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Home Depot Customer Opens Fire on Alleged Shoplifters

Via The Detroit News:  Customer fires at Auburn Hills shoplifting suspects Police responding to a “shots fired” call at a Home Depot store said a customer apparently tried to stop a shoplifter by firing at a fleeing vehicle. The incident occurred at 2 p.m. at the store on Joslyn, according to a police press release. A […]

Gun Rights and Political Identity


Linking view on guns to political self-identity.

A Challenge for Saturday

Is there any topic in American politics that is more depressingly impossible to productively discuss than the issue of gun violence? Discuss.

A Photo for Friday (on Saturday)


“Forgotten?” January 16, 2015 Indigent Square 218, Carrollton Cemetery (New Orleans, LA)

If you Can’t Make Money Selling Alcohol… (Alabama Budget Edition)


Via WSFA:  At least 15 state-run ABC liquor stores set to close due to budget cuts Citing a $5.5 million cut to its fiscal year 2016 budget, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board announced late Thursday that is will have to close or consolidate at least 15 state-run ABC liquor stores. The closures will take […]

Voter ID and Alabama’s Budget Mess


Budget cuts mean it is now harder to get an ID in much of Alabama.

Have we Seen Peak Trump?

Trump Escalator

Trump remains in the lead, but he has been steadily falling over the month of September. (And this triggers, as these things do, musings about institutions and our party system).

A Study in Being “Presidential”


Via TPM Livewire:  WATCH: CNN Grills Carson On Muslim Comments Until Manager Ends Interview: Tapper and Carson spent several minutes of back and forth. “You’re assuming that Muslim Americans put their religion ahead of the country,” Tapper said to Carson. “I’m assuming that if you accept all the tenets of Islam that you would have […]

More Terms for Bolivia’s Morales?


Via the BBC:  Vote may allow Bolivia president to seek re-election Bolivia’s Congress has voted to amend the constitution to allow the country’s President Evo Morales to run for re-election again in five years’ time. The vote went through by a two-thirds majority in a congress dominated by his supporters. He has been in power […]

Background on the FARC (and Remembering the FARC’s Terrible, Horrible, no Good, very Bad Year+)


The seeds of the current peace deal date back to 2007-2008 (plus some longer-term background notes).

Major Step Forward for Colombian Peace Process


Peace between the FARC and the Colombian state appears nigh.

A Photo for Friday


Untitled 9/14/15 Montgomery, AL

Boehner to Resign


Via the NYT: Boehner Will Resign From Congress. My initial response at seeing the headline was to double-check and see if it was from a satire site.  So, on the one hand I am truly surprised.  On the other, however, I do find the degree to which this is emblematic of the divisions in the […]

Winnowing of the Minnows


Two gone: 14 to go.

A Quick Constitution Lesson for Carson


More bigotry in the campaign.

A Photo For Friday


Untitled 9/4/15 San Francisco, CA

Women, the $10 Bill, and the GOP Field


Yes, the following is not exactly all that consequential, but why blog if you can’t share your opinion on the inconsequential? Via the WSJ:   Republican Debate: Rosa Parks Top Pick for $10 Bill Some of the votes: Rand Paul: Susan B. Anthony Mike Huckabee: My wife Marco Rubio: Rosa Parks Ted Cruz: Keep Hamilton. Put […]

A Photo for Friday

“Golden Hour at Golden Gate” 9/3/15

The Charlie Sheen Candidacy


"We will have so much winning if I get elected, that you may get bored with winning."-Donald Trump So is tiger blood the explanation for the hair?

Why Stop There? #BuildtheShield


Via Huffpost Politics:  Scott Walker Open To Building Wall Along Border With Canada The Republican presidential candidate said the idea of building a northern wall was brought up to him during a recent town hall in New Hampshire. "That is a legitimate issue for us to look at," Walker said Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the […]

Brazil Officially in Recession


The economic news has been poor in Brazil for a while now, and with the release of new GDP figures the country is officially in recession, the BBC reports: Brazil has entered recession after official figures showed the country’s economy contracted by 1.9% between April and June compared with the previous three months. Analysts had […]

A Photo for Friday

“Magic Square” January 17,2015 Jackson Square (New Orleans, LA)

Memories of Polling Past


Thinking back to about this time in 2011.

78 > 22

Trump Escalator

If we are gong to assess the significance of Trump, we need to pay attention to the numbers.

TL;DR Meme Version of Taylor’s Post


In case my 1000+ word post on Trump and the GOP field was too much, here’s the meme version: Having read some of the comments on my post, and having thought a bit more about what I am trying to convey, the issue is this:  by the time the voting starts there won’t be 17 […]

A Photo for Friday

“Silhouette” 7/19/15 Pike Road, AL

Comparative Citizenship


If anyone is interested in the question of where the US fits in comparatively on the question of birthright citizenship the answer is:  we are in the distinction minority.  In terms of comparison to other highly developed states only the US and Canada have birthright citizenship.  On a geographical dimension, the practice is common in […]

Trump and American Political Parties

Fox News Republican Debate Lineup

Trump illustrates the weak nature of our parties.

The Wrong Iraq Question

Iraq US Flag

To lose something one has to have it in the first place. (It is pretty basic logic).

Symmetry in Cuba


Via CNN:  Marines who removed flag at U.S. Embassy in Havana see it raised again The gap between the flag coming down and going back up (54 years) was such that my first reaction was to to be mildly surprised that the three marines in question were still alive.

A Photo for Friday

“Empty” Montgomery, AL 4/2/15

Moody’s Predicts 2016


Via CNN Money:  Time-tested model says a Democrat will win in 2016 Republicans might be in the spotlight this week with their first big debate, but Democrats received some very encouraging news. Moody’s Analytics, which has correctly predicted every presidential race since Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980, just came out with its forecast for 2016. […]

Trump and Political Correctness


So Trump tweets: .@redstate I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. “weakness.” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2015 Because, of course, being decent and polite and not making menstruation jokes as a means being denigrating is being “politically correct.” While Trump takes it […]

A Very Quick Thought on Carly Fiorina


Can we all keep in mind that Fiorina did well in a second tier debate with the candidates currently polling 11-17? 11 through 17. (Side note:  four Ph.D.s in Political Science at lunch this afternoon could not even remember all seven candidates in that range–I think we could only conjure five.  Granted, meetings have been […]

A Photo for Friday

“America” taken June 12, 2015 Dothan, AL

Amazing Stat of the Day (U of Phoenix Edition)


The Daily Beast has a piece on the woes of the University of Phoenix:  Death of a Diploma Mill: University of Phoenix Going Down in Flames? There is a lot to be said about this, but I do not have the time at the moment.  Regardless, I was truly shocked by the following stat: According […]

A Photo for Friday

Well, weekly hasn’t taken yet, but here’s another: 4th of July, 2015 (Montgomery, AL) More fireworks here. At some point I might get a rhythm going…

The Most Important Trump Number


Remember how I have noted (twice, in fact) that one of the factors one has to consider in terms of Trump’s poll numbers is the current fragmentation of the field?  In other words, leading a field of more than a dozen, even with numbers in the mid-20s raising the question of whether he can garner […]

Gold Prices


But all those nice men on the tee-vee and radio told me that gold was where I should be putting my money.  Oh dear. (That and all the Austrian economists and their predictions of hyper-inflated doom). Well:

On Munich Analogies


Of course, the Iran deal has unleashed the ever popular deployment of the Munich analogy.  Samuel Kleiner and Tom Zoellner critique the formulation and give us a run-down of its relevance over the decades in an LAT piece for earlier in the week:  Republicans’ ‘Munich’ fallacy. The analogy is, of course, tired and pointless and yet it […]

Infrastructure Funding Blues


The gas tax was last raised in 1993.

An Important Reminder about Polling


We are still a ways from actual voting–this needs to be remembered.

The Bland Arrest Video


An authoritarian ego trip for all to see.

Today in “Asked and Answered” (Sowell on Iran Deal Edition)

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

Any discussion of the Iran deal has to be about realistic alternatives, not fantasies.

The Challenge of Democracy


Or, at least, a key challenge. Via the Monkey Cage:  No, we’re not arguing from the same facts. How can democracies make good decisions if citizens are misinformed? Widely shared misinformation hampers democracy because it makes it difficult for groups of people to take effective and appropriate action on shared civic problems. Indeed. I recommend […]

Another Troubling Police Encounter with a Black Motorist

Gavel And Scales Of Justice

A few days late, but a story worth noting if it has escaped notice.

More on Cosby


Via the BBC: Bill Cosby ‘offered women money’ for silence after sex American comedian Bill Cosby admitted trying to pay women to keep quiet after having sex with them, according to testimony obtained by the New York Times. […] After Ms Constand became upset and returned to her native Canada, Mr Cosby offered to pay […]

Smell-O-Vision 2015?


Via the NYT:  Scent Received, With a Tap of a Smartphone. A)  Who wants this? B)  The technology is inevitably going to lead to teenage boys texting farts to their friends.

Sunday Deadline for Greece


Via the BBC:   Greece debt crisis: Eurozone ‘gives Sunday debt deadline’ They had better get their act together (yes, I know) as their performance today was, well, underwhelming:  Greece turned up empty-handed to emergency bailout talks.

Fireworks Dumbitude


The older I get (and as I approach “you kids get off my lawn”-ness), the more I get frustrated by fireworks in the wild.  By that I mean:  I love a good fireworks display, but wish people would stop buying the durn things and setting them off days before (and days after) the 4th of […]

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