Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Mission accomplished at the NAACP, Part Two

Featured image Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker claims that “Romney appeared unsettled by three rounds of loud boos” he received at the NAACP convention today. I wasn’t present, but that’s not how it looked to me. For example, after being booed for his attack on Obamacare as a jobs killer, Romney simply waited a moment and then cited a Chamber of Commerce survey that supported his view that Obamacare discourages hiring. Not »

For Romney, mission accomplished at the NAACP

Featured image In an add-on to John’s post about Mitt Romney appearing before the NAACP, I suggested that a key purpose of such an appearance is to to satisfy white voters, especially moderates, that he cares about African-Americans. All Republican presidential candidates gain by comforting swing voters on this score. But because he is running against the first African-American president, it was particularly important for Romney to undertake the exercise. Doing so »

Hot air goes from strength to strength

Featured image By adding the excellent Mary Katharine Ham as an editor-at-large. Congratulations to Hot Air and to Mary Katharine. »

All-time Senate giants

Featured image Dana Milbank’s dismal column about the alleged absence of “giants” in the current Senate has prompted me select 20 all-time Senate giants. As with most all star teams, halls of fame, and alike, there are no fixed criteria. However, there are two rules. First, current Senators are excluded. Absent this rule, John McCain and Orrin Hatch would rate consideration. Second, ideology isn’t taken into account. A Senator does not make »

They might be giants, but Dana Milbank wouldn’t know

Featured image The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank writes about “The missing giants” of the Senate and pronounces that there’s a “plague of legislatative dwarfism in the Senate.” This sort of column has been written, I suspect, since the “Great Triumvirate” (Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun) left the scene 160 year ago. Milbank being Milbank, his incarnation of the “where have all the giants gone” lament is largely a vehicle for »

Has Obama carved out the wrong class against which to wage war?

Featured image What do Bill Nelson, Claire McCaskill, Bob Kerrey, Tim Kaine, Heidi Heitkamp, and Shelley Barkley have in common? To start with, they are all Democrats running for the Senate this year. But that’s not all. Each disagrees with President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on people who make more than $250,000, preferring a higher limit. Nelson, McCaskill, Heitkamp, and Barkley favor $1 million; Kaine favors $500,000; and Kerrey hasn’t provided »

Euro 2012 — the top stars

Featured image Euro 2012 provided a high quality of play. Only two teams embarrassed themselves — Ireland and Holland. And the Dutch embarrassed themselves by falling far short of their normal standard, not by being objectively bad. Unfortunately, the European soccer bureaucrats, following Mae West’s view of “too much of good thing” rather than the traditional, correct view, have decided to expand the tournament from 16 to 24 teams. So, the overall »

No place to hide in this economy

Featured image Last week, we noted, per the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), that American manufacturing shrunk in June for the first time in three years. This struck us as quite significant. However, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog, some economists warned against reading too much into the report. They noted that manufacturers aren’t a huge part of the U.S. economy compared with the service-related businesses that cater »

Still a dead heat, Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I noted that fresh polls from Rasmussen and Gallup show the presidential race to be what it’s been for months now — a dead heat. Today comes a Washington Post poll showing the two candidates deadlocked at 47 percent. Rasmussen, meanwhile, has Romney up by three points in its latest tracking poll. Two points should be made about the Post’s poll. First, it samples registered voters, rather than likely »

Ethics investigation could affect key Senate race in Nevada

Featured image We’ve been following the hotly contested Nevada Senate race between incumbent Republican Dean Heller (appointed to fill John Ensigh’s seat) and Democratic challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley. Early polls gave Heller a fairly healthy lead, but the race seemed to tighten in late May. The most recent poll I’ve seen (by PPP about a month ago) had Heller with an insignificant 44-43 lead. But now the House Ethics Committee has voted »

Barack Obama, outsourcer — Part Two

Featured image In a previous post, John correctly labeled President Obama an “outsourcer” because his campaign paid a call center in the Philippines $78,314.10 for telemarketing services and spent nearly $4,700 on telemarketing services from a Canadian company. Now, according to the Washington Post, the left is criticizing Obama’s record on outsourcing. The left-wing critics point to a range of actions they say Obama should have taken: confronting China, reining in unfettered »

Arne Duncan’s got game

Featured image One of the great things about retirement is that I’m able to do things that previously I couldn’t squeeze into my schedule. Like attending summer basketball league games. The summer league at Georgetown University features a mixture of college players from the D.C. area and/or D.C. area colleges and older players who are still plying their trade or, in some cases, are just competing for the fun of it. The »

The subprime bust tragedy — how government-selected winners turned into losers

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “the implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans — one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades.” The problem, of course, is that blacks comprised a disproportionate number of the people who purchased homes they couldn’t afford under traditional lending practices, by »

Still a dead heat

Featured image Two new polls show just how tight the presidential race remains. Rasmussen, in a poll released today, has the race at Romney 46 – Obama 45. Rasmussen puts the president’s approval rating in negative territory: 47-52. Meanwhile, Gallup, in a poll released yesterday, has Obama leading Romney by 47-45. The president’s approval rating is break-even: 46-46. These polls follow ad blizes by Team Obama. If they succeeded in moving the »

Why government bestowal of economic privileges is pathological

Featured image Matt Mitchell, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, has written an important paper called “The Pathology of Privilege: The Economic Consequences of Government Favoritism.” We have discussed such favoritism, which also goes by the names “crony capitalism” and “corporatism,” from time to time. But Mitchell’s paper provides an economic analysis and unified theory of the phenomenon. What are the privileges that governments bestow on particular firms »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On Sunday, July 8, 1962, the Cleveland Indians lost both games of a double-header to the Chicago White Sox. This ended a six game winning streak and dropped the Indians to second place in the American League heading into the All Star break. Still, Indians fans had little to complain about. The previous year, the Indians had finished in fifth place, 30.5 games behind the Yankees and five games under »

On winning Colorado

Featured image If I had to predict the outcome of this year’s presidential race and could be told in advance the outcome in just one state, I’d pick Ohio. Colorado would be my second choice. The Denver Post identifies three counties as the key to winning Colorado — Arapahoe, Jefferson and Larimer. Obama carried all three in 2008; Bush carried all three in 2004. The key in both elections was the unaffiliated »