Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Marines guarding U.S. embassy in Egypt reportedly weren’t allowed live ammo (with update questioning the report)

Featured image According to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs, the Marines defending the American embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition. This decision, of course, limited their ability to respond to attacks like those this week on the U.S. consulate in Cairo. Or, as one Marine blogger put it, the decision “neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve. . .life »

Obama gets the Egypt-as-ally question wrong coming and going

Featured image President Obama claims to have learned that, as president, you can’t “shoot first and aim later.” Yet today, our self-congratulatory chief executive did just that. In an interview on Wednesday night, Obama said of Egypt, “I don’t think that we would consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.” Actually, Egypt is, by law, an ally of the United States. It was designated as a Major Non-NATO »

What is “Chicago way” Obama prepared to do?

Featured image Bill Otis offers another suggestion for how Mitt Romney should address the atrocity in Libya and his opponents’ claims that Romney erred in criticizing the Obama administration’s initial statement about that atrocity. I post Bill’s suggested statement because it is a near-perfect expression of how I view the matter. Whether it would be politicially wise for Romney to make this statement is a separate question. My inclination would be to »

Please explain

Featured image A reader wonders how it is that the U.S. had only a few security guards protecting an ambassador in a place as dangerous as Libya, while Valerie Jarrett gets a full Secret Service detail even while on vacation. It beats me. STEVE adds: There’s something else that needs to be explained.  There has to be a serious intelligence failure here if in fact the Libya attack was well-planned and ordered »

Obama “leads” Romney from behind

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote: Unexpected events sometimes can change the dynamics of a presidential election. Do yesterday’s (not altogether unexpected) events in Libya and Egypt have that potential? Probably not, in today’s America. I meant that the Obama administration’s bungling in Libya and Egypt — ignoring clear evidence pointing to the likelihood of attacks on our embassies; issuing a craven statement that Obama couldn’t stand behind — probably won’t hurt Obama »

So, what was the body count for the other side?

Featured image The attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya should not have surprised the Obama administration, nor should the deadly nature of the Libyan attack have been unexpected. As David Pryce-Jones notes: The murderers of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues in Benghazi were Salafis, that is to say Muslims who believe in returning to the violence and conquest of the early years of Islam. A few »

This day in baseball history — Tom Cheney fans 21

Featured image On September 12, 1962, the Washington Senators played the Baltimore Orioles. Going into the game, which was played in Baltimore, the Senators were in last place, well behind ninth place Kansas City and 31 games behind first place New York. Washington manager Mickey Vernon thus fielded a line-up that featured four rookies — Ed Brinkman, John “Red” Kennedy, Don Lock and Ron Stillwell — plus two undistinguished reserves — Joe »

Libya, Jimmy Carter, and the upcoming election– Bill Otis’ take

Featured image Unexpected events sometimes can change the dynamics of a presidential election. Do yesterday’s (not altogether unexpected) events in Libya and Egypt have that potential? Probably not, in today’s America. Bill Otis explores the question: I’ve been saying for years that Obama is a more appealing, more masculine form of Jimmy Carter, and he’s about to prove it. Hopefully, this Libyan episode will lead him to Carter’s fate, but the country »

The conventions — what happened?

Featured image Going into the conventions, I expected that both parties would receive a post-convention bounce, but that the Romney bounce would be larger. This, I thought would boost Romney from being a point or two behind Obama to being even or slightly ahead. However, the polls show that Obama received the larger bounce and thus now leads by three or four points. Why did this happen? Part of the explanation may »

Celebrating diversity at conventions, then and now

Featured image In 1972, I felt about President Nixon roughly the way I feel about President Obama now. Thus, I was very disappointed by the 1972 Democratic Convention, which seemed to me long on celebrating the Party’s new-found diversity among delegates and short on strong criticism of the Nixon administration. Back at law school a few weeks later, I was eating dinner with a group that included some brand new law students »

How to view Charlie Crist

Featured image Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (a Democrat) on former Republican Charlie Crist’s speech at the Democratic Convention: “Charlie is an opportunist; if this were a vegetarian conference, then Charlie would be a vegetarian.” »

Judge Posner’s hatchet job on Justice Scalia’s book

Featured image I have long admired Richard Posner, both as a jurist and a thinker. With the possible exception of Bill James, I can’t think of a writer of non-fiction whose work I have read more of. Posner’s latest published work is a review of »

Unpacking Obama’s DNC energy promises and distortions

Featured image In my live-blog of President Obama’s speech to the DNC, I said that, when it comes to the parts dealing with energy, it would take multiple posts to expose the president’s deception. For starters, here’s a brief statement by Thomas Pyle, the president of American Energy Alliance: On the eve of the one-year anniversary of Solyndra’s bankruptcy, Barack Obama made the latest in a four year string of empty promises »

One more trip to the salt mine — live blogging the DNC

Featured image 11:48. So what’s the bottom line on this Convention? I’ve probably been too deep in the trees to see the forest, but here goes. First, and most importantly, Mitt Romney took a huge amount of fire this week. He’s going to have his work cut out in trying keep the gains in his image that I think he accrued through the Republican Convention. Second, the Dems tried gamely to defend »

Obama’s arrogance is no substitute for competent leadership

Featured image Four years ago, when Barack Obama stood in front of fake Greek columns before a massive outdoor crowd in Denver to accept his party’s nomination for the office of president, millions of Americans expected him to deliver hope, change, and a brilliant presidency that would solve the nation’s ills. Tonight, when he speaks to a much smaller indoor gathering in Charlotte, most of these people would settle for a competent »

Bill Clinton puts Bill Clinton first

Featured image In theory, the highest and best use of Bill Clinton last night would have been a full-throated defense of President Obama’s first term, including an explanation of how this “yes we can” president turned the economy around and ushered in a new era of prosperity. But that speech was never an option. Even the most hack Democrat partisans aren’t going there. The next best speech would have been a ringing »

Today’s dose of punishment — live blogging the Democratic convention

Featured image 11:38. Bill Clinton is widely considered to have been a successful president. I would argue that to the extent Clinton was successful, he owed that success in considerable part to his response to the smashing Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections, a response very different from Obama’s response to 2010. Be that as it may, getting Clinton’s publicly and vehemently expressed “seal of approval” is helpful to Obama. Beyond »