2016 Lack of Self Awareness Award

“The double-standard was like this.

Time to start collecting nominees. Mine is from last night’s 60 Minutes, and this comment from Hillary Clinton on double-standards:

Hillary Clinton: Well first, I will take responsibility for any impression or anything I’ve ever done that people have legitimate questions about. But I think that it’s fair to say there’s been a concerted effort to convince people […] something, nobody’s quite sure what, but of something. I often feel like there’s the Hillary Standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else. And–


Sober Analysis Is Not Unpatriotic


trump nominationCoffee: Check.
Biscuits and marmalade: Check.
Classical piano music: Check.
Apricot nectar: Check.

Now then, hiking through the online thicket, the common theme that emerges from across the political spectrum is that in his acceptance speech, Donald Trump paints a distorted and unnecessarily bleak picture of America. The candidate’s canvas, we are told by Slate’s Franklin Foer, is, “an anarchic mess, beyond the technocratic solutions proposed by desiccate, politically correct elites.” Over at CNBC, I read where our friend and Ricochet commentator John Pohoretz laments, “The America Donald Trump portrayed is a horrible place, awash in barbarity, crime, disorder, decay, deceit, rigging, cheating, exploitation.” Podhoretz continues:


Every Friday Is Now #BlueLightFriday

Cameron Gray, Michelle Malkin, and John Cardillo.

On Monday July 18, Michelle Malkin sent me a direct message on Twitter. She said she was thinking of coming here to Washington for a vigil in front of the White House to show support for law enforcement. After the murders of five cops in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge, plus the general anti-police sentiment across the country, she decided it was time for such an event. She asked if I was going to be in town and if I could help plan the rally. I said yes.

I was lying.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz Out as DNC Chair


Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Patton Mills, David Wecht, Christine Donohue, Heather ArnetFollowing the devastating WikiLeaks scandal that exposed the Democratic National Committee’s deep bias against Bernie Sanders throughout the primaries, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned as chair of the DNC. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D – Ohio) has announced that she “has been named permanent chair of the Democratic National Convention.”

Schultz just released the following statement:


Ricochet Member FeedUpvoted by R> Members Banning Hamburger: Housing Codes in America

Mulberry Street in New York City’s Little Italy, ca. 1900.

If a liberal observes that rich people are eating steak, while poor people are eating hamburgers, the obvious solution is to ban the hamburger. It sounds silly, but if you apply this rule, for example, to the minimum wage for teenagers, it all comes into focus. It is “obvious” that people should not be underpaid — and so we must forbid low-paying jobs. Steak or bust.

Do-gooders doing evil is hardly a new phenomenon. New immigrants to the United States in 1900 could find a place to drop their heads for seven cents a night. It was not remotely nice, but it was cheap. The average hourly wage was 20 to 30 cents, meaning that a person could sleep for 20 minutes of work. Think about that: Can you imagine having a bed to sleep on for a few bucks?


“The Genius of Donald Trump,” or, the Ricochet Sunday Essay Assignment


donald-trumpAppearing today in the Canadian newspaper the National Post, a column by Conrad Black, the publisher and historian, headlined “The Genius of Donald Trump.” Excerpts:

What the world has witnessed, but has not recognized it yet, has been a campaign of genius. No one in history has come from an apolitical background to take over complete control of one of the great American political parties….


UnknownWhat follows is a complete list of those who know more about American politics than Michael Barone: . Okay

Barone is Jay’s guest, and they talk about conventions, primaries, parties, presidents, and the Fate of America. The guru is in: Michael Barone is in, expounding on the subject he has devoted his life to.


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Roger Scruton on Brexit — and (if inadvertently) Trump


imageOn Radio4, the BBC has posted a 15-minute reflection on the Brexit vote by the great English philosopher Roger Scruton. Scruton’s talk is an astonishing thing: for the sheer calm rationality with which it lays out its argument, for its insistence on championing the humble and traditional and unfashionable–and, I was struck again and again, for its applicability to our own country.

Consider this passage:


Ricochet Member FeedUpvoted by R> Members The Point of the RNC That Everyone Is Missing


This past week the Republican Party nominated as its standard bearer in the presidential race Donald J. Trump. Many are lamenting that doing so means the end of the Republican Party. Maggie Gallagher is now calling the GOP “the party of Trump.” Peter Wehner is asking if the party can find its way back to Lincoln. But what is missing is the even more glaring display of changing of the guard that happened over the course of this week.

On Wednesday night a man that many would say has all of the credentials needed for being labeled a Movement Conservative was booed by the floor of the convention hall. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is pro-life, pro-Constitution, pro-limited government. He is everything that the Republican Party has claimed to stand for since the Reagan Revolution. And the people who proudly wear the label “Conservative” booed him for not endorsing Trump.


Clinton Chooses Kaine


CoEd6OLXEAALZOeIt’s official: Hillary Clinton has chosen former mayor, governor, and senator Tim Kaine as her running mate.

The newly formed Democratic ticket took the stage together for the first time in Miami, showing off a partnership that prizes steadiness over flashiness.


The Week in Europe


The GOP convention has probably drowned out the news from Europe in the US, but it’s been a dramatic week. I’ve been unable to take my eyes or my mind off events in Turkey. I wrote this piece for City Journal:

… It will be many years, if ever, before we fully understand what just took place. But some of the conclusions hastily drawn in the Western media make no sense. Many commentators have been quick, for example, to accept Gülen’s intimation that the scale of the purge indicates the coup attempt was staged by Erdoğan himself, in some kind of Turkish Reichstag fire. True, lists of people to purge were prepared long in advance, but that doesn’t mean that Erdoğan staged the coup. It’s no surprise to anyone in Turkey that these lists were ready; the government had already said as much. To understand why, you’d need to be familiar with events in Turkey from the time the AKP came to power to the present, as well as the way, beginning in 2012, the AKP visibly, explosively, and publicly fell out with Gülen’s flock. The president has taken advantage of the coup plot to accelerate a purge, but it doesn’t mean he staged it. Nor is it evidence for Gülen’s involvement, though it would be credulous to dismiss that idea out of hand.


One False Move and You’re Dead


straightjacketThe admonitions of a parent rearing a child are many: “stop sucking your thumb,” “sit still,” “sit up straight,” “don’t talk with your mouth full,” “chew your food,” “cover your cough,” “wipe that smirk off your face,” “don’t talk back,” “use your indoor voice,” “children are to be seen and not heard.” Note that all of these parental directions address physical behaviors – a child must be taught how to behave acceptably in public. This is a proper and expected role of a parent in regard to their own children. Sometimes however, that training and discipline are turned toward those outside the parents’ concern. It is then that training becomes self-righteous scolding. And sometimes, training and discipline are turned vindictive. It is then that discipline becomes abuse. And when scolding and abuse are consistently meted out to adults by a class of self-assumed parental betters, then this is called tyranny.

On Wednesday night, radio talk show host Laura Ingraham addressed the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In her speech, she called out the establishment media to finally drop their bias, step up, and “do your job.” And that media responded. They took a still photo of Ingraham waving good-bye to the convention crowd and rhetorically asked if Ingraham was making a NAZI salute.


Mona and Jay welcome Wall Street Journal foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens to pick over the wreckage, er, evaluate the Republican National Convention. Putin seemed the big winner, both in style (we all worship strong men now) and substance (Trump kicked the Baltic ySzcskV-States away in a NY Times interview).

They consider whether the Republican Party is any longer the freedom party, and where this leaves conservatives.


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The moment we’ve been preparing for all year finally arrived this week: Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee for President of The United States. With the help of the Washington Post’s ace political reporter Bob Costa, we break down the whole week, from the family member speeches, Ted Cruz’s speech, Trump’s own speech (and Peter Robinson’s brush with the Trump campaign), as well as some thoughts on the changes going on this week at Fox News. We are your voice.

Music from this week’s podcast:
Imperial Death March (Vader theme) by John Williams and the London Philharmonic Orchestra


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The Reality Behind the Student Debt “Crisis”


072116WHCEALost amid all the political news this week is a new White House report on student debt in higher education. One thing I was curious to see was what conclusions it drew about the macroeconomic impact of high debt levels. Politicians, especially presidential candidates, sure seem to think it’s a pretty big problem. From the report comes a different view:

The rise in student loan debt has created challenges for some borrowers with lower earnings, but has not been a major factor in the macroeconomy.


Greg Corombos of Radio America and David French of National Review review several different aspects of Donald Trump’s loud, long convention speech. They slam his contention that he can solve all problems from the executive branch while the speech made no mention of the Constitution, limited government or delegating problems to states and communities to solve. They are disgusted as the Trump-dominated Republican convention issues an unconditional surrender in the culture war. And they cringe as Trump and his daughter spout liberal talking points on economic issues.


Breaking: Spree-Shooter in Germany


Via the Telegraph:

shooting has taken place in a shopping centre in the Moosach district of Munich, Germany, with reports of multiple dead and injured. Germany’s Muencher Abendzeitung reported that up to 15 people were killed in the incident at the Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping centre, while police told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that there were multiple deaths. “There is a major police operation under way in the shopping centre,” Munich police said on Twitter, without elaborating. An employee inside the shopping centre told the Reuters news agency “many shots were fired”.


A Conversation with Kevin D. Williamson


Kevin — co-host of our own Mad Dogs & Englishmen podcast — and I sat down to discuss political punditry in 2016. Though he believes that “armageddon sells” in political discourse and that there are economic problems on the horizon, things aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be. As an original Never-Trumper, his opinion of the Republican Nominee is unwavering. I ask if he and his likeminded colleagues have painted themselves into a corner. He also answers those on Ricochet who suggest SCOTUS is a legitimate reason to pull the lever for Trump in November.

[Editors’ Note: For a pointed argument against some of Kevin’s comments, see member @jclimacus‘s post here].


A Gene Therapy That Works … And the Ethical Dilemmas It Presents


769px-Autorecessive.svg Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is Alzheimer’s on speed. Children born with the most common form of the disease will die by age five, due to atrophy of brain tissue. The incidence in the general population is estimated to be 1 in 40,000 to 160,000 births.

Unlike Alzheimer’s, MLD has a known genetic cause. It has an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern, which means a child must inherit a defective, recessive gene from each of two carrier parents to be symptomatic. That suggests the frequency of carriers in the population is 1 in 200 to 1 in 400. But for couples who are both carriers, the odds of a child with MLD are 1 in 4.


The Long-term Consequence of Temporary Compromise


shutterstock_390346312I didn’t grow up in a moral home. By kindergarten, I was tapping beer kegs. By elementary school, I was curiously inspecting my father’s bong. By junior high, I was heavily addicted to pornography with a readily available supply. And by high school, I was treating women like toilet paper. Changing wives, pinup calendars, gaming the system … I’d learned that these were just things men do. I watched my able-bodied stepfather create a permanent dent in the sofa while cashing disability checks and enjoying endless reruns of Magnum P.I. I learned how to justify deception and to take whatever you can get while letting others shoulder the cost. Naturally, I rejected responsibility and lived as I saw fit, not caring much about others, how they perceived me, or whom got trampled along the way. I learned to justify any decision if it offered temporary victory. Of course, there were times when I went too far, prompting some rare lectures from my devastated mother (whom I later learned was making some painful compromises of her own) but these were few and far between and the men always had the greater influence on me.

What do young men raised like this become? Over the last several months, it’s pained me to see how fleeting supposedly bedrock standards are when tested in the fire of potential defeat. Seemingly principled men and women — some of whom I highly respect — have spoken passionately one week of core principles, only to abruptly and wantonly set them aside a few weeks later as politically inexpedient. The very cancer they warned would destroy us was to be embraced in light of new circumstances. The wind blows, and the house made of straw dissolves in a world where behaviors not tolerated in our children are (somehow) inconsequential when exhibited writ-large in leaders.




From a conservative perspective Donald Trump delivered an outstanding acceptance speech. He focused on the major issues facing our country, issues that Democrats refuse to acknowledge, much less propose to solve. And while his message was duly harsh on Obama’s policies and Hillary’s actions and character, it was also incredibly nonpartisan and optimistic. His commonsense approach was certainly accessible to a very broad section of Americans. He demonstrated more humility than bombast.

It is time to put the ugly and divisive GOP primaries behind us and look at the objective choice before us. The choice is clear: Either the executive branch will be led by this man (with GOP backing and serious conservative leadership in Congress) or it will be led by Clinton, Inc. Consider that conservatives have an opportunity under a Trump administration to promote conservative policies in a Republican administration that will likely be no less conservative than any post-Reagan administration. Debating with a somewhat receptive administration would be an outstanding outcome for conservatives, particularly when considering where we find ourselves today.


RNC Day Four Wrap Up


RNC_logo_revise-2.caThis is a preview from Friday morning’s The Daily Shot newsletter. Subscribe here free of charge.

Yesterday was the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The theme was “Make America One Again.” As usual, the start of the festivities was loaded with minor figures: Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Pastor Mark Burns, Fran Tarkenton, Brock Mealer, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Gov. Mary Fallin, Lisa Shin. Things got going after 9 pm when Reince Priebus spoke, followed by Peter Thiel around 9:30 and Tom Barrack a little after that. But the headliner of the evening was, of course, Donald Trump, who was introduced by his daughter Ivanka.


The Iron Lady Redux


New Prime Minister Theresa May had an early test of her leadership abilities yesterday when handling her first Prime Minister’s Questions before British Parliament. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attempted to knock her down with leading several leading queries, the most notable of which focused on job insecurity and terrible bosses who lack self-awareness.

Madam Prime Minister turned it around on the embattled leftist leader with a withering response: