Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Moore accused of attempted rape

Featured image A woman named Beverly Young Nelson claims that Roy Moore tried to rape her in 1975, when she was 16 years old and working at a restaurant she says Moore patronized rather obsessively. Nelson said this during a press conference alongside celebrity attorney Gloria Allred. Nelson, who says she successfully fought Moore off but suffered injury to her neck in the process, has a picture from her high school yearbook »

Linda Greenhouse freaks out

Featured image Linda Greenhouse, the former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, is often wrong but never in doubt. These days, she has no doubt that “we’re all living in Sheriff Joe [Arpaio] country now.” How so? Because of the Trump administration’s position on whether a 17 year-old illegal immigrant in federal custody can obtain an immediate abortion on demand. A three-judge panel ruled, in a 2-1 decision, that the »

The Dems are back, baby

Featured image And celebrating their return on Saturday Night Live. If only the Democrats’ leaders were as young as the comics who portray them in this skit… »

Another prophet of affirmative action

Featured image In a post called “The Prophet of Affirmative Action,” John cited and quoted extensively from a letter written in 1969 by California appellate judge Macklin Fleming, a Yale Law graduate, to the dean of Yale Law School. The letter questions the wisdom of the new quota system in terms that, as John says, are remarkably prescient. I want to give credit to another, even earlier, prophet of affirmative action — »

The bedroom phone that wasn’t

Featured image When I read the Washington Post’s account of Roy Moore’s alleged sexual misdeeds towards Leigh Corfman, one detail rang particularly false. Corfman told the Post that she spoke with Moore on her phone in her bedroom. As one woman of my acquaintance who lived in the deep South during that era guaranteed, 14 year-old girls in Alabama didn’t have phones in their rooms back then. Corfman, it turns out, was »

Trump vouches for sincerity of Putin’s “meddling” denial

Featured image President Trump returned today to the question of Russian meddling in 2016 president election. He stated that Vladimir Putin, in response to his questions about the matter, has repeatedly denied meddling. Trump added that he believes Putin’s denials are sincere. Trump didn’t say he believes Putin’s denial, only that the denial is sincere. It’s unlikely, however, that if Putin meddled, his denial is sincere. Putin almost surely has a firm »

The presumption of guilt

Featured image As Scott wrote this morning, the proposition that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty is to be applied by a jury sitting in a criminal case. The proposition need not be applied in an election campaign and, if one chooses to apply it, one should not demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But in the case of Roy Moore, as a friend emailed me to say, “the Left »

The allegations against Roy Moore

Featured image The Washington Post’s story about Roy Moore persuades me that, when he was in his early 30s, he liked to date teenage girls. It does not persuade me that he engaged in inappropriate sexual touchings with the 14 year-old girl who claims he did. There are three main reasons why. First, the other teenagers the Post interviewed don’t allege inappropriate touchings. It seems likely that, if Moore inappropriately touched one »

Is the backlash over NFL kneeling racist?

Featured image The Washington Post found “experts” (its term in the paper edition) who think so. I don’t (though there must be white racists who are criticizing the kneelers, just as there must be black racists who are praising them). The Post’s experts seize on the fact that some who criticize the kneelers cite the players’ wealth and accuse them of being ungrateful. For example, Newt Gingrich said that players should be »

Kevin Spacey: A modest proposal

Featured image Kevin Spacey will be excised from the movie All the Money in the World. The film, in which Spacey was to play J.Paul Getty, has already been shot. But due to multiple allegations of sexual assault against him, Spacey’s scenes, of which there surely are plenty, will be reshot with Christopher Plummer in the Getty role. I understand the decison, but does it go far enough? I think Hollywood should »

Rand Paul’s neighbors dismiss “property dispute” reports

Featured image In the aftermath of the assault by Rene Boucher ( “the leftist next door”) on Sen. Rand Paul, Boucher’s lawyer claimed that politics played no part in the attack. I put no stock in public statements by attorneys defending their clients. However, there were also reports about landscaping dispute, and suggestions that Sen. Paul is not a good neighbor. Even if these reports were true, it wouldn’t mean that Boucher’s »

Monkey business at the CBO?

Featured image The mainstream media almost never mentions the Congressional Budget Office without adding the adjective “non-partisan.” But the CBO is staffed by folks who, in real life, are probably partisan. And given the pool from which its staff is drawn, most very likely are partisan Democrats. Are its findings infected by partisan bias? I don’t know. But something funny is going on with the CBO’s assessment of the impact of repealing »

This day in media freakouts

Featured image A year ago tonight, we learned that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton and would be our next president. Some took the news better than others. Amber Athey and Justin Caruso of the Daily Caller have collected videos of some who didn’t take it well at all. Here’s Rachel Maddow who, after attempting a semi-rational analysis, melts down completely. Here’s Jake Tapper referring to the Clinton campaign as “we” twice »

Virginia post mortem, Part Two

Featured image If the only information we had heading into yesterday’s election in Virginia was (1) that Hillary Clinton carried the state by five points and (2) that President Trump’s approval rating in Virginia was 40 percent (compared to 57 percent disapproval), it would have been fairly easy to predict that Republican Ed Gillespie would lose by around 9 points. If, in addition, we recalled that four presidents in a row had »

Virginia post mortem

Featured image It’s no surprise that Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie. I was surprised, though, that the race wasn’t close, and I think most analysts were surprised that Northam won so comfortably (by at least 8 points, it looks like). With hindsight we can say that this was a race between two uninspiring candidates who needed, somehow, to inspire support. Northam inspired support because of raw hatred for President Trump. Gillespie tried »

Virginia’s looking good for the Democrats so far [UPDATED: Northam wins]

Featured image Only about 2,000 votes separate Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s governor race. Northam, the Democrat, holds the narrow lead. About one-quarter of the vote has been counted. At FiveThirtyEight, the view is that Gillespie isn’t running well enough in comparison to Donald Trump to have much of a shot. Indeed, Northam seems to be doing better than Hillary Clinton, who carried Virginia by 5 points. UPDATE: With almost »

Tom Cotton and the future of Trumpism

Featured image Last night, in a post about Tom Cotton, I suggested that the Senator might be one who, along with President Trump himself, helps “shape Trumpism into a functional, more traditionally conservative but still nationalistic approach to governing.” David Azerrad of the Heritage Foundation discusses the kind of synthesis I had in mind. Perhaps the greatest shortcoming of Trumpist populism, in its current form at least, is that it can at »