Author Archives: Scott Johnson

The need to get our minds right

Featured image National Review has posted a symposium contemplating what the Supreme Court has wrought in its gay marriage decision of this past Friday. The decision represents itself as the culmination of a long line of cases and related social developments. In the first contribution to the symposium, however, Notre Dame’s Professor Gerard Bradley asserts that it is only the end of the beginning. Concluding with an allusion to the prison warden’s »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image After much thought and deliberation, I’m moving Hall & Oates out of the category of guilty pleasures. Among other things, their best work honestly draws on their background in Philly soul. Moreover, in the spirit of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage diktat, I ask (facetiously) who’s to judge? As Justice Kennedy might put it, all music seeks to comfort the lonely heart; all music must be accorded equal respect. (Not.) »

In praise of Lesley Goodman

Featured image In his elegy of William Butler Yeats, W.H. Auden concludes with this couplet offering advice addressed to an unnamed poet: “In the prison of his days/Teach the free man how to praise.” This morning I want to take a brief timeout to praise Lesley Goodman. Professor Goodman has a Ph.D. in English from Harvard. She is a voracious and learned reader at the beginning of what should be a great »

From Justice Scalia’s dissent

Featured image Justice Scalia’s dissent in today’s gay marriage diktat is all must reading. Short of posting the whole thing, let me offer these pointed excerpts (to which I have added some paragraphing in the interest of readability): The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, »

Obama’s betrayal of Israel

Featured image On Tuesday the Wall Street Journal published Matti Friedman’s review of Michael Oren’s new book. Friedman’s review is accessible here via Google. Friedman’s review strikes me as jaded and superficial. As such, it is a disservice to potential readers who would be interested in what Oren’s timely book has to offer. I am taking the liberty of reposting my comments on Oren’s book from this past Tuesday as a review »

Triumph of the leftist will

Featured image The Supreme Court issued its decision in King v Burwell yesterday. The Supreme Court has posted its opinions in the case here. At issue in King was the legality of the IRS’s provision of tax credits in Obamacare exchanges established by the federal government. As Professor Jonathan Adler wrote in USA Today, the case “presents a straightforward case of statutory interpretation.” As such, it wasn’t a hard case; it was »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image This week Ammo Grrrll explains: YES MEANS YES and THIS LAW MEANS ITS AUTHORS ARE INSANE. She writes: Writer Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner has an excellent column about the proposed new “Yes Means Yes” law from two Law Professors who definitely need a hobby. Google it for facts and details. The gist of it is to make virtually every sexual encounter rape, unless “affirmative consent” can be proved »

“May fall short”

Featured image If one takes the purported rationale of the imminent deal with Iran seriously, the deal is absurd. It will facilitate Iran’s development and acquisition of nuclear weapons. It will promote the nuclearization of the region, and this while the Islamic Republic of Iran remains both an avowed and an active enemy of the United States and its allies. President Obama must have some other object in mind than preventing Iran »

Bill Henck: Inside the IRS, part 8

Featured image The IRS is at the center of the deepest scandals of the Obama administration. William Henck has given us a look from his perspective inside the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel, where he has worked as an attorney for over 26 years. Last year we posted his personal account of a retaliatory audit conducted by the IRS against him in “Inside the IRS.” We followed up with subsequent posts »

Getting to yes

Featured image Omri Ceren writes to comment on George Jahn’s AP story “Document outlines bit-power nuke help to Iran.” If you have been following our posts presenting Omri’s comments on the breaking news of our capitulation to the Islamic Republic of Iran, please don’t miss this one: The Associated Press got ahold of one of the five secret annexes being worked on ahead of a final deal between the P5+1 global powers »

Rumors of Gruber

Featured image The late Arnaud de Borchgrave and the still kicking Robert Moss published The Spike in 1980 to expose the power of the media to suppress politically unpalatable stories in the service of covert political interests. The University of Chicago’s Peter B. Ritzma Professor of Political Science Charles Lipson draws on the metaphor of “the spike” to describe what has happened to the revelations of Monday’s Wall Street Journal story reporting »

Tales of the administrative state

Featured image We have written a lot about the administrative state and administrative law on Power Line over the past few years. Reviewing Philip Hamburger’s Is Administrative Law Unlawful? for National Review last year, I summarized just about everything I have learned about the administrative state. The review was published under the apt heading “A new old regime.” Drawing on his personal experience and observation, a reader writes to comment: As a »

Tom Cotton on the Obama-Iran axis

Featured image Our friend Senator Tom Cotton has released a statement commenting on the Bloomberg story reported yesterday by Josh Rogin and Eli Lake here that we are now sharing a military base with Iranian forces in Iraq: When I was a soldier fighting in Iraq, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces. Many American soldiers lost their lives to Iran’s proxies and Iranian-supplied bombs. Further, »

The Gruber variations

Featured image On Morning Joe yesterday, the crew assessed the veracity of the Obama administration against the page-two Wall Street Journal story that I quoted and commented on in “From the mixed-up files of Jonathan Gruber.” On MSNBC a good time was had by all. Kudos to Joe Scarborough for picking up the story and to his sidekick Mika for playing it relatively straight. As for the rest, this is an unimpressive »

Iran (and Obama) vs. Israel (2)

Featured image Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s Ally: My Journey Across the Israeli-American Divide is out from Random House today. The book is part autobiography, part memoir, part history and part (as they say in the bookstore) current events. I urge interested readers to pick it up now and study it with care. The book makes a valuable contribution to recent history in which he has been a participant and to which »

Donald Kagan reflects

Featured image Yale history/classics professor Donald Kagan is a great old-fashioned scholar and teacher. The author of a classic four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War, he has written many other books of distinction including Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy and On the Origins of War: And the Preservation of Peace. Professor Kagan retired from his position at Yale in 2013. He gave his last lecture to a packed auditorium. »

From the mixed-up files of Jonathan Gruber

Featured image You have to wonder if the Obama administration has ever uttered a true word about Obamacare. I say no. President Obama has shifted the prevarications into overdrive in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the IRS’s regulatory revision of the Obamacare law in King v. Burwell. On the issue before the Court in the case, we await a true word from the Obama administration, but we’re not holding »