OTB Latenight – Gloria Gaynor

The Grammys are kind of a joke, but every now and then something interesting happens. For instance, only one “Best Disco Recording” Award was ever given out. The estimable Gloria Gaynor’s best known work won it:

James H. Joyner, 1943-2010

My father and namesake, James Harvey Joyner, died yesterday morning from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  He was 66. He was diagnosed with the degenerative lung disease six years ago and told he likely had three to five years.  He was hospitalized with pneumonia three weeks ago and I went down and spent a few days with […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Stiff Jack In A Box Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. (AP Photo/Edgar Romero)

SOTU Formulas: Obama vs. Bush

Cato’s Ted DeHaven juxtaposes quotes from President Obama’s first State of the Union address with several from his predecessor. With President Obama’s repeated attempts to draw distinctions between himself from his predecessor—and a widespread belief that he and Bush are polar opposites in nearly every way—it’s actually startling how similar the two men are. And […]

Alito: Not True

In last night’s State of the Union speech, President Obama called out the Supreme Court’s decision overturning corporate and union spending limits, saying it “reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.” Associate Justice Samuel Alito shook his head […]

Caption Contest

Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM (AFP/Narinder Nanu) Winners will be announced Monday PM

US Government a Joke in Europe?

In his years in Washington reporting for The Scotsman, Alex Massie developed an appreciation for many things this country has to offer, such as college football.  But, as he explains in a piece for Foreign Policy, our Congress was decidedly not amongst them. His piece is subtitled “Viewed from across the pond, the U.S. Congress […]

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 talk about the State of the Union, Scott Brown, America’s invasion of Haiti, and goodness knows what else. We’ll also be taking calls at (646) 716-7030. Owing to a high trolls to legit […]

Military 2% Gay

How gay is the U.S. military? An estimated 66,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people are serving in the U.S. military, roughly 2 percent of all military personnel, according to a report released Tuesday by a gay rights policy center. The figures suggest a slight increase in the number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in the […]

Who Do Those Senators Think They Are, Union Presidents?

SEIU President Andy Stern calls Senators who don’t do his bidding “terrorists”: “There are a lot of terrorists in the Senate who think we are supposed to negotiate with them when they have their particular needs that they want met.” Stern also said today that union members would lose their enthusiasm to help re-elect Democrats […]

Obama Orders Americans Killed

American special operators and intel types are teaming up with Yemeni forces to kill bad guys there, Dana Priest reports.  But Glenn Greenwald is most interested in the third paragraph: As part of the operations, Obama approved a Dec. 24 strike against a compound where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was thought to be meeting […]

Newsday Pay Wall Experiment Failing

Newsday‘s experiment with putting its content behind a pay wall isn’t going so well. In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its web site, newsday.com, behind a pay wall. The paper was one of the first non-business newspapers to take the plunge by putting up a […]

ACORN Pimp in Landrieu Phone Plot

Apparently, James O’Keefe, the young man who earned fifteen minutes of fame posing as a pimp to ensnare ACORN workers has tried to do something similar with Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. The four men accused of trying to tamper with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office phones share a common experience as young ideologues writing […]

“The Forfeiture Racket”

If you only read one article today. Hell, if you only read one article this week or even this month, make it Radley Balko’s report on abusive asset forfeiture laws. It is both excellent and infuriating. I believe I’ve mentioned before that Radley is America’s greatest living journalist. This article is one of the many […]

About that No Tax Increase Thingy

Once Again the CBO is bringing bad news to the Obama Administration. With the expiration of the AMT provisions at the end of 2009, an estimated 27 million people will be paying some amount of the AMT paying on average an additional $3,900 in taxes (granted the median tax increase is probably considerably less). Good […]

That Cutting the Deficit In Half Thingy

The CBO’s look at the numbers (the Director’s Blog post) suggest it isn’t going to work out too well for the Obama Administration and whatever administration follows on. Now granted this is just a projection and quite a bit could happen between now and 2020. However, the idea that the Obama Administration is going to […]

EU Whining Belies US Decline Talk

Futurist Joel Kotkin is swimming against the recent American decline tide in forecasting a world where China will still trail the United States as an economic power in 2050.  Then again, as Matthew Yglesias points out, Kotkin thinks previous predictions of European preeminence proved “staggeringly off the mark,” even though the combined EU economy is […]

How to Blog Good

Chris Clarke provides an excellent template for aspiring bloggers to emulate. A sampling: This is the title of a typical incendiary blog post This sentence contains a provocative statement that attracts the readers’ attention, but really only has very little to do with the topic of the blog post. This sentence claims to follow logically […]

Obama’s 6th Grade Teleprompter Speech

I saw reference to this yesterday and didn’t pay it much attention.  But when even Jon Stewart is chiming in, what choice do I have? The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c Obama Speaks to a Sixth-Grade Classroom www.thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Crisis To their […]

“Fear the Boom and Bust”

A nice diversion for the morning is this rap video featuring the economic stylings of Hayek and Keynes. (link via Megan McArdle)

Obama Spending Freeze

My colleagues Alex Knapp and (in the comments) Dave Schuler have already outlined the most obvious centrist qualms about President Obama’s discretionary spending freeze proposal: That, by omitting Defense, DHS, and Veterans Affairs, it leaves most of the money on the table and that it does nothing to solve the problem of spending growth from […]

2010 as 1994

There’s been an increasing amount of talk about 2010 being a repeat of 1994, when Republicans took back both the House and Senate in a stunning rebuke to a Democratic president who tried to radically reform America’s health care and otherwise enact social changes the country wasn’t ready for. President Obama allegedly scoffed at the […]

Obama To Propose Discretionary Spending Freeze

Matthew Yglesias reports that the Obama Administration is proposing a Discretionary Spending Freeze from 2011-2013. On an exciting phone call with progressive internet writers earlier this evening, a senior administration official outlined the Obama administration’s plan to call for a freeze in non-security discretionary spending spending starting with the Fiscal Year 2011 budget. Described as […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Dan Quayle Returns To Doonesbury Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT)

Apolitical Philanthropists

After reading an interview about Bill Gates’ plans to hook up Third World farmers with Coca-Cola, Matt Yglesias observes, What always leaves me scratching my head about uber-rich philanthropists is why so many of their activities are so depoliticized. The state plays an enormous role in the economy and in people’s lives—much larger than any […]

Archie Manning Will Root for Colts Over Saints

Breaking News from the world of sports: Former Saints legend Archie Manning will root for his son Peyton’s Indianapolis Colts over his old team come Super Bowl Sunday. Archie Manning played most of his 16-year NFL career for the New Orleans Saints and still lives in the Big Easy. But his son, Peyton Manning, plays […]

Obama Most Polarizing President Ever

The 65 percentage-point gap between Democrats’ (88%) and Republicans’ (23%) average job approval ratings for Barack Obama is easily the largest for any president in his first year in office, greatly exceeding the prior high of 52 points for Bill Clinton. So begins Jeffrey Jones‘ introduction of a new Gallup poll.  Here’s the graphic illustration: […]

Gary Farber Needs Your Help

Longtime blogger Gary Farber is in really bad straits and could use whatever help you can provide. Regular readers of his blog know he’s been sick for years — decades, really — with a whole host of issues, most critically “lifelong severe clinical depression, and panic/anxiety disorders to the point of almost complete disability.” He […]

Chemical Ali Hanged Until Dead, Dead, Dead

The government of Iraq has finally executed “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid, arguably the most heinous official of the former regime save his cousin, Saddam Hussein. Majid, an enforcer in Saddam Hussein’s regime and his cousin, had earlier been sentenced to death four times for genocide and crimes against humanity.  Earlier this month, he was sentenced […]

John Edwards Sex Tape

A new tell-all book written by a former campaign aide alleges that John Edwards and Reille Hunter captured their illicit romance on video. Gawker’s Ravi Somaiya: Sources have told us that, in the throes of their affair, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter made a sex tape that contains “several sex acts.” And that his aide, […]

2000-2009: Warmest Decade On Record

NASA has released a report indicating that this past decade is the warmest on record and that 2009 is the second warmest year on record (though actually THE warmest in the Southern Hemisphere). 2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows. The […]

Broccoli, Walnuts, and Beer

The gang at Esquire asked Mehmet Oz (aka “Dr. Oz”) a dozen questions about health. The only really interesting exchange: You’re marooned on a desert island and you can choose only three foods to have. What are they? Broccoli, walnuts, and beer. Broccoli has a chemical in it called an indole, which helps the liver […]

Media and Polling

Cartoonist and Stanford robotics PhD Jorge Cham sends an illustrated guide to the media concerning the reading of polls. Via Bruce Bartlett via Chris Lawrence’s Google Reader stream.

Marion Berry Retires

Alas, not Marian Barry, the corrupt DC politician, but Marion Berry, the Arkansas Democrat who holds Blanche Lincoln’s old House seat. WaPo’s Chris Cilliza, who broke the news, observes Barry is “the sixth Democrat in a competitive seat to leave in the last two months but the first to announce his retirement since the party’s […]

Caption Contest

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

How Should We Be Handling Air Security?

In a recent post James returned to a subject he’s mentioned frequently, his dissatisfaction with the security measures we’ve got in place for commercial air passenger security: Presuming that Osama is still alive and the tape is genuine, it’s quite interesting that he’s now reduced to bragging about horribly botched operations to bolster his credibility. […]

Scorpions Break Up

My initial reaction to the YahooNews headline “German rock band Scorpions to end career” was, “The Scorpions are still around?!” 1990’s “Wind of Change” was the last song of theirs I recall, with1984’s “Rock You Like a Hurricane” as the song that I most associate with the band.  But, in fact, the band was formed […]

Bin Laden Christmas Bombing Tape

Someone claiming to be the reclusive terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, who for all we know now looks like a Spanish Communist, has released a tape claiming credit for the botched Detroit terror plot. Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt in Detroit, in a audio message released […]

Hayworth Challenging McCain

Former Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who lost his seat in 2006 — a tough year for Republicans — is challenging John McCain for his Senate seat in 2010, a tough year for Democrats. I read the news — which has been rumored for weeks — yesterday afternoon but The Arizona Republic‘s Dan Nowicki gives some […]

OTB Caption JamTM

Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is left out in the cold.. Wizbang must not be from Tennessee. Wyatt Earp is sure as well. Cowboy Blob wonders what Brown can do for him. RT’s Ponderings has Dee, Dumb, and Dumberer. Military Times was hoping for a little R&R. Blonde Sagacity wants to Rahm it […]

Corporations Are People, Too

There’s been a lot of upset to our left this week over the perception that Citizens United recognized corporations as having the same rights as people. The gist of the complaints seems to be that this notion is deeply offensive – that putting creatures of statute on par with people somehow diminishes the latter. This […]

Campaign Contributions as Free Speech

A recent Gallup poll shows that the American public agrees with the Supreme Court that campaign contributions are free speech but that most nonetheless want to limit said speech. Fifty-seven percent of Americans consider campaign donations to be a protected form of free speech, and 55% say corporate and union donations should be treated the […]

Huckabee Leads Obama

Public Policy Polling‘s latest 2012 presidential poll (I know, I know) has Mike Huckabee leading President Obama and Mitt Romney within the margin of error. Mike Huckabee has a 45-44 advantage over Obama, aided largely by a 44-38 lead with independents. There continues to be no evidence of any negative fallout for Huckabee after murders […]

OTB Latenight – Green Day

Caprica premieres tonight on Sci-Fi.* * I refuse to spell it the new way.

CEOs Ask Congress to Stop Begging for Money

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision freeing up corporate spending on politics will have, as Kevin Drum has noted, quite a few unintended consequences, including driving up the cost of television advertising. But there will be negative consequences, too, for the very corporations who are the presumed beneficiaries of the ruling. And some of them are already […]

USA Parliamentary Democracy?

National Journal‘s Ron Brownstein sees the recent bout of gridlock in the United States as a sign of a more fundamental shift in how our government operates. Obama’s first year demonstrated once again that in this deeply polarized political era, big legislative crusades aimed at big national problems produce only big political headaches. President George […]

Money and Politics

Negative reactions against yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling throwing out corporate and union spending limits continue to pour in from people who apparently think American politics operate according to the spirit of the various campaign finance laws passed since 1974 rather than, well, the way it actually does. A NYT editorial (“The Court’s Blow to Democracy“) […]

Justice Stevens Retirement Signals

Toward the end of every Supreme Court term, there’s speculation about which Justices might retire.   Given his age and his relatively liberal proclivities, John Paul Stevens has naturally been at the top of the list.   A while back, it was noted that he’d only hired one clerk for the upcoming session.   Now, CBS’ Jan Crawford […]

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