It’s Not 1934


Wanted: A name for the hypertrophied fear of Trump that’s overcome so many — maybe most — of his opponents. Do you really need examples? There was the ThinkProgress editor terrified of his plumber:

He was a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional. But he was also a middle-aged white man with a Southern accent who seemed unperturbed by this weeks news. … I couldn’t stop thinking about whether he had voted for Trump, whether he knew my last name is Jewish … I couldn’t shake the sense of potential danger. I was rattled for some time after he left.


More Robots Are Coming to Farms. How Does This Affect the Immigration Debate?


Yet another reason to marvel at the lack of attention to technological change during the election. Lots of talk about immigration, but overall a backward-looking debate. For instance: Bloomberg reports about the shortage of farm workers — “crop pickers” — as “immigration slows, deportations rise and the prospects of congressional reform look remote.”

Will the crops rot in the field? Will farmers do nothing in response? Turns out, not so much. Again, Bloomberg: “That’s forcing more growers to invest in machines that reduce human involvement in the production cycle.”

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My most memorable Obama Presidency episode


I’m a supporter of the US National Parks. Looking back on the Obama Presidency most memorable for me was the episode of “Yes we can!” shut down the US National Parks – with brute force. Here’s what I remember. The Obama Admin spent more effort, money, and manpower shutting the parks down than was used in keeping them open. This was done to try to score political points during a hardball budget negotiation with Reps. It was a first for me to hear about park visitors being cited for “illegal recreation” and “trespassing on public lands” and stopped from unauthorized nature photography.

There was a standard sign that read “Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN, All National Parks are CLOSED” that government workers were ordered to put up along with the construction of barriers. This was to drive home the point. Even walking in open space in the Mall was verboten. War Veterans were told by bureaucrats following orders that they had no business visiting memorials honoring fallen servicemen. If not for veterans the memorials and the parks wouldn’t even be there, but that didn’t stop officials from trying to shoo them away like some varmint on your back porch. Meanwhile a place was reserved on the Mall for approved political partisan advocates, illegal immigrate right as I recall (or undocumented immigrants if you prefer).

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The Dawning of the Trump Era on Ricochet


I come to bury the election not to praise it or as the cannibal said,”I come to curry Caesar not to braise him”. I write not about the past or even today but tomorrow and the next thousand tomorrows. I am also writing about this place, this imperfect conglomeration of nerds, intellectuals, soldiers, patriots, thinkers, emoters, healers, comedians, musicians, atheists, agnostics, gays, straights, and marvelously tolerant God fearing people. This is a forum where people can have fun, learn, bond, or just be addicted to for pleasure. This website is also someplace you can get famous if you’re a talented writer or be like many who have fun improving over time.

We have a new president today and whatever your emotions, say a prayer or wish him well even if you’re one who dislikes or distrusts him. He occupies the office the world looks to and while the more radical elements of the left have reasons to be going bat guano, the rest of the country is hopeful, confused, and some are scared. By the way protestors, you’re gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company. President Trump deserves our objectivity and our well thought out opinions.


Plea for an Executive Order: May Trump Reinstate the Mexico City Policy


USAID is the American government agency that funds the fight against poverty in foreign countries. They work with NGOs (non-government organizations) that have various programs to assist poor people everywhere.

President Reagan in 1984 created what’s known as the Mexico City Policy (which is where the policy was announced). Briefly, it informs NGOs in foreign countries as follows: If you receive aid money from USAID, you can’t perform or promote abortions.


Army Awards Handgun Contract to Sig Sauer

By TexasWarhawkOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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. 


6 Reasons Every Conservative Should Be Happy Today


Given my, shall we say … imperfect record at prognostication, I’m going to avoid anything that looks like a prediction. But with that aside:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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Best. President-Elect. Ever.


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.

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Boy Drummer

Miguel, Gabriel and Maria Ferrer with mom Rosemary Clooney (Circa 1959)

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.


Unions vs. Children


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:

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Obama’s Final Disgrace


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 been


So Did Obamanomics Work or Not?


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?


The Anti-Business Businessman


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.