Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Joe Cocker, RIP

Featured image Two English rock singers channeled the voice of Ray Charles, each in his own unmistakable style. The first was Stevie Winwood, who has been at it since he was about 15 and is still going strong. The second was Joe Cocker; Cocker died today at the age of 70, well before his time. The New York Times has posted a preliminary notice pending a full obituary here. The Times posts »

In which Keith Ellison finds me of use

Featured image Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison has blocked me on Twitter, so I am unable to follow him. Searching Twitter to take a look at his emissions, however, I found that Star Tribune political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger has posted an Ellison fundraising letter that she received in which Ellison draws on my Star Tribune op-ed column “Rep. Keith Ellison remembers to forget.” Ellison’s letter responds to these two paragraphs of »

The Ellison example

Featured image In “For Rep. Keith Ellison, recent protests speak to a lifelong struggle,” the Star Tribune’s Allison Sherry provides an incoherent update on Ellison’s fraught relationship with law enforcement. There are two problems with the article. Sherry doesn’t know what she’s talking about and she simply provides a platform for Ellison to vent. Sherry works to suggest that there is something complicated about Ellison’s views of law enforcement. She writes, for »

Last call: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Featured image Way back when in the vinyl era, Rolling Stone gave the album A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector (1963) five stars in its rock and roll record guides and singled out Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” as one of the highlights. Rolling Stone still rates it the greatest Christmas album of all time. There is no arguing about taste, and my knowledge of the genre is »

Edward Jay Epstein: Journalism and truth

Featured image Michael Wolff has declared Edward Jay Epstein “one of the great investigative journalists of the era.” Who is his peer? I say he is our most formidable investigative journalist. He is the author of numerous riveting books, among which are three on the Kennedy assassination: Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth, Counterplot: Garrison vs. Oswald, Ferrie, Shaw, Warren Commission, FBI CIA, the Media, the Establishment and Legend: »

Long story short, Iowahawk edition

Featured image Iowahawk took to Twitter yesterday to comment on President Obama’s after-the-fact advice to Sony in the matter of The Interview. As is his wont, Obama affected the position of an innocent bystander. Even without the relevant history I found Obama’s pose somewhere beyond creepy. He thinks we’re really, really stupid, and he’s got the evidence to back it up. Iowahawk took a quote from Obama speaking about Sony at his »

On the Sony hack, a CTO speaks

Featured image Reader Jonathan F. writes in response to John’s post on our pathetic response to the Sony hack. Having worked in IT since 1996, Jonathan is the Chief Technology Officer at his company. He has been involved in the security side of IT at least part time since 2000. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, the certification bestowed by (ISC)2. He also has a CompTia Security+ certification. His corporate »

Mark Falcoff: The Cuban paradox

Featured image Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at AEI. He is the author of several books including Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. He writes further to this post on Wednesday: This subject has already been written to death, but may I add a couple more comments? There are two kinds of people who favor normalization of relations with Cuba. One is the person who believes that by freeing up »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll returns to comment on GRUBER: THE POLITICAL EQUIVALENT OF EX-LAX. She writes: I grew up in the Fiber-Free Fifties. With a steady diet of Jello, Twix, Wonder Bread, and Velveeta, small wonder laxative ads were prominent on television. Housewives discussed the issue openly in commercials, usually with their pharmacists and often volunteering that their husbands who were standing right there, humiliated, also had issues with regularity. One popular »

The gift of books, Gulag edition

Featured image Thinking about President Obama’s announcement of our new policy toward Cuba, I would like to take the liberty of adding a few books to my holiday list for Power Line readers. Armando Valladares, Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag. A great, inspirational memoir: the passion of Armando Valladares, kept in print by our friends at Encounter Books. Alexander Dolgun, Alexander Dolgun’s Story: An American in the »

Transform this

Featured image It’s a good thing that President Obama wasn’t in charge of American foreign policy during the Cold War. He could have decried the policy of containment followed by more or less faithfully by successive administrations for more than 40 years as an utter failure. At any given point, the Soviet Union was still standing and looked like a permanent fixture on the international scene, right up until the moment it »

Mark Falcoff: Castro’s dreams come true

Featured image Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at AEI. He is the author of several books including Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. He writes to offer his thoughts on today’s developments: There are many aspects of this story that have not made the media. May I offer a few? Alan Gross was hired by an AID contractor to take computers (and I believe cell phones) to the minuscule Jewish »

An open letter to the Washington Post

Featured image A Power Line reader copies us on his letter to the editor of the Washington Post. His letter presumably will not see the light of day in the Post. I have lightly edited the letter and added internal links: To the Editor: The Washington Post suggests using a fictional rape as a jumping off point for finding solutions, likely draconian, to the “issue of rape on college campuses” (“After the »

Sportsmanship’s Luck

Featured image In a college course on the literature of the Renaissance we read Montaigne’s essay “That to philosophize is to learn to die.” Talking with me about it outside of class, the professor remarked that he thought participation in sports taught the wisdom of Montaigne. He recalled watching a Dartmouth team being trounced on the field, yet continuing to perform intensely with a kind of detachment reflected in Montaigne’s teaching. He »

The man with the Gruber vids

Featured image James O’Keefe has just released a video featuring an interview of the man who brought the videos of MIT economist and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber to public attention. The interview with “Rich” — the man who — is on camera, but behind a shield of anonymity. During the interview, “Rich” explains that Obamacare enacts a covert agenda: a two-hundred-and-fifty billion dollar per year tax grab. O’Keefe’s video provides a handy »

James Mitchell: KSM predicted what the Dems would do to me

Featured image Megyn Kelly interviewed CIA interrogator James Mitchell last night on FNC’s Kelly File over three segments. Mitchell is a psychologist who helped fashion the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program and is one of the men who interrogated KSM. As such, he comes in for criticism in the Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats’ recently released report (or executive summary). FOX News Insider covers the interview and breaks it into clips here. The video »

The gift of books

Featured image In a recent column Thomas Sowell urged his readers to “Give the gift of books!” I second that emotion (as well as the books to which he draws attention). I think the following five books are among the most important books for conservative readers published this year. I can say this with absolute certainty: they are the most important new books for conservatives that I read this year: Philip Hamburger, »