hopperbach


Friday, October 28, 2005

Death to infidels! Now here's your balloon

Sometimes it can be an interesting exercise to visit other countries and explore their cultures. Let's see what is happening in Iran today:

Ramita Navai, Tehran Correspondent for The Times, was among thousands on the streets of the Iranian capital for annual anti-Israel rallies, at which the President continued his inflammatory rhetoric.

"It's a bit like a family day out, but with cursory outbreaks of flag burning. There are picnics, street-vendors and people selling balloons... there's a kind of carnival atmosphere.

"But I walked past one stand where people were writing messages on a flag to send to Palestine. There was a girl there, she can't have been older than 5, and she had just signed her name below a message reading 'Death to Israel, death to America.'


Those whacky kids! I have a feeling the U.N. will soon issue a resolution condemning this behavior. That should put an end to all these shenanigans.



On the spot in Tehran: 'A family day-out ... with flag-burning'

Contain yourselves, people

It's indictment day! It's indictment day! Libs had been hoping for a triple witching Friday with charges being brought against Rove, Libby, and Cheney but if reports are to be believed (and we're talking about the New York Times and AP here so who knows) it looks as if it will only be Libby today:

WASHINGTON -- White House officials Friday morning braced for the possibility that Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, would be indicted in the CIA leak case, but held out hope presidential confidant Karl Rove might escape charges for the time being.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald signaled Thursday he might simply keep Rove under investigation, according to a person familiar with recent developments in the case who requested anonymity because of its sensitivity. That would spare Rove bad news Friday when the grand jury that has heard the case for two years is set to expire.

Speculation flew across Washington early Friday about who, if anyone, would be indicted regarding the exposure of covert CIA officer Valerie http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifPlame. At the White House, Cheney arrived at 6:25 a.m., more than an hour earlier than usual. His chief of staff, Libby, was seen leaving home about 6:15 a.m., his normal commuting time.

According to a New York Times report, lawyers in the case said they expected Libby to be indicted on Friday, charged with making false statements to the grand jury.

Hmmm... sounds familiar. It appears that Scooter is about to get "Martha'd".




***update - 4:04 pm: Scooter got nailed. Rove didn't. The journalists were not happy which made for a quite humorous press conference.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It's a gas... tax

One thing liberal lawmakers don't want the public to know when they fight for mandates that force evil corporations to spend their money a certain way is that the little guy always ultimately ends up footing the bill. It's their backdoor way of increasing taxes while at the same time giving the government even more power over the private sector. Our latest example comes from Hillary Clinton as she toys with the idea of making oil companies use their "amazing" profits to fund clean energy research:

2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she backs a plan to hike gasoline taxes through the roof.

Speaking to a group of alternative energy investors in Washington, D.C., Clinton proposed to sock oil companies with $20 billion in new fees that would be used to fund research on clean energy - driving up costs for oil producers that they would inevitably pass along to consumers.

The top Democrat said her goal is to get "oil companies that have experienced these amazing profits either to reinvest them in our energy future to reduce our dependence on oil or to contribute to a strategic energy fund that will provide incentives for companies and consumers who want to be part of an energy solution."

Mrs. Clinton's whopping tax hike proposal comes just as prices at the pump are beginning to decline from records highs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which caused a bump in energy inflation that experts warned could tip the economy into recession.

Mrs. Clinton insisted that her $20 billion fee plan was "not about new energy taxes on consumers" - but she declined to say how oil companies would absorb the additional costs without charging consumers.

Funny how they always decline to elaborate on those little details. This is a classic Democratic strategy. Pass a bill that "sticks it" to big business, bask in the heroic glow as your constituents shower you with praise, blame the other side when those same constituents come to you later wondering why their wallets have gotten even lighter.

UN-paralleled corruption

For those of you who are interested in a real scandal, here is a link to a pdf of the newly released report by Paul Volcker on his investigation of the U.N. "Oil for Food" debacle. Warning: it is a huge file and at some 600 pages, it's not exactly light reading.

In case you don't have that kind of time, here is a summarized version:


Miers is out

The controversial Supreme Court nominee has had all she can take:

Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to be a Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of stiff opposition and mounting criticism about her qualifications.

President Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

"It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House _ disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel," Bush said. "Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers _ and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her."

Miers' surprise withdrawal stunned Washington on a day when the capital was awaiting news on another front _ the possible indictment of senior White House aides in the CIA leak case.

Miers told the president she was withdrawing at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. In her letter dated Thursday, Miers said she was concerned that the confirmation process "would create a burden for the White House and our staff that is not in the best interest of the country."

She noted that members of the Senate had indicated their intention to seek documents about her service in the White House in order to judge whether to support her nomination to the Supreme Court. "I have been informed repeatedly that in lieu of records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy," she wrote.

"While I believe that my lengthy career provides sufficient evidence for consideration of my nomination, I am convinced the efforts to obtain Executive Branch materials and information will continue."



This is embarrassing for the administration but if the the buzz around Capitol hill was to be believed, it would have been even more embarrassing for the hearings to have been allowed to proceed. I feel a little sorry for her but let's face it... the woman was about to get eaten alive by the Senate.

The big loser in this? C-Span. This spectacle would have resulted in the best ratings they have had in years.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just in time for Halloween

USA Today has been caught giving the evil eye to Condi... literally. Check out this original unaltered AP photo of our Secretary of State below:



And now look at the version that appeared on USA Today's website on 10/19 to accompany an article about Ms. Rice:



Those who suspect blatant photo manipulation say "eye".

FromThePen.com, who originally broke the story, had this to say:

You guessed it. The USA Today version on the right was deliberately altered to make Condi Rice look more menacing. Notice how the whites of the eyes are highlighted to make her BLACK eyes look BLACKER and HATEFUL. The doctored photo is here on USA Today's site (they'll probably take it down with some heat). You have to look overseas here to see an unbiased version. Under the heat of protest, will USA Today apologize? Or, don't they care about racism when directed at "house Niggas" like Condi? Rathergate, OJgate, now Condigate! What will the MSM think of next?


{shudder} Does anyone remember that old Joe Walsh video for his song, "The Confessor"?



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Oh, the anticipation...

In addition to the "milestone" in Iraq, more wonderful news may arrive on the libs' doorstep today. This must be like Christmas morning for them (with "Rock-em, Sock-em Robots" under the tree):

CIA leak probe has Washington waiting: Grand jury could act as soon as today




*** Update (4:00 pm): Blitzen blew a hoof... no visit from Santa today:

WASHINGTON Oct 26, 2005 — The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity met for three hours Wednesday with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and adjourned for the day without announcing any action.

Celebration time for the left

Fire up those bongs, libs. Your long awaited day is here:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The American military death toll in the Iraq war reached 2,000 Tuesday with the announcements of three more deaths, including an Army sergeant who died of wounds at a military hospital in Texas and a Marine and a sailor killed last week in fighting west of Baghdad.

The 2,000 mark was reached amid growing doubts among the American public about the Iraq conflict, launched in March 2003 to destroy Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. None was ever found.


On the other hand, the bravery and persistence of our soldiers have freed millions of people from a bloodthirsty dictator and given them their own constitution. As for WMD's -- we were acting on intelligence that dated well back into the previous administration. For a little refresher course, let's revisit a speech in December of 1998 where then president Bill Clinton explained his decision to attack Iraq {begin dreamy flashback music}:

Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.


What intelligence was he acting on? Obviously the same intelligence that inspired some of Bubba's friends to make the following statements:

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton.
- (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999


All this hypocrisy calls for a little perspective. Fortunately we have some in the words of Lt. Col. Steve Boylan:

In an e-mail statement to Baghdad-based journalists, command spokesman Lt. Col. Steve Boylan said media attention on the 2,000 figure was misguided and "set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."

He described the grim statistic as an "artificial mark on the wall" and urged news organizations to focus more on the accomplishments of the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

For example, Iraqi officials announced Tuesday that voters had approved a new constitution in the Oct. 15 referendum, laying the foundation for constitutional, democratic Iraqi government after decades of Saddam's tyranny.

"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan wrote. "The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone."

Boylan said the 2,000th service member to die in Iraq "is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations."

He complained that the true milestones of the war were "rarely covered or discussed," including the troops who had volunteered to serve, the families of those that have been deployed for a year or more, and the Iraqis who have sought at great risk to restore normalcy to their country.

"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan wrote.



To those serving in Iraq -- thank you for your sacrifice and all that you have accomplished. There are a lot more people over here that appreciate what you are doing than you are led to believe by the weenies on the left and in the press.

Now play nice

Recent remarks by peace-loving Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad show us once again why you should never try to appease your enemies. I think it's time for the Israeli air force to pay another friendly visit to Iran's nuke reactors:

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

"There is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad told students Wednesday during a Tehran conference called "The World without Zionism."

"Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury, any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad also repeated the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel.

"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," said Ahmadinejad, who came to power in August.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"It was just a day like any other day."

Civil rights hero Rosa Parks has died in her sleep:

Rosa Parks is dead at age 92

Could it actually happen?

Whenever Hillary Rodham Clinton is asked whether she'll run in the next presidential race, she usually will giggle like a schoolgirl and deny having ever entertained such a silly old thought. But according to many analysts, the senator already has a sharp eye on 2008:

(CNSNews.com) - Even though Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) has more than a year left in her re-election campaign, she is "already focused" on 2008 and a campaign to become the first female president of the United States, political analysts say.

Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, told Cybercast News Service that "there's no way in the world she couldn't be thinking about" running for the White House "because everybody else is thinking about her doing it."

Referring to a survey conducted by the Institute in early October, Carroll said Clinton can look beyond 2006 since she currently holds a 2-to-1 advantage over her likely GOP opponent, Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, in next year's election.

According to that poll, 64 percent of New York State voters said Clinton deserves to be re-elected, including 32 percent of Republicans.

Carroll also noted that "a lot of people in New York and nationwide think she ought to run and probably will run for president."


And what about Bill's role?

Meanwhile, Carroll said that the senator has an even more important resource to help her win the White House.

"I think that she's married to probably the smartest politician in America, and I expect she'll get a lot of very good advice from former President Bill Clinton," he said.


Slick is the word, not smart. There's little that Bubba could tell his wife that would actually help her because she doesn't possess that same "Eddie Haskel" kind of charm. Still, her chances look frightentingly good if early reports are to be believed (and that's a big if).

A new beginning

After a hard fought battle, the Iraqi people now officially have their own constitution. Thank you George W. Bush:

Iraq's Constitution is Adopted