Trump’s Failures, According to Trump Supporters


This is a thread for those of us who generally support Donald Trump and his presidency to discuss his failings. I would ask that Trump opponents please do not post here, since we already know what you dislike about the man.

I think it is important to document what we see as his mistakes so we can avoid them in the future.

Eating Hats for the Holidays


Almost every Jewish festival has some kind of food or prepared dish associated with it: Chanukah has latkes, Sukkot has the citron and apples and honey are served at Rosh Hashanah. There are many other examples, and the foods usually have symbolism, too.

This week we celebrate Purim, a festival that honors Queen Esther’s saving the Jewish people from certain death. The wicked man in the story is Haman, who hated the Jews; his heritage was the Amalekites, a people who had been defeated by the Jews in the past, and the hatred from that experience never died. You can learn more about Purim here.

Sprinting Towards Sodom


OK, that is a deliberately provocative title. But there’s a new Gallup poll about LGBT self-identification in the US and the results are alarming for a traditionalist like myself, with an unexpected twist. The title of this post is intended as a homage to Robert Bork’s terrific Slouching Towards Gomorrah, published in 1996. I highly recommend the book, which is available online free (here), though I can’t vouch for the copyright legitimacy of this version. I have it in my Audible library.

Onto the data and graphics. The latest Gallup poll, released this week but reporting polling data from 2020 (here), reports an increase in LGBT self-identification to 5.6%. The prior reported figure, from 2017 (here), was 4.5%. That’s an increase of about 24% since 2017. Here’s how it breaks down by age cohort:

The Unending Search for Republican Extremists


Before Barack Obama was elected president, he served about three years in the US Senate, during which time his voting record was further left than any other Senator. Then, during her campaign, Hillary Clinton was asked (twice) what was the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist, and she couldn’t answer. All this, after decades of passionate denials from Democrats that their politics were similar to socialists and communists. And then, in the two most recent presidential elections, the Democrat party very nearly nominated Bernie Sanders, a self-described lifelong socialist. Republicans have been decrying the recent trans-gender trend as more evidence of moving our culture further and further toward the extreme left, although many Democrats claim that is simply a straw man argument. Until President Biden nominated a transgender person to serve in his administration.

Meanwhile, Democrats claim that extremist Republicans are white nationalists, and they present a clear and present danger to American society. If this sounds absurd, try to understand the Democrats’ problem: finding an extremist Republican is not so easy. At the very least, the supply of Republican extremists seems to consistently fall short of the demand from the media and other Democrat propagandists. We’re pretty boring, overall, and in general we’re happy to live and let live. Those who don’t seek to control the lives of others are generally hard to describe as extremists. But the Democrats need Republican extremists, so they came up with white nationalists. Which I’m sure exist, although I’ve never encountered one. So they must be exceedingly rare.

But regardless of how rare they may be, the real difference is that Republicans do not elect such extremists to be President, they don’t appoint them to Presidential administrations, and they don’t present them as symbolic of the Republican party as a whole. If there are right-wing extremists, the Republican party ignores them. But there are clearly lots of left-wing extremists. And the Democrat party elects them. Consistently. That’s a big difference.

Truth Wars, an Update on This Week’s Skirmishes


“…deeply felt sense of personal truth and facts that are at odds with it.”

That quote above isn’t mine. It comes from the New York Times, and a story entitled, “Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College.”

I suspect you’ve heard the story by now, at least parts of it. It is about a young black student at Smith College who was eating a meal alone in a closed dorm when she was visited by an unarmed campus security officer and took offense. Turns out the dorm was closed and she wasn’t supposed to be there, but that didn’t stop accusations of racism to fly, or prevent Smith’s woke president from apologizing to her profusely for her victimhood and take all kinds of actions to make up for it. You should read the whole story. Smith College is considered one of America’s most elite women’s colleges with tuition, fees, and board adding up to more than $78,000 per year.

A Surprisingly Happy Sign


Mrs. Spring and I have been trying to keep the local restaurants in business by getting more carry-out than we used to and leaving large tips. Today, we went to the “big city” near us (population less than 8,000) and went to a pub that we hadn’t tried for a while. Although the temperature was only in the 50s, compared to the last several weeks the weather was downright balmy.

Much to our surprise, it was almost normal. There were many people inside eating and drinking and even several couples eating outside. One couple even had two small dogs and the waitress obviously knew both the couple and the dogs and really made a fuss over them. I believe it involved bacon.

Inflation: This Time It Really Is Different


Both political parties have managed to dodge the bullet. Government deficit spending, borrowing, and money creation by the Fed have gone relentlessly up with no repercussions in either inflation or interest rates. In fact, those skyrocketing deficits and money creation have been rewarded with little inflation and historically low-interest rates. Lefties have even concocted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a formalized economic theory that says that the US can create all the money it wants with impunity. Feel free to spend away!

But interest rates have recently increased (dragging down the stock market) and I’m afraid that’s just the beginning. This article from AIER makes a convincing argument that the chickens have finally come home to roost.

There’s a party in the faculty lounge, as Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo — along with long-suffering host Troy Senik — celebrate the 10th anniversary of the podcast. A few special guests drop by, but we still have time for all the legal issues of the day: the aftermath of the Trump impeachment, a Texas’ judge’s smackdown of Joe Biden’s immigration policy, efforts to stifle conservative outlets on cable news and social media, and the Supreme Court’s controversial decision not to deal with an election challenge out of Pennsylvania. All that plus a member of the faculty lounge dressed like a Star Trek cast member, a look back on a decade of the show, and a crash course in presidential speeding tickets.

A History of Looming Disasters


I’m starting to get the hang of this Live Stream business, but obviously there’s a long way to go. This is a tad rough around the edges, at it was all done live, without a net, as it were. Nevertheless, I do hope you will enjoy it and I look forward to your observations, comments, and suggestions below:

The Waco Siege: What Happened When the Feds Laid Siege to the Branch Davidian Compound


“The record of the Waco incident documents mistakes. What the record from Waco does not evidence, however, is any improper motive or intent on the part of law enforcement.”

The siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, is an important event in American history because it directly led to one of the biggest terrorist attacks on American soil – the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. It’s not necessary to defend this act of terrorism to understand why the entire freedom movement of the time was so incensed by it. Indeed, it stood as a symbol of federal overreach and the corruption of the Clinton Administration.

It’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the siege of Waco, just as it is important to do so with the siege of Ruby Ridge or the attack on the American consolate in Benghazi. With every event, it is important to stick to the facts and what can be extrapolated from them to make the strongest argument about what went wrong and why, and what could be done differently in the future.

Let’s Quit Fooling Around with the Minimum Wage


I propose that Amazon, Google, Walmart, Home Depot, Apple, Nike and any other large national corporation must pay their employees $300-an-hour, to include their janitorial staff. This would include the hot dog vendor at Dallas Mavericks games. Mark Cuban can afford it.

This would allow mom and pop businesses that will have to pay a government-mandated wage of $15-an-hour a chance to compete against the big guys. After all, that $200 hammer at Home Depot will not look as attractive as a $15 hammer at Pop’s Hardware store.

Proof That Washington State Is Lost


First, the people of Seattle (most of the population of the state lives in and around Seattle) just elected Democrat Governor/Dictator Jay Inslee to a third term of office, in the midst of the pandemic. He won with a 57% margin.

A KING-TV poll on February 11 reveals that Inslee has a 52% approval rating overall. In addition, the state legislature has firm Democrat majorities in both houses, essentially neutering any influence of Republicans in the state. The 52% approval rating is very interesting when you break out the numbers. In Washington State, 85% of Democrats approve of the job the dictator is doing, but only 17% of Republicans and 38% of independents approve of the job their dictator is doing. When asked about the job the new president is doing, Washingtonians give Biden a 56% approval rating, but when you break out the parties, Democrats give Biden a 96% approval, while Republicans only give him a 16% approval.

An Overdue Farewell to a Country Superstar


Country music fans of a certain generation probably consider 2020 to have been a pretty bad year. Other people on Ricochet have written about the passing of some of the giants, such as Charley Pride, Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, and Kenny Rogers. But only a few days ago I found out that K.T. Oslin died on December 21st last year. I suppose between Christmas and the never ending coverage of election and COVID news, there wasn’t much mention of K.T. Oslin’s passing.

Although K.T. had been in show business for a while (acting and writing songs for other people), she did not became a household name until she was 45 years old when her song “80’s Ladies” made her a star. It wasn’t a whole lot of years later that she retired from performing due to health problems. So although she did not make very many albums, they sure were good ones. Since there were so few albums, I reckon I’m going to go over my favorite tracks from each one and I invite fans to talk about their favorites in the comments.

This week, we go it alone. And by that we mean no guest, just our guys performing some Rank Punditry® on the news of the day, energy on Texas, WandaVision (well, James tries to talk about it), Rob’s recently completed trip to Kenya, Peter’s sojourn in Wyoming, and various other personal and political points of interest. We’ve also got new Lileks Post of The Week, courtesy of David Foster (our apologies on the tardy jingle, David), and Rob tells us how to get forbidden cheese past U.S. Customs. Information for life.

Music from this week’s show: Ladysmith Black Mambazo – (Mbube) The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Will Pepsi Seize the Moment…


…or pour it away like Coke?

My cousin texted me about Coca-Cola’s “Be Less White” training the other day. (Ammo Grrrl on Powerline has a great take on that today.) In my exchange with him, I envisioned a possible Pepsi response to take competitive advantage of Coke’s incredible foolishness by starting a “Be Less Coke” campaign:

‘Covid Relief’ Just a Democrat Wish List


America’s recent presidents have been all over the spectrum politically, but they shared one thing in common: near-total indifference to our national debt.

George W. Bush wasn’t that interested in fiscal matters, not vetoing a single bill his first six years in office. He exerted little influence as the deficit started to climb. Barack Obama zealously pursued spend and borrow strategies. He affirmed the mindset of ignoring future implications.

Fiscal conservatives who hoped a Republican president could right the ship were crushed when Donald Trump announced the giant entitlement programs were safe from reform on his watch.

Kelly Maher and Mary Katharine Ham give you a very important BABY GOAT UPDATE, a lesson in goat economics, the perils of podcasting on a farm in a snowstorm, and how not to get divorced during a kitchen renovation! There’s a lot going on, y’all.

Called ‘The Architect’ by former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove led Bush to victories in 2000 and the last GOP presidential win in 2004 that secured the popular and electoral vote.

Rove goes in-depth on how Texas Republicans did so well in 2020, and where the GOP needs to start winning hearts and minds again to win elections. Rove also takes aim at Steve Bannon, QAnon, Oathkeepers, and others he says have no place in the Republican Party.

Was the 2020 Election Flawless? Does It Matter?


Earlier this week, Michael Anton wrote an essay at American Greatness that asked an interesting question: Why do the Election’s Defenders Require My Agreement? It really is an interesting question because, in the end, they got exactly what they wanted: Joe Biden is the President. Donald Trump is gone to Mar-a-Lago. What more do they want/need? Well, it seems that they require that everyone agree that the 2020 election was run completely above board. It was the essence of American Democracy and had zero corruption at any level. To even question such a thing is to strike a blow at the very fabric of our country and to commit the sins of sedition and insurrection.

It seems that there are only two opinions that can be held today: that the 2020 election was perfect in every way, that Joe Biden won, fair and square, and that this is a repudiation of everything that Trump stood for. The other is that the election was stolen and you support Trump trying to stage a coup and install himself as El Presidente for life.

Rob Long is fresh off the plane from Kenya and naturally has a lot to say about to say about the experience, and the guys pull out just about every pop culture reference they can about the place over the course of the show. But that’s not all: they also opine on WandaVision, the Marvel series currently running on Disney+, whether the streamers rebooting everything ever made is a good idea (a comparison made to the now deceased Quibi is met with a tad of resistance), we do a deep dive into the sad sagas of Don McNeil, the soon to be former reporter at of the NYT, and the currently suspended Mike Pesca of Slateand the through the looking glass situation at Smith College. Also, Jonah survives an unfortunately timed trip to Texas, and John is selling schwag.

The Open Threat of Draconian Tactics


Cancel culture is real. Huge, powerful social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are censoring peoples’ posts and comments. They call it ‘fact-checking’ and will remove posts they don’t like. In some cases, they suspend the author from their platform or even cancel their membership completely. How many people will they have to cancel? Probably not many. Just the open threat of such draconian tactics will likely be enough to shut down dissenting voices. People will just start to go along. It’s easier.

Democrats used to call us Republicans. Then, they called us ‘Trump supporters.’ Then, they started accusing President Trump of being a racist vicious white supremacist, every day, every day, every day – for four years. Then, they started calling anyone who doesn’t publicly denounce Trump a ‘white supremacist.’ If you support someone that we call a white supremacist, then you are a white supremacist. So we went from being called Republicans to being called white supremacists in just a few years. Eh, sticks and stones, right? Well, no:

President Biden recently appointed Lloyd Austin to be Secretary of Defense, who says his first course of action will be to purge the military of white supremacists: “The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.” So how many people will be kicked out of the military for being Republicans (or, as we are now referred to, white supremacists)? Probably not many. Just the open threat of such draconian tactics will likely be enough to shut down dissenting voices. People will just start to go along. It’s easier. And then, the Democrat party control of the military will be complete, for all intents and purposes.

LoC #41 with Titus Techera!


On the latest episode of the Land of Confusion Show, I fly solo while I talk to Titus Techera and Gary McVey about everything wrong with culture today. Titus (Teetus), is a long-known member of the site, once known for getting in lots of arguments with people on the boards. We start the show by expressing our mutual for his homeland’s greatest program, “Comrade Detective.”

We then get into a deep dive into internet culture, social media, and even how Ricochet has changed over the years. That we all feel good that we met and interacted in the early days when people were not so angry. We also spent a great deal of time talking about conservative culture, in both film and in business, and how it’s our tendency to complain, instead of do.