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Pandemic Threatens African Staple Crop

Credit: Angela Sevin

The New York Times reports that Africa is currently experiencing a pandemic of a mutated virus affecting the cassava crop. Cassava is Africa’s main staple crop, and is right behind wheat and rice as the number one staple crop in the world. That newcomer, brown streak, is now ravaging cassava crops in a great swath […]

Google Memorial Day Logo

Google Memorial Day Logo 2010

A diarist at RedState and some on Twitter are perpetuating a really tired meme.  Noting that Google has fun logo redesigns for various insignificant observances, they point to a lack of same for Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Christmas, or whathaveyou as proof that Google is a leftist front that hates America and doesn’t love […]

Reflections On Memorial Day And “National Unity”


In today’s Washington Post, E.J. Dionne wonders why Memorial Day has become a less important holiday over the years: Why is it that every Memorial Day, we note that a holiday set aside for honoring our war dead has become instead an occasion for beach-going, barbecues and baseball? The problem arises because war-fighting has become […]

George Will: Obama Unfairly Blamed, Serves Him Right


George Will says that President Obama is “being unfairly blamed” for the so-far-anemic response to the Gulf oil spill but “it sort serves him right.” Media Matters posts the above video without comment. Steve Benen is “mystified.” At this point, the discourse seems to boil down to a) those who want to see the president […]

Caption Contest

BP workers pick up tar balls from Deepwater Horizon oil leak along beach in Grand Isle

Time for the Monday OTB Caption ContestTM REUTERS/Lee Celano Winners will be announced Thursday PM

The Limitations of Government


The politics of the oil spill keep rattling around in my head (yes, I should probably have that checked) and I have been contemplating a post on the subject for several days to go beyond what I wrote in my post, Is Oil Spill becoming Obama’s Katrina? I have a number of disparate and/or inchoate […]

Gays in the Military: Logistics


Yesterday’s “This Week” roundtable had a remarkably civil discussion of gays in the military featuring George Will, Matthew Dowd, Clarence Page, and Joan Walsh.  They were all in agreement that this was a done deal, that the national culture had changed remarkably in recent years, and that the military’s own culture needed to be respectfully […]

How Bloggers Duel, too… (Toon)

It is certainly how a lot of arguments in comments play out.

Obama Paying A Political Price For The Oil Spill Crisis


A new Gallup poll seems to indicate that President Obama is beginning to pay a political price for what many are perceiving as a lack of an aggressive response to the Gulf oil spill: WASHINGTON, D.C. — With President Barack Obama and BP taking their most aggressive steps yet in response to the massive oil […]

Up To Fifteen Dead In Israeli Confrontation With Gaza-Bound Flotilla


What some are describing as an “aid flotilla” made the mistake of trying to run the Israeli naval blockage of Gaza, and things did not end well: JERUSALEM — The Israeli Navy raided a flotilla carrying thousands of tons of supplies for Gaza in international waters on Monday morning, killing at least 10 people, according […]

Online Newspapers: 1981


This 1981 television report on the burgeoning “newspapers by computer” concept is fascinating on a number of levels: Amusingly, the project started almost as a lark, with no intention of turning a profit.  And they were right!   Less so, alas, on the impact of the profitability of the print edition. And, as Jason Kottke notes, […]

OTB Latenight – dire straits


It’s Santos v. Mockus in Round 2


As expected, the result from today’s elections in Colombia is a run-off next month.  What was not expected is that Santos came very close to winning outright in the first round and that he had roughly twice the votes of Mockus.  From the National Registry: Trying to find an additional 3.5% for Santos will be […]

Know Your Colombian Presidential Candidates: The Rest


The last in the series (which is a good thing, since the polls close in less than twenty minutes from the time of posting). Really, unless the polling has been radically wrong by all the pollsters for weeks, none of the rest of the field (i.e., another other than Santos or Mockus) has any chance […]

It’s Almost As If There’s A Coordinated Message…


The administration kicked it off, insinuating that the problem with the oil spill was the system they inherited. Joy Behar dutifully connected the dots for them, explicitly saying “the Bush/Cheney administration started it and now this poor guy has to mop it up.” In shocking news, Nancy Pelosi picked up the thread, blaming the Bush […]

Nigeria and a Sense of Proportion


Should we be worried about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Yes. Should BP take whatever steps are necessary to stop the spill, remediate the harm done to the environment, reimburse those who’ve suffered losses as a consequence of the spill, and have their feet held to the fire until they do? Hell, […]

Know Your Colombian Presidential Candidates: Antanas Mockus


Colombians are currently participating in the process to elect their next president (until 5pm local time this afternoon).  One of the front-runners in the process, and a likely candidate in the second round, is Green Party (Partido Verde) candidate, Antanas Mockus.  Mockus is the son of Lithuanian immigrants and is a former mathematics professor  and […]

Quote of the Day, Big Chief Show Emotion Edition


“In some cultures, there need to be ritual displays of over the top emotion for some events- profuse groveling including getting down on your hands and knees when making an apology, wailing and beating of the chest and throwing yourself on the coffin at a funeral, and so on. Apparently, this is what we expect […]

BP Was Aware Of Problems At Deepwater Horizon Months Before Explosion


There’s a fairly disturbing report in today’s New York Times indicating that British Petroleum was aware of safety problems at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig months before the April 20th explosion that destroyed it: WASHINGTON — Internal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far […]

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Korea’s Cycle of Escalating Tensions


David Sanger, writing in the New York Times, notes the familiar and deadly cycle of North Korean provocation: USUALLY, there is a familiar cycle to Korea crises. Like a street gang showing off its power to run amok in a well-heeled neighborhood, the North Koreans launch a missile over Japan or set off a nuclear […]

Some Colombia Election Links


Some links to go along with my two previous posts regarding the elections tomorrow: Via the  Miami Herald:  Social media breathe life into Colombian presidential election. Via the CFR:  Colombia: Moving Beyond ‘Narco-Democracy’. Via the CSM:  Philosopher Antanas Mockus rattles Colombia election. Via the AP:  In Colombia, brainy outsider and Uribe torchbearer vie for presidency

“Top Kill” Fails, BP Moves On To Plan C


Late yesterday, the officials in charge of trying to stop the Gulf Oil Spill announced that their latest efforts had ended in failure: NEW ORLEANS — In another serious setback in the effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers said Saturday that […]

Separated at Birth: Pablo and Twitter


I can’t imagine I’m the first to notice this, although it does require combining knowledge typically confined to separate demographic groups, but the Pablo character on Nick Jr’s “The Backyardigans” looks remarkably like the Twitter bird.

Do Charter Schools Matter?


A lengthy WSJ essay titled “A Tale of Two Students” seeks to make the case that students who attend public charter schools are given numerous unfair advantages over their peers who attend the standard neighborhood schools.   It seems plausible.   But, as the title implies, the story focuses on two students.  That is, to say the […]

Mark Kirk Overstates Military Award

Mark Kirk

As more information has come to light, my choice of the word “lie” and its variants overstates the case.  See additional information at end of post. Yet another politician has been caught lying about his military service.   As well documented here, Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic candidate for Chris Dodd’s Senate seat, repeatedly lied about serving […]

Is the U.S. a Democracy?

The Texas Board of Education recently approved new social studies standards and, as you might have heard, they are controversial. I have been following the controversy, ahem, religiously, and I oppose pretty much everything they are doing. But, I thought a couple of the changes they made were improvements. For one thing, they added Milton […]

Ron Burgundy Lives!

Via HuffPo:  Fox News Anchor Calls Himself Wrong Name TWICE! (VIDEO) Amusing.

Medal of Honor Rarity

Medal of Honor All Services

Via Glenn Reynolds, I see that NRO’s David French revives a meme I’ve noted before over the past several years in a posting titled “Why So Few Medals of Honor?”   It in turn references Katherine Zeopf‘s NYT Magazine piece “What Happened to Valor?” and, in particular, this passage: Despite its symbolic importance and educational role […]

OTB Caption JamTM


OTB Caption JamTM Weekend Caption Jam Linkfest. . . Rodney is looking for Sir Robin. Wizbang has already hit the road. Wyatt Earp couldn’t find Car 54. RT’s Ponderings has resurrected Rodney Dangerfieldd. Blonde Sagacity has a tender moment. Jack Bauer is on the mark. Other Humor: Icanhascheezburger welcomes you to the kitteh cult. V […]

Michigan Legislator Proposes Law To License Journalists


A Michigan legislator has introduced a bill that would authorize the state to issue licenses to journalists: Senator Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much like the state does with hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says that the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing […]

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper


Dennis Hopper died this morning from complications of prostate cancer. He was 74. In a wildly varied career spanning more than 50 years, Hopper appeared alongside his mentor James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant” in the 1950s and played maniacs in such films as “Apocalypse Now,” “Blue Velvet” and “Speed.” He received […]

Colombia 2010 and Outgoing President Uribe


This is the second in a series on Colombia’s presidential elections (cross-posted to PoliBlog).  The first covered candidate Juan Manuel Santos. The election this Sunday is the first step in replacing the sitting President, Álavro Uribe.  Uribe is one of the longest serving President in Colombian history and the first since Rafael Núñez in the […]

Is “Top Kill” Failing ?


Despite initial reports of success, it’s beginning to look like the “top kill” procedure to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak may not be working: BP engineers struggled Friday to plug a gushing oil well a mile under the sea, but as of late in the day they had made little headway in stemming […]

Are CIA Drone Pilots Criminals?

Predator Drone

A report to the U.N. by special rapporteur New York University law professor Philip Alston suggests that the Obama Administration’s program to have CIA agents remote pilot drone strikes in Pakistan should be disbanded in favor of putting the operation in the hands of the military. A soon-to-be-released United Nations report will call into question […]

Potemkin Village Cleanup Crews For Obama’s Visit To The Gulf ?


Local officials in Louisiana are accusing BP of busing in workers to the Grand Isle, Louisiana for President Obama’s visit there yesterday to make it appear that the clean-up task was larger than it actually is: BP, the oil company taking flak for its inconsistent response to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of […]

Drone Strikes and Civilian Casualties: Only One Statistic Matters


While a recent New America Foundation study found that 30 percent of those killed by drone strikes in Pakistan are civilians, a new study by Bryan Glyn Williams finds the real number is a tenth that. Spencer Ackerman, who has obtained an advanced copy, reports: Much like the New America Foundation study, Williams’ team relied […]

Defeating Copy/Paste Annoyance


A while back, I mentioned the stupid webmaster trick of inserting extra code, including a “Read more” and a URL, when people copy and paste text from their site.   John Gruber has much more information: All of this nonsense — the attribution appended to copied text, the inline search results popovers — is from a […]

35 Million Could Lose Coverage Under ObamaCare!


Peter Suderman cites a “study” showing that 35 million Americans who are currently insured could lose their coverage and be forced into the government pool. A number of big employers are already considering dropping employee coverage, and a new study from former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron Smith suggests that, depending on […]

Time Management Secrets


Glenn Reynolds‘ ability to juggle many things — husband, father, law professor, author, magazine writer, and prolific blogger — is legendary.  So, how does he do it? I schedule the big, important things—teaching class, spending time with my family, working on major projects—and then just slip the smaller things into the interstices that are left […]

Sestak vs. al-Awlaki


So it appears that Darrel Issa has requested that the FBI investigate that non-illegal, politics-as-usual act of offering Joe Sestak a job. Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Friday asked the FBI to begin a criminal investigation into efforts by the White House to convince Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.) to […]

Know Your Colombian Presidential Candidates: Juan Manuel Santos


This post is the first in a series leading up to Sunday’s presidential elections in Colombia (Cross-post to PoliBlog).  The ballot can be viewed here. Juan Manuel Santos is one of the two front-runners in this weekend’s Colombian presidential elections.  He is the former Defense Minister from the Uribe administration and is the nominee of […]

OTB Latenight – Arcadia


Colombian Ballot


The ballot for this Sunday’s election is here:  click.

Today In “Imagine If Bush Said It…”


President Obama asks a reporter to show him the tar balls in her trunks, which sounds more like a Bones episode title than a colloquy with the President of the United States: New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes was skeptical: “Can you be sure these oil tar balls are from the oil spill? Because when […]

Obama’s Obligatory Oil Odyssey


The following headline and picture, currently fronting YahooNews, sums it up: Obama arrives in Gulf as BP tries to stop oil leak Four paragraphs in, AP writers Ben Nuckols and Greg Bluestein get to Obama’s role: President Barack Obama arrived in the Gulf, where he stood on Fourchon Beach in his shirt-sleeves and called reporters […]

Gary Coleman Dead at 42


Sad news: Gary Coleman, the child star of the hit TV series Diff’rent Strokes, has died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 42. Coleman was taken to a Utah hospital yesterday in critical condition, went into a coma later that day, and died today. Coleman became an instant star when he was picked […]

Security is Everything and Everything is Security?


George Kennan famously defined national security as “the continued ability of this country to pursue its internal life without serious interference.”  The Obama Administration, with the release of its National Security Strategy, has re-defined it beyond all meaning. I make the case at greater length in my New Atlanticist essay “Obama’s National Security Strategy Sleight-of-Hand.” […]

White House, Sestak Confirm Clinton’s Role In “Job Offer”


The White House released it’s response to the questions that have arisen regarding the allegations of a job offer made to Congressman Joe Sestak during his primary run against Arlen Specter: At the urging of the Obama White House, former President Bill Clinton asked Rep. Joe Sestak whether he would abandon his plans to challenge […]

University Faculty Unions


Wisconsin-Madison political scientist John F. Witte argues that “Faculty Unions Could Destroy Our Universities.”  While he’s an ardent supporter of blue collar unions, he thinks following the same patterns would be a disaster for the academy. As they developed, teachers and other professional unions, such as those in the health field, followed these practices. The […]

China’s Economy Is Similar to That of France?

To echo Brad DeLong, why, oh why, don’t we have a better pundit class? There is a similarity between the economy of China and that of France. Matt Yglesias doesn’t know anything about either one of them.

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