Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Life lessons from Justice Thomas

Featured image This is the season of formulaic left-wing commencement speeches. Contributing to the cause of true “diversity” — diversity in the life of the mind — Zev Chafets has edited a volume of heterodox commencement speeches under the title Remembering Who We Are: A Treasury of Conservative Commencement Addresses. There are several speeches that I find inspirational and/or moving and/or thought-provoking in the book. One that is all of the above, »

The unmaking of a mayor

Featured image City life has not improved in Baltimore since the indictment of six Baltimore police officers. Some residents have gone on a murder spree targeting other residents. Innocent bystanders have the reasonable fear of getting caught in the crossfire. Drudge has compiled stories »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll stands and delivers Psychotic Ninnies, Circa 1975. She writes: Last Friday I referred to the Psychotic Ninny Wing of the feminist movement. In the beginning they were a relatively small part of the legitimate push for equality and expanded opportunities for women. But they always existed. In a meeting I attended in 1970, a certifiably insane woman waxed rhapsodic about how “when we hang all the men they »

The rational ayatollah hypothesis

Featured image In his Wall Street Journal column this past Tuesday, Bret Stephens took up “The rational ayatollah hypothesis” (accessible via Google here). That hypothesis — asserted, I would say, as a thesis if not a fact by our Supreme Leader about Iran’s Supreme Leader — holds that economics and other such considerations constrain the anti-Semitic behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran. So about those nuclear weapons that Iran is developing »

Mosby’s favorites

Featured image Baltimore City state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby is prosecuting the six Baltimore police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. She seems to bring a certain animus to the task. I questioned Mosby’s professional behavior in the post “Mosby so far,” commenting on Mosby’s press conference announcing the charges she had brought. Evidence of Mosby’s animus may also be evident in two tweets written by third parties that »

Hezbollah prepares

Featured image There is so much bad news coming out of the Middle East that it is hard to keep up. Omri Ceren writes from The Israel Project to fill us in on a preview of coming attractions featuring the proxy forces of President Obama’s Iranian friends. Where precisely does Hezbollah fit in Obama’s vision of Iran as a friendly regional power? Too bad Jeffrey Goldberg didn’t riddle Obama that particular question. »

The remarkable rise of Marie Harf

Featured image We have followed the performance of Marie Harf as a spokesman for the Obama administration foreign policy at the State Department. Harf gives the catastrophic foreign policy of the Obama administration a lighter than air, Valley Girl kind of feel. She is a walking self-parody. As such, she presents a novel use of expressive form. Now comes word that Harf is being promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to »

Obamacare in one state

Featured image Unfortunately for the people of Minnesota, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton had a free hand adopting Obamacare in Minnesota, and Minnesota has gone all in. Courtesy of Governor Dayton and a Democratic legislature, we have bought into the Medicaid expansion and all the rest. In Minnesota the Obamacare set-up runs under the rubric of MNsure. I wonder how many voters know that Minnesota has adopted Obamacare and that MNsure, c’est ça. »

Secretary Carter lauds the boss

Featured image We doubt that President Obama is a great leader in the defense of the national security of the United States, and the evidence supporting our doubt is abundant. In the Middle East, we see Iran asserting its power from Iraq and Yemen to Syria and Lebanon. We see ISIS on the march. We see al Qaeda and its affiliates expanding their forces. Elsewhere in the world, we see China and »

Let’s call the whole thing off

Featured image The starting point of statutory construction is the language of the statute itself. If the words of a statute are clear, they are to be construed according to their plain meaning. See generally Yule Kim, Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends (Congressional Research Service, 2008). If the words of a statue are ambiguous, a court may resort to legislative history and other devices to construe it. The Supreme Court »

Return to Stephanopoulos

Featured image George Stephanopoulos acted as an advocate for the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation when Peter Schweizer appeared to discuss his book Clinton Cash on This Week with the Democratic Operative. I noted Stephanopoulos’s absurd pose that Sunday in “For the Clinton defense.” Subsequent reporting by the Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Stiles dug out Stephanopoulos’s undisclosed contributions to the Clinton Foundation. Asked for comment by Stiles when the story was ready »

A conversation with Fred Barnes

Featured image In the latest of the Conversations with Bill Kristol, Bill sits down with his colleague Fred Barnes to review the highlights of his career covering politics in Washington, D.C. The conversation is posted and broken into chapters here. Via @KristolConvos, Bill alerts us to the fact that Fred gives a nice shout-out to Power Line in chapter 4 (at 1:22:00). Coincidentally, we’re observing the thirteenth anniversary of our life online »

America’s honor

Featured image In observance of Memorial Day 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a characteristically brilliant column by Peter Collier to mark the occasion. The column remains accessible online here. I don’t think we’ll read or hear anything more thoughtful or appropriate to the occasion today. Here it is: Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: those who had given all their tomorrows, as was said of the »

Not dark yet, part 2

Featured image WUMB’s Saturday morning radio show Highway 61 Revisited devoted its four hours yesterday to a celebration of Mr. Bob’s birthday today. Host Albert O played songs written by Dylan nonstop. Given the limits imposed by applicable law, he filled out the show with cover versions. It was an illuminating exercise. The variety of artists to have covered Dylan is wide. The Band, Solomon Burke, the Byrds, Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, »

An uncertain kazoo, cont’d

Featured image On May 20 President Obama traveled to New London to deliver the commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy. The White House transcript of the speech is posted here; the White House video is posted below. The White House blog posted photos featuring excerpts of the speech and the president in heroic poses here. In the Middle East, we see Iran asserting its power from Iraq and Yemen to Syria »

Not dark yet

Featured image Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns 74. He is a remarkable artist, self-invented, deep in the American grain. A few years back I visited Dylan’s old home at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing. The house is a small two-story residence with a one-car attached garage on the side. The house is exactly two blocks from Hibbing High School, Dylan’s alma mater. A Dylan »

Obama’s big shtick

Featured image President Theodore Roosevelt’s preferred diplomatic approach was to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” President Obama, by contrast, speaks falsely and carries a big shtick. Yesterday he carried his shtick to the Adas Israel congregation in Washington, DC. Obama held himself out as a friend of Israel. He likened his attitude to Israel to his attitude to the United States. He has “high expectations” of both. I take no »