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 (maybe) Alex Knapp will be joining me tonight to talk about the impact of the latest episode in the Wright brouhaha will have on the Democratic nomination fight, the foreign policy differences between the […]

Hillary Blasts Bush for Bill’s China Deal

I’ve been arguing for quite some time both here and on OTB Radio that Hillary Clinton’s protectionist rhetoric on trade has been 180 degrees from the policy that her husband carried out as president. Now, we have the perfect illustration. It’s a story Hillary Clinton loves to tell, about how the Chinese government bought a […]

Economy Grows by 0.6 Percent in First Quarter

My first thought upon reading that, the U.S. economy grew at 0.6 percent for the first quarter was Woohoo! We’re not technically in a recession. Matt Yglesias had a similar thought and uses it to “once again remind people that the big sources of uncertainty in the general election have to do with objective reality […]

Al Qaeda Getting Stronger

Al Qaeda is getting stronger, mostly in Pakistan, a new State Department report states. Al-Qaida has rebuilt some of its pre-Sept. 11 capabilities from remote hiding places in Pakistan, leading to a jump in attacks last year in that country and neighboring Afghanistan, the Bush administration said Wednesday. Attacks in Pakistan doubled between 2006 and […]

The ‘Do What We Say’ Foreign Policy?

Radio Free Europe has an interview with Randy Scheunemann, who is one of the McCain campaign advisers on our policy towards Russia, especially with regards to Georgia. One part of the interview that seems problematic to me, as well as others, is this bit about potential negotiating of issues with Russia: RFE/RL: In situations like […]

Albert Hoffman, LSD Inventor, Dies at 102

Albert Hofmann, who accidentally invented the most popular hallucinogenic drug ever, has died. Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired — and arguably corrupted — millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102. Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in Burg im Leimental, said Doris Stuker, […]

Government Hiring Boom

The private sector might be shedding jobs but government is hiring at all levels. Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. That’s the biggest jump in first-quarter hiring since a boom in 2002 that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By contrast, private companies collectively shed […]

Limbaugh Issues ‘Operation Chaos’ Pause

For a variety of reasons, I haven’t heard more than a few snippets of Rush Limbaugh’s show in years. I haven’t figured out yet whether his “Operation Chaos,” where he’s urging the Dittoheads to register as Democrats and vote for Hillary Clinton, is a serious bit of agitprop or camp. Regardless, he’s weighed the latest […]

Getting Away From Politics for a Minute…

For those of you out there who enjoy the pleasures of a fine cigar, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve become a reviewer over at the cigar review site CigarJack.net. My first review, of the La Gloria Cubana Wavell Natural, can be found here. La Gloria Cubana is in General Cigar’s large brand […]

Franken Pays $70,000 in Back Taxes to 17 States

Al Franken accidentally forgot to pay $70,000 in taxes to 17 states over the past five years. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Al Franken, front-runner in the race to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, said on Tuesday that he has paid $70,000 in back taxes and penalties owed in 17 states, going back to 2003. […]

Overseas Venue Shopping

Floyd Abrams notes the rise of a troubling new trend: In recent years, English libel law has come to have a disturbing impact on the right of Americans to speak out. England has become a choice venue for libel plaintiffs from around the world, including those who seek to intimidate critics whose works would be […]

Gas Tax Demagoguery

Kevin Drum, upon learning that Hillary Clinton has joined John McCain in calling for a suspension of the federal gas tax as a campaign stunt: I’d say there’s approximately a zero percent chance that Hillary Clinton or John McCain actually believe this is good policy. It would increase oil company profits, it would make hardly […]

McCain Flip-Flop on 100 Years in Iraq?

Josh Marshall is angry at the press for buying into what he believes is a lie: That John McCain doesn’t want 100 years of war in Iraq but rather is willing to see a Germany-style long term, peaceful presence. McCain does not want to leave Iraq. Period. He wants tens of thousands of troops to […]

Former Gitmo Prosecutor Testifies for Defense

Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor for Guantanamo Bay, recently testifed for the defense on behalf of a terror suspect. Specifically, he testified to the unwillingness of the Pentagon to hold fair hearings for detainees. Sitting just feet from the courtroom table where he had once planned to make cases against military […]


I cannot help but recommend John Cole’s take on the whole Wright-Obama brouhaha. As to Wright himself, well, I have my own thoughts. First and foremost, I guess I am no longer the delicate fainting flower that most other bloggers and media commenters are these days. I spent several years in the early days of […]

Obama Denounces Wright Comments

Barack Obama has unequivocally denounced the recent sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright in a press conference today. The person that I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” he said. “His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who […]

McCain the Anti-War Warrior?

In the cover story of the new American Prospect, Matt Yglesias describes John McCain thusly: The candidate who, despite his protestations in a March speech that he “hates war,” not only stridently backed the 2003 invasion of Iraq but has spent years calling on the United States to depose every dictator in the world. He’s […]

Marines Attack Taliban Stronghold

The U.S. Marines have launched a major assault into southern Helmand province in an attempt to wrest control from the Taliban and cut the opium backed funding for the anti-government forces. U.S. Marines exchanged gunfire with militants Tuesday after pouring into a Taliban-held town in southern Afghanistan in the first major American operation in the […]

Obama Should Disown Wright

As with most of the mini-scandals that have surrounded this campaign season, I have mostly dismissed the nutty remarks of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I’ve taken as a given — and continue to take as a given — that Barack Obama, raised in a different era and with the advantages of a first class education, simply […]

Scowcroft: ‘Hard to Make Things Better if You Don’t Talk’

When I first saw the headline “Brent Scowcroft Echoes Obama” at memeorandum, I read it as “Brent Scowcroft Endorses Obama,” which struck me as sufficiently newsworthy to immediately click the link. The actual story is markedly less surprising: Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, said on Monday […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Herd Mentality Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Clinton Leads McCain in AP Poll

The most recent AP/Ipsos poll shows Hillary Clinton well ahead of John McCain, and AP’s staff is using this to bolster Clinton’s campaign. Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to-head presidential matchup, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that bolsters her argument that she is more electable than Democratic […]

Supreme Court Upholds Voter ID Law

The Supreme Court today upheld Indiana’s law requiring voters to show picture ID. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights, validating Republican-inspired voter ID laws. In a splintered 6-3 ruling, the court upheld Indiana’s strict photo ID requirement, which Democrats and civil rights […]

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Bush Era

Fareed Zakaria argues that John McCain’s foreign policy would be bellicose whereas Barack Obama’s would be conciliatiatory but, as Dave Schuler notes, both are “confrontational” and “interventionist,” just with slightly different priorities. Zakaria points to a recent McCain speech: Not only does it declare war on Russia and China, it places the United States in […]

Caption Contest

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

Army’s Caleb Campbell Drafted by Detroit Lions

Caleb Campbell, a safety out of West Point, has been drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. At 218, he’s going to be one of the last players chosen this year but, because of the circumstances surrounding the pick, ESPN has been featuring him heavily in its coverage […]

Global Warming Consensus

Ronald Bailey points to an interesting survey by the Statistical Assesment Service (STATS) on global warming. It is a survey of the views of climate scientists. Here are some of the findings: Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century. Eighty-four percent say they personally believe […]

Teaching Math: Abstract Equations Beat Reality

Students learn math better if teachers stick to abstract equations rather than trying to bring in real world examples. [M]any educators in recent years have incorporated more and more examples from the real world to teach abstract concepts. The idea is that making math more relevant makes it easier to learn. That idea may be […]

Press Not Doing Its Job?

Elizabeth Edwards, who despite no public policy credentials other than having been married to a one-term senator and yet oddly seems to get op-ed space in the major papers whenever she requests it, has a rather strange editorial in today’s NYT whining about how the mainstream media is failing in its duty to inform the […]

McCain Saved Money, Legally, on Charter Jets!

John McCain (who, as we all know, is the beneficiary of kid gloves treatment from the mainstream press while the two contenders for the Democratic nomination are constantly getting unfair coverage) has been targeted with another non-scandal scandal by his good friends at the New York Times. Given Senator John McCain’s signature stance on campaign […]

NFL Draft 2008 Live Blog

I’m doing it over at OTB Sports. I’ll do pick-by-pick posts in the first round and then summaries thereafter, with an especial emphasis on the Dallas Cowboys’ draft. NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #1 – Miami Dolphins – OT Jake Long NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #2 – St. Louis Rams – DE […]

Why Ethanol Subsidies Are Bad

I’ve posted on this before, but via James Hamilton comes this interesting tidbit of information. To be sure, there are many factors influencing food prices. But to me it’s natural to begin with the element that represents a deliberate policy choice on the part of the United States. I refer to America’s decision to divert […]

Information, DNA Testing and Economics

Over at reason Katherine Mangu-Ward has an interesting article on DNA testing and some of the impacts on workers, employers and the health care debate. She points to a bill in Congress that deals with this issue. Congress reached an agreement clearing the way for a bill to prohibit discrimination by employers and health insurers […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney thinks this makes his ass look fat. Wizbang still has Obamazombies. Wyatt Earp is prayin’ for changes to the tax code. Public Pondering is reachin’ across the pond. Cowboy Blob still wants to keep it up. Willisms is outta time. Right Pundits is gonna rip another. Blonde Sagacity […]

Dissent in the Army

Phil Carter has an interesting debate with his Slate colleague Fred Kaplan about how the assignment of LTC Paul Yingling (of “A Failure in Generalship” fame) to a non-standard artillery assignment squares with SECDEF Robert Gates’ admonition to West Point cadets that “as an officer you don’t tell blunt truths or create an environment where […]

Iran War Drums Beating?

As previously noted, Admiral Mike Mullen told a gathering at the Atlantic Council that he fears the United States and its allies “will have to deal with Iran in the very near future.” That statement left a lot of room for strategic ambiguity. He removed a bit in a press briefing yesterday, Ann Scott Tyson […]

U.S. Kills Jihadists with Stroke of Pen, Creating Violent Extremists as Byproduct

The war against Jihadists and Islamo-Fascists has been won; each and every last one of these vermin has been eradicated courtesy of the United States Government. Unfortunately, the victory is quite literally in name only. The Bush administration has launched a new front in the war on terrorism, this time targeting language. Federal agencies, including […]

Popular Vote Silliness

Mark Blumenthal examines the ongoing argument as to which of the Democrats have the most popular votes. In addition to the traditional counting issues, he notes that a bigger problem is that the very notion fails to meet the test of “concept validity.” That’s a wonky term that simply means that before measuring something we […]

Replacing Oil Ain’t Easy

The proprietor of the FiveCentNickel blog quantifies in a way I haven’t seen previously just how enormous the challenge of ending our dependence on oil — a favorite canard of politicians on both sides of the aisle — really is. Drawing on a piece by CNET’s Michael Kanellos, he lays out the numbers. Essentially, world […]

McCain Scoffs at Hagee Statements

John McCain has a nice, pithy response to his endorser Rev. John Hagee’s claim that the “sins” of New Orleans and the city’s acceptance of homosexuality were the reasons why God punished the City by sending Hurricane Katrina: “It’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense. I dont have anything additional to say. […]

“Hamas’ Worst Nightmare”

Sean Hackbarth reports on a recent weblogger conference with John McCain. I don’t know if my colleague James participated in this one, though I know that he has in the past. What Hackbarth highlighted from the conference, and no doubt everyone else will, too, is this: Jennifer Rubin asked if Obama has given an unhelpful […]

Headline of the Day

Dana Milbank wins with: “Iraq War Is Everyone Else’s Fault, Feith Explains.” I haven’t read Feith’s book but that’s pretty much the thesis I’ve gathered from the interviews he’s given about it. Given the superlatives that have been used to describe his lack of intelligence, it’s hardly unexpected that he would try to salvage his […]

Voting Behavior and Relative Deprivation

Tyler Cowen asks, “Why do affluent, middle-class, and poor voters all seem so exquisitely sensitive to election-year income growth for the wealthiest families?” He explains: Oddly, the voting of lower-income voters is relatively insensitive to their own election-year incomes. One option is that media reporting is biased toward coverage of the rich and famous. Another […]

McCain Least Worst Alternative?

Thomas Barnett damns John McCain with faint praise saying, essentially, that his foreign policy would be reckless but not as bad as the alternatives. Both Clinton and Obama, if elected, present the frightening spectacle of a pandering Democratic White House looking for easy wins with an angry citizenry on protectionism because getting such wins on […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Batteries Not Included – Redux Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Mullen: We ‘Will Have to Deal with Iran in the Very Near Future’

Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a very profound statement at Monday night’s Atlantic Council awards dinner that has received virtually no press notice: That we “will have to deal with Iran in the very near future.” Here’s the context: We also live in a time where Iran routinely […]

Never Make a Prediction on the Internet

Roger L. Simon counsels, readers to “Never make a prediction on the Internet,” noting, “Used to be you made a prediction in print and it was gone in a day – lost in the morgue of some newspaper or the bowels of the public library. Nowadays, it’s written in indelible digital ink that can make […]

Clinton Wins Michigan – Again

Susan J. Demas reports that some deft back room maneuvering has won Hillary Clinton a larger share of Michigan’s non-existent delegates. If you punched your ballot for “uncommitted” in Michigan’s Jan. 15 Democratic presidential primary to back Barack Obama, your vote might have essentially gone to Hillary Clinton anyway. While all eyes were locked on […]

UK Court Invalidates Terrorist Asset Freezing

Counterterrorism Blog: UK Court Invalidates Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime as Unconstitutional Today, the UK’s high court invalidated the country’s asset freezing regime against terrorists, ruling it to be unconstitutional. The ruling has been described as devastating to the UK’s strategy against terrorism. It was based on the court finding that the UK government could not […]

Those Who Can’t….

Despite being rejected by GOP primary voters as their Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee thinks they might buy his book about his failed candidacy and “offering his vision for remodeling the conservative movement.” The book will be released two weeks after the November election and offer both anecdotes from his Presidential bid and his notions about […]

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