Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

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 »

Is Loretta Lynch appreciably better than Eric Holder?

Featured image Senate Republicans reportedly are divided over the nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General. The source of the division is President Obama’s executive amnesty. Jeff Sessions has said, “I don’t see how a person can serve as attorney general if they’re going to participate in a massive nullification of American law.” Under this sensible view, Lynch should be rejected unless her testimony persuades Senators that she »

Not a parody [Updated]

Featured image Columbia Law School is permitting students claiming to be impaired due to the emotional impact of recent non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner matters to postpone taking their final exams. Here is the text of a message from interim dean Robert Scott to the law school community: The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some »

Landrieu loses

Featured image Mary Landrieu hasn’t just lost her runoff race against Bill Cassidy, she has been “crushed” (as Politico puts it). With about 40 percent of precincts reporting, Cassidy leads by 17 points. That’s Mark Pryor territory and approaches the domain of Blanche Lincoln, who lost by 21 points in 2010. Come January, the Senate will consist of 54 Republicans. That’s 2004 territory. The Democrats now hold zero Senate seats in the »

My first impressions of the Weekly Standard’s take on the Benghazi report

Featured image Steve Hayes and Tom Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard have attacked the House Intelligence Committee’s report on Benghazi. I’ve known Tom for years and have the greatest respect for his work. I’ve also long admired Hayes’ reporting. However, I find portions of their attack unpersuasive. To be clear, I consider the Intelligence Committee’s report flawed in some important respects. However, I attribute the mains flaws to the desire to produce »

How should Congress combat executive amnesty?

Featured image The Republican congressional leadership has formulated its short-term strategy for responding to President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. It wants to pass a continuing resolution that will fund most of the government for a full year, but will fund the Department of Homeland Security — which is responsible for implementing the amnesty — for only a few months. It’s not a terrible strategy, but neither is it optimal, for two reasons. »

U.S. Sanctions against Iran? What’s that about?

Featured image As John has noted, the Obama administration is contemplating the imposition of sanctions on Israel as a response to new settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So says Haaretz, a reliable Israeli source. When asked about this report, White House press secretary Josh Ernest did not deny it. Neither did the State Department’s spokesperson Marie Harf. At a minimum, then, President Obama wants Israel to believe that »

Landrieu finally finds a unified theory of [President] Obama

Featured image Throughout her campaign for reelection Mary Landrieu has faced a major dilemma — what to say about President Obama. Embrace his policies and she loses moderates who understand how immoderate Obama is; distance herself and she alienates the black voters on whom she heavily relies. As Scott has written, Landrieu addressed the dilemma by speaking with two voices. She says one thing when speaking to the public at large and »

Eric Garner and the issue of over-criminalization

Featured image The death of Eric Garner at the hands of a police officer has focused attention not only on the use of force against Garner, but also on the low-level nature of the crime that put him in jeopardy. Garner’s offense was selling loose cigarettes, a means of evading the high tax imposed on tobacco products. For purposes of analyzing the potential case against the officer who choked Garner, it makes »