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Eliminate the Filibuster for Repeal of Legislation

 

It seems fairly obvious to me that the next time Democrats get into power they are more likely than not going to eliminate the filibuster completely. After all, their base will demand that the illegitimate Trump administration is negated completely, and there will be no action that is outside the realm of legitimacy.

My proposal would probably only last until the Democrats regain power, so in that respect the rational is more aspirational than practical, but here is the logic. It seems to me that if one is really for limited government, it should be much easier to get rid of legislation than it is to create it. This could have been done Constitutionally by creating something like a Congress of Repeal, who’s elected members only power is to repeal legislation, so instead of being a bunch of Lawmakers who feel their job is to make new laws (and thereby erode our liberties), these would be Laweliminators.

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Women Do Appreciate Advice

 

Recently, a Ricochet member posted a humorous video skewering a common complaint women make about men. When a woman is talking to her husband about an upsetting topic, he should just listen, women say. His tendency to come up with advice to solve the problem ignores her feelings as well as the fact that she’s not looking for solutions–she just needs to vent. This complaint has become part of our culture, self-deprecatingly accepted by men and referenced as a bit of go-to humor everyone relates to. The video responds to this cultural chestnut by suggesting that this male “problem-solving” they get accused of can be a case of simply pointing out the painfully obvious. Meanwhile, the venting woman is indignant that she is not being heard.

It’s possible, however, that the cliche about women just wanting to vent has it all wrong. And the description of unwelcome input from the listener as “problem-solving” might be framed more accurately as something else. Women would actually welcome advice from men. This male-female divide may have more layers than generally assumed.

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Specific Reforms Needed

 

Health reform is not so hard. First we must understand that there are two markets at work here. There is the market for actual health care. And then there is the market for health insurance. The market for health care needs to be more transparent. So encourage providers to get together and establish a standard list of a la carte services and procedures. Require that these prices be published and kept up to date. When a person/family member wants to arrange for healthcare, require providers to give an estimate for this care. Establish fairness in the law that would subject providers to excessive service, price gouging and under-estimating complaints. Let the trial lawyers do the rest. On drugs, open up distribution rights to all foreign sourced drugs. Allow exclusive rights only to patented drugs. Limit patent terms and allow one renewal only. Allow foreign prices to be used in drug price gouging actions.

The health insurance market was largely state regulated before the ACA. Let the states still regulate the insurer ratings/qualifications, claims and complaints in their states, however get them out of the policy term/coverage regulation business. Let the industry come up with a standard insurance form to be used nationwide. Let the insured select the coverage, deductibles and self insured limits from a standard, easy to understand menu for any policy. Policies would all be written as “major medical” policies with or without “routine and well-care.” Limit coverage to US risks. Let people buy special policies for out of country risks. Allow the insurers to provide discounts to those who belong to health maintenance or consierge care programs.

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The Response to the Maryland Rape Case Is a Stain on the Right

 

We are all, justly, very sensitive to and sick of charges of “racism” being thrown around promiscuously at the right for any and every deviation from leftist orthodoxy. But just as we say to Muslims about terrorism, our ability to object with credibility depends on a willingness to police our own.

Our media, including many of our Ricochet luminaries are failing in that task right now by joining in the hysteria over the undoubtedly horrific rape of a 9th grade girl in Rockville, Maryland.

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Tight Lines, Mon

 

“Virgil, what is the name of the fish eating predator bird?” The 67-year-old entrepreneurial cabbie could have said “Mu’ad Dib” and I’d have half believed him but it was simply a fish hawk. The nice man, or mon, had delivered me to an inlet lake where bonefish prowled for crab at high tide. I’m staying at some all-inclusive resort at Turks and Caicos. It’s free for me and enjoyable despite being canned like a cruise ship.

I came to this muddy mangrove lined lake with my 14-year-old a couple days ago and found only one bonefish which we spooked. I shared a beer with him too and I’d do it again as it’s a ritual of manhood. He needs to learn rituals are important, telling him so pales to showing him. I taught him about flycasting in the wind and lessons about stalking prey. We had a great time. Sadly I only caught one little pompano and to post that pic is the equivalent of showing a photo to your buddies of the 4 a.m. gal you intoxicatingly kissed.

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Schumer’s Filibuster Threat Means Gorsuch Is Headed to SCOTUS

 

Over at FoxNews, Sai Prakash and I argue that the Democrats’s filibuster effort of Gorsuch is a sign of victory — for Gorsuch. Do we have it right?

Contrary to media reports Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s promise to invoke a filibuster signals the success, not the failure, of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination. If Democratic Senators had made any progress in attacking Gorsuch’s qualifications, record, or judicial philosophy, they could persuade their Republican colleagues to reject Gorsuch. With 48 Senators in their caucus, Democrats would only need persuade three Republicans to join them.

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Why I Boycott Target Corporation

 

A friend asked me a couple months ago if I thought Target carried some certain brand of phone. I told him “I don’t know. I don’t go to Target anymore, and I never will again.” He had vaguely heard of the American Family Association boycott, and knew it was about so-called “trans-genders,” but that was it. He asked me why, and this is roughly what I said to him.

When I was shopping with my daughter as a toddler, and she needed to go the bathroom, I checked the Men’s room to make sure nobody was there, walked her in, and stood guard at the door until she came out.

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The Work of Judy Kudlow

 

You’re going to have to listen to the podcast we just recorded to learn exactly how the matter came up–it had something to do with a conversation about defunding the National Endowment for the Arts–but James Lileks and guest host Larry Kudlow got going on the counter-revolution now taking place, here and there, among artists intent on rediscovering lost values such as mastery of technique and the celebration of, well, you know, beauty. One of the leading revolutionaries? Larry’s wife, Judith Pond Kudlow. Larry was too modest on her behalf to make much of this, but I’m happy to do some raving about Judy myself. Devoting herself to form, composition, color, light, and the sheer glory of paint skillfully applied to canvas: in her studio in the South Bronx, Judy is pursuing subversive activities.

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The “New Normal” Is Here to Stay (Unless We Do Something About It)

 

Real GDP during the Obama recovery has only been half that of the Reagan recovery. Blame Obamanomics? One problem with this theory — or even the idea that the hangover from the financial crisis bears all the blame — is that the economy’s troubles preceded both the Obama presidency and the Great Recession. So there’s a timing issue, one explored in the new paper “The disappointing recovery of output after 2009” by John Fernald of the San Francisco Fed, Stanford’s Robert Hall, Harvard’s James Stock, and Princeton’s Mark Watson.

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Friday’s the Big Day for AHCA

 

This is a preview from Friday morning’s Daily Shot newsletter. Subscribe here free of charge.

The House of Representatives was supposed to vote Thursday on the AHCA, the Republican replacement bill for Obamacare. So what happened? Did it pass? As you can probably tell from our header, the vote was postponed. This gave Republicans more time to negotiate changes to the bill.

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Rethinking NSA Data Collection

 

It’s probably too early to say anything definitive following the revelations of Rep. Nunes yesterday, but I would like to revisit some statements made repeatedly by Prof. @richardepstein on various Ricochet podcasts.

One of his main defenses of the current data collection regime of the NSA and other law enforcement groups was that there seems to be a real security need and that there are enough checks in place to prevent the misuse of that data.

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The “Transgressive Art” Racket

 
Anti Trump billboard erected in Phoenix.

Artist Karen Fiorito is a hero, speaking truth to power. She spent 30 minutes in Photoshop creating a low-grade meme combining Trump, mushroom clouds, and dollar signs that looked like swastikas. She then conned a alternative art gallery to slap it on a billboard in Phoenix.

“So this happened today,” she said on Facebook. “Still awaiting the backlash, death threats and the like.” The media jumped on the amateur cut-and-paste job and made it go viral.

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Ricochet – Where Entrepreneurial Teams Are Born

 

I’ve been a Ricochet member since June of 2010 and never really approached the site as a place to connect with other members to pursue business opportunities. But I’d certainly recommend that now to anyone who thinks that Ricochet is only a discussion site to hash out political or cultural issues.

In December of last year, I received a message from the owner of a firm that I had commissioned product design work from over the last couple of decades for some of the high-tech companies where I had worked. The owner conveyed to me that they had a client who was working on developing an interactive, safe gun-training system to be launched on a crowdfunding site and that the inventor/engineer needed some marketing and product launch help and would I be interested? I was, but I knew that I would need the help of someone who was an expert on firearms, knew the gun industry, had marketed firearms products before, understood the various vertical markets within the gun industry, trained people on gun skills and safety and wrote regularly about guns, gun training, the Second Amendment and gun rights. I reached out to Ricochet Contributor, Kevin Creighton (@kevincreighton).

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Get Yourself Some Real Coffee

 

Trying not to make this really long and preachy. Also trying not to screw up the links this post calls for. Apparently this Schultz feller over at Starbucks decided, as a foil to duly elected POTUS Donald J. Trump’s policies, to commit to hiring 10, 000 “refugees.” Ookay.

Black Rifle Coffee Company replied, “Well, we want to hire veterans, and we think Starbucks is on the wrong path.” My words, not theirs (hey, I’m trying to summarize, here. Here’s an article with the statement of BRCC’s CEO.

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