Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Romney’s non-entry and the shape of the race

Featured image Mitt Romney delivered two gifts to the Republican Party on Friday. The first was his decision not to run for president. Unlike many, I believe Romney would have been an okay nominee. However, the GOP may well need better than “okay,” and there are some in the potential field who seem better equipped to take advantage of what I perceive to be Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses. This leads to Romney’s second »

This day in basketball history — high school basketball goes national

Featured image Fifty years ago today, a sold-out Cole Field House at the University of Maryland hosted what is probably the most famous high school basketball game ever played. It featured Lew Alcindor’s Power Memorial of New York City against DeMatha of Hyattsville, Maryland. DeMatha won, 46-43. The Washington Post has a good article about the game that draws on the recollections of key DeMatha participants. Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), accommodating as »

Israel: more alone than ever

Featured image President Obama’s decision, now essentially official*, to appease Iran by doing nothing to help thwart the Assad regime has dire consequences for Syria. Tens of thousands of Syrians will continue to be slaughtered, many of them by barrel bombs dropped by planes the U.S. could have stopped from flying. Samatha ( “A Problem From Hell”) Power, call your office. On second thought, don’t waste your time. Israel also faces serious »

Did John Podesta commit a serious ethics violation?

Featured image Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller reports that John Podesta, a key adviser to President Obama, may have violated ethical rules by helping to formulate a new White House policy that seeks to end any future drilling for oil on Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge. The ethical issue arises because just before he came to the White House, John Podesta was paid $87,000 by a foreign billionaire devoted to preventing »

The Kobane victory and the hard work Obama is unwilling to do

Featured image ISIS apparently has been defeated in the town of Kobane, Syria to which it laid siege months ago. The Obama administration hopes that this defeat will discourage potential recruits from joining ISIS. According to a senior State Department spokesman, the lesson for those considering enlistment is: You’re not going to be a part of something great, you’re not going to have a house, you’re not going to have a female »

Thank you for that non-answer, nominee

Featured image As I watched Loretta Lynch’s testimony yesterday, I had the feeling I had seen this act before. Her approach to answering questions, her tone, and some of her word choices left me with a strong sense of deja vu. Only in the evening did I realize where I had seen Lynch’s act. It was during the confirmation hearing of Cornelia Pillard, now a judge on the D.C. Circuit. Like Pillard, »

Behind the White House’s defense of the Taliban

Featured image As Scott discusses in the post immediately below, the Obama administration today claimed that the Taliban is an “armed insurrection” — you know, kind of like George Washington’s Continental Army — not a terrorist group. It is therefore materially different, spokesperson Eric Schultz argued, from ISIS. Thus, it is okay for the U.S. to swap prisoners with the Taliban (see Bergdahl, Bowe), but not okay to make concessions to ISIS »

Live-blogging the Lynch hearing — afternoon edition, starring Ted Cruz

Featured image Loretta Lynch did a superb job of testifying this morning. She artfully ducked the few tough questions directed to her, while somehow managing to sound like the most accommodating nominee ever. Only Sen. Sessions laid a glove on her, in my opinion. The afternoon session will begin soon. I think I’ll present my live-blogging of this one in chronological order rather than reverse chronological order, as I did this morning. »

Live-blogging the Lynch hearing

Featured image Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearing is about to start. I’ll live-blog it for a few hours at least. I’ll keep the most recent entries at the top for those who want to keep up with the blow-by-blow. Others should read from the bottom up. Here goes: 12:39 Sen. Amy Klobuchar is up. A lunch break will follow. I will start mine early, and resume the live-blogging this afternoon. The Republican questioning »

State Department funded group working to defeat Netanyahu

Featured image John has written about how President Obama’s campaign team is working to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s upcoming elections. To make matters worse, the anti-Netanyahu campaign is benefiting from U.S. taxpayer money. As John noted, the organization “One Voice” wants to help take down Netanyahu’s party in the March 2015 Knesset elections that will ultimately determine the next Israeli Prime Minister. “One Voice” claims to be non-partisan, but it is »

Trust us, we’re the government, Obama administration tells Supreme Court [With Comment by John]

Featured image Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard a case in which the Obama administration made the extraordinary claim that there can be no judicial review as to whether a government agency met a statutory prerequisite for filing a lawsuit. The case is Mach Mining v. EEOC. The Federalist Society asked me to report on the case via audiotape. My report is here. The Civil Rights Act requires the EEOC to »

Sharyl Attkisson to testify on Lynch confirmation, but why?

Featured image Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General, will testify tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It should be an interesting day. Coming up with lists of questions to ask Lynch has become a cottage industry. I offered my entry in November: I hope that during Senate confirmation hearings, Lynch will be asked specifically about each issue as to which the Holder DOJ has applied or considered applying disparate impact »

Jeffrey Sterling convicted; his accomplice remains free

Featured image Jeffrey Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, was convicted of espionage today. He was charged with telling a journalist about a secret operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. The journalist was James Risen of the New York Times. Scott has written extensively about this case, focusing on Risen’s disclosure of Sterling’s secrets and the government’s unwillingness to require the journalist to testify in the case. Fortunately, Sterling was convicted »

Scott Walker’s big Iowa challenge

Featured image Four years ago, the popular just-retired governor of an Upper Midwest state was pinning his hopes of a presidential run on neighboring Iowa. Those hopes came to an end when Tim Pawlenty withdrew from the presidential race after a poor showing in the Iowa straw poll. It seemed like a case of being knocked over by a feather. However, Pawlenty needed to do well in Iowa, and was outflanked on »

Russian Roulette, anyone?

Featured image Some Republican Senators are contemplating an attempt to change the rules for confirming Supreme Court Justices. Under their proposal, confirmation could occur with only a bare majority, as it now can for lower court judges and cabinet members. Lamar Alexander and Roy Blunt are behind the push for this change. I find no merit in it. Sure, the change would make it easier for a Republican president to have Supreme »

Last week in baseball history — cursed going and coming

Featured image Ask an old-time Cleveland Indians fan to name the worst trade the Tribe ever made and he’ll probably name the deal that sent Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers. Ask him to name the second worst and he might say the deal that brought Colavito back to Cleveland. The Indians famously traded Colavito to the Tigers for Harvey Kuenn in April 1960. It was a blockbuster deal involving the reigning »

Turkey takes a dim view of Obama’s Syria policy

Featured image In an interview with Lally Weymouth of the Washington Post, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu offers a devastating critique of President Obama’s Syria policy. Turkey, of course, has its own interests, and on some matters they diverge sharply from America’s. However, Turkey has a strong interest in (1) a stable Syria, or at least a Syria whose refugees don’t pour into Turkey by the tens of thousands, (2) a Syria »