Star Power

This week, we take a bit of break from the politics of the day to delve into the culture a bit with our guest Richard Rushfield, Editor-in-Chief of the indispensable Ankler show business newsletter. We talk Roseanne, Samantha Bee, the Disney/Comcast merger, and yes, even some Solo. Then, our good friend and McRib connoisseur John Yoo stops by to a talk about pardons, special counsels, all of that stuff. Also, peak TV, and Señor Robinson is going to España. Olé.

Music from this week’s episode: Dirty Computer (feat. Brian Wilson) by Janelle Monáe

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There are 39 comments.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster

    Before you complain about tariffs on Mexico, perhaps should read the Wharton Policy report from 2013 on how China is using Mexico to push their steel into the US market. They also dump steel into Canada, which also makes it into the US.

    Says Margaret Myers, director of the China-Latin America program of the Inter-American Dialogue, “In a way, China is a part of NAFTA because China contributes a lot to the goods that wind up” in the United States and Canada.

    • #1
    • June 1, 2018, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Spoiler alert. I watched The Americans and kept watching because I wanted the dumb FBI agent to finally catch them. Of course catching them meant the end of the show. Sat through several seasons of them spying and murdering and getting away with it only to hope for a satisfying resolution, only to see them escape back to Mother Russia!

    • #2
    • June 1, 2018, at 12:46 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. EJHill Podcaster

    Peter’s new passport photo:

    • #3
    • June 1, 2018, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Peter Robinson Founder

    EJ, you’ve surpassed yourself!

    • #4
    • June 1, 2018, at 4:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Max Ledoux Admin

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Before you complain about tariffs on Mexico, perhaps should read the Wharton Policy report from 2013 on how China is using Mexico to push their steel into the US market. They also dump steel into Canada, which also makes it into the US.

    Says Margaret Myers, director of the China-Latin America program of the Inter-American Dialogue, “In a way, China is a part of NAFTA because China contributes a lot to the goods that wind up” in the United States and Canada.

    I hear that dumb people graduate from Wharton. 

    • #5
    • June 1, 2018, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Tariffs aren’t dumb, if it helps your job in metal production — and keeps others like China from monopolizing materials, not products.

    As I have stated before, “China produces (aluminum) about 37 times as much (about 58% of the world’s supply) and Canada about 36 times as much per capita… I think when Obama was elected, the United States had 17 aluminum smelters while China had 34. I think China now has about 121 and the United States (was) down to about 3 1/2 aluminum smelters when Obama (left) office.” (Twice as much for China to about 35 to 40 as much?)

    “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” — Thomas Sowell

    Just because a business sector is devastated away from the media centers of New York and California does not mean that that family and industry devastation did not take place. It’s almost like the abortion debate — just because cameras are not there to show the destruction does not mean that the destruction did not exist.

    • #6
    • June 2, 2018, at 12:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Henry Castaigne Member

    Sorry Cloaked Gaijin I don’t get your point. I think tariffs against Europe, Mexico and Canada with regard to metals are metals are bad because if the metals are as cheap as possible as possible in the U.S. we can build stuff cheaper and sell it. (It isn’t only because of Trump but I am pretty sure manufacturing is on the upswing in America.) Building stuff creates more jobs than mining stuff- ergo, tariffs are bad.

    • #7
    • June 2, 2018, at 12:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. J Ro Member

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    EJ, you’ve surpassed yourself!

    But I think of Peter as more of a Flamenco dancer than a bull fighter. Go for it!

    • #8
    • June 2, 2018, at 12:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Henry Castaigne Member

    J Ro (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    EJ, you’ve surpassed yourself!

    But I think of Peter as more of a Flamenco dancer than a bull fighter. Go for it!

    Old white guys usually aren’t great Flamenco dancers. It’s not a thing ingrained in their culture. Now I am all about equality of opportunity and if Peter can cut a Flamingo strut, all the more power to him. But I don’t think that’s his thing.

    • #9
    • June 2, 2018, at 12:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  10. RufusRJones Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Sorry Cloaked Gaijin I don’t get your point. I think tariffs against Europe, Mexico and Canada with regard to metals are metals are bad because if the metals are as cheap as possible as possible in the U.S. we can build stuff cheaper and sell it. (It isn’t only because of Trump but I am pretty sure manufacturing is on the upswing in America.) Building stuff creates more jobs than mining stuff- ergo, tariffs are bad.

    It would be nice if someone could lead politically on this. It will never happen.

    Prior to modern central banking and all of this stupid centralized government, we would be capitalizing big time on the automation and cheap globalized labor. Better living through purchasing power instead of growing wages.

    Instead, the Fed thinks we have to run with 2% inflation (FYI measuring inflation is just a statist scam anyway), our whole political system, financial system and government requires ever rising home prices, COI inflation, (and now) asset bubbles, because you can’t tax deflation, you can only tax inflation. The government is too big to do it any other way, now.

    Here is where I go blah blah blah about David Stockman and Mises.org.

    • #10
    • June 2, 2018, at 1:11 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. RufusRJones Member

    This will never happen, but what they ought to do is let David Stockman come on this podcast and make his case. If you want to know what I’m talking about, listen to his interviews on the Tom Woods Show and ContraKrugman around September, 2016.

    This is more ambitious, but you could also get a Real Vision pass and watch his interview there too. That one is more historical, but I really think it helps to understand the system we are in now.

    David Stockman, David Horowitz, and Angelo Codevilla are right about everything. Act accordingly.

    • #11
    • June 2, 2018, at 1:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. RufusRJones Member

    The Niskanen Center Republicans and Moralist Rockefeller Republicans and everyone else that hates Trump needs to get it out of their heads that the textbook model of trade right now is realistic. It isn’t. It just creates unmanageable political grief i.e. populism.

    I heard a guy on Bloomberg radio say “of course populism is breaking out all over the planet, we’ve had 10 years of 2% growth”. All of the western central banks and governments are doing everything wrong. The thing that helps us is there are a bunch of things forcing up the dollar. Once Japan and the EMU goes, we’ll go next. China is a wildcard, because it’s a police state.

    • #12
    • June 2, 2018, at 1:37 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. kedavis Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    J Ro (View Comment):

    Peter Robinson (View Comment):

    EJ, you’ve surpassed yourself!

    But I think of Peter as more of a Flamenco dancer than a bull fighter. Go for it!

    Old white guys usually aren’t great Flamenco dancers. It’s not a thing ingrained in their culture. Now I am all about equality of opportunity and if Peter can cut a Flamingo strut, all the more power to him. But I don’t think that’s his thing.

    I think I heard Peter ask “What are these strange words, Flamingo and Flamenco? Are they something to do with that Kanye West thing I’ve heard about, whatever THAT is??

    • #13
    • June 2, 2018, at 2:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    And Solo has dived further, dropping 66% in its second weekend. The thrill is gone and I’ve loved Star Wars, like James, from the start.

    • #14
    • June 2, 2018, at 4:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Blue Yeti Admin

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    And Solo has dived further, dropping 66% in its second weekend. The thrill is gone and I’ve loved Star Wars, like James, from the start.

    Nothing that a good next installment of Star Wars can’t fix. 

    • #15
    • June 2, 2018, at 5:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. kylez Member

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    And Solo has dived further, dropping 66% in its second weekend. The thrill is gone and I’ve loved Star Wars, like James, from the start.

    Strange to me. It is clearly the best SW movie since the 80s (though I haven’t actually seen two of the prequels).

    • #16
    • June 2, 2018, at 9:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. kylez Member

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Spoiler alert. I watched The Americans and kept watching because I wanted the dumb FBI agent to finally catch them. Of course catching them meant the end of the show. Sat through several seasons of them spying and murdering and getting away with it only to hope for a satisfying resolution, only to see them escape back to Mother Russia!

    I’ve had a post about this season here: https://ricochet.com/506500/for-those-watching-the-final-season-of-the-americans/

    • #17
    • June 2, 2018, at 9:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Metals and softwood lumber imports are strange commodities. They produce more jobs in the import nation than the do in the exporter. IF China is willing to subsidize steel and sell below cost, back up the truck and bankrupt them for payouts to the steel mills.


    I think Disney is testing the limits of Serial Movies – like the 1930’s – They’re testing audience acceptance for a star wars movie every year…Even James Bond kept it down to every 2 years – even back in the era when most Americans went to the theater at least once a month.

    • #18
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:41 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. RufusRJones Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    IF China is willing to subsidize steel and sell below cost, back up the truck and bankrupt them for payouts to the steel mills.

    You are right, but how do you lead on this politically and in a comprehensive way? This is issue is a real cluster… now that the Fed and Obama have messed everything up so much.

    • #19
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. WildernessYears Inactive

    While I thought John Yoo’s analysis of why presidential pardons have historically been used was helpful (addressing cases where the punishment was harsh/outrageous or to restore public tranquility after public disruptions like riots), the discussion about Trump’s pardons didn’t go far enough. Why is Trump employing the pardon power so early in his presidency, when as Yoo pointed out, pardons are usually made at the end of a term? And, why is the President using this tool in such a public way for individuals who clearly broke the law (Joe Arpaio, possibly Martha Stewart)?

    As Yoo notes, there are virtually no constitutional limits on the pardon power. What we have here is another situation where the ethical norms that would constrain a president’s use of power (or at least impose a political cost for misuse) are proving ineffectual in the current situation.

    • #20
    • June 3, 2018, at 8:29 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher

    Fundraising idea: whomever bids the highest gets to go to McDonald’s with @johnyoo

    • #21
    • June 3, 2018, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Blue Yeti Admin

    WildernessYears (View Comment):

    While I thought John Yoo’s analysis of why presidential pardons have historically been used was helpful (addressing cases where the punishment was harsh/outrageous or to restore public tranquility after public disruptions like riots), the discussion about Trump’s pardons didn’t go far enough. Why is Trump employing the pardon power so early in his presidency, when as Yoo pointed out, pardons are usually made at the end of a term? And, why is the President using this tool in such a public way for individuals who clearly broke the law (Joe Arpaio, possibly Martha Stewart)?

    As Yoo notes, there are virtually no constitutional limits on the pardon power. What we have here is another situation where the ethical norms that would constrain a president’s use of power (or at least impose a political cost for misuse) are proving ineffectual in the current situation.

    Listen to the most recent Law Talk podcast for a more in depth discussion on pardons:

    https://ricochet.com/podcast/law-talk/craps/

    • #22
    • June 3, 2018, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. SParker Member

    Did you forget the strong component of financial woe in the 82 recession? Latin American debt crisis and failure of the savings and loan business model (hard to survive when long-term mortgages are your only legal business and double-digit inflation reigns). The money center banks were all insolvent. Citibank, in particular, would be a distant memory if the regulators hadn’t prudently looked the other way. Funny thing, Reinhart and Rogoff thought that was worth ignoring, too, in their analysis of financial crises and aftermaths.

    • #23
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Joe D. Lincoln

    The ‘whole being prosecuted for lying to the FBI when you are not under oath’ thing is itself a travesty of justice, and I cannot believe the framers meant for their to be a special type of federal police where you cannot lie to them when you are not under oath.

    If I were President, I’d probably mass pardon people who had been prosecuted because of this outrageous law.

    • #24
    • June 4, 2018, at 7:48 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. RufusRJones Member

    Don’t ever interact with law enforcement unless you are forced to, or there is a clear, obvious upside. If you can stay out of trouble and or keep your conscience clear, don’t even call 911. 

    • #25
    • June 4, 2018, at 7:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    IF China is willing to subsidize steel and sell below cost, back up the truck and bankrupt them for payouts to the steel mills.

    You are right, but how do you lead on this politically and in a comprehensive way? This is issue is a real cluster… now that the Fed and Obama have messed everything up so much.

    You get around this by pointing to all the jobs in construction and automobile parts and assembly. Plus the obvious anti-inflationary benefit to consumers of having their major purchases a little cheaper.

    The problem with the trade debate, is that those who benefit have no clue – but every single loser knows exactly why.

    • #26
    • June 4, 2018, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. RufusRJones Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    IF China is willing to subsidize steel and sell below cost, back up the truck and bankrupt them for payouts to the steel mills.

    You are right, but how do you lead on this politically and in a comprehensive way? This is issue is a real cluster… now that the Fed and Obama have messed everything up so much.

    You get around this by pointing to all the jobs in construction and automobile parts and assembly. Plus the obvious anti-inflationary benefit to consumers of having their major purchases a little cheaper.

    The problem with the trade debate, is that those who benefit have no clue – but every single loser knows exactly why.

    The ultimate issue is, everything people are forced to buy isn’t deflating. Shelter, health insurance, education. The CPI is a comprehensive lie in this sense, too. 

    • #27
    • June 4, 2018, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    IF China is willing to subsidize steel and sell below cost, back up the truck and bankrupt them for payouts to the steel mills.

    You are right, but how do you lead on this politically and in a comprehensive way? This is issue is a real cluster… now that the Fed and Obama have messed everything up so much.

    You get around this by pointing to all the jobs in construction and automobile parts and assembly. Plus the obvious anti-inflationary benefit to consumers of having their major purchases a little cheaper.

    The problem with the trade debate, is that those who benefit have no clue – but every single loser knows exactly why.

    The ultimate issue is, everything people are forced to buy isn’t deflating. Shelter, health insurance, education. The CPI is a comprehensive lie in this sense, too.

    The CPI is a lie in its very construction. They use the concept of “Substitution” to model consumer behavior, who’ll substitute chicken for expensive steak. However this undermines the whole purpose of the CPI, of estimating the changing costs of a stable lifestyle.

    Capitalism – without cronyism and with asset money – would constantly find ways to reduce costs while increasing productivity.

    Candidates for office frequently use the line of “Government must learn to do more with less” as if this would ground breaking technologies. Corporations do this every single day.

    • #28
    • June 4, 2018, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. RufusRJones Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    IF China is willing to subsidize steel and sell below cost, back up the truck and bankrupt them for payouts to the steel mills.

    You are right, but how do you lead on this politically and in a comprehensive way? This is issue is a real cluster… now that the Fed and Obama have messed everything up so much.

    You get around this by pointing to all the jobs in construction and automobile parts and assembly. Plus the obvious anti-inflationary benefit to consumers of having their major purchases a little cheaper.

    The problem with the trade debate, is that those who benefit have no clue – but every single loser knows exactly why.

    The ultimate issue is, everything people are forced to buy isn’t deflating. Shelter, health insurance, education. The CPI is a comprehensive lie in this sense, too.

    The CPI is a lie in its very construction. They use the concept of “Substitution” to model consumer behavior, who’ll substitute chicken for expensive steak. However this undermines the whole purpose of the CPI, of estimating the changing costs of a stable lifestyle.

    Capitalism – without cronyism and with asset money – would constantly find ways to reduce costs while increasing productivity.

    Candidates for office frequently use the line of “Government must learn to do more with less” as if this would ground breaking technologies. Corporations do this every single day.

    I’ve more or less gotten ridiculed for saying this here. 

    The ultimate problem is, there is no such thing as one CPI number. It makes no sense. 

    Inflation arguably was a good thing for some decades of The Republic. Not now. 

    • #29
    • June 4, 2018, at 5:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. kedavis Member

    I’m wondering, do you suppose Channing Dungey would have also cancelled shows like All In The Family? The Jeffersons? Good Times? Would anyone feel able to condemn race-based decisions on HER part?

    • #30
    • June 4, 2018, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • Like
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