Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The politics of fast and furious, Part Two

Featured image Unlike Politico, the Washington Post offers a realistic, non-partisan take on President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege. Under a headline stating that Obama has “create[d] a tricky situation,” David Nakamura recognizes that this dispute could hurt Obama. He writes: “The potential protracted legal dispute has the potential to embarrass and distract the White House during the heart of the reelection campaign.” This election is, above all else, about the economy. »

Euro 2012 reaches the knock-out stage

Featured image The third round of Group Stage matches at Euro 2012 featured cagier play and less scoring than we witnessed during the first two rounds. That’s understandable. Most teams had a good idea of the outcome they needed to advance to the quarterfinals. This knowledge often led to cautious soccer. Nonetheless, players continued largely to resist the urge to cheat by flopping, NBA-style, on contact, for example. And even with more »

The politics of Fast and Furious

Featured image Here’s how Politico writers Jake Sherman and Reid Epstein reported the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt: “The Fast and Furious investigation has finally handed House Republicans a prize they’ve long sought: a legal smackdown of the Obama administration.” Can anyone imagine this lead sentence if the House had found the Attorney General in a Republican administration, Alberto Gonzalez for example, in contempt? »

Ranting pro-Obama North Carolina teacher to retain her job

Featured image The North Carolina high school teacher who berated a student after that student, through a question, criticized President Obama will keep her job. The teacher, Tanya Dixon-Neely, was suspended without pay, but she will return to school next year. As a condition of her return, she reportedly will be required to start what was described as a “monitored growth plan.” Most readers will recall that Dixon-Neely went ballistic on a »

Those Fast and Furious documents must be dynamite

Featured image My friend Bill Otis was a Justice Department lawyer for many years. He spent a good portion of those years as a prosecutor. He also served as an attorney in the White House Counsel’s shop, so he knows all about dealing with unpleasant congressional inventigations and demands for documents. In short, Bill is extremely very well positioned to comment knowledgably on the dispute between Rep. Issa’s Committee and Eric Holder, »

White House asserts executive privilege claim to further DOJ’s Fast and Furious cover-up

Featured image With the House of Representatives poised to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, President Obama has granted Holder’s request to assert executive privilege in refusing to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious scandal. This won’t insulate Holder from being held in contempt. Rather, the White House presumably hopes the assertion will improve Holder’s position if/when his dispute with the House reaches the judicial system. »

Who is Barack Obama and why has he been saying those untrue things about himself?

Featured image Does anyone remember Josh Steiner, the young Treasury Department official who, when it turned out that his diary entries were damaging to the Clinton administration regarding Whitewater, testified that he lied to his diary? I suppose that lying to one’s autobiography isn’t as unusual as lying to a diary. Where’s the gain in deceiving a document no one is likely to read? But it’s not healthy to lie to either. »

Can Obama learn from Putin?

Featured image It’s clear to me, and I have it on good authority, that Russia’s leaders sized up President Obama very early on as a lightweight. How else would you expect hardened autocrats and former KGB types to view a president so simultaneously naïve and arrogant as to believe he could conduct a successful “charm offensive” on them. How else would you expect them to view a president who came to Russia »

Portrait of the president as a young BS artist

Featured image With David Maraniss’ biography of Barack Obama about to be published, the New York Times dug up a piece by one of its reporters from January 2007 that shows the degree to which Obama’s fellow Harvard Law Review members had figured out the future U.S. president. Having listened to young Obama spin yarns about himself, as he would later do in Dreams From My Father, a Law Review skit had »

Bryce Harper and conservatism, Part Two

Featured image Mark Judge’s piece about Bryce Harper as conservative hero appears to have offended Dan Steinberg, a sports blogger for the Washington Post whose frivolous jottings also spill into the print edition of the sports page (a sign of the times, I guess). Steinberg heaps ridicule (but no analysis; that’s not in his repertoire) on Judge’s thesis. He also quotes Charles Pierce who apparently blogs for Esquire: Mother of God, there’s »

Bryce Harper and conservatism

Featured image There’s an old line that goes: “Do you know what I like about Los Angeles? It’s not Buffalo.” Using the same construction, I say: “Do you know what I like about sports? It’s not politics.” Sports and politics are, indeed, as antithetical as Los Angeles and Buffalo (with sports, if anything, representing the Eastern city in the analogy). In politics, opinion and popularity are paramount; in sports, they count for »

Obama, Obama, he’s our man; if he can’t do it, no one can

Featured image Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post frets that it may not be possible for any president to succeed in the modern world of politics. Did Cillizza raise this question when George W. Bush’s presidency encountered serious difficulty? I don’t recall him doing so. But then Bush wasn’t as gifted as Obama, in the estimation of Cillizza and pretty much the rest of the MSM. When a president deemed as intelligent, »

The case for putting our strategic interests first in Egypt

Featured image Max Boot argues that the Obama administration should “let the Brotherhood rule in Egypt.” Boot acknowledges, and I agree, that President Obama faces a difficult choice here because “the American interest in democracy appears, in this case, to be at odds with our strategic interest, which is working with the Egyptian military, as we have since the 1970s, rather than trying to deal with the anti-Western, anti-Israel Brotherhood.” But to »

The top five policy arguments against Obamacare

Featured image Robert Samuelson presents five reasons why, apart from any constitutional concerns, Obamacare is “dreadful public policy.” First, it increases uncertainty and decreases confidence at a time when recovery from the Great Recession requires more confidence and less uncertainty. Second, as basic economics tells us, it discourages job creation by raising the cost of hiring. Third, uncontrolled spending on health care is the U.S. system’s main problem, and Obamacare makes it »

The Egyptian military steps in, probably for the better

Featured image The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming that its candidate won the country’s presidential runoff election. The claim is entirely plausible. However, the victory of its candidate may be of far less consequence than the Brotherhood had hoped. For, according to the »

“Josh Mandel kept afloat by outside cash,” Politico whines

Featured image Politico is unhappy that Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, has made a race out of it with incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown. The Real Clear Politics average for May polls has Mandel, who formerly trailed by double-digits, within 8 points of Brown. The latest Rasmussen Poll, from the end of May, has it at Brown +5. And according to Politico, the Brown campaign expects a »

As The World Turns, Part Two

Featured image Segolene Royal has lost her catfight, or whatever it was, with Valerie Trierweiler. As I mentioned yesterday, Royal was the long-time “companion” of France’s new president Francois Hollande, and the mother of his four children. An unsuccessful candidate for president in 2007, Royal ran for parliament this year with the expectation of becoming Speaker of the National Assembly. But Hollande’s new “companion,” the journalist Valerie Trierweiler, tweeted an endorsement of »