Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

How to respond to Tehran’s pirates, Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I discussed a column by Bret Stephens about how the U.S. should respond if Iran continues to attack ships in the Persian Gulf. Stephens recalled that in 1988, after a U.S. frigate was badly damaged when it hit an Iranian naval mine, we destroyed half the Iranian fleet in a matter of hours. I noted that today Iran is much more capable than in 1988 of inflicting damage on »

Trump’s McCarthyite enemies

Featured image “McCarthyism” is a charge Democrats like to level against those who make allegations that make them uncomfortable. But Robert Merry, a journalist, publisher, and presidential historian, exposes the McCarthyism in the Democrats’ treatment of President Trump. Merry’s argument is predicated on a key, but generally overlooked, point about McCarthyism. The problem with it wasn’t that there was no reason to believe communists had penetrated our government. Communist penetration was, in »

How to respond to “the pirates of Tehran”

Featured image I divide the Never Trumpers into two groups. Members of the first group adhere to the conservative views they held pre-Trump. Members of the second group have allowed their hatred of the president to infect their thinking on substantive issues. In my view, only the former are worthy of respect. Bret Stephens belongs to the first group. In this column for the New York Times, he basically backs the Trump »

Who’s a socialist?

Featured image Robert Samuelson writes sensible columns about the economy for the Washington Post. His latest column, less sensible than usual, is a contribution to the growing body of mainstream media musings about what socialism means and the extent to which various Democratic contenders favor it. Samuelson argues that accusing Democrats of being socialists is a “slur” because “we are all socialists now.” What counts, says Samuelson, isn’t labels, but rather policy »

Conservative Justices divide in case upholding Virginia’s ban on uranium mining

Featured image Last year, I wrote about the case of Virginia Uranium, Inc. v. Warren, which the Supreme Court had just agreed to hear. The issue was whether the Atomic Energy Act preempts a state law (a ban on uranium mining) that on its face regulates an activity within its jurisdiction (uranium mining), but has the purpose and effect of regulating the radiological safety hazards of activities entrusted to the Nuclear Regulatory »

Colorado kids pay big price for state’s decision to legalize marijuana [UPDATED]

Featured image The returns are in on Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana: (1) Large amounts of money are being made thanks to legalization, privately and by the state; (2) “horrible things are happening to kids.” The quotation is from psychiatrist Libby Stuyt. She treats teens in southwestern Colorado and has studied the health effects of high-potency marijuana. Stuyt says: “I see increased problems with psychosis, with addiction, with suicide, with depression and »

Left “blacklists” Sarah Sanders

Featured image The left wants to prevent Sarah Sanders from gaining employment, now that she has moved on from the Trump White House. An outfit called American Bridge is seeking signatures in support of the blacklisting of Sanders. Its email reads: Hello: We signed an open letter to America’s CEOs demanding they won’t hire anyone from the Trump administration who was complicit in Trump’s family separation policy. Trump just announced that Sarah »

Politics on South Street

Featured image Turner Classic Movies has a show called “Noir Alley.” It airs around midnight on Saturday/Sunday. The show presents movies from the film noir genre. Some are classics, many are quite good, and nearly all are worth watching. Eddie Muller hosts “Noir Alley.” He deserves great credit for presenting these films, some of which he helped restore, to television audiences and at film festivals. Muller also provides useful and sometimes fascinating »

Oh, those Virginia Dems

Featured image Where do the most wacko voters in America reside? Probably in Minnesota’s fifth congressional district. For years, the Democratic voters there sent Keith Ellison to Congress. Now that he has finally moved on, they have unleashed Ilhan Omar on Washington. Virginia’s Democratic voters deserve honorable mention, though. Last election cycle, they served up the scandal-ridden trio of Ralph Northam, Jason Fairfax, and Mark Herring for the top three executive positions »

Washington Post blames Trump for Iranian attacks in Persian Gulf [With Comment by John]

Featured image It does so in this editorial. The Post’s editorial stance informs its front page story about Iran’s attacks. The headline in the paper edition reads “Trump steps up blame of Iran.” A subheading states “Dueling accusations raise fears of military conflict.” Of course, Trump is “stepping up” the blame of Iran. He now has video evidence that Iran is responsible for attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf. That’s the »

Dem debate draw produces lopsided fields

Featured image Yesterday, the Democrats held their random draw to determine which presidential contenders will participate in which of the two debates to be held on June 26 and 27. The draw produced lopsided fields. The second debate will feature four of the five top contenders (according to the polls). Elizabeth Warren is the only top-five candidate who will debate on opening night. She will be joined by Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, »

Kellyanne Conway and the Hatch Act

Featured image Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway stands accused of violating the Hatch Act. The alleged violations consist mostly of comments Conway made on various news shows disparaging certain Democratic candidates such as Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren. I very much doubt that the Hatch Act was intended to bar the president’s political advisers from criticizing potential opponents. The Office of Special Counsel (not to be confused with Robert Mueller’s former »

Women’s soccer celebrations then and now [UPDATED]

Featured image Members of the U.S. women’s soccer team continue to insist that there was nothing out of line with the exuberant celebration of goals that ran up the score in their 13-0 victory over Thailand. It was all in good fun, an expression of sheer joy, they contend. But this hasn’t been the women’s team’s view in the past. Years ago, after Norway defeated the U.S. women in a World Cup »

Democrats winnow their presidential debate field. . .

Featured image to 20 debaters. Only three members of the presidential field were “winnowed.” The hapless three are Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, and Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Fla. (I have never heard of Messam or, for that matter, of Miramar). Here’s who made the cut: Sen. Michael Bennet Joe Biden Sen. Cory Booker Mayor Pete Buttigieg Julian Castro Mayor Bill de Blasio former Rep. »

The Russians are coming. . .to Montenegro

Featured image During an interview last year, President Trump and Tucker Carlson had this exchange: CARLSON: Membership in NATO obligates the members to defend any other member who has been attacked. So let’s say Montenegro, which joined last year, is attacked: Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack? Why is that? TRUMP: I understand what you’re saying. . .but that’s the way it was set up. . »

Colin Powell’s self-serving distortion of Balkan history

Featured image In his 1995 autobiography, Colin Powell tried to justify America’s refusal to intervene in the Balkan Wars by claiming that these wars were driven by “ancient hatreds” in a “thousand year-old hornet’s nest.” I’d call this a misreading of history, except that Powell probably was not reading history. Maybe he picked up this trope at a cocktail party. In any case, the clash between Croats and Serbs in the 1990s »

Elizabeth Warren surges. Why?

Featured image While I was in Europe, and not paying much attention to the news, Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy surged. Polling suggests that she has moved well past Pete Buttigieg into no worse than third place in the race for the Democratic nomination. A very recent poll by YouGov has her in second place, ahead of Bernie Sanders. What explains Warren’s surge? Paul Waldman of the Washington Post tries to answer that question »