Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The Watergate comparison now looks apt

Featured image Why was the Watergate break-in more than just the “second rate” burglary Richard Nixon tried to pass it off as? Because it was directed by the president’s team at the Democratic National Committee. Thus, it was an offense against our two party system and our democracy. One political party is not supposed to steal information from the other party, and certainly not in the midst of a presidential campaign. It »

Another deadly school shooting spree [With Comment By John]

Featured image A student at Santa Fe High School in Texas killed ten people today and wounded ten more, according to reports. The attacker used two guns — a shotgun and a .38 revolver. Both were owned legally by his father, according to the same reports. One of the wounded was a retired police officer hired by the school as a “resources officer.” He confronted the killer, who shot him. Another resources »

The Trump Tower meeting cut down to size

Featured image Remember all the excitement after it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr. and a few others in the Trump campaign met with that Russian lawyer at Trump Tower? The mainstream media treated this news as if it were a tipping point in the search for collusion between Team Trump and the Russian government. The notion was always absurd. News flash: A presidential campaign, when offered dirt on the opponent, will »

How to tell whether a government is authoritarian

Featured image There are a number of ways. Here’s one: If people living in the country want to be on a government’s enemies list, the government is not authoritarian. No one within the jurisdiction of an authoritarian government wants to be on its enemies list. Being on such a list isn’t healthy. One can easily end up in jail, go missing, or even be assassinated. Under non-authoritarian governments, being on an enemies »

The solution to school shootings

Featured image Yesterday, Matthew Milby, a former student at Dixon High School in Illinois, entered the school and fired several shots near the gymnasium where students had assembled for graduation rehearsal. He was then confronted by Mark Dallas, who has been with the Dixon Police Department for more than a decade and has spent the past few years as school resource officer. (Dixon, by the way, is the boyhood home of Ronald »

A good night for the far left

Featured image Yesterday’s set of Democratic primaries went extraordinarily well for the Party’s left-wing. Consider: In Nebraska, a liberal social worker and political neophyte who built her campaign around “Medicare for All” scored a shocking upset in a Democratic primary to take on Rep. Don Bacon (R). Kara Eastman, 45, beat former congressman Brad Ashford, 68, in an Omaha-area district that national Democrats believed they could pick up in November. Eastman advocated »

Liberal Dems oppose breakthrough anti-smoking technology

Featured image Smoking remains an enormous public health problem in the U.S. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in this country. According to some studies, more than half of longtime smokers will die from smoking-related complications. David Abrams, a professor at New York University’s College of Global Public Health, estimates that 1,300 people die from smoking every day. E-cigarettes offer a partial solution to this perennial health crisis. They »

Grounds for optimism on the confirmation front? I’m not convinced

Featured image Some of us have been clamoring for Mitch McConnell to take special measures to break the logjam on Senate confirmation of Trump nominees for the judiciary and key sub-cabinet positions. One such measure would be to limit the number of hours nominees can be debated on the Senate floor, as the Senate agreed to do when Obama nominees were waiting their turn. Another would be to have the Senate work »

Don’t blame Trump for the violence at the Gaza border

Featured image Steven Schmidt, the Republican strategist, says that President Trump has blood on his hands for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Former CIA director John Brennan seems to agree. It’s true that the same day the new U.S. embassy opened in Jerusalem, Israeli forces killed approximately 60 Palestinians who were part of a mob engaged in violent acts and trying to breach a border fence. But to blame the deaths »

Gina Haspel will be confirmed

Featured image Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA appears to have enough votes to be confirmed. The support of Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, announced today, should ensure that Haspel has the votes she needs. In fact, soon after Warner’s announcement, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson said they are on board to confirm Haspel. A couple of guys named Joe — Manchin and Donnelly — had »

Supreme Court sports gambling decision is victory for federalism. What about sanctuary cities?

Featured image Today the Supreme Court ruled that a federal law barring states from legalizing sports betting violates the “anti-commandeering doctrine.” That doctrine is part of the Supreme Court’s federalism jurisprudence. It holds that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to enforce federal laws or policies. The decision was 7-2 on the core constitutional question of whether the federal law in question — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) »

Put up or shut up on the Trump threatens democracy claims, Part Two

Featured image In my first post on this subject, I argued that 15 months into the Trump presidency, those who claim he’s a threat to democracy should have to point to actions he’s taken that support this assertion. I then submitted that Trump’s actions do not support claims that he threatens free speech, flouts the rule of law, assaults minority rights, or colludes with foreign adversaries. In this post, I’ll argue that »

Put up or shut up on the Trump threatens democracy claim

Featured image Some on the left and in media are beginning to acknowledge the excesses of the anti-Trump resistance. For example, Evan Mandery of Politico discussed the shunning of Alan Dershowitz for the sin of raising civil libertarian concerns about some of Robert Mueller’s conduct. And Jack Goldstein acknowledged and worried about the “deep state’s” assault on President Trump. In both cases, though, there was a caveat. Mandery expressed it in remarkable »

Bad news about Iraq’s election

Featured image Last week at this time, relying on a report by the Washington Post, I wrote that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is the front-runner in Iraq’s national elections. This was good news, I said, because Abadi had worked closely with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, was campaigning on a message of national unity, and seemed to enjoy support across sectarian lines. The frontrunner Abadi may have been. However, it »

The left can’t handle the truth on illegal immigration

Featured image During an interview with John Burnett of NPR, White House chief of staff John Kelly said the following about illegal immigrants: The vast majority of the people that move illegally into the United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. Some of them are not. But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people »

Happy Mother’s Day from Tom Steyer

Featured image Yesterday, in a post about authoritarianism on the left, I recalled the old liberal saying, “friends don’t let friends vote Republican.” In America, no one, friend or foe, can stop us from voting how we please. But liberals were saying, perhaps partially tongue-in-cheek, that friends should do what it takes to keep their friends in the Democrat fold. My post discussed the case of Alan Dershowitz. He doesn’t want to »

Does populism threaten our liberal democracy?

Featured image William Galston of the Brookings Institution argues that liberal democracy “faces clear and present dangers” from a rising populist tide. Unlike members of the anti-Trump resistance, Galston is not in full panic mode. In his view, the various populist movements sweeping the West, including Brexit to Trumpism, are not at this time an existential threat to democracy. However, they are “beginning to question key liberal-democratic principles such as the rule »