In a Comic Book, the Line Would Have Been Followed by TFFHTWAANG!

shutterstock_101929894Ever since Robert Downey Jr. let it slip that he does not gargle progressive ideology when he wakes and rub it into his skin before retiring, you might have wondered if Hollywood would turn on him. Not the studios; he makes too much money. No, the Hollywood press. Well, here’s a story I’m seeing on Digg:

Robert Downey Jr. Criticized For ‘Racist’ Remark During Press Tour For ‘Avengers’

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Snarking about Hillary Is Not the Way to the White House

YER-economic-growth-sqA number of GOP candidates are engaging in Hillary-bashing over allegations that she used her office as secretary of state to help her husband’s business dealings, prop up speech-making fees, and grease the path for foreign governments to donate massive amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation. But here’s a warning to my friends on the presidential campaign trail: Bashing Hillary is only going to make the Republican party look mean-spirited and snarky. It’s no road to the White House.

I would suggest laying off Hillary and instead showing us what you got in the way of economic-growth policies that will foster 4 to 5 percent growth and maybe another 12 million jobs. The GOP needs a positive growth message, along with a strong national-security message, because the party needs a positive rebranding and a positive vision. But Hillary-bashing will drown that out.

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Hillary: “Deep-seated Cultural Codes, Religious Beliefs… Have to be Changed”

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 3.07.09 PMThursday night, Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Women in the World Summit. The annual event, created by editrix Tina Brown, brings “women leaders, activists and political change-makers from around the world to share their stories, and offer solutions to building a better life for women and girls.” Perusing the topics, it’s three days of “sustainability,” “self-esteem,” and “safe spaces” — i.e., goo-goo platitudes to make upper-middle-class attendees feel better about themselves while accomplishing nothing.

Clinton’s speech was the usual bloodless shrug of support for women who have been victimized by mean men, bad governments, and an unfair world. But halfway through the pabulum, Hillary made a statement that is raising more than a few eyebrows.

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Ask Amelia: Gays, Gruyere and the Common Cold

AskAmelia3It’s Friday afternoon, which means it’s time again for Amelia Hamilton to answer all your queries about gouda, same-sex weddings, and germy kids!

Dear Amelia, Some Republican candidates have been taken to task for opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage even though they still would attend same-sex weddings or events surrounding them when it comes to close friends or family members. I, too, oppose gay marriage, but have a friend who has invited me to his ceremony (which is not in a church, but officiated by a member of the clergy). I feel like I could attend the reception as a support of our friendship without supporting something destructive of the institution, but a lot of people disagree with me. How should I handle this? Should attend? Should I abstain? And what should I say to my friend either way?
Respectful Dissenter

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Maybe We Should Stop Calling Them Terrorists

shutterstock_221208910Young men, angry and lethal.

In my teen years at summer camp a few decades ago (ouch!), I befriended a teenage girl from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). We resolved to stay in touch and corresponded by mail for a couple of years. She sent me a letter in which she had drawn a map of Rhodesia. Outside the borders of her country, she wrote in every direction “terrorists here”. She also wrote it in a couple of regions inside the borders. Rhodesia at the time was going through a civil war and a ‘transition’ from white minority rule to black majority rule. (I know this description does not do justice to that conflict, but it is good enough for our purposes).

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The Real Lessons of Reaganomics, At Least As I See Them

Official_Portrait_of_President_Reagan_1981If you want to promote pro-market policies by citing the success of Reaganomics, don’t do it the wrong way. And the wrong way is suggesting that the Reagan tax cuts paid for themselves. They didn’t (although their deficit impact was smaller than a static analysis shows). And that’s true whether you look at (a) income tax revenue/GDP or (b) real GDP growth to real revenue in the 1970s vs. 1980s, or (c) academic research.

Nor should you suggest the Reagan tax cuts immediately ushered in a period of crazy-go-nuts hypergrowth.They didn’t. Real GDP growth in the 1980s was about the same as the 1970s. Nor was their a pickup in productivity.

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Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Little Podcast on the Prairie

ntk-logoThe sagacious Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum drops by to discuss foreign policy, the daniel-pipesnature of Islam, and other matters. Jay is surprised that Pipes is not more gloomy. As one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet about the Middle East, he is well worth sitting up and paying attention to. He’s even worth ending a sentence with a preposition for.

Jay and Mona then consider the, ahem, appearance of impropriety wafting from the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton juggernaut. It all rests on one thing, they agree – the press.

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How Euthanasia Changed Holland

shutterstock_164722760The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada published a review of a very interesting new book on how Dutch society is changing since the legalization of human euthanasia. An excerpt:

Gerbert Van Loenen, a Dutch journalist, once saw Holland’s legalization of euthanasia as one of that country’s crowning achievements. This started to change when a friend insisted that Van Loenen’s partner Niek would have been better off dead than living with a brain injury. Another acquaintance said to Neik over dinner at their house, “You chose to go on living so you have no right to whine.”These experiences led Van Loenen to wonder. Where did this attitude come from? How did it become so widely accepted that people living with disability or illness are better off dead? Is the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands part of the cause?

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A Monster of Our Own Making

shutterstock_178632971In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. – James Madison, Federalist 51

In an article in National Review David French details how Wisconsin failed the challenge of that second great difficulty. The short version is that overzealous, partisan prosecutors politicized law enforcement and weaponized politics to harass supporters of Governor Scott Walker’s reforms in the Badger State.

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Would You Support Sending Americans to Fight for the Survival of Estonia or Latvia?

Graham Allison, an entirely reputable scholar of International Affairs at Harvard University, and Dimitri K. Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest, recently published a piece reminding us that Russia is a nuclear power “capable of literally erasing the United States from the map.”

And while most Americans dismiss the possibility of a US-Russian war, they do not:

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Great to Hear Your Voice Again, Michael Medved

imageIt was like welcoming back an old friend. In January, I wrote here on Ricochet to wish talk radio host Michael Medved a speedy recovery from throat cancer, the treatment for which demanded that he take extended time away from work. How gratifying it was to hear his voice – a bit weakened as it was – back on the radio this week.

I know I speak for many here in the Ricochet community when I wish him continued success in his fight against cancer. With all that’s happened in politics and world affairs since January, his absence has left a void in the discussion. Best wishes to him for many, many more years of good health and good work behind the microphone. Welcome back, sir. You’ve been missed.

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Care to Make It Interesting?

sportsbook-lg-01“Candidate Casino” looks like such fun on Special Report that I thought Ricochet could use a version. Instead of focusing on the chips, however, let’s go with the odds. Bet amongst yourselves.

[A side note: I’m a little rusty. The last time I made book was 1977, for the network media buyers at an ad agency. On Tuesdays, the House took a 50 share for Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, and Three’s Company. A 49 or 51 paid 2-1; a 48 or 52 paid 3-1, etc. Only my boss, the head of research, beat the House. The buyer who did best was a new guy, but not so long later he was running the department. The profits paid for the Christmas party.]

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Hillary’s Day of Wrath

Hillary-Clinton-angry3Today was a very bad day for Hillary Clinton. This time it wasn’t about logos or burritos, but rather uranium, foreign affairs, and serious corruption. The New York Times published an exposé on ties between the Clintons and a sketchy deal that left Vladimir Putin in control of a significant portion of America’s uranium; uranium it can now sell to Iran and other bad actors in the world.

You can read the 4,500-word Times article or watch the nine-minute-long summary produced by Fox News, but here’s a simplified tick-tock of the deal:

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Kudlow and Pawlenty's Money and Politics Podcast
Quid Pro Dough

kudlow-pawlenty-14004This week, Larry and Tim ponder if maybe the Republican candidates might be going too tough on Hillary. Also, why are Democrats and Republicans opposed to trade promotion authority?; The Fed faces a strong-dollar dilemma; and why Chris Christie is wrong to cut Social Security benefits.

Buy low, sell high: Money and Politics with Kudlow & Pawlenty is now available on iTunes here and on Stitcher here. Get it!

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Retroactively Gay

4404433-3521185277-0b43a4a4f569aaee9e3e094c770fb9b1I grew up reading comic books, as did my husband. Marvel is the universe I wanted to grow up to live in. The revival of the Marvel universe on film and TV has been a treat! I think this is why, despite great differences in our origins, we can relate so well to each other. We are both living in some variation of the Marvel universe.

The hubby and I just recently finished watching the Daredevil series. After I got over the initial shock of a brunette Matt, we ended up enjoying it quite a bit. One cannot keep up the complaints about Charlie Cox for long, after all. And I am looking forward to the remaining three series to be launched on Netflix — and remaining mum on the specifics of Daredevil for those who have yet to watch.

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Fix the Secret Service Already

shutterstock_159559880We learned this week that the Secret Service dawdled for an entire year before fixing a broken security system at the home of former president George H. W. Bush.

The Secret Service itself is looking pretty broken these days. A few weeks ago, two drunk agents returning from a party drove right through an active bomb investigation outside the White House. They didn’t notice that their colleagues were examining a suspicious package.

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The Hinderaker-Ward Experience
Hillary, The Musical

HWXLogo_EditIt’s a special midweek edition of HWX, with Brian Ward of Fraters Libertas and Paul Happe of the Nihilist in Golf Pants reconvening to discuss the critical issues of our times. Topics addressed include:

  • Spring has finally sprung in Minnesota, info on pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide, a poetry reading, and questions about where the new leaves on the trees come from.
  • Positive evidence of global warming (and we feel fine about it).
  • Hillary Clinton officially announces her presidential run, and we offer our advice and demos for campaign theme song (with strategic appearances by Tammy Wynette, the Smiths, and Nine Inch Nails).
  • This Week in Gate Keeping – featuring PBS and the cover up of Ben Affleck’s notorious relatives — plus the New York Times blows an obituary.
  • A celebrity salute to Earth Day, with Mike Nelson.

All feedback from Ricochet members welcome in the comments section. Did you love the show? Did you hate it? Did it inspire boundless waves of apathy? We want to know! Hope you enjoy (but we can’t be sure).

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What Good Are Principles If You Won’t Stick to Them?

m-8458Last November, the people of Georgia State House district 102 reelected me to a third term. A few weeks ago, my 5th Legislative session ended. During the past five years as an elected official, I’ve learned a lot – not just about the legislative process – but about what makes a good legislator.

I still believe people run for office out of a genuine desire to serve their community. Almost without exception, people across the political spectrum run because they have an idea or a set of principles they believe will improve the lives of their neighbors. To be sure, people stumble along the way, make mistakes, become corrupt, or generally abandon the idealistic views they held when they first ran for office. Not everybody loses their way, however. In my experience, many legislators try to do the right thing. In our increasingly cynical society, I wish more people could see the good things I’ve seen while in the Legislature.

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Can Jeb Become Persona Grata?

bush-jeb-2013If you don’t like what the Republicans and Democrats are offering in the way of presidential candidates, here’s an alternative: Waka Flocka Flame, an Atlanta-based rapper who wants to be your next commander-in-chief.

On Monday, which also happened to be the annual 4/20 “Weed Day” celebrating marijuana use, the performer released this video [warning: not CoC-compliant] laying out his presidential intentions:

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The Ricochet Podcast
The Podcast From Hell


This week, we take on one of the most debated topics on the site: gay marriage, religious freedom, and what the issues mean for the future of the Republican Party. We do it with two guests from opposite sides of the issue: Rod Dreher is an author (read his new book How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poemcolumnist, and one of the brightest thinkers in social conservative media. On the other side, Ricochet member Jonathan Gilbert, a gay conservative writer from Los Angeles. What follows is a passionate, intelligent, and (most importantly) respectful discussion on gay marriage, religious freedom, and how the two might coexist. In other words, it’s a shining example of what we mean when we say Ricochet is the home of civil conversation. We hope you’ll tune in.

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Of Lost Causes and the Reagan Coalition

WalkerScott Walker has joined the Light Side of the Force. And judging by the howls of derision and scorn that have erupted from the left, center, and even some provinces on the right, the Death Star of amnesty for illegal aliens and unrestricted cheap labor for small and large businesses across America might – just might – have a critical vulnerability.

By now the news is widespread, especially among those of us who have been begging and pleading with our elected officials to enforce the immigration laws for a generation. But if you missed it, Walker, admitting that his position has evolved from his earlier support for some kind of “pathway to citizenship,” has come down firmly and unequivocally on the side of secure borders, interior enforcement, and (be still my beating heart) E-Verify.

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Easy Political Win: The National Raisin Reserve

imageEarlier this week, I suggested that Republicans should identify a short list of easy scalps to claim during the first few months of a GOP presidential administration. The objects of these reforms should be relatively low-risk and non-controversial, and their purpose should be to show tangible proof that Republicans can get substantive — if small — things done in accord with their principles, so as to build momentum toward bigger objectives.

Courtesy of Reason, I believe I have found an excellent pair of targets: The National Raisin Reserve and the Raisin Administrative Committee. Yes, those exist. These derelict boondoggles were initially created during the New Deal and entered their current form shortly after World War II, first as a way to fix prices, then as a method for acquiring raisins for military rations. Today, the RAC confiscates a percentage of all raisin farmers’ crops — as little as 15%, but sometime as much as as much as 47% – often with no compensation. A Fifth Amendment challenge to the whole business is currently winding its way through the courts.

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