Ricochet Podcast #75: Shape and Contort

 

That the left is all pervasive in Hollywood is not debatable. But how much does that really affect the culture at large? That’s the question we banter back and forth with guests Andrew Klavan and with Ben Shapiro, whose book Prime Time Propaganda: How The Left Took Over Your TV is a provocative look at this issue. It’s one of our liveliest podcasts, and one that should incite a lot of comments on Ricochet. Have at it!

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Member Post

 

I’m not about to repeat what analyst Mark Halperin said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program this morning, although you can find details out here. While I generally think we’re too deferential to presidents, the language Halperin used was inappropriate and disrespectful to the office and the man. Apparently MSNBC was worried enough about the language […]

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Member Post

 

“In a little over one hundred days, this Recovery Act has worked as intended. It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession. It has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and businesses.”&nbsp;President Obama 7/12/09. “I’ve said to Republican leaders: You […]

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In this morning’s Uncommon Knowledge&nbsp;segment Michael Spencer thought that China would maintain a 9% economic growth rate for the next decade. Hold your horses, Kimosabe—or should that be Pollyanna, because doing the simple arithmetic on that projection means that China’s GDP increases from the present level by 236 (1.09^10) percent. I hate to tell you […]

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Sixth Circuit Lays An Egg

 

Today,&nbsp;the Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare.&nbsp; It’s a very disappointing decision, to say the least, because the three-judge panel was thought to be sympathetic to the arguments against the law.

The ruling is here.&nbsp; I haven’t read it yet, but the Court’s reasoning appears badly flawed,&nbsp;judging by an analysis by&nbsp;Carrie Severino at NRO.&nbsp; The majority of the Court rejected the idea that Obamacare takes the unprecedented step of regulating inactivity because it “regulates individuals who are, in the aggregate,&nbsp;active in the health-care market” (emphasis added).&nbsp;Thus, it sorta, kinda regulates “activity” and is therefore within Congress’s power to regulate “commerce.”&nbsp; This is the sort of “good-enough-for-government-work” argument specifically criticized by one of the anti-Obamacare attorneys, Mike Carvin.

Member Post

 

Or at least more than it is liberal or nihilistic (but I repeat myself). &nbsp;On the most recent Ricochet podcast, James mentioned that while so many films from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s had the pro-American themes we conservatives love there are also the dark, cynical and often twisted films that loosely fall under the […]

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Democrats Discover the Constitution, Sort Of

 

Frustrated over the debt ceiling negotiations, a group of Democratic Senators have now discovered that the debt ceiling violates the Constitution!&nbsp;

It’s a little late in the day — one might think — to make that discovery.&nbsp; The debt ceiling has been around an awfully long time, without constitutional challenge.&nbsp; When Law Professor/Senator Obama voted against increasing the debt ceiling 2006, he expressed no doubt about the validity of the ceiling itself.&nbsp; So what gives?

Member Post

 

“Michael Moore and James Carville can stroll anywhere in America without risking the sort of behavior the Beck family experienced. But all recognizable conservatives are eternally trapped in David Dinkins’ New York: Simply by virtue of leaving their homes, they assume a 20 percent chance of being assaulted.” Since I have not yet had time […]

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Member Post

 

I have been looking for an appropriate way to bring this song to these posts. &nbsp;Who knew a seven-day expose into music played in commercials would provide such a venture. &nbsp;Well the week continues with this spot. &nbsp;And the commercial proves to be as much fun as the song. &nbsp;Watch as the bar scene our […]

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Member Post

 

The DHS as grouped Israel with states that tend “To Promote, Produce, or Protect” terrorists. CNS News has an article here. The DHS report in question is here, check out page 18. This will flag Israeli citizens for special attention, and time eating TACs, third agency checks. As has been noted on this site many […]

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Member Post

 

Given my background, I’ve had occasion to discuss/debate others about the existence of God, and the arguments for and against. Sooner or later, we always wonder whether the existence of the universe counts as evidence for God. There are three initial options. God created the universe The universe created itself The universe was never created; […]

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Member Post

 

GM, Chrysler, AIG, Goldman-Sachs, these are, at least, American failures. But America’s grand children have monster huge pockets, we are told, and the man who borrowed $5 trillion dollars faster than Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has found an even bigger excuse than socialist Brazilian oil projects to flush billions of dollars. How many of you have […]

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Member Post

 

Troy Senik’s post&nbsp;on David Brooks’s latest column got me thinking about The Great Gatsby.&nbsp; Okay, let me explain that. Troy said Brooks had written a thoughtful and provocative piece, which of course he hadn’t because he’s David Brooks and is incapable of doing so.&nbsp; But this insistence by so many smart people that David Brooks […]

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Member Post

 

I’ve had enough. You’ve pushed me over the edge. I pull out the NRO.44 Automag of philosophers: Ed Feser. The comment thread is 62 comments long, the text is a couple of thousand words but I thought I’d introduce you all to the Thomistic critique of Paley’s design argument and have you toss around the […]

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Andrew Jackson, Self-Ordained Interpreter of the Constitution

 

In today’s President-a-Day pick, let’s take a look at Andrew Jackson. &nbsp;Jackson’s faith in democracy and his efforts to open up the franchise and the political process remain his greatest achievements, but he has fallen somewhat in the presidential rankings to 10th on the list of greatest presidents. &nbsp;Nevertheless, political scientists consider his influence to be on a par with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR in the way he changed the political system — his was, as they say, a “realigning” election that signaled a fundamental change in American politics.

Today, I fear most people know Jackson solely as the figure who appears on the $20 bill. &nbsp;As those who remember Jackson will recall, this would have driven him into a rage (though many things set off his wild temper). &nbsp;Jackson hated banks, and succeeded in destroying the Second Bank of the United States. &nbsp;While recent biographers have been fascinated with Jackson’s personal story — his enlistment as a boy in the Revolutionary Army, his terrible Indian policy, his dueling, and his temper — I think he is perhaps the most independent of presidents in his attitude toward the Constitution. &nbsp;He unforgettably vetoed legislation renewing the Second Bank on the ground that it was unconstitutional, even though the Supreme Court had held the Bank to be constitutional — in essence, claiming a right to interpret the Constitution independently of the Justices.

Great Books We’ve Never Read

 

PJ’s post about great books that are in truth tedious&nbsp;put me in mind of David Lodge’s book Changing Places. Anyone remember that one? Dinner party at Euphoria University, Swallow proposes a brisk game of “Humiliation.” The rule is you compete to name the classics of literature you haven’t read. The greater the work, the higher the score. Ambitious Euphoria Professor Howard Ringbaum, seized by a spasm of competitiveness, bursts out that he’s never read Hamlet, thus handily winning the game.

Because I’ve&nbsp;actually read that book, cover to cover, I know the punchline, so I’m sure not going to play. However, I encourage those of you who haven’t read it to jump right in.

Programming Note: Friday Will Now Be “Demonic”

 

Due to a scheduling conflict, our member chat with Ann Coulter will now be this Friday, July 1st at 9:30PM ET/6:30 PM PT. That’s good news for those of you rushing to get through a 400 page book as you’ll have an extra two days to finish it.&nbsp;

And here’s some better news: we’ll be giving away to two signed copies of Demonic to the participants with the best questions or comments. Ann herself will be the judge, so start preparing.