Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Fourth quarter growth was anemic

Featured image Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at only a 0.7% seasonally adjusted annualized rate in the fourth quarter of last year, the Commerce Department reported today. That’s quite weak. 2015 as a whole wasn’t so good either. GDP expanded at only 2.4%, the same as in 2014. That’s called limping along. For as James Pethokoukis points out, from the end of World War II through 2005, the economy grew at an »

How electable is Donald Trump?

Featured image I strongly recommend Sean Trende’s three-part series about the rise of Donald Trump. The series has graced the “picks” section of our main-page this week. It represents the most incisive analysis of the Trump phenomenon I’ve read. Here are the links to Part I, Part II, and Part III. I’m going to focus on Part II — “Cruz, Trump and the Missing White Voters.” In this article, Trende makes the »

Jeb Bush’s strange defense of his immigration flip-flop

Featured image Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio weren’t the only candidates exposed in last night’s debate as having changed their position on immigration reform. Rubio pointed out that Jeb Bush has also changed his. Bush’s current position, and the one set forth in a book he wrote (with an eye, surely, towards a presidential run) is that illegal immigrants should have a path to legalization but not to citizenship. But when Sen. »

Iowa loses

Featured image Tonight, the University of Maryland defeated Iowa’s third ranked men’s college basketball team 74-68. Maryland forwards Jake Layman and Robert Carter held Iowa all-American Jarrod Uthoff to 9 points on 2-13 shooting. Carter had 17 points on 7-11 shooting. In other Iowa news, there was a Republican presidential debate. As expected, Donald Trump boycotted it. I still don’t know whether this was a good decision, but it’s not looking too »

Is the Clinton Foundation hurting Hillary’s campaign?

Featured image Politico reports that supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign increasing see The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation as a “distraction.” Accordingly, says reporter Kenneth Vogel, the Foundation is considering dialing back its activity during the campaign. In response to what Vogel calls “donor wariness,” the Clinton Foundation commissioned a study from the powerhouse Boston Consulting Group on how to improve its showcase endeavor, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). In »

William McKinley’s triumph in Karl Rove’s words

Featured image Yesterday, in recommending Karl Rove’s book The Triumph of William McKinley, Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters, I mentioned Rove’s discussion of the book at AEI. As a devotee of C-SPAN’s Booknotes, I’ve heard countless authors discuss their babies (I mean books). I can’t recall a better such presentation than Rove’s. Scott found the event on YouTube and you can watch it below. The question about the role of »

Karl Rove: the master strategist as master story teller

Featured image I normally don’t recommend books on Power Line unless I’ve read them from beginning to end. However, I’m making an exception for Karl Rove’s The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters. Why? First, because I’m in the early-middle of a long history of Austria and probably won’t make any headway on Rove’s book (beyond the first chapter, which I have read) for some time. Second, »

The shoot-out in Eastern Oregon

Featured image Federal agents have arrested several leaders of the armed activists in Eastern Oregon who seized federal property. In the process, according to reports, a shoot-out occurred in which one prominent activist was killed. I wrote about the activists’ occupation here. I argued that the occupiers engaged in criminal conduct. Thus, it was altogether proper to arrest them after a decent interval during which they could stand down. Whether shooting any »

Fox News says Trump campaign “threatened” Megyn Kelly

Featured image Fox News has released a statement accusing Donald Trump’s campaign manager of threatening Megyn Kelly. According to Fox, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski stated in a call to a Fox News executive that Kelly had a “rough couple of days after that last debate” and he “would hate to have her go through that again.” The threat, though only to initiate another war of words, was inappropriate. It reminds me of »

Meanwhile in Syria

Featured image Who’s winning in Iowa? That’s the question of the moment. But it’s also pertinent to ask who’s winning in Syria. The answer is the very bad guys. Which very bad guys? It depends on the part of Syria in question. In the east, ISIS seems to be winning, happy talk from the administration notwithstanding. The Washington Post reports that ISIS is intensifying its siege against President Bashar al-Assad’s last stronghold »

Is Trump just “being himself” in skipping the Fox News debate?

Featured image I agree with Steve Hayward that (1) Donald Trump’s decision to skip Thursday’s presidential debate looks more like a blunder than a stroke of genius, but (2) in light of the way Trump has gone from success to unorthodox success, we should be reluctant to conclude he has blundered here. The polls suggest that Trump is ahead of Ted Cruz in Iowa, but that Cruz is within striking distance. If »

Jeb Bush’s joyless campaign

Featured image Before entering the presidential race, Jeb Bush said he wanted to run “joyfully.” And when Bush appears on talk shows, he seems sunny (especially for a candidate who is running, what, in fifth place with about 5 percent support in the polls) and eager to talk policy. But meanwhile, as Steve has pointed out, Bush’s Super PAC is smearing the candidate’s one-time protege, Marco Rubio. The latest example is a »

Missouri “muscle” prof charged with assault

Featured image Melissa Click, the University of Missouri professor who called for “muscle” to remove a reporter, has been charged with the crime of assault. The charge is based, I think, on the allegation of Mark Schierbecker, a Missouri student and videographer, that Click, not content to wait for muscle, grabbed his camera and pushed him while he was filming. The specific charge against Click is third-degree assault. This is a class »

The endorsements scorecard

Featured image How important are endorsements by office holders when it comes to nominating a presidential candidate? I think the conventional wisdom is that this year, at least on the Republican side, they won’t count for much. On the other hand, Aaron Bycoffe of FiveThirtyEight cites research showing that in presidential nomination contests between 1980 and 2004, early endorsements by members of the party elites were the most important cause of candidate »

Why didn’t Jeanine Pirro reveal her ties to Donald Trump? [UPDATED]

Featured image Yesterday, I complained about what I called the mindless responses by some Fox News commentators to the National Review’s “Against Trump” issue. Some of the responses weren’t just mindless, they were also obnoxious. One the most obnoxious ones came from Judge Jeanine Pirro. She ranted: “The National Review needs to get in line with the rest of the Republicans. How dare they trash the front-runner Donald Trump!” But Trump doesn’t »

Let’s hear it for the “hawkish upstart”

Featured image There isn’t much in the current political scene that brings a smile to my face, but the opening paragraph in this Politico article did: Sen. Tom Cotton, the hawkish upstart who’s already made waves railing against the Iran nuclear deal and government surveillance programs, is now leading a new rebellion against a bipartisan effort to overhaul the criminal justice system — hoping to torpedo one of the few pieces of »

Mindless responses to National Review’s “Against Trump” essays

Featured image Fox News is a large outfit with plenty of on-air personalities. So it’s natural that some of them are pro-Donald Trump, or at least anti-anti-Trump, and that therefore some reacted negatively to National Reviews “Against Trump” issue. The problem is the mindlessness of some of the negative reactions. John Daly documents them at NR’s Corner. Take Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro. She said on Twitter: “The National Review needs »