hopperbach


The Stoning of a president

How accurate is Oliver Stone’s new movie about George W. Bush?  Why not ask someone who grew up with the man? The Washington Times recently had a few words with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush regarding his views on the biopic (which opens today)… and not surprisingly, little bro’ is not impressed.

Oliver Stone has proclaimed that his new feature film “W.” aims to be an “empathetic” psychological portrait of President Bush.

The president’s younger brother has a different impression.

At the heart of “W.,” opening nationally in theaters Friday, is a psychological portrait of George W. Bush as living perpetually in the shadow of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and driven to invade Iraq at least in part by a desire to prove he is as tough as the elder statesman.

The Oedipal rivalry is high-grade, unadulterated hooey,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told The Washington Times.

Well, you know what they say: One man’s art is another man’s unadulterated hooey.

The WT continues:

Exploring such a complicated family dynamic might have benefited from direct conversations with, say, the president’s younger brother who, in the telling of Mr. Stone and his “W.” screenwriter, Stanley Weiser, was regarded by his parents as the more promising sibling.

I didn’t receive a call,” Jeb Bush said.

Hmmmmm… I’m sure Ollie just lost the guy’s number.

So if Stone didn’t talk to Jeb or anyone close to George Bush in the making of this film, where exactly did he get his information?

The collaborators, who did not return calls seeking comment from The Times to the agency that is spearheading publicity for the film in the Washington, D.C., area, appear to have relied heavily on secondary sources such as Bob Woodward’s “State of Denial” and Stephen Mansfield’s “The Faith of George W. Bush.”

Mr. Weiser told Reuters news agency earlier this year that he read 17 books about the president while researching the film.

17 BOOKS, folks!  Now THAT’S research.  Who needs first-hand sources when you’ve got Woodward and Mansfield?  Who needs that tedious process of picking up the phone and calling a few people who actually KNEW and TALKED to George Bush on a daily freakin’ basis when everything you could ever want is in the bargain bin at the Barnes and Noble?

For those who are planning on seeing this movie, I would not only advise watching it with a grain of salt, I would suggest bringing the whole damn container — the one with the little girl holding the umbrella. Because however well crafted this movie may be (and Stone is talented in that area) it is likely to have little bearing on reality. Oliver Stone tends to give us Oliver Stone’s version of the story.

We’re talking about the same directer, after all, who’s botching of the Jim Morrison story led former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzerek to later say “The guy I knew was not on that screen.” The other remaining band-members were none too happy either — and this after Ray and the boys had provided extensive consultation to Stone throughout the making of the film.

So if it’s an honest intimate portrayal of the man called George W. Bush you are seeking, this pile of cinematic horsesqueeze called ‘W’ ain’t gonna give it to you. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you want to separate the myth from the man.

Try calling Jeb for starters — he’d be happy to talk to you.

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Debatable truths

A quick synopsis on last night’s debate: As we had hoped, McCain came out swinging. And for the first time in any of the three presidential debates, millions of Americans finally got to see the Boy Wonder squirm a little… not to mention lie through his teeth. At this point it won’t mean much as far as the outcome of this election, but satisfying to see nonetheless.

McCain came down particularly hard on Obama over his ACORN and Ayers ties. This resulted in nothing less than some bonafide fibs being uttered on national TV by the cornered Democratic candidate .

First, Obama’s response to McCain’s ACORN allegations:

The only involvement I’ve had with ACORN is, I represented them alongside the U.S. Justice Department in making Illinois implement a motor voter law that helped people get registered at DMVs.

“Only involvement”? Not quite. As Factcheck.org reminds us:

He did, but that wasn’t his only involvement. He also worked closely with ACORN’s Chicago office when he ran a Project Vote registration drive after law school, and Obama did some leadership training for Chicago ACORN. The Woods Fund, where Obama served as a board member, gave grants to ACORN’s Chicago branch; both organizations are concerned with disadvantaged populations in that city. And during the primaries of this election, Obama’s campaign paid upwards of $800,000 to the ACORN-affiliated Campaign Services Inc. for get-out-the-vote efforts (not voter registration). Those services were initially misrepresented on the campaign’s Federal Election Commission reports, an error that some find suspicious and others say is par for the course. ACORN’s Chicago office and CSI have not been under investigation.

Well ok there was that.

Regarding terrorist Bill Ayers (oh, yes he is) here’s part of the exchange that took place between the candidates:

MCCAIN: Well, again, while you were on the board of the Woods Foundation, you and Mr. Ayers, together, you sent $230,000 to ACORN. So — and you launched your political campaign in Mr. Ayers’ living room.

OBAMA: That’s absolutely not true.

Well… it kinda is, Senator Barry. At least according to the NY Times:

It was later in 1995 that Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn hosted the gathering, in their town house three blocks from Mr. Obama’s home, at which State Senator Alice J. Palmer, who planned to run for Congress, introduced Mr. Obama to a few Democratic friends as her chosen successor.

Ed Morrisey sums it all up:

Unfortunately for Obama, those are the facts, both about Ayers and ACORN. Obama paid ACORN over $800,000 this summer for GOTV efforts, which Obama now denies, although he did finally admit that he represented ACORN as an attorney in a lending-practices case. Obama did launch his career at a party hosted by Ayers, which is such a matter of public record that I’m frankly surprised he bothered to deny it.

We’re not surprised. Not that any of this will prevent the Golden One from sailing on to victory next month. But at least he was finally put on the spot last night over some of his unsavory ties. See how easy that was, Johnny?

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-- Cartoon by Eric Allie 


Call ’em out, Johnny

McCain finally lays the blame where it belongs:

WAUKESHA, Wisc. — John McCain may be going out of his way to praise Ted Kennedy at debates, but he is using another Massachusetts Democrat to draw boos.

In response to a question about whether McCain would investigate those responsible for the mortgage crisis, he pointed the finger at “willing co-conspirators” in Congress.

Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd are two of them,” McCain said, so riling the crowd by the mention of the first name that few probably heard the second.

Atta boy. Are we finally starting to see some fight in the man who shouted “Fight with me!” a month ago?  Time will tell but at least he got the perpetrators right this time.



To sleep, perchance to debate

Last night’s debate, in a word, was boring. Maybe it was Tom Brokaw’s questions. Maybe it was because we had heard a lot of the answers before. Whatever it was, this was a three espresso night.

Obama’s opening statement set what was to be his tone for the evening (for full effect cue up the official Democrat/MSM theme song while reading this):

I think everybody knows now we are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And a lot of you I think are worried about your jobs, your pensions, your retirement accounts, your ability to send your child or your grandchild to college.

Yes the whine certainly flowed from Barry’s direction throughout the debate. Nothing new under the sun here. No change. No hope. Just typical Democrat fear and loathing.

As for who won, it depends upon which pundit you listen to. Many in the mainstream media are calling it a draw… but are claiming that this actually makes Obama the victor since a tie means he keeps his lead in the polls. Uh, right. Whatever you say MSM.

In general Obama was percieved as prevailing on the economy (meaning he sounded more impressive while saying absolutely nothing) and McCain not surprisingly came in stronger on foreign policy.

However, Barry does get credit for the most asinine, clueless statement of the night:

Well, we may not always have national security issues at stake, but we have moral issues at stake.

If we could have intervened effectively in the Holocaust, who among us would say that we had a moral obligation not to go in?

Ahem…   Senator Obama, if memory serves me we did intervene in the Holocaust… very effectively I might add. It was called FREAKIN’ WORLD WAR II.

That boneheaded statement alone should disqualify him from EVER taking the mantle of Commander in Chief.

Other than that little gem it was a rather dry, uneventful debate.  If anything emerged more clearly than ever it was that Barack Obama wants to remind YOU that your life is in the crapper and HE wants to be your Roto-Rooter man. It bewilders me as to why half of America falls for that but they apparently do.

In any event, the recent economic news has clearly given a boost to the Chosen One’s campaign so the only thing left for us conservatives to do is get out and vote. And keep the Kool-Aid out of the reach of our undecided friends.

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-- Cartoon by Ed Gamble


Spilling the beans?

Intriguing development in the Tony Rezko trial:

CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors moved Monday to delay indefinitely the sentencing of convicted fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, sending their strongest hint yet that he is ready to spill his political secrets.

The filing asks for a postponement while prosecutors and defense attorneys “engage in discussions that could affect their sentencing postures.”

Speculation has simmered for weeks that the key fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama was whispering what he knows about corruption in Illinois government to federal prosecutors in hopes of getting a lighter sentence.

For those not familiar with Rezko’s ties to the Boy Wonder, here’s a lesson in politics… Chicago style.

Unmentioned at the trial was a purchase by Rezko’s wife, Rita, of property adjacent to the Obama home near the University of Chicago on the city’s South Side. Obama and his wife, Michelle, purchased their home the same day that Rezko’s wife closed on her property. And she later sold some of her property to the Obamas to enlarge their lot. Obama later said that allowing Rezko to do what appeared to be a favor was a “bonehead” move.

Is that the term you guys use in Illinois?  We call it a sweet deal over here.

It’s a wonder Bill Clinton doesn’t like this guy… they’re practically birds of a feather.  Shades of Jim and Susan McDougal here.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. Not that I’m expecting anything to surface that will be damaging to Barry. High-level politicians generally have a way of skating free in these situations. But the story is still worth following.

Link below:

Prosecutors Seek to Delay Sentencing of Tony Rezko



Sarah’s back

Many on the right who tuned into last night’s debate with white-knuckled dread are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief today. Sarah did an excellent job. From the sound of things it appears that the McCain campaign has finally decided to heed the advice of pundits and allow Sarah to be Sarah. We saw a return of the lively, down-to-earth hockey mom we remembered at the convention. While the usual McCain talking points were employed, she seemed to have a lot more freedom to be herself and phrase the answers in her own way.

Both candidates tried to appeal to the middle-class throughout the debate but Sarah, coming from a middle-class background herself, made a more genuine connection. In fact, in contrast to Biden she seldom even used the phrase “middle class” — sending the subtle message that she was one of them and didn’t have to make a distinction like her opponent.

When the focus turned to foreign policy, Biden went into full Senate speech mode and seemed to revel in his knowledge of one of his favorite subjects. But perhaps ol’ Joe was a bit too cocky in assuming he would win this segment of the debate.  Immediately after he finished presenting an impressively worded outline of Obama’s timetable for pulling out of Iraq, Palin rared back and got in the debate’s biggest zinger:

Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that’s for sure. And it’s not what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked…

Pwned! And Joe knew it, baby. The passion in Sarah’s voice was evident here and Biden almost looked like a scolded schoolboy as she lit into him. How do you like the taste of barracuda, Joe.

Also there were some notable nods to the Gipper last night. Palin quoted Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” line and repeatedly railed on high taxes and our increasingly intrusive government.  She even managed to slip in a famous Reagan retort from his debate with Jimmy Carter:

“Say it ain’t so, Joe. There you go again pointing backwards again.”

Sarah was in great form here and it was a joy to watch.

In her closing argument she invoked yet another moving quote from Ronaldus Magnus:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.

Amazing words from an amazing man. God, I miss that guy. Very wise of Sarah to invoke him here.

So with only a couple of exceptions (most notably her populist stance on the “greed” of Wall Street) Sarah’s message was notably conservative in tone. Overall she appeared poised, confident and intelligent.  Even some of the more liberal pundits have had to admit [snort! spit!] that she carried herself very well last night.  Suffice to say she has now eased a lot of the doubts that were starting to surface on the right in recent weeks.

As for me… I never doubted her for a moment. Sarah has had to hit the ground running and learn a lot in a very short time. But from the beginning I’ve seen in her the raw material for true greatness. I think she’s going to adapt quickly and surprise everyone before it’s all over.



No pressure… but be perfect


The V.P. debate is scheduled for tonight, and to many on the right it marks what may be the tipping point for this election. The general consensus is that if Sarah Palin’s performance is nothing less than flawless tonight, McCain’s campaign may never recover. And make no mistake, a growing number of my conservative friends are getting fidgety about our veep-in-running. Citing her less than stellar performances in recent television interviews they are even going so far as to suggest that she should never have been added to the ticket.

And you now what? I am starting to agree. But NOT for the reasons you might think.

Put simply: Sarah Palin is not destroying John McCain… John McCain is destroying Sarah Palin.

In the beginning I had assumed that maybe McCain was a little out of touch — that he simply didn’t understand what it was that made Sarah such a great asset. But now I’ve come to realize he understands her a little too well.  I think she makes him a little nervous. Not nervous that her inexperience will show, but nervous that if she’s allowed to be herself she may just outshine what was supposed to be the main attraction.

McCain knows that Sarah has energized the conservative base and he further knows that the prime reason for this is because she is everything he is not.  She’s an outsider and a true conservative who when left to her own devices has an impressive knack for communicating the conservative message in layman’s terms. As Alaska governor she also has gained a reputation for fighting against the Republican establishment.  And let’s face it: John McCain is Republican establishment, folks. I don’t believe he has any disdain for Sarah but I do think his bizarre actions since choosing her as running mate have been almost an unconscious form of sabotage.

Basically his strategy for containing this potential loose cannon has been to lock her away in the basement, letting her out on occasion but only under carefully guarded conditions. During her confinement, he has charged his campaign staff with the daunting task of reprogramming this dynamic young conservative woman into an clone of himself.

And so, after what I imagine were long and intense sessions of attempting to cram John McCain talking points into Sarah’s head, the campaign then sent her staggering out for a couple of interviews with near disastrous consequences. She muddled through anwsers that she either didn’t fully believe or perhaps did believe but would have phrased much, much better herself. Even during her best moments she came across more like a Stepford wife than the fiesty barracuda we came to know and love at the convention.

So now because John has been so reluctant to unleash his running mate in her full power and allow people to get to know the real Sarah, he has allowed a situation to manifest where her performance in tonight’s debates may make or break his campaign. It never had to be that way.

So a word for John McCain: If it’s not too late at this point I’d like to join the growing chorus of my conservative friends… LET SARAH BE SARAH.

Dammit.

You have taken a bright new star in the conservative moment and instead of allowing her to shine you have insisted on hovering in front of her like a dusty old establishment cloud. If you don’t change that strategy and FAST you will not only lose this campaign, you will do permanent damage to what could have been a very promising career for a remarkable woman.

If a parrot in a suit was what you wanted, you could have chosen Mitt Romney and he would have been easily up to the task. He would have repeated your lines with the polished flair of a seasoned politician and without a single hair falling out of place.

But you have chosen Sarah Palin… so for God’s sake take off the leash and let the pit bull loose. Sure she will make the occasional gaffe but rest assured that lovable clown Joe Biden will always be two steps ahead of her in that category. And yes she will disagree with you on occasion but trust me… that’s what we WANT her to do.  Those qualities are what made us love her in the first place. Her refreshing honesty and down to earth manner will HELP rather than hurt your campaign.

So two words, Senator McCain: FREE SARAH. Your victory depends on it. If you refuse to do this then her inclusion on your ticket was in vain. And in that sense I will come to regret her ever being chosen… for HER sake, not yours.