Another busy week with much to talk about and to help out we’ve got (along with @jongabriel sitting in for Rob Long) the great Yuval Levin and Adam Carolla. Yuval schools us on the rumors that the President will fire Robert Mueller and the black box that is the Congressional Budget Office, and Adam stops by to talk about his upcoming film the Dennis Prager (they’re raising money to underwrite it — donate here). Also, 30 years ago this week, Peter Robinson jotted down a few words for Ronald Reagan. We get some of the backstory in this very podcast. You don’t want to miss that.

Music from this week’s podcast: Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads

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

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Members have made 27 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    James, you’re doing yourself no favors with the constant sarcasm and negativity. It doesn’t even matter that you’re right. It’s too wearing to listen to for an hour.

    • #1
    • June 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm
    • Like2 likes
  2. Profile photo of Spiral Coolidge

    Great podcast. During the discussion with Yuval Levin I kept waiting to learn everyone’s opinion on the legislative filibuster.

    When will the Republicans have 60 US Senators? Do we have to wait that long before any of the Republican party’s campaign promises can be fulfilled?

    • #2
    • June 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm
    • LikeLike
  3. Profile photo of BD1 Member
    BD1

    Mike Lee’s ideas come from Yuval Levin. It’s not surprising that Levin thinks those ideas are great.

    • #3
    • June 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm
    • LikeLike
  4. Profile photo of Valiuth Member

    Peter, with respect to your analogy about Kennedy ordering the end of the FBI investigation into MLK. The essence of abuse of power is that you do something nominally legal for ulterior and self serving motives. MLK wasn’t a close associate of JFK nor was it plausible that an investigation into MLK could have led to criminal charges against JFK or other of his political associates. Would it be obstruction of Justice if JFK had quashed an investigation into his father’s dealing with organized crime? By the MLK logic you set out, no, because it is within the President’s power. But one would look more suspicious than the other. Is there probable cause to assume Trump might have acted in bad faith with respect to the Russian investigation and Mike Flynn?

    • #4
    • June 16, 2017 at 12:53 am
    • LikeLike
  5. Profile photo of Chris Member

    Spiral (View Comment):
    ….

    When will the Republicans have 60 US Senators? Do we have to wait that long before any of the Republican party’s campaign promises can be fulfilled?

    This is the feeling one gets these days, isn’t it? Like @exjon I’m no expert but I understood from Civics and School House Rock that our system was made to have people compromising and creating legislation together rather than needing supermajorities. Thanks to Nancy and Harry creating the ACA via institutional arcana our system now seems literally broken.

    • #5
    • June 16, 2017 at 5:21 am
    • Like2 likes
  6. Profile photo of Scott Abel Member

    Thanks for the bumper music. I needed a little Talking Heads today.

    • #6
    • June 16, 2017 at 7:41 am
    • Like1 like
  7. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Is there probable cause to assume Trump might have acted in bad faith with respect to the Russian investigation and Mike Flynn? [LW edit.]

    This is the rub, isn’t it. I have no idea if there’s probable cause, as all I’ve heard are assertions (but I could be way wrong). I get the sense from your comment, Valiuth, that you think there is probable cause to assume bad faith. If so, please let me know your thinking because this issue has been a real point of confusion for me, ethically as well as legally. BTW, in case it doesn’t come across, this is a sincere question.

    • #7
    • June 16, 2017 at 9:26 am
    • Like1 like
  8. Profile photo of Leslie Watkins Member

    Scott Abel (View Comment):
    Thanks for the bumper music. I needed a little Talking Heads today.

    I really enjoyed it too, especially the off-key singing.

    • #8
    • June 16, 2017 at 9:27 am
    • LikeLike
  9. Profile photo of Miffed White Male Member

    Spiral (View Comment):
    When will the Republicans have 60 US Senators? Do we have to wait that long before any of the Republican party’s campaign promises can be fulfilled?

    If they had 60 Senators, they’ll find some other reason for not getting anything done.

    I honestly believe this crew could have 90 US senators, 400 Reps, 8 of 9 Supreme Court justices and Abraham-Freakin’-Lincoln in the White House and they still would find some reason to not pass the program they promised during the campaign.

    • #9
    • June 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm
    • Like7 likes
  10. Profile photo of Spiral Coolidge

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Spiral (View Comment):
    When will the Republicans have 60 US Senators? Do we have to wait that long before any of the Republican party’s campaign promises can be fulfilled?

    If they had 60 Senators, they’ll find some other reason for not getting anything done.

    I honestly believe this crew could have 90 US senators, 400 Reps, 8 of 9 Supreme Court justices and Abraham-Freakin’-Lincoln in the White House and they still would find some reason to not pass the program they promised during the campaign.

    It’s like Thomas Sowell said many years ago:

    When the Democrats are in power, politics moves to the Left. When the Republicans are in power, politics moves more slowly to the Left.

    It’s frustrating.

    • #10
    • June 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm
    • Like5 likes
  11. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    James, you’re doing yourself no favors with the constant sarcasm and negativity. It doesn’t even matter that you’re right. It’s too wearing to listen to for an hour.

    Sorry,@arahant but pox-on-both-your-houses snark is a common byproduct of NeverTrumpism. For proof I offer Kevin and Charlie, GLoP and the trio from Commentary podcast.

    Once the NTs decide that being non-aligned now makes as much sense as it did during the Cold War, both the sarcasm and the negativity will disappear.

    We’re waiting.

    • #11
    • June 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm
    • LikeLike
  12. Profile photo of Arahant Member

    Freesmith (View Comment):
    For proof I offer Kevin and Charlie, GLoP and the trio from Commentary podcast.

    I only still listen to one of those, and at times it gets difficult.

    • #12
    • June 16, 2017 at 5:58 pm
    • LikeLike
  13. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    Peter, if the liberal left believes that intemperate language and the “climate of violence” is an element in causing actual violence – and the liberal left does – what then does the constant hate-filled and violently image-laden language of the MSM and the Democratic voter base mean?

    • #13
    • June 16, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    • LikeLike
  14. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    @spiral9399

    “It’s like Thomas Sowell said many years ago:
    When the Democrats are in power, politics moves to the Left. When the Republicans are in power, politics moves more slowly to the Left.
    It’s frustrating.”

    It’s more than merely frustrating. It is revealing of an underlying, tacit consensus in our politics and among our ruling classes.

    Another graphic piece of evidence is the virtually unanimous opposition they show to a true outsider, by which I mean someone who questions the bi-partisan consensus and, as a fillip, acts in a way totally outside the approved presentation of command.

    Obama claimed the mantle of change – “fundamental transformation” – but his presentation, which members of the ruling classes themselves praised (the crease in his pants, clean, well-spoken, without a Negro dialect, a man with the correct elite educational pedigree) marked him as comfortably elite.

    Trump, a true change agent, led a outsider coalition which won. All of Washington, New York, Los Angeles and the commanding heights understand his threat, hate him accordingly and want him dispatched.

    That is what these times are about.

    • #14
    • June 16, 2017 at 6:40 pm
    • Like3 likes
  15. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    I notice that Yuval Levin didn’t talk about the prevalence of nostalgia in our politics during his short discussion with the boys. The topic was such a big deal with him a year or two ago.

    Speaking of nostalgia, I miss watching a Wonder Woman whose skimpy outfit was in glorious red, white and blue.

    • #15
    • June 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm
    • Like1 like
  16. Profile photo of Spiral Coolidge

    Freesmith (View Comment):
    @spiral9399

    “It’s like Thomas Sowell said many years ago:
    When the Democrats are in power, politics moves to the Left. When the Republicans are in power, politics moves more slowly to the Left.
    It’s frustrating.”

    It’s more than merely frustrating. It is revealing of an underlying, tacit consensus in our politics and among our ruling classes.

    As you mentioned, there is a tacit consensus not just among our ruling classes, but among the voters too.

    I have talked to many voters who say, “Why does the state government always cut education when they have budget problems?”

    If this person is a gun owner and a Christian, he/she is a Republican. If this person is non-religious, he/she is a Democrat.

    But their views on many government spending issues are the same: government must do more!

    This explains why Trump was able to win the GOP nomination despite praising single payer health care in the 1st presidential debate. It also explains why there is very little fear in the hearts of Republican congressmen who are opposed to actually repealing and replacing Obamacare.

    People who support reducing government spending on entitlement programs, cutting spending on farm subsidies and cutting the food stamp program are a minority in both parties, unfortunately.

    • #16
    • June 16, 2017 at 6:58 pm
    • LikeLike
  17. Profile photo of James Lileks Contributor

    Freesmith (View Comment):
    Sorry,@arahant but pox-on-both-your-houses snark is a common byproduct of NeverTrumpism. For proof I offer Kevin and Charlie, GLoP and the trio from Commentary podcast.

    Once the NTs decide that being non-aligned now makes as much sense as it did during the Cold War, both the sarcasm and the negativity will disappear.

    I’m not not-aligned. Not approving of Trump is not the same as not wanting big chunks of the conservative agenda to get enacted.

    • #17
    • June 16, 2017 at 8:45 pm
    • Like4 likes
  18. Profile photo of La Tapada Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Freesmith (View Comment):
    Sorry,@arahant but pox-on-both-your-houses snark is a common byproduct of NeverTrumpism. For proof I offer Kevin and Charlie, GLoP and the trio from Commentary podcast.

    Once the NTs decide that being non-aligned now makes as much sense as it did during the Cold War, both the sarcasm and the negativity will disappear.

    I’m not not-aligned. Not approving of Trump is not the same as not wanting big chunks of the conservative agenda to get enacted.

    I have stopped listening to Kevin and Charlie’s podcast because I find it too negative (although I continue to read their articles). I don’t listen to the Commentary podcast because I find Podhoretz too negative by himself. But I very much appreciate the viewpoints and conversation of Goldberg and Long and @jameslileks, particularly James’ because he expresses many of my own thoughts but in such fun, creative language.

    • #18
    • June 17, 2017 at 8:14 am
    • LikeLike
  19. Profile photo of Bishop Wash Member

    La Tapada (View Comment):
    I don’t listen to the Commentary podcast because I find Podhoretz too negative by himself.

    Yeah. A few weeks ago, I thought that Trump had a good week with no own goals, silly tweets, etc. and accomplished some positive things. The Commentary podcast was still able to find something negative about the week and was there to be a wet blanket lest anyone start feeling good about the Trump administration. They did praise the good things that happened, but made sure to find something negative.

    • #19
    • June 17, 2017 at 8:43 am
    • Like2 likes
  20. Profile photo of Bishop Wash Member

    Getting around to listening to the podcast this weekend. I’m wondering if James’ line that having an IDF soldier as Wonder Woman must really gall (Gal) the Left was intentional or an insight into his mind’s workings and why his segues are so beautiful.

    • #20
    • June 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm
    • Like2 likes
  21. Profile photo of Scott Abel Member

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    La Tapada (View Comment):
    I don’t listen to the Commentary podcast because I find Podhoretz too negative by himself.

    Yeah. A few weeks ago, I thought that Trump had a good week with no own goals, silly tweets, etc. and accomplished some positive things. The Commentary podcast was still able to find something negative about the week and was there to be a wet blanket lest anyone start feeling good about the Trump administration. They did praise the good things that happened, but made sure to find something negative.

    I love Podhoretz; I will listen to any podcast that he’s on. He’s funny and engaging. And for his “negativity”, well … I keep my head on a swivel.

    • #21
    • June 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    • Like1 like
  22. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    Interesting discussion of the budget. Well worth listening to. I never go anywhere in the car without being loaded up with podcasts from Ricochet and Econ Talk. Commentary group is getting tiresome however. They bring balance and we need that, but they seem to accept the media narratives about Trump. I think they don’t get out of the NY media environment often enough. They pull stuff out of their heads rather than doing any real analysis and most of the stuff in their heads comes from osmosis of living where they do. Thats a waste of some really good brains.

    • #22
    • June 19, 2017 at 5:04 am
    • Like3 likes
  23. Profile photo of Fresch Fisch Member

    Look who James Lilek’s favorite store just invested in? @jameslileks

    http://www.startribune.com/target-s-investment-in-mattress-maker-casper-surprises-some-analysts/429782213/

    • #23
    • June 21, 2017 at 6:23 am
    • LikeLike
  24. Profile photo of La Tapada Member

    Fresch Fisch (View Comment):
    Look who James Lilek’s favorite store just invested in? @jameslileks

    http://www.startribune.com/target-s-investment-in-mattress-maker-casper-surprises-some-analysts/429782213/

    I thought his favorite store was Penneys.

    • #24
    • June 21, 2017 at 6:44 am
    • LikeLike
  25. Profile photo of milkchaser Member

    “Lubricating the entire system.”

    Well, I imagine I would prefer lubrication if they are going to keep screwing me to fund earmarks.

    • #25
    • July 1, 2017 at 9:46 am
    • Like1 like
  26. Profile photo of milkchaser Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    I never go anywhere in the car without being loaded up with podcasts from Ricochet and Econ Talk. Commentary group is getting tiresome however.

    Completely agree with EconTalk (dot org). Russ Roberts is an excellent interviewer. He seems to practice the adage, “Seek more to understand than to be understood.” He states his bias forthrightly, then asks his guest to try to convince him otherwise. He’s very fair. I notice that ricochet carries podcasts from a variety of sources. Perhaps they could carry EconTalk as well.

    Also agree about Commentary. I have stopped listening to the dour sisters. They need at least one person to offer the occasional silver lining. They do not seem to be willing to admit the obvious: That 99% of the people would not be interested in what they think or write, mostly because most of the 99% are not smart enough to follow. And that also explains, for instance, how Trump could get so many more votes than his ultra-articulate opponents Rubio and Cruz.

    • #26
    • July 1, 2017 at 9:53 am
    • LikeLike
  27. Profile photo of milkchaser Member

    Scott Abel (View Comment): Podhoretz; I will listen to any podcast that he’s on. He’s funny and engaging. And for his “negativity”, well … I keep my head on a swivel.

    He can be funny, which is why the dearth of humor on the Commentary podcast is disappointing.

    • #27
    • July 1, 2017 at 9:55 am
    • Like1 like