The Policy, Not the Mouth

On this episode of The Big Show® we take you back to last night’s 74th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner where Rob offers a first hand report. The guest of honor was former Defense Secretary (and Marine Corps legend) James Mattis and, of course, the main topic in the hall was the current situation in Syria with Turkey and the Kurds. (The General’s full remarks can be watched on the Fox News Facebook page.)

Then it’s off to the City by the Bay with Heather Mac Donald, where she recounts buying fentanyl on the streets and how a great American city has fallen hostage to its homeless population.

To wrap things we cover the current state of the 2020 race for the White House, including Elizabeth Warren’s “zinger” on gay marriage.

Music from this week’s show: I Left My Heart in San Francisco by (Who else?) Tony Bennett.

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There are 89 comments.

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  1. Jager Member

    Not quite what you asked for; Trump supporters who are willing to criticize Trump’s Syria policy.

    Here are people who dislike Trump, and even think he was wrong in Syria, who don’t think he was completely wrong. They lay out all problems in Syria and with our relationship to the Kurds that are brought up in this discussion. 

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/18/trump-syria-turkey-kurds-news-analysis-229858

    • #1
    • October 18, 2019, at 1:54 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Scott Wilmot Member

    “Dolan is a politician”. What a terrible indictment of the cardinal archbishop. He needs to ditch the politics and start being a shepherd.

    ”The politicians have stiffed him”. That’s what happens when you behave like a politician. He lets them get away with it.

    • #2
    • October 18, 2019, at 2:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Arahant Member

    Is that a picture of Rob or Andy Rooney?

    • #3
    • October 18, 2019, at 2:30 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Jdetente Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Is that a picture of Rob or Andy Rooney?

    Jiminy Glick

    • #4
    • October 18, 2019, at 2:32 PM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Arahant Member

    Jdetente (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Is that a picture of Rob or Andy Rooney?

    Jiminy Glick

    No, that’s unkind. But really, look at this:

    • #5
    • October 18, 2019, at 2:37 PM PST
    • Like
  6. DonG Coolidge

    The troops sent to Saudi Arabia are not foot soldiers, they are missile defense teams. Their job is to defend against remote (drone) attacks by Iran. The mission is complete, when the Saudi’s buy a bunch of hardware and are trained up.

     

    About the Trump letter. It is written for public consumption. The audience is Americans that don’t follow the news. It is an explainer and can be used to justify future sanctions.

     

    If we could rewind back to before the Syrian civil war, say 2006, would that be an acceptable situation? It is to me and anything that Trump does to move towards that works for me.

    • #6
    • October 18, 2019, at 2:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Peter – “the State Department is not happy with the PKK” – yup, not happy as in they are officially declared a terrorist group…by the State Department. The Syrian Kurds that are doing the fighting are the YPG that is closely associated with the PKK. Both groups are Maoist Communists and the major (nearly the only) export of the part of Syria that the YPG is dominant is and has been Opium (Heroin). They are fundamentalist Muslim and strongly favor Sharia Law. NOT good people. Then again neither are the Turks, but at least we have a mutual defense treaty (Turkey is a NATO member) and not with the Kurds (YPG _ Terrorists). It is worth noting that the US is still strongly supporting the Iraqi Kurds (actual allies against Saddam and then against ISIS in Iraq) and we have an embassy or mission or whatever there. 

    • #7
    • October 18, 2019, at 3:03 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    The mouth makes the policy.

    • #8
    • October 18, 2019, at 3:36 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Jdetente Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Jdetente (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Is that a picture of Rob or Andy Rooney?

    Jiminy Glick

    No, that’s unkind. But really, look at this:

    No. The real Jiminy Glick! None other than the master himself, Martin Short at bottom left. All jokes aside….that Rob selfie does look strikingly like Andy Rooney. Uncanny.

    • #9
    • October 18, 2019, at 4:11 PM PST
    • 1 like
  10. ericB Listener

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    They are fundamentalist Muslim and strongly favor Sharia Law. NOT good people.

    Regarding the SDF and their Autonomous Administration, this is false. The situation is quite the opposite.

    “Since 2014, an island of religious freedom has risen in the Middle East. I mean Northeast Syria. Its Autonomous Administration grew up in the wake of Assad’s forces fleeing in 2013.

    “Kurds, Arabs, Syrian Christians, Yazidis and other minorities all worked together for once. They built from the ground up a free and fair government. It embraces multi-ethnic governance, freedom of religion and equality and freedom for women.” (here)

    They have churches of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity. That would be a capital crime under Sharia Law. The contrast with Islamist Turkey is stark.

    “This January, in Afrin, after the last Turkish invasion, they hunted down Christian converts from Islam door to door, to impose the sharia penalty. That is, death.” Turkey is An Islamist Aggressor.

    The region that the SDF defended actually created the reality that people had hoped Iraq would become. They have been an exemplary beacon of the idea of implementing principles of liberty, including the western idea of religious liberty, and mutual coexistence among a mixed population. This is nothing like favoring Sharia Law. On the contrary, it has been the best example around in that region.

    If that beacon becomes snuffed out because of “loose cannon” Trump’s impulsive and immoral abuse of power, that will be a travesty.

    • #10
    • October 18, 2019, at 4:41 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. kedavis Member

    I have a hard time grasping this… fetish?… about “plans.” Joe Biden has and has had lots of Plans. Bad ones. The popular wit/wisdom is that Biden has been Wrong about EVERYTHING – particularly foreign policy – for at least 40 years. But he’s got Plans so that makes it okay, or at least makes him “respectable” and the military wouldn’t be nervous about him? Elizabeth Warren might have even more, and even worse, Plans. Nobody seems to care about their quality. Heck, Charles Manson had Plans. How did THAT turn out?

    • #11
    • October 18, 2019, at 5:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Peter Robinson Founder

    DonG (View Comment):

    The troops sent to Saudi Arabia are not foot soldiers, they are missile defense teams. Their job is to defend against remote (drone) attacks by Iran. The mission is complete, when the Saudi’s buy a bunch of hardware and are trained up.

    Thanks for this info. There is indeed a difference between infantry on the ground and missile defense teams.

    • #12
    • October 18, 2019, at 5:31 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. kedavis Member

    Heather Mac Donald does the math to show that San Francisco spends about $50,00 per year on each homeless person, which is bad enough, but I wonder if she’s ever figured out how much that “affordable housing” actually costs? Like, per unit. In Phoenix they spend enough to buy at least 3 houses, for each “affordable” apartment they build. And even their “affordable” figure is a joke. To them, “affordable” seems to mean anything below the market average of about $1800 per month! Which is bananas!

    • #13
    • October 18, 2019, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. kedavis Member

    I think Rob misunderstood the “I assume that was a guy” part of Elizabeth Warren’s comment. That would be just to set up the “Then marry just one woman!” part. Which to someone with the attitude she was addressing, would be required. If it had been – if she assumed it was – a woman, her response would need to be “Then marry just one man!” Without the specific/caveat, she might be saying that whoever asked her that should be willing to have a same-sex marriage.

    • #14
    • October 18, 2019, at 6:13 PM PST
    • Like
  15. kedavis Member

    What Heather Mac Donald was saying about what you can say about especially big-city/inner-city deaths, was that those thousands of blacks and Hispanics don’t just “die.” They are killed, by other blacks and Hispanics. And THAT is what you/they/journalists are not allowed to “reveal.”

    • #15
    • October 18, 2019, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. kedavis Member

    Sorry, Peter. But it’s not 50% of people, or even 50% of Ricochet members. It’s 50% OF THOSE WHO DID THE POLL. And since it was possible to select more than one option, even that figure isn’t really accurate. It’s entirely possible that some poll-takers selected BOTH of those options you mentioned. i.e., 25% of poll-takers could have selected both options, and it’s incorrect to add them together to get 50%.

    • #16
    • October 18, 2019, at 6:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. ericB Listener

    Starting around 3:00, I much appreciated the @peterrobinson comments about the Syria situation. They were (almost entirely) spot on.

    1. I’ve practiced and recommended focusing on the actions or policy (which had been generally at or above my expectations until now), rather than Trump’s language. Trump uses superlatives (he’s the most overrated, she’s the worst, the greatest, biggest ever, etc.) like breathing, but they convey emotion and attitude, not real information.
    2. [The Syria pullout] “is one where the policy was wrong. …” I agree that what loose-cannon Trump did was pragmatically and morally wrong. My quibble would be that it didn’t even rise to the level of a “policy”. It was an impulse. The most revealing part of the episode was the description of the anxiety of our forces about Trump’s impulsive use of authority. @roblong “There’s no evidence that this was thought through. … There’s still food in the refrigerators there.” etc. They “left in a hurry” on his sudden impulse.
    3. “There were other ways of handling the situation.” Exactly.

    Trump’s impulsive misuse of his authority facilitated and enabled Erdogan’s desire for international ethnic cleansing. Allies who defeated ISIS were attacked by Turkey, the enabling purchaser of ISIS oil. That maladministration from reckless impulse merits impeachment and removal. He shouldn’t be holding that kind of authority and Congress has a duty and the Constitutional authority “to address truly egregious instances of maladministration” such as impulsively enabling international ethnic cleansing.

    • #17
    • October 18, 2019, at 6:25 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. MISTER BITCOIN Coolidge

    Victor Hanson said it best:

    Turkey is our ally not our friend.

    The Kurds are our friend but not our ally.

    This is the conundrum.

     

    • #18
    • October 18, 2019, at 6:46 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. kedavis Member

    ericB (View Comment):

    Trump’s impulsive misuse of his authority facilitated and enabled Erdogan’s desire for international ethnic cleansing. Allies who defeated ISIS were attacked by Turkey, the enabling purchaser of ISIS oil. That maladministration from reckless impulse merits impeachment and removal. He shouldn’t be holding that kind of authority and Congress has a duty and the Constitutional authority “to address truly egregious instances of maladministration” such as impulsively enabling international ethnic cleansing.

    You mean like when Obama pulled out of Iraq and chaos ensued?

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Get back to me when you’ve gone back in time and impeached and removed Obama from office for all of HIS disasters. Just for one example.

    • #19
    • October 18, 2019, at 7:00 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. EDISONPARKS Member

    Jdetente (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Is that a picture of Rob or Andy Rooney?

    Jiminy Glick

    Image result for jiminy glick

    • #20
    • October 18, 2019, at 7:19 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. ericB Listener

    kedavis (View Comment):

    You mean like when Obama pulled out of Iraq and chaos ensued?

    I’ve said it before…

    If you’re asking whether the Obama administration was guilty of misuse of power relevant to impeachment and removal, the answer is certainly “yes” (and it goes far beyond the disaster of his pullout). As I’ve said before, see Andy McCarthy on that topic.

    If you’re implying that the unwillingness of Democrats to consider impeachment of Obama somehow means Trump does not merit impeachment and removal, that clearly doesn’t follow.

    Is it fair that Republicans were willing to consider impeaching and removing Nixon, but Democrats were unwilling to remove Clinton (despite guilt) or impeach Obama? Of course it isn’t “fair”. But I haven’t heard any good “the Democrats should be our Constitutional or moral models” argument.

    Do you think that impulsively using Commander-in-Chief authority to enable international ethnic cleansing might possibly be at least as serious as something like trying to cover up a Watergate burglary?

    Suppose someone takes the “pragmatic” view that anything that leads toward Republican victory is “good” by definition. Even that utilitarian defense fails. Trump now carries the albatross of this disastrous impulsive misuse of power. He is his own worst enemy as a candidate. He will try (and fail) to justify his decision. Voters who would consider either candidate will see his irrationality, know he should not hold that power, and vote Democrat. His actions will doom him.

    • #21
    • October 18, 2019, at 7:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. EJHill Podcaster

    @peterrobinson Thank you for the kind words (as always.) I don’t consider myself as a Trump supporter as much as a supporter of Trump supporters. Most of my opinion on the subject of the Middle East (which I have published here) is not derived from politics but the personal – as the son of a man who served and as the father of a son who is serving.

    • #22
    • October 18, 2019, at 7:57 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. ericB Listener

    ericB (View Comment):
    Trump now carries the albatross of this disastrous impulsive misuse of power.

    p.s. The core issue is not the number of people who die. Presidents in times of war may preside over a great many deaths during their administration.

    Trump is doomed because of what this impulsive decision shows about his lack of fitness for the position of the most powerful man on the planet. He will dig his own grave by trying to tell the world it was a “great” decision, it was “perfect”. Everyone who sees plainly that it was not “great” will realize why it is not appropriate to have his hand on the trigger or the button.

    Excluding those who will vote for one party or the other no matter what, those who would consider voting either way will flee from voting for Trump. He needs to go.

    • #23
    • October 18, 2019, at 8:03 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. kedavis Member

    ericB (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    If you’re asking whether the Obama administration was guilty of misuse of power relevant to impeachment and removal, the answer is certainly “yes” (and it goes far beyond the disaster of his pullout). As I’ve said before, see Andy McCarthy on that topic.

    If you’re implying that the unwillingness of Democrats to consider impeachment of Obama somehow means Trump does not merit impeachment and removal, that clearly doesn’t follow.

    Is it fair that Republicans were willing to consider impeaching and removing Nixon, but Democrats were unwilling to remove Clinton (despite guilt) or impeach Obama? Of course it isn’t “fair”. But I haven’t heard any good “the Democrats should be our Constitutional or moral models” argument.

    Suppose someone takes the “pragmatic” view that anything that leads toward Republican victory is “good” by definition. Even that utilitarian defense fails. Trump now carries the albatross of this disastrous impulsive misuse of power. He is his own worst enemy as a candidate. He will try (and fail) to justify his decision. Voters who would consider either candidate will see his irrationality, know he should not hold that power, and vote Democrat. His actions will doom him.

    Even so, it would be mostly Democrat votes to remove Trump.

    No Unilateral Disarmament.

    Anyone who thinks they’d get better results from any of the Democrats, especially Warren, “needs their head examined.”

    Or would it satisfy you if they did the same thing, but “planned?”

    • #24
    • October 18, 2019, at 8:18 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. kedavis Member

    ericB (View Comment):

    ericB (View Comment):
    Trump now carries the albatross of this disastrous impulsive misuse of power.

    p.s. The core issue is not the number of people who die. Presidents in times of war may preside over a great many deaths during their administration.

    Trump is doomed because of what this impulsive decision shows about his lack of fitness for the position of the most powerful man on the planet. He will dig his own grave by trying to tell the world it was a “great” decision, it was “perfect”. Everyone who sees plainly that it was not “great” will realize why it is not appropriate to have his hand on the trigger or the button.

    Excluding those who will vote for one party or the other no matter what, those who would consider voting either way will flee from voting for Trump. He needs to go.

    You’re welcome to convince me that any of the Democrat candidates would do better. But don’t hold your breath. And if such disasters were good grounds for impeachment/removal, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama should have gone first.

    No Unilateral Disarmament.

    And then if Trump is removed, and Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden or whoever is elected next year, and does the same or worse, will there be another “impeach and remove!” cry and movement? Of course not.

    No Unilateral Disarmament.

    • #25
    • October 18, 2019, at 8:20 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. SParker Member

    Sadly, this seems like the appropriate outro.

     

    (Word detectives will find a super-secret etymological clue embedded in this comment! Solution will require a discography and the online Merriam-Webster dictionary.)

    • #26
    • October 18, 2019, at 9:57 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. RufusRJones Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    ericB (View Comment):

    Trump’s impulsive misuse of his authority facilitated and enabled Erdogan’s desire for international ethnic cleansing. Allies who defeated ISIS were attacked by Turkey, the enabling purchaser of ISIS oil. That maladministration from reckless impulse merits impeachment and removal. He shouldn’t be holding that kind of authority and Congress has a duty and the Constitutional authority “to address truly egregious instances of maladministration” such as impulsively enabling international ethnic cleansing.

    You mean like when Obama pulled out of Iraq and chaos ensued?

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Get back to me when you’ve gone back in time and impeached and removed Obama from office for all of HIS disasters. Just for one example.

    Instead of invading Iraq, we should have just built a freeway from Tehran to southern Lebanon. 

    • #27
    • October 18, 2019, at 11:25 PM PST
    • Like
  28. Arahant Member

    Jdetente (View Comment):
    No. The real Jiminy Glick! None other than the master himself, Martin Short at bottom left.

    Gotcha. But given what you were replying to, it didn’t make sense.

    • #28
    • October 18, 2019, at 11:45 PM PST
    • Like
  29. kedavis Member

    And I suspect that the number of homeless in San Francisco is greatly underestimated. But even if it’s double the “official” figure, and they’re spending “only” $25,000 per year each, it’s still crazy.

    • #29
    • October 19, 2019, at 12:03 AM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Wolfsheim Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Sorry, Peter. But it’s not 50% of people, or even 50% of Ricochet members. It’s 50% OF THOSE WHO DID THE POLL. And since it was possible to select more than one option, even that figure isn’t really accurate. It’s entirely possible that some poll-takers selected BOTH of those options you mentioned. i.e., 25% of poll-takers could have selected both options, and it’s incorrect to add them together to get 50%.

    I agree. I didn’t choose any of the options, because none described my situation–and I said so in the comments.

    If one is a member of the “intellectual classes”–and a conservative–one is likely to be confronted with in-your-face “progressives,” who assume that everyone around them is part of the herd. I have no qualms about (politely) surprising them. But the usual response is more or less: “Gasp! I need to flee to my safe space! Please, please, stop it!” But I say all of this as one who does not live in the United States. 

     

     

    • #30
    • October 19, 2019, at 6:03 AM PST
    • 1 like
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