From Rep. Tom Price’s confirmation hearing, via Reason:
Senator Elizabeth Warren: [C]an you guarantee to this committee that you will safeguard President-Elect Trump’s promise? And while you are HHS Secretary, you will not use your administrative authority to carry out a single dollar of cuts to Medicare or Medicaid eligibility or benefits?
Via The Army Times, there was much joy in Epping, NH last night:
Half a decade into its search for a new handgun, the Army has chosen Sig Sauer’s version of the Modular Handgun System [a variant of the company’s P320 handgun], according to a Thursday announcement from the Army. The new sidearm will replace the M9 Beretta, the Army’s pistol of choice for more than 30 years.
Given my, shall we say … imperfect record at prognostication, I’m going to avoid anything that looks like a prediction. But with that aside:
- Hillary Clinton is not taking the Oath of Office. For nearly a quarter century, this had been (rightly) the stuff of conservative nightmares and it’s not happening. I think everyone here can be glad to have dodged that particular bullet.
- President Barack Obama is leaving office. While the rest of his party suffered defeat after defeat, Obama always managed to emerge — if not unscathed — then at least whole. As of today, the Left’s great (and, currently) only effective champion has left the field.
- President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointments and nominees make for, on the whole, an impressive crowd. Especially after the last eight years, it’ll be incredibly refreshing to have senior federal officials who don’t believe that Washington, DC is the rightful center of the universe.
- Similarly, someone who didn’t spend his whole life running for president is about to take office. This is, in itself, a very good thing, if only for breaking the usual pattern.
- We have a highly-motivated Congress that is, more or less, the Tea Party Congress that was elected in 2010. The analogy’s far from perfect, but imagine what Newt Gingrich could have accomplished with a friendly president in the White House.
- The Republican Party holds a majority of governorships and state legislatures. Twenty-three states have both Republican governors and Republican majorities in their legislatures; by the same measure, Democrats control only seven state governments. This is an incredible opportunity to do good work (or, at least, stop bad work from continuing) without Washington running interference.
It bears mentioning — it always does — that this too shall pass. But we should savor the moment and make the most of the opportunity.More
The candidates I preferred would not have nominated people so committed to reigning in the excesses and reversing the mistakes of their new departments. The first instinct of every organization is to increase its own power; these are the best choices to fight that instinct. Likewise, the candidates I preferred would not have nominated an ambassador to Israel as strongly pro-Israel as David Friedman. Nor would they have successfully worked with Egypt to withdraw a UN resolution, or with the United Kingdom to (I strongly suspect) threaten to veto the next resolution if the outgoing US administration abstained.
They may have wanted to do these things, but they couldn’t have pulled them off. They would have been destroyed by the bullying press, just as they were destroyed by The Donald. They would have been forced to back down or compromise, and they would have learned never to act so boldly again.More
Rosemary Clooney did not have an easy life. There was a contentious marriage to actor José Ferrer and a bitter divorce in 1961, remarriage in 1964 and re-divorce in 1967. A year later she was with Bobby Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles the night he was assassinated. She spiraled into drug addiction and mental illness quickly afterward.
Her career, which she described in her autobiography as just being “the girl singer,” was effectively over. That is, until she got a phone call from an old friend. In 1976 Bing Crosby planned a 50th anniversary in show business tour and he wanted Rosemary at his side. She was going to need support. Her oldest son was an accomplished drummer. Could he play in the band? Absolutely.More
By and large, teachers are wonderful people who dedicate their lives to helping children achieve their full potential. Their unions, by contrast, have a very different mission.
Take the Great Chicago Library Lockout of 2017, for example. As a parent recently described in the Wall Street Journal, Pritzker Elementary in Chicago had to lay off its librarian due to a combination of budget cuts and lower-than-expected enrollment, so parents volunteered to help out to keep the library open. According to Michael Hendershot, whose daughter attends Prtizker, “There was so much interest that the parent-teacher organization created a rotating schedule of regular volunteers to help out.” That’s when the Chicago Teachers Union (and affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) intervened:More
I have been unable to find any conversation on Ricochet about Obama’s commutation of the sentence of a terrorist, the FALN’s Oscar Lopez Rivera, which surprises me. (Perhaps the Search function has failed me.) I find the freeing of Lopez Rivera to be even more disgraceful than the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence.
In 1981, Lopez Rivera was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other crimes, and he was sentenced to 55 years imprisonment. According to the pre-sentencing report, Lopez Rivera had beenMore
This article from TheHill.com today has set conservative hearts a-flutter.
Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned. The changes they propose are dramatic.
How to evaluate the economic record of Barack Obama? To even begin answering, it’s necessary to go beyond just counting the number of jobs created during his presidency (10 million) or calculating the average growth rate (1.5%) or even looking at something more wonky like the labor force participation rate.
First, a president’s policy actions may take years to play out. Reaganomics didn’t move the needle on productivity growth during the 1980s. But maybe they helped set the stage for the 1990s boom. The US economy is a complicated piece of business. Its deeper structural components are altered neither easily nor quickly. Will universal healthcare — or whatever form it morphs into under the GOP — make us healthier, or promote entrepreneurship? Will Dodd Frank prevent future financial crises or constrain lending or both?More
We’ve been instructed not to take our new president literally, but instead seriously (in the felicitous phrasing of Salena Zito). As I write, there are hints that the inaugural address will focus on the theme of “America First.” President-elect Trump may or may not be familiar with the historical taint of that phrase, but in any case the meaning he attaches to it has been clear enough.
Throughout his career, Mr. Trump has been consistent on two issues: trade and admiration for strong men. He departs from the consensus about American leadership in the post-World War II era. Rather than seeing US security guarantees and promotion of trade as providing the means through which the world (and the US) has seen unprecedented growth, peace, and prosperity, he thinks we’ve been chumps.More
Looks like a Romney will be in the mix in Trump’s GOP. The Republican National Committee chose Ronna Romney McDaniel to succeed Reince Priebus, who will serve as the White House Chief of Staff. The details from Fox News:
McDaniel, President-elect Donald Trump’s preferred candidate, previously served as the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and played a key role in delivering the state by a thin margin to Trump in the November election.
On the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Russian Dissident and now all-American Political Artist Roman Genn (and also principal artist and contributing editor to National Review magazine) discusses Russia, political correctness, leaving Afghanistan, President Obama’s departure, and Roman’s art. Beyond NR, Roman Genn‘s political art has been featured in numerous publications including Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and many others. Some selections are included below the video.
With so many names floating around, it’s been hard to keep track of Donald Trump’s cabinet and cabinet-level nominees. I created a table with all of the President-elect’s choices.
If Donald Trump can lead America, why can’t a “Shark” lead Canada? US audiences know Kevin O’Leary from his regular appearances on the popular ABC show “Shark Tank.” Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to O’Leary and three other investors, hoping to gain capital and an influential business partner. While some of the other sharks encourage the struggling presenters and gently offer advice, O’Leary will torch ideas he finds stupid and undercut his fellow panelists at the last second, all the while wearing his Great White grin and calling himself “Mr. Wonderful.”
On Wednesday, O’Leary offered himself as a Conservative Party nominee to become Prime Minister of Canada, his home country. “Canada cannot afford another four years of Justin Trudeau,” O’Leary said. “I am a successful Canadian businessman with a great deal of international experience. I have seen first-hand Trudeau’s gross economic mismanagement, and the effect it is having on our country.”More
In criminal cases, it is not uncommon for courts to order restitution along with the criminal sentencing. My Arizona bar newsletter contained a story about a lawyer who got the statutory law changed so he could represent his daughter in seeking criminal restitution for the death of his son-in-law. The case began with a 7 AM traffic accident at an intersection. The decedent, Jeffrey Roof, turned left across several lanes of traffic. The accused, Jeffrey Meyn, sped up to get through the intersection on, he claims, a yellow light. Meyn t-boned Roof’s automobile. There were no drugs or alcohol involved. Meyn stayed at the scene and was released by the officers who told him that he was not at fault.
The police continued to investigate. Meyn cooperated with the investigation even testifying before a grand jury. Meyn’s lawyer notified the prosecutor in writing that if he were going to be charged, Meyn would voluntarily turn himself in. Instead, the police used Meyn’s six-year-old son to lie to Meyn to get Meyn outside where the police swarmed him with weapons drawn, ordered him to his knees and handcuffed him, all apparently in front of the six year old.More
If you’re like me, and I know I am, you waste a lot of time at the office reading Ricochet and looking at your friends’ posts on Facebook. Wait, no boss, I’m not online at work at all. I’m reading Ricochet and Facebook at home! I made a joke about America’s unhealthy love of the internet! (Is he gone? Okay …)
For several days, at least since the new Congress began the repeal process for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), my liberal and Progressive friends on Facebook have been engaged in full bore linear conniption fits over the vote. It’s hard to sort through these because they are frequently nested within full bore linear conniption fits over cabinet member hearings in Congress, and so on.More