Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

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 »

Humane society tries to rescue stranded Mary Landrieu

Featured image Noting that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, among many others, has abandoned Mary Landrieu, Sean Sullivan and Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post describe Landrieu’s lonely last days as a Senator this way: So with the odds stacked heavily against her, Ladndrieu soldiers on virtually alone — this year’s political equivalent of those holdout Japanese infantrymen who were discovered waging war on remote Pacific islands decades after World War II »

THE JUDICIAL FILIBUSTER AND THE FALLACY OF “UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT”

Featured image Politico reports what’s been pretty clear for weeks — Republicans are unlikely to reverse Harry Reid’s elimination of the filibuster of presidential nominees. My preference was to reinstate the filibuster for the reasons I presented here. However, I understand the arguments for keeping it, and consider the issue a close call. What bothers me is the mantra that reinstating the filibuster would amount to “unilateral disarmament” by Republicans. It’s an »

No indictment in Staten “choking” case

Featured image A Staten Island grand jury has declined to indict the white police officer who killed a black suspect who resisted arrest. The evidence before the grand jury has not been released; hopefully, it will be. But the entire scene was captured on video, and the video is disturbing. Let’s first recognize that this case bears little resemblance to Michael Brown’s. Brown robbed a convenience store and committed assault in the »

Witness No. 10 and Darren Wilson’s self-defense claim

Featured image Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, has been producing the best analysis I’ve seen of the Ferguson grand jury evidence. I recommend in particular this post, which contains links to others. Cassell notes that Missouri law on self-defense required only that Darren Wilson have a reasonable belief that he needed to use deadly force to defend himself against Michael Brown. Wilson didn’t need to show that his interpretation was the »

From the ashes of the Pentagon

Featured image President Obama will nominate Ash Carter to be Secretary of Defense. Carter has a strong reputation as an experienced, intelligent, and sensible defense expert. When I saw him speak a few years ago at the American Enterprise Institute, I thought he lived up to that reputation. The fact that Obama passed over Ash Carter in favor of a fool like Chuck Hagel speaks volumes. The main concern with Carter arises »

Meanwhile, in Eastern Ukraine . . .

Featured image You don’t see much in the news any more about Eastern Ukraine. Nor is there any indication that President Obama is thinking about the situation there. The “cease fire” that Russia, in essence, imposed provides enough of a fig leaf for the world to avert its gaze. However, as Ukrainian journalist Nikoay Vorobiov inconveniently informs us, the “cease fire” hasn’t stopped the fighting. Speaking yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, Vorobiov, »

Another government shutdown — thinking about the unthinkable

Featured image Mitch McConnell’s first act as “Senate Majority Leader Elect” was to take a government shutdown off the table. There won’t be one, McConnell insisted. His position is understandable. Though not the disaster some proclaim it (Republicans prospered in the next big election), the partial shutdown was a set back for the GOP. Polling shows that it hurt the Party’s standing. Meanwhile, it failed to halt the implementation of Obamacare. Should »

Obama to issue executive order on “police militarization”

Featured image President Obama is preparing to issue an executive order that will require federal agencies review the way they provide U.S. police with heavy equipment like tanks and aircraft. The order is partly symbolic, but it also contains a goodly dose of mischief. According to a White House report cited by CNN, only 4 percent of the aid provided by the Department of Defense to police departments can be viewed as »

Is Mary Landrieu in Blanche Lincoln territory?

Featured image This weekend I searched for recent polling of the Louisiana Senate runoff race, which will be held this coming Saturday. I hadn’t seen anything since a November 20 Rasmussen poll that had Rep. Cassidy leading Sen. Landrieu by 15 points. Alas, I found nothing more recent. Perhaps the pollsters have concluded that this is no longer a competitive race. Confirmation that the race may well effectively be over came this »