Grad School in the Humanities: Pros and Cons

Brian Weatherson, who has his Ph.D from Australia’s Monash University and is tenured at Cornell [CV in PDF], argues that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, going to graduate school in the humanities is a grand idea. His argument, though, is couched with a lot of caveats. The important point here is that no one ever […]

Why Isn’t Bush Trumpeting the Economic Boom?

Larry Kudlow asks an interesting question: Will someone please explain why the Bush White House and the Republican Congress are not trumpeting this economic boom on a daily basis? Their polls are sagging, but the economy is soaring. This simply shouldn’t be. If former President Clinton had overseen this economy, he’d have held daily Rose […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

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Partial Face Transplant Done in France

Sadly, Jacques Chirac was not involved. Partial Face Transplant Done in France (AP) Doctors have performed the world’s first partial face transplant, grafting a nose, lips and chin onto a 38-year-old woman disfigured by a dog bite, hospital officials said Wednesday. The surgery was performed Sunday, said a statement from medics at hospitals in Lyon […]

Al Qaeda has Lost the Middle East

So proclaims Dan Drezner. He cites an unsigned Economist article from last week that bears the subtitle, “As al-Qaeda scores own-goals in its backyard, many Arabs, including some Iraqis, are beginning to rethink their position on violence in the name of resistance.” The piece gives some evidence to buttress the view that, as many of […]

The Monty Hall Problem: Still Hanging Around

I can’t believe that this problem is still hanging around. The latest version is over at Dean’s World and reading the comments is…well painful. So, here is a formal proof that switching is always better than sticking. First, there are three doors, Door 1, Door 2, and Door 3. Now for some notation: Ci: Denotes […]

Why Didn’t Bush Say that to Begin With?

One constant meme that resurfaces whenever President Bush makes a speech justifying the war in Iraq is “Why didn’t he say that X years/months ago?!” Doug at Below The Beltway is among those with that reaction to today’s speech: [W]hy weren’t we hearing this in January and February of 2003 ? To a large extent, […]

What Democrats Can Learn from Canadian Conservatives

Kenneth Baer, a former speechwriter for Al Gore, thinks his party can learn a lot from the current political flap in Canada. While I disagree with much of his analysis, he’s right on the main point: The lesson for Democrats is that while scandal may tarnish the opposition, anger and revulsion is not enough to […]

California Says No To Coal Power

The California Energy Commission has decided that due to the state’s desire to curb green house gases that the state’s investor owned utilities (IOUs) will not import any electricity generated by coal from out of state sources. This decision was adopted with California’s Integrated Energy Policy for 2005. While the actual policy has yet to […]

Barry Bonds to Play for U.S. National Team

Barry Bonds, who missed most of last season with a degenerative knee condition, has agreed to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March. Bonds to play for U.S. in Baseball Classic (ESPN) Barry Bonds plans to play for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic in March. he San Francisco […]

President Bush’s Speech on the New Iraq Strategy

President Bush addressed the midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy this morning to discuss his strategy for winning the war in Iraq. Bush Unveils New Iraq Strategy (WaPo) President Bush, facing increasing impatience with the war in Iraq, went on the offensive today, releasing a detailed strategy plan and then delivering a major speech in […]

Rumsfeld Bans Word “Insurgents”

Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld has banned the use of the word “insurgents” to describe those murdering civilians in Iraq. Rumsfeld Hasn’t Hit a Dead End in Forging Terms for Foe in Iraq (LAT) The Pentagon’s long struggle over how to describe the war in Iraq moved to new ground Tuesday as Defense Secretary Donald H. […]

The Truth about White Phosphorous

John Pike argues that the Administration blundered badly in not getting out in front of the story on the use of white phosphorous in Falluja. The truth about WP (LAT) Despite efforts to improve its image abroad, the United States has just suffered a damaging global propaganda defeat. And unfortunately, some of the wounds were […]

Colorado Woman Fights Against ID Checks

Deborah Davis is fighting charges stemming from her refusal to be searched while taking a bus passing through a Lakewood, Colorado Federal Center. Refusal to Present ID Sparks Test of Rights (Rocky Mountain News) Federal prosecutors are reviewing whether to pursue charges against an Arvada [Colorado] woman who refused to show identification to federal police […]

TSA to Allow Sharp Objects on Airplanes

The Transportation Security Administration is expected to announce a lifting on the ban of such objects as scissors and cigarette lighters from airplanes, allowing its screeners to focus on explosives and other more dangerous items. TSA Would Allow Sharp Objects on Airliners (WaPo, A1) A new plan by the Transportation Security Administration would allow airline […]

Virginia Governor Mark Warner Grants Clemency to Prevent 1000th Execution

Governor Mark Warner today granted clemency to convicted murderer Robin Lovitt, thus avoiding having him be the 1000th felon executed since the death penalty’s restoration in 1976. Va. Gov. Grants Clemency for Condemned Man (AP) Virginia’s governor on Tuesday spared the life of a convicted killer who would have been the 1,000th person executed in […]

The Eye of the Beholder

World’s Ugliest Dog Dies at 14 AP SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Sam, the tiny dog whose hairless body and crooked teeth earned him a reputation as the World’s Ugliest Dog, has died. […] Sam won the ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this summer for the third year in a row. I missed this […]

Iraq Versus Afghanistan

Christopher Hitchens sums up the war effort nicely: The situation is bad and possibly deteriorating. In spite of open elections with wide participation, and in spite of the promulgation of a federal-type constitution that controversially privileges Islam, attacks are on the increase and the number of American soldiers already killed in 2005 is almost double […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

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Cowboys Linebacker Dat Nguyen on IR, May Retire

Dat Nguyen, an All-Pro linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and the first Vietnamese player in NFL history, is out for the rest of the season after an accumulation of injuries. His head coach, Bill Parcells, thinks Nguyen may well retire. Nguyen’s season is over; Cowboys brace for his retirement (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) Undersized at 5-foot-11, […]

Video Shows Activists Kidnapped in Iraq

A terrorist group calling itself The Swords of Righteousness Brigade has released a video of four Western peace activists taken hostage in Iraq. Video Shows Activists Kidnapped in Iraq (AP) Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with a previously unknown group claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. The […]

The Perils of Blogging on Free Sites

As if you needed another reason to leave Blogspot, here’s one for you: They can delete your site without notice and won’t even respond to your inquires. Like most bloggers, I started out on Blogspot with a site at on January 31, 2003. I quickly outgrew the limitations of the service and moved to […]

BlackBerry Could be Killed by Patent Troll

The seemingly ubiquitous BlackBerry devices may soon be out of commission because of a lawsuit for a dead patent troll. Blackberry held hostage (FORTUNE) What would Osama bin Laden give to be able to knock out every BlackBerry in America and achieve an instant, sweeping disruption of commerce? The good news is he can’t do […]

Arlen Specter Says Terrell Owens Treated Unfairly

Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, held a news conference decrying the Philadelphia Eagles’ “vindictive and inappropriate” treatment of Terrell Owens and hinted that he might launch an investigation. Senator says Terrell Owens treated unfairly (AP) Sen. Arlen Specter has accused the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell […]

Iraqi Military More Proficient But Problems Remain

There is mixed news coming out of Iraq on the status of the security forces. Robert Burns reports that there has been a quiet increase in the number of Iraqi battalions at the forefront of the fight against insurgents. At the same time, there are several disturbing reports about fractures within the force and, especially, […]

New Firefox Version Out Today

Mozilla is making a new version of its Firefox browser available for download today. Overhaul for Firefox web browser (BBC) The people behind Firefox are planning a big marketing push for the latest version of the open source web browser. Firefox 1.5 is due to be available for download on 29 November, marking the end […]

Scandals Heighten Public Concerns about Corruption

Jeff Birnbaum has a front page op-ed in today’s Washington Post about the evils of money in politics. A Growing Wariness About Money in Politics For several years now, corporations and other wealthy interests have made ever-larger campaign contributions, gifts and sponsored trips part of the culture of Capitol Hill. But now, with fresh guilty […]

NFL: Refs Wrong on Two Giants TD Catches

The NFL has admitted that, upon further review, its officials gave the New York Giants credit for two touchdown catches in Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. NFL: Officials got it wrong on two Giants TD catches (AP) The Seahawks received rare word from the NFL that referee Larry Nemmers erred Sunday on the New […]

Islamist Terrorists Bomb Bangladesh Cities, Killing Nine

Islamist terrorists in Bangladesh set off suicide mobs in two cities, trying to disrupt trials of hundreds of their comrades. Bombs in two Bangladesh cities kill nine (Reuters) Nine people were killed and 65 wounded by suspected suicide bombings in two Bangladesh cities on Tuesday, apparently the latest in a wave of attacks by militants […]

Canada’s Liberal Government Falls

The Liberal government of Paul Martin has lost a historic vote of non-confidence, brought by Opposition leader Stephen Harper, 171 – 133. Media reports indicate the election will be held Jan 23, 2006. Conservative MP Monte Solberg live blogged via blackberry, from the floor of the House of Commons.

Duke Cunningham, Traitor

Ok, I’m a bit prone to hyperbole, so check me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think traitor is too strong a word. Congressman Admits Taking Bribes (AP) SAN DIEGO — Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, an eight-term congressman and hotshot Vietnam War fighter jock, pleaded guilty to graft and tearfully resigned Monday, admitting he took […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Bushurkey Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Shopping Online at Work

ABC News is looking for a few good idiots: Are You Shopping Online at Work? Share Your Story ABC News is looking to talk to and possibly even interview people who are back at work and taking a little time out to do some online holiday browsing and shopping. Are you shopping from work today? […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

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Is the Internet Destroying our Minds?

Jeanne d’Arc thinks so: [T]he more I read online, the less I read off. I don’t think it’s even a matter of using up my reading time. It actually destroys brain cells or something, because if I’ve been doing too much online reading, I lose the patience for following a sustained or subtle argument, or […]

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols Voted into Rock Hall of Fame

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, and the Sex Pistols highlight this year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sabbath Enter Rock Hall (Rolling Stone) After years of eligibility, Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols and Lynyrd Skynyrd will finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. […] A major force in […]

Lions Fire Coach Steve Mariucci

The Detroit Lions have fired Steve Mariucci and some of his staff, after the team dropped to 4-7 on the season and 15-28 overall during his tenure. Mariucci out as Lions’ coach (ESPN) The disappointing Detroit Lions fired coach Steve Mariucci and some of his assistants on Monday. After Detroit lost 27-7 to the Atlanta […]

Supreme Court Falling Apart

Well, the building at least. Marble chunk falls from Supreme Court facade (AP) A basketball-sized piece of marble molding fell from the facade over the entrance to the Supreme Court Monday, landing on the steps near visitors waiting to enter the building. No one was injured when the stone fell. The marble was part of […]

50 Cent: President Bush Is A Gangster

Rapper-actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson thinks President Bush is a gangster. And he means it to be complimentary. 50 Cent: President Bush Is A Gangster In a bizarre outburst, 50 Cent has heaped praise on President Bush saying he wants to meet him. The views contradict those of the likes of Kanye West who accused […]

Myth of the Underprivileged Soldier

Tim Kane and James Jay Carafano have a USA Today piece “Debunking the myth of the underprivileged soldier.” They argue that, contrary to the rantings of New York Times columnist Bob Herbert and New York congressman Charlie Rangel, the typical American volunteer soldier is not a sad sack forced to endure the risks of combat […]

EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons

The European Union’s Justice Commissioner warned today that EU countries who operated secret CIA prisons could be stripped of their voting rights. EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons (AP) EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini warned Monday any EU nation found to have operated secret CIA prisons could have their EU voting […]

Congressmen Ike Skelton and Tim Murphy Hurt in Iraq Vehicle Flip

Congressmen Ike Skelton and Tim Murphy were injured when their vehicle overturned on their way to the Baghdad airport after visiting American troops for Thanksgiving. A third Member, Jim Marshall, was also in the vehicle but was unhurt. Two Congressmen Hurt in Iraq Vehicle Flip (AP) A military vehicle carrying three congressmen overturned on the […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

No Child Left Behind: A Failure?

Well that is what Anderson (frequent OTB commenter) is saying, as well as Mark Kleiman. Here is the bottom line, each state has to attain 100% proficiency in reading in math by 2014, but each state can select its own standard. So naturally states are responding by dumbing down the standards. After Tennessee tested its […]

Canadian Dep’t Of Finance Complicit In Insider Trading?

On the eve of the likely fall of Paul Martin’s minority Liberals, a move by Finance Minister Ralph Goodale to calm angry income trust investors looks to have enabled insider trading; Financial Post; How else are we to explain the sharp jump in the price of income trusts over the past few days, a rise […]

Michael Irvin Arrested on Drug Charges

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, a Hall of Fame candidate, was arrested earlier today for possession of drug paraphernalia. Former Cowboys receiver Irvin arrested (AP) Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after police searched his vehicle during a traffic stop, Plano police said Sunday. Irvin, […]

Prof. Who Advocated Fragging U.S. Military Officers Resigns

Prof. John Daly has resigned from his position at Warren County Community College. Prof. Daly sent an e-mail to a student that advocated military personnel murdering their officers in the name of freedom. In addition, Daly said that “Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors.” Well, I say […]

Economics 101 and Immigration

I’ve never understood the economic arguments made by opponents to immigration. Or I should say, I understand them I just find them blindingly stupid. Case in point, this post by Kevin Drum. Kevin writes the following, Now that’s an odd thing, isn’t it? Immigration foes like Gilchrist insist that if we only cut down on […]

Powerball Winner Found Dead in Her Geodesic Dome

Virginia Metcalf Merida, who won $65.5 million in a Powerball lottery, was found dead in her geodesic dome. Powerball Winner Found Dead in Her Geodesic Dome (AP) A woman who won a $65.4 million Powerball jackpot with her husband five years ago was found dead at her home overlooking the Ohio River, where she had […]

Catholics Flock to Crying Virgin Mary Statue

People are flocking to Sacramento’s Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church to see a stain on a statue of the Virgin Mary. Believers Flock to ‘Crying’ Virgin Mary (AP) Carrying rosary beads and cameras, the faithful have been coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento for a glimpse of what some […]

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