Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Netanyahu’s message to Congress, and to the President

Featured image Strip away the politics associated with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and this simple reality remains: Netanyahu had an urgent, much needed message to deliver about Iran. This morning Netanyahu delivered that message forcefully, persuasively, and to great applause from members of both political parties. A few dozen Democratic members, including a hugely disproportionate number of African-American congressman but also (according to Fox News) half a dozen Jewish members, »

U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq after all

Featured image The Washington Post reports that some former U.S. troops have taken up the fight against ISIS in Iraq: [A] growing band of foreigners [is] leaving behind their lives in the West to fight with new Christian militias against the Islamic State extremist group. The leaders of those militias say they have been swamped with hundreds of requests from veterans and volunteers from around the world who want to join them. »

The “prebranding” of Hillary Clinton

Featured image The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account — and only a personal email account — to send emails in connection with government business while she was Secretary of State. According to the Times: Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers »

Barack Obama, the answer to Ayatollah Khamenei’s prayers

Featured image Ray Takeyh, who served in the Obama administration focusing on Iran, has an illuminating piece on how Iran’s “Supreme Leader” is “patiently negotiating his way to a bomb.” Absent military intervention, Ayatollah Khamenei was always going to pursue his nuclear bomb. But it now looks like he will be able to pursue it in the most advantageous manner possible — with American cooperation. Takeyh explains: After years of defiance, Khamenei »

Is Scott Walker ready for prime time? [UPDATED]

Featured image In my view, the big question in Republican presidential politics is how Scott Walker will perform as a candidate. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Walker has already proven that he can deliver red meat in a prepared speech. He proved it again at CPAC last week. But can Walker impressively discuss and eventually impressively debate the broad range of issues that will present themselves during the course of »

Beach week

Featured image I’m headed for a week in the Caribbean. By the time I return, Scott Walker probably will have been asked to opine on half a dozen more irrelevant issues, the White House will have selected half a dozen left-wing programs through which to persuade potential jihadists to forebear, and Team Clinton will have picked a symbol for the “rebranded” Hillary. In short, it’s a great time to take a week »

The rebranding of Hillary Clinton

Featured image Phillip Rucker and Anne Gearan of the Washington Post have written an article called “The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help reimagine Clinton brand.” They should have added, “Not a parody.” In the context of this article, the word “brand” means “image.” I’m not sure how “brand” took the place of “image” in marketing-speak. I suppose it was because “image” sounds fake, whereas “brand” sounds solid. Actors have images; »

Why Hillary is no shoo-in

Featured image According to Chris Cillizza, “there’s a strain of thought in politics these days — prominent among Democrats but shared by even some Republicans — that it’s going to be very hard to beat Hillary Clinton in 2016.” Cillizza is right — this strain exists. Based on my conversations with Republicans, I’d even say Cillizza probably underestimates the extent of GOP pessimism, at least here in Washington. But Cillizza sees Clinton »

Obama administration will seek a stay of adverse immigration ruling

Featured image There has been plenty of speculation about how the President Obama would respond to Judge Hanen’s order that blocks him from granting, via executive fiat, lawful status to millions illegal immigrants. Would the administration seek an expedited appeal or would it seek a stay of Hanen’s order? Might it do both? Or would Obama reverse his initial decision and simply defy the court order? This afternoon the Justice Department announced »

Don’t abolish the filibuster

Featured image Charles Krauthammer urges Republicans to abolish the filibuster. He is prompted to advocate this fundamental change for a very narrow purpose — to pass a piece of legislation he expects President Obama to veto. But Krauthammer isn’t talking about an ordinary piece of legislation. He has in mind a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, minus the immigration service which would be denied funds to implement the »

Obama’s “violent extremism” summit: an exercise in community organizing

Featured image Andy McCarthy points out that, even as the White House throws “a public hissy fit” over the upcoming speech to Congress by Benjamin Netanyahu, it chooses to be “chummy” with Salam al-Marayati, the Muslim activist best known for saying, right after the 9/11 attacks, that we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list. You have to hand it Obama, he knows who his friends are. It’s America’s »

Will Obama’s immigration defeat be sustained — Part Two

Featured image In my post last night about the district court decision blocking President Obama’s executive order granting lawful status to as many as five million illegal immigrants, I did not discuss the important threshold issue in the case — whether the plaintiff states have standing to challenge the order. Judge Hanen found that they do. I believe this finding is well-reasoned and correct. Texas argued, and Judge Hanen agreed, that Obama’s »

Jeb Bush will be “his own man,” he feels compelled to declare

Featured image In a foreign policy address delivered yesterday, Jeb Bush stated: “I recognize that as a result [of the presidencies of my father and brother], my views will often be held up in comparison to theirs, but I am my own man.” Of course he is. But the fact that he needs to say so, and will continue to, demonstrates the weakness of his position. It shows that the former governor »

A timely warning from Rep. Gutierrez

Featured image Rep. Luis Gutierrez warns of “unprecedented militancy” from the immigrant community in response to the injunction issued by Judge Andrew Hanen against President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The militancy, he explains, will be directed at Republicans: The Republican party is making a critical mistake. The militancy that will be activated throughout the immigrant community — in terms of voter registration, voter participation, voter anger at the Republican party as »

Will Obama’s defeat on his immigration order be sustained?

Featured image When I first heard that Judge Andrew Hanen had blocked President Obama’s executive order granting lawful status to as many as five million illegal immigrants, I was inclined to downplay the ruling’s significance. Judge Hanen is an able jurist, but a conservative one, and only a district court judge. The opinions that truly matter will be rendered by less conservative judges further up the ladder. That’s still, perhaps, the best »

ISIS: Crush it or bleed it?

Featured image Yesterday, I recommended an article by Graeme Wood about ISIS. Wood closely examines ISIS’s ideology which, not surprisingly, turns out to be thoroughly Islamic, though not embraced by most Muslims. Wood shows that President Obama’s failure to grasp what ISIS is about led to dangerously flawed decisions. He concludes by considering the implications of his analysis for the big question of the moment — how to deal with ISIS going »

Care to turn U.S. domestic anti-terrorism policy over to CAIR?

Featured image The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is seeking to limit our government’s ability to obtain information with which to counter Islamist terrorism and jihad. On the eve of a three-day White House meeting on federal efforts to mitigate jihadi violence, CAIR issued a statement calling, in effect, for the government to farm out its program for dealing with domestic Islamist terrorists to Muslim leaders — in other words to CAIR »