Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Add some music to your day

Featured image I had not heard of Ann Hampton Callaway before her audacious 1999 recording To Ella With Love, but I’m glad I took a chance on that disc. Ella led me eventually to Ann’s superb show at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York when I stopped over on my way to Israel in June 2007, and then to the rest of her recordings. There is no arguing about taste, »

Beyond Catalist, perhaps

Featured image Last week J. Christian Adams posted an important and informative column on “‘CATALIST’: The Democrats’ database for fundamentally transforming America.” This was all news to me, I confess, and I am grateful to have it brought to my attention. Please check it out. Catalist, as I understand it, is the database that, among other things, helps Democrats microtarget voters. Adams points out that Mitt Romney won independents in the 2012 »

High Noonan

Featured image Peggy Noonan joined the crowd that turned on George W. Bush in what I thought was (in Noonan’s case) a grossly unfair manner in 2008. I wrote critically about one of Noonan’s weekly Wall Street Journal columns in which she identified with the public disapproval of Bush that April in “Season of the witch.” Having turned on George W. Bush, Noonan moved on to support the election of Barack Obama »

At Ground Zero in Minnesota

Featured image We’ve got a problem in the Twin Cities that is based in our large and still growing population of Somali immigrants. Minnesota’s Somali community — a/k/a “Minnesotans” — is the most fertile ground in the United States for the recruitment of terrorists by foreign terrorist organizations in Africa and the Middle East. The Islamic State is only the latest terrorist group to zero in on Minnesota to expand its ranks, »

The Roosevelts: A hagiography

Featured image When writer Mark Gauvreau Judge was repeatedly invited to review Ken Burns’s 10-part, 18-and-a-half hour documentary on the history of jazz in 2000, his response was always the same: “I don’t need to see it to write a review. It’s Ken Burns, hippie granola-head and king of the documentary-melodrama, which means we’re in for yet another race-obsessed orgy of political correctness.” (In retrospect, Judge concedes, he was only “half-right.”) With »

Incapable in Kansas

Featured image The race for the Kansas Senate seat held by Republican incumbent Pat Roberts has been essentially a three-way affair among Roberts, Democrat Chad Taylor and Independent (Democrat) Greg Orman. When Taylor purported to withdraw as the Democratic nominee earlier this month, he did so in a terse letter to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach: I, Chadwick J. Taylor, Democratic nominee for the United States Senate race, do hereby withdraw »

The Eisenhower Memorial farce

Featured image We have sporadically followed the long, sad saga of the proposed Eisenhower Memorial. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission has now survived 15 years. We have no Eisenhower Memorial, but the commission has a plan (a bad one) and a promotional website. For good and sufficient reason the National Capital Planning Commission rejected the proposed memorial plan earlier this year. The Washington Examiner reported on the NCPC’s rejection in a long article »

Verboten in Tehran

Featured image The Telegraph reports that six Iranian singers who were arrested for appearing in a viral video dancing to the Pharrell Williams song “Happy” have been sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes. The video appears to have received well over a million views at this point. Oliver Duggan writes: The group became famous in May when their music video for the hit song circulated on YouTube, racking up »

Bill Henck: Inside the IRS, part 7

Featured image William Henck has worked inside the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel as an attorney for over 26 years. We posted his personal account, including his testimony to a retaliatory audit conducted by the IRS against him, this past February in “Inside the IRS.” We followed up with subsequent posts including “Inside the IRS, part 5″ and, most recently, “Inside the IRS, part 6,” both regarding the promotion of Fred »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Our friend Ammo Grrrll reflects on SCHADENFREUDE. She writes: Many years ago, when I still had to navigate the Minnesota highways in winter, I had one of those experiences that fall under the category of Schadenfreude. That is, of course, a fancy word for taking unseemly pleasure when someone is hoisted on his own petard. Petards being in short supply generally, my first Schadenfreude involved a car. After a couple »

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale: The speech they didn’t want you to hear

Featured image The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale has just posted the video of its entire September 15 event featuring Ayaan Hirsi Ali. WFB Program president Rich Lizardo tells the story of events that followed the WFB Program’s public announcement of the event in the Yale Daily News column “We invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at Yale–and outrage ensued.” Following the public announcement, the Muslim Students Association at Yale »

Blaming Blabbermouth

Featured image The lead story at Politico is Edward-Isaac Dovere’s “Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.” Better known among listeners to Rush Limbaugh as Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz, the lady is Obama’s handpicked chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Ann Althouse asks: “[W]hat is going on here?” Good question. Ann has her own thoughts, always worth taking into account. The story reads like a catfight on the left. If only for that, I »

Ball’s bombshell: Tom Cotton digs Publius!

Featured image When Atlantic political reporter Molly Ball called me a couple of weeks ago to ask me about Rep. Tom Cotton, now opposing Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Pryor in the election for the Arkansas seat that is on the ballot this November, my guard was up. I think Tom is a man of great courage and conviction. I support his election. I wanted not to say anything that could be used »

Rumors of terrorism

Featured image Have individuals with known terrorist ties been apprehended trying to cross illegally into the United States through Texas? It seems like a straightforward question to address to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Asked the question by Rep. Jason Chaffetz at a House Homeland Security hearing yesterday, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson took the phlegmatic approach and vaguely denied awareness of such a case. Asked directly if he was aware of four »

Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?

Featured image Joe Biden made waves when he referred to “shylocks” in a speech on Monday. He made waves because he didn’t realize the term was offensive to Jews, drawing as it does on Shakespeare’s problematic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in The Merchant of Venice. The late, great John Gross devoted an outstanding book to the portrayal of Shylock through the ages. The book provides a humane literary and historical education »

Hirsi Ali heightens the contradictions

Featured image Our friends at the Washington Free Beacon have dug up the brief video clip below of Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at Yale on Monday. This is the clip of her speech that has been running on FOX News. I would like to post a video of her speech in its entirety (please write me at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com if you know where one is), but this is what we have now. The »

The question of Muslim immigration

Featured image We have a profoundly serious problem of illegal immigration, but we also have a problem of legal immigration, Unfortunately, it is a problem that can barely be discussed. Is there anyone who thinks the continued stream of Muslim immigration from countries with active jihadist groups is a good idea? Canadian poet and essayist David Solway broadly raises the problem of Muslim immigration in the PJ Media column “The new colonizers.” »