Democrats’ Best Candidate is Also Their Weakest Against Trump

 

With the impeachment raging, Democrats seem unaware of just how damaging the entire show is going to be for their most likely candidate going head-to-head against Trump.

In 2020, Trump’s record of accomplishments is far more impressive than most undecided and moderate voters could have imagined; candidate Trump in 2016 didn’t seem capable of moving the embassy to Jerusalem while maintaining peace, of enacting massive tax-cuts, or of passing bipartisan criminal justice reform.

Saving the World from Trump

 

This morning I saw an op-ed piece that finally drove me over the top. Here is one statement from Kathleen Parker from her piece :

Whatever her ultimate motive, Haley clearly decided that stepping on Tillerson and Kelly was in her political interest. There can have been no other reason to drag these two honorable, accomplished men through the mud for, by her own account, trying to mitigate some of Trump’s more-destructive impulses.

Memories of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera

 

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra New York Tour, Nov. 15, 2019 (© Todd Rosenberg Photography)My wife and I enjoy hearing different symphony orchestras, as you can read in my recent posts. It’s fascinating to hear their varied sounds and attitudes in close conjunction. After only six weeks, the 2019-2020 concert season has been a very special treat for us, as we suffer through hearing a dozen first class orchestras in some of the world’s finest concert halls.

In October, I enjoyed two American orchestras, the Cleveland and the Philadelphia, then together we heard Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from Munich. This time, we came to Carnegie to hear the much-lauded Chicago Symphony.

We last heard the CSO at Carnegie in October 2012; they opened the Carnegie season with an early Dvorak Symphony and Respighi’s brilliant tone poem Roman Festivals. We had an evening of mishaps getting into the city on a Friday afternoon and coming late to our dinner. But the swirling, dazzling score, complete with off-stage trumpets and screeching piccolo clarinet solos, atoned for this.

The establishment of a sovereign Jewish state just three years after the Holocaust is both a miracle and the achievement of some remarkable women and men. Now that the founding generation has passed on, it falls to those living today to sustain that achievement. But how? In thinking about the careers of prominent Israeli leaders, what lessons, particularly in courage, can we, and today’s leaders, learn from them?

To ponder this question, Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver is joined by David Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a former editor of the Jerusalem Post, and the co-author with Dennis Ross of Be Strong and of Good Courage. Through the biographies of four Israeli leaders, Makovsky and Ross invite us to think about the purposes of Zionism and the qualities of judgment and character needed to act for the sake of Israel’s strategic interests.

Why Progressives are Insatiable – and Unstoppable

 

Human beings, by nature, are hungry. A basic human need is to feed our hunger, and it shows up in many different ways. Our most fundamental hunger appears in our bodies telling us that we need to nourish ourselves, that we need to be fed. Some people hunger for recognition and even fame. Others are hungry for learning. Still others want to control others, either in their work or through authoritarian means. Many seek material possessions to satisfy their cravings. The question for me, though, is why do people crave the impractical or impossible, when they already have attained so much?

The possible answers have occurred to me, and they are dismal and tragic.

For one, people are not self-reflective enough to look into their hungers. Like a primitive people, they think the source of their perceived deprivation is outside themselves. The basic instinct which is intended to keep them alive and well has taken on enormous proportions, a life of its own. It grows larger, weighing down human beings, and instead of looking inside themselves for what might be missing, they decide to change the world in which they feel trapped.

Introducing Life, Liberty, and Law Podcast

 

Introducing Life, Liberty, and Law—conversations on the human right to life, brought to you by Americans United for Life, the national leader in life-affirming law and policy. What we share as Americans is a conviction that every member of the human family really matters—that everyone counts. We struggle in our experience as Americans to live this conviction. We know this. And in a time of political polarization, it’s more important than ever that Americans of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs have a place where they can think and speak honestly about what the human right to life means in the fullness of its scope. We won’t always agree, but we’re going to be honest with one another. And we believe as Americans that we all share this common goal: a future where everyone is welcomed throughout life and protected in law. Life, Liberty, and Law is a conversation about how we can do better.

In our first episode with the Ricochet Audio Network, Alexandra DeSanctis, Staff Writer at National Review, joins me and Noah Brandt of Americans United for Life to unpack the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to consider Louisiana’s “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act” in 2020, the first abortion-focused case that the high court will consider in many years, and a breaking national poll from Americans United for Life/YouGov on the substantive health and safety issues at the heart of the Louisiana law that the high court will consider.

The Epstein Meme Is Cause for Concern

 

Marcus Porcius Cato, also known as Cato the Elder, the great Plebeian soldier, statesman and defender of ancient republican virtues, in his later years is said to have closed all his public speeches with the words, “And furthermore I am of the opinion that Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.”

I’m only kidding. Cato the Elder never said that. That was a Jeffrey Epstein meme I just made up.

The DACA Dilemma

 

Activists protest President Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA, Portland, OR, Sept. 5, 2017. (Shutterstock.com)

A vexed Supreme Court is now considering the legal status of the highly popular program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA. DACA’s survival is now up for grabs in three related cases before the Court, which are being consolidated under the name Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The Court displayed its angst about the legality of DACA during last week’s oral argument for the case.

In June 2012, President Barack Obama initiated the program whereby children who were brought into the United States illegally became eligible to remain for two-year renewable periods so long as they did not commit any felonies or misdemeanors. As designed, the program does not offer these “Dreamers” a path toward citizenship, but it does authorize them to get jobs, obtain driver’s licenses, social security, and a host of other privileges. There are now close to 700,000 Dreamers in the United States, and they have often excelled, as students, military personnel, and workers. Most emphatically, they are not “far from angels,” let alone “hardened criminals,” as President Trump scandalously tweeted on the day of oral argument.

Dispatch from the Seattle/King County Crime Scene

 

The business members of the Downtown Seattle Association have noticed that there are many “repeat offenders” who always seem to engage in criminal activities very shortly after being released from jail.  Recently, they got proof.

A study just found that “90 of 100 repeat offenders from February” have re-offended and been booked into jail in the nine months since. The response from the city government? New programs.

What America Should Do on Hong Kong

 

Human capital is the most valuable form: money is a stand-in for real wealth, and all other forms of assets (real estate, securities, gold, etc.) need to be managed to even retain value. But human capital is what creates all other wealth, and best of all, if we leave it alone in a big petri dish, then it requires virtually no management to do its thing.

The most productive people in the world have a lot of practice creating wealth because they live in entrepreneurial places: the US, the UK, Singapore, the Netherlands, Israel, and Hong Kong. It is a big win when you can attract highly-productive resources. Which tells me that the United States should offer immigration/citizenship to every Hong Kong citizen who can pass a good English test, pledge to uphold American principles and not rely on public funds. Such a move would simultaneously bolster the United States and deeply wound China.

A Blessing for President Trump

 

No, it didn’t make the nightly news, but here’s an incredible blessing for President Trump from a few days ago. “Blessed are You, our Lord, King of the universe, that You have shared part of Your glory and love and compassion with a human being who maintains the honor of every innocent person and every Jew, forever.”

Last night was debate night in the UK and it was pathetic. James and Toby dissect the “girly-man” tussle between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbin on ITV’s “Tron” set, Nigel Farage’s separate appearance on the BBC’s Question Time and “minor Royal” Prince Andrew’s PR nightmare turn with Emily Maitlis.

Then it’s off to the culture wars and real wars. We get reviews of Netflix’s new WWII documentary series, the big screen retelling of the battle of Midway and Ford v Ferrari. Back then, men were men.

Quote of the Day: The Gettysburg Address

 

Image result for the gettysburg address image“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” — President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 19, 1863

Since Lincoln’s delivery 156 years ago, the Gettysburg Address has been parsed and analyzed for its meaning and importance.* I don’t intend to offer my own analysis, but rather to commemorate Lincoln’s eloquence on that day. This post’s title is referring to recent Ricochet posts with the title “Fewer Words” because I think Lincoln’s speech is one of the best examples of how brevity can improve communication.

On this aspect of the Gettysburg Address, I offer the following bonus quote:

Don’t Be Chikin: Give to the Salvation Army

 

Don't be Chikin Fill Red KettleIt took less than a generation for the corporate leadership of Chick-fil-A to turn on and spit in the face of its founder, S. Truett Cathy. The fast-food restaurant chain has thrived on the wallets of Bible-believing Christians who responded to the secular supremacist left’s boycott with a buycott that crushed and exposed the real economic weakness of the radical left. Now, however, the non-Truett family president and COO has attacked the core customer base to score social credit with his business elite peers, funding luxury beliefs at the direct expense of the least, the last, the poorest among us. Every Bible-believing Christian, and everyone of goodwill, should respond with a new kind of buycott. Starting this Friday, and running until Christmas Day, the Nativity of Christ, don’t be chikin, give to the Salvation Army.

John Hinderaker, of PowerLine, explains Chick-fil-A’s cave to the Christian-hating left:

The Salvation Army is probably the purest force for good in the U.S. The idea that it is “anti-LGBT” is false; the Army serves all comers. Of course, as a Christian organization, it does not subscribe to the radical LGBT agenda. But so what? Is kowtowing to demands of the most extreme elements of a tiny minority now a prerequisite for being allowed to do business?

Elaine J. Eisenman, Ph.D. is co‐author of Betrayed: A Survivor’s Guide to Lying, Cheating, and Double Dealing. Previously, she co-authored I Didn’t See It Coming: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Avoid Being Blindsided in Business. She is Managing Director of Saeje Advisors, has served on public and private boards since 1998 and was Dean of Executive and Enterprise Education at Babson College. Elaine sits with Carol to talk about the Betrayed book and stories of betrayals that span business, marriages, friendships, and families. Elaine shares how people can recover from broken trust and move forward with her B.O.U.N.C.E formula- and sometimes even revenge- in this juicy and uplifting discussion.

You can learn more about Elaine and Betrayed here and purchase the book here

The Crown Returns and with Great American Tories

 

Choose your Queen: Claire Foy (L) or Olivia Colman (R)

Unlike its broadcast competitors, Netflix does not reveal its viewership numbers, so it’s hard to gain any measure of this week’s debut of Season 3 of The Crown. But if it follows Nielsen’s estimates of last season then the streaming service’s imaginary look at Britain’s Royal Family is probably toiling away in relative obscurity. The second season started out with a fairly strong 3 million American viewers but couldn’t even reach a sixth of that by the time it got around to episode 10. Netflix says Nielsen is full of bollocks.

Having watched the first three episodes the wholesale cast changes haven’t helped. Perhaps Claire Foy was too glamorous to play the part of Elizabeth II in the first place but she was a joy to watch. Now Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (The Favourite) has taken over the role and spends most of her time on screen looking like she’s sucking on a lemon. Worse yet, this season promises less Queen and more spotlight on the more dysfunctional Royals, Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) and Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor). Oh, joy.

Hey Big Tipper

 

Any discussion of service should eventually consider the subject of tipping. Is the act of leaving a tip for a service employee a form of tax or is it a moment of altruism? Do you as a buyer of services expect to find a linear relationship between the size of your tip and the amount of service delivered or do you just automatically do the math in your head and write it on the bill?

As a lifelong student at the School of Hard Knocks- College of Food Service I can tell you that it is a subject of much discussion, infinite aggravation and a huge component of overall income earned. Of course, tipping is utilized in many service industries besides food service. Taxicabs, hotels, hairdressers and tour guides come to mind. Since my experience is most with food service, I will confine this discussion to one topic: Why don’t we just eliminate tipping and add the full cost of running the business and paying a living wage to the menu prices?

Jay’s guest is Fred Hiatt, the editorial-page editor of the Washington Post. In addition to being an editor, he is a columnist. He writes a great deal about human rights, and pays particular attention to China. He and Jay begin by talking about the Uyghur people. The Chinese government is doing catastrophic, Nazi-like things to them. (Yes, sometimes the N-word applies.) What can the world at large do to help the Uyghurs? Anything? Jay and his guest also talk about the newspaper business in general. An informative conversation, with a mixture of dark and light.

Why Doesn’t the Truth Sell?

 

When I was a young high school teacher, I had the privilege of being mentored by some truly great teachers.  One profound lesson that I probably would never have learned on my own is that no matter how engaging, clever or entertaining your presentation, students will not really take away something of value unless and until the teacher has managed to inspire them to ask the question the answer for which is what the teacher is trying to convey. The trick is to make them want to know it before you present it.  Teaching is less about the quality, truth, and beauty of the subject matter so much as creating an appetite for that truth.

If politics were simply about empirical results and quality of logic, the left would have already dried up and blown away by now.  Centrally planned economies, the destruction of institutions such as family, apocalyptic climate myths, and pretty much anything Liz Warren has concocted is utter crapola, analytically speaking. And yet, the market for demonstrably stupid ideas has never been stronger.

Oh, Yeah! Cuba. (Again)

 

The photographic tour of Cuba continues, heading south, to Playa Girón. To Americans, this is the infamous site where hundreds of Cubans were slaughtered after Castro’s forces met a weak militia that anticipated American support. I can’t say what the average Cuban thinks about the failed invasion, but their fates were sealed — Cuba was Castro’s.

On LTC Vindman and the “Interagency,” but Mostly on Vindman

 

You can read Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman’s opening statement for his 29 October Congressional testimony here. First on Vindman, then the Interagency, then more on Vindman.

Full disclosure: I hate the fact that Vindman is in my cohort. He has to be junior to me, but he’s a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the United States Army. Way to go, pogue, you just put all your LTC brethren in the position of no trust from POTUS.

The Paradoxical Popularity of Progressive Professionals

 

Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and other progressives of that era envisioned a government of professionals. Vaguely like Plato’s philosopher kings, they would be highly educated and would spend their lives selflessly serving society, using their expertise to help the common citizens with the complexities of the modern world. A bureaucracy should be a centralized repository of knowledge, designed to help commoners with all sorts of things. And all sorts of things would have their own bureaucracies. After all, who wouldn’t benefit from some expert guidance, from time to time?

Like many progressive ideas, this sort of makes sense if you don’t think about it too much. But when this concept was actually applied in governments around the world throughout the 1900s, one catastrophe after another demonstrated the flaws inherent in such systems. It became painfully obvious to everyone except bureaucrats and academics that the world is too complex to understand and certainly too complex to manage. It also became obvious that you cannot control a creative process without destroying it, and that any organization (including government) will consider its own interests above those of its clients as it becomes more powerful. You might think that all this would create problems for today’s Democrat party. And I suppose it probably does. But I think there’s something else which has more impact. And it’s their own fault.

The study of literature and philosophy has always been an effort to understand the thinking of the greatest minds in history. But in the ’60s and ’70s, academia became more interested in clever interpretations of Plato and Shakespeare than they were in the actual thinking of Plato and Shakespeare themselves. This gradually diminished the perceived authority of the wisdom of the ancients, and elevated clever interpreters of their work, like modern academics. Academics probably thought this was a good thing, at the time.

35 years ago, a statue entitled “The Three Fighting Men” by sculptor Frederic Hart was dedicated by President Reagan at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day 1984. We believe his remarks which were exceptional and deserve a closer look. Let’s listen.