Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

This day in baseball history: Phillies take 6 game lead with 22 left to play

Featured image On September 10, 1964, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 behind the pitching of Chris Short, who pitched his 11th complete game of the season. With the victory, Philadelphia moved 6 games ahead of St. Louis. Cincinnati, which beat Pittsburgh 3-0 on a shutout by ex-Pirate Bob Purkey, and San Francisco, 5-1 winner over Los Angeles, also trailed the Phillies by 6 games. With their loss to »

Obama tries to catch up with the parade

Featured image The usual purpose of an address like the one President Obama will deliver tonight regarding ISIS is to rally support for military action by explaining to the citizenry why such action is required. But Obama will flip that script tonight, as he tries to demonstrate that his awareness of ISIS’s threat matches that of the citizenry. Recent events, which culminated in the beheadings of two Americans, have convinced the public »

On Penn State, Ray Rice, Bruce Levenson, and sanctimony [UPDATED]

Featured image Sports may or may not breed discipline, but these days they certainly breed disciplinarians, too many of whom wear suits and sit behind desks. Three new developments remind us of this. The first development is a good one. The NCAA has announced that it will lift sanctions against Penn State. It imposed the sanctions in the aftermath of revelations that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky molested children »

Ordinary politics as corruption: the left’s new totalitarian hobby horse

Featured image Whatever one thinks about the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell on fraud and extortion charges, there is little doubt that the legal theories that produced the conviction blur the distinction between criminal corruption and ordinary politics. Indeed, it is my view that the left sees no such distinction. To the extent that ordinary politics stands in the way of its agenda, the left perceives ordinary politics as, at »

About the claim that Syrian “moderates” sold Sotloff to ISIS

Featured image A spokesman for the family of Steven Sotloff, the journalist beheaded by ISIS last week, claims that Sotloff was sold to ISIS by “so-called moderate rebels that people want our administration to support.” He based this claim on information from “sources on the ground” that the Sotloff family deems credible. The spokesman did not identify the rebel group the family believes was responsible for selling Sotloff to ISIS. I don’t »

Poll: Obama is a flop

Featured image According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, registered voters believe, by a margin of 55-39, that President Obama is a failure, rather than a success, as president. Among all Americans, the conclusion is the same, though the margin is smaller — 52-42. Moreover, 41 percent of registered voters strongly believe that Obama is a failure. Thus, by a margin of 41-39, more registered voters strongly believe Obama has failed than »

Romney’s foreign policy team, then and now

Featured image Josh Rogin reports that leaders of Mitt Romney’s 2012 foreign policy brain trust have kept the team together in a secret effort to influence lawmakers and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates. This operation is called the John Hay Initiative. My first reaction is that I love the name. John Hay is one of the most underrated figures in American history — a brilliant Secretary of State and an outstanding man »

Obama’s “organizing” fantasy

Featured image President Obama has improved upon his statement of the American objective regarding ISIS. He now says that he intends to “degrade and destroy” this barbaric outfit, not merely to convert it into a “manageable problem.” However, Obama has not retracted, or even “walked back,” his statement about how to deal with ISIS. He has consistently taken the position that “what we’ve got to do is make sure that we are »

Bob McDonnell and the criminalization of politics

Featured image For former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, found guilty last week of fraud and extortion, I have only the small amount of sympathy reserved for those who fall from grace deservedly, but not due to true malice or viciousness. However, I agree with William & Mary law professor Jeffrey Bellin that charges like those brought against McDonnell present the real danger of criminalizing ordinary politics. The essence of the legal case »

Poll: Cotton leads Pryor by 5 points [UPDATED]

Featured image A new poll by NBC/Marist shows Tom Cotton leading Mark Pryor 45-40 among likely voters (registered voters divide evenly, 41-41). That’s a big swing from NBC/Marist’s last survey of the race, taken in very early May. It had Pryor leading 51-40. This was only poll in which Pryor cracked 50 percent. The early May poll was, then, an outlier. But most polls taken around that time had Pryor ahead. No »

About those lightweight Team Obama spokespersons

Featured image Bill O’Reilly came under criticism from the Obama administration this week for stating that Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the State Department, “looks way out of her depth” and that “just the way she delivers, she doesn’t look like she has the gravitas for the job.” The criticism was delivered by Psaki’s deputy, Marie Harf, who claimed that O’Reilly’s comments are sexist because she doesn’t “actually [doesn't] think [he] would ever »

On third try, Obama still flubs it on ISIS

Featured image Barack Obama has always been good with words, but he’s not good enough to give coherence to his ramshackle foreign policy. Not surprisingly words have failed the president (or, to be more accurate, the president has failed words) most conspicuously when it comes to the aspect of his policy that’s in greatest disarray — his policy regarding terrorism. First, Obama admitted that he didn’t have a strategy for dealing with »

Benghazi security personnel say they were told to “stand down”

Featured image Tonight at 10:00 Eastern Time, Fox News will present a program, hosted by Bret Baier, called “13 hours in Benghazi.” Baier’s report will be based on a book by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team that will be released next week. The book is 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi. Fox News has presented a preview of the program. Three security team members who »

Meet the Huffington Post’s new security “fellow”

Featured image He’s Donté Stallworth, a former NFL wide-receiver. Stallworth had a few productive years in professional football, but missed all of the 2009 season due to a suspension resulting from pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter, a felony. Stallworth killed a 59 year-old Florida man while driving drunk. Ryan Grim, the Huffington Post’s Washington Bureau Chief, gushed that Stallworth “has a quick mind, an insatiable curiosity and a passion for politics — »

Tom Cotton’s courage

Featured image Earlier today, Scott quoted from an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which contrasted Tom Cotton’s courage to the “go along to get along” mindset of his opponent, Mark Pryor. The editorial stated that, given Tom’s character, “it’s easy to imagine his sticking with principle even if the whole state went crazy again.” Yes it is. Indeed, even though Tom has been in Congress for less than two years, we have »

In another about face, the Republican Party turns hawkish

Featured image The Washington Post observes that the rise of ISIS has caused Republicans to strike a more hawkish tone on foreign policy. The Washington Post is correct. Until very recently, few Republicans found much to criticize in President Obama’s retreat from the Middle East and, indeed, from the world at large. An anti-interventionist mood had made significant headway among Republicans and, indeed, seemed to prevail in the ranks. There were honorable »

Why do they join the jihad?

Featured image It sounds like a complicated question, but Michael Ledeen nails it with six words: because it gives meaning to life. It’s a commonplace to anyone who’s studied the rise of fascism, of which Islamofascism is the most recent variety. The main problem with democratic capitalism is that it’s so successful, and therefore very boring. A generation or two of European intellectuals bemoaned the great triumph of science and industry, which »