Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

House Dems try to make their case on collusion [UPDATED]

Featured image This morning, I watched the first three-plus hours of the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing on Russian election interference. FBI director James Comey and NSA director Adm. Mike Rogers testified. Neither said much of substance, though Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. In not answering questions, the two witnesses cited reasons such as protecting classified information and, in Comey’s case, the »

Does the Trump-Putin collusion claim make sense?

Featured image On January 20, James Clapper, the departing director of national intelligence, declared that he has seen no evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians. More recently, Mike Morell, former acting director the CIA, said: On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no »

N.Y. Times lends opinion page to strange conspiracy theorist

Featured image Glenn Greenwald has said that “many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies,” notably “a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence.” Among those he references are Rachel Maddow and Ken Gude of the Center for American Progress. I would add another name — Louise Mensch, journalist, digital media executive at the News Corporation, and »

Glenn Greenwald names names [UPDATED]

Featured image Yesterday, in discussing the lack of evidence to support claims that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia, I quoted from an article by Glenn Greenwald. In that article, Greenwald called out fellow leftists who have been promoting the unsubstantiated collusion claim. He wrote: The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies. . »

Four days of Gorsuch hearings. Why?

Featured image Ed Whelan reports that the Senate Judiciary will hold four days of hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch. The hearings begin on Monday. The first day will be devoted to opening statements by every member of the Committee and the opening statement of Judge Gorsuch. The nominee is scheduled to testify on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday will be devoted to panels of witnesses. This seems like an excessive »

Two non-scandals

Featured image Early this month, President Trump accused Barack Obama of tapping his wires. Trump had no evidence to support this claim at the time he made it and none has emerged since. I think it’s reprehensible that a U.S. president would make this kind of allegation without having solid evidence of its truth. Meanwhile, many of the left are claiming that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in the hacking »

Judge Chuang : social justice warrior and servant of the Democrats

Featured image The first adverse ruling on President Trump’s second immigration/travel order came from a district court in Hawaii. That state is considered by many to be most liberal in the U.S. However, I doubt it’s more liberal than my home town, Bethesda, Maryland. Bethesda is the suburb of choice for young leftists with families who come to the Washington, D.C. area in the hope of promoting “social justice,” or at least »

Will Trump adopt a Jacksonian approach to the judiciary?

Featured image President Trump admires Andrew Jackson. He sees himself as Jacksonian. Accordingly, it might instructive to recall how President Jackson is said to have responded when the Supreme Court ruled, in Worcester v. Georgia, that Georgia laws calling for the seizure of Cherokee lands violated federal treaties. Here is the statement Jackson may have made: John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it. Jackson may never have uttered »

Hawaii judge’s ruling could lead to constitutional crisis

Featured image When a Ninth Circuit panel issued a decision striking down President Trump’s original travel ban, I described its opinion as “limited in impact, but full of mischief.” The biggest piece of mischief, I thought, was the panel’s suggestion the administration’s order violates the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses because it was intended to disfavor Muslims. Citing statements made by Trump when he ran for president, the panel found that this »

Obama holdovers retain key State Department jobs

Featured image President Trump fancies himself the new Andrew Jackson. But did Jackson allow holdovers from John Quincy Adams’ administration to guide his foreign policy? I raise the question because of reports that architects of some of President Obama’s worst foreign policies are making policy at Trump’s State Department. Let’s first consider the case of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iran director for former President Obama’s National Security Council. According to Jordan Schachtel of »

Ryan ready to alter repeal plan, but in which direction?

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged today that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, and said he is prepared to change it. As the Washington Post points out, this seems like a departure from Ryan’s earlier position that his proposal presented lawmakers with a “binary choice” and could not be altered significantly. According to the Post, Ryan did not say what changes to his plan are under consideration. Nor »

Tom Cotton rejects the parliamentarian dodge

Featured image I have written about how congressional Republicans are subscribing to the view that key parts of Obamacare cannot be repealed through “reconciliation” — i.e., without 60 votes. This view — reflected in the House “replacement” legislation — holds that the GOP cannot repeal the price-hiking, competition-destroying regulations that form the core of Obamacare because the parliamentarian, pursuant to the Byrd Rule, won’t allow such repeal through the budget reconciliation process. »

Sec. Mattis drops Anne Patterson

Featured image We wrote here (per Eliana Johnson) about White House pushback against the selection of Anne Patterson for the position of undersecretary of defense for policy. As ambassador to Egypt in the Obama administration, Patterson strongly backed Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government. I’m happy to report (per the Washington Post) that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has withdrawn Patterson as his choice for the Pentagon policy post. Mattis did so »

Rachel Maddow proves Donald Trump paid $38 million in taxes in one year

Featured image Last October, the New York Times breathlessly published a story called “Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades, The Times Found.” I had always thought newspapers existed to report things that happened, not things that could have happened. But Election Day was near, and Trump had to be stopped. Hence, the Times’ hit piece. It turns out that, far from dodging tax liability »

The limits of Speaker Ryan’s high-mindedness

Featured image Yesterday’s CBO report on the House GOP Obamacare replacement plan caused me to wonder: What kind of a political party front-loads reform legislation with pain — in this case, higher premiums — and backloads it with benefits — here, lower premiums and budgetary savings? The answer is, a political party led by Paul Ryan. The Speaker believes in legislating to fix problems in the long-term and, while waiting for the »

Tom Cotton sees through GOP wishful thinking on Obamacare replacement

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton continues to speak more sensibly about Obamacare repeal than any legislator I knew of. Last week, he argued that the GOP is moving too fast on the matter. He stated, “I would much sooner get health care reform right than get it fast.” Considering the stakes for the country and for the Republican Party’s future, it seems difficult to disagree this common sense proposition. Today, Sen. Cotton »

A government shutdown over the Mexico wall?

Featured image Senate Democrats are threatening a government shutdown over funding for President Trump’s wall on the Mexican border. The New York Times’s Alan Rappeport notices their hypocrisy: Democrats pilloried Republicans for irresponsibly shutting down the government when Barack Obama was president, but as a minority party struggling to show resistance in the era of President Trump, they are now ready to let the lights of government go dark. A group of »