Author Archives: Scott Johnson

The China syndrome

Featured image President Trump’s address to the General Assembly of the United Nations earlier this week appears to have been calculated in part to “unsettle China” sufficiently to clamp down on Rocket Man. I think it’s gonna be a long, long time, but maybe President Trump was on to something. At today’s Washington Times, Dave Boyer and S.A. Miller report: President Trump persuaded China to freeze all financial transactions with North Korea »

Lawrence O’Donnell: What happened

Featured image If you have ever struggled to keep the lid on or lost it under stress, you may identify with the meltdowns of prominent media figures that have been leaked to the public over the years. I certainly do. I therefore haven’t found much amusement in the leaked video of MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell struggling to keep the lid on his anger management issues during the breaks on his show earlier this »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image I think Ammo Grrrll is observing the second day of Rosh Hashanah today, but she filed this one before sundown on Wednesday. You are therefore empowered to profit from EAT THE RICH! She writes: Remember when Rachel Maddow had the big scoop of “somehow” getting hold of one of President Trump’s tax returns? Never mind that every way of getting such a thing involved illegality. It was supposed to be »

For Jewish readers, happy new year

Featured image Jews all around the world celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah beginning at sundown tonight. Of that much I am sure. Don’t hold me to the rest of this. Consider it an approximation. We observe the anniversary of the birth of the universe and greet the “head of the year” — the year being 5778 by our reckoning. We commence the Days of Awe during which we submit ourselves to »

That which must not be said

Featured image John Mortimer’s Rumpole of the Bailey gave us She Who Must Be Obeyed (i.e., Rumpole’s wife as he privately referred to her). J.K. Rowling gave us He Who Must Not Be Named (i.e., the villain Voldemort). Now higher education gives us daily lessons on That Which Must Not Be Said or, ideally, Thought. Thinking the guilty thoughts puts you at risk of saying them and they must not be said. »

Trump at the U.N. (2)

Featured image President Trump’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly this morning was an eloquent piece of work. It warrants review in its entirety. The White House has posted the full text here. Video is embedded below (about 42 minutes). It was in many respects a speech that returned to the traditional themes of American foreign policy running back to the Truman administration, the Marshall Plan and the founding of the »

Montemayor’s mysteries

Featured image Stephen Montemayor covers the courts for the Star Tribune. As the local courts reporter, for example, Steve has covered the several cases of the “Minnesota men” yearning to take up the jihad to smite nonbelievers and extend the sphere of Islam. That’s not the way Steve sees it, of course. If I may borrow from the diagnostics of former blind sheikh prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, what we have here is a »

Discreet charm of the Dreamers

Featured image You have probably heard that Nancy Pelosi was confronted yesterday by a gaggle of honking DREAMers of the kind she had staged an event to support. The DREAMers disrupted the event with a bit of the takeover theater to which we have grown accustomed, if not inured. The video (below) cries out for a title — the first that occurred to me was Discreet Charm of the DREAMers — and »

A word from the Weekly Standard

Featured image We frequently link to Weekly Standard articles and editorials in our Picks and posts. Yesterday, for example, we had Dominic Green’s extremely interesting Weekly Standard column “Theresa May’s Indian summer” in our Picks. When readers wrote a few months ago to complain that their access to the linked articles was cut off after reaching a certain number, I raised the issue with the editors and sought to confirm the number. »

Johnsonian gleanings

Featured image I think we have a bone to pick with Google, but I am grateful for the Google doodle reminding us that today is the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Johnson. On the occasion of the 300th anniversary last year, Alan Jacobs offered the fine Books & Culture tribute “Man of sorrow.” I awakened to Johnson under the tutelage of Professor Jeffrey Hart, who required us to absorb Johnson’s great »

What happened in Clinton emails

Featured image Hillary Clinton devotes one chapter of What Happened to her use of a private email setup to conduct the official business of the United States. Jack Shafer suffered through it to spare others the pain. His account is posted at Politico under the headline “Hillary Clinton is sorry, not sorry.” As I read the quotes that Shafer serves up, Clinton reiterates all the evasions she served up during the campaign. »

The Awan case: Curiouser and curiouser

Featured image The curious case of the Awan family and its work for Democrats in the House of Representatives gets curiouser and curiouser. Daily Caller investigative reporter Luke Rosiak has broken story after story on the case. Former DNC chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz lies (and lies) at the heart of the story. Last week Xavier Becerra entered from stage left. The Daily Caller has collected Rosiak’s stories here. It has been »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (6)

Featured image I have been following the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota’s majority-Republican House and Senate in this series. At the end of this year’s slightly extended legislative session Dayton signed all tax and budget bills. He could have vetoed any of them. Even though he professed extreme unhappiness with certain items, he signed the bills The package of budget, tax and state government bills that »

The intimidation game, cont’d

Featured image Paul Mirengoff covered the Department of Justice’s September 8 reiteration of its decision not to prosecute Lois Lerner. Paul noted the absence of a rejoinder to the stated conclusion that the department lacked sufficient evidence to bring a case against Lerner. I hate cliches, but the more things change… John Koskinen remains Commissioner of the IRS. Only last month Kim Strassel noted that the IRS is still toying with conservative »

Why were we in Vietnam?

Featured image One of my daughters made it to the finals of the Minnesota History Day competition at the University of Minnesota in the winter of 1999. Her presentation was devoted to William Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of blood. It wasn’t a sexy subject, but I thought her presentation at least had the virtue of accuracy. I spent the whole day with her as she made it from the initial round »

Ellison spokesman: Current or former?

Featured image In the adjacent post I took a look at the hateful Twitter stylings of Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison’s press secretary Isaiah Breen. Breen describes himself on his Twitter profile as Ellison’s former press secretary. Corresponding with Breen in an exchange subsequently posted on Twitter, the Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo confirmed that Breen “had not been fired for sending the series of sarcastic Tweets.” Calling Ellison’s office early this »

Ellison spokesman speaks

Featured image Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison is no longer just a backbencher in the House of Representatives and he is no longer just a Minnesota story, if he ever was. As the first Muslim elected to Congress, his ascent to the House of Representatives was covered around the world in 2006. Now he is also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I believe that Ellison is a leading »