Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

About that New York Times Arkansas Senate poll

Featured image A new poll by the New York Times has Sen. Mark Pryor 10 points ahead of Rep. Tom Cotton, 46-36. Even with that result, the RCP average (which includes three additional polls taken since February) has Pryor ahead by only 2.2 points. Thus, the Times poll is, by definition, an outlier. But does it nonetheless reflect the current state of the race? I don’t think so. As Bill Kristol points »

“The debate is over” — a core progressive tenet

Featured image Joel Kotkin writes about the spread of “debate is over” syndrome. It’s a good article, but marred by the author’s surprise that this “embrace homogeneity of viewpoint” finds expression by the American left, “the same people who historically have identified themselves with open-mindedness and the defense of free speech.” Actually, “debate is over” syndrome expresses a core tenet of American progressivism, and one that has been present from the beginning. »

Voters can bar racial discrimination by their government, for now

Featured image The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a Michigan ballot initiative providing that the state, including state educational institutions, may not “discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.” It is shocking, but not surprising, that the constitutionality of such a proposition — which »

Green men cross red line

Featured image “Green men” — armed gunmen wearing green — were at the vanguard of Russia’s Crimea takeover. Now they are stirring the pot in Eastern Ukraine. Russia claims they are local protesters. In reality, as Max Boot says, they are Russian soldiers and intelligence operatives. The evidence is conclusive. According to the New York Times: Photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many »

U.S. strikes in Yemen after al Qaeda’s day out

Featured image In a post called “Al Qaeda’s day out,” I criticized the Obama administration for backing away from drone strikes against that outfit in the terrorist hotbed of Yemen. Therefore, it is only fair that I give the administration credit for launching an aggressive drone strike campaign over the weekend in Yemen against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). In one drone strike the U.S. targeted AQAP’s top bomb maker, »

A Sunday sports trifecta

Featured image As John can attest, I’ve been supporting mostly bad sports teams for more than half a century. Thus, it’s a rare occasion when three of my teams win important victories on the same day. But that’s what happened yesterday. Until yesterday, Everton had not won both of its matches against Manchester United since the 1969-70 season and had not finished ahead of the Red Devils since 1990. Those streaks ended »

The lies of Obamacare — bending the cost curve

Featured image One of the supposed benefits of Obamacare was that, somehow, it would “bend the cost curve” for health care cost — in other words, slow the rate of growth of these costs. Just how providing subsidized health care to millions would accomplish this feat was never clear. But the claim, nonetheless, was part of the sales pitch. The claim has persisted since Obamacare was enacted. Supporters note that lately health »

A long, hard fall for Rubio and Christie in New Hampshire

Featured image A new Granite State poll of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters is out. The poll was conducted for WMUR by the University of New Hampshire. The results can’t be taken too seriously because only 1 percent of those surveyed say they have definitely decided how they will vote. But the results are interesting, nonetheless. Rand Paul is the leader at 15 percent. He is followed by “favorite daughter” Kelly »

Dems playing defense in the House of Representives

Featured image If there is anyone left who believes the Democrats have a decent shot at winning control of the House this year, he or she should check out the ad reservations made by House Majority PAC, the leading super-PAC backing Democrats in House races. The group’s name reflects optimism, but its buys don’t. Three quarters of the districts for which the PAC has reserved air time are presently held by Democrats. »

Can the spirit of 2012 save the Democrats in 2014?

Featured image Democrats are quite nervous about this year’s mid-term election, and understandably so. But they have a strategy for survival — replicate the turnout that propelled President Obama to victory two years ago. According to the Washington Post: Democrats are banking on the belief that they can better identify potential supporters, motivate them and get them to the polls — in essence, reshape the midterm electorate to make it look more »

2016 presidential dark horses — a look at John Kasich and Mike Pence

Featured image After the 1848 revolution in France, the slogan of the non-socialist revolutionaries, lifted from a speech by Lamartine, became “the tricolor [flag] has gone around the world; the red flag [of socialism] has only gone around the Champ-de-Mars [a large park on the Left Bank of Paris].” These days, portions of the Republican base are partial to conservative presidential hopefuls who, so to speak, have only gone around the Champ-de-Mars. »

The lies of Obamacare: victory lap edition

Featured image President Obama says that 8 million people now have signed up for Obamacare. Apparently, the extension of the enrollment deadline helped boost the final figure to well in excess of the administration’s publicly declared target of 7 million. Obama also claimed that 35 percent of those who have signed up for Obamacare are younger than age 35. However, that number includes children. The key figure in terms of Obamacare’s viability »

At Dartmouth, Phil Hanlon wants no enemies to the left

Featured image I have it on good authority that Parker Gilbert, the Dartmouth student found not guilty of raping a fellow student, has been told by Dartmouth administrators that he will be wasting his time if he applies for readmission. Why is Dartmouth dead set against readmitting Gilbert? The College’s attitude cannot be justified by the facts of the case. Gilbert was acquitted of every criminal charge leveled against him, from trespass »

Al Qaeda’s day out

Featured image Americans may have lost interest in terrorism, but terrorism remains interested in us. For example, the Washington Post reports on a video that surfaced on Islamist websites showing a large group of al Qaeda terrorists, including high ranking ones, taking part in an open-air gathering in Yemen. Describing the outing as “brazen,” the Post notes that the terrorists make no apparent effort to avoid detection by U.S. drones. The terrorists »

When it comes to spying, secrecy and accountability are not mutually exclusive

Featured image Barton Gellman, who led a Washington Post team that revealed NSA surveillance measures, has argued that our interest in “self-government” requires that the public know “the secret policy decisions the government is making for us.” I have responded that our interest in self-government is sufficiently vindicated in cases like spying that require secrecy as long as the political process determines who makes the secret decisions and provides for checks against »

Dems get that sinking feeling in FLA-13

Featured image There will be no replay this November of that closely-watched special congressional election in Florida last month in which Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink. The Democrat says she will not run. This leaves the Dems searching for a respectable candidate to challenge Jolly. Meanwhile, Jolly can accrue the advantages, financial and otherwise, of incumbency. Rep. Steve ( “Not all Republican law makers are racists”) Israel, the Democratic Campaign »

The lies of Obamacare: Census Bureau edition

Featured image High among the list of Obamacare’s most embarrassing failures is the fact that it will not meet its stated purpose of reducing to a low level the number of Americans who lack health insurance. This goal was the justification for the massive disruption of the health care system that Obamacare has imposed. The millions and millions of Americans who will lose their health insurance plan and/or their doctors, and/or will »