Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Abandoning Vietnam

Featured image PBS’s American Experience series broadcast Rory Kennedy’s documentary film “Last Days in Vietnam” on April 28. You can watch the entire film online at the link; clips and other resources are accessible here. PBS has posted 17 clips from the film on YouTube here. I would post the whole thing here if I could, but I don’t think I can. Prefaced by a 30-second message, the opening of the film »

Bill Clinton explains, as only he can

Featured image When Sharyl Attkisson was rolling out Stonewalled, Kyle Smith wrote an excellent preview of the book for the New York Post. Yesterday he performed the same service for Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash, which is to be published tomorrow. Smith’s New York Post column on Schweizer’s book is “Hill and Bill can’t hide from shady deals exposed in ‘Clinton Cash.’” Quotable quote: “The Clinton Foundation is run about as forthrightly as »

At the NRI Ideas Summit

Featured image Senator Tom Cotton was interviewed by John O’Sullivan at the National Review Institute 2015 Ideas Summit this past Saturday morning. NR has posted the video here. I have embedded the video below. “You seem to me to be the exact opposite of a professional politician,” O’Sullivan says by way of introduction. The interview opens with the question of Iran and the Cotton letter. To quote Bob Dylan, “the wheel’s still »

David McCullough recommends

Featured image I read A Stillness at Appomattox when I heard David McCullough describe its impact on him. McCullough had majored in English at Yale and received the book as a graduation present in 1955. Reading this one of Bruce Catton’s several magnificent books made McCullough want to write history. I thought, correctly, that must be some book. Daily Beast editor John Avlon asked McCullough about his favorite books and authors recently »

Mosby so far [With Comment by John]

Featured image Baltimore state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby has charged six Baltimore police officers with serious crimes in connection with the death of Freddie Gray on April 19. The New York Times account of the charges is here. The Washington Post enumerates the charges here and takes a look at Ms. Mosby here. The charges quickly followed both Gray’s death and the rioting of the mob in Baltimore. Ms. Mosby’s announcement of the »

A look at the 6 officers charged

Featured image The Washington Post has the lowdown on the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddy Gray. As Paul Mirengoff inferred from the silence at the time of the charges, it’s a “diverse” group: The six officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray face a litany of charges that include second-degree depraved-heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, false imprisonment and misconduct in office. The officers — three white, three »

Clinton Cash with Lou Dobbs

Featured image Peter Schweizer appeared on Lou Dobbs’s excellent Fox Business Channel show this past Wednesday night for two short segments on his forthcoming book, Clinton Cash. Video of the first of the two segments is below. Dobbs sets up the segment with a brief excerpt of Madam Hillary’s speech at Columbia University this week. At Columbia Ma’am Hillary read awkwardly from the Telepromter — awkwardly but very, very slowly, for the »

The passion of “Tess”

Featured image We’re finishing the Victorian novel class I have been taking at a college in St. Paul with Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I want to offer a few notes on the novel in the hope that some readers may share their thoughts and others may take up the novel if they haven’t read it before. It is an essential novel. Our great young teacher has structured the course with »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll returns with VISITING MY PEOPLE – Part Four: Pride of Place. As always with her weekly column, previous installments of this series can be accessed by inputting “Grrrll” in our search engine. She writes: One of the things I love most about our great country is the sense of ownership and pride that our citizens have about where they live. For a politician or a comic, a guaranteed »

Zetetic with Zarif

Featured image Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif speaks on behalf of a regime that is an avowed enemy of the United States, one whose Supreme Leader regularly chants “Death to the United States.” It is a regime with the blood of many Americans on its hands. Yet here he is on stage at New York University, in conversation with the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, and speaking with great confidence that he has »

Zarif zeroes in

Featured image Omri Ceren writes with an update on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s appearance at NYU today with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. In his remarks Zarif took an early victory lap with respect to achievement of Iran’s goals in the arrangement in process with the Obama administration. Josh Rogin reports on Zarif’s remarks for Bloomberg here. To borrow from Mark Twain, we might say that Zarif speaks with the confidence of »

Mister, we could use a man like their Supreme Leader?

Featured image I have found Iranian reports concerning the (current) so-called Joint Plan of Action with Iran as well as the arrangement in process to be more reliable than those deriving from official sources in the Obama administration. This, however, is where I draw the line: Secretary of State John Kerry told his Iranian counterpart that he wished the United States had a leader more like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, according to »

Beyond Obama’s babble

Featured image Forget the Electric Company’s Fargo North, Decoder. Attend to Michele Malkin, decoder. Michelle expertly decodes and debunks the “bilious babble” that President Obama has entered on the record to comment on the events of the past few days in Baltimore. Obama works a partisan vein as he continues to degrade public discourse on domestic matters with a racial angle (whole thing here). For those wishing to understand what we have »

A timely message from Iran

Featured image Omri Ceren provides this email update on today’s developments in the Persian Gulf, reported in this brief Reuters story: It’s been a busy two hours, but some clarity is starting to emerge about the Iranian seizure of a cargo vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. The vessel is the M/V Maersk Tigris and sails under a Marshall Islands flag. It was intercepted by Iranian navy patrol crafts earlier today and »

The Somali muddle, once more once

Featured image Yesterday’s Star Tribune featured Paul McEnroe’s page-one story “Minneapolis nonprofit tests program to pull teens from terror’s grasp.” Taking off on the arrest of the Minneapolis based Somali six who sought to depart these parts to join ISIS, the article focuses on an experimental program implemented under the auspices of Heartland Democracy to divert Somalis from such a path. Mary McKinley is the nonprofit’s executive director; Ahmed Amin is a »

Baltimore’s delicate balance

Featured image On Saturday night Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake explained her measured approach to the incipient destruction taking place on the streets of the city (video below). She “made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech.” “It’s a very delicate balancing act,” she continued. “Because while »

Justice Alito on “The Constitution: An Introduction”

Featured image Michael Stokes Paulsen is the University Chair & Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Through his contributions to professional publications, he has emerged as one our foremost scholars of American constitutional law. As of May 5, Professor Paulsen is also the co-author, with his son, Luke Paulsen, of The Constitution: An Introduction. The book’s Web site is online here. United States Supreme Court »