Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Conservative Muslim’s opinions produce “existential worry” at University of Michigan

Featured image Omar Mahmood, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan, is a conservative. Worse, he expressed his conservative views as a columnist for a school publication. As a result, Mahmood was subjected to vandalism. Messages were left on his apartment door calling him obscene names and telling him to “shut the f*** up.” The vandals also left a picture taken from Mahmood’s Facebook profile with his eyes X’d out. This »

The uses and misuses of Eric Garner’s death

Featured image Bill Otis takes on George Will’s column (which Steve made note of here,) which claims that Eric Garner “was criminalized to death.” Among Bill’s points are these: 1. A sales tax on cigarettes and criminal penalties for not paying it do not signify criminalization run amok. Indeed, conservatives generally prefer sales taxes to income taxes, on the theory that it’s better to tax consumption than production. 2. There is always »

John Brennan’s knowable “unknowables”

Featured image John Brennan spoke to the press yesterday about Dianne Feinstein’s travesty of a report on past CIA interrogation practices. It’s highly unusual for the CIA director to hold take questions from the media, but Brennan did. Unusual though Brennan’s appearance was, the Washington Post, which has devoted its front page to story after story on Feinstein’s hit-job, relegates Brennan to page 14. The Post, it appears, is only marginally more »

Go figure

Featured image In an attempt to salvage “Cromnibus,” President Obama sent his chief of staff to Capitol Hill to present House Democrats with the following argument: the budget deal under consideration today is better for liberals than what Democrats will be able to get next year, when Republicans control both chambers of Congress. From the Democrats’ point of view, the president’s message seems both indisputable and dispositive. Yet Democrats resoundingly rejected Obama’s »

James Risen would prefer not to; Eric Holder must decide what he prefers

Featured image James Risen is the New York Times reporter who, on several occasions, has materially harmed the United States with his reporting on top secret affairs. As Scott Johnson has written, “If you are a disgruntled intelligence officer or official and want to preserve your anonymity while undermining a top secret program or aiding the enemies of the United States, Risen is your go-to guy.” Scott went on to document this »

Emails confirm 2010 Lois Lerner meeting with DOJ elections prosecutor

Featured image Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through litigation confirm that Lois Lerner was in contact with DOJ officials about the possible criminal prosecution of tax-exempt entities two full years before what the IRS conceded was its “absolutely inappropriate” 2012 targeting of the organizations. On September 29, 2010, a DOJ official (whose name is redacted) emailed a staff assistant at the IRS (whose name is also redacted) as follows: As we discussed »

Harvard and Yale law deans embarrass themselves with mindless op-ed

Featured image Martha Minow, dean of Harvard law school, and Robert Post, dean of Yale law school, have written an op-ed in the Boston Globe about the need to “regain trust in the legal system” following the grand jury “no-bills” in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner killings. It’s a shockingly bad piece, devoid of both evidence and argument. The thesis of the op-ed is that in the criminal justice system, at »

Columbia law school and “existential worry”

Featured image I thought I had covered every angle of interest to me in the story about Columbia law school postponing the exams of law students “traumatized” by two grand jury no-bills. But the New York Times article that John linked to prompts an additional line of thought. Here is what one Columbia law student, a Latino, told the Times: “The word ‘trauma’ is sort of being misunderstood. It’s not a trauma »

Feinstein’s war on the CIA — what purpose does it serve?

Featured image The Obama administration has instituted special security measures to protect U.S. facilities around the world in the event of attacks prompted by the release of Dianne Feinstein’s “torture” report. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that “there are some indications. . .that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world.” John Kerry was concerned enough »

Congressional leaders to push through a $1.01 trillion dollar budget this week

Featured image As expected, congressional leaders have reached a budget deal. The government will be funded to the tune of $1.01 trillion. This amount will keep all agencies running through September of next year, except for the Department of Homeland Security. It will be funded only through late February. Mitch McConnell says that the Senate will pass the bill before it leaves town this week. Unfortunately, this means that legislators, not to »

Dianne Feinstein and her one-sided, self-serving report on enhanced interrogations

Featured image The big news today will be the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation policy during the Bush years, which has finally been made public. The mainstream media will see to it that the story dominates the headlines. It already dominates the Washington Post’s main page. I expect we’ll have lots to say about the report, whose contents have been leaked over the past months. For now, I’ll link »

Big GOP donors keeping their 2016 powder dry

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, on the whole, wealthy Republican donors are unwilling so far to commit to a candidate for president. According to reporters Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger, the donor class is “wary of fueling the kind of costly and politically damaging battle that dominated the 2012 primaries.” More to the point, it’s unclear at this early juncture which potential candidate it makes the most sense to support. »

Damage control at Columbia?

Featured image The Volokh Conspiracy, via Eugene Volokh, has posted an email from one of Columbia Law School’s vice deans regarding requests for postponements of exams by students allegedly traumatized by grand jury outcomes. The email states that “students who wish to request a rescheduled exam, or other similar accommodation, should either write to the office of Registration Services with an individual explanation of the basis of the request, or speak in »

Columbia law school and the apotheosis of race-based admissions and critical race theory jargon

Featured image Columbia Law School agreed to postpone exams for “traumatized” students in response to, in effect, a demand by “The Coalition of Affinity Group Student Leaders and Students of Color” at Columbia. Here is the full text of the Coalition’s statement: Dear Columbia Law School Faculty and Administrators, We are writing to you as students who have been deeply affected by the recent events in Ferguson, in New York, and across »

Columbia law school and the apotheosis of “newspeak”

Featured image In his email to the Columbia Law School community, interim dean Robert Scott said “students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled.” It was obvious that the “petition” is a formality. In grand jury parlance, dean Rigas would approve a ham sandwich. But just to be sure, and »

How to talk to a traumatized law student

Featured image In his message to the Columbia Law School community, interim dean Robert Scott tells those “who would like support” in the wake of two recent grand jury “no-bills” that four professors have made themselves available for that purpose. The four are: Katherine Franke, Conrad Johnson, Olati Johnson, and Susan Sturm. Who are these professors and what are they likely to say to support traumatized students? The law school’s website answers »

Traumatized students, then and now

Featured image I’ve received good feedback on my “Not a Parody” post about Columbia Law School’s decision to postpone exams for students who claim they are traumatized by the “no-bills” in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. One reader writes: In 1972 I was taking a final exam in a history course at Harvard. I didn’t start to write when everyone else did, because I liked to plan my answers. The »