Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Losin’ in Lausanne (2)

Featured image Omri Ceren writes by email from Lausanne to elaborate on the AP story reporting that raw United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites. Omri writes: And just like that, PMDs and Yemen are those things we were talking about in the last news cycle. For the rest »

Obama continues assault on Israel

Featured image Reader Martin Karo writes: Arutz Sheva reports on the Obama administration’s release – a broadcast, not a leak – of formerly top secret data regarding Israel’s nuclear facilities and capabilities. The damaging revelations come via the Defense Department’s publication of a detailed, 386-page report on Israeli and NATO nations’ nuclear facilities and capabilities. In an overtly political act, the Pentagon declassified only the part about Israel, continuing to classify the »

Losin’ in Lausanne

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has a scoop on the endgame in the negotiations with Iran over a deal on its nuclear program. The United States is folding on issues involving the possible military dimensions of Iran’s past work. The descent into absurdity continues. Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman report (story accessible here via Google): Iran’s refusal to implement the IAEA work plan threatens to undermine the prospects for this comprehensive »

The best of Matt Lee

Featured image It seems to me highly improbable that the AP’s diplomatic correspondent would be as big a thorn in the side of State Department flacks as Matt Lee is. Lee elicits the obligatory verb “grilling” whenever one refers to his inquiries at State Department briefings. We have featured videos of Lee “grilling” State Department spokesmen Jen Psaki and Marie Harf several times here. This week Lee “grilled” Psaki over the deparment’s »

We’re number 4

Featured image I learn (via InstaPundit, of course) that Newsmax has announced its Top 50 Conservative Blogs of 2015. Accepting the award on behalf of InstaPundit, Glenn Reynolds comments: “It’s always nice to be number one.” In a competitive field, Power Line comes in at number 4. As we approach the end of our thirteenth year online, that’s not too shabby either. We try harder. The Newsmax Top 50 demonstrates familiarity with, »

The Bergdahl deception

Featured image Today the Army announced that Bowe Bergdahl will be court-martialed on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Given the public comments of his platoon mates on the deal that resulted in his release, the file that supports the charges brought against him must be staggering. Who can forget the celebration that President Obama orchestrated with Bergdahl’s parents at the White House to mark his return, or national security »

Why spy

Featured image Yesterday the Wall Street Journal’s Adam Entous reported in a page-one story leaked by the Obama administration that “Israel spied on Iran talks with US” (accessible here via Google). John commented on the story here. I want to offer a few additional notes on the story: • This “spying” story was leaked to Entous by “senior White House officials.” The leak complements the Obama administration’s public campaign against the Netanyahu »

Crowley will not referee this fight

Featured image You may have heard that Mitt Romney will lace on boxing gloves and enter the ring to go toe to toe with former undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in Salt Lake City on May 15, all in a good cause. The cause is Charity Vision. The Salt Lake Tribune reports on the event here. Neil Cavuto asked Romney about the upcoming “fight” yesterday on his FOX News show yesterday afternoon. »

Democrats and their masters

Featured image The Democratic Party appears to take the sacramental view of abortion. Any act that might tend to deter an abortion is to be resisted. It’s the abortion equivalent of the positive good school of slavery. If the party as a whole doesn’t subscribe to this view, its funders certainly must. Thus the dramatic turnaround in Democratic support for the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Act of 2015. It passed »

The world turned upside down, Obama style

Featured image As he works toward a deal blessing Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama has undertaken a full-throated assault on Israel. The Obama administration treats America’s enemies as friends and friends as enemies. It is Obama’s version of “the world turned upside down.” In his column today Rich Lowry draws on the metaphor of the world turned upside down to criticize these developments. Rich’s column is posted at Jewish World Review as »

Does Howard Schultz know about this?

Featured image Corporate America probably hasn’t had a brainstorm like Howard Schultz’s “Race Together” since, well, I’m not sure when. Perhaps Schultz will move on to a book extension along the lines of How To Alienate Customers and Make Yourself a Laughingstock. Or perhaps Schultz will be content to have his Starbucks campaign assume the form of a Harvard Business School case study of some kind. National Review’s Katherine Timpf has developed »

John Brennan assesses

Featured image CIA Director John Brennan appeared for an interview on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (video below, 22 minutes). At the outset of the interview, Wallace asked tough questions related to the deal in process with Iran. In context, despite the gravity of the questions, Brennan’s expressions of comfort and assurance on the part of President Obama and Secretary Kerry come across almost laughable. At 5:00, Wallace asks Brennan which »

From Minneapolis to ISIS

Featured image Yesterday’s New York Times featured Scott Shane’s long page-one article “From Minneapolis to ISIS: An American’s path to jihad.” Shane explores the departure of Abdi Nur from Minneapolis to join ISIS in Syria. Nur comes from the Twin Cities’ large and still growing Somali community. Shane wanders off to discuss the cases of others who have left the United States to sign on with ISIS. Here is the local angle: »

ISIS comes to town

Featured image Tonight 60 Minutes broadcast a segment on the persecution of Christians and Christianity by ISIS in Iraq (video below). The segment was reported by correspondent Lara Logan. CBS News has posted a transcript of the segment here. The emergence of ISIS in Iraq is attributed to the withdrawal of American forces by President Obama in 2011 by one of Logan’s eloquent Christian interlocutors at one point; she carefully attributes equal »

Why the phantom fatwa?

Featured image I wrote about President Obama’s March 19 statement on the Persian new year in “Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.” In the statement Obama asserted: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.” Obama’s assertion follows closely on Secretary of State Kerry’s assertion to the same effect. I quoted »

Dems traffick in cynicism

Featured image The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 enjoyed unanimous bipartisan support when it was passed out of committee with the sponsorship of Senators Cornyn (R, TX) and Klobuchar (D, MN). Senator Klobuchar’s operative principle is “keep your head down” and it has served her well so far. Nevertheless, something funny happened on the way to passage of the bill in the Senate. As the Wall Street Journal’s Kim »

In which we mourn the passing of Rouhani’s mother

Featured image As the Obama administration arrives at the verge of a catastrophic deal to bless the bulk of Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure, the talks adjourned yesterday in light of the death of the mother of Iranian President Rouhani. It is reported that “the negotiations had been tentatively extended to go into Saturday. But the Iranian delegation decided to depart for home to allow negotiators, including Mr Zarif and Hossein Fereydoon, a »