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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 […]

Europe’s Nadir?

USA-EU Flags

“It is more than a little ironic that NATO has committed itself to defining a new strategic concept at precisely the moment the transatlantic relationship counts for less than at any time since the 1930s.”  So begins an FT op-ed by CFR president Richard Haass. I assess this argument in “Goodbye to Europe?,” a lengthy […]

Perry Trounces Hutchison in Texas Republican Primary


Kay Bailey Hutchison’s bizarre campaign to beat incumbent Texas Governor Rick Perry in the Republican primary has ended in embarrassing defeat. Gov. Rick Perry won a decisive victory over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Texas GOP primary for governor Tuesday night, bringing a bruising fight between two of the state’s most popular Republicans to […]

Festivus Continues Long After ‘Seinfeld’


“Seinfeld,” the “show about nothing,” gave us many memorable scenes that continue as cultural icons long after the show itself has become dated an unwatchable. One that apparently keeps growing is the mock holiday celebration called “Festivus.” Long before company celebrators bench-pressed fax machines, partygoers performed competitive face-plants into ice water, or family members gathered […]

Obama’s Europe Neglect Could Bring Bush Nostalgia


My first piece for ForeignPolicy.com, “Europe’s Obama Fatigue,” is online. Despite George W. Bush’s defiant “you’re with us or you’re against us” public stance, he actively solicited advice and input from his NATO partners. Obama, by contrast, is saying all the right things in public about transatlantic relations and NATO but adopting a high-handed policy and […]

Hewitt Wins Yglesias Award


Now, here’s something I thought I’d never see:  Andrew Sullivan has nominated Hugh Hewitt for an Yglesias Award for his defense of Sonia Sotomayor. For those who don’t keep up with such things, “The Yglesias Award is for writers, politicians, columnists or pundits who actually criticize their own side, make enemies among political allies, and […]

‘World’s Greatest Dad’ Arrested in Internet Sex Sting

World's Greatest Dad Daniel Allen Everett

Not our standard fare but a hard one to resist: A man from Oakland County [Michigan] has been arrested and charged in an Internet sex sting. Daniel Everett, 33, of Clarkston was talking online with a 14-year-old girl who he met in a chat room. The two had graphic sexual conversations and Everett propositioned the […]

Only Muslim Extremists Get Upset About Cartoons

Obama New Yorker Cover

Good line, purportedly from Jon Stewart: Obama is not upset about the cartoon that calls him a Muslim extremist. Who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists. via Steve Garfield. See “New Yorker Obama Terrorist Cover” for background and commentary on the story. UPDATE:  Amusingly, I see via Memeorandum, the hubbub goes on.  Obama is continuing […]

New Yorker Obama Terrorist Cover

New Yorker Obama Terrorist Cover

The liberal blogs are in a tizzy about the cover of the July 21 New Yorker, an illustration by Barry Blitt which shows the Obamas in terrorist outfits, doing a fist bump with a big portrait of Osama bin Laden over their mantle with an American flag burning in the fireplace: Given that this is […]

iPhone Mania

iPhone Camp Out

Megan McArdle and Peter Suderman camped out overnight in front of a Washington, DC Apple store in order to be among the first to get one of the new iPhones.  Megan assures us that this is a mere sociological exercise for her: “I feel no desperate urge to get my hands on one of the […]

National Mall Disrepair

National Mall Trash Photo

CNN features, on the 4th of July no less, a piece entitled “National Mall in monumental disrepair, activists say.” This gathering place known as America’s “front yard” stretches from the Capitol to the Potomac River and is home to the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials and Washington Monument, but it’s starting to look like “an old […]

Obama’s ‘Sweetheart’ Home Loan


The Manufactured Outrage of the Day comes to us from Joe Stephens and his page A3 piece for today’s Washington Post, “Obama Got Discount on Home Loan.” Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate and while enjoying a surge in income, Barack Obama bought a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in an upscale Chicago neighborhood. To […]

AP Announces Excerpt Fees

AP Fee Calculator

Just when it appeared that the Associated Press had come to its senses, they’ve now announced an exorbitant up-front fee for even short quotations of their works, Tim Conneally reports for BetaNews. They’ve created a handy-dandy online form to calculate what we owe them. Hmm. Well, surely, an organization as large as the AP, which […]

Swift-Boating Here to Stay


Michael Kinsley hopes that Swift-Boating, a combination of smear and truth that “exploits its own complexity and the reluctance of the media to adjudicate factual disputes” and thus sticks, will not reappear this election season. The raw material for swift-boating this year is already apparent. There is Obama’s loony pastor, his friendship with a former […]

Jim Webb: Confederate Sympathizer?

Jim Webb: Confederate Sympathizer

Senator Jim Webb, touted by many as a vice presidential candidate who would help shore up Barack Obama with Southerners and those uncomfortable with his lack of national security experience, has an “affinity” for the Confederacy, Politico’s David Mark reports breathlessly. He has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many […]

Why Obama Beat Clinton

Why Obama Beat Clinton

AP’s Stephen Ohlemacher explains why Barack Obama, the young upstart, is going to be the Democratic Party nominee for president while Hillary Rodham Clinton, the hands-down favorite, is getting a set of steak knives. Unlike Hillary Rodham Clinton, rival Barack Obama planned for the long haul. Clinton hinged her whole campaign on an early knockout […]

Everything Racial Isn’t Racist


Spencer Ackerman applauds Megan Carpentier for her rejoinder to Geraldine Ferarro: “People coming up to you and complaining that they can’t complain about black people is them complaining for being looked down upon for being racists!” It’s a great line except for its being gobsmackingly stupid. Ferraro was passing on complaints of Clinton supporters frustrated […]

McCain Real Change Candidate?


David Brooks invokes the late Mancur Olsen to explain why egregiously bad legislation like the recent farm and energy bills — pork laden monstrosities that pretty much everyone agrees are bad public policy — easily pass into law. He then shifts to the presumptive November contest between John McCain and Barack Obama. Barack Obama talks […]

Too Much Color, Not Enough Culture


Clarence Page argues that Barack Obama’s failure to connect with white “working class” voters has more to do with culture than color. Democratic nominees have not won a majority of working-class white males at the ballot box since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, when Obama was still a preschooler. Since then, Bill Clinton came closest […]



Barack Obama has a “bad habit” of addressing “all kinds of people” as “Sweetie” in casual conversation, although he’s trying to quit. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has apologized to WXYZ reporter Peggy Agar for calling her “sweetie” during a campaign stop Wednesday in Sterling Heights. Obama apologized in a voicemail he left on […]

Third Party Candidates and Wasting Your Vote


Doug Mataconis rejects the idea that Bob Barr and other third party candidates should defer to the major party candidate most closely aligned with them ideologically. If McCain loses, it won’t be Bob Barr’s fault anymore than Al Gore losing Florida in 2000 was Ralph Nader’s fault. It will be because he didn’t convince enough […]

Former Gitmo Commander Denied Pakistan Post


MG Jay Hood’s appointment as the top U.S. military officer in Pakistan has been pulled owing to Pakistani complaints about a previous stop in his career as commander at Guantánamo. When the Pentagon announced in March that Maj. Gen. Jay W. Hood would become the senior American officer based in Pakistan, it reflected the military’s […]

Country Music Starter Set


Tyler Cowen and Alex Massie, an economist and a Scotsman, might seem to be odd sources for advice on American country music but they’ve both written interesting posts on the topic. Neither grew up with the tradition but they found religion and are now offering recommendations for those looking to wade in. Cowen suggests, Hank […]

Hundreds of Laptops Missing at State Department


The State Department’s computer security team has lost 400-odd laptop computers, CQ’s Jeff Stein reports. Hundreds of employee laptops are unaccounted for at the U.S. Department of State, which conducts delicate, often secret, diplomatic relations with foreign countries, an internal audit has found. As many as 400 of the unaccounted for laptops belong to the […]

Mother’s Diet Influences Sex of Baby


A new study finds that a mother’s diet during pregnancy influences the sex of the baby, giving new meaning to the old adage, “you are what you eat.” Oysters may excite the libido, but there is nothing like a hearty breakfast laced with sugar to boost a woman’s chances of conceiving a son, according to […]

Dean: Superdelegates Must Decide Now

Dean: Superdelegates Must Decide Now

DNC chairman Howard Dean is tired of the democratic process and wants the superdelegates to decide who the Democratic nominee will be now. An increasingly firm Howard Dean told CNN again Thursday that he needs superdelegates to say who they’re for — and “I need them to say who they’re for starting now.” “We cannot […]

Obama ‘Small Town’ Remarks Give Clinton Opening

Obama 'Small Town' Remarks Give Clinton Opening

Hillary Clinton is getting considerable mileage out of the flap over Barack Obama’s “small town” comments. A political tempest over Barack Obama’s comments about bitter voters in small towns has given rival Hillary Rodham Clinton a new opening to court working class Democrats 10 days before Pennsylvanians hold a primary that she must win to […]

Obese Feel More Discrimination

Obese Feel More Discrimination

Even though Americans are fatter than ever, we’re actually less tolerant of fat people. So say fat people. Led by Tatiana Andreyeva, a postdoctoral research associate at Yale’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, a team of researchers questioned 1,100 subjects, aged 35 to 74, twice over a 10-year span (once between 1995 and […]

Obama on Guns, God, and Hate in Rural America


Barack Obama’s foray into pop psychology, trying to explain why rural Pennsylvanians aren’t warming to him and are asking him to talk more about patriotism, is causing quite the stir in the blogosphere. “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs […]

The Price of Rice


When I read this post by one of the associate bloggers at Joe Gandelman’s The Moderate Voice, it piqued my interest. The post quotes briefly from this New York Times article about possible unrest from the sharp rise in the price of rice that’s gone on recently: HANOI — Rising prices and a growing fear […]

Racism Under Every Barack


Matt Yglesias argues, persuasively, that John McCain’s “biography tour” is a strange campaign strategy, especially given that the candidate with the more impressive military background has lost almost* every presidential election since 1960. He then goes off on a tangent: What I’ll say on behalf of this strategy is that it’s the best way I […]

John McCain’s Melanoma in Perspective


Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, and I have a similar medical history. In a recent NY Times article, Lawrence K. Altman, M.D reported, “Mr. McCain has had four (malignant) melanomas.” Until 2007 I was tied with the Senator. I had four of these deadly skin cancers diagnosed in 1993-94. A fifth […]

Caption Contest Winners


The Nuanced Position Edition OTB Caption ContestTM is now over.

NYT Hit Piece on McCain Alleges Adultery, Favoritism

NYT Hit Piece on McCain

The New York Times today fronts a long exposé on John McCain, which the campaign describes as a “hit-and-run smear campaign,” under the headline “For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk.” The piece alleges that McCain did favors for a female lobbyist nine or more years ago and insinuates that they were romantically […]

Unbearable Whiteness of Blogging

What White People Like

The Unfogged gang has three posts in as many days about a wildly popular new blog about which I was previously unaware called Stuff White People Like. It’s the kind of blog only white people could like: a blog about white people written by white people for other white people that makes fun of white […]

Republican Diaz-Balart Disrupts Lantos Memorial


Silliness in Congress has morphed into ugliness, including a disruption of the memorial service for recently passed colleague Tom Lantos, NBC’s Mike Viqueira reports. Republicans are outraged. Democrats are putting forward a resolution holding White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress. House GOP rank-and-file […]

Barack Obama’s Cult of Personality (Updated)

Barack Obama's Cult of Personality

In a column entitled “Hate Springs Eternal,” Paul Krugman decries the rancor of the Democratic primary contest, which he likens to the style of Richard Nixon. I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the […]

Super Tuesday Postmortem (Updated)

Delegate Count Republicans Super Tuesday (Partial)

As I write this, a bit after 6 am, we don’t know the results of all the Super Tuesday states. What we do know if that Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee did much better than expected but that Hillary Clinton and John McCain strengthened their perception as frontrunners by winning California and New York, the […]

McCain’s Gay Bashing Robo Calls

John McCain Gay Sweaters

Floridians are being treated to some robo-calls attacking Mitt Romney that HuffPo’s Sam Stein and some homosexual activist leaders call “gay bashing.” Here’s the ad in question: Mitt Romney thinks he can fool us. He supported abortion on demand, even allowed a law mandating taxpayer-funding for abortion. He says he changed his mind, but he […]

McCain Post-New Hampshire Conference Call (Live Blog)

John McCain Phone Call Photo

McCain called in from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was obviously “gratified” by the result, which he attributed to “straight talk.” “The people of New Hampshire believe town hall meetings matter.” He also thinks his “No Surrender Tour,” which helped beat back funding cuts for the troops in Iraq, won him some respect. Q&A: Eric Erickson, […]

New Hampshire Primary Results – McCain, Clinton Win


Drudge has the following as of 746 Eastern: OBAMA 36; CLINTON 37; EDWARDS 17; RICHARDSON 4; KUCINICH 2… MCCAIN 38; ROMNEY 29; HUCKABEE 11; PAUL 8; GIULIANI 9; THOMPSON 1… ABC News is running real-time results. With 8% of precincts in, they have it: Clinton 38%, Obama 36%, Edwards 17%, Richardson 4%, Kucinich 2% McCain […]

New Book Reveals Romney . . . A Mormon


Last week, I wrote about some weird emails I received inviting me to attend an event at the National Press Club unveiling a new book that would Swift Boat a major candidate. As promised, I skipped it but kept alert for the details. Mary Ann Akers, who writes “The Sleuth” blog for WaPo, attended, along […]

The Opposite of Taking the Boeing?

Via the LAT: After outing Apple for years, blog shuts down After a long battle with Apple Inc., a Harvard University senior said Thursday that he would shut down Think Secret, the website known for landing scoops about the company’s latest products. Apple was peeved by the leaks and sued him in 2005. The site’s […]

Predicting the Nominees 2008 (Updated)


Over the next couple of days the various associate bloggers here at Outside the Beltway will be weighing in with their best guesses on who the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidency will be in 2008. It looks like I’m first in line. As the physicist Niels Bohr said, prediction is difficult especially about […]

The Obama Surge


Andrew Sullivan has a reader email post that captures, for me, the reason that Obama has been catching on of late and could very well knock Hillary Clinton aside in the run for the Democratic nomination. A sample: It’s remarkable how little Obama has focused on black voters until now, but that may have been […]

Does a Muslim Belong in the Cabinet?

Muslim Woman Holding Mitt Romney Picture

Mansoor Ijaz reports that Mitt Romney has announced he would not appoint a Muslim to the cabinet were he elected president. His reasoning is a mite peculiar: I asked Mr. Romney whether he would consider including qualified Americans of the Islamic faith in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, given his position that […]

Ron Paul’s Libertarian Revolution

Ron Paul Revolution

Reason editors Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch argue in today’s WaPo that a libertarian revolution is afoot, as evidenced by Ron Paul’s having risen to five percent in the polls and raised a substantial sum of money. The piece has gotten substantial blogospheric attention, little of it positive. John Little sees not a revolution but […]

Bhutto Under House Arrest

Bhutto Under House Arrest Photo

The mess in Pakistan continues to get worse, with dictator Pervez Musharraf ordering former prime minister Benazir Bhutto placed under house arrest and hundreds more of his opponents arrested. The opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was placed under house arrest this morning, her political party said. Streets were filled with police officers carrying batons and shields, […]

Virginia Continues Blue Trend

Virginia has long been considered a Republican hotbed — the last Democrat to win the state’s Electoral College vote was Lyndon Johnson in 1964 — it has now elected two Democratic governors in a row, has a Democratic Senator and may be about to have two. Last night, Democrats gained four seats to take control […]

Lech Walesa to Get Heart Transplant

Lech Walesa to Get Heart Transplant Photo

Lech Walesa is comign to Houston for a heart transplant. Former Polish President and Solidarity movement leader Lech Walesa said on Wednesday he planned to have a heart transplant in the United States. Walesa, a symbol of the overthrow of the communist regime in Eastern Europe in 1989 and a winner of the Nobel Peace […]

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