Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is thinking about metaphorical ONE WAY STREETS. She writes: Let’s begin with Dimwit Street. It is One-Way. Let’s say a Republican Vice President is having one of those photo op, Feel-Good visits to a classroom. The little children are having a spelling bee. A boy spells “potato.” As it happens, the teacher has handed said Vice President a flashcard with her spelling of “potato” upon it. Except it »

Yale: Beyond parody

Featured image Yale University President Peter Salovey solemnly addressed “the Yale community” by email in the early evening hours last night. He had a portentous announcement. Among other things, Yale has reached a decision on whether to retain the title “master” to refer to the teachers taking up the mantle at Yale’s residential colleges. You can feel the brain cells sloughing off as you read the deliberation that went into taking the »

“Minnesota men” ready for trial

Featured image Ten Somali Minnesotans (a/k/a “Minnesota men,” as they are called in the headlines) were charged with seeking to join ISIS in April 2015. The case is of national interest and obvious importance. In the Weekly Standard articles “The threat from ‘Minnesota men'” and “Judging the ‘Minnesota men'” I tried to persuade readers that attention must be paid. The cases open a window onto the evolving security threat facing the United »

Nothing was delivered

Featured image The New York Times reports that “Minnesota TSA manager says he was told to target Somali Americans.” Let me say at the outset I find the story incomprehensible. The TSA manager referred to in the headline was allegedly asked to do something that he declined to do. Nothing happened. To borrow the title of the Bob Dylan song, nothing was delivered. The term “profiling” is thrown around without definition. The »

Why they hate her

Featured image Getting the chance to interview Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the 2012 Presidential Conference in Jerusalem was one of the highest of the many highlights I’ve had writing for Power Line over the past (nearly) 14 years. (I posted a photo of her with me after the interview along with my retrospective on the conference even though the contrast was…not to my advantage.) I admire her intelligence, her eloquence and her »

That Hamilton man

Featured image Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton is a phenomenon. Twelve years after its publication in hardcover, it’s number 2 on this week’s New York Times nonfiction paperback bestseller list. Yet there is nothing dumbed down about it. It is a work of popular history, to be sure, but it is a lengthy tome for serious readers on one of our most challenging founders. Lin-Manuel Miranda was one such serious reader. »

Epstein’s Law applied to “Confirmation”

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein is in my opinion our greatest living journalist. Given his three books on the Kennedy assassination, I don’t think there is anyone who knows more about the subject than he does. As I saw what Hollywood did with Rathergate in the film Truth this past fall, and how credulous reviewers took it at face value, it occurred to me to ask Ed what he made of Hollywood’s »

Another diverting move

Featured image If you, like me, are looking for something completely different today, you may want to check out the second installment of Bill Kristol’s conversation with former world chess champion and human rights activist Garry Kasaparov (video below, first installment here). In Bill’s second conversation with Kasparov, Kasparov reflects on Russia and the United States since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The conversation runs some 80 minutes; it is broken »

Counter this

Featured image Yesterday the Star Tribune devoted a long editorial to the threat of terrorism emanating from Minnesota’s Somali Muslim community, only not in those words. Running under the headline “Countering extremism in Minnesota: A beautiful goal, barely begun,” the editorial adopts the Obama approved indirection and approach. The editorial pursues the line that I criticized in the Star Tribune column “Islam and Minnesota: It’s time for some straight talk for a »

Of Churchill and chumps, cont’d

Featured image The United Kingdom’s referendum on continued membership in the European Union is set for June 23. Prime Minister Cameron seeks a yes vote and invited President Obama to express his views in support of Britain’s continued membership. Has President Obama ever persuaded anybody of anything? I don’t think so. His performance standing next to Cameron on Friday was classic Obama. It was patronizing. It was threatening. It was offensive. It »

Across the Danziger Bridge

Featured image A reader writes: You might want to check out and comment on a ruling and statements by U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans. It concerns a case involving an incident in New Orleans during the hurricane Katrina flooding and is referred to down here as the Danziger Bridge case. It involved some serious misconduct and coverup by the N.O. police. What is »

Is Mayor Putz going down?

Featured image Michael Goodwin summarizes the latest news emanating from the prosecutors circling around New York’s Mayor de Blasio in the New York Post column “The mayor is going down!” The schadenfreude is overwhelming. The Post runs the column with the tabloid cover below. I’m thinking there must be something to it. Goodwin writes: Less than a week ago, Mayor de Blasio was offering aid to Ecuadorians after the earthquake there. Now »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image We’re going to see Judy Collins at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis this week. We’re pretty excited about it. The last time she came through I missed her, and Dakota proprietor Lowell Pickett made a point of letting me know I should have been there. We’re not making the same mistake twice. Judy’s In My Life, Wildflowers and Who Knows Where the Time Goes represent a »

Of Churchill and chumps

Featured image President Obama’s ignorance of Winston Churchill is monumental. It is such that at his first press conference in 2009 Obama could quote Churchill in support of Obama’s high-minded approach to war: “We don’t torture.” If you know anything, and I mean anything, about Churchill, however, you know Churchill never said any such thing. I made this point at the time in “Obama veers into the Daily Ditch.” Yesterday at his »

Prince’s case

Featured image Writing about Prince last night, I mentioned his omnivorous musical tastes. I barely scratched the surface, but wanted to suggest one of his most striking qualities. I had wanted to include Prince’s version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” to illustrate my point, but couldn’t find a video with it posted on YouTube. Now we have this, rendered by Prince as “A Case of U,” of course: Something in »

Omri Ceren: Analyze this

Featured image Omri Ceren writes from The Israel Project with the latest development in our partnership with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Omri writes: Heavy water is a relatively rare form of water that is used to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The nuclear deal forbids Iran from stockpiling more than 130 tonnes of heavy water at any given time. But the Iranians have been overproducing. In February they violated the nuclear deal by »

Those darned “Minnesota men”

Featured image The case against four “Minnesota men” who sought to join ISIS is set for trial in Minneapolis before Judge Michael Davis on May 9. Judge Davis still has to decide pending severance motions that may affect the date in some of the cases, but trial approaches. Five of the “Minnesota men” have pleaded guilty. The government has a strong case against the four remaining defendants. The strength of the government’s »