Author Archives: Scott Johnson

McSally’s sally

Featured image When they finished counting the votes in Arizona’s Second Congressional District — if I have this right, it’s the redistricted version of the district formerly represented by Gabrielle Giffords — Republican challenger Martha McSally led incumbent Democrat Ron Barber by 161 votes. The final count is subject to a mandatory recount, but we have ground for hope that McSally’s lead will hold up. A tranche of votes discovered after the »

The Gruber variations

Featured image The Gruber videos — I wrote about the first one here, Paul wrote about the one relevant to this post here, Jeff Dunetz wrote about the most recent one here — will undoubtedly fail to receive the attention they deserve, and therefore may not sink in with the public as they should. I wonder if any conservative groups should take the trouble to draw attention to it (them). A reader »

Dan Sullivan prevails

Featured image In the department of today’s good news, the AP reports that Republican challenger Dan Sullivan has defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in last week’s midterm elections. Among other things, Dan Sullivan is a Marine combat veteran. He is now another member of the strong entering class of Republican members that stands to make an important contribution to our country in the next Congress. Sullivan’s victory bumps up the Senate Republican »

Joe Lieberman and the Buckley connection

Featured image Bill Kristol’s most recent Conversation — this one is with former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (video below, posted in chapters here, transcript here) — does not sound like the most promising episode in Bill’s series, but it is fascinating. It is about one hour long and I found it of interest from beginning to end. Lieberman comes across as a totally decent man. Politically, he is a Truman Democrat. If »

An introduction to Legal Insurrection

Featured image I looked forward to meeting Bill Jacobson on the NR cruise and found myself sitting next to him and his lovely wife at breakfast this morning. Bill is clinical professor of law at Cornell University Law School and proprietor of Legal Insurrection, a site that quickly established itself as must-read. Once we got talking we just about made the transition to lunch. I asked Bill if he would introduce his »

Live from Fort Lauderdale

Featured image Yesterday afternoon I got the chance to chat with former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton at the reception for National Review’s post-election cruise kickoff event featuring him, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in Fort Lauderdale preceding our departure this afternoon. I was slightly happy to see him (photo below) and he could not have been more gracious. We discussed the work of his John Bolton PAC »

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore

Featured image Reader Martin Karo brings us up to date on a story that has not received anywhere near enough attention: No doubt most readers know of the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar plant, a huge project in the Mojave Desert which is easily visible from many planes flying in the Los Angeles – Las Vegas vicinity. It has been controversial from even before its start — it required relocating large numbers of »

Cruising with NR

Featured image I’m off early tomorrow morning to join the National Review post-election cruise in Fort Lauderdale. It kicks off with an event featuring Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and John Bolton at the hotel tomorrow. If any of them says anything newsworthy, I hope to report it before the ship launches on Sunday morning. I’ll be tagging along with my daughter Eliana and hope to recharge my batteries. If any Power Line »

How to understand Obama’s Iran diplomacy

Featured image I think the easiest way to understand Obama’s diplomacy is this. Assume that Obama believes Iran should have nuclear weapons and would like to facilitate the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program. This assumption is the Occam’s Razor that clarifies what might otherwise be obscure. The assumption may not be correct, but it should prove a handy guide to coming attractions. Obama bids against himself chasing after the mullahs. You can say »

Waves of future passed

Featured image We’ve come a long way since the pundits (and they were legion) declared the imminent death of the Republican Party in 2008. Reports of the party’s death were, to borrow the phrase from Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated. Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? is more like it. In his brief retrospective on Tuesday night’s results, Michael Barone observes the retrograde nature of the Democratic Party in theory and practice. »

Thoughts from the Ammo Line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll returns with reflections on GIFTING AND REGIFTING. She writes: Tuesday night put Ammo Grrrll in an unusually festive mood. And that is why God invented Excedrin. God Bless America and the observation attributed to Lincoln that you can’t fool all the people all the time. I was beginning to think Abe had it wrong. The election feels like a gift and hence our topic today. With the holiday »

Recalling the Buckley legacy

Featured image The National Review Institute put together the video below featuring the estimable William F. Buckley, Jr., the founding editor of National Review and the man without whom….well, listen to George Will’s voiceover tribute in the video. NRI unfurled the video last week at the dinner awarding NRI’s first annual Buckley Prize. The video covers a lot of territory in six minutes. It does so in a manner calculated to raise »

The Pity Party: A word from the author

Featured image William Voegeli is a senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and the author, most recently, of The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion. I read a galley copy of the book this summer and believe it to be an important book. Bill is a natural teacher and he entertains while he instructs. The book was published on Tuesday. I asked Bill to preview it for our »

Obama persists

Featured image President Obama is a man who does not respond well to criticism. He can’t even fake it. When Michael Jordan recently observed that Obama is a “shitty golfer,” to take just one small example, Obama responded in a Milwaukee radio interview that he gave to lend his magic touch to Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke the day before the midterm elections: “[T]here is no doubt that Michael is a better »

What a man we have in Manchin

Featured image The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe explores Senator Joe Manchin’s frustrations with soon-to-be former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Manchin forthrightly describes the election returns as “a real ass-whuppin’.” He then expressed frustrations with Harry Reid’s preventive approach to voting on potentially controversial bills. Is there some reason he has kept silent up till now? O’Keefe follows up: When asked whether Reid wants to do something, or is an obstructionist, or »

One more note

Featured image We have looked to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as the Senate’s conservative leader on the issues closest to our heart in the Age of Obama. My daughter recently profiled him for National Review in “Amnesty’s worst enemy,” still worth your attention. I didn’t know it until I watched the returns last night, but Senator Sessions was up for reelection. He didn’t draw an opponent; he won essentially by acclamation. With »

13 notes in one cover

Featured image In its classic tabloid style, the cover of the New York Post captures the leading storyline in last night’s results with characteristic concision. In my 13 notes, I forgot to mention Republican Tim Scott’s crushing victory over his Democratic challenger in South Carolina. Senator Scott is of course a successful black Republican thriving in the heart of the old Confederacy. He symbolizes the phoniness of the Democrats’ persistent exploitation of »