Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

“Hate speech” and theatre of the absurd

Featured image In England, it’s a crime to call someone a “f___ing black c___.” If you think I’m making this up, ask John Terry, the English soccer star who was just found not guilty of saying this to Anton Ferdinand, an opposing player, during a contentious match. Terry didn’t come away unscathed. He lost his captaincy of the England national team when the Crown decided to prosecute him. But one needn’t feel »

Ed Rendell — Team Obama went “a little bit too far with the felony business”

Featured image The only positive thing President Obama has going for him with swing voters is that they tend to like him personally. I’m not sure why, but assume it’s some combination of his race, the positive initial impression he made, and the tendency of Americans to want to like their president. Obama’s increasingly vicious campaign against Mitt Romney puts this one and only asset in jeopardy. It risks everything on gaining »

On judicial restraint

Featured image Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy wonders whether, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding Obamacare’s individual mandate, liberals and conservatives are about to swap positions on the proper role of the Supreme Court. For decades, Kerr notes, liberals have tend to view the power of judicial review as an unambiguously positive thing. If the exercise of that power entails striking down statutes, then good: it means that »

Safe House

Featured image Plenty of uncertainty surrounds this year’s election. Will Romney defeat Obama? Will the Republicans gain control of the Senate? Right now, both seem like roughly even money propositions. When it comes to the House, however, considerably less uncertainty exists. In all likelihood, the Republicans will retain control. This, Politico tells us, is the view of all three major congressional political prognotication services: Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Rothenberg Political Report, and »

The latest Bain-related smear takes hit after hit

Featured image Earlier today, I wrote about the Boston Globe’s attempt to breathe life into Team Obama’s Bain-related smear of Mitt Romney. Here some additional developments. First, Bain Capital has issued this statement confirming that Romney left the company in February 1999. Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any »

Latest Senate poll news

Featured image There is good news from two Senate fronts today. First, a Rasmussen poll puts Republican Rick Berg nine points ahead (49-40) of his Democratic challenger, Heidi Heitkamp, in North Dakota. I’ve assumed that Berg would fairly handily win in this Red state. But folks who actually know the state tell me that Heitkamp, an attractive candidate, has a shot. Moreover, a Mason-Dixon poll in early June had Heitkamp leading by »

The obsession with Bain continues

Featured image The Boston Globe is citing SEC filings for the proposition that Mitt Romney remained at Bain Capital beyond 1999, the year he says he left to run the Winter Olympics. According to the Globe, documents filed by Romney and Bain say he remained chief executive and chairman of the firm until at least 2002, creating five new investment partnerships during that time. The Romney campaign responds that their man gave »

All-time Senate Giants, revisited

Featured image There have been some great responses to my list of 20 all-time Senate giants. Richard Russell (D-Ga), who was on my last draft of a list, received support. So did Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wash), whom I somehow managed completely to forget about. Jackson was a giant and would rate serious consideration in a revised list. Others receiving serious mention were Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Jesse Helms (R-NC), Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.), »

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 »