Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Who Controls ESPN ?

 

The GM of the NBA’s Houston Rockets has stepped down. My indifference to that news item is boundless. However, a family member who still reads ESPN.com (I canceled my membership to Insider and have not followed nor watched any pro sports since the Redskins became the Washington Football Team) brought to my attention the fact that the article discussing Daryl Morey’s departure made no mention of the controversy last year in which he tweeted support for Hong Kong freedom demonstrations and later deleted the tweet under pressure.

Apparently, Disney subsidiary ESPN cannot be allowed to jeopardize the global distribution revenues of Disney content especially that of Disney subsidiary Marvel nor the revenues of the NBA by even the mere mention of the fact that there had ever been a single tweet by an NBA employee containing criticism of Chinese government repression.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Seattle Policing Story Covered on Fox, Not in Seattle Itself

 

Thursday afternoon, a Seattle policeman was patrolling in his vehicle in the South Lake Union area. A man was walking down the street with a stick on fire in his hand. The policeman yelled at the man to stop, but he threw the lighted stick into the vehicle occupied by the policeman. The article on MyNorthwest.com includes a picture of the vehicle.

The 37-year-old suspect was not hurt.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Again with the Legs?

 

At Thursday’s town hall, Joe Biden brought up legs again. No, he wasn’t talking about his own hairy legs this time, instead he was giving his ideas on policing. His advice for police was, “So instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot them in the leg.”

We’ve got some debates town halls to cover, we’ve got a good old fashioned social media shadow banning scandal, Joe Biden’s son is bad at influence peddling, we had a Supreme Court nominee sail through her hearing, and we get into the nitty gritty on the 1619 Project. But most importantly, we spend some quality time with Kim Strassel, she of the Wall Street Journal, and one of the most ardent supporters of the President. We of course talk about that with her, also the Senate, the previously mentioned big tech/media controversy.

Music from this week’s show: Amie by Pure Prarie League

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Selling Stuff with Sentimentality

 

My wife was watching a “Dancing With the Stars” type of show the other night. The commercials were all targeted toward their specific demographic: Cleaning products, seltzer beers (whatever the heck those are), SUV’s, etc. She left, I switched to a football game, and the ads changed as well: regular beers, investment services, pickup trucks, etc. They spend a lot of money on those ads, and they want to be sure they are putting the right message in front of the right eyeballs, to get the right message across.

Christmas advertising is fascinating. Lots of big families gathered around a roaring fireplace wearing cozy sweaters, laughing together as they serve apple pie to everyone. It’s a shameless pitch to our heartstrings, but it works. On me, at least. I’m more fascinated by the fact that they consider me to be in their demographic than I am by their ad itself. How did my eyeballs get selected to see this ad? And then, yesterday, I was even more fascinated when we got the brochure below in the mail.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. And Boris Says: So Long and Thanks for the Fisheries

 

And finally it comes to this. Boris Johnson might be a lot of things, but a liar on Brexit he’s not. On Friday, he held a brief conference and said, the UK is out. The EU is not negotiating in good faith and Hard Brexit it will be. Watch below.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Liberal Left and Linguistic Theft

 

On Fox News Sunday this past Sunday, Senator Chris Coons claimed that to move forward with the hearings and ultimately the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court “constitutes court-packing.” Senator Ben Sasse, who was interviewed in the following segment, rightly corrected Coons’ redefinition by stating, “Claiming that court-packing is filling open vacancies that obviously isn’t what court-packing means.” Others, including Senators during the ACB hearings over the past two days, have reminded Democrats of what the actual, historical definition of court-packing truly is: appointing additional justices to the Supreme Court. Not filling vacant seats.

Just yesterday, Senator Claire McCaskill posted a video to Twitter with this caption: “This is a picture of voter suppression. Why do Americans have to wait in lines this long? This is the line in Suwannee Georgia today to vote.” A long line in itself does not constitute “voter suppression.” The definition of “suppress” is: to put an end to the activities of (a person, body of persons, etc.). Voters waiting in long lines to vote simply because a lot of people happened to show up (for early voting at that) does not fit the true definition of suppression. Rather than appealing to reality and truth, this is an appeal to anger and emotion. McCaskill claims that voter suppression is happening. People are angered by her claim. Therefore voter suppression must be happening. Even when it’s not.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Biden Crime Family

 

Rudy Giuliani shared the following text message that supposedly is from Robert “Hunter” Biden to his daughter Naomi:

But I don’t receive any respect and that’s fine I guess. Works for you, apparently. I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years. It’s really hard, but don’t worry, unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump’s Disruptive Foreign Policy

 

The following began its brief life as a comment on another recent post, but after reflection I thought maybe it was cogent enough to stand on its own. On the foreign policy front, I suspect I may be the only one here who has served in Embassies, including during the Trump era. This is what I will say about that.

  1. I’m sure I won’t break any news when I say that most of the foreign policy establishment leans left and is distressed when any Republican is elected but was especially so in 2016. This is not only true of our dear State Department friends but across the entire transnational community of foreign policy elites.
  2. Continuing as Captain Obvious, DJT is a norm-breaker, and the foreign policy community seriously loves it some norms–and resents when they are broken.
  3. Of course, some norms badly needed to be broken. In particular, the national and international foreign policy consensus on China urgently needed to move, and this administration succeeded in catalyzing that movement. The 2017 National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy were masterfully done. They met a critical need to generate a global awakening about the failure of the previous consensus on Beijing, probably best summarized by Robert Zoellick’s 2005 “Responsible Stakeholder” speech. Someone had to end the charade, and it’s worth wondering whether a more conventional administration of either party could have overcome the entrenched consensus to have boldly introduced major-power competition as the new normal–so successfully that even the professionals now agree that we can’t go back to the status quo ante on China.
  4. Israel and the Middle East is the other major area where the foreign policy consensus simply had to be sidelined. I recently spoke to a State Department official who–in the context of a discussion about normalization with the UAE and Bahrain–seethed angrily about how this Administration had trashed 70 years of foreign policy consensus on Palestine. Without irony. Sometimes the conventional wisdom must be firmly rejected.
  5. Getting our allies to finally invest in their own defense is also a plus.
  6. Having said that, we are paying a price for appearing capricious and unnecessarily dismissive of our allies. Sure, they can be difficult, but they remain our allies and we do need to keep them on our side. Those same national security documents make it clear that major-power competition is a team sport, and we have to bring the team along if we’re going to win. And we must win.
  7. Also, the incessantly revolving door of senior officials (especially SecDefs and National Security Advisors) has been extremely disruptive to getting important work done in the international space.
  8. Finally, there’s been a dearth of consistently strong and vocal leadership on our American principles (democracy, rule of law, human rights, etc.), particularly since Nikki Haley stepped down as U.N. Ambassador. Foreign policy requires salesmanship, and ours would benefit from some strength, steadiness, and consistency on these themes.

Bottom line, this administration has served as a corrective to some badly flawed policy. Disruption was absolutely necessary, but at some point should start to give way to stability and focused team-building.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Dog Faces Death: ‘This Is Awesome!’

 

My dog is dying. He has cancer in his shoulder. We’re all very upset. Well, all of us except the dog.

We got Griffin at the pound when he was about three years old or so, we think, so he’s probably about 10 years old now. Or so. He looks like a black Lab, but I think he’s just a mutt. He won’t get near water, and when I throw a ball he gives me this questioning look as if to say, “That was a perfectly good ball. Why did you throw it all the way over there?” I’ve only seen him swim once, and that was when I threw him in our pool (I just wanted to see if he was able to swim). So he looks like a Lab, but I think he’s a mix of heaven knows what. He’s been a great dog. He’s very friendly and social. Everybody loves Griffin.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Alexander Solzhenitsyn on Living in the West

 

From a newly-translated memoir, excerpted in the Wall Street Journal, from his new home in Vermont:

 But the Lord also sustained me in another way, in the fact that, even though living in the West, I did not have to rush from pillar to post to survive, which would have been exhausting and degrading in an alien milieu: I didn’t need to look for money to live on. And so I never took an interest in whether my books would be to the taste of a Western readership, whether they’d “sell.” In the USSR, I’d been accustomed to earning almost nothing but spending almost nothing as well. Alas, in the West, that wasn’t possible, especially with a family.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…

 

…so, naturally, I was afraid! It didn’t even need to be stormy. If it was dark, I was afraid. As you all know, I grew up on a farm in a little mountain valley where I could see every star in the universe once twilight ceased and darkness reigned. Every. Single. Star. I should have been in awe! And, if I was outside with someone else, I certainly could relax and appreciate the limitless view of the heavens.

But, if I was alone in the dark, for whatever reason, inside or outside, all I experienced was a heart-pounding irrational fear. One evening we drove to town to go see a movie. It could have been a Disney cartoon classic or something equally innocuous like “The Parent Trap” or some Doris Day film. It doesn’t matter because also shown was a Woody Woodpecker cartoon that involved a vampire vulture stalking Woody. Naturally, Woody was oblivious to the threat, and every time the vulture just missed getting Woody. But that vulture’s looming face, coming up behind cheerful little Woody Woodpecker really got to me! When we were home, I went to the bathroom to get ready for bed, and THERE WAS THE VAMPIRE VULTURE!! No, seriously, I swear I saw him in the darkness of the window panes over the bathtub. He WAS there. So, from then on, if I went to the bathroom after dark, I had to consciously NOT look at the windows, or I couldn’t even stay in there long enough to brush my teeth.

Got a new piping hot GLoP for you, and we aren’t kidding about the pipe, as that ancient smoking accoutrement is discussed in great detail in today’s show. We also cover C-Span’s Steve Scully’s fall from grace, the media and big tech’s latest in kind contribution to the Biden-Harris campaign, courtesy of Hunter Biden and the New York Post, that time Rob ran into Dick Clark, board games. and why Antonin Scalia was the coolest Supreme Court Justice in history.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Journal of the Plague Year

 

Let’s begin with some winners during this annus horribilis. The guy who repairs broken windows in Portland is making out like a bandit. The makers of plexiglass dividers, masks, and hand sanitizers are rolling in dough. And of course, those who bought stock in Zoom, Netflix, Grubhub, and Amazon are suddenly rich and looking for a second home in Florida.

So while the rest of us can’t wait for this blasted year to be over, there are those who find themselves sitting in the catbird seat and never want it to end.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Mark Kelly: Lost In Space

 

Mark Kelly has returned to earth and is running against Martha McSally for a US Senate seat. There is a lot of money pouring into Arizona, as well as union manpower from California, that have taken up temporary residence in Arizona to participate in his campaign. Union members that are going door to door to extol the virtues of a carpet bagger from Houston to turn Arizona Blue.

I would imagine that these out-of-state efforts are concentrated in Maricopa, and Pima County, containing the cities of Phoenix, and Tucson.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Post of the Week Created with Sketch. Trapped in Fear

 

As I write this essay, I don’t even know if I’m going to post it. I only know my heart is aching and I can’t make the pain go away. It’s one thing to know that Americans are suffering due to their fear of Covid-19 and the propaganda that has been promoted throughout this country; it’s another to see a friend suffering from a fear that she is unwilling or unable to overcome.

I have known this woman for more than ten years. She is a Leftie. We learned a long time ago that there is no point in discussing politics. She is smart and sweet and is a down-to-earth person in so many ways. She developed a wonderful program to help children learn to read by bringing dogs into the learning process. And she’s been a good friend.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump, in My Opinion

 

I think it would help everybody if, we just acknowledged a few things.

1. Trump is an [redacted]. It’s fine, we have a proud American tradition of [redacted] presidents including LBJ and Harry Truman. Sometimes it also allows people to be necessary change agents. Just say it. “Trump is an [redacted].” It’s not a problem.

What’s going on in the White House? Three weeks out from the 2020 election, has President Trump fully recovered from COVID? Does he have a strategy beyond his base? What would a second term hold?

President Donald Trump joined the show to talk about having COVID, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and foreign policy. He also discusses what he hopes to accomplish in a second Trump term, the COVID lockdowns, the economy, and Operation Warp Speed.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Long March through the Ballot

 

Ballot boxIt is always a long march through the ballot in Arizona. This bug is the feature in a Progressive Era state, meaning a state whose constitution was ratified in the late 19th or early 20th Century. Long ballots were supposed to give more direct power over more offices by voters. In practice, we ended up with so many offices and issues that the ballot form is 19 inches long and double-sided. Therein lies a cautionary tale.

Since the ballot is so long, and because a number of the candidates fall below the national or even local political radar, I long ago registered for the Permanent Early Voting List. This means my ballot arrives in the mail approximately 30 days prior to election day. I was determined to vote for every Republican and no Democrat, so all the partisan offices, from Presidential to County Treasurer, were easy. I carefully filled in each appropriate bubble on the scan form ballot. So far, so good.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We Have Always Been At War With COVID-19

 

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother. 1984, George Orwell

The left has won the COVID issue and probably the next election as a result. I am old enough to remember when Nancy Pelosi et al took the counsel of Dr. Fauci and told us that the viral disease the Washington Post had once called the “Chinese flu” in a headline was really no threat. It was all merely a racist, divisive, anti-Chinese stunt by Trump to pretend that the “Wuhan flu” was serious. Well into the apparent upswing of the pandemic Mayor DeBlasio urged maximum attendance at plays and restaurants.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Better Without Us

 

I had a fascinating visit with a patient this morning. He is a retired college professor, and (surprise!) is an extremely vocal Democrat. He brings up politics in all his conversations, regardless of the topic. He reads the New York Times every day, watches CNN all the time, and he complains that many voters are so uninformed. “These people don’t know the truth! They’re not even interested in the truth! But still, they go vote! And of course, they vote Republican. If they opened their minds and put just a little effort into learning the truth, they wouldn’t vote Republican. I can’t believe people like that are even allowed to vote!

Part of his physical exam today was a screening test for Alzheimer’s. As I sat down to give him the results from his test, he sarcastically said, “Did I beat Trump? Ha!” I smiled and said that I wasn’t sure, but I was certain that he scored better than Joe Biden. He looked genuinely surprised and asked if I thought Mr. Biden might be having mental problems. I do not discuss politics at work, and I didn’t want to talk about this. I wanted to talk about his Alzheimer’s test (he got a perfect score). So I changed the subject as fast as I could. But it was obvious that he honestly didn’t know that there was some question of Mr. Biden’s mental functioning. Remember, he reads the New York Times every day and watches CNN all the time. He is dedicated to staying informed about things and commits a lot of time to reading about current events. And he had no idea.