Meet Obama’s newest Middle East advisor

Meet Obama’s newest Middle East advisor

Rick Moran

All campaigns have hangers-on, groupies, overly enthusiastic volunteers – the flotsam and jetsam of political junkies and true believers who seem to be underfoot and offering unsolicited and unwelcome advice on a number of issues.

But Obama’s campaign weirdly seems to embrace some of these folks and take them seriously. Nutcases like Father Michael Pfleger and Jeremy Wright were brought into the campaign inner circle and allowed to advise the candidate.

Now we hear from the Daily Mail that Obama is actually in regular communication with actor George Clooney about such matters as how to present himself in public and body language. If this is as far as Clooney’s advice went, Obama would be grateful that such a superstar celebrity had graciously imparted his wisdom on such subjects.

But apparently, Clooney’s advice extended into areas that make Obama look like a fool for listening; the Middle East and Iraq:

Sources say the actor has tried to hide the pair’s friendship for fear his Left-wing views and playboy image would hurt the Presidential hopeful’s bid for the White House.
But Democratic Party insiders have revealed that Clooney and Obama regularly send texts and emails to each other and speak by phone at least twice a week.
One said last night: ‘They are extremely close. A number of members of the Hollywood community, including Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, offered to help raise funds for Barack but it was with George that he struck up this amazing affinity.
‘George has been giving him advice on things such as presentation, public speaking and body language and he also emails him constantly about policy, especially the Middle East.
‘George is pushing him to be more “balanced” on issues such as US relations with Israel.
‘George is pro-Palestinian. And he is also urging Barack to withdraw unconditionally from Iraq if he wins.
Clooney is hosting a $10,000 per plate fundraising event for Barack Obama in the Swiss Alps after Barack Obama’s Hawaiian idyll.
The candidate has 300 foriegn policy advisors from academia, from government, and from the best think tanks around. He’s got ex-State Department, ex-Military, ex-CIA, and ex-Executive Branch hires deluging him with policy papers and advice.

And he turns to George Clooney for advice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Maybe Obama should make the Hollywood star an ambassador. Just think of the glamor, the glitz, the glow of celebrity from having Clooney in his Administration.

Think of the catastrophe…

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

 

George Clooney To Host Hussein Fundraiser In Switzerland

A Theory of W

A Theory of W

By James Lewis

George W. Bush poses a brain-busting Rubik’s Cube to the liberals of the land, and it’s only right to try to soothe their upset. Why does W talk that way? Why does he say “Noo-kyoo-lrrr” when every good liberal knows it’s “Noo-kle-uhr”? Why does he openly practice monogamy, and even love his wife? Why did he name his dog Spot?
What you see is what you get with George W. Bush. He has that in common with Ronald Reagan, though W is no Reagan. He is nobody but W.  This, for a conservative, is a Good Thing. It’s why I voted for the man, and don’t regret it for a second.
But leftishly speaking it makes no sense. For Democrats, the greatest politician of our lifetime is William Jefferson Clinton, the slick Arkansas con-man. His supreme talent for spur of the moment creative lying to any given audience is just supercool to the Left, which is betting that you can fool all the people all of the time.
Back to W. Let  me bring you back to late 1999, when Bill Clinton was finishing his presidency by pardoning any crook who gave suitable donations, or whose wife he had shagged. The Oval Office carpet had visible stains on it – visible in the public imagination if not in physical fact. Over the nation there hung a pall of dread, because Clinton had so deeply corrupted US foreign policy – imagine Madeleine Albright dancing corpulently with Kim Jong Il, while hundreds of thousands of starving North Koreans marched by in parade — so that any sane observer simply knew we were in for some looming disaster.  The Chinese were sold missile secrets that allowed them to finally get their rockets into space and have them land anywhere on earth, fifteen minutes later. They paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the political slot machine and hit the jackpot. Clinton’s White House attracted con-artists the way horse-apples draw flies.
So what kind of man do you want as President after that unholy mess? Somebody you can trust, obviously. Now you can say anything you like about W, but he does what he says he’ll do — barring Hell or high water, or an Act of Congress. He has a spine of steel, and a traditional sense of honor (taking after his Dad and Mom). He talks like Midland, Texas, because he personally identifies with that place. W owned a baseball team because he truly loved baseball, not just to get his poll numbers up. (He’s also a decent baseball pitcher). He had an alcoholic past, and repented fiercely.
And he served in the Texas Air Force National Guard, flying one of the trickiest fighter jets ever owned by the USAF; one with a great number of fatal crashes, even outside of combat. If you think the Air National Guard is a cop-out, just look at Guard fighting in Iraq. No, George W’s unit wasn’t called to Vietnam, so he didn’t go. But he didn’t try avoid service like all the “progressive” Boomers. He didn’t take home movies of his own heroic exploits, chasing imaginary Viet Cong through rice paddies. Just the opposite. W clears brush on his bone-dry Crawford ranch, because that’s what ranchers do. You get brushfires if you don’t do that kind of slogging labor in the Texas sun. Unlike John Kerry, W doesn’t do things just for show.
Today we’ve had almost eight years of W in charge, with the liberal media going stark raving every single day, slandering him with every imaginable insult and alleged conspiracy.  Few presidents have been treated as badly since Abraham Lincoln was called a great hairy ape.  Yet the nation and the Administration have responded robustly to the first massive assault on the continental US since 1812. The Twin Towers attack was plotted long before this Administration came into office, making use of the unbelievable fecklessness of the previous Administration and various Democrat-controlled Congresses — problems that couldn’t be fixed in just a year before the ax fell. On 9/11, George W reaped what the Left had sown.
It hasn’t been an easy time since then, but much has been accomplished. The armed forces have been transformed for special ops warfare; and now they are forced to learn large-scale counterinsurgency in the middle of a very hot war.   We have fought two astonishing, faraway wars, with one still mired in uncertainty. (Lincoln, FDR and Truman would have recognized that part). We are suddenly in the midst of another Long War strategically, but hardly one of our choosing; and if a Democrat is elected in 2008, the Left will suddenly find out that it wasn’t W who started it after all.
No other nation in the world could have done it. A tax cut has kept the economy cooking in spite of 9/11 and all the rest. We’ve had more than our share of US Government screwups, many attributable to W’s lack of ruthlessness in firing Clinton leftovers in the bureaucracy. But remember the “SNAFU’s” of an earlier time? ‘Twas ever thus. In spite of constant sabotage from the Left and the media, the nation has recovered so well that half the people have forgotten 9/11. Our success has become our biggest problem.
Yet the United States and the world are beginning to focus seriously on nuclear proliferation and jihadi savagery, both lethally dangerous threats for the future. The nature of today’s enemies is becoming clear even to some Democrats, and while leftists and Europeans whine up a daily storm, getting real about reality is something adults have to do.  Nobody said it would be easy.
Think about all that for a second. Historians will see this as an astonishing record – hardly flawless, but certainly as good as other war-time administrations have managed. If Iraq settles down over the next few years, W will be seen as a president who forced history to his will for the good of his country, and yes, for the good of the world.
To be sure, W has his limits. He is remarkably like Harry S Truman, another homebody in the White House. Truman was not articulate – if you’ve ever seen a movie of his halting and deadly boring speaking style before Congress, you’ve seen the rhetorical heights of Harry S. But he was a man you could trust, and that counted for everything — after the death of FDR, the failure of the New Deal, the end of WWII and the Depression, the fearsome reality of Stalin with nukes in Europe and KGB-run traitors at home, the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marshall Plan, General MacArthur’s insubordination, and the Iron Curtain slamming down across Europe. Not to mention the Korean War. This was a time for adults, not playboys, and Truman filled the bill. Then he simply went home to Independence, Missouri. W is amazingly like Truman. He is the anti-PR president. As a result, he keeps getting bloodied by the PR-driven media, which hates him as much as any Republican ever hated “That Man in the White House” in 1938.
I’ve long wondered if W was a stutterer as a boy. His halting and self-conscious delivery is typical of former stutterers. He is terribly self-conscious in public, especially when confronted with the sadistic press mob, all of them drooling to pounce on any momentary lapse.  But in private, and when he feels confident, his speech flows easily and naturally. Stutterers often have the same behavior pattern, sometimes being able to sing music with real ease before falling back into halting speech.
That would also explain W’s fierce sibling rivalry with Jeb, the natural. W wasn’t naturally glib. He was smart enough for Yale and Harvard Business School, and learned to despise (and be despised by) slick Eastern Establishment kids (yes, like John Kerry again). Afterwards he went back to Midland, TX, the last place any ambitious Yalie would want to live. And he made it work. He was the anti-Yalie in the family. (That’s of course why he says “Noo-kyoo-lrr”. ‘Cause that’s how they say it in Texas. He could pronounce it like William F. Buckley, but he’ll be damned if he’s gonna give them the satisfaction. Compare that to Hillary’s or Gore’s phony preacher accents.)
Jeb Bush would have had an easier time dealing with the press, but W lucked into the job. As Governor of Texas, George W got along miraculously well with some of the top Democrats, and made things happen by consensus. Washington, D.C. wasn’t like that, not by a long shot. So W ignored DC Society, and just got to sleep by 9:00 pm every night. Being ignored by the President drove naturally them to eight years of unrelenting collective fury.
Why doesn’t George W explain himself more clearly? Because he’s more comfortable with action than talk. W is focused like a laser beam on the war on terror. He knows from his Harvard Business training that an executive can only accomplish two or three big things. The war is the biggest thing his administration has to get right — and there is no doubt that W suffers, as Lincoln did, from the agonizing need to send young people into combat. He visits them privately, and cries at their flag-covered caskets. Privately. Get that. No photo ops, no marching US Marine detachments across the West Lawn for the TV crews. In fact, no funeral photo ops at all, because soldiers’ funerals are not to be used to manipulate poll numbers. I appreciate that about him.
Like Abraham Lincoln, W is guilt-driven in spite of his firm belief that this war is necessary, and that it will save lives over the longer run. What do you think it took for a man like Lincoln to pursue the bloodiest war in American history? When Lincoln was assassinated, in a sense he joined the soldiers he had ordered to war. He was prepared for it, just as he was ready to be killed on any day of the Civil War. I don’t think he wanted to be shot that day in 1865, but he knew it was likely to happen. 200,000 dead Americans made Lincoln’s assassination almost inevitable. The nation needed a last sacrifice, in order to live with itself.
George W. is not pathologically guilty about the iron necessity of sending young people to war. But it takes a toll on him, like it does on Dick Cheney and all the decent people in this White house. They are Americans the way Americans used to be. 
Meanwhile, corruption and demagogy are standard on the Left, because Democrats are never, ever scrutinized. They know the press will let them get away with it.
Rarely in American history is morality and common decency so clearly on one side of the political divide. Republicans have no lock on decency. But the Sixties Left is cynical, self-indulgent and flagrantly immoral — as Nicolas Sarkozy just pointed out in France. The Summer of Love turned into a Winter of Moral Decay a long time ago. It’s too bad, but it’s true. The Left is still drunk with self-love, enchanted with its divine right to political power. That won’t change, because narcissism is not a curable condition.
In reaction, Americans who despise intellectually lazy, morally self-indulgent Boomer Leftists have just switched parties. That’s what parties are for.  The Democratic Party has slipped away from Middle America, and is now in bed with the worst elements in the country. It’s too bad, but it will take at least a generation to change, if it ever does.
So W. is the man. He’s made the toughest decisions, and he was far and away the best choice for this very hard time. I admire him, and also see his limits. That’s life. We don’t get perfection in presidents. Lincoln had a squeaky voice. Washington had false teeth. Jefferson kept slaves. Humans are flawed.
We’re just blessed that in a time of real danger, the United States has lucked out again and found the right man for the job.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/

The Defeatocrat Agenda

The Defeatocrat Agenda
By Peter Brookes
New York Post | October 31, 2006

If the “Defeatocrats,” er, Democrats, triumph next week, taking the majority in Congress, expect U.S. foreign and defense policy to veer sharply left, with little guiding philosophy beyond ABB – Anything But Bush. For many Democrats and liberals, this vengeful approach may provide much-needed therapy after 12 bitter years in the minority. But it’s no basis for a defense or foreign policy.

Other than attacking what the Bush administration is doing, Democrats have done little to articulate foreign and national-security policies of their own. But here are some of the possible outcomes if the majority changes hands on Capitol Hill:

On Iraq, many Democrats – led by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) – have said they’d push for an immediate “redeployment” (i.e., withdrawal) of U.S. troops, leaving who-knows-what kind of nightmare behind.

A premature withdrawal would cause unimaginable instability in the Middle East. And there’s no doubt that jihadists would chalk up Iraq as proof positive that terrorism works – adding it to other “successes” in Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1993).

Worse, an ignominious U.S. retreat would prove to countless other troublemakers that America is nothing more than a paper tiger.

A liberal majority would also drastically change course on North Korea, pushing for direct U.S. talks with dictator Kim Jong Il – despite his recent missile tests and nuclear blast. Caving in to Pyongyang’s demands for one-on-one negotiations would reward its nuclear brinkmanship and blackmail. The lesson wouldn’t be lost on its nuclear kindred spirit, Iran.

Speaking of Iran, it’s not clear what a liberal congressional leadership would do. They don’t seem to say much about it – other than carp about the White House’s multilateral efforts to curb the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions.

But you could clearly forget about missile defenses to protect the homeland and troops deployed overseas. Liberals see such defenses as provocative. (In fact, leaving ourselves deliberately vulnerable to ballistic missiles is truly provocative – and foolhardy.)

What would a liberal Congress propose regarding the terrorists/terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay? Some of these prisoners are so dangerous even their own countries won’t take them back. What of the Patriot Act, Terrorist Surveillance Program or the terrorism-financing surveillance efforts that have been so successful in preventing another attack on the homeland for more than five years?

Here’s a clue: 90 percent of House Democrats voted against the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program; 80 percent voted against the terrorist interrogation bill. All these counterterror programs are at risk if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gets the speaker’s gavel next year . . .

OK, some will say: Don’t worry about Congress. The president holds the real power in foreign affairs and national security. Sure, the prez controls the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence community – the key tools of national security. But don’t constitutional checks and balances give Congress the almighty “power of the purse?”

Through the appropriation process, Congress can fund – or defund – our foreign-policy and national-security efforts, including wars, law enforcement, intelligence, defense and other counterterrorism programs.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem), who’d become chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, gave us a sneak preview of what the Dems might do: “You’ve got to be able to pay for the war, don’t you?” You get the picture: No money – no war.

Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman hit the nail on the head: “America faces a critical question, will it elect leaders who recognize we’re at war and want to use every tool to win it, or politicians who would surrender important tools we need to win?”

The Liberals’ plan for our foreign affairs and national security has been to have no real plan at all, other than categorically opposing whatever the administration is doing to protect us. But having no strategy or policy for conducting our international affairs is certainly no way to keep us safe at home – or advance and protect our interests abroad.

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Fear the Terrorists, Not President Bush — On the left, my former party of choice, feels that the biggest issues confronting America are corporate greed, “the culture of corruption” (as if this does not occur on both sides), Wal-Mart, “big business,” churchgoing Christians, global warming and an assault on the civil liberties of us and terrorists. To deny this would be scandalously untrue — The “Drive-by” big city media feels the need to rant about how we “torture” terrorists, keep “secret prisons,” check phone records of suspected terrorists, regress back to Katrina whining, yada, yada and yada. The ACLU, “peace organizations,” the legal world, academia and Hollywood, not surprisingly, fall for this flawed, inane logic too. History has always proved these acrimonious fools wrong, and will again this time… if we’re not killed first by our enemies because of their devious behaviors.

Fear the Terrorists, Not President Bush
October 31st, 2006

Next Tuesday is midterm election day. When you cast your vote – if you choose to partake in this most honorable American tradition – please remember what is at stake.

On the left, my former party of choice, feels that the biggest issues confronting America are corporate greed, “the culture of corruption” (as if this does not occur on both sides), Wal-Mart, “big business,” churchgoing Christians, global warming and an assault on the civil liberties of us and terrorists. To deny this would be scandalously untrue.

On the right, my current “fearmongering” party of choice feels the biggest issue (singular) is to eliminating and freeing the world of Islamo-fascist Nazis. There is no denying this, and the sooner we, as in all other world wars, are free to do this, the better. My party wants to save the non-Muslim world, America, Israel and especially “liberal values” like sexual and gender freedoms (not just libertinism, but the freedom of women) freedom of religion, speech and of the press.

Unfortunately, aside from Radical Muslims, we have many domestic factors working against us:

The “Drive-by” big city media feels the need to rant about how we “torture” terrorists, keep “secret prisons,” check phone records of suspected terrorists, regress back to Katrina whining, yada, yada and yada. The ACLU, “peace organizations,” the legal world, academia and Hollywood, not surprisingly, fall for this flawed, inane logic too. History has always proved these acrimonious fools wrong, and will again this time… if we’re not killed first by our enemies because of their devious behaviors.

President Bush, sadly as of late, has fallen prey to dangerous political correctness and multi-cultural balderdash as he tries to unite this country. He has attempted to make good on his promise to be the great uniter, and the man has undeniably been more liberal than conservative the past year.

There is no need to do this, Mr. President.

This country was divided long before President Bush took office, and he has done his best to unite it. But many who hypocritically seek “redistribution of wealth” spend their weekends picking up wheatgrass at Whole Foods on their way to Nantucket, do not want to be united with Americans who attend church on Sunday, wave the flag, and enjoy Nascar, Applebee’s and saving money at Wal-Mart. Too bad for them. These arrogant, misguided folks have chosen to regressively look back, to sacrifice their platform to go after Mr. Bush (who is not up for re-election, by the way).

Fatuous liberals like Paul Krugman — who saw nothing wrong with comparing the backlash against the Dixie Chicks to the rise of Nazism — or the countless jabberers who have over the years denounced William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, Sean Hannity et al. as fascists are difficult to respect, much less take seriously. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in September,

“One gets the sense that today’s liberals — beyond their phobia of offending the coalition of the oppressed (in this case, the Muslims of CAIR) — are reluctant to let Bush use “Islamic fascism” because they don’t want to give up their monopoly on the F-word.”

George Bush needs to stop trying so hard to make “peace” with those who despise us within our nation and are more concerned with meaningless impeachment than saving our world. His efforts have never been appreciated, but someday, like Reagan and those before him, perhaps they will. 

Thankfully, by the grace of G-d, the patriotic men and women of the military will save this nation as they always have. They will not get thanks from the coastal elites, but this is expected.

It’s not just that the wrong party could take power, but this party’s leaders, some of those who would be in charge of essential committees like Ways and Means, the Judiciary, Commerce, etc, are variously on record as not supporting Israel (and being proud of it!), raising taxes, ending free trade, drilling in ANWR (animals are more important than people, usually) and naturally, impeaching Bush. That will surely take our attention away from the Islamic Nazis, North Koreans and by October of next year, as opposed to fraudulent filmmakers who dream of Bush being dead, we all could be in severe peril. I’d personally put it at 50/50.

I hope that most Americans will take a deep breath, realize Bush had noble, correct intentions for freeing tens of millions from a madman and then remember that unemployment is the lowest in five years; the Dow is over 12,000 points. Inflation is 2.1 percent, the deficit is being dramatically reduced, and gas prices are falling. Let’s just hope that if the GOP maintains control, we don’t waste time, effort and money on Democrat protests and recounts. Which state this time? Indiana? Missouri? Do I hear Maryland?

Vote accordingly, and consider whether you want to tell your grandchildren you defeated carbon dioxide emissions or Islamo Nazi Fascists who threatened the free world.

Ari Kaufman is a freelance writer in Indianapolis, regularly contributing to the Indianapois Star and the Jewish Post and Opinion. He’s also the co-author of an upcoming book on educational reform. His archived work can be accessed here.

Ari Kaufman

Casting for West Wing — Barack Obama hasn’t committed to a 2008 run, but some stars are already dreaming.

CAUSE CÉLÈBRE

Casting for West Wing

Barack Obama hasn’t committed to a 2008 run, but some stars are already dreaming.By Tina Daunt, Times Staff Writer
October 25, 2006
 Just the hint of a possible presidential run by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama — who is in town Friday to promote his book “The Audacity of Hope” — has Hollywood Democrats talking.

The e-mail from actor George Clooney arrived at 1:46 a.m. Pacific time (he’s in Europe at the moment).
“If SENATOR Obama became PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Obama it would be the most electrifying thing to happen to the Democratic party since Kennedy,” Clooney wrote.

Media mogul Haim Saban, however, was less impressed by Obama’s disclosure this week that he’s thinking about running for president in 2008. Saban is already electrified by another possible Democratic candidate: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

“Only Hillary,” Saban said, via BlackBerry message. “I hope she does announce soon so we can all go to work all out to make sure she wins … and BIG!!!!!”

The 2006 midterm elections are only two weeks away, but Hollywood is already looking toward 2008 — even though no one has formally joined the race.

“It would be hard for me to pretend that I’ve not heard some of the talk,” Obama said in an interview with The Times. “There’s an old joke that every senator is thinking about running for president — all 100 of them.”

Obama said that at the moment he’s focused on getting Democrats elected on Nov. 7. After that, he’ll consider his presidential prospects.

But while he’s pondering his options, you can bet that some people in Hollywood are already envisioning his inaugural bash.

Director Rob Reiner compared a possible run by Obama to Abraham Lincoln’s victory.

“How poetic would it be that a one-term congressman from the state of Illinois could be elected president and free the slaves,” said Reiner, reached on his car phone Monday, “and now a one-term African American senator from that same state could become the next president?”

“Everyone admires him,” producer Norman Lear said of the freshman senator. “They are very excited about the possibility that he’s in the race. I think the people who are very much with Hillary will remain with Hillary. But the discussion is a good thing for the party.”

Almost anyone who has met Obama will tell you that he’s charismatic and warm, but not giddy.

“My wife and I have tried not to get caught up in the hype,” Obama said. “We still live in Chicago and I go to the same barbershop…. ”

But there’s no denying that since he rocked the Democratic National Convention in 2004 with an impassioned speech about America, his life has changed. For one, he became an instant political star.

His first book, “Dreams From My Father,” released shortly after the 2004 convention, shot to the top of bestseller lists. His new missive promises to be equally as successful. Last week, he was in 15 cities promoting his book and raising money for the Democrats.

On Friday, he will be in Los Angeles to discuss the book at the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum of Greater L.A. and the California African American Museum.

Later that evening, he will attend a fundraiser for the state Democratic Party with gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides.

“This is an important election,” Obama said. “The Democrats will win the House and we could win the Senate.”

As he travels, Obama said, he finds that people — regardless of their party affiliations — have similar anxieties. “They’re worried about whether they have enough healthcare for their kids, what’s happening with the global economy. People have the same hopes and dreams. There’s a stubborn self-reliance and optimism in the American people…. And I think people are in a serious mood.”

Obama says he appreciates the supports he’s been shown by Hollywood Democrats. (Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, counts Clooney and Bono as friends.)

“There are some celebrities who have really done their homework and know what they are talking about and are terrific advocates for justice and peace and opportunity around the world,” he said. “I want all citizens to get involved. Whether they are the secretary in an office building or a movie star, I think the more engaged and interested people are, the better off we all are.”