Author Archives: Scott Johnson

You cannot be Syrious!

Featured image Paul Mirengoff has done the hard work and dissected the substance of President Obama’s speech on ISIS last night. John commented here and Steve here. The White House has now posted a transcript of the speech along with the video below. My impression was that Obama was trying to impersonate a serious man, though he has demonstrated spectacular misjudgment and neglect in his approach to ISIS. The misjudgment or neglect »

A day to be proud…

Featured image I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) The book is good, not great, but it touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, »

From the granite state

Featured image In the results from yesterday’s New Hampshire GOP primary, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown prevailed in the contest for the nomination to take on incumbent Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Shaheen is one of the many Democrats who seeks to confuse voters in her home state about what she has been up to in DC. Brown has an uphill battle, but we hope he wins and we wish him well. He »

50 shades of of untruth

Featured image In the Age of Obama we are inundated with partisan Democratic falsehoods. The lies are nonstop and overwhelming. From Barack Obama to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, they define the modus operandi of the Democratic money. We need a man of patience and discernment to denote the Fifty Shades of Untruth and begin the task of reclamation. Victor Davis Hanson begins the task in “Obama’s Untruth, Inc.” It’s the political »

A word from Dick Cheney

Featured image The Daily Beast’s Ben Jacobs maintains the required attitude of annoyance with, if not hostility to, Dick Cheney as he reports on Cheney’s meeting with House Republicans behind closed doors yesterday. Anticipating Obama’s speech on the ISIS threat tonight, Cheney recalled Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood going back to the first days of the Obama administration in 2009. Has anybody here read The Looming Tower? To borrow Marxist terminology, »

Krauthammer’s million

Featured image Last night on the FOX News Special Report, Bret Baier announced that Charles Krauthammer’s collection of columns (mostly) — Things That Matter — has sold a million copies. It is a remarkable achievement for a book of previously published pieces by an author who is a pundit and not a political player in his own right. Aside from the merit of the pieces compiled in the book — a big »

The JV president

Featured image In his interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press this past Sunday (transcript here), President Obama responded to a question regarding his notorious characterization of ISIS as the terrorist JV (i.e., junior varsity): CHUCK TODD: Long way, long way from when you described them as a JV team. PRES. OBAMA: Well, I– CHUCK TODD: Was that bad intelligence or your misjudgment? PRES. OBAMA: Keep– keep– keep in mind I »

Of optics, appearances and excuses

Featured image Whatever happened to concern about appearances? It has been subsumed in the political cliché “optics.” Don’t be a language slob. Leave “optics” to optometrists and opticians. Address appearances. I wish the late William Safire were here to do so. Five years ago, in his last column on language for the Times, Safire observed: “‘Optics’ is hot, rivaling content.” Safire quoted his sagacious reader Tom Short: “Anytime I hear this word »

The real enemy within

Featured image In the video below, Pat Condell comments on the rot in Rotherham. John wrote about the “The lessons of Rotherham.” Condell homes in on the local authorities who averted their eyes. Who are they? The video is posted here at YouTube, including citations to sources. I think the video is informative and will be of interest to readers who have followed this mind-boggling story. Via Clarice Feldman/American Thinker. »

Psaki makes me psick

Featured image State Department spokesman Jen Psaki makes me psick. If you read P.G. Wodehouse, you know the “P” in her name is silent, as in “phthisis,” “psychic” and “ptarmigan” (as Wodehouse’s Psmith explains). And Psaki’s colleague Marie Harf makes me barf. Together Psaki and Harf give the catastrophic foreign policy of the Obama administration a lighter than air, Valley Girl kind of feel. It’s a novel use of expressive form. Paul »

Obama to voters: You are so stupid

Featured image I don’t think we’ve lived through a political episode such as the current immigration debacle. Not even close. Obama had vowed to take executive action to regularize millions of illegals before the coming elections. The promised action is both illegal (in my view) and unpopular. As a result Obama has announced that he will delay taking the action, until after the November elections, when voters will lose their immediate ability »

Surviving an ISIS massacre

Featured image The New York Times produced the video below with credits to Mike Shum, Greg Campbell, Adam B. Ellick and Mona El-Naggar earlier this week. They report: “ISIS massacred hundreds of Iraqi military recruits in June. Ali Hussein Kadhim survived. This is his improbable story.” They add the warning: “Includes graphic images.” The related Times story on the events depicted is Tim Arango’s “Escaping death in northern Iraq.” I thought readers »

Speaking of degradation

Featured image President Obama’s word of choice to describe his approach to dealing with ISIS is “degradation.” He threatens that the United States will “degrade” ISIS to render it a “manageable problem” or to destroy it. As he continues to circle verbally around the “problem,” we’re not sure which. But we’re sure his speechwriters are on the case. The White House has posted the text of Obama’s third stab at articulating his »

Iran nuclear update

Featured image Omri Ceren emails us from The Israel Project to draw attention to the new IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities, published yesterday. Here is his summary (footnotes omitted, emphases in original): The upshot – that the agency’s nuke probe has completely stalled because of Iranian noncooperation – was already leaked earlier this week. But I wanted to make sure you had a link to the full report because the really »

A personal note on Tom Cotton

Featured image Our friend Rep. Tom Cotton is in a tight race against incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas. Pryor offers a good name and a reliable vote for the full Obama/Reid playlist when needed, but is otherwise something of a cipher. The two of them present a stark contrast. At the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren quotes a pointed editorial from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that eloquently draws out the the contrast: »

CRB: On the slaughter bench of history

Featured image We conclude our preview of the Summer issue of the Claremont Review of Books today—the hundredth anniversary of the first battle of the Marne—with Algis Valiunas’s First World War essay, “On the Slaughter Bench of History.” A fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Valiunas draws on several of the numerous books released to commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War to explore the historical, cultural »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll returns to deliberate over the advice that “Math Is Hard” while squeezing off 200 rounds. She writes: Remember, in one of the incarnations of the Barbie Doll she was programmed to say, “Math is hard!”? And whoa! What a fuss that caused in the Perpetually Furious Grievance Quarters! (Bonus favorite t-shirt slogan: “You think it’s offensive, I think it’s funny; that’s why I’m a much happier person than »