On this week’s episode, the Substandard discusses the Clint Eastwood oeuvre. Sonny reviews The 15:17 to Paris and finds himself strangely drawn to it. JVL tears into the coverage of North Korea at the Olympics. Why is Vic wearing a trenchcoat to the theater?

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are leery in general that any infrastructure bill can avoid becoming a huge waste of money but they are glad to see President Trump asking states to play a major role in funding the plan. They also unload on the mainstream media for writing glowing reviews of Kim Jong-Un’s sister and how she is supposedly executing a diplomatic masterpiece at the Olympics. And they rip the press for falling for the supposedly charming North Korean cheer squad, when they’re really slaves of a regime that will punish them and their families if they make any mistakes. And they roll their eyes at CNN for reporting that Sen. Bob Corker is thinking about reconsidering his retirement, even as Corker’s office says there is nothing to the story.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of National Review welcome transparency about our government, most recently the disturbing revelations about the FBI’s allegedly sloppy and politically charged approach to obtaining a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign figure Carter Page. They also roll their eyes as partisans on both sides react to the memo, including Democrats who see nothing wrong with the FBI allegedly using a dossier as evidence without confirming its veracity and not telling the FISA court it was paid for by Democrats and Republicans insisting this means the Mueller investigation must be shut down immediately when the memo’s author says that is not his conclusion at all. And they’re thrilled to see the New England Patriots lose the Super Bowl, but shake their heads in disgust as Philadelphia fans destroy property, flip cars, and engage in other revolting behavior.

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Superbowl? Pound Sand.

 

Given how the conservative universe seemingly unites on football, it’s my time for controversy. Superbowl? I’ve never cared. Ever. I don’t care who wins, loses, who deflates, slack shark dancers, an exposed middle-aged nipple. I’ll have none of it. I look forward to my wife’s amazing snacks. As to half time ads or more civilization-crumbling shows? Go pound sand. I’ll have none of it.

How lonely is my island? Who else doesn’t care?

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Need a break from the memo frenzy? Have some martinis with us! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of seeing the Democratic National Committee with less than half a million dollars on hand heading into the midterms while Republicans have $40 million ready to go. They also shake their heads as Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan wants to opt out of the Trump’s administration’s plans for offshore energy exploration, a move made much easier by government already granting an exemption for Florida. And they bang their heads against the desk as PolitiFact hired unhinged former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson to be part of their team, only to reverse course after liberals and conservatives howled in protest. Jim and Greg also share their unvarnished thoughts on Groundhog Day and offer their Superbowl predictions.

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On this latest episode of the Substandard, we talk about the impending Disney-Fox merger. Will the X-Men join forces with the Avengers? Will there finally be a definitive Fantastic Four? We also veer into a discussion of Lord of the Rings, JVL’s pregame jitters, Las Vegas, and the Breakfast Sampler at IHOP.

The Substandard is sponsored by Tripping.com. Did you know that the average family visits 5 websites before booking a vacation rental? With Tripping.com, one search lets you filter, compare and sort over 10 million available properties on trusted sites like VRBO, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and more. Don’t wonder if you’re getting the best deal – you’ll save an average of 18 percent per night by booking your vacation with Tripping.com.

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Quote of the Day: Shelby Steele on Black Protests

 

“What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.” — Shelby Steele, “Black Protest Has Lost Its Power,” Wall Street Journal

I totally agree with Mr. Steele, who is a voice of reason. It’s so easy for some people to blame someone else for all their problems, especially if they have been doing it for decades. As has been said here on Ricochet and elsewhere, these protests by incredibly wealthy, coddled athletes are losing any effect they ever had. And we in the white majority, who quit being the “oppressor” a long time ago, refuse to feel guilty for something for which we do not bear the responsibility.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer up a bit following Jim’s exhaustive study of all the House seats held by retiring Republicans, a report which concludes the vast majority of those seats are likely not in danger of flipping to Democrats. They also wonder what President Trump would possibly have to gain by talking with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who seems plenty eager to pounce on process crimes as much or more than crimes directly related to the purpose of his investigation. They have some fun with the news that former Secretary of State John Kerry told a Palestinian official that he is “seriously considering” a 2020 presidential run. And they get a kick out of reports that the ill-fated XFL appears to be making a comeback in a couple of years.

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On this latest episode, the Substandard tackles (so to speak!) the playoff picture. JVL soars like an eagle. Vic hates getting interrupted. Sonny recounts his basement-dwelling years. Plus a discussion of post-9/11 war movies and a review of 12 Strong.

The Substandard is sponsored by quip, the new electric toothbrush. quip starts at just $25, and when you go to getquip.com/substandard, you’ll get your first refill pack free!

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy seeing Democrats get accused of caving in the shutdown standoff and seeing the avalanche of leftist criticism aimed at Chuck Schumer. They also shake their heads as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules that the current congressional map is unconstitutional gerrymandering and a new map must be drawn, likely costing the Republicans seats. And they’re disgusted as North Korea keeps finding ways to turn the Winter Olympics in South Korea into an opportunity to glorify its own communist dictatorship, and media figures like NBC’s Lester Holt seem only too happy to help.

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Chatting before the much-anticipated Senate vote to end the government shutdown, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Democrats feeling the heat on refusing to fund the government and taking some steps to get things fully up and running, but they also warn listeners what Democrats and some Republicans really want in an immigration bill to go along with reopening the government. They also don’t believe the FBI’s explanation that it somehow lost five critical months worth of text messages from Peter Strzok, the agent fired form the Mueller special counsel team and bragged about an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory. And they also call BS on the explanation from Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor for attacking Paul, namely that the senator was assaulted from behind and had five ribs broken because he was stacking brush close to their shared property line.

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In this latest mega-episode, the Substandard discusses the works of director Paul Thomas Anderson—JVL reveals himself to be a PTA scholar. Sonny reviews Phantom Thread. Vic reveals his favorite bathroom in D.C. JVL is writing Eagles fanfiction. And Sonny still hates coconut.

The Substandard is sponsored by Casper mattresses. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting Casper.com/substandard and using promo code SUBSTANDARD at checkout.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome a new poll showing nearly half of Americans hold a positive view of the Republican tax bill and are bullish on the economy, although they are not ready to give Trump and the GOP credit. They also wince as Democrats win a usually safe Republican seat in the Wisconsin State Senate, and Gov. Scott Walker urges GOP members and activists to make sure people know about their significant accomplishments. And they sigh as President Trump’s doctor gives the commander-in-chief a clean bill of health, but White House reporters still ask the physician a litany of repetitive questions about Trump’s mental health and whether he he is fit to serve under the conditions of the 25th Amendment.

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