Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Newt Gingrich as Don Quixote

 

It is hard to know where to begin after reading the outbursts that Newt Gingrich has directed as of late toward the federal judiciary.  He may receive rousing applause for his tirades against the dictatorial courts in the United States.  But the sad truth is that his reckless attack on the courts promises to be one of the most destabilizing events imaginable.

Gingrich, who sports his own feeble academic credentials far too often for his own good, should remember that the one great concern that the Framers had about the judiciary was the institutional arrangements that were needed to serve its independence.  In staking out this ground, the Framers were not concerned with the institution of judicial review with respect to legislation.  Rather, they knew that the application of the law in any given case could be hopelessly compromised if the judges could be forced to account for their individual decisions in the halls of Congress.  It is for that reason that we should tremble at the prospect of a Congressional inquisition of judges whose decisions offend the sensibilities of the dominant political party.  Impeachment is available for gross derelictions of duty, but I doubt that it makes the slightest sense to bring those proceedings against the members of the Ninth Circuit who thought to take the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Ron Paul, Foreign Policy, and the History of US Engagement in the Middle East

 

I noticed that few of the comments on Brandon Zuffini’s post addressed Ron Paul’s historical claims or attempted to place them in a broader context. Probably just as well, because to do so would require a doctoral-length dissertation.

Fortunately, I just happened to have one in my basement. You can now buy it on Amazon, and since you’ve all been so kind in encouraging me to promote my work here, so long as it’s topical, I’ll promote it–and this is topical, oddly enough. 

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I have a bad habit of using “Newt” as shorthand for Newt Gingrich. It’s a common practice, but one I dislike. Gingrich is not my buddy. I would feel awkward referring to Mitt, Rick, Michelle or Herman without having met them personally. That politicians would like voters to think of them as friends makes it […]

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Last Monday evening a few Ricochet members and a couple of supportive spouses met up to view and discuss the movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in downtown Seattle. As always the conversation was thrilling. It was so thrilling, in fact, that we let time get away from us before we snapped any pictures. Perhaps next time […]

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It never ceases to amaze me how rarely Rush Limbaugh is mentioned on Ricochet. The man is the single most influential conservative commentator out there. He was there before FOX News, and millions of conservatives continue to listen to him today. I don’t begrudge anyone for not listening to his radio show. He spends as […]

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As noted last week, our monthly membership fee (it’s pegged to the price of a Starbucks grande caffe latte) will go up 9 cents starting tomorrow. But if you join before midnight Pacific, you can take advantage of the current $3.58 rate. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. New Years Travel Tips

 

Folks, if you will indulge me just briefly: I’m typing this via phone, from a rest area. If you are traveling today, please drive cautiously. The people around me today have lost their natural minds. Maybe they are all running late to Grandma’s house to get the old gal drunk for New Years? Yesterday it took nearly three hours to go a dozen miles due to an endless sequence of fresh collisions. It’s no better today. Some tips:

Don’t travel in the pack. When vehicles get bunched together at high speeds, bad things happen. Back out of it and let them enjoy their own wreck.

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Actor Don Cheadle talking about Obama (copied from: Big Hollywood): Cheadle finally succumbs to the kind of heated rhetoric that was allegedly banned from public discourse in the wake of the awful Tucson shooting earlier this year. More

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– Rumors (and rumours) of American decline are greatly exaggerated if Lady Julia Marchmain had to pass over all of the Commonwealth’s manhood to settle for a Yankee like me.   – During marriage preparations we have been inspired by many happily married couples.  Their words of encouragement are simple and beautiful:  “We’ve been married […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Two-Thousand-Eleven is Ending, Thank Heaven

 

I may not be the first to wish Ricochet a Happy New Year (or maybe I will be, we’ll see what condition I’m in when I get back tonight), but let me be the first to wish you all a happy end of 2011!

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I’m at work, it just ticked over to 2012 here in Japan Happy New Year Everyone! Tomorrow morning, I’m going to get on my bicycle and cycle 60Km, or about 40 miles to our friend’s house, to help them them get ready their big Shin Nen Kai, which is a “Welcoming the New Year” party, […]

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I heard Ron Paul’s former staffer interviewed on a talk show recently. He sounded honest, concerned about getting the details straight, and pleased to be receiving national attention. Yet as interesting and valuable as the information was, I can’t help thinking that when a person shares inside details with the country after working for a politician, […]

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The nice thing about Ricochet is that we have a wide range of people with a wide range of backgrounds.  Everyone from shredding experts to lawyers who specialize in power & gas cases. So I wanna throw this out there in the hopes that someone knows. More

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Over the course of this and recent NFL seasons, I’ve become increasingly concerned the quality of the game, and League, is dropping. I’m 41 years old and have been a fan since I was a kid but with each season it feels like I understand the game less. And it wasn’t until recently I realized […]

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peHuvnkShSY Technically speaking, its a New Year’s Day song.  But nobody is waking up tomorrow singing songs about old acquaintances being forgot and auld lang syne…that’s reserved for tonight, regardless of what date it says on everyone’s phone.  And what better way to ring it in than with Pink Martini, who literally make every party […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Pete Wehner and Climate Science Discourse

 

Since it came right before Christmas, I almost missed this post by Pete Wehner over at Commentary regarding the politics of climate, which has in my view a number of problems. Wehner makes a call for civil discourse on the topic, which I agree with; but he follows that call by leaning on a number of sources which give me pause.

Like all critics of those of us who disagree with alarmist policy responses to climate change, Wehner is certainly entitled to his views. But he makes the same mistake I’ve seen from a lot of folks who set themselves up as just “believing the science” – a disturbing degree of naivete on who they use as sources, to the exclusion of other voices.

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The great Walter E. Williams was on the radio today and if you missed it, you may want to track down the weekend replay.  Conservatism was explained by Williams and it was excellent. For example: More

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Unencumbered by strict signature enforcement, tact, and a perspective that life is more than politics, organizers aiming to recall Gov. Walker are following our UW Badgers to the Rose Bowl. Green Bay’s Fox 11 reports  organizers “plan to hold a rally before the game and solicit signatures from Wisconsin residents and students attending the game.” For […]

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VDH has a piece on his blog at PJ Media today, and though I love the great professor, and he does get much of his analysis right, he also helps perpetuates some myths about the nature of the current economic downturn and its persistence.  He perpetuates the myth that businesses are not hiring for fear of […]

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