Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Is there trouble ahead for NPR?

Featured image NPR is hurting financially. According to its new chief executive, Gary Knell, it has seen a sharp downturn in corporate “underwriting” and thus finds itself facing an annual operating deficit. Actually, NPR has operated at a deficit in three of the last four years. However, the hole is growing deeper this year. In addition, NPR’s audience is no longer expanding. In fact, ratings fell by a little more than 1 »

Food for thought

Featured image Elizabeth Warren cannot document her claim to be part (a very small part) Cherokee Indian. But in 1984, identifying herself as a Cherokee, she contributed recipes to a cookbook edited by her cousin called “Pow Wow Chow.” If that helps. It may not. According to the Boston Herald, outraged members of the Cherokee tribe — including a Warren supporter — are demanding that the candidate release her employment records following »

A giant stands on the shoulders of dwarfs

Featured image Great religious prophets, when they create a new religion, usually treat the greatest prophets of pre-existing great religions as their precursors. In this way, they gain credibility while putting the earlier prophets in their place. Barack Obama is trying to do something like this when it comes to previous presidents, as Seth Mendel of Commentary discovered when he visited a White House website that provides biographies of former presidents. Mandel »

Obama calls debt ceiling fight “not acceptable,” whatever that means

Featured image President Obama today warned congressional leaders that a replay of the debt ceiling fight of last summer is “not acceptable” and that he will not tolerate it. Obama added that he expects a “serious bipartisan approach” to tackling the budget and growing federal deficit this year. House Speaker John Boehner said yesterday that he was prepared for another debt ceiling fight, if that’s what it takes to force action to »

Boehner seeks action on debt reduction

Featured image Speaker John Boehner is calling on Congress to deal with the issues of budget reductions and the Bush tax cuts before the election. And he is threatening to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling unless significant new cuts occur. The case for tackling these issues now is straightforward. If they are put off until the lame duck session, there will be little time to avoid the train wreck »

An upset in Nebraska

Featured image In Nebraska, State Senator Deb Fischer has upset Jon Bruning, the state’s attorney general, to win the Republican nomination for the Senate seat held by Democrat Ben Nelson, who is retiring. Late returns had Fischer leading Bruning by 40-36. She will face former Senator Bob Kerrey. Until recently, Bruning had been leading in the polls. Fischer had been running third, behind Don Stenberg, the state’s treasurer, who was endorsed by »

Who is the reality-based presidential candidate? Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I asked which presidential candidate – Mitt Romney or President Obama – is, by training and background, more “reality-based” and which is less driven by ideology. In claiming that Romney is more reality-based and less driven by ideology, I showed how his education and decades of work at Bain and Bain Capital focused heavily on diving into, and finding answers in, data, with no real reference to ideology. Let’s »

What is judicial activism and do we need the concept?

Featured image Today, I attended a debate sponsored by the Federalist Society about “judicial activism” between our friend Ed Whelan and Prof. Jeffrey Rosen. At the heart of their debate was a disagreement over the definition of judicial activism. Ed defined judicial activism as a form of legal error – the type that occurs when a court wrongly decides that a statute is unconstitutional. Rosen defined it as the judicial overturning of »

Team Obama flips out over mildly adverse New York Times poll

Featured image If a left-wing president were to lose the New York Times, there would be good reason for him and his operatives to flip out. President Obama hasn’t lost the New York Times; he has merely “lost” a new poll by CBS/New York Times taken five months before the election. It shows him trailing Mitt Romney 46-43, and trailing among women by 46-44. And he hasn’t “lost” that poll in any »

Who is the “reality-based” presidential candidate? Part One

Featured image One of the American left’s most persistent self-congratulatory themes is the claim that, unlike the right, its views aren’t based on ideology, but rather on facts. Indeed, the left likes to call itself the “reality-based” community, so data-driven does it fancy its position to be. The delusional nature of this pose is a subject for another post. It is also, I understand, a subject of Jonah Goldberg’s new book, The »

Tom Cotton surges ahead

Featured image We’re happy to report that our friend Tom Cotton has taken the lead in polling of the Republican primary in Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District. The latest survey of likely primary voters, taken by Talk Business-Hendrix College, shows Tom with 51 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Beth Anne Rankin, his main opponent. Rankin was the Republican nominee in 2010, before redistricting made the seat more favorable for »

National Dems not feeling it in Wisconsin

Featured image According to this report from Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, Wisconsin Democrats are furious with the national party — and the Democratic National Committee in particular — for refusing their request for a major investment in the battle to recall Gov. Scott Walker. According to Sargent’s source, the party has asked the DNC for $500,000 to help with its massive field operation, but the money has not been forthcoming. »

Mitt Romney, job creator or job destroyer?

Featured image Mitt Romney has run against Democrats twice: in 1994 he ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy; in 2002 he ran for Governor of Massachusetts against Shannon O’Brien. In both elections, the Democrat attacked Romney as a “job destroyer” based on his work at Bain Capital. The tactic seemed to work in 1994, when Romney suffered a decisive defeat after polls had shown him just about even with Kennedy early »

Obama leads Romney 45.1 to 39.5 in Michigan

Featured image That is the finding of a new poll taken for the Detroit News by the Glengariff Group. Given his opposition to the GM bailout, I don’t expect Romney to carry Michigan unless he wins big over Obama nationally. But the Obama camp can’t be happy that their man falls well short of 50 percent in this solidly Democratic state. And though Obama is ahead, his lead does not exceed the »

John Edwards and the “reality-based” community

Featured image I have tried to avert my eyes from the John Edwards trial, but this snippet from a report of that event in the Washington Post caught my eye. It seems that Edwards’ own attorney told the trial judge this week: “No one is going to deny that Mr. Edwards lied and lied and lied and lied.” But for the fact that Keith Olbermann is, himself, one of the worst people »

The best English Premier League finish ever

Featured image Today, the English Premier League treated soccer fans to the most dramatic final day in its 20 year history. First, the important news. Everton defeated Newcastle 3-1 to clinch a better finish (seventh place) than that of arch-rival Liverpool (eighth place). Now, for the secondary stuff. Going into today, Manchester City and Manchester United were tied for first place. However, City, the more talented side, had a much better goal »

“Culture matters,” Romney says

Featured image I have praised Rick Santorum for articulating, better than any candidate I have heard, the connection between “cultural” and economic issues. I have also noted that Mitt Romney has mostly steered clear of discussing this connection, though I believe he understands it. In fact, having read The Real Romney, a biography of the candidate by two Boston Globe reporters, I am convinced that he does. Today, in a commencement speech »