Military Soft On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Wow, some Military Members are Gay. “60 Minutes” must be scrambling for ratings in its latest “don’t ask, don’t tell” report. A gay soldier says he disclosed his sexuality to his superiors, even offering graphic proof, and was neither discharged nor reprimanded, despite the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuality. What, the military […]

Election Prediction: Clinton Defeats Romney

First, a caveat: like Steve, I wonder if this prediction process is something of a fool’s errand. Political scientists have some pretty good theories for predicting individual and aggregate voting behavior in general elections, particularly for the presidency, but we have nothing that does much with the primary process, as it’s very sui generis and […]

The Overlooked Steroid Scandal

Radley Balko points out that while Congress is busy wasting its time with questions about steroid use in Major League Baseball, there is a much bigger and more dangerous steroid scandal happening: the use of steroids by police officers. Follow the link for the details on several different instances of scandal in various metropolitan police […]

Second Best Debate Moment of the 2008 Season

There’s no question that the best moment in any of the debates so far in the 2008 season is Joe Biden’s quip that that every sentence of Rudy Giuliani’s includes “a noun, a verb, and 9/11.” However, I’d say that this is a very strong contender for the second best moment: That was just pitch […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Jack Frosted Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Clemens, Bonds, Tejada Named in Mitchell Report

The Mitchell Report is out and it names some of the biggest names in baseball as steroids users. Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte were named in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on Thursday, an All-Star roster linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark — if not an asterisk — […]

Romney’s Mormon Hurdle

Mitt Romney’s efforts to have it both ways on his Mormonism continue to spark rather bizarre theological discussions, such as the most recent kerfuffle over LDS teaching that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. Or the rantings of Lawrence O’Donnell that were so over-the-top as to have Eleanor Clift calling them shrill. Regardless, though, Duncan Black […]

War for Oil

This map is getting some play around the blogosphere: Andrew Sullivan linked it under the headline “One Reason We’re Not Leaving Iraq” and comments “Kuwait was worth rescuing, wasn’t it?” Ezra Klein chimes in with, “Helps explain, for one thing, why the Middle East always dominates the foreign policy agenda.” Matt Yglesias figures it works […]

Diversity’s Down Side

It’s human nature to feel more comfortable around people like yourself, a recent academic study finds. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam — famous for “Bowling Alone,” his 2000 book on declining civic engagement — has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less […]

2008 Election Prediction

Like Alex I think trying to predict a presidential election at this point is quite difficult. What makes it hard to predict the presidential election at this point is the primary process and the problems inherent in any voting scheme. For example, the Iowa Caucus for both parties strike me as violating the concept of […]

Clinton Team: Obama Will Be Attacked on Drug Use

Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire co-chair says that Barack Obama’s past drug use will hurt him if he should win the nomination. Billy Shaheen, the co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in New Hampshire, raised the issue of Sen. Barack Obama’s past admissions of drug use in discussing the relative electability of the Democrats seeking the presidential […]

Iraq War Funding Imminent, Timeline Absent

After months of ranting and raving, congressional Democrats have backed down and approved funding for the war in Iraq without a troop withdrawal provision. Democratic lawmakers and staffers privately say they’re closing in on a broad budget deal that would give President Bush as much as $70 billion in new war funding. The deal would […]

Spying and Policymaking Don’t Mix

Henry Kissinger argues that the much-publicized NIE report on Iran’s nuclear weapons program reaches an over-bold conclusion that does a disservice to the debate. The “Key Judgments” released by the intelligence community last week begin with a dramatic assertion: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” This […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM Korea Times Winners will be announced Monday PM

2008 Election Prediction: McCain vs. Obama

It’s a tough thing to make Presidential election predictions, especially at this point in the game where things are in flux. It’s especially tough when, like me, you have a horrible, horrible record for calling the outcome of primaries and elections. Still, no self-respecting pundit can enter election season without making predictions that he will […]

OTB Radio – Tonight at 7 Eastern

The next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live tonight from 7-8 Eastern. Dave Schuler and Chris Lawrence will be joining me to talk about Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama, National Review‘s endorsement of Mitt Romney, the seeming disappearance of the Iraq War as a campaign issue, and whatever […]

2008 Election Prediction: McCain over Clinton

Predicting the outcome of a messy nominating process weeks before the Iowa Caucuses, much less the presidential election months before the nominees are known, is a fool’s errand. Still, it’s a fun exercise and provides a chance to get away from News of the Day posts. Despite some recent stumbles, I continue to agree with […]

Predicting the Nominees 2008 (Updated)

Over the next couple of days the various associate bloggers here at Outside the Beltway will be weighing in with their best guesses on who the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidency will be in 2008. It looks like I’m first in line. As the physicist Niels Bohr said, prediction is difficult especially about […]

Can Iowa Caucuses be Polled?

John Zogby asks, “Can the Iowa caucuses be polled accurately?” and then more-or-less answers the question. The premise is straightforward enough: The Iowa caucuses require voters to go to a local school, church basement, private home or similar meeting place to spend between 90 minutes and two hours to register their preference. The process is […]

Mitt Romney on Economics and Energy Policy

Mitt Romney, in an interview gave us a look at some of his economic views and on energy in particular. Let me provide the translation for some parts of the interview: I wish we could become energy independent for only $100 billion. I’m going to spend lots of your money. This will mean either higher […]

The Real Health Care Issue

Robert Samuelson puts his finger on the real issue with American health care: rising costs. We need to have a candid debate about health care in 2008, but the odds are against it. The fact that covering the 47 million uninsured already looms as the centerpiece of this debate is a warning sign that it […]

Abolish The CIA?

Although it’s not a new idea, Christopher Hitchens has seemingly united the blogosphere with his suggestion the it’s time to abolish the CIA and start over. His argument, in a nutshell, is that the Agency is simultaneously incompetent and venal. Its turnaround on the Iran weapons program is just the latest instance of it proving […]

If The Election Were Held Today . . .

A new CNN poll shows that Mike Huckabee would “lose to all three leading Democratic candidates by double digits” if he got the Republican nomination and the election were held today (or, actually, a couple of days ago). In head-to-head matchups — the first to include Huckabee — the former Arkansas governor loses to Sen. […]

Iraq Police Fixable After All

The U.S. military has rejected the advice issued three months ago by an independent commission, deciding that the Iraqi national police force is salvageable. U.S. military commanders in Baghdad have concluded that Iraq’s 27,000-member national police force has made progress in weeding out officers involved in sectarian violence and should not be disbanded, countering the […]

Republican Voters Uninspired by Candidates

No candidate has yet caught fire with Republican voters, Adam Nagourney reports. Three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Republicans voters across the country appear uninspired by their field of presidential candidates, with a vast majority saying they have not made a final decision about who to support, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News […]

Change of Direction

14 years ago in Smith v. US, the Supreme Court ruled that a “criminal who trades his firearm for drugs ‘uses’ it ‘during and in relation to . . . [a] drug trafficking crime’ within the meaning of” the federal firearm sentence enhancement statute. Today they ruled that a transaction which goes the other way […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Elephant Gun Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

The Obama Surge

Andrew Sullivan has a reader email post that captures, for me, the reason that Obama has been catching on of late and could very well knock Hillary Clinton aside in the run for the Democratic nomination. A sample: It’s remarkable how little Obama has focused on black voters until now, but that may have been […]

Some Guantanamo Detainees Are Terrorists

Benjamin Wittes has an interesting piece in The New Republic with the curious subtitle “Think the Guantanamo detainees are all innocent? Think again.” He details known facts about the several of them, proclaimed “innocent” by their attorney before the Supreme Court last week, who are certainly terrorists by any reasonable definition. He closes, For the […]

Muslims, Assimilation, and Racism II

Jim Henley takes another crack at explaining why he believes Mark Steyn’s vision of Muslim immigration is essentially racist. The argument is detailed but its essence is this: Steyn reduces “Europeans” and “Muslims” to breeding pairs – “demography is destiny” – and says their different rates of breeding alone mean a future of Sharia law. […]

Wheels Coming Off Clinton Campaign Bandwagon?

The stories about Hillary Clinton’s campaign woes continue to mount. Al Hunt has a piece at Bloomberg entitled “Tension in Hillaryland Grows as Plan Goes Awry.” It details a recent focus group by legendary Democratic pollster Peter Hart which found that most Clinton supporters would much prefer to vote for Obama — and would do […]

Ezra Klein Takes the Boeing

Ezra Klein‘s blog has been assimilated by The American Prospect. Redirect your RSS feeds and blogrolls accordingly.

The Pelosi Ultimatum

Jim Henley: Who among you does not think tonight that if Jason Bourne fought his way at last, bleeding and exhausted, into Nancy Pelosi’s office and slapped the Treadstone folder down on the desk in front of her, that she wouldn’t immediately call the guards and hand the file back to the “proper authorities?” Links […]

Tax and Spent vs. Tax Cut and Spend

Steve Bainbridge thinks that “a high tax Democrat win in 2008 might have positive long-term strategic gains.” Specifically, it would that remind Americans that “Democrats are tax and spenders not tax and savers” and could lead to the sort of backlash that brought Ronald Reagan to power in 1980. There’s one little problem with that […]

Caption Contest

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

Social Security Disability System Broken

The Social Security disability system is ridiculously overburdened, the NYT details. Steadily lengthening delays in the resolution of Social Security disability claims have left hundreds of thousands of people in a kind of purgatory, now waiting as long as three years for a decision. Two-thirds of those who appeal an initial rejection eventually win their […]

Muslims, Assimilation, and Racism

Jim Henley and Mark Steyn, two of my favorite political columnists, have a set-to that, with an assist from Little Green Footballs, has clogged the former’s comment section with a swarm of repetitive and mostly inane comments. The short version: Henley terms the arguments advanced by Steyn about the dangers of unassimilated Muslims into European […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . and now also Saturday Traffic Jam for those who wish to link. Rodney is going hunting with Dick Cheney. Wizbang is ready to cut and run hop. Bullwinklette has a new version of ‘Musical Spikes.’ Wyatt Earp is on the dance floor. Public Pondering has started to track Santa’s […]

Does Romney’s America Include Non-Believers?

David Brooks has a sober and thought-provoking take on Mitt Romney’s “Mormon speech,” simultaneously praising its intricate weaving of philosophy and worrying that his method of arguing for inclusion of Mormons in the political sphere was at the cost of excluding non-believers. When this country was founded, James Madison envisioned a noisy public square with […]

Huckabee Second in AP Poll

Mike Huckabee has surged to the number two spot in the latest AP-Ipsos poll. Mike Huckabee has vaulted from nowhere into second place in the Republican presidential race, riding a burst of support from evangelicals, Southerners and conservatives, a poll showed Friday. The upsurge by the former Arkansas governor has come largely at the expense […]

Tancredo Won’t do Spanish Debate

The Miami Herald features a column by Tom Tancredo explaining why he turned down a Spanish-language debate sponsored by Univision. While it never occurred to me that Tancredo would attend such a debate, let alone to care whether he did, his explanation is interesting: I declined the invitation to participate in the Spanish-language Republican presidential […]

Did Morgan Spurlock Find Osama bin Laden?

Some minor blog buzz over a two-day-old (ancient in Internet terms) MSNBC report that Morgan Spurlock may (or may not) have found Osama bin Laden. Rumors are flying that filmmaker Morgan Spurlock of “Super Size Me” fame may have done what the United States government has failed to do for the last six years — […]

CIA Destroyed Subpoenaed Torture Tapes they Denied Existed While Congress Stood By

The CIA destroyed at least two tapes of its operatives using “severe interrogation techniques” to obtain information from suspected terrorists, Mark Mazetti reports for the NYT. Both the 9/11 Commission and attorneys for Zacarias Moussaoui had specifically requested any such evidence and Agency officials had previously denied, under oath, that any such tapes ever existed. […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Octopuses Garden Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Bill Clinton as First Gentleman?

Former president Bill Clinton appears this evening on “Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007.” ABC has sent out some advance excerpts, some of which are pretty amusing. The biggest news, I suppose, is that he says he’d only sit in cabinet meetings if asked. If his wife wins the 2008 presidential […]

Huckabee: God Wants Me to Be President

God wants Mike Huckabee to be President. Is there any other way to interpret this? STUDENT: Recent polls show you surging… What do you attribute this surge to? HUCKABEE: There’s only one explanation for it, and it’s not a human one. It’s the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five […]

Iraqi Officers Visiting US Go AWOL

A number of Iraqi officers in the United States for training have R-U-N-O-F-T, Sara Carter reports. Numerous Iraqi military and law-enforcement officials brought to the U.S. as part of special intelligence and training programs have run away and are seeking asylum in this country or disappeared altogether, The Washington Times has learned. Intelligence officials who […]

Mortgage Companies to Freeze ‘Teaser’ Rates

The Bush administration has strong-armed mortgage companies into freezing teaser rates on old loans. The Bush administration has come up with a plan to help strapped homeowners facing a daunting jump in their monthly mortgage payments. The proposal, reached in negotiations led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson with the mortgage industry, would freeze introductory “teaser” […]

Romney’s ‘Mormon Speech’

Mitt Romney has now delivered has much anticipated speech defending his Mormon religion. Some key excerpts: When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, […]

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