Author Archives: Scott Johnson

TCM at 20

Featured image The TCM (Turner Classic Movies) cable channel celebrated its twentieth anniversary yesterday. It did so in grand style, rebroadcasting movies from its first day on the air (Gone With the Wind and It Happened One Night). After GWTW, TCM broadcast an interesting interview with host-for-life Robert Osborne conducted by Alec Baldwin. I have been a high volume consumer of TCF roughly since day one. I am a little vague on »

Honor killing, Brandeis-style

Featured image I am advised by a knowledgeable source that Brandeis University has engaged or is in the process of engaging a crisis management firm. Brandeis finds itself needing to manage the crisis created by its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree, followed by the withdrawal of the invitation in compliance with the wishes of CAIR and the subset of the Brandeis “community” that is of like mind »

The Lois Lerner files

Featured image This past week House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp announced that the Committee, acting had voted out a criminal referral letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding actions taken by IRS employee Lois Lerner. Camp’s press release is posted here. Camp’s letter of referral and exhibits are posted here. Camp’s letter covers a lot of ground. Kim Strassel devotes a good Wall Street Journal column sorting through it, »

Brandeis breakdown [With comment by Paul]

Featured image I’ve been looking for someone who is knowledgeable about what is happening behind the scenes at Brandeis University in the wake of the withdrawal of the invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree. Yesterday I spoke with such a source. Brandeis has put forward the best case for itself. According to Brandeis, they didn’t know what they were doing when they chose to confer the honorary degree »

There’s something about Harry

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon has compiled the video below of Harry Reid chanting “Koch brothers” 134 times on the Senate floor. It has a formulaic quality, like the phrases Homer held in reserve to fill out dactylic hexameter lines in the Iliad and the Odyssey. What “wine-dark sea” was to Homer, “Koch brothers” is to Harry Reid. Reid, however, isn’t in search of a formulaic phrase to fill out a »

Wave bye bye

Featured image I saw singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester perform on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota more than 20 years ago and he bowled me over. There couldn’t have been more than a hundred people in the audience. Accompanying himself on guitar, he turned in a beautiful performance concluding with “Yankee Lady.” Although Winchester had famously evaded the draft by decamping to Canada in 1967, returning only after the Carter »

Brandeis’s disgrace

Featured image Bill Kristol has posted a letter from Brandeis alum Jeffrey Herf to Brandeis President Fred Lawrence. This really says it all: Dear President Lawrence: As a scholar whose 1981 PhD comes from Brandeis, I read the news that you rescinded the offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali with particular disgust and anger. Your decision is an act of cowardice and appeasement to those 85 faculty members who »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Our friend Ammo Grrrll returns and is, as usual, on target. She calls this installment of her thoughts “A Short Quiz for Sniveling Cowards.” Sometimes in the course of soliciting donations, taking meetings, golfing, taking lunch, speaking on the phone, the busy college president must make a controversial decision. Doncha hate when that happens?? Yikes, how to proceed? Let’s say you are President of Brandeis University. Some chucklehead decided to »

Cleta on the Cummings case

Featured image Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell represents True the Vote, one of the groups illegally targeted by the IRS in the scandals that have exposed the agency as a partisan operation. True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht has been harassed by federal law enforcement authorities representing three different federal agencies. They represent the price of politics in the Age of Obama. As John notes below, yesterday the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee »

The indecency of Harry Reid

Featured image Our friends at National Review caught National Journal’s (liberal) Ron Fournier with a few choice words regarding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s reign of lies regarding the Kochs: “Fournier called on the media to confront Harry Reid over his repeated rants against the Koch brothers on the Senate floor. He also blasted the majority leader for a recent false ad by Reid’s PAC claiming ties between the Kochs and Louisiana »

The shame of Brandeis

Featured image I want to take the liberty of affirming John Podhoretz’s brief comments on the withdrawal of Brandeis University’s invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ayaan was to receive an honorary degree at its upcoming graduation ceremony. John writes: If you have not yet heard, Brandeis University has rescinded its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist whose work has focused on the barbaric misogyny rampant in »

What Pakistan knew about bin Laden

Featured image Carlotta Gall is a New York Times reporter who went to live and report in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Her new book is The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014. The New York Times Magazine published a scintillating excerpt last week focusing on what Pakistan knew about bin Laden. I just finished reading it this week. It is interesting from beginning to end. I highly recommend it. Among other things, »

Obama’s war on science and gullible women

Featured image This week President Obama took up theme that women are the victims of pay discrimination. According to Obama, they are victims of discrimination because they earn 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. Obama, of course, is the champion of these victims. The White House has posted an account of Obama’s theatrics on the subject here. To make out discrimination, however, one has to control for the relevant variables. »

The Hayward poll

Featured image The Denver Post is taking a poll on the irreverent comments that Steve Hayward noted had made him a figure of controversy at the University of Colorado. Unlike Brendan Eich, Steve is not taking the path of least resistance and throwing himself out the window. He’s going to make them do it. Why else have a designated professor of conservative studies if you’re going to make life easy for university »

Roots of totalitarian liberalism

Featured image With the cashiering of Brendan Eich as Mozilla’s chief executive officer last week, we are struggling to understand what we have just seen. There is an important book that remains to be written about the totalitarian imperative at the heart of liberalism, and the insight into the nature of the larger forces at work is one of the many reasons Eich’s forced departure strikes a nerve. It is a revealing »

Mayor Hodges submits

Featured image In the “closing argument” she made on her own behalf in her (Minneapolis) mayoral campaign this past October, Betsy Hodges checked all the right (left) boxes. To borrow Samuel Johnson’s formulation regarding Metaphysical poetry, she violently yoked a couple of heterogeneous ideas together at the heart of her mind-numbing speech: “I have worn hijab, and it changed me. I have run and danced my way through the gay pride parade.” »

Jonatha Brooke gets it down

Featured image Jonatha Brooke is a gifted singer-songwriter. On our last night in New York yesterday, we took a family group to see Jonatha’s one-woman musical My Mother Has Four Noses, now playing at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street. It is an intensely personal and intimate show, ripped from the past few years of Brooke’s life. Brooke wrote the show’s book, the words and the music. You want to connect with »