Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Top Obama aide profited from speaking to company doing business with Iran

Featured image David Plouffe is a senior adviser to the Obama administration and very much a member of President Obama’s inner circle. In 2008, he served as Obama’s campaign manager. MTN Group is a South African company that has been active in Iran and Syria, and is now under international sanctions as a result of that activity. In December 2010, about a month before he joined the White House staff, Plouffe received »

How the economy is letting Obama down

Featured image Politico is featuring an amusing piece called “Obama’s 4 economic letdowns.” It wasn’t instantly clear to me who Politico believes is letting down whom. But it’s apparent from the article that Politico’s Ben White sees Obama as the victim. Specifically, four forces are victimizing him: Congress, the Fed, the Europeans, and corporate America. At least Politico had the decency not to blame automated teller machines. Congress is to blame for »

Obama’s anti-military stance in Ohio

Featured image Under current Ohio law, the period during which voters can cast their ballot early ends three days before the election. However, the law has an exception for members of the military. They are allowed to vote early right up until election day. The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have filed a lawsuit to overturn this law. They argue that it is arbitrary and unconstitutional to afford special consideration, »

Killer of American troops set to be freed, thanks to Obama

Featured image An Iraqi court has rejected a request to send a Hezbollah commander to the United States for trial. Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Lebanese militant, has been held in Iraq for the 2007 killings of five American soldiers, four of whom were captured, tortured and shot execution-style. But now the Iraqi central criminal court has ordered that Daqduq be freed immediately. The Court stated: It is not possible to hand [Daqduq] »

Jets fans should be nervous about Tim Tebow deal, says Obama

Featured image Working overtime to obtain votes in Ohio, President Obama called in to 97.3 The Fan, a radio station in Columbus. Obama opined that Jets fans should be “nervous” about the club’s acquisition of quarterback Tim Tebow. Obama explained that he is not in favor of a quarterback controversy to start the season and added that although incumbent QB Mark Sanchez is “not Tom Brady yet,” he did lead the Jets »

The Senator Harry Reid wants most to protect

Featured image I have offered my take on the Senate battlefield, but Harry Reid’s view is worth far more than mine. And from what I’m hearing, the Senate Majority Leader is fixated on the Montana race, in which the incumbent Democrat Jon Tester is trying to hold off challenger Rep. Denny Rehberg. There isn’t much Reid can do right now by way of passing legislation or even getting judicial nominees confirmed this »

Obama administration moves to keep the poor under its thumb in Galveston

Featured image Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal ran a revealing story (subscription only) about the federal government’s attempt to perpetuate low income housing projects in Galveston, Texas. Four years ago, Hurricane Ike destroyed 569 public-housing units. The Democratic mayor wanted to rebuild the housing as part of a “mixed-income” development. But he was defeated by a conservative businessman who promised not to rebuild the units. Instead, he proposed to issue housing vouchers to »

Is Harry Reid a racist?

Featured image Mitt Romney isn’t the only recent target of vicious language by Harry Reid. In an interview with the Huffington Post, the Senate Majority Leader called Bill Magwood “one of the most unethical, prevaricating, incompetent people I’ve ever dealt with.” Reid went on to say that Magwood is a “treacherous, miserable liar.” He added that he considers Magwood “a first class rat” and a “sh*t stirrer.” Who is Bill Magwood, and »

Moving on up

Featured image A report by the Pew Research Center finds that the extent to which Americans live in neighborhoods populated by people similarly well-off has grown since 1980. The share of upper-income households situated in affluent neighborhoods has risen from 9 percent to 18 percent. The share of lower-income household located in mostly poor neighborhoods is now 28 percent, compared to 23 percent in 1980, according to the report. Meanwhile, the percentage »

Mitt Romney’s economic plan

Featured image Some critics of Mitt Romney complain that he has no plan to turn around our faltering economy. Others, like President Obama, claim that Romney’s economic policies have been tried and found wanting. Neither contention withstands scrutiny. Glenn Hubbard, the Romney campaign’s economic adviser, explained the basic contours of Romney’s economic plan in today’s Wall Street Journal. The program, which will not come as a surprise to those who have been »

“Bread and peace” model predicts sizeable defeat for Obama

Featured image In my view, presidential elections are usually pretty easy to predict. You just look at how the economy is doing. When we’re at war or in a major foreign policy crisis, you factor that in. But an incumbent president has to be judged very harshly over his handling of the war or foreign crisis before he will lose in a good economy. It turns out that there’s a predictive model »

Romney is right, culture matters, Part Four

Featured image Bill Clinton agrees that culture is an important factor in the economic problems experienced by the West Bank. Seth Mandel at Commentary recalls that Clinton took this very view in a speech to the American Jewish World Service in 2007: Clinton expressed his frustration that the Palestinians in Gaza possess some of the most beautiful beaches he’s ever seen, beaches that could be tourism cash cows, if only they could »

Which way for Republicans in Wisconsin?

Featured image This Washington Post story confirms what I wrote earlier today about the Wisconsin Senate race — Tommy Thompson is in trouble. But let’s do the full disclosure thing before going any further. Thompson was a partner of mine at the law firm from which I recently retired. More importantly to me, he was an exemplary partner. Thompson is also one of the most successful politicians in Wisconsin history. He was »

Romney is right, culture matters, Part Three

Featured image Whatever one believes about Israel and the Palestinians, the general proposition that culture strongly influences economic performance should not be controversial. Romney likes to cite The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by former Harvard professor David Landes, which makes that case. The work of economist Mancur Olson also supports Romney’s view. Reaching further back, Romney could have cited Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and R. »

A look at the Senate battlefield

Featured image Ted Cruz’s victory in last night’s Texas run-off surely means that Cruz will serve in the Senate. The Democrats have essentially no hope of winning this race. But how are the more contested races going, and what are the prospects for the Republicans gaining control of the Senate? Virginia, Massachusetts, and Montana continue to look like 50-50 propositions. In Virginia and Massachusetts, the polls consistently produce virtual dead heats (all »

Mitt Romney is right, culture matters, Part Two

Featured image Mitt Romney has a post up at NRO’s Corner in which he explains why he believes that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. Here, in part, is what Romney wrote: [W]hat exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it »

Ted Cruz is cruising

Featured image With more than one-quarter of the vote in, Ted Cruz is leading David Dewhurst in the Texas Republican Senate run-off. His margin is 54-46 which translates into 50,000 votes. Politico has declared Cruz the winner. This is a huge victory for the Tea Party which, polls showed, supported Cruz overwhelmingly and provided him with his margin of victory. It’s also a victory for the Republican Party because Cruz is both »