Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Lowry stands athwart, part 3

Featured image Our friend Seth Leibsohn watched the Meet the Press panel discussion on Ferguson that I highlighted here. On the MTP panel National Review editor Rich Lowry stood athwart the liberal hive calmly reciting the facts of the matter; he found himself about as welcome as ants at a picnic. On Monday night Seth invited Rich to join him on his KKNT AM 960 The Patriot show (Phoenix) to reflect on »

For Bergman fans, tonight’s the night

Featured image When director/screenwriter Ingmar Bergman died in 2007, John Simon took to the pages of the Weekly Standard to declare him “Cinema’s Shakespeare.” Writing about Bergman in the context of his favorite films, Simon had celebrated the qualities he found: the “adultness,” the “seriousness,” the “sense of tragedy but also of mirth” characteristic of “great works of art…though they go about achieving it in different ways.” Some of Bergman’s “different ways” »

Lowry stands athwart, part 2

Featured image Barack Obama defiled the White House yesterday with the presence of Al Sharpton at Obama’s invitation. In terms of disgrace if not frequency, what Yasser Arafat was to the White House in the Clinton years, Al Sharpton is to the White House in the Obama years. Jay Nordlinger noted Sharpton’s ascent in the 2000 National Review cover story “Al Sharpton: Power Dem.” Jay has returned to the subject several times »

The two faces of Mary

Featured image Louisiana’s Obama-loving black citizens represent Mary Landrieu’s best hope for reelection to the Senate seat Landrieu holds. They are Mary’s prayer. But she can’t win only with their votes. She also needs the votes of a substantial percentage of Obama-disapproving white voters. Mary’s prayer must include a message intended for their ears. The two faces of Mary’s prayer are in tension. Indeed, they are unreconcilable. Politico’s James Hohmann catches the »

Lowry stands athwart

Featured image To address the doings related to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, yesterday’s Meet the Press convened a panel of liberals including host Chuck Todd, the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell (video below). Todd, Robinson, and Mitchell vied to discover who could sink the lowest on the subject. In a photo finish, I declare it a three-way tie. They were equally idiotic. National Review editor »

The appeal of Hillary drunk

Featured image The National Enquirer reports that Ms. Hillary has a drinking problem and that her advisers want her to do a stint in rehab before she undertakes the rigors of a presidential campaign. You have to appreciate the Enquirer headline: “Boozy Hillary Clinton secret rehab shocker.” And you have to love the photos that the Enquirer runs with its big “scoop.” I don’t discount the story completely. After all, the Enquirer »

Chuck Todd down

Featured image Our friend Senator-elect Tom Cotton appeared on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd for a brief interview this morning. He proved to be unflappable and untouchable, though Todd came loaded for bear with an audio clip setting up a question, I will say, intended to embarrass him. Whether or not Chuck Todd is sad, I’m guessing that Senator-elect Cotton’s deft response left Todd glum. He immediately moved on. Video via »

Who’s sad?

Featured image President Obama went shopping yesterday for books with this daughters at the Politics & Prose Bookstore near the White House. The New York Post reports that Obama took a look at Chuck Todd’s new book about Obama, Stranger in the White House. According to the Post, Obama jokingly called Todd “sad.” Was this a rare instance in which Obama publicly lurched into the truth? NBC reports that Obama was referring »

Clearing my spindle, Iran edition

Featured image I take it that the mullahs who run the show in Iran have been pursuing nuclear warheads to hitch to ballistic missiles for about as long as the regime as been in business. They have sacrificed much in pursuit of their goals and they are within shouting distance of success, mostly minus whatever sacrifice imposed by the sanctions crafted by Congress against the will of the Obama administration. Watching the »

Quotations from Chairman Barry

Featured image I still have my old copy of Quotations From Chairman LBJ. The book was inspired by Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (“the little red book”). Compiled by Jack Shepherd and Christopher Wren and published by Simon and Schuster in the annus horribilis of 1968, the book consisted of supposedly laughable quotes attributable to President Johnson. It was popular enough to go through multiple printings. My copy derives from the third »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image This week Ammo Grrrll returns with thoughts on AMTRAK AND ME. She writes: Mussolini, it is asserted – undoubtedly falsely – made the trains run on time. Benito would have hanged himself if tasked with running Amtrak. Several years ago, when we were still wintering in Palm Springs, I decided to make the annual journey south into a four-day “Bucket List” train trip adventure. Pat, a fellow writer and Certified »

America’s first socialist republic

Featured image We provided the platform launching Professor Paul Rahe into the blogosphere. He is one of the country’s most distinguished scholars, but he has also proved to be a natural blogger as well. He now posts at Ricochet. In view of his study of Republics Ancient and Modern, Professor Rahe is the academy’s foremost authority on the history of republics. Although his more recent work on “soft despotism” (cited below) was »

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving

Featured image Lincoln’s famous Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1863, was drafted by William Seward and signed by Lincoln. The Union’s victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg lay in the background; the Gettysburg Address was to come the following month. The proclamation pronounced the last Thursday of November “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” In it Seward seems to have reached to capture Lincoln’s thought; the proclamation strikes several Lincolnian themes. A copy »

#Shirtgate explained

Featured image The feminist establishment has gone completely around the bend. I’m not sure when it happened.; I doubt it is a recent development. In her prescient 1972 book The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation, Midge Decter examined the second-generation literature of feminism and found it rotten at the core, if not rotten to the core. I haven’t kept up with the literature. My impression, however, is that the »

Those damn Minnesotans

Featured image When you read that men from Minnesota have been indicted for aiding the Islamic State — as in the Hill headline “Two Minnesota men charged with aiding ISIS,” or in the Star Tribune headline “2 Minneapolis men charged with attempting to aid terrorists,” or in the local FOX News affiliate headline “2 Minnesota men charged with ISIS support” — you can be pretty sure that we’re talking about first or »

The fire this time

Featured image Watching the Ferguson mob rioting for fun and looting for the traditional reasons live on television last night, I didn’t see much “anger” in evidence. The arson and destruction looked premeditated and deliberate, an orgy of opportunity. Was it an accident that the orgy commenced as President Obama urged calm? (The White House has posted the text of his remarks and a video of his statement here.) It was either »

The ascent of FOX News, &c.

Featured image The rise of FOX News Channel to its place as a dominant source of news on television is easily one of the most consequential journalistic developments of the past 25 years. The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik has written a timely column taking note and paying tribute to FNC’s steadfastness along the way. As the channel’s Washington managing editor and anchor of what he turned into the best news program in »