Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Iran nuclear update

Featured image Omri Ceren emails us from The Israel Project to draw attention to the new IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities, published yesterday. Here is his summary (footnotes omitted, emphases in original): The upshot – that the agency’s nuke probe has completely stalled because of Iranian noncooperation – was already leaked earlier this week. But I wanted to make sure you had a link to the full report because the really »

A personal note on Tom Cotton

Featured image Our friend Rep. Tom Cotton is in a tight race against incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas. Pryor offers a good name and a reliable vote for the full Obama/Reid playlist when needed, but is otherwise something of a cipher. The two of them present a stark contrast. At the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren quotes a pointed editorial from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that eloquently draws out the the contrast: »

CRB: On the slaughter bench of history

Featured image We conclude our preview of the Summer issue of the Claremont Review of Books today—the hundredth anniversary of the first battle of the Marne—with Algis Valiunas’s First World War essay, “On the Slaughter Bench of History.” A fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Valiunas draws on several of the numerous books released to commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War to explore the historical, cultural »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll returns to deliberate over the advice that “Math Is Hard” while squeezing off 200 rounds. She writes: Remember, in one of the incarnations of the Barbie Doll she was programmed to say, “Math is hard!”? And whoa! What a fuss that caused in the Perpetually Furious Grievance Quarters! (Bonus favorite t-shirt slogan: “You think it’s offensive, I think it’s funny; that’s why I’m a much happier person than »

Ignoring Hamas crimes

Featured image Khaled Abu Toameh combines his usual invaluable reportage with media criticism in “Big media ignores Hamas’s ‘ugliest crimes.’” As I am sure this will be studiously ignored by Conor Powell, Rick Leventhal and all the rest shouting out coverage live but limited from Gaza, I am taking the liberty of pasting the whole damn thing in below: During the recent war in the Gaza Strip, armed Hamas militias committed the »

Is Pat Roberts the trouble with Kansas?

Featured image Democrat Chad Taylor is withdrawing from the race against incumbent GOP Senator Pat Robertson in Kansas. Sounds like good news for Roberts, but au contraire, Taylor appears to be dropping out in deference to independent candidate Greg Orman, a Kansas City-area businessman who has been polling ahead of Roberts in a head-to-head matchup. Moreover, 70 Republican state legislators endorsed Orman over Roberts on Wednesday, before Taylor announced he was dropping »

CRB: Hippie days are here again

Featured image On Tuesday we began our quarterly rollout of the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here), featuring Stanley Kurtz on the debilitating effect of the Clinton’s co-consular arrangement on executive power. We followed that up with our own Steven Hayward’s essay on the continuing necessity of the “extremism” of Barry Goldwater for a properly conservative Republican Party. Today we offer CRB senior editor William Voegeli’s essay on »

Sharpton versus the Teleprompter: Vol. 3

Featured image There is no one who finds Al Sharpton less funny than I do. He is one of the most vile characters disgracing our public life. Yet his struggles reading the Teleprompter on his MSNBC show are a source of irrepressible laughter. It’s a guilty pleasure, but we take what we can get in the age of Obama. The Free Beacon’s David Rutz is up to Volume 3 of his series »

A word from Ronald Reagan

Featured image In his “Extremism and moderation” essay on the 1964 Goldwater campaign, Steve Hayward refers to its unforeseen impact on the rise of Ronald Reagan as a result of Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” speech “in the closing hours of the doomed campaign.” Like Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative, for whose continuing relevance Steve argues in the essay, “A Time for Choosing” also remains relevant. See, for example, the excerpt in »

CRB: Extremism and moderation

Featured image Fifty years after Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential defeat, in some respects little has changed. Liberals and establishment GOPers alike caution primary voters to do the sensible thing and run screaming from any candidate to the right of Mitt Romney. But as our own Steven F. Hayward—Ronald Reagan Distinguished Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Public Policy—argues in the new Summer edition of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe »

Triumph of the international will

Featured image President Obama held a press conference in Estonia this morning and vowed action to “degrade and destroy” the ascendant terrorist group he insists on calling ISIL (why?), as Justin Sink reports here for The Hill. As you might guess, however, there is a hitch in Obama’s giddy-up involving the “com[ing] together” of the “international community” to render ISIL “a manageable problem” by “shrink[ing] ISIL’s sphere of influence[.]” I see a »

Melanie Phillips: Paying the price for Gaza

Featured image I borrow from this HonestReporting post to note that Prominent British commentator Melanie Phillips addressed a crowd of nearly 300 people in Jerusalem’s Heichal Shlomo building on August 27 to address the subject: “The Jewish Diaspora: Paying the Price for Gaza.” Referring to Israel as a “life-affirming place of hope where Jews are not on their knees but are fighting for the defense of civilization against barbarism,” Ms. Phillips noted »

Reid rage

Featured image Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s diatribes against the Koch brothers on the floor of the Senate might be evidence of certifiable insanity if anyone took them seriously. But the attitude of the mainstream media, to the extent one can be detected, is ho-hum. The fact that no moderately well informed citizen of sound mind takes Reid’s diatribes seriously should be news all by itself. Reid renders his diatribes on the »

CRB: Déjà Two

Featured image The Summer 2014 issue of the Claremont Review of Books has arrived just in time for Fall, and our friends at the Claremont Institute have once again dropped the paywall to allow us to preview some of the issue’s best pieces. We will be rolling out four that I have selected with a bias toward deepening of our understanding of the challenges before us. Subscribe here for the ridiculously low »

The situation “remains very fluid”

Featured image FOX News is touting the video below this morning as “jihadis gone wild.” They assert that it depicts Libyan jihadis disporting themselves at what is described as the CIA annex to our embassy in Tripoli. If this is the CIA annex, this must be the double secret pool outside it. CNN reports on the video in “Libyan militia uses vacated U.S. embassy in Libya as swim club.” In the CNN »

Stephen Hunter: Thoughts on Ferguson

Featured image We first got to know Stephen Hunter when he was the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post movie critic. He is best known as a successful novelist, and he happens to know a great deal about guns. Sniper’s Honor is his new Bob Lee Swagger novel. Here he offers his reflections on the shooting incident in Ferguson and the media coverage of it. Submitted for your consideration: So much has been written »

Dweller on the threshold

Featured image Van Morrison celebrates his sixty-ninth birthday today. Singer, songwriter and musician, Morrison is an artist who has absorbed all the strains of American popular music and recapitulated them in his own unique voice. Born in Belfast, he stands shoulder to shoulder with the greats in the pantheon of the Cosmic American Music. Beginning with Astral Weeks in 1968, Morrison experienced a tremendous burst of creative energy that is also reflected »