Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Shocker: Obamacare exchanges not properly checking eligibility

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “the new health insurance marketplaces run by the federal government and some states are not checking carefully enough that Americans who apply for health plans qualify for the coverage and federal subsidies to help pay for it, according to federal investigators.” Is this evidence of incompetence and/or lack of resources? Perhaps. But you could also argue that the marketplaces are running essentially as they were »

Obama’s war on women persists

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the average male employed at President Obama’s White House earns significantly more than the average female. The average male makes $88,600 per year; the average female makes $78,400. According to the Post, the gap exists not just in low and mid-level jobs, but also among those who work at the highest echelons of the White House. The “pay gap” is, of course, a staple “war »

World Cup Update: Tiki-taka moves north

Featured image Spain’s quick elimination from this year’s World Cup brought pronouncements that their style of play — known as tiki-taka, which features short passing and maintaining possession around the perimeter of the opponent’s goal — is dead. This article in the Wall Street Journal, proclaiming the triumph of “fast break” soccer, is a good example. But it may that taki-taka isn’t dead, but has just moved north — specifically to Germany. »

Hobby Lobby and the shape of things to come

Featured image What are the implications of today’s Hobby Lobby decision for challenges by non-profit religious institutions, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, to Obamacare’s mandate that they facilitate the free distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients to any of their employees who desire them? Professor Mark Rienzi, who together with the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty has been litigating these sorts of religious liberty cases against the Justice Department, offers »

Public employee unions not out of the woods yet

Featured image Conservatives hoped that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity presented by Harris v. Quinn to strike down a 1977 decision holding that full-fledged public employees “who choose not to join a public-sector union may nevertheless be compelled to pay an agency fee to support union work that is related to the collective-bargaining process.” The Supreme Court did not do so. This does not mean, however, that the 1977 decision »

Supreme misery for the left [or not]

Featured image The Supreme Court today issued its final two decisions of the term. One of them constitutes a clear defeat for the left. The other looks like a minor defeat. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Court held that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The five center-right Justices formed the majority for that proposition. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court, again with the »

The Carter-Obama parallel

Featured image James Kirchick compares the foreign policy records of Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. He finds that President Obama’s is worse. I agree with Kirchick. As he explains, Carter eventually saw the error of his weak ways and changed course, though it took a series of major setbacks for him to accomplish this. With Obama we have had the serious setbacks — e.g., the Benghazi attacks, the rise of al Qaeda »

Benghazi mastermind gets his Miranda warning

Featured image Ahmed Abu Khattala, believed to be a ringleader of the Benghazi attacks, was brought today from a Navy warship to the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. He entered a plea of not guilty to a single conspiracy charge. Abu Khattala was captured on June 15. He was not immediately read his Miranda rights, but did receive them “days ago,” according to two law enforcement officials. The two officials say that »

Crony capitalism and the GOP fault line

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed a new study by the Pew Research Center. It identifies two main groups of Republicans — “business conservatives” and “staunch conservatives.” The two factions agree on much, but they part company when it comes to their attitude towards corporations. Most steadfast conservatives say too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies, and they are evenly split as to whether the economic system »

World Cup preview — the Round of 16

Featured image The Round of 16, which begins today, usually doesn’t produce many upsets. And, although this year’s World Cup has been exceptional, I wouldn’t expect major upsets this time around, either. Argentina, France, and Germany have all drawn clearly inferior opponents (Switzerland, Nigeria, and Algeria, respectively). Brazil faces a good opponent in Chile, but it would take a very brave man to pick Chile to defeat Brazil in Brazil. Still, the »

How deeply divided is the GOP?

Featured image The Pew Research Center is out with a study that, as characterized by the Washington Post, shows “the GOP faces continued instability because of profoundly different views on some issues held by those who identify with the party.” To me, the study presents a more mixed picture. The Pew study identifies two main Republican groups — the “business conservatives” and the “steadfast conservatives.” It finds significant commonalities between the two. »

World Cup Update — Where have all the fullbacks gone?

Featured image I have always thought that the key to success in the World Cup is being “strong up the middle” — i.e. at goalkeeper, center back, central midfield, and center forward. But on reflection, I can’t think of a team that has won the World Cup in the last few decades without a good pair of fullbacks (the members of the defensive back four who patrol and protect the flanks). The »

Hillary “disrespects” Obama

Featured image One of the assertions made on the robo calls to black voters in Mississippi on behalf of Sen. Thad Cochran was that the Tea Party, whose favored candidate Chris McDaniel was Cochran’s opponent, has engaged in “disrespectful treatment of the country’s first African-American president.” This is an oft-expressed complaint among certain blacks. Sure, America elected a black president. But, the complaint goes, the lily-white Tea Party has disrespected him to »

Lois Lerner’s emails — an IT trade association’s take

Featured image The IT world remains skeptical of the IRS’s claim that Lois Lerner’s emails were destroyed innocently, or even that they were destroyed at all. We noted here the skepticism of a former IRS IT specialist. Now, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) expresses its skepticism. By way of background, this organization administers internationally accepted certifications for information technology professionals. Here is what IAITAM’s president, Dr. Barbara Rembiesa, »

World Cup Update — Show me the money [UPDATE -- U.S. advances]

Featured image The team from Ghana may be in disarray over a dispute about payments to the players for their World Cup services. This sort of thing happens a lot with African teams. In fact, the Cameroon team was going to stay at home until its federation showed players the money at the last minute. They might have been better off at home, though, considering Cameroon’s miserable showing in Brazil. Ghana has »

“Hard Choices” = Hard Sell

Featured image Hillary Clinton appears to be experiencing a gap between her enthusiasm for high office and the public’s enthusiasm for her. For its part, the public may already be suffering from Hillary fatigue. For example, at Clinton’s appearance for a “town hall” meeting, CNN felt the need to deploy a stage director who coached the audience to applaud at various points throughout the broadcast. The town hall meeting was part of »

Rand Paul: To the left of Eric Holder on felon enfranchisement

Featured image I wrote here about Rand Paul’s unconstitutional plan to propose federal legislation that would enfranchise some felons. Now, Sen. Paul has addressed the constitutional issue posed by such legislation. He argues, in essence, that states decide who votes in state elections, but the federal government has the final say on who can vote in federal elections. Roger Clegg makes short work of Paul’s contention: The U.S. Constitution itself explicitly gives »