Author Archives: Scott Johnson

David Friedman reflects

Featured image US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also spoke at the AIPAC policy conference last week (video below, text here). My friends who attended the conference and commended Ambassador Haley’s speech to me also commended Friedmans’s. They declared his speech, if not the best, at least a close contender. Like Ambassador Haley, Friedman warmed up with a contrast between then and now: “Now, the events that I just noted are not »

Nikki Haley among friends

Featured image US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressed the multitude assembled at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington this past Monday (video below, text here). I am reliably informed by my friends who were there that, with the possible exception of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, Ambassador Haley’s remarks constituted the highlight of the event. They also emphasized to me that you had to have been there to understand why. »

For Ellison, 4 Pinocchios down…

Featured image On Friday Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler took a look Minnesota Fifth District/DNC Vice Chairman Rep. Keith Ellison’s statements about his relationship with hate cult leader Louis Farrakhan. Ellison’s relationship with Farrakhan goes way back, but it turns out that Farrakhan has several fans in the Democrats’ Congressional Black Caucus as well. This long suppressed 2005 photograph of Farrakhan & Friends was only recently disclosed. “We few, we happy »

Jane Mayer’s Dossiad (4)

Featured image Jane Mayer’s 15,000-word New Yorker profile of Christopher Steele is a sort of mash note to the man Mayer views as an intergalactic hero. One doesn’t need to be a sophisticated reader to see that she has fallen for the guy big time or that she reveals herself to be an unreliable narrator. For reasons I suggested yesterday in part 3, I think Steele made himself a willing dupe of »

Tragedy at the Pathway Home

Featured image Yesterday a vet and former patient at the Pathway Home at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville in northern California took hostage and then murdered the program’s executive director, Christine Loeber, Dr. Jen Golick, the program’s clinical director, and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales, a psychologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Francisco. The Pathway Home lost two-thirds of its leadership team yesterday. Only the director of development and communications remains. »

Jane Mayer’s Dossiad (3)

Featured image It is the burden of Jane Mayer’s 15,000-word New Yorker profile of Christopher Steele to keep hope alive in the veracity of his dossier. To do so, Mayer whips up the ardor of a smitten teenager in the flush of first love. One can almost feel Mayer’s hormones raging. Given the comic book portrait of Steele as the mighty would-be savior of the republic, the thing should have been titled »

Next stop, Nobel Peace Prize?

Featured image The big news of the day is Kim Jong Un’s invitation of President Trump to a meeting to discuss denuclearization. The meeting is to take place before May at a place to be determined. Little Rocket Man has agreed to stop missile and nuclear testing in the meantime. South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong made this announcement on White House grounds to the assembled press gaggle yesterday evening: Today, »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll counsels us to considers OPTIONS IN LIFE. She writes: 12 THINGS MORE ACCURATE THAN CNN Pravda Astrology Fortune Cookies The weight listed on your Driver’s License. Your car clock. Especially after Daylight Savings Time kicks in on Sunday. A scaredy-cat liberal’s first time shooting at a gun range. The initial estimated budget for your daughter’s wedding. The wheat harvest projection in every Soviet 5-Year Plan. The IPCC’s global »

Run, Richard, run!

Featured image University of Minnesota Law School Professor Richard Painter has announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a possible Senate candidacy. He is interested in the seat held by the appointed Democratic incumbent, Tina Smith. According to the Star Tribune, Painter is “unsure whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat or independent.” He’s funny-peculiar that way. John would prefer that Painter not run for the Republican nomination, and that »

Understanding Russiagate

Featured image Lee Smith is one of the two commentators whom one must read to understand the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal and the real intelligence scandal that underlies it. The other is Andrew McCarthy. Lee’s current Tablet column is “Who believes in Russiagate?” Lee draws on his reporting and analysis of the past several years to give the big picture and to name names (here he singles out Adam Entous, formerly of »

Jane Mayer’s Dossiad (2)

Featured image Jane Mayer’s 15,000-word New Yorker profile of Christopher Steele reads in part like the stuff of breathless teen girl fan magazines of old — Tiger Beat, say, or 16. Mayer presents Steele as a left-liberal heartthrob. She has fallen for the guy and she wants you to fall for him too. The profile also reads like the tendentious brief of an extraordinarily dishonest lawyer — perhaps a lawyer who has »

Ellison explains: Dems don’t care

Featured image In his Wall Street Journal column earlier this year, Jeryl Bier reported that Minnesota Fifth District Rep./Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman Keith Ellison and Nation of Islam Supreme Leader Louis Farrakhan had a reunion of sorts in September 2013 with a follow-up meeting in Farrakhan’s hotel room when Farrakhan visited Washington in 2015. I noted Ellison’s responses in “Ellison speaks…a little” and “Ellison speaks…a little more.” Ellison subsequently appeared as »

“Making It” in the NYRB

Featured image When it was published in 1967, Norman Podhoretz’s memoir Making It met with the publishing equivalent of a lynch mob. It included Podhoretz’s friends and fellow members of the New York literary/intellectual establishment. They found Podhoretz guilty of crimes against taste and discretion. Among the lynch mob was the New York Review of Books. The NYRB set out to get the job done killing the book. Its first choice to »

Jane Mayer’s Dossiad (1)

Featured image Former British spy Christopher Steele worked with Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson to get the contents of Steele’s dossier into the media before the 2016 election. Byron York reported that Steele personally briefed reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, the New Yorker, and Yahoo, all to little or no effect. Mother Jones’s David Corn gave the received version of Steele’s story on October 31 in “A veteran spy »

CRB: A new classic

Featured image To borrow a resonant Shakespearean word, the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books carries one review that represents the perfectest pairing of book with reviewer. It is Andrew Roberts’s review of Victor Davis Hanson’s new book, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won. Roberts is of course the prominent historian and author of his own one-volume history of World War II, »

Failure to incarcerate, MN edition

Featured image When I began practicing law, I occasionally had to sit in court and wait my turn to argue my case while the judge sentenced defendants who pleaded guilty to various offenses. I drew the conclusion from what I saw that it was quite difficult to get yourself sent to prison. You almost had to work at it. It was a revelation to me. That was a while back, but things »

Try to Remember

Featured image The composer Harvey Schmidt died last week in Houston at the age of 88. Richard Sandomir captures the drama of his professional life in the excellent New York Times obituary. Most notably, Schmidt wrote the music for The Fantasticks. I learn from Sandomir that Schmidt said he wrote the melody to “Try to Remember,” the signature song of the show, in a rehearsal hall in five minutes. Even though I »