Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

World Cup preview — The Quarterfinals

Featured image So far, this World Cup has delivered almost everything a soccer fan could want: lots of scoring in the Group Stage, plenty of matches decided by late goals, star performances from most of the tournament’s superstars, the emergence of major new stars, seven tense matches of the eight games played in the Round of 16, and six or seven formidable teams remaining in the tournament’s last eight. The only thing »

That’s no gentleman; that’s Bill Clinton

Featured image The front page of the print edition of the Washington Post’s “Style” section — once known as the Women’s Page — features a mock poster that says “Bill Clinton for First Gentleman.” In the accompanying story, Clinton insists, presumably with a straight face, that he is “just a bit player” in the run-up to his wife’s likely campaign for president. “I am a foot soldier in any army; I will »

Revisiting the Obama-Ayers connection

Featured image Many of you probably watched portions, if not all of, Megyn Kelly’s interviews with Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist of yesteryear. Kelly did her usual excellent job of pressing Ayers on his violent past. But Stanley Kurtz wishes she had pressed Ayers more about his relationship with Barack Obama. For, as Kurtz points out, Ayers and Obama had a much tighter political alliance than Ayers admitted to on Kelly’s »

World Cup Update: How good is the U.S. team?

Featured image Now that the U.S. has been eliminated from the World Cup, the excitement our run generated has given way to disappointment over the realization that we were constantly on the back foot against Germany and Belgium. So how good, really, is the U.S. team? The answer, I think, is clear. We’re one of the top 20, and probably one of the top 16, teams in world. But we aren’t in »

Would the civil rights act of 1964 pass Congress today?

Featured image Today marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It passed Congress over the strenuous opposition, and indeed filibuster, of Southern Democrats. At Politico, Todd Purdum seizes on the occasion to argue that this landmark legislation could not pass Congress today. This is mainly true, he asserts, because “sometime in the 1980s” the Barry Goldwater wing of the Republican Party seized control causing the »

Shocker: Obamacare exchanges not properly checking eligibility

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “the new health insurance marketplaces run by the federal government and some states are not checking carefully enough that Americans who apply for health plans qualify for the coverage and federal subsidies to help pay for it, according to federal investigators.” Is this evidence of incompetence and/or lack of resources? Perhaps. But you could also argue that the marketplaces are running essentially as they were »

Obama’s war on women persists

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the average male employed at President Obama’s White House earns significantly more than the average female. The average male makes $88,600 per year; the average female makes $78,400. According to the Post, the gap exists not just in low and mid-level jobs, but also among those who work at the highest echelons of the White House. The “pay gap” is, of course, a staple “war »

World Cup Update: Tiki-taka moves north

Featured image Spain’s quick elimination from this year’s World Cup brought pronouncements that their style of play — known as tiki-taka, which features short passing and maintaining possession around the perimeter of the opponent’s goal — is dead. This article in the Wall Street Journal, proclaiming the triumph of “fast break” soccer, is a good example. But it may that taki-taka isn’t dead, but has just moved north — specifically to Germany. »

Hobby Lobby and the shape of things to come

Featured image What are the implications of today’s Hobby Lobby decision for challenges by non-profit religious institutions, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, to Obamacare’s mandate that they facilitate the free distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients to any of their employees who desire them? Professor Mark Rienzi, who together with the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty has been litigating these sorts of religious liberty cases against the Justice Department, offers »

Public employee unions not out of the woods yet

Featured image Conservatives hoped that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity presented by Harris v. Quinn to strike down a 1977 decision holding that full-fledged public employees “who choose not to join a public-sector union may nevertheless be compelled to pay an agency fee to support union work that is related to the collective-bargaining process.” The Supreme Court did not do so. This does not mean, however, that the 1977 decision »

Supreme misery for the left [or not]

Featured image The Supreme Court today issued its final two decisions of the term. One of them constitutes a clear defeat for the left. The other looks like a minor defeat. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Court held that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The five center-right Justices formed the majority for that proposition. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court, again with the »

The Carter-Obama parallel

Featured image James Kirchick compares the foreign policy records of Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. He finds that President Obama’s is worse. I agree with Kirchick. As he explains, Carter eventually saw the error of his weak ways and changed course, though it took a series of major setbacks for him to accomplish this. With Obama we have had the serious setbacks — e.g., the Benghazi attacks, the rise of al Qaeda »

Benghazi mastermind gets his Miranda warning

Featured image Ahmed Abu Khattala, believed to be a ringleader of the Benghazi attacks, was brought today from a Navy warship to the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. He entered a plea of not guilty to a single conspiracy charge. Abu Khattala was captured on June 15. He was not immediately read his Miranda rights, but did receive them “days ago,” according to two law enforcement officials. The two officials say that »

Crony capitalism and the GOP fault line

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed a new study by the Pew Research Center. It identifies two main groups of Republicans — “business conservatives” and “staunch conservatives.” The two factions agree on much, but they part company when it comes to their attitude towards corporations. Most steadfast conservatives say too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies, and they are evenly split as to whether the economic system »

World Cup preview — the Round of 16

Featured image The Round of 16, which begins today, usually doesn’t produce many upsets. And, although this year’s World Cup has been exceptional, I wouldn’t expect major upsets this time around, either. Argentina, France, and Germany have all drawn clearly inferior opponents (Switzerland, Nigeria, and Algeria, respectively). Brazil faces a good opponent in Chile, but it would take a very brave man to pick Chile to defeat Brazil in Brazil. Still, the »

How deeply divided is the GOP?

Featured image The Pew Research Center is out with a study that, as characterized by the Washington Post, shows “the GOP faces continued instability because of profoundly different views on some issues held by those who identify with the party.” To me, the study presents a more mixed picture. The Pew study identifies two main Republican groups — the “business conservatives” and the “steadfast conservatives.” It finds significant commonalities between the two. »

World Cup Update — Where have all the fullbacks gone?

Featured image I have always thought that the key to success in the World Cup is being “strong up the middle” — i.e. at goalkeeper, center back, central midfield, and center forward. But on reflection, I can’t think of a team that has won the World Cup in the last few decades without a good pair of fullbacks (the members of the defensive back four who patrol and protect the flanks). The »