Author Archives: Scott Johnson

A Painter passing through

Featured image When University of Minnesota Law School Professor Richard Painter announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a possible Senate candidacy last month, I urged him to follow his heart and go for it. He is interested in the seat held by the appointed Democratic incumbent, Tina Smith. According to the Star Tribune, however, Painter is “unsure whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat or independent.” Painter found it »

Trump takes on the caravan

Featured image In 2014 President Obama welcomed the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing our southwestern border daily. I wrote about it for the Weekly Standard in “Disorder at the border.” I thought the scenario derived from “the fevered dreams of a dystopian novel.” I was referring, of course, to Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints (1973). Mac Owens extended my thoughts in his NR column “Camp of the Saints, 2014 Style?” In »

Mueller’s (secret) mandate

Featured image I have followed Andrew McCarthy in pointing out the deficiency of Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel under the applicable Department of Justice Regulations (28 CFR § 600.1 et seq.). The regulations require a specific factual statement of a transaction giving rise to a suspected crime. The order under which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller — a copy is posted here by the New York Times — doesn’t »

How to save the humanities

Featured image The Chronicle of Higher Education has published Mark Bauerlein’s ingenious how-to article, with a cameo appearance by our friend Professor Wilfred McClay. Bauerlein is professor of English at Emory and senior editor of First Things. Our friend Bill McClay is the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, now team teaching an experimental course in the humanities at the university. As an »

Analyze this

Featured image Last week one could feel the tremors of excitement in the latest Trump campaign/Russia collusion stories coming out of the Mueller investigation. According to these stories, a Trump campaign adviser had repeated communications during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential race with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a sentencing memo filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In this post I am borrowing from a summary »

Larry Sanders reflects

Featured image HBO is running a two-part documentary by Judd Apatow on the writer/comedian Garry Shandling. It is titled The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. I watched it over the weekend and was fascinated. I greatly prize the ability to make people laugh out loud. Shandling seems to have had the gift from an early age and, as it frequently does, it seems to have come from a very dark place. In »

Second Amendment rally in St. Paul

Featured image We have had family in town this past week. Yesterday I gave my South American nephew the tour of the Twin Cities that I sketched out in “Welcome to the Twin Cities!” My current version of the tour begins at the beautifully restored state capitol building in St. Paul and ends in Little Mogadishu on the other side of the river in Minneapolis. As we started out yesterday, my relative »

Darkness at Penn, take 2

Featured image Professor Amy Wax is of course the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She earned an M.D. degree from Harvard in addition to her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. She holds an endowed chair at the law school. She must be one of the most prominent members of the faculty. Yet she is the subject of a campaign of vilification and stigmatization for »

Gutless in Gaza

Featured image One would have to be a moron not to understand that the Hamas “March of Return” from Gaza to Israel is a variation on a theme. The theme is set forth in its original “Covenant” of 1988 calling for “the liberation of Palestine” (i.e., Israel’s destruction) in the “struggle against Zionism.” (The 2010 revision is, shall we say, subject to interpretation.) Subtlety is not a Hamas selling point. Yet the »

The Vietnam War revisited

Featured image On March 18 C-SPAN 3 revisited the Vietnam War with a focus on 1968 in a discussion with Washington Post editor David Maraniss and man of many parts Jim Webb moderated by Steve Scully. It is the first part of the nine-part C-SPAN series 1968: America in Turmoil. C-SPAN has posted the video here along with the usual accessories. I have embedded it below. The contrast of Maraniss with Webb »

The unfunniest comedy

Featured image The Death of Stalin is probably playing at a theater somewhere near you. I can’t remember a more widely praised comedy/satire (trailer below). Everyone loves it, including John Podhoretz, my favorite movie critic. Unlike most of the critics, however, John writes with a reservation: “I can’t praise The Death of Stalin highly enough . . . except that it gets really boring after a while.” I found that to be perfectly accurate. »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is celebrating an anniversary working with the four of us who play her straight straight men in THE COLUMN TURNS FOUR. She writes: Holy Moly, Rocky, what a Big Deal Day! Today at sunset begins the first night of Passover; it is also Good Friday; and, the 4th anniversary of the Thoughts From the Ammo Line column! In the old Electric Company song, we learned “Two of these »

The Bolton factor

Featured image The appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s National Security Advisor has induced another round of hysteria among the Democrats and their media adjunct. He is the man, if there is one, who can help the president achieve his objectives with North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere around the world. See, for example, my daughter Eliana’s Politico piece on Bolton’s bureaucratic skills. Bolton is a man of the Churchillian persuasion. For »

On the march, follow the money

Featured image The media have manifested remarkably little curiosity about the producers of the so-called March For Our Lives of this past weekend. They have treated it as something like a force of nature. Not so Horowitz Freedom Center Shillman Journalism Fellow Daniel Greenfield of the Sultan Knish site. Knish hits me in the kishkes with his post “Who runs March For Our Lives?” (also published on Frontpage as “Who’s really behind »

Fear & loathing at the DoJ , cont’d

Featured image In the memoir Cardiac Arrest: Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO on the Feds’ Hit List (written with Stephen Saltarelli), Howard Root tells the story of his experience as chief executive officer of Vascular Solutions caught in the crosshairs of the federal government when prosecutors sought to put his company out of business and to send him to the big house. Howard touched on one aspect of his story in »

At the Strib, the hatefest continues

Featured image In 1747 Samuel Johnson announced the plan to write what became his Dictionary of the English Language. Johnson had hoped to get the job done in three years. His friend Richard Adams questioned his ability to complete such a massive undertaking in such a short time. It had taken the 40 members of the French Academy 40 years to compile their Dictionary, Adams reminded him. Boswell reported Johnson’s famous response: »

Linda Brown & her case

Featured image Linda Brown was the young girl who gave her name to the four cases consolidated for consideration in Brown V. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court case that effectively invalidated the regime of public school segregation. She died on Sunday at the age of 75 or 76. Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times obituary (illustrated with good photographs) is here. Genzlinger deals inadequately with the Brown case. “In its ruling,” »