Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Leo Baeck, Berlin, 1935

Featured image Jews begin the observance of Yom Kippur at sundown tonight with the Kol Nidre prayer service. A couple of years ago a Christian friend asked to join us at the service. During the service she pointed in our prayer book to an adaptation of the prayer composed by the progressive German Rabbi Leo Baeck for delivery in German synagogues during the Kol Nidre service on October 10, 1935. It is »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Badly needing a pause that refreshes, we went to see Connie Evingson perform with the Travis Anderson Trio at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis this past Thursday night. Connie is a Minnesota native who was born in Hibbing (Bob Dylan’s hometown). She now lives in Minneapolis. She performs frequently around town and elsewhere, such as Lincoln Center. We absolutely love her. As usual, Connie delivered what we came »

The three faces of Hillary

Featured image Quotable quotes from Hillary Clinton’s speeches to big banks and Wall Street firms are buried in other news today. They are derived from what appear to be John Podesta’s hacked emails. Tim Mak and Andrew Desiderio cull some of the highlights and embed the relevant links for Daily Beast readers in “Leaked Podesta emails show Bernie was right.” There is a distinctly postmodern quality to Clinton’s discussion of the necessity »

A word against Obamacare

Featured image In the Wall Street Journal Andrew Ogles and Luke Hilgemann argue that “Obamacare’s meltdown has arrived” (their column is accessible via Google here. They take Tennessee as their proving ground, citing state insurance commissioner Julie Mix McPeak approving premium increases of up to 62 percent in a bid to save the exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act. “I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near »

Trump’s apology

Featured image The Trump Titanic hit an iceberg yesterday, or an iceberg was moved into its path. The captain of the ship issued an interesting apology on his Facebook page last night (video below, via USA Today). Here is the text: I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than »

Our man in Hezbollah

Featured image The outrages continue to mount as we approach the end of the Obama administration. President Obama adds degradation to insult and injury. In a very recent example, Adam Kredo reports that former Hezbollah co-conspirator is slated to speak at a conference in Washington, D.C. He is Azmi Bishara. Bishara was an Israeli Arab serving in Israel’s parliament when he fled Israel in 2007. Bishara fled Israel to set up shop »

Will she have to talk?

Featured image Anthony Trollope titled the first of his series of Palliser novels Can You Forgive Her? In Minneapolis “The curious case of Ilhan Omar” raises a similar question. Will she have to talk? Early voting in Minnesota has been underway since September 23. Yet our local media have done roughly nothing to answer the question whether the young lady about to be elected the first state representative from Minnesota’s Somali community »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll focuses on the prospect before us in BINARY FOR THEE, BUT NOT FOR ME. She writes: From the very beginning of the primary contest, I have been confused and shocked by the vitriol aimed at Trump, and only Trump, from OUR side’s sizable glump of #NeverTrumpers. Now, as I have said repeatedly in this column, Trump was not even my 6th choice. I voted for Cruz in the »

The terror in St. Cloud

Featured image The authorities in St. Cloud have been sparing in their release of information regarding the stabbing rampage perpetrated by Somali refugee Dahir Adan at the Crossroads Center mall on the evening of September 17. Since the joint press conference held by the mayor, the chief of police and the FBI in the immediate aftermath of the incident the following day, the authorities have remained mum. I wrote about what we »

Two investigations

Featured image Noel Francisco and James Burnham practice law at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. They represented former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell against the federal corruption charges brought against him and his wife by the government. The story came to as happy an ending it could have for Governor McDonnell and his wife when the Supreme Court unanimously set aside their convictions this past June and the government subsequently chose to abandon »

Appropriate this

Featured image Lionel Shriver is an American novelist who lives in London. I will only add that she is a woman because her adopted name Lionel might lead one to infer otherwise (photo below). On September 8 Shriver gave the keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. Her speech opposed the concept of “cultural appropriation.” The Guardian has posted the text of Shriver’s speech here. Shriver elaborated on her speech in the »

The Kaine cacophony [with comment by Paul]

Featured image The GOP has compiled the video below of Tim Kaine making his presence felt in the vice-presidential debate event last night. The video keeps a running tabulation of Kaine interruptions that reaches 72. It seems to me that Kaine must have set some kind of a record for obnoxious behavior in such events. To surpass Joe Biden’s performance against Paul Ryan in 2012 on that score, Kaine had to go »

After last night

Featured image The vice-presidential debate between Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence last night gave us two sides of Kaine: Kaine can’t and Kaine cant. Kaine can’t say he’ll be Clinton’s right-hand man. No, he’ll be her “right-hand person.” When it comes to men, Democrats are riding the culture wave and would prefer not to distinguish between men and women for certain purposes. Announcing himself Hillary Clinton’s right-hand man wouldn’t be »

Say it ain’t so, Jim

Featured image Andrew McCarthy takes up the side agreements to the immunity deals struck with Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson in the faux invesigation conducted by the FBI in the Clinton email case. The side deals apparnetly provide for the destruction of their laptops by the FBI. The side deals themselves have not been made public, but the letter sent by House Judiciary Commitee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to Attorney General »

Immunity with a difference

Featured image The latest news coming out of the FBI’s faux investigation of the Clinton email scandal boggles the mind. At FOX News, Catherine Herridge and Adam Shaw report that the FBI agreed to destroy the laptops of Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson as part of the immunity deals to which it agreed with them: Immunity deals for two top Hillary Clinton aides included a side arrangement obliging the FBI »

From the education apocalypse

Featured image It’s not possible to satirize the reign of political correctness on campus. Today’s satire is tomorrow’s diktat. John Leo takes note of the latest dispatch from the education apocalypse at Princeton and mischievously gets in the spirit: One of the feminists who used to write angry letters to the editor in the 1960s about sexist words such as “fireman,” “chairman,” and “mankind” has apparently come to power at Princeton and »

Restatement on comments (rated R)

Featured image As I have mentioned a time or two before, we seek to maintain a tone appropriate to civil discourse on this site. As new commenters have joined the conversation, a restatement of ground rules may be appropriate. We not only strive to maintain an appropriate tone, we seek to elevate the tone. It is a tone that comes naturally to most of our readers and commenters. I review comments for »