Ricochet Podcast #54: Lean Forward

Listen in on one of our most wild and wolly podcasts ever as we cover SOTU, Paul Ryan’s response, international unrest, Olbermann’s departure, predict the big story of the coming week, and then we all lean forward as Rob reveals his secret ambition for his next career. Hint: it may involve a “Special Comment” or two. 

We write, you click:

  • The gulag movie James refers to is The Way Back starring Ed Harris and Colin Farrell and directed by Peter Weir (Master and Commander). It’s not really a Hollywood movie though, as it was independently financed and distributed. 

  • There are dozens of AA Meetings listed for the Hollywood/Beverly Hills area. Perhaps the rules are different in Minnesota, but according to the Southern California A.A. website, “You may generally assume that there is no smoking in the meetings.” Sorry, James. On a side note, A.A. really needs to update their website. It looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1996.
  • We hope this is the last Tiger Mom link we ever have to write, but here she is in the flesh on a recent edition of The Colbert Report. 
  • Here’s the trailer for Napoleon Dynamite, which in our opinion is the best movie ever filmed in Preston, Idaho. The Liger scene is at the 35 second mark. 
  • SimCity is a city-building simulation game, first released in 1989, and designed by the legendary Will Wright.
  • The Chinese water crisis has it’s own Wikipedia page.
  • Google “Chinese Ghost Town?” No need, we’ve done it for you.
  • The huge new hotel and casino James mentions is the City Center Project. Fittingly, the rehabilitation of downtown Vegas has a much less impressive website. 
  • We don’t have any links for Peter’s second oldest son, but here’s some video of Peter’s oldest son Pedro, running the football 45 yards for a touchdown from last season. He’s going to Dartmouth in the fall, ladies. 
  • Sell your cars, high speed rail is coming to California! It sure looks cool. No idea what the trains in California will smell like, however.
  • Los Angeles in fact does have a subway system, although there is no service on the west or east sides of the city, where it is badly needed. Of course, the city used to have a fine system of street cars called the Pacific Electric Railway, or Red Cars that covered hundreds of square miles. But the company was dismantled in the early 1950’s, as was well documented in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Damn ‘toons!
  • Here’s Ursula Hennessy’s post that includes clips from a Reagan and a Clinton SOTU. 
  • David Limbaugh’s column Obama Believes American Exceptionalism Begins With Government is available on his website.
  • We were not able to find the clip of Peter Robinson on Fox News this morning (fix your search function, Fox News!) but here’s the clip from NPR.
  • For the record, CBS News correspondent  Bob Schieffer is 74 years old. But that’s OK, so are most of CBS’s viewers. 
  • It’s true: according to this PDF on the White House web site, Jon Favreau, an assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting, makes $172,200 a year. P.S. He’s 30. 
  • V: It was an awful show when Jonah brought it up a couple of weeks ago, and it’s still an awful show.
  • As a joke, we think the line about the salmon was pretty lame. For that matter, so was the “pat down” joke. Jon Favreau gets paid what again?
  • We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize another entry in the ever growing pantheon of Peter Robinson impersonations: The Queen of England. 
  • Henny Youngman? Now there was a guy who knew how to tell a joke. Peruse a selection here, including his classic line “Take my wife…..please.”
  • Here’s Paul Ryan’s official Republican response to the SOTU speech. And here’s Michelle Bachmann’s response to the response of the SOTU. Or something like that.
  • At the present time, there are no pat downs required in order to board The Acela, the only high speed train currently running in the United States. 
  • You can subscribe to NPR’s The Planet Money Podcast here. Tell ’em Rob Long sent you. 
  • Pat Toomey’s op-ed in the WSJ.
  • Newt Gringrich “sat on the couch” with Nancy Pelosi in this PSA for climate change, of all things. 
  • Rob Long’s “tongue bath” to Keith Olbermann is here. His post on Egypt is here.
  • It is indeed Keith Olbermann’s birthday today. How Rob knows that is anyone’s guess. And while we’re on the topic, according this article on, Lawrence O’Donnell makes $2 million a year on MSNBC. Hey, we think we just discovered Jon Favreau’s next job.
  • National Review’s editorial on Egypt, “Mubarak Should Go — But Not Yet” may be read here. 
  • James is using the Netflix app to synchronize his viewing of Harry Brown between his iPhone and his Apple TV. It’s very handy.
  • Even though we didn’t really discuss it (you’ll have to take that up with the host), Ricochet member Samwise Gamgee does get the highly coveted Podcast Mention of The Week for his post On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, What is a Fetus?

Music from this week’s episode:

Special thanks to Ricochet member EJHill for the graphic.

The direct link to this week’s episode. But please be a mensch and subscribe. Don’t use iTunes? Visit our Feedburner page for a number of other subscription options.

The Ricochet Podcast is sponsored by Encounter Books. Our featured title this week is Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Tinseltown by Roger L. Simon. Available on February 8th at and for Kindle at