Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Ted Cruz surprises the establishment again

Featured image When Ted Cruz officially entered the presidential race a few weeks ago, I wrote that the pundit-oddsmakers were undervaluing his prospects for success. As a favorite of the GOP’s large conservative base, it seemed clear to me, as I later suggested in one of our podcasts, that if Cruz isn’t a Tier 1 candidate, he’s no worse than Tier 1A. Now comes word that, in one week, super PACs backing »

Huge loophole belies Obama’s sunny claims about his Iran “deal”

Featured image President Obama is pitching his impending nuclear deal with Iran on the theory that it will enlarge the mullah’s “breakout time” from two or three months to a year, for a decade. I’m skeptical enough about expert opinions, especially in a highly politicized context, to wonder how seriously we should take these breakout time estimates. Do we really know how soon Iran could obtain a nuclear device under hypothetical circumstances? »

Military sites will be off-limits to inspectors, Iran announces

Featured image We can add a new item to the list of issues as to which Iran’s stated view of the nuclear “deal” differs from President Obama’s claims. The list already included such matters as when sanctions will be lifted, centrifuges, enrichment, and even plutonium — all key components. Now, says Michael Rubin, there is disagreement about whether inspectors will have access to major sites where work is conducted to further the »

Rand Paul backpedals, but the embarrassment continues

Featured image Yesterday, in announcing his run for the presidency, Rand Paul demonstrated his unfitness for the office by calling for the repeal of any law that “disproportionately incarcerates people of color.” In effect, as John and I pointed out, Paul thereby called for the repeal of virtually every criminal law. Paul’s team has now “clarified” his statement. The campaign told Byron York that the Senator’s words were misunderstood: “Sen. Paul was »

Poor officiating mars otherwise excellent NCAA tourney

Featured image Last night, the NCAA crowned its 2015 men’s basketball champion. As is often the case, the crown went to the high-quality team that played the best defense. Unexpectedly, from a pre-tournament perspective, that team was Duke, a squad that know-it-all John Feinstein had said “thinks defense is what you put around your backyard.” This tournament, though it sagged a bit in the middle, was excellent. Opening Thursday featured lots of »

Rand Paul remains an embarrassment

Featured image Rand Paul has been trying to improve his presidential prospects by posing as something of a defense hawk and as less than a full libertarian on social issues. However, in announcing his presidential bid today, Paul again betrayed his lack of seriousness, while demonstrating the threat his presidency would pose to America. In his speech, Paul stated: I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law »

Obama bargains against his alleged self

Featured image The Washington Post’s editors point out that President Obama’s hard sell of a “deal” not yet reached with Iran might well weaken the U.S. negotiating position. Obama says that important details remain to be worked out. They include the connection between implementation by Iran of its promises and the lifting of sanctions; how inspectors can obtain access to new suspected nuclear sites; and how they can get answers to questions »

Rand Paul’s gambit

Featured image With Rand Paul set to announce his bid for the presidency, the Washington Post reports that the Kentucky Senator is straying from his libertarian roots in an attempt to make himself acceptable to defense-oriented and religious conservatives. The Post cites his support for a proposed $190 billion increase in defense spending over the next two years; his signature of Tom Cotton’s letter regarding a nuclear deal with Iran; and his »

The zeal of the convert

Featured image There’s plenty of buzz today about a New York Times report that Jeb Bush, in his 2009 voter registration form, marked “Hispanic” in the field labeled “race/ethnicity.” According to the Times, a Bush spokeswoman could offer no explanation for this self-identification. I can offer one, albeit tentatively: Bush identifies so strongly with Hispanics that, at some level, he views himself as one. I don’t think that Bush intended to deceive »

Baathists “pervade” ISIS; weren’t they supposed to be secularists?

Featured image According to the Washington Post, former members of Iraq’s Baathist army play a “pervasive role” in ISIS. This is true, says the Post’s Liz Sly, not only in Iraq but also in Syria. ISIS evolved from al Qaeda in Iraq. It was well known that Baathists played an important role in that outfit. Sly says that the former Baathist officers became even more prominent when ISIS rose from the ashes »

Religion, discrimination, and civil rights law

Featured image The left has fixed its talking point on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). As Ruth Marcus expresses it: “Hold whatever religious views you want. . . but if you operate a business, you shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against people based on who they are, or whom they love.” The left also invokes the civil rights movement of the 1960s which produced the great Civil Rights Act of 1964 »

Iran hedges on adherence to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’s “additional protocol”

Featured image In my view, the Iranian nuclear “framework” would be inadequate even if it contained air-tight verification procedures. The deal doesn’t shut down key facilities; it permits Iran to keep enriching uranium; and it comes with an expiration date. Be that as it may, no one disputes the need for strong verification procedures. Even President Obama has insisted that he’s relying on verification, not mere promises by the Iranian regime. As »

The obvious alternative to Obama’s Iran “framework”

Featured image In defending his framework for a deal with Iran (or whatever one wants to call it), President Obama challenges opponents to say what their alternative is. It’s telling that he seems to be relying so heavily on this defense. If one makes a good deal, one touts the deal. One doesn’t plead that there were no better alternatives. In any event, it’s no challenge to say what the alternative to »

Six decades of excellence — Duke’s all-time basketball greats

Featured image As a Maryland fan, I was disappointed that Duke defeated Gonzaga to reach the Final Four. On the bright side, trying to pick Duke’s all-time basketball greats is more fun than selecting Gonzaga’s. Duke has reached the Final Four in every decade since the 1960s. They did it three times in 60′s under the great Vic Bubas. The program declined steeply in the the early 1970s, but bounced back and »

Memories Pizza and the gay rights movement’s flirtation with totalitariansim

Featured image In his excellent post about the “insane” reaction to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), John argues that the brouhaha is entirely political. Liberals, John says, “have decided that the social issues are winners for them, and one suspects that they are desperate to distract attention from the Obama administration’s economic and foreign policy failures, Hillary Clinton’s prevarications, and so on.” John may well be right. However, polling strongly suggests »

Grant Starrett for Congress

Featured image Grant Starrett has announced that he’s running for Congress in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District. Last week, I introduced Grant to our readers and explained why I intend to support him. I’m not alone. Previously, Erick Erikson tweeted that he would support Grant if he enters the race. And today, Ramesh Ponnuru writes: I’ve met Starrett and was impressed by his intelligence and commitment to conservative causes. But even if he »

Menendez indicted, but why?

Featured image Sen. Robert Menendez was indicted today (April 1) on federal corruption charges. He is accused of using the influence of his office to advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, lavish vacations, and more than $750,000 in campaign donations. The indictment is here. The indictment comes on the heels of Menendez’s strong opposition to President Obama’s Iran policy. It also comes »