Administration Rebukes Putin

The Bush administration has called Putin out for his continuing slide into authoritarianism: A top Russia expert at the State Department issued an unusually sharp public criticism on Thursday of Moscow’s behavior under President Vladimir V. Putin, describing the Kremlin as bullying its neighbors while silencing political opponents and suppressing individual rights at home. That […]

RNC Fires Phone Solicitors

A rather bizarre story has captured the attention of the blogosphere. The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors’ rebellion over President Bush’s immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, Ralph Z. Hallow will report Friday in The Washington Times. Faced with an estimated 40 percent fall-off in small-donor contributions and […]

Economy Nearly Stalls in 1st Quarter

Economic growth nearly ground to a halt in the first quarter according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP grew at a very anemic 0.6% annual rate for the first quarter of 2007. The down turn is due to an upturn in imports and downturns in exports, government spending personal consumption expenditures […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Pimp My Grill Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Nessie Caught on Tape

There is new video footage of the Loch Ness Monster, said to be among the finest footage caught to date. From CNN: EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Like tartan, bagpipes, and shortbread Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster is as much an emblem as a tourist draw. And now Nessie’s back. An amateur scientist has captured what Loch […]

Turkish Showdown Over Electoral Change

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Last week I noted that Turkey’s president had vetoed a proposal to make the presidency in Turkey an elected office. Now, according to the BBC, the legislature has thrown down the gauntlet: Turkish MPs force reform showdown Turkish MPs have defied a presidential veto by approving for a second time controversial reforms […]

A New Addiction

I’m three years behind everyone else on the planet in this, but it finally caught me: I am addicted to Lost. I’m very spoiler averse when I watch a show (which has made listening to the commentary on the S1 and S2 DVDs a trial since they frequently give away future events), so I’ve done […]

Point to Ponder

Andrew Sullivan: If the economy tanks this year, it could be a perfect storm for the Democrats. If Bush is at 28 percent after years of growth, can you imagine where he’d be in a recession? It certainly would test the theoretical lower limit for presidential polls…

More on the USAs and the Voter Fraud Question

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the LAT, Minnesota case fits pattern in U.S. attorneys flap: A hint at why Heffelfinger’s name was on termination lists that Justice Department officials and Bush political strategists put together emerged when Monica M. Goodling, the department’s former White House liaison, testified last week before the House Judiciary Committee about the […]

Caption Contest

Time for Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Color China Photo) Winners will be announced Monday PM

More Movement on the Primary Calendar

Via the AP: Alaska, Georgia move up primary contests Georgia and Alaska joined the growing list of states pushing up their presidential primary voting to Feb. 5, a date clearly shaping up as a national primary day for Republicans and Democrats. In Alaska, caucuses will be held Feb. 5, 2008. And the concentration continues…


Cross-posted from PoliBlog: While there are very important and legitimate issues that need debating and resolution in the immigration arena, one of the major problems that has stymied such debate is the clear presence of xenophobia (meaning the irrational fear of foreign persons or foreign things in general) that infuses the discussion. A case in […]

Breaking News: Kobe Wants to be Traded

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Deportes: Kobe Bryant just told Steven A. Smith live on the radio that he wants to be traded from the LA Lakers.

Turkey-Iraq Border Tension

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the BBC: Turkey-Iraq border tension grows Tension is rising on Turkey’s border with Iraq amid speculation Ankara may be about to launch an incursion to tackle Kurdish rebels. Turkey is continuing a military build up and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to rule out action. Turkey blames rebels of […]

Chávez Attacks Globovision in National Address

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the BBC: Venezuela head in new TV warning In a national address shown by all TV stations, Mr Chavez defended his decision to close RCTV as a public service, denouncing the 53-year-old station – Venezuela’s most popular – as a “permanent attack on public morals”. He also called news network Globovision […]

More on the Obama Health Care Plan

I’ve put additional thoughts on the Obama healthcare plan here. BTW, don’t blame me for referring to it as a “health care plan” rather than a “health insurance plan”. That’s how the Obama campaign is describing it, so who am I to question?

Zoellick To Head World Bank

Following up on Steven Taylor’s post from this morning, the International Herald Tribune and others are reporting that former U.S. trade negotiator and deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick will replace Paul Wolfowitz as the president of the World Bank. Zoellick appears to be highly qualified for the position, and his apparent support from the […]

Price Gouging and Posturing Politicians

Ronald Bailey has a good article over at Reason that looks at the recent posturing by politicians to try and benefit from the dissatisfaction over the increase in gasoline prices. Gasoline prices rose to historic highs this week and Americans are feeling all of that pain at the pump. Trilby Lundberg, the head of the […]

Michael Vick: Dogman?

Well, it seems that Michael Vick the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons is also what is called a “dogman”. A dogman is somebody who likes to fight dogs. Dog fights are brutal affairs. The dogs are fought until one of the dog scratches (refuses to fight) or one of the dogs is dead. The injuries […]

More TV Politics in Venezuela

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the BBC: Second Venezuela TV is under fire Venezuela’s government has accused a TV station of inciting a murder attempt on President Hugo Chavez, hours after taking another network off the air. It said footage shown on Globovision implicitly called for Mr Chavez to be killed. The station denies the claim. […]

Chavez Completes His Journey to the Dark Side

Well it seems that Hugo Chavez has decided to show his true colors: A dictator and thug. CARACAS (AFP) – President Hugo Chavez’s clampdown on opposition television stations widened Monday as police used rubber bullets and tear gas on demonstrators protesting what they called an attack on free speech. […] On Monday several people were […]

Frist Bows out of World Bank President Pool

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the AP: Frist withdraws name from World Bank Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has withdrawn his name from consideration for World Bank president, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. A good move on Frist’s part and one wonders how seriously he was being considered […]

Sheehan Ends Protest

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the BBC: US anti-war mother ends protest Cindy Sheehan, the bereaved mother who became a figurehead for the US anti-war movement, is abandoning her fight after growing disenchanted with the campaign. She has camped outside President Bush’s ranch since 2005, demanding a meeting over the death of her son in Iraq. […]

Bidding War on Healthcare Reform?

Illinois Senator Barack Obama has announced his plan to make healthcare more available to all Americans: IOWA CITY, Iowa – Seeking to add heft to his presidential bid, Democrat Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) is offering a sweeping plan that would provide every citizen a means to have health coverage and calls on government, […]

Playing Games With Politicians’ Names

New Orleans Times-Picayune writer Bill Walsh notes that Barack Obama isn’t the only politician whose legal name has been used as a coded slur: another notable case is Louisiana GOP congressman and gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal, whose given name “Piyush” is regularly used by Louisiana Democrats, presumably to emphasize his “foreignness.” Democrats say it’s a […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Thinly Veiled Patriotism Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

It’s the Little Things Can Kill You (Bill Richardson Edition)

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Bill Richardson, arguably one of the more qualified candidates in the Democratic field, has an uphill battle to fight for the Democratic nomination–a fight he is almost certain to lose, as passing up Clinton, Obama, Edwards and any number of other second and third tiers types is improbable, shall we say. He […]

Japan’s Agriculture Minister Commits Suicide

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the AP: Cops: Japanese minister commits suicide Japan’s agriculture minister died Monday after hanging himself just hours before he was to face questioning in a political scandal, officials said, dealing a powerful blow to the increasingly beleaguered government ahead of July elections. Toshikatsu Matsuoka, 62, was found in his apartment Monday […]

Alleged Terrorist Recruiters Arrested in Spain

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the AP: Spain Arrests 15 on Terror Charges Fifteen North Africans were arrested in Spain on Monday on suspicion of recruiting volunteers to fight in Iraq and other countries. Spain’s Interior Ministry said computer material, jihad propaganda and several cell phones were seized during at least five pre-dawn raids throughout Spain. […]

Memorial Day, 2007

As you must surely know, today is Memorial Day, a day for reflecting on the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform who have given their lives in the service of their country. It began as Decoration Day, a day for decorating the graves of those who had died in the American Civil War. […]

Caption Contest

Time for Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/James A. Finley) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

More on Venezuela TV Situation

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Here is an interesting bit of video from Gallup World Poll on the RCTV situation in Venezuela: Additionally: El Universal reports the following regarding Human Rights Watch’s response to the move by Chávez: The Venezuelan government decision not to renew a broadcast license for private TV channel Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV) endangers […]

Best of OTB – May 27, 2003

RUMMY’S PLAN FOR IRAQ praises an op-ed by the former SECDEF outlining the way ahead in Iraq. Obviously, the plan didn’t work. Interestingly, though, reading it reminds me that, contrary to current wisdom, Rumsfeld not only didn’t promise fast results but he fully understood the basic principles of counter-insurgency. The principles outlined here come right […]

Off to Italy

I’m headed to Tuscany with my wife and another couple for two weeks. I hope to have at least limited Internet connectivity and to check in and post occasionally but I’ll be in extreme vacation mode until June 8th. I’ll scan my email messages when I can but responses will be sporadic. The regular co-authors […]

US Troops Free 42 Iraqis Held by al Qaeda

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the AP: U.S. frees 42 Iraqi captives in raid American forces freed 42 kidnapped Iraqis — some of whom had been hung from ceilings and tortured for months — in a raid Sunday on an al-Qaida hideout north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. […] Some of the men suffered broken […]

Survey of Blogs and Blog Users

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: I have been contacted by a researcher at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville concerning a project aimed at understanding the usage of blogs by blog readers, especially in regards to information on the Iraq war. They would very much appreciate it if you would take the following survey. Thanks.


Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the LAT: Dream defies loss of limbs Struck with a ravaging bacterial infection that destroys limbs, she became a triple amputee at age 8 and soon faced a life of prosthetics, wheelchairs and often-painful rehabilitation. But from that suffering, Lim forged a life of achievement. On Friday, she will graduate from […]

Florida Masochist Blogiversary

Bill Jempty’s The Florida Masochist turns two today. Congrats!

Britain to Repeal Magna Carta

Tony Blair explains in a Sunday Times op-ed why basic liberties Englishmen have considered a birthright since Magna Carta are no longer convenient. As for British nationals who pose a threat to us, we need to be able to monitor them carefully and limit their activities. It is true that the police and security services […]

Debating the War

Andrew J. Bacevich, a Vietnam veteran and international relations scholar who has publicly opposed the Iraq War for years recently lost his son to that war. In addition to the horrible grief that a father has to deal with the death a son, he has been accused of contributing to that outcome because his public […]

Political Consultant Racket

Matthew Yglesias has an interesting piece in Washington Monthly on the subject of Bob Shrum and his new book. This passage is especially interesting: The consultant’s racket, especially on the Democratic side, is a good one to break into. Clients who lose wind up leaving office, losing power and stature. The D.C. power structure, meanwhile, […]

Chávez Shutting Down Opposition TV Station

Cross-posted from PoliBlog: Via the BBC: Venezuela court orders TV seizure: Venezuela’s top court has allowed the government to take control of private TV transmitters as it prepares to replace commercial with state-run TV. Radio Caracas Television, a station critical of the government, is being forced to stop broadcasting on its public frequency. At a […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . and now also Saturday Traffic Jam for those who wish to link. Rodney has the Landlubber in chief. Wizbang is contemplating the feminine cycle. Willisms is penalized for high sticking. Bullwinklette has the energizer bunny beat. Right Pundits has the new ebony and ivory. Cowboy Blob got crabs from […]

McCain-Obama Flak-Flack Flap

A silly exchange between the candidates currently in second place for their respective party nominations, Barack Obama and John McCain, is getting plenty of attention in the blogosphere. McCain said that Obama’s vote against the supplemental war funding bill amounts to “a white flag to al Qaeda.” The Obama camp responded: “This country is united […]

SECDEF Tells Academy Grads to Respect Congress, Press

Defense Secretary Robert Gates had an interesting message for the Navy’s newest crop of ensigns: respect Congress and the press. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates encouraged the U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 2007 yesterday “to remember the importance of two pillars of our freedom under the Constitution: the Congress and the press.” “Both surely try […]

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.

Muqtada al-Sadr Returns From Exile

Muqtada al-Sadr is back in Iraq. Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appeared in public for the first time in months on Friday, delivering a fiery anti-American sermon to thousands of followers and demanding U.S. troops leave Iraq. It was not immediately clear why he chose to return now to his base in the Shiite holy […]

‘God Hates Fags’ Teen Denied Bail

John Bambenek is climbing the charts at Digg with a shocking story about a 16-year-old high school girl thrown into prison and denied bail because she is accused of distributing flyers in her high school that “depicted a male classmate kissing another classmate and had the words ‘God Hates Fags.’” He notes that even accused […]

Jack Kevorkian Paroled

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a/k/a “Dr. Death,” will be released from a Michigan prison next Friday after serving spent eight years for his most recent assisted suicide. ABC News reports that the 79-year-old “suffers from hepatitis C, which he contracted while serving in Vietnam.” He has promised not to kill anyone else. I’m quite leery of […]

Bush Dangerously Dumb?

Steve Benen uses a meandering answer to a question at a press conference to argue that President Bush is, as his post title puts it, “dangerously dumb.” The problem here is confusing verbal skill and intelligence. It’s probably true that most people who are glib and able to think quickly on their feet are bright. […]

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