Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome reports of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death and Jim offers some super helpful tips to anyone looking to take his place. They also address Fox and Friends’ retraction after they overstated the level of classified information that former FBI Director James Comey revealed in his memos. And they ridicule Sen. Bernie Sanders for his outrageous and hysterical claims that the GOP healthcare bill will result in thousands of deaths every year if it passes.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control and the tightening of the noose around ISIS in Syria as well. They also discuss reports that former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on conversations with President Trump contain classified information. And they lightheartedly critique Donald Trump Jr.’s account of a fruitless meeting between top Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton but really wanted to talk about adoption policy.

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new developments in the Middle East as ISIS loses its grip on Mosul and its defeat appears increasingly likely. They condemn the appalling Charlie Gard decision in which a London court decided that a terminally ill child will be removed from life support — against the wishes of his parents — and reflect on the implications of single-payer healthcare. They criticize President Trump’s latest Twitter barrage against Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, claiming Trump’s language debases the culture. Plus, a follow-up revelation in the McEnroe-Williams tennis controversy.

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We celebrate the SCOTUS ruling that, to no sane person’s surprise, the suspension of President Trump’s ban on travel from “six predominantly Muslim countries” was an absurd invasion by judicial activists into the blatantly Executive functions of the government. This is, as you have guessed, the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast, episode 128, with our guest Jessica Vaughan from the Center for Immigration Studies.

(Apologies that this episode has some serious unbalance to the audio – we will be improving the technology in the coming weeks. Thanks for your patience).

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America feeling optimistic after a recent poll shows that Republican Karen Handel has a slim lead over Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in the Georgia runoff election. They also praise the Supreme Court which ruled unanimously in favor of protecting trademarks that some parties may consider offensive or disparaging. And they applaud the U.S. military as they down the third pro-Syrian regime aircraft this month, an action which prompted a harsh Russian response.

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for June 20, 2017, it’s the Redskins and White Vans edition of the show with your hosts Todd Feinburg and Mike Stopa.

Our topics this week include the breaking news of today’s “terrorist attack” (note the scare quotes) in London at the Finsbury Park mosque. A white dude – quickly identified as such – in a white van ran onto the sidewalk and over some not very white Muslims as they were leaving their Ramadan prayer service. Does this qualify as a terrorist attack? Do ISIS-inspired attacks qualify as terrorist attacks? Mike thinks that they do not! Todd disagrees.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America react to news of yet another terror attack in the UK which targeted British Muslims outside of a London mosque after their evening prayers for Ramadan. They also discuss the Supreme Court’s announcement that they will take up the partisan gerrymandering case in the state of Wisconsin to determine whether or not the act is unconstitutional. And they respond to Erick Erickson’s sensationalist comments as he refers to the left as “America’s ISIS” and advocates for state secession.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America discuss the legitimacy of Russia’s claims that they killed top ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May. They also express frustration over more heated tweets from President Donald Trump today in which he angrily states that he is being investigated for obstruction of justice. And they have a field day with the news that Alex Jones of Infowars released secret recordings from behind the scenes of his interview with Megyn Kelly, an interview which sparked major controversy and outrage across the nation.

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Tillerson: Palestinians Ending Payments to Terrorists and Their Families

 
President Trump and PA President Mahmoud Abbas meeting at the White House, May 3, 2017.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informed senators that the Palestinian Authority will no longer pay terrorists and their families for attacking Israelis. He made the comments Tuesday at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

“They have changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others,” Tillerson said. He said that the Trump administration made it clear that the PA’s policy “is simply not acceptable to us.”

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The Latest on the ISIS Attacks in Iran

 

With the press limitations in Iran, details remain sketchy, but here’s what we know about the first terror attack in Iran by ISIS.

On Wednesday morning, gunmen dressed as women entered the Iranian parliament carrying Kalashnikovs. They fought their way into the highly secured building an waged an hours-long assault. Government forces surrounded the area as TV coverage showed people, including children, escaping from windows. Audio has been released indicating heavy intermittent gunfire from a variety of weapons.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start the day reacting to reports that former FBI director James Comey will not accuse President Trump of trying to obstruct justice. They also sigh as tensions mount between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. And they are a bit surprised to see ISIS attacking Iran, but also see some benefit in two detestable entities focused on each other rather than targets in the West.

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for June 6, 2017, it’s episode 123, the Southern Fried Terror edition of the podcast coming to you this week (or so it may sound) from the moon! Todd is in Farmington Connecticut, Mike is in Palo Alto, we are recording the podcast on a Dictaphone Steampunk Victorian Recording machine. You can *hear* the history!

Our topics this week are the reaction of Theresa May to the terror attacks in London and related thoughts. As the people of Britain ask: “what concretely are you going to *do*???” May answers (unbelievably) we’re going to spy on the internet…and we are going to have uncomfortable conversations. Look, uncomfortable conversations are fine and all…but how about simply rounding up the 3000 or so top terror suspects in the U.K. and either expelling them or locking them up?

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Terrorist attacks in England have hit right at the beginning of the high season for tourism in the U.K., Travel journalist Rudy Maxa talks with Eric Felten about the effects of terrorism on travel.

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What Does Prudence Mean When You Have No Power?

 

The bad press that “Run, Hide, Tell” is getting is partly to do with how unpleasant it is to be reminded that most of us are not manly and partly to do with the unpredictable reality of danger. We’re mostly not ready for it for a combination of personal and social-political reasons. I’m sure a few people are prepared — and just as sure that most aren’t, considering the post-9/11 experiences of civilized people. I hope that’s a good way to begin a talk about this without acrimony.

I don’t think the anger at “Run, Hide, Tell” is a rebellion against the public imperatives of safety. Instead, I think people have a just grievance. The authorities should address this grievance differently, giving them a sense of the common good and how to participate in it. In the absence of serious political deliberation and decision, the police side of dealing with terrorist attacks dominates the public imagination, and that’s bound to end badly.

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Lessons from London

 

Claire and Jon have discussed what those of us on the west side of pond should or should not say to the Brits about the efficacy (or lack thereof) of a culture of victimhood when it comes to battling Islamic terrorism. I thought I’d offer a few pointers that might be of use in preventing such a situation from happening to readers of Ricochet.

Police officer and Marine Corps combat veteran Chris Hernandez talks about the history and effectiveness of such attacks, and Greg Ellifritz (one of the smartest guys out there right now in the gun training world) has some great info on what you and I can do right now to lessen our chances of being a victim.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud British Prime Minister Theresa May for a much tougher statement following the London Bridge terrorism attack, while acknowledging the difficult free speech debate that is sure to follow. They also contemplate terror suspect profiling after one attacker appeared in the documentary “The Jihadis Next Door” and attempted to radicalize children in a local park, yet police let him go after questioning. And they express frustration over President’s Trump’s latest Twitter tirade over his travel ban.

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Can a Video and a Catchy Tune Change the Middle East?

 

This video seems to me to be something we’ve been waiting for — a voice within Islam to shame and expel the violent extremist. To celebrate life and love instead of death. There’s no hiding the bomber’s religious motivation; he recites the Muslims’ creed. But the others counter what he says with positive messages from Islam. They point to the misery bombers have caused with images of destruction and the presence of people — Muslims — who have been hurt by them.

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