Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Whoopi comes for the archbishop

Featured image The former comedienne with the Whoopi handle hasn’t been funny in eons, but she made me laugh with her instruction to the archbishop of San Francisco: “The archbishop of San Francisco is calling for speaker Nancy Pelosi to be denied receiving Communion because of her pro-choice stance…this is not your job, dude. That is not up to you to make that decision.” Now that is funny. This might be a »

Veep thoughts with Kamala Harris

Featured image Vice President Harris at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. yesterday. The White House has posted the transcript under the heading “Remarks by Vice President Harris on Mental Health and Wellness.” Harris takes a detour from the subject to “provid[e] an update about the infant formula shortage” at the top of her remarks. The whole thing is baby formula for adults. Long story short, in the words of the old bumper »

Speaking of transition

Featured image In the course of his joint Tokyo press conference with the Japanese prime minister yesterday — the White House has posted the transcript here — a reporter asked President Biden about the economy: During your trip here to Asia, you’ve promoted the investments by Samsung and Hyundai. But back home in the United States, Americans are dealing with record-high inflation. The Fed has raised interest rates to try to address »

Seven types of confusion

Featured image In 1930 William Empson elaborated Seven Types of Ambiguity for the literary crowd. The Biden administration is adapting the concept to give us Seven Types of Confusion. We can itemize the confusion that derives from gratuitous fabrication. We also have the confusion related to the persistent assertion of the thing which is not so, as Swift puts it in Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels. We continue with the confusion that »

Justice & Drew recall

Featured image I wrote about the massive discrimination charge filed by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights against the Minneapolis Police Department on April 28 in “Who will speak for the MPD?” I noted in an update later that morning that I filed a request for inspection of the underlying documents under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. The Department of Human Rights denied my request in a response dated May 10 that »

Another IRGC man done gone

Featured image IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari was assassinated yesterday Sunday in broad daylight outside his home by two men on a motorcycle who rode off into the sunset. Iran blamed the assassination on “elements linked to the global arrogance,” which the Times of Israel’s story translates as “the term for the United States and its allies including Israel.” I think Iran is fingering Israel, but they don’t want to let the »

Walk right back

Featured image “President” Biden made big news this morning with his announcement that the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China. See the triple-bylined AP story “Biden: US would intervene with military to defend Taiwan.” The AP reports from Tokyo: President Joe Biden said Monday that the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, saying the burden to protect Taiwan is “even stronger” »

Clinton did it, WSJ edition

Featured image I took the occasion of the testimony in the Sussman trial last week to weigh “Watergate in the balance.” John reviewed what we already knew in “Hillary did it.” On Saturday, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal — I think this is Kim Strassel’s beat as a member of the board — plays it straight in the editorial “Hillary Clinton did it.” The Journal editorial lays out the »

Feel bad story of the day

Featured image Our friend Steve Kates writes from down under to comment on the defeat of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison by opposition leader Anthony Albanese. Yesterday we posted a link to the Israel-oriented story at the Times of Israel. Steve writes: “Saw you had a brief note on our election from the Times of Israel…There is no sense of what a disaster this election has been from that article and I »

Not dark yet, cont’d

Featured image Bob Dylan’s celebrates his 81st birthday on Tuesday. When he snagged the Nobel Prize for Literature a few years ago, I pulled out all the stops by posting a big set of my favorite covers of his songs. I don’t have any stops left to pull, but I’m adding a few covers this morning in honor of his birthday this week. In my estimation Dylan is first and foremost a »

Not dark yet

Featured image Tuesday is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns the ripe old age of 81. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there. We’re going to celebrate him as long we’re both still around to enjoy the occasion. 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 »

Watergate in the balance

Featured image With perfect timing Christopher Caldwell reviews what we have learned about Watergate in the past 50 years. Caldwell’s First Things essay is titled “Regime change, American style.” The occasion of Caldwell’s essay is the publication of Garrett Graff’s Watergate: A New History. Caldwell’s essay usefully reminds us that, 50 years later, we still have no idea what the Watergate burglars were looking for. Whatever it was, however, they came away »

They call him Mister Putz!

Featured image When the Minnesota Department of Human Rights filed its 72-page charge of discrimination against the beleaguered and undermanned Minneapolis Police Department, I submitted a Data Practices Act request with the department for public inspection of the 480,000 pages of documents underlying the charge. I do not take the department’s charge at face value for reasons I suggested in “Who will speak for the MPD?” On May 10 I heard back »

At the Bradley Prizes

Featured image The Bradley Foundation held its annual Bradley Prizes award ceremony this week in Washington on May 17. Moderated by the Wall Street Journal’s own former Bradley Prize-winning Kim Strassel, the event honored 2022 recipients Wilfred McClay, Glenn Loury, and Chen Guangcheng. Having been sent a link to view the ceremony via live stream, my wife and I watched at our kitchen table. When the great Bill McClay finished speaking, my »

Quote of the day

Featured image Glenn Reynolds’s New York Post column on the left’s hatred of Elon Musk has just rotated off our Picks. In case you missed it, I designate this paragraph the quote of the day: Musk is our greatest tycoon, and while NASA can’t seem to get a spaceship into orbit reliably, he’s been launching rockets and satellites and astronauts at a pace that no mere nation-state can achieve. And he’s doing »

That which cannot be said

Featured image The Senate Interior Committee held a hearing yesterday to examine the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2023 budget request for the Department of the Interior. The committee has posted video of the hearing here. The hearing presented an opportune moment for Interior Secretary Deborah Haaland to let her light shine and she did not disappoint. In the clip below Secretary Haaland avoids answering the question whether gas prices are too high. »

Over the rainbow

Featured image I infer that Dr. Oz is going to emerge as the winner of the Pennsylvania when the initial tally is completed. With 99 percent of the votes counted as of Thursday evening, he led David McCormick by 1,100 votes or 0.1 percent. His lead has narrowed from about 2,600 votes or 0.2 percent as of late Tuesday evening. The final tally will land in automatic recount territory, but the recount »