Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Nut Job III — drain your own damn swamp

Featured image The latest anonymous leak/news story, the New York Times’s “nut job” scoop, troubles me for at least three reasons. First, it’s disturbing that this kind of leaking occurs. In one week, among other leak-grounded stories, (1) Politico reported, based on a leak that must have originated with someone close to President Trump, that the president screamed at the television in response to a story about the FBI’s Russia investigation and »

A victory for charter schools in Los Angeles

Featured image Charter school backers have won a majority of seats on the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District for the first. The story is here, in a Los Angeles Times article. You have to dig it out, though. The Times leads off by talking about talking about “wealthy charter school advocates” and by giving voice to the unhappiness of a losing candidate. Deep into the story, the Times finally »

Time to “lawyer up”

Featured image Earlier today, I questioned Eli Lake’s view that Rod Rosenstein did President Trump a favor by appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the U.S. election, etc. This Wall Street Journal editorial contends that Rosenstein did no favor to anyone other than the Democrats and their allies. The Journal argues: While the [appointment of Mueller] will provide some short-term political relief, not least for Mr. Rosenstein, »

U.S. planes hit pro-Assad military convoy

Featured image The New York Times reports that American warplanes in Syria attacked a pro-government convoy today, after it ignored warnings and violated a restricted zone around a base where United States and British Special Forces train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. American officials say that more than 20 vehicles drove within 18 miles of the al-Tanf base in southern Syria which houses the American and British Special Forces. This constituted a »

Did Rosenstein do Trump a favor?

Featured image Eli Lake argues that Rod Rosenstein did President Trump a favor by appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the Russia investigation. Lake says the appointment has quieted a crisis that was consuming Trump’s presidency. He may be right. Certainly, Rosenstein’s move will serve the administration’s short term interests — as well as Rosenstein’s, who suddenly was under vicious attack for doing no more than writing a memo about »

Trump breaks campaign promise on Israel

Featured image In March 2016, addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, Donald Trump said that, as president, he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Trump called that city “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.” Now, however, President Trump has decided to keep our embassy in Tel Aviv. A senior White House official explained: “We don’t think it would be wise to [move] it at this time” »

DOJ appoints Robert Mueller special counsel for Russia investigation

Featured image Robert Mueller, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has been appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to serve as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election, etc. Rosenstein explained: In my capacity as acting attorney general, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility »

Presidential power and its possible abuse in the Trump-Comey context

Featured image David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, today defended the right of President Trump to direct the FBI investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible wrongdoing by Michael Flynn. McIntosh, a co-founder of the Federalist Society, made the defense at the Federalist Society’s “Executive Branch Review Conference.” He said: President Trump acted appropriately if he gave guidance to Director Comey on an investigation. It is »

MSNBC attacks Kellyanne Conway; the Washington Post snipes at her husband

Featured image Last November, Hillary Clinton failed to become America’s first female president. Instead, Kellyanne Conway became the first female to manage a successful presidential campaign. Many will never forgive her. Attacks on Conway have centered on the notion that, in the words of Mika Brzezinski, she “shill[ed] for Trump in extensive fashion.” But that’s the job of anyone who represents a political candidate. The real beef is with Donald Trump, whom »

Preliminary thoughts on the “Comey memo” [UPDATED]

Featured image I want to pick up on a point John made in a post earlier tonight regarding the New York Times’ claim that President Trump asked James Comey to stop the Flynn investigation. John wrote: [W]hat if Comey hadn’t been fired? Would we have heard anything about. . .alleged efforts by the president to influence the Flynn investigation? Presumably not. The conversation documented by the memo took place in February, and »

Hysteria mounts over Trump’s intel sharing with Russia

Featured image Regarding President Trump’s disclosure of classified intelligence to Rusia, Jules Suzdaltsev of Vice tweets: Just so we’re all on the same page: an allied informant is likely being tortured to death as we speak, thanks ONLY to Trump’s big mouth. Suzdaltsev has no idea whether an allied informant is being tortured. Indeed, since the location of the informant (if there is one) was not disclosed, except reportedly to Russia, there’s »

Preliminary thoughts on Trump revealing classified info to Russia

Featured image Steve has already commented on the big news of the day — the Washington Post’s report that President Trump shared highly sensitive intelligence information with the Russians when they visited him in the Oval Office last week. I’d like to add my preliminary thoughts. The problem, if one exists, isn’t sharing information (classified or not — the president has the power to disclose such information, as I understand it) with »

Freakout at Howard University

Featured image Howard University, the “historically black” college in Washington, D.C., held its commencement this weekend. California Senator Kamala Harris, a Howard grad, delivered the address. Sen. Harris told the graduates: You are graduating into a very different time than it was when you arrived a few short years ago. We have a fight ahead. It’s a fight to determine what kind of country we will be. And it’s a fight to »

ESPN not cutting back on politics

Featured image We can think of ESPN’s “journalism” as falling into three categories: (1) in-depth analysis of games, teams, and players; (2) superficial high decibel debates about games, teams, and players; and (3) discussion focused not on games, teams, and players, but rather on sports and society — often sports and race. Which form of journalism do think is most affected by ESPN’s recent mass layoff? If you said (1), in-depth analysis »

Angry with Jeff Sessions, the New York Times revises history

Featured image “Unity Was Emerging on Sentencing. Then Came Jeff Sessions.” So declares the New York Times in a story bemoaning the failure of Congress to pass sentencing reform legislation in 2016 and the recent order from Attorney General Sessions to end lenient charging practices at the Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions certainly deserves credit for opposing the lenient sentencing legislation. His effort was heroic. But Times reporter Carl Hulse distorts the »

Macron inaugurated (plus notes from our man in Paris)

Featured image Emmanuel Macron became France’s president today. He chose to mark his inauguration day with military symbolism. For example, he broke with tradition by boarding an open-topped, camouflage military jeep, instead of a civilian limousine, for the traditional drive up the Champs-Élysées where he lit the flame in tribute to France’s war dead at the tomb for the unknown soldier. I don’t assume that Macron is “appropriating” military symbolism for cynical »

The presumption of regularity

Featured image During the past week, President Trump fired FBI director Comey at least in part due to dissatisfaction with an investigation the outcome of which matters to Trump. At first, the administration said the firing was based on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General, who believes Comey mistreated Hillary Clinton and hasn’t acknowledged his error. Later, the president admitted that he would have fired Comey regardless of what the Deputy »