Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Ebola panic and the limits of political sanity [Updated With Classic Image]

Featured image No explanation offered by the White House or the CDC about our refusal to impose a travel ban on Liberian or other visitors from affected west African countries to the United States makes sense, or so it seems to me. Indeed, what has been said (again, so it seems to me) ranges from the nonsensical to the absurd, from BS to balderdash. If a travel ban would serve to protect »

The Daily Show meets Rich Richman

Featured image Jon Stewart performed a service for his viewers on the Daily Show this week. In the eight-minute segment below, he actually mentioned and mocked Obama’s recent fundraiser at the home of Rich Richman. The segment begins slowly and picks up around the three-minute mark. It continues with a review of the Democrats’ hysterical fundraising email messages this campaign season. John Hinderaker has written about the Democrats’ fundraising emails with more »

What is inherent?

Featured image Two months into the phony war we are fighting irresolutely against ISIS — or the phony war we are resolutely not fighting — we finally have a name for it. It is Operation Inherent Resolve. Robin Wright reflects on it for the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: The choice–”Operation Inherent Resolve”–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It reflects both the dashed hopes of »

Pryor analytics, O’Keefe edition

Featured image James O’Keefe takes his Project Veritas Action team inside the campaign of incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. In his new video, O’Keefe’s team shows Pryor supporters claiming that he secretly supports gay marriage although he holds himself out as a supporter of traditional marriage. O’Keefe prefaces the video with this email message: Enter Senator Mark Pryor. Sen. Pryor is a Democrat from Arkansas who has been in office »

A word from Michael Rogers

Featured image Michael Rogers is the author of the message in the adjacent post. I wrote him to ask if I could have his permission to identify him by name. He has not only acceded, for purposes of identification he has provided his professional affiliations with Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital, where he is assistant professor of surgery and a research associate in the vascular biology program, respectively. Dr. Rogers (the “doctor” »

A word on the NIH budget

Featured image John wrote yesterday about the alleged NIH “budget cuts.” Dr. Michael Rogers of Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital (Boston) follows up with a brief message providing a concise summary as well as a link to the authoritative CRS fact sheet setting forth a history of NIH funding (dated December 23, 2013): Attached [at the link above] is a CRS analysis of the actual NIH budget for the last several years in »

Sharpton overcomes the teleprompter

Featured image It isn’t funny that Al Sharpton has his own MSNBC show. There is nothing funny about it. He is one of the most vile race hustlers degrading our public life. At this late date, Jay Nordlinger’s 2000 NR cover story on Sharpton remains essential reading (as does Wayne Barrett’s 2004 Village Voice article). I took a look back at Sharpton’s career in demagogy this summer in “Sharpton’s shape.” The Washington »

The Risen heist comes to FOX News

Featured image New York Times reporter James Risen appeared on Greta van Susteren’s FOX News show tonight to promote his new book (video below). Van Susteren touched on the subject of Risen’s noncompliance with the subpoena requiring his testimony in the pending prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling for violation of the Espionage Act. Van Susteren clearly has no idea of the issues raised by Risen’s conduct. I wrote about them »

Today’s Ebola news

Featured image We have the new case of the Dallas nurse, supposedly as a result of “breach of protocol.” We have the apology for imputing a breach of protocol to the nurse. Why? Because we don’t know how she contracted the virus. We have another possible new case or two. We have a continuing stream of “total garbage” from public health officials. Although the public health officials speak with great authority, I »

New dimensions in racial tensions

Featured image A cafeteria food fight turned into a riot at South High School in Minneapolis in February last year. The school’s security officers were insufficient to the task. Police officers dispatched to the scene sprayed mace and placed the school on lockdown to get a handle on the situation. Three or four students and a staff member ended up in the hospital. What was all the excitement about? The Star Tribune »

Gabriel Schoenfeld: A Risen in the sun

Featured image Gabriel Schoenfeld has graciously responded to my invitation to comment on last night’s 60 Minutes segment publicizing the case of New York Times reporter James Risen. Mr. Schoenfeld is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the former senior editor of Commentary. He is also the author of The Return of Anti-Semitism and, most recently, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign. In Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, »

Is James Risen a law unto himself?

Featured image Writing in an adjacent post about New York Times reporter James Risen and last night’s 60 Minutes segment on him, I link to a January 2006 column that I wrote for the Weekly Standard on Risen’s first big story blowing a critical national security program during the Bush administration. The Standard headlined the column “Exposure and it is still accessible online, but errors crept into the formatting when the Standard »

A conversation with Dick Cheney

Featured image The Foundation for Constitutional Government has just released Bill Kristol’s “Conversation” with former Vice President Dick Cheney. The “Conversation” is one in a series of long-form interviews conducted by Bill with key intellectuals and players. Vice President Cheney has not shied away from commenting on the ongoing catastrophe of the Obama administration. It is always a pleasure to hear from him, but this interview goes well beyond events of current »

The Risen Heist

Featured image Last night CBS’s 60 Minutes broadcast a segment presenting New York Times reporter James Risen as a martyr and a hero. Lesley Stahl’s report on Risen is posted here.. The video is below. Should journalists be free to choose which laws they are required to observe and which ones they can break at will? That, essentially, is what Risen is demanding as the trial of alleged CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling »

Susan Rice: All is well

Featured image ISIS has advanced to the outskirts of Baghdad and into Kobani. They preside over territory that continues to grow in extent and sustain their financial needs. According to National Security Advisor Susan Rice on Meet the Press this morning (NBC account and video here), however, now is no time to reevaluate President Obama’s “strategy” opposing ISIS. All is well. “No, Chuck, this is very early days of the strategy,” Rice »

Breach of protocol, or something

Featured image The NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd this morning (video below). The occasion of his appearance was the new case of Ebola that has been contracted by a Dallas “health worker” who treating the patient from Liberia who died last week. How could the health worker have gotten infected with Ebola? “What obviously happened, unfortunately, is that there was an inadvertent breach of protocol,” »

Indecent proposal, nuclear edition

Featured image Keeping up with the news and commentary that followed the interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program late last year, I found the Iranian authorities to be a better source of information than Obama administration spokesmen. The Iranian authorities justifiably elaborated with victors’ pride the concessions they had extracted from the United States and the other parties; the Obama administration preferred to play down the concessions. Since then the »