Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

One less thing to worry about

Featured image Jeb Bush is a sensible guy with an outstanding record as Governor of Florida. And I have no problem with him çlaiming that the current political climate is excessively partisan, particularly since he places much of the blame for this on President Obama. As Bush says, “[Obama's] first year could have been a year of enormous accomplishment had he focused on things where there was more common ground,” but instead »

The limits of art for art’s sake

Featured image Soccernet’s list of the 40 best players at Euro 2012 includes 10 members of the Spanish squad. Unfortunately, seven of them are central midfielders. Normally a team plays with a maximum of three central midfielders, but in its successful Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 campaigns, Spain often has used four and occasionally even five. Today, against Italy, Spain started six. Busquets (ranked #24) held down the defensive midfield role, »

Our “pissy” president

Featured image Peter Wallsten does some good reporting in a piece for the Washington Post called “President Obama bristles when he is the target of activist tactics he once used.” Wallsten analyzes Obama’s reponses to two constituencies that expected great things from him: gay activists and Hispanic immigration activists. The former group, which reportedly includes one-sixth of his major bundlers, has seen some of its key expectations met. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” »

Hoop dreams from Obama’s autobiography

Featured image I don’t attach any significance to Barack (or Barry) Obama’s high school basketball career. However, several items in David Maraniss’s account of that career are interesting. First, although Obama attributed his lack of playing time to not “play[ing] like white boys do,” there appears to be no merit to his complaint. The notion that [Obama] was hampered in his progress because his style was more playground-oriented, that he played “black” »

The source of Obama’s “killer rabbit of a killer quote”

Featured image To Scott’s fine explication of President Obama’s clueless quote about the private sector, I would only add a note on what I take to be its source. In my view, Obama was driven to his unfortunate remark by frustration with the private sector for “sitting on its money.” Since the president always thinks it’s about him, I imagine that he takes it personally that businesses are hoarding their money, rather »

How to praise your predecessor with class

Featured image I wrote here about President Obama’s remarks during the ceremony in which portraits of George W. and Laura Bush were unveiled at the White House. Unfortunately, Obama found it difficult to offer any praise of Bush that did not refer, usually self-servingly, to himself. And, I wrote, to the very limited extent that Obama managed to offer such praise, “there wasn’t much warmth or charity in it – it fell »

Barack Obama — still a “social democrat” after all these years

Featured image As I discussed yesterday, Stanley Kurtz has found conclusive new evidence that, in 1996, Barack Obama joined the New Party, the political arm of the radical group ACORN. The Obama campaign had denied this fact when Kurtz raised the matter during the last presidential campaign. The Obama campaign lied. Kurtz has a longer story in the National Review (available online only to subscribers) about Obama’s membership in the New Party. »

Euro 2012 preview — Evertonians

Featured image By my count, five Everton players are on squads at Euro 2012. They are: John Heitinga – Holland Darren Gibson – Ireland Nikica Jelavic – Croatia Leighton Baines – England Phil Jagielka – England Heitinga will probably start at center back for Holland. Gibson and Jelavic both may start and, at a minimum, should see a fair amount of action. Baines, as good as he is, will probably be the »

Euro 2012 preview — The knucklehead factor

Featured image The word knucklehead has enjoyed a revival lately. Even President Obama has used it – to describe people who would take a bullet for him, but who made serious errors of judgment in Colombia. Usually, though, the term is used by sportswriters to refer to talented players whose immaturity undermines their play and, more importantly, that of their team. Such players – even one of them if he’s central enough »

The White House feels bipartisan heat over leaks

Featured image Congressional intelligence committee leaders turned up the heat on the White House over national security leaks, as Diane Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested today that she might join with Republicans who are demanding an investigation by a special counsel. Saxby Chambliss, vice chair of the Committee, has already called for a special counsel to probe how highly sensitive secrets were disclosed to news media. So has John »

The Obama sanction

Featured image The White House recently leaked the claim that President Obama personally chooses which suspected terrorists to attempt to kill with Predator missiles. Given the success of our Predator strikes, Obama inflicts a severe sanction on those whom he selects. Clint Eastwood has got nothing on him. The Obama sanction is stiffer than measures that have drawn severe criticism, such as detaining terrorists for long periods of time and interrogating them »

Panetta attempts to clean up after Obama in India

Featured image During a two-day stay in India, Secretary of Defense Panetta urged India to: (1) take a larger role in Afghanistan and (2) support the Obama administration’s new policy that purports to counterbalance China’s growing influence and military power. This shouldn’t have been a hard sell. India has an interest in as much stability as can be achieved in Afghanistan because instability there might well benefit Pakistan. And India has an »

Barack Obama — portrait of a socialist as a not so very young man

Featured image Stanley Kurtz has an important and potentially consequential piece at NRO in which he demonstrates that, contrary to what the Obama campaign asserted in 2008, Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism. Obama did so in 1996. Kurtz first raised Obama’s membership in the New Party in 2008. Team Obama denied the allegation, calling »

Will anyone hold the Democrats responsible for their criminal stupidity about Syria?

Featured image Another day, another report of a new massacre by government forces in Syria. This time, according to reports, dozens of civilians in a small village near the central city of Hama were slain by militias loyal to Syrian President Assad. Senior Obama administration officials have invoked these massacres as they seek to encourage allies to toughen sanctions against Syria Is it rude of me to remind readers that, not so »

Euro 2012 preview — Spain shoots for soccer immortality

Featured image Euro 2012 begins this Friday. It is a 16-team tournament, held every four years, to crown a national soccer team as the champion of Europe. Spain is the defending champion, as well as the reigning World Cup champion (from 2010). If it wins Euro 2012, Spain will become the first team ever to win these two marquis competitions back-to-back-to-back. Spain is favored to do so. Why is it so difficult »

Big Labor morphs into predatory bankers

Featured image With collections from union dues declining, how is Big Labor finding the resources to spend so heavily in elections like the one last night in Wisconsin? According to Peter Schweizer, they are doing it in part by acting like banks: Big unions are morphing into the kinds of big businesses and banks they decry, hawking to their members everything from high interest credit cards to home loans. . . . »

Thinking about the unthinkable at the Pentagon

Featured image Max Boot wonders why the Pentagon isn’t planning for sequestration – the draconian, automatic cuts in defense spending that will begin to take effect in January unless Congress can agree to significantly reduce overall federal pursuant to an actual plan. It is hard to believe that the Pentagon isn’t making contingency plans, but Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has publicly stated that it is not. Carter’s explanation is that »