It’s all-crazy and all coronavirus today on the Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they go through the three key points from President Trump’s Oval Office address that were not consistent with administration policy and needed later clarification. They also dive into the rapidly growing list of college and professional sports events being cancelled or radically altered, most prominently the NBA suspending its season after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus. Finally, they comment on movie star Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson testing positive in Australia while feeling slightly under the weather and wonder how much patience Americans will have for a long-term quarantine when many patients don’t feel that crummy and a lot of economic livelihoods are on the line.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Palestinian State Would Mean Israel’s Destruction

 

The completion of the marathon series of elections in Israel could determine the nation’s existence. If Netanyahu loses, Benny Gantz as prime minister will likely return Israel to the Leftist positions. Although Gantz has been characterized as a moderate, he may be offering those positions for public consumption. The fact is, Gantz is an unknown politically, and Israel needs a leader who will take clear and firm positions.

A number of issues have shifted in the Middle East that suggest Israel is not criticized as severely as it has been in the past. That shift begins with Arab countries that have discovered they have much to gain militarily and commercially with Israel. This change doesn’t mean that these countries will embrace Israel; in fact, many of the exchanges between the two countries are only first steps, and those countries could always sever their connections. But at this time, Sudan, Saudi Arabi, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Morocco, and Bahrain have all showed an interest in changing their relationships with the Israelis, agreeing to a “normalization of relations.” Behind those decisions, for example, are the purchase of spy equipment by the Saudis, discreet meetings with a Minister of UAE; cooperation between Israel and Egypt to provide security in and out of the Gaza strip; a security buffer between Israel and Jordan, as well as Israel supplying Jordan with water.

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It’s a wild Wednesday Three Martini Lunch as we recap the events of Super Tuesday. Join Jim and Greg as they relish the very expensive implosion of Michael Bloomberg, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars for one win in American Samoa while getting creamed in all 14 states before dropping out of the race on Wednesday. While they have plenty of concerns about Joe Biden, they are glad to see socialism take one on the chin Tuesday, as Bernie Sanders fell far below expectations and won just four states. They also detail how the past week and a half proves Sanders is actually a really bad politician. And they cringe as President Trump trolls former Attorney General Jeff Sessions upon the news Sessions is headed to a runoff for the nomination.

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It’s a day of fast-moving headlines! Amy Klobuchar dropped out after we recorded but it’s just the latest move to rally the non-Bernie Dems around Joe Biden. And we talk about that a lot! Join Jim and Greg as they chronicle the curiously hasty exit of Pete Buttigieg from the Democratic race and they also have some choice thoughts as Tom Steyer hits the bricks too. Then, they marvel at how the Democratic establishment, the media (but we repeat ourselves), and Never Trumpers sound the clarion call to support Joe Biden because he won one state. And they step away from politics to discuss the resumption of violence in Afghanistan just days after the U.S. signed a deal with the Taliban, reminding us that region may never be stable. But will it pose another major national security threat to the U.S. sometime soon?

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It’s an all-crazy Thursday on the Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they get a kick out of Democratic presidential hopefuls already explaining why they’re going to keep running regardless of how badly they do in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday. They also shake their heads as the mainstream media all suddenly make the coronavirus a political issue to hammer the Trump administration. And they wince as the Trump campaign urges South Carolina Republicans to cross over and support Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s Democratic primary.

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Join Jim and Greg as they tackle a wide variety of martinis today. First, they are gratified to see a sexual predator like Harvey Weinstein headed to prison for rape and sexual assault although they’re disappointed to see him acquitted on the most serious charges. They also cringe as the spread of coronavirus in South Korea, China, and Italy send global markets sharply lower. And they shake their heads as they walk through all the massive tax hikes Bernie Sanders wants to inflict in order to pay for has laundry list of new entitlement programs. And they preview what should be a feisty debate among the Democrats in South Carolina tonight.

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Start your week with the Three Martini Lunch as we dissect the good, the bad, and the crazy concerning the Nevada Democratic Caucuses. Join Jim and Greg as they experience more than a little bit of schadenfreude as Democrats thoroughly freak out over Bernie Sanders dominating the vote on Saturday. But they get more serious as ’60 Minutes’ and even CNN remind everyone how radical Sanders is and how he praised Fidel Castro and Marxists in Nicaragua and the Soviet Union. And they unload on Nevada Democrats for running terrible caucuses plagued by having too few officials to run some precincts effectively and still not finishing the vote totals by Monday morning.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Namaste Trump

 

The Indian answer to Houston’s “Howdy Modi” was “Namaste Trump.” The event was held in what a sign said was the world’s largest cricket stadium, with over 100,000 capacity. Prime Minister Modi greeted President Trump on stage, the two hugging.

After the playing of the American national anthem, PM Modi showed President Trump and First Lady Melania to two chairs, where they sat while he gave a brief introductory speech. President Trump then gave an excellent speech, about 30 minutes, praising his host and the Indian nation’s rapid advance on important metrics like extreme poverty. He emphasized that the Indian people were successfully advancing while a democracy, making this basic point several times without calling out China by name.

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The Democrats debated in Las Vegas last night and they put on quite the show. Join Jim and Greg as they walk through the major dust-ups between Bloomberg and Warren, Bloomberg and Sanders, and Klobuchar and Buttigieg and try to figure out what the impact will be on the race for the nomination. They’re also thrilled to see a new poll from Gallup showing Americans with the highest satisfaction in the state of the U.S. since 2005 and lopsided numbers of citizens optimistic about the economy and where it is headed. And they go back to the debate to focus on NBC’s Chuck Todd asking Michael Bloomberg whether billionaires should exist.

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Member Post

 

In recent days I have read several fascinating articles on Islam as it Jews. Several have focused on the increasing anti-Semitism in France where Jews have faced a violence that reminiscent of the 1930s Nazi occupation. Representative of these articles is this from the New York Times, which I highlight only because of its Liberal […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’m going to “borrow” @CACrabtree’s symbology since it seems apt for something that happened to me. I attended a lecture late last year being given by a gentleman from a European nation. He had a prestigious background, having served as an ambassador to the US. The topic of his discussion was how Trump was destroying […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’d Like to Pass on the Corona

 

I haven’t seen a post on Ricochet talking specifically about the coronavirus, now known as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, since Rodin’s post on the 7th. Let me take this opportunity to provide a short update from the other side of the world in Yokohama, Japan. While it’s not China, and not as bad off as China, the way this outbreak is progressing, Yokohama is now, as I’ll explain below, another front in the COVID-19 outbreak. Although I was in the Navy and spent time working in Emergency Management, now I’m just a plain ex-pat enjoying my retirement overseas, so most of what I’ll relate here comes from personal observations and local news sources.

Even with the occasional friction that occurs between China and Japan, Japan remains a favored destination for Chinese travelers. Before the outbreak kicked off, there were tons of Chinese tourists at popular locations across Japan every day. The last time I visited Kyoto a couple of years ago, the big tourist sites, buses, and sidewalks were packed as I had never seen them before. The famous shopping area in Tokyo called Ginza was crowded every day with tour buses and tourists, and while not all of them were Chinese, a vast majority appeared to be. However, starting at about the beginning of this month, Japan’s tourist locations saw traffic dry up. A store owner at Asakusa, one of the most popular sites in Tokyo, just mentioned on a news program that the number of tourists is way down, about 10 percent of normal, or a drop of 90 percent. One of the bigger duty-free stores called Laox, which sells electronics and electrical goods, is decreasing its workforce by 20 percent due to the outbreak.

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As America pauses for Presidents Day – or at least the federal government does – Jim and Greg take some time to evaluate a few recent presidents who deserve a closer look at their legacies. They’re presidents many of you remember well, but for some reason are rarely mentioned as leaders Americans remember most fondly.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I just listened to the latest episode (#15) of Steve Bannon’s special podcast series, War Room Pandemic. You should listen to it too. The guests were Rosemary Gibson (author of China Rx,) Steven Hatfill, the bioweapons expert who was framed by the government and his career destroyed during the anthrax scare; (he ultimately won a multimillion […]

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Prepare for another busy political week by starting with Monday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Pete Buttigieg flail for an answer after ABC’s Linsey Davis calls him out for black people being four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites while Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend. They also hammer the Chinese government after the Justice Department indicts four Chinese military figures for the 2017 Equifax hack that compromised the information of more than 145 million people. And they react to more bizarre statements from Joe Biden over this past weekend and wonder whether his campaign is just stumbling right now or whether it’s on the brink of imploding.

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Wrap up this crazy, eventful week with the Friday Three Martini Lunch. Jim and Greg start with a quick cheer for the January jobs report before moving on to the three main discussions of the day. First, they get a kick out of Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that President Trump wasn’t really acquitted and Blitzer pointing out in detail that, in fact, Trump really was found not guilty. They also celebrate the intelligence and military precision that combined to target and kill Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And Jim unleashes a devastating rant against now former Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh, who has now flip-flopped to the point where he vows to vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination, even if it’s an avowed socialist.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Did Trump Park in the Wrong Spot?

 

I was doing work in a government building once and I parked my vehicle, and it created a huge fuss. The reaction was ridiculous, it was a personal affront. It wasn’t that someone had to walk a couple feet further, I had devalued them as a person.

It was rather enlightening, and amusing if I’m honest. This person had worked for years diligently and carefully, moving up the ladder, getting better pay and finally, recognition by getting a choice parking spot. In Canada, this is a taxable benefit. It was a measure of importance and stature. I had insulted them, devalued them. It was indeed personal.

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Another wild day in a very busy week! So grab a stool and join Jim and Greg as they break down the latest headlines. First, they get a kick out of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately following up the impeachment trial by filing cloture on five more judicial nominees. They also feel like wretching as mainstream media figures who savaged Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign suddenly extol him as a man of faith and principle because he voted the way they wanted him to. But they also spend time highlighting figures on the right who were way over the top in their condemnation of Romney. And they try to make sense out of the latest scraps of conflicting information coming from Democrats in Iowa while also looking ahead to New Hampshire.

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State of the Union, Pelosi ripping up the speech, the Senate impeachment vote, and the ongoing incompetence of Iowa Democrats. We’ve got it all for you today on Wednesday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they applaud the amazing number of record-low unemployment statistics cited by President Trump in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. They’re also big fans of conservative policy ideas espoused in the speech and note the impressive guests Trump invited and highlighted in his address. In contrast, they also assess House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up her copy of the speech right after Trump finished and what is says about Democrats nine months before Election Day. Finally, they have plenty more to say as Iowa Democrats release more than two-thirds of the caucus results but aren’t sure when or if the rest of the votes will be announced.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Party in the UK: Happy Brexit Day

 

I wrote this less than 10 hours before the UK officially left the EU. Hooray! For most Americans, who have seen the political and social havoc that Brexit has wrought from a distance and at intervals, I’m sure this seems like the inevitable, albeit, long conclusion to a rocky process. But living on the ground, even compared to the experiences of the most well-informed non-Brits, is an entirely different experience.

In lectures, tutorials, and railway stopping protests, Brexit has been continually hashed out over the last two years. Every time a cabinet minister or prominent MP comes to visit our uni Tory Society, he or she is bombarded with Brexit related questions, to almost the exclusion of domestic policy. Bringing high school friends to Parliament last summer came with a man wearing a Boris mask and a Union Jack leotard shouting about the French, and a troop of be-started pro-EU protests singing about trade policy. We’ve watched two prime ministers be felled, hosted contentious debates from the highest placed on both sides at Union, and seen the pound flail in value. In short, it has been an exhausting and deeply divisive two years.

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