Tag: American Politics

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While reviewing my LinkedIn feed earlier today, the following letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, shared on a post by one of my primary contacts, caught my eye. She describes herself as being part of the Director’s Action Group, Naval History and Heritage Command. I do not know her personally.   Preview Open

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It is obviously not my call, but Mississippi probably should remove the confederate battle flag and replace it with a Magnolia blossom, which is the state’s official flower. Or, they could replace the battle flag with a single star on a blue background, but then again, someone would eventually suggest that they’re replacing one confederate […]

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I’ve chosen not to speak out very much about the removal of Confederate statues. Even though, as I’ve noted previously, I enjoy learning from the history that most statues represent, and attempt to lead us to – even of people I find reprehensible, such as Vladimir Lenin and others. I have long dismissed those who […]

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President Trump should grab the words and posturing videos from Secretary Esper and General Milley and make them live with them in a way they really do not want. They have given him the perfect justification to strip away all military trappings from professional and college sports. These organizations are proclaiming that they are now […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What Will the Mob Do with Woodrow Wilson?

 

I’m fascinated by the defacing and destruction of statues and monuments around the world, but especially in the US. The mob seems focused largely (but obviously not exclusively) on those who served for the Confederacy during our “Great Unpleasantness.” After all, they are targets of our modern-day “Presentism,” that is, applying modern “morals” or “standards” to people and events from decades if not centuries ago. The complications and nuances of history don’t seem to matter.

But a few particular monuments seem exempt from the current “unpleasantness,” and that baffles me. Especially one particular former Governor of New Jersey, President of Princeton University, and President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.

This particular historical figure re-segregated the military. He infamously chose “Birth of a Nation” as the first motion picture (silent) to feature at the White House. Never seen it? It glamorized the Ku Klux Klan, the militarized wing of the Democratic Party from the end of the Civil War to the Great Depression. Look up the 1924 Democratic Convention, infamously known as the “Klanbake.”

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. About Those US Capitol Statues Nancy Wants to Dispose Of

 

One of my privileges as a former Secretary of the United States Senate is the ability to conduct guided tours of the US Capitol. One of the offices I supervised was the US Senate Historical Office. One of the Secretary’s responsibilities is to promote the history and significance of the US Senate, a responsibility that I continue to relish. During my tours, I frequently stop to point out certain statues, especially in Statuary Hall (the former House Chamber until about 1857, when the current Chamber was completed).

So when the latest brouhaha over statues began, especially given the “presentism” gripping our political discourse, I knew right away it would find its way to many of those statues. Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not disappoint, calling for the removal of 11 statues of historical figures she finds especially objectionable.

Here’s what you need to know. About 100 of those statues, half of which are located in Statuary Hall, are there under a Concurrent Resolution that invited every state to send up to two statues of their choosing. They get to decide; not Congress, not Speaker Pelosi. Other statues are placed under other congressional resolutions.

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On one of Jonah’s recent podcasts, his guest Vince Cannato made the following statement or something close to it. “You can’t be Catholic and entirely classically liberal.” I don’t expect non-catholics to insert themselves too forcefully into internal disagreements and so was only minorly irritated by the host’s nodding assent. The remark was made in […]

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I admittedly tread on treacherous ground here. My wife doesn’t know I’m about to share this story. She would likely spike this post if she did. It’s really personal. My wife is very upset over the coverage and reaction of the George Floyd murder. But not for the reason you think. Preview Open

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Gimme Some of That Hydroxychloriquine!

 

One of the oddest and most fascinating debates about this whole COVID thing is the battle of studies over the 60-year-old anti-malaria drug, Hydroxychloriquine (treatment often also includes Zythromax, a commonly-used, broad-spectrum anti-biotic, and Zinc supplements) being used “off label.” Its use for such off-label purposes has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Ever since President Trump lauded early reports of its successful use to treat some COVID patients, it seems a lot of “experts” have been on a quest to disprove its reported effectiveness. You would think people would be interested in any potential treatment until a vaccine is successfully developed.

You would be wrong. Social media went ablaze recently when a highly respected British Medical Journal, The Lancet, published a study that claimed the drug was not only ineffective for treating COVID but harmed some people. It looked legit on the surface. And it countered lots of other studies and reports from doctors on the effectiveness of Hydroxy for treating many COVID patients, at least early in the process. And of course, when Trump announced he was on a two-week regime, people went nuts.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Question Authority, Especially on Face Masks

 

I own two face masks; my fetching spouse of 36 years, at least two or three. Our Governor here in Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, long commanded us under his virtually unlimited emergency powers to wear “face diapers” in public places, indoors. Outdoors is “optional,” but “recommended.” Virginia’s Governor, quite belatedly, has just followed suit.

I see no need to wear a mask on my outdoor runs and bike rides. After all, science shows that the risk of contracting the coronavirus outdoors is about zero. 

If it makes you feel better that you’re protected from my possibly tainted droplets and spittle, great. I am especially sensitive to our grocery story workers and my local pizza maker. I want everyone to “feel” safe, and I’m mindful that many people, including friends, have underlying chronic conditions that make them especially vulnerable to this novel virus. After all, I’m 63, so I’m sort of on the cusp.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Magical Thinking (or, Nobody Knows Nothin’)

 

When I was a budding novelist, I quickly learned that the publishing world didn’t care about my aspirational goals. I had to conform to the publisher, not vice versa. As many positive thoughts as I lavished on my first novel, it never saw print because it wasn’t very good. Eventually I learned, over the 20-year process of writing three more unpublished novels, how to write fiction. It’s true that I probably wouldn’t have learned if I hadn’t believed in raw talent worth developing. Positive thinking, while it bridged no gaps, at least provided a launching platform. But between the dream and the realization was a long (like, 20-year) stretch of hard work.

For some time now, I’ve had the feeling that our culture is marked, not by positive thinking, but by magical thinking. Psychologically, “magical thinking” is the belief that one’s personal thoughts, fears, and goals influence the outside world. Young children indulge in magical thinking all the time: a child who prays every night that his parents will stop fighting, for instance, could feel he’s to blame when Mom and Dad stop the fights by splitting up. This is normal for kids, but a grownup who indulges in such fantasies is called schizophrenic. Or a politician.

You remember when Barack Obama, after winning the Democrat presidential nomination, inspired his followers with rhetoric about the day the oceans stopped rising. Or Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention: “I alone can fix.” Trump at least had actually built things with steel and concrete, while Obama had built nothing but his own persona. But both were overpromising based on a magical (or at least inflated) view of themselves in the world.

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Perhaps you remember this story in The Atlantic a few weeks ago, as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced his state was going to begin reopening towards the end of April following a gubernatorial-led national shutdown of our economy. This paragraph is notable: Kemp’s order shocked people across the country. For weeks, Americans have watched the […]

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As a former consumer of public opinion polling for most of the 35 or so US House and Senate campaigns I had some affiliation with, I follow the industry pretty closely. To say it has “issues” is an understatement.   Polls are snapshots of public opinion over a specific period of time. And like the […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. While We’re at It….

 

The talking heads agree on one thing—the country will be vastly different on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis. While there’s a consensus to embrace the changes, I say—while we’re at it—let’s implement the following:

  1. Death Penalty for any lawyer who advertises on television/radio for any car wreck, mass tort, malpractice, or pharmaceutical lawsuits.
  2. Deficit Spending by any local, state, or federal government will result in the seizure of the enabling legislators’ assets to offset excess spending.
  3. Mandatory Lie Detectors and IQ Tests for every reporter or pundit before publication of any story. Third lying offense or IQ under 85 results in total laryngectomy and surgical removal of all fingers.
  4. Party Affiliation disclosure by any judge at any level or any person talking or writing about any event occurring in the universe, e.g., “story by Chris Wallace (Dem. Fox News);” or “opinion by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Radical Leftist Dem. SCOTUS).
  5. Lobbyists Banned from contacting anyone about anything.
  6. Mandatory Gun-Toting to make everyone a bit more careful about what they say or do.

I’ve got plenty more, but right now I’ve got to go to the bathroom. It may take a while, so feel free to add whatever changes you think are necessary to improve our country post-Coronavirus.

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There are two votes I regret in my adult life. First, was voting for Jimmy Carter for President in 1976 (I was a stupid 20-year-old liberal Democrat and college student at the time), and my vote for Arlen Specter in the GOP Primary for US Senate in 2004. Specter, with strong support from my friend, […]

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Did you see this post from the founder of Politico.com, one of the leading “news” services in Washington, DC? Just focus on the headline: “Admit it: You Are Willing to Let People die to End the Shutdown.” Preview Open

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It sent a shudder up and down my spine today when I heard the malevolent partisan, US Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) echo something I called for a couple of days ago – a national commission on a path forward, and lessons learned, from Coronavirus. Except, we have VERY DIFFERENT approaches. Schiff wants Democrats in Congress […]

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Even though we’re in for another month of “The Great Hunkering,” it’s not too soon to begin work on the “after-action” report on how to make sure America – and the world – can respond more effectively to the next virus epidemic. We may not have as much time as we think. But the good […]

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Welcome to the debut episode of Mag Men, the Washington Examiner Magazine Editors podcast. The show features Executive Editor, Seth Mandel, Managing Editor Jay Caruso, Deputy Editor J. Grant Addison and Life & Arts Editor Park MacDougald.

  • Please forgive us for some of the sound issues. We’re in the process of making it sound a whole lot better.

On today’s episode, the group discusses the Super Tuesday results and what it means for both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. They also take a look at what could happen in the future and possible VP choices. They also talk about some conservatives’ affinity for Sanders and whether that’s just part of a plan to prop him up or genuine regard for his candidacy.

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There is much experience and more than a bit of wisdom in the Ricochet community. Let’s see what good, practical advice we can offer to candidates and parties right now. You are invited to unearth gold nuggets from the pages and archives, sharing them in the comments below. Think of this as a collection of […]

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