About Jon Gabriel, Ed.

Jon Gabriel (a.k.a., @ExJon on Twitter) is the Editor-in-Chief of Ricochet. He is a political writer and marketing consultant, contributing articles to Ricochet, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and the Heartland Institute. Until 2012, he served as Director of Marketing for the free-market Goldwater Institute, where he converted policy initiatives into compelling stories. In the private sector, Jon led marketing efforts for Cold Stone Creamery, Honeywell, and several technology companies. In his spare time he helped create a political satire blog, garnering several notices from Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, National Review, The New York Times, and other media outlets. Jon is a summa cum laude graduate of Arizona State's Cronkite School of Journalism and is a former submarine reactor operator for the U.S. Navy. When not obsessing about the news, he obsesses about the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Diamondbacks and indie rock. He lives in Mesa, Ariz., with his long-suffering wife and two precocious daughters.

David Brooks ‘Terrified’ by NatCon; Most Conservatives Are Not

 

New York Times columnist David Brooks is terrified. This time, it’s not due to a shabby Bordeaux or a deli owner using “who” instead of “whom,” but from the National Conservatism Conference held in Orlando two weeks ago.

Called NatCon for short, the conference “brings together public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.” Speakers included Sens. Cruz, Hawley, and Rubio; radical bomb-throwers like Glenn Loury, Rich Lowry, and Batya Ungar-Sargon; and others committed to the cause, such as Peter Thiel, Christopher Rufo, and Rod Dreher.

I’m terrified just typing those names! (If I didn’t have my inhaler near, I couldn’t keep writing.) Anyway, when Brooks attended NatCon, he “had a sinking sensation” about the “apocalyptic,” “disconcerting,” “alarming” event and what it presaged for conservative youth. (You should have heard what he said about the Bordeaux.)

NYT Editorial Board: ‘Blue States Are the Problem’

 

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the New York Times Editorial Board is making sense. Democrats blame every problem in America on evil Republicans standing in the way of their compassionate progressive vision. If only Democrats controlled everything, a liberal paradise would emerge, showing equity, education, and enlightenment from sea to shining sea.

So NYT videographer Johnny Harris and Editorial Board member Binyamin Appelbaum looked at the results of long-time, one-party Democratic rule in the bluest of blue states. The results won’t surprise conservatives, but will amazing right-thinking lefties everywhere. Watch this video:

13 Republican Congressmen Save Pelosi, Biden on $1.2T Infrastructure Vote

 

Six Democrats voted against the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan (BIF) late Friday night, which should have killed the legislation. Instead, 13 Republicans rode to Nancy Pelosi’s rescue and voted yes. The BIF passed the Senate nearly two months ago, so the legislation will head straight to the White House for the President’s signature.

Here are the Republicans for Pelosi:

Networks Finally Call Virginia for Youngkin; NJ Gov Race a Squeaker

 

The Virginia governor’s race seemed to be over hours ago, yet none of the legacy media would call the race. At one point, the Washington Post had Youngkin leading McAuliffe by 3.1 percentage points with 97 percent of the vote in — and they still wouldn’t call it.

At 12:34 a.m. ET, in unison, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Politico, and the Washington Post finally gave in. All projected a Youngkin victory. Fox News held out for a few more minutes before declaring Youngkin’s win.

Projection: Youngkin Defeats McAuliffe in Virginia Governor’s Race (w/ Updates)

 

Original post (8:37 pm ET): Decision Desk, which has offered the most reliable early calls in the past several election cycles, projects that Republican Glenn Youngkin has defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial election. Dave Wasserman, elections guru for the Cook Political Report called the race for Youngkin a few minutes earlier. Henry Olson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has also called the race. Media organizations are likely to follow soon.

They made the call with 47 percent of the vote in and Youngkin carrying a remarkable 10 percentage point lead. Joe Biden won the commonwealth one year ago by 10 percentage points.

Dare We Hope Youngkin Might Actually Win?

 

Watching Virginia election results is depressing for conservatives. The more rural parts of the states roll in first, showing a close race in any presidential or statewide contest. Then, in come the results from northern VA and the Democrat wins in a blowout.

So I’ve tried to temper my enthusiasm for Glenn Youngkin. Yes, he’s run an exceptionally good campaign while his sleazy opponent, Terry McAuliffe, has been abysmal. But still…

Polls released Thursday afternoon indicate a tipping point for the Old Dominion.

Huma Abedin’s Clever Marketing Ploy

 

After five years in the wilderness, Huma Abedin is finally getting Beltway buzz again. Abedin has been Hillary Clinton’s shadow since 1996, controlling access, cleaning up gaffes, and plotting Hillary’s rise to the presidency. Huma was flattered with decades of beat-sweetening puff pieces by reporters desperate for an ally in Hillary’s inner circle. In November 2016, the knives came out. Coverage since has been meager and sordid, often focused on her soap-opera marriage to Anthony Weiner.

That all changed Tuesday with Simon and Schuster’s announcement of her new autobiography. Being clever marketers, they dangled an excerpt sure to tantalize gossips in the DC media.

“I ended up walking out with one of the senators, and soon we stopped in front of his building and he invited me in for coffee,” Abedin’s ghostwriter recalled. “Once inside, he told me to make myself comfortable on the couch.”

Chappelle Refuses to Be Canceled

 

Dave Chappelle always had the advantage in facing down his critics. Not only is he world-famous and wealthier than a few nations, the comedian has a secret weapon. Chappelle is funny; his critics are not.

Whatever he said in his most recent Netflix special, “The Closer,”  the knives were going to be out. Instead of following a bloodless script pre-approved by progressive censors, he speaks his mind and often reveals uncomfortable truths. That makes him dangerous. Woke activists insist that every celebrity bend the knee and Chappelle isn’t one for bending. He wouldn’t knuckle under to Comedy Central suits and certainly won’t bow to midlevel Netflix dresses.

Let’s be honest: the mostly white media has stoked a weeks-long controversy to bludgeon an uppity black man until he agrees with white gender theorists.

Democrats and the Politics of Scarcity

 

One chilly night, the president lowered the White House thermostat, put on a cardigan, and gave the American people a stern talking-to. We enjoyed too much abundance for too long and it was time to pay for our profligacy.

“The oil and natural gas that we rely on for 75 percent of our energy are simply running out,” Jimmy Carter said in 1977. “We could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.” The only way to prevent catastrophe was “strict conservation” and a willingness to “make sacrifices.”

Dems Need to Pivot Away from Biden’s Failure and Toward Manchin’s and Sinema’s Success

 

Democrats keep bashing Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema for hesitating to spend an additional $3,500,000,000,000. It’s both economic and political insanity to fund the equivalent of the entire 2009 federal budget on “infrastructure” (ahem) when inflation is rising and the federal debt nears $29 trillion — all with a 50/50 Senate. Yet the Democratic Party is livid these two reddish-state senators are stopping Biden’s agenda. Don’t these dummies know voters will punish them for opposing the sainted Joe Biden?!

The DNC refuses to accept the new reality. Joe Biden keeps getting less and less popular, and most voters now oppose Biden’s failed agenda. Everything Biden touches dies and the only thing that might save Dems from a midterm wipeout is to run from Joe’s failure. If “Manchinema” (Lord, I hate that construction) find trouble in their home states, it’ll be because they didn’t oppose Biden strongly enough.

Here’s a reality check for DC Democrats: The president has been underwater in polling for the past two months and it’s only getting worse. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, 52.5 percent of voters oppose the president and 43 percent support him. Scanning the headlines, nothing will raise this long-term collapse. High gas prices, emptying store shelves, a broken border, inflation, Americans still trapped in Afghanistan, a weak China stance, and a vast majority of voters saying America is on the wrong track. Oh, and continuing Covid mandates, misinformation, and cases. There are now more Covid deaths in 2021 than in 2020 and we’re not even 10 months in. Way to “shut down the virus,” Joe.

‘It’s Part of the Process’: Biden Laughs Off Activists Chasing Sen. Sinema into Bathroom

 

Over the weekend, progressive activists chased Kyrsten Sinema into an Arizona State restroom to shout questions at the senator. They also recorded and posted video of the senator and other women using the facility, a Class 5 felony that can carry a sentence of up to two-and-a-half years.

When asked about the incident Monday, President Joe Biden shrugged off the criminal privacy violation. “I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics, but it happens to everybody,” Biden said with a laugh. “It’s part of the process.”

Confirmed: Biden Killed 7 Children to Distract from His Afghanistan Debacle

 

After terrorists killed 13 Americans and 169 Afghans, the Biden administration needed a success to distract from his disastrous Kabul withdrawal. Three days later, the White House celebrated a drone strike.

“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Urban announced Aug. 29. “We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” he added.

Within hours, skepticism grew. Who was targeted? Did the Taliban provide the “intelligence?” Were civilians hurt?

Norm Macdonald: Dostoyevsky in Front of a Red Brick Wall

 

The smartest comedians portray themselves as the dumbest; Norm Macdonald was the best at this sleight of hand. He graduated high school at 14, read Russian literature in his downtime, and had long philosophical discussions with clergy. Norm also gambled, repeatedly trading all his earthly wealth for a queen of diamonds or a Habs’ hat trick. The sleight of hand was best left on stage but he learned from the experience. Macdonald was a student of human nature first, comedy second.

Norm died Tuesday at 61 following a secret decade-long battle with cancer. A terrible description, since he thought it cruel to say someone “lost their battle” with the dread disease. “If you die, the cancer dies at the same time,” he said in one of his stand-up specials. “That’s not a loss, it’s a draw.”

Macdonald’s finest moments were unexpected. His famed “roast” of friend Bob Saget that was nothing but corny one-liners from a 1930s jokebook. Talk show appearances with Conan O’Brien and David Letterman with made-up anecdotes and rambling seven-minute jokes.

On Covid and Texas, Biden Courts a Constitutional Crisis

 

When Donald Trump was president, we heard a lot about Norms® and Standards. Trump was accused of violating this vague collection of unwritten rules, a convenient tactic when they couldn’t prove actual crimes. The good news was that Biden’s election would restore this Beltway-approved system of etiquette. How refreshing.

Eight months into his administration, Biden has folded, spindled, and mutilated our Norms® and Standards, even those mandated by the Constitution. Trump was erratic but Biden is openly courting a constitutional crisis.

Pressured by far-left backbencher Cori Bush in August, the White House reinstated an eviction ban already declared illegal by the Supreme Court. Biden knew it was a violation but said: “by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time.”

California: Fear of a Black Governor

 

I regret to inform you the white progressives are at it again. The California recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom will be held Tuesday and polls show him with a weak lead. Golden State Democrats are terrified, not only that their Bay Area Gordon Gekko clone will be tossed out on his oily ear but — quelle horreur — a Black man from South Central might take his place. Not being creative campaigners, progressives are playing one of the few cards they have left.

The LA Times called gubernatorial hopeful Larry Elder “the Black face of white supremacy.” A columnist from the same paper said on MSNBC that replacing their peckerwood governor with a brother would discredit “the idea that multiracial democracy can work.” Nancy Pelosi’s daughter waved her white sheets claiming that “diversity is on the ballot” so her fellow crackers need to support Sacramento’s white power player.

Fear of a black governor isn’t new to California leftists. The state has had 40 chief execs, every single one a white man. Can you imagine? Apparently, Democrats don’t think there’s a single woman or ethnic minority qualified to run their state.

The Biden Legacy in One Photo

 

President Joe Biden just concluded his Thursday press conference on the deadly suicide bombing in Kabul. With 12 Marines and more than 90 Afghans confirmed dead, the mood should have been somber. This was beyond somber; it was funereal.

Biden quietly mumbled his way through the speech at a glacial pace, expressing sadness at the deaths. The words promised vengeance but his tone was complete resignation. The loudest moments were the repeated clearing of his throat. An exhausted 78-year-old incapable of performing his duties and failing miserably when he tries.

The Afghanistan ‘Alarmists’ Were Right

 

A week ago, I was an “alarmist” who was “rooting for failure” because I wrote the following:

The Kabul nightmare is likely in its early stages…

What happens if we get out all but 1,000 Americans? That would be 20 times the embassy staff seized during the Iranian hostage crisis. What if a few jumpy enemy fighters surrounding Kabul’s airport decide to open fire or mortar the runway? How will the Taliban commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks?

Biden Follows Up Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal with a Disastrous Speech

 

The weekend was filled with harrowing images from Kabul. Taliban soldiers executing Afghan allies, helicopters evacuating US embassy staff, the Kabul Airport overrun by desperate locals trying to escape, refugees falling to their death from wheel-wells of C-17s.

Following days of White House silence, President Biden interrupted his five-day vacation to calm the nation and her nervous allies. The 15-minute speech Monday was as calamitous as Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal.

The Buck Stops with That Other Guy

Breaking: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Announces Resignation

 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday. It will take effect in 14 days when Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will assume the office.

Until this announcement, Cuomo stubbornly resisted calls to step down despite the scandals of sending COVID-positive patients into nursing homes, hiding the deaths that resulted from the policy, and numerous allegations of sexual harassment.