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A tale of two vice presidents

A tale of two vice presidents

In Iraq, new Vice President Nouri al-Maliki (where have I heard that name before?) has been spending time in his new job making life difficult for the guy occupying his old job:

Attempts by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to distance himself from the legacy of his predecessor Nuri Al-Maliki have created a rift between the two that is hindering attempts to appoint ministers to key posts, an…

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Something to think about

Something to think about

D.R. Tucker, at Washington Monthly listens to Rich Lowry so you don’t have to (emphasis mine):

So that oracle of obnoxiousness, National Review editor Rich Lowry, showed up on California NPR affiliate KCRW-FM last Friday to discuss the week’s events with “Left, Right and Center” host Matt Miller. When the discussion turned to the September 21 People’s Climate March and the subsequent UN Climate…

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Saturday Night Tunes: Giant Steps

Saturday Night Tunes: Giant Steps

Since I missed the chance to post something nice for John Coltrane’s birthday on Tuesday, let’s take the opportunity to look at maybe his greatest album, and certainly his most famous one, Giant Steps (recorded 1959, released 1960).

It’s fair to put Giant Stepsup there alongside any album in jazz history in terms of quality, virtuosity, impact, just about any measure you want to use. It’s a true…

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What’s the deal with Khorasan, the most deadliest, frightening, evilest terror group that might not exist?

What’s the deal with Khorasan, the most deadliest, frightening, evilest terror group that might not exist?

The Khorasan Group.

They’re the latest dire threat to the United States, so dire that we’ve either diverted resources from bombing Daesh positions in Syria to strike them or have used Daesh as an excuse to bomb inside Syria so that we could strike Khorasan targets. The name conjures up images of Abbasid shock troops forming in the region of Khorasan and marching west under black banners to overth…

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The trouble with definitions

The trouble with definitions

The glaring problem with newly adopted UN Resolution 2178, dealing with the movement of “foreign terrorist fighters” around the world, is the same problem that’s plagued the “War on Terror” since its inception: we (the US, or the US and its allies if you like) can’t or won’t really define what constitutes “terrorism” or “terrorist acts.” Given that this is a UN resolution and therefore, “binding”…

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It’s not like he’s got anything better to do

It’s not like he’s got anything better to do

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha, who moonlights as head of the army ever since a May coup left him in both jobs, is apparently planning to take on a third job: soap-opera writer.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has criticised television soap operas for promoting violence and divisions in society, and said he would write them himself if he had to.

Prayuth, who is also army…

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Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is

It’s one of the enduring fictions of American politics that House Representatives and Senators, who have full-time jobs (well, “full-time”) in Washington, DC, and who are well-paid but not well enough to afford to own two homes unless they have other sources of wealth outside of their salaries, actually “live” in their home states or districts. Don’t get me wrong, some of them do; either their…

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Muslim scholars denounce extremism again; will Islamophobes pay attention this time?

Muslim scholars denounce extremism again; will Islamophobes pay attention this time?

For those folks who keep wondering (because they aren’t paying attention) where the “moderate Muslims” are, here they are again:

More than a hundred Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world released an open letter addressed to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Wednesday, telling the self-proclaimed caliph, in no uncertain terms, that the group’s use of Islamic scripture is…

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This one chart explains EVERYTHI—well, no, but it’s still an important chart

This one chart explains EVERYTHI–well, no, but it’s still an important chart

You ever get tired of those “OMG THIS ONE [MAP, CHART, GRAPH, WHATEVER] EXPLAINS EVERYTHING/IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER” posts you see all over the place?

Yeah, me too. But every once in a while, they kind of have a point. Matt Yglesias says thisis “The most important chart about the American economy you’ll see this year,” and we’ve still got three months to go, but I think he might be right:

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Today in troubling Ebola news

Today in troubling Ebola news

In an effort to control the spread of the disease, Sierra Leone is going to try, somehow, to quarantine over a million people:

Sierra Leone has ordered the indefinite quarantine “with immediate effect” of three districts and 12 tribal chiefdoms – a move that will affect more than one million people.

President Ernest Bai Koroma, in a national televised address on Wednesday, announced that the…

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