Boys of Summer



Jeff Jarvis has published a cover story on the Howard Stern saga in The Nation. It’s entitled “F*CKED BY THE F*CC.” Stern shies away from no sacred cow. He is a positive force in American media. Just as weblogs tweak big media to keep them honest, Stern pushes the line to keep politicians and celebrities […]

War Deaths and the Press

Kevin Drum observes that the flap over the Nightline special devoted to the soldiers who have died in Iraq is the latest in a series of episodes where conservatives have made what he believes is an incorrect calculation. Present day conservatives seem to unthinkingly assume that any public acknowledgement of Iraqi war deaths is obviously […]

Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners

NYT: Bush Expresses ‘Deep Disgust’ Over Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners [RSS] President Bush expressed revulsion today over photographs strengthening reports that some United States soldiers had abused and humiliated Iraqi prisoners. He said that the soldiers responsible would be punished, and that such conduct did not reflect the values of the American military or the […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The real life traffic jam starts early in the Beltway on Fridays; the roads are packed by 2:30 or so. Oddly, the digital traffic seems to taper off somewhat around the same time and stay that way until Sunday evening. Phil Libin suggests that we turn Iraqi sovereignty over to Glenn Reynolds. Terry Oglesby points […]

Education and Cross-Pollenization

Craig Henry writes on the benefits of education as a means of bridging cultures and gaining understanding: Since World War II, the US military has used its schools to strengthen our alliances and to integrate allies into our military structure. Students from allied countries can be found at all levels– from the service academies to […]

Scorecard for the War on Terror

From StrategyPage: According to a count by the United States State Department, terrorism attacks in 2003 hit a 34 year low. There were 190 acts of international terrorism last year, the lowest number since 1969. The 2003 attacks killed 307 people, with most of the activity in Asia (70 attacks, 159 dead). In 2002, there […]

Spirit of America Progress Report

Jim Hake e-mails: Today we delivered to Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA the equipment that will be used to equip Iraqi-owned and operated television stations in Al Anbar province. On Saturday, May 1 the Marines will fly the equipment from March Air Force Base to Iraq. This initiative and the original request is described here. […]

Abandoning Fallujah

WaPo: Marines Begin Pulling Back From Fallujah U.S. Marines began pulling back Friday from this violence-wracked city in preparation for handing over responsibility for pursuing insurgents to a new militia headed by former Iraqi army officers under a deal brokered by the top Marine general in Iraq. Broadcast TV footage Friday morning showed some Marines […]

Kerry Medals PowerPoint

Daniel Radosh has a hilarious PowerPoint presentation to explain this situation. Hat tip to Phil Carter, who also has a more serious explanation of the ribbons/medals issue.

Phil Carter, Esq.

Congrats to Intel Dump’s Phil Carter, who graduated from UCLA law school today. Now, he just has to pass the California bar exam. (I understand no smoking is allowed.) And change his site bio.

Too Much Democracy II

Cris, commenting on this morning’s post, provides a link to the full text of Zell Miller’s Senate floor speech calling for a repeal of the 17th Amendment. I still don’t buy the argument but the speech is worth reading, and not only for the entertainment value of lines such as this: The U.S. Senate has […]

Are the Olympics Worth the Trouble?

In the current Newsweek, Mark Starr attempts to answer the title question, “Are the Olympics Worth the Trouble?” The trouble he refers to is the spectre of a major terrorist attack and the incredibly expensive security measures aimed at the prevention of that nightmare. That notion inevitably raises the question: at what price might the […]

Terrorism Survey

Rob Tagorda finds it hard to get excited by the State Department’s Patterns of Global Terrorism 2003 even though it shows “the lowest annual total of international terrorist attacks since 1969.” Why? Because the report uses an outdated methodology: Whereas our enemy is flexible, we struggle to keep up with a rapidly changing world, and […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The linkfest: Steven Taylor has some breaking news from Vietnam that will rock this election. McQ has some questions about the al Qaeda-Iraq connection. Dan Drezner wants to know what the hell’s going on in Thailand. [Beats me. -ed.] Kate is powerless. Steve Verdon thanks Al Gore is full of it–and has the charts to […]


Kevin Drum has unearthed another scandal from the late 1960s that will surely shake this campaign to its foundations. Citing a blog named Slacktivist, who read on Cursor that a blogger at Bad Attitude read in the NYT Review of Books that Karen Hughes had this in a book she wrote from memory: “‘President Putin […]

Chicken Hawks II

I was going to ignore the idiotic rantings of Frank Lautenberg on the Senate floor yesterday, since they essentially refute themselves. Plus, I’ve discussed the issue before (here and here and, less directly, here). Matt Yglesias has an attempt at a more nuanced version of this issue, though, creating a chicken hawk taxonomy: First you’ve […]

Liberty, Security, and War

Andrew Sullivan makes an obvious point that’s nonetheless widely missed: The security of a police state is not true security. The centrifugal forces that Saddam was slowly failing to control were bound to have a period when they spun out of control. Certainly true. Just a look at the post-Cold War era illustrates this: Various […]

Instant Friedman

Timothy McSweeney has a Mad Libs style Create Your Own Tom Friedman Op-Ed Column. Via Jesse Walker, where commenter Eric references this old TAP parody.

Highway Death Math

Reuters has a breathless story entitled “Highway Deaths Hit 13-Year High in 2003.” It’s a rather poorly written series of one-sentence paragraphs with its lede buried several “paragraphs” in: The number of U.S. traffic deaths rose nearly 1 percent in 2003 and reached a 13-year high at 43,220, the government reported on Wednesday. It was […]

Kinsley to Head LAT Editorial Page

Kinsley Named to Head ‘L.A. Times’ Opinion and Editorial Section In a surprise move, the Los Angeles Times announced this afternoon that Michael Kinsley, founding editor of online magazine Slate, has been named editorial and opinion editor. Janet Clayton, who has served as editor of the editorial pages since 1995, has been named assistant managing […]

Backbone of the Navy

James Dunnigan has an interesting story about how letting the chiefs do their jobs rather than micro-managing them makes a ship run better. Imagine that.

Too Much Democracy?

Zell Miller has come out of left field with a call for returning to our roots: Miller, who is retiring in January, was first appointed to his post in 2000 after the death of Paul Coverdell. He said Wednesday that rescinding the 17th Amendment, which declared that senators should be elected, would increase the power […]

Insurgency Well Planned and Working

NYT: Hussein’s Agents Are Behind Attacks in Iraq, Pentagon Finds [RSS] A Pentagon intelligence report has concluded that many bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq, and the more sophisticated of the guerrilla attacks in Falluja, are organized and often carried out by members of Saddam Hussein’s secret service, who planned for the insurgency […]

You Might Just be a Canuck

Kate McMillan has a surefire sign you’re from Saskatchewan.

Rodent Excreta Pellets

Julian Sanchez found himself “mildly grossed out” to learn that several D.C. area restaurants he’d frequented had been shut down for various health violations, many involving rodents. Despite his general libertarian predisposition, he’s not opposed to regulation in this case for a variety of reasons he sets forth. Matthew Yglesias, who’s not all that libertarian […]


WaPo has an interesting chat session with Kris Kristofferson. While I don’t agree much with his politics, he’s a brilliant individual and one of the more talented people around. The great irony is that he’s famous mainly as a singer, which is the thing he does least well. And how’s this for a resume: Best […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The linkfest: Will Baude weighs the pros and cons of imaginary girlfriends. Kathy Kinsley has designed her own version of the Iraqi flag. Cam Edwards believes Kerry got overcharged for his haircut. Glenn Reynolds is getting stiffed by his hate mailers. notGeorge (also notTiger) ponders his navel. Terry Oglesby examines whether chicken soup really killed […]

Frank Advice

Frank J has some excellent suggestions for John Kerry. * Stop Talking: You seem to put your foot in your mouth trying to explain your odd positions, so don’t talk at all. Be this mysterious, gruff looking individual of few words. Respond to most questions with a grunt or a “whatever”. This moves you from […]

Spiced Ketchup

Writing in Newsweek, Melinda Henneberger thinks Kerry has a Secret Weapon: His wife Teresa (Tuh-RAY-suh). Just before Democratic presidential contender John Kerry takes the stage at a recent fund-raiser in New York, his wife folds her arms around him and, as they canoodle for just a second, whispers some quick instructions about what he should […]

Doing a Torricelli

The latest meme spreading across the blogsophere, and now the mass media as well, is the idea that John Kerry will get replaced at the convention. James Ridgeway of The Village Voice prays for this: With the air gushing out of John Kerry’s balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders […]

Gipper U

WaPo: Supporters Push Ronald Reagan University On the silver screen, he was a college football hero and a cheerleader. He played cadets at two different military academies. He appeared as a zoology professor in the Hollywood classic “Bedtime for Bonzo.” But now America’s only movie-star-turned-president may have another dramatic role in higher education: as the […]

Taking No Chances

Smart kid: When [Atlanta Braves pitcher Horacio] Ramirez struck out [Giants slugger Barry] Bonds swinging at a full-count change-up, he joined Odalis Perez as the only pitchers to get the slugger swinging at strike three this season. “It was fun,” Ramirez said. “Everybody was kind of shocked. It was great to strike him out. That’s […]

9/11 Convention

Dick Morris makes a rather startling argument in his Hill op-ed, “Sept. 11 will act like a third convention for Republicans.” This year, the Democratic convention in early August and the GOP answer at the end of the month may cancel one another out or leave one party or the other holding a key edge […]

Snipers and Sharpshooters

James Dunnigan has an interesting piece entitled, “Snipers and Sharpshooters Rule the Battlefield.” In Iraq, the The U.S. Army and Marines both found that more frequent and aggressive use of snipers made for more successful combat operations. Each army brigade now has about three dozen trained snipers, and most brigades have encouraged the selection and […]

‘Nightline’ To Read Off Iraq War Dead

NYT: ‘Nightline’ to Read Off Iraq War Dead [RSS] In a conscious echo of a famous, Vietnam War-era issue of Life magazine, the ABC News program “Nightline” will broadcast Friday night the names and faces of every soldier killed by hostile fire since the start of the war in Iraq. Ted Koppel, the program’s anchor, […]

Military Protective Gear

Two related stories this morning show the rapid innovation in technologies to protect our soldiers from injuries common on the modern battlefield and the difficulty in fielding that technology rapidly enough. WaPo: More Armor Urged for U.S. Forces in Iraq As insurgents continue to use improvised bombs to attack U.S. military vehicles in Iraq, officials […]

Sovereignty Lite

The shape of the transitional government in Iraq is finally starting to emerge. Fortunately, it is actually beginning to look like there is an actual plan rather than merely a set of platitudes. NYT: U.N. Envoy Seeks New Iraq Council by Close of May [RSS] In his first extensive public comments since outlining his plans […]

Pseduo Security

Via InstaPundit, I came across this week-old Phil Libin post apropos of the discussion with Spoons on anti-hijacking security measures. Phil’s analysis is much broader and more thorough: Only two changes were necessary to virtually guarantee that a hijacking intended to crash a passenger plane into a building could never happen again. One of them […]

One Line Campaign

Jack O’Toole contends that John Kerry isn’t getting much traction (this, despite being essentially even with a wartime president months before the party primaries) is because he hasn’t come up with a bumper sticker reason for firing President Bush: How much longer can we get away with offering essentially disconnected criticisms of Mr. Bush and […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

The linkfest: Megan McArdle has sort of been promoted. I sort of congratulate her. King of Fools demonstrates that the war is saving a lot more Iraqis than it’s killing. Virginia Postrel notes the variable definitions of “walking distance.” Max Jacobs wonders about diversity education that’s neither. Gregg Easterbrook has given up the blog. Steven […]

Fallajuh and Damascus

It appears our patience has worn out in Fallajuh: U.S. aircraft hammers Fallujah after dark; fighting near Najaf kills scores (Boston Herald/AP) Multiple explosions shook Fallujah after dark Tuesday, and large plumes of smoke billowed into the sky as fighting erupted for the second straight night. An American AC-130 gunship hammered targets in the city. […]

Officials Defend Attack on Iraqi Minaret

American Forces Press Service: Coalition Officials Defend Attack on Iraqi Minaret “We very reluctantly go after holy sites, but when those holy sites are used to store and fire weapons, we must take action if our Marines are pinned down,” Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Combined Joint Task Force 7, told […]

Saddam’s WMD Have Been Found

So argues Insight‘s Kenneth Timmerman. The Iraq Survey Group (ISG), whose intelligence analysts are managed by Charles Duelfer, a former State Department official and deputy chief of the U.N.-led arms-inspection teams, has found “hundreds of cases of activities that were prohibited” under U.N. Security Council resolutions, a senior administration official tells Insight. “There is a […]

Drudge Headlines

Matt Drudge appears to have found an even larger font for his headlines. I’m not sure I’d have debuted it on “$1000 HAIRCUT? KERRY FLIES IN HAIRDRESSER FOR TOUCH-UP BEFORE ‘MEET THE PRESS’,” though.

WTO and the USA

Via Jacob Sullum, I see the Europeans aren’t the only ones whose agricultural policies are being dictated by the WTO: Brazil has won a preliminary ruling from the World Trade Organization in support of its complaint that U.S. cotton subsidies violate America’s free trade commitments. Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, told The […]

Too Soft?

Ralph Peters is annoyed: OUR troops in Iraq are fighting a 21st-century war. And they’re winning on the battlefield. But they’re being defeated by diplomats seeking a 20th-century peace. Paul Bremer, Washington’s scoutmaster in Baghdad, is a solid, hardworking 20th-century bureaucrat. But the future of Iraq – and the entire Middle East – demands a […]

Sky Marshal Capitulation?

Spoons argues that the administration’s giving in to the Europeans on the issue of armed sky marshals on incoming transcontinental flights makes him an appeaser of Kerryesque proportions. I disagree. See his comments section for the ensuing discussion.

Caption Contest

After much delay, the OTB Caption ContestTM has returned: Yahoo! Entertainment PhotosWrite your caption in the comments below. Winners will be announced after noon Monday. Perhaps considerably after.

EU to End GM Ban

Reuters: EU Paves Way to End Five-Year Ban on New GM Foods The European Union is expected to end soon a five-year ban on approvals of new genetically modified (GM) foods, paving the way for a biotech maize product to hit Europe’s supermarket shelves. The EU’s trade partners, including the United States, have pressured the […]

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