Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
There’s nothing more zealous than a convert, goes the old saying. Conversions are deeply transformative. Converts more deeply embrace and evangelize their new faith, whether in religion or politics.
It doesn’t just happen with party switchers. Sometimes, someone wakes up and is politically charged when teacher unions keep schools shut down, or they read the homework assignments their kids bring home in utter horror. Or being unable to find infant formula at the grocery store for a newborn. Paying $5 per gallon of gas might do it, too.
Last week in Nebraska, Charles Herbster became the first Trump endorsee to lose a Republican primary in 2022. Jim Pillen, a figure little-known to a national audience, prevailed. To explain why this happened, to examine other mysteries of Nebraska, and to push back against Beltway misconceptions about the state, Jack invites Nebraska talk-radio show host Ian Swanson on to the show for some good old fashion Nebraska-splaining. So grab some corn and get ready to learn some Nebraska facts.
(Find Ian’s radio show host listenable as a podcast here.)
Two of my favorite acronyms are SNAFU and FUBAR. They’re not favorite federal agencies, although they could describe many of them. “Situation normal, all fouled up” is the first one. “Fouled up beyond all recognition” is the second one. Other renditions replace “fouled” with a more colorful f word. Preview Open
Former President Donald Trump hasn’t hidden his ambition for another return to the White House. Short of an announcement, he’s strongly hinted that his supporters will “like” his eventual announcement. His poll numbers look good right now.
Meanwhile, according to Ballotpedia, Trump has issued 442 political endorsements since leaving office. That includes 14 gubernatorial candidates and 16 US Senate contests. He previously endorsed author Sean Parnell for the GOP nomination for US Senate. But Parnell dropped out after losing an ugly child custody case to his ex-wife.
Former presidential hopeful and CNN commentator Michael Avenatti was convicted Friday of stealing $300,000 from adult actress Stormy Daniels. This marks the second felony conviction in two years for Avenatti, who rocketed to fame in the early Trump years pushing lawsuits and #resist conspiracy theories. Avenatti stole two book advances from then-client Daniels that totaled nearly $300,000.
Stephanie Clifford, stag name Stormy Daniels, claimed she had been paid $130K in hush money to hide a lewd liaison with the former president. This earned her a book deal with St. Martin’s Press and Avenatti stole the lucrative advance payments. By the time Daniels asked him for the money, he had already spent it, apparently on shiny suits and body oil.
Avenatti bizarrely decided to represent himself in the trial and called Daniels to the stand for a thorough berating. It was to no avail, as the jury decided the porn star who talks to ghosts and receives messages from a doll named “Susan” was more credible than the disgraced lawyer.
It has certainly been a bad week for Donald Trump in the legal arena, as his many opponents and detractors have launched multiple criminal investigations and civil lawsuits against him in New York, Georgia, and elsewhere. But his worst moment was the Supreme Court’s eight-to-one drubbing in its short decision in Trump v. Thompson. Over the lone dissent of Justice Clarence Thomas, the court refused to entertain Trump’s claim of executive privilege, relying heavily on a similar decision of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which deferred to the House’s demand that a thorough investigation of the events that led to the Capitol riots/insurrection of January 6,, 2021, necessitated a refusal of the privilege. I think that both anti-Trump decisions are seriously in error. A visceral dislike for Donald Trump offers no grounds for making sound policy. The Supreme Court should reconsider its brief and hasty decision, which poses a genuine threat to the political stability of the presidency.
I am no Trump partisan. As early as February 2017—to much overt pushback—I asked publicly for Trump to resign for the good of the country. His divisive personality has created intolerable political confrontations, and all too often he put his enormous ego ahead of any decent conception of the public good. The (vain) hope of that exhortation was to make Mike Pence president of the United States. The plea was always tricky because contending with Trump’s multiple gyrations made it necessary to accept or reject his specific decisions under the principle of “Trump à la carte.” A man who can be deeply misguided on foreign trade and immigration nonetheless did very well, in my view, in his environmental responses to global warming and in certain key foreign policy decisions, such as moving the US embassy to the Israeli portion of Jerusalem and orchestrating the complex political deal between Israel and several Arab nations, thereby undermining the major Palestinian roadblock that had stood in the way of improved Arab-Israeli arrangements generally. So by 2020, I endorsed Trump over Joe Biden—a call that I do not regret.
Going forward, however, the nation and the Republican Party will suffer a devastating blow if an aging Donald Trump continues to harbor any pretensions for a second term. Such a nomination quest would block the emergence of younger Republican candidates and tar the party with his senseless confrontational posturing. Right now, Ron DeSantis looks like an obvious Republican front-runner, and Rich Lowry is right to exhort DeSantis to learn from some of Trump’s major shortfalls. These are not-so-subtle hints to Trump that he should gracefully step aside in the next presidential election—a suggestion he seemed to internalize by, thankfully, keeping a low profile during the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election when Republican Glenn Youngkin edged out Terry McAuliffe.
This is the last installment of New Year’s Resolutions for others. Find the first chapters here and here. I’m happy to offer a final few resolutions for our beloved social media giants, especially Facebook (now Meta), Twitter, Google (Alphabet), Amazon, and the growing legion of alternatives. Stay for a few more resolutions for all American […]
As anniversaries go, Jan. 6 is a pretty lousy one — especially for Republicans.
After losing the election to Joe Biden in a squeaker, then-President Trump wasted two months promoting increasingly unhinged conspiracy theories and fanned the flames of outrage among his most dedicated supporters. Some people on the fringe took this all too seriously. Following a particularly ugly Trump speech, the crowd tore down barriers surrounding the US Capitol, assaulted police officers, and forced their way in.
The paragraph above is nearly a word-for-word recap from the post I wrote that afternoon, “Impeach. Remove. Bar from Office.” As of this writing, that article has received nearly 1,200 comments. Early on, many comments were positive; by the end, it was nearly all negative. It caused a lot of controversy on Ricochet and references to it kept popping up in my posts throughout 2021.
It came as a shock. It shouldn’t have, the news that former US Senator and 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole, 98, passed away on Sunday. It falls on the same day three years ago that he famously but painfully stood in the Capitol Rotunda and saluted the casket of his former political competitor and close friend, George H. W. Bush.
Brilliant and touching prose from prominent people who knew him well or shared parts of his incredible journey and life story are rolling in. Of course, it will be positive, even glowing, and deservedly so. I can imagine Senator Dole, with his famous humor and dry wit, asking “Where were you in 1996?” That’s when he unsuccessfully sought the presidency as the GOP’s nominee, losing to incumbent Bill Clinton. Tributes are already pouring in from his friends, former colleagues, ex-staff, and the beneficiaries of his legendary military, legislative, and public service record. Mine is but a small addition, but we all have our stories and desire to honor his towering legacy. Together, they present a glowing mosaic of courage, determination, compassion, humility, and service.
And yes, humor. He could have easily succeeded as a stand-up comic. As one of a few senior GOP staff would attend occasions closed-door meetings of the Senate Republican Conference, he would often lighten the mood with endless quips, delivered within his famous deadpan style and impeccable timing. Celebrating US Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) on his 93rd birthday, he quipped, “I watch what Strom eats. If he eats a banana, I eat a banana.” Thurmond would live to be 100, six months after retiring from the US Senate in early 2003. He was succeeded by Lindsey Graham.
Podcasting is huge and growing, even more so than written blogs like this one. In many cases, blogs and podcasts go hand in hand. Prominent radio talkers like Hugh Hewitt and Chris Stigall (both friends) use podcasts to augment their live shows. Our cell phones – excuse me, personal digital assistants (PDAs) – and apps […]
I don’t usually listen to an hour long podcast but this was excellent. I give this its own post since this came out on October 27th and you probably passed it by. It’s the Federalist Radio Hour podcast with Emily Jashinsky interviewing former National Security Adviser in the Trump administration, General Keith Kellogg. If you […]
Former disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, who along with his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, made it his mission to crush the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump, appeared as a guest on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show on Thursday night. Maddow, obsessed with promoting the Steele Dossier as a legitimate document, spent the better […]
On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Federalist Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to go behind the scenes of her new book “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.”
Mollie Hemingway spent five hours interviewing Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida over a wide range of topics, including: Media bias, Covid and Fauci, Afghanistan (the interview predates the catastrophic Biden pull out), his opinion of Mitch McConnell and other Republicans, his abortion record, and, of course, the 2020 election. It’s one of the more balanced profiles of Trump, giving him a chance to speak for himself, while also acknowledging his idiosyncrasies and mistakes he made while in office.
On that last topic, Trump does not come across in the interview as the deranged embittered maniac who tried to overthrow Democracy the way he is portrayed in the mainstream media and NeverTrump outlets like The Dispatch and The Bulwark. Rather, he seems to have some legitimate complaints that states may have unconstitutionally changed election laws to help his opponent.
Donald Trump’s “Save America” PAC took a poll in Georgia and found that 1) Trump is extremely popular among Republicans, 2) Former Senator David Perdue would force Governor Brian Kemp into a runoff, but only if Trump endorsed him and 3) Former UGA football star Herschel Walker would win the GOP Senate nomination. In a […]
Since 1789, some 12, 420 Americans have served in the U.S. House of Representatives. I know of only three who have had full-length motion pictures made about them, and only one specifically related to his service in that chamber. Perhaps there are others: Davy Crockett (TN), Abraham Lincoln (IL), and Charlie Wilson (TX).
Books? Sure, lots of them, but no movies. US Senators haven’t fared much better, at least real ones. I’m sure my reader will correct me if I’ve missed anyone. I probably have.
“Charlie Wilson’s War” was a 2007 epic starring Tom Hanks in the lead role as US Rep. Charles Wilson (D-TX). The legendary Fess Parker famously portrayed Davy Crockett in a popular television series, and Billy Bob Thornton portrayed Crockett in 2004 in The Alamo. Fourteen actors have portrayed Abraham Lincoln, including the late Henry Fonda, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Gregory Peck, and even Kris Kristofferson (who is very much still alive), but perhaps best by Daniel Day-Lewis in 2012.