Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Understanding the administrative state

Featured image For the 20-plus years my friend Bruce Sanborn served as chairman of the Claremont Institute, we attended the annual meeting of the America Political Science Association over Labor Day weekend. At the APSA convention we attended the panels sponsored by the Claremont Institute. It was our idea of a good time. In those panels we heard a lot about “the administrative state,” frequently from Professor John Marini. Professor Marini had »

And the best picture is…

Featured image Like John and Steve, I will be doing something else during the Academy Awards broadcast tonight. Unlike them, however, I would like to put in a good word for a few of the movies that are up for the Best Picture award tonight. For personal reasons you would understand, I set out to see each of the nine Academy Award Best Picture nominees this year. I don’t think I have »

Perez defeats Ellison

Featured image Democratic National Committee members meeting in Atlanta this afternoon elected former Obama administration Secretary Tom Perez their new chairman. Perez defeated Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison on the second ballot by a vote of 235-200. Ellison picked up no votes on the second ballot after Perez fell one short of winning outright the first time around. Jonathan Martin does a good job reporting the story for the Times here. »

Michael Moore is with you

Featured image We have carefully charted the support of fools and miscreants who have joined Power Line readers mischievously pulling for Keith Ellison to win his bid for election to the DNC chairmanship. Former Obama administration Secretary of Labor Tom Perez is Ellison’s chief competition. I think Perez has to be rated the favorite to prevail among the members of the DNC who meet today in Atlanta to elect their new leader. »

Ellison explains

Featured image The excitement mounts in Atlanta as members of the Democratic National Committee gather to choose their new chairman tomorrow. The Star Tribune’s Allison Sherry could have taken the opportunity to remedy the paper’s long default on Ellison’s outré past in Minneapolis. Sherry and her colleagues at the Star Tribune have left it to others, most notably Tim Murphy at Mother Jones, to perform the historical excavation that Ellison’s candidacy warrants. »

“Hacking” then and now

Featured image In 2004, Emmy Award-winning CBS News producer Mary Mapes set out to report a story that would hobble George W. Bush’s campaign for reelection and lend a helping hand to Democratic nominee John F. Kerry. She had been working on the story on and off for years, longer than Ahab had been in search of Moby Dick. When a mentally deranged “source” finally produced a set of fabricated documents that »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll calls this one GENERAL STRIKE! A friend asks us to find an occasion to use the heading WHAT’S NEW, PUSSYHAT? I think this might have been it. Ammo Grrrll writes: Well, the Great Pussy Hat Rally was considered such a roaring or mewing success that there are allegedly plans underway for a General Strike. Even though they floated the idea of calling it “A Day Without A Woman” »

CNN hosts home team

Featured image You may have missed CNN’s forum last night hosting the gang of eight candidates to lead the Democratic National Committee. The election will take place in Atlanta this Saturday. The members of the DNC will pick their chairman on Saturday and then they will rest. The race has been of interest to us because of the candidacy of Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison. Ellison has the support of Bernie »

American attitudes to Jews

Featured image It is somehow reported as big news that President Trump denounced anti-Semitism yesterday. Was his attitude seriously in doubt? He is a proud supporter of Israel and vocal friend of Benjamin Netanyahu. His appointed ambassador to the United Nations is Nikki Haley, who is trying to right wrongs against Israel committed by the United Nations and, ahem, the Obama administration. His daughter converted to Judaism. He has Jewish grandchildren. In »

Remembering the indispensable man

Featured image Today is the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest and the most needed. At this remove in time, it is also the hardest to comprehend. Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that resulted »

But is it bigger than Rathergate?

Featured image Disgraced CBS newsman Dan Rather should never be able to live down Rathergate, the greatest media fraud of our time. It was, as John and I have argued, “Rather shameful.” If Rather isn’t able to live it down, it won’t be for lack of trying on his part. On the surface of the Flynn affair is what Rather calls “[t]his Russia scandal.” Rather opines. “On a 10 scale of Armageddon »

What was the Flynn affair?

Featured image You would have to be a dolt to think that the big story in the affair of General Michael Flynn’s defenestration from the Trump administration is the one that blares from the headlines or screams on the Sunday gabfests. It reminds me of the Plame affair during the Bush administration. Borrowing from a Watergate-era film, I wrote about that one at some length for the Weekly Standard in “Three years »

Ilhan Omar declines comment

Featured image Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar is becoming a political celebrity. She’s a Somali refugee. She’s young. She’s attractive. She’s a Democrat. Did I forget to say she’s a Muslim? She’s a Muslim. She toes the Democratic Party line on every issue great and small, purporting to speak up for womyn and homosexuals and all the rest. A star is born. The Star Tribune profiles Omar in her new role in »

Tom Brokaw, liberal Democrat

Featured image In the introduction to Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?, the anthology of conservative thought he edited for publication in 1970, William F. Buckley memorably declared: “Blindfold me, spin me about like a top, and I will walk up to the single liberal in the room without zig or zag and find him even if he is hiding behind a flower pot.” Which reminds me. As a young lawyer »

Ray Buckley is with you

Featured image We have followed the various left-wing movers and shakers who have joined Power Line readers pulling mischievously for Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison to emerge victorious in his bid to chair the Democratic National Committee, most recently earlier this week in “Dems in 5 states are with you.” Only yesterday I noted that Xenocrypt is not with you, but Xenocrypt is not a left-wing mover and shaker. All he »

Sally Yates’s legacy of injustice

Featured image Long-time Power Line reader Howard Root abandoned his legal practice at Minneapolis’s Dorsey law firm and his work as general counsel of a medical device company to design highly useful medical products himself and to found the successful medical device company Vascular Solutions. He has nevertheless chosen to take a hike. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Howard gives a glimpse of his harrowing story with a local Minnesota angle. Here »

Two worlds of a Soviet spy

Featured image The great Harvey Klehr is best known as a groundbreaking historian of the Cold War, having authored or co-authored over a dozen books on the subject of American Communism. He was one of the first researchers to get into the Venona Papers after the fall of the Soviet Union. His dive in the archives produced Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America in 1999. (These were the Soviet documents that proved »