While DC dithers, the real action is happening in the states. I attended the States and Nation Policy Summit this week, a conference organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The smartest local and national politicians and policymakers from Florida to Alaska shared how they’re improving the lives of their constituents. Here’s the lineup:

The intro/outro and Jon’s song of the week is “Mainland” by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist!


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Left’s Diffusion Challenge


We on the right and our counterparts on the left are each convinced that the media are biased, though we disagree about which way the press tilts. Spoiler: It tilts left — it isn’t even close. Worse, it tilts left more blatantly and extremely and unashamedly than it ever has before, at least in my lifetime. Most of our institutions tilt left, our universities and schools and entertainment industry — and, of course, those noble defenders of democracy who elide and dissemble under cover of press passes.

So here’s the problem for our friends on the left. The trailblazing institutions of progressive innovation have outpaced the roughly half of the country that doesn’t think of itself as generally conservative. We on the right think they’re crazy; increasingly, registered Democrats who earn their living in the real world and who are normal people kind of agree, even if they aren’t eager to talk about it. As the gap between the vanguard of the left and the nominal progressive voter widens, the views of the two groups must necessarily diverge: radical ideas can only diffuse through the culture so quickly, and the pop-cultural pace-setters are moving faster than normal people care to keep up, or are even able to keep up.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Andrew Klavan, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Gritty Christian Realism


Andrew Klavan of Daily Wire and Ricochet Audio Network fame is a talented author of fiction and a stern critic of contemporary Christian works. He often says he gets flack from Christians for including profanities and, um, non-Christian behaviors in his novels and screenplays. But, he finds most overtly Christian movies unrelatable and clunky attempts at messaging, which end up only delivering pablum. I agree. We Chauvinists haven’t paid to see a Christian movie in the theater since Fireproof (2008), which was uninspiring enough for us to forswear God’s Not Dead, its sequels, and all the rest.

However, when Mr. C found a theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar (JCS) playing in Denver, we jumped at the chance to see it. Our tickets were for Black (Good?) Friday. Coincidence?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Build a Better Mouse House …


… and maybe you can get more people to take the stairs. At least, my working theory is that the following series of events was cooked up as an HR wellness initative to get our company’s employees to move more. It all started on November 22 when I was hiking back to the sixth floor from my daily treadmill break in the main floor gym. I noticed that next to a small hole in the wall of the stairwell, someone had amusingly placed a rubber mouse.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bad News for Sleepy Joe


Joe Biden got an endorsement from John Kerry today, a former Senator and Secretary of State. Some people still remember him. The value of Kerry’s endorsement to Biden falls somewhere between that of Neville Chamberlin’s and the foreign minister of Iran’s.



Bobby Jindal, former governor of Louisiana, stops by to talk to the full crew about How Trump Wins the Populist Patriots and how that particular group has been ill served by Democrats and Republicans alike and what Republicans can do to win their support. The Jobs Report is out with “unexpectedly high” numbers: 266,000 new non-farm jobs. Remember when the reports were always “unexpectedly low” under Obama? Rob attempts to explain why Obama is responsible for Trump’s great economy even though he hedges his bets by saying presidents can’t control the economy. Then John Yoo, detainee at UC Berkeley, joins the podcast, again, to talk impeachment. John has the most beautiful suggestion for what Trump should do, should there be an impeachment trial in the Senate. You’ll want to hear this one because it’s a winner. Big league. And if you disagree, let us know in the comments.

Finally, congratulations to @garymcvey for winning the prestigious Lileks Post of the Week competition for his post, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: This Never Happened to the Other Fellow. We only hand out 52 of these per year, folks.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Turley’s Turn


Professor Jonathan Turley has upset the progressives — so he must be silenced. As Ann Althouse blogged Friday morning, Turley was excoriated in the Washington Post and The Nation. The charge? That he is now saying (on behalf of Trump) the opposite of what he was saying in testimony regarding Obama and Clinton. But is this true?

Professor Turley says not. In the Obama testimony, he urged Congress — a matter of separation of powers — to challenge Obama’s unilateral acts that encroached on legislative powers, not to impeach him. In the Clinton testimony, he took the position that House could impeach for a non-criminal act (just as they are doing here). But Turley testified in the case of Trump that the record needs to be developed in greater depth and detail than the House Democrats have deigned to do.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump’s Ukraine Call Was Necessary and Right: Change My Mind


I don’t think there is any doubt about the following (I’ve highlighted things that I would like to have better details for):
1. Ukraine has had a long-term problem with corruption, including with its politicians.
2. We knew #1 and they knew #1.
3. We have a treaty with Ukraine to support each other in anti-corruption investigations. This predates the Trump administration.
4. Burisma is one Ukrainian company with a history of corruption.
5. Joe Biden’s son Hunter was given an amazingly lucrative position on the board of Burisma, given his experience.
6. Joe Biden claimed (in public and recorded) that he forced the removal of the prosecutor who happened to be investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid. (There is some confusion that the prosecutor had other corruption issues, but when he was replaced by a “solid guy,” the investigation into Burisma was stopped.)
7. Before the time period of interest, both the US and Ukraine had elections. Zelenskyy ran on a platform of getting rid of corruption and Trump on a platform that included being careful about how our foreign aid is sent to countries that are either corrupt or act against US interests. Trump was also interested in getting more buy-in from allies more local to the issues than the US.
8. Trump held up the aid to Ukraine until he was reassured by a bipartisan senatorial group that the new president of Ukraine was “the real deal.” (The media says this was because Trump heard about the whistleblower. I think both were very close in time, but I don’t think Trump would worry much about the whistleblower.)

So, from the US standpoint, I think Trump’s motivation was to reassure himself on points #7 and #8. From my perspective, that seems like not only a legitimate goal, but a required one.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Happy Analemma Day


It’s that time of year. Feeling gloomy? Perhaps it’s the shorter days of the season. Indeed, there’s a lot less sunlight. The afternoons seem to be particularly short.

Well, I have good news; this is Analemma Day. This is the day of the earliest sunset in most of the northern hemisphere. After today, we’re over the hump, and the afternoons get progressively longer.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Congress Doesn’t Need No Stinking Evidence!


“So what? We can’t get felony approval for anything without finding twenty witnesses, a dozen surveillance cameras, a victim interview, the offender’s mother’s statement AND a confession on video…..and even then, it’s probably going to be a C.I. [Continuing Investigation] until such time as God himself descends from Heaven to declare ‘This [redacted] is GUILTY and has forfeited his eternal reward.'” – Anonymous Chicago Police Officer

The quote comes from a Chicago police officer in a reaction to State’s Attorney Kimmie Foxx recusing herself from the Jussie Smollett case. Unlike the Chicago Police Department Adam Schiff goes on a fishing trip with a backhoe.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Once Upon a Spinning-Wheel (Part 7): Lure of the Lava Lady


On an island far away, the mwahaha flies.

The mwahaha is a bird – not, funnily enough, so called because its cry resembles the laugh of an old-fashioned villain, twirling his moustache as the express train draws near – but just out of sheer soppy sentimentality. There used to be a thriving colony of them somewhere up around old Hollywood way, back in the “real” world. People keep hoping they might come back someday, but, sad to tell, no one in living memory can remember seeing an active colony of mwahahas. Like the dodo, they have passed into the mists of history …


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The U.S. and Consorting with Terrorists


We haven’t had a major terrorist action like the 9/11 attacks in the US for good reason. Our governmental agencies still take potential attacks seriously in this country and are vigilant. My greatest concern now is that we, the public, will become complacent.

Many Islamic groups appear to be taking an increasingly public stand against efforts that protect this country; they are determined to undermine our counter-terrorism activities. And they’re making an ongoing effort to manipulate our lawmakers to help them forward their agenda. Many concerning people are also running for government positions all over the country.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Serial Seppuku in the Capital


In all my many years of watching politics, I have never seen so many people so absolutely convinced of something where the facts support the exact opposite conclusion. The Democrats are literally screaming for Trump’s removal for a myriad of so-called high crimes and misdemeanors while the facts show none of their accusations are valid. The Ukraine aid was released, meetings were not denied and Zelinskyy never initiated any investigation nor promised to do so.

The actual transcript of the so-called incriminating conversation mentions no conditions on aid or assistance; in fact, it does not mention any assistance or aid at all. Zelisnkyy said he never felt pressured by Trump and did not know that the aid had been even delayed at the time of the call. There were five high-level meetings between US and Ukraine officials subsequent to the initial call and not once was any condition mentioned regarding the forthcoming aid.


We have a great chat with James Golden, AKA “Bo Snerdley” from the Rush Limbaugh Show, about his new organization looking to bring the black vote back to the GOP. The group, “New Journey PAC,” and the accompanying MAGA.Black website aims to recruit black conservatives to challenge Democrats in the deepest-blue areas of the country by focusing on issues where conservatism lives but the Republican Party doesn’t play.

How does a black man raised in a Democratic Party household in Queens end up working for the king of conservative talk radio? And what was that journey like? James Golden lived it, and he knows that while the Republican Party struggles to get a tiny percentage of the black vote, when you put party aside and talk about issues like education and economic growth, there is a lot more in common than people realize. But for too long the GOP has written off the black vote, and Golden is working to change that.


Elizabeth Slattery and Tiffany Bates talk about the NYC gun case and offer holiday gift ideas for SCOTUS fans. Elizabeth also chats with Judge Amul Thapar of the 6th Circuit about all things Kentucky.



Follow along as Lyndsey Fifield and Mary Katharine Ham make a series of miscalculations and inadvisable decisions, avert near disaster and bodily injury—and VERY luckily come across only-nice people who help them… and ironically discuss cohabitation boundaries (while definitely overstepping Lyndsey’s husband’s) in the name of getting him a cool gift that is very far away… and very heavy.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. But That Was Yesterday…


Remember (not all that long ago), when those on the Left decried the Founding Fathers as a bunch of white, racist, slave-holding, and did I mention racist, rich, and did I mention racist, old men whose crown jewel, the Constitution of the United States was an out-of-date screed written by privileged, old (ADIMR) fuddy-duddies with no connection to the modern (and so much better) world?

When Beto almost cried at the thought of having to explain a concept so arcane and unfair as the reasoning behind the Electoral College to his children? And when that scholarly intellectual luminary AOC called that same Electoral College a scam?


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Bit of Good News About US Productivity Growth


There’s a lot good to report about the American economy, now well into its record 11th year of expansion. Unemployment is low, and real wages are rising. And as I recently wrote in my The Week column, “Look, if you’re a president who promised to make America great again, and the unemployment rate falls to its lowest level since the early 1950s, it arguably looks like you’re making American great again.” Indeed, Goldman Sachs is predicting the unemployment rate to will “fall to levels last seen during the Korean War, bringing a further pickup in wage growth to 3.5 percent.”

But one worrisome weak point continues to be uninspiring productivity growth. Productivity has risen at a so-so 1.4 percent annual rate over the past two years, up from an abysmal average of just 0.6 percent in the 2011-2016 period. Faster productivity growth boosts overall GDP growth and means faster wage growth, as well. That said, productivity growth may be stronger than the data suggest. This from Capital Economics:


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘What Happened to Drudge?’ Answered


Instapundit links to a Townhall piece by Derek Hunter, “What Happened to Drudge?” Hunter examines a bit of the history and mystery of the man. Noting the shift from 2016 to 2019 from decidedly pro-Trump to manifestly anti-Trump, Hunter wonders why:

I did get a hint. I have a friend who is actual, real-life friends with Matt. I asked them what the deal is. After all, no website was more pro-Trump in 2016 than the Drudge Report. Matt even ventured to a debate to see it all firsthand. The answer was telling, if only because there’s so little to go on.


On September 11, 2017, we hosted Dr. Ballard, the man responsible for finding the Titanic, as we discussed the story behind finding the Titanic for our exhibit we had on display at the time. It was a fascinating program where he took the audience on a journey of ocean exploration. Let’s Listen.


Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Adam Schiff Subpoenas Phone Records of His Political Rivals

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

There’s a lot of attention being paid to this impeachment theater, but why isn’t there more outrage about Adam Schiff’s subpoena of the phone records? I know Congress has the power of subpoena, but a conventional subpoena has to go through a court where probable cause must be demonstrated. Is there no restriction if Congress does it?

Schiff subpoenaed the records of a fellow member of Congress (Devin Nunes), a journalist (John Solomon), and the president’s personal lawyer (Rudi Giuliani).


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Memories: The Red Jacket


My dad was born on December 5, 1920. Dad loved wearing red; shirts, sweaters, pants, hats, and for the last decade or so of his life, a bright red windbreaker jacket. Me, not so much. In fact, I have always disliked wearing red. The closest I’d come was my blue Boston Red Sox cap with its red B.

Shortly after dad passed in 2014, my sister and I got together to go through his things. When we came across the red windbreaker I impulsively told her, “I’ll take it.” It was the only piece of his clothing I kept.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Democrats’ Ukraine Problem


The impeachment hearings are more or less just a sideshow for Democrats; there’s no way they’re going to actually remove President Trump from office. They are an attempt to placate a base that wants blood, even if the only blood they get from the Trump administration will be a papercut. Democrats have gravely miscalculated at what cost bringing the sordid Ukraine situation into public view: the liability it creates for their top candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. Today Biden was asked about the situation and, well, he’s going to need to work on his response over the next ten months if he has a prayer.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Psychiatrists Need an Intervention


Goldwater TrumpThis is shaping up to be another very instructive week, as more people who most Americans used to take somewhat seriously dash their reputations on the rocks of reality. Consider the really important, consequential stuff that happened in London this week, laid out in “‘Interagency Consensus DIME’ Not Worth a Plugged Nickel on NATO” and “Real Leadership, Real Statesmanship: President Trump at NATO.” Contrast the actual, on camera, behavior and results of President Donald J. Trump with the fevered fantasy of credentialed quacks; “mental health professionals” who used the Goldwater Rule for kindling on the bonfire of their hate for us and our president:

In an email forwarded to PJ Media, three psychiatrists with the coalition ask other psychiatrists to sign on to a petition to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to include a statement on Trump’s supposed mental instability into the official record of the impeachment inquiry.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Stanford Law Professor’s Deplorables Seminar 101


Why are Leftist women so angry? Obviously trying to nullify 60 million or so votes is hard work, I get that. I watched the entire hearing today and there were moments that my eye’s started to glaze over several times during this sideshow. Jonathan Turley smiled at times, but the three Leftist activist law professors were grim and humorless. They were hardly happy warriors. They were actually poster children for recreational marijuana use and a government-provided Lava Lamp. Stare at the lamp, take a deep breath, and relax. Have another brownie.

Yep, I’m a deplorable, but I know when I’m being fed nonsense. My favorite moment was when Barron Trump was dragged into the fray. This woman has some serious anger issues. Notre Dame has Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett, Stanford has Pamela Karlan. Remember that when your kid wants to go to a law school.