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A Bit Late Don’t Ya Think?


Republican Party officials are seeking to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and Congressional leaders of embracing socialism. Socialism might be a bit strong, but Bush in many ways has governed like a Democrat not a Republican. In any event where were these boobs say…5 or six years ago? Oh yeah, back then they were […]

Links Between Pakistan and Mumbai Attacks

Indian officials have been saying it all along but now Pakistani officials, too, are pointing to links between last month’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba: ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s own investigation of terror attacks in Mumbai has begun to show substantive links between the 10 gunmen and an Islamic militant group that its […]

Katharine Webb Joyner


My wife Kimberly woke me a little before 2 yesterday morning to inform me that her water had broken and that it was time to drive her to the hospital. After 12 hours of trying naturally, another 14 of trying with the aid of an inducing drug, and two hours of hard labor, Katharine Webb […]

Worst Holiday Sales in 40 Years


Holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years and will likely prompt store closures, bankruptcies, take overs and layoffs. Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers starting next month as holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years. Retailers […]

OTB Latenight – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts


Caption Contest Winners


The Eats, Shoots and Leaves Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Gasoline Prices for 2009


Right now oil and gasoline prices are low, but are they likely to stay that way? This article says yes for most of 2009. As we close the doors on the strange and tumultuous year that was 2008, analysts are looking ahead to what 2009 will bring. So far, signs are mixed. The Energy Information […]

Fourth Quarter GDP


I’m going to go out on a limb here (not really) and say that fourth quarter GDP will be negative. Why? Well, if you look at personal consumption expenditures for October and November they are down. Along with Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income (November only). Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) is down 1% and 0.6% […]

Elite Journalists


Deborah Howell, WaPo’s outgoing ombudsman, laments the downside of her profession becoming more professionalized. Journalism is better than it was in my early days, and changes in technology have opened up a new world. My worry is that journalists aren’t as connected to readers as they were in the days of my youth, when the […]

Breakin’ Up Is Hard to Do


This morning Andrew Osborn at WSJ gives Igor Panarin substantially more attention than he deserves. I’ve seen Panarin quoted in various Russian news media over the last several years—he’s been predicting for about a decade that the U. S. would disintegrate in 2010. He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI […]

2008 Predictions Scorecard (Dave Schuler)


Here’s how my predictions for 2008 fared: Predictions that came to pass Ron Paul won’t win a single state primary. If he runs as a Libertarian or other third party, he won’t get a single electoral vote. He won’t be elected president. Nothing of any substance will be accomplished by the Congress on any of […]

Caption Contest


Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk (RUSSIA) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

2008 Predictions Scorecard (James Joyner)


As 2008 winds to an end, it’ll soon be time for the OTB staff to post its predictions for the coming year.   First, though, is the painful look back at our predictions for 2008. Predictions that came to pass The Republicans will eventually nominate someone, pundit chatter about a divided base notwithstanding. “Ron Paul won’t […]

Why Afgan Marshall Plan Won’t Work


In the comments to my “Taliban Retaking Afghanistan” post, commenter King Politics asked, “Can anyone answer why we didn’t embark on a Marshall Plan-style rebuilding effort of Afghanistan in 2003-04?”  In today’s Independent, former Afghan finance minister Ashraf Ghani makes a similar call. My New Atlanticist essay “A Marshall Plan for Afghanistan?” I argue that […]

Virginity Pledges Don’t Work, Except When They Do

Lost Virginity Poster

MSNBC is touting the results of a new government funded survey under the headline: “Study: Teenage ‘virginity pledges’ are ineffective” and the subhead, “Youths who promise abstinence are also less likely to use protection.” The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before […]

Prognostication Scorekeeping

I’m in the process of preparing some 2009 predictions, in the hopes of providing a good opportunity for embarrassment. While I was doing that, though, I thought I’d go ahead and look back at my predictions for 2008 and see whether I should even bother. Here are my results: Predictions that came to pass Barack […]

Fire Wade Phillips


I wrote my first Fire Wade Phillips post over at OTB Sports on October 6th, on the heels of a narrow escape against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals at Texas Stadium. Jerry Jones needs to fire Wade Phillips. Today. The Dallas Cowboys are undisciplined and lackluster, a perfect reflection of their head coach. Phillips doesn’t mind […]

No, This Isn’t the Crisis


In the comments thread to James’s post about the recent Israeli offensive against Hamas in Gaza, a commenter wondered if that were the crisis that VP-Elect Joe Biden warned about. No, it isn’t. Foreign policy has a way of overwhelming most American presidencies. Our constitution is written that way and Barack Obama’s presidency is very […]

Bush Term Extended


Those eagerly awaiting Barack Obama’s taking over the reins will have to wait just a bit longer, as the Navy has just added an extra second on to 2008. The world’s official timekeepers have added a “leap second” to the last day of the year on Wednesday, to help match clocks to the Earth’s slowing […]

Israel Attacks Hamas in Gaza

Hamas Complex Destroyed Photo

Not surprisingly, the massive Israeli strikes into Gaza are the prime topic of conversation in the blogosphere. The basic facts, as reported by the NYT: Waves of Israeli airstrikes destroyed Hamas security facilities in Gaza on Saturday in a crushing response to the group’s rocket fire, killing more than 225 — the highest one-day toll […]

Taliban Retaking Afghanistan


The Taliban shadow government is expanding to just outside Kabul and its commanders essentially run a growing number of provinces, AP reports. In those areas, we’re seeing the re-imposition of the most brutal forms of Sharia law, the takeover of schools by religious extremists, impressment into the military, and the confiscation of wealth. Eleven months […]

Samuel Huntington Dead at 81

Samuel P. Huntington Photo

Legendary political scientist Samuel P. Huntington died on Christmas Eve, Harvard News reports. Huntington had retired from active teaching in 2007, following 58 years of scholarly service at Harvard. In a retirement letter to the President of Harvard, he wrote, in part, “It is difficult for me to imagine a more rewarding or enjoyable career […]

Double-Talk from Islamabad

Apparently the troops Pakistan has transferred from the border with Afghanistan to the border with India are just going there for a nice Christmas holiday: ISLAMABAD (AFP) — Pakistan again said on Saturday that it did not want war with India, as the international community tried to defuse tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours after Islamabad […]

OTB Caption JamTM


Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney sees things as black and white. Wizbang has a rare moment. Wyatt Earp has the quarry treed. RT’s Ponderings was hoping to change tables. Blonde Sagacity is already celebrating Kwanzaa. Right Pundits thinks Santa’s sack was a little smaller this year. Brainfuel has gone 4-wheelin’. Scared Monkeys is […]

CIA Viagra Torture Not Funny!


With respect to the generally humorous tone with which the blogosphere, yours truly included, greeted the news that the CIA is giving Viagra to Afghan chieftains in hopes of softening them up psychologically by temporarily doing the converse physically, Kathy Kattenburg is concerned that 1) the wives of the chieftain in question may not be […]

Bill Richardson Under Investigation in Pay-For-Play Probe


Bill Richardson is under investigation for allegedly steering state funds to a major contributor. It seems that Illinois’ legally challenged Gov. Rod Blagojevich is not the only close Barack Obama associate and Democratic governor being investigated by the feds for possibly selling government business in return for campaign contributions. New Mexico’s Gov. Bill Richardson, who […]

Citizen Obama Visits Troops on Christmas


Barack Obama visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Christmas, chatting it up with the young warriors on the holiday in an informal visit.   It was a nice gesture and he deserves kudos for making it. One small issue, however:  Obama is, so far as I understand it, a mere private citizen as a matter of […]

Avoiding Pakistan and India War One Piece of Larger Puzzle


Yesterday, Dave Schuler did an excellent job outlining the brewing mess on the subcontinent in Tensions Rising Between Pakistan and India. I’ve been blogging on the subject at New Atlanticist as well. My most recent posts on the subject are Pakistan Scales Down Anti-Terrorist Operations and Pakistan Readies for War with India. The upshot is […]

Caption Contest Winners


The The Hair Apparent Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

OTB Latenight – R.I.P. Eartha Kitt


I hadn’t intended to post any more holiday music this year, but I think one more is in order. Eartha Kitt died yesterday of colon cancer at 81. This classic is among her best known works:

Middle East Action Items for the Obama Administration


In an op-ed in the Washington Post this morning, former ambassador from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States Turk al-Faisal proposed an approach to achieving peace in the Middle East with five action items for the incoming Obama Administration: Call for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Shebaa Farms in Lebanon. […]

Chinese Ships Join Pirate Hunt

Three Chinese ships will join the ships of several nations including the United States off the coast of Somalia trying to stem the outbreak of piracy in the region: BEIJING (AFP) — An anti-piracy task force of the Chinese navy set sail on Friday for Africa, in the nation’s first potential combat mission beyond its […]

Tensions Rising Between Pakistan and India (Updated)

The news from Pakistan and India isn’t exactly the sort to promote Christmas cheer. The tensions between the two countries, on hair trigger since the attacks in Mumbai last month with Indian officials blaming the attacks on Pakistan and Pakistani officials denying it vehemently, have ratcheted up another notch: Pakistani officials say the Pakistani army […]

Viagra Anti-Terrorist Weapon


The CIA has figured out a way to use sex as an interrogation tool in a way that’s likely to elicit chuckles rather than horror. WaPo’s Joby Warrick begins with a story about giving an Afghan chieftain for Viagra tablets. The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an […]

OTB Latenight – Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra


Caption Contest


Time for the Christmas OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Xinhua, Chen Xie) Wee fish, ewe, a mare, egrets, moose… Panda, hippo, gnu, deer. Winners will be announced Monday PM

Senator Al Franken


A ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court has all but officially made Al Franken the winner in the Senate recount. A state Supreme Court ruling Wednesday narrowed the options available for Sen. Norm Coleman to erase a slim lead held by DFLer Al Franken in the Minnesota election dispute, and Coleman’s campaign threatened a court […]

Kwanzaa Forgotten Holiday?


Reason‘s Michael Moynihan notes that Kwanzaa seems to have been quietly dismissed from the zeitgeist. In the days leading up the Christmas, one couldn’t help but notice that references to Kwanzaa, the decades-old African-American holiday that captured so many dull minds during the Great Culture Wars of the 1990s, were almost nonexistent. Kwanzaa, an afrocentic […]

OTB Latenight – Tony Bennett


Michael Vick’s Dogs

What happened to them? Well, some were euthanized while others were sent to rescue organizations around the country like Bad Rap in San Francisco. Here are links to some of the photos of Vick’s dogs. Teddles Sweet Jasmine Grace Audie Sweet Pea Zippy Uba Frodo Ernie Johnny Justice The notion that a dog used in […]

The Muslims are Coming!


The Muslims are quietly taking over our banks and imposing Sharia law on our financial system. Would you believe that this is a good thing? Read my New Atlanticist piece, “Islamic Banks Surge, Thanks to Financial Crisis” to see why.

Republicans Gain 6 Electoral Votes


Republicans may be in the midst of a losing at the polls but they continue to pick up seats in the House and Electoral College thanks to the decennial census. Texas will lose some influence in Washington when President George W. Bush leaves the White House, but a new study finds that the Lone Star […]

Gay-rights Leaders’ Enthusiasm for Obama Subsides


Today’s Headline of the Day: “Gay-rights leaders’ enthusiasm for Obama subsides.” Clearly, they haven’t seen the latest photos of him without his shirt on.

Will Obama’s stimulus work fast enough?


Jeannine Aversa and Andrew Taylor, writers for the AP, ask today’s question of the day: “Will Obama’s stimulus work fast enough?” No. No it won’t.

OTB Radio – TONIGHT at 7 Eastern

Since tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live TONIGHT from 7-8 Eastern. Dave Schuler and (maybe) Steve Verdon will join me to discuss goodness knows what. Please join us. We’ll also be taking your calls at (646) 716-7030. PROGRAM NOTE: Next week’s installment will […]

Blogging Has Its Virtues

Many thanks to Dave Schuler and Bernard Finel for their thought-provoking debate on U.S. engagement in the Middle East. Zenpundit’s Mark Safranski gives it high praise, with which I naturally concur: This was a very enjoyable exchange both for it’s civility as well as the erudition of the debaters ( Pundita opines at length here […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Closing)


Having already devoted several thousand words to the topic of American involvement in the Middle East, I will make my closing comments brief. First, I’d like to thank Dave for a vigorous debate, James for hosting this discussion, and all the readers who have taken the time to follow the back-and-forth and comment on the […]

India-Pakistan War Unlikely, So is Peace


In a New Atlanticist essay, “India-Pakistan Walking Line Between War and Peace,” I note that India is ratcheting back its rhetoric against Pakistan and argue that the prospect over the Mumbai attacks leading to war between these nuclear powers is exceedingly remote.  Unfortunately, so is anything worthy of the name “peace.”

Speed Camera Pimping Game

Speed Camera Pimping Game

Jacqui Cheng reports on a bizarre use of speeding cameras: Whenever a new, relatively unpopular technology hits the streets, you can always count on teenagers to try and exploit it for their own gain. Such is the case with speed cameras, as high school students in Maryland have begun playing the “Speed Camera Pimping Game,” […]

Blogging Making Comeback Over Microblogging?


Steve Rubel points to what I hope is a trend. Interesting discussion overnight between my friends Robert Scoble and MIke Arrington over whether Robert’s personal brand diminished because of his love for Friendfeed. How refreshing and retro that this conversation is actually taking place via blogs instead of just on Twitter and Friendfeed, where I […]

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