Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., explains why he doesn’t need to hear from John Bolton, the former National Security Adviser for President Trump, in the Senate impeachment trial. This comes despite the revelation, in Bolton’s upcoming book, that Trump told Bolton that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in aid to Ukraine until officials helped with investigations into Democrats, namely Joe and Hunter Biden. “Hashing it Out” is a podcast hosted by Siraj Hashmi, Washington Examiner’s commentary video editor and writer. Each episode includes a political guest to offer historical context of the news and politics of the day and insight into how we got to where we are. If you want to find the deeper meaning behind current events, then “Hashing it Out” is the podcast for you.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. John Bolton and the Leaked Manuscript

 

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:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Yes, Hunter Biden Can Be Forced to Testify

 

“No reporter in Washington knows or understands this.” — Senator Ted Cruz, Verdict with Ted Cruz, Episode 2

In the midst of impassioned posts, swirling social media content, and the never-ending news cycle, Sen. Ted Cruz brought a bit of real insight the other evening. He did so in a new podcast that is burning up the charts. In Episode 2, Sen. Cruz explained that the Senate has the power, in plainly written federal law, to unilaterally grant a witness “transactional immunity,” thereby removing the ability of the witness to refuse to testify on the constitutional basis of the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. In plain English, the deal is: “talk, tell us the whole truth, and nothing you say may be used against you by anyone in any criminal procedure, ever.”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If You Are Watching the Impeachment Trial, Watch on CSPAN2

 

I watched the trial today. I started on Fox but by about 8 p.m., I switched to CSPAN2. Fox was interrupting with handoffs between shows and other news. I am sure it was important to many viewers, but I was trying to listen carefully to the president’s defenders.

Starr was good, Dershowitz was great. Philbin did an outstanding job of previewing the clusterfark coming if the Senate decides to call Bolton/Mulvaney or anyone else subject to Executive Privilege. I hope Romney/Collins got the message. Don’t think they have, yet. But McConnell did because if they go down that road the Senate will be in session through the Convention this summer.

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10 Year-Marine Corps officer, advocate of victims of burn pits and thriller writer of books like Overwatch and Rules of War, Matt Betley joins Carol Roth to talk about how perseverance has informed all aspects of his life. In addition to his advocacy work, Matt and Carol talk about his journey to sobriety and give you an inside look into the struggles that combat veterans deal with in terms of their health and the VA.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @MatthewBetley and on Facebook via his fan page.

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Blaire White: The ‘Prolific Youtuber, Public Speaker, Political & Social Commentator’ joins Dave in this long-form, transparent and thought-provoking discussion covering Free Speech, #MeToo, Transgender issues, the Left’s takeover of the LGBTQ narrative, and her personal story. Follow Blaire White on YouTube, and @msblairewhite on Twitter and Instagram. PLEASE Support #WhiskeyPolitics at http://paypal.me/mywhiskeypolitics. Cheers!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. CNN’s Latest Ad for Trump 2020

 

While in one breath decrying the divisiveness that has infected our politics and criticizing our President’s role in breeding that anger, we have this from over the weekend on CNN’s evening show with Don Lemon,

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quiet Competence

 

Taz Venegas was a quiet guy, mostly. He had a great sense of humor and was well-liked, but few thought of him as a great leader among the officers in the squadron. Marines are a cult of leadership, and although I have joined in that cult and studied and discussed the topic ad nauseam all my adult life, I confess I still don’t know what qualities make a man a great leader.

We were in an A-6 squadron and it was the very early 1990s. Our squadron was designated to transition to the F/A-18D, and along with that change that we would no longer have the mission to deliver nuclear weapons. The Marines didn’t want nukes in any unit anymore, and the A-6 was one of the last methods left to use them. But before we got rid of our nukes, we had one last Nuclear Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI). Somehow Taz was tapped to be in charge, a choice that surprised most of us because the NTPI was an extremely high profile and very difficult inspection, and Taz was not among the favored sons among the air crew. Taz was a quiet guy.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Sketches from Auschwitz’

 

Monday was the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. From Radio Free Europe:

Unique images of Auschwitz were sketched by a Soviet Jewish artist who arrived with the Red Army in the hours after the camp was liberated. The images were quickly exhibited across Poland, but the artist, Zinovy Tolkachyov, was accused of “Zionism” by Soviet media and unable to work for 20 years.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Proposed: Move Drinking and Smoking Age Down, Voting Age Up

 

I think we can all agree that today’s 18-year-olds are not as adult or responsible as the 18-year-olds of the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s or even the ’80s. Today’s 18-year-olds often do not have driver’s licenses, have not held a single job, do not pay their own bills, and have little experience supporting themselves by doing laundry or cooking meals. Years ago, at 18, these young adults held down jobs or went to college and studied. Some of them got married and started families.

I would propose the following: we move the drinking and smoking age to 18. We move the voting age to at least 21, if not 25 (when people are out of college). This would give people more time to grow up, since they apparently need it, and would save them from the consequences of their under-developed brains’ machinations. Let’s move adulthood to 25. The FAFSA already holds a parent’s income against a student until age 24 or unless married, has a dependent of their own, or is in the service. Let’s take the next logical step.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hold My Corona: Popping the Top on Preparedness

 

A brief dip into Twitter prompted a brief bit of research, and the results seemed worth sharing in the current news or hype cycle. Now I know, why on earth would I be on Twitter when there is talk of a new virus and we all know avian flu is supposed to be quite nasty? I was there for entirely other reasons when I stumbled upon a retweet of a professional pundit thinking he was offering a hot take. Hot tweet? More like steaming hot bird droppings.

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For 67 years, presidents have spent the morning of the last Thursday in January or the first Thursday in February gathering with members of Congress and evangelical Christians for the National Prayer Breakfast. Here is one of Ronald Reagan’s most memorable speeches, delivered 35 years ago. In the second half of this podcast, you’ll have a chance to hear another speech at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast from 1986. Let’s listen.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Impeachment: Did I Miss Something?

 

In all of the recent unpleasantness surrounding President Trump’s impeachment and subsequent Senate trial, I have yet to hear or read the following theory regarding why the impeachment itself was inappropriate, and thus why acquittal is justified. Given that I am neither a legal scholar, nor particularly more intelligent than the average person, I suspect that other much better educated and/or smarter than I have already proposed this argument. I must have missed it. However, here goes…

The current articles of impeachment brought against the President do not specify any actual crime, only the improper exercise of executive power for political advantage (both individually, and as pertains to the President’s interactions with Congress). However, the last two presidential impeachments (Nixon and Clinton) established the precedent that a violation of Federal law was the requisite grounds for such action. In both cases, there was no question that the President had in fact broken the law. Allowing for the fact that Nixon was not in fact impeached, rather resigned before such action was taken, the 1998 Clinton impeachment was predicated on the unquestioned fact that the President had both committed Perjury, and Obstruction of Justice. However, the Senate did not remove Clinton from office, thus setting the “common law” precedent that these crimes were below the threshold for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” (I recall the justification at the time being that, “everyone lies about sex, and there was no harm done to any national interests, so it doesn’t really matter.”)

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Kevin McLaughlin and Matt Whitlock of the NRSC chat with former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott about impeachment: how this differs from the Clinton and Nixon processes, and how the Senate can come together after it’s over.

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Today we have an exclusive interview with Blaze Media’s Glenn Beck on a range of topics including our national debt, the fate of America’s Republic experiment, and tradition values. Plus: We talk about basketball great Kobe Bryant’s legacy.

We also cover these stories:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Tattered Black Shawl, Part II: A Very Short Story

 

She sat on the wooden bench, her left arm resting on the rod iron armrest, and absorbed the late afternoon sun on her face. The sun had dropped over the last half-hour, bidding her good-bye, and a cool breeze had come up, picking at her shawl. She was waiting for her last visitor; she’d named him “Ringer.” He rode by on his bicycle around this time of day, pedaling his bike like crazy with a joyful smile. He was probably about ten years old, still delighting in his youthful freedom but sweet enough to greet an old woman like her. And he always made sure to ring his bike bell twice. Then they exchanged smiles. Ah, there he was, and they did their dance. Now her time here was complete.

She didn’t want to leave yet, but the coolness crept into her bones, her stiff arthritic hands and her unpredictable feet. She knew her body had lingered longer than it was due, but she rejected medication and was willing to tolerate the pain, to make sure her mind was vivid and true. A few gold and red leaves tripped across her feet in the breeze, a reminder of the disappearing day. She stayed a moment longer, the sun lingering on her face. Still, she was growing colder, and she prepared herself to stand to make the journey home.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. No Quid. No Pro. No Quo. Adam Schiff Has To Go!

 

No doubt there are disagreements among the President and his staff all the time. It is the staff’s job to help the president achieve his goals tactically, politically and legally. And I assume that these conversations can be difficult and painful, especially when dealing with a headstrong chief executive. So when I read that the President and his national security advisor discussed delaying aid to Ukraine for the reasons cited, I’m not surprised. That is why the executive branch is allowed “executive privilege,” so that these conversations and deliberations can be confidential, hence frank, honest, contrary and dare I say, even heated. The final result is all that matters.

I can imagine Trump’s frustration with the entire Joe and Hunter Biden situation. He sees this outrageous profiteering right there, in plain sight. In his position, who would not want this situation to be outed? It smacks of corruption. The Bidens’ Ukraine adventures are not somehow legitimized, and Joe Biden inoculated, just because he happens to be seeking the Democrat candidacy.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Live by the Mob, Etc. etc.

 

Do you believe in karma? We may be seeing it play out in real-time.

One of the most memorable long-form pieces of last year came in Reason from Emily Yoffe, and discussed the canceling of a journalist at the hands of #MeToo activists. I highly recommend opening another browser window to read it in full, but this is a relevant portion for our conversation today:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Less Government, the Better

 

I’ve been an HOA board member for about eight years now, and only became a member after we had a horrible issue with some residents trying to bully a young couple they didn’t like. Those of us who took over the board have followed an agenda aimed at leaving people alone, and since our covenants are minimal so it’s pretty easy. It got me to thinking, however, about the handful of residents who complain about their neighbors.

The most recent issue was someone complaining about their neighbor’s kids riding dirt bikes on the property. They didn’t like the noise and dust but it’s not an activity prohibited by the covenants. I told the woman complaining that she needed to contact the neighbors directly before we would even consider getting involved. She refused. Another neighbor talked to them and worked it out (keep in mind these are three- or five-acre tracts). The other thing we hear about often is someone not liking their neighbor’s yard clutter. We always tell them to find us where the activity is prohibited in the covenants (and, of course, it’s not).

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Drunkard

 

“Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.” – Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), in Casablanca, to Nazi Major Strasser who had taunted him with the idea of Hitler invading New York.

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James and Toby need to be careful on this week’s edition of the United Kingdom’s Most Trusted Podcast® because someone may be listening in… Yeah, we know, that’s the point
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We’re sharing our worst self-care fails (waxing) and best successes (White Claw). Tuck into this hilarious episode with your favorite beverage of choice and let Emily and Kelly show you the light. Speaking of self-care, Kelly had a fever of 102 during this episode, but she loves you so much that she recorded it anyway. Show her some love in the comments below and on Twitter and Instagram! But the best get-well wish you can give is a review on Apple Podcasts.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Basic Protection in a Respiratory Epidemic

 

The novel coronavirus infection that started in China is now making its way around the world. There is no need to panic. Hopefully, our public health measures will contain the spread within the US to make it at best a minor issue. Personally, I think it would be prudent to halt travel to and from China at this point, or at least insist on a strict quarantine for anyone arriving from China.

However, what if it does get a major toehold in the US and you need to take action? What can you do to protect yourself and your family?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hold My Corona: China Showing Basic Civic Competence

 

Thanks to the PowerLine crew, Ricochet members got better insight into what is and is not happening in China than we got from any other media outlet. Steven Hayward had an American in Wuhan give a field report.

If you had ears to hear, you should be both reassured and worried. You should be reassured that China is competently responding to a public health threat. You should be concerned and relieved that the Chinese government and institutions are truly competent, capable of learning from past experiences. That makes them a more dangerous regional and global competitor at the same time as we can assume they are less likely to blunder incompetently into a major war.

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