And Now for Something Completely Different

A bit of levity to distract from all the Syria talk (via the BBC):  Vladimir Putin ‘underwear’ painting removed from Russian gallery Police in Russia have seized a painting depicting the country’s president Vladimir Putin in women’s underwear from an art gallery in St Petersburg. The portrait features President Putin combing the hair of Russian […]

“The current institutional equilibrium has led to a perverse place”

Will Congress now take some responsibilty?

Obama to Seek Congressional Approval on Syria

Or so say various Breaking News e-mail.  I cannot find a direct quote at the moment. This is progress.  Now let’s see how Congress responds. UPDATE (James Joyner):  Here’s a video of the president’s speech: Here’s a transcript: Good afternoon, everybody.  Ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were […]

Snowden Documents Show Pentagon Lied In Resposnse To FOIA Request Regarding Bin Laden Death

Documents obtained by Edward Snowden and given to The Washington Post seem to establish that the Pentagon lied in a Freedom of Information Act request in connection with the death of Osama bin Laden: WASHINGTON (KABC) – Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden end any doubt that Osama bin Laden could still be alive. The Washington […]

A Useful Primer on Syria

Via WaPo:  9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask.

Newspaper Headline Of The Day

Today, it goes to the Daily News, which this particular day has beaten its crosstown rival in the headline department. Pay particular attention to the sub-headline at the bottom of the page:  

Tim Tebow Released by New England Patriots

Tim Tebow has gone through three NFL teams in a little over a year. Will there be a fourth?

80-Year-Old Weightlifter Banned for Doping

An octogenarian weightlifter got caught using steroids. ESPN (“Weightlifter, 80, busted for doping“): The latest target on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s list: an 80-year-old weightlifter who was busted for steroids. The agency that brought down Lance Armstrong announced a two-year suspension for Don Ramos of Colorado Springs, Colo., who tested positive for steroids while attempting to […]

Tooth Fairy Hit By Inflation

Apparently, the price of  baby teeth has gone up since I was a kid: Like Manhattan apartments, the value of baby teeth has been skyrocketing lately. The tooth fairy is paying an average of $3.70 a tooth — a 23 percent rise since last year, and a 42 percent bump from two years ago, says […]

Air Force Bombs Maryland Tavern

The Maryland Air National Guard bombed Darlene’s Tavern. Oops.

Who’s Responsible For Syria Boondoggle?

Raymond Pritchett longs for the good old days of Tom Donilan, Hillary Clinton, and Leon Panetta.

President Obama Orders 1 Percent Pay Hike to Avoid 34 Percent Pay Hike

Federal civilian employees are set to get a 34 percent pay raise. The mean old man in the White House is taking it away.

OTB Caption Contest Winners

The Blow Your Own Horn Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Officiate At Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony

Well, this is certainly an historic event: WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will officiate at a same-sex wedding this weekend in what is believed to be a first for a member of the nation’s highest court. Ginsburg will officiate Saturday at the marriage of Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and John […]

Good News For Democrats In Virginia?

The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato, who should be counted among the best political analysts in the business especially when it comes to Virginia, has named Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe as the current favorite in the race for Virginia Governor: As the calendar turns to September, the nation’s marquee race in 2013 is coming into […]

If We Do Attack Syria, What’s Next?

Some questions that the Administration needs to answer before attacking Syria.

Obama Won’t Go To Congress, Because History Has Taught Him He Doesn’t Have To

Presidents have gotten away with ignoring Congress when it comes to foreign military adventures for a very long time.

Obama’s Confused Syria Strategy

Humanitarian wars have their own grammar but not their own logic.

How Times Have Changed: France, Not England, Joins US Coalition of Willing

Could anyone have imagined a decade ago a scenario when the United States would go to war with France by our side and England on the sidelines?

Majority Wants Congressional Vote On Syria Intervention

A new poll from NBC News shows the vast majority of Americans supporting the idea of a Congressional vote prior to any U.S. intervention in Syria: Nearly 80 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama should receive congressional approval before using force in Syria, but the nation is divided over the scope of any potential […]

Brits v. the Yanks

An Example of How Institutions Matter.

In Preliminary Vote, British Parliament Rejects Military Action Against Syria

After a day-long debate, the British Parliament has voted against authorizing military action against Syria: LONDON—British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a preliminary vote on Syria, an early sign of the pushback Western governments may face as they prepare to launch an attack. Thursday evening’s vote was nonbinding, but in practice the rejection of military strikes means […]

It’s Time For Congress To Debate The Wisdom Of Attacking Syria

Some Members of Congress are calling for a debate before any strikes on Syria. They’re absolutely right.

All Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes

The IRS will allow all married gay couples to file joint returns, but that still leaves couples in most of the country with more hoops to jump through.

U.K., France Seeking More Time For Decision On Syria Strikes

While there had been some indications earlier this week that a strike on Syria could happen before the Labor Day Weekend, two of America’s closes allies are seeking to slow the decision making process down: LONDON — U.S. efforts to forge an international coalition to support a military strike on Syria faced fresh uncertainty Thursday, […]

Intelligence On Syrian Chemical Weapons Not Necessarily Complete

The Associated Press is reporting that sources in the intelligence community are saying that the evidence supporting the allegations of chemical weapons use against Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria isn’t quite as solid as some of the rhetoric would lead us to believe: The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to […]

The Problem of Secrecy

Persuasion is sometimes an important part of being president.

Swedish Scientists Discover New Chemical Element

According to scientists in Sweden, we’ve got a new addition to the Periodic Table: BERLIN (AP) — Scientists in Sweden say they have confirmed the existence of a new chemical element, but its name may need some work. Researchers at Lund University said Tuesday their find backs up claims by teams in Russia and the […]

Kim Jong-Un Has His Former Girlfriend Executed

Well, this seems particularly harsh: A popular North Korean singer — and Kim Jong Un’s former flame — was among a dozen performers executed by a firing squad last week, reports said Wednesday. Hyon Song-wol, a well-known pop artist and longtime girlfriend of the dictator, was gunned down with the group of songsters on Aug. […]

Pennsylvania’s GOP Governor In Big Trouble For Re-Election

Tom Corbett was among the many Republican Governors elected in 2010 along with the wave that swept the GOP into power in the House of Representatives, but it’s looking more and more like he’s going to have trouble holding onto his seat: Pennsylvania governors typically encounter trouble in their first terms and the polls reflect […]

Second Quarter GDP Revised Upward

The economy grew at a faster pace in the 2nd quarter according to the latest Commerce Department revision: WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy accelerated more quickly than expected in the second quarter thanks to a surge in exports, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to wind down a major economic stimulus program. Other economic […]

Boehner, Cantor Turned Down Invitation To Speak At MLK Anniversary

And Republicans wonder why they have problems with minority voters.

The Standard for a Syria Strike: Avoiding Mockery?

Via the LAT:  Syria chemical weapons response poses major test for Obama we find a possible standard for assessing a strike on Syria: One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked" but […]

Resistance to Syria Action in the British Parliament

Via the BBC:  Labour could still vote against government over Syria MPs had been due to vote on whether the UK should launch an attack against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. But David Cameron was forced to back down after Labour said it wanted to wait for UN inspectors to report first. […] Mr Cameron was […]

OTB Caption Contest

Time for the Thursday OTB Caption ContestTM

Younger Workers Don’t Use Phone

Managers want their employees to get off email and pick up the phone.

Question About Syria

The Russians are saying that their satellite imaging clearly shows two rockets being launched from territory presently held by the Syrian rebels and they are asserting that those rockets carried the chemical weapons that have caused all the death, destruction, and uproar over the use of chemical weapons by the regime. Just for the sake […]

Nidal Hasan Sentenced To Death

A military jury has sentenced Major Nidal Hasan to death for his role in the shootings at Fort Hood on November 5th, 2009: KILLEEN, Tex. — Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist who admitted shooting to kill in a Fort Hood building here packed with unarmed soldiers nearly four years ago, once said he […]

D.C. Drivers Once Again Judged The Worst

Repeating results that we’ve seen before, D.C. drivers have once again been judged the worst in the country: A report out Tuesday from Allstate Insurance Company named D.C. the least safe driving city in the entire country. The report, based on claims data from Allstate, ranked the top 200 largest cities in the country in terms of […]

Stay Classy NY Daily News!

And now for a little, well needed, levity. On Monday, while guest hosting a Tri-State area Sports-Talk radio show, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called New York Daily News Jet’s beat writer Manish Mehta an “idiot” and a bunch of other names over Mehta’s coverage of a Jet’s press conference. Yesterday, the Daily News swung […]

Coalition of the Willing Forming for Syria Strikes

The United States will go to war without UN or NATO approval.

OTB Caption Contest Winners

The Brat Pack Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

An Argument Against Bombing Syria…

…can be found simply by looking at who supports the action.  Scott Lemieux at LGM notes:  “Experts” Who Are Always Wrong About Everything Want to Bomb Syria. Said experts include:  Joe Lieberman, Bernard-Henri Levy, Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Leon Wieseltier as well as “Max Boot, Paul Berman, Dr. Clifford D. May, Marty Peretz, […]

White House: Possible Military Strikes Not Aimed At Regime Change In Syria

The White House confirmed today that the goal of any military intervention in Syria would be very limited. Which makes one wonder what the point of doing anything actually is.

A Counter-Argument on the Use of Force Against Syria

There’s more than one way to look at the civil war in Syria.

Washington, D.C. To Bid For 2024 Olympics?

ABC News is reporting that some business leaders in the Washington, D.C. area are pushing the idea of putting in a bid for the 2024 Olympics: The inconveniences of the daily routine in the nation’s capital will be a selling point as Washington, D.C., makes a push to host the 2024 Olympics. “We are the […]

Debt Ceiling Drop Dead Date Closer Than Previously Thought

Recent Treasury Department projections indicate that the nation will run out of borrowing authority and/or cash on hand in as little as eight weeks: The debt ceiling is a time bomb with a faulty timer: All of Washington sees it ticking toward default, but nobody knows exactly when it will explode. In a letter to […]

New Mexico Judge Orders State’s Largest County To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Three counties in New Mexico are under orders to issue licenses to same-sex couples.

From the “Misunderstanding the Way the World Works” File

The BBC reports:  Miley Cyrus MTV performance draws complaints. From the piece: The Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a complaint against the channel over the 20-year-old’s routine, which saw her dance suggestively in a nude bikini with singer Robin Thicke. It argued the show should not have been rated as suitable for 14 year olds, […]

A Strike on Syria is a Legacy of the Iraq War

It strikes me that the entire Red Line business, which has now painted the president into a corner over Syria, is a direct result of US policy in the post-9/11 period in which WMD usage became a central (if not the central) justification for US military action.  The recent confirmation of US complicity in Iraqi […]

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