Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Trump administration won’t defend Obamacare in key case

Featured image The constitutionality of Obamacare is under challenge once again. Six years ago, the Supreme Court held that the federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance, but does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. The ruling saved Obamacare. However, the tax bill Congress passed last year eliminates the tax penalty contained in Obamacare. Thus, Texas now argues that »

Bruce Kison, RIP

Featured image Talk about feeling old. It was around this time in 1971, a few days before Dartmouth graduation. I was in Baker Library reading an article in Sports Illustrated about a rail-thin 21 year-old minor league pitcher and his grizzled battery mate. The pitcher was Bruce Kison. The old catcher was Woody Huyke. Pat Jordan, himself a one-time top young pitching prospect, described Kison for Sports Illustrated this way: At 21, »

How the Democrats will try to get recess back

Featured image Earlier this week, Majority Leader McConnell cancelled most of the Senate’s August recess. He did so in response to the unprecedented obstruction of Senate Democrats in blocking floor votes on President Trump’s nominees. The cancellation hurts Democrats, and not just because it’s a blow against their obstruction. There are more vulnerable Democrats than vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this year. The lack of a month-long recess will keep them off »

Trump frees big-time narcotics-trafficker even Obama didn’t help

Featured image At the urging of Kim Kardashian, President Trump has commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson, a convicted drug-trafficker. Johnson served 21 years of her sentence. Johnson was, in the words of the judge who sentenced her, the “quintessential entrepreneur” in a multi-million dollar cocaine ring in the Memphis area. It dealt tons of cocaine for millions of dollars. At Johnson’s trial, the evidence linked her drug ring with Colombian »

Non-resister replaced as Wall Street Journal’s top editor

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has replaced Gerard Baker, its top editor. Baker had been, as the Washington Post puts it, beset with internal criticism of his leadership in covering Donald Trump. The Washington Post should know. An organ of the anti-Trump resistance, it has hired ten WSJ reporters, at least some of whom defected due to Baker’s insufficiently antagonist approach to Trump, the Post indicates. Not that Baker showed partiality »

Facts on recidivism undermine case for leniency legislation, Part Two

Featured image Taylor Millard, one of the excellent writers at Hot Air, has taken issue with an article by Daniel Horowitz on recidivism as it relates to sentencing reform, including the FIRST STEP legislation (which is back door sentencing reform). I cited Horowitz’s article in my post, “Cold Facts on Recidivism Undermine Case for Leniency Legislation.” Thus, I want to bring Millard’s arguments to the attention of readers interested in the issue »

How the Rockefeller Bros. Fund supports Palestinian terrorism

Featured image Last year, I wrote about how the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) is a substantial contributor to the boycott Israel movement. Since 2013, RBF has contributed at least $880,000 to groups working to advance a boycott of Israel. Now the Jerusalem Post reports that, in addition, RBF contributes to Palestinian organizations with close ties to terrorist groups. Moreover, it continued to do so after being told that the NGOs it is »

Recess is canceled!

Featured image Canceling recess was a common punishment for bad behavior when I was in elementary school. I’m happy to report that Majority Leader McConnell says he’ll punish the bad behavior of Democrats by canceling most of the Senate’s August recess. Here is McConnell’s statement: Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, »

FIRST STEP in a jailbreak, Part Two

Featured image I’ve written before about the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act” (FIRST STEP). Passed by the House with overwhelming support and backed by President Trump, FIRST STEP is backdoor sentence reduction legislation. Indeed, it’s big-time sentencing reduction. Former federal prosecutor Thomas Ascik demonstrates this in an article for The Hill. He shows that most federal prisoners could serve close to 40 percent of their prison sentences »

Getting Italy wrong

Featured image “The real challenge that the populist coalition in Italy poses to the EU is one of policy, not of democracy.” So writes Angelos Chryssogelos of Chatham House. I think the same can be said of populism in most Western democracies, but let’s keep the focus on Italy. What are the policy challenges that the populist coalition there poses to the EU? There are two: the economy and migration. Chryssogelos explains: »

A narrow ruling in the Colorado cake baker case [UPDATED]

Featured image As Steve noted here, the Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado cake baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. Phillips’ victory wasn’t narrow. He won 7-2. However, the opinion that accompanied the victory was quite narrow. Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog explains: Although Phillips prevailed today, the opinion by Justice »

When the arc of history refuses to bend

Featured image Ben Rhodes couldn’t. . .I mean. . .process. . .I mean. . .just couldn’t. . .process Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, Barack Obama was available to process it for him. When you have the arc of history down cold, processing setbacks, even really bad ones, isn’t that hard. Matthew Continetti writes a devastating piece on Barack Obama’s processing, as described in Rhodes’ new book. To assist Rhodes, Obama »

On pardons

Featured image The editors of the Washington Post are upset that President Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza. They also express concern that Trump might pardon Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich. I have no problem with the D’Souza pardon. The Obama administration threw the book at D’Souza for a relatively small campaign finance law offense that, as I understand it, normally results in a slap on the wrist. It did so, in all likelihood, »

The Trump legal team’s letter to Mueller

Featured image Someone has leaked a confidential 20-page letter that President Trump’s legal team sent to Robert Mueller in January of this year. Not cool. The letter responded to Mueller’s request that Trump agree to be questioned about allegations that he committed obstruction of justice. Trump’s team advised Mueller that the president would not agree to an interview. However, the lawyers said they would be willing to provide written answers to questions »

“The long game,” a postscript

Featured image A few days ago, I discussed the sickening delay in getting a floor vote for key Department of Justice nominees. I blamed Sen. Cory “Weed” Gardner, obstructionist Senate Democrats, and, to a lesser degree, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the delay. In McConnell’s case, the problem, I argued, is that he’s not making the Senate work enough. To be fair, though, some GOP Senators apparently don’t want to work hard »

EPL all-stars, 2017-18

Featured image The World Cup kicks off in 12 days, but I don’t intend to cover it on Power Line (sorry, John). That’s my tiny way of protesting FIFA’s corruption and the related choice of Putin’s Russia as the venue for the competition. England’s FA isn’t plagued by corruption, so there is no reason not to write a brief recap of the English Premier League season and to select my EPL all-stars. »

The smearing of Fred Fleitz

Featured image Fred Fleitz has been appointed chief-of-staff of the National Security Council. Power Line has frequently linked to Fleitz’s work, particularly on Iran and the nuclear deal. We welcome his appointment. Naturally, those who view foreign policy from a vastly different perspective don’t welcome it. And that’s fine. They have every right to attack Fleitz’s positions and the way he has expressed them. But as is its wont, the left has »