Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Nevada Senate race seems to tighten; Obama and Romney neck-and-neck

Featured image A new poll of the Nevada Senate race by NBC News/Marist has Republican Sen. Dean Heller leading Democratic challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley by a slender margin of 46-44. Heller’s lead is less than the margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Less than a month ago, a Rasmussen poll had Heller leading by 11 points. It should be noted, however, that Rasmussen polled likely voters, while NBC News/Marist »

Public sector compensation in Wisconsin remains excessive

Featured image As the recall election in Wisconsin approaches, this paper on public employee compensation in Wisconsin is worth a look. Andrew Biggs of AEI and Jason Richwine of Heritage find that even with the passage of Act 10, the Budget Repair Act that led to battle being waged by the public sector unions and their leftist comrades, the average Wisconsin state worker receives total compensation including benefits of $81,637, compared to »

Leon Panetta attempts to clean up after his President

Featured image Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has embarked on a nine-day trip to Asia, during which he will brief our allies on America’s new Pacific-oriented defense strategy. In its briefings on the trip, Defense Department officials have stressed the importance of India to U.S. strategy, noting that it is the only country specifically mentioned in the strategic guidance document. Along the same lines, Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter said yesterday in a »

E.J. Dionne’s self-refuting shot at Mitt Romney

Featured image In a previous post, I commented on a piece in which E.J. Dionne argues that contemporary conservatism has abandoned the most attractive features of the traditional conservative movement. I tried to show that Dionne’s thesis is based on a gross distortion of the conservative tradition in America and, indeed, of the conservative scholar on whose work Dionne mainly relies. Before taking aim at conservatism, Dionne took a shot at Mitt »

Crony Capitalism and Defense Spending

Featured image Today, I visited one of my favorite post-retirement haunts, the American Enterprise Institute, to hear a speech by Ashton Carter, the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Carter spoke on a wide range of defense issues, but the very first substantive point he made was that, in the current budgetary environment (and quite apart from the prospect of sequestration), Congress should not be forcing pet projects and systems on the Department of »

Early returns from Texas

Featured image With about 7 percent of precincts reporting, David Dewhurst leads Ted Cruz in the Texas Republican Senate primary. Dewhurst has 47.5 percent of the vote; Cruz has just under 31 percent. Steve and I expressed our clear preference for Cruz here. We’ll keep an eye on this race as the night goes on. UPDATE: Dewhurst is maintaining the same basic lead with around 20 percent of precincts reporting. Here’s how »

The risks of Obama’s contemplated brass knuckles campaign

Featured image Fearing (as he should) that he is danger of losing in November, President Obama reportedly plans a no-holds-barred campaign designed to vilify Mitt Romney. According to one report, Team Obama will “maul [Romney] for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues…” If Obama follows through on this strategy, then, as Peter Wehner notes, he will have breached his promise of 2008 »

How meritorious are the Catholic lawsuits? Part Two

Featured image Several of us, Scott in particular, have written about the lawsuits filed by dozens of Catholic organizations, in 12 different actions, challenging Department of Health and Human Services regulations implemented under Obamacare that would require most health insurance plans to include in the preventive services they cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception, including contraceptives that sometimes operate as abortifacients. The lawsuit alleges that the regulations violate both the First Amendment »

E.J. Dionne grossly distorts conservatism to make a familiar partisan talking point

Featured image I’ve been off the E.J. Dionne beat for years and rarely even read his columns these days. However, I decided to check an article of his that appeared in the Sunday paper. It’s about how, you guessed it, conservatives have changed –- and not for the better. Dionne utterly misstates the nature of American conservatism. His piece is either dishonest or ignorant. If Dionne is as well-read in the conservative »

Taming international law — Israel as the canary in the coal mine

Featured image No aspect of the modern leftist project poses more danger than the left’s approach to international law. By definition, international law is in tension with national sovereignty, but the “transnationalist” approach to international law advanced by leftists threatens to run roughshod over sovereignty. And, in the case of democracies, a threat to sovereignty means a threat to the ability of citizens to govern themselves. One of the most acute threats »

Kaline’s catch, a footnote

Featured image On Saturday, I wrote about Al Kaline’s great, win-preserving catch against the New York Yankees on May 26, 1962 at Yankee Stadium. Kaline broke his collar bone making the play. It turns out that Bill Kristol was at the game, sitting with his father near right field, where Kaline made the play. He recalls the catch here, and provides a great link to sports writer Bill Dow’s recollection of it, »


Featured image I’ve written for Power Line during eight and a half of the ten years it has been in existence. I don’t have 8.5 observations about that period, but I do concur with Scott’s thoughts. My main sentiment is gratitude to John for inviting me to blog with him and Scott, and for inviting me a second time after I failed to respond to the initial email because I didn’t have »

Wisconsin’s “orphan” left-wing activists

Featured image It’s no scoop that the Democrats are expecting an embarrassing defeat in Tuesday’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall race. More than merely causing embarrassment, the recall campaign has succeeded in mobilizing Republicans to the point that Wisconsin appears now to be in play for Mitt Romney. As the Washington Post reminds us, George W. Bush twice came close to winning in Wisconsin, and the Republicans captured the State’s Senate seat along with »

Obamacare pre-decision commentary: the left at its most juvenile

Featured image George Will writes about the left’s laughable attempt to “put the squeeze” on Chief Justice Roberts in the Obamcare case. Liberals are, in Will’s words, “waging an embarrassingly obvious campaign, hoping he will buckle beneath the pressure of their disapproval and declare Obamacare constitutional.” It’s a familiar tactic, used in school cafeterias across the land: If you do X (here, strike down Obamacare), we’ll make sure everybody knows you’re Y »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On May 26, 1962, the Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 2-1 at Yankee Stadium. With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Al Kaline preserved the win with a diving catch of an Elston Howard line drive. Without the catch, Hector Lopez might have scored from first base to tie the game. But the victory came at a big cost. Kaline broke his collar bone making the »

The Muslim Brotherhood’s winning hand in Egypt

Featured image Lyndon Johnson reportedly once offered this assessment of the American electorate: Men worry about heart attacks; women worry about cancer of the [breasts]; and everyone worries about war. The Egyptian electorate might be assessed as follows: many worry about a restoration of the old regime; many worry about their relationship with Allah; and everyone worries about instability. If this assessment is correct, then Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi has a »

Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy

Featured image During a fundraising event in Monaco, former president Bill Clinton was photographed with two adult film stars. According to one of the women, Brooklyn Lee, it happened this way: He kind of was looking over at us every once and a while. And we’re huge, psycho fans of Bill. We just think he’s really cute. So we end up wandering by. And we were going to approach him to take »