Thursday, December 14, 2006

Aso Gives It Up for Putin; Duke Eats Wolf; Short LDP Kanji Names, Long Intra-Party Feuds; US Presidential Sweepstakes Begin; Summary of DPJ Ills

Foreign Minister Aso wants to split the Four Islands with the Russians. So much for the fearsome right wing nationalists taking over Japanese foreign policy.

If you didn't catch David Duke being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN, go on YouTube, Putfile, wherever, to see it. Little David ate the Wolf, beard and all. Mr. Blitzer let Mr. Duke take control with a tirade against his introduction, then things went downhill from there.

But that's what happens when you go in with a list of prepared questions (Do you agree with President Ahmadinejad's assertion that Israel should be wiped off the map; do you agree to a Israel-Palestine two-state solution…), and lack the background information or the wits for any sort of back-at-you when you get answers that you didn't expect (first of all, President Ahmadinejad said no such thing yada yada; I think that would be the best solution, but yada yada…)

That's what happens when an amateur goes up against a battle-scarred veteran who's been doing this shtick in front of a hostile MSM for at least thirty years (since by his own account he left the Klu Klux Klown behind). I doubt the interview will change any US minds, but I don't think it will feature prominently on the CNN website.

Will the success of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have the cable people scouring the improv theaters for new talent? And, W.S., with your theatrical background, you could do it too.

In the Japanese Yomiuri only (to the best of my knowledge), the LDP has created a special category of posts for the seven of the eleven Lower House Diet member returnees in electoral districts where it already has local electoral district chairpersons. Instead of becoming local proportional representation electoral chairpersons as the LDP by-laws require, they are being appointed "Local provincial Lower House chairpersons".

This semantic and party-regulation legerdemain will not please Yukari Sato and the other LDP local electoral district chairpersons. Political junkies can enjoy that particular tug-of-war as the sniping continues and the news media finds it a convenient diversion on a slow day.

Talk of Condoleezza Rice has died down, and John Kerry is up and about; I guess the race is on.

And here is a tidy summary of the events surrounding the quandary that is the DPJ. Not by me, which saves a lot of time.

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