Question Time!

Ricochet Founders® Peter Robinson and Rob Long take your questions (after they chat about current events for a few minutes).

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with the great queries. We’ll do this again in a few months. Happy end of summer!

Music from this week’s podcast:  I’m Still Here by Follies (New Broadway Cast Recording)

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There are 81 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member

    Good show, Gents. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next one to get my questions answered.

    • #1
    • September 2, 2017, at 1:55 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Larry Koler Inactive

    Thanks for choosing my question. I should have added this introduction:

    “We know that George Will had president-elect Barack Obama over for dinner with much media gushing and fanfare. We also know that Will did not treat Donald Trump in the same manner.”

    Then on to my question.

    But, I was glad to see my poorly thought out question answered in the way it was — I’m much encouraged by very interesting answers from both of you. Thanks.

    • #2
    • September 2, 2017, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Scott Wilmot Member

    @peterrobinson,

    while bbq’ing and listening to the flagship podcast just now I felt a touch of pride to hear that you were at Benedictine this past week. My youngest son is a senior there and my wife and I love the school and feel that Benedictine has been good for him. I wish I had known you were going to be there – I would have alerted my son. Any chance they invited you to be commencement speaker for this year’s class?

    • #3
    • September 2, 2017, at 2:55 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. David March Thatcher

    My father often asks me when I visit what Im listening to these days. I tell him I listen to Ricochet. Whats that he asks.

    Its like NPR for conservatives.

    • #4
    • September 2, 2017, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt BartleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think the Ricochet store should sell a file we could use in a 3-D printer to create that new, improved Mt. Rushmore. I want one on my desk.

    • #5
    • September 2, 2017, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Peter Robinson Founder

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    @peterrobinson,

    while bbq’ing and listening to the flagship podcast just now I felt a touch of pride to hear that you were at Benedictine this past week. My youngest son is a senior there and my wife and I love the school and feel that Benedictine has been good for him. I wish I had known you were going to be there – I would have alerted my son. Any chance they invited you to be commencement speaker for this year’s class?

    Benedictine College is a jewel–a jewel. The undergraduates are bright and poised and utterly unjaded, instead bursting with faith and idealism. Congratulations to your son–and to the parents who raised him!

    • #6
    • September 2, 2017, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. patpongmike Inactive

    The BIG story this week is second quarter GDP growth adjusted upward to 3%. And you missed it! Unbelievable (unless you mention in the last 5 minutes. I ran short on time after 1:20 of two old West Coast ladies rambling on, and on)! Simply unbelievable! I’ve been a member for 8+ years and I am out of here in 3 days. good bye.

    • #7
    • September 2, 2017, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Blue Yeti Admin

    For the record, Rob is on the east coast and has been for almost two years.

    • #8
    • September 2, 2017, at 7:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Arahant Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    For the record, Rob is on the east coast and has been for almost two years.

    Are you not disputing that he’s an old lady, though? :D

    • #9
    • September 2, 2017, at 7:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Henry Castaigne Member

    @peterrobinson

    What an incredibly lovely description of the soul. It’s amazing how similar your experience is to this Ethiopian guy I know and his experience with the death of his loved ones.

    • #10
    • September 2, 2017, at 11:42 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. patpongmike Inactive

    Like I said, I’m not going to pay for this garbage.

    • #11
    • September 2, 2017, at 11:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Henry Castaigne Member

    patpongmike (View Comment):
    Like I said, I’m not going to pay for this garbage.

    Fine. Your loss.

    • #12
    • September 2, 2017, at 11:55 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    patpongmike

    Like I said, I’m not going to pay for this garbage.

    Wow, if you think this is garbage, would you mind if I sort through your trash cans?

    • #13
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:32 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  14. RufusRJones Member

    patpongmike (View Comment):
    The BIG story this week is second quarter GDP growth adjusted upward to 3%.

    I wouldn’t get excited unless it’s for more than three months.

    Also, can the Fed normalize interest rates without everything falling apart? No. Trump and the GOP are going to take the fall. The ACA will continue it’s Cloward and Piven driven march to Full Socialism.

    • #14
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. RufusRJones Member

    All journalists are statists. They believe in big political personalities and “experts” from the Ivy League pushing everything around to advance civilization. They can’t believe this crap doesn’t work. So they effectively lie and generally support all Democrat cultural marxism tactics. If we had a Mises-ian utopia there would be nothing for them to write about.

    • #15
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:32 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. RufusRJones Member

    Rob said: “Degrade the discourse.” I completely agree with this analysis. Trump is here to put a big fat monkey wrench dead center in the gears of Critical Theory. All of that comity etc. etc. just serves moving the Overton Window to the left.

    • #16
    • September 3, 2017, at 2:50 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Than you @roblong and @peterrobinson for taking my question. I am in the middle of a hard won victory or loss, and both of your words helped.

    • #17
    • September 3, 2017, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well – my day has been made. Maybe even my month. They chose my question to close the podcast. THE podcast. Thx @roblong and @peterrobinson.

    I found it encouraging that Peter & Rob want to become an NPR for conservative-center/right folks. I have often posited the need for a more congenial tone in conservative broadcasting.

    It would be great if Ricochet’s audio offerings were repackaged into smaller bites, as Rob hopes for. I listen to the radio very rarely. And when I do – it is for brief periods, driving around town. An hour+ podcast doesn’t work in those situations. Similarly, it would be fun to be able to “tune in” (on an app, probably) any time of the day and get a 5 minute broadcast that offers a bit of news and a story or two that makes me smarter.

    As much as I loathe Garrison Keillor, his Writer’s Almanac is a pretty good model.

    But for now – I shall spend the rest of the day resting on my laurels, basking in the afterglow of being mentioned on THE Ricochet podcast.

    Ahhhhhhhh.

    • #18
    • September 3, 2017, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. The_Admin() Admin

    Songwriter (View Comment):
    Well – my day has been made. Maybe even my month. They chose my question to close the podcast. THE podcast. Thx @roblong and @peterrobinson.

    I found it encouraging that Peter & Rob want to become an NPR for conservative-center/right folks. I have often posited the need for a more congenial tone in conservative broadcasting.

    It would be great if Ricochet’s audio offerings were repackaged into smaller bites, as Rob hopes for. I listen to the radio very rarely. And when I do – it is for brief periods, driving around town. An hour+ podcast doesn’t work in those situations. Similarly, it would be fun to be able to “tune in” (on an app, probably) any time of the day and get a 5 minute broadcast that offers a bit of news and a story or two that makes me smarter.

    As much as I loathe Garrison Keillor, his Writer’s Almanac is a pretty good model.

    But for now – I shall spend the rest of the day resting on my laurels, basking in the afterglow of being mentioned on THE Ricochet podcast.

    Ahhhhhhhh.

    Do listen to Three Martini Lunch? It’s usually between 10-20 minutes long. Comes out Monday-Friday. We also just launched Michael in the Morning, which is a little bit longer but is a morning news round-up. There’s also the Daily Standard and Examining Politics podcasts.

    • #19
    • September 3, 2017, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. filmklassik Member

    Sorry, Peter, but shameless hypocrisy on the part of anyone (whether on the Left or the Right) who starts petitioning for something they had previously opposed because now that something benefits them — must be called out, and condemned, early and often.

    To chalk up this sort of behavior as simply “politics as usual” is to let those jerks off the hook.

    If a politician hopes to do a U-turn like that and still retain my attention (since, being a politician, he never had my respect), he must draw a clear distinction between the thing he was opposing and the thing he now wants. Otherwise he is calling me a fool — practically to my face — because he expects me to have forgotten his previous stance.

    • #20
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Odysseus Inactive

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks again for another excellent podcast.

    On your point about how US party politics is distinctive from party politics in other countries in that US elected party officials are much more free to vote their conscience, I think you may be overstating the case when you say that a member of the UK parliament would be expelled from their party for defying the whip in a given vote in the House. There are numerous cases of MPs who routinely defy their party in votes of all sorts, the most obvious example being Jeremy Corbyn, who came to prominence in his party for doing precisely that.

    Broadly speaking, there are different levels of sanction for MPs who go against their party, with expulsion being the last and most severe, and quite rare (and it wouldn’t happen based on voting record). MPs who vote the wrong way are firstly sacked from any ministerial post they may hold, but this rarely happens because they would resign first (e.g., in the EU referendum rebellion of 2011 in which some 80 Conservatives voted against the government and a couple of ministers, including a friend of mine, honourably resigned).

    The second level of sanction is to “remove the whip”, i.e. expel MPs from the Parliamentary Party (not the same as the national party), which does not prevent them standing as an MP for their party unless the third level of sanction comes in, in which their local Association would deselect them as a parliamentary candidate (thus preventing them from standing for that seat as their party’s candidate). This happened to a few MPs in the expenses scandal, but it’s not an edict from on high, merely a local association matter; though pressure can of course be brought to bear from on high. (I might note in passing that the friend I mentioned above was once threatened with deselection, but not because of any vote in the house, merely because he’s a curmudgeonly sort who really annoyed the association chairman — in that sense it’s not really a “third level of sanction”, but something that can happen to anyone who irritates the local association. However, Corbyn is trying to bring in “mandatory reselection” from on high as a means to get rid of moderate Labour MPs in time for the next election.)

    If the MP in question is really, really dreadful then they can be expelled from the party; but since I am still a member of the Conservative Party one can infer that the infraction would have to be utterly heinous. Offences might include standing against an official party candidate (e.g., here) or, in the case of Mark Clarke, effectively destroying the Conservative Party youth wing in one fell swoop (see here). The latter probably had a lot to do with our failure to gain an overall majority at the last election, which should give an idea of what it takes to get expelled these days.

    • #21
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Odysseus Inactive

    P.S. I was intrigued at Rob’s hint that Ricochet might go international one day. I would be very happy to see a “Ricochet UK” set up at some point.

    • #22
    • September 3, 2017, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. DHMorgan Coolidge

    Odysseus (View Comment):
    P.S. I was intrigued at Rob’s hint that Ricochet might go international one day. I would be very happy to see a “Ricochet UK” set up at some point.

    …with Daniel Hannan as one of the hosts!

    • #23
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Odysseus Inactive

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    …with Daniel Hannan as one of the hosts!

    If only! Unfortunately, he’s said he wants to leave politics when his term as an MEP runs out in 2019 to become a teacher. So he probably won’t stand for a Westminster seat in 2022, or try to get in at a by-election. On the other hand, maybe his teaching could be via podcast, etc. Who knows? But he’s possibly a 21st century Cincinnatus. Bless him whatever.

    • #24
    • September 3, 2017, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Sorry, I can't take this … Inactive

    Lovely insight on your parents’ deaths, Peter. That alone made this podcast worth listening to, for me.

    • #25
    • September 3, 2017, at 3:43 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Sorry, I can't take this … Inactive

    I’d like to add that the sole reason I subscribed to Ricochet is the podcasts. I didn’t post or read articles for a long time after joining. Podcasts fill a need for me–I listen while driving, cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, yard work, etc. When I’m not at my job (where I can’t really concentrate on words other than the ones I’m editing), I’m usually working physically at something that doesn’t allow me to read. If I want to learn during those periods, I have to listen. Otherwise, I just end up talking to myself, and that leads no place good.

    • #26
    • September 3, 2017, at 4:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Peter Robinson Founder

    Odysseus (View Comment):
    Hi Peter,

    Thanks again for another excellent podcast.

    On your point about how US party politics is distinctive from party politics in other countries in that US elected party officials are much more free to vote their conscience, I think you may be overstating the case when you say that a member of the UK parliament would be expelled from their party for defying the whip in a given vote in the House….

    Thanks for the explanation, Odysseus–the different levels of sanctions and the various protocols for imposing them in British political parties are much more elaborate than I’d understood. All this bolsters my point: whereas political parties elsewhere in the world possess all kinds of tools to employ in disciplining their members, American political parties possess…none. Members of the Tory and Labour parties my find themselves expelled only very rarely. Members of the Republican and Democratic parties are never expelled–and no mechanism even exists that would make such expulsions possible.

    • #27
    • September 3, 2017, at 4:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Great podcast.

    A couple of points I would dispute – I think the TEA Party started in 2007, to protest Bush and TARP bailout of big banks. The TEA Party was already a year old (If not more) before Obama was even sworn in.

    Party discipline in a parliamentary democracy is not a good thing. Case in point is Canada’s GST. at the time this tax was proposed and being debated in parliament, opinion polls showed that 97% of the public opposed it. In the next election (1993) the Progressive Conservative Party which had imposed this tax (using strict party discipline forcing their members to vote for it) lost 154 seats. The Reform Party of Canada gained 51 seats and was only 3 seats shy of being the official opposition. (The Reform Party is the ideological home/foundation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper)

    While you may find it difficult to get things done with a 219 member caucus – each looking out for their own electoral futures. The results are far more democratic than in a parliamentary democracy.

    • #28
    • September 3, 2017, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    Odysseus (View Comment):
    Hi Peter,

    Thanks again for another excellent podcast.

    On your point about how US party politics is distinctive from party politics in other countries in that US elected party officials are much more free to vote their conscience, I think you may be overstating the case when you say that a member of the UK parliament would be expelled from their party for defying the whip in a given vote in the House….

    Thanks for the explanation, Odysseus–the different levels of sanctions and the various protocols for imposing them in British political parties are much more elaborate than I’d understood. All this bolsters my point: whereas political parties elsewhere in the world possess all kinds of tools to employ in disciplining their members, American political parties possess…none. Members of the Tory and Labour parties my find themselves expelled only very rarely. Members of the Republican and Democratic parties are never expelled–and no mechanism even exists that would make such expulsions possible.

    Yes there is – the Primary elections – if a congressman or senator poorly represents the interests of his constituents he can be challenged and tossed out of office. In Canada no such mechanism exists for the rank and file to get rid of a candidate they despise.

    • #29
    • September 3, 2017, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. Odysseus Inactive

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):
    All this bolsters my point: whereas political parties elsewhere in the world possess all kinds of tools to employ in disciplining their members, American political parties possess…none. Members of the Tory and Labour parties my find themselves expelled only very rarely. Members of the Republican and Democratic parties are never expelled–and no mechanism even exists that would make such expulsions possible.

    Yes, I agree. This may be due to the primary process, which is bottom-up and not top-down. In other words, whilst party candidates may be (in British parlance) “deselected”, this is a decision for the wider party (or even the general public, in an open primary) and not something that can be imposed from above. I suppose it’s quite surprising that even in a republic with such an entrenched two-party system that long-term senators do still feel beholden to their state, not to the party hierarchy.

    However, you state this in the podcast as though it were a bad thing. But believe me, the dangers of party orthodoxy are far, far worse than what you have in the Colonies.

    • #30
    • September 3, 2017, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like