Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Taiwan and the growing Chinese threat

Featured image The New York Times reports that China has been ratcheting up pressure on Taiwan, the nation whose independent existence China aspires to end. In recent months, Chinese strategic bombers have been conducting “island encirclement” flights, escorted by fighter jets. The Chinese government has discouraged tourism to Taiwan and imports of goods like fish over the past year and a half, hurting its economy. And China persuaded the island’s most important »

Russian bots were a non-factor in 2016

Featured image Michael Moore’s appearance at an anti-Trump rally organized by Russian meddlers illustrates how inconsequential Russian meddling, at least in the form discussed in the recent Mueller indictment, was. Sure, Moore would not have attended this particular rally absent Russian meddling because, absent such meddling, the rally apparently would not have occurred. But did Russia influence Moore’s view of Trump? Of course not. Did Russia influence Moore’s willingness to express his »

George Washington: Father of our country, symbol of its presidency

Featured image In the preface to his book The Presidency of George Washington, the late Forrest McDonald wrote: [M]y account of Washington’s presidency may leave the reader mystified by the man’s virtual deification in his own times. The solution to the mystery is here, however, if the reader will approach the story in the proper spirit. To be an American in the last decade of the eighteenth century was to be present »

Once upon a time in America, Part Two

Featured image The Washington Post takes up the same theme raised by Charles Lane on Fox News — President Trump’s tendency to compare himself favorably to Barack Obama. Post reporters Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker cite the same statement Lane did — Trump’s claim that “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.” Like Lane, Rucker and Parker choose their words carefully when they contend that »

Once upon a time in America

Featured image Yesterday on Bret Baier’s Special Report, his panel was discussing President Trump’s latest tweets about Russia. Charles Lane suggested that we reflect on how Trump has attacked Barack Obama over Russia and asserted his superior toughness towards Putin. “There was a time,” Lane said, when the very fact of such attacks and assertions by a president regarding his predecessor would widely have been considered outrageous. Lane may be right. But »

Trump’s right, he has been tougher on Russia than Obama was

Featured image Today, President Trump tweeted: “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.” Trump’s enemies may not like to read this, but the statement is true. Jonah Goldberg, neither a friend nor an enemy of Trump, thinks so too. Having looked at the facts, he writes: Barack Obama sold out our Eastern European allies on missile defense. He slow-walked aid to Ukraine and did little »

The first gerrymander

Featured image The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, dominated by Democrats, has redrawn the map for congressional districts in that state. It was assisted by a liberal law professor from Stanford. According to Sean Trende, the new map follows reasonable principles — compactness, contiguity, and minimal jurisdictional splits — but within those confines repeatedly makes choices that increase the Democrats odds of winning districts. What a surprise! The bottom line is that instead »

Shocker: Many nations are breaking Paris accord promises

Featured image My views on climate change deviate somewhat from those of John and Steve who, to be fair, know more about the subject than I do. So I might have favored remaining in the Paris Accord if I thought the rest of the world would comply with the promises made therein. However, I had no such confidence. It seemed to me that only a fool would. Now we learn that in »

Does John know about this?

Featured image Several former Miss Universe contestants allege that Donald Trump helped pick the finalists in the days leading up to the competition and made sure to note his business holdings in the nations being represented by his favorites. So reports Jeffrey Toobin in a long New Yorker article (warning: the article is more about Russia than about beauty). According to Toobin: Adwoa Yamoah, who participated in the competition after winning Miss »

Alex Acosta refuses to disturb Obama/Perez pro-illegal immigrant policies

Featured image As described below, Department of Labor policy and practice supports illegal immigrants in at least three ways. This shouldn’t be surprising. Illegal immigrants had no better friend in the Obama administration, and few anywhere in American, than Tom Perez, Obama’s Secretary of Labor. Here is how Perez used the DOL to promote the interests of illegal immigrants. First, an Obama administration-era memorandum of understanding between the DOL, the EEOC, the »

New York Times: Russian meddling was drop in an ocean

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote that Russia’s efforts during the 2016 election season to sow discord in the electorate and to libel certain candidates were surely inconsequential, given the amount of garbage with which Americans themselves contaminate our politics. Suggesting that Russia’s efforts affected the outcome or even, appreciably, the tenor of this election “is like saying that dropping a bucket of water into the sea affected the tide,” I concluded. This »

How amnesty overreach killed relief for “Dreamers”

Featured image On the evening of February 14, I wrote a post called “Senate May Be Perilously Close to Passing Liberal Amnesty Legislation.” The legislation in question was sponsored by the so-called Common Sense Coalition, consisting of eight Republican Senators (Alexander, Collins, Gardner, Graham, Flake, Isakson, Murkowski, and Rounds), seven Democrats, and one Independent. It granted amnesty for nearly two millions “Dreamers” and funded a wall. It did nothing about the diversity »

A silly indictment [UPDATED]

Featured image John, Steve, and Scott have already offered analysis of Robert Mueller’s indictment of Russians. I might as well add mine. I think the indictment is silly. Russia meddled in our presidential election by spreading disinformation in order to erode faith in our democracy and, let’s assume, in the hope of influencing the outcome. Why wouldn’t it? Russia is our adversary, despite Barack Obama’s denial of this reality during much of »

Lenient sentencing legislation clears committee but with mortal wounds

Featured image As expected, the lenient sentencing bill — “The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act” — pushed by a bipartisan group of Senators cleared the Judiciary Committee this week. Unexpectedly, at least to me, five Republicans voted against it, including Majority Whip John Cornyn, who sponsored the legislation two and a half years ago. The vote was 16-5. In addition to Cornyn, Sens. Hatch, Cruz, Sasse, and Kennedy voted no. Six Republicans »

CIA: Public can’t see classified info given to favored reporters

Featured image Earlier this week, the CIA filed a brief in federal court arguing that it can selectively release classified information to trusted journalists while withholding the same information from other citizens who request it through open records laws. As Will Racke reports for the Daily Caller, the agency claimed that limited disclosures to reporters do not waive national security exemptions to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The case stems from »

“Centrist” amnesty fails in the Senate

Featured image The Senate today rejected the immigration bill proposed by the “Common Sense Coalition” that I described last night. It would have granted amnesty for almost two million “Dreamers” in exchange for watered down border security provisions and nothing on the immigration reform front. The vote to take up the bill was 54-45 (with Sen. McCain unable to vote) — six votes short of the required 60. In reality, it was »

Up in smoke, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Up in Smoke,” I discussed Sen. Cory Gardner’s decision to put a hold on all pending Justice Department nominees in retaliation for Jeff Sessions’ revocation of a memo issued by the Obama DOJ regarding enforcement of federal law regarding marijuana. The memo in question discouraged federal prosecutors in most cases from bringing charges wherever the drug is legal under state law. Sessions called the memorandum unnecessary »