Tea Parties Protest Stimulus

David Samo has the best explanation I’ve seen thus for of the bizarre “tea party” phenomenon: In the latest example of how user-produced media can capture so-called “massively-shared” events in a way mainstream media can’t, a wave of images, blog posts and videos from a nationwide protest has been washing across the Web. The protests, […]

Productivity Guidelines: Quality Over Quantity

Gina Trapani transcribes a corporate whiteboard offering solutions for “Workday Quality Over Quantity.” Check email ONLY: 10AM 1PM 4PM Send any time Set email to check every 3 hours. NO email on evenings. NO email on weekends. EMERGENCY? = Use phone. FOCUS 1-3 Activities max/day LOG 1-3 Succinct status bullets every day on team wiki […]

Obama Ends Major Combat Operations in Iraq

Given that OTB got started during the run-up to the Iraq War and that my commentary on that subject was what first got me noticed by some major blogs, it’s perhaps ironic that I’ve hardly written about the subject lately.  Partly, it’s a function of my now doing most of my foreign policy blogging at […]

Words to Live By

@Mark_Meyer tweets “Clay Shirky should tweet more.” @cshirky responds, “I tweet exactly the right amount, which is as often as I have anything to say.”

Blu-Ray Does Jane Austen

Via Blu-Ray evangelist Glenn Reynolds, I see that the “Pride and Prejudice” miniseries from 1995 is now out and that “The Blu-ray version is not just a simple transfer to High Definition from the television show or from later DVD releases, instead technicians went back to the original 16mm film and restored it frame by […]

Asked and Answered

Josh Marshall offers the following “Deep Thought”: With Jindal and Steele heading up the GOP, how long can Obama hope to remain president? Eight years?

How Many Dates Until Sex?

via @pwgavin, I see that Washingtonian magazine’s Kelli DiNardo has done a “Dating Diaries Roundtable: How Many Dates Until Sex?” complete with names, bios, and photos of the respondents. @pw seems mildly upset by this, snarking, “Wow, looks like it won’t be long before Washingtonian mag moves from Best Dentist to Best Stripper.” But it’s […]

Newly Conservative Lesbian at CPAC

A bit ago, I stumbled on a folder with a large Nike-style swoosh with the letters “LIMBAUGH” in it and the title “The Importance of Branding.” As if to illustrate this, a Cynthia Yockey just walked by Bloggers Row and left off business cards promoting her (new?) blog, A Newly Conservative Lesbian.  I’d have guessed […]

GDP for 4th Quarter 2008

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has updated their advanced estimate of GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 and it is not good at all. Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 6.2 […]

Social Security & Medicare: Don’t Worry Be Happy

In response to my last post on Social Security, Medicare and the medium to long term fiscal outlook for the U.S. Bernard Finel has another response. In this post Bernard looks at the deficits from 1950 to 2007 and writes, in part, (Warning: Biiiiig Post Below the fold.)

Obama Announces Iraq Withdrawal Plans

Making good on his campaign promise, today President Obama announced that all U. S. troops will have been withdrawn from Iraq by August 2011 and all “combat bridades” will have been withdrawn by August 2010: In remarks prepared for delivery at Camp Lejeune, Mr. Obama said, “Let me say this as plainly as I can: […]

Hitchens in Beirut

A story that I’ve ignored thus far in this space is Christopher Hitchens managing to get himself beat up in Beirut by confronting some thugs. Michael Totten, who was a participant in the encounter, has the definitive account. Scott Payne is an admirer of Hitchens’ boldness: I spend a lot of time on this site […]

Newt Gingrich at CPAC

I attended a breakfast this morning with Newt Gingrich as part of the rollout for the American Solutions Winning the Future effort.  As usual, he was an extremely forceful speaker and passionate strategist. He opened by saying that he is an optimist and that “President Obama is doing us a huge favor” by showing how […]

Kissinger: COIN Won’t Work/McCain: CT Won’t Work

Within the last couple of days both Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger have offered contrasting strategies for Afghanistan. John McCain’s plan was explained in a speech before the American Enterprise Institute and Henry Kissinger’s plan in an op-ed in the Washington Post. There are some points on which the two […]

John Bolton at CPAC: Nuke Chicago

Jonathan Stein remarks on something former recess appointment UN Ambassador John Bolton said yesterday at CPAC: “The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks [stopping Iran’s nuclear program is] a priority,” said Bolton. “He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many […]

OTB Latenight – Lyle Lovett

Caption Contest Winners

The Well Just Phuket Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Trendy Trends

Frequent commenter and part time contributor to Outside the Beltway Bernard Finel is disputing claims that there are serious fiscal imbalances facing the United States. Yesterday I posted an analysis that refuted the notion, common among conservatives, that the federal budget is out of control and growing a rapid rate. Instead, I demonstrated that government […]

Democrats and Republicans Oppose Liberty

Tyler Cowen passes along a “study” by Daniel Klein and Jason Briggeman which “finds” that conservative magazines are anti-liberty: Conservatives say they are for small government and individual liberty, but a content analysis of leading conservative magazines shows that most have preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling, and drugs. Besides many anti-liberty […]

Obama Slashes Spending, Increasing Massively!

I can’t help but be bemused by the YahooNews headline “Obama promises to slash spending by $2 trillion,” which accompanies an AP story quite contrary to that. President Barack Obama unveiled a multi-trillion-dollar spending plan Thursday that would boost taxes on the wealthy, curtail Medicare, lay the groundwork for universal health care and leave a […]

Joe The Plumberization of the Republican Party

Patrick Ruffini decries the “Joe-the-Plumberization of the GOP.” If you want to get a sense of how unserious and ungrounded most Americans think the Republican Party is, look no further than how conservatives elevate Joe the Plumber as a spokesman. The movement has become so gimmick-driven that Wurzelbacher will be a conservative hero long after […]

Obama – Harvard Man

Taegan Goddard passes on a Bloomberg report that President Obama has thus far brought eleven Harvard professors to join his administration, “the most since the Kennedy White House.”  This isn’t surprising, really.  Obama’s a technocrat and enlisting top level college professors, who must be “the best and the brightest,” is natural. The problem, as Dave […]

Byrd: Czars Executive Power Grab

Old Man Byrd is at it again: West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the longest-serving Democratic senator, on Wednesday criticized President Barack Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch. Byrd complained in a letter to the president that his […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Hasbro/Ray Stubblebine/HO (UNITED STATES) 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 will co-host and Steve Verdon will try to join us to talk about the president’s non-SOTU address, the economy, and our education system. Please join us. We’ll also be taking your calls at (646) 716-7030. […]

Should A-Rod Sue?

Daniel Solove argues that Alex Rodriguez has a very good basis for a lawsuit against Major League Baseball for failing to safeguard information about his positive steroids test: Professor Neil Richards and I have written extensively about breach of confidentiality. The tort is recognized in most states, and it provides for liability whenever one owes […]

America Invented Everything

President Obama is, correctly I think, taking some good natured ribbing from all sides for his rhetorical overreach in last night’s speech, claiming that America invented the automobile and solar energy when, in fact, others did. Since we’re making pop culture references (Bobby Jindal as Kenneth Purcell), I’m reminded of Star Trek’s Pavel Chekov (Walter […]

DC Statehood Makes No Sense

In a post Robert Prather dubs “A good primer on why I oppose DC statehood,” Matt Yglesias expresses his surprise that Democrats, who would demonstrably benefit from adding two more of their own to the Senate and another to the House, aren’t more wildly enthusiastic. But the striking thing is not how strong Republican opposition […]

Josh Patashnik Is Insane

Over at The New Republic Josh Patashnik writes, Isn’t that second sentence sort of an odd interpretation of this chart? Clearly, the projected growth rate of health care costs is unsustainable, and finding ways to change that ought to be, far and away, the country’s top fiscal priority. But it’s not as though the chunk […]

Jindal Flubs Debut

Judging from a scan of memeorandum and my RSS feed, quite literally everyone writing about Bobby Jindal’s national coming out party, his Republican response to Obama’s non-State of the Union address, thought it was an epic fail.  Indeed, seemingly everyone came to the independent conclusion that his delivery was channeling moronic page Kenneth Parcell from […]

Telepathy Journalism

Kate McMillan is amused at the AP’s fawning reports on President Obama’s non-State of the Union speech and especially by the fact that they were written before said speech was actually given. The practice of writing up reports based on prepared remarks is hardly new, of course, but it is rather odd.   The general practice […]

OTB Latenight – War

Army Officer Challenges Obama’s Eligibility

The bizarre idea that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen and therefore not eligible to hold the office of president continues to thrive, with an active duty Army officer now joining the fray.  The soldier in question, 40-year-old contractor-turned 2LT Scott Easterling asserts that his oath to defend the Constitution require that, “Until […]

Consumer Confidence Hits New Low

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index reached 25 (1985=100) for January. That is a new all-time low for the index. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Indexâ„¢, which had decreased moderately in January, declined in February, reaching yet another all-time low. The Index now stands at 25.0 (1985=100), down from 37.4 in January. The Present Situation […]

If We Build Three Really Large Pyramids…

This is the thinking of many when it comes to the stimulus spending. What we spend it one doesn’t really matter so long as we spend the money. Consider this argument for the stimulus spending from Prof. Brad DeLong. Implicit in Prof. DeLong’s argument is that it doesn’t really matter what the money is spent […]

From the Archives

Looking for the Colonel Jessup discussion I referenced in my last post, I came across the post “GOOD MOVIE, WRONG LESSON,” written on January 31, 2003 and imported over from the original blogspot site (unfortunately, owing to then-existing vagaries, sans comments).  It was the fourth substantive post and fifth total post ever on the site, […]

Murdock: Nations Will Be Redefined

Matt Drudge has the banner headline “MURDOCH WARNS NATIONS WILL BE REDEFINED” above a story that begins: Media baron Rupert Murdoch issued an urgent internal communication late Monday, warning his staff: “We are in the midst of a phase of history in which nations will be redefined and their futures fundamentally altered.” There’s not much […]

Gran Torino a Conservative Movie?

Matt Yglesias observes that, “The idea that Gran Torino is a conservative movie is, meanwhile, bizarre. In its main plot arc it’s very clearly a subversion of Dirty Harry-style right-wing vigilante fantasies.” I fully agree with the first sentence of Matt’s quote above but for a totally different reason:  There’s no such thing as a […]

California Assemblyman Pushes Pot Legalization

In a rare bit of sanity from a California politician, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has begun to argue for the legalization of marijuana in California. Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California’s biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a […]

Cramming for Exams Not Working Hard

Joining the College grading expectations debate a little late, Alan Jacobs makes a point most of us glossed over entirely:  even if we decide that it matters how hard the students worked matters, how would we measure that? Monitoring students on webcams to see how much time they spend writing, or with their noses in […]

South Asia: A Matter of Trust

Over the next three days, a high level delegation of U.S., Afghan, and Pakistani officials will meet to “seriously deal with the hard issues: how do the Afghans want to deal with [the insurgent activity on] their border, how to do this better, how to undermine those insurgents that run across their territory,” Laura Rozen […]

Huffington Post-ization of the Media

Tom Barnett‘s latest book tour has him frustrated with much of the mainstream press, whose preference for cuteness and brevity makes discussion of complex ideas next to impossible.  He contrasts this with talk radio, where he can have a long back-and-forth.  He closes: Long story short: after a day of many disappointing feedbacks from the […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Blue Period Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Maybe I Was Too Optimistic

In the post where I described out things could get really bad I suggested that the federal deficits for the next two years could hit $1 trillion or more for both years. A new paper by Alan Auerbach and William Gale suggests that is too optmistic. In 2009, the federal deficit will be larger as […]

Jeffery Sachs on Fiscal Policy

Is the current approach to fiscal policy misguided, if well intentioned? That is the case Jeffery Sachs is making. The U.S. political-economic system gives evidence of a phenomenon known as “instrument instability.” Policy makers at the Federal Reserve and the White House are attempting to use highly imperfect monetary and fiscal policies to stabilize the […]

Obama and Monkey Business

Via memeorandum, I see that the Washington Post issued a preemptive apology for this cartoon accompanying Gene Weingarten‘s humor piece, “Monkey Business – The good news for men: Women love apes” in the Sunday supplement: The apology: The headline, illustration and text of “Below the Beltway,” a column in The Washington Post Magazine today, may […]

Academic Journals: More Is Less

Tyler Cowen laments the splitting of the quarterly American Economic Review into multiple, monthly journals. I don’t intend any criticism of the editors, as it seems (based on a mere perusal) they have done a good job in each case. But the coming of the American Economic Review was for me an event to look […]

The Rich Equals Other People

Matt Yglesias catches NBC’s David Gregory saying “it isn’t just the fat cats, it’s you and me” when, in reality, Gregory is almost certainly a fat cat. And I think Matt’s exactly right about why that happens: people tend to think their reality is “normal” and define poor and rich as those significantly below or […]

Bunning: Ginsburg Likely Dead Soon

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning guessed that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months. During a wide-ranging 30-minute speech on Saturday at the Hardin County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, Bunning said he supports conservative judges “and that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth […]

Caption Contest

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

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