Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Review this

Featured image Hillary Clinton insisted on calling the FBI investigation into the private email system she established to conduct official business as Secretary of State a “security review.” She elaborated: “[T]here are lots of those that are conducted in our government all the time and you don’t hear about most of them.” Well, of course, as with all things Clintonian, the words are terms of art. It depends on the meaning of »

100 days then and now

Featured image USA Today rounded up a panel of observers to grade President Trump on his first 100 days in office. It’s a tough crowd. Five of the 10 contributors award Trump a D or lower. Glenn Reynolds stands out in the crowd. Glenn teaches law, presides over InstaPundit and writes a regular column for USA Today. He awards Trump an A+. Grade inflation has nothing to do with it. His case »

A theory of Trump

Featured image My friend Charles Kesler is a learned and a witty man. He is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and presides over the Claremont Review of Books as its editor. He puts his his historical knowledge to use in postulating a theory of Trump for readers of the New York Times in — hold on to your hat! — “Donald Trump is a real Republican, and »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll invites us to PICTURE THIS. She writes: Hollywood and The Internet love lists and competitions. Every year People magazine crowns some man as “The Most Handsome Man in the World” and puts his picture on the cover. Sometimes I find the man reasonably attractive – though rarely armed and usually not manly or old enough for my taste – and sometimes I say out loud right there in »

My Easley problem–and ours

Featured image The Hill’s Jonathan Easley contacted me earlier today via Twitter to complain that I had erred in my post asserting his failure to identify any happy campers among the invited guests at the White House reception for conservative media this past Monday afternoon.  He pointed to a quote from John Fredericks praising the event in the first of his two Hill stories airing the guests’ complaints. Easley therefore stated that »

Still not at the White House with Trump [updated]

Featured image The Hill’s Jonathan Easley gets a second story out of the complaints of guests of the president at the White House reception for conservative media this past Monday afternoon. Yesterday I took a look at Easley’s first story on the event in “Not at the White House with Trump.” We still see the event through a gauzy filter. I posted my own first-hand account of the event early Tuesday morning »

Such a deal (3)

Featured image Tucker Carlson invited Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell to discuss the Iran deal in the context of Josh Meyer’s bombshell report for Politico. Meyer shows that Team Obama had a whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on. Where’s the outrage? Swalwell is not inclined to look back. It’s all ancient history. The video below from Tucker’s Fox News shows last night reflects Swalwell’s struggle to keep his Obama era talking points straight. Ben »

Such a deal (2)

Featured image Here and here, we noted Josh Meyer’s 7300-word investigative report for Politico on the odious hostage deal we arrived at with Iran last year further to the even more odious JCPOA. When it comes to the approach of President Obama and his flacks to these deals, let me adapt the song made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis: whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on. If the Democrats’ mainstream adjunct has its way »

Not at the White House with Trump

Featured image The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports on the reception for conservative media at the White House late Monday afternoon. Easley himself didn’t attend the event. Easley relays the complaints of frustrated guests. Easley tentatively recounts a few of the questions asked at the event. For some reason he omits Trump’s answers. We see as through a glass darkly. Okay, I’m going to come right out and say it. The limitations of »

Dave Begley: Live from Omaha, it’s Scott Walker

Featured image Omaha attorney Dave Begley covered the appearances of presidential candidates in Iowa and Nebraska for us over the past two years. Last week he reported here on the appearance of Keith Ellison and Bernie Sanders in Omaha. Today he follows up with the counterprogramming of Mayor Jean Stothert, reported here by the Omaha World-Herald: Scott Walker was brought to Omaha in response to the visit of Bernie Sanders last week. »

At the White House with Trump

Featured image Entering the White House through the visitors’ entrance at the northwest corner of the grounds, I heard a uniformed Secret Service officer calling a colleague inside: “Press is coming in. Don’t let them wander around the West Wing.” Well, they’ve got my number, I thought to myself. Directed to the press briefing room, the invited conservative media guests were gathering in advance of the reception called for 5:00 p.m. I »

How high the moon?

Featured image Today we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song. She was a remarkable artist. Each period of her long career is rewarding, though she deepened her art as she got older. She excelled in a wide variety of material and in every musical setting. There is an emotional reserve or detachment in her singing, but there is also joy and an irrepressible »

Breaking: Trump to impose tariff on Canadian soft lumber

Featured image I just left the reception for conservative news media held in the Roosevelt Room of the White House late this afternoon. I will write up a fuller account later. For the moment I want to report President Trump’s announcement that he would be imposing a 20 percent tariff or tax on softwood lumber imported from Canada. President Trump was accompanied by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. He invited Ross to »

Such a deal: A footnote

Featured image At the time the rotten Iran deal was announced in January 2016 reader Don Burden wrote to comment on one of the convicted Iranians released by the Obama administration in exchange for the four or five American hostages who were returning home. We posted Mr. Burden’s message in “A note on the hostage deal.”. Mr. Burden wrote, he said at the time, because “this is something I have a lot »

Such a deal

Featured image Politico has just posted Josh Meyer’s investigation of concealed dimensions of the Obama administration’s giveaway to Iran in the hostage deal further to the rotten Iran nuclear deal. It is a long and intensely reported piece that warrants the closest attention. Here Meyer reports on the reaction of law enforcement authorities to the release of eight Iranian-born prisoners and the shutdown of previously undisclosed cases: When federal prosecutors and agents »

Trump to host conservative media

Featured image …including us. Hadas Gold reports in Politico that President Trump will welcome members of the conservative media for a small reception at the White House on Monday: “Among those attending: One America News Network, The Daily Caller and Breitbart, as well as some columnists and talk radio hosts.” If all goes according to plan, Power Line will be represented there too and I will have more later. The occasion of »

How to think about Putin

Featured image Imprimis recently published a shortened version of Weekly Standard senior editor Christopher Caldwell’s lecture at Hillsdale College under the heading “How to think about Vladimir Putin.” Last week Hillsdale got around to posting the video of Caldwell’s lecture (below). I found both the condensed written version and full video of Caldwell’s lecture of interest. I thought some readers might as well. Caldwell says early on in his lecture: “[I]f we »