Bird Dog's blog

New, bright and shiny open thread

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Obamacare setback. The DC Circuit Court ruled that Obamacare tax credit subsidies are only applicable to the sixteen state exchanges, and it hinged on the interpretation of this phrase: "an Exchange established by the State." Adler:

Then what?

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Ukraine. I predict that Putin will continue to lie and blame-shift. The following paragraphs do not confirm that the blood of 298 innocent civilians (including one American) is on Putin's hands, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling.

Instability round-up [Update: Malaysian Airlines jet shot down over Ukraine]

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Iraq. The Iraqi parliament chose a "moderate" Sunni as speaker, but the problem is that al Maliki is still prime minister, though he might be one step closer to losing his job. Whoop de do.

Syriaq round-up

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Nonsensical rationale for sending 300 special forces. At his press conference a week ago, Obama said:

Meanwhile, the United States will not pursue military actions that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another.

Summer solstice open thread

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Summer solstice begins tomorrow at 3:58AM PST. In my neck of the woods, sunrise is at 5:12am and sunset is 9:14pm, getting light around 4:30am and getting dark by around 10:00pm. I love this time of year.

More on that Iraq-Syria problem

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The red-headed general is back. To get an idea of how badly al Maliki has alienated everyone who isn't Shiite, even Sufis have joined ISIS.

Some observations on this Middle East meltdown

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Here is just one reason why Obama's complete cut-and-run of US combat forces was a major mistake.

You know there's something wrong with the Bolivarian Revolution when...

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  • The annual inflation rate is over 68% for the past two months.

Earthquakes domestic and abroad

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Domestic. The term "earthquake" has been overused in reference to the Virginia Congressional primary, but Eric Kantor's loss to Dave Brat was a major political temblor. There have been all kinds of reasons cited for why Cantor lost. Erick Erickson will tell you that Kantor lost because he and his staff were a bunch of as**oles, which sounds sort of plausible.

The It's Been a While Since the Last Open Thread Open Thread

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Academic brilliance. Last month, the collegiate dumbasses were the administrative weisenheimers at Cedarville University. This month, it's Charleston Southern University.

Take Iraq, please [Update: Mosul taken by an al Qaeda offshoot]

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Although written over a month ago, this piece by Dexter Filkins is indispensable journalism. The topic is mostly about al Maliki and his management style, or mismanagement style as it were. The first problem was that we backed him in the first place. Yes, there weren't many good choices to be had, but that goes to the management style, or mismanagement style, of the Bush administration.

Bergdahl: What we know and don't know so far

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What do we know? Bergdahl deserted. The 2010 Pentagon investigation concluded that "he walked away", Michael Hastings said in 2012 that Bergdahl deserted, and six soldiers in his unit are saying it now. The soldiers' anger appears genuine. According to the NYT:

"Suck it up and salute" [Updated]

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Rather than a long reply in comments there, I'd rather put it here. Whether a rant is "better" than a non-rant or other rants, y'all be the judge. Personally, I like this rant better.

Two new foreign policy wrinkles

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It is now the tacit policy of the United States that it does negotiate with terrorists, specifically the Taliban. Somehow, that little nugget didn't get into Obama's Big Speech at West Point a few days ago. The five Taliban released from Gitmo are bad guys (h/t Blaise).

Racism for Profit Open Thread

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Racism for profit. Before Donald Sterling's racist rants were made public, the 2014 market value of the LA Clippers was $575 million. When NBA Commissioner Silver banned Sterling for life and started the process of forcing him to sell the team, an amazing competitive bidding war emerged, with talk of Oprah and Magic and Geffen and others wanting to buy the team.

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