2012 Election

McConnell will bring leniency legislation to Senate floor for vote

Featured image Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that he will bring First Step — i.e., leniency legislation for federal felons — to the Senate floor. It has more than enough votes to pass. McConnell’s move follows some concessions to the bill’s critics. Although the concessions don’t come close to curing the legislation, they were enough, combined with pressure from the White House and from wealthy Republican donors, to move some GOP »

FIRST STEP bitterly divides Senate Republicans

Featured image FIRST STEP, the leniency for federal felons legislation being supported by President Trump, may or may not pass the Senate this year. Either way, it has split the Republican caucus. This Washington Post report leaves no doubt about that. The division is encapsulated in dueling National Review articles — one by Sen. Tom Cotton opposing the jailbreak and the other by Sen. Mike Lee supporting it. In another NRO article, »

Trump v. Love

Featured image Mia Love, an African-American woman, represents Utah’s fourth district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Having very narrowly lost her re-election bid, she will leave Congress at the end of the year. We proudly supported Love as a “Power Line Pick” in 2012 (when she ran unsuccessfully), 2014, and 2016. Given her solidly conservative voting record in the House, we probably would have supported her this year, if I had »

Trump backs leniency for fentanyl dealers, etc. Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about President Trump’s support for what Sen. Tom Cotton calls jailbreak legislation. That legislation, known as FIRST STEP, enables the early release from federal prison of most categories of federal felons and sets lower mandatory minimum sentences for many federal drug felons. Yesterday’s post focused on the politics of FIRST STEP. Today, I want to focus on how the legislation would affect fentanyl dealers. I focus on »

Twitter Commentary While Waiting For a Vote [Updated]

Featured image At this writing, the Judiciary Committee has not yet voted, although, with Jeff Flake coming out in support this morning, it seems clear it will recommend Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Meanwhile, here are a few Twitter follow-ups to yesterday’s hearing. Appropriately, President Trump came out strongly in support of his nominee: Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy »

Tom Cotton and Hugh Hewitt discuss jailbreak legislation [UPDATED WITH GOOD NEWS]

Featured image Our old friend Sen. Tom Cotton joined our old friend Hugh Hewitt on Hugh’s radio program to discuss the leniency-for-criminals legislation that has been picking up steam in the Senate. Tom forcefully stated the case against passing such legislation, especially in the midst of the opioid epidemic. Hugh and Tom discussed a recent tragic episode of which I was unaware. In New Haven, Connecticut, in one park, 70 people overdosed »

In defense of Tom Cotton’s critique of leniency-for-criminals legislation

Featured image Last week, Sen. Tom Cotton wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal opposing the lenient sentencing legislation now under serious consideration by Congress. I summarized Sen. Cotton’s article here. John Malcolm and Brett Tolman of the Heritage Foundation have responded to Cotton. They deny that the legislation is soft on crime. Malcolm is a respected conservative legal analyst. I’m not familiar with Tolman, but I’m confident he is too. »

Tom Cotton on the leniency-for-criminals legislation

Featured image Our friend Sen. Tom Cotton has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal opposing the latest jailbreak legislation that I discussed here. He argues: [U]nder no circumstances should Congress cut mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes or give judges more discretion to reduce those sentences. That foolish approach is not criminal-justice reform—it’s a jailbreak that would endanger communities and undercut President Trump’s campaign promise to restore law and order. »

James Clapper deceives again

Featured image In his new book, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, says “of course” Russian activity swung the election to Donald Trump. The left is treating this speculation, almost certainly driven by animus towards President Trump, as immensely important. For example, Rachel Maddow said, ahead of her interview with Clapper: “The immediate past director of national intelligence, who was director of national intelligence during the Russian attack on the »

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. »

Sen. Cotton to propose longer mandatory minimums for opioid pushers

Featured image Senator Tom Cotton will introduce legislation next week to combat the opioid epidemic in America. The proposal will impose penalties for fentanyl distribution and trafficking that better reflect the severity of the crime. It will also provide resources to the Post Office to stop shipments of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids arriving from overseas. Fentanyl, a fully synthetic opioid, is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Dumped into the U.S. »

Gina Haspel: Tom Cotton’s take

Featured image Last night, I noted the reactions of several key players to Gina Haspel’s selection to be Director of the CIA. The signals, as I read them, were mixed. Today, Sen. Tom Cotton told me that Gina Haspel will be a good Director. The Senator also endorsed Haspel, along with Mike Pompeo, in a public statement: Gina Haspel is also an excellent choice to become the new CIA Director. A true »

The Tom Cotton You Don’t Know

Featured image Michael Morell is the former Acting Director of the CIA and current contributor to The Cipher Brief. He hosts the site’s Intelligence Matters podcast. In his January 25 podcast he interviewed Senator Tom Cotton (audio below). Here is the summary: Republican U.S. Senator and Army veteran Tom Cotton is often described as a hawkish conservative for taking a hardline stance on issues like immigration and the Iran nuclear deal. In »

More skewed immigration reporting from the New York Times

Featured image The following isn’t exactly fake news, but it’s certainly misleading. The New York Times (per Maggie Haberman, Katie Rogers, and Michael Shear) reports: President Trump said on Wednesday that he is open to a path to citizenship after 10 to 12 years for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, days after rejecting a bipartisan plan with that as its centerpiece. Mr. Trump once »

Sad news from Ohio

Featured image Josh Mandel, the former Ohio state treasurer, has withdrawn from the Ohio Senate race because his wife is seriously ill. “Understanding and dealing with this health issue is more important to me than any political campaign,” Mandel said. He did not say what the health issue is. Mandel was expected to be the Republican nominee to oppose Sen. Sherrod Brown this November. Many considered him the GOP’s strongest candidate for »

Jennifer Rubin’s longstanding intellectual dishonesty [UPDATED]

Featured image Charles Cooke has written a devastating take down of Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s ostensibly conservative blogger and reflexive critic of President Trump. Cooke has not hesitated to criticize Trump. Thus, his article isn’t coming from a pro-Trump perspective. Rather, it’s based on dismay over Rubin’s intellectual dishonesty. There is plenty to be dismayed about — more, as we shall see at the end of this post, than even Cooke »

Tom Cotton to CIA?

Featured image John noted last night that, according to strong rumors, Sen. Tom Cotton will resign from the Senate and succeed Mike Pompeo as head of the CIA. Pompeo, according to the same rumors, will become Secretary of State. I’d rather see Cotton in the Senate than at the hornets nest across the river in Langley (and, frankly, the hornets nest of the Trump administration). However, I think I understand why he »