In our continuing effort to bring as much ideological balance to the flagship podcast, today we bring you Bill Bennett, host of The Bill Bennett Show (conveniently available right on this site) sitting in the Long Chair®. You’d think that would be enough, that we wouldn’t need to go even further in our quest to feature all sides of the movement. But no! We go even further with this week’s guest: Mr Dilbert himself, Scott Adams. We talk about North Korea, the economy, why President Trump should stay the course, that Google memo, and more.

Music from this week’s podcast: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.

The all new opening sequence for the Ricochet Podcast was composed and produced by James Lileks.

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Another day at the office for @EJHIll.

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Members have made 44 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Chuck Enfield Thatcher

    Killer artwork EJ. Can’t wait to listen.

    • #1
    • August 10, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    • Like3 likes
  2. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    That was fun.

    • #2
    • August 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    • Like2 likes
  3. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    So Trump gets credit for ISIS being rolled back by Iraq and the Kurds? Why not Obama? It was his plan to let them handle it. He gave them the weapons, air support, training, etc. To me it seems like Trump comes in at the end and takes credit not really having done very much different from his predecessor whom he criticized.

    And one more thing…

    Stock market is up. So what? It was up during Obama’s time too. What exactly did Trump do? I have something else we should thank Trump for if this is the case. Thank you President Trump. The Sun came up today keep up the good work.

    • #3
    • August 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm
    • Like5 likes
  4. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Great art! Fantastic. Even though I suppose I’m Wally.

    • #4
    • August 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm
    • Like9 likes
  5. Profile photo of Wolverine Coolidge

    Anyone want to guess which conservative who has written controversial books that Bill has defended, will no longer will talk rob Bennett for next 4 years? I am going to guess Charles Murray.

    • #5
    • August 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    • Like3 likes
  6. Profile photo of Don Tillman Member

    Awesome getting Scott Adams on the podcast!

    (Or as they call him on The_Donald, the “based cartoon merchant”.)

    • #6
    • August 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm
    • Like2 likes
  7. Profile photo of Don Tillman Member

    • #7
    • August 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm
    • Like6 likes
  8. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So Trump gets credit for ISIS being rolled back by Iraq and the Kurds? Why not Obama? It was his plan to let them handle it. He gave them the weapons, air support, training, etc. To me it seems like Trump comes in at the end and takes credit not really having done very much different from his predecessor whom he criticized.

    And one more thing…

    Stock market is up. So what? It was up during Obama’s time too. What exactly did Trump do? I have something else we should thank Trump for if this is the case. Thank you President Trump. The Sun came up today keep up the good work.

    Obama opposed the surge. Obama took forces out of Iraq with no forces agreement, and the place went to hell. Now you want to throw him a cookie for “credit” by giving weapons to the Iraqis and Kurds, something his administration only very, very reluctantly managed to agree to?

    Well. That’s like giving a guy credit for putting out a fire he just dumped gasoline on.

    • #8
    • August 10, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    • Like12 likes
  9. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Chris Campion (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So Trump gets credit for ISIS being rolled back by Iraq and the Kurds? Why not Obama? It was his plan to let them handle it. He gave them the weapons, air support, training, etc. To me it seems like Trump comes in at the end and takes credit not really having done very much different from his predecessor whom he criticized.

    And one more thing…

    Stock market is up. So what? It was up during Obama’s time too. What exactly did Trump do? I have something else we should thank Trump for if this is the case. Thank you President Trump. The Sun came up today keep up the good work.

    Obama opposed the surge. Obama took forces out of Iraq with no forces agreement, and the place went to hell. Now you want to throw him a cookie for “credit” by giving weapons to the Iraqis and Kurds, something his administration only very, very reluctantly managed to agree to?

    Well. That’s like giving a guy credit for putting out a fire he just dumped gasoline on.

    So instead you give credit to the guy who comes after him? My question is why does Trump get credit? What did he do against ISIS that Obama wasn’t doing on January 19th?

    • #9
    • August 10, 2017 at 7:51 pm
    • Like2 likes
  10. Profile photo of profdlp Coolidge

    James, I am praying that your prayers will be answered – and soon.

    • #10
    • August 10, 2017 at 9:24 pm
    • Like3 likes
  11. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So instead you give credit to the guy who comes after him? My question is why does Trump get credit? What did he do against ISIS that Obama wasn’t doing on January 19th?

    I don’t know, and it’s a good question – but did Obama strike you as the sort of fellow who said “weapons free, disproportional retaliation. Kill the lot and take the town”? Trump does not strike me as someone keen to put restraints on the military so he can get good PR at the UN for being Proportional and Measured.

    • #11
    • August 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm
    • Like12 likes
  12. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    profdlp (View Comment):
    James, I am praying that your prayers will be answered – and soon.

    Thanks, Pro. Today’s podcast was a needed respite from the toll and toil. I was serious about four hours of sleep, and I was on my second pot of coffee for the show.

    Don’t want to hijack the thread – there was so much in the show to discuss here – but lileks.com/bleats has the story. Lost dog, day six.

    It was a joy to work with Bill and a delight to talk to Scott Adams.

    • #12
    • August 10, 2017 at 9:34 pm
    • Like10 likes
  13. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Great art! Fantastic. Even though I suppose I’m Wally.

    No, you look to be very specifically James Lileks, right down to the chin. As for saying you aren’t Presidential material, never forget Jemmy Madison.

    • #13
    • August 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm
    • Like4 likes
  14. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    Funny how Bill Bennett wondered if he’s the only philosophy Ph.D. who supported Trump. I often wonder if I’m the only history Ph.D. who did so.

    • #14
    • August 11, 2017 at 12:19 am
    • Like11 likes
  15. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Funny how Bill Bennett wondered if he’s the only philosophy Ph.D. who supported Trump. I often wonder if I’m the only history Ph.D. who did so.

    Don’t forget VDH.

    • #15
    • August 11, 2017 at 2:10 am
    • Like6 likes
  16. Profile photo of Chuck Enfield Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):
    As for saying you aren’t Presidential material, never forget Jemmy Madison.

    You may be thinking of Oscar Madison.

    Or Billy?

    • #16
    • August 11, 2017 at 3:28 am
    • LikeLike
  17. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Chris Campion (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    So Trump gets credit for ISIS being rolled back by Iraq and the Kurds? Why not Obama? It was his plan to let them handle it. He gave them the weapons, air support, training, etc. To me it seems like Trump comes in at the end and takes credit not really having done very much different from his predecessor whom he criticized.

    And one more thing…

    Stock market is up. So what? It was up during Obama’s time too. What exactly did Trump do? I have something else we should thank Trump for if this is the case. Thank you President Trump. The Sun came up today keep up the good work.

    Obama opposed the surge. Obama took forces out of Iraq with no forces agreement, and the place went to hell. Now you want to throw him a cookie for “credit” by giving weapons to the Iraqis and Kurds, something his administration only very, very reluctantly managed to agree to?

    Well. That’s like giving a guy credit for putting out a fire he just dumped gasoline on.

    So instead you give credit to the guy who comes after him? My question is why does Trump get credit? What did he do against ISIS that Obama wasn’t doing on January 19th?

    First, I didn’t give credit to anybody. Secondly, at the very least, Trump speaks to and acts in accordance with something I would describe (roughly) as huevos, which our last president clearly lacked.

    As for ISIS, I repeat the above. Barry bailed on Iraq, no status of forces agreement, which allowed ISIS to grow in power. He opposed the surge when he was a Senator which was critical to creating a stable Iraq. At every turn, he’s waffled, hedged, caved, or retreated – his victories, however small, were either gained by reversing a prior policy, or finally doing the one thing everyone, everyone wanted to do, reluctantly, in case there was political blowback.

    Like bin Laden.

    But, anyway, I repeat myself. Sounds like you’re ready to credit Barry with whatever good outcomes occur, much like his administration did, in saying a peaceful Iraq would be that administration’s greatest achievement – when things were going well, and they started following the policy set forth by the prior administration, and not their own.

    • #17
    • August 11, 2017 at 4:21 am
    • Like4 likes
  18. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    But, anyway, I repeat myself. Sounds like you’re ready to credit Barry with whatever good outcomes occur,

    No, that’s not what he said. He said, essentially, that Trump has only been in office for about eight months, and these operations began before that. Nothing more.

    • #18
    • August 11, 2017 at 4:49 am
    • Like3 likes
  19. Profile photo of Majestyk Thatcher

    After listening to Adams on a bunch of different platforms, what continually strikes me is that he is incredibly slippery and doesn’t answer any questions without reframing it first.

    He spent two hours not answering direct, fair questions that were put to him by Sam Harris about the topic of Trump. He is right about viewing different movies at some level though: it’s merely a question of who is creating and who is accepting the alternate reality that is being produced.

    Some people are viewing the movie through glasses that allow them to transmute fumbling incompetence as masterful dominance of a game that only some people know exists. If you need to have it explained to you that what appears one thing is actually another, very different thing by an expert, you should be suspicious.

    I’m suspicious of Mr. Adams’ constantly shifting assertions regarding Trump. We’ve gone from “Trump is 98% going to win” to “I’m supporting Hillary for my own personal safety” to “Trump’s bombastic statements create contrast” to “Trump needed to get 5% of people to move to him” – none of which fits within the paradigm of “Trump is a master persuader.” Who, exactly, is getting persuaded by this? People who he already had in his corner?

    The simpler answer is that Trump is chaos, and in this case the Trumpnado going through the trailer park miraculously assembled a jet. It’s an event that can probably never happen again.

    • #19
    • August 11, 2017 at 6:04 am
    • Like6 likes
  20. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Chris Campion (View Comment):
    But, anyway, I repeat myself. Sounds like you’re ready to credit Barry with whatever good outcomes occur, much like his administration did, in saying a peaceful Iraq would be that administration’s greatest achievement – when things were going well, and they started following the policy set forth by the prior administration, and not their own.

    Isn’t Obama’s taking credit for a peaceful Iraq in 2012 exactly the same as what Trump is getting credit for now? I have on this site given Obama no end of grief about his poor decisions in Iraq, and I have also criticized his pussyfooting around on ISIS as well. All the time I am told to ignore what Trump says and pay attention to what he does. Well in this case what he did was follow through on Obama’s policy. And regardless of what Obama said about ISIS (and much of it was stupid and needlessly timid) what he did in the end achieve his stated goals. Did it not? Is ISIS not degraded and destroyed? If we wan’t to criticize Obama maybe it should be that he could have sped the process up some, or done more to avoid the whole things. All of those I think are fair criticisms. But none of that answers the question of what Trump has done to deserve credit for this other than “sounding tough”. But then again as I mentioned I thought we were not supposed to judge him by what he says.

    • #20
    • August 11, 2017 at 6:39 am
    • Like1 like
  21. Profile photo of JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Yet another telling me that Trump is playing 3D chess. I don’t think so but I suppose if he achieves 3% growth and keeps unemployment low and doesn’t kill a lot more Americans in a war … it won’t matter. Maybe the Founders did such a good job that we can survive Trump and Obama. I sure hope so.

    • #21
    • August 11, 2017 at 7:26 am
    • Like3 likes
  22. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):
    As for saying you aren’t Presidential material, never forget Jemmy Madison.

    You may be thinking of Oscar Madison.

    Or Billy?

    No, Jemmy was the short one. Shortest President ever. Had small hands, too. And small feet. Like Little Marco.

    • #22
    • August 11, 2017 at 8:10 am
    • Like2 likes
  23. Profile photo of GLDIII Reagan

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Great art! Fantastic. Even though I suppose I’m Wally.

    As a Dweeby Engineer, I have been either Dilbert or “the Wally” all my life, suck it up James.

    • #23
    • August 11, 2017 at 9:31 am
    • Like3 likes
  24. Profile photo of Nick Baldock Member

    I enjoyed the podcast, but why were the guys so incredulous at the thought that Google wouldn’t hire Pope Francis? OF COURSE Google wouldn’t hire the Pope. Google (and I suppose most of its employees) firmly believe that it is morally and ethically superior to, if not His Holiness, the Church of which he is head.

    • #24
    • August 11, 2017 at 10:07 am
    • Like3 likes
  25. Profile photo of Nancy Spalding Thatcher

    As a Political Science PhD, I supported Trump (no bumper sticker, don’t want my car keyed), I know one other in my university, and probably one other elsewhere (and a History PhD at my school), but most avowed Republican or conservative faculty here I know are adamant that they did not support, and did not vote for, President Trump.

    the “style” seems to be a deal breaker with most…

    • #25
    • August 11, 2017 at 10:20 am
    • Like3 likes
  26. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    I’m suspicious of Mr. Adams’ constantly shifting assertions regarding Trump. We’ve gone from “Trump is 98% going to win” to “I’m supporting Hillary for my own personal safety” to “Trump’s bombastic statements create contrast” to “Trump needed to get 5% of people to move to him” – none of which fits within the paradigm of “Trump is a master persuader.” Who, exactly, is getting persuaded by this? People who he already had in his corner?

    Agreed. The “Master Persuader” has approximately a 40% approval rating (and that’s the high end.) That’s a lot of people not being persuaded.

    • #26
    • August 11, 2017 at 10:42 am
    • Like1 like
  27. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Nancy Spalding (View Comment):
    As a Political Science PhD, I supported Trump (no bumper sticker, don’t want my car keyed), I know one other in my university, and probably one other elsewhere (and a History PhD at my school), but most avowed Republican or conservative faculty here I know are adamant that they did not support, and did not vote for, President Trump.

    the “style” seems to be a deal breaker with most…

    By style don’t you mean character? But, hey if character doesn’t matter anymore why were we ever so against Bill Clinton? Based on his legislative successes he was one of the Greatest Republican’s ever.

    • #27
    • August 11, 2017 at 11:02 am
    • Like3 likes
  28. Profile photo of Annefy Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Majestyk (View Comment):
    I’m suspicious of Mr. Adams’ constantly shifting assertions regarding Trump. We’ve gone from “Trump is 98% going to win” to “I’m supporting Hillary for my own personal safety” to “Trump’s bombastic statements create contrast” to “Trump needed to get 5% of people to move to him” – none of which fits within the paradigm of “Trump is a master persuader.” Who, exactly, is getting persuaded by this? People who he already had in his corner?

    Agreed. The “Master Persuader” has approximately a 40% approval rating (and that’s the high end.) That’s a lot of people not being persuaded

    as Scott Adams explained in the podcast, 5% is usually enough.

    • #28
    • August 11, 2017 at 11:13 am
    • Like1 like
  29. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Annefy (View Comment):
    as Scott Adams explained in the podcast, 5% is usually enough.

    Indeed, so long as it’s the right 5%.

    • #29
    • August 11, 2017 at 11:18 am
    • Like1 like
  30. Profile photo of Nancy Spalding Thatcher

    @Valiuth I agree about character; I sure wouldn’t let him near my daughter! (like Bill…) Not a fan of many aspects of Trump’s character; I kinda like Andrew Kalvan: vote the “psycho,” who might really might be a psych, or the “gangster” who we know is a gangster… he was my 17th preference, but I knew what we would get with Clinton (45), and wasn’t sure that the nation could absorb the damage.

    Obama’s character was also deficient, but issues of sexual morality, which seems to be what we mean these days, don’t seem to be a failing of his. (As C.S.Lewis said, it is worse to be a pharisee than a prostitute, but of course better to be neither)

    Clinton’s legislative successes were in a more center right country, when middle America seemed consistent, he had to deal with issues of crime (for example) rather than simply renaming them, and he was backed into them by an activist Republican congress. he was capable of triangulating; Obama didn’t want/need to, and HRC is probably not capable.

    • #30
    • August 11, 2017 at 11:22 am
    • Like7 likes
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