Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image I think Al Hirt and Ann-Margaret pioneered the beauty-and-the-beast pairing in popular music. They called their 1964 album Beauty and the Beard. Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet have produced several discs together in a similar sort of pairing. Alison Krauss and Robert Plant followed in their footsteps to great success. Now come Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle. I don’t think the pairing is to Shawn’s advantage, but I hope it »

Annals of mewling idiocy

Featured image Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is now serving the twelfth year of his four-year term. He is an absurd and contemptible figure. In a perfectly timed companion to the Brexit referendum, Abbas had the honor of addressing the European Parliament this past Thursday. Abbas drew a standing ovation for his EU speech. In the course of his remarks Abbas accused (mythical) Israeli rabbis of “demanding” that the Israeli government poison »

The Obama-Brexit bounce

Featured image Has Barack Obama ever persuaded anybody of anything? (I mean anything other than voting for him for office.) I don’t think so. Obama’s contribution to the Remain case — the threat the Great Britain will have to get “in the back of the queue” for a trade agreement with the United States — may even have proved a boon to the Brexit cause. So says Nigel Farage, the stalwart British »

Critique of pure comedy

Featured image In my post “A funny thing,” I briefly discussed comedy. I mentioned Ralph Stanley along the way. Coincidentally, Stanley died Thursday at the age of 89. (Juli Thanki is the author of the obituary published by the Tennessean.) I saw Stanley perform live twice thanks to the Coen brothers (and their musical director, T Bone Burnett), whom I also mention in that post. Alan Griesinger is a Power Line reader »

That hideous length

Featured image Hillary Clinton failed to hand over to the State Department one of the key emails regarding the use of her private server for her official business as Secretary of State. The AP’s Michael Biesecker picks up the story from the Inspector Generals report on Clinton’s email server. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross adds context in “Clinton campaign admits Hillary didn’t turn over mysterious email exchange with top aide” (i.e., Huma »

Brexit, take 2

Featured image I never did understand the case for Britain’s continued membership in the European Union. Barack Obama’s threat against Brexit — issued at the invitation of Prime Minister Cameron, no less, and perhaps scripted by Ben Rhodes — made for a clarifying moment. Is Barack Obama a friend of Great Britain? I don’t think so. If one hesitated to make the leap to Leave, that should have sealed the deal all »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll declares it VERY WARM: It’s that time of year again in Arizona where not only is it 114 during the day, but it’s still 99 at midnight. We Climate Change Denying Racketeers call that summer. I get a big kick out of looking on Accuweather every morning and finding any temperature under 115 termed “Very warm.” Indeed. Only when the mercury scoots past 115, does Accuweather use the »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image In an opinion issued this morning, Justice Kennedy joined the Supreme Court’s four liberals to uphold the University of Texas’s “affirmative action” program in the Fisher case. This is the case’s second trip to the Court. It won’t be coming back. The Court’s opinion today is posted here. The Court’s 2013 opinion in Fisher I (as the Court refers to it) is posted here. I think today’s result is disappointing, »

Deep thoughts with Loretta Lynch

Featured image We do not ascribe anything President Obama says to stupidity. Ignorance, occasionally. His ignorance of history is easily demonstrable, and it runs wide and deep. However, I wonder about Attorney General Loretta Lynch (as I wondered about her predecessor, Eric Holder). The Orlando massacre has put her public musings front and center and they do not flatter her. In Orlando on Tuesday she said: “To the LGBT community — we »

Analyze this

Featured image A friend has forwarded a copy of what he swears is the secret Democratic National Convention schedule for Saturday, August 27. The Democratic convention is scheduled for Philadelphia next month from Monday, July 25 through Thursday, July 28. I therefore suspect that the document may not be entirely authentic. Internal evidence, however, suggests that the document originates with a highly reliable source of some kind. I thought readers might want »

Daniel Hannan: Fire me!

Featured image MEP Daniel Hannan is an eloquent orator. In the video below (about 12 minutes), Hannan makes the case for putting himself out of a job in Thursday’s referendum on Great Britain’s continued membership in the European Union. To say “Hannan makes the case” is a pitiful understatement. He is brilliant. As Jack Fowler says at NR’s Corner: “Watch, learn, enjoy.” Stick with this one till the end. Hannan concludes with »

A funny thing

Featured image Comedy is the realm of pleasure. It represents freedom. It is not moral. It seeks to make us feel good. It serves no higher purpose. Tragedy is the realm of conscience. It represents order. It renders justice. It serves civilization. It seeks to call us to our higher selves. In 1962 Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart mashed up three comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus to create A Funny Thing »

Fear this

Featured image Watching the coming Trump Train Wreck rumble down the tracks, I seek to detach and achieve a comic perspective. From Adams versus Jefferson in 1800 we have descended to Clinton versus Trump a couple centuries later. Darwin was wrong! Far down on my long list of worries is the alleged fascism of Donald Trump. In today’s Wall Street Journal, James Freeman considers the competition (accessible here via Google): The facts »

The Venezuelan hunger

Featured image If you seek to understand the catastrophe that has hit Venezuela, you can compare and contrast the views of New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey with those of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Winner: Scully. Even if he is clueless about causes, and he is, Casey can see what is in front of his nose. Give him that much. He is stationed in Caracas and he has the requisite »

Obama willing, Mateen unredacted

Featured image FOX News reports that the Obama administration has relented in its redaction of the transcript of Omar Mateen’s calls to 9/11 during the Orlando massacre. The mockery of the Obama administration’s arrant stupidity must have contributed to the outcome. Oh, how this must hurt. In any event, here is the report: Under pressure from Republican leaders, the Justice Department on Monday afternoon reversed itself and released a full, unredacted transcript »

Iran’s nuke program confirmed

Featured image Omri Ceren writes to comment on Jay Solomon’s page-one Wall Street Journal article “Uranium provides new clue on Iran’s past nuclear arms work.” I thought that readers who have been following the story of our partnership with, and funding of, the Islamic Republic of Iran would appreciate this update, provided by Omri with the usual footnotes. Readers may recall Obama’s assertions at the time he announced the deal: “Because of »

Death by a thousand euphemisms

Featured image The phrase “death by a thousand cuts” is so concise and descriptive that I thought it must be Shakespearean, but it is a translation of the Chinese word “lingchi” (alternately transliterated ling chi or leng tech). The word is translated variously as death by a thousand cuts, the slow process, the lingering death, or slow slicing. It was a venerable form of torture and execution used in China from roughly »