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MCCAIN ON IRAQ

military-soldier-sunset

Sen. John McCain has an interesting op-ed in today’s WaPo on “Why We Must Win” in Iraq. Iraq’s transformation into a progressive Arab state could set the region that produced Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and al Qaeda on a new course in which democratic expression and economic prosperity, rather than a radicalizing mix of humiliation, […]

STATUS

I have returned from Philly. Blogging will commence again this afternoon.

OTB STATUS

I will be attending the American Political Science Association meeting in Philadelphia through Sunday. Posting will be light if not non-existent until then. Please enjoy the archives and the many fine sites on my blogroll until I return.

TROLL PARADE

A reminder: Get your votes in to PoliBlog by Friday for the inaugural Trolls on Parade.

WILL ON IRAQ

military-soldier-sunset

George Will has a column on the rebuilding of Iraq that, so far as I can tell, lacks a point. He correctly notes that CIA and State Department resistance to the war and the use of Iraqi dissidents hurt the war effort, that it would have perhaps been better had the combat phase lasted a […]

CAPTION CONTEST WINNERS

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Last week’s OTB Caption ContestTM has concluded. The winners are. . .

CAPTION CONTEST REMINDER

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I forgot I still had a OTB Caption ContestTM running! I’ll announce winners early tomorrow morning, so get your entries in.

WORDS AND MEANINGS

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Bob at Unfogged has an interesting post on the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front, which recently burned down a Hummer dealership in addition to other acts of terrorism. I have nothing to add to Bob’s comments except a question: Since when is arson “vandalism”? That’s what NPR is calling it and what Bob refers […]

A LONG, LONG TIME AGO

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TIME notes that, 42 years ago the U.S. was debating an increase in the size of our military in response to changing global conditions and that 40 years ago we were having fairly significant diplomatic quarrels with France. The more things change. . .

FOX NEWS

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Paul Bedard writes, You’d think that Fox News Channel Washington boss Brit Hume would be boohooing over the attacks from competitors that his is a garish, right-wing–even illegitimate–network. But he loves it. “We have been greatly blessed,” he cheers, “by the fact that our critics and competitors don’t seem to get what we’re actually doing.” […]

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE?

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Anthony J. Sebok, a Brooklyn Law School prof and FindLaw columnist, takes issue with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s claim that he is practicing civil disobedience in the grand tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Sebok disputes this, citing three tests that he has apparently made up: First: Order doesn’t single out minority for burdens […]

TACO POLL?!

us-politics

Drudge says that a stupid and meaningless poll conducted by Taco Bell shows Schwarzenegger is ahead of Bustamonte. Taco Bell Corp. announces the first installment of its Taco Poll results with former frontrunner Arnold Schwarzenegger leading with 54 percent of votes with his crunchy beef taco. The Grilled Stuft Burrito holds a strong second on […]

CRUZIN’

us-politics

Chris Suellentrop has an amusing assessment of Cruz Bustamante’s campaign, which [B]oasts what is no doubt the most unwieldy URL in the short history of online politics: www.noonrecallyesonbustamante.com. It’s an appropriately awkward name for an awkward campaign with an awkward candidate. What’s so awkward? [It] appears to be the result of a late-night bar bet […]

CLARK 2004?

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Josh Marshall and Dan Drezner have somewhat competing views on Wesley Clark’s viability as a late entrant into the Democratic nomination fray. Josh believes there is a vacuum in the necessary “anybody but Dean” role whereas Dan thinks the Democratic coalition is too fragmented to coalesce around a viable candidate, although he hopes he’s wrong. […]

WICKED SMART

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Apparently, people who post comments on Matthew Yglesias‘ blog are quite the SAT over-achievers, with self-reported average scores in the 1570s.

TRUE

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Apropos the Mumbai bombing, Stephen Green muses, How long, I wonder, before our punditry asks what India did to deserve this, and why they’re so hated? Indeed.

POLLING PERILS

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John Fund, who not long ago told us not to get too carried away with polls showing Arnold Schwarzenegger way ahead of his competitiors, now tells us that the latest polls showing him way behind are also misleading. He reiterates his view that the race is Bustamonte’s to lose, given that California is a Democratic […]

HMM…BATTERY POWERED TWEEZERS

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Kevin Drum reports that cell phone companies are trying to rip people off and that the tobacco lobby is more powerful than the tweezer lobby. I already knew both these things, but the supporting anecdotes are pretty funny.

MORE TROOPS?

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CDI’s Marcus Corbin weighs in on this latest hot topic, taking the position that much of the needed shortfall can be addressed by more efficient allocation of existing troop assets. Although the Army does not need expanding, the experience in Iraq shows that it certainly could improve its readiness for peace keeping roles. Until now, […]

BAD HEADLINE

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Wonder who the genius is that wrote this Boston Globe headline: Big Shiite demonstration outside coalition headquarters, U.S. death toll stands at 276 The impression given is the the Shiites rioted and have killed 276 Americans so far. In fact, the two thoughts conjoined with the comma are totally unrelated: Thousands of Shiite Muslims protested […]

SCHWARZENEGGER IS QUALIFIED?

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William F. Buckley, Jr. apparently thinks so, citing Jerry Brown: Everyone in the United States, it seems, has commented on the California scene. The insight of Jerry Brown warrants attention. Mr. Brown is a little screwy but very bright, and did two terms as governor. To skeptics he said: “It’s obvious Schwarzenegger is qualified. I […]

BUSH AND THE POLLS

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Matthew Yglesias, thinks recent polls should give hope to Democrats, although he acknowleges that polls this far out aren’t of much value in predicting an election 14 months out. Newsweek reports that only 44 percent of the public wants to see Bush reelected, as opposed to the 49 percent who do not. Zogby has a […]

RATIONAL IRRATIONALITY

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Brad DeLong is puzzled by Dan Weintraub’s thinking on the California recall. Weintraub admits that he’s skeptical of the practicality of the plans put forth by the conservative candidates because they would be unpopular and not pass the legislature; thinks Schwarzenegger is too inexperienced and insufficiently forthcoming about his plans; and disagrees with Bustamonte’s political […]

CALIFORNIA POLLS

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John Lemon Constantine, in the comments to the post below, notes this L.A. Times poll showing Bustamante with a big lead over Schwarzenegger: As the sole major Democrat running to replace Davis — should the incumbent be ousted Oct. 7 — Bustamante enjoys the support of 35% of likely voters, the poll found. Schwarzenegger received […]

FAIR AND BALANCED FAIRNESS

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Drudge reports that Fox News Channel senior vice president John Moody has ordered an end to Schwarzenegger puns: NYT media watcher Jim Rutenberg is preparing to root out a memorandum posted recently in the Fox News computer system: “The urge may seem irresistible to play off Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting career,” Moody wrote. “Resist it. Otherwise […]

DOING WHAT IT TAKES

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Robert Kagan and William Kristol join the chorus saying we need to “do more” in Iraq. Echoing Thomas Friedman’s column of this morning, they note the magnitude of the task: Make no mistake: The president’s vision will, in the coming months, either be launched successfully in Iraq, or it will die in Iraq. Indeed, there […]

ALBRIGHT ON THE U.N.

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In contrast to her rather baffling Foreign Affairs piece which I discussed Thursday, Madelyn Albright’s piece in the current Foreign Policy about the United Nations is quite worthwhile, answering the major criticisms of the organization leveled by both the left and the right. She has a realistic notion of what that body can–and can’t–do. She […]

RUMMY SPEAKS OUT

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Donald Rumsfeld is interviewed in the new Time about troop strength and other issues. The article, at least the online version, is presented as a series of quote excerpts. Among the more notable: It takes time to hire people and recruit them and train them and get value out of them. The personnel experts say […]

SPY VS. SPY

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WaPo reports a bold but potentially risky venture in Iraq: U.S.-led occupation authorities have begun a covert campaign to recruit and train agents with the once-dreaded Iraqi intelligence service to help identify resistance to American forces here after months of increasingly sophisticated attacks and bombings, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. THE EXTRAORDINARY MOVE to […]

MORE TROOPS

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Thom Shanker reports that the DOD is contemplating new ways to increase the number of combat troops available without actually increasing the overall size of the military. The review will be seen in some circles as answering powerful members of Congress who have demanded more active-duty troops for the military. Lengthy deployments to Iraq drew […]

THE BIG ONE

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Thomas Friedman has an interesting if rather disjointed piece in tomorrow’s NYT. He thinks the opposition is putting all its chips into this one because a lot is at stake: We are attracting all these opponents to Iraq because they understand this war is The Big One. They don’t believe their own propaganda. They know […]

RECIPROLL

The following sites have been added to the OTB reciproll on the right sidebar: Steady’s Spaghetti Aimless Forest Attaboy Priorities & Frivolities mycatharsis The Chicago Report Interested-Participant About-Face Hi, I’m Black Alpha Patriot Freakinback’s Whole The Therapy Sessions The Dove ReachM High Cowboy Noose Network Dormouse Dreaming Thanks to all for linking OTB!

ECOSYSTEM: UNDER CONSTRUCTION

N.Z. Bear is working on getting the Ecosystem up and running again. In the runs he’s done so far today, OTB is ranked somewhere between #33 and #1836 overall and has between 0 and 557 links.

PRISON JUSTICE?

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AP reports, Former priest John Geoghan, a convicted child molester who became a central figure in the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal, has been killed in prison, a state public safety spokesman said Saturday. Geoghan was injured in an incident with another inmate at about noon and was transported to Leominster Hospital, where he died […]

LARRY ELDER: FAIR WARNING

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I’ve never heard his show, but I’ve seen Larry Elder on television a few times and found him to be a likeable enough fellow. But if he doesn’t stop sending me all those e-mails telling me he got a message I never sent him, I’m going to hunt him down and kick his ass.

BOBBY BONDS, R.I.P.

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Bobby Bonds died this afternoon after a year-long bout with a brain tumor and lung cancer. He was only 57. He’s likely best known as the father of Barry Bonds, holder of the single season home run record and arguably the best baseball player who ever lived. But Bobby was a superb player in his […]

REAGANISM

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Rush Limbaugh is investing a lot of time and energy trying to get people to not elect Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why? Because he’s not Ronald Reagan. News flash for Rush: A young Ronald Reagan could not get elected governor of California today. Because of immigration and a lot of reasons I don’t know because I haven’t […]

PROFILING

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Matthew Yglesias comes out in favor of gender and socio-economic profiling: Now clearly if you rely on stereotypes to predict other people’s behavior, you’re going to wind up with a lot of bad predictions. But on the other hand, the number of situations in which it would be useful to have some idea of how […]

CREEPS, TROLLS, AND WEIRDOS

There has been a spate of bad behavior around the blogosphere of late. Flame wars have been around since literally before the invention of the World Wide Web, and trolling (in the sense of making nasty comments to stir up vituperation rather than in the sense of shamelessly seeking linkage) has been around as long […]

SIMON DROPPING OUT?

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Kevin Drum points to an AP story reporting that he is. (CNN and Fox have similar stories.) This contradicts this morning’s WaPo, which said that Simon was pressing ahead at least for a while. Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped at a sidewalk cafe here in Surf City to chat today with a few local business owners, then […]

HARVARD RADICAL

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James Traub has an engaging profile of Harvard’s Larry Summers, who despite his Clinton Administration ties has become the Weekly Standard’s ”favorite university president.” He gained a lot of notoriety for his clash with Cornel West and the Afro-American studies department but his agenda is quite far-reaching and ambitious. Ultimately, he wants to make the […]

U.S. FREEZES HAMAS ASSETS

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NYT has the story: President Bush ordered the Treasury Department today to block and freeze the assets of six top leaders of the militant Palestinian group Hamas and five charities based outside the United States that administration officials said help finance Hamas. Mr. Bush said he was taking the action in response to Hamas’s claim […]

BLOGIVERSARY

Today is Kevin Drum‘s one year anniversary running CalPundit. He’s now getting 10,000-plus visits daily and has passed the millon visitor milestone. Looking at his SiteMeter stats reveals a rather meteoric rise. Congrats!

HIGH STAKES

us-politics

Bill Kristol argues, correctly in my view, that 2004 may well be the most high stakes election in some time: More will be at stake in terms of the direction of the country than in any election since 1980, or perhaps since 1964. After the last decade’s noticeably smaller elections, in terms both of starkness […]

WIZBANG CAPTION CONTEST

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Kevin has Anna Kournikova and some bald guy over at his place just waiting to be captioned.

MOORE SUSPENDED

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Reuters reports that the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission has suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore pending an investigation on judicial misconduct stemming from his refusal to obey a federal court order to remove the Ten Commandments monument. Interesting.

SECURITY AND CAMPAIGN 2000

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Dana Milbank and Mike Allen contend that, contrary to conventional wisdom, President Bush can’t rely on national security issues to carry him to victory in 2004. While I agree with this, I disagree with their rationale. One presidential adviser said the suicide attacks hours apart in Iraq and Israel, which undermined the two anchors of […]

THE TAXMAN

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Howard Dean has the lead editiorial in today’s WSJ, subtitled, “I will begin by repealing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. ” While one has to admire his forthrightness, one wonders about the wisdom of taking this page from the playbooks of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

ANTI-CONSERVATIVE BIAS

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Well, so far at least, no luck getting the attention of Daniel Drezner. But John Lemon has generated quite a buzz at Kevin Drum‘s place, debating the claim that conservatives are regularly denied tenure and promotion in universities.

OBSOLESCENCE OF COMMERCIALS?

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Brad DeLong thinks the time may have come: The children routinely use the “mute” button on the remote to silence TV commercials, for no reason other than that they are annoying. If they are representative of the younger generation, the effectiveness of TV advertising is about to take a *big* dive. Indeed. One wonders, though, […]

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