Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

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 »

Mubarak’s acquittal — what does it mean?

Featured image Hosni Mubarak, his sons, and other close aides have been acquitted of the criminal charges against them. The charges pertained to actions taken by the Mubarak regime to maintain power during the 2011 revolution. The acquittal says nothing about the merits of the charges, just as a guilty verdict under the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime would have told us nothing. The verdict should, I think, be viewed as a political decision. »

The Washington Post’s bogus Benghazi end-zone dance

Featured image The Washington Post, in an editorial called “Benghazi debunked,” claims that the House Intelligence Committee has “dump[ed] cold water on the GOP’s conspiracy theories” regarding Benghazi. The Post cites three alleged “GOP conspiracy theories:” (1) that the White House tried to obscure the fact that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were behind the attacks, (2) that stand-down orders were issued to those who were in a position to aid the compound, and »

His level of violence deemed too serious to comprehend, Ray Rice is reinstated

Featured image The indefinite suspension of Ray Rice, the NFL running back who brutally assaulted his then-fiance, now wife, has been lifted on appeal as the result of an arbitrator’s decision. Rice has been reinstated by the League and is free to sign with any team. The appeal was decided by Barbara Jones, a former U.S. District Court Judge, who served as the arbitrator. As reported by ESPN, Jones ruled that the »

Do sanctions against Iran matter?

Featured image Daniel Pipes argues that the debate over sanctions against Iran, and thus over the P5+1 negotiations, is “peripheral and even diversionary.” He reasons that “the apocalyptically minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire the Bomb,” and therefore “economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop” the Iranian nuclear weapons program. For Pipes, all that really matters is whether some government will use force to »