The Ebola panic, the media, and the limits of government

Featured image The federal government, like almost any large institution, will nearly always be wrong-footed when confronted by the unexpected, especially if it’s an emergency. The feds will be slow off the mark and too many of their initial decisions will be wrong. We saw this with Hurricane Katrina and we’re seeing it now with Ebola. Conservatives, of all people, shouldn’t be surprised. If the federal government were capable of performing well »

The Hinderaker-Ward Experience, Episode 76: In the Hot Zone, With Byron York

Featured imageBrian Ward and I were joined last night by Byron York for a fast-paced, entertaining review of this year’s key Senate races. You won’t want to miss it, even if you aren’t an HWX regular. We also covered some of the news of the day, mainly ebola (Brian is horrified, I am not). And we had a Loon and a TWIG. http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/ricochet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HWX-77.mp3 You can listen to the podcast by playing »

Stocks: Look Out Below!

Featured imageAt last! A stock market I can like! There’s no shortage of opinions on why the market is suddenly swooning—take a sampling of the commentary over at RealClearMarkets if you’d like to take in the waterfront—but of most immediate interest is what the political impact might be if the market continues to fall, or even crash, before election day in three weeks. One more thing Obama doesn’t need right now. »

Hispanic Voters Are Reagan Voters!

Featured imageThat’s the message of this hard-hitting new anti-Mark Udall ad in Colorado, which is lighting up the internet this morning. The ad, produced by Conservative War Chest, is playing in both Spanish and English. It is aggressive, to put it mildly; it will be fun to hear the Democrats squawk about it over the days to come. The ad represents the most meaningful effort I have seen to take seriously »

How To Tell Even Obama Knows He’s In Trouble

Featured imageWhen he cancels fundraising trips.  (Though perhaps even Democratic donors don’t think appearing with him before a wipeout election is a good idea.) But also when he gives speeches like this just a few days ago: I actually believe that capitalism is the greatest force for prosperity and opportunity the world has ever known.  And I believe in private enterprise — not government, but innovators and risk-takers and makers and doers »

The Daily Show meets Rich Richman

Featured imageJon Stewart performed a service for his viewers on the Daily Show this week. In the eight-minute segment below, he actually mentioned and mocked Obama’s recent fundraiser at the home of Rich Richman. The segment begins slowly and picks up around the three-minute mark. It continues with a review of the Democrats’ hysterical fundraising email messages this campaign season. John Hinderaker has written about the Democrats’ fundraising emails with more »

The limits of reticence

Featured imageThe Age of Obama will not be known as an age of reticence. The president is, after all, a man of many words, including some that used to resonate widely. But there is one area in which Obama has ushered in a new reticence. Following Obama’s lead, Democratic politicians increasingly flatly refuse to tell to voters what their positions are on key matters. Obama started the trend by voting “present” »

Brightsource But Bad Idea?

Featured imageWe’ve reported before about the Ivanpah Brightsource solar power facility in the California desert near Las Vegas that is frying birds wholesale and blinding pilots.  A Power Line informant passes along this notice to pilots from the airline pilots association: Blinded by the Light? Report It to the FAA! Have you seen a flash of bright light from the ground while flying near Las Vegas—in the daytime? If so, the »

The Democrats’ War On the Koch Brothers Is a Flop

Featured imageThe Democrats, hard up for issues to run on this year, decided to try to run against Charles and David Koch. This strategy was counterintuitive, since most people had no idea who the Kochs are, and voters are notoriously indifferent to campaign finance issues. But the Democrats pressed ahead, holding press conferences, denouncing the Kochs on the Senate floor, producing videos, and spending untold millions on campaign ads tying Republican »

Arkansas Debate: Cotton excels; Pryor confirms he’s out-of-touch

Featured imageTom Cotton made a strong showing in last night’s Arkansas Senate debate. His opponent, Mark Pryor, fought hard, but may ultimately have put the final nail in his coffin. Asked by one of the questioners to define the middle class, Pryor at first ducked the question. When pressed, he opined that it consisted of those making up to $200,000 a year. Talk about out of touch. Pryor’s definition might pass »

Pryor analytics, O’Keefe edition

Featured imageJames O’Keefe takes his Project Veritas Action team inside the campaign of incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. In his new video, O’Keefe’s team shows Pryor supporters claiming that he secretly supports gay marriage although he holds himself out as a supporter of traditional marriage. O’Keefe prefaces the video with this email message: Enter Senator Mark Pryor. Sen. Pryor is a Democrat from Arkansas who has been in office »

What is inherent?

Featured imageTwo months into the phony war we are fighting irresolutely against ISIS — or the phony war we are resolutely not fighting — we finally have a name for it. It is Operation Inherent Resolve. Robin Wright reflects on it for the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: The choice–”Operation Inherent Resolve”–has both a loneliness and a longness about it, and even a sadness. It reflects both the dashed hopes of »

Dems Say: Let’s Run on Global Warming and Contraception. Voters Say: Huh?

Featured imageThe Democrats’ two big issues this cycle, to the extent they have been willing to talk about issues, are global warming and contraception. Neither of which the federal government has much, if anything, to do with, which may account for the fact that voters just don’t care. This Gallup chart makes the point visually. It graphs the importance of issues to voters against the Republicans’ advantage on those issues. Note »

This day in baseball history — The Cardinals are champions

Featured imageWhen last we looked in on the 1964 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees were knotted at two games apiece. Ken Boyer’s grand slam had kept St. Louis in the thick of it. The clubs split the next two games. Game 5 was another dramatic affair, the third in a row. Both teams went with their ace — Bob Gibson for the Cardinals and (with »

The Times Report on Chemical Weapons In Iraq: It’s No Blockbuster

Featured imageThe front page of today’s New York Times is dominated by a long article on chemical weapons in Iraq. It appears to be the result of a major investigation; bylined by C.J. Chivers, it credits six additional reporters and researchers as well as eight “producers.” The gist of the article is that there were far more chemical weapons in Iraq than were ever publicly reported, and between 2004 and 2011 »

The Political Failure of Libertarianism

Featured imageSad news out of Iowa yesterday that the Libertarian Party senate candidate, Doug Butzier, was killed in a plane crash. Political junkies immediately speculated that this might well tip the close Iowa senate race to Joni Ernst. I’m not so certain of this; I think a lot of purist libertarian voters might just not vote for a senate candidate at all, or might even vote for the Democrat on the »

A word from Michael Rogers

Featured imageMichael Rogers is the author of the message in the adjacent post. I wrote him to ask if I could have his permission to identify him by name. He has not only acceded, for purposes of identification he has provided his professional affiliations with Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital, where he is assistant professor of surgery and a research associate in the vascular biology program, respectively. Dr. Rogers (the “doctor” »