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OTB Caption JamTM


Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney wants a little off the top. Wizbang has that deer in the headlights look. Wyatt Earp just wants some cookies. Cowboy Blob is still tryin’ to get down the concept of ‘aim.’ RT’s Ponderings has the subterranean homesick blahs. Right Pundits has a little porker. The Gone Rick […]

Daschle Owed $101,943 in Taxes


A second Obama cabinet nominee is having tax troubles, Jake Tapper and Jonathan Karl report. ABC News has learned that the nomination of former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to be President Obama’s secretary of health and human services has hit a traffic snarl on its way through the Senate Finance Committee.  The controversy […]

OTB Latenight – The Beatles


Today is the 40th Anniversary of the Beatles’ final live performance, the January 30, 1969 concert on the rooftop of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, London:

GDP Down 3.8% for Fourth Quarter


That is a big drop in GDP. The biggest in 27 years according to this article. BEA’s detailed news release can be found here. Here are some of the top portions of the release, Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States […]

Samantha Power Joining Obama Team

Samantha Power NYU

Samantha Power, who famously called Hillary Clinton a “monster,” is going to get a key spot on President Obama’s National Security Council team. As I note in my New Atlanticist post, “Obama’s Team of Rivals Gets More Interesting,” this raises an interesting question. Will Clinton be a powerful Secretary of State or will Obama run […]

Judd Gregg: Commerce Secretary?


President Obama is considering Republican Senator Judd Gregg for the Commerce Secretary post, Sam Stein reports for HuffPo. There is a strong possibility that Barack Obama will ask Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) to serve as his Secretary of Commerce, Democratic Senate aides tell the Huffington Post. The move would fill a vacancy that has lingered […]

Republican Death Spiral?


Nate Silver argues that we are seeing “The Republican Death Spiral,” as House Republicans vote against issues ranging from the stimulus package to delaying digital TV to a bill encouraging more gender equity lawsuits. As I have opined before, the Democratic message will essentially be one of two things in 2010: Obama’s accomplished X, Y […]

OTB Latenight – Juliana Hatfield Three


Caption Contest Winners


The Global Shrinkage Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.


Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office by a unanimous vote of the Illinois Senate. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has been sworn in to replace him. Congratulations, Gov. Quinn.

Thursday Baby Blogging

Katie Joyner Photo Day 13 Blankie

By popular demand, more Katie pictures. These were taken a little more two weeks ago, when Katie was 13 days old. You can see the whole set at Jill Thomas Photography clicking this link and password “joyner.”

Martin Feldstein Now Skeptical of the Stimulus Package


Initially Martin Feldstein was a supporter of the stimulus package. However, he is now opposed to the current pile of pork that has come out of the House of Representatives. As a conservative economist, I might be expected to oppose a stimulus plan. In fact, on this page in October, I declared my support for […]

Culture11, R.I.P.


Culture11, which was founded a few months ago as a “conservative alternative to Slate” has announced that it is closing its doors. Sometimes there are simple stories. Culture11’s is one of them. We raised a certain amount of money last year predicated on the assumption we would raise more money last year. Then the Fall’s […]

House Passes Stimulus with Zero Republican Votes

Nancy Pelosi Stimulus Photo

Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats passed an $819 billion “stimulus” package without a single Republican vote. All but 11 Democrats voted for the plan, and 177 Republicans voted against it. The 244-to-188 vote came a day after Mr. Obama traveled to Capitol Hill to seek Republican backing, if not for the package then on other […]

Caption Contest


Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM (AFP/File/Ashraf Shazly) Winners will be announced Monday PM

Fiscal Stimulus or Pandering?


Alan Reynolds writes, The December unemployment rate was only 2.3% for government workers and 3.8% in education and health. Unemployment rates in manufacturing and construction, by contrast, were 8.3% and 15.2% respectively. Yet 39% of the $550 billion in the bill would go to state and local governments. Another 17.3% would go to health and […]

Krugman’s 200 Dishonest Flacks


Paul Krugman writes, So as a public service, let me try to debunk some of the major antistimulus arguments that have already surfaced. Any time you hear someone reciting one of these arguments, write him or her off as a dishonest flack. Meet 200 dishonest flacks, who have signed onto the following statement, Notwithstanding reports […]

Fiscal Straightjacket

So says Jeffrey Sachs, The US debate over the fiscal stimulus is remarkable in its neglect of the medium term — that is, the budgetary challenges over a period of five to 10 years. Neither the White House nor Congress has offered the public a scenario of how the proposed mega-deficits will affect the budget […]

Attack of the Zombie Policy


Looks like Team Obama is going to resurrect the Paulson plan…or at least an early incarnation of that plant. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair is pushing to run the operation, which would buy the toxic assets clogging banks’ balance sheets, one of the people said. Bair is arguing that her agency has expertise and could help […]

Boys With Unpopular Names Go Bad


Boys with uncommon names are more likely to commit crimes, a new study concludes. Boys in the United States with common names like Michael and David are less likely to commit crimes than those named Ernest or Ivan. David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania compared the first names of […]

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 join me to talk about the Obama adminstration’s attempt to put its stamp on American foreign policy (Gitmo, renditions, Afghanistan, al-Arabiya), the continuing worsening of the U.S. economy (corporate layoffs), and […]

Just Five Republican States Left!


Taegan Goddard passes on a Gallup poll that he aptly summarizes thusly: ” there are only five states that now have a statistically significant majorities of Republicans. They are Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska and Nebraska. In contrast, there are now 35 states that are majority Democratic with 10 states up for grabs.” Shocking?  Wildly implausible? […]

More Right Wing Anti Stimulus Nonsense


Well maybe not seeing it is Alice Rivlin former President Clinton’s budget director. In testimony before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Alice M. Rivlin, who was President Bill Clinton’s budget director, suggested splitting the plan, implementing its immediate stimulus components now and taking more time to plan the longer-term transformative spending to make sure it […]

Army Recruiting Stand-down Follows Suicides


The Army is shutting down its entire recruiting operation in the wake of four suicides, Army Times reports. Army Secretary Pete Geren has ordered a stand-down of the Army’s entire recruiting force and a review of almost every aspect of the job is underway in the wake of a wide-ranging investigation of four suicides in […]

Obama’s Angels

Obama's Angels National Interest Cover

Both Spencer Ackerman and  Matthew Yglesias, males both, are highly offended by the cover of the current The National Interest depicting the foreign policy triumvirate of Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Janet Napolitano as “Obama’s Angels,” claiming the implication that these accomplished women are somehow analogous to sexy female crimefighters is insulting to women. In […]

USA Adopting Europe’s Welfare System?

Europe's Welfare System

Katrin Bennhold contends that, as the world’s economic elite gather in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum, there is decidedly less Europe-bashing than in years past. After the global financial shake-out of the past  year, she wonders, “Could Europe’s much-reviled social welfare system actually end up being the model for the 21st century world?” […]

Mutual Respect


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has responded to President Obama’s message to the Islamic world, delivered in an interview with al Arabiyah this week: The US should apologise for “crimes” it has committed against Iran if it wants a better relationship with Tehran, the Iranian president said today, after recent overtures to the Muslim world from […]

Rethinking Afghanistan

Robert Gates Afghanistan Testimony Photo

My New Atlanticist post “Obama’s New Afghanistan Strategy“details the rather far-reaching reboot of our goals in that conflict as outlined by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in testimony yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.    Two of the three changes recommended — getting Hamid Karzai and our NATO allies to do more — strike me […]

Bill Clinton Made Millions Overseas

Bill Clinton NADA Speech Photo

Former president Bill Clinton got filthy, stinking rich by giving speeches to foreigners, AP reports. Former President Bill Clinton earned nearly $6 million in speaking fees last year, almost all of it from foreign companies, according to financial documents filed by his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The documents obtained Tuesday by The […]

More on Stimulus Lag


Greg Mankiw posts the lag in fiscal spending as analyzed by the CBO. 2009: 29.0 2010: 115.8 2011: 105.5 2012: 53.6 2013: 26.5 2014: 13.0 2015: 6.9 2016: 3.0 2017: 1.6 2018: 0.9 2019:0.4 Total: $356.0 billion Notice that about $105 billion occurs in or after 2012. How about we just remove that portion of […]

Fun With Timothy Geithner


Timothy Geithner may be our new Treasury Secretary but that doesn’t mean bloggers can’t still make fun of him. Pejman Yousefzadeh, writing at something called The New Ledger, toasts “The Indispensable Mr. Geithner.” In urging Geithner’s confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered his entirely nonpartisan opinion that “This powerful economic storm demands strong, decisive […]

Have Strategy, Will Travel


John Robb, a leading military theorist and one of Esquire‘s Best and Brightest, is looking for a full-time job. He’s an Air Force Academy grad with a Masters of Public and Private Management from Yale and a rather impressive resume and skill set. If you’ve got any leads, let him know.

Iceland’s Openly Gay Prime Minister

Johanna Sigurdardottir Lesbian PM Photo

While the global financial crisis has spawned many predictions of political change, here’s one I’m betting no one saw coming: The World’s First Openly Gay Prime Minister. Not, I hasten to add, that there’s anything wrong with that.

Europe Guantanamo Help Slow Coming

MIDEAST EGYPT EU Israel Palestinians

The title of my essay “EU Agrees to Take Non-Dangerous Gitmo Prisoners. Maybe. Some Day.” is deservedly snarky. The substance, though, is this: These objections illustrate the complexity of the situation. While there is almost universal agreement that locking up accused terrorists indefinitely without due process is unacceptable, it’s also the case that no democratic […]

Obama’s Al Arabiya Gambit

Obama Al Arabiya

In my New Atlanticist essay, “Obama’s First Interview Goes to Al Arabiya,” I assess the domestic fallout, international optics, and foreign policy implications of President Obama giving his first formal interview in office to an Arab network. On the policy front, I’m not sold. So long as the United States is dependent on Persian Gulf […]

Bill Kristol’s Replacement


As everyone knows by now, Bill Kristol’s last NYT column appeared yesterday. Aside from the italicized footer “This is William Kristol’s last column,” it was unremarkable.  Which, most observers on the Left and Right seem to agree, was something it had in common with most of Kristol’s NYT columns and largely explains why the one […]

Is Winning 100-0 Bad Sportsmanship?

Micah Grimes Photo

There has been quite a bit of buzz over Sunday’s firing of Micah Grimes, formerly the head girls basketball coach at Dallas’ Covenant School, for refusing to apologize for his team’s 100-0 victory over Dallas Academy.  CBS11 has the details: The coach of a Texas high school basketball team that beat another team 100-0 was […]

Caption Contest Winners


The Court Jester Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Geithner Confirmed as Treasury Secretary


Tim Geithner is now officially Obama’s Secretary of Treasury. New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner won confirmation Monday as President Barack Obama’s treasury secretary despite personal tax lapses that turned more than a third of the Senate against him. The 60-34 vote put Geithner at the helm of Obama’s economic team as it […]

The Best Anti-Stimulus Argument?


Matthew Yglesias thinks that Kevin Murphy’s argument as to why the fiscal stimulus package could be a bad idea is the best he has seen. What I want to know is what turnip truck did Matthew just fall off of? This is the argument most of the people who are not so keen on a […]

Iceland Melts While New Europe Burns

Latvia Anti-Government Protests

In recent days, we’ve seen rioting and unrest in Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary and the collapse of the government in Iceland — all directly related to the global financial crisis. In a New Atlanticist piece, “Security Implications of the Financial Crisis,” I wonder what it all means, including my colleague Jim […]

Europe’s Obama Love Put to Test


There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that Europe is excited about the possibilities of the Obama presidency and that the anti-American tensions of the Bush era are fading. But, I ask at New Atlanticist, “Will Europe’s Obama Love Last?” There’s no doubt the Bush administration rubbed Europe the wrong way. Partly, this was a matter of […]

Fairness Discussion Unfair to Foreigners


Will Wilkinson passes on Bart Wilson‘s observation that, “fair is one-to-one untranslatable into any other language.” Jim Henley, blogging into the Google Reader comment share ether, retorts: I remember the days we were assured there was no word for ‘freedom’ in Russian. That was bullshit. ‘There’s no one-to-one translation of *fair* into other languages’ sounds […]

Government Waste: The Bright Side

Government Contracting Demotivation

Tom Smith answers the question, “How efficiently can the Government waste money?” with an uncharacteristic optimism. I think alpha is greater than one.  You may think that’s impossible, but I’ve seen it done.  For example, you can tax productive people to pay other people to make sure still other people don’t do anything productive.  If […]

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Tanking in India


The critically acclaimed “Slumdog Millionaire” is not doing well in its native India, Madhur Singh reports for TIME. For many Indians, the film’s subject and treatment are familiar to the point of being banal. A lot of Indians are not keen to watch it for the same reason they wouldn’t want to go to Varanasi […]

Feingold Introduces Amendment Banning Senatorial Appointments


Former Ill. Attorney General Roland Burris, right, takes questions after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Burris as his choice to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 in Chicago.(AP Photo/Paul Beaty) Senator Russ Feingold has announced that he is introducing a Constitutional Amendment that would require states to hold a special […]

Clocking Out


Via Matt Yglesias, I see that the IHT has an interesting feature on “25 Examples of Good Urban Design” drawn from around the world. Matt is particularly interested in this one: 2) Street clocks Prague, Czech Republic Sometimes you don’t have a piece of Swiss watchmaking strapped to your wrist. On these occasions, time-keeping is […]

Government Created Jobs Worth the Cost?


Paul Krugman argues that President Obama’s critics are misrepresenting his so-called “economic stimulus” plan. For example: [T]here’s the bogus talking point that the Obama plan will cost $275,000 per job created. Why is it bogus? Because it involves taking the cost of a plan that will extend over several years, creating millions of jobs each […]

Caption Contest


Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

OTB Latenight – Rob Zombie


This has been stuck in my head all day:

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