Author Archives: Scott Johnson

If “Making It” can make it there

Featured image This past Friday the New York Times published a long profile of former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz. I wrote the following review/essay about Norman Podhoretz and his 1967 autobiographical book Making It for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, which posted it on Sunday. On Monday New York Review of Books founding editor (with Barbara Epstein, then wife of Podhoretz’s friend Jason Epstein) Robert Silvers died in Manhattan; Silvers is the »

Spring can really hang you up the most

Featured image In the interest of anger management therapy on a day that calls for it, I’m taking the liberty of reposting this tribute to a great song with an unusual story behind it: There are a few torch songs that lament the coming of Spring. This time of year, if you’re tuned to one of the right stations, you may well find yourself listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s memorable rendition of “Spring »

The ugly news at St. Thomas

Featured image St. Paul’s University of St. Thomas is in the news and the news is ugly. The linked story includes the full text of the messages/statements cited in the column below by Robert J. Delahunty, UST Le Jeune Chair and Professor of Law; Willis Krumholz, UST JD/MBA 2014; and Daniel Berlinger UST JD candidate 2017. Professor Delahunty et al. write: The University of St. Thomas is in the news, and the »

If “Making It” can make it there

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal has posted my column on the restoration to print of Norman Podhoretz’s Making It by New York Review Books. With a nod to Kander and Ebb, I called it “If Making It can make it there.” By “there,” I mean the publisher of the new edition of Making It, which trashed it upon the original publication of the book 50 years ago. Now it rightly »

The Luger lobby, cont’d

Featured image Andrew Luger was the United States Attorney for Minnesota, appointed to the position by President Obama on the recommendation of one or the other of Minnesota’s two Democratic Senators. The Star Tribune recently quoted these two senators — Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken — lobbying to support Luger’s continuation in office under President Trump. As I noted in “The Luger lobby,” their comments have entertainment value but are not to »

Eric Posner goes full Slow Joe

Featured image The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court begins on Monday. Last week Steve Hayward predicted that some idiot would take up the mantle of Slow Joe Biden. “Instead of holding up Richard Epstein’s book Takings,” Steve wrote, “as Joe Biden did with Clarence Thomas in an effort to make Thomas repudiate his philosophy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the banned »

Judge Chuang’s case

Featured image Theodore Chuang is the United States District Judge for Maryland who has enjoined President Trump’s second executive order temporarily halting travel into the United States from a few designated countries including Somalia and Iran. He was appointed to the bench by President Obama. The Baltimore Sun briefly profiles Judge Chuang. The site Heavy has posted “5 fast facts” on Judge Chuang that do not surprise. I take it that he »

The return of “Making It”

Featured image John Leland interviews and profiles former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz in today’s New York Times. Leland’s article is “Norman Podhoretz still picks fights and drops names.” It’s an informative profile that looks back on a long career spent at or near the top of the New York intellectual and literary crowd. I would like to add this footnote to Leland’s profile. Podhoretz came of age in the Age of Criticism, »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll makes a simple request to whom it may concern: STOP TELLING US WHO WE ARE! She writes: Any time a Leftist disagrees with a policy, a person, or an idea, if he has already used up the tedious racist/sexist/whatever deal, and hasn’t started rioting yet, he has one more lame argument in his bag of tricks. He has learned from ex-President Obama, to point his nose skyward and »

Can Obamacare be killed?

Featured image Can an entitlement program be killed? That seems to me the question implicit in the unfolding drama over the repeal of Obamacare. With their majorities in Congress and Obama in the White House, Democrats forced the passage of Obamacare without a single Republican vote. The party discipline they displayed was impressive to observe. In the style of the Roman captives paying their respects to the emperor Claudius, the Democrats who »

Calling out NBC

Featured image In a great opening beatdown on his FOX News show last night, Tucker Carlson compared and contrasted the interference of NBC in the 2016 presidential election with the alleged interference of the Russians (video below). Quotable quote: Complaints from NBC about election meddling? Given that company’s conduct over the past six months that is a bit rich. Consider the infamous Access Hollywood tape. Now, if you are living in America »

A Bradley for Philip Hamburger

Featured image I am pleased to note the announcement yesterday that Professor Philip Hamburger is one of four recipients of the 2017 Bradley Prize. The Bradley Prize will be awarded to Professor Hamburger at a ceremony to be held on April 6, 2017 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C. The award carries a stipend of $250,000. I wrote Professor Hamburger to congratulate him. I thought readers might »

Fake out!

Featured image Campus Reform reports that Harvard University has created a research guide on “fake news” that identifies dozens of respectable conservative websites as “unreliable” or simply “fake” while rating many of their liberal counterparts as “credible.” Titled Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda, the guide links to a Google document titled “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources. The guide links to the Google document with its “huge list of fake news »

Shree on a match

Featured image One Shree Chauhan accosted Trump administration flack Sean Spicer in the DC Apple store this past Saturday. The Daily Mail reports that Chauhan is a 33-year-old Indian-American woman who lives in DC and works for a non-profit. The site Heavy has more here and here. Chauhan harasses Spicer. She implies that Spicer is a criminal. She suggests he has committed treason. Those are fighting words, but Chauhan takes offense at »

A Middlebury update

Featured image A reader alerts us to an important update on the Middlebury debacle with relevant information we haven’t seen reported elsewhere. Two or three days after the thug brigade assaulted Professor Allison Stanger, she returned to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion. The initial incident occurred March 2; we believe the concussion was diagnosed on Sunday, March 5. Below is the undated message distributed to the Middlebury community »

To license or not to license

Featured image For citizens to use driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards for official purposes, the license must comply with the requirements of the REAL ID Act. Minnesota is one of very few states that has yet to fall into line with the requirements of the act. The requirement for compliant licenses becomes effective on January 22, 2018. As of that date, Minnesota citizens without compliant licenses will be required to use »

The Luger lobby

Featured image Andrew Luger is the United States Attorney for Minnesota. Appointed by President Obama at the suggestion of one or the other of Minnesota’s two Democratic Senators, he had no reason to think that his days in office would continue in the Trump administration. When I ran into him in the downtown Minneapolis skyway a few days after the election, I asked him if he knew what he was going to »