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Caption Contest Winners


The Potter’s Field Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

OTB Radio – Tonight at 7 Eastern

Our special Thursday edition of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live from 7-8 Easter. As usual, Dave Schuler will co-host.  Steve Verdon will do his best to join us.  The Chrysler bankruptcy, swine flu, and probably some other topics will be discussed. Please join us. We’ll also be taking your calls […]

Atlantic Council Awards: Bush, Kohl and Petraeus


I apologize for the dearth of posting the past couple of days.  Much of yesterday was spent in preparation for the Atlantic Council’s 2009 Leadership Awards, which were held last night, and this is my first break from the day-after followup on the website, which I’ve been working on since 6 this morning. As I […]

Chrysler to File for Bankruptcy


It looks like Chrysler will be filing bankruptcy today. Q. Will Chrysler cease to operate? A. No. Chrysler is reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The law allows companies to shed assets, restructure debt, cancel contracts and close operations that normally would have to continue running. Once they secure financing to […]

Caption Contest


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

Bachmann Blames FDR For 1930 Tariffs


Ladies and gentlemen, your United States Congress: For those who can’t watch the video, this is Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) on the floor of Congress, blaming Franklin Delano Roosevelt for the “Hoot-Smalley Act”, which apparently raised tariffs and deepened the Great Depression. Of course, the Hawley-Smoot Act (named after the Act’s Republican sponsors) was passed […]

First Quarter GDP, Advanced Estimate


The advanced estimate for first quarter GDP for 2009 indicates that the economy shrank 6.1%, a faster rate than the preliminary report indicated. 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 6.1 percent in the […]

Twitter Quitters


Reuters has a breathless report titled “Many Twitters are quick quitters: study.” Today’s Twitters are often tomorrow’s quitters, according to data that questions the long-term success of the latest social networking sensation used by celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to Britney Spears. Data from Nielsen Online, which measures Internet traffic, found that more than 60 percent […]

Rock is Dead They Say . . .


All great rock music was recorded by the time John Bonham died. Or was it?

Swine Flu Kills Texas Child, Regular Flu Kills Thousands


CNN Breaking News: “23-month-old Texas child confirmed as first U.S. swine flu death, according to Richard Besser, acting director, CDC.” [UPDATE:  CNN now reports that, while this is the first death in the U.S., the child was a Mexican citizen brought to Houston for treatment, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Houston Department of […]

Frank Luntz Goes Hollywood

Frank Luntz Hollywood

Focus group guru Frank Luntz is giving up politics and moving to Hollywood. “I’m tired of selling reality,” he said. “Reality sucks. It’s mean. Divisive. Negative. What Hollywood offers is a chance to create a new reality, in two hours time.” Luntz, who successfully helped kill the estate tax by recommending Republicans persistently call the […]

OTB Latenight – Beastie Boys


OTB Radio Postponed to Thursday

Owing to scheduling conflicts, the next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live from 7-8 Eastern THURSDAY instead of the customary Wednesday. As usual, Dave Schuler will co-host.  We have yet to book a guest, so topics are flexible. Please join us. We’ll also be taking your calls at (646) […]

British Celebs Fight Taxation with Representation

Michael Caine

In my New Atlanticist piece, “British Revolt of the Artists,” I take a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the threats of  Michael Caine and Andrew LLoyd Webber to leave the UK if a Labour plan to raise taxes goes through. While refraining from gratuitous Alec Baldwin references, I do point out that, “Rich artists are perhaps […]

Arlen Specter Switching Parties – ‘Loyal Democrat’


Arlen Specter is switching party labels to go along with having long switched sides ideologically.  There have been rumors on Twitter all morning and WaPo’s Chris Cillizza has confirmed. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according […]

Air Force One Flyover Frightens New Yorkers


An aircraft that would have been “Air Force One” except that President Obama wasn’t on board staged an ill-fated photo op in New York City yesterday morning. It was supposed to be a photo opportunity, a showcase of Air Force One alongside the sweep of New York City skyline. But as the low-flying Boeing 747 […]

Walden Book Review

Apparently, there’s this new book out by this guy named Thoreau who advocates a hermetic existence out in the woods.  Timothy Sandefur reviews it and finds it to be “a merciless collection of false profundity and Puritanism.”

Fox Says No to Obama 100 Day Stunt


Friday, noting that President Obama was costing the television networks millions by constantly demanding prime time for news conferences, I mused, “given the availability of a half dozen cable news channels, I’m not sure why the networks don’t just go with original programming.”   Someone must be reading because Fox will be running “Lie to Me” […]

Caption Contest Winners


The Thus Spake Zarathustra Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Martinis and Breasts


“Christopher Hitchens says that martinis are like breasts: One is one too few, while three is one too many.”  – via Andrew Exum, who recommends doubling that recommendation to ward off the swine flu. I’m not so sure about Exum’s medical advice — although he is a doctor (of philosophy) — but Hitchens’ advice is […]

Obama’s Most Broken Promise


Jim Harper at the Cato Institute points out that not only has Obama failed to keep his campaign promise of posting bills he was going to sign to the internet, but that President Obama will likely keep right on breaking this promise. President Obama promised on the campaign trail that he would have the most […]

Breaking the Bank


If the information in this Op-Ed at the Wall Street Journal is true, then there was an amazing amount of deception going on on the part of former Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairmen Ben Bernanke. In the name of containing “systemic risk,” our regulators spread it. In order to keep Mr. Lewis quiet, they […]

Berkeley Energy Police Coming


A reader sends along a recent Survey USA poll question: The city of Berkeley is considering a law that would require all homes to be audited to be sure they meet strict energy standards in the city’s plan to fight global warming. This would mean new double-paned windows, attic insulation, a new white roof that […]

Barefoot Running: Do Running Shoes Cause Injury?

Running Shoes

Glenn Reynolds links a Popular Mechanics story on “How Barefoot Runners are Shaping the Shoe Industry.” My initial guess was “Buying fewer shoes?” It’s a wee bit more interesting than that.  Apparently, a Rick Roeber recently ran the Boston Marathon shoeless. And a number of people—ultramarathoners, biomechanics experts and doctors included—think that’s probably the best […]

Bleg: Medical School Slots Going Unfilled?


This morning Glenn Reynolds posted the following comment from a reader: As a physician in practice for over 25 years, I must comment. Medical schools are actually having trouble filling the available slots they have so more schools won’t necessarily make for better care. Much of “primary care” could be handled by nurse practitioners but […]

Conde Nast Closing ‘Portfolio’


Jeff Bercovici reports the demise of his own job: For nearly two years I’ve been covering the media industry’s bad news on this blog, including some that’s hit very close to home. Now it hits closer still: Condé Nast Portfolio is closing. Our editor in chief, Joanne Lipman, just broke the news to staff, saying […]

Suburban Pedestrian Blues


According to a groundbreaking TAP expose by Ben Adler, in suburban communities designed for driving and allowed to evolve over decades, it’s tough to be a pedestrian.  Conversely, managed communities designed around walking and built all at once are much more pedestrian friendly. Who’d have imagined? Photo by Flickr user Lester Ralph Blair, used under […]

Most Influential Person is Moot


The dude who gave us Lolcats and Rickrolling is the world’s most influential person, TIME reports: In a stunning result, the winner of the third annual TIME 100 poll, and new owner of the title world’s most influential person, is Moot. The 21-year-old college student and founder of the online community 4chan.org, whose real name […]

Best Age for Marriage


Mark Regnerus takes to the WaPo Outlook section to argue in favor of marrying in one’s early 20s in order to garner various social, economic, and fertility advantages.   Peter Suderman pushes back, contending that these aren’t very good reasons to get married and that people should get married and have kids whenever they want. Pascal-Emmanuel […]

Quote of the Day – Aging Edition


“[T]he first time I became aware of my mom’s age, she was 32. . . . 32 is an age that became, as it were, parental for me. Now, when I arrived in Manchester, having just ceased to be a student, and took up my job as a junior lecturer, I was 24. And 24 […]

Obama Iraq Withdrawal: Read the Fine Print


Barack Obama built his presidential campaign around being the candidate who opposed the Iraq War from the start and therefore had the most credibility in ending the war.  As the campaign went on and he got more advice from the experts, however, he began subtly hedging his promises, careful to always refer to “combat troops.”  […]

Caption Contest


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

OTB Latenight – The Killers


Jerry Brown Next California Governor?


Taegan Goddard passes along a Tulchin Research poll showing that Jerry Brown is the overwhelming favorite to get the Democratic nomination for California governor. Granted, the primary is more than a year away.  Still, this is rather amusing.  The first time Brown got elected governor, I was in grade school and he was a 37-year-old […]

No Such Thing as Race: So Say We All?


The juxtaposition of George Will‘s latest column, “The Wreck of the Racial Spoils System,” and this odd appearance by Edward James Olmos and the cast of BSG at the United Nations (via Charli Carpenter) bitterly arguing that “there’s no such thing as race” except for, naturally, “the human race,” is startling.     Now, the […]

Ending the Vice Presidency II


Jeremy Lott’s attempted response to my response piece on “Ending the Vice Presidency” was, for some odd reason*, rejected altogether by my commenting system.  Rather than pasting them into the comments of a post buried in the archives, I’ve done it below, with my original in blockquotes, followed by his retort in boldface, followed by […]

Bea Arthur Dies at 86

Obit Arthur

Bea Arthur, star of “Maude” and “The Golden Girls,” has died of cancer at 86. Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” and who won a Tony Award for the musical “Mame,” died Saturday. She was […]

NFL Draft Live Blogging


The last couple of years, I’ve live-blogged the NFL draft over at OTB Sports.  With the draft starting three hours later and the Dallas Cowboys not having a pick until the 52nd spot owing to the Roy Williams trade, I just don’t have a pick-by-pick play-by-play in me this year. [UPDATE:   Bill Jempty has stepped […]

UN Demands Torture Prosecutions

Austria UN Torture

Manfred Nowak, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on torture, proclaimed yesterday that the United States must prosecute the lawyers who drew up the torture memos and that if we fail to do so it is the duty of other states to step in and bring charges. In my New Atlanticist piece, “UN: United States Must Prosecute […]

OTB Caption JamTM


Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is headed to the red … and fuzzy…. planet. Wizbang has dos amigos. Wyatt Earp has Shirts vs. Skins. Cowboy Blob didn’t want to eat the wings. Blonde Sagacity is givin’ the man some skin. RT’s Ponderings still holds a grudge against Leroy Jenkins. Right Pundits has the […]

Quote of the Day – Torture Edition

“[E]ven if we stipulate that torture had produced vital information in some particular instance when no other method would have worked—and it’s not remotely clear at this point that we should stipulate to any such thing—this is a wildly confused way to frame the question. Sooner or later, someone wins the lottery. For that person, […]

Help Government Approved Panhandlers Only!


Amusing sign seen in Atlanta by a Tyler Cowen reader:

How Safe Are Pakistan’s Nukes?


“[I]f Pakistan collapses, the U.S. military is primed to enter the country and secure as many of those weapons as it can, according to U.S. officials,” report’s TIME’s Mark Thompson burying his lede three paragraphs into a story whose headline asks, “Does Pakistan’s Taliban Surge Raise a Nuclear Threat?” As I explain in my New […]

Barney Frank: Housing Bubble Nostradamus


When I saw Glenn Reynolds‘ snarky post, “BARNEY FRANK IN 2005: Bubble? What bubble?” my instinct was a snarky rejoinder about what a stupid SOB Frank was with a link to my own archives, subtly alluding to the fact that a lot of us got that one wrong. The link, though, goes to an Ed […]

A New Financial System


Laurence J. Kotlikoff and Edward Leamer put forward how the financial sector should be redesigned. The system was supposed to channel our hard-earned savings into the best real investments: new homes, offices, factories, equipment and research. And it was supposed to correctly price our assets. It did neither. Instead, Wall Street morphed into a vast […]

Obama’s Blackberry


President Obama will soon get his BlackBerry back, Bill Gertz reports, with some mods from Q. President Obama will soon get his souped-up, high-security BlackBerry for use in and around the White House and during presidential travel, according to Obama administration officials. The top-secret BlackBerry 8830 is in the final stages of development by the […]

Germany Is Concerned About Pakistan

Germany is concerned about the Taliban fighters nearing Pakistan’s Islamabad capital: BERLIN, April 24 (Reuters) – Germany expressed concern on Friday at the advance of Taliban fighters towards Pakistan’s capital and urged the government in Islamabad to take decisive action to ensure the security situation did not deteriorate. Taliban militants have pushed closer to the […]

What To Do About Pakistan?

This morning Bill Roggio is reporting that the Pakistani government has moved paramilitary forces, potentially to oppose Taliban forces should they advance on the capital: Islamabad officials have moved paramilitary forces to block a potential Taliban advance into the nation’s capital as US officials question Pakistan’s ability to stop the creeping insurgency. Islamabad’s deputy commissioner […]

Susan Boyle Gets Makeover

This was inevitable: Singing sensation Susan Boyle — whose dowdy image contrasted so greatly with her angelic voice that she became an instant Internet celebrity — has gone in for a makeover. Boyle, 47, had her graying, frizzy hair dyed chestnut brown and styled in what The Sun tabloid says was a 35-pound ($50) makeover. […]

Obama TV Appearances Take Toll on Networks

Obama News Conference

News photographers surround the teleprompter as US President Barack Obama delivers opening remarks during his primetime press conference in the East Room of the White House on March 24, 2009 in Washington. Obama told his crisis-weary nation he sees signs of economic progress but pleaded for “patience” as he battles to overcome the worst financial […]

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