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Caption Contest Winners


The Quasi Bloato Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

In Case You Were Wondering…

Via Reuters: World’s oldest joke traced back to 1900 BC. And let me tell you, they have unearthed some hy-larious stuff! The shocker of the day: the study “suggests that toilet humor was as popular with the ancients as it is today.”

More on the AKP Ruling in Turkey


Yesterday I noted the ruling regarding the banning (or not, as the case was) of the ruling AK party in Turkey. Here’s a follow-up which focuses mostly on the funding cut imposed by the court.

Netanyahu Back as PM?

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided, after months of under the cloud of scandal, to step down after his Kadima party choses a new leader in September. The hope is to form a new government under the new leader and revive the party until next spring’s elections. Otherwise, Olmert could stay on until then. […]

Al Gore Places Son in Rocket

Al Gore Krypton

Dateline Earth: “Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet.” Former vice president Al Gore—who for the past three decades has unsuccessfully attempted to warn humanity of the coming destruction of our planet, only to be mocked and derided by the very people he has tried to save—launched his infant son into […]

Caption Contest


Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Sam VarnHagen-Ford Motor Co/Handout (UNITED STATES) Winners will be announced Monday PM

OTB Latenight – Train


I know almost nothing about this band except this song. But I do love this song: The video leaves something to be desired, but the song’s great.

Who picks your union?


I’ve been involved lately in a little issues advocacy regarding card-check.  Card-check involves a union being able to use a card that workers sign to compel a firm to recognize the union as the sole bargaining agent of the entire shop.  My first post on the subject included Congressional testimony by a former union organizer. […]

AKP Escapes Ban (Barely)


Via the BBC: Turkey’s ruling party escapes ban Turkey’s Constitutional Court has decided not to ban the ruling AK Party, accused of undermining the country’s secular system. But the judges did cut half the AKP’s treasury funding for this year. That’ll show ’em! (I honestly have no idea which funds or what they are used […]

John McCain Wears Nice Shoes

John McCain's Ferragamo Loafers Photo

The flack department at HuffPo emails to tout Isabel Wilkinson‘s post, “A Week In John McCain’s Shoes — His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is.” It documents, in extensive detail, McCain’s wearing of a pair of black calfskin Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Pregiato’ Moccasins, which retail at Nieman Marcus for $520. Apparently, this goes to show that McCain […]

Obama Too Cool For School

Professor Barack Obama

Two pieces by Jodi Kantor in the NYT looking at Barack Obama’s days teaching at the University of Chicago are drawing widespread interest in the blogosphere. The first, “Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Apart,” is a series of anecdotes woven together to present the picture of a gifted teacher who had one foot in […]

Webb Aide Shot Dead

Fred Hutchins

A young aide to Senator Jim Webb was found dead along a Virginia highway yesterday morning. Authorities in Botetourt County [Virginia] this [Tuesday] morning discovered the body of a well-known Democratic operative and U.S. Senate aide along U.S. 220, dead from an apparent gunshot wound. The body of Frederick W. Hutchins Jr., 26, of Roanoke […]

Dunkin’ Donuts Healthy Menu

Dunkin' Donuts Healthy Menu

I’m always bemused by stories like “Dunkin’ Donuts to offer healthier menu items.” Looking to entice those hungry for a healthier option, Dunkin’ Donuts will begin offering a new slate of better-for-you offerings in August. The menu, which will debut in stores Aug. 6, will feature two new flatbread sandwiches made with egg whites. Customers […]

The markets for oil and gas can differ


Aside the controversy of using a campaign worker’s spouse (see the update) to pen what might otherwise have been seen as an interested letter to the editor, I thought Susan Gaertner’s letter about the claim of Michele Bachmann that the price of a gallon of gas could be $2 in the US in four years […]

A Helpful Shopping Tip

If you use the self-check at Walmart, pick the Spanish language option–that way the durn thing won’t talk to you and tell you every inane thing it thinks you need to do. Since what one needs to do is pretty easy to understand, the inability to read the screen doesn’t matter. So see, for those […]

Ted Stevens Indicted on Corruption Charges

Ted Stevens

Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted for concealing payments from his financial disclosure forms. The indictment accuses Stevens, former chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, of concealing payments of more than $250,000 in goods and services from an oil company. The items include home improvements, autos and household items. The Alaska oil firm, Veco, […]

Obama’s Veepables


A little run-down at my place.

Did the Surge Work? Who Can Say?

David Petraeus Photo

Ezra Klein and his summer intern have compiled ten expert responses to the question “How Important Was the Surge?” Not surprisingly, those from Center for American Progress answered “Not all that important” whereas Michael O’Hanlon and others who supported the Surge to begin with though it was “undoubtedly very important.” Or, as Marc Danziger puts […]

Bob Novak Has Brain Tumor

Robert Novak

Syndicated columnist Bob Novak has a brain tumor. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak said [Monday] he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor but says that, “God willing,” he plans to be back at work soon. Novak said he was diagnosed Sunday with a tumor and will soon begin treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital […]

Caption Contest Winners


The Mutton Jeff Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

OTB Latenight – Dave Matthews Band


The explanation of what the song’s about is interesting, if a little disturbing:

At Least 53 Dead in Suicide Bombing Attacks in Iraq


Via the BBC: Iraq suicide blasts cause carnage Suicide bombers have killed at least 53 people and wounded about 240 in attacks on crowds in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk. Three blasts in Baghdad killed at least 28 Shia Muslim pilgrims heading for the city’s Kadhimiya shrine. […] In Kirkuk, […]

Somehow, I am not Surprised


Via the BBC: China rights ‘worsen with Games’

Back to Batman Foreign Policy


Two things to follow up on my post on The Dark Knight and foreign/security policy. First, in thinking more about the movie, I will say that there are two scenes/actions by Batman that could be seen to mirror part of the GWoT debate (and I will be vague so as not to spoil anything). There […]

When you try to control both price and quantity


(Thanks to James Joyner for a chance to post a few stories here while he is in Quebec.) A few weeks ago I read a story on air (it’s at the end of this podcast) that the idea of the gas tax holiday had not only foundered in Congress but that they were contemplating instead […]

Apples, Oranges, and Vice Presidents

Mitt Romney Photo

Nate Silver compares Mitt Romney’s 2008 primary fundraising with that of George W. Bush in 2004 and concludes that Romney would be an asset, were he added to the Republican ticket as vice presidential nominee, in the Mormon Belt but a liability in the Deep South. The problem with this is at least twofold. First, […]

Caption Contest


Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (Photo/Denis Poroy) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

On Being a Citizen of the World


Said an American politician, speaking to an international audience: “I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world. I come with the heartfelt wishes of my people for peace, bearing honest proposals and looking for genuine progress.” I mean can you imagine? Didn’t this politician know that he was […]

Comic Book Foreign Policy (or the Batman Theory of Foreign Policy)


Readers may be familiar with the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics (short version: the US can do whatever it wants if it just has even willpower). Now, it appears we can add another member of the Justice League to our understanding of foreign policy. On Friday, author Andrew Klavan had a piece in the WSJ […]

Column on the Conventions


I just remembered, I have a column out in today’s Press-Register (the Mobile, AL paper) on the party convention process: PoliColumn: The Party Conventions.

More on Oil

There’s an article from the August issue of Forbes which paraphrases some comments from energy consultant Vinod Dar that had a quote that caught my eye: To judge by actions, not words, the carbon-warming view hasn’t come close to persuading a political majority even in nations considered far more environmentally enlightened than China and India. […]

Yet Another Blow to the FARC


Via the BBC: Farc ‘co-ordinator’ held in Spain Spanish police say they have arrested the representative of the left-wing Colombian rebel group Farc in Spain. Maria Remedios Garcia Albert, a Spanish national, was detained near Madrid, as part of a joint operation by the Spanish and Colombian authorities. […] It is claimed that Ms Garcia […]

McCain Slams Obama for Dissing Troops


In his latest ad, “Troops,” John McCain is trying to make hay of Barack Obama’s decision not to visit the troops in Landstuhl, Germany once he found out he couldn’t bring his campaign staff: The key sound byte: “He made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the […]

Blogging’s Glass Ceiling, Or Why Baby Poop Don’t Get No Respect


A Sunday NYT piece about the BlogHer convention begins, FOR two days last week, many of the men’s bathrooms at the Westin St. Francis Hotel here were turned into women’s bathrooms. The stalls on the second floor were lined with note cards featuring nurturing messages like “You are perfect.” Nearby, women were being dusted with […]

OTB Latenight – Fleetwood Mac


Despite the fact that most of the official artists’ offerings I’m finding on YouTube disable embedding, I note with some interest that this video is part of the official Warner Bros. Records channel. Here’s hoping more record companies decide to make their artists’ stuff available this way. [UPDATE: Sadly, the foregoing appears not to be […]

Labour, Brown Lose Big in Glasgow


The Scottish Nationalist Party took one of Labour’s safest seats in a rather dramatic and unexpected upset that marks yet another setback for British prime minister Gordon Brown: Unfortunately for Labour, Glasgow is only the latest in a string of woeful electoral performances for the party under Mr Brown’s leadership. His party lost the London […]

Making Friends and Influencing People


Biologist PZ Myers has followed through on his threat to acquire a consecrated communion wafer and deface it–for good measure, he also decided to desecrate an English translation of the Koran (which, according to my understanding of Islam, doesn’t actually count as a copy of the Koran) and a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God […]

OTB Caption JamTM


Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is feeling a little sheepish. Wizbang receives a major award. Wyatt Earp has been bonded.. Willisms is feeling a little Flagged. Cowboy Blob is glad it wasn’t blue. Right Pundits would rather fight than switch. Public Pondering is wired and wild. Blonde Sagacity is getting some advice. The […]


As James is off to Montreal I will be doing some filling in here, as I often do when he travels. If you are a regular at OTB you have been subjected to have read my stuff here before, and have seen me in the comments. Otherwise you may be familiar with my blog, PoliBlog, […]

What’s That Got to Do With the Price of Oil in China?


Yesterday the price of oil on world markets closed at $123 a barrel, just where it was at the beginning of May this year. Oil economist James Hamilton has an excellent post that suggests that the fundamentals of supply and demand may well be the major factors that have caused oil prices to spike this […]

Off to Montreal


The wife and I are heading off to Montreal and Quebec City for a few days’ vacation.  I’ll almost certainly get a bit of blogging in but much less than usual. In addition to the regular gang, a couple of guest bloggers may drop by. Photo: DK Travel

McCain Mocks ‘Audacity of Hopelessness’ in Iraq

Audacity of Hopelessness

John McCain said today that the Middle East would be in far worse shape had we succumbed to Barack Obama’s “audacity of hopelessness.” Republican presidential candidate John McCain, ridiculing Barack Obama for “the audacity of hopelessness” in his policies on Iraq, said Friday that the entire Middle East could have plunged into war had U.S. […]

Whither Conservative Journalists


Stacy McCain takes up where Jonathan Martin left off, first explaining why it’s so hard to break in to the paid punditry racket and then focusing on why it’s hard to get conservatives on the just-the-facts reportorial side of the paper: The newspaper business is one of the lowest-paying professions in America. Most years, my […]

Fewer Foreign Desks, More Foreign Journalism

Hitchcock Foreign Correspondent

Responding to Nicholas Kristof‘s concern that “Only four American newspapers now have foreign desks,” Matt Yglesias observes, How many foreign desks was a typical American actually able to read back in 1978? For most people, I think, the answer was one or two. Today only four American papers maintain a foreign desk but it’s easy […]

Randy Pausch, ‘Last Lecture’ Prof, Dies at 47

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer this morning. Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist whose “last lecture” about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, has died. He was 47. Pausch died early Friday at his home in Virginia, university spokeswoman Anne Watzman said. Pausch and his family […]

Los Angeles Times Bans Edwards Scandal Story

Tony Pierce Photo

Via Mickey Kaus, we learn that the Los Angeles Times has apparently banned its bloggers from mentioning the Edwards/Rielle Hunter story. From: “Pierce, Tony” Date: July 24, 2008 10:54:41 AM PDT To: [XXX] Subject: john edwards Hey bloggers, There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source […]

What would be the boldest vice presidential choice John McCain and Barack Obama could make? (Updated)

Chuck Hagel and Joe Lieberman on Face the Nation

The gang behind Newsweek‘s Ruckus blog is asking its contributors to answer the following question: “What would be the boldest vice presidential choice John McCain and Barack Obama could make?” If we leave aside the silly and absurd, for McCain, the answer seems obvious:  Joe Lieberman. This would double down on his foreign policy experience […]

100 American Women Dead in Iraq

Bugler Taps Photo

The death July 17 of Tech Sergeant Jackie Larson, of natural causes, brought to one hundred the number of American female military personnel who have died in the Iraq War, CNN reports. The death of an Air Force technical sergeant in Iraq last week quietly brought a somber milestone: One hundred American female service members […]

Obama Berlin Speech After Action

Barack Obama Berlin Speech

Barack Obama’s speech to the throngs gathered at the Berlin Tiergarten Park was a solid effort, saying most of the right things about the Transatlantic relationship along with some unfortunate banalities. The allusions to our shared history with Western Europe in general and Germany in particular were well done. The reminder of our efforts in […]

Graduate School Placement Statistics

Graduate Student Photo

Responding to a correspondent lamenting that there isn’t a uniform set of placement statistics available to help prospective doctoral students choose the best program for them, Dean Dad points out that there are all manner of reasons why this is so.  Most important among them is that measuring “success” is itself controversial. For example, I […]

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