Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss

Read the story here

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mark Steyn Fights The Barbarians At The Gate

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Hat tip to Right Wing News

Author and raconteur extraordinaire, Mark Steyn's difficulties with the Canadian Human Rights Commission are well known in the conservative wing of the blogosphere and beyond. For those of you somehow unfamiliar with them you can find a brief recap here. Steyn is the bete noir of the pc crowd, which has reached a level of power in Canada that their American counterparts currently can only aspire to (and who see the upcoming election as a big opportunity). Steyn is amazingly articulate, funny, rational and effective in his skewering of the anti-freedom agenda of the jihadis and their Western useful-idiot allies.

In the video above as well as the rest of the interviews, linked below Steyn addresses his legal troubles as well as surveying many of the other major issues of current interest. Keep in mind that his is a voice that is very seriously in jeopardy of being silenced on the alter of multiculturalism. Watch the videos now. You may not be allowed to do so in the near future.

Friday, May 9, 2008

One Tough Bastard...And I Don't Mean The Bear

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I don't know about you but after reading this story I sort of feel like a bit of a sissy.

VANCOUVER -- British Columbians are being warned to be extra vigilant of bear attacks after a man was mauled by a 400-kilogram grizzly on Saturday.

Brent Case, 53, was doing surveying work for a power company just east of Bella Coola when, he told his son, "he felt like someone was watching him."

"[The bear] initially grabbed him and threw him to the ground," Dean Case said.

"It was kind of boggy where he was and he fell down and there was a log nearby, so he tried to . . . put himself under the log. But the bear grabbed him by the other arm and pulled him out from under there."

The younger Case said "after the bear pulled him back out and chomped on the back of his head, he thought he was going to die."

His father wasn't dead, but he pretended to be while the bear jumped up and down on him several times, then finally wandered off.

In spite of severe gashes on his head and upper arm, bites to his elbow and knee and bleeding profusely, he managed to drive his pickup truck about 25 kilometres out of the bush to a nearby settlement.

"I knew right away he'd been attacked by something," said Rob Sandford who initially helped Case. "What I could see [he was] basically covered in blood."

Case was rushed to hospital in Bella Coola and then airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he remained yesterday.

"The stitches are stapled all over the back and the side of his head, and over his upper arm," Dean Case said. "He's a pretty smart guy and he kept his face down when it was happening, so he doesn't have any damage to his face."

The Biggest Story Of The Next Four Months

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Stephy Clinton
by dollarsandsense123

Well the big question from now until the Democrat convention will probably be whether Hillary will be the Obamessiah's running mate. Arguments for and against will be made with varying degrees of fanaticism, cynicism and mockery. As a sort of primer Chuck Raasch in USA Today gives a good overview of the pros and cons:


• The New York senator appeals to powerful demographic sectors of the traditional Democratic coalition, especially white women, blue-collar voters and older voters. Obama has had varying degrees of trouble getting the votes of all three groups in primaries and caucuses so far.

• She is a tough and relentless campaigner and would be well suited for the traditional attack role of vice presidential candidates of recent vintage.

• She's a bridge to the centrist Clinton wing of the party and to an older generation of Democrats. Some Democrats also believe her Washington experience would help assuage real concerns in the party that Obama has no proven record of getting anything of consequence done in his short term in the Senate. And despite all the problems he brings, Bill Clinton would be a campaign asset in reaching out to white men, an Achilles' heel of the Democrats. They also make up about 40% of the electorate.


• What it would say, symbolically. Many are focusing on the historic picture of a black man and white woman heading a ticket. The vice presidential choice is the first big decision of the nominee. Obama has run as a conciliator, ready and willing to work with Republicans and independents to get things done. Hillary Clinton is arguably the most polarizing figure on the American stage today. Symbolically, asking her to join the ticket would undermine the central theme and rationale of an Obama presidency.

• Bill Clinton. It's about the governing. Some analysts and even some Democrats doubt that either Bill or Hillary could play second fiddle in an Obama White House. In a new essay, Rutgers University political scientist Gerald Pomper argues that an Obama-Clinton White House "would bring a President Obama sniping from his vice president and the anguish of the likely intrusive pretensions of Bill Clinton as a self-designated co-president."

• For all the historic attributes of her candidacy, Hillary Clinton brings nothing unique to the table that others could not. She represents a state that is already reliably Democrat. Several Democratic female governors or senators in swing states could appeal to women but come with less "baggage," as Sen. Clinton herself has described her history. And others can help Obama shore up a lack of foreign policy experience better than Clinton can, including New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who as a Hispanic, would have powerful appeal in one of the nation's fastest-growing voting demographics.

In his essay, distributed through the "Crystal Ball" website of University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, Pomper argues that a Clinton-Obama ticket "doesn't make sense" in "cold-hearted political terms." He says Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a Vietnam veteran and former Navy secretary, would be more help in appealing to white men that have quadrennially shunned the Democrats in presidential election after presidential election.

"The real gender gap is not caused by women but by men," Pomper writes.

The above is a rather rational analysis of why it would and wouldn't make sense to have her on the ticket and all these points will probably play a part in Obama's decision of whether he'll ask Clinton to come aboard.

Whether she would accept even if asked is another matter entirely and depends on what course she believes will best take her, eventually to the Oval Office. What would best for her, of course would be if Obama were to lose this year. If she were his running mate a loss would probably do her no harm since Obama, as head of the ticket, would get the lion's share of the blame. If he won, as VP she'd be the obvious nominee for 2016...but she'd be 70 at that time and a 70 year old woman (sorry, ladies but this is probably true) would be a hard sell.

If she doesn't get on the ticket, she remains in the Senate and her future is more her own than if she ties her wagon to the questionable Obama as President. And Clinton's like to be the master's of their own destinies.

Personally, I'm betting she isn't on the ticket. In the next four months even the most minute nuance of the most obscure argument on this subject will be dissected and analyzed by the media before we see what actually happens and we find out if I'm right or wrong.

Of course there is one thing that can be known with certainty about who Obama will choose as running mate: he or she will have more experience than the Obamessiah and will be more conservative. This is because there is no one in national politics to his left and very few with less experience.

Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss In The Land Of The Rising Sun

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Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, China, Cuba, Iran, Sudan...The list of countries that are at odds in serious ways with the United States is long and familiar to most Americans. But international relationships can and do change and the enemies of the past can become friends and there is no greater example of this than Japan. Americans today are far more likely to associate Japan with high tech, cars, Manga and a fierce economic competitiveness than they are to associate it with Pearl Harbor and Bataan. But even foreign friends are still foreign and Japan, as Westernized as it may seem, does not share all our customs and values. Which may explain why Japan is kidnapping American children.

Paul Wong is a 41 year old American lawyer who lived with his wife, Akemi and their daughter, Kaya in Hong Kong until Akemi died of cancer in December of 2005. Akemi, who became pregnant with Kaya four years after her cancer diagnosis knew she would not see her daughter grow up and made a request of Paul,

"When Kaya was born, I promised my wife that we would move to Japan so that our daughter would know about her Japanese heritage and Akemi, despite her own illness, could care for her elderly parents."
After Akemi's death, Paul in fulfillment of his promises to his wife, made plans to start his life over again, leaving a successful career, to move to Japan for his daughter and his wife's parents.

Akemi, Paul and Kaya on Kaya's 2nd birthday

Her mother's parents, knowing that Paul would be relocating to Japan, asked if they could watch Kaya temporarily before he moved to Japan. Kaya went to her mother's parents' home in Kyoto, and while there, Paul visited monthly, traveling to Japan from Hong Kong, as prepared to move to Japan.

As reported by,

Once he found a job and was preparing to move, however, things suddenly changed.

"Once I moved to Tokyo last year, the grandparents did everything possible to keep Kaya away from me. When I said I'm taking her back, they filed a lawsuit against me filled with lies and claimed I had sexually assaulted my daughter. There are no facts and the evidence is completely flimsy."

According to Wong, with the exception of one long weekend in September 2007 when he took his daughter to Tokyo Disney, her grandparents were present every time he was with Kaya.

He said that a Japanese court investigator found that the girl was washed and inspected every day after a swimming lesson at her nursery school and her teachers never noticed signs of abuse.

In fact Paul later learned that Kaya's grandparents began seeing an attorney nine months prior to any accusation of abuse in an effort to gain custody of her. The accusation of alleged abuse was made one month prior to when Kaya was scheduled to move back with Paul.

As for the possible motivations of Kaya's grandparent's, more may be involved than familial affection.

Kaya's grandparents are elderly pensioners. Under a Japanese program to stimulate the birth rate, families with young children receive a monthly stipend from the government...

Despite the lack of any substantiating evidence and objective factual evidence establishing the allegations as true, the Family Court in Tokyo recently permanently stripped Paul of his parental rights and awarded his daughter to her maternal grandparents on the the basis that, even if there is no evidence, "normal" people would not make up such a story, therefore "something" must have happened. The Court ignored all evidence establishing the allegations as false, including the findings of its own court investigator; never once mentioning them in its decision. This constitutes a violation of not only Paul's right to due process but is also a violation both his and Kaya's human rights.

As Kaya has been taken from her father due, not to parental divorce but to her mother's death it represents the most egregious and callous example of the Japanese government's cancelling the rights of an American parent. But worse is the fact that Kaya will, upon the death of her grandparents, become a ward of Japan as her mother was an only child and there is no one else in the grandparents' family who can assume custody.

But Kaya's abduction is not the only one. There are currently 47 American children who have been removed to Japan. These are active cases reported to the US State Department in Washington, DC. The US Embassy in Tokyo reports over 80 active cases involving American children, but state that many more go unreported.

According to a US State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs flyer on International Parental Child Abduction as it relates to Japan,

Japan is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Japanese civil law stresses that in cases where custody cannot be reached by agreement between the parents, the Japanese Family Court will resolve the issue based on the best interests of the child. However, compliance with Family Court rulings is essentially voluntary, which renders any ruling unenforceable unless both parents agree.

The Civil Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Ministry of Justice states that, in general, redress in child custody cases is sought through habeas corpus proceedings in the court. There is no preferential treatment based on nationality or gender. Although visitation rights for non-custodial parents are not expressly stipulated in the Japanese Civil Code, court judgments often provide visitation rights for non-custodial parents.

In practical terms, however, in cases of international parental child abduction, foreign parents are greatly disadvantaged in Japanese courts, both in terms of obtaining the return of children to the United States, and in achieving any kind of enforceable visitation rights in Japan.

The reason for the hopelessness felt by American parents who have been permanently deprived of their rights to any contact with their children can be understood by the flyer's next lines;

The Department of State is not aware of any case in which a child taken from the United States by one parent has been ordered returned to the United States by Japanese courts, even when the left-behind parent has a United States custody decree. In the past, Japanese police have been reluctant to get involved in custody disputes or to enforce custody decrees issued by Japanese courts.

In an effort to try to combat this overwhelming cultural and legal roadblock the parents of children abducted by Japan have banded together to form the Japan Children's Rights Network, whose website has had over 740,000 hits as of this date and the Children's Rights Council of Japan (CRC Japan), a US Based nonprofit group of parents of children abducted by Japan. Yet still the State Department's statement above, remains true:

The Department of State is not aware of any case in which a child taken from the United States by one parent has been ordered returned to the United States by Japanese courts...

Parents in numerous other countries such as Canada and the UK are experiencing the same fate as are American parents in the face of Japanese law and custom.

In addition to trying to fight for Kaya's custody in the courts Paul has also sought assistance from the US Congress where Senator's Norman Coleman and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have written to the Ambassador of Japan requesting a reevaluation of this situation. Also, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has written in protest, as well. Still, it must be remembered that entreaties by the Congress have been made before as has at least one request by the Vatican in a similar situation, all to no avail.

Japan remains one of the world's chief enablers for international child abductions. This fact has only recently begun to slowly attract international attention. Earlier this year the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo hosted a symposium on the Hague Convention and international abductions in Japan. This is currently a documentary film being made about this issue, and a trailer is available here.

The future now seems grim and clear; the Japanese courts and government are extremely unlikely to take any action to address this wrong against Paul Wong, an American citizen and his daughter, Kaya an American of dual citizenship and all the other abductees. Indeed Paul has already been advised that his chances of ever getting Kaya back through the Japanese courts are virtually hopeless because the Court will not change the status quo even if he wins on appeal.

"People inside Washington tell me the State Department has too much security and economic interest tied up with Japan. So they rather just let American parents lose their kids to the other parent who is Japanese. These people tell me the State Department actually wants the publicity and then Congress to jump in because then they can say to the Japanese we have to do this because of the American public and Congress."

After pursuing every legal and diplomatic avenue open to him Paul is now confronted with the reality of those words. He now believes that the...

"...only way Japan will change is to shame them with international publicity. This country hates that. They will outlast everyone by dragging things on and on but the one thing they will react to right away is public humiliation. Even the Japanese here say that's the only way if I ever hope to see my daughter again."

If Paul Wong is ever to be reunited with his daughter the Japanese government must have its behaviour in this shameful incident brought to light. That is where you come in. Conservatives believe in the importance, the centrality of the family. That is why Japan's policy of abducting American children while leaving their parents no real recourse is so offensive. How Japan handles Japanese family law is its own business but when that law results in American families being destroyed, of American parents and children being pulled apart, then Americans must act.

The last time Paul saw Kaya (August 2007)

As a single individual Paul Wong's options are limited but we as his fellow Americans can help.

This story needs the kind of exposure that will cause the Japanese government to feel the shame that it should. You can help by emailing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi here and Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid here. Let our Congressional leaders know of your awareness of this issue and your belief that it needs to be addressed now so that not another day passes where another American family and its children are torn apart, or in Paul's case, his daughter continues to be ripped away from her sole remaining parent to one day become a ward of the state.

In addition you can email your local newspaper, call local or national radio talk shows and inform them of this injustice.

The Japan Children's Rights Network offers a number of avenues that can be used to spread the word, as well and CRC Japan has a Yahoo group that can be used to help families torn apart by Japan's custodial policies get the word out.

Paul Wong can be reached at where you can leave ideas, notes of encouragement etc.

And finally, if you have a blog please consider posting about this story. The fate of these kidnapped children is now in our hands.

Cross Posted at Liberty Pundit

There is an update on this story here

Thanks to Ed Morrissey for his attention to this story here

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Liberal Defines Freedom Of Speech

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The video above is very instructive in that is highlights the way liberals define freedom of speech, which is basically that they are allowed to speak but conservatives are not.

According to Mr. Robert Eugen King, Sophomore and student government official at the University of Wisconsin, women have the constitutional right to abortion and "You don't have the right to challenge it."

According to the Wausau Daily Herald:

STEVENS POINT -- Students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point butted heads Thursday after an anti-abortion organization planted 4,000 white crosses on campus to symbolize aborted fetuses and a student responded by pulling hundreds of them out of the ground.

The display, sponsored by Pointers for Life and planted on Isadore Street outside the Health Enhancement Center, is called "Cemetery of the Innocents" and features crosses and anti-abortion and religious signs, one of which reads "Seek Jesus."

The group has come to expect minor vandalism each time it displays the exhibit, but students were shocked when Roderick King pulled up many of the crosses in protest.

How much do you want to bet Mr. King is an "A" student?

Cassy Fiano at Wizbang is impressed with liberal tolerance, too.

And so is AllahPundit at Hot Air

The Agents of Operation Chaos Trounce The Agents Of Change

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No wonder Hillary Clinton thinks Rush Limbaugh has a crush on her. If not for El Rushbo Hillary would probably have gotten up this morning as a former presidential candidate. Oh, she stands no chance of getting the nomination of course but her narrow win in Indiana last night left enough wind in her sails that ditching the vessel at this point would damage that image of being her being a "fighter" that she has tried so hard to develop and which she'll need as, no matter what happens this year, her eyes remain fixed on the prize.

And Operation Chaos, which the msm has sneered at and heckled has proven to be a huge success. Even the Obama campaign is acknowledging as much,

Barack Obama’s campaign issued an e-mail on Tuesday night that appeared to relegate Hillary Clinton’s lead in Indiana to efforts by Rush Limbaugh to wreak havoc in the Democratic presidential primary contest.

In an e-mail entitled “The Limbaugh Effect in Indiana = 7 percent,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton wrote: “According to the latest exit polling data, 17 percent of voters in the Indiana primary today said they would vote for John McCain in a Clinton/McCain match-up. Forty-one percent of that number is constituted by people who voted Clinton in the primary but also indicated they will vote for McCain in the general election. That comes out to just under 7 percent of the primary electorate the number that may be attributed to a Limbaugh Effect.”

Rush, of course spells out the true dimensions of Operation Chaos' impact best:

RUSH: Three times in the last 12 hours, maybe 18 hours, three times in the last 18 hours, the Obama campaign has said, most recently in a conference call with reporters about 20 minutes ago, that the only reason Mrs. Clinton won Indiana was because of me and Operation Chaos. They have the numbers to back it up. The Obama campaign putting out the number that Operation Chaos was responsible for 7%, she got a seven-point bump as a result of Operation Chaos. They made that point again today in a conference call. On that conference call, the haughty John Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts who served in Vietnam, also made this point to the reporters on the Obama conference call.

KERRY: If it hadn't been for Republicans taking Democratic ballots, he likely would have won in Indiana, too. So you have -- really there's no masquerade now. Rush Limbaugh was tampering with the primary, and the GOP has clearly declared that they want Hillary Clinton as the candidate.

RUSH: Senator Kerry and those of you in the Obama campaign, first off, Operation Chaos has nothing to do with the Republican Party. The Republican Party hasn't the guts to do Operation Chaos. Were there no Operation Chaos, the Republican Party would not have a plan. But I am not affiliated with the Republican Party here, sir, and the rest of you in the Drive-By Media and in the Obama campaign, Operation Chaos had nothing to do and to this day has nothing to do with seeing to it that Hillary Clinton was the Democrat Party nominee. Operation Chaos began when it was a fait accompli that the nominee would be Obama. But because Senator McCain and the Republican Party refuse to enter this campaign and be critical of Obama because they're afraid of racial charges, it was up to somebody to bloody up Obama politically, and that had to be Clinton. Who else could it be? Operation Chaos thus was born to keep Mrs. Clinton in the race, and it worked. Obama has been bloodied, the superdelegates are refusing to talk to her today. They don't want to meet with her today, but she has an ace-in-the-hole, and that's the superdelegates in Florida and Michigan. Those delegations, she controls the committee that will determine the outcome of Florida and Michigan. So this is not over.

Could it have been more perfect? Had Obama won in a landslide, Operation Chaos would have been mocked by those who live to mock your host. But I had courage, and I took the great political risk, the career risk, knowing full well that if Operation Chaos could have been minimized in any way, it would have been, and once again the cycle would repeat and the Drive-Bys would once again claim this program irrelevant. Had Hillary won in a blowout in Indiana, Operation Chaos would have been relegated to a token split-screen debate: "Was or wasn't Operation Chaos a factor?" But this cliff hanger, this 2% margin, this 20,000 vote difference, there can be no doubt that the difference was indeed Operation Chaos. I'm watching last night the returns, and I receive an e-mail blast, the first of two that went out last night from the Obama campaign: Bill Burton blaming me and Operation Chaos. The first one around 7:50, I think, the next one came around 10:50, and that blast at 10:50 from the Obama campaign to all the political reporters covering this campaign, said, "Limbaugh has to be responsible for this." It was Republicans, and the exit polls show that 65% of conservative Republicans voted Hillary, 53% of Republicans voted Hillary. There can be no question here, despite the Drive-Bys' attempt to downplay it, and there are some who are doing that. But that second blast went out about 10:50, and it established that as far as the Obama campaign is concerned, Operation Chaos was worth a seven-point bump to Mrs. Clinton.

In a year when Republicans have every reason to be demoralized, Operation Chaos has actually thrown real enthusiasm into conservative ranks by sewing discord among the Dems and allowing time and circumstances to start to reveal the Dems in ways that, if Obama had taken this race earlier, the msm would never have done.

And, needless to say the Left is not happy with the wildly successful Operation Chaos. From the Huffington Post:

How can you not love a guy who 's got enemies this vile? We all owe Rush a debt of gratitude...again.

Allahpundit at Hot Air also talks about OC

Ed Driscoll also gets Chaotic

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

God I Hate Him...Oh, Wait, No I Don't

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According to main moonbat Arianna Huffington,

Original Post: At a dinner party in Los Angeles not long after the 2000 election, I was talking to a man and his wife, both prominent Republicans. The conversation soon turned to the new president. "I didn't vote for George Bush" the man confessed. "I didn't either," his wife added. Their names: John and Cindy McCain (Cindy told me she had cast a write-in vote for her husband).

Allahpundit at Hot Air doesn't really know what to make of it and neither do I. The problem is that Arianna is such a moral void that she could easily have made this up. McCain has, of course denied it but it is just another reminder of how much he is disliked and distrusted by his own base that it is so easy to believe that it is true.

But wait...

Just when you start to really hate McCain he gives a great speech about the kind of Supreme Court Justices he'd pick. According to the Washington Times he said,

"My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power," McCain told a crowd of several hundred at Wake Forest University's Wait Chapel, as he stood in front of nine American flags and mock-ups of the preamble to the Constitution.
And conservatives are encouraged:

Edward Whelan, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia who heads the Ethics and Public Policy Center, called the speech "very encouraging" and added: "McCain has drawn a clear line between his support for judicial restraint and Obama's promise to appoint liberal judicial activists." In a reference to Justice David H. Souter, who was appointed by Republican President George H.W. Bush but has staked out a liberal voting record on the court, Whelan added: "McCain has promised that his Supreme Court nominees will have 'a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint.' In other words, no more Souters."

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air compares the kind of Justices McCain is promising with likely Obama choices and finds McCain looking good:
The question, as Michelle notes, is which candidate can we trust to nominate better judges. Given the votes on Samuel Alito and especially on John Roberts, we can see a marked difference between the three candidates still left in the race. If we expect to end judicial activism, then we have to have a President willing to nominate justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito. We can’t even get Obama and Clinton to follow the majority of their Democratic colleagues to confirm such choices, let alone appoint them.
Do you think John McCain is trying to make this hard for us?

PS: I'm still not voting for him. I swear.

Another Split Decision - Means Obama Wins

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Oh yeah, she's gone, finished, done. As I write this at 8ish PM EST on Tuesday Obama has taken North Carolina by what looks like it will be an impressive margin and Indiana is still too close to call but is leaning towards Clinton who will probably take it by a much smaller margin. Hillary, being a Clinton will not give up while there is any chance of prevailing, even if that chance is so small that it requires an electron microscope to spot. But for all practical purposes, she can't win. According to the NY Times if she continues to win delegates in the remaining primaries by the same margins that she has so far she will need to win better than 77% of the super-delegates to win the nomination. It ain't gonna happen.

Obama has had a miserable couple of weeks, with former mentor Wright whacking away at him and stories about Bill Ayers and the stupid, anti-American comments of his wife and his poor, amateurish handling of, well, everything he's down but not nearly down enough. On the other hand Hillary's had a terrific couple of weeks. She batted eyelashes at Bill O'Reilly and came out of her interview with him none the worse for wear. She's practically lived on the Fox News set and been treated fine (RIP vast right-wing conspiracy) and even been coquettish with Rush Limbaugh by proxy. She's been funny. She's been smart. But she's still history.

The media will continue to act like there is a race to cover. They like the ratings. Hey, everybody's still having fun. Everybody but Hillary. She's over.

The oleaginous and insufferable Dick Morris has been saying this for a long time now; the numbers just aren't there for Clinton any more. Those members of the leadership of the Democratic Party who are not so blinded by deranged ideology and chants of "Change" (I think there are about 3 of them left) can't be happy. Obama is a weak, a very weak candidate. According to the Real Clear Politics' average Hillary would be a stronger candidate in the general election than Obama. But she's finished.

Did I say that already?

AllahPundit at Hot Air is also playing taps for Hill.
Doug Mataconis at Below the Beltway shares in the mourning.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

And Now The Award For Worst Actor In A Celebrity Endorsement - The Winner Is - Tom Hanks

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Beware: Celebrity Endorsement

Okay, we know Tom Hanks is the modern Jimmy Stewart, a terrific and entertaining actor as well as being a smart producer, solid writer and good director. He's a bright guy. So then could somebody please explain what the Hell that thing is up above?

Hanks sits there, pasty and poorly made up, almost, but not quite, looking directly into the camera and, with the enthusiasm of someone telling you about their last visit to the dentist proceeds to endorse (I know it is a shock) Barack Obama. Apparently not able to get the whole, not very long speech in one take, Hank's camera jerkily turns off and on as he reads the uninspired ("...history with a capital "H"...) and historically suspect (Was Washington turning over power to Adams really the first time in "recorded human history" when there was a peaceful transfer of power to a non-relative??) tract he proudly admits to having written himself. An utterly abysmal performance.

It is odd that an actor of real gifts is able to convincingly mouth the words other people put in his mouth should be so completely unconvincing when mouthing his own thoughts. If he wants some pointers about how this thing should be done he might check out the following:

Tom Hanks, I feel I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a President of mine. Tom Hanks, you're no Ronald Reagan.

Too Good For #2

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Bobby Jindal just may be the future of the Republican Party. Thirty-seven years old, the son of Indian (legal!)immigrants, he is a wunderkind with a resume that would make the average over-achiever feel like a slacker. Graduating high school at 16 he went on to get his undergraduate degree at Brown, then on to a Rhodes Scholarship. He's was a 2 term Congressman, youngest-ever president of the University of Louisiana System and was appointed by President Bush in 2001 to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation. And in January of this year he was sworn in as Governor of Louisiana.

And now, 4 months later his name is being thrown around as a possible running mate for the not-37-year-old John McCain. Bill Kristol today says that there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm in the McCain camp over the idea as they believe that Jindal supplies McCain with enough of an image of change to compete with Obama or Clinton's regular mantra.

Yuval Levin, over at NRO is a fan of the idea as well, answering those who are not are sure, countering most of their objections with the the argument that if Jindal helps McCain defeat the Dems who are getting ready to bail on Iraq, any other argument against his running immediately becomes moot.

But this argument would only hold if Jindal looks to be the only way McCain can win and there is no real evidence to indicate this might be the case. As we've so frequently been told, the VP doesn't pull the votes in, the top of the ticket either does or he doesn't. The VP is either a pleasant irrelevancy or a possible drag.

I'm more convinced by those who are skeptical. Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO feels that Jindal needs time as Governor so that he can implement real conservative policies and show the Libs what leadership is all about.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air feels that, although Jindal is a whiz-kid, he's inexperienced on the national stage and feels that Obama's stumbles show what happens when the unprepared jump into the pool with the big boys.

I think both Morrissey and Lopez are probably on the mark. I also think that Jindal would be wasted in the Vice Presidency. The Vice Presidency is the next worst thing to being sentenced to a SuperMax prison. Instead of Jindal accomplishing things his way he would just become part of the McCain team and let's face it, a McCain presidency is bound to leave conservatives gnashing their teeth and rending their garments daily. And Bobby Jindal would have to be just another loyal soldier supporting crappy, statist policies. I'd rather see him out there showing the way than have him straight jacketed and pimping McCain-ism.

Let Jindal be Jindal. No Vice President Jindal. Please.

Doug Mataconis of Below the Beltway finds himself on the side of the skeptics, as well.