Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Media management, Hamas style

Featured image Following up on “The Tapper turgidity,” I want to bring to your attention the video below (posted here), picked up yesterday from Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) and translated by the invaluable MEMRI. The video presents an excerpt of an interview with Isra Al-Mudallal head of foreign relations with the Hamas information ministry. Mudallal is obviously an interesting person in her own right. Spiegel profiles her here. When it comes to media »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll begins the first of a three-part series on her high school reunion. Here is ON THE ROAD, Part One (Eat your heart out, Jack Kerouac): I recently returned to Arizona from a 5,000 mile, 17-day road trip back to Alexandria, Minnesota, for my – Krikey! – 50th high school reunion. My two best friends from high school joined me – Bonnie flying in from Minneapolis to Phoenix (after »

The luck of Hamas

Featured image David Horovitz is a middle-of-the-road editor running a middle-of-the-road Israeli news site, so I am not only struck by the despairing tone of his latest column, I am completely in sympathy with it. “After the abandonment of Israel by the UK, with its promise to limit arms sales to Israel if Hamas restarts its attacks on our civilians,” Horovitz writes, “we now learn that the US is already restricting arms »

The Tapper turgidity

Featured image This week the Foreign Press Association issued a statement condemning “the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.” We haven’t heard much about these methods. Alan Johnson asks a reasonable question in the Telegraph: “Hamas manipulated and intimidated the media in Gaza. Why was that kept from us?” Johnson usefully collects the examples »

Add some music to your day

Featured image I’ve been thinking about starting an occasional series of posts to feature artists or songs or cover versions of songs you are unlikely to have heard before but likely to enjoy if you give them a listen. Musical themes have been running through my mind all day via Power Line posts. Paul Mirengoff gives us Chuck Hagel, who is channeling songwriter P.F. Sloane’s “Eve of Destruction” (“The Eastern world,” you »

Meet the Mustafa Family

Featured image Working for a Minneapolis-based bank holding company over a period of years, I learned that the Twin Cities are the hub of significant international crime, some of it believed to be related to the financing of terrorist organizations. See, for example, my 2007 post “Who Wazwaz that masked man?” Even so, this surprised me. Yesterday state and federal authorities disclosed the indictment of 20 members of a Twin Cities-based crime »

Ms. Hillary retreats

Featured image David Axelrod fired back at Ms. Hillary on Twitter today — fired back in response to her interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg — operating as always on behalf of his lord and master. (Paul wrote about the interview here.) Just to clarify: "Don't do stupid stuff" means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision. — David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 12, 2014 Axelrod’s »

Don’t double down on clichés!

Featured image In The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White lay down the immortal injunction: “Omit needless words.” The injunction beautifully embodies the principle. It is a model of expressive form. Strunk and White drily observe: “Many expressions in common use violate this principle.” To this rule I would add: Avoid clichés. They deaden writing. They are an enemy of clear thought. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Barton Swaim »

‘Twas a famous ending

Featured image Those of us of a certain age recall that Jimmy Carter began his term in office as president declaring that we had overcome our inordinate fear of Communism. As William Buckley probably pointed out at the time, Carter never did explain what the “ordinate” fear of Commmunism was or would have been. Rather, he was, as a certain critical biography of Carter points out, declaring an end to the Cold »

The Obama file

Featured image From the first days of his administration, President Obama has sought to befriend our enemies and betray our allies. Those of us who understood Obama as a member of the leftover left with friends in all the likely places have not been surprised. How could we find Obama taking in the Reverend Jeremiah Wright over all those years and not get a clue? As we see in his yammering to »

Just a lie before he goes

Featured image Taking a few questions following a statement on the dire situation in Iraq that President Obama gave on the White House lawn as he departed for his Martha’s Vineyard vacation (White House transcript here, White House video here), President Obama availed himself of the any port in a storm tactic that has helped him so much along his way. The reporter asking the last question Obama deigned to field wondered »

Boyhood: A brief note

Featured image We went to see the film Boyhood last night, and I want to recommend it to readers who might otherwise overlook it in the film industry’s recurring summer of crud. It’s a movie for adults about time and love and (the modern) family. I am not familiar with writer/director Richard Linklater, but I want to mention his name here as the man without whom the film wouldn’t exist. For whatever »

The seven ages of man updated

Featured image My worldly wise acquaintance who commented in the adjacent post on Obama’s interview with Tom Friedman also sent along this related thought on an updated version of the Seven Ages of Man expounded by Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. I thought some readers might appreciate this: Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Man” today would be something like 1.) no-score soccer camp; 2.) gender-neutral school; 3.) Model UN; 4.) An »

Obama’s map of misreading: A comment

Featured image I asked the person who is perhaps the most worldly wise man I know if he would comment on Obama’s interview with Obama apostle Tom Friedman as related yesterday in the Times article “Obama on the world.” Noting the stupidity of Obama’s comments to Friedman, and Obama’s incessant yammering, I asked my acquaintance what he made of the whole production. He responded with the following comment, which I thought readers »

Obama’s map of misreading

Featured image It’s not unusual for Obama to regale us with his deep thoughts. He does it all the time. Not for him the adage (I think it’s Mark Twain’s) that “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” No, Obama speaks on matters great and small with “the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces” (Twain again). Obama called in one »

Hypocrisy over Gaza

Featured image In the video below, “atheist internet personality” (as Wikipedia styles him) Pat Condell addresses the ongoing hostilities between Hamas and Israel. He picks up a number of themes that we have developed in connection with the conflict. Condell mentions, for example, the terror tunnels of Gaza that were built in part with child labor. Paul wrote about them here. Condell addresses his comments (titled “Hypocrisy over Gaza”) to “progressive humanitarians” »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image If it’s Friday, it just occurred to me, it’s time for Ammo Grrrll. She calls this edition of her thoughts STUCK ON STUPID. Grrrll, take it away: At the risk of appearing to pander, I am going to assert that, based on the quality of comments, Power Line regulars are smarter than the average bears. However, I have read that in surveys, almost everyone rates himself or herself as “above »