Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The case against Joe Paterno, Part Two

Featured image As expected, we have received some excellent correspondence disagreeing with my friend’s take, with which I agreed, on Joe Paterno and the Freeh Report. The essence of these responses is that Paterno should have done more than he did to make sure that kids weren’t being abused by Sandusky. I agree, and so did Paterno. If I recall correctly, he said before he died that he wished he had done »

The case against Joe Paterno: Weak to non-existent on the current record

Featured image I haven’t followed the Penn State child molestation scandal closely. My interest in sports is an interest in sports, not investigations of crimes by people involved (or formerly involved) with sports. Nonetheless, I am aware that a consensus exists that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno acted improperly in connection with Penn State’s response to allegations of child molestation committed by one-time assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. This consensus led »

The next big battle in Syria, and what might follow

Featured image Aleppo has become the latest focal point in Syria’s civil war. Rebels have advanced into the city and the Syrian government is rushing in reinforcements. Aleppo, with a population of more than two million, is Syria’s largest city and its commercial center. The city is only 40 miles from Turkey, so expect refugees to flood towards Turkey if the fighting in Aleppo escalates, as expected. Last week, the rebels attacked »

Does the CBO know the score?

Featured image The Congressional Budget Office has re-scored Obamacare in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. The CBO finds that the decision’s impact is fairly minimal — about 3 million fewer Americans insured in ten years, and about $84 billion less in spending over the next ten years (out of a total of about $1.7 trillion in spending on the law’s coverage provisions) than would otherwise have happened. Yuval Levin is not »

Time to tear down that statue of Tim Geithner

Featured image The Washington Post reports that when he was head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Tim Geithner failed to communicate in key meeting with top regulators that Barclays, the British bank, had admitted to Fed staffers that it was rigging Libor — the benchmark interest rate. As a result, regulators at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Justice Department worked largely without the Fed’s help to build »

Crony capitalism and Obama’s big new national defense idea

Featured image In his speech to the VFW today, Mitt Romney derided President Obama’s defense policy as follows: “When the biggest announcement in his last State of the Union address on improving our military was that the Pentagon will start using more clean energy – then you know it’s time for a change.” Romney might have added that Obama has used his “clean energy for the military” policy to line the pockets »

Does Obama ’12 equal Bush ’04? The President can only hope so

Featured image Barack Obama began his presidency expecting to be the next Abraham Lincoln. Now, he hopes he can be George W. Bush. This is evident from his campaign strategy. Team Obama understands that it can’t campaign on its man’s record. However, it views Obama’s opponent as John Kerry redux — a rich, out of touch Massachusetts man who is easily ridiculed and plausibly demonized. Thus, Obama and his advisers hope to »

Shelley Berkley’s uphill battle in Nevada

Featured image We’ve been keeping an eye on the Nevada Senate race between Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his Democratic opponent, Rep. Shelley Berkley. Berkley is now laboring under the cloud of a House ethics investigation. Nonetheless, she seems to be “hanging around.” The only poll taken since news of the investigation broke, a survey by AFP/Madgelan taken about a week later, showed Heller ahead by only 3 points. Despite the thin »

Europe, the author of our latest economic woes

Featured image Yesterday, I referred to a poll in which a plurality of respondents assigned primary blame for our weak economy to President Obama. He was followed by Congress, Wall Street, and former President Bush in that order. As these were the only choices offered to the respondents, I would have answered “none of the above,” at least insofar as the current economic turn for the worse is concerned. For me, the »

Al Qaeda on the rise in Iraq

Featured image The Washington Post reports that attacks are on the rise in Iraq and that al Qaeda is increasingly behind them. On Monday, more than 100 people were killed in attacks across Iraq. According to the Post, “the attacks, spread across 13 cities and more than 40 locations, targeted mostly Shiite neighborhoods and appeared to be the work of al-Qaeda in Iraq.” The Obama administration claims that al Qaeda poses no »

Forfeit this

Featured image The NCAA, that most sanctimonious of powerful bureaucracies, has punished Penn State because its top officials failed to take action after receiving credible evidence Jerry Sandusky, an assistant football coach, had engaged in child molestation. The penalties include a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on bowl appearances, and the forfeiture of all football victories since 1998. I have no sympathy for Penn State and no serious beef with the »

Yes they did build it, says America

Featured image Given the depth of his leftism, President Obama manages to avoid striking many egregiously false notes in his public utterances. But a new Rasmussen poll demonstrates just how false a note Obama struck when he insisted that small businessmen don’t build their businesses. According to the poll, 72 percent of likely voters believe that people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure. Only 13 percent »

Blame Bush theme reaches sell-by date

Featured image President Obama has spent much of his first term blaming former President Bush for the poor state of the economy. But as Obama himself predicted, this was never a narrative he could peddle indefinitely. Rather, the president gave it an estimated shelf life of three years. A new poll conducted for The Hill demonstrates that Obama estimated correctly. According to the poll, which sampled 1,000 likely voters, 34 percent say »

Don’t bore us with your puritanical facts

Featured image The New York Times is receiving pushback from its constituents for having the audacity to explain that changes in marriage patterns are playing a huge role in the growth of income inequality. I wrote about the Times’ excellent story here. Katie Roiphe pushes back in a piece for Slate. She characterizes the piece as “another puritanical and alarmist rumination on the decline of the American family disguised as a straight-news »

The games of the XXX Hypocrisyad

Featured image I wrote here about the refusal of the International Olympic Committee to set aside one minute of silence at the opening ceremony at this year’s games to commemorate the Israeli athletes who were murdered 40 years ago at the Munich games. Since then, the IOC has held fast to this position despite mounting pressure. Deborah Lipstadt at Tablet has no difficulty demolishing the pretexts, and identifying the true reason, for »

The problem with Michele Bachmann’s letter to the State Department

Featured image Rep. Michele Bachmann has come under fire from John McCain, Speaker Boehner, and, of course, the mainstream media, for letters she wrote, along with four of her House colleagues, to various government officials regarding the Muslim Brotherhood. The letters in question are posted on the Congresswoman’s web site. Of greatest concern to McCain and company is Bachmann’s letter to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State. That letter »

When did “the 60s” begin?

Featured image “The 60s,” it is sometimes said, didn’t really commence until late in that decade, with many of the worst excesses actually taking place in the early 1970s. But Terry Teachout identifies 1962 as the year when the popular culture began to change. When did the world in which we now live take fully recognizable shape? I suspect that most middle-age Americans would point to 1968, the annus horribilis when Martin »