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Molly Ivins Dies of Cancer at 62

Molly Ivins Dead at 62 Photo

Humorist Molly Ivins has died of cancer. She was 62. Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, the sharp-witted liberal who skewered the political establishment and referred to President Bush as “Shrub,” died Wednesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 62. Ivins died at her home while in hospice care, said David Pasztor, […]

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Promotion Terrorizes Boston

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A marketing ploy for the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” cartoon was mistaken for a terrorist plot and shut down Boston for several hours. Ten blinking electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots in Boston threw a scare into the city Wednesday in what turned out to be a publicity campaign for a late-night cable […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

Create your own linkfest below. To join in, choose a post from your blog to highlight, edit it to add a link to this post, and then send a TrackBack. If your blog doesn’t automatically generate one, use the Send TrackBack feature below. For more information, see this post.

The Obama Plan

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Illinois Senator Barack Obama has introduced a bill that, effectively, prohibits President Bush’s “new strategy” for Iraq, i.e. “the surge”. In its key elements the Obama plan: Stops the escalation by capping the number of U. S. troops in Iraq at the number there as of January 10, 2007. De-escalates the war in Iraq by […]

Biden: Obama Clean, Articulate, Bright African-American

us-politics

UPDATE: 23 AUG 08 – Irony of ironies: Obama Taps Joe Biden for VP – Storybook, Man Joe Biden is set to launch his second run for the presidency today but it will likely be overshadowed by some candid comments made in an interview with Jason Horowitz of the New York Observer. Most noteworthy is […]

Jim Webb’s Falling Polls Numbers

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MyElectionAnalysis points to a SurveyUSA poll showing newly elected Virginia Senator Jim Webb with only 42% approval and 47% disapproval in his home state. Furthermore, his “Approval ratings are below 50% in all geographic areas of the state, 45%-44% approval among independents. This stands in stark contrast to other members of Webb’s freshman class, all […]

Iraqi Police Training Botched?

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Lee Hamilton and Ed Meese have told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the training of Iraq’s police and judges has been mishandled. The U.S. erred by first assigning the task of shaping the judicial system in a largely lawless country to the State Department and private contractors who “did not have the expertise or the […]

New York and Tokyo Stock Exchange Alliance

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The New York Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange have announced an alliance that “is also a first step toward a possible merger or acquisition between the two exchanges when the TSE becomes a public company in 2009.” In the short term, it “allows the two stock markets to cooperate on joint developments such as […]

Iran Training Pro-Iran Factions in Iraq

military-soldier-sunset

There’s some buzz on both sides of the blogosphere over a number of press stories on the Iran-Iraq nexus. In the NYT, James Glanz and Mark Mazetti report that, “Investigators say they believe that attackers who used American-style uniforms and weapons to infiltrate a secure compound and kill five American soldiers in Karbala on Jan. […]

Presidents Inherit Messes and Responsibilities

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Lee Harris takes issue with Hillary Clinton’s recent assertion that it is President Bush’s responsibility to extract us from the messy situation in Iraq before his term ends, so that his successor isn’t left holding the bag. No one is under any obligation to run as a candidate for the Presidency; but those who elect […]

No Talking During Lunch At School

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Why is that some of the most egregious examples of stupidity seem to come from school administrators? Following a spate of choking incidents a school has banned talking during school lunches. A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent […]

No Sympathy for Privilege

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Phil Carter has a thoughtful post on the fact that many top law firms are having difficulty retaining top associates despite paying them as much as $200,000 right out of school. Perhaps not surprisingly, this is met with ressentiment from non-big law firm commenters. There are certain occupations for which outsiders have zero sympathy for […]

Barack Obama and the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

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Ann Althouse notes with some fascination Slate‘s new “The Obama Messiah Watch” feature “which will periodically highlight gratuitously adoring biographical details that appear in newspaper, television, and magazine profiles of this otherworldly presence in our midst.” Althouse makes directly a point I’ve made obliquely a couple of times: “What accounts for amazement to the point […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

Create your own linkfest below. To join in, choose a post from your blog to highlight, edit it to add a link to this post, and then send a TrackBack. If your blog doesn’t automatically generate one, use the Send TrackBack feature below. For more information, see this post.

Hillary Clinton and the Gender Gap

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CQPolitics has a long if inconclusive article examining the possible impact of a Hillary Clinton nomination on the women’s vote in the general election. Specifically, would women–who are already predisposed to vote for Democratic candidates–be more likely to turn out to vote for a woman? And would that so-called Gender Gap increase if there were […]

U.S. Training Tajik Forces in Anti-Terrorism

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U.S. forces are quietly training Tajik special forces in anti-terrorism measures. The United States military is assisting with anti-terrorism training near the capital of Tajikistan, the Tajik national security body said. RIA Novosti, quoting the body, reported American troops were in a joint training course at the Fakhrabad military training center near Dushanbe. The course […]

19 Steps to a Better Drug Policy

Mark Kleiman outlines a “Better drug policy in nineteen easy steps” on his blog and fleshes them out considerably in the cover story of this month’s The National Interest. He promises “something … to offend almost everybody.” His focus on alcohol abuse as part and parcel of the drug problem is spot-on: And alcohol is […]

Supporting the Troops But Not the War

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Bruce McQuain posts an NBC News video of interviews with American soldiers in Iraq to bolster his long-held view that one can’t simultaneously claim to “support the troops” while criticizing the mission they’re fighting and dying to accomplish. Bruce argues its “A bit like saying ‘we want you to look like a soldier, and we […]

Officer’s Death Brings New Attention to Iraq War Problems

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A story on A3 of today’s WaPo by Jonathan Weisman and Ann Scott Tyson demonstrates the old adage that a single death is a tragedy while a million deaths is a statistic. Just before Christmas, an Army captain named Brian Freeman cornered Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) at a Baghdad […]

Rashomon in Najaf

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I still haven’t found an official release on the military action that occurred in Najaf but, if you’re confused about what happened there, you’re not the only one. Iraqi blogger Zeyad of Healing Iraq has collected more than a dozen different descriptions of what happened, ranging from an unprovoked attack on harmless pilgrims by Americans […]

Security Bloggers Meet-Up

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Intel Dump‘s Phil Carter arranged a dinner with several L.A.-area security bloggers, including Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger of Winds of Change, Noah Shachtman of Defense Tech, and Mark Kleiman of Reality-Based Community. Since I was in the neighborhood, I got invited to join them. Kerry Dupont of the seemingly defunct Literal Thoughts had to bow […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Grasp of the Obvious Oblivious Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Plame vs. Wilson

Kevin Drum finds it interesting that Ari Fleischer today testified that Scooter Libby told him, four days before Bob Novak’s story was filed, about Valerie Plame’s role in sending her husband, Joe Wilson, to Niger. Not “Valerie Wilson,” the name she used socially, but “Valerie Plame,” her maiden name and one that she used only […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

It’s just after lunchtime on the West Coast and I’m too far away from L.A. to be worried about their famous traffic, but the Beltway traffic jam that inspired this longrunning linkfest is well under way. Create your own linkfest below. To join in, choose a post from your blog to highlight, edit it to […]

Hillary’s ‘Evil and Bad Men’ Joke

New York Post Hillary Joke Cover

Hillary Clinton is the front-runner to follow John Kerry as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Over the weekend, she displayed a similar penchant for getting into trouble for flubbed jokes. Ian Bishop explains in a cover story for the New York Post: Hillary Rodham Clinton left caucus-goers here yesterday believing that Bubba had given […]

BBC’s ‘Why We Fight’ Propaganda Film

newsman

At the urging of a liberal friend, Dean Esmay watched the BBC Iraq War documentary “Why We Fight.” If not for, “the arrogance behind it, the prejudices, the paint-by-numbers presumptions, and the utter cowardice in refusing to bring on people who utterly refute their point of view” it would have been better.

Militaries Less Successful at Difficult Tasks than Easy Ones

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Shankar Vedantam looks at some recent quantitative studies by political scientists that demonstrates that countries with vastly superior military forces frequently fail to impose their political will. He notes that while advocates and opponents of a given war will cherry pick historical analogies that suit their purposes, scientific studies will use large datasets to give […]

Battle in Najaf

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There has been a major action in Iraq in Najaf: NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) – U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 250 gunmen in a fierce battle involving U.S. tanks and helicopters on the outskirts of the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf on Sunday, a senior Iraqi police officer said. The day-long battle was continuing after nightfall, […]

14 Million

OTB passed this 14 million unique visitor mark as measured by SiteMeter during the 8 o’clock hour Pacific Time. Thanks as always to those who visit, comment, and link.

Congressional Losers

us-politics

Scott Keyes takes a look at the former Members of Congress who lost re-election bids or campaigns for higher office to see what they’re doing now and what plans they may have for a political future.

The Sub-Tribes on Healthcare

I usually leave the econblogging to associate blogger Steve Verdon, but last week Brad DeLong posted something that I thought was worth further discussion. In his post Brad characterizes the views of what he calls the “two sub-tribes” of economists on health care issues in a way that I think is both fair and accurate. […]

Caption Contest

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Time for Monday OTB Caption ContestTM brought to you by Rodney Dill — TIME MAGAZINE Person Of The Year — 2006 (AFP/Pierre-Philippe Marcou) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

OTB West Coast

I’ll be blogging from California this week, so my posting schedule may be off a bit. My wife has to handle some business for her firm’s Hermosa Beach branch the next few days, so we flew out last night. We’re here through Thursday and then head down to San Diego through Saturday for a little […]

67-Year-Old Had In Vitro Fertilization

A 67-year-old who gave birth to twins last month lied to a Los Angeles fertilization clinic. A 67-year-old woman who is believed to be the world’s oldest new mother told a British Sunday newspaper she lied to a U.S. fertility clinic — saying she was 55 — to get treatment. Carmela Bousada said in her […]

Iran’s Nuclear Bomb: Acquiesce or Attack?

Graham Allison has made a career out of his 1973 book studying crisis decision-making during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that his solution to Iran’s getting close to possession of nuclear weapons is to “take a page out of John F. Kennedy’s experience in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.” Some specifics […]

OTB Caption JamTM

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Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . and now also Saturday Traffic Jam for those who wish to link. Rodney is having a thumb war. Wizbang has the sweet science. Willisms is having the hair of the dog that bit him. Bullwinklette is going off half-cockeyed. Right Pundits is talking to the hand. Brainfuel has anti-dreadlock […]

Americans Saving Too Much for Retirement

money-investing

It seems that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, most Americans are saving too much for retirement when they would be far better off investing more in education and home improvement. This is the result of numerous studies by prominent economists, including one that “found 88 percent of retirees age 51 and older had adequate wealth.” […]

Jane Hamsher Back in the Saddle

Jane Hamsher reports that she’s recovering nicely from her surgery and is raring to go cover the Libby trial.

Four Americans Kidnapped, Murdered by English-Speaking Iraqis

military-soldier-sunset

Four American soldiers previous reported as having been killed “repelling” an insurgent attack were actually kidnapped and murdered by English speaking Iraqis wearing U.S. uniforms. In perhaps the boldest and most sophisticated attack in four years of warfare, gunmen speaking English, wearing U.S. military uniforms and carrying American weapons abducted four U.S. soldiers last week […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

Create your own linkfest below. To join in, choose a post from your blog to highlight, edit it to add a link to this post, and then send a TrackBack. If your blog doesn’t automatically generate one, use the Send TrackBack feature below. For more information, see this post.

Algerian Terrorists Rebrand as Al Qaeda

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Algeria’s top terrorist group has rebranded itself as an al Qaeda franchise. Algeria’s main Islamist militant group has changed its name to al Qaeda after getting the approval of Osama bin Laden, according to a statement posted on the Internet on Friday. The move by the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) marked the […]

Republican Candidates Almost Invisible on the Web

us-politics

Via Kevin Drum, I see that Micah Sifry has done some comparative analysis and found that the Republicans mentioned as leading contenders for the 2008 presidential race are “almost invisible on the web.” To give you just one example, if you add up all the friends all the Republican candidates have on their MySpace pages, […]

Kosovo Splitting From Serbia with World Cooperation

travel-suitcase

Kosovo is getting its independence from Serbia to remarkably little fanfare. Nearly eight years after NATO warplanes intervened in a bitter ethnic conflict between Serbs and rebellious Kosovo Albanians in the former Yugoslavia, the United States and its European allies have agreed to support Kosovo’s permanent secession from Serbia under continuing international supervision, according to […]

Condi Rice’s Legacy

Thomas Barnett points to an article in the print edition of The Economist that he terms, “A great examination of how disappointing Rice’s tenure has been, noting that her poor turn at SECSTATE is vastly outweighed by her disastrous turn leading the NSC.” Lexington nails her flaws on the head: she was a lifelong protégé […]

Quadrillage By Any Other Name . . .

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Pat Lang observes that after Vietnam the Army decided to “forget” its hard-learned lessons about fighting insurgencies but “apparently did not succeed in eradicating the possibility of insurgency as a method of warfare.” He sees in the “new” tactics being employed in Baghdad pursuant to the “new” doctrines outlined in the latest COIN manual something […]

How Rudy Giuliani Can Sell Himself to Conservatives

us-politics

YahooNews is running an evergreen piece by AP’s Liz Sidoti examining Rudy Giuliani’s strengths and weaknesses in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. It’s a solid assessment. Before Sept. 11, Giuliani was known as the hard-charging prosecutor-turned-politician who cleaned up Times Square, led the city out of fiscal despair and brought Republican rule back […]

Libby Defense Team Losing Hearts and Minds?

Christy Hardin Smith believes some legal maneuvering by Scooter Libby’s army of lawyers that occurred outside the view of the jury will ultimately undermine Libby’s credibility. Essentially, they are using every trick in the book to introduce the “memory defense” despite months of pre-trial wrangling and rulings from Judge Reggie Walton precluding them doing so […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The American Midol Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Libby Trial Blogging

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OTB’s stint live-blogging the Scooter Libby trial has ended. The reins have been passed to Wizbang‘s Kevin Aylward and Rory O’Connor of Media is a Plural. You can follow their coverage and all the other MBA bloggers here. It was a worthwhile experience but confirmed my suspicions that a reporter’s job is often quite tedious. […]

Beltway Traffic Jam

Create your own linkfest below. To join in, choose a post from your blog to highlight, edit it to add a link to this post, and then send a TrackBack. If your blog doesn’t automatically generate one, use the Send TrackBack feature below. For more information, see this post.

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