating that the abrasive ethnic favoritism inevitable in such an Administration will finally enlighten the traditional American people. This will make things awkward for what appears to be currently the dominant intellectual force in the current GOP leadership. The Democrats, by so openly appealing to ethnocentrism, could well be unleashing forces lethal to themselves.

A cheerful thought. Good riddance, Colin Powell.

Posted by: greg3 | October 20, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for reminding us of Eisenhower's decency. The Army he led against the Germans was famously multi-ethnic and of course biracial. Not very WASPy at all.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Here another good one about "Colon" Powell.

(From Wikipedia My Lai Massacre)

Initial investigations of the My Lai operation were undertaken by the 11th Light Infantry Brigade's commanding officer, Colonel Henderson, under orders from the Americal Division's executive officer, Brigadier General George H. Young. Henderson interviewed several soldiers involved in the incident, then issued a written report in late April claiming that some 22 civilians were inadvertently killed during the operation. The army at this time was still describing the events at My Lai as a military victory that had resulted in the deaths of 128 enemy combatants.

Six months later, Tom Glen, a 21-year-old soldier of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade, wrote a letter to General Creighton Abrams, the new overall commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, accusing the Americal Division (and other entire units of the U.S. military) of routine and pervasive brutality against Vietnamese civilians. The letter was detailed and its contents echoed complaints received from other soldiers.

Colin Powell, then a 31-year-old Army Major, was charged with investigating the letter, which did not specifically reference My Lai (Glen had limited knowledge of the events there). In his report Powell wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between Americal(sic)[25] soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." Powell's handling of the assignment was later characterized by some observers as "whitewashing" the atrocities of My Lai.

Posted by: greg3 | October 20, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. This is a fine Kit, Joel. I find Colin Powell's story quintessentially American in its variety and recognition of both hard work and merit. As you say, it transcends race while being aware of it. I hope that characteristic will also someday be quintessentially American, and it looks like that day's a little closer than it used to be.

I greatly admired Colin Powell for a long time. That admiration was somewhat tarnished by his role leading up to the invasion of Iraq, but he admitted his mistake and apologized and I give him credit for that. I'm very pleased that he Endorsed (as martooni says) Obama. I'm also pleased by the way in which he did so, and that he took the opportunity to speak some larger truths about the Republican party.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Why should anybody be surprised by Pat Buchanan being a bigot? He's a real-life Archie Bunker, only rich.

See his reaction to Obama's speech on March 21, 2008, with counter commentary.

Buchanan is also anti-democratic in general; he's flirted with facism and has racialist beliefs. He isn't stupid though, and that confuses people who stereotype all racists as dumb.

We need to remember that intelligent people don't necessarily have souls, let alone a sense of decency to those they dislike.

When Pat Buchanan passes, I will buy some fireworks to set off.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 20, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what CP agrees with Barry on. Lets see.

1. Race
2. Iraq
3. ????

Posted by: Mark | October 20, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Well written - thank you Joel. I don't think Pat B is a bigot just suffering from soured apples. If Barack was on the republican ticket I think he would spit in any one's face who said nay. He doesn't like Colin crossing party lines. And Colin's endorsement is significant because he was the only one in the Bush Administration that understood asymetric warefare and McCain really doesn't.

Posted by: Jack | October 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

And hello, tmattist. I don't know Obama and will almost certainly never have the opportunity to meet him. Nevertheless I expect if asked he would gladly credit Colin Powell's career and example as paving the way at least in part for his success. Powell's success, and that of other African-Americans of his generation, served to make the unfamiliar less frightening for many white Americans. This is also why today's generations of women leaders give credit to their predecessors, and why I comfortably predict Obama would do the same.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

what is true is that powell has never endorsed a young inexperienced WHITE liberal candidate, ever, says alot, if you know what I mean...

Posted by: dwight | October 20, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Whenever anyone says "if you know what I mean" as dwight does above, I get a sort of sick feeling, and a flare of anger. Because I do know what they mean - they mean "we're all racist jerks here, right?"

Colin Powell has never endorsed any liberal candidate before, of any race, because he is a Republican. So this is a first for him. I think it also puts to rest some of those rumors of Obama being "too liberal."

Posted by: Wheezy | October 20, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

If Barack was on the Republican ticket, Pat Buchanan would be running as an independent on the Reform Party platform again, Jack.

He's not exactly a tuchus-kisser of his own party's politicans either.

Pat Buchanan did this article of Powell back in 2003--

But he HATES W, and did so back in 2003 or thereabouts. I picked up his books back then.

In 1996, Buchanan picked a fight with Powell, predicting if he became the veep candidate, half of the party would walk out. Powell also said point-blank back then that he would NEVER support Buchanan.

"For his part, Powell has spoken out against Buchananism while others in the party remained silent."

But later on in 2003 and in 2007 he's made hay of Powell's own words while riding his own hobby horses.

A man who is anti-immigration, especially of colored people and who makes his fortune shooting his mouth and pen off badmouthing his bread and butter...

is SIMPLY never going to get on personally with a son of Jamacian immigrants who has risen by being careful to play by the rules and never telling his superiors off directly.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 20, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

General Powell's endorsement was clear, comprehensive, and concise. It was great to hear.

Posted by: Thad | October 20, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Dwight, actually he just did, halfway. Barack's half white, half black.

And I believe he would have endorsed Barack Obama, given the same platform and traits if he were:

1) White, but muslim-born (they do exist)
2) ANY minority candidate-- asian, hispanic or
3) just had a funny name that people were spreading nasty racist/ethnic slurs about.

Can you really argue that Colin wouldn't have supported Obama if he was Hispanic, Irish, Italian, Polish, etc. and the exact same kind of mud was being slung at him?

I got news for you mate, they slung a lot of mud at JFK and he was white, only because he was Irish and Catholic, and that meant he was going to hand the country over to the Pope.

FDR hid his disability, no doubt because bigots would have been calling him "the cripple" in newspapers daily.

Bigotry isn't confined to skin color alone.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 20, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Dave, Eisenhower's army wasn't just biracial, it was multi-racial. Remember, the Japanese-Americans of the Nissei Battalion (Sen. Dan Inouye's bunch) fought valiantly (one is almost temptyed to say super-valiently, as it is hard to resist the superlatives of that unit) in Italy, especially at Monte Cassino. And that's just the Americans. When he was Supreme Allied Commander, he commanded armies from other countries as well, so he had Canucks, Anzacs, Free French, Dutch (and Dutch in the Pacific), Greek, Turkish, etc., troops under his command. Although not under Eisenhower's command, there were a lot of ethnic troops in the China-India-Burma campaign, Indians, Sikhs (great fighters!), all kinds of Indo-Chinese, etc., who came under Allied command (either British or American, viz. MacArthur/Nimitz, Viscount Slim, Vinegar Joe Stillwell, etc.).

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I was particularly happy that General Powell made the point that even if Obama *was* a Muslim, so what? NOBODY has been making this point, not editorialists, columnists, nor either candidate. I give McCain the benefit of the doubt that he was addressing the tone of the woman who said Obama was an Arab when replying that Obama was a good family man: by "Arab," the woman seemed to be saying Obama was a secret foreigner, a terrorist; she wasn't thinking about Tony Shalhoub, et al. But McCain should have clarified later that he, of course, doesn't consider "Arab" and good family man to be opposites.

I'm glad Powell took a stand on this point.

Posted by: MultiplePOV | October 20, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Wheezy. That "nudge nudge wink wink" bothered me too, because although I chose not to acknowledge it I also think that's what dwight meant.

Race is partly perspective. As has been written often, Obama was raised by his white mother and white grandparents. Perhaps one should congratulate Powell for crossing racial lines to endorse a white candidate? It makes just as much sense.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

And Mudge, don't forget the Code Talkers! Navajo, Cherokee, Comanche, Choctaw, and more. These Native American troops not only performed heroically in ensuring that U.S. military communications were not compromised, in the Pacific Theater they were sometimes mistaken for the enemy by our own troops. They looked different, y'know.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what CP agrees with Barry on. Lets see.

1. Race
2. Iraq
3. ????

Posted by: Mark | October 20, 2008 2:56 PM
Sorry that you obviously missed Meet the Press on Sunday. But wonder no longer! You can watch a video of the endorsement here:

Always glad to help when someone has an honest question like yours. You'll be seeing Powell's measured assessment of Obama's judgment vs. McCain's, the tones of the campaigns (inclusive vs. devisive), economic policy and so on...but I don't want to spoil it for you.

Watch it and enjoy.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Very nice and quite helpful, Mousy Anon!

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I fondly remember the late great Molly Ivins' line after Buchanan's speech at the 2000 Republican convention: "It was better in the original German."

Oh, how I miss her.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Ivansmom.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

The best thing that could possibly happen to this country is to give as much airtime to people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and all their mean-spirited, hateful pals. (Hey! Where's Ann Coulter when you really need her to show up and spew out a few venomous lies?!?!?) The more that we allow unthinking morons like Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly, et al. to spew their racist drivel and talk about how affirmative action is the only way that Barack Obama can receive an endorsement from a man as great as Colin Powell, the more that voters are inclined to separate themselves from the idiot-class and actually vote for Senator Obama. So I say let's create a special fund to buy as much airtime on T.V. and radio as we can all possibly afford so that the right wingnuts can spew their venomous, racist hatred. If most Americans spend just 5 minutes listening to those uneducated blowhards, they won't be able to cast their vote for Senator Obama fast enough!

Posted by: Kay Decker | October 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

(Although the Codetalkers served in the Pacific, not under Eisenhower. But I'm sure there were plenty of Nat. Amers spread through the European Theater forces, too, just not in organized-by-tribe type units.) Ira Hayes, one of the flag-raisers (sort of) on Iwo Jima was a Pima Indian.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Actually Choctaw Code Talkers started out in WWI in Europe. They were told then not to let anyone know what they did, just in case - and sure enough, Code Talkers were used again in WWII. I'm pretty sure there were some in the European theater as well as the Pacific, but that is where most of them were stationed. Not all the Code Talker units were exclusively tribal, and not all the tribal units had the same tribes. Some Code Talkers were dropped in pairs or groups into "regular" units.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Blackwell is dead, there's a photo of him on the home page next to Britney Spears, and the Dow closed up 411. I don't think there's any connection, though.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Dwight posted: "what is true is that powell has never endorsed a young inexperienced WHITE liberal candidate, ever, says alot, if you know what I mean..."

I have no idea what you mean, Dwight. What exactly do race or experience have to do with anything? There are times when you know that someone has a natural talent (a gift, if you will) to do a job well. Colin Powell said as much yesterday during his "Meet the Press" segment that there are things that Barack Obama doesn't know today that he will have to learn as president. But the same is 100% true for John McCain. Actually, the same is true for any person who becomes president. The presidency is such a unique position to hold that no life experience can fully prepare any person for what he/she will face once they are in the White House. So long as General Powell believes that Senator Obama has the character, intellect and intestinal fortitude to be an excellent president, then there is no room to criticize General Powell for his endorsement.

Posted by: Kay Decker | October 20, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Why is that it is Whites who are automatically assumed to be racist and the matter of Blacks' racism is NEVER mentioned?

In the last few months I have had to spend a lot of time around Blacks and I have seen how obsessed they truly are with race. I also have seen a strong bias against Whites in a very, very consistent manner.

Ask yourselves this: Why are Blacks overwhelmingly for Obama? I would be surprised if he got less than 95% of Blacks' vote. Doesn't THAT constitute racism???

Posted by: Cenzo | October 20, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Mudge... I meant to say something earlier about your move to Linux -- welcome to the world of free, stable and secure computing! I think you'll be very pleased with the change.

When Mrs. M's Windows PC crashed for the last time I installed Fedora on it (told her I was upgrading Windows). The only problem she had was that the icons were different, so she wasn't sure what started which app. I told her that was part of the new Windows and pointed her to the apps she needed. I haven't had a tech support call to the kitchen in about a year now.

btw... which distro did you go with?

Posted by: martooni | October 20, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I came to USA in 1999 and chose America my home, my 3 daughters are born here. I liked to read in every office I joined the employee rights and policy against discrimination. I had read in my native country about Abraham Lincoln and abolition of slavery. This is a great country and this makes me sad to know people still are judged on the basis of religion and race even here. How can America lead the world when it cannot accept equality. I like Collin Powell's question should a 7 year old Muslim american boy should be raised not even to be dream of becoming the president!
Coming of Obama is new ray of hope to all citizens of America.... all religion, race and everything else that divides people......

Posted by: Sita | October 20, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, Cenzo -- has the fact that Blacks overwhelmingly voted for Bill Clinton ever crossed your mind? What does that constitute?

And so what if Blacks are "obsessed" (as you assert) with race? What business is it of yours? Does their blackness affect you directly? Does it mean that you are required to drink out of different drinking fountains (should such still exist)? Does it mean that you are not allowed to stay in certain hotels or be served (much less allowed into) certain restaurants?

You seem to feel very, very threatened by someone's skin color. Is it because someone with a different colored skin affected you directly in the past, and that therefore, all black people are alike? Say, does that mean that you are obsessed with being white?

Do you believe that if you were to shake hands with a black man, the color will rub off, and you will then be treated the same way as he, as if you were never white?

Which is it that you fear most -- the skin color or the treatment by others because of the skin color?

If you indeed wish to be the center of attention, then perhaps you should consider going to the beach next summer and getting that tan. That'll show 'em, eh?

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 20, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the familiar "African Americans can be racists too" theme is popping up again. It's probably a good time to address our functional definition of "racism." Is it merely taking positions that favor one's own ethnic subculture? Is it supporting or not supporting a candidate/potential employee/potential in-law because of skin color? In that case, I would suppose that "racism" can be generic among all ethnicities.

But the history between Caucasion-Americans and African-Americans has, of course, been a bit more complicated than that. In this history, "racism" has been used as a justification for the oppression of African-Americans. I'm talking about segregation, vote-suppression, lynchings, anti-miscegenation laws, "sunset" laws, and various forms of codified discrimination in housing, employment, travel, etc. This oppression is what is commonly regarded as "racism." And this oppression was never visited upon Caucasion-Americans.

So, can African-Americans be "racists?" Yes, if you deny the last 300 years of oppression of African-Americans.

Posted by: CowTown | October 20, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'd be obsessed with race, too, cenzo, if a bunch of ignorant rednecks wanted to burn crosses on *my* lawn or hang my a$$ from a tree for being as uppity as I know I would be. I'd be damned obsessed.

"distro"? Pleese, meester Martooni, what is theese distro of wheech you speak? No comprende distro.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As I recall it was Truman who desegregated the U.S. armed forces. Units such as the Code Talkers were comprised of members of the various tribes and probably under the command of a white guy but were not integrated with other whites. Same with black units. They consisted solely of black soldiers. And that history goes back to the Civil War (see the movie "Glory") and even back to the Revolution. Given the chaos of WWII, I'm sure there were times when units of the various races were pushed together, but the overall - and overwhelming - policy of the services at the time was one of segregation. Truman changed this after WWII and before Korea in either 1947 or 1948.

Posted by: pj | October 20, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

To Mudge and also SciTim, just because I urge a comeback, snappy or not, doesn't mean there's any fault in being dumbstruck in this situation. I have often been. I just meant it's important to mull it all over in private so one can come up with the right rejoinder when the time comes. I recommend practicing the imaginary scenario first. And I have found it sometimes easier when speaking my mind to be devastating simultaneous with a smile and a raised eyebrow rather than high dudgeon. In the Truman sense: "I don't give 'em hell, I tell the truth and they THINK it's hell."

In re: Powell, I sense a man contrite for supporting the horrible Bush disasters, and see this conversion as a part of an effort to atone. Yet Powell is a fallen man in my view. I wish him good luck and bear him no more grudges, but I will withhold my embraces from him.

Posted by: Jumper | October 20, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Mudge. I got a little ahead of myself there.

A "distro" is a Linux distribution. In other words, a "version" or "flavor". The more popular ones are Redhat, Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSe, and Mandrake (I'm sure I'm missing somebody's favorite). Basically, a company or group puts together a collection of apps and utilities based on the open source Linux core and then distributes it under their name, sometimes for profit, but most of the time for free in the hope that you'll buy other products and services from them.

Posted by: martooni | October 20, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Y'all are much more thoughtful and incisive than I am. I was just going to ask Cenzo, since he's "had to spend a lot of time around Blacks" recently, and he thinks they're biased against whites, if he was sure that it wasn't just him.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 20, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we'll get AVATARS! Woo hoo!Now, this may appear somewhat childish, but it is easier to rapidly read comments with a more glaring signature sign. Less likely to accidentally skip over a Curmudgeon post, for example. At least, that's my story for the WaPo people, and I'm sticking to it. Besides, it's true.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I have been happy with Ubuntu, Mudge, but I really love the SuSe name and logo: chameleon.

I want that one. Ya know, the cutest one.

But, now that I a MacWoman, well, hardly ever mosey over to Linus thingie. You will get used to the icon changes sooner than you think.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 20, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The Rush Limbaughs and Newt Gingriches of the world realize they have a lot of followers. The problem for them is they are so used to surrounding themselves with their followers, the like-minded, and bathing themselves in adoration that they don't realize just how small that group of real hard-core followers are.

When they smirk and strut and act like they know what "real Americans" want they think they are playing to the silent majority. They really are playing to the noisy minority.

In November on election day, they will see how much a minority it really is. I bet they won't recognize how small their tribe is. I bet they blame the loss on "elite media" or reverse racism.

Oh how wrong they are.

Posted by: steve boyington | October 20, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing left for McCain/Palin & the GOP to use but race...They have tried everythig else and it has not worked. I believe Americans have evolved much more than the GOP give us credit for. Race is not an issue.

Unfortunately, we still have some 'Joe the Plumbers', with thier Sammy Davis Jr. comments. Currently living in Ohio, I can tell you, I don't know any 'Joe's personally. It so, so sad, for someone who grew up in the 60's as I did, to see this rise in hate and call for violence by the McCain/Palin supporters.

I am sure, most of us saw that video of the people at the Ohio Palin rally that was on Al Jazeera, Americans spewing all that hatred. I was so ashamed of them. In the 21st century, to have people think that skin colors matters is beyond me.

I did catch this article on the net that I feel the need to share...something ALL Americans should be aware of when they vote. Please be careful and double check before you hit submit with your ballot.

If you should have a problem, shout out to everyone that will listen, your local papers & TV - maybe some national news service will pick up on the story and make ALL Americans aware of the situation and educate us in being more careful when we are in the voting booth.

I for one am not leaving the booth till it is corrected if that should happen to me here in Ohio. I am going to vote in a few days, so maybe I should start my bail and legal defense fund, because if it happens to me, I am surely going to get arrested.

Posted by: ilona rose | October 20, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The two best known "black" units in the American military in WWII were the truckdrivers of the famous (well, famous to some of us) Red Ball Express, which wasn't a sinle unit at all, but rather a sort of emergency scratch-built assembly built out of the Army Transportation Corps, to haul gasoline and other supplies across Europe. The REBE started to supply Patton and Bradley's armies, running from St. Lo to Chartres, as was so successful it formed the bulk of the trasnsportation and logistics for most of the war in that theater. About 75% of the drivers were black. By the end of the was the truckers had delivered 412,193 tons of gas, oil, lubricants, ammunition, food and other supplies. Some 210,209 African-Americans were serving in Europe and 93,292 of them were in the Quartermaster Corps (the truck drivers and logistics people).

It would be quite wrong to think that guys driving supplies weren't in "as much danger" as front-line infantry with rifles. The reason was that the German Luftwaffe pilots knew how important gasoline was, and specifically targeted supply columns of gasoline trucks. So it was every bit as nasty as most other combat ops; they weren't "rear echelon mofos" to use a later epithet and insult.

The other black unit of fame, of course, were the Tuskegee Airmen, the 332nd Fighter Group that grew up out of the 99th Fighter Squadron--the first black pilots. They had an unparalleld, outsanding combat record.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

CP... the newer Macs actually run on a *nix (BSD, I think) operating system. So you've got all the happy Mac stuff sitting on top of an Ubuntu-like OS.

In other words, you have cake *and* ice cream *and* you get to eat it at your leasure. ;-)

Posted by: martooni | October 20, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Martooni.

HEY, y'll, how do we create a post ID, that is not our email login...ya know for the comment registration regime that begins tonight at 12.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 20, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Where it asks for email, be assured it won't be your user name. Then fill out all the stuff you want, especially the actual user name, and upload yr preferred avatar/icon.

I predict that part will be very slow and there will be problems. Someone will possibly have to check 20,000 little pictures for naked people.

Posted by: Jumper | October 20, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"He believes in an American meritocracy in which anyone with enough drive and ambition can be successful."

Ah, you see; that's why people like Limbaugh and Buchanan don't get on with Powell. They believe in an American meritocracy where anyone who's successful has by definition earned their success and anyone who isn't doesn't deserve success; oh, except if you're black, in which case it was obviously affirmative action, or an immigrant, in which case it must have had something to do with MY tax dollars.

Posted by: professordarkheart | October 20, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Here's what a Gulf Warrior said:

Not specifically about Powell, granted.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, something has changed. I think the new routine is requiring that your handle be your name....&^%4$%%, I cannot seem to get the system to let me change. I have been registered as a Post ID for about seven years. But, natch, I do NOT want my name appearing in the comment box. So, perhaps locked out of boodle for a while.

I expect some smartie-technorati here will advise us all.

Posted by: Co | October 20, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Time to drop into the Bunker Bar and treat my sore throat :o)

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

If Gene isn't mining these comments for his next column on internet nuts, some comedian surely is.

I hope Obama wins for many reasons ... including seeing our nations bigots unmasked. What a hootenanny that'll be!

Posted by: KPage | October 20, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

pj is correct about the time of the desegregation of the military. I asked an old military man, who happens to be my husband.

Posted by: nellie | October 20, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Back when a little visit to The Trail stripped me of my boodle handle and put me in an endless loop where my IRL name was visible, no matter how I logged out then back in, I got a yahoo e-mail address and started all over registering with WaPo which now thinks frostbitten is my real name.

I do hope this new registration is not as painful. The previous mess felt like a bad transporter experience (I imagine).

Posted by: frostbitten | October 20, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope Obama will clean up, run the Neo-cons back to their think tanks where they can ebjoy each other's company and continue their dreams of world domination.

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping it's the same registration, frosti.

CP... log out of your current account and create another with with another email address with the handle you want to use. If CollegeParkian is taken, add some other characters. Like I said, mine is now -TBG-.

In fact, I just logged out and logged in again. Let's see what handle shows up in the name line...

Posted by: TBG | October 20, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess my real name will pop up tomorrow. I don't mind as I'm not hiding.

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. It's all about race. Do you expect anyone with a brain to think that Powell waited until all the Ayers, Wright and Rezco heat came about, then analyzed Obama's gaffe to Joe the Plumber( where he revealed his real socialist intent) and finally said to himself, "Now there is presidential material?" Horsehockey. And, other than race he is certainly not transformational when you look at all the Clinton democrat mutts hanging around him.
Powell was a messiah of sorts himself once. When he made a name politically as a White House fellow from the Army, he was annointed like Obama, except it was by Republican politicians.
He was then given plum assignments where he kept seats warm for a minimal time, didn't accomplish very much, and didn't screw up. Today's four stars and CINCs make him look like what he is, just a politically motivated staffer. Finally he was made a four star and then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I don't know many who thought a lot of him then, and I certainly don't now.
Powell's endorsement was made for Powell's ego, and for race. Like so many liberals, he put himself and race above the best interest of the nation. He turned around and screwed the party that made him a four star, CJCS, and Secretary of State. And he screwed the guy who went to bat for his son to be named Chair of the FCC.
What a paragon of loyalty. No, just a typical turncoat liberal. Pathetic and contemptible.
U.S. Army Retired

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 20, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Testing Comment: Thanks, Frosti and TBG -- I just did as you suggested. My name will now be mashed together. LEt's see what comes up in the NAME box, without me specifying.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

That was me, ANY MOUSE!

Wonder what will happen in these new auto-post days.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 20, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Jumper, you said, "then fill out all the stuff you want." Fill out where? Somewhere other than where you go if you click "register" at the top of the page (when not signed in)? I just re-registered using my anonymous email address, which wasn't a bad idea anyhow, and I can be that name if it wants me to. But it didn't give me any options for choosing a different ID. I don't see any such options when I click on "edit preferences," either. Are there instructions somewhere?

Posted by: bia | October 20, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I just saw your comment, TBG. If that's the way it works, than I guess I've done what I need to, and I'll be biaboodler from tonight on. I can live with that.

Posted by: bia | October 20, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Larry... to call someone a liberal on this blog is generally considered a compliment.

Thank you for the compliment, btw.

I will now go do something extra-uber liberal just for you.


Posted by: martooni | October 20, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Color me confused about the registration thing. And if anyone can suggest a clever name for me, please do. Sweet cheeses.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 20, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Biaboodler sounds good--maybe we should wear uniforms for boodling. Unfortunately too complicated for my other nefarious activities on the internet.

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Predictable rantings by Limbaugh and Buchanan. We expected the smear campaign against a great American, Colin Powell.

'Race' is always pulled out of the hat by Republicans when an African American endorses another AA. They only show support when you agree with them and smear you when you disagree.

Republican Christians, why are so many of you participating in all the hate, fear and smear tactics. UnGodly character is being exposed and God IS watching.

Posted by: independent | October 20, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Mostly, speaking of cheeses, this weekend at the grocery store I overheard a young bilingual girl talking to her mother: "...y los cheeses..." Made me smile. I love codeswitching.

Posted by: bia | October 20, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mostly try:

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Based on what I'm reading here about registering, someone is going to have to post step by step directions. Am I going to need an email address that uses something other than my real name? How am I going to still be Bad Sneakers? I'm having an identity crisis!

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 20, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ha, Brag! No, no, I need a shorter, snappier, more clever name. You know, the ones I think of sometimes but can never remember at a crossroads like this. Sigh.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 20, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Spike Lee's latest movie, Miracle at St Anna, is about buffalo soldiers (all black units) in Italy. I haven't seen the movie but Spike was doing an interview on NPR where he discussed his research into the segregated combat units. They were disparagingly called "Eleanor's Experiment". the officers for the units were specifically selected to be southerners because they presumably had more experience bossing around colored people.

Spike also talked about how the heroics of the real life soldiers that inspired the movie created a ton of good will in rural Italy that remains to the day.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

All the race-baiting and Powell-bashing sniffs of the desperation of a cornered badger. I think the hard-right knows they are about to lose and are just throwing out anything in futility.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 20, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Your email address is NOT your WaPo ID. It's just connected to your ID and you can't seem to change your ID once you've registered. Your email address will not be public.

You can pick your own ID, but it must be at least 4 characters long, hence the dashes before and after my handle (-TBG-) which seems to be enough to trick the system. Periods don't work; I tried them.

Posted by: TBG | October 20, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

But TBG, when you say "connected to," what do you mean? My registration screen just asked for an email address (biaboodler@...) and some other demographic information -- no space to fill in a choice for another ID. And now when I'm signed in, it says "Hello biaboodler." Which, as I said, is fine with me, but it seems that getting a boodle handle as the ID requires the creation of an email account with the handle as part of the address. Am I not finding a different registration page somewhere?

Posted by: bia | October 20, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, Rush Limbaugh skewers Powell. So what? His dittohead dunderheads arent' going to change stripes anyway just because a 4-star general that worked for multiple GOP presidents says so. We expect the GOP sleaze machine to go after Powell, too. The real impact will be on those still, God bless 'em, undecided dullards, who might think the Powell imprimatur is enough to push them off the fence onto Obama turf.

Posted by: snark | October 20, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Or are you supposed to fill in what you want as your ID where it asks for an email address?

Posted by: bia | October 20, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

So when the change-over occurs, we will all know? I'm signed into with a bugmenot id, so I'll have to go back and figure out if I can still log in with my Wilbrod ID.

In any case, if I must change, you will know me by the masked black dog streaking past.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 20, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, man, sitting in the living room reading my new Harpers and watching MSNBC, I'm gonna need blood pressure medicine, I swear.

Let's face it: the horrible people of the Neo-neocon fascist forces despise America and want to destroy her. It would almost be funny except it's not. McCain votes for the biggest "socialist" bailout in history and Palin keeps on like the evilist of parrots, squawking hate speech non-stop. It's just senseless. If capital gains and income taxes increase 10% for the wealthiest, but their returns on investments increase 20% of what they are now, then who cares? They shouldn't. They actually win.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If I registered before when it was threatened, and got my handle right, do I need to do anything else?

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, OK, I've figured out how to trick it. You can't just put in your boodle handle as the email address, but you can make up a fake email address, with So no need to go to and actually set up an email account. And then when you sign in it'll say, "hello boodlehandle." That's assuming that whatever it greets me as is the same thing it will label my boodle posts with. Now I'm both biaboodler and -bia-. I'll have to decide who I want to be.

Posted by: bia | October 20, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I figured the registration would happen eventually. Fortunately, I already use RD Padouk with the WaPo, although a spurious underline might sneak in.

If Colin Powell's endorsement had been an aberration among moderate conservatives the accusations of racial politics might have some weight. Powell, however, is just the latest of many "Obamacons" to come out for Obama.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 20, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

bia, you hacker you! Good work.

Company that WaPo outsourced all this newfangled stuff to.

I think if one logs out, roots out all the older WaPo cookies and then re-registers, that will totally clear any older remnants of past personas.

Posted by: Jumper1 | October 20, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who compulsively checks

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 20, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

OK - long ago, I somehow registered as "seasea" - so that is who I may become tomorrow. I just don't have the patience to futz too much. At least it's shorter than mostlylurking, and less ironic. And given the awful avatar pics they have, I managed to upload one of my very own. Is avatar pic redundant? A thousand apologies.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 20, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Helloooooooooooooooo!!!! I'm back!!!! I'm operational!!

I've got Ubuntu, whatever the heck that is (I can foresee a copy of "Ubunto for Wammasutari" in my future, if by chance Wammasutari means Dummies). And OpenOffice, and I can see/open all my writing stuff, thank god. So I'm good to go. (And boy is this system fast and clean and no crap scattered all over the joint.)


Oh, wireless mouse and keyboard don't work, and I'm using USB types, but I'll get that worked out eventually.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Yay! 'Mudge, it's not the same without you here in the evenings and weekends. So glad you're back online.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell endorsed the war in Iraq, wholeheartedly, and, on Friday, testified to Ted Steven's "sterling character."

If ever there were a self-serving backpedaler, it is Colin Powell.

And, he endorsed Obama while swearing his love of McCain.

Yeah. Right.

"Bitter," Colin?

Posted by: PayBack | October 20, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

greetings, all.

i did i little poking around concerning the user name issue.

when we were warned about this possibility way back when, it was possible to change a user name. however, they don't allow this anymore.

if you would like to change your user name but still have the same email, what they tell you to do is this:

If you need to remove a user name, please write to us using the "Send Us a Question or Comment" tab above and we can delete your current account. This will free up the use of your e-mail address to create a new account with a new MyPost user name.

here is the link of the "send question or comment" web form, if you would like to go this route:

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 20, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

So I guess I'll still be Yoki. Which is great.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

i managed to make the switch earlier, so i'll be LALurker.

mudge, i hope that curmudgeon person from the other blog doesn't have dibs on your handle.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 20, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Ha, Mudge, bracing myself to your boodling--I think some pweople missed you *ducking*

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm off to some energetic and creative sleep. Good night boodlers.

See ya at the Dawn Patrol

Posted by: Brag | October 20, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh dear, I have no idea who I'll be tomorrow. I registered at least a decade ago, using part of my email which is different from my boodlehandle. We'll just have to see, won't we?

Posted by: slyness | October 20, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I followed bia’s and jumper’s advice and cleaned out my wapo cookies, then I came into the website from google instead of my bookmark, changed my email name to badsneakers, deleted my bookmarks and remarked them with my new sign in and I think I am going to be good to go. No avatar, I forgot to even think about that. I’ll miss caps and spaces but I guess as long as I’m still me, I’m happy.

Really glad you’re back online Mudge. It just isn’t the same without you.

This was a great Kit Joel. I can’t believe all the ‘carp’ people are spewing regarding this Endorsement.

Obama is suspending his campaign for two days, Thursday and Friday, to go to Hawaii to visit his grandmother who is quite ill.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | October 20, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I've changed my WaPo name. It would accept mine. I'll wait till tomorrow to post under my new name just in case I got it all wrong, and I can keep my name after all.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 20, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama has one Secretary of State's endoresment, McCain has FIVE!--and one of them a Democrat.

I think the reason some think Powell's endorsement is race-based is because 1) Powell said Obama would be a transitional figure, and 2) Powell used a double standard. When he criicized Palin for being ill-prepared to be President he fails to realize Obama is equally ill-prepared--and he's at the top of the democratic ticket. The only benefit Obama has is 17 months of grooming.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 20, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

On the name issue:

Like some of you, I have a registration using an e-mail address I don't want public, not even the first part. And there was no way to get a UserID. But a few months ago, I went to add myself to one of the discussion groups and it asked me to make a userid. That ID became my WaPo id, and now that's how I'll be seen on the registration required blogs (its astromom, so no change there).

You might see if that route still works if you want to keep your WaPo registration at a legitimate e-mail address for whatever reason. I'm not sure what reason that would be, but whatever.

Posted by: astromom | October 20, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

SCC: As always I didn't preview (I am consistent), and I failed to notice that I omitted the word 'NOT' in my post above.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 20, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, Henry Kissinger's endorsement means a lot to me. All those Vietnam/Cambodia memories. Who are the other ones? There's a difference between quantity and quality.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 20, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Martooni, how come my Firefox screen goes gray from time to time and everything freezes?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 20, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

more about the Mating Habits of Nerds...

A must read!!!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | October 20, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Joke for JA & Science Tim:

Heisenberg was driving down the Autobahn whereupon he was pulled over by a policeman. The policeman asked, "Do you know just how fast you were going back there? Heisenberg replied, "No, but I know exactly where I am."

Posted by: Miss Toronto | October 20, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

McCain has four former Secretaries of State endorsements, not five-Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Haig. None are dems (unless you count Baker's registration before he became politically active).

All 4 are ancient history to the voters who are going to make the difference this time around-younger than the 72-death demographic. The only name most will recognize is Kissinger's and not in a good way.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 20, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Go frostbitten! Wise words.

'Night Boodle. This is he11 week (every year) as my team prepares to submit and I present to the Board 33 PG/CT strat plans and budget proposals for the next fiscal year. Exhausting. Fun!

I'm out.

Posted by: Yoki | October 20, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Sarah "Strangelove" Palin?

Posted by: One More Time | October 20, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

this is rich - Limbaugh attacks Powell as a racist and a liar - who do you think wins that battle?

the McCain campaign has disintegrated (not that it ever had anything resembling integration).

now they are attacking small donations by average americans that don't have to be identified because they are small as undemocratic, sinister, and to be stopped if they get into power. big money from PACs is great, $25 from average Joe's is sinister and corrupt? that's what Rick Davis and McCain actually said (I really saw them do it)

I made just over 200K last year, and I am insulted at the suggestion that the tax break I would get under Obama is "welfare." First, it's absurd to talk to a crowd, none of whom make $250K, and tell them Obama wants to take money from them and give it to the poor. a tax break, even one that is a refundable credit for some, is not socialist, and certainly isn't welfare. The government taking less of my money is what Limbaugh has been screaming about his entire career. Wasn't he talking about me, or was he just talking about his millionare pals? I thought he preached to the masses. maybe he's been talking to the rich and just fooling the masses.

and the only reason to go waaaaaaay out of your way to call it "welfare" is to conjure up images of poor blacks who used to receive welfare before Clinton ended welfare as we knew it, and imply that the black candidate is going to take money from rich whites and give it to poor blacks and bring back welfare. I'm white,and I think the attack is as racist as can be. period.

Posted by: JoeT | October 20, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

As far as Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh are concerned, I heard a wise woman say that people will only accuse you of what they are capable of themselves.

We know where these two stand on anything requiring skilled analysis. They will forgo it and refer to the lowest common denominator because that is the highest level to which they are capable of ascending: intellectual shorthand.

Posted by: hakafos44 | October 20, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

#1 reason I'm so grateful for my Achenaddiction- I'll have somewhere to go when the election is over and there's no need to refresh fivethirtyeight every 5 minutes. I just lurk there, but I feel for some of the regulars and hope they have full lives to see them through the withdrawal.

Toodles boodle and fondue.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 20, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I recognize 3 out of 4 of those names, and the name Al Haig suddenly makes me itch all over and break out in hives. Baker, Gulf war. Kissinger, Vietnam.

Relevance to today: zero.

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 20, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Toronto, I got your joke.

Remember this Guest Kit I wrote this past Spring?

I would also suggest that Heisenberg probably hadn't had a chance to Observe what color car he was driving. Or when he was going to get to Copenhagen, for that matter.

Several years ago, there was a Dilbert comic suggesting that there was a Project Uncertainty Principle, with the hypothesis that if you know a project, you won't know its cost, and vice versa.

After working with a 14,000 line budget spreasheet today, I can relate to that.


Posted by: bc | October 20, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

This kit, to quote David Crosby, [is] sheer profundity. I can't believe the negativity associated with the Republican side of the Presidential campaign. The political news stories I've seen tonight tout Gov. Palin as the future of the Republican party. We've seen the enemy and it is us.

Posted by: jack | October 20, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

>>>I watched MtP yesterday morning, specifically to see Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama. And I, too, was moved to wiping tears from my eyes from his description of the Muslim soldier who was killed in Iraq and buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | October 20, 2008 10:45 AM<<<

Here's a link to the photo that Gen. Powell was referring to. It's a beautiful picture of the grave of the fallen soldier with his mother embracing the headstone.

Posted by: ldsw | October 20, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

That is a powerful photo - thanks for linking to it.

Posted by: mostlylurking | October 21, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Just jumped on to remark on the "Daily Show" tonight.

It was very good.

See ya.

Posted by: Boko | October 21, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto,
You always have the greatest links. thanks.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 21, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

there is a beautiful star field out tonight and while looking around,half a moon decided to rise above the mountain....very nice. Venus looked great setting in the western sky too.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 21, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

With respect to the World War II US Army, I was intending to praise its multi-ethnicity. Maybe most important, our Army was utterly unlike the polyglot Hapsburg armies of the past (my Slovak grandfather served in the Empire's army).

Earlier this evening, a Sony Blu-Ray player eyed me from the shelf, then jumped into the shopping cart while yelling "I'm under two hundred!!!" So I've dutifully ordered "How the West Was Won", "Chronos" and "Helvetica" to make it happy.

On the side, I'm looking for a spot for a cute baby Zanthoxylum fagara (wild lime) tree. It's one of our handsomest small native trees and does double duty by feeding giant swallowtail caterpillars.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 21, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: midnight | October 21, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

tests? testy? Testies? testes?

Posted by: Bob S. | October 21, 2008 2:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting so close to political overload/exhaustion that I'm falling into infatuation with anyone who's willing to concede that anyone else who's somewhat politically different from themselves is not, in fact, necessarily evil.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 21, 2008 2:38 AM | Report abuse

re: World War II & multi-ethnicity -

That's the wonderful thing about a really huge war. EVERYBODY gets to play!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 21, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Just reregistered, but it didn't ask me what my handle should be. . . I hate technology.

Posted by: dbG | October 21, 2008 4:06 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. Nice rainy morning here. Testing the registration process.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 21, 2008 5:08 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

dbG... your handle is the first part of whatever email address you use to register (everything up to the "@"). I ended up creating a new "martooni" email address on my website and used that to register.

A little warmer here this morning, though it's supposed to stay on the cool side all day. Good work weather. Speaking of which...

Time to get to it.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 21, 2008 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh noes! Haig endorsed McCain?

Zombies were my favorite :-(

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 21, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Registration, schmegistration.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
The half moon is high and we can see well in the predawn take off.

Watching the Boodle's six o'clock.

now testing

Posted by: Brag | October 21, 2008 6:21 AM | Report abuse

umm. Submiting same as usual. Taking a peek at Helsinki--American and Russian chiefs of staff are having friendly meeting.

Gates and the US military are showing greater diplomatic skill than Bushian State Department--a vey good sign.

Posted by: Brag | October 21, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, all. A common editorial thread of late is the nastiness of political campaigns. The link to this article came from the FTE site, and states the nastiness case quite nicely. As I'm typing this, I haven't yet conjured up a registration bot. Here's the link,

and awaaay we go.

Posted by: jack | October 21, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Starset overhead
projected on western sky
see it crash and burn

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Miss Toronto, thanks for the link, I found Nerd Girl about a week ago but had forgotten to go back and read her more recent posts.

Although I changed my registration - I do not see anything different in the comments section - will see what happens.

Good morning all - cool and windy here this morning.

Posted by: dmd | October 21, 2008 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Can I fly dawn patrol? Don't get the chance too often.

Talking of astronomy, last night was clear as could. Watched Mars rise in the east very late. Beautiful.

Posted by: Yoki | October 21, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

My goodness that will be quite a dawn patrol for you Yoki - you are still several hours from dawn - sun isn't even up here.

Saw this article yesterday and remember that Mo went to a similar event in DC last year? And that Zombies were a topic the other day. Check out the first comment - the link made me laugh - perhaps why curling is so popular up here?

Posted by: dmd | October 21, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Oops! I just went broke. Better go do something about that...

Posted by: ScienceTim | October 21, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Holy Carp Yoki! Are you really late or really early?
There is nothing like the smell of large wet dogs in the morning. Very homey.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 21, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh jeez, I cried when I looked at that photo of the Muslim mom hugging her son's tombstone. It's awfully early in the morning for that!

Good morning anyway, everybody.

Funny story: Ran into the FD's HR director yesterday and asked about her son, who is seven. She said he had been influenced by his dad's mother, who is Republican party chairman in a county down east. So my friend got him on the Scholastic website, which has a tally of the positions of each of the presidential candidates. This young person perused the information, then announced to his mother that he's voting for Obama.

I'm still arguing with my brother. Not that either of us will budge an inch.

Posted by: slyness | October 21, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

what astromom described is how i think i ended up setting my user id. the first time you comment on something where registration is required, i think there is a way to change your user id from the first part of your email at that moment. not sure though.

the user help on creating an id was totally useless, btw.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | October 21, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Morning all. Just kicking the tires, turning over the engine, and looking for flames. So far so good.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 21, 2008 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that Toronto story, dmd.

And I see now that Ms. Palin is a zombie brains and a big mouth.

Arrgh! zombies were my favorite :-(

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 21, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Posting still looks normal to me. Perhaps the next Kit will mark the change?

*in-a-sort-of-funk-for-indeterminate-reasons Grover waves*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen has been pretty uneven lately, but I love this sentence in his latest column:

"But the GOP's tropism toward its furiously angry base, its tolerance and currying of anti-immigrant sentiment, its flattering of the ignorant on matters of undisputed scientific consensus -- evolution, for instance -- and, from the mouth of Palin, its celebration of drab provincialism, have sharpened the division between red and blue. "

I mean, he uses the word "tropism."

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 21, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Made new email at hotmail, which is now MSN Live. Will be smashed CollegeParkian at some point. Wonder what will happen to comment volume. OnParenting now has comment numbers like 11 and 33. SciTim, I hope you will still signal which of the Tims writes.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 21, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I aspire to get to broke.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 21, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Body politic
Right extremities rotting
watch it eat its own

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Pentagon and Petreous axis is working on new strategy for Afghanistan where things are heading south--Fast!

This strategy, which includes talks with the Taliban will be presented to the new president.

To me it looks like Gates and the Pentagon have declared independence from Bushistan.

Even though the U.S. is presently adrift and leaderless, we are beginning to see the benefits of Bush's departure.

Yeah, it's the beginning of the end of the zombies. :o)

Posted by: Brag | October 21, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse


I'll figure out the comment/handle thing whenever it rears it's ugly head. I have backboodled so speedily that I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do or if I will have to do anything at all.

I did manage to read Miss Toronto's science girl link. I am most definitely not a science-y person, but I dated the quintessential science nerd in college and have many fond (and funny) memories. Even though I'm not a science-y type, I'm clearly impressed by them as evidenced by my Achen-addiction.

Can you believe the vitriol that Powell's endorsement has unleashed? Wait, what am I saying, of course we believe it.

Posted by: Kim | October 21, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Get ready for a rough ride, Kim. The late night airwawes were buzzzing about the prospect that Sen. Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright is an issue that is fair game. The kitchen sink strategy is forthcoming.

Posted by: jack | October 21, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Revised version:

Body politic
Right extremities rotting
watch it go for broke

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous - awesome!

Posted by: Kim | October 21, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Who would go after Rev Wright when there is Rev. Muthee? That was bazaar. Now that we have blogging sign-in requirements, I guess we don't need Muthee to spare us from witches.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse


To check how you'll appear once you're registered, try heading over to the Trail's latest item and sign in.


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Fortunately, it was early and not late.

Off to work, day two of the big big week in my shop.

Have a great day, Boodle. Look at some nature, if you can.

Posted by: Yoki | October 21, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

glad you all enjoyed Nerd Girl... it was pleasure sharing it. Nerds rock man!!!!

Posted by: Miss Toronto | October 21, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

We know, Miss T, we know. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Color And Politics and Obama Becomes the Most Popular Name on the Boodle

Since October 14:

1 orange
3 yellow
4 Biden
5 purple
6 silver
9 blue
10 gold
13 red
27 black
30 Palin
30 white
31 green
70 McCain
131 Obama

- the kitchen counter who may never post again due to registration requirements

Posted by: kitchen counter | October 21, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that tip, Scotty...I will be

Sigh....booorrrring! But I'm too lazy to do anything to about it.

jack - yes, I've never believed that McCain would stick with his assertion that he would never bring up Rev. Wright in his campaign. I feel certain that the next two weeks is going to be ghastly. I need Mudge to give a pep talk about Obama's chances. Btw - glad you're back Mudge in the evenings and weekends, Mudge!

Posted by: Kim | October 21, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey DNA Girl!

I know very little about Pauling except that he had family in Hawaii and visited often. His field was somewhat related to my father's. At the time, my father, as best as I could remember, mentioned in various conversations that he had studied or been at the same schools as some of the folks working on the Manhattan project... another relationship.

DNA Girl, my father was in Europe during WWII. He was really emotionally affected by the experience, as were most men and women serving in the war. He was in Intel and was personally involved in opening up and processing the poor souls at German concentration camps.

As horrific as that was, he also had a very large concern about mixing politics and the bomb. DNA Girl, I think that's another reason why my family really appreciated having Pauling around.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Hello Cow Town. Long time no see. I do come and go and always enjoy the boodle.

You know, it's like family!

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The Trail commenters have bold and italics. The also do their comments in reverse time order. Yuck.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 21, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

testing testing

Posted by: dr | October 21, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I've tried logging out and logging back in, or editing my preferences, but to no avail. It keeps telling me the page is no longer available.

We shall see what happens in the next kit. I may not be myself for a while.

Posted by: dr | October 21, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey... I need help!

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I think either there was a cookie issue or that they had dropped the select your login name field from their form.

I was going to create a resonable fax of my Boodle name and there was no place to pick it.

I think either I or they had a DOH! moment.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Get in line with the rest of us, DM... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 21, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse


I guess I will have to boodle upside down so I can read everything in correct order. There is an order to the universe and these Post whipper snappers are tearing the "very Fabric."

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

this is going to make me go back to work and become a productive member of society as a whole.

I will no longer weight down pro-Americans everywhere.

Posted by: russianthistle | October 21, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

What!? DM, are you saying they're going to change the direction of time on the boodle, too? How very uncomfortable.

Posted by: bia | October 21, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

morning all
overcast today and not as cold,just seing if this works

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 21, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Nope, I think they are having issues.

like DM, I had no ability to choose my comment id, and can just me me. I'll have to come up with something, though. If they need 3 letters for an id, I am in big trouble.

Posted by: dr | October 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Nothing was asked of me,I just posted my regular post and it went through.....that is is good....

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

And new kit.

Posted by: dr | October 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

New Kit - time to test the new ID's

Posted by: dmd | October 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

There is a certain sense of unease at the Boodle.

*inserts video of monkey hollering and thousands of birds flying out trees.*

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Sigh, if my trip to The Trail is any indication I'll be frostbitten1. Humph, what did I go through all that registration agony for the last time I went over there?

Good morning all. Giant caffeine rebound headache and every public radio station I listen to on air and online is in the middle of a pledge drive. If it starts to rain, or gets any colder, I'm going back to bed.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

To be blunt, I'm not surprised with how the campaigns are going, and that both sides are moving to basic emotional campaigning.

I think that fear and hate are fundamentally strong emotions that can be tapped into far more easily to produce strong reactons than the more cognitive emotions of hope and excitement.

If one side needs to try to whip up their base, and to try to raise a tide of emotion to sway undecided people to their side, it's not surprising to me that they would seize on differences and resort to playing on basics in order to find a point of leverage for mainpulation.

This is campaign politics, after all. As with so much in this country, results count. All else is debatable, or something that will be taken up in The Final Accounting later.


Posted by: bc | October 21, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all, just testing, here.

Kim, keep your chin up. I read a Virginian Pilot online article that's pretty revealing:

Obama is raising more case in Hampton Roads than McCain.

Both candidates are receiving donations from more retired folks than any other source.

Second on Obama's list of donors in HR is the medical profession, fancy that, as opposed to McCain's list, which has military listed second, no surprise there.

No doubt about it, HR may be a barnburner, but Obama has made more progress there than I ever imagined possibile. Frostbitten, enjoy your updates regarding Newport News and your parents and the campaign.

Posted by: VintageLady | October 21, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Bob S.,
Paul Fussell is one of the best explainers of the horrors of combat in the two world wars. "The Boys’ Crusade: The American Infantry in Northwestern Europe, 1944-1945" is a short and effective antidote to sentimentality.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 21, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Back home under the sea.

Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Dolphin Michael | October 21, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt - If you have extra, you could throw some our way.

Posted by: The ScienceSpouse | October 21, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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