Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Can defunding the police be squared with fear of insurrection?

Featured image Like most cities, Washington, D.C. is plagued by an increase in homicides and other violent crimes. Nonetheless, the city council seems determined to keep cutting D.C.’s police force. Last year, the size of that force fell to around 3,500, well below the number once considered the minimum needed to enforce the law in the city. This year, some on the city council seek further cuts as they “reimagine” policing. But »

NeverTrumpers back radical DOJ nominee

Featured image There are two types of NeverTrumpers. The first type hates Trump, but that hatred doesn’t cause them to abandon long-held conservative principles. The second type’s hatred of Trump leads them to shift positions on matters of policy. Bret Stephens is an example of the first type, I think. Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin are extreme examples of the second. I had assumed that Bill Krisol and Mona Charen, both long-time »

Speech police continues to intrude on sports [UPDATED]

Featured image Two recent examples are worth noting. First, Creighton University’s excellent basketball coach, Greg McDermott, is suspended from coaching his highly-ranked team as it bids for glory this month. McDermott’s suspension stems from a comment he made to his team after a very disappointing loss. Calling for unity, McDermott said: Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t »

Harris on the hot seat

Featured image A black minister recently made the following pitch to Kamala Harris. With Purim, a Jewish holiday, in mind, he implored her to follow Queen Esther’s example and rescue low-wage earning Americans by disregarding Senate rules and smuggling a minimum wage hike into pandemic relief legislation. It’s an obscene comparison. Queen Esther rescued Jews from death. A higher minimum wage would help some Blacks make a little more money (and cause »

The short answer is chutzpah

Featured image The other day, a reporter asked Andrew Cuomo whether he had taken training regarding sexual harassment. He replied, “the short answer is yes.” It may be, however, that the even shorter answer is no. Charlotte Bennett, who has accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her, claims she overheard Cuomo’s office director Stephanie Benton complaining about having to take the training for the governor. If true, I think it’s pretty funny. And »

One year of relative solitude

Featured image I will always remember the week of March 1, 2020. It was the week when I began to behave slightly differently because of the Wuhan coronavirus, and the last week before my behavior changed radically. On Sunday, March 1, I attended a book party for Tevi Troy honoring the publication of Fight House. The party was held in two crowded rooms of a house. I decided not to shake hands »

Threat to Capitol was a “mirage”

Featured image Yesterday was the day when some seem to have feared that supporters of Donald Trump would attack the Capitol. To meet this supposed threat, National Guard members armed with M4 rifles were out in force. But the assault on the Capitol did not occur. According to the Washington Post, the threat “proved to be a mirage.” Was there a reasonable basis to fear an attack? The Post says that the »

Cuomo worship explained, but not explained away

Featured image James Hohmann, a member of the Washington Post’s brigade of anti-Trump reporters but far from the most unbalanced one, takes up the question of how liberals could have been so blind about Andrew Cuomo. Why, for example, did Ellen DeGeneres call herself a “Cuomosexual” and why did Chelsea Handler write a “love letter” to Cuomo for Vogue? Hohmann’s answer is basically this: Liberals hate Donald Trump and were desperate to »

The County Executive’s response to our local crime wave

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed the crime wave in Montgomery County, Maryland. Homicides, carjackings, and armed robberies are all up this year. In January, there were seven homicides. According to the chief of police, that’s an all-time record for a single month. As for armed robberies, they have increased by 40 percent. How will the County respond? Its task force on “Reimagining Public Safety” is recommending fewer police on streets and the »

The lesson from the rejection of Neera Tanden

Featured image The failure of Neera Tanden’s nomination has led to charges that she is a victim of the cancel culture conservatives deplore. Nonsense. Tanden hasn’t been de-platformed. She’s free to go Twitter and indulge in all the name-calling she wants. No one is trying to injure Tanden’s ability to make a living. She’s free to take a high-paying job at some woke corporation or well-endowed think tank. Rejection for a top »

Our local crime wave

Featured image The relatively affluent neighborhood in Montgomery County, Maryland where I live is experiencing something of a crime wave. Reports of crimes like carjacking and break-ins appear regularly on the neighborhood listserves my wife is on. And each week, it seems like the location of the crimes gets closer to our house. Sometimes the reports complain about the police. The complaint isn’t that the cops are racist or too aggressive. It’s »

Where is the best high school basketball played?

Featured image Ask any basketball fanatic in the Washington, D.C. area, and he will say the best basketball is played in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC). Of course, if you ask the same question of fans in a dozen or so other cities, they will identify their top league as the nation’s best. Last season (2019-2020), though, the WCAC’s claim had more behind it than just local chauvinism. Consider the way »

Remembering Vernon Jordan

Featured image Vernon Jordan has died. He was 85. Jordan lived a remarkable life — from young waiter and chauffeur in the segregated south, to civil rights leader, to towering D.C. power broker and trusted adviser of presidents. You can get a flavor of it in this New York Times obituary. Jordan was a partner and an institution at the law firm where I worked. He had an office on the same »

Assessing Andrew Cuomo

Featured image It says a lot that Andrew Cuomo became a media darling even as his policies caused thousands of deaths in New York nursing homes, but now, suddenly, is the subject of impeachment talk because three women have accused him of mild or borderline sexual harassment. What it suggests to me is that our priorities are skewed and that our culture is becoming frivolous. The allegations of sexual harassment show Cuomo »

Three blind mice

Featured image Suppose six former Secretaries of State wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed discussing the urgent need to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Communist China. Their op-ed might make you think the former secretaries were asleep at the switch during their time at Foggy Bottom. Unfortunately, six former Secretaries of Education have signed the rough equivalent of such an op-ed for the Journal. The six are: Lamar Alexander, Arne Duncan, »

Short takes

Featured image *Former CIA Director John Brennan (how the hell did this hack get that job?) says “I’m increasingly embarrassed to be a white male these days.” That makes two of us. I’m embarrassed that John Brennan is a white male. Also that he’s an American. *Speaking of embarrassing, the petition for certiorari (i.e., for Supreme Court review) filed by the Asian-American plaintiffs in their case against Harvard provides a breakdown of »

Trump’s coronavirus response

Featured image Byron York reassesses Donald Trump’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus. His points will be familiar to faithful readers of Power Line. Indeed, his reassessment is essentially the same as our initial assessment. There are two aspects to Trump’s response. They are: (1) attempts to limit the virus’ spread, pre-vaccine and (2) attempts to develop and deploy vaccines. Clearly, Trump deserves very high marks on the latter aspect. As Byron writes: »