Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Quotations from Chairman Barry

Featured image I still have my old copy of Quotations From Chairman LBJ. The book was inspired by Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (“the little red book”). Compiled by Jack Shepherd and Christopher Wren and published by Simon and Schuster in the annus horribilis of 1968, the book consisted of supposedly laughable quotes attributable to President Johnson. It was popular enough to go through multiple printings. My copy derives from the third »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image This week Ammo Grrrll returns with thoughts on AMTRAK AND ME. She writes: Mussolini, it is asserted – undoubtedly falsely – made the trains run on time. Benito would have hanged himself if tasked with running Amtrak. Several years ago, when we were still wintering in Palm Springs, I decided to make the annual journey south into a four-day “Bucket List” train trip adventure. Pat, a fellow writer and Certified »

America’s first socialist republic

Featured image We provided the platform launching Professor Paul Rahe into the blogosphere. He is one of the country’s most distinguished scholars, but he has also proved to be a natural blogger as well. He now posts at Ricochet. In view of his study of Republics Ancient and Modern, Professor Rahe is the academy’s foremost authority on the history of republics. Although his more recent work on “soft despotism” (cited below) was »

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving

Featured image Lincoln’s famous Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1863, was drafted by William Seward and signed by Lincoln. The Union’s victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg lay in the background; the Gettysburg Address was to come the following month. The proclamation pronounced the last Thursday of November “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.” In it Seward seems to have reached to capture Lincoln’s thought; the proclamation strikes several Lincolnian themes. A copy »

#Shirtgate explained

Featured image The feminist establishment has gone completely around the bend. I’m not sure when it happened.; I doubt it is a recent development. In her prescient 1972 book The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation, Midge Decter examined the second-generation literature of feminism and found it rotten at the core, if not rotten to the core. I haven’t kept up with the literature. My impression, however, is that the »

Those damn Minnesotans

Featured image When you read that men from Minnesota have been indicted for aiding the Islamic State — as in the Hill headline “Two Minnesota men charged with aiding ISIS,” or in the Star Tribune headline “2 Minneapolis men charged with attempting to aid terrorists,” or in the local FOX News affiliate headline “2 Minnesota men charged with ISIS support” — you can be pretty sure that we’re talking about first or »

The fire this time

Featured image Watching the Ferguson mob rioting for fun and looting for the traditional reasons live on television last night, I didn’t see much “anger” in evidence. The arson and destruction looked premeditated and deliberate, an orgy of opportunity. Was it an accident that the orgy commenced as President Obama urged calm? (The White House has posted the text of his remarks and a video of his statement here.) It was either »

The ascent of FOX News, &c.

Featured image The rise of FOX News Channel to its place as a dominant source of news on television is easily one of the most consequential journalistic developments of the past 25 years. The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik has written a timely column taking note and paying tribute to FNC’s steadfastness along the way. As the channel’s Washington managing editor and anchor of what he turned into the best news program in »

The protracted conflict

Featured image Earlier this month The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale held a conference in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of James Burnham’s Suicide of the West, republished in a new edition by Encounter Books. The festivities included introductory remarks by Donald Kagan followed by three panels and a keynote speech by former NSA/CIA director Michael Hayden. The Buckley Program conference videos are all accessible on YouTube here. The Buckley »

When you’re strange, cont’d

Featured image We quoted comments from a specialist in immigration law in “When you’re strange.” I emailed him a follow-up question and he elaborated his comments through the day. I thought those of us trying to understand what Obama has wrought might be interested in taking a look at the rest of our correspondence. I asked whether the authorities have have discretion to grant work authorizations to the law abiding in order »

They’ve got a secret

Featured image The latest report from the nuclear negotiations with Iran indicates that they are likely to be extended. The deadline is Monday and “big gaps” remain, despite the Western powers’ strenuous efforts to surrender. Omri Ceren emails a status update suggesting that the negotiations have descended into a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. Omri’s message expands on »

The Krone connection

Featured image Jason Horowits writes political features and profiles for the New York Times. Yesterday the Times published Horowitz’s feature/profile on Harry Reid chief of staff David Krone. I don’t think Horowitz’s report rises to the level of what Steve Hayward has been following as “civil war on the left,” but it is hard not to enjoy the discord Horowitz traces among these unsavory players. Here is the opening of his article: »

When you’re strange

Featured image I cannot find the text of the memos/orders signed yesterday by President Obama to implement the actions announced in his immigration speech this past Thursday evening. (I have looked under Presidential Actions at the White House website.) I have therefore been unable to check the details of Obama’s action against the comments below, which are offered by an immigration attorney who works with existing law: The proposed executive action on »

Ramirez’s take

Featured image You can tell that Investor’s Business Daily editorial page editor/editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez has attended to President Obama’s many disavowals of the authority he wielded last night. In the cartoon below that is posted here, Ramirez dispenses with words entirely except the ones cut out of the opening of the Constitution and placed atop the head of the king for a crown. Hey, he’s only illustrating the point Obama made »

Go down, Barry

Featured image You’d never know that President Obama got clobbered in the midterm elections held — when was it now? — earlier this month, a few weeks ago. Last night Obama was buoyant — not like Mark’s Twain’s “Christian with four aces.” He was way beyond that. He was gleeful. What what he so happy about? He’s not facing the voters again. He’s free at last and it’s time for payback. He’s »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has formulated a modest proposal that a certain person or persons unnamed STOP APOLOGIZING! She writes: You may remember when The Lightbringer first got coronated, that he went on a world-wide Apology Tour, apologizing for any crime, real or imagined, that the Unexceptional Country he was elected to represent had committed. Can you name one country with which we have better, healthier relations now than before Obama took »

Day of infamy, part 2

Featured image Megyn Kelly played a particularly effective video compiling statements of President Obama against the exercise of executive authority regularizing millions of illegals — precisely what he is about to do. The video is posted at here at Fox News Insider, which introduces it as follows: For years, he has called such action illegal; in fact, “The Kelly File” found 25 instances in which Obama said so on camera. “Today we »