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I have this problem where I see items posted on my Facebook feed that are wrongheaded and foolish and warrant correction. However, I know the people who posted them in real life and I suspect they wouldn’t take kindly to my engagement, and I don’t want to strain otherwise positive relationships. While I would like to think some of them would be […]

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I once referred to Trump as a loud mouth schmuck. He may be, but the guy seems to be able to deliver on a promise.  I am slack jawed by what he has done so far as president elect. Maybe it won’t be the ego fest I’d expected. Maybe I’m not as insightful as I’d […]

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I was attending a meeting in downtown D.C. today (at this lovely and historic hotel, if you’re curious).  It had been a rainy, cool morning, traffic was wretched trying to get to the airport to pick up a colleague and then messy trying to get to the hotel for the meeting.   However, the day […]

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Almost all the discussions I see on voter fraud are looking at dead people voting, or people who vote multiple times. This is the very small (but we have no real idea how large) end of the problem. The largest opportunity for fraud as it is presently enforced is not with voting. It is with […]

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Flag Protection Act of 2005

 

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-9-49-41-amBack in 2005, Senators Hillary Clinton and Robert Bennett introduced the Flag Protection Act of 2005 to outlaw flag burning. They proposed a punishment of one year in jail and a fine of $100,000. To sidestep free speech limitations, the bill was worded as a public safety issue that fined a person who burns a flag of “any size” and knows that it is “likely to produce imminent violence or a breach of the peace.” The bill did not pass.

As “not my president” protesters currently burn the flag today in protest of Hillary’s election loss, seems someone should tweet about this little bit of history to show the hypocrisy.

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Traveling these days seems at times to be a search for Wi-Fi. In our (nearly completed) trek to visit a church and a bar in every state, we’re dependent on the interwebs to find directions, gas, food and lodging, and, of course, Ricochet. We also need to have reliable internet to work on pictures and […]

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Repair Shop Punditry

 

loud-peopleI had been meaning to get off a good column, or at least a few respectable observations, about the recent election. It was to be called The Great Rebuke, as befits an election in which, at the last possible moment, the country decided against indefinite servitude to the utopian masterminds who sent healthcare costs soaring and then called it the Affordable Care Act.

In fact, the goal this morning was to pen such a column while my truck was in the shop for a clutch adjustment. As proof of my intentions, I offer this sterling opening line which I assembled after only a couple of sips of coffee:

Well, that was a narrow escape. I, for one, was prepared to snatch Dante’s welcome sign from the gates of hell and suspend it from the Statue of Liberty, thereby advising one and all to “Abandon all hope, ye that enter here.”

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Here is a short but interesting take on one of Thomas Friedman’s latest theories about humanity.   Basically, Friedman says technology is moving too fast and humans can’t keep up.  Matt Novak of Gizmodo suggest, among other things, that Friedman is a dunderhead, and he’s just making the same argument that old guys have always […]

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Trump’s Econ Plan Offers Some Promise — with Plenty of Risk

 

Trump wavingThe incoming Trump administration doesn’t seem the sort much concerned about “consensus” economic opinion or what so-called experts think. For instance: One recent survey of top economists found 93% disagreed with the notion that Trump’s 100-day economic plan would help middle-class workers. (“Even if we no longer import from and offshore to China and Mexico, manufacturing jobs won’t come back. If they did, they would before robots,” opined one.)

But you take your friends where you can find them. Such as at the OECD, the rich economy think tank. In a new report, it had nice things to say about Trumponomics: “The new Administration will begin implementing its policy priorities next year and in this context the fiscal stance is projected to become more expansionary as public spending and investment rise, while taxes are cut. This will provide a boost to the economy, particularly in 2018.”

Not bad! A couple of thoughts here. First, keep in mind that this economic boost is more about near-term stimulus rather than lifting long-term growth potential through supply-side structural reform. The latter would only show up later. Still, faster growth would be welcome, all else equal. The OECD expects the likely size of the stimulus would boost US economic growth to 2.3% from 1.9% in 2017, and to 3% from 2.2% in 2018. Hardly the hypergrowth Trump has promised, but better.

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So I was going to write a rather navel-gazing abstract piece about how grateful I am for being curious about the world. It probably would have been an OK bit of writing but recent events compelled me to switch subjects entirely. I wanted to write about cops. I am grateful for the cops who defend […]

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I just returned from a long Thanksgiving weekend in my favorite tourist city – NOLA. I thought I would share a few observations that the Ricochet community might find interesting: One of my Lyft drivers, a black gentleman, expressed appreciation and confirmed the need for the significant police presence which could be seen all over […]

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It’s after Thanksgiving and that means one thing: I get to go crazy Christmas style. That means planning my Christmas Card list, being all sneaky as I plan my wife’s Christmas gift, plotting what kind of cookies I’m going to make, and scheming of what I’m going to eat as I ingest Christmas and add […]

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Gatlinburg, TN burning

 

Wildfires moved into Gatlinburg and the surrounding area last night. There was a mandatory evacuation of the city, parts of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, and other areas in East TN. High winds last night (over 50 mph gusts) wreaked havoc on attempts to contain the blaze as we are in the middle of a serious drought that has made the area a tinderbox. Although there are reports of many businesses damaged and homes burned, in an answer to prayer, rain finally moved in and the wind calmed last night and giving some assistance to emergency crews. More firefighters are arriving by the hour from around the area to help this morning…. Please pray for Gatlinburg and that the people there will have a home to go back to.

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