Author Archives: Scott Johnson

ISIS comes to town

Featured image Tonight 60 Minutes broadcast a segment on the persecution of Christians and Christianity by ISIS in Iraq (video below). The segment was reported by correspondent Lara Logan. CBS News has posted a transcript of the segment here. The emergence of ISIS in Iraq is attributed to the withdrawal of American forces by President Obama in 2011 by one of Logan’s eloquent Christian interlocutors at one point; she carefully attributes equal »

Why the phantom fatwa?

Featured image I wrote about President Obama’s March 19 statement on the Persian new year in “Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.” In the statement Obama asserted: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.” Obama’s assertion follows closely on Secretary of State Kerry’s assertion to the same effect. I quoted »

Dems traffick in cynicism

Featured image The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enjoyed unanimous bipartisan support when it was passed out of committee with the sponsorship of Senators Cornyn (R, TX) and Klobuchar (D, MN). Senator Klobuchar’s operative principle is “keep your head down” and it has served her well so far. Nevertheless, something funny happened on the way to passage of the bill in the Senate. As the Wall Street Journal’s Kim »

In which we mourn the passing of Rouhani’s mother

Featured image As the Obama administration arrives at the verge of a catastrophic deal to bless the bulk of Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure, the talks adjourned yesterday in light of the death of the mother of Iranian President Rouhani. It is reported that “the negotiations had been tentatively extended to go into Saturday. But the Iranian delegation decided to depart for home to allow negotiators, including Mr Zarif and Hossein Fereydoon, a »

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Featured image 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 Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” The song is a buried treasure on Ella’s 1961 quartet-backed jazz set Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! (I love the Amazon review that rates it »

Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool

Featured image I know that Barack Obama fancies himself a grand strategist the likes of which the world has never seen. (Okay, that may be true, but not in the way he thinks.) In an important essay last month at Mosaic, Michael Doran drew a revealing portrait of “Obama’s secret Iran agenda” that cast light on dark corners. If you want to understand Obama’s strategery, Doran’s essay is the place to go. »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is back with a look at BAD IDEAS. She writes: When in the course of human events the brain thinks up things to do, it is inevitable that some of those things are going to be bad ideas. For example, some bad business ideas would be a line of humorous sympathy cards or Certs that come in Garlic Flavor. Then, there’s the ideas (famously, often one’s last) that »

Rubio steps up

Featured image Marco Rubio took to the Senate floor this afternoon to speak about Israel in the context of the Obama administration’s unremitting hostility to its elected leadership (video below). Obama will not forgive Israelis for reelecting Netanyahu or Netanyahu for having the temerity to prevail in the face of his opposition. Senator Rubio is on fire in these remarks as he steps up to trace the history of Obama’s antipathy to »

The Kaus case

Featured image Mickey Kaus posted a long, detailed critique of the coverage of President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty on FOX News at the Daily Caller this week. Kaus criticized FOX News for not leading the opposition to amnesty. “Fox is supposed to be the feisty opposition network. You’d think it would wage a rousing campaign against Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which are surely wildly unpopular among its viewers, both because of their »

What the Shiite?

Featured image Iran and Hezbollah have gone missing from the Terrorism section of this year’s Worldwide Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community. In recent years, the threats raised by Iran and/or Hezbollah were duly noted in the assessment of terrorist threats presented to Congress by DNI James Clapper. This year we need to send out an APB. The subject is important. Subject to correction, I tentatively offer the following in the spirit »

Iran goes missing

Featured image Appearing on Greta Van Susteren’s FOX News show last night, Catherine Herridge and John Bolton followed up on the disappearance of Iran and Hezbollah from the list of terror threats 2015 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community issued by the Director of National Intelligence (video below, also posted here along with a partial transcript). I believe the disappearance was first reported here by the Times of Israel. Ambassador Bolton »

Netanyahu’s victory

Featured image I don’t profess any insight into Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory in the Israeli elections yesterday. He will in all likelihood become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, exceeding the time in office of David Ben-Gurion, and his new term, when he assembles the coalition he needs to proceed, should give him political life after Obama. As John Podhoretz puts it in his New York Post column this morning: “He gambled his entire career »

CRB: What becomes a liar most?

Featured image We conclude our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books this morning. Subscribe here for $19.95 and get immediate online access. It is an invaluable magazine. Better yet, support the Claremont Institute and its mission with a tax-deductible contribution here that, among other things, will help defray the cost of publishing the magazine. I have a morbid fascination with the life and lies of Lillian »

Jack Lew clams up

Featured image You have to love Rep. Sean Duffy, the congressman representing Wisconsin’s Seventh District. He showed his mettle today in a House hearing at which he questioned Jacob Lew, the United States Secretary of the Treasury. Secretary of the Treasury is a position that has been held by accomplished and prominent Americans going back to Alexander Hamilton. Tax cheat Timothy Geithner depreciated the currency of the office, so to speak, but »

Bill Kristol defends the Cotton letter

Featured image Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol appeared on C-SPAN yesterday morning to talk about his mordant editorial “The party of the furrowed brow” and to take calls from viewers. C-SPAN host Paul Orgel began by asking Bill to explicate the editorial. As it turned out, Bill talked more than anything else about the letter that Senator Cotton drafted to explain relevant American constitutional principles to the Supreme Leader and his minions. »

Beyond the phony war on amnesty

Featured image if the Republican Senators want to put up a fight on Obama’s lawless executie amnesty — a big if — Curt Levey proposes a realistic and obvious plan in today’s Wall Street Journal: “Immigration push back: Don’t confirm his judges” (accessible via Google here). Levey writes; Congress’s approval of unconditional funding for the Department of Homeland Security was an embarrassing setback in Republicans’ struggle to respond to President Obama’s unilateral »

Of fatuity and fatwas

Featured image President Obama’s has courted the Islamic Republic of Iran since the first days of his presidency. In Obama’s mind, a “path” exists, in Obama’s mind, for this nation to be “a very successful regional power.” The charitable interpretation is that Obama does not understand the nature of the Iranian regime. He does not understand that Iran is a revolutionary power. He thinks it can can coddled and conciliated into normality »