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Violent Protests in Burkina Faso

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Burkina Faso parliament set ablaze. The conflict is over an attempt to amend the constitution to allow the long-standing president to run for re-election: Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament. [...] Mr Compaore first took power in a […]

Q3 GDP Growth

money-investing

Via the BBC:  US grows at annual rate of 3.5% in third quarter The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department has said. That is a slowdown from the 4.6% growth rate of the April-June quarter, but economists say that was a rebound from the first […]

Shooting at the Canadian Parliament

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Shots fired inside Canada parliament “Shots fired at War Memorial at 9:52am today; one person injured,” Ottawa Police tweeted on Wednesday as a witness reported seeing authorities search from room to room for the suspect. The gunman fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and then ran into the parliament. The […]

Obama the Republican

money-bankruptcy

Bruce Bartlett has a column at the American Conservative (Obama Is a Republican) which is getting a lot of attention today (and rightfully so, in fact).  His points about the deficit, in particular, ought to be paid attention to. I will say, however, that I find all the attention to his thesis a bit amusing, […]

More Good Ebola News

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC we find that : 1)  Nigeria has been declared Ebola free Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a "spectacular success story". Nigeria won praise […]

Midterm Polling Challenges

us-politics

Sam Wang:  Midterm National Senate Polling Error Is Five Times Larger Than In Presidential Years. Fundamentally, it is about the facts that a) turnout is harder to predict in midterms (and hence polling for likely voters is harder), and b) the general level of interest in midterms is simply lower (often radically lower) than in […]

The Level of Dumb is Astounding (Huckabee on Borders and Ebola Edition)

Ebola Virus And Caduceus

Illogic and fear from Mr. Huckabee.

Noncompetitive House Elections

election-voter-people

My ongoing crusade to spark thought and discussion on the quality of representation in the US Congress.

Trouble for Rousseff

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Via the BBC:  Brazil election: Silva backs Neves in blow for Dilma The Brazilian environmentalist Marina Silva, who came third in Sunday’s presidential election, has backed opposition centrist candidate Aecio Neves in the second round. Mr Neves won 33.5% of the votes in the first round to 41.5% for President Dilma Rousseff, who is running […]

Voter ID Laws Blocked in WI and TX

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The law in Wisconsin was blocked by SCOTUS and in Texas by a federal court. Via USAT:  Supreme Court blocks Wisconsin’s voter ID law The Supreme Court on Thursday night blocked Wisconsin from implementing its new voter identification law on the eve of next month’s elections. In a related action, a district court judge in Texas […]

Speaking of Unnecessary Fearmongering

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ISIS at the Gates Edition.

Today in Crazy Talk

us-politics

Aaron David Ward writing at LewRockwell.com:  The Ebola Effect: Blood From Stone The U.S. Government wants Ebola in America.   Why?  It’s good for business, specifically the business of the global elites.  It’s no secret the one-percent who rule the world want the global population reduced. It’s also no secret big pharma makes big money off […]

Today in Unnecessary Fearmongering

us-politics

Via the Weekly Standard:  General: If Ebola Reaches Central America, ‘There Will Be Mass Migration into the U.S.’ The piece is a series of excerpts from a panel at the National Defense University which included Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command (all excerpts are from Kelly). Now, without a doubt, […]

Dallas Ebola Patient Dies

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Via CNN: Texas Ebola patient dies

Unclear on the Concept: Cruz and SCOTUS

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“This is judicial activism at its worst”-Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on SCOTUS, um, inaction on same-sex marriage. Also, good luck with this: I have introduced legislation, S. 2024, to protect the authority of state legislatures to define marriage. And that is why, when Congress returns to session, I will be introducing a constitutional amendment to […]

PoliSci Types: GOP to Take Senate in November

us-politics

Via TPM:  Political Scientists: November Is Still A Slam-Dunk For The GOP A new symposium of the 2014 midterm elections in PS: Political Science and Politics forecasts that GOP could gain a median of 5 or 6 Senate seats and about 14 in the House. Unlike other popular models, this doesn’t just measure polling or […]

Run-off Time in Brazil

money-bankruptcy

Via the BBC:  Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff to face presidential run-off Brazilian incumbent Dilma Rousseff has won most votes in the country’s presidential election, but has fallen short of outright victory. She received about 41% of the vote and is set to face a run-off against centrist Aecio Neves, who got 34%, near complete official results […]

A Different Democracy

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From the Shameless Self-Promotion Department comes news that A Different Democracy:  American Government in a Thirty-One-Country Comparison by Steven L. Taylor, Matthew S. Shugart, Arend Lijphart, and Bernard Grofman is now available in paperback and Kindle formats (at, I might note, reasonable prices). It was originally slated for an October 28th release, but I received my author’s […]

After all, the Queen is a Dog Person

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  David Cameron to apologise to Queen over ‘purred’ remark Speaking in New York, Mr Cameron told Mr Bloomberg he had phoned the Queen to tell her the result. “She purred down the line,” he said. “I’ve never heard someone so happy.”

Total Respect and Deep Appreciation

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Apropos of a recent OTB post:

Second Term Blues?

Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush laugh on stage during a Presidential Leadership Scholars program event at the Newseum in Washington

The sixth year of a presidency leads to some predictable commentary (and some comparative notes).

Let the Games Begin! (Institutional Reform Edition)

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Now on to solving the complex puzzle of the post-referendum UK.

From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff up” File

us-politics

Via Yellowhammer News:  Ala. congressional candidate posts video of himself sitting on the toilet

Today in Comparative Ballots (“Independence or not” Edition)

election-voter-people

One of these ballots is legit. The others, not so much.

What Every School District Needs…

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Via NPR:  San Diego School District’s New 18-Ton Armored Vehicle Creates Stir The six-wheel Caiman MRAP has an official value of around $733,000. But the San Diego school district paid only about $5,000 to transport it, according to inewsorce.org, a website that partners with NPR member station KPBS.” Even if one takes at face value […]

Comparative Smog

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Via the LAT,  Beijing’s smog makes Los Angeles air look good: In the American Lung Assn.’s 2014 national State of the Air survey, the L.A.-Long Beach area ranked worst in terms of ozone concentrations and third worst in terms of particulates as measured by the standard known as PM2.5, which captures particles so small they […]

Some Observations on the Scotland Independence Referendum

UK and Scottish flags

Thoughts on the Scottish referendum (and on the issue of thresholds and decision-making).

Is the US Pulling Back from the World?

us-politics

Clearly not, as Steve Saideman rightly notes: Yes, the US is leaving Afghanistan, but will have a residual force if the Afghans get resolve their election dispute.  Yes, the US has reduced its presence in Europe, closing some bases and bringing tanks back home. So, is that heaps of disengagement?  Or is this mostly a […]

The ongoing Damage to the Venezuelan Economy

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Venezuela’s annual inflation rises to 63.4% Venezuela’s annual inflation rate has risen to 63.4%, the highest in Latin America, according to official figures published on Tuesday. The figures are the first released by the central bank since May, which has led critics to accuse the government of withholding data for political reasons. […]

This Just in: Presidential Candidates are Egomaniacs

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And presidentialism encourages this kind of behavior.

Mexican State Approves Same-Sex Marriage

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Mexican state of Coahuila approves same-sex marriage The northern state of Coahuila has become the second region in Mexico to officially allow same-sex marriage. Coahuila’s congress approved changes to the civil code which give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, including adoption. In Mexico, laws on same-sex unions fall under […]

Today in Broken Irony Detectors

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"I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them. One or the other."—Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty on ISIS.

Being Jerry Jones

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While Doug Mataconis will love this interview, James Joyner and I need a stiff drink or two after reading (however, I cannot afford the Johnny Walker Blue):  Jerry Football The facts: Since the start of the 1997 season, the Cowboys have established themselves as the NFL’s masters of mediocrity, with a record of 136-136 and […]

A Quote to Ponder

us-politics

“I think that, first of all, the United States should remember that we have spent the last 15 years trying to use military power, including military assistance, to try and organize the politics of this region. And we have failed miserably. We have got a failed state in Iraq. We have a failed state in […]

For Want of a Strongman

us-politics

Via MediaMatters:  Fox Host Requests Putin Be US President For 48 Hours To Deal With Islamic State. Kimberly Guilfoyle: "Can I just make a special request in the magic lamp? Can we get like Netanyahu, or like Putin in for 48 hours, you know, head of the United States?" (video at both links). Yes, this […]

Well, Everybody Makes Mistakes…

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Via the BBC:  Captured Russian troops ‘in Ukraine by accident’

The Timing of Elections Matters (Ferguson Edition)

election-voter-people

Yet another example of how institutional choices matter.

Watch your Mouth in North Augusta, SC

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Via WSPA:  SC mom arrested for using ‘F-word’ in grocery store in front of her kids Wolf, age 22, moved to South Carolina with her family 3 weeks ago but a night at a grocery store has her wanting to move back to Ohio. "He was like, ‘You’re under arrest’…right in front of kids, in […]

Fighting over Mosul Dam

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Via the BBC:  Iraq crisis: Military claims control of Mosul dam Iraqi military spokesman Lt-Gen Qassim Atta told state TV the dam – Iraq’s largest – had been "fully cleansed". Troops had been backed by a joint air patrol, he added, without specifying if there had been any US air strikes. However, journalists in the […]

Today in Circular Reasoning

American Flag Bible

Back to the Ten Commandments and Alabama politics.

Camo Covered Cops

money-bankruptcy

Mark Steyn, commenting on images of camo-wearing police in Ferguson: A soldier wears green camo in Vietnam to blend in. A policeman wears green camo in Ferguson to stand out – to let you guys know: We’re here, we’re severe, get used to it. [...] So, when the police are dressed like combat troops, it’s […]

A Disturbing Map (Militarization of the Police Edition)

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Via the  NYT:  Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear.

Muslim Brotherhood’s Political Party Banned

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Egypt court bans Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing Dissolving the Freedom and justice Party (FJP) was expected. The political wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement can no longer compete in the next parliamentary elections, expected to be held before the end of this year. Its members can run either as individual candidates […]

Santos Sworn in

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC from last week:   Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sworn in. Santos was re-elected to a second term back in June and is the second Colombian president to be re-elected (after the constitution was reformed to allow Santos’ predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, to run for and win a second term). The main issue confronting […]

The Scourge that is in-Person Voter Fraud

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The numbers are shocking!

Italian Senate Reform?

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Institutional reform does take place in other democracies.

An Amazing Video (King and the Dreamers Edition)

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Legality and justice are not always in synch.

Today in Republican Outreach on Race and Ethnicity… (with a Helping of PR for AL, too)

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Ugh.

Competitive House Districts: A Rarity

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Our non-competitive political system.

Immigration Legislation: Veto Players in Action

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The current immigration debate is yet another great example of how our system works (so to speak).

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