Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Al Franken’s rambling, intellectually dishonest diatribe [With Comment by John]

Featured image During Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing, I wrote. the following about his exchange with Sen. Al Franken: Franken tried to show that Sessions [in answering a Senate questionnaire] “misrepresented” his role by listing several big civil rights cases as among the most important cases he participated in. Franken’s point was that, although Sessions signed the complaint, he hadn’t really participated. Franken relied mainly on Gerry Hebert, lead counsel in most »

The next Supreme Court nominee

Featured image Rumor has it that Justice Anthony Kennedy is seriously considering retiring from the Supreme Court at the end of this term. As the Supreme Court’s swing vote (once Neil Gorsuch is confirmed), Kennedy would regain his status as arguably the second most powerful person in America. That’s not something one gives up lightly. Nonetheless, one of his former clerks told John Fund: Those who know Kennedy wouldn’t at all be »

Trump still sees Putin and Bush as morally equivalent

Featured image Last night, I caught part of Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Trump, including an exchange that drained the moderate amount of enthusiasm I’ve been able to muster for the new president. O’Reilly asked Trump whether he respects Vladimir Putin. Trump said he does, but that this doesn’t mean he will get along with him. No major problem so far. In a sense, I think you have to respect what Putin, »

Theresa May crushes Jeremy Corbyn on Donald Trump

Featured image If you haven’t seen British Prime Minister Theresa May handle questions in the House of Commons, you might want to check her out. May was in top form when Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left head of the Labour Party, recited a list of President Trump’s sins against leftism and then asked May what more it would take for her to revoke the president’s invitation to visit Britain. May replied: The Right »

Will prosecutors throw the book at inauguration rioters?

Featured image The women’s protest march on the day after the inauguration of President Trump was a peaceful affair. The protesters I encountered were mostly good-natured, especially given how disappointed they must have been. Inauguration day was a different story. Rioting left six police officers injured and caused tens of thousands of dollars in property damage to vehicles and store windows. Police arrested 230 people in connection with the riot. So far, »

A strange ruling from a strange judge

Featured image Jerome Woehrle at Liberty Unyielding provides a revealing look at James Robart, the federal judge who enjoined President Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting entry to the U.S. from seven highly problematic nations. Scott has observed that Judge Robart’s opinion is nearly devoid of legal analysis. Woehrle expands on this criticism: Judge James Robart’s order has no legal basis, and barely pretends to. [The] order against Trump sheds little light on »

Boycott the boycotters [UPDATED]

Featured image Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are both dropping Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Nordstrom claims that it’s making a business decision, based on declining sales of the brand. However, it has been under pressure from leftists who called for a boycott of Nordstrom for carrying Ivanka’s line. If sales actually have declined, it may be due to the boycott campaign. It’s a similar story with Neiman Marcus. It dropped Ivanka Trump’s jewelry »

New twists in the French presidential election

Featured image When I last wrote about France’s upcoming election, it looked like the Socialist party would nominate hard-leftist Benoit Hamon and that he would lose out in the first round of the general election to Francois Fillon of France’s conservative party, considered something of a Thatcherite, and Marine Le Pen of the National Front. It seemed to me that Fillon would have a decided edge in a two-way race against Le »

Two anti-Trump talking points falter in one day

Featured image A month ago, liberals were claiming that Donald Trump would be a tool of the Russians. After all, they hadn’t brought about his election, via WikiLeaks, for nothing. To be fair, it wasn’t just liberals who expressed concern about what Trump’s Russia policy might be. As a candidate, Trump took a softer line on Vladimir Putin than many, including me, liked. But it was the left that claimed something sinister »

Do American Jews believe in God?

Featured image The answer, it appears, is: sort of. According to newsletter put out by our congregation, survey data shows that 34 percent of American Jews are certain that God exists. Another 38 percent think He does, but are less than certain. 23 percent don’t believe in God, and 5 percent don’t know. Conservative Jews (in the religious, not the political, sense) have more faith. 41 percent are certain God exists; 46 »

Did Trump “badger” Australia’s PM?

Featured image “Trump badgers leader of Australia.” That’s the headline on the front page of today’s Washington Post. Barack Obama badgered the leader of Israel for eight years. I don’t think the Post ever so informed its readers. Why not? Because the Post loves Obama and hates Netanyahu and Trump. It’s as simple as that. But did Trump really badger Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during their phone conversation yesterday? The Post’s »

Kelly Ayotte returns to Washington

Featured image Former Senator Kelly Ayotte will lead the White House team trying to shepherd Judge Neil Gorsuch through the Senate. This means introducing him to her former colleagues and singing his praises to them. Team Trump’s selection of Ayotte for this assignment makes perfect sense. The role traditionally goes to an ex-member with good connections to the body. Fred Thompson and Dan Coates filled it during the confirmation process for John »

Federal employees receive “resistance” training

Featured image The Washington Post reports that some federal workers are “in regular consultation with recently departed Obama-era political appointees about what they can to to push back against the new president’s initiatives.” In addition, “180 federal employees have signed up for a workshop next weekend where experts will offer advice on workers’ rights and how they can express civil disobedience.” One Justice Department employee told the Post that “through leaks to »

DeVos nomination in trouble; should conservatives care?

Featured image Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have announced that they will not vote to confirm Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. Collins cited DeVos’ lack of familiarity with the Disabilities Education Act. Murkowski expressed concern that DeVos “has been so immersed in the discussion of vouchers.” Without these two votes, DeVos is down to 50 Republican votes. She cannot expect to win the vote of »

A liberal endorses Judge Gorsuch [UPDATED]

Featured image The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court has been very well received by conservatives and those on the center right. But he also has an endorsement that should carry weight with Democrats (though it probably won’t). Neal Katyal served as Solicitor General of the United States under President Obama. Now in private practice, he is also Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at Georgetown »

Confirming Judge Gorsuch

Featured image By nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch rather than Judge William Pryor, the original frontrunner, I suspect that President Trump hopes to avoid a successful filibuster, and thus get his man confirmed without resort to the “nuclear option.” I’m not saying that this was the decisive consideration. It may be that Trump simply preferred Gorsuch — I don’t know. But it seems likely that Team Trump viewed the prospect of confirming Gorsuch »

Free speech on campus, a legislative proposal

Featured image Today at the Heritage Foundation, Stanley Kurtz rolled out and discussed model legislation to promote free speech at state colleges and universities. He was joined by Jim Manley and Jonathan Butcher of the Goldwater Institute and Casey Mattox of Alliance Defending Freedom. I previewed their presentation here. There’s probably no need to persuade Power Line readers that freedom of speech is under siege on America’s campuses. As this whitepaper by »