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BAH, HUMBUG!

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Robert Garcia Tagorda wonders what the big deal is: I’ve never understood how the New Year’s significance reaches the level of a noteworthy holiday. For Pete’s sake, it marks a temporal inevitability. Isn’t that a rather pitiful excuse for throwing streamers and otherwise acting a fool?

BLOGRUNNER

Via Professor Bainbridge, I stumbled upon (or, actually, followed a link and it was just, well, there) BlogRunner, a site that purports to “track thousands of weblog conversations.” Its Top Author list has a lot of familiar names, but is surprisingly different from, say, the TTLB Ecosystem. What’s especially interesting is that it includes a […]

STICKS AND STONES

Kieran Healy notes a disturbing tendency among bloggers on the right: Tacitus closes 2003 with a variant on one of the most popular themes of the year, viz, “I’ve noticed a disturbing tendency on the American left. . .” Yeah, me too. It barely exists. I hope you won’t stop reading Crooked Timber now that […]

POLITICAL CAUSATION

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Some News Analysis from the NYT: The Bush administration’s twin moves on Tuesday to ban the dietary supplement ephedra and the sale of meat from cows that appear to be sick on the way to the slaughterhouse underscores a simple White House maxim these days: with an election approaching, even a president who came to […]

BELTWAY TRAFFIC JAM

Ogged is the straight eye for the queer guy! Terry Oglesby has toothpaste reviews! Virginia Postrel defends the mainstream media from self-righteous bloggers. The Other Kate writes about mad cow madness. Chris Lawrence is at the ass end of the Internet whereas VenomousKate is said to possess a damned-near-perfect ass. To join in, send a […]

MOST ANNOYING SONG

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Brent at The Ville is soliciting comments on “the most annoying song ever written.” My entry: Nena, “99 Luftballoons.” I posted my selections for The Worst 10 songs of the Last 25 Years in August. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was actually deemed worse than “99 Luftballoons,” but it’s also on some people’s “best” lists, so […]

SUSPICIOUS TIMING

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ScrappleFace: The precise timing of the descent of a Waterford Crystal ball above Times Square at midnight tonight may be another example of Bush administration “stagecraft,” according to Democrat presidential candidate Howard Dean. “The ball is a powerful symbol for America,” said Mr. Dean. “And it’s natural to ask ‘Who stands to benefit from the […]

ISRAELI ARMY GOES CO-ED

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Washington Times reports an interesting development: Israeli army units with the first female infantry soldiers in 50 years are being upgraded to battalion status, a milestone in the fight of female soldiers to be accepted into combat roles in the Jewish state. For the past three years, female ground troops from Israel’s Carcal company have […]

MISDIRECTED ‘LANCHE

Just my luck: An InstaLink to a post I wrote this morning, but to the Command Post duplicate rather than the OTB original.

RAIDERS FIRE CALLAHAN

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Not entirely unexpected: Raiders Fire Callahan After 4-12 Season. Still, this brings to three the coaches who have been fired this year even after taking their present team to the Super Bowl: Callahan (2003), the Giants’ Jim Fassel (2001), and the Falcons’ Dan Reeves (1999).

RECIPROLL

I hadn’t updated my reciproll in a while, since blogrolling.com’s search feature has been offline for weeks. The following sites have now been added: The Fat Guy Deborama SoCal Law Blog Heh. Indeed. Weekend Pundit Regnum Crucis Small Dead Animals Thanks to all for linking OTB.

PROGNOSTICATION

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Among Jonah Goldberg’s prediction is this gem: In the wake of the John “F-ing” Kerry and Wesley Clark profanity controversies, the rest of the Democrats join in, dropping the F-bomb and other curse words on every Democratic audience. Replacing such innocuous phrases as Bill Clinton’s promise to “focus like a laser” on the economy or […]

PHONE CALL

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I missed this rather amusing story over the holidays: President calls airman for Christmas Senior Airman Sean Strong, an air traffic control specialist with the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, received a call from a White House operator Dec. 21 informing him he was going to receive a call from the president Dec. 24. “I […]

CLARKBOT?

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My referrer log indicates that I’ve been linked by something called Clarkbot. I was hoping it had to do with protecting Superman’s secret identity but, alas, it is just a site that collects links about Wesley Clark.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE OI-IL

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Steven Taylor is confused as to how Halliburton could lose a contract, seeing as how we went to war to line their pockets.

PARENTAL RIGHTS

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Richard Mouw is resigned to losing the cultural wars, but hopes to at least be able to practice his religion in peace: Obviously, when it comes to matters of public policy we must also ask others to respect our convictions as well–especially our right to raise our children in the fear of the Lord without […]

NO BOOKS AT THE LIBRARY

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I suspect it’s somewhat overblown, but this Denver Post article points to an interesting trend: There are 53 DVD copies of “Pirates of the Caribbean’ on the shelf. Videotapes might be on the wane, but you can get “Finding Nemo’ for VHS in Spanish. And the front counter may charge you a buck a movie. […]

2003: A GOOD YEAR FOR FREEDOM

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Ralph Peters sounds a particularly cheery note in a New York Post editorial which begins with the rather bold statement, EVEN if terrorists attack our homeland before the stroke of midnight, 2003 will still have been a year of remarkable progress on every front in the global War on Terror – and the greatest year […]

END OF YEAR LISTS

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As another year winds down, it’s time for reflection. Or, for those of us too lazy to reflect, compiling lists of the reflections of others: Stephen Green has assembled a list of 50 predictions for 2004 along with a much shorter 2003 Year in Review. Mark the Pundit has his own predictions. As does Dean […]

1ST AMENDMENT STILL LIVES?

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Recently, upon learning that the Supreme Court upheld the massive restrictions on political speech in McCain-Feingold, I pronounced the 1st Amendent dead. Apparently, I was too hasty. As Steven Taylor reports, A federal appeals court has upheld a Utah artist’s right to make nude photos of Barbie dolls being menaced by kitchen appliances. Noting the […]

BLOGGING IS DISCOVERED

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Andrew Cline on the latest “blogging is influential” story in the mainstream press: Yadda, yadda, yadda. USA Today discovers that political blogs have some clout. Round up the usual suspects. Indeed.

MOVING DAY

Bill Hobbs will be moving off of blogspot to a new site come the New Year.

NEW DEMOCRATS

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Volohh Conspiracy regular Jacob Levy has a piece in The New Republic Online assessing the state of the New Democrat movement: It is a foul political season for those of us with sympathies for the New Democratic agenda. Joe Lieberman’s campaign is showing a few signs of life, but they are far too little, far […]

LAW AND ORDER INDICATOR

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John Swansburg introduces the The Law & Order Index as a means of tracking economic performance.

‘R’ IS FOR RETURN

Venomous Kate’s regular The Letter Of The Day has returned after regretable absence, now that she has recuperated reasonably from her roughed-up reverse side.

SMALL DEAD ANIMALS

Is the rather odd name of longtime OTB commenter Kate’s new blog. She was an original Blog Chicks Pix enshrinee and the inspiration behind Kevin Aylward’s lame knockoff of same. Welcome to the blogosphere, Kate!

MANY FACES OF DEAN

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A good one from Cox & Forkum:

BELTWAY TRAFFIC JAM

Even with a lot of people on holiday break, DC area traffic is rough. Various vehicles breaking down and people clogging up the lane by trying to cheat the system don’t help. The daily links: Dodd Harris had dinner with Susanna Cornett and Brent of The Ville. Erick Erickson sees a culinary connection to the […]

AXIS OF EVIL

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Washington Whispers Daily reports, A North Korean delegation is now secretly visiting Tehran for discussions with Iranian officials that are believed to focus on cooperation in the production of missiles or nuclear weapons, a knowledgable U.S. official tells U.S. News. The Bush administration has been watching North Korean-Iranian cooperation for some time, and North Korean […]

PLAME PROSECUTOR

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MSNBC reports that a special prosecutor has been appointed in the Plame affair. Amusingly, MSNBC has a policy of not publishing Plame’s name, even though it has been widely published for months: Comey appointed the U.S. attorney in Chicago, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, as special counsel. He will have independent authority to direct the investigation without […]

STANDING STABILITY FORCE

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Adm. Arthur Cebrowski, head of the DOD Office of Force Transformation, says the military is considering creating a military force that would be dedicated to stability and reconstruction operations: Although it may be some time before a final decision is made on whether such a force becomes reality, Cebrowski — one of the department’s chief […]

SPURRIER OUT?

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MSNBC reports, Steve Spurrier resigned as coach of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, ending a failed attempt to bring his Fun ‘n’ Gun offense to the NFL, the team announced. But Spurrier denied the report to the Washington Post, according to its website. “I have not resigned,” Spurrier said, the Washington Post reported. “I’ve got […]

CAPTION CONTEST

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Time for another OTB Caption ContestTM. Write your own caption in the comments section belowYahoo! News – AFP Top Photos Winners will be announced Monday afternoon.

PROGRESS REPORT

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Victor Davis Hanson has a pretty fair assessment of the war on terrorists to date: In liberating 50 million people from both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein it has lost so far less than 500 soldiers — some of whom were killed precisely because they waged a war that sought to minimalize not just civilian […]

MINIMUM WAGE

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Nathan Newman and Kevin Drum are praising Howard Dean’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour. Says Kevin, And for those who insist that raising the minimum wage would cause massive economic dislocation, I’d like to point out that Congress doubled the minimum wage in 1950 with no ill effects, and raised […]

COMPLEX LEGISLATION

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Kevin Drum correctly points out the increasing complexity of laws passed by Congress and the reasons behind this trend. Steven Taylor extends the analysis, noting that the very structure of our political system virtually guarantees a host of special provisions. I’d also point out the alternative: passing general legislation and allowing an unelected bureaucracy to […]

DUNNIGAN’S ROUNDUP

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Today’s Iraq news from StrategyPage: Five men were arrested as suspects in the December 27th attacks in Karbala. Their nationality was not given, but Shia leaders say they believe the attacks were carried out by Sunni Arabs and al Qaeda foreigners. There has been little, or no, political violence in the Shia areas since Saddam’s […]

NATIONAL CREED

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David Brooks finds the religious journeys of the leading presidential contenders interesting: George W. Bush was born into an Episcopal family and raised as a Presbyterian, but he is now a Methodist. Howard Dean was baptized Catholic, and raised as an Episcopalian. He left the church after it opposed a bike trail he was championing, […]

NUDE NEWS

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Kevin Aylward continues to chronicle nudity on the ‘net: It may be legal to appear naked in cyberspace, but police ticketed a Lincoln woman Monday for posting nude pictures of herself on the Web that were taken in downtown bar. “It’s unlawful to be naked in public in Lincoln,” said Police Chief Tom Casady. Melissa […]

CLARK JUMPS SHARK?

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Steven Taylor discusses some disturbing race baiting by Gen. Wesley Clark. One expects this sort of thing from Al Sharpton, not someone trying to position himself as the sensible alternative to Howard Dean.

BUSH AND THE BASE

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The Washington Times carries a story that is especially amusing given the “Bush is an extremist” argument made by many of the Democratic contenders: President Bush is beginning to anger certain hard-line conservatives, particularly over fiscal issues, the way his father did in the year before he lost to Bill Clinton in 1992. It’s not […]

EARL HINDMAN, R.I.P.

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Some sad news from WaPo: Actor Earl Hindman, best known for playing a neighbor whose face was forever obscured by a fence on the television show “Home Improvement,” died of lung cancer Monday in Stamford, Conn. He was 61. As Wilson, the neighbor of Tim Allen’s character on the long-running sitcom, Hindman dispensed folksy advice […]

HOT LANES

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Robert Prather links and excerpts some calls for High Occupancy Toll roads as a short-term fix for easing traffic congestion in places like the DC area. It is an interesting idea and might indeed provide a bit of relief. Still, I tire of the continual spread of user fees for ordinary government services. Roads are […]

BEING ANDREW SULLIVAN

Daniel Drezner gives an inside look at running The Daily Dish. Strangely, it’s a lot like running any other blog, except that more people read–and email–you. Other things we learn: Blogger is not very good. But Movable Type discourages short posts. It’s a good thing Simon and Garfunkel weren’t bloggers.

AID TO IRAN

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Matthew J. Stinson has an interesting post on the subject: Midrash Shmuel, a Jewish rabbinical maxim based on the events of I Samuel 15, teaches that compassion should only be extended to the worthy, for “He who is merciful when he should be cruel will in the end be cruel when he should be merciful.” […]

AFRICA: FORGOTTEN CONTINENT?

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UPI’s Claude Salhani and Ed Susman write, The old adage that no news is good news, alas, does not apply to Africa. The only news emanating from Africa this past year has been of fratricidal wars or devastating epidemics that continue to claim lives by the tens of thousands. Yet little news from Africa, if […]

VIRGIN FEARS

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Peggy Noonan asks, in the subtitle of her WSJ piece today, “Why are rich people afraid of the Virgin Mary?” She begins with a rehash of the issue: We have all seen the stories this Christmas season–they are not new, they are only more so–of the local struggles between what I suppose might be called […]

BLOGGING HISTORY

Now, I’ve seen it all: A comments section on Instapundit. Just on one post. And they’re now closed. But still.

SPAMMERS’ CUBE

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Dodd Harris passes on a report of an interesting technological measure to slow down the spammers: The idea, currently being developed by none other than Microsoft, is that unkown senders will be required to expend 10-20 seconds of computer time to get a message through. Recipients wouldn’t be affected. Legitimate senders would scarcely notice the […]

NON-VOLUNTEER FORCE

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WaPo has a rather disturbing piece on a new Army policy: The three are among thousands of soldiers forbidden to leave military service under the Army’s “stop-loss” orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions. “It reflects the fact that the […]

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