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US Military Death toll in Afghanistan hits 2000


Via the BBC: A checkpoint shooting in eastern Afghanistan has taken the US military’s death toll in the war past 2,000. A US soldier and contractor were killed while three Afghan soldiers died and several were injured. The new deaths occurred on Saturday in Wardak province. […] The Pentagon named the dead American soldier as […]

Discussing Party ID Sampling Like its 2004


For those with sincere interest in the sampling issue, I would recommend Mark Blumenthal’s post from September 23, 2004:  Weighting by Party. This post is useful because it address issues under discussion today, but may perhaps be more persuasive for some because a) it was written eight years ago, and therefore lacks the political context […]

Another Ohio Poll Gives Obama a Big Lead


Via the Columbus Dispatch: A new Dispatch Poll shows him trailing President Barack Obama in bellwether Ohio by 9 points, 51 percent to 42 percent. A surge of Democratic support for Obama has transformed the race since the first Dispatch Poll had the two dead-even at 45 percent just before the Republican National Convention in […]

Report: Russians Told Syrians To Shoot Down Turkish Jet, Kill Pilots

Russia Syria Flags

Back in June, tensions between Turkey and Syria nearly exploded when Syria shot down a Turkish F-4, resulting in the death of two Turks. Turkey claimed at the time that the jet was over international waters when it was shot down, while the Syrians claimed that it was in Syrian air space. While the incident […]

Supreme Court Faces Another Potentially Groundbreaking Term

Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John G. Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Smauel Alito Jr., Elena Kagan

The Court’s 2012-2013 term begins tomorrow morning, and there are plenty of big cases on the docket.

The Most Serious Aspect of the Poll Denialist Position


Getting to the heart of the problem from my POV (plus historical numbers).

Chris Christie Raises Debate Expectations As Team Romney Tries To Lower Them


Chris Christie appeared on three Sunday morning shows today and, on each of them, he appeared to raise debate expectations for Mitt Romney: If Mitt Romney campaign’s is worried about measuring debate expectations for Wednesday night, Chris Christie hasn’t gotten the message. “This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning,” the Republican governor […]

U.S. Deaths In Afghanistan Hit 2,000

Afghanistan Troops

We passed another grim milestone in the Afghanistan War today with a “Green On Blue” attack that led to the 2,000th American military death since the war began all the way back in October 2001: KABUL, Afghanistan—U.S. military deaths in the Afghan war have reached 2,000, a cold reminder of the human cost of an […]

U.S. Has Lost Track Of Some Of Syria’s Chemical Weapons


As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, the status of Syria’s chemical weapons has become a rather serious concern. In addition to the possibility that the Assad government would, despite previous pledges, use the weapons against the rebels or its own citizens, there’s also the risk that the weapons could fall into the wrong […]

The Presidency Costs Taxpayers A Lot, But That’s Not Obama’s Fault

White House Dusk

The Presidency costs taxpayers a lot of money, but that’s been true for many, many years now.

The Problem is Less Romney and More GOP


Don’t hate the player, hate the game (more or less, anyway).

Romney Thinks He Can Win The Debate With “Zingers”


Following up on my post about debate expectations earlier today, I thought this line from an article about the candidate’s debate preparation in The New York Times was apropos: Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been […]

Pessimism On Team Romney

Mitt Romney Tired

There are signs that some Romney supporters have already decided their candidate is going to lose.

Both Campaigns Playing The Debate Expectations Game

Obama Romney 4

Both campaigns are trying to set the stage for Wednesday’s debate.

China-Japan Dispute Over Islands Continues To Simmer

China Japan Flags

The Japanese Prime Minister is vowing to never compromise in his nation’s ongoing dispute with China over who controls a bunch of rocky islands in the South China Sea: Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has insisted that there could be no compromise with China on the ownership of a disputed island chain and denounced attacks on Japanese […]

Presidential Campaign Ad Spending Tops $700 Million


With 38 days to go until Election Day, spending on political ads in the Presidential campaign has passed the $700 million mark: Local television stations are reaping an unprecedented harvest of more than $700 million in advertising spending around the presidential contest as the two campaigns and their outside allies continue accelerating spending rates. President Obama, […]

Is ‘Benghazigate’ Hurting Obama?


Questions about why the Obama administration pretended the attacks on our Embassy in Libya were a spontaneous reaction to a video rather than a coordinated terrorist attack are gaining steam.

Couples Who Share Housework More Likely to Divorce, Silly Study Finds


Yet another case of breathless media reporting on academic research findings.

When Even Unskewing Doesn’t Help


Via Slate: THE POLL IN QUESTION: A Fox News-sponsored survey released yesterday that shows President Obama up 5 points, 48 percent to Mitt Romney’s 43. THE ‘UNSKEWED’ VERSION: Obama up 2 points, 46 percent to 44 percent. You read that right: The president is now in the lead even by Chambers’ math. While the margin […]

Tales of Poll Denials Past


The year was 2004. The source was USAT:  Gallup defends results against MoveOn.org attack The complaint,  the wrong mix of partisans in the sample: In recent weeks, complaints about the USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup polls had mostly been aired in "blogs," or online diaries, on the Internet. Tuesday, the issue spilled into the "mainstream media." MoveOn.org, a […]

Fox News Aired Live Car Chase That Ended In Suicide

Fox News Logo

Not exactly journalism.

Iran’s Official News Agency Cites The Onion As A News Source

The Onion

Iran’s official news agency has apparently never heard of The Onion, or doesn’t know the meaning of the word satire: No joke. Iran’s semi-official government news agency on Friday picked up a bogus poll story by The Onion that said a majority of rural white Americans would rather go to a baseball game with Iranian President […]

The Afghan Surge Was A Failure

US Afghanistan

The Afghan Surge announced by President Obama in December 2009 is over. By any objective measurement, it was a failure.

What The Beer You Drink Says About Your Politics


What beer you drink may say something about your political beliefs, according to one new study: Beer has a long and storied place in American presidential history and politics. George Washington famously brewed it. James Madison purportedly sought to create a cabinet-level Secretary of Beer. And Franklin Delano Roosevelthelped make it legal to produce and sell (again) by championing legislation […]

35% Of Voters Expected To Vote Early This Year


Early voting is likely to be more popular this year than it has been in any previous election: With voters in the swing state of Iowa today joining those in two-dozen other states who can already cast their vote for president, the surge in early voting is necessitating a change in campaign strategy, says Paul […]

How Much Are Romney’s “47 Percent” Remarks Hurting Him?


Mitt Romney’s “47 Percent” remarks seem to be hurting him.

George W. Bush Viewed More Favorably Than Mitt Romney

Bush Romney

According to a new poll, former President George W. Bush is now viewed more favorably than Mitt Romney: For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush -and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey showsthat the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the […]

Debunking The Poll Denialists

Obama Romney 3

The arguments of the people claiming that every single poll showing Mitt Romney is unfairly biased do not stand up to scrutiny.

Todd Akin: Claire McCaskill Not ‘Ladylike’

Akin McCaskill

Todd Akin had a pretty rough debate the other night with Senator Claire McCaskill and apparently he didn’t like it: JEFFERSON CITY – More than a month after his comments about “legitimate rape” nearly derailed his campaign for U.S. Senate, Republican Todd Akin said Thursday that it has become clear to him that he will triumph over […]

Curiosity Rover Finds Proof That Water Once Flowed On Mars


The Mars Curiosity Rover has found evidence that liquid water once flowed on the surface of Mars: NASA’s Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks […]

Producer Of Anti-Muslim Film Arrested On Probation Violation


The California man identified as the producer of Innocence Of Muslims, the film that has sparked protests across the Muslim world, was arrested late yesterday on charges related to violation of the terms of his probation on Federal fraud charges: Los Angeles (CNN) – Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man allegedly behind the inflammatory film “Innocence of Muslims,” […]

College Bars Going Out of Style?


A wonderfully descriptive story in the New York Times Style section that’s almost surely mere anecdote being touted as trend.

Grammar Rules and Usage


The NYT stages an interesting debate on “Which Language Rules to Flout. Or Flaunt?”

Well, Scratch Gallup off the List, I Guess


As best I can tell, the poll denialists have been clinging to Rasmussen and Gallup as the polls that show the race the closest.  I guess that Gallup has to be taken off the list now that it shows Obama at 50% with a 6-point lead on Romney nationally:  click. Don’t fret, however:  the unskewed […]

OTB Caption Contest Winners


The Mr. Blue Skies Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

DOJ Records Show Massive Increase In Warrantless Surveillance Since 2009

FBI Wiretapping

Secret surveillance of American citizens has dramatically increased under the Obama Administration.

Latin American Leaders Question War On Drugs In U.N. Speeches


Our War On Drugs is having a disastrous impact on our neighbors to the south, and they’re starting to notice.

Samuel L. Jackson To Voters: “Wake The F**k Up”


Playing off his audio recording of the mock children’s book gone viral “Go The F**K To Sleep,” Samuel L. Jackson has recorded a profanity laced pro-Obama ad: (CNN) - Actor Samuel L. Jackson entered the political fray this week, starring in a new web video that parodies his own audio recording of the mock children’s book, […]

Romney’s Supporters Want Him To Go For Obama’s Jugular

Obama Romney 2

Just as we saw in 2008, the conservative base doesn’t want to hear their nominee saying that the President is a basically decent man.

Quiz for the Day: How Irrational is Iran?


I mean, after all, they both start with “ir”! I was going to include this in my other post on Iran, but I think it deserves its own comment thread, so here’s the question” Can someone cite for me an example of Iranian behavior, not rhetoric, that would demonstrate that it is an irrational actor?

Iran v. the US: Who is the Rational Actor on the Nuclear Question?

Iran Nukes

Because some things are worth reinforcing.

Drone War Discussion Absent from Campaign


My latest for The New Republic, “America’s Scandalous Drone War Goes Unmentioned in the Campaign,” is out.

Morning Amusement: Cameron Quizzed by Letterman


Via the BBC:  David Cameron stars on Late Show with David Letterman. The BBC has a clip, but the Telegraph has a longer one.

GDP And Durable Goods Figures Spell Bad News For The Economy

Economy Heartbeat

Newly released statistics indicate that the economy is slowing down and in danger of slipping into a recession.

Stolen iPad Tracked To TSA Agent


Apparently, being a TSA agent has several fringe benefits unassociated with those searches they conduct: In the latest apparent case of what have been hundreds of thefts by TSA officers of passenger belongings, an iPad left behind at a security checkpoint in the Orlando airport was tracked as it moved 30 miles to the home […]

Report: 15 Days Later, FBI Has Not Been To Site Of Benghazi Consulate Attack


More than two weeks after four Americans — including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured.

Line of the Day, “Unskewed” Edition


"I’ve been hearing from people inside the Tea Party movement and Republican movement calling to say that they support what I’m doing.  It’s given them a boost of confidence. They’re glad to see that someone’s questioning the credibility of national polls."—Dean Chambers of unskewedpolls.com. Chambers is recalculating polls at his site based on what he […]

N.F.L. Reaches Deal With Referees, Lockout Over


After three weeks of fan and player frustration ended in a game decided by a blown call, the N.F.L. has reached a deal with officials that ends a lockout that started all the way back in July: The National Football League reached agreement on an eight-year labor deal with its game officials late Wednesday night, effectively ending […]

Star Trek: The Next Generation Turns 25


So, it’s been a quarter of a century since “Star Trek: The Next Generation” made its debut. As if I didn’t feel old already.

OTB Caption Contest


Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM

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