hopperbach


The smile high club

Does the following AFP Photo not tell us everything we need to know about the mainstream media’s infatuation with the Golden One?  I hope they passed around Obama dolls so these journalists would have something to cuddle during their long flight.



CBS hits the “g” spot

Barack Obama is about to make his much heralded trip overseas to the Middle East. And in their excitement CBS News has given us one of the first instances of the “g” word in the 2008 campaign:

A 12,000-mile trip in the middle of an election campaign is an unusual choice for any candidate, but for Obama it’s an attempt to demonstrate he has the necessary gravitas to maneuver through diplomatic minefields – especially in the volatile Mideast.

For those not familiar with the term gravitas, it means “weightiness” or “dignified demeanor”. Rush Limbaugh had a lot of fun with the word during the 2000 presidential campaign after the MSM used it ad infinitum in it’s analysis of George Bush choosing Dick Cheney as his running mate. Here are some examples from the transcript on Limbaugh’s website:

HUNT: He is a man who meets all George W.’s weaknesses: lack of foreign policy experience, lack of gravitas. I think now when Gore is trying to make the case of lack of gravitas against George W. …

WILLIAMS: Now we look and we see the son, who is seeking some gravitas, to say to people that he is an intelligent man…

SHIPMAN: There is a lot talk they are looking at older candidates, candidates with gravitas.

ROBERTS: He’s had health problems, uh, he’s worked for a Big Oil company, but he has the gravitas. You can sum it up in one word: stature.

FAZIO: I really believe that George W. Bush needed that perhaps more than anyone in recent memory because, if there is a rap about him, it may go to the gravitas issue.

GREENFIELD: If the question about Governor Bush was one of the weight, or to use the favorite phrase of the moment, “gravitas“…

ALTER: What he gets here is grav-i-tas, a sense of weight, competence, and administrative ability.

KERREY: I’ve gotta strengthen it in some fashion. I’ve gotta bring gravitas to the ticket.

KERREY: He does not need anybody to give him gravitas!

CARLSON: It means that Bush, you know, Gore has experience and gravitas.

McCURRY: I think he also needs to demonstrate some gravitas, too.

DONALDSON: …that he was put on the ticket, but by former President Bush, to give gravitas to the ticket.

CLIFT: Well, Dick Cheney brings congeniality and he brings gravitas.

ISAACSON: He does seem to bring some vigor as well as gravitas and stature to the ticket.

HUNT: It’s called “gravitas.”

NOVAK: Right.

SHIELDS A little gravitas!

WOODRUFF: You certainly have gravitas tonight.

DONALDSON: Displayed tonight a certain gravitas.

The transcript doesn’t do it justice — you really have to hear the audio to get the full hilarious effect. But this should give a clue as to just how easily and willingly the MSM will take a buzzword fed to them by the Democrats and run with it.

We will most certainly be hearing this term more and more in association with Barack Obama — but in a different way than with Bush. Don’t be surprised when you start hearing reports about the strong impression Barry made in Jordan and Israel. And be prepared after his whirlwind tour overseas is finished to start hearing about Obama’s “newly found gravitas“… the authority and presence he carried as he interacted with foreign leaders. How he behaved almost… dare we say… presidential.

We eagerly await the next montage…



Road rage… Palestinian style

bulldozer attack in jerusalem

BBC reporter Tim Franks had a bird’s eye view of Wednesday’s attack in Jerusalem by a Palestinian bulldozer operator. Franks watched the surreal scene unfold as the enraged driver flattened cars, knocked over a bus and killed at least 3 people before being shot dead himself. Here is part of his chilling testimony:

What I first of all heard rather than saw was the shouts and screams of people down below me on the street.

I have an office that overlooks the Jaffa Road, and I looked out and saw that a bulldozer had gone into the side of a bus.

I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing, but then my astonishment grew further when I realised that this was a deliberate attack because the bulldozer then went back into the side of the bus, and then I think a third time before the bus toppled over.

It’s down on the street just in front of me, now I’m looking at it from my office, and it went over, apparently very, very easily… of course with people inside it.

There were people on the street who seemed almost as if they were flapping ineffectually at the bus, trying in some way to keep it upright, but it went over.

At that point, we careered down onto the street to see in more detail what was going on, and by the time we got down there, the bulldozer had gone maybe 100m-150m (330ft-500ft) further down the road, and had come to a halt, but not before several cars and taxis had been run over with people inside.

It was a grisly scene, and horns were still blaring.

Most news outlets report that Police are calling this a terrorist incident. Surprisingly Reuters did use the “T” word in their account as well… but then made darn sure to immediately follow that with a Hamas spokesman’s take on the attack:

“We do not expect it will influence the Gaza calm,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in the Gaza Strip.

“There is a continued aggression against our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem and so it is natural that our people there will respond to such aggression,” he said.

Yes, flattening innocent Jewish commuters is SO natural. And these are the swell people Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter want to sit down and have a friendly chat with.

This area is a powder keg and we’d best brace ourselves for what is to come. It is becoming abundantly clear that there is not going to be peace in this region without war preceding it, folks.



Israeli air force collects new sky miles

Look to the skies Ahmadinejad, your nuke program may soon be up in smoke. Israel recently conducted some eye-opening combat exercises:

American military officials say Israel launched a major military exercise aimed in part at demonstrating its ability to stage an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israel’s military refuses to confirm or deny whether the exercise was a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack.

But two Pentagon officials said Israel sent dozens of aircraft on the large-scale mission in the eastern Mediterranean in early June.

One defense official said the exercise could be taken as a show of force to Iran and a demonstration to the world that Israel is serious about the need to challenge the country’s nuclear program — and could be prepared to do so militarily.

“They have been conducting some large-scale exercises — they live in a tough neighborhood,” one U.S. official said, though he offered no other recent examples.

So what’s the big deal? With such cranky neighbors wanting to push their people into the sea and all, Israel pretty much has to keep it’s military muscles toned, right?  Well… you see these particular operations were a little different in that they involved Israeli fighter jets traveling 900 miles from their home base. This is the distance they would have to travel to get to the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz, folks. Get the message now?

Others do:

“They wanted us to know, they wanted the Europeans to know, and they wanted the Iranians to know,” the Pentagon official said to the Times. “There’s a lot of signaling going on at different levels.”

That’s the AP version. But it’s always fun to explore the DEBKAfile version:

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that only on Tuesday, June 17, the chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy commented to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee: “Beside the actions and sanctions against Iran, it is important we remain ready for any options.”

Those sources interpreted the Ashkenazy’s typically understated remark as a hint that Israel must be ready for a possible war with Iran in the near future. This conflict could erupt on three additional fronts, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas. Those sources suggest that the scenario he hinted at would silence the many domestic critics of the ceasefire with Hamas and the Israeli military’s passivity in the face of Hizballah’s massive rocket buildup and Hamas’ escalating aggression.

So beyond Iran, the broader message Israel may be sending is that they still have the ability to kick some major extremist ass if need be.  They did it before in the Six Day War and they can do it again. Nothing wrong with a little reminder of what could happen if these jihad junkies and rogue regimes continue to act up. War can claim many lives but little history lesson never hurt anyone…



Appease and thank you

Taking Jimmy Carter’s lead, another group of idiots has recently decided it would be a grand idea to have a warm little chin-wag with members of Hamas as part of a “fact finding” mission. Some former U.S. diplomats met with the terrorist organization this past Sunday:

Richard Viets headed the delegation of retired U.S. diplomats representing the Council for the National Interest, a group that criticizes Israel’s “repression of human rights and territorial expansion.”

CNI was founded by former U.S. Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.), a longtime critic of U.S. policy toward Israel, who has blamed the Israeli lobby in the U.S. for contributing to his defeat in the House of Representatives in 1982.

Holding a grudge, are we?

The retired diplomats met with former Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, reports said. (Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas replaced Haniyeh with Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad after the violent Hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip last June.)

Viets, who served as a senior diplomat in Israel from 1977 to 1979 and as ambassador to Jordan in the 1980s, described his talks with Haniyeh as “very interesting and very frank.”

Viets said that Haniyeh had “outlined in detail” the Gazan government’s view on several issues, AFP reported.

Yes, Islamic radicals always relish any opportunity to tell the rest of us – with great bravado – how things are. I’ll bet Viets didn’t get two words in during the entire “dialogue”.

For those of you who are not familiar with CNI, let me better acquaint you. Besides Findley, the organization’s co-founder is another former congressman named Pete McCloskey, In 2000, McCloskey was the keynote speaker at the 13th IHR conference. By the way, IHR stands for Institute of Historical Review… and they do indeed have an interesting take on historical subjects. Here is a brief description of the event from IHR’s website

Bringing together attendees and speakers from a wide range of political leanings and varied ethnic and religious backgrounds was a common passion for intellectual freedom and truthful history, scorn for the enemies of free thought and expression, and a healthy skepticism of dogmatic or “official” history.

That’s right… these folks are what we call revisionists. And the “healthy skepticism” they are referring to includes denial of the Holocaust as well as denial of pretty much every other historical event that might cast the Jewish race in a sympathetic light.

IHR gave us a little taste of what McCloskey had to say at the 2000 conference:

I came because I respect the thesis of this organization,” said former Congressman Paul (Pete) McCloskey, Jr., “that thesis being that there should be a reexamination of whatever governments say or politicians say or political entities say.” In his Sunday evening banquet address, the one-time federal lawmaker from northern California spoke bluntly about the corrupting role of Jewish-Zionist special interest groups, especially the powerful Anti-Defamation League.

McCloskey spoke of the “courage” of revisionists in France, Germany and other countries, who are legally persecuted for their dissident scholarship. “I don’t know if you are right or wrong about the Holocaust,” he said, but “I hope you’ll keep examining history.” He praised the Institute for Historical Review as the “striking edge” of the revisionist movement, and concluded by wishing the IHR “good luck.”

But wait, there’s more! According to Salon.com, a man named Abdurahman Alamoudi, who served on CNI’s board of directors from 1998-2004, had this to say while speaking at an anti-Israel rally across from the White House in November 2000:

‘Hear that, Bill Clinton! We are all supporters of Hamas. I wish they add that I am also a supporter of Hizballah. Anybody support Hizballah here?‘ The crowd cheered.

Get the picture? So the Sunday meeting between CNI and Hamas was more than just a fact finding mission. It was a teatime chat between old friends. I would imagine that somewhere in this exchange of pleasantries the words “Death to Israel” came up a time or two.

Not that any of this is surprising. Anyone who would meet with these pieces of human debris and treat them as if they represent a legitimate government body would pretty much have to have an inherent disdain for Israel. But it’s always good to have a little background, isn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be sweet if U.S. Customs had a little computer glitch and “lost” the passport information of Viets and crew upon their return to the states? I’m sure their Hamas buddies would be happy to put them up for a while.



The gaffe that keeps on giving…

Wow, what a gift Barack Obama is to George W. Bush and conservatives everywhere. Just when we thought he’d learned his lesson after his spasmodic reaction to George Bush’s “appeasement” speech to Israel’s Knesset yesterday, we get this from Foxnews

Barack Obama struck back at President Bush and John McCain in tandem Friday, saying the president’s criticism the day before of politicians who would speak to terrorists is “exactly the kind of appalling attack that’s dividing our country and that alienates us from the world.”

Obama was campaigning in South Dakota, which holds its Democratic primary on June 3. But he used his appearance in the state to ratchet up his fight with the White House.

Again, who would even know about this excellent quote in Bush’s speech — in which he compared the idea of negotiating with terrorist regimes to the same type of ill-placed warm-fuzziness one American senator showed toward Hitler in WWII — if Obama hadn’t taken his big yellow highlighter to it and placed it squarely in front of our eyes? This is just beautiful. It’s the best PR that Bush has ever gotten for his firm and consistent stance against appeasement and I, for one, say keep bringin’ it Barack.

And he does. This time taking aim at potential Republican Presidential opponent John McCain:

He accused McCain of “fear-peddling” and of embracing Bush’s comments the day before during his address to Israel’s Knesset.

We seem to have really hit a nerve, here. Chalk it up to Obama’s inexperience? Well, we could if not for the fact that some other Dems — including none other than Hillary Clinton — have also decided to get in the act and stomp away at this flaming bag of doodie that has appeared on their front porch:

Though Bush never invoked Obama by name Thursday in that address, the Illinois senator and a chorus of prominent Democrats took the president’s remarks as a slam against him. Even Hillary Clinton — who has criticized Obama’s diplomatic policies — called the president’s comments “offensive and outrageous.”

Oh this is sweet. Thank you, Dems, for this unexpected gift. Meanwhile, the White House reacted to this controversy today by wisely deciding to play the “surprised” card:

Ed Gillespie, counselor to the president, said Friday the White House was taken aback by the backlash that followed Bush’s speech.

“We did not anticipate that it would be taken that way, because it’s kind of hard to take it that way if you look at the actual words of the president’s remarks, which are consistent with what he has said in the past relative to dealing with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and Al Qaeda,” Gillespie said.

“And so there was really nothing new in the speech that anyone could point to that would indicate that.”

But Gillespie did go on to call out another famous patron of paranoia:

He said there was some anticipation that it would be seen as a slam against former President Jimmy Carter, who recently met with leaders of Hamas, but that it was not intended as a rebuke to him, either.

And with that, a new trap is set. Now lets see if Carter takes the bait as well. This is like shooting fish in a barrel….



I’ll bet you think this speech is about you…

Bush Knesset speech

Oh my. It seems that President Bush has managed to ruffle Barack Obama’s little peacock feathers with a recent statement he made in a speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel becoming a state.

First, let me present the actual statement because it is SO on the money:

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” the President said to the country’s legislative body, “We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is –- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Score! Three point shot, nonetheless. So where is the controversy? Apparently Senator Obama thinks that the “Some” Bush is referring to here is none other than the Golden Boy himself.  You know… kind of like the way Warren Beatty just knew that the song “You’re so Vain” was about him — so much so that he later thanked Carly Simon for penning it. Well, so convinced is Barack Obama that Bush’s quote was a direct dig at him for his recent comments on appeasing Iran, he decided to fire up the ol’ PR machine and release this rebuttal:

“It is sad that President Bush would use a speech to the Knesset on the 6Oth anniversary of Israel’s independence to launch a false political attack. It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel. Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy – to pressure countries like Iran and Syria. George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the President’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”

Hmmmm…. methinks the man doth protest too much. Obama’s indignant statement is pretty telling… not so much in it’s content but in the mere fact that he felt the need to make it in the first place. Liberals are constantly defining themselves unintentionally by the things they speak out against. Nothing like the sweet sound of guilty dogs barking…

Actually though, I want to thank Senator Obama for bringing this statement to the forefront of public attention. Too many of these gems uttered by the Prez go unnoticed by the MSM. It’s nice to see at least one nugget of common sense make it to the front page. Because make no mistake, these terrorists and terrorist-sponsoring countries to which Bush is referring hate Israel and they hate us for liking Israel. Their one and only goal is our extinction. Therefore, this flowery claptrap about us sitting down and making nice-nice with men who are convinced they have a divine decree to scatter our body parts to the four winds needs to be put to rest… permanently.

So thank you Senator, both of the entertainment and for helping President Bush get his message across. You fell into that one a little too easily.