Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The Ebola panic, the media, and the limits of government

Featured image The federal government, like almost any large institution, will nearly always be wrong-footed when confronted by the unexpected, especially if it’s an emergency. The feds will be slow off the mark and too many of their initial decisions will be wrong. We saw this with Hurricane Katrina and we’re seeing it now with Ebola. Conservatives, of all people, shouldn’t be surprised. If the federal government were capable of performing well »

The limits of reticence

Featured image The Age of Obama will not be known as an age of reticence. The president is, after all, a man of many words, including some that used to resonate widely. But there is one area in which Obama has ushered in a new reticence. Following Obama’s lead, Democratic politicians increasingly flatly refuse to tell to voters what their positions are on key matters. Obama started the trend by voting “present” »

This day in baseball history — The Cardinals are champions

Featured image When last we looked in on the 1964 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees were knotted at two games apiece. Ken Boyer’s grand slam had kept St. Louis in the thick of it. The clubs split the next two games. Game 5 was another dramatic affair, the third in a row. Both teams went with their ace — Bob Gibson for the Cardinals and (with »

Arkansas Debate: Cotton excels; Pryor confirms he’s out-of-touch

Featured image Tom Cotton made a strong showing in last night’s Arkansas Senate debate. His opponent, Mark Pryor, fought hard, but may ultimately have put the final nail in his coffin. Asked by one of the questioners to define the middle class, Pryor at first ducked the question. When pressed, he opined that it consisted of those making up to $200,000 a year. Talk about out of touch. Pryor’s definition might pass »

Tillis finally pulls even in North Carolina

Featured image Late last year, when I began thinking seriously about the battle for the Senate, I assumed that North Carolina was ripe for a Republican victory. Romney had won the state, albeit very narrowly. Moreover first-term Democrat Kay Hagan lacked a strong family name and a long history of electoral success (unlike Mark Pryor in Arkansas and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana). With the “fundamentals” (to the extent that I retain any »

Turkey finally takes military action; unfortunately, it’s against the Kurds

Featured image President Obama’s ace diplomats have been working hard to bring Turkey into the alleged coalition with which he hopes to counter ISIS. Susan Rice claimed that the U.S. at least had secured permission to use Turkish bases to launch strikes against ISIS. That claim is false, according to Turkey (which should know). Now comes word that Turkey has taken military action. Unfortunately, it has done so not against ISIS, but »

Ebola: What the U.S. can learn from the Africans [UPDATED]

Featured image My friend Craig Harrison recently traveled in Southern Africa, where he found the Ebola “protocols” superior to those of the United States. Today, the Los Angeles Times’ editors published the following letter from Craig: To the editor: I spent most of September in Southern Africa and, unlike the United States, the three nations I visited are taking the threat of Ebola seriously. All arriving passengers in Johannesburg are scanned by »

Fordham prof investigated for “religious discrimination” based on opposing boycott of Israel

Featured image Doran Ben-Atar, a professor of history at Fordham University, is an outspoken opponent of calls by the American Studies Association (ASA) for a boycott of Israel’s academic institutions. And wisely so. The boycott is an affront to the free exchange of ideas that should be at the heart of the academic mission. The affront is so obvious that the boycott has failed to gain much traction, for now at least, »

Susan Rice’s Sunday trifecta of dissembling

Featured image Sir Henry Winton once defined a diplomat as “an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” Susan Rice, by contrast, has earned the reputation of a dishonest operative sent to lie on Sunday talk shows for the good of her president. She undertook that mission in the first instance when she appeared on the Sunday shows to claim that the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous »

Obama’s pre-election Obamacare shell game

Featured image The other day, President Obama claimed that Republicans are talking less about Obamacare on the campaign trail, now that “it’s working pretty well in the real world.” Obama’s assertion turns out to be false. Obamacare is front-and-center as a campaign issue throughout the nation. Republicans would talk about Obamacare even more if the Obama administration stopped preventing disclosure of its shortcomings by gagging insurance companies and hiding information. Robert Laszewski, »

Alex Mooney’s opponent makes desperate holocaust reference

Featured image My friend Alex Mooney is running for Congress in West Virginia’s second congressional district. He is one of our Power Line Picks. I wrote about Alex here and here, among other places. Alex’s opponent is Nick Casey, a lawyer/lobbyist. Alex has consistently led Casey in the polls. However, the race has tightened. In fact, Real Clear Politics has moved it from “leans GOP” to “toss up.” Casey is a liberal »

A problem with “boots on the ground”

Featured image It seems likely that air strikes alone aren’t going to accomplish President Obama’s alleged goal of degrading and destroying ISIS, and almost certain that an air campaign of the low intensity we’ve witnessed so far is inadequate. It also appears that the Iraqi Army and the rebels we support in Syria are not up to the task. Accordingly, if we truly want to degrade/destroy ISIS, or even set it back »

This day in baseball history — Ken Boyer’s clutch grand slam

Featured image On October 11, 1964, the New York Yankees hosted the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series. The Yankees led the Series by two games to one. St. Louis called on Game 1 starter, Ray Sadecki. New York’s Game 1 starter, Whitey Ford, was unavailable due to injury. In fact, he was out for the remainder of the World Series. However, the Yankees’ fourth starter, lefthander Al »

Syria airstrikes off to rocky start; no-fly zone needed

Featured image The Washington Post reports that U.S. airstrikes in Syria have “gotten off to a rocky start.” The primary beneficiary of the strikes, according to Post reporter Liz Sly, is the Assad regime. With ISIS under pressure from U.S. airstrikes, Sly says the regime has been able to focus its resources on the rebels that President Obama hopes, after a year of training, will be able successfully to fight ISIS. One »

This day in baseball history — Mantle’s walk-off homer gives Yanks series lead

Featured image The St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees both entered the 1964 World Series in red-hot form. The Yankees had gone 24-9 since the end of August; the Cards had gone 22-10. New York looked like the better team, though. They had won six more games than St. Louis (99 compared to 93). Their run differential was +153; St. Louis’ was only +63. That’s a large disparity, even taking »

Obamacare premiums rise steeply in Louisiana and Iowa

Featured image State regulators approved significant premium hikes on the Louisiana and Iowa Obamacare exchanges this week. Sarah Hurtubise of the Daily Caller reports that premiums will rise by double-digits in both states. This is bad news, I assume, for Mary Landrieu and Bruce Braley, the struggling Democratic Senate candidates in the two states. In Louisiana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the exchange’s largest insurer, is hiking prices between 18.3 percent »

The question Alison Grimes won’t answer

Featured image It’s a straightforward question: Did you vote for President Obama in 2008 and 2012? But Alison Grimes, the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Kentucky, won’t answer it. You can watch below as Grimes repeatedly refuses to answer the question, posed to her today by a member of the Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board. My favorite evasion? “I respect the sanctity of the ballot box.” I think that means she voted »