Since our plans to hide away forever at a remote Minnesotan lake house were dashed – on account of James not having one for us – we decided instead to jump on into the mucky swamp that’s swallowed up our institutions. At least we have Eli Lake (who, as you’ll hear, knows everybody) to tour us through the law enforcement agencies who’ve undermined their standing with the public in order to get the guy who they blame for undermining the public’s trust in them…

Also, the hosts chat some about the former rep from Wyoming; a Florida judge who hopes to stop Gov. DeSantis from stopping the woke; Lileks is seeing a resurgence of masking; plus, Rob had lunch with Viktor Orbán!

Is anybody else wondering why we’re seeing more coverage about politicians chattering or journalists ducking from skirmishes than, you know, military movements, logistics and strategy? Our hosts sure do, and that’s why they’re eager to hear from Eli Lake, Bloomberg’s foreign policy columnist. Eli gives his take on the Russian pipe dream, Europe’s need for a wakeup call, and how Biden can get serious about his promise to stand up to Putin (hint: some crow eating would be in order).

On the bright side, our hosts notice that we’ve been relieved of CoViD talk for the past few days; on that note, John Kerry tries to keep our eye on the greatest anti-climate(ick!) consequence of the whole ordeal. And Rob still wants you to join, so you hang out with him and the gang for our members-only events coming down the line!

What can we say? Frustration has a way of concentrating the mind, and this week we’ve got one word: Afghanistan. Victor Davis Hanson joins us to talk about our absurd administration and its pathetic priorities. Then national security correspondent Eli Lake joins us to speak on the Taliban, Biden’s “return to normal” on the world stage and his moral illiteracy. The fellas also have a chance to muse on the tug-of-war of nation-building versus our security interests, along with the question of what America’s choice will be regarding its role as the leader of the free world. We’d be interested in what Ricochet members think. Let us know in the comments!

Music from this week’s podcast: Bad Decisions by The Strokes

It sounds like a PR firm or a face cream, but it’s our two guests this week. Bloomberg’s Eli Lake sits in for Jay as co-host, and Eliana Johnson of Politico offers her insights on staff shake-ups at the White House. Eli and Mona then talk Russia, N. Korea, and climate. We got out to some music in honor of The Weekly Standard:


Eli Lake of Bloomberg View evaluates the Syria situation. Why not just “leave it others”? Jay and Mona then talk Comey, Cohen, Haley, Bush (Barbara), Stone, and Hannity. Plus: a special invitation to a live event.

Today’s podcast is full of sh*t—no really, if you have small kids in the car while you’re listening, you may want to put on the headphones.

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies on the policy of President Trump’s bleep-hole nations comments, plus the legendary RadioBlogger, Duane Patterson, on the reaction from the American Right

Reactions to President Trump’s decision on Jerusalem from Eli Lake in New York and Commentary Magazine’s Evelyn Gordon in Israel;

A former intern of John Conyers sets the standard for how women should respond to political pervery

Stranger things may have happened, but not lately. Jay and Mona welcome Bloomberg’s Eli Lake to talk national security, Syria, Susan Rice, chemical weapons, Russia, and more. Jay and Mona then find themselves defending our president against some of his disappointed fan boys.

Closing music is from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Op.24.

Well, Month One of the Trump Presidency hasn’t been boring. There are so many things we could talk about, but on this episode of American Wonk, we focus on one story in particular: the appointment and subsequent ouster of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as U.S. National Security Advisor.

President Trump has a conspicuously more favorable view of Vladimir Putin than do most conservatives. And in a pro-Putin White House, Michael Flynn was perhaps the most pro-Putin guy of all.