Specter Loses the Bet

Via the NYT:  Specter Defeat Signals a Wave Against Incumbents: Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who left the Republican Party a year ago in hopes of salvaging a 30-year career, was rejected on Tuesday by Democratic primary voters, with Representative Joe Sestak winning the party’s nomination on an anti-incumbent wave that is defining the midterm […]

BRAC, Ft. Belvoir, and Northern Virginia Traffic

Virginia Congressman Jim Moran argues that the Defense Department ought to step up and pay for the increased traffic BRAC is about to bring to his district: The latest round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closing) moves is poised to create a daytime nightmare of traffic congestion for Northern Virginia. Over the next two years, […]

Comic Book Foreign Policy (or the Batman Theory of Foreign Policy)

Readers may be familiar with the Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics (short version: the US can do whatever it wants if it just has even willpower). Now, it appears we can add another member of the Justice League to our understanding of foreign policy. On Friday, author Andrew Klavan had a piece in the WSJ […]

Obama Plunges in Newsweek Poll!

Newsweek has released a new poll and is excited by the huge change: “Glow Fading? The latest NEWSWEEK Poll shows Barack Obama leading John McCain by only 3 points. What a difference a few weeks can make.” This is quite amusing in that pretty much everyone agreed that the June 20th Newsweek poll was an […]

Poll: Third of Clinton Voters to Stay Home

The resilience of the Hillary Clinton dead-enders is surprising. CNN reports that the number of holdouts is actually growing. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Friday, the number of Clinton supporters who plan to defect to Republican Sen. John McCain’s camp is down from one month ago, but — in what could be […]

McCain Shakes Up Campaign Staff. Again.

John McCain has reshuffled his top campaign staff for the second time is a less than a year, elevating Karl Rove protégé Steve Schmidt to the top post. Responding to Republican concerns that his candidacy was faltering, Mr. McCain put a veteran of President Bush’s 2004 campaign in charge of day-to-day operations and stepped away […]

Brian Beutler Shot in DC Mugging

Blogger Brian Beutler was shot in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood Monday night, Greg Sargent reports for TPM. Brian Beutler, a well-known progressive blogger, was shot and seriously injured during a mugging last night in Washington, D.C. One bullet damaged Beutler’s spleen, and he had it removed during surgery this morning at the Washington Hospital Center. […]

Iranian Nukes Breakthrough? (Updated)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his gang of mullahs are said to be “seriously considering” the latest EU 5+1 proposals on resolving the international standoff on the Iranian nuclear program and are telling President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to pipe down. Warren Strobel: Iran’s senior diplomat said Tuesday that Tehran was seriously considering a new offer from six […]

Obama = Charismatic = Hitler = Armageddon

Arthur Silber is, as am I, fascinated by the cult of personality surrounding Barack Obama.  He notes some anecdotal creepy gushing on a local radio show and then Reactions of this kind to Obama are fairly common. No, they are not this extreme much of the time, but such statements are far from unusual. And […]

Bush Sewage Plant

Some creative San Francisco bar patrons want to rename a sewage treatment plant after the, um, sitting president. From the Department of Damned-With-Faint-Praise, a group going by the regal-sounding name of the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is planning to ask voters here to change the name of a prize-winning water treatment plant on […]

McCain Veepstakes: A Woman?

David Paul Kuhn argues that John McCain should strongly consider choosing a woman as his vice presidential running mate in order to woo angry Hillary Clinton supporters. That premise strikes me as absurd, in that no Republican woman is going to be a suitable substitute for Clinton in the minds of her supporters. Still, reaching […]

Caption Contest Winners

The Fearless Freep Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

School Vouchers And Other Forms Of Choice

School vouchers is an idea I’ve supported ever since I first read Capitalism and Freedom in 1989. It’s an idea so simple, and sound, that it’s a wonder it hasn’t been embraced. Yet here we are, forty-six years after CaF was published and choice hasn’t caught on (except when dismembering a fetus) and is even […]

McCain Cuts Taxes More, Obama Cuts More Taxes

Megan Cerpentier observes that, “despite the stereotype that my taxes should go up under a Democratic tax plan and down under a Republican, it seems that Obama’s tax plan is most likely to lower my tax bills and McCain’s plan will do little or nothing at all for me.” This, because Obama proposes giving self-employed […]

Controlled Unclassified Information

Steven Aftergood has an interesting look at a proposal from Jane Harmon to formalize the concept of “controlled unclassified information” (CUI) that the White House rolled out on a trial balloon basis last month. Aftergood is dubious of the so-called “The Improving Public Access to Documents Act” and I mostly defer to him on this […]

Obama’s Race an Asset for Young Voters

YahooNews has applied the nonsensical headline “Young voters: Obama’s race as an asset, non-issue” to an AP story about how various age cohorts view the issue of race in general and Barack Obama in particular. Either something is an issue or it isn’t. If it’s an asset, it’s an issue. For young voters, Rosa Parks’ […]

Obama to Test 50-State Strategy

DNC Chairman Howard Dean’s “50-state strategy” has been controversial but Barack Obama is going to attempt to test it this fall, Sam Stein reports. Obama will likely start the general election with 180 or so “reliably Democratic” electoral votes. With the goal of getting to 270, the DNC believes it could play a role in […]

Hyperlocal News Fails Without Locals

WSJ points to the failure of so-called ‘hyperlocal’ news portals, focusing on a WaPo venture. For believers in the power of rigorous local coverage to help save newspapers, the Washington Post’s launch of LoudounExtra.com last July was a potentially industry-defining event. It paired a journalistic powerhouse with a dream team of Internet geeks to build […]

Do You, Party A, Take Party B to be Your Lawfully Wedded …

California’s is having to revise its marriage licenses to be a bit more gender neutral. California officials are telling county clerks that they can start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on June 17. The state Office of Vital Records says it chose June 17 because the state Supreme Court has until the end of […]

Conservatism’s Safety Net

FDL’s Thers is piling on the “has conservatism run out of ideas” bandwagon and inadvertently helped demonstrate why conservatism will never die. The piece is entitled “The Autumn of Wingnuttia” and doesn’t disappoint. He dismisses “a belief in free markets, free people, and in the greatness of the American people and the American nation” as […]

Libertarian Party Embraces Big Tent

Something really strange is going on with the Libertarian Party. I mean, more so than usual — I wouldn’t bother to point out the obvious. Their annual convention is going on as I write. Some highlights: Bob Barr, most famous for opposing medical marijuana and for his role in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, is […]

Obama’s Jewish Problem

While much has been made of Barack Obama’s problems with white working class voters, especially in Appalachia, a more problematic trend may be signs of trouble with Jewish voters, a strong if relatively small part of the Democratic base. Today’s NYT features Jodi Kantor’s story, “Many Florida Jews Express Doubts on Obama.” On Thursday, Mr. […]

Netflix Republicans?

David All argues that most of the talk about Rebuilding the Republican Brand is too focused on the past. Instead, the party should take its cues from Internet success stories like Netflix and iTunes. Gone are the days of Newt Gingrich’s Contract for America, a plan which every Republican got behind and backed. A unified […]

Rebuilding the Republican Brand

It’s not exactly news that the Republican Party is in the doldrums at the moment. It lost control of both Houses of Congress in the 2006 elections, its president is at historic lows in the polls, it has lost a string of special elections and its incumbent Congressmen are retiring in droves, and the odds […]

Payback Time for Clinton

The sense that Hillary Clinton’s nomination was inevitable gave her a huge advantage coming into this campaign, making it very risky for big Democratic donors not to pony up and for superdelegates to endorse her opponent. Now that her eventual loss seems certain, though, the long knives are coming out, Susan Milligan reports. [T]he reality […]

H.R. McMaster Leads New Crop of Generals

The third time is the charm for H.R. McMaster, who is the most recognizable name on the list of new one-star generals selected by a promotion board headed up by none other than David Petraeus. An Army board headed by Gen. David H. Petraeus has selected several combat-tested counterinsurgency experts for promotion to the rank […]

Georgia on Brink of War?

Russia’s “new” government is just like the old one, it seems, and it is ramping up tensions in the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict. Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that it could further increase its peacekeeping forces in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia, where the threat of renewed fighting increased international alarm. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, meanwhile, […]

Geese, Ganders, Etc.

Steve Chapman wonders if John McCain should be so quick to judge Barack Obama for his association with Bill Ayers, given McCain’s own associations with G. Gordon Liddy. Can a presidential candidate justify a long and friendly relationship with someone who, back in the 1970s, extolled violence and committed crimes in the name of a […]

McCain Flip-Flop on 100 Years in Iraq?

Josh Marshall is angry at the press for buying into what he believes is a lie: That John McCain doesn’t want 100 years of war in Iraq but rather is willing to see a Germany-style long term, peaceful presence. McCain does not want to leave Iraq. Period. He wants tens of thousands of troops to […]

Bush Lauds Pope at White House Visit

The pontiff formerly known as Joseph Ratzinger visited the White House this morning and President Bush laid it on thick. An enthralled South Lawn crowd of more than 9,000 sang “Happy Birthday” to Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday — twice — and President Bush said that the first papal White House visit in 29 years […]

Parenting Through Reason

When I first heard the story about Lenore Skenazy, the New York woman who made headlines for allowing her nine-year-old to ride on the subway alone, the first thing I thought to myself is: Why is this news? New York City is one of the safest cities in America now. Why shouldn’t a kid ride […]

Congresswoman Jackie Speier Booed at Swearing In

Jackie Speier, who was sworn in yesterday after a special election to replace the late Tom Lantos, was booed after she turned her introductory speech into a tirade against the war in Iraq. For a few feel-good moments on the floor of the U.S. House today, Jackie Speier basked in bipartisan applause as she was […]

Bush Pauses Iraq Troop Cutbacks, Shortens Deployments

We’ll continue to have large numbers of troops in Iraq for the foreseeable future but deployments will be cut to one year, President Bush announced today. President Bush on Thursday ordered an indefinite halt in U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq after July, embracing the key recommendations of his top war commander. Bush said Gen. David […]

Middle Class Blues

Matt Yglesias points to a new Pew survey of middle class America which finds a record number feel they are economically worse off than they were five years ago. A majority of survey respondents say that in the past five years, they either haven’t moved forward in life (25%) or have fallen backwards (31%). This […]

Obama Endorsement Costs Oprah Fans

Costas Panagopoulos, director of Fordham University’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy, has studied Oprah Winfrey’s popularity polls over the years and found that her ratings “plummeted” after endorsing Barack Obama — “almost instantly.” Panagopoulos chronicles nearly two decades of “sky high” approval for Winfrey, who was consistently among the most popular woman in the […]

Building Democracy, One Warlord at a Time

The Washington Post has a heartbreaking article which might as well be titled “The More Things Change…” regarding our current “progress” in Fallujah: [Col. Faisal Ismail al-]Zobaie, 51, knows the nature of the men in black masks. He is a former insurgent. Now, as the police chief, he has turned against the insurgency, especially al-Qaeda […]

Obama’s Speech: Poisoning the Well

One of the major strains of reaction to Barack Obama’s “More Perfect Union” speech is that those who are not persuaded by it are therefore racist or at least unreasoning fools. Poisoning the well in this manner may be an effective rhetorical device but it undercuts the very message of the speech, which is that […]

Eliot Spitzer Resigns. Finally. For Real This Time

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has finally resigned. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is resigning following intense pressure to step down because of a prostitution scandal. Spitzer says his resignation is effective Monday. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below. Gov. Eliot Spitzer has decided […]

Hillary Clinton’s Duty to Quit

One meme that has emerged in recent days is the idea that Hillary Clinton’s remaining in the race, and especially her negative attacks on Barack Obama, will seriously damage the Democratic Party and make Obama damaged goods in the fall. John Aravosis is one of the more passionate advocates of this position. Well, come Wednesday, […]

Iraqi Army Trading AK-47 for M-16

The Iraqi military is trading in its AK-47s for shiny new M-16s. In a move that could be the most enduring imprint of U.S. influence in the Arab world, American military officials in Baghdad have begun a crash program to outfit the entire Iraqi army with M-16 rifles. The initiative marks a sharp break for […]

Captain’s Quarters Closing

Ed Morrissey has announced that he’s mothballing Captain’s Quarters and joining Michelle Malkin’s team at Hot Air. He’ll be replacing Bryan Preston, who has left to take a position as a producer for Laura Ingraham. It’s an interesting move and certainly strengthens the Hot Air brand. I can’t remember the last time a blogger of […]

Obama ‘Steals’ from King and Jefferson

Andy Towle (shared by Chris Abraham via Google Reader) thinks Barack Obama has a Joe Biden situation: Barack Obama has been lauded over the course of this campaign for his beautiful speeches. On Saturday, in Wisconsin, Obama made a speech with uncanny similarities to a speech given by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick when he was […]

More on Biofuels

Yesterday’s episode of NPR’s Science Friday, timely considering the New York Times article from yesterday, was on the subject of the next generation of biofuels. Ethanol produced from corn or sugar cane or diesel fuel produced from soybeans is the first generation of biofuels. The next generation of biofuels are more efficient than the previous […]

Obama Ties Clinton Policies to Bush’s

In a nice little political jujitsu move, Barack Obama managed to attack both Hillary Clinton and John McCain at the same time, by tying them together and tying them both to Bush: It’s time for new leadership that understands that the way to win a debate with John McCain is not by nominating someone who […]

Obama Thumps Clinton in S.C.; Edwards Takes 3rd

Barack Obama has bracketed his Iowa win in one of the whitest states of the Union with a victory in South Carolina, one of the nation’s blackest, in what appears to be a 2-to-1 rout over Hillary Rodham Clinton. Despite an apparent late surge by John Edwards in polls in the his home turf, it […]

Fred Thompson Loss Ends Republican Party

Steve Bainbridge is preparing to sit out the 2008 election rather than vote for anyone but Fred Thompson. If the choice is between choosing the lesser of 4 evils and teeing up a process by which the GOP reinvents itself for the 21st Century, I’m inclined to opt for the latter. Coupled with losing Congress […]

Confederate Flag Flies in South Carolina Primary

The Civil War might have ended 143 years ago but the Confederate battle flag refuses to die as a political issue. The Republican presidential candidates on Thursday moved to appeal to different types of conservative voters before the South Carolina primary, with Mike Huckabee using colorful language to declare the Confederate flag a states’ rights […]

Straight Talk Not Working?

Ron Fournier, AP’s political writer, summarizes last night’s outcome, “Mitt Romney’s victory in Michigan was a defeat for authenticity in politics.” The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents’ record and continued to show why he’s the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate. And it worked. The man who […]

Huckabee Would NOT End Birthright Citizenship (Updated)

Mike Huckabee wants to overturn the 14th Amendment, the Washington Times reports. Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced. Mr. Huckabee, who won […]

Bloomberg Readying Independent Bid

Talk of a Bloomberg candidacy won’t go away — mostly because Bloomberg won’t shut up about it (and he owns a media empire). Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him […]

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