Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Mahmoud Abbas’s Jewish problem

Featured image Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times. He is a veteran reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor for the New York Times and other publications. Cliff’s most recent column is “Mahmoud Abbas’s Jewish problem” (at FDD, where it is posted with links). Cliff has kindly given us his permission to post his column on Power Line. »

The $6 billion misunderstanding: Kirby’s dodge

Featured image National Security Council spokesman John Kirby attended yesterday’s White House press briefing. The White House has posted the transcript here. Kirby was asked about the $6 billion payoff to Iran for the release of five American hostages, with additional American hostages to be taken later. I have written about this disgraceful and destructive deal several times. One reporter actually asked Kirby about the administration’s nonsensical dodge regarding the payoff: Question: »

Hey, Joe, where you goin’?

Featured image The Byrds, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and many others covered the classic rock song “Hey, Joe.” We’re not sure who wrote it, but we know how it goes: “Hey, Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?” In the age of Biden, we can shorten that to “Hey, Joe, where you goin’?” The old man is lost. Staff must accommodate his mental decline. The ocular proof stares us »

Speaking of proof

Featured image What is proof? In common parlance, “proof” is evidence. Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. The shiftless Adam Schiff to the contrary notwithstanding, there is no in between. Evidence consists of testimony or exhibits that tend to make the existence or nonexistence of a relevant fact more likely than not. I took up the law of evidence (focusing on hearsay) here in connection with the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing »

The $6 billion misunderstanding, cont’d

Featured image Here I thought I was just amusing myself by invoking Robert Gover’s One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding, but no. The Biden administration’s $6 billion deal with Iran appears to be subject to the kind of misunderstanding that vexed the protagonists in Gover’s cult classic. According to the Biden administration, the use of the $6 billion is subject to severe constraints. It can’t be used to support the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program. »

The Ignatius angle

Featured image David Ignatius is the Washington Post’s twice weekly foreign affairs columnist. He is easily one of the most repulsive pundits in the world of the prestige press. I haven’t written about Ignatius for a long time, but see (for example) my 2014 post “The case of David Ignatius, cont’d.” Ignatius was of course one of the many prominent media voices promulgating the Russia hoax in the early days of the »

Through the eyes of Baghdad Bob

Featured image Dan McLaughlin’s New York Post column on President Biden’s most recent public ruminations is headlined “Senile Joe Biden rambles about pony soldiers, Vietnam and lies about 9/11.” The Washington Times observes that KJP “cut Biden off Sunday as he spoke at a Hanoi press conference in Vietnam and shuffled off the stage, award-show style, as jazz music played in the background.” It is an episode that appears to come straight »

The $6 billion misunderstanding

Featured image Robert Gover wrote the cult classic One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding. It might have been cutting-edge in 1962, when it was published, but not for long. Insofar as my subject here is related to President Biden, I can note that Hunter Biden’s misadventures have taken reality far beyond Gover’s satire. However, I have found Gover’s title an irresistible source of headlines for comments on the news. Today comes word that the »

Biden’s light rinse

Featured image President Biden held a press conference for the ages in Hanoi yesterday. The White House has posted the transcript here. The site of the press conference and Biden’s mental nullity reminded me of the comment frequently attributed to the late Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy about George Romney. I first heard it incorporated in comedian Mort Sahl’s routine in 1970 and I’m attributing it to him. I’m not sure that McCarthy »

“A day to be proud”

Featured image I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) It’s a good book that touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, love and friendship, »

Dartmouth’s 9/11

Featured image Following 9/11 the New York Times ran Portraits of Grief profiling many of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. The Times attributes authorship of these artful profiles collectively to Kirk Johnson, N.R. Kleinfeld, David Barstow, Barbara Stewart, Jane Gross, Neela Banerjee, Constance L. Hays, Lynette Holloway, Janny Scott and Somini Sengupta. We can’t capture the magnitude of the loss, or the meaning of who and what we lost, but the »

Grisham’s law

Featured image While we’ve had our guard up against the return of the Branch Covidians, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has shown us a new frontier in the malign uses of public health “emergencies.” Grisham has suspended laws that allow open and concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days after declaring a public health emergency (I’m borrowing the formulation of Jonathan Turley, who explains what it’s all about in »

Take a load off Fani: Stuck inside of Fulton County

Featured image Mark Meadows is one of the defendants in the Georgia state criminal case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis against President Trump and a cast of thousands. Meadows is Trump’s former chief of staff and the two crimes with which he is charged arise from his service to Trump. Meadows therefore sought removal of the charges against him from state to federal court under the federal officer removal »

Biden hits the fan in the Fifth Circuit, part 2

Featured image A month ago the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the Biden administration’s plea to set aside Judge Terry Doughty’s preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum ruling in support of the injunction is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s injunction is separately posted here. I anticipated the appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” Having listened to the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit, I threw caution to »

Hunter Biden testifies

Featured image Hunter Biden has been deposed by counsel for John Paul Mac Isaac in the defamation lawsuit brought by Mac Isaac that includes a counterclaim by Biden. The best defense is sometimes a good offense, but I doubt that the adage applies in this case. Biden has apparently denied under oath that he left his infamous laptop with Mac Isaac or that the infamous laptop is in fact his. Miranda Devine »

Thought for the day

Featured image Tom Nolan usually reviews mysteries of the fictional variety for the Wall Street Journal. He loves the work of Ross MacDonald (the late Kenneth Millar) and has written biographies both of MacDonald (the aptly titled Ross MacDonald) and of MacDonald’s gumshoe hero, Lew Archer (that one is squirreled away in The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator). Nolan recently reviewed Barbara Butcher’s What the Dead »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll contemplates what might be THE NATIONAL DIVORCE. She writes: A few weeks ago, John H posted a hilarious video of the amazing and heroic Riley Gaines calmly eating cereal and not saying a word. Meanwhile, the ninny juxtaposed next to her listed all of her pronouns and neuroses in a sad attempt to be “interesting” instead of just tedious and self-obsessed. It did make one wonder, hardly for »