Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Deep secrets of affirmative action debated

Featured image Preparing to speak at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention this past fall, I read the astounding book Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It by Richard H. Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr. The book came out to wide acclaim in October 2012. Amazon does not indicate that a paperback edition is forthcoming. You might want to pick up a copy »

Culture of corruption update

Featured image Yesterday in “Culture of corruption” I wrote about the “sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city’s state House delegation, on tape accepting money[.]” The investigation was killed by Attorney General Kathleen Kane (a Democrat) when she took office in early 2013. Kane has hired an attorney to make threatening noises regarding a defamation lawsuit against the Inquirer, but she is firing »

Culture of corruption

Featured image Angela Couloumbis and Craig McCoy reported a long story published in this past Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. The story is of interest in a number of respects. The headline refers to Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane: “Kane shut down sting that snared Phila. officials.” NRO posted a good summary by Alec Torres here. It’s the kind of story that Glenn Reynolds sometimes links to with the introductory tag “Culture of Corruption,” »

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Featured image There are a few torch songs that lament the coming of Spring. This time of year, if you’re tuned to one of the right stations, you may well find yourself listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s unforgettable rendition of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” The song is a buried treasure on Ella’s 1961 quartet-backed jazz set Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! (I love the Amazon review that rates it »

Obama’s IRS, cont’d

Featured image In today’s Wall Street Journal, Rep. Jim Jordan summarizes some of the evidence that the IRS has committed serious crimes at the behest of its political masters. Rep. Jordan is a member of the House Oversight Committee that has held hearings and conducted an investigation of the IRS’s criminal misconduct. Analyze this: I have spent a considerable amount of time and energy on the investigation—which included 38 daylong interviews of »

Puttin’ up with Putin

Featured image It is not difficult to get a fix on Barack Obama’s view of the world. It is the view of the leftover left that took the side of the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Obama seems not to have changed his views or to have learned anything since his days as a college student in which he performed as a “useful idiot” for the Soviet Union. A year ago, »

Putin vs. Obama

Featured image I posted the strip below this past January, but it’s time has come around again. It contrasts Barack Obama with Vladimir Putin in an entertaining and (somewhat) instructive way. Why is that man bowing? Those bows are a killer. Late in the Age of Obama, Obama has yet to field a question on the subject. (Jay Carney, of course, denied that he was bowing.) We are left to our own »

This cannot stand

Featured image The Times of Israel has a handy summary (and Breitbart has more here) of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s remarks earlier this week concerning the perils of Obama administration foreign policy from Israel’s perspective. It’s a sort of “emperor has no clothes” moment, with Ya’alon “declaring that Israel cannot rely on the US to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, accusing the administration of broadcasting weakness throughout the world, and warning that »

Lies of Obamacare special edition

Featured image You may recall that while selling the federal takeover of health care President Obama repeatedly promised “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” It was one of the foundational lies of Obamacare, and Obama smugly repeated it on many occasions in a tone suggesting that those who denied it were beyond the pale. The video below collects several iterations of Obama’s lie. The lie appeared together »

Clearing my Obamacare spindle

Featured image I want to note with little comment recent reports in Obamacare news. In the post “Could Obamacare win lie of the year two years in a row?,” Stan Veuger considers Obama’s promise that Obamacare would save the average family $2500 in premiums. Veuger links to this video compilation of Obama making the promise over and over again. Now comes Paul Bedard to report that “Health insurance premiums up 39% to »

Biden on the case

Featured image In the course of the Democratic primaries in 2008 Barack Obama provoked me into assessing his reading of the Cold War and the uses of diplomacy. I took a look in “The Kennedy-Khrushchev conference for dummies.” Meeting with JFK in Vienna in 1961 at the height of the Cold War, Khrushchev sized up Kennedy as a weakling and a lightweight. Kennedy lamented: “I never met a man like this,” Kennedy »

The 1930s are calling

Featured image Commentators with a cruel memory have recalled the moment from one of the 2012 presidential debates when President Obama cited Mitt Romney’s warning about the growing threat from Russia and dismissed it with a superficially sophisticated putdown: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” When I hear President Obama threatening to impose consequences on Vladimir Putin et al., or imposing them, as he did today, »

What is to be done?

Featured image Once upon a time, not so long ago, administrative agencies were vested only with the authority to interpret the laws they enforced. Unless the authority was delegated to them, agencies lacked the power to write the laws. They certainly lacked the power simply to rewrite them. Yet this was precisely what Barack Obama has done in his increasingly lawless administration. In the blizzard of Obamacare pronouncements and regulations issued to »

Team of Nitwits reconvened

Featured image Bloomberg News reports that 60,000 Russian troops are massed across the Ukraine border. What are they doing there? They are apparently awaiting the results of the secession or consolidation vote concluding in Crimea. They are standing by to enforce the will of the people, of course, and perhaps extend it further into Ukraine. It is an impressive and audacious display of force. Readers familiar with Hitler’s prewar playbook know what »

From kvell to kvetch

Featured image In her New York Times column “Dems in distress” — at the top of the RealClearPolitics honor roll this morning — Maureen Dowd originally observed that Democrats were “kvelling” (dammit, don’t spellcheck me, bro) about President Obama. “Kvelling” is Yiddish for “taking pride in”; Dowd meant that Democrats are “kvetching” about Obama. Dowd’s error went undetected by the Times’s layers of editors and fact checkers. I cut them slack. It’s »

The Pipes proviso: The VA angle

Featured image A reader writes in response to the congressional testimony of Sally Pipes linked in “The Pipes proviso”: As a former medicine resident and current cardiology fellow, I have spent more time working at various VA hospitals than all but those courageous physicians who make a career of working within its bureaucracy and unions. (As the joke goes, what’s the difference between a bullet and a VA nurse? You can fire »

Maureen Dowd finds the lightning bug

Featured image Mark Twain famously observed: “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Maureen Dowd presents as tomorrow’s Exhibit A. She happened onto the lightning bug in her New York Times column “Dems in distress.” Referring to the Democrats’ current panic as a crisis of confidence in President Obama, Dowd writes: “It’s not just »