Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Ettore Scola, RIP

Featured image Ettore Scola, the brilliant Italian film director, has died. He was 84. Scola is probably best known for “A Special Day” starring Marcelo Mastroianni and Sophia Loren. Mastroianni plays a gay man about to be deported by Mussolini’s government. Loren is the repressed wife of a Mussolini supporter. The movie is about their brief, random encounter. My favorite Scola film, though, is “We All Loved Each Other So Much.” This »

John Kerry: Some sanctions relief money will go to terrorism

Featured image John Kerry admitted the obvious today. Speaking at Davos, he said that some of the $55 billion (his figure) in sanctions relief money for Iran will be used to promote terrorism: I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC [Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.] or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists. You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here »

Is the establishment “rushing to support ” Trump? [UPDATED]

Featured image Ted Cruz is campaigning on the idea that the “establishment” is uniting behind GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. He told reporters in New Hampshire: We’re seeing something remarkable happening in this Republican primary. Right now, the Washington establishment is abandoning Marco Rubio, they’ve made the assessment that Marco can’t win this race, and the Washington establishment is rushing over to support Donald Trump. We’re seeing that happen every day, and Mr. »

An unlikely member of the “vast right wing conspiracy”

Featured image Hillary Clinton, through a spokesperson, has accused Charles McCullough III, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, of working with Republicans to attack her. Referring to McCullough’s statement to Senators that at least several dozen of the emails Clinton sent and received while she was secretary of state contained classified material at the highest levels, the Clinton spokesperson told CNN: I think this was a very coordinated leak. Two months ago there »

“13 Hours” — The Washington Post’s jaundiced take

Featured image Scott reports that “13 Hours,” Michael Bay’s film about the Benghazi attacks, attracted only a small crowd at the Grandview Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota. Nationally, though, the movie seems to be doing well. It earned around $20 million during the holiday weekend. That’s not quite as good as “Lone Survivor” ($25 million) and nowhere close to “American Sniper” ($107 million), both of which opened during the corresponding weekend. But »

Hillary is weirding out young feminists

Featured image Last month, writing about the possible role of Bill Clinton’s sex scandals in this year’s presidential campaign, I said: There are dozens of lines of attack against Hillary Clinton, nearly all of which will resonate with folks who already dislike her. The trick for the GOP nominee will be to select the handful that are likely resonate with other voters. I’m not certain what these lines of attack are, but »

Trump on Libya, then and now

Featured image During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump has come down hard on the Obama administration for intervening in Libya to help topple Muammar Qaddafi. Trump says, for example, that the world would be better off with Qaddafi in power. Indeed, he has argued that “frankly there is no Libya; it’s all broken up; they have no control; nobody knows what’s going on.” Trump probably isn’t far wrong in his assessment. However, »

Supreme Court to hear executive amnesty case

Featured image The Supreme Court decided today to review a decision adverse to the government in the legal challenge to President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration rules. At issue is a program that would allow as many as five million illegal immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program under which they would receive work permits and avoid the possibility of deportation. »

Socialism in one grasp

Featured image Bernie Sanders has proposed “Medicare for all Americans.” It sounds sweet, but how much would it cost? Avik Roy, a health care analyst and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, finds an answer in work performed for the Sanders campaign by economist Gerald Friedman. The price tag: $41 trillion over ten years. Actually, the correct number may well be higher. Friedman claims that Sanders’ plan would reduce national health-care spending »

How Obama’s prisoner swap facilitates Iran’s quest to prop up Assad

Featured image Josh Rogin at Bloomberg reports that two Iranian beneficiaries of the recent prisoner swap between the U.S. and Iran were sanctioned for funneling weapons to the Bashar al-Assad regime and Hezbollah in Syria. Rogin explains: For years, Iran’s privately-owned Mahan Air has been using its planes to bring soldiers and arms directly to the Syrian military and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah by flying them from Tehran to Damascus, according »

Dubuque isn’t liking AFFH; neither will the rest of America

Featured image I wrote here about how the federal government, pursuant to its Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) agenda, is forcing the city of Dubuque, Iowa to provide low-income housing to residents of Chicago. As in almost all of my writing about AFFH, I relied on the reporting of my friend Stanley Kurtz. In response to Kurtz’s article, Dubuque’s city manager stated that the article is “not an accurate representation of Dubuque’s »

A desperate Hillary attacks Sanders for supporting legislation Bill signed

Featured image Under powerful attack from Bernie Sanders in last night’s debate over her cozy relationship with Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton stated that Sanders is “the only one of this stage that voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000. . .which [was] one of the main causes of the collapse in ’08.” Sanders, of course, was the only one of the stage who could have voted to »

The Dems’ debate: Sanders comes on strong, but misses an opportunity

Featured image With the Democratic presidential race tightening, I decided to check out the candidates’ debate tonight. I stuck with it for an hour and a half. Here are my observations: First, Hillary Clinton turned in another strong performance. Republicans who think the GOP nominee won’t have his (or her) hands full should think again. Second, unlike in the first debate (the only other one I’ve watched), Bernie Sanders was also strong. »

Uncomfortable thoughts about “uncomfortable learning”

Featured image Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University — in an article for the Washington Post called “Why my campus needs ‘safe spaces'” — presents paragraph after paragraph of pernicious nonsense about race in the higher education context. By doing so, however, he provides a service; he demonstrates how perniciously nonsensical the prevailing campus racial paradigm has become. Schapiro centers his discussion on the following episode that he says occurred at another »

David Brock demands Sanders’ medical records

Featured image According to Politico, David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s surrogate, reportedly will begin airing attack ads calling on Bernie Sanders to release his medical records. Brock, who once wrote a book highly critical of Hillary, is the founder of the Correct the Record PAC, which coordinates directly with Clinton’s campaign. Clinton’s campaign gave Brock’s group $275,000 last June, according to the Daily Caller. Is there anything wrong with calling for the medical »

The U.S-Iran prisoner swap — another bad deal, but not scandalous

Featured image Iran and the U.S. have swapped prisoners. The mullahs reportedly have released four of our guys including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. We reportedly have released seven of theirs. Swapping prisoners is something a nation occasionally does with its enemies. I think it’s almost unheard between non-enemy nations or entities. Sometimes, prisoner swaps are scandalous. Releasing terrorists in exchange for a deserter like Bowe Bergdal is an example. So, in »

How the jury voted in the first Freddy Gray case

Featured image Ever since the trial of Officer William Porter in connection with Freddy Gray’s death ended with a hung jury, I’ve been dying to know how the jury voted. Now, the the Baltimore Sun, tells us: The jury in the trial of Baltimore Police Officer William G. Porter was one vote from acquitting him of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray, the most serious charge he faced, according to »