Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

After the Trump-Bannon divorce

Featured image I have viewed President Trump as bridging the divide in the Republicans party between its establishment and populist-nationalist wings. Trump attempted to play that role in 2017. For example, he supported the establishment candidate in the Alabama Senate primary, but then bucked the establishment by backing the populist candidate in the general election even after that candidate found himself in severe difficulty. Trump also bridged the gap in the realm »

Senator Mitt Romney?

Featured image Sen. Orrin Hatch’s retirement has created a clear and possibly smooth path to the Senate for Mitt Romney. What kind of a Senator would Romney be? I think he would have been a fine president. Constrained by the GOP’s conservative base, Romney likely would have been a solidly conservative president. His mastery of detail and his administrative ability likely would have made him a successful conservative president. Administrative ability counts »

The “Iran First” uprising

Featured image There are enough causes of the protests rocking Iran that it’s tempting (as is usually the case with hindsight) to deem it over-determined. However, the spark may have been the leak last month of the government’s proposed budget. According to Thomas Erdbrink of the New York Times: Iranians discovered that billions of dollars were going to hard-line organizations, the military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and religious foundations that enrich »

Maggie Haberman goes off the deep end

Featured image Maggie Haberman may have great sources, but it sometimes seems that the New York Times’ ace reporter isn’t very bright. More likely, though, she’s just too quick on the trigger when it comes to bashing President Trump. Readers may recall this tweet from Haberman: Other than San Bernardino shootings, has there been a terrorist attack involving a non-US-born attacker since 9/11? Um, yes. The Boston bombers, Times Square bomber, underwear »

Is Obama responsible for the Iranian protests?

Featured image Close readers of Power Line won’t be completely surprised by the wave of protests in Iran. A few months ago, we reported that the Iranian émigrée communities in the U.S. and France were buzzing about reports of anti-regime protest activity in Iran. Even so, I did not expect protests as intense, widespread and (so far) persistent as the ones that have broken out recently. It can be argued that, in »

Two strands of Never-Trumpism

Featured image I see the Never Trump movement splitting into two strands. John described the first strand here. It’s the view that most of the things Trump has done as president in terms of personnel and policy are desirable but that they are outweighed by the things Trump does that, in Bill Kristol’s words, “degrad[e] our public life.” So stated, this strand of Never-Trumpism is hard to defend, for the reasons John »

The Iran protests: Will the regime retain its grip?

Featured image When anti-regime protesters become deadly serious, the questions become: (1) Is the regime willing to shoot them en masse and, if so, (2) will its forces do so. If the answer to either question is no, expect the regime to become the former regime. Regimes typically are willing to shoot protesters if they deem it necessary. However, there are exceptions, for example when the foreign power that supports the regime »

From the Carlos Danger files

Featured image The indispensable Judicial Watch, after protracted litigation in federal court, has forced the State Department to begin releasing Huma Abedin’s work-related documents that were found on Anthony Weiner’s personal computer. The documents were provided to the State Department by the FBI, which reviewed them as part of its investigation of the Hillary Clinton email server scandal. The first public release of these documents came on Friday, December 29. Judicial Watch »

Papadopoulos or the dossier?

Featured image The New York Times reports that the impetus for the FBI’s investigation of suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was not the anti-Trump dossier, but rather statements made by George Papadopoulos. He was the young Trump campaign staffer who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. According to the Times, after a heavy night of drinking, Papadopoulos told Australia’s top diplomat in Britain that Russia had political »

Lindsey Graham: DOJ used anti-Trump dossier in court

Featured image I just saw Lindsey Graham on one of the Fox News talk shows. He told the host, Brian Kilmeade, that the infamous anti-Trump dossier was used in court by the Department of Justice. I take it Graham means that the dossier, or information it contains, was used by the DOJ in the FISA court to gain approval for surveillance of Team Trump. We have suspected that this was the case. »

Alan Dershowitz hammers BDS in debate with Cornel West

Featured image I’ve been meaning to write about a debate between Alan Dershowitz and Cornel West over the BDS movement. Dershowitz beats me to it with this article for the Gatestone Institute. The resolution Dershowitz and West debated was: “The boycott, divestiture and sanctions (BDS) movement will help bring about the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Naturally, the debate ended up being more about that conflict than about BDS per se. However, »

The year in journalism: Mainstream media flunks the Trump challenge

Featured image 2017 posed a challenge to the mainstream media. Could it set aside its hatred of President Trump and report honestly on him and his administration? To the surprise of no one who had been paying attention, the media flunked this challenge. The failure commenced immediately. The day Trump was inaugurated, a White House reporter claimed, incorrectly, that the Trump transition team had removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. »

Poll: Minnesotans don’t want Franken to resign

Featured image According to a new survey, more Minnesotans believe Al Franken should remain in the Senate than think he should resign. Half of the voters surveyed think Franken should not resign. Only 42 percent think he should. 60 percent say Franken should have waited until the Senate Ethics Committee investigated his behavior before making a decision whether to stay or go. The poll was conducted by PPP, a Democratic polling firm. »

Roy Moore’s crank lawsuit [UPDATE: Election certified]

Featured image I don’t know whether Roy Moore molested Leigh Corfman 38 years ago. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other about that charming question. I do know that Moore was an awful nominee for the Alabama Senate seat, and that his nomination cost Republicans what is as safe a seat as exists in the Senate. Now, the candidate from hell has filed a lawsuit in an Alabama »

Next stop, Trump station

Featured image Israel’s minister of transportation has announced that a planned train station in Jerusalem will be named for President Trump to honor his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. So reports Ken Klukowski of Breitbart. “Trump station” won’t be just any old stop. It will be near the Western Wall, the holiest place in the world for Jews: [The government] is planning to extend a rail system from »

Harry and Barry

Featured image According to CNN, British officials fear the political consequences if Prince Harry and his bride-to-be invite Barack and Michelle Obama, with whom they are friends, to their wedding, but not President Trump. I don’t know whether these officials have any reason to expect political consequences in that event, but if they do, perhaps they should also worry about the interview Harry conducted with Barack Obama today on BBC radio. The »

2017 in reading

Featured image Every year around this time I look forward to Tevi Troy’s “The Year in Books.” Yesterday, he published this year’s edition. Tevi’s list centers around his attempt “to get a handle on what was going on in our strange political environment.” He leads off with a book by our friend Seth Leibsohn (along with Chris Buskirk) — American Greatness: How Conservatism, Inc. Missed the 2016 Election and What the D.C. »