Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

The Russia indictments, why now?

Featured image Michael Mukasey, writing in the Wall Street Journal, wonders why the Russia indictments were announced on the eve of the Trump-Putin summit. Mukasey states: The president was told of the indictments before he traveled. Yet the plain effect of the announcement was to raise further doubts about the wisdom of the meeting—and perhaps to shape its agenda. Neither is the business of the special counsel or anyone else at the »

Why did Trump do it?

Featured image Why did Trump refuse to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election? Byron York takes up this question. He concludes: Trump’s problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two. One is about national security and international relations, while the other is about Donald Trump. The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia »

Putin’s umbrella

Featured image Yesterday in Moscow, France defeated Croatia in the final match of the World Cup. The score was 4-2. After the match, Vladimir Putin joined French president Emmanuel Macron and Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on the field for the awards presentation. Just then, rain began pouring down. Someone brought an umbrella with which to protect Putin. He was unaffected by the downpour while Macron and Grabar-Ketarovic were quickly soaked. The Croatian »

Trump plays the useful idiot in Helsinki

Featured image I agree with Steve’s characterization of President Trump’s performance in Helsinki as “extraordinarily dismal.” “Disgusting” might be an even better description. The performance was disgusting in at least two ways. First, Trump blamed the poor state of U.S. relations on the U.S. He tweeted: Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt! Trump is right »

Anti-Iran protests rock southern Iraq

Featured image I wrote here about an emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime. A key element is making the regime pay for its regional adventurism, which has become quite unpopular with the Iranian population. This can be accomplished by making Iran’s adventurism increasingly costly and humiliating the regime by thwarting its ambitions. As Jonathan Speyer explained it: A strategy seeking to contain further Iranian gains and then to roll Iran back »

Mr. Rooney goes to Washington

Featured image Earlier this month, Wayne Rooney joined D.C. United in Major League Soccer (MLS), having been sold by Everton FC. of the English Premier League (EPL). Rooney is the all-time leading scorer for Manchester United and the English national team, and is second on the all-time Premier League scoring list. (The EPL commenced in 1992). Yesterday, Rooney debuted for D.C. United in the first game ever played at the club’s new »

Kamala Harris, fabulist

Featured image On July 9, Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted: Two decades after Brown v. Board, I was only the second class to integrate at Berkeley public schools. Without that decision, I likely would not have become a lawyer and eventually be elected a Senator from California. That’s the power a Supreme Court Justice holds. Harris’ election to the Senate is one of the lesser reasons to celebrate Brown v. Board. Moreover, it’s »

Robert Mueller, the dispensable man

Featured image Yesterday, Robert Mueler indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers in connection with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign. Assuming the indictments are well-founded, a reasonable assumption, they are a welcome development, though it seems highly unlikely that any of the 12 will ever appear in court. The indictments are not, however, evidence of the need for a special counsel. The Department of Justice has many »

Scenes from a meltdown

Featured image From Alexandra Smith, writing in the Washington Examiner: As speculation in Washington mounted about who would be President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee Monday night, protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Court ready to #Resist. Some were poised with Sharpie markers ready to fill in the blank with the chosen name, while others carried a mix of preprinted signs paid for by professional protesters from the Center for American »

Kavanaugh’s D.C. connections are working in his favor

Featured image Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly advised President Trump that Thomas Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge, two circuit court judges with only slight connections to Washington, D.C., would be easier to confirm than Brett Kavanaugh, a D.C. circuit court judge with a lifetime of connections to the city. McConnell may have been right. Judge Kavanaugh’s work in Washington has generated a very long paper trail that predates his service to the judiciary. »

Senate confirms Benczkowski; it’s time to confirm Dreiband and Clark too

Featured image On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Brian Benczkowski as head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Thus, a year and a half into the Trump administration, the Senate has finally confirmed one of Trump’s nominees to a key assistant attorney general position. Three other such key positions remain vacant. They are head of the Civil Rights Division (Eric Dreiband), head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (Jeff Clark), »

Strzok testifies

Featured image Peter Strzok appeared today before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees. The event lived up to expectations in its contentiousness. Here are a few highlights, with commentary. Immediately after the opening statements, Trey Gowdy, House Oversight Committee Chairman, asked Strzok how many people he interviewed during the first eight days of the FBI’s Russia investigation (between July 31 and Aug. 8, 2016). Strzok responded that he »

The left’s incoherence on Trump-Putin exposed

Featured image I agree with John’s analysis of the approach President Trump is taking at the NATO summit. In this post, I want to highlight the inconsistency, noted by John, between the left’s criticism of Trump’s approach and its claim that he is soft on, and maybe an instrument of, Putin. Trump has made two main points in Europe. First, key NATO members aren’t doing enough in the area of defense. Second, »

Democrats on the brink

Featured image How many Democratic Senators will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh? I suspect the answer depends on how many Republican Senators will. If Republican Senators don’t break ranks, the votes of their Democratic colleagues won’t matter. In that event, a few Democrats will probably break ranks and support the nominee in order to enhance their re-election prospects. But if it requires Democratic votes to confirm Kavanaugh, I don’t think any Democrats »

Brett Kavanaugh and the McCain factor

Featured image Yesterday, I noted that Sen. John McCain has strongly backed the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I think McCain’s endorsement bodes well for the nominee even if McCain isn’t physically able to vote for him because it’s indicative of how Kavanaugh is viewed by moderate Republicans. Obviously, the endorsement bodes even better if McCain is able to vote for Kavanaugh. In that scenario, the judge can be confirmed even with »

The Democrats’ indefensible conspiracy theory on Kavanaugh nomination

Featured image Democrats are claiming that President Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court because he believes Kavanaugh will protect him from the Mueller investigation. Sen. Dick Durbin tweeted: [I]n light of the ongoing Russia investigation, is it a coincidence that President Trump picked a nominee who has expressed staunch opposition to criminal investigations of sitting Presidents? Also: And just in time, the President has found a Supreme Court nominee who »

Trump not the first to mock “a thousand points of light”

Featured image The mainstream media and other anti-Trumpers are pretending to be offended by the ridicule President Trump heaped on former president George H.W. Bush’s pet saying/project “a thousand points of light.” At a rally in Montana, Trump riffed: A thousand points of light, what the hell was that? What did that mean? Does anyone know? Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican! I »