Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Basic instincts

Featured image Nicholas Frankovich at NRO writes: Foreign-policy veterans of past Republican administrations figure disproportionately in the ranks of prominent conservatives who have checked out of the GOP since 2016. Some have concluded in good faith that the foreign-policy instincts of the Democratic party are less incompatible [than President Trump’s] with America’s best interest. To Republicans who chide them for party disloyalty, they answer that loyalty to country takes precedence. Republican foreign »

Trump’s incredible take on Putin’s “incredible offer”

Featured image I’ve commented on two appalling aspects of Trump’s Helsinki news conference — his placing equal blame on the United States for the problematic state of Russian–American relations and his refusal to side with his own intelligence appointees on the matter of Russia’s cyberespionage. Andy McCarthy finds it even more mind-boggling that Trump touted Putin’s “incredible offer” to have Robert Mueller’s team come to Russia to work with Russian investigators regarding »

Poll: Kavanaugh is big factor in West Virginia Senate race

Featured image A new poll of the West Virginia Senate race suggests that Sen. Joe Manchin is a shoe-in for reelection if he votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, but faces an extremely close race if he votes against confirmation. According to the survey, taken by the Trafalgar Group, West Virginia voters favor Manchin over Republican Patrick Morrisey by 29 points if Manchin votes for confirmation but by only two points if he »

The World Cup and racial politics

Featured image On Sunday, France defeated Croatia 4-2 to win the World Cup. I rooted for France, as I normally do once England and the U.S. are eliminated (if Brazil and France are both still playing, my allegiance varies based how much I like the particular players). This year, the U.S. failed to qualify and Brazil was eliminated before England. So rooting for France was an easy decision for me. Leftists and »

The ambush of Bounds should not affect the treatment of Kavanaugh

Featured image Yesterday, Sen. Tim Scott, assisted by Sen. Marco Rubio, torpedoed the nomination of Ryan Bounds to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Scott couldn’t vote to confirm Bounds because the nominee, as a college student, ridiculed the cult of diversity as preached by “some of the more strident racial factions of the student body.” Senate Democrats promptly and predictably turned Scott’s ridiculous reservation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They have been »

Tim Scott and Marco Rubio sink stellar judicial nominee

Featured image Despite their razor-thin numerical advantage over Democrats, Senate Republicans were able to put together a long and impressive winning streak in confirming President Trump’s court of appeals nominees. That winning streak came to an ignominious end today. Not because Sen. Susan Collins or Sen. Lisa Murkowski balked at a conservative nominee. But because Sens. Tim Scott and Marco Rubio ambushed a superb conservative. Their victim, Ryan Bounds, is an Assistant »

Drain the swamp? Alex Acosta won’t even touch it.

Featured image As I have documented, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta studiously avoids making policy and personnel decisions that might alienate leftists. Inasmuch as Acosta’s predecessor, Tom Perez, made the Labor Department a central player in President Obama’s quest radically to transform America, Acosta’s unwillingness to rock the boat is scandalous. It constitutes a huge victory for the left. The Administrative Review Board (ARB) epitomizes Acosta’s passivity. The ARB is, in effect, »

What Putin was up to

Featured image In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Mukasey questioned the timing of Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians on the eve of the Helsinki summit. I discussed the matter here. In the same op-ed, Mukasey made another important point, one that has influenced my thinking on Russian interference since January 2017, when an experienced intelligence hand articulated it to me: If we know the Russians hacked the Democrats, it’s probably »

Two fitting all star games

Featured image 1968 was the year of the pitcher. So it was fitting that 1968 gave us the only all-star game ever without a run batted in. The National League prevailed 1-0, its lone run scored by Willie Mays on a double-play ground ball by Willie McCovey. Fifty years later, 2018 is the year of all or nothing. Pitchers are piling up strike outs and batters are piling up home runs. Many »

Lisa Page cooperates

Featured image Last Friday, Lisa Page testified in closed session before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. That’s the same body that publicly grilled Peter Strzok, with whom Page exchanged venomous texts about Donald Trump. By all accounts, Page was a cooperative witness. Rep. Mark Meadows, head of the House Freedom Caucus, called Page “credible.” “There is new information,” he said, “and that information is credible.” Rep. Louis Gohmert, also of the »

Trump’s inadequate “clarification”

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump claimed that when he said “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia” that interfered in the 2016 election, he meant to say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.” I can imagine Trump meaning to say either thing. “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia” is consistent with the pro-Trump talking point that Russia had no reason to »

Loony Dems want Trump’s Russia interpreter to testify

Featured image Two Democratic members of Congress, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Joe Kennedy, are demanding that President Trump’s interpreter testify before Congress about what Trump said to Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Helsinki. Shaheen tweeted: I’m calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately. This interpreter can help determine what @POTUS shared/promised Putin on our »

The Russia indictments, why now?

Featured image Michael Mukasey, writing in the Wall Street Journal, wonders why the Russia indictments were announced on the eve of the Trump-Putin summit. Mukasey states: The president was told of the indictments before he traveled. Yet the plain effect of the announcement was to raise further doubts about the wisdom of the meeting—and perhaps to shape its agenda. Neither is the business of the special counsel or anyone else at the »

Why did Trump do it?

Featured image Why did Trump refuse to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election? Byron York takes up this question. He concludes: Trump’s problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two. One is about national security and international relations, while the other is about Donald Trump. The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia »

Putin’s umbrella

Featured image Yesterday in Moscow, France defeated Croatia in the final match of the World Cup. The score was 4-2. After the match, Vladimir Putin joined French president Emmanuel Macron and Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on the field for the awards presentation. Just then, rain began pouring down. Someone brought an umbrella with which to protect Putin. He was unaffected by the downpour while Macron and Grabar-Ketarovic were quickly soaked. The Croatian »

Trump plays the useful idiot in Helsinki

Featured image I agree with Steve’s characterization of President Trump’s performance in Helsinki as “extraordinarily dismal.” “Disgusting” might be an even better description. The performance was disgusting in at least two ways. First, Trump blamed the poor state of U.S. relations on the U.S. He tweeted: Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt! Trump is right »

Anti-Iran protests rock southern Iraq

Featured image I wrote here about an emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime. A key element is making the regime pay for its regional adventurism, which has become quite unpopular with the Iranian population. This can be accomplished by making Iran’s adventurism increasingly costly and humiliating the regime by thwarting its ambitions. As Jonathan Speyer explained it: A strategy seeking to contain further Iranian gains and then to roll Iran back »