October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008
Hello Colin Powell

Welcome to the end of my work week. It has been a great but long one. I am now trying to catch up on emails and phone messages so if you recently left one I will be getting back to you shortly.

I also need to thank a few people. First to Anita, Gloria, Louise and the rest of the crew at Derby House Restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida - many thanks for the teddy bears, tissue paper, gift bags and donation to help with our Teddy Bear Touchdown in Jacksonville this year. To Howard Williams of the Jacksonville Public Library for including our event at the downtown branch location during World AIDS Week. To Casey and the rest of One AcChord for agreeing to provide beautiful holiday music for our children with HIV and AIDS while they get their holiday teddy bear and gifts. And last but not least, Gary for putting up with me rarely being home as I run around the country doing my advocacy and activist work.

So what's going on in your world? I have a feeling it was a bad day for Senator John McCain. Retired General Colin Powell, once considered a potential running mate for Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), now may endorse his opponent, Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), according to Republican sources. But an air of mystery surrounds Powell's planned live appearance Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, and no one is sure what he will say.

His unassailable national security credentials could sway voters who are vacillating about whether Obama is ready to be commander in chief, and his endorsement of the Illinois senator would make a national security emphasis by McCain in the election's closing days extremely difficult.

Powell, 71, a professional soldier for 35 years, has advised the last three Republican presidents. The general’s camp is being coy about what he might or might not say on Sunday. But some McCain advisers suspect, without being sure, that Powell will endorse Obama.

“It’s going to make a lot of news, and certainly be personally embarrassing for McCain," a McCain official said. "It comes at a time when we need momentum, and it would create momentum against us.”

Now I am sure you will be as glad as I am once this election is over and down with since it seems almost a third of the commercials on television are presidential ads.

Just like I am all sure we will be more than relieved when the economy starts to recover. Wall Street fell back into negative territory at the end of a volatile week after a series of negative economic indicators reinforced concerns that the country is headed into a recession.

After falling more than 200 points at the opening, the Dow Jones industrial average swung up as much as 300 points. But it ended the day down 1.4 percent, or 127 points. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index and tech-heavy Nasdaq were down less than 1 percent.

A Commerce Department report today found that the housing downturn continues to intensify. New home construction fell sharply again in September and requests for new building permits fell to levels not seen since the recession of the early 1980s.

New home construction fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 817,000, a 6.3 percent decline from the month before and more than 31 percent below September of a year before. It is the lowest monthly rate for home starts since January 1991.

Permit requests fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 786,000, an 8.3 percent decline from August and more than 38 percent below the same month a year ago. Building permits are considered a barometer of future activity.

The drop in home construction is a fairly precise illustration of the negative sentiment that has evolved among builders, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief U.S. economist at California-based Merk Investments. Given the ongoing problems in the credit markets, the development community should brace itself for a number of months of record low activity and consolidation.

So it looks like we are going to be in this for quite awhile. Hang on it looks like a bumpy ride.

I hope you do something special for yourself this weekend. Remember to live life since this is not a dress rehearsal.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab