Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Don’t blame Trump for the violence at the Gaza border

Featured image Steven Schmidt, the Republican strategist, says that President Trump has blood on his hands for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Former CIA director John Brennan seems to agree. It’s true that the same day the new U.S. embassy opened in Jerusalem, Israeli forces killed approximately 60 Palestinians who were part of a mob engaged in violent acts and trying to breach a border fence. But to blame the deaths »

Gina Haspel will be confirmed

Featured image Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to head the CIA appears to have enough votes to be confirmed. The support of Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, announced today, should ensure that Haspel has the votes she needs. In fact, soon after Warner’s announcement, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson said they are on board to confirm Haspel. A couple of guys named Joe — Manchin and Donnelly — had »

Supreme Court sports gambling decision is victory for federalism. What about sanctuary cities?

Featured image Today the Supreme Court ruled that a federal law barring states from legalizing sports betting violates the “anti-commandeering doctrine.” That doctrine is part of the Supreme Court’s federalism jurisprudence. It holds that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to enforce federal laws or policies. The decision was 7-2 on the core constitutional question of whether the federal law in question — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) »

Put up or shut up on the Trump threatens democracy claims, Part Two

Featured image In my first post on this subject, I argued that 15 months into the Trump presidency, those who claim he’s a threat to democracy should have to point to actions he’s taken that support this assertion. I then submitted that Trump’s actions do not support claims that he threatens free speech, flouts the rule of law, assaults minority rights, or colludes with foreign adversaries. In this post, I’ll argue that »

Put up or shut up on the Trump threatens democracy claim

Featured image Some on the left and in media are beginning to acknowledge the excesses of the anti-Trump resistance. For example, Evan Mandery of Politico discussed the shunning of Alan Dershowitz for the sin of raising civil libertarian concerns about some of Robert Mueller’s conduct. And Jack Goldstein acknowledged and worried about the “deep state’s” assault on President Trump. In both cases, though, there was a caveat. Mandery expressed it in remarkable »

Bad news about Iraq’s election

Featured image Last week at this time, relying on a report by the Washington Post, I wrote that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is the front-runner in Iraq’s national elections. This was good news, I said, because Abadi had worked closely with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, was campaigning on a message of national unity, and seemed to enjoy support across sectarian lines. The frontrunner Abadi may have been. However, it »

The left can’t handle the truth on illegal immigration

Featured image During an interview with John Burnett of NPR, White House chief of staff John Kelly said the following about illegal immigrants: The vast majority of the people that move illegally into the United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS-13. Some of them are not. But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people »

Happy Mother’s Day from Tom Steyer

Featured image Yesterday, in a post about authoritarianism on the left, I recalled the old liberal saying, “friends don’t let friends vote Republican.” In America, no one, friend or foe, can stop us from voting how we please. But liberals were saying, perhaps partially tongue-in-cheek, that friends should do what it takes to keep their friends in the Democrat fold. My post discussed the case of Alan Dershowitz. He doesn’t want to »

Does populism threaten our liberal democracy?

Featured image William Galston of the Brookings Institution argues that liberal democracy “faces clear and present dangers” from a rising populist tide. Unlike members of the anti-Trump resistance, Galston is not in full panic mode. In his view, the various populist movements sweeping the West, including Brexit to Trumpism, are not at this time an existential threat to democracy. However, they are “beginning to question key liberal-democratic principles such as the rule »

All that’s wrong with the left in one Politico article

Featured image Did Politico’s Evan Mandery set out to expose the authoritarian nature of the American left in this article called “What Happened to Alan Dershowitz”? I’m not sure. Regardless, he has done a good job of it. Here are the key passages: Over this storied career, Dershowitz’s public persona has remained more or less unchanged: loud, provocative, brilliant and principled, if also relentlessly self-promoting. And, until recently, his positions have been »

A cynical moan about leaving the Iran deal

Featured image President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal has produced much hand-wringing from its supporters. Some of the angst is understandable. Former administration officials and many in the foreign policy establishment thought the deal was our best option for dealing with the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons. I don’t agree, but acknowledge that the path Trump has chosen carries considerable risks (as, of course, did Obama’s). However, one »

Wayne Rooney to D.C.?

Featured image Reports from both sides of the Atlantic suggest that, more likely than not, English football legend Wayne Rooney will leave Everton this summer for D.C. United. Rooney is the all-time leading scorer for both the English national team and Manchester United. He’s the second all-time leading scorer in the Premier League. This season, he returned from Man U to Everton, the club he supported as a boy and debuted for »

Dana Milbank rages against Tom Cotton

Featured image In the first few years after 9/11 it seemed very likely that al Qaeda would attack the U.S. homeland again and almost certain it was plotting to do so. Indeed, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday (about which more below), one Senator recalled credible reports that al Qaeda was planning to attack the U.S. with a dirty (nuclear) bomb. Our government needed to know what al Qaeda was plotting. »

New York Times embarrasses itself in hit piece on Pompeo

Featured image Is there any shot at the Trump administration too lame for the New York Times to eschew? After reading this report from Brian Flood at Fox News, I’m starting to doubt there is. On Tuesday, the Times breathlessly reported that Secretary of State Pompeo was absent from Washington when Trump announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear deal with Iran. “At a Key Moment, Trump’s Top Diplomat »

Confirm Jeff Clark

Featured image For conservatives, the rolling back of oppressive, costly, and unnecessary federal regulations is probably the signature achievement of the Trump administration so far. This rolling back, if it continues and if it survives challenge, will deliver a major blow to the administrative state and provide the equivalent of a large national tax cut. EPA is the federal agency at the center of the rollback. Indeed, most of the “tax cut” »

Did John Kerry violate the Logan Act?

Featured image As President Trump seriously contemplated ending U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal, John Kerry, the deal’s main architect, reportedly met multiple times with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron. Did Kerry thereby violate the Logan Act? That Act provides: Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly »

Morrisey leading in West Virginia; Blankenship third [UPDATED: Morrisey wins]

Featured image With more than 60 percent of West Virginia’s precincts reporting, Patrick Morrisey, the state’s Attorney General, holds the lead in the Republican Senate primary. He’s at 36 percent. Rep. Evan Jenkins is in second place with 28 percent. Don Blankenship, whom we criticized here, is in third place. His share of the vote is just under 20 percent. There were reports that Blankenship was surging in the polls. I don’t »