Author Archives: Scott Johnson

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 »

Obama expounds the limits of Iran’s anti-Semitism

Featured image In the course of his recent interview of President Obama — painful reading from beginning to end — Jeffrey Goldberg asked a somewhat challenging question regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. “You have argued,” Goldberg observed, “that people who subscribe to an anti-Semitic worldview, who explain the world through the prism of anti-Semitic ideology, are not rational, are not built for success, are not grounded in a reality that you »

Notes on “Days of Rage” (3)

Featured image This concludes my series of posts on Bryan Burrough’s important and riveting new book, Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence. Part 1 is here; part 2 is here. We recorded an interview with Burrough about the book earlier this week; the interview is posted here. • Joanne Chesimard/Assata Shakur was a member and leader of the cop-killing Black Liberation Army. Burrough »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll calls this one MEA CULPA, MEA CULPA, A Flagrant Reader ‘Fesses Up. She writes: Back in the early days of the Psychotic Ninny Wing of the feminist movement, now dominant, I read an article about a Men’s Auxiliary of “supportive” men who stipulated to the premise that men were despicable. They opened each meeting by chanting “I am a lowly and abject turd.” Surprisingly, this did not catch »

Notes on “Days of Rage” (2)

Featured image Reading Bryan Burrough’s book Days of Rage from cover to cover over the weekend, I flipped over the book. In this post I continue to jot notes on the book to amplify the attention it has received so far. Part 1 is posted here; our interview with Bryan Burrough, recorded on Tuesday, is posted here. • Burrough tells the story of six terrorist groups that conducted campaigns of “revolutionary violence,” »

Notes on “Days of Rage” (1)

Featured image Over the weekend I read Bryan Burrough’s Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence. I read it in preparation for the brief interview we recorded with the author yesterday afternoon for the Power Line podcast posted here. I would like to share notes, thoughts and excerpts in a series of posts, of which this is the first of what I think will »

There’s something about Katy (and Lizzy)

Featured image I found Corey Kilgannon’s Saturday Saturday New York Times story to be worthy of note and thought readers might find it of interest. Kilgannon’s story is variously headlined “Long separated, sisters have a college reunion” (in the paper, where it caught my eye) and “2 women moved to write stories uncover a surprisingly personal one” (online). I found it a touching story with plenty of material for further reflection. Here »

Weasel words from a weasel

Featured image ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos failed to disclose his $75,000 in contributions and other connections to the Clinton Foundation as he interrogated Peter Schweizer regarding his book Clinton Cash. He didn’t mention his work as a campaign operative and administration official on behalf of Bill Clinton either, but ABC viewers are apparently assumed to bring that knowledge to the table. (Wrong, but who are we to judge?) When Stephanopoulos’s contributions »

Netanyahu on the Lausanne framework, &c.

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech in Israel’s Knesset last week on the seventieth anniversary of VE Day. As is his custom, Netanyahu drew the lesson for today. The Jerusalem Post reported on and quoted from Netanyahu’s speech: The lesson from World War II is not to back down from an extremist regime whose platform includes genocide and conquering other states, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, referring to »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Blues giant B.B. King died this past week at the age of 89. Tim Weiner covers his life and works in a good New York Times obituary. King lit out from Mississippi for Memphis in 1947 to undertake the career of a professional musician. In Memphis he connected with Sonny Boy Williamson (one of two) and landed a job at WDIA in which he hustled the patent cure-all Pep-ti-kon. “If »

Who killed Alberto Nisman? part 4

Featured image The Wall Street Journal devotes a good page-one story to a review of the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman. By Taos Turner and Reed Johnson, the story is “A body, a pistol, and few answers in Argentina” (accessible here via Google). It is an extraordinary and maddening case. The Journal story derives in part from the independent investigation of Nisman’s death commissioned by Nisman’s former companion, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado. »

The other side of vanity

Featured image I wrote about President Obama’s press conference following his meeting with representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council at Camp David this week in “An uncertain kazoo, cont’d” and John followed up in “Obama’s revisionist history on Syria.” The White House transcript of the entire press conference is posted here. I want to pause briefly over the question Obama took on Syria and the preface to his substantive, extremely misleading response. »

A Stephanopoulos sidebar

Featured image George Stephanopoulos is a Democratic operative in the guise of a television journalist. He served Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign in a senior position and was duly rewarded with a high office advising Clinton as president. When he grilled Peter Schweizer on his reportage in Clinton Cash, however, Stephanopoulos mentioned none of this. Stephanopoulos omitted any mention of his own service over a period of years directly on behalf of »