OTB Latenight – Mairi Campbell


Caption Contest Winners

The Many Happy Returns Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. (AFP/Getty Images/File/Mario Tama)

Terrorism Math

By any reasonable measure, we’re far too apprehensive about terrorism and expend far too many resources and sacrifice far too much liberty defending against its risks.  But there are smart ways and dumb ways to make that point. Nate Silver, responding a few days ago to one of my posts, demonstrates the former: Over the […]

Todd Palin Bans People From Wife’s Event

Several bloggers, most notably Andrew Sullivan, are calling attention to Shannyn Moore‘s bizarre post about being banned from a Sarah Palin event by husband Todd Palin. Sarah Palin’s Wasilla book signing had a few rules. “Per Todd Palin”, three of us were banned. “Public servants” in their police uniforms at a “public event” in a […]

TSA Bullies Bloggers Who Published Leaked Procedures

There’s quite a bit of chatter this morning about the fact that two travel bloggers of whom I’d never previously heard have  had their computers confiscated pursuant to subpoenas after publishing unclassified but sensitive TSA screening procedures.  AP’s Eileen Sullivan has the rundown: As the government reviews how an alleged terrorist was able to bring […]

And What About the Chinese Banks?

While we’re on the subject of China and trade policy, I wonder why more attention hasn’t been paid to China’s failure to live up to all of the commitments it made when it was admitted to the WTO back in 2001? As I calculate things China has yet to meet the obligations it made in […]

Caption Contest

Time for the New Year’s Eve OTB Caption ContestTM (AFP/File/Carl de Souza) Winners will be announced Monday PM

Chinese Steel Faces Stiff Tariffs: Untangling the Web

Apparently, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had reason to be concerned about Western protectionism when he made his remarks last week. The U. S. has imposed stiff duties on imports of steel pipe from China: (Bloomberg) — The U.S. will impose duties on $2.8 billion in steel-pipe imports from China after saying subsidies on the products […]

Cheering for the Laundry

It seems that some liberal bloggers who used to complain about the Bush administration are being intellectually honest and also complaining when the Obama administration does the same thing.  BooMan, for one, doesn’t like it. What brought people together into progressive blogging communities and networks was related to policy (the invasion of Iraq, torture, illegal […]

New TurboTax Edition Aids Future Treasury Secretaries

Paul Caron notes that TurboTax has updated its software to be sure to prompt future Treasury Secretaries to pay their self-employment taxes when they work for the IMF. (h/t Megan McArdle)

Senators Make Massive Security Slip In Letter to Obama

Daphne Evitiar doesn’t seem to note anything unusual about this: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sent a letter to President Obama today asking him to halt the transfer of six Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. The request, they say, is in light of the danger they’ve apparently just now realized […]

Dutch Using Full Body Scanners for US Flights

The Netherlands will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States to prevent future terrorist attacks like the foiled Christmas Day attempt.

Two Failed Airplane Plots, Two Reactions

Is President Obama taking more flack for the failed Detroit terror plot than President Bush did for the shoe bomber? Politico’s Josh Gernstein thinks so. Eight years ago, a terrorist bomber’s attempt to blow up a transatlantic airliner was thwarted by a group of passengers, an incident that revealed some gaping holes in airline security […]

Move Your Money — Or Not

It seems that Arianna Huffington was having dinner with an investment banker, a film maker, and several others and they hit upon a brilliant scheme to simultaneously punish the big Wall Street banks and get business lending moving again: Encourage everyone to move their money to local, community banks. Felix Samon thinks his unlikely to […]

No OTB Radio This Week

I’m away from home base the next couple of days, so tomorrow’s regularly scheduled edition of OTB Radio, our BlogTalkRadio program, will not take place. The next episode  will record and air live from 5:30-6:30 Eastern on Wednesday, January 6. You can play the previous show, subscribe to its feed, or share it with your […]

Cadillac Tax Hidden Time Bomb

Opposition to the Democrats’ health care reform plan has created some strange bedfellows, with the Hard Left and the Hard Right frequently working together.  Here’s on that I didn’t expect:  NYT columnist Bob Herbert attacking the plan from the Right. There is a middle-class tax time bomb ticking in the Senate’s version of President Obama’s […]

Released Gitmo Inmates Planned Detroit Bombing

It appears that the Detroit terror plot was fomented by people formerly held at Gitmo: Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of […]

OTB Latenight – Spacemen 3

Caption Contest Winners

The Land Snark Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. REUTERS/Michele Crosera (ITALY ENVIRONMENT TRAVEL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Caption Contest

Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM (AFP/Getty Images/File/Mario Tama) Winners will be announced Thursday PM

Airplane Toilet Terrorist

Two days after a Nigerian al Qaeda operative tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253 as it landed in Detroit, we had an eerie repeat.  Another Nigerian on the exact same flight locked himself in the lavatory and refused to come out.  Thankfully, it was a case of the trots, not a terrorist plot. The […]

TSA a Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone

In the thread discussing the idiotic new TSA guidelines issued in overreaction to the Detroit terror plot, longtime commenter DC Loser observes, As a lifelong civil servant, anytime you create a large bureaucracy to deal with a specific problem, it is not in the interest of said bureaucracy for the root problem to go away. […]

Detroit Terror Attempt Impacts Gitmo Plans

Politico‘s Josh Gernstein notes that revelations of Yemen’s connection to the failed Detroit terror plot will further complicate President Obama’s plans to move prisoners from the prison at Guantanamo Bay. “I’d expect Yemen’s handling of returned Guantanamo detainees to come under intense U.S. scrutiny,” said Matthew Waxman, a Columbia law professor who was an assistant […]

Underwear Bombs

It now appears that the thwarted failed Detroit terror plot was more sophisticated than initially thought.  The first reports — that the device was “incendiary rather than explosive” — appear to be mistaken. And we now think we know how the explosives got aboard the plane:  They were sewn into the terrorist’s underwear. Richard Esposito […]

Obama’s Pet Goat: Watch This Drive

TV writer Steve Marmel takes to the pixels of HuffPo to excoriate President Obama for continuing his vacation in the wake of the failed Detroit terror plot. [T]he only thing that stopped 12/25 from feeling a lot like 9/11 was a failed detonator and a guy named Jasper Schuringa. Weather now seems like a quaint […]

Urban Meyer Resigns, Citing Health

Urban Meyer, the tremendously successful head football coach at the University of Florida, has resigned, citing health reasons.   He’s only 45. Florida coach Urban Meyer, who was admitted to a hospital because of chest pains following the Southeastern Conference championship game, is stepping down because of health concerns. Meyer resigned Saturday, calling it quits after […]

TSA Making Flying More Miserable

Not surprisingly, TSA is going to make flying even more aggravating in a stupid overreaction to the Detroit terror plot. In the wake of the terrorism attempt Friday on a Northwest Airlines flight, federal officials on Saturday imposed a new layer of restrictions on travelers that could lengthen lines at airports and limit the ability […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Tons of Fun Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES MILITARY HEALTH IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Tiger Woods: Burying the Lede

Buried several paragraphs into a NY Daily News story on the Tiger Woods soap opera: Us Weekly magazine, citing a source who spoke with other pro golfers, reported that Nordegren was told by a friend her husband was having an affair. She then roused Woods from an Ambien-enhanced sleep by whacking him with a golf […]

Detroit Terror Plot

The botched attempt by one Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, allegedly somehow connected to al Qaeda, attempting to blow up a passenger jet as it made its descent into Detroit quite naturally has the blogosphere buzzing. Richard Fernandez and Josh Marshall have good roundups of the news as  it was developing throughout the evening, along with the […]

Dueling Analogies For 2010

Many pundits have suggested that the 2010 elections may see a repeat of the pattern of the 1994 midterms: a first-term Democratic president, wounded by intraparty squabbling over a controversial health care proposal, loses big in Congress in what is seen as a “referendum” on liberal overreach. Mike Munger, on the other hand, suggests that […]

OTB Latenight – The Ramones

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Senate Health Care Vote Breakdown

Steven Taylor (here and here) breaks down the Senate’s party-line vote on the health care bill in some interesting ways.  The upshot: The 60 Yes votes represented 64.22% of the population Only 12 state delegations split their vote: AK, FL, IA, IN, LA, MO, NC, NE, NH, NV, OH, SD  (KY’s Jim Bunning, scheduled to […]

Christmas in America: Less Christian Than Ever

Is the United States a Christian nation?    Well, a whopping 78 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians.   But that’s less than ever before.  And the number of people identifying as having no religious identity is at its highest point ever, as is number saying religion is “not very important” in their lives. Gallup’s Frank […]

Cowboys-Redskins 100th Game

Sunday night’s contest between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will mark a milestone in one of the great rivalries in sports. Cowboys-Redskins, Edition No. 100 takes place Sunday night, appropriately enough in prime time. The Cowboys (9-5) hope to be in position to clinch a playoff berth, while the Redskins (4-10) are playing out […]

Health Care: All Over But The Secrecy

David Lightman and William Douglas of the McClatchy Newspapers syndicate point out that the real action on the health care bill will take place in the murky world of conference committees, which–like many other things on the Hill–don’t really work the way your father’s (or, for that matter, your) American government textbook says they do: […]

Where You Sit

Position, they say, is policy. President Obama is discovering, as are many of his fellow travellers, that the tools he was only too happy to have available as a Senator can be quite nettlesome when viewed from the Oval Office. Thus, as Jake Tapper noted, the only President in history to have voted to filibuster […]

George Michael Dead at 70

The sportscaster George Michael has died, following a two-year battle with cancer. Michael, 70, was known nationally for “The George Michael Sports Machine,” a syndicated TV show that ran nationwide for 27 years. He was a fixture on TV for more than 25 years in Washington, where he was a sports anchor on NBC’s channel […]

Sun Belt Growth Continues but Slows

While most Americans think of the Census Bureau only in terms of the decennial population count, they are actually constantly surveying the demographic trends of the country.  Their latest report — and the last before the 2010 count that will be used to reapportion the House — finds some interesting results. The nation’s population as […]

Fort Hood-Linked Imam Killed in Yemen Strike

An air strike in Yemen may have killed the top leaders of al Qaead’s branch in that country, along with an American-born cleric linked to the Fort Hood massacre. A Yemeni air raid may have killed the top two leaders of al Qaeda’s regional branch on Thursday, and an American Muslim preacher linked to the […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Christmas Eve OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Michele Crosera (ITALY ENVIRONMENT TRAVEL IMAGES OF THE DAY) Winners will be announced Monday PM Winners for last Monday Contest will be delayed until Friday or Saturday due to the Holidays.

Now That’s a Drumbeat

In the years following the invasion of Iraq I frequently read claims that there had been a long “drumbeat to war” in advance of the invasion. When I asked those making such claims to substantiate them, I was invariably disappointed. I can only interpret this op-ed from Alan J. Kuperman, director of the Nuclear Proliferation […]

Festivus Continues Long After ‘Seinfeld’

“Seinfeld,” the “show about nothing,” gave us many memorable scenes that continue as cultural icons long after the show itself has become dated an unwatchable. One that apparently keeps growing is the mock holiday celebration called “Festivus.” Long before company celebrators bench-pressed fax machines, partygoers performed competitive face-plants into ice water, or family members gathered […]

Breaking News

Over the past 19 hours, I’ve gotten four Breaking News alerts from CNN: Colorado judge sentences ‘balloon boy’ dad to 90 days in jail with some of that time to be served on work release. Man holding hostages at Virginia post office is in custody, CNN affiliate WDBJ reports. David Goldman has been reunited with […]

We All Want What’s Best

Ezra Klein surveys the political landscape and offers a bold assessment: At this point, structural reform of the legislative system should, I think, be the main priority for people left, right, and center who want to see action on the problems facing the country. It’s all well and good to try to get the best […]

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 and I will be joined by King Banian of SCSU Scholars to talk about the “cash for cloture” shenanigans required to secure 60 votes for health care reform, the merits of federal regulations to limit airlines’ […]

Microsoft Word Patch Intentionally Decreases Functionality

In response to a court order, Microsoft is issuing a “patch” that makes Word 2007 less useful. The 2007 Microsoft Office OPK Master Kit Download, available on Microsoft’s OEM Partner Center, strips Word and other Office programs of custom XML editing capabilities.  “The following patch is required for the United States,” Microsoft said in a […]

Colbert on Colbert

Veteran journalist Jim Warren recounts this weekend’s 50th anniversary celebration at Chicago’s famed Second City comedy troupe.  He dutifully claims that “the obvious highlights were Friday and Saturday shows with Martin Short, Steve Carell, Bonnie Hunt, Jim Belushi, George Wendt, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Shelly Berman, Rachel Dratch, Robert Klein, Jack […]

Mitch McConnell Surrenders to Reality

RedState’s Erick Erickson has a piece with the headline “Mitch McConnell Surrenders.” His dastardly crime? Allowing the inevitable to take place early enough on Christmas Eve for his colleagues to get home to their families ahead of an ice storm. So Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid have agreed not just to vote on the health […]

Obama Less Popular Than Bush?

George W. Bush left office as one of the most despised presidents in American history.  Could Barack Obama actually be less popular? Rasmussen says so: “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. […]

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