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EU Soldiers Accused of Torturing Congolese Civilians

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A group of Swedish soldiers have alleged that they witnessed French soldiers torture Congolese civilians during operations in the area in 2003. Five years ago, the European Union sent some 1,500 soldiers to DR Congo as part of a UN mission to take action against the bandits marauding the north-eastern part of the country. The […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Carl Spackler Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Polls: McCain Ahead in Key Blue States

us-politics

If the election were held today, John McCain would win three states Republicans haven’t won in years, a meaningless Rasmussen poll passed on by CQ shows. Arizona Sen. John McCain is running strongly in three states that have been solidly Democratic in recent presidential elections; a particular surprise is New Jersey where, a month ago, […]

Shifting Sands of Blog

An interesting aside that I noticed when writing my post on the finding of SSG Keith Maupin’s remains: I referenced eight bloggers in a roundup at the end of my June 28, 2004 post announcing Maupin’s murder: Donnie Hall, M.H. King, Robb Allen, Chris Short, StarBanker, Dean Esmay, John Little, and Jeff Quinton. Seven of […]

Britain’s Most Outrageous Parking Tickets

The Daily Mail has compiled a list of Great Britain’s ten most unreasonable parking fines of all time. Here’s a sample: It was a terrifying ordeal for Fred Holt, 77, when he went to the bank and two masked men burst in brandishing an axe and a machete. The robbers held the axe to a […]

Keith Maupin’s Remains Identified

Keith Maupin Al Jazeera Hostage Photo

The body of Staff Sergeant Keith Maupin, the American soldier who was captured and murdered nearly four years ago, has finally been officially identified. Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin’s parents vowed to never let the U.S. Army forget about finding their son. Their efforts included trips to the Pentagon and even meeting with President Bush, but […]

Jefferson ‘Wins’ Supreme Court Case

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Representative William J. Jefferson won his ‘Debate Clause’ case against the FBI but the incriminating evidence against him is still admissible. The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that the F.B.I. went too far in searching the office of Representative William J. Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat accused of using his position […]

Income Per Natural: A Peculiar New Economic Statistic

money-investing

Michael Clemens and Lant Pritchett, researchers at the Center for Global Development, argue that traditional measure of national income distort or understanding of wealth distribution. It is easy to learn the average income of a resident of El Salvador or Albania. But there is no systematic source of information on the average income of a […]

Local Newspapers Covering Local News

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The Carlisle, Pennsylvania Sentinel has announced that they’re going hyper-local and that national/world news will take the back seat.” Starting today: • As with the Sunday paper, the main “A” section will be all local news, with state news toward the back. Obituaries will be in this section, as well as the Opinion page and […]

The Torture of an Innocent Man

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For those of you who didn’t catch 60 Minutes‘s heartbreaking story and interview about Murat Kurnaz’s, a German national who spent five years detained and tortured by the United States, you can read the print story here. The long and short of it is this: At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America’s […]

Fixing America’s Military

Fixing America's Military

Ultimately, “fixing America’s military” will require fixing America.

Lieberman: Democrats Protectionist, Isolationist, Hyperpartisan

us-politics

“Independent Democrat” Joe Lieberman says he hasn’t left the Democratic Party — they’ve left him. Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut, said it is not the same party that made him its vice presidential candidate in 2000. “It’s not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, […]

Defeated Maliki Accepts Cease-Fire

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Six days of Shiite-on-Shiite warfare in Basra appear over after Mahdi militia chief Moktada al-Sadr sued for peace* and the government agreed in a deal brokered by Iran. Whether this gets scored a “win” for Sadr or Prime Minister Maliki will likely vary depending on the predisposition of the evaluator. Based on what we know […]

Caption Contest

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

Obama Not Law Professor, Just Taught at Law School

Obama Not Law Professor, Just Taught at Law School

In what may be the dumbest political attack of the 2008 campaign — and there are many candidates to choose from — Hillary Clinton is claiming that her lies about being under fire in Bosnia are trumped by Barack Obama claiming that he was a “professor” at the University of Chicago when he was really […]

Buyers Trashing Houses After Foreclosure

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A “significant” number of people are willfully destroying their homes before complying with eviction notices as a means of exacting “revenge” on banks for foreclosing on them. This, in turn, has created a black market cottage industry where bankers bribe people with cash payments for leaving peaceably. Megan McArdle doesn’t understand the pointless destruction, observing […]

OTB Caption JamTM

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Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney didn’t follow the yellow brick road. Wizbang has a superdelegate in his pants. Wyatt Earp thought Chikezie should’ve stayed on American Idol. Public Pondering is travelin’ heavy. Cowboy Blob has a story of Mice and Men. The Gone Rick Motel should’ve taken the blue pill. Willisms is guarding […]

Do McCain’s Medals Matter?

us-politics

Jake Tapper, notes the contrast between DNC chair Howard Dean’s statements about John Kerry’s military service in 2004 and McCain’s in 2008. Commenting on John McCain’s new “The American President that Americans Have Been Waiting For” ad yesterday, Dean said, “While we honor McCain’s military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who […]

Basra Tactics, Strategy, and Theory in Conflict

military-soldier-sunset

Ilan Goldenberg notes that, for all the United States has invested in Iraq — and in propping up Maliki — we’ve gotten very little in return in this particular episode. By most educated guesses (although by no means all) Maliki didn’t bother to seek our input before launching this messy internecine fight with the Shiite […]

McCain’s New Ad

us-politics

Here’s the latest John McCain ad, which has the tagline, “The American President Americans Have Been Waiting For.” Roger L. Simon, who knows a little something about film making, pronounces it “quite well done,” which acknowledging “though of course I am not the audience.” I’d agree on both counts but with a strong caveat that […]

Giuliani Eyes New York Governor Bid

Giuliani Eyes New York Governor Bid

Rudy Giuliani is likely to run for the governorship of New York, should there be another sudden vacancy. In the latest twist in New York politics, Rudy Giuliani is eyeing a run for governor in a special election this fall should Gov. Paterson be forced to resign, sources say. A top adviser to the former […]

Wilders Film ‘Fitna’ Incites Muslims

Wilders Film 'Fitna' Incites Muslims Protest Photo

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders has debuted a new film that compares Islam to fascism. No rioting has yet ensued. Iran and Indonesia on Friday condemned a film by a Dutch lawmaker that accuses the Koran of inciting violence, while Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint. Islam critic Geert Wilders launched his movie on Thursday evening. Titled […]

Students Prefer Intensive Courses

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College students prefer short, intensive courses over those taught in the traditional semester-length format and learn just as much, a new study finds. The researchers were able to find 130 recent cases where the same instructor taught the same course in both a traditional 15-week semester and a shorter intensive period of 9 or 11 […]

Iraqi Troops ‘Switch’ Sides, Fight with Madhi Army

Iraqi Troops 'Switch' Sides, Fight with Madhi Army

I noted yesterday morning an NPR report that had some members of the Iraqi national army taking off their uniforms and joining with the Mahdi Army. The Times of London‘s James Hider has more details: Abu Iman barely flinched when the Iraqi Government ordered his unit of special police to move against al-Mahdi Army fighters […]

Do Liberal Professors Indoctrinate Students?

Do Liberal Professors Indoctrinate Students?

A new study finds that, while college professors are overwhelmingly liberal, that fact does not have much impact on the politics of their students. A study that will appear soon in the journal PS: Political Science & Politics accepts the first part of the critique of academe and says that it’s true that the professoriate […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Beaster Egg Hunt Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Poll: Reverend Wright Not a Factor

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Chuck Todd and Domenico Montanaro take a look at the results of a new NBC/WSJ poll and find some surprises. Most notably, about half the people had never heard of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Pollster Peter Hart calls the NBC/WSJ poll a “myth buster” survey; it really breaks down a lot of the myths we’ve been […]

Does John McCain Want to Kill the UN?

Hulk Smash United Nations

During a major foreign policy address yesterday, John McCain talked about his plan to create a League of Democracies. Charles Krauthammer sees a plot to do away with the United Nations: Well, I like the idea of the league of democracies, and only in part because I and others had proposed it about six years […]

Mike Gravel, Libertarian Presidential Candidate

us-politics

Daniel Larrison notes the irony that Mike Gravel, announcing that he’s leaving the Democrats (for whose nomination he came in dead last) his and running for the Libertarian Party nomination, gave the following explanation: The fact is, the Democratic Party today is no longer the party of FDR. It is a party that continues to […]

U.S. and Iran – Basra Team-Up?

U.S. and Iran - Basra Team-up?

Noah Schachtman notes the irony that the U.S. now finds itself on the same “team” with the Iranian government. For more than a year, America’s political and military leaders have been angrily accusing Iran of fueling the violence in Iraq. But, in the battle for Basra, the U.S. suddenly finds itself in the odd position […]

Some States Balk At Real ID

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Michael Cutler is incredulous that so many state governors are challenging the Real ID Act. It is impossible for me to understand how anyone who is concerned about the security of our nation in this perilous age would oppose the implementation of the Real ID Act. The seven years since the attacks of September 11, […]

I-64 Sniper Shootings Terrorize Virginia

I-64 Sniper Shootings Terrorize Virginia

A sniper has managed to shut down a major Interstate and a county school system, terrorizing the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Or, actually, not. I managed to make it all the way to work and then some before reading about it from Glenn Reynolds, who lives the next state over.) State Police are looking for more […]

Democracy at Gunpoint

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The Swamp has a good little nugget of information on the current Civil War “eruption of violence” in Southern Iraq between the central government, composed of the pluarality government whose largest members are Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and Dawa, and al-Sadr’s Jaish al Mahdi. The upshot? One of the causes of the current surge […]

Elite Schools Emphasizing SAT Scores at Cost of Racial Diversity

Harvard and Yale Buttons

An increasing emphasis on high standardized tests scores is hurting efforts to recruit more black and Hispanic students.

U.S. Striking Al Qaeda Targets in Pakistan

The United States is stepping up its attacks on al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, largely without coordination with that country’s government. The United States has escalated its unilateral strikes against al-Qaeda members and fighters operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas, partly because of anxieties that Pakistan’s new leaders will insist on scaling back military operations in […]

Basra Mess Proves Surge Success!

Basra Mess Proves Surge Success!

The Mahdi Army controls Basra and four days of intense fighting there has been punctuated with the bombing of one of Iraq’s two main oil pipelines.* U.S. officials are painting this is a success story. Karim Kadim/Associated Press via NYT The Pentagon on Wednesday said an eruption of violence in southern Iraq, where US-backed government […]

Caption Contest

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

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 Steve Verdon will be joining me tonight to talk about various and sundry items involving the world around us. Background reading: Barry McCaffrey’s View of the Future Hillary Clinton’s Economic Idiocy John McCain on […]

Community Service is Something You’re Sentenced To

Community Service is Something You're Sentenced To

“Dean Dad” argues against that old chestnut, a public service program whereby “graduating high school seniors will work for the government for a year or two in a sort of domestic peace corps arrangement, doing fine and worthy things while accruing voucher credits to be used for college tuition.” In addition to being premised on […]

Arguing Past One Another

Megan McArdle has posted her semi-annual essay explaining that, if you want to persuade people with your arguments, you should probably refrain from calling them names and starting from the premise that they are evil, stupid, or both. I’ve written a handful of those myself, at least once or twice building from one of Megan’s. […]

Random Observation of the Day

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I have noticed that if a political figure or pundit makes the observation that one political obstacle in changing our foriegn policies regarding Israel is the influence of the American Jewish population, then you are labled a “bigot” or “anti-Semite.” However, if you make the observation that one political obstacle in changing our foreign policies […]

Democrats Breaking Up over Obama-Clinton Fight?

Democrats Breaking Up over Obama-Clinton Fight?

As the bitter nomination fight between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continues, many of their supporters are threatening to take their ball and go home. A new

Iraq Cease-Fire Over

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The cease-fire that has kept the main Shiite militia mostly quiet for the past seven months seems to have unraveled. The US blames Iran. The Mahdi Army’s seven-month-long cease-fire appears to have come undone. Rockets fired from the capital’s Shiite district of Sadr City slammed into the Green Zone Tuesday, the second time in three […]

Building Democracy, One Warlord at a Time

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The Washington Post has a heartbreaking article which might as well be titled “The More Things Change…” regarding our current “progress” in Fallujah: [Col. Faisal Ismail al-]Zobaie, 51, knows the nature of the men in black masks. He is a former insurgent. Now, as the police chief, he has turned against the insurgency, especially al-Qaeda […]

Iraq War Hinders Domestic Crime Fighting

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Matt Yglesias observes that, “one effect of the Iraq War has been to take a lot of cops out of the field fighting crime at home and send them to Iraq as Army Reserve and National Guard members instead. That’s hardly a knock-down argument against the war, but it’s a reminder that these visions of […]

USA Ranks 22nd on Stable, Prosperous Countries List

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A ranking of the world’s countries for stability and prosperity places the United States in the 22nd spot, much to the delight of several commenters on the Left (who, naturally, blame Bush). Christian Le Mière, managing editor of Jane’s Country Risk, which compiled the ratings, said . . . that the US had fallen down […]

Wright, Hagee, and the KKK?

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It will come of little surprise that Christopher Hitchens uses the Obama-Wright controversy to take another whack at organized religion. Look at the accepted choice of words for the ravings of Jeremiah Wright: controversial, incendiary, inflammatory. These are adjectives that might have been—and were—applied to many eloquent speakers of the early civil rights movement. . […]

Press Bias and Campaign 2008

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Kevin Drum cites several instances of John McCain acting in ways inconsistent with his maverick image and yet surviving with the image more-or-less intact, a situation he ascribes to a fawning press corps. He asks, “And what window do Democrats go to to get the same treatment the press gives McCain?” In reality, all of […]

How Clinton Could Win

Gallup Democrats 24 March 2008

Adam Nagourney offers a “bruising scenario” by which Hillary Clinton could still pull out the Democratic nomination. It’s not a particularly novel one; indeed, it’s the one that Clinton has been banking on for weeks: the superdelegates put her over the top. There are about 800 of them, and they are going be weighing two […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The I’ve gotta Whopper Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

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