Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

How to respond to a thumpin’

There’s plenty of speculation these days about whether, assuming the Democrats suffer big losses on election night, President Obama will respond as Bill Clinton did – by “triangulating,” which I think means moderating. Obama may be forced to moderate a bit, but I doubt he is capable of doing so as artfully as Clinton did. Any moderation on Obama’s part is likely to be visibly grudging, and thus unlikely to »

The most dramatic baseball game ever played, Part Four — Mantle’s moxie

Hal Smith’s three-run homer had barely landed before Casey Stengel headed to the mound to pull Jim Coates and bring in Ralph Terry. Among Stengel’s many questionable decision during this Series was his preference for Coates over Terry (assuming he wasn’t going to use Luis Arroyo) when he pulled Bobby Shantz earlier in the eighth inning. Terry was better than Coates during the regular season and pitched well as a »

Our psycho-babbler-in-chief

President Obama is blaming his political woes, and those of his Party, on the inability of Americans to “think clearly.” But Obama declined to come down too hard on Americans for being so obtuse. It’s not that we’re always stupid; rather the bad economy has clouded our reason: Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does [sic] not seem »

Miller and Murkowski are “even”

Rasmussen’s latest poll of the Alaska Senate race shows a virtual deadlock between Republican nominee Joe Miller and incumbent Lisa Murkowski, a write-in candidate. The results of this survey are Miller 35, Murkowski 34, Scott McAdams (the Democrat) 28. These numbers don’t mean that the race is actually even. Murkowski’s supporters must write her name on the ballot, after remembering to fill in a “bubble” indicating that they wish to »

O’Donnell makes up ground

A new Rasmussen poll has Christine O’Donnell trailing Chris Coons by a 51-40 margin. This represents a significant improvement over polls that, prior to the O’Donnell-Coons debates, had O’Donnell behind by 16 to 21 points. However, Rasmussen’s previous poll, taken three weeks ago, showed O’Donnell behind by 9 points. The apparent improvement in O’Donnell’s position from a week or so ago probably stems from this week’s debates. O’Donnell was clearly »

Tough nuts to crack in California and Washington

Less than a week ago, I predicted that Carly Fiorina, who then trailed Barbara Boxer by about 5 points, would “surge” in the polls. I based this prediction based on intuition, informed by Boxer’s weak approval rating and the fact that Dino Rossi had surged from about 5 points behind in his race to unseat Patty Murray. The two races seemed comparable to me, and I saw no reason why »

Enforcing anti-Israeli orthodoxy at the United Nations

I haven’t gotten around to commenting on this report from earlier in the week that Canada’s increasing ties with Israel and its position regarding Jerusalem have cost it a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Canada has been elected to the most prestigious United Nations body in every decade since 1948 until this one (if we include 2010 as part of the first decade of this century). Canada lost »

The most dramatic baseball game ever played, Part Three — Shantz, Chance, and Smith

Vern Law set the Yankees down one-two-three in the top of first inning of Game 7. Bob Turley retired the first two Pirate batters, but then walked Bob Skinner. Rocky Nelson followed with a home run. The insertion by Danny Murtaugh of the two left-handed hitters had given the Bucs a quick 2-0 lead, one that Law seemed quite capable of holding for a good while. In the top of »

The most dramatic baseball game ever played, Part Two

Coming off a Game 6 in which his team had scored 12 runs, Casey Stengel might have been expected to go with the same line-up in Game 7. But Stengel was an inveterate tinkerer and, in fairness, had a sensible change left to make. He moved Bobby Richardson, who was having a record-setting Series, from eighth in the order to lead-off. Clete Boyer, for whom Stengel had sent up a »

Florida judge permits states’ challenge to Obamacare to proceed

Roger Vinson, a senior federal district court judge for the Northern District of Florida, has denied a motion by the federal government to dismiss a case brought by 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses alleging that Obamacare is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs challenge the mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance. Judge Vinson (who was nominated by Ronald Reagan) didn’t decide the constitutionality of this mandate; he simply »

“Planting the seeds of victory” in Afghanistan without trying to harvest the victory

Two pieces about Afghanistan caught my attention this week. First, Michael Gerson writes about the “seeds of victory” he perceives being planted there. These seeds consist of what always matters most in a fight — disrupting the enemy and killing as many of them as possible. To this end, says Gerson, “Special Forces now go after eight to 10 major objectives each night — perhaps three-quarters of these raids result »

This day in baseball history — the most dramatc baseball game ever, Part One

On October 13, 1960, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees played what is probably the most dramatic game in baseball history. Like one of those retro-ballparks, this game combined, in a World Series Game 7, key elements of past and future classics – the crucial bad hop grounder (1924, Game 7), the walk-off series ending home run (1951, NL playoff; 1993, Game 6), and the wild lead changes »

The wrong bogeyman

Here’s a sidebar to the debate tonight between Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell (see the post below for a discussion of that debate). One of the first things Coons said was that he has a proven record as a job creator by virtue, in part, of his ability as a County Executive to work with the Chamber of Commerce. That’s right. In order to establish his bona fides on the »

Christine O’Donnell beats expectations. . .and her opponent

I watched most of tonight’s Delaware Senate debate between Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell. Coons was articulate and polished, but O’Donnell was also articulate, and she was much sharper on the issues. In my view, she won the debate handily. The only bad moment I saw for O’Donnell was when she could not name or otherwise identify a recent Supreme Court decision she disagreed with. But this came late in »

No viable “peace partner” or peace broker for Israel

Earlier this week, Israel said it would agree to expand its moratorium on building in settlements if the PA would recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The offer was quickly hooted down as “racist” by the PA, raising this question: Why would Israel even bother to negotiate with an outfit that has a problem recognizing Israel as what it is at its core? But now there is, perhaps, an equally »

Can Miller seal the deal in Alaska, and does he have to?

The latest poll I’ve seen from Alaska (by PPP on Oct. 9-10) shows essentially a dead heat between Joe Miller (35 percent) and Lisa Murkowski (33 percent). Democrat Scott McAdams polls 26 percent. Late last month, a CNN/Time poll also showed the race between Miller and Murkowski to be extremely tight — Miller 38, Murkowski 36, McAdams 22. The problem for Murkowski, of course, is that her name doesn’t appear »

This day in baseball history

Down three games to two in the 1960 World Series, Casey Stengel finally figured out who the ace of his pitching staff was, bypassing Bob Turley and selecting Whitey Ford as his Game Six starter. In Stengel’s telling, though he had help: “I asked my players if they wanted Ford to start and they all did except six or eight; they was the other pitchers which wanted to start themselves.” »