Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The top five policy arguments against Obamacare

Featured image Robert Samuelson presents five reasons why, apart from any constitutional concerns, Obamacare is “dreadful public policy.” First, it increases uncertainty and decreases confidence at a time when recovery from the Great Recession requires more confidence and less uncertainty. Second, as basic economics tells us, it discourages job creation by raising the cost of hiring. Third, uncontrolled spending on health care is the U.S. system’s main problem, and Obamacare makes it »

The Egyptian military steps in, probably for the better

Featured image The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming that its candidate won the country’s presidential runoff election. The claim is entirely plausible. However, the victory of its candidate may be of far less consequence than the Brotherhood had hoped. For, according to the »

“Josh Mandel kept afloat by outside cash,” Politico whines

Featured image Politico is unhappy that Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, has made a race out of it with incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown. The Real Clear Politics average for May polls has Mandel, who formerly trailed by double-digits, within 8 points of Brown. The latest Rasmussen Poll, from the end of May, has it at Brown +5. And according to Politico, the Brown campaign expects a »

As The World Turns, Part Two

Featured image Segolene Royal has lost her catfight, or whatever it was, with Valerie Trierweiler. As I mentioned yesterday, Royal was the long-time “companion” of France’s new president Francois Hollande, and the mother of his four children. An unsuccessful candidate for president in 2007, Royal ran for parliament this year with the expectation of becoming Speaker of the National Assembly. But Hollande’s new “companion,” the journalist Valerie Trierweiler, tweeted an endorsement of »

Lewis Cass and seven decades of American history

Featured image I have a theory that if we keep Power Line going long enough, everyone will appear in a post. For example, Scott recently mentioned the long-forgotten 19th century politician Lewis Cass in a post about Elizabeth Warren. I then mentioned Cass in a post about surrogate candidates. Actually Cass doesn’t deserve to be forgotten, and wouldn’t be if American history were taught properly. Cass was an influential Senator and Governor, »

As the world turns, French edition

Featured image The French tend to view American politics with a mixture of bemusement and condescension. Yet French politics has a soap opera quality that America cannot match. And it’s not as if that politics is producing presidents that make one forget Charles de Gaulle. The latest soap opera installment involves France’s new president Francois Hollande and the parliamentary run-off elections being held this weekend. Hollande’s former long-time lover and the mother »

Our politics are “lacking,” Obama whines

Featured image In his weekly radio address, President Obama stated: “Every problem we face is within our power to solve; what’s lacking is our politics.” In Obama’s view, our politics are lacking because Congress hasn’t agreed to all aspects of a job bill he introduced. It’s a curious view of politics that measures success by the willingness of the opposition to capitulate to the full program of a president whom the American »

Euro 2012 — Poland vs. The Czech Republic, a preview

Featured image Today’s clash between Poland and the Czech Republic will probably determine which side advances to the next round — the final eight. Poland needs a win to make it. Poland will probably seek victory by attacking down the right flank where two of its three best players (fullback Piszczek and midfielder Blaszczykowski) reside. The latter has been one of the very best players in the tournament so far. Poland’s other »

Euro 2012 — the second round of matches

Featured image Open play, plenty of goals, minimal cheating, and good comebacks continue to characterize Euro 2012. Even the refereeing was decent in the second round of games. So far, this is as good a major tournament as I have seen in a long while. Here is a brief group-by-group analysis: Group A (“The Group of Life”) The Greece-Czech Republic match was probably the poorest of the tournament. The Russia-Poland match was »

Obama panders to hispanics and decreases the likelihood of broader immigration reform

Featured image In an attempt to gain the enthusiastic support of Hispanic voters, President Obama today announced that, in the words of the Washington Post, his administration “will block deportations of hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants who had been brought to the country as children.” Obama stated: “Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to »

A candidate with no message; a campaign with no slogan

Featured image Earlier this week, I noted that President Obama’s claim that the Romney campaign can be reduced to an underlength tweet is rooted in his frustration that he lacks a crisp statement of why he should be re-elected. Howard Dean apparently sees it the same way. Speaking on MSNBC, Dean declared that Obama “needs to condense his economic message to three or four words, and then repeat them every single day »

Egypt on the brink

Featured image The most important news of today, I believe, is the decision by Egypt’s highest court that the country’s newly elected parliament must be dissolved. The court, made up of Mubarak appointees, found that one-third of the new parliament’s members were elected unlawfully. Talk about judicial activism. In anticipation of the ruling, the Egyptian military council imposed martial law. This gave military and intelligence officers the right to detain civilians. According »

Jeb Bush’s complaint

Featured image Having lately been buffeted about by news cycle after the news cycle, the Democrats must have felt in desperate need for a talking point with which to change the subject. They found it, more or less, in Jeb Bush’s remarks about the difficulty Ronald Reagan allegedly would have faced in being nominated by today’s Republican Party. As I argued here, there is no basis for believing that Reagan actually would »

The untweetability of Obama’s campaign message

Featured image Perhaps the most telling of President Obama’s growing body of moans is his complaint that “you can pretty much put [the Romney] campaign on a tweet and have some characters to spare.” Obama is right. Romney’s message boils down to this statement, the usual theme of a successful anti-incumbent presidential campaign: “Look at the economy; this is a failed presidency.” It’s not quite as abbreviated as “hope and change,” but »

The mugged and the non-mugged

Featured image Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas tycoon, is giving $10 million to the pro-Romney PAC Restore Our Future. Adelson supported Newt Gingrich during the primary season, reportedly contributing $21 million to the former Speaker’s campaign. According to Politico, Adelson has set aside $100 million for this campaign cycle. Adelson is said to be the eighth richest man in the world. He started out as a Democrat, but switched parties. I’ve read »

The latest in the government’s war on standards

Featured image Boyden Gray writes in the Washington Times about a memo by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The memo reportedly asserts that employers who require applicants to have a high school diploma may be discriminating against those with learning disabilities, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. To the extent that the diploma requirement disproportionately excludes the learning disabled, EEOC’s position is that employers can defend the requirement »

Israel casts a wary eye at Syria

Featured image It’s difficult for outsiders to assess with any precision the likelihood that Syria rebels will topple Bashar Assad, or even the extent to which they will make inroads. However, it seems clear that the rebels are doing better, and pose more of a threat to the regime, than many had supposed. Israel, which has a strong interest in the proceedings, has assessed that the rebels are doing well enough that »