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Quitters

travel-suitcase

In the space of less than 24 hours, three major races have been impacted by candidates deciding to quit. In Afghanistan, challenger Abdullah Abdullah has reportedly decided not to participate in the run-off election with Hamid Karzai for president.  This makes the U.S. attempt to pretend Karzai is a legitimate, democratic leader somewhat more difficult. […]

White House Opaque Transparency

Yesterday afternoon, in a bit of faux transparency like you’ve never seen before, the administration released the names of everyone who has toured the White House from Obama’s inauguration through the end of July.  This, after various Freedom of Information Act requests to determine whether, say, William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright have stopped by. A […]

Neutral on Net Neutrality

intellectual-invention

Stephen Green is torn on the issue of net neutrality, with his libertarian side thinking Internet service providers ought to be able to “charge what the traffic will bear” on their equipment while his conservative side preferring to preserve a status quo that works well to an unknown future. I’m on the same fence but […]

OTB Latenight – The Allman Brothers Band

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Capitalism: A Love Story

money-investing

I was reading the review of Capitalism over at Reason and at the end it had this, One final note: Just before the film started, Moore asked the audience to turn off any recording devices because the studio did not want bootleg versions of the film getting around. Apparently this socialism stuff has its limits. […]

Web’s Latin-Only Policy Ending

chinese-keyboard-stickers

Starting in two weeks, users from countries who don’t use the Latin alphabet will find using the Internet much easier, FT reports. Latin script’s monopoly in internet domain names will end next month, a development that could usher in a fresh wave of internet usage from Bulgaria to China. So far, finding web addresses has […]

Recession Over?

money-investing

While it is good news that the economy grew last quarter I think claims that the recession is over are premature. Why? Because I think the last quarter’s numbers are due to gimmicks by the Obama Administration as was discussed last night on OTB Blog Radio and also when looking at this post by Dave […]

Martians Can’t Sue

martian

Eugene Volokh brings to our attention, rather belatedly, the case of Joly v. Pelletier, in which Rene Joly brought a suit some ten years ago alleging that Pelletier and others had conspired to suppress evidence that he was a Martian.  The judge dismissed the case on two grounds: 1. Neither pleading discloses a cause of […]

Obama Spoils System Champ

Obama Fundraiser

A USA Today report that “Nearly a year after he was elected on a pledge to change business-as-usual in Washington, Obama also has taken a cue from his predecessors and appointed fundraisers to coveted ambassadorships” and in fact has done so at “a rate higher than any president in more than four decades” combined with  […]

Gates and Crowley Beer Summit II

Beer-Summit-Gates-Crowley-Obama

Professor Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley apparently enjoyed their beer summit with the president so much that they’ve decided to have another round.  Minus the president. In a setting a tad less formal, with no president or national press on hand, the Harvard professor and the Cambridge cop at the heart of last […]

Obama’s Europe Neglect Could Bring Bush Nostalgia

obama-sarkozy

My first piece for ForeignPolicy.com, “Europe’s Obama Fatigue,” is online. Despite George W. Bush’s defiant “you’re with us or you’re against us” public stance, he actively solicited advice and input from his NATO partners. Obama, by contrast, is saying all the right things in public about transatlantic relations and NATO but adopting a high-handed policy and […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Ray-Bandogge Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. REUTERS/Natalie Behring (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ANIMALS)

OTB Radio — Tonight at 5:30 Eastern

The next episode of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will record and air live from 5:30-6:30 Eastern. Dave Schuler will cost-host and we’ll be talking about the end of the recession, the state of cable news, the Matthew Hoh kerfuffle, and whatever else comes to mind.  Steve Verdon may join us for a segment, his […]

Efficient Market Hypothesis

money-investing

Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School looks at the claims that the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) is the cause of the current crisis and rejects these claims. The main part of his argument is, But is the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) really responsible for the current crisis? The answer is no. The EMH, originally put […]

Recession Over, Obama Takes Credit

Recession Recovery Signs

As widely expected, the Powers That Be have declared the recession  over, while cautioning that the economy still has a long way to go.  And, of course, the Obama administration is crediting its stimulus packages for the good news. It might not feel like it to most voters, but the U.S. economy is growing again […]

Schwarzenegger’s Veto Sudoku

schwarzenegger-veto-fu

A minor buzz was generated yesterday by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto message to the state assembly: It seems that, if one ignores the first two and last two paragraphs, there’s a hidden message spelled out by the first letter of the remaining sentences. If that’s too complicated, Kevin Drum has a version with the […]

Caption Contest

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Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES POLITICS EDUCATION) Winners will be announced Monday PM

OTB Radio Scheduling Note

Owing to scheduling conflicts, this week’s episode of OTB Radio will air tomorrow night from 5:30-6:30 Eastern and next week’s episode will air on Tuesday night at the same time.   Subsequent episodes will mostly air on Wednesdays.

Multiple Choice: Economics

money-investing

The New York Times has an interesting multiple choice question regarding how to spend money to help stimulate the economy, If you wanted to help the economy and you had $14 billion to bestow on any group of people, which group would you choose: a) Teenagers and young adults, who have an 18 percent unemployment […]

Republicans Better Informed

Party Knowledge Gap: Republicans Better Informed

A new Pew survey shows a rather steep “Partisan Knowledge Gap,” with Republicans and Independents generally better informed than Democrats. Mary Katharine Ham finds this quite amusing and also notes that, “if the polling had gone the other way, the NYT would shout it from the rooftops.”  She provides examples of the mainstream press doing […]

College Students Better Than Professors Think?

John Beluschi Animal House

Gary Lewandowski and David Strohmetz, psychology professors at Monmouth University, argue at Inside Higher Ed that college professors have unrealistic expectations of their students.  They begin poorly, with several paragraphs of the “both professors and students have shortcomings” variety.  But they eventually hit on an essential truth: We run the risk of using our own […]

Friedman’s Vote on Afghanistan

Columnist Thomas Friedman has put in his vote for what we should do in Afghanistan: Don’t Build Up It is crunch time on Afghanistan, so here’s my vote: We need to be thinking about how to reduce our footprint and our goals there in a responsible way, not dig in deeper. We simply do not […]

Late Night Sexual Harrassment

late-night-comedy-shows

Nell Scovell, one of a handful of women who has ever worked as a comedy writer for David Letterman — or any of the late night comic talk shows — contends that an atmosphere of sexual harassment routinely exists on those shows: Without naming names or digging up decades-old dirt, let’s address the pertinent questions. […]

OTB Latenight – John Cleese

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In honour of John Cleese’s 70th birthday, here’s something completely different:

Don’t Bring a Knife to a Coffee Fight

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A self-professed gun nut named Caleb: Saturday leaving my office, I was the subject of an attempted mugging by a member of the Indianapolis Choir Boy School of Good Men Who are Only Down on Their Luck.  As I was leaving my office, said altar boy came around the corner of my building to the […]

Libertarianism Not an Ideology

Kerry Howley Photo

IOZ (whose identity is apparently a mystery) sums up a recent debate that’s been brewing on several of the blogs I frequent: When Kerry Howley made the irrefutable and yet quixotic point that any proper concern with liberty, whether practical or, ahem, merely philosophical, must grapple with the strictures of cultural mores and social conventions, […]

The Cost of Empire

us-politics

Last week, Congress approved the 2010 Defense Authorization Bill, with costs totalling to a whopping $680 billion. And as Christopher Preble points out, that’s not all: The defense bill represents only part of our military spending. The appropriations bill moving through Congress governing veterans affairs, military construction and other agencies totals $133 billion, while the […]

CNN in Last Place – Behind MSNBC Reruns!

cable-news-ratings

CNN has dropped to fourth place in the cable news business it invented. And Fox continues to rise while under fire from the administration. CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth — and last — among […]

Minor FSO Resigns, Panic Ensues

matthew-hoh

An incredibly junior foreign service officer has resigned over disagreement with our AfPak policy, prompting a high level scramble within the administration and a long feature in the Washington Post. As I wrote in “While Obama Dithers,” a piece for New Atlanticist, They’ve brought this on themselves.  Granted, President Obama inherited this war and his […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Baracky Horror Picture Show Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. (H/T Drudgereport)

Obama Ties Bush on Golf

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Interesting-if-true fact from Patrick Gavin:  President Obama has already played as many rounds of golf after nine months in office as President George W. Bush did in eight years. President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he’s already hit the links as much as President Bush did in […]

Military Bureaucracy

fourth-star-generals

Two separate reviews of The Fourth Star, a new book by David Cloud and Greg Jaffee, touch on a theme that has fascinated me since I wrote a dissertation on the subject. NYT foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins (via SWJ): “The Fourth Star” paints wonderfully dramatic portraits of the four senior officers highlighted here, but at […]

Christian Right Diverse, Polite, and Thoughtful

eternal-reward-points

While I’m a huge fan of Christopher Hitchens as a writer, let’s face it, the man can be a jackass. And while I largely share his views on organized religion, I find his condescension rather mean-spirited. So when he penned a column for Slate articulating “What I’ve learned from debating religious people around the world,” […]

Twitter Memes

twitter

Becks observes, “I suspect many Twitter memes that I find annoying (one letter off movie titles, failed children’s books, etc.) would have been quite hilarious Unfogged threads.” The post title, “The Medium Is The Message,” is appropriate.  Several Twitter memes  (created by adding a hashtag such as #failedchildrensbooks) of the sort mentioned can be amusing […]

BRAC, Ft. Belvoir, and Northern Virginia Traffic

brac

Virginia Congressman Jim Moran argues that the Defense Department ought to step up and pay for the increased traffic BRAC is about to bring to his district: The latest round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closing) moves is poised to create a daytime nightmare of traffic congestion for Northern Virginia. Over the next two years, […]

Prosecutors Investigate Innocence Project Students

innocence-project

A rather bizarre case in Illinois — even by the standards of that state. For more than a decade, classes of students at Northwestern University’s journalism school have been scrutinizing the work of prosecutors and the police. The investigations into old crimes, as part of the Medill Innocence Project, have helped lead to the release […]

Is Barack Obama Too Manly?

Obama Golf Boys

Mark Liebowitz had a piece for NYT over the weekend titled “Man’s World at White House? No Harm, No Foul, Aides Say.” At first blush, it reads like some feminists are genuinely concerned about a male-dominated culture in the West Wing. After awhile, however, one begins to suspect it’s a PR exercise to make President […]

Caption Contest

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Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Natalie Behring (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ANIMALS) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

OTB Latenight – Sister Hazel

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Maintaining Commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan

Month to date there have been four U. S. casualties in Iraq. Each death remains a tragedy but that’s a far cry from a year ago or two years ago. Fatalities in the Iraqi security forces have declined, too, each month of this year seeing fewer casualties than in the corresponding month of last year. […]

Obama Declares Swine Flu Emergency

h1n1-vaccine

President Obama has declared that the swine flu, which is much less prevalent and deadly than the ordinary influenza virus, is an “epidemic” and a “national emergency.”  Silly as it sounds, it was the right call. President Obama has declared H1N1 swine flu a national emergency, clearing the way for his health chief to give […]

OTB Caption JamTM

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Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney has made a shocking discovery. Wizbang is in the spin cycle. Wyatt Earp has his rubber ducky. Cowboy Blob is taking a hands off approach. RT’s Ponderings is passing on sage advice. Blonde Sagacity thinks the three of them will be very happy together. Military Times has a […]

White Cities

whitecity1

White elites, shockingly, seem to enjoy cities where the culture is dominated by white elites. Aaron Renn breaks the news. Among the media, academia and within planning circles, there’s a generally standing answer to the question of what cities are the best, the most progressive and best role models for small and mid-sized cities. The […]

OTB Latenight – Linda Ronstadt

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Jessica Cutler a Mom!

jessica-cutler

Longtime denizens of the blogosphere will recall the strange case of Jessica Cutler, the one-time Senate staffer who briefly dished sex gossip as “Washingtonienne” and launched into 15 minutes of fame. Now, she’s a mommy. Five years ago, Jessica Cutler‘s anonymous Washingtonienne blog was the hottest thing in town. Make that hotttt! So hotttt! — […]

Roger Ailes for President?!

President Roger Ailes

Topping Memeorandum is Mike Allen‘s wild speculation for Politico about a presidential run by Roger Ailes. Friends and associates are encouraging Fox News chief Roger Ailes to jump into the political arena for real by running for president in 2012, top sources tell POLITICO. “Ailes knows how to frame an issue better than anybody, and […]

McInturff AHIP Speech Draws Protests

Bill McInturff, managing partner of my wife’s firm, had his keynote speech to AHIP interrupted this morning by singing protesters. Sam Stein reports for HuffPo: Republican pollster Bill McInturff was the keynote speaker on the final day of the America’s Health Insurance Plans’s state issues conference on Friday morning. But his speech on how the […]

D.C. Marriage Rate Lowest in U.S.

wedding-rings

Tyler Cowen points me to an interesting discussion on the subject “Why So Few D.C. Residents Are Married.” Washington City Paper‘s Amanda Hess cites a Pew survey finding that “Only 23 percent of women and 28 percent of men and in D.C. are married, compared to 48 and 52 percent nationwide. The rates in D.C. […]

Top Employees Flee Pay-Limited Firms

executive-running

Remember that plan by Obama’s pay czar to radically limit executive pay at bailed out banks? And how some of us were predicting that they’d just go to companies whose pay was not limited?  Well, it didn’t take long. Even before the Obama administration formally tightened executive compensation at bailed-out companies, the prospect of pay […]

Caption Contest Winners

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The Nineveh Bar and Grill Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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