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.
Join Jim and Greg as they applaud South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott for a pragmatic approach to police reform and for rightly hammering the Democratic characterization of his legislation as a “token” approach. They also rip Chief Justice John Roberts for siding with the four liberal justices in blocking the Trump administration’s effort to end DACA, which was unconstitutionally created in the first place. And they wade into the ugly back and forth between President Trump and former National Security Adviser John Bolton over Bolton’s scathing new book.
Yes, new witnesses will prolong the process by weeks at a minimum, and voting for witnesses under a Cocaine Mitch-Ted Cruz plan is likely necessary to a Trump and Trump-voter-supporting Congress winning this November. On Friday, there will be a series of votes. It is now more likely than not that there will be 51 votes, including Susan Collins (Republican-Maine), Mitt Romney (Snake-Self Serving), Lamar Alexander (Retiring-Chamber of Commerce), and Lisa Murkowski (Scheming-Big Union and Oil).
Senator Collins faithfully represents her state. She is a woman of honor who will take a tough vote when needed. It is she who reportedly first floated the common-sense proposal that the Senate trial should be run on the same rules as for the President Clinton trial. There was a basic sense of turn-about as fair play in this. She prevailed; these are the rules in the current Senate trial.
Senator McConnell is reportedly maneuvering for a single basket of witnesses vote, no chance for troublemakers and RINOS to actually work with the Democrats to inflict maximum damage on the president and the Republican majority in the Senate. This will work if he also insists on the Cruz control: paired 1-for-1 witness approval. You want the ‘Stashe? You have to vote for Biden’s boy. You want Mick Mulvaney? You have to vote for Eric Ciaramella. “Do ya really wanna jump?” [officially sanctioned clip, so “R” rated]
Just when we could see the impeachment trial winding down as the President’s defense team squashed the House Managers, we learn that the John Bolton manuscript of his new book has been leaked. What a shock. The manuscript has not been quoted and the references to it have been vague. (The NY Times article is behind a paywall.)
The manuscript was sent to the National Security Council’s Records Management Division for a “standard prepublication security review” on December 30, in the belief that no classified information was included. Over the weekend, the information was conveniently leaked to the New York Times. Yet there was this report:
Sarah Tinsley, an adviser to Bolton, told Axios that the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations sent the draft manuscript only to the White House for a prepublication review by the National Security Council. ‘The ambassador has not passed the draft manuscript to anyone else. Period,’ she said.
Jim is back and shares the highly entertaining albeit frustrating tale of the high-maintenance passenger on his return trip from California. After detailing that saga, Jim and Greg are immensely entertained by national Democrats realizing only now what a train wreck of a nominee Bernie Sanders would be and scrambling to make sure he’s not the nominee. They also weigh in on the latest political and media reaction to John Bolton allegedly confirming a quid pro quo with Ukraine, and while they admit there are grounds for debating Bolton’s tactics in recent months, the accusations he was never a conservative are ludicrous. And they unload on CNN, Don Lemon, and former Republican strategist Rick Wilson for their sneering mockery of Trump voters.
Chad Benson, host of “The Chad Benson Show,” fills in for Jim, who will be back on Tuesday. Today, Chad explains what the loss of Kobe Bryant means to the people of southern California before he and Greg dive into three crazy martinis. First, they react to the news that former National Security Adviser John Bolton apparently wrote in his forthcoming book that President Trump ordered him to hold off on releasing military aid to Ukraine until Ukraine launched the investigations he wanted. Is this a major wrinkle in the impeachment saga, a book-selling gimmick, or something in between? They also discuss the Des Moines Register endorsing Elizabeth Warren and the Union Leader in New Hampshire backing Amy Klobuchar and ask whether endorsements really matter anymore. While on the topic they also explore whether Warren still has a chance or whether her campaign is out of gas but media insist on propping her up. Finally, they get a kick out of a Fox 5 poll in Washington, showing the nation’s capital is either bored by the impeachment trial or just not interested in it.
Happy Friday! We’ve got good, bad, and crazy martinis to finish the week. Join Jim and Greg as they discuss Texas Rep. Will Hurd saying he sees nothing that rises to the level of impeachment, because if Will Hurd isn’t flipping the odds of many Republicans in the Senate flipping are very low. They also sympathize with Andrew Yang, who is ripping MSNBC for not giving him much time to speak in Wednesday’s debate. And they’re intrigued by John Bolton returning to Twitter and promising more to come – only to find liberals who hate him now begging him to testify in the impeachment inquiry.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Republicans hold on to a pair of North Carolina congressional seats, including one that Democrats were hoping would be a harbinger of 2020. They also shudder as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cheers the exit of National Security Adviser John Bolton and now urges President Trump to end the maximum pressure campaign. And they groan as Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale openly forecasts a Trump political dynasty.
Breaking news makes this a four martini lunch! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start by noting the Democrats have lost every bit of the approval advantage they enjoyed over the GOP a year ago and Jim offers an analysis that both parties would be wise to heed but never will. They also slam Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for reportedly threatening to fire high-ranking officials at NOAA if there was not a statement released defending President Trump’s outdated forecast for Hurricane Dorian. Jim says if the reports are true, Ross should lose his job. They brace them themselves for the media to fall in love with Democrat Jon Ossoff all over again as the special election golden boy from 2017 (who lost) is now running for U.S. Senate in Georgia. And they react to the breaking news that John Bolton is out as National Security Adviser in the Trump administration.
President Trump has fired his national security advisor, John Bolton.
I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.
When Donald Trump was campaigning for President, he stated frequently that he could be fair regarding the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He is learning over time that the Palestinians are not sincere about wanting a peace agreement with Israel. In fact, I think he finally realizes that the Palestinians actually want the destruction of Israel and a legitimate peace agreement may be impossible. He has taken several steps that have shown that the US will no longer acquiesce to Palestinian demands for fairness and objectivity.
So it was no surprise when the Trump administration announced Monday that it is closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington, citing Palestinian leaders’ resistance to peace talks and their attempts to get an international court to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes. There is a provision in US law which states that the PLO mission must close if the Palestinians appeal to the ICC to prosecute Israel for crimes against Palestinians.
Monday, National Security Adviser John Bolton stated the following during a speech to the Federalist Society:
How’s the Trump presidency faring and what’s its effect on “Victorian Reagan conservatives” and the political chattering class? Hugh Hewitt, a conservative talk-radio and MSNBC host (not to mention the recipient of several Trump barbs as a 2016 GOP debate host), weighs in on the good, the bad and the ugly of Trump’s reign.
Teddy Kupfer of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer President Trump’s selection of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and look forward to his tough stance on North Korean nukes and the Iran nuclear deal while liberals fear that Bolton will start bombing everyone. They also unload on the bloated $1.3 trillion omnibus that the majority of Republican representatives and senators approved, much to the delight of Democrats and the fury of fiscal conservatives. Teddy and Greg understand the desire of Republicans to rebuild the military but find the reckless spending in other areas unacceptable. They scratch their heads trying to figure out why more than half of millennials actually enjoy doing their taxes. And they offer a champagne toast to the late Democratic Georgia Gov. and Sen. Zell Miller and reflect upon his memorable keynote address at the Republican convention in 2004.
In this AEI Events Podcast, leading experts join AEI’s John R. Bolton and Desmond Lachman to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Brexit after the United Kingdom elections. Ambassador John R. Bolton, senior fellow at AEI, discusses the EU’s “secular theology,” which argues the EU has brought peace and prosperity to Europe. David O’Sullivan, ambassador of the European Union to the United States, disagrees, asserting that the EU had allowed peaceful resolution of conflicts. He highlights that defining a post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU will take several years.
Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute, addresses the negative economic shocks the UK will face if, because of Brexit, it loses tariff-free access to Europe, its largest trading partner. Hugo Gurdon, editorial director of the Washington Examiner, pays tribute to the EU as a project for peace but argued that the UK’s history of constitutional stability and relations with the world, rather than Europe, means Brexit was the right choice for the UK. Finally, AEI’s Desmond Lachman emphasizes that the EU, especially the eurozone, faces severe economic problems associated with the risk of a breakup.
John Bolton and I have a piece in the LA Times arguing that the Obama administration cannot reach any meaningful deal at the Paris climate talks because he refuses to seek consent from the Senate or Congress. The more he promises — such as pollution caps or financial support for developing nations — the more he needs the cooperation of the legislature.
The Paris deal could not survive the Constitution’s treaty process because of the President’s poor relations with the Senate, especially on foreign policy and national security, nor could he win legislative changes by Congress, which is currently rejecting the latest ideas from the EPA on limiting greenhouse gases. Obama will probably have to rely on an executive agreement, the weakest and most tentative of our forms of international agreements because they are not even mentioned in the Constitution and depend on a President’s exercise of his sole constitutional powers. From our piece:
In something of a surprise (given that few Republicans have taken a pass), former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton declared yesterday that he won’t run for president, begging the question of which Michael Bolton song best describes a courtship that won’t be: 1) “A Time For Letting Go”; 2) “I’m Not Ready”; 3) “Nowhere To Run”; 4) “You Don’t Want Me Bad Enough.” At least the late Tom Dewey can rest in peace — he’s the last GOP presidential nominee to have sported a mustache, as does Bolton. Dewey’s last run was in 1948; there hasn’t been a presidential nominee with facial hair since then.
Bolton’s announcement continues what amounted to “foreign policy week” for the Republican hopefuls. That includes Marco Rubio outlining a approach that at least one conservative writer likened to the Truman Doctrine, Jeb Bush continuing to clarify his 20/20 hindsight answer on the Iraq invasion, plus Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul all piling on Bush.
If that sounds like a lot of bodies in motion . . . well, it is. About enough to fill a 40-man baseball roster.