I never believed that such a day would come

by on 2008-11-05- Leave a reply

I agree with Charli that McCain gave an amazing speech, but I fear that it is only a small step towards reversing the embers of hate that he, and his campaign, helped stir. A shield of bulletproof glass, easily visible during Obama's acceptance speech, provided a stark reminder of the dangers fear and anger yet pose to hope and reconciliation.
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Nicely Done, Senator.

by on 2008-11-05- Leave a reply

John McCain gave a gracious concession speech that did not pander at all to the sentiments of his disappointed audience. Instead, shrugging off repeated boos from his supporters, he spoke firmly about race, about bipartisanship, and about the responsibility of all Americans to support the person who will now be our President. In other words he joined Barack Obama in calling on the best parts of us as citizens. This was the McCain I used to respect, the McCain I lobbied for during the Republican primary.
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President Barack Obama

by on 2008-11-05- Leave a reply

44th President of the United States
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Election Results Open Thread 1

by on 2008-11-05- 7 Comments

7pm in the east, first polls close. Too early to call most key states, but Indiana is too close to call, which is telling, I think.Consider this an open discussion thread, will update as things happen-- I need to go put the kid to bed, so i'll be back after a rousing Good Night Moon.Updates throughout the night, below the fold:7pm One thing to watch for that the MSNBC folks are prattling about (i'm flipping between msnbc and cnn) is African-American turnout. The TV people are hinting that its not just big, but Huge. As in Huge enough to swing
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Snap poll

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

I have graded one paper since 10:30am this morning. Anyone else getting basically nothing done?
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Breaking: evidence of MASSIVE VOTE FRAUD

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

Just kidding. Apparently some Obama voter may have shifted her residency from Florida to New York, despite intending to move back to New York. Brian Faughnan of Red State, however, insinuates that this is evidence of a significant, concerted effort by Obama supporters to steal the election.Republicans rightly decry some of the more extreme anti-Bush conspiracy theories emanating from the left over the past eight years, but conveniently forget the craziness of the Clinton years--a series of witch hunts driven by an unwillingness to accept the legitimacy of a Democratic administration despite two convincing plurality wins in 1992 and 1996,
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Opinion polls and the polling place

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

I will freely admit to being a FiveThirtyEight junkie over the past few months. The excellent analysis and projection that they do over there is more than a little reminiscent of my favorite baseball site, Baseball Prospectus, in that we have a very self-conscious quantitative methodology in which numbers are used to produce good insights, and not simply crunched for the sake of crunching numbers. Marvelous stuff, and basically updated in real time -- hats off to Al Gore for inventing the InterNet that makes this all possible.That said, I worry just a bit about this obsessive poll-watching, the same
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My Electoral Predictions

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

[Updated: Thanks to commentator Aldous for pointing out an error in my original predictions--I had Montana for Obama and neglected to include Nevada]I am not, by any stretch, and expert at polling--presidential or otherwise. By that doesn't stop most of the talking heads from bloviating and spewing silliness.Therefore, I thought I'd have some fun and post my predictions for Tuesday's Presidential election.Final: Obama over McCain 349-189I think Obama ends up winning a significant electoral victory--swing states such as Virginia, Ohio, and Florida will break for Obama. He also picks up New Mexico and Colorado out west.States that break Obama CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaHawaiiIllinoisIowaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMissouriNevadaNew
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Early Indications of a big day

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

Larry King on CNN: Dixville Notch, NH goes for Obama, 15 - 6.First time that city has gone D since 1968.Sign of the times-- the results are already up on Wikipedia, not even 15 minutes after midnight, early election day morning.
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Rethinking the Long “War”?

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

Whomever wins today, we can safely look forward, I think, to a President who will tread more carefully on the fine line between protecting national security from "global terrorism" and upholding international commitments to fundamental human rights and the rule of law. Fortunately for that person and his advisors, Simon Fraser University's Human Security Report Project just released its weekly bulletin. "In Focus" this week is "Terrorism." The bulletin provides a useful round-up of the latest research on terrorism trends (from Rand Corporation: Al Qaeda and Its Affiliates: A Global Tribe Waging Segmental Warfare), counterterrorism strategies (the Center for Contemporary
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Barack Hussein Obama and the promise of America

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

Readers of the Duck were privy to only part of a larger Duck-bloggers and Duck-regulars discussion concerning video footage of a McCain rally at Lehigh University.The discussion included an email missive from Andreas Behnke that I found quite touching. I asked Andreas for permission to post his comments, and he agreed. As we now approach the final hours of the 2008 Presidential campaign--a contest Obama is far more likely than not to win--I think it an appropriate time to share Andreas's thoughts:Wow, that [the video] was fun... Each and every society has a certain percentage of flotsam and pond scum
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Congo

by on 2008-11-04- Leave a reply

As many of us remain riveted to the final hours of the 2008 US Presidential campaign, the people of the Congo face a more dangerous and destructive contest: Gen. Laurent Nkunda's offensive against the Congolese government. The offensive has produced a major refugee crisis: "Last week's fighting in the east of the country displaced up to 100,000 civilians, of whom 60 per cent were children, the United Nations Children's Fund said yesterday." Both France and the UK are considering military options; the UN has arranged for talks between Rwanda--which backs Nkunda's Tutsi force--and the Congo in hopes of, at the
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Best. Endorsement. Ever.

by on 2008-11-03- Leave a reply

This piece -- written by a former student of mine -- may be the funniest, raunchiest, and possibly most insightful endorsement of Obama I've read this campaign season:McCainaic No More.Oh, and also: what Dan said, except that I'm not writing a piece for for Culture11.
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When Mavericks Go Rogue

by on 2008-11-03- Leave a reply

This, SNL's cold-open with John McCain from this past Saturday, was quite funny. As I mentioned earlier, SNL has done a really good job pointing out the fundamental flaw in the McCain campaignIts not just that McCain is so tied to Bush, or that he's a true Maverick--a Republican without money--but that he's allowed himself to become such an object of satire, so open to ridicule. All of the punch-lines in that sketch are points that McCain has emphasized on his campaign. Indeed, at one point or another, things he's put as the centerpiece of his message, substituting for substance.
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The day after tomorrow

by on 2008-11-03- Leave a reply

• I will stop cycling through the same seven websites all day.• I will start writing a piece I promised to Culture11 on the foreign-policy challenges facing Obama the next President. • I will start researching, writing, and copy editing again.• The Duck of Minvera might see significant content once again.
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Slow response for minuteman

by on 2008-11-03- Leave a reply

Some days ago I mentioned the resurrection--in spirit if not in name--of the Strategic Air Command. Robert Farley echoed the dominant explanation in the media: the Air Force has badly bungled its handling of the nuclear forces. This is all a bit ironic, as the "big scare" of this kind in the 1990s was the decrepit state of the Russian nuclear arsenal.Now we learn that our guys took five days to respond to a bad-wiring indicator in a Minuteman III silo. When they arrived, they discovered evidence of a fire that, thankfully, didn't make it into the launch tube itself--where
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Oh noes!!!!!

by on 2008-11-01- Leave a reply

A one day sample in one tracking poll shows McCain +1.Wake me when there's some real evidence of tightening.
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Today’s intemperate remark

by on 2008-10-30- Leave a reply

Binyamin Appelbaum writes in the Washington Post that:U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years.The government said it was giving banks more money so they could make more loans. Dollars paid to shareholders don't serve that purpose, but Treasury officials say that suspending quarterly dividend payments would have deterred banks from participating in the voluntary program.I don't know why anyone thought putting the Crony-Capitalism-'R'-Us administration in charge of $750 billion in slush
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Justice in Niger

by on 2008-10-30- Leave a reply

The judicial organ of ECOWAS has found the government of Niger guilty of failing to prevent slavery within its borders. "The landmark ruling, the first of its kind by a regional tribunal now sitting in Niamey, Niger’s capital, ordered the government to pay about $19,000 in damages to the woman, Hadijatou Mani, who is now 24.Slavery is outlawed throughout Africa, but it persists in pockets of Niger, Mali, Mauritania and amid conflicts like the one in northern Uganda. Antislavery organizations estimate that 43,000 people are enslaved in Niger alone. Ms. Mani’s experience was typical of the practice. She was born
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SAC-ked

by on 2008-10-25- Leave a reply

Paging Robert Farley.Roughly sixteen years ago, the US military disbanded the Strategic Air Command (SAC). But now the USAF plans to bring it back... with a new name.The US Air Force (USAF) is planning to set up a new Global Strike Command for its nuclear weapons as part of a re-organisation after recent mishaps.The move follows the discovery that six nuclear weapons were mistakenly flown across the US, and that nuclear missile fuses were sent unknowingly to Taiwan.The blunders resulted in the sacking of two of USAF's most senior officials.A three-star general will head the new command, part of a
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