Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Impeached? Not So Fast.


Well, well, well! (Or as Homicide Hunter detective Joe Kenda would say: “My, my, my!”)

President Trump has not been impeached. There has been no “mark of Cain” affixed to him after all. That according to law professor Noah Feldman who “testified” at the House Judiciary Committee hearings in support of impeachment. Per Professor Feldman, Trump is not impeached until the Articles are presented to the Senate. So long as Nancy holds on to the Articles in her attempt to … whatever she thinks she is doing … then impeachment remains only a progressive dream as yet unrealized.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Being the Helmsman (Ricochet Sponsor Product Review)


So I decided to listen to the Conservatarians and @exjon mentioned that it was sponsored by Helmsman shave cream. Being a fan of old-school safety razor shaving, I picked up a couple tubes with the discount code (CONSERVE), and figured I’d support the site a bit.

I got the package quickly, and opened it to a handwritten letter and the tubes of shave cream. I was behind on shaving, so I cracked open a tube (after getting rid of the foil seal) and squeezed out a good amount onto a brush, and readied my old Superspeed razor. My impressions:


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #34: Die Hard Christmas


Friends, the ACF brings you Chris Wolfe for Christmas–we talk about Die Hard, the story of an unexpected redeemer coming to deliver us from temptation in winter’s peril. No, really–Chris argues that we should take Sgt. Al Powell as–well, ourselves, the audience, who root for John McClane, but are powerless to do anything ourselves, but yearn to help him–Sgt. Al redeems himself in the course of the movie, as is indeed America redeemed by withstanding the corruption foisted on us by elite institutions that arrogantly remove from us any self-government, all the while exposing us to violence and lawlessness…


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Four Greatest Songs of All Time


Some of the very best people say I have impeccable taste in music. So when I say that these are the best songs of all time, you can take that to the bank.

Folsom Prison Blues. Well, duh! Johnny Cash’s song is terrific in any context, but when he sang it for the inmates at Folsom Prison in 1968, he added another dimension to the song. The back and forth between the prisoners and Cash gives the song a gritty and authentic feel. That “conversation” transformed Folsom Prison Blues from merely great into a pop masterpiece.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Christopher Wray Makes Changes at the FBI—So What?


The reputation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in the tank and I see little reason for optimism for the future. And FBI Director Christopher Wray is only making the situation worse. Following IG Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA abuse, Wray promptly called for sweeping changes of the FBI’s procedures in submitting applications to the FISA court.

Actually, that’s not true. Wray’s proposed changes ensure that nothing much will change, primarily because he hasn’t dealt with the root problems.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Flag Burner Sentenced to 15 Years


A miscreant in Iowa burned a flag and was sentenced to 15 years in jail. American flag burning is protected under free speech rules. His problem was that it was an LGBTQ flag. (Not even a fully inclusive LGBTQIAPK flag, which, G-d forbid might have earned him a life sentence.)

He was convicted of a Hate Crime, which earned him the 15 years. He was also found guilty of harassment and reckless use of fire. The harassment charge was earned because he burned the flag outside a strip club. (The article does not indicate if this was an LGBTQ+ strip club or an ordinary, run-of-the-mill heterosexual strip club.) And he used fire recklessly because he burned the flag, and didn’t have a burn barrel, fire extinguisher, and other safety equipment.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Gender Identity Ideology, Why Aren’t We Listening to the Victims?


While the latest on impeachment continues to dominate headlines, two news items should have our interest before they go the way of the 24-hour cycle.

First, there’s the new episode of “Marvel’s Hero Project”—available on Disney Plus—that celebrates a 12-year-old boy who identifies as a girl and testified before New Jersey’s legislature in favor of a bill mandating an “LBGTQ history” curriculum to be taught throughout the state’s public schools.


Stephen Miller returns for The Conservatarians’ annual Albums of the Year podcast. Stephen hosts his own podcast on Versus Media. and you can follow him on Twitter here. All 10 songs in our “Best of 2019” list are on Spotify.

The intro/outro song of the week is “Bells” by The Vacant Lots. And to listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians this year, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Former US Secretaries of Defense Leon Panetta and Jim Mattis discuss the role freedom and democracy should play in our defense policy. Are American values a strategic asset and if so, how can the United States more effectively utilize our values to compete? How should we approach allies & partners who may not share our principles? To what extent should we seek to promote democratic movements and institutions abroad?


It’s our last podcast for 2019, (but evidently not the last one of the decade) and we do our best to cover the ridiculous and the sublime. For the former, we call upon the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the leading authority on all things impeachment (you should also be listening to his podcast which this week features a fascinating interview with Devin Nunes). We get the skinny on all of the machinations, strategizing, gamesmanship, and a prediction on the longterm effects (spoiler alert: nothing). Also, do not ask Byron about the robo-calling bill Congress just passed, because he doesn’t know a damn thing about it. OK?

Then, a total gear shift as we are joined by Joseph (or if you are friends with him, Jody) Bottum, the author, poet, and all around oracle on all things Christmas (visit his Amazon page and buy a few of his stories, won’t you?). Needless to say, it’s a much deeper and spiritual conversation than the one in the first half of the show.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The State of Play


Merry Christmas!

Oh, nice. You and Gorsuch.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Of Whores and Dogs


Is this title Clickbait? That would be a neat historical twist:

You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deut. 23:18)


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Yeah, I Know. I’m Not That Happy About It Either.


Trump Yard SignI was having breakfast with a friend this morning. He’d never heard of Kevin Clinesmith. “You never heard of Kevin Clinesmith?” … No. “The FBI lawyer in the Horowitz report?” … No. “The guy who doctored the email?” … No. I never heard anything about that.

My friend is not a dumb guy. He’s well educated. He has a professional degree. He listens to the news. He’d never heard of Kevin Clinesmith or anything about the FBI falsifying information for the FISA warrant on Carter Page.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bring ’em Back to Finish the Job


Pelosi jammed through her Articles of Impeachment on a party-line vote, then promptly cut everyone loose for Christmas break. She also threatened to not send the Articles to the Senate. Trump ought to call them back into session to finish the job. No vacay ’til you finish your work…

Constitution says so, in Article 2, Section 3. Doesn’t Impeachment constitute an “extraordinary occasion”?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Don’t Blame the Men, Ladies; Blame the Feminists


This makes me want to cry!

The Wing was supposed to be the ultimate sanctuary for women: decidedly feminine in design, with walls and furniture in shades of millennial pink and a thermometer set at a women’s-clothing-friendly 72 degrees. Conference rooms and telephone booths are named after feminist icons like Anita Hill and fictional literary heroines such as Hermione Granger of “Harry Potter” fame. It offers perks that other co-working spaces can’t match — showers stocked with high-end beauty products and events featuring big names such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Actors on Actors: Learn to Like ’em


Variety has a series on YouTube where they pair actors and have them interview each other. It’s good viewing and the results are sometimes surprising. It does one other thing, I think: shines a light on their professionalism and how serious they are about what they do.

More often than not we view Hollywood with disdain, and it is certainly true that few of the people in these videos would feel politically at home here. None of this is about politics, it’s entertainment; or to them, it’s about craft and art. I enjoyed seeing their commitment to the work.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The FISA Court Finally Speaks


The FISA Court has issued an order in response to being deceived by the FBI, and they have rebuked the FBI for misleading them. That’s nice. I guess that makes it a tad more difficult for Schiff, Comey, et al., to lie about what the FBI did.

THEREFORE, the Court ORDERS that the government shall, no later than January 10, 2020, inform the Court in a sworn written submission of what it has done, and plans to do, to ensure that the statement of facts in each FBI application accurately and completely reflects information possessed by the FBI that is material to any issue presented by the application.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Wokism Cannot Make a Thing Like Christmas


“Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet, Act 2, scene ii


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Queen’s Speech


Cat and Canary
Her Majesty opened the post-election Parliament Thursday morning. On the procession from the Commons to the Lords, Mr. Corbyn and the PM had nary a word to say to each other. But the look on the PM’s face was one of the cat who devoured the canary.

The speech, which is written for the Queen by the majority, dealt mostly with Brexit and the problems of the NHS, which throughout the campaign was alternately described as the “best in the world” and an abomination — often by the same people and in the same sentence. A vote on the government’s Brexit bill, which would rule out an extension and set a final divorce date, is expected to come as early as tomorrow.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Deemed Presented’


There is a lot of discussion about Nancy Pelosi holding up presentment of the Articles of Impeachment as a tactic to …..whatever it is that it “stops.” The Constitution is pretty clear that the House gets to propose and the Senate gets to dispose. It was also made clear that the Senate is both judge and jury in its proceeding to “try” the House indictment.

So, how does the Senate keep from being held hostage by the House? Simply pass a rule that having taken “judicial notice” of the adoption by the House of two Articles of Impeachment on December 18, 2019, which matter was publicly witnessed by the nation at large. The Articles shall be “deemed presented” to the Senate whether or not Her Majesty, Queen Nancy, deigns to formally present it. The Senate will then proceed to calendar it and try the matter per its own rules.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Talking With Our Enemies


Some years ago, a friend of my family named Jerry Parr died. No, it was not Secret Service agent Jerry Parr who helped save Ronald Reagan’s life after an assassination attempt. The Jerry I knew was a Houston painter who had lost his sight and became friends with my father, who visited weekly to read books aloud and to chat.

Jerry had worked in sign painting prior to his blindness. Privately, he exercised great creative talent. Shortly before he died, he gifted this print of one of his paintings to my dad.


Mitch Daniels is the president of Purdue University. Before his current job, he had many others. He was governor of Indiana, for instance. And White House budget director. Before those two jobs, he was chief political adviser to President Reagan. In his office at Purdue, Daniels talks with Jay about higher ed, the federal government, and more. At the end, Jay pumps Daniels for a Reagan story or two – and Daniels comes through with flying colors.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Impeachment as Congressional Contempt of the Constitution


The Framers did not intend the impeachment power to give Congress supremacy, in the form of being able to harass and paralyze the Courts or the president over policy differences, let alone raw political will. Nevertheless, Congress has acted, almost from the beginning, with selective contempt for the Constitution, both legislatively and in its employment of the impeachment power. There is really nothing new under the sun, including what the current majority party in the House of Representatives is doing…and it is still contemptuous of the Constitution.

Take a step back from the current tempest in the Congressional teapot and consider the facts laid out in 1992 by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Grand Inquests: the Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. The Chief Justice published this very approachable book the year that William Jefferson Clinton beat President Bush the First. Taking his book as a guide to the subject and the actors, some focused searching on the internet yields plenty of historical data and documents. Consider just the first major impeachment, along with a prelude, at the dawn of the 19th Century.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump Writes a Pretty Good Letter


Trump’s letter to Pelosi is not without some excessive rhetoric, but at the end of the day, it’s a pretty good summary of the state of affairs. I’d guess someone else actually wrote it, as it is pretty coherent and well organized. But you can pretty much tell where Trump added a few flourishes of his own. I like the closing paragraphs the best:

It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.