Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

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 »

Who is Dana J. Boente?

Featured image If you’re a leftist, he’s about to become the devil incarnate for accepting President Trump’s appointment as acting attorney general in place of the disobedient Sally Yates. In reality, Boente is a long-time civil servant who was appointed during the Obama administration to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana and later as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). For years, Boente »

Update on the Quebec mosque shooting

Featured image Last night, soon after it happened, I wrote about the shooting at a mosque in Quebec City. As I warned, some of the information being reported initially was inaccurate — par for the course in these kinds of situations. But the main details turned out to be correct. Here is what it now being reported with reasonable confidence: There was one shooter. He is Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27 year-old political »

The left’s view of refugees, then and now

Featured image Richard Pollock at the Daily Caller offers this flashback — one that’s not without irony: Despite today’s outrage over President Donald Trump’s refugee executive order, many liberals in 1975 were part of a chorus of big name Democrats who refused to accept any Vietnamese refugees when millions were trying to escape South Vietnam as it fell to the communists. They even opposed orphans. The chorus was led by Jerry Brown »

Identity politics threatens education reform movement

Featured image The drive for education reform brought together an unusual coalition — conservatives who believe in free markets and left-wing community activists who knew little about Milton Friedman but who saw that the public school monopoly was failing children from poor families. For more than 20 years, this coalition has effectively advanced the cause of school choice, often with very beneficial results. But the coalition is fraying thanks, at least in »

Shooting at Quebec City mosque claims at least five lives [UPDATED]

Featured image At least five people were killed when gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City during evening prayers. The number of injured victims has not yet been reported. Approximately 40 people are said to have been at the religious service. The police reportedlly have arrested two men in connection with the shooting. According to a local newspaper, one of the arrested suspects was 27 years old and had a »

Washington Post solicits immigration sob stories

Featured image In what might be described as the journalism equivalent of ambulance chasing, the Washington Post is inviting readers to tell it how their lives have been ruined by President Trump’s executive order on immigration. The Post’s main web page includes this: Are you, or someone you know, affected by President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and migrants from the U.S.? Share your story with us. If you follow the link, »

Trump’s immigration order: myths and realities

Featured image Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the Trump administration’s immigration order [NOTE: And the way it was implemented arguably left much to be desired]. But before agreeing or disagreeing, it’s important understand what the order does and does not do, and how it compares to recent policy. David French does a good job of separating the facts from the hysteria. For the hysteria, French cites the usual suspects: »

An under-reported fact about the Trump presidency

Featured image The first week of Donald Trump’s presidency received wall-to-wall coverage from the mainstream media. His every word was fact-checked, after a fashion. Nor was the sole concern what Trump said. It also mattered what wall he was standing near when he said it. By “wall-to-wall,” I mean wall-to-wall — from CIA headquarters to the border with Mexico. But on the whole, the mainstream media seems to be missing or under-playing »

Pardon her ignorance

Featured image John likes to say that mainstream media reporters know less than most of us do. Maggie Haberman, a political correspondent for The New York Times and a political analyst for CNN, provided evidence for this contention today. Haberman tweeted: Other than San Bernardino shootings, has there been a terrorist attack involving a non-US-born attacker since 9/11? Any reasonably well-informed person could have answered that one in the affirmative. Guy Benson »