Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Men not at work

Featured image The new unemployment rate announced this morning was 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent last month. The AP story is here; the Bloomberg story is here. The economy is said to have added 223,000 jobs last month, but the decline in the unemployment rate is, as usual deceiving. The decline in the unemployment rate reflects the continuing decline in the labor participation rate: “The participation rate, which indicates the share »

The Sharpton angle

Featured image Suppose they put together an MSNBC panel to comment on the political scene and Al Sharpton didn’t come? I’m guessing that the panel’s average IQ wouldn’t be affected, but the entertainment value would decline precipitously. On the Morning Joe panel featuring Sharpton this morning (video below), Bernie Sanders was the topic of discussion. Sharpton noted Sanders’s “popularism.” And he wasn’t even trying to read off a Teleprompter! I can mock »

New books, dead authors

Featured image Pending the arrival of Ammo Grrrll tomorrow, I need laugh now more than ever, and I do not think I’m alone. In the run-up to July 4, moreover, we have the time for it. Joe Queenan provides the opportunity for more than one laugh in his Wall Street Journal Review column “New books, dead authors” (accessible here via Google) of this past weekend. Queenan observes that Tom Clancy and other »

Biden’s moment

Featured image The postulate that nature abhors a vacuum seems to apply in politics as elsewhere. There is a vacuum in the Democratic field of candidates for president. Like Gene McCarthy in 1968, Bernie Sanders is in the process of demonstrating the existence of the vacuum. Again, like McCarthy in 1968, there his utility ends. Sanders would not be a viable Democratic candidate for president. The vacuum is the space for a »

Goodnight Vienna (2)

Featured image As we continue the dance of death in Vienna to the new deadline of July 7, Omri Ceren (on Twitter @ceronomri) writes in two emails combined below regarding news of the latest evidence of Iran’s cheating under the current JPOA of November 2013. Omni writes: Remember how we got here. The interim deal was supposed to “freeze” Iran’s nuclear program, but the Iranians demanded to keep enriching uranium gas, so »

Philip Hamburger: Chevron’s last days?

Featured image Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the author, most recently, of Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (Editor’s note: Answer: Yes.) It is easily one of the most important books published in 2014 and certainly one of the most important I have ever read. Professor Hamburger has graciously taken time out from his vacation to comment at our request on the Supreme »

“The haters are still here”

Featured image The Clarion Project has just posted “The world stayed silent” (video below, here on YouTube). Clarion asks that we share the link and help the video go viral. I don’t necessarily like argument by juxtaposition, but I think this film briefly makes a compelling case — a better case than Vera Brittain’s in the big-budget film version of Testament of Youth. »

Testamentary incapacity

Featured image Vera Brittain was the English writer whose memoir Testament of Youth (the first of three such memoirs by her) became an immediate best-seller upon its publication in Great Britain in 1933. Brittain wrote of her experience working as a nurse tending to the wounded in World War I and the tragic deaths of of her brother as well as her fiancee and friends in the conflict. The book has remained »

Hillary’s high anxiety

Featured image The Daily Mail’s David Martosko takes a bemused look at the subset of surviving Hillary Clinton emails released yesterday. Martosko hits all the highlights. Martosko notes, for example: “Despite the collective shock inside the D.C. beltway when news surfaced that Clinton had a secret email account, many of Washington’s most influential Democrats were already in on it. Political operative David Axelrod had her email address almost from the start, but »

Wisconsin’s shame, cont’d

Featured image We used to laugh along with Tom Wolfe when he mocked the left’s routine invocation of fascism in America. Quoting Jean-Francois Revel, Wolfe observed that the “dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe” (more here). We’re not laughing now. Now it’s not so funny. Now we’re a little worried. In part, we have Jonah Goldberg to thank for that. In »

Down and out in Paris and London

Featured image We know that Paul is on vacation in Paris. I believe that John is on, or about to depart on, vacation in London. I think we may be short on manpower for a while and that our coverage may reflect it. If so, I will post a few literary, musical or otherwise offbeat items from which I would refrain if we were at full strength. I have invited Professor Philip »

Netanyahu’s take

Featured image Israel simply cannot afford the smug self-delusuions with which our pending nuclear agreement with Iran is being negotiated and sold. Its critique of the arrangement reflects a realistic view of the proceedings. Prime Minister’s Netanyahu’s views, expressed most recently yesterday and posted here, represent the Israeli consensus. I find their bluntness refreshing: • “In the nuclear talks, to my regret, what we are seeing are Iran’s increasing demands, and the »

Goodnight Vienna

Featured image The parties have returned to Vienna to wrap up the imminent nuclear deal with Iran. Why not Munich? It would be more fitting, but Vienna signifies in its own way. John Lennon contributed the title song to Ringo Starr for Ringo’s 1974 album Goodnight Vienna. As a result, I have come to understand that the phrase Goodnight Vienna is English slang for “it’s all over.” So “Goodnight Vienna” it is. »

Our false messiah

Featured image President Obama recently denied that he ever promised, if elected, to heal our partisan divides. Referring to our so-called political gridlock, thus spake Obama at a fundraising event at the home of Tyler Perry: “When I ran in 2008, I in fact did not say I would fix it. I said we could fix it. I didn’t say, ‘Yes, I can.’ I said, ‘Yes, we can.’” As David Rutz demonstrates »

Presumed guilty: Duke revisited

Featured image Last week FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff posted the video below on InstaPundit with a link to this post introducing it. The video is also posted on YouTube with this introduction: In 2006, the nation was rocked by allegations that three Duke lacrosse players had raped a woman named Crystal Mangum at an off-campus party. As Mangum’s story began to unravel, the focus of the case shifted from the supposed criminal behavior »

AIPAC enters the fray

Featured image Until now the Obama administration seemed to have domesticated and neutered AIPAC, the proudly pro-Israel lobbying group. Michael Oren’s memoir Ally, published this past Tuesday, confirms this impression. Attending the annual AIPAC Minnesota dinner in Minneapolis last month, however, I was struck by the strong position taken on the imminent Iran deal. AIPAC set forth five criteria for an acceptable deal that would obviously obligate the organization to oppose the »

Will Dems apologize?

Featured image In an open letter to DNC Chairman Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz, Jeffrey Lord provides a readout of the tangled history of the Democratic Party with slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan. Lord draws on the Democratic Party platforms of 1840, 1844, 1856 and 1860. He adds that, as the Civil War drew to a close, the Democrats opposed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment (ending slavery), and proceeded afterwards »