Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

A level playing field?

Charles Krauthammer argues that, as a result of passage of the tax deal, the New START treaty, and DADT repeal, the battles of the next Congress begin on a “level playing field.” This is true, I think, in the Senate, where there are only 47 Republicans, several of whom Obama has gained momentum in dealing with. But it isn’t true in the House, where liberal legislation will be dead on »

NCAA football — Looking out for number one

In writing about FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, I’ve mentioned the corruption that, I believe, plagues that outfit. A subtext of this commentary is my view that international bodies frequently suffer from this infirmity, and that the U.S. should resist ceding power to them, at least when it comes to matters more serious than sports. Without backing down from these conclusions, I’m bound to acknowledge that corrupt sports-governing »

Why do they hate us?

“If it’s freedom we hate, why didn’t we attack Sweden?” So asked Osama bin Laden in 2006. He was attempting to show that the 9/11 attacks were about America’s “imperialist” foreign policy, not hatred of freedom. And, as Alana Goodman points out at Contentions, “this statement seemed like watertight logic to a certain species of non-interventionists, who immediately began quoting the terror leader as if he was a dependable, trustworthy »

A Mississippi childhood

Haley Barbour is embroiled in controversy over comments he made to Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard about growing up in segregated Mississippi. Barbour said he didn’t remember things being “that bad.” And he praised the local White Citizens Council for keeping the Ku Klux Klan out of his home town. In reality, things were very bad in Mississippi (as elsewhere) back then for African-Americans and, in moral terms, for »

More bad news on the door step

With Everton languishing in 14th place in the English Premier League, and with their struggles due mostly to an inability to score — Evertonians have been hoping that U.S. star Landon Donovan will return to the club on loan in January. However, Donovan has decided not to. He explained: While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I »

Let the games begin

Jonah Goldberg lists 24 Republicans about whom there is “non-trivial presidential buzz.” He winnows that list down to five front-runners: Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitch Daniels. In this field, I think Palin is the most likely nominee. In a field that also includes Mike Huckabee, Palin’s chances of being nominated obviously are reduced, but remain pretty good. In a field that includes Huckabee but not »

The road to Obamacare and to possible repeal

Tevi Troy at Contentions cites studies by Stanford University and the University of Minnesota finding that at least one-third of the 63-seat Democratic loss in the House of Representatives can be attributed to the electorate’s negative reaction to the health-care bill. In other words, that legislation was responsible for turning a bad election and into a historically awful one for the Dems. I don’t know what methodology these two studies »

Justifiable cannibalism

Arlen Specter delivered his farewell speech to the Senate today. He pretentiously called it his “final argument” but at least managed, I hope, to avoid citation to Scottish law. Tim Carney, who says he was just starting to feel a little sentimental about the departure of the stubborn old independent, found Specter’s speech “an angry, petty, mean, self-serving screed that betrayed a total lack of self-awareness.” But not self-absorption. Specter, »

What price Qatar? Part Three

Several readers have sprung to the defense of Qatar, in response to the criticism leveled by reader David G. None, however, argues that it is a good idea to play the World Cup there, as opposed to playing it in the U.S. in other countries that were in contention . One reader, who has been visiting Doha regularly for the past 15 years, tells me: It’s not terribly conservative. Women »

Just your average secularist leader

Did you know that Saddam Hussein had a Koran written in his own blood? I didn’t, but apparently it’s true. According to the Guardian: Over the course of two painstaking years in the late 1990s, Saddam Hussein had sat regularly with a nurse and an Islamic calligrapher; the former drawing 27 litres of his blood and the latter using it as a macabre ink to transcribe a Qur’an. But since »

Dartmouth’s pseudo-turnaround, Part Two

Charles Dameron, editor of the Dartmouth Review, has responded to my post disagreeing with his claim that Dartmouth is experiencing a turnaround under President Kim. Joe Asch at Dartblog, in turn, has responded to Dameron. I have two points to add to Joe’s response, with which I agree. First, Dameron writes: As for left-wing bias and general foolishness, I have been lucky enough not to encounter much of either in »

What price Qatar? Part Two

Reader David G, who has attended a World Cup abroad and who has spent time in Qatar, is even more appalled by the decision to hold the 2022 Cup there than I am. He writes: I attended the 2002 World Cup in South Korea while serving in the US Navy and stationed in Japan. I’ve also spent more time than I care to think about in the Middle East and »

The nation’s capital for bad sports teams and bad sports commentary

I have little time for sports fans who moan about the shortcomings of their local teams. Only a strong sense of entitlement can lead fans to believe that just because they live in or near a city, that city’s sports teams should be good. On the other hand, it’s been miserable being a D.C. area sports fan this month. Between December 3 and yesterday (when the highly-rated Washington Capitals broke »

The Washington Post — from DADT repeal cheerleading to character assassination in seven pages flat

The lead headline in today’s Washington Post was “‘Don’t Ask’ Is Repealed In Historic Vote.” For the Post, “historic” means something it really, really likes. The Post likes DADT repeal so much, it worked to bring it about. As I pointed out here, the Post turned its pages over to an unidentified source to spin the Pentagon’s report in favor of repeal before it was released. The Post did so »

Dream on

Yesterday, the Senate defeated the DREAM Act. During the build-up to the vote there were, as usual, warnings about the impact defeating this legislation will have on the Republican Party’s ability to win the votes of Hispanics. And, as usual, some of the warnings came from Democrats. For example, Chuck Schumer noted that the Hispanic vote was probably decisive in the re-election of Democratic candidates for the Senate in Colorado »

DADT repealed

By a vote of 65-31, the Senate has voted to repeal “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell.” All that’s left now is for President Obama to sign the legislation, which I’m sure he will do as quickly as possible. Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture. Six Republicans voted in favor of doing so: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Mark Kirik, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, and George Voinovich. On »

The new comeback kid?

Charles Krauthammer calls President Obama “the new Comeback Kid,” arguing that with the tax cut deal his re-election is more likely than not. Krauthammer also takes congressional Republicans to task for facilitating Obama’s comeback. The tax deal helps Obama in two ways. First, it provides, at long last, evidence that he can reach across the aisle and join with Republicans in formulating and enacting a popular measure. Second, it may »