Lance Armstrong: I’m Screwed

@lancearmstrong tweets, “I’m screwed.” Heh. Twitpic

Quotes of the Day – Big Government Edition

“It was easier for Obama to fire the CEO of a private company than it is to fire most federal employees.” – Radley Balko “I don’t know if you know this or not but starting today the United States government will stand behind your warranty on a newly purchased General Motors car.  Now, that’s going […]

Romo and T.O.

This ad at right, hawking jerseys for Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and Terrell Owens, late of the 49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys and now with the Buffalo Bills, was served in an RSS feed for Danger Room. It’s just amazing that Romo and T.O. are such marketing phenoms that their jerseys are being marketed […]

We Will Control the Horizontal

We will control the vertical, and we will control your paycheck, says Barney Frank. Representative Frank has been quietly working on legislation entitled, Pay for Performance Act of 2009. Here is the kicker, The purpose of the legislation is to “prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards,” according to the […]

One of These Is Not Like the Other

Timothy Sandefur is embarrassed: So I was watching this insane video of Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie discussing the War on Terrorism with Mos Def. And it’s amusing to laugh at the utterly hapless ignorance of “Mr. Def,” as he is repeatedly called—until you stop and wonder. Why is the black community not outraged by […]

The Ministers and Afghanistan

Reuters has published an interesting sampling of quotations from the various ministers in attendance at the conference on Afghanistan at The Hague. It reminds me of nothing so much as the old story (and poem) about the Blind Men and the Elephant. I’m not saying this to mock those in attendance at the conference but […]

Concentration of Power

Via Glenn Reynolds, I see that Arnold Kling has managed to come away from an anti-capitalism screed in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi with this conclusion: For quite a while, but especially over the last nine months, the best way to predict developments in politics and finance has been to ask: what will do the […]

The End of Fascism

Megan McArdle calls for an extension of Godwin’s Law that would put an end to “using the word fascist to apply to the current, or indeed previous, administration.” How is this helpful?  Has clarifying the distinction between fascism and socialism really added to most peoples’ understanding of what the Obama administration is doing?  All this […]

Tensions Mounting Over North Korean Launch

For the last several months tensions have been mounting over what the North Koreans have said is a satellite launch and South Korea, Japan, and the United States believe is the test of a long range missile. First, word appeared in the South Korean press that the launch was being prepared. Then the North Koreans […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Class Clown Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Bob Knight Guitar Hero Video

This is classic: Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, and Mike Krzyzewski do their take on the “Risky Business” scene in a commercial for “Guitar Hero,” much to the chagrin of Metallica. I know the joke’s supposed to be Knight’s spoof of his famous tantrums but I especially like the way he delivers the line, […]

Blogger Arms Race

Responding to a reader suggestion that blogger’s word counts be restricted by government (a rather apples-meet-oranges response to a post suggesting CEO pay be capped) Matt Yglesias only wishes it were so. Personally, I would love a legal cap on the number of words a blogger is allowed to produce per day. I’m privileged to […]

Quote of the Day – Auto Edition

“Henry Blodget (along with others at Clusterstock) wonders why bankers, notably BoA’s Ken Lewis, are getting such kid glove treatement while GM’s Rick Wagoner gets the axe. I think I can explain that. The White House’s pool of economic advisers isn’t filled to the brim with auto execs.” – Dave Schuler Indeed.   Timothy Geithner and […]

Urban Density

Tim Lee does Google maps for three neighborhoods he’s lived in and one he’s thinking of moving to and notes the incredible range of compactness (as visually demonstrated from many more streets showing up in comparable map grids). It’s amazing how many people you can pack into a small area. It’s also interesting to note […]

Obama: Focus on Al Qaeda (Just Like Bush)

President Obama told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the Bush administration had lost its focus in Afghanistan and that his team will “refocus attention on al Qaeda.” He additionally promised that “we now have resourced properly this strategy. It’s not going to be an open-ended commitment of infinite resources. We’ve just got to make sure […]

Twitter Law: Are Tweets Copyrighted?

Mark Cuban wonders, “Is a tweet copyrightable ?  Is a tweet copyrighted by default when its published ? Can there possibly be a fair use exception for something that is only 140 characters or less ?” I got to thinking about this when I tweeted about an NBA game.  I tweeted to the people who […]

Obama Fires GM CEO Wagoner and his Board

Friday, under the slightly exaggerated headline “Obama to Run GM, Chrysler,” I passed on word that President Obama was going to demand “pretty drastic changes” in order to back further bailouts for the two struggling US auto companies.   Well, reductio creep happened before the weekend expired, as the top story at memeorandum shows. I’ll let […]

Caption Contest

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

Quote of the Day- Political Stunts Edition

“Sometimes, you wonder if most of what goes on in Washington isn’t just a full employment plan for political journalists.” — Ezra Klein

Krugman: Obama is Wrong

Newsweek devotes its cover this week to the punditry of Paul Krugman, the most prominent leftist critic of President Obama’s financial plan. In his twice-a-week column and his blog, Conscience of a Liberal, he criticizes the Obamaites for trying to prop up a financial system that he regards as essentially a dead man walking. In […]

G20 Summit: Don’t Expect Much

In my New Atlanticist piece, “Brown Global Stimulus Plea Falls on Deaf Ears,” I explain why we shouldn’t expect much to come out of next week’s summit of G20 leaders in London. I also go Janis Joplin on Gordon Brown. Photo: Edmunds

Afghanistan Plan: Designed by a Committee

This morning the New York Times has an interesting article describing the political infighting that lead to the new plan for Afghanistan: WASHINGTON — President Obama’s plan to widen United States involvement in Afghanistan came after an internal debate in which Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned against getting into a political and military […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney wants to welcome back Carter. Wizbang has been pumping irony. Wyatt Earp got the short end… Blonde Sagacity was hoping to work it out with a pencil. RT’s Ponderings just couldn’t wait. Right Pundits is telling a lulu. The Gone Rick Motel can’t keep a secret. Brainfuel is […]

Quote of the Day – Partisanship Edition

“I think the worst thing we have going for us right now isn’t presidential inexperience but that we now have two opposition parties.  I think it was Megan McArdle who pointed out that members of the party in power are smug and arrogant while members of the party out of power are insane.  Now we […]

Obama’s Afghanistan Plan: Same as the Old Plan?

President Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan has won the backhanded praise of Hamid Karzai, who termed it “better than we were expecting.”  Gordon Brown has lauded the plan as well and called for NATO to do more.  Even the neocons are happy with Max Boot pronouncing it “pretty much all that supporters of […]

Economist to Obama: ‘Lead, Dammit’

The editorial board at The Economist (which apparently considers itself a “newspaper” despite coming out weekly in magazine format) praises President Obama for having “already done some commendable things” in the foreign policy arena but charges that, domestically, “His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped.”  They […]

Research Grants: We Need Yet More PhD’s

Recently-minted PhD Thoreau discusses the difference between research grants offered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and those backed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) thusly: NSF wants to see more Americans in grad school, because they believe that the only way to maintain America’s competitive edge is to continue to over-produce Ph.D.’s. If […]

Afghanistan Plan Conference Call

Denis McDonough, deputy assistant to the president in charge of strategic communications for the National Security Council, and Caitlin Hayden, director of communications at NSC, held a conference call this afternoon, organized by the White House, to discuss the plan with invited bloggers. Uncharacteristically, I managed to get in the first question and some follow-ups: […]

Republican ‘Budget’ Embarrassing

Steven Taylor, a lifelong Republican, calls “The Republican Road to Recovery,” the GOP’s budget-without-numbers, “an “embarrassing budget proposal.” Here’s the deal: if one is going to engage in a serious1 policy debate about very serious fiscal and monetary matters in a time of a very deep financial crisis, one has to come prepared and be […]

The New Plan for Afghanistan

In anticipation of next week’s NATO meeting in which the issue of Afghanistan will be front and center, President Obama has briefed Congressional leaders on his plans: WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to further bolster American forces in Afghanistan and for the first time set benchmarks for progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban […]

Is National Service Slavery?

Timothy Sandefur argues that President Obama’s plan to expand Americorps into a “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people” is “an abrogation of the 13th Amendment” and its prohibition against “involuntary servitude.” The good news, as an update the Examiner editorial linked above notes, is that the offending language […]

Marijuana Prohibition Deadly

Radley Balko, responding to James Poulos, argues that criminalization of marijuana has been deadly: Det. Jarrod Shivers is dead and Ryan Frederick’s life is ruined over the prohibition of pot. Officer Ron Jones is dead, and Cory Maye, once sentenced to be executed, now faces a life sentence because of marijuana prohibition. Cheryl Lynn Noel […]

Obama to Run GM, Chrysler

President Obama says he’ll help GM and Chrysler but they’ll have to agree to some “pretty drastic changes.” “We will provide them some help,” Obama said. “I know that it is not popular to provide help to auto workers — or to auto companies. But my job is to measure the costs of allowing these […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Ayatoyota Holdmany Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

More AIG Employees Quit

More employees are leaving AIG, and the financial products unit, which is the division that has brought the company to its current state. I suppose one could say, “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” but a word of caution: you now own this company. The taxpayers are on the hook for this one. To date, AIG […]

Are We Turning The Corner?

Or is the corner in sight? James Hamilton lists some indications that the answer to the latter question might be a tentative yes. A couple of weeks ago we received the encouraging news that retail sales for both January and February were 1.8% above December. On Monday the National Association of Realtors reported that February […]

The Buzz on the New Plan for Afghanistan

There’s a lot of buzz going around right now that President Obama will announce his new plan for our efforts in Afghanistan tomorrow. Marc Ambinder says that folks in the know are telling him that the plan will emphasize counter-terrorist activities: A few weeks ago, Obama announced that an additional 17,000 U.S. troops would be […]

Negative Ghost Rider, The Pattern is Full

Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, notes that only one reporter came by before yesterday’s game to ask questions, an astonishingly low number. I recognize that this is partially a function of the fact that we are in the 8th slot rather than in 1st place. I also recognize that if I resigned […]

Quote of the Day – Civility Edition

“If the trans community really does want to help educate, inform and guide public policy, as they should, a little less fury, derision and anger might help.” – Andrew Sullivan He’s responding to a rather harsh email correcting him on the facts on the effects of male-to-female gender reassignment surgery on athletic performance but, really, […]

Responding to North Korea

North Korea has moved what they have called a satellite launch vehicle and Japan, South Korea, and the United States believe is a long-range missile into position for launching as early as next week. Japan has announced its intention of shooting the missile down should it near Japanese territory. Japan, South Korea, and the United […]

Iran to Attend Conference on Afghanistan

The BBC is reporting that Iran will attend the international conference on Afghanistan to be held next week: Iran has agreed to attend a US-backed international conference on Afghanistan next week, but Washington played down the prospect of a high-profile meeting. While US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also due to attend, the state […]

Obama: Slacker President?

Reacting to a Rachel Lewis feature touting Barack Obama as a man-about-town in Washington, attending ball games and plays and dining out, Ann Althouse wonders, “Should the president be working harder?” Glenn Reynolds quips, “I think he should take as much time off as he wants.”  Heh. Indeed. Aside from that, though, it’s an absurd […]

Geither’s Loose Lips (Briefly) Sink Dollar Ship (Updated)

My New Atlanticist piece Geithner Dollar Remarks Create Panic” shows how a perfectly reasonable and intellectually defensible comment by a senior official can have an enormous, negative impact. The video: The bottom line: Things perfectly fine for public intellectuals to bandy about often require subtlety and sidestepping by public officials. Diplomats must be diplomatic, presidents […]

House GOP Unveils New Homeowner Subsidy Policy

The House GOP has unveiled a a new housing plan. Among the provisions are these: 1. A $5,000 tax credit for people who refinance their homes. This is designed to help people who are in trouble making their monthly mortgage payments. 2. A $15,000 credit for homebuyers who put more than 5 percent down. This […]

Collectivism vs. Charity

In the midst of an argument about the dubiousness of some charitable tax deductions that I generally agree with, Conor Clarke makes an astounding leap: Decisions about what will make our community better should be made communally — by pooling revenue and making collective decisions about where and how it should be spent. Methinks someone […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES POLITICS) 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 and Steve Verdon will join me to talk about the Geithner Plan, the AIG bonus brouhaha, the ongoing financial mess and various other issues. Please join us. We’ll also be taking your calls at (646) […]

Tax Incidence

One thing students in public finance courses learn is that who you levy a tax on isn’t always the person who pays the tax. For example, suppose you place a per unit tax on hamburgers and make the burger restaurant responsible with paying the tax. What does the burger restaurant do? Raise its price by […]

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