Author Archives: Scott Johnson

The new Al Franken, Part Three

Featured image Paul gave a good account (here and here) of the November 29 Senate Judiciary Committee on the nominations of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit and Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit. I want only to add a few personal notes along with the video of the hearing below. I am a fan and admirer of Justice Stras. He will make a great contribution to the »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll looks out upon the land and sees LOOPNER NATION. She writes: Last week I talked about some very serious, very real sexual crimes. Today I want to look at the potential for disaster in believing every ancient accusation out of hand, without proof. Back in the Bronze Age when Saturday Night Live was funny and the fabulous Gilda Radner, of blessed memory, was still alive, a recurring skit »

Another “crowded & chaotic situation”

Featured image Emerging today from the “crowded and chaotic situations” in Al Franken’s past is Stephanie Kemplin’s story, related by CNN’s MJ Lee. It involves another grope by Franken while he and Kemplin posed for a photograph on a USO tour in December 2003. The photograph itself is innocent. Kemplin says the grope took place just before the photograph was snapped. Lee reached out to Franken’s spokesman for comment. I think I »

Kudlow speaks

Featured image Politico Money’s Ben White interviewed Larry Kudlow this week for the podcast embedded below. White noted the interview yesterday in his Morning Money column. In the interview they discussed Kudlow’s role in shaping the Trump tax plan and the wayward course it has taken on the individual side. It is a wide-ranging interview; White also asked Kudlow to recount his struggle to overcome cocaine and alcohol addictions in the early »

The Second World Wars

Featured image Last week I noted that Time has compiled a list of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2017. While conceding I haven’t read any of them, I noted that any such list in which Hillary Clinton and Ta-Nehisi Coates place in numbers 1 and 2 is some kind of a joke. That’s what Time’s list is. I’m thinking about my own top 10 list. It certainly includes Scalia Speaks: Reflections »

NBC fires Matt Lauer

Featured image The sexual harassment panic has arrived at NBC’s long-running Today show, with the termination of host Matt Lauer as of last night. I pause here to take note of it only because the complaint was reportedly received Monday night. The email announcing Lauer’s termination was distributed early this morning. Whatever investigation NBC conducted following the complaint could not have lasted more than a few hours. I can’t help but wonder »

Charles McCullough speaks

Featured image Paul wrote about Catherine Herridge’s interview with former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III here last night. Listening to McCullough discuss the events that thrust him into the Clinton email scandal, we are reminded of the seriousness of Hillary Clinton’s wrongdoing, of Barack Obama’s dishonesty, and of former DNi James Clapper’s political hackery. Herridge’s interview with McCullough in the clip below is followed by Tucker Carlson’s discussion with Clinton »

O’Keefe’s exploding cigar

Featured image James O’Keefe had a brainstorm. He thought he could peddle a fraudulent Roy Moore sex scandal to the reporters of the Washington Post. Instead the reporters scoped out O’Keefe’s fraud and reported that instead. The Post even traced the woman who dealt with its reporters to O’Keefe’s offices in New York (video below). Mediaite’s Ken Meyer has a brief summary here; Hot Air’s Allahpundit reports and comments at some length »

Al Franken regrets

Featured image A stringer for 5 Eyewitness News in the Twin Cities caught up with Al Franken on his apology tour yesterday. It looks like the interview was conducted on outside the house of Franken’s daughter, where he had been holed up over the long Thanksgiving weekend. I have embedded the whole thing below (about 7 minutes). The quality of the interview pales in comparison to that conducted by Esme Murphy on »

Franken: Just very, very sorry

Featured image Last night CBS Minnesota broadcast excerpts of the interview Al Franken gave to anchor/reporter Esme Murphy at his daughter’s home in Washington, where he rode out the storm over the long Thanksgiving weekend during which he issued laughable and inconsistent statements on his misconduct. CBS Minnesota has posted the broadcast report (video below, about six minutes) and a companion summary here. It has also posted the entire 33-minute interview. If »

Franken meets the press

Featured image Minnesota Senator Al Franken has not yet emerged from the bunker in which he is hiding somewhere in Washington. He will emerge tomorrow when he returns to work to take care of the business at hand, so to speak. Today, however, Franken made himself available to talk to trusted media outlets, such as the Star Tribune. Franken told the Star Tribune’s Jennifer Brooks that the sexual misconduct of which he »

Pelosi looks ahead

Featured image House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi turned in a classic performance on the Meet the Press this morning (video below, transcript here). Moderator Chuck Todd focused on the wave of sexual harassment claims that is engulfing even her beloved Democrats. As Todd asked about John Conyers, Pelosi declared him an “icon” (costing me brain cells I could ill afford to lose) and tried to turn the question to the future, where »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (9)

Featured image When we checked in most recently on the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-majority legislative bodies, the Minnesota Supreme Court had decided that DFL Governor Mark Dayton had the constitutional authority to zero out the legislature’s funding, as Dayton did at the conclusion of the legislative session this past June. The court’s 29-page opinion affirmed the governor’s authority to veto the legislature’s funding so as »

The age of outrage

Featured image Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of The Righteous Mind, among other books. He is also cofounder of Heterodox Academy and is a voice of sanity in the asylum of higher education. Steve Hayward wrote about him for us here. On November 15 Professor Haidt gave the Manhattan Institute’s thirty-first annual Walter B. Wriston lecture (video »

Franken’s statement

Featured image The Thanksgiving statement issued by Minnesota Senator Al Franken on ventures in grope and grin photographs poses a test for Minnesota voters and Minnesota media. It is a sort of intelligence test. How stupid are you? Franken is betting that we are on par with the vegetable kingdom’s cabbage and potato. In the annals of false apology, this must set a new record: I’ve met tens of thousands of people »

Weekend reading

Featured image I want to take the liberty of drawing attention to weekend reading of special interest without commentary from me. I recommend: • Douglas Murray, “The Russian Revolution, 100 years on.” Murray looks back at what Communism wrought and decries its continuing appeal. NRO has posted Murray’s recent cover story along with sidebars by Anne Applebaum, David Pryce-Jones, Noah Rothman, Roger Scruton, and Radoslaw Sikorski assigning notable books for extra credit »

Franken speaks: I need to be more careful

Featured image From a bunker somewhere in Washington, Minnesota Senator Al Franken issued a statement yesterday all but acknowledging the misconduct of which he has been charged this week and declaring that he’s not going anywhere. He’s sorry. He’s learned from it. He wants to make sure it won’t happen again. Franken frames his misconduct as an excess of warmth. He has hugged people in the thousands, often in crowded and chaotic »