Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Out of “their” “minds” at Brown

Featured image A Wall Street Journal reader forwarded James Freeman a copy of the letter received by the reader’s daughter from Brown University Director of Admissions Logan Powell. The reader, Freeman reports, is still trying to make sense of the letter. The reader’s bright daughter had already received news of her acceptance when a letter arrived that was addressed to her “Parent/Guardian.” Freeman reports: Oddly, the note referred to the accepted student »

The Power of silence

Featured image Samantha Power served as America’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 2013 until President Trump took office, but she made her name as the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2002 book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. In the book Power indicted and convicted the United States of passivity in the face of genocide. The book is a polemical history. As a polemic, the book »

Thick as a wrist

Featured image John and Paul have examined the Washington Post story disclosing the existence of the FISA warrant authorizing the surveillance of Carter Page. I want only to add a brief footnote. Referring to the FISA warrant process, FBI Director James Comey has explained for the benefit of outsiders: “Those applications are often as thick as my wrist or thicker. It is a huge pain in the neck to get permission to »

Message in the MOAB

Featured image Last week President Trump authorized a limited missile strike against the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons against civilians. I explicated what I thought was “the message in the missiles” (I stretched to find 10 messages). Yesterday the United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the most powerful conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan on Thursday. The »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll expounds THE PENCE PROTECTION PRINCIPLE. She writes: If, like me, you are fortunate enough to live into late, late middle age, you will think that you have heard everything. But, sadly, you will have not. So, when the breaking news story about Vice President Pence’s principle of not dining alone with a woman other than his wife hit the airwaves, it could have triggered any number of sane »

Kassem Eid’s case

Featured image We got a glimpse of Kassem Eid when he appeared on CNN blowing up in anchor Brooke Baldwin’s face. Eid was a 2013 victim of Assad’s sarin gas attack on a suburb of Damascus; Baldwin was looking for Eid to denounce President Trump for calling a timeout on the emigration of Syrian refugees to the United States. Instead, he denounced President Obama and thanked Trump for the American military reprisal »

Dave Carroll was unavailable for comment

Featured image Dave Carroll memorialized his experience as a musician traveling on United nearly a decade ago. He complained in song that United had destroyed his valuable Taylor guitar (video below). The Wikipedia entry on Carroll’s videos has already been updated (footnotes omitted): “On April 9, 2017, #unitedbreaksguitars trended on Twitter. This was following the release of a video that showed United Airlines physically forcing a passenger off a plane in order »

Don’t reaccommodate me, bro

Featured image A United passenger onboard in Chicago to fly to Louisville was dragged from his seat Sunday evening because the trip was overbooked and he declined to follow the airline’s order to make way for airline employees. United called airport law enforcement authorities to have the noncompliant passenger/customer dragged from his seat. Below is the video posted by Business Insider. We still don’t know the passenger’s name, which is perfect. He »

The return of “Making It”

Featured image Many conservatives who follow politics came to know Norman Podhoretz through his work as the editor of Commentary and his own essays, most of which were published in Commentary itself. He moved notably from the left to the right, shed friends and influenced many people like me along the way. He could write the book on How To Lose Friends and Influence People, and more or less has under other »

The Luger lobby: Sen. Klobuchar comments

Featured image In Minnesota we are awaiting President Trump’s appointment of a United States Attorney, two federal district court judges and an Eighth Circuit judge. It has previously been reported that Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar seeks the reappointment of Andrew Luger as United States Attorney. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reported, for example: “Klobuchar said she will campaign for Luger to be renominated and has already spoken to Sessions and his deputy »

On Syria, now they tell us

Featured image New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker looks back at Assad’s use of Sarin gas to murder civilians in Syria in the context of President Obama’s agreement with Putin and Assad to remove chemical weapons. In the newspaper Baker’s article runs on page A11 under the headline “Deal on Syria’s chemical weapons comes back to haunt Obama.” Online Baker’s article runs under the headline “For Obama, Syria chemical attack »

Remembering Rickles

Featured image The death of Don Rickles last week brought back a flood of memories for me. My father loved seeing him in Las Vegas before Rickles really hit it big, when he was playing in the lounge at the Sahara Hotel. I saw him several times with my dad. Indeed, I saw him several times one night with my dad. Visiting family over Christmas in December 1969, I think, one night »

Behind the showdown on Mount Gorsuch

Featured image Writing slightly in advance of the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court this past Friday, I referred to the weak sisters among the GOP Senators who came through in the event. I also paid tribute to Senator McConnell’s “long game” in keeping Justice Scalia’s seat open and in overcoming the Democratic filibuster. The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes now gives us an early look behind the showdown in “How »

Blues for Brooke Baldwin

Featured image CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin badly wanted Syrian guest Kassem Eid to trash President Trump. Eid is a 2013 gas attack survivor who now lives in Germany. Baldwin tried to recover after Eid did the unthinkable and actually expressed gratitude to Trump for the American reprisal targeting the Syrian air base from which this week’s sarin gas attacks had been launched by Assad. Baldwin was prepared with video cued up and »

What they knew & what they said

Featured image Yesterday in “Never true and mostly stupid” I noted that PolitiFact has withdrawn its previous assessment of the alleged removal of chemical weapons from Syria under the Obama administration as “mostly true.” PolitiFact’s revised assessment is posted here. The current update declares PolitiFact agnostic pending further review. Mark Hemingway is here to help. At the Weekly Standard Hemingway compiles some of the evidence that the Obama administration not only knew »

The O’Donnell hypothesis

Featured image Michael Doran (@Doranimated) is the sagacious senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, author of Ike’s Gambit and former (G.W.) Bush administration National Security Council senior director. Among his invaluable essays on the Age of Obama are “Obama’s secret Iran strategy” and “Our man in Moscow” (that would be Obama’s buddy Vlad the Impaler). Doran generously declares this the moment when the left totally lost its mind (screenshot below). There is »

Never true and mostly stupid

Featured image There is a lot about Obama administration foreign policy that needs urgently to be revisited. The sarin gas attacks in Syria have prompted the left-wing hacks at PolitiFact to take a look back and set the record straight. This particular episode stars the former Obama administration Secretary of State (and former Democratic presidential nominee for whom CBS News blew its credibility in 2004), but by all rights Barack Obama himself »