Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Do you believe him?

Featured image Donald Trump has proved himself a master of mockery. It is a powerful weapon in his rhetorical arsenal. Sometimes it’s on target. Occasionally it misfires. It has yet to backfire. When his mockery has veered off target, Trump has effectively denied the upshot of the mockery. The latest case seems to me a misfire and the denial particularly implausible. Anthony Trollope titled the first of his Palliser series of novels »

From “Truth” to “Trumbo”

Featured image Hollywood provides a steady left-wing pressure on our politics, our culture, and our collective memory. This year the Rathergate film Truth gave an almost unbelievable example, turning the perpetrators of the greatest journalistic scandal of our times into heroes. John and I tried to set the record straight in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful” and the Star Tribune column “Lies upon lies.” As the institutional voice of the left, »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is feeling MARGINALIZED! (Thank God!). She writes: Marginalized is a silly, imprecise word thrown around a lot by the Perpetually Furious Grievance crowd without the slightest notion of its definition, let alone any documentation that deliberate “marginalization” exists. It sounds good, in that it sounds like something bad to be, something to whine about, and something one can blame others for. (Parenthetically, I can live with being marginalized; »

Desperately seeking ISIS

Featured image Over the past few months I’ve been researching law enforcement issues related to Minnesota’s large community of Somali immigrants. The Paris massacres and Syrian refugee crisis have given the issues a renewed timeliness. I turned some of my research to use in the article just published by the Weekly Standard: “The threat from ‘Minnesota men.'” Please check it out! I am grateful to Standard managing editor Richard Starr and his »

Happy Thanksgiving

Featured image We pause to give thanks Sarah Josepha Hale, the 74-year-old magazine editor who wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, »

What manner of deal is this?

Featured image Rep. Mike Pompeo has elicited the letter below from the Department of State explaining the nature of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. What manner of deal is this? According to Assistant Secretary of State Julia (“If that really is your name”) Frifield, the deal is not a treaty. The deal is not an executive agreement. The deal is not even a document signed to represent the »

Annals of inanity

Featured image As President Obama enters the stretch run on his second term, he is dedicating himself to sealing his reputation as the worst president in American history. He long ago blew by President Carter. He’s blowing by President Buchanan. He’s taken the lead and he’s putting distance between himself and the rest of the field. Yesterday he deepened his hold on the laughingstock element of his performance in office. How to »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Carly

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Dave was busy in Council Bluffs yesterday covering the appearance of Marco Rubio (here) and the appearance of Carly Fiorina (below): Three new and brief items from a house party appearance by Carly Fiorina in Council Bluffs on Monday night. One. The women in attendance were enthralled by her. They were »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Marco Rubio

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Today Dave attended the appearance of Senator Marco Rubio in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Des Moines Register has posted its report of Rubio in Carroll this morning before his appearance in Council Bluffs here. Dave’s report is below. When I saw Marco Rubio in person, I was reminded of a line »

The man our founders warned us against

Featured image In the late 1960’s Nicholas Von Hoffman published his portrait of the hippies in San Francisco under the title We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against. Von Hoffman’s title was a precursor to the inane messianism of Obama’s “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” though Von Hoffman’s title made more sense than Obama’s shibboleth. In his assumption of monarchical powers and his accompanying demagogy, Barack Obama »

At Princeton, Wilson under review

Featured image At Princeton, events have coughed up today’s blather from President Eisgruber. A reader has forwarded the email below to the Princeton community. President Eisgruber recapitulates the regnant platitudes at great length. Chalk him up as another of the academy’s gutless wimps. Long story short: blah blah blah. Slightly longer story: they’re going to be exploring the legacy of Woodrow Wilson. I recommend that President Eisgruber et al. read R.J. Pestritto’s »

Laugh, laugh [With Comment by John]

Featured image Ed Morrissey takes a look at the story reported here by Judicial Watch regarding the Clinton campaign’s unamused response to the stand-up comedians mocking Madam Hillary at the Laugh Factor. I took the Judicial Watch report at face value in “(No) good mockin’ tonight.” The Clinton campaign denies that it responded as reported. Ed collects the evidence and suggests that the appropriate response to Judicial Watch’s report would have been »

Adult leadership remembered

Featured image A loyal reader and MIT ’68 alum writes from Brussels to draw our attention to this letter in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about what he calls “the raging madness on US campuses.” Here is the letter: Regarding your editorial “Bonfire of the Academy” (Nov. 11): The editors lament the lack of “adult leadership” at today’s universities. It wasn’t always so. I was at MIT in the late 1960s, and we »

Sanders’s socialism: A footnote

Featured image Professor Jean Yarbrough is Professor of Government and Gary M. Pendy, Sr. Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin College. She wrote the indispensable book on the political thought of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. She writes to comment on Bernie Sanders’s attribution of his “democratic socialism” to Franklin Roosevelt: Just remember that FDR got it from TR, who called for a new social contract in the »

Sanders’s socialism in one country

Featured image Bernie Sanders gave his supposedly long-awaited speech on Democratic Socialism in the United States at Georgetown this week. We are not the ones who’ve been waiting for it, but the folks at Mother Jones are pretty excited about it. Sanders’s democratic socialism isn’t socialism. He disclaims public ownership of the means of production. Sanders’s socialism is Franklin Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights, only more so. It’s the welfare state above »

Deep thoughts by the DNC

Featured image The ad posted by the Democratic National Committee (video below) has a Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey feel to it. Like Handey’s deep thoughts, it is laughably stupid. In this case, however, the laughter evoked is unintentional. The stupidity reflects the current line of Madam Hillary and the Democratic Party. Condemnation of “radical Islam” is equated with condemnation of “Islam” and bigotry is imputed to those who identify “radical Islam” »

Coates’s moment

Featured image Ta-Nehesi Coates was awarded the National Book Award (non-fiction) for Between the World and Me on Wednesday night. It is an utterly abominable book. I wrote about it in the City Journal column “An updated racial hustle.” Christopher Caldwell nailed it in the Weekly Standard. Anthony Daniels administered justice to it in the New Criterion. Most recently, Bill Voegeli took a learned whack at it in the Claremont Review of »