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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 2, 2008 / 26 Adar II 5768

Hillary's fizzling finale

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For television viewers of a certain age, the 70s and — excruciatingly — 80s sitcom "Happy Days" spawned a metaphor far more enduring than anything Richie, Potsie or Chachi ever uttered on screen.


In an episode during the show's fifth season in 1977, cool guy Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli performed a death defying water ski jump over a shark. "Happy Days" plodded along for seven more years. But connoisseurs regard this episode as the point at which the show lost its nostalgic raison d'etre and when its terminal point came into view.


Two decades later, a bright Internet entrepreneur started the Web site jumptheshark.com to chart when television programs begin the inexorable slide into what is, even by the standards of popular culture, nihilistic entertainment. Ever after, the phrase "jumping the shark" has denoted the tipping point at which absurdity trumps reality.


Sometime in the last two weeks, the sitcom known as "The Clinton Presidency" — which had an eight-year run in the 90s and attempted a comeback effort in 2008 — officially jumped the shark. It didn't look that way on March 4, when Hillary Clinton scored surprising victories over Barack Obama in the Texas and Ohio primaries.


Then, it looked as though a reprise of the well-liked "Comeback Kid" episode had put her back in contention for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary's red phone cameo tugged at sentimental heartstrings, reminding viewers of a classic 1964 production in which a president's recklessness caused a little girl picking daisy petals to be vaporized by an H-bomb.


And then the plot began to unravel.


Drama is no match for the harsh certainties of mathematics. And the mathematics of the Democratic primaries demonstrated that it was practically impossible for Clinton to win the nomination.


Go to Slate's online delegate calculator and give her an improbable 60-40 victory in all ten remaining primaries from Pennsylvania through South Dakota, and she still comes up short. Add in an imaginary revote that gives her 60 percent of Florida's delegates, and she still loses. Only if she were to add to all this a similarly fanciful win in an illusory do-over in Michigan would she finally overtake Obama in pledged delegates.


So the producers of "The Clinton Presidency" had to come up with something really imaginative. Initially they settled on a comedic theme — that Obama, with virtuoso talent and an unassailable lead, would voluntarily play second fiddle in Hillary's Arkansas ensemble. Even canned laughter couldn't make that one work.


Then, in an act of desperation, it happened. The producers rewrote the undistinguished "Bosnia" episode from 1996, adding sniper fire and a daring dash to armored vehicles.


The scene rang hollow. The red phone moment that had put her up in the polls suddenly looked embarrassingly contrived. Why was she still in it? The absurdity of her continued candidacy was trumping reality. The race for the Democratic nomination had devolved into a nihilistic reality show for GOP viewers. Hillary had jumped the shark.


The campaign plods along, grasping at this theme and that. Hillary Clinton took her show on the road to Philadelphia, where fabulist Joe Wilson made a guest appearance.


Wilson was last seen with John Kerry in "Mission Impossible," holding harrowing talks with the leaders of Niger at the behest of his beautiful, secret agent wife. In the Clinton burlesque, he performs a poorly conceived act in which he endorses Hillary Clinton's vote to go to war in Iraq because, unlike him, she wasn't smart enough to know Bush was lying.


Now it's a Western, with Bill Clinton — who had been banished from the set — reappearing as six-shootin' "Bubba." "Saddle up," he tells the residents of Hope, spiritless after being manhandled by Obama's latte-sipping gang. "We're ridin' to Denver for a showdown."


Even if "The Clinton Presidency" runs another hundred episodes, the show is over. And the only people who don't seem to realize it are the ones in front of the camera.


Correction: In a previous column, I incorrectly stated Barack Obama calls for withdrawal from Iraq in six months. His plan has a 16-month time frame.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

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© 2007, Jonathan Gurwitz

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