The President of The Midwest

This week on the pioneering social distanced produced podcast (we are all at least several hundred miles apart), we of course talk about the virus that went viral. And fair warning: there is some criticism of the President in this show. We also call on our old friend, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, who in an alternate universe, is probably enjoying his second term as President of the United States. P.S. you should read Andy Ferguson’s terrific profile of him in The Atlantic.We talk to him about the virus (natch), how he’s keeping tuition at Purdue under $10K, and the challenges of running a large community in this day and age. Then, the 4th Ricochet Podcaster (as he’s now known), John Yoo stops by to talk about the legalities of governments taking over hotels and medical facilities to treat coronavirus patients. Finally, more talk about life in the Age of Corona and James gives some tips on buying toilet paper.

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  1. GlennAmurgis Coolidge

    If only we had President Daniels –

    • #1
    • March 13, 2020, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. EDISONPARKS Member
    EDISONPARKSJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    If only we had President Daniels –

    If Daniels ever ran for President the (D)/MSM/Culture Machine would have chewed him up and spit him out to the point where consumers of MSM/Modern Culture would believe (R) Presidential candidate Mitch Daniels was just another Trumpy, racist, misogynist, islamophobe, homophobe, etc. caricature of an (R) running against the MSM/Culture Machine’s chosen (D) candidate.

    • #2
    • March 13, 2020, at 1:59 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon Edison,

    I agree that Daniels would have been treated like Romney, McCain and all the rest and he would have replied to the media assertions with the same ineffective defense. I have three immediate family members who are graduates of Purdue, no complaints there, but he chose not the step into the arena. The arena for Republicans entering the presidential race is rough, you and your family will be trashed, Trump entered, Daniels chose not to. I takes certain tough folks to enter and unlike most, Trump fights back and in doing so has exposed the corrupt heart of the media, unlike any other politician.

    • #3
    • March 13, 2020, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Afternoon Edison,

    I agree that Daniels would have been treated like Romney, McCain and all the rest and he would have replied to the media assertions with the same ineffective defense. I have three immediate family members who are graduates of Purdue, no complaints there, but he chose not the step into the arena. The arena for Republicans entering the presidential race is rough, you and your family will be trashed, Trump entered, Daniels chose not to. I takes certain tough folks to enter and unlike most, Trump fights back and in doing so has exposed the corrupt heart of the media, unlike any other politician.

    Trump is not fighting back against the virus at all well though. And Trump is not the only Republican who would fight against the Dems and the media. That is simply what he is selling and you are buying. We need someone like Daniels or Jindal. But I guess they don’t insult people or throw one hell of a rally. 

    I have thought that Trump was done many times. Maybe this time he is done. But, who knows. 

    Biden will be worse. Trump should announce he has the virus and step down. But he is way too selfish to do that.

    • #4
    • March 13, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Mitch Daniels would make a great president. He’s too nice too get elected. I think Trump has drawn the roadmap of how a republican needs to run against the media to win an election. The problem is that others who have tried to carry it out have destroyed themselves. (thinking Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio during the primaries going negative against Trump) When they go negative, they have todo it in a way fitting to their personality – if they try to take on Trumps brashness, it just comes off as disingenuous, and they lose credibility.

    Trump, for all his faults, is the most genuine president the US has ever had.

    How about a Nikki Haley – Mitch Daniels ticket in 24? Youth and dynamism after the elderly presidential candidates of 20. (Haley, will be 52 in 2024)

    • #5
    • March 13, 2020, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Jim Beck Member

    Afternoon Julia,

    I understand that the style of communication that Daniels and Jindal use is what we have imagined was most appropriate for those in the highest office. However, I think that current media and govt corruption requires a different type of communication. At 72, I have seen the media lie to us about the country in which we live, it is as if they hold our country and us in disdain, and I think they do. Think on “hands up don’t shoot” Travon’s killer, the “white Hispanic”, we have been told repeatedly the because of the racism that saturates our society, our justice system targets blacks to kill and imprison them, and that racism has been at the core of our country and its citizens hearts from the beginning. Who has been seeking that narrative, the media. They wallow in highlighting anything that can be presented as injustice. This is nothing new, we were told that blacks were killed in Nam at higher rates, and that our soldiers were as barbaric as Gingus Khan, and that the war couldn’t be won and we were there only to build up the military industrial complex, I should go on back through WWII to the Scopes trial if needed. No president in my lifetime has directly attacked the media so successfully as Trump. The term “fake news” will not disappear and if the media isn’t our enemy, could you tell me what our media likes about our country, free speech perhaps? Not only has the media been the equivalent of our enemies propaganda but it been woven into the Democrat establishment, and no other president has exposed this inbred nature better than Trump. It wasn’t Trump who made China the producer of 80% of our drugs, but on the contrary it was Trump who explicitly suggested that companies leave China. Which other president said anything like that, W, Obama?

    We could go on about how Daniels would have been, but he, when the opportunity was there chose not to run. We have become spun up about the Wuhan virus, one wonders how my parents did not die of anxiety over polio, whooping cough, measles, and no cures for heart disease or cancer, poor us. The media loves victims, if only Hillary had been presidents we would have had 20 million test kits, right?

    • #6
    • March 13, 2020, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

     

    We could go on about how Daniels would have been, but he, when the opportunity was there chose not to run. We have become spun up about the Wuhan virus, one wonders how my parents did not die of anxiety over polio, whooping cough, measles, and no cures for heart disease or cancer, poor us. The media loves victims, if only Hillary had been presidents we would have had 20 million test kits, right?

    No Hillary is criminally incompetent. We will see how spun up we are. Trump took a big gamble by playing it down for way too long. Now he is back pedaling. Trump is not the right man for the Presidency. Neither is Obama, Hillary, Biden or (God forbid) Bernie. You need charisma to run for President. Daniels doesn’t have any. I don’t think Trump does either and find his support baffling. 

     This may all blow over but Trump is damaged. He’s been damaged before and many stay loyal. Let’s see if enough do. And for God’s sake let’s please find a GOP candidate who battles the Dems and the media and also has some idea of how to conduct himself like a decent human being.

     

     

    • #7
    • March 13, 2020, at 4:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    How about a Nikki Haley – Mitch Daniels ticket in 24? Youth and dynamism after the elderly presidential candidates of 20. (Haley, will be 52 in 2024)

    Yes please! I just wish it could be in 2020.

    • #8
    • March 13, 2020, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. DudleyDoright49 Coolidge

    James, speaking of the influenza pandemic of 1919, it did start in Kansas, Haskell County more exactly. It started in an army training camp. the army then shipped sick soldiers to France. 

    I lived in Sublette, the county seat, for some time. It is somewhat dismaying how few residents of Haskell County know nothing about the origin of a deadly virus. We simply do not want to know about the bad things in life. 

    • #9
    • March 13, 2020, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. kedavis Member

    I wish Rob had told his “prepping” story like he did on GLoP, that was good.

    • #10
    • March 13, 2020, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Al Sparks Thatcher

    So the gang was bemoaning our lack of preparedness in reacting to this virus. And Rob says that things will be different next time; the toothpaste is out of the tube.

    Peter mentions Florida and how they react to hurricanes, and how Jeb Bush as governor set up the protocols and now Florida reacts does a great job reacting to hurricanes when they happen.

    So here’s why we will go through the same thing all over again when the next virus arrives, and why Florida will continue to do a good job reacting to hurricanes.

    Hurricanes are an annual event in Florida (and other Southern and Gulf states). And just like Alaska, and California (mostly) do a great job reacting to wildfires, they do so because these are annual events.

    Major viruses like H1N1 (Swine Flu) happen with a frequency of around every 10 years. This virus is comparable to the Spanish Flu which occurred 102 years ago.

    And who would want to spend their whole career in a planning department maintaining their expertise over a future event that chances are, they will never be called upon to implement?

    And why should we give the government even more power to react to these 100+ year events, when they have a track record of using additional powers given to them for other purposes?

    It’s human nature to become complacent over events that occur every 100 years. It may not be cost effective to maintain an infrastructure for these types of events. Better to build up at the time it’s needed and tear it down when done.

    While modern managers would decry this attitude, Americans have a pretty good track record in reacting on the fly for these type events. Mistakes are made at first, and yes it means a few more deaths, but we correct for them and move on towards success.

    While I have some quibbles, especially with regards to testing for the virus, we are correcting fairly quickly in any wrong forks in the road we’re going down.

    • #11
    • March 13, 2020, at 6:44 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. James Lileks Contributor

    DudleyDoright49 (View Comment):
    James, speaking of the influenza pandemic of 1919, it did start in Kansas, Haskell County more exactly.

    I know – I think I said that, right? I can’t keep track. Hope I did. 

    • #12
    • March 13, 2020, at 6:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. kedavis Member

    Don’t overlook a big reason why the media wouldn’t put a lot of emphasis on the number of H1N1 deaths in 2009.

    Barack Obama was president.

    • #13
    • March 13, 2020, at 6:56 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  14. kedavis Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    It’s human nature to become complacent over events that occur every 100 years. It may not be cost effective to maintain an infrastructure for these types of events. Better to build up at the time it’s needed and tear it down when done.

    But it’s never a good idea to rely on a place like China for a build up.

    • #14
    • March 13, 2020, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Al Sparks Thatcher

    On Trump:

    Rob talks about our class clown when we need a student body president. That’s a good analogy. But Trump can do serious presidential when he wants to.

    He screwed up. While I didn’t watch his Oval Office speech, the fact that he got three major items wrong I find disappointing. And that he didn’t realize that there was a problem with testing for the virus due to government obstruction was particularly disappointing.

    He should have been able to say that yes, there are problems with testing due to government obstruction, and that he was working to quickly correct that problem.

    He can’t keep good people on his staff, and no wonder they let him down.

    I know his flaws. I voted for him anyway, and given the alternatives, I’ll vote for him again.

    But boy is this discouraging.

    • #15
    • March 13, 2020, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Al Sparks Thatcher

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    If only we had President Daniels –

    As others have mentioned a presidential candidate Daniels would not have cut it. There is a disconnect in how we pick our presidents, and who would be a good president.

    What I find particularly galling is that we’re back to primarily using the U.S. Senate as a pool for presidential candidates. For awhile, the presidential field was dominated by state governors.

    From Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton our presidents were governors, and the one exception was Vice President.

    My favorite candidate for president in 2016 was Scott Walker. Because of his lack of charisma, he was one of the first ones to drop out.

    But fundamentally, what you have to have to be a successful presidential candidate is so much ambition, that the occupants end up with major character flaws that, unlike Trump, they successfully hide.

    I admit that there are a couple of exceptions, and that was the two Bushes. But they were not strong presidents, with Bush 41 breaking his “read my lips no new taxes” top campaign pledge (and later implying how brave he was in doing so), and Bush 43 had problems imposing his will on the federal bureaucracy, including the U.S. infrastructure he placed in Iraq. It was only during the surge near the end of his second term that he did that.

    • #16
    • March 13, 2020, at 7:14 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. Al Sparks Thatcher

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    It’s human nature to become complacent over events that occur every 100 years. It may not be cost effective to maintain an infrastructure for these types of events. Better to build up at the time it’s needed and tear it down when done.

    But it’s never a good idea to rely on a place like China for a build up.

    ??? We’re not. I’m not aware that we ever asked for their permission to react to the virus.

    • #17
    • March 13, 2020, at 7:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. kedavis Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    It’s human nature to become complacent over events that occur every 100 years. It may not be cost effective to maintain an infrastructure for these types of events. Better to build up at the time it’s needed and tear it down when done.

    But it’s never a good idea to rely on a place like China for a build up.

    ??? We’re not. I’m not aware that we ever asked for their permission to react to the virus.

    I didn’t mean permission. I meant supplies. Much of which comes from China. Even for drugs “manufactured” in other countries such as Japan, Korea, Europe, Japan, they get much of their raw materials from China.

    • #18
    • March 13, 2020, at 9:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    @peterrobinson : the current governor of Florida is Ron DeSantis

    His opponent Andrew Gillum, former mayor of Talahasee, was found in a Miami hotel room with crystal meth recently.

    My friend pointed out to me the logo for the Ricochet Superfeed is Superman with ‘R’ instead of ‘S’

     

    • #19
    • March 13, 2020, at 9:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. RufusRJones Member

    Does Jerry Falwell Jr. have so much money and power that it doesn’t matter what he does or says? The reporting on him lately has just been devastating. 

    • #20
    • March 14, 2020, at 12:37 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. RufusRJones Member

    The big problem is, the CDC or whoever never had a plan to ramp up testing in this country.

    Mitch Daniels sounds like he actually cares about developing human capital at a fair price. That should be the only reason for college to exist. The civics thing was very heartening. Having said that I will never forget back in college how many smart people I met that were just so cynical about liberal arts classes. They hated them. They thought you were a sucker if you thought you got anything out of them. All they were to them was an obstacle to making money and a fat ROI from their tuition.

    Short article on the scam of higher education:

    I graduated in two and a half years while working 20-25 hours per week. I received a good bit of financial help from my parents, but it was not at all enough to cover four years of in-state tuition and living expenses. My plan from the start was to graduate in three years. After my first year, I realized I was going to run out of money before three years were over, so I sped it up. I entered school with roughly 40 credits through a combination of community college classes, Advanced Placement credits, and my high school’s dual enrollment program, where students could take classes at Virginia Commonwealth University, which counted toward most state school degrees.

    Once I entered college, I had to petition do-nothing bureaucrats to let me take 19, 20, and 21 credit semesters to make it all work. I knew I didn’t want to go to grad school, so I got Cs and Ds in a lot of my classes, intentionally; I wanted to exert the minimal amount of effort because I was singleminded in my goal—to graduate with no debt and get the heck out the dismal swamp of Williamsburg, Virginia. I still wish I’d dropped out, but I’m at least glad to not be saddled with massive payments several years out.

    The primary purpose of education is to rip off the tax payer and the student and for leftist propaganda.

    • #21
    • March 14, 2020, at 2:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. RufusRJones Member

    Nice generic article on problems like pandemics: 

    What matters is that while hierarchy can indeed act swiftly, it always acts on the wrong information.

     

    The bits and pieces of local information is also not put together and condensed properly. Nobody in such hierarchies have an incentive to do “the right thing,” especially for common people. The incentive is to watch their own backs. As in all bureaucracies, especially political, the number one priority is to avoid getting caught with responsibility for something that turns out bad. Keep your head down and follow the rules; make sure the higher-ups are satisfied, on whatever ground, and keep your subjects in check. If you don’t play it safe, you’ll be sacrificed at the stake if something goes wrong.

     

    It may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is that decentralized decision-making and market-style systems always beat centralization and power — because they aggregate and condense information much more appropriately and because they allow for actions more appropriate to local conditions.

    • #22
    • March 14, 2020, at 2:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    Rob talks about our class clown when we need a student body president. That’s a good analogy.

    Nobody wants the student body president. Nobody ever wants the student body president.

    Unless you’re in a slasher film; in which case you can send him by himself into the basement to see if the ax murderer is down there.

    • #23
    • March 14, 2020, at 5:12 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  24. FightinInPhilly Thatcher

    On a more mundane note… @blueyeti …can we please introduce the guys to the mute button? The weekly wander around and open drawers and cabinets while other people talk bit is getting infuriating. Once I get, twice is annoying, but this happens every week. We can HEAR YOU! HOT MIC!!! Maybe it’s just me…

    • #24
    • March 14, 2020, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    As others have mentioned a presidential candidate Daniels would not have cut it. There is a disconnect in how we pick our presidents, and who would be a good president.

    But fundamentally, what you have to have to be a successful presidential candidate is so much ambition, that the occupants end up with major character flaws that, unlike Trump, they successfully hide.

    I admit that there are a couple of exceptions, and that was the two Bushes. But they were not strong presidents, with Bush 41 breaking his “read my lips no new taxes” top campaign pledge (and later implying how brave he was in doing so), and Bush 43 had problems imposing his will on the federal bureaucracy, including the U.S. infrastructure he placed in Iraq. It was only during the surge near the end of his second term that he did that.

    From watching 43 here in Texas as governor, what he seemed to take out of 41’s time as president and his problems with the media was to stay on message on only about 3-4 issues and don’t make any extemporaneous remarks, because they’ll just be twisted and used against you, as with Andrew Rosenthal and how he spun GHWB’s checkout scanner remark in The New York Times.

    What GWB didn’t grasp was that what worked in Texas wouldn’t in D.C., and if you didn’t give them off-the-cuff sound bites, the Washington media would simply make shirt up to demonize you with. That was how the final five years of his term went, and how they handled Romney in 2012, based on the idea that anything could be said about the top Republicans, and out of a sense of decorum, they would not fight back in similar fashion.

    That’s how you got Trump. He gets things wrong and simply bulls through as if he didn’t, but even when he gets things right the media acts like he didn’t, and its his fighting back that keeps his base support.

    • #25
    • March 14, 2020, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. RufusRJones Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    That’s how you got Trump. He gets things wrong and simply bulls through as if he didn’t, but even when he gets things right the media acts like he didn’t, and its his fighting back that keeps his base support.

    Trump nets out. 

    • #26
    • March 14, 2020, at 7:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Jon1979 Lincoln

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    That’s how you got Trump. He gets things wrong and simply bulls through as if he didn’t, but even when he gets things right the media acts like he didn’t, and its his fighting back that keeps his base support.

    Trump nets out.

    Enough people became convinced, in the wake of the 2012 election, that no Republican, no matter how much decorum and willingness to get along with the established Powers that Be in New York and Washington that a Republican politician displayed, the new normal in the world of a myriad of political news outlets and social media was that they were going to be smacked around like a pinata, to the point that even what had been normal mainstream news outlets would see nothing wrong about lying about a GOP candidate, or failing to fact-check lies put out by Democratic candidates if it helped The Cause.

    Whether it was The New York Times looking into Mitt’s hazing of a fellow high school student or the media not calling out Harry Reid on lying about Romney avoiding paying taxes, the general feeling, post-2012 was that no Republican presidential candidate would ever get fair treatment by the big media outlets again, in part because those outlets were no longer so big, and had mostly decided to niche themselves into trying to build a core base of loyal, progressive viewers. Toss is Romney’s failure at the second debate to call Candy Crowley out for lying to protect Obama after his first debate debacle, and enough people on the right decided to go with Trump, and have now decided to overlook his gaffes, based on the premise the gaffes don’t matter because the media is framing everything Trump does as a gaffe.

    If improved behavior gets no better treatment than bad behavior, there’s zero motivation to behave better (with the counterpoint being there’s no reason for Joe Biden not to lie, because he won’t get called out for lying by those same media outlets).

    • #27
    • March 14, 2020, at 7:38 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RufusRJones: Does Jerry Falwell Jr. have so much money and power that it doesn’t matter what he does or says? The reporting on him lately has just been devastating. 

    Curse of the Juniors. There are many prominent people whose lineage is their only accomplishment. 

    • #28
    • March 14, 2020, at 8:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. RufusRJones Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    RufusRJones: Does Jerry Falwell Jr. have so much money and power that it doesn’t matter what he does or says? The reporting on him lately has just been devastating.

    Curse of the Juniors. There are many prominent people whose lineage is their only accomplishment.

    Specifically, what I’m saying is, it seems to me he is not paying much of a price for acting strange or bad.

    I forget what magazine had the long article, maybe New York magazine. He runs his operations kind of mafia like, so people make money protecting him. It still seems pretty over-the-top. 

    I’ve always thought lawyers and developers frequently end up with warped points of view. He’s both plus he controls a unique educational institution,

     

    • #29
    • March 14, 2020, at 8:20 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Architectus Coolidge

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    He screwed up. While I didn’t watch his Oval Office speech, the fact that he got three major items wrong I find disappointing.

    And . . . this is a case of him reading a speech, rather than winging it like at rallies. So someone needed to write it down, edit and print it. Maybe Peter Robinson can help here on the process. Ultimately the president is responsible for his words, but where is the support of his staff here?

    • #30
    • March 14, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 1 like