Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The Kobani conundrum

Featured image Turkey has finally agreed to allow Iraqi Kurdish forces to cross its border with Syria to help fight ISIS and thereby relieve the besieged town of Kobani. For weeks, Turkey had refused to allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters or weapons to cross its border in support of the Kurdish fighters defending Kobani. Why the change? The New York Times cites “international pressure.” But the pressure has been there all along. More »

Bottomly’s bottom line

Featured image What happens when “women become men” at Wellesley College, which has always been, and purports to remain, an all women’s school? The New York Times Magazine took up the question this week in its Sunday magazine. It’s a question the Wellesley administration could reasonably be expected to have answered already. After all, the existence of transgendered students at women’s colleges is no secret. In academic and other left-wing circles, the »

Good news from Kobani

Featured image I’ve offered mostly criticism, and only very occasional praise, for President Obama’s campaign against ISIS. I just haven’t been able to see how the president’s campaign is likely to destroy or seriously degrade the Islamist barbarians. I’m happy to report, however, that the campaign may have prevented the fall of beleaguered Kobani, at least for now. Local officials say that ISIS has been forced to withdraw from several neighborhoods, due »

Gay marriage vs. religious freedom, the latest installment

Featured image Two ordained ministers, a husband and wife, who perform marriage ceremonies but oppose gay marriage reportedly face a 180-day jail term and a $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate a same-sex wedding. The ministers operate a chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The city has an ordinance that prohibits discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation, in public accommodations. Recently, the ministers turned down a gay couple’s »

Government case implodes as its former lawyers allege fraud against Holder DOJ

Featured image The New York Observer reports that two former Assistant United States Attorneys say the Holder Justice Department engaged in deceit and corruption of justice in connection with the DOJ’s litigation against Sierra Pacific Industries, a California lumber company. As a result of the allegations, a federal district judge has ordered the recusal from the case of every judge in the Eastern District of California. He reasons that the court may »

Ernst-Braley hold final debate, as Ernst leads the race narrowly

Featured image Two more polls released in the last few days have Joni Ernst (a Power Line pick) leading Bruce Braley in the Iowa Senate race. A USA Today/Suffolk poll shows Ernst ahead by 47-43. A Quinnipiac poll, with a larger sample, has it Ernst 47-Braley 45. This means that the four most recent publicly released polls all have Ernst ahead. The combined number of individuals polled in these surveys is nearly »

Reports: Ebola nurse in “fair” to “good” condition

Featured image Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse who was infected with the Ebola virus, is in good condition and improving, according to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Pham has been transferred to the NIH hospital here in Maryland for reasons of “staffing.” Dozens of employees at the Dallas hospital are treating only Pham, and this is jeopardizing the ability to care for other patients. NIH described Pham’s condition in less favorable terms. She »

The Ebola panic and good sense

Featured image Yuval Levin has a sensible article on NRO called “Lessons of the Ebola Crisis.” Levin believes that the Obama administration is basically right when it says we are not witnessing an outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. and that such an outbreak is unlikely in our highly developed public-health system. However, he also believes that critics are right to say we have witnessed serious failures in the response to the »

This day in baseball history — take this job and shove it

Featured image On October 16, 1964, during a post-World Series press conference, Cardinals manager Johnny Keane announced that he was resigning. On the same day, the New York Yankees, whom the Cards had just bested in the World Series, fired their manager, Yogi Berra. Four days later, the Yankees hired Keane to replace Berra. The Yankees had been talking to Keane for some time. Keane’s move to the Yankees may already have »

The Ebola panic, the media, and the limits of government

Featured image The federal government, like almost any large institution, will nearly always be wrong-footed when confronted by the unexpected, especially if it’s an emergency. The feds will be slow off the mark and too many of their initial decisions will be wrong. We saw this with Hurricane Katrina and we’re seeing it now with Ebola. Conservatives, of all people, shouldn’t be surprised. If the federal government were capable of performing well »

The limits of reticence

Featured image The Age of Obama will not be known as an age of reticence. The president is, after all, a man of many words, including some that used to resonate widely. But there is one area in which Obama has ushered in a new reticence. Following Obama’s lead, Democratic politicians increasingly flatly refuse to tell to voters what their positions are on key matters. Obama started the trend by voting “present” »

This day in baseball history — The Cardinals are champions

Featured image When last we looked in on the 1964 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees were knotted at two games apiece. Ken Boyer’s grand slam had kept St. Louis in the thick of it. The clubs split the next two games. Game 5 was another dramatic affair, the third in a row. Both teams went with their ace — Bob Gibson for the Cardinals and (with »

Arkansas Debate: Cotton excels; Pryor confirms he’s out-of-touch

Featured image Tom Cotton made a strong showing in last night’s Arkansas Senate debate. His opponent, Mark Pryor, fought hard, but may ultimately have put the final nail in his coffin. Asked by one of the questioners to define the middle class, Pryor at first ducked the question. When pressed, he opined that it consisted of those making up to $200,000 a year. Talk about out of touch. Pryor’s definition might pass »

Tillis finally pulls even in North Carolina

Featured image Late last year, when I began thinking seriously about the battle for the Senate, I assumed that North Carolina was ripe for a Republican victory. Romney had won the state, albeit very narrowly. Moreover first-term Democrat Kay Hagan lacked a strong family name and a long history of electoral success (unlike Mark Pryor in Arkansas and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana). With the “fundamentals” (to the extent that I retain any »

Turkey finally takes military action; unfortunately, it’s against the Kurds

Featured image President Obama’s ace diplomats have been working hard to bring Turkey into the alleged coalition with which he hopes to counter ISIS. Susan Rice claimed that the U.S. at least had secured permission to use Turkish bases to launch strikes against ISIS. That claim is false, according to Turkey (which should know). Now comes word that Turkey has taken military action. Unfortunately, it has done so not against ISIS, but »

Ebola: What the U.S. can learn from the Africans [UPDATED]

Featured image My friend Craig Harrison recently traveled in Southern Africa, where he found the Ebola “protocols” superior to those of the United States. Today, the Los Angeles Times’ editors published the following letter from Craig: To the editor: I spent most of September in Southern Africa and, unlike the United States, the three nations I visited are taking the threat of Ebola seriously. All arriving passengers in Johannesburg are scanned by »

Fordham prof investigated for “religious discrimination” based on opposing boycott of Israel

Featured image Doran Ben-Atar, a professor of history at Fordham University, is an outspoken opponent of calls by the American Studies Association (ASA) for a boycott of Israel’s academic institutions. And wisely so. The boycott is an affront to the free exchange of ideas that should be at the heart of the academic mission. The affront is so obvious that the boycott has failed to gain much traction, for now at least, »