Winning Wine

by Elliot Eisenberg (Reprinted from, 10/10/14).

The Friday File: Last week a single lot of 114 bottles of Romanee-Conti burgundy wine sold at auction for $1.6 million, or $14,035/bottle or OMG, $2,550/glass! The price of $1.6 million broke the old record for a single lot of wine of $1.05 million for 50 cases of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1982 sold in 2006. The record-breaking lot contained six bottles of each vintage from 1992 to 2010. Cheers!

Read More of Elliot’s articles at

Rob Portman’s Iowa Tour

The GOP U.S. senator from Ohio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, makes the rounds in first-in-the-nation Iowa

by Jennifer Jacobs (Reprinted from, 10/5/14).

Photo: Submitted Photo

Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman did a full circuit in Iowa – he came bearing gifts, gave several speeches to activists, praised top GOP leaders here, toured a prominent business with its executives, stumped for two federal candidates, and talked about how Republicans can win the White House in 2016.

And he brought along his wife, Jane, to check out the first-in-the-nation presidential voting state.

Although he was a finalist to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate in 2012, and served as Romney’s sparring partner in debate preparation, he didn’t come here last presidential election cycle.

Portman’s publicly-stated mission for being here Thursday and Friday was to press Iowans to vote for Joni Ernst, Iowa’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate, even though few people here recognize him.

He had a packed schedule. On Thursday, he hopped on Ernst’s campaign bus for the trip from Sioux City to Des Moines. That night, he did a pep-rally-like Ernst fundraiser that drew about 150 attendees to the Stine Party Barn in West Des Moines. He handed Ernst $42,900 in checks he had collected for her across the country. (He’s the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s national finance chair.)

“Joni Ernst could be the majority maker,” he said on Friday morning during in an hour-long interview with The Des Moines Register. “The majority in our United States Senate could well be determined here in Iowa.”

If the GOP reclaims power, “we’d be in a position to put together a Republican agenda with the House that we cannot do now,” Portman said, “because Majority Leader (Harry) Reid and Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi are blocking the vast majority of the bills the House passes. So people don’t sense the Republicans have an agenda or even a message sometimes. I think we need to change that in order to win in 2016.”

Asked about his own prospects for a presidential bid in 2016, Portman said: “I’m totally focused on 2014 now.”

Read Full Article at

Obama Factor in 2014 Vote Similar to 2010 

As in 2010, more say they will vote to oppose rather than support him

by Jeffrey M. Jones (Reprinted from, 10/3/14).

PRINCETON, NJ — Registered voters are more likely to view their choice of candidate in this year’s midterm elections as a message of opposition (32%) rather than support (20%) for President Barack Obama. That 12-percentage-point margin is similar to what Gallup measured for Obama in 2010 and George W. Bush in 2006, years in which their parties performed poorly in the midterm elections.

Read Full Article at

Thrift Threads

by Elliot Eisenberg (Reprinted from, 9/26/14).

In 1991, the average American bought 40 garments/year. Imports then began flooding the market, prices fell and the number of garments purchased/year steadily rose, peaking at 69 in 2005 with average spending/person reaching $860. With imports now accounting for 97.5% of all garment sales, prices are once again rising. In 2013, garment purchases totaled just 64/person but spending hit $907. I’m so bringing down the average!

Read more of Elliot’s articles at

Colorado’s Politics Are as Divided as They Get

Obama no more popular in the Centennial State than elsewhere

by Lydia Saad (Reprinted from, 9/25/14).

PRINCETON, NJ — Of the handful of extremely close U.S. Senate races this year, the battle over the Colorado seat being defended by Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is one of the closest, mirroring the sharply divided politics of the state. Forty-two percent of Coloradans in the first half of 2014 identified as or leaned Republican and 42% identified as or leaned Democratic.


Read Full Article at