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Yes, Trump is the Frontrunner, but…


Polls are quite useful in the right circumstances, but knowledge, complexity, and timing all have to be taken into account in determining what they are telling us.

Illegal Border Crossings Surge


Via the NYT:  Number of Migrants Illegally Crossing Rio Grande Rises Sharply The numbers of migrants crossing the Rio Grande illegally have risen sharply in recent weeks, replaying scenes from the influx of Central American children and families in South Texas last year. […] The new flows here are smaller than the surge in the summer […]

A Photo for Friday


“Linked” Sloss Furnace (Birmingham, AL) 11/25/15

New President in Argentina


Via the BBC:  Argentina’s President-elect Macri lays out new course Mr Macri won Sunday’s run-off election by a narrow margin over Daniel Scioli, who was backed by outgoing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. He said one of the key problems was the lack of accurate information about the state of Argentina’s economy. […] Mr Macri, […]

Just Some Perspective


Andrew Shaver writing at The Monkey Cage:  You’re more likely to be fatally crushed by furniture than killed by a terrorist. I am not saying ignore it.  I am saying have some perspective.

Some Hard Truths about Terrorism (and Anti-Terrorism Policy)


Rosa Brooks, writing at Foreign Policy offers some truth on the issue of terrorism:  The Threat Is Already Inside (And 9 other truths about terrorism that nobody wants to hear.) The while thing is worth readings, but here are some excerpts: Occasional terrorist attacks in the West are virtually inevitable, and odds are, we’ll see more […]

A Photo for Friday

Let’s go with something recent and a bit different for this week: “Goldeneye” 10/25/15 Pike Road, AL

Refugees and Terrorism (Some Numbers)


Via The Economist:  Of the 745,000 refugees resettled since September 11th, only two Iraqis in Kentucky have been arrested on terrorist charges, for aiding al-Qaeda in Iraq. (The whole piece is worth a read).

This is How Terrorism Works

ISIS Fighters

Violence leads to irrational policy responses. Who does that help?

Paris + GOP Primary Electorate = ??


We are going to learn a lot about the GOP electorate in the coming weeks.

In Case Anyone Asks…


…via Quartz:  Muslims around the world condemn terrorism after the Paris attacks and USAT:  Muslims strongly condemn Paris terror attacks.

TCU Opts Out of Texas Campus Carry Law


Via the DMN:  TCU votes to opt out of campus carry Public colleges and universities have drawn most of the attention in the campus carry debate, since they can’t, under the law, totally opt out. And discussions remain ongoing at those campuses over what kind of gun-free zones might be established. But private schools retained the […]

An Account of ISIS Activity


An list and map via the NYT:  click. On the one hand, a concerning list.  On the other, most of the items seems to be arrests linked to people trying to join the group rather than being specific plots or threats. The more concerning issue is the number of countries where the group currently has military […]

Something to Consider Going Forward


We can draw a rather direct line from the Iraq war to the rise of ISIS.

A Photo for Friday

“Enchanted Forest” 11/8/14 Mt. Cheaha State Park (AL)

A Photo for Friday

“Amarillo” 10/17/15 Pike Road, AL

Carson and Mannatech

Republican Presidential Candidate Dr. Ben Carson at National Press Club

Semantics aside, Carson has a clear relationship with a company whose products are nothing but junk science.

Ryan’s Disingenuous Dodge on Immigration


Speaker Ryan to MTP on the subject of immigration reform: “I don’t think we can trust the president on this issue,” Ryan told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “The president has proven himself untrustworthy on this issue because he tried to unilaterally rewrite the law himself. Presidents don’t write laws. Congress does.” A couple thoughts immediately spring to […]

Electoral Reform Coming to the Great White North?


Will Canada ditch FPTP?

A Photo for Friday

After simply forgetting three weeks in a row, the weekly photo returns with an appropriate entry for Halloween Eve: “More Walking Dead” 10/20/12 Montgomery, AL

Argentine Election Time


Via the BBC:  Argentina elections: Voters pick new president. Candidate basics: President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has served two consecutive terms and, under Argentina’s constitution, cannot run again. Her hand-picked successor, left-winger Daniel Scioli, is leading polls. But he is expected to face stiff competition from Mauricio Macri, the centre-right mayor of Buenos Aires. Another […]

A Webb Independent Run

Jim Webb

Pure fantasy.

More Feeling Safer

Via KCEN: Gun Falls out of Purse, Results in Accidental Shooting in Beaumont Beaumont police officers are investigating an apparent accidental shooting Monday morning at the Christus Outpatient Pavilion located in the 700 block of 11th Street. A witness told KCEN’s sister station 12News that a woman was in the waiting room of a medical office. […]

About that Fiorina Surge…


Via CNN: Carly Fiorina‘s swell of support after her strong debate performance last month has collapsed, according to a new CNN/ORC poll […] The survey found Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson leading the crowded field with support of 27 percent and 22 percent of registered Republicans. The poll, released on Tuesday, had a margin of […]

Feeling Safer, Dontcha Know


Via KWCH:  Salina police investigate accidental shooting in theater “This guy started shouting ‘Oh my God, I just shot myself! I just got my concealed and carry,’ and then everybody jumped up and that’s when we heard call 9-11. According to Salina police, the man accidentally shot himself once in the leg.

Florida Senate Ditches Battle Flag


Via the Miami Herald:  Florida Senate jettisons Confederate battle flag from seal A polarizing symbol is disappearing from the Florida Senate, after senators endorsed a proposal Monday to remove the Confederate battle flag from their official seal. […] Monday’s vote used a procedural method that didn’t require senators to record “yes” or “no” votes. Because […]

Canadian Elections Q&A


Via the CBC:  What if? Election outcome scenarios…

Woman who Fired at Home Depot Shoplifters Charged

Here is some follow-up on the story of the Michigan woman who used her concealed weapon against some shoplifters at a Home Depot.  Via USAT:  Woman who shot at fleeing shoplifter is charged:  A woman accused of firing a gun at the vehicle of a fleeing shoplifter in Michigan was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor count of […]

Early Voting in Canada


Via the Toronto Star:  Elections Canada reports higher voter turnout for advance polls this weekend The opening day of advance polls brought out a big increase in the number of voters casting ballots ahead of the Oct. 19 election. Elections Canada says it estimates some 850,000 people voted on Friday, the first day of advance […]

A Toon for Sunday

Yep, there is quite a bit of this going on. (And I will confess to being guilty of it from time to time).

A Question for Sunday

Gun Flag

When may I shoot a student?

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?

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