We’re a full month into full lockdown and quite frankly. we’re just about fully filled with aggravation about it. We vent to each other and then we bring in a couple of really smart guys (and coincidentally, Ricochet podcasters): Avik Roy and Lanhee Chen. They (along with Bob Kocher and others) have published A New Strategy for Bringing People Back to Work During COVID-19 a manual for safely re-starting the economy. We delve into detail about how to get people of all ages and backgrounds back into the workforce while putting into place safeguards to prevent another round of infections and another shutdown. Also, should we be buying goods from China? Changing My Mind on “Country of Origin” Labeling Thanks to China, This week’s Lileks Post of The Week by BucknellDad tackles that topic. Finally, what are the podcasts the podcasters listen to? Well, you’ll have to listen t this podcast to find out.

Music from this week’s show: Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man by Travis Tritt

No, we did not book Rand Paul on this supersized edition of The Big Show (90 minutes of clever and civil conversation!), we booked Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to discuss the stimulus packages (speaking of super-sized), the federal government’s response to the crisis, and a boots-on-ground report from Ohio. And our good friend and go to authority on all things medical, Dr. George Savage checks up on us and gives an update on the models (no, not those kind of models), the research, and whether sheltering at home and shutting down the economy is actually working. This week’s Lileks Post of The Week (we’ll get that jingle timed correctly one of these days — promise) asks us not to mock Joe Biden (eh, maybe…), and Rob Long saunters around a deserted Manhattan and has some thoughts.

Music from this week’s show: Taking A Walk by John Prine

This week on The Big Show, we attempt to return to some sense of normalcy (while of course maintaining social distancing by at least 1,000 miles). Yes, we talk about that thing we’re all doing and what our new lives are like now. But then, we shift gears to visit with our good friend Ross Douthat, NYT columnist and podcaster (The Argument, which Ross co-hosts is one of our favorites) on the occasion of his new book., The Decadent Society. It’s a meditation on what happens when a rich and powerful society stops advancing and how the combination of wealth, technology, economic stagnation, political stalemates, and demographic decline (among other things) creates a “sustainable decadence” that could stick around for a long time. Needless to say, it’s a provocative conversation that we’d like to get your take on in the comments. Finally, we do round of What Are You Watching,  and do a deep dive on toilet paper, courtesy of the Lileks Post of The Week.

Music from this week’s show: I.G.Y by Donald Fagen

Strange times call for improvisation and trying new things. So this week The Ricochet Podcast isn’t just a podcast, it’s also a Zoom webinar (sorry, the video is only for Ricochet members — not a member? Join today!). See James Lileks’ secret TV studio designed by a dyslexic! Rob Long owns and prominently displays Communist propaganda! Peter Robinson is wearing a sweater! Wait, that’s not a surprise. OK, he’s floating above San Francisco bay! But enough about the video, more importantly, we’ve got a great guest this week: Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at the Stanford Medical School, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He explains why the numbers we’re seeing may not tell the entire story of this pandemic. Also, a new Lileks Post of The Week, My Life as a Google End User, some thoughts about life as we now know it, and some cameo appearances from some actual Ricochet members!

Music From This Week’s Show: Sitting In My Room by The Ramones

Settle in, shelter-in-placers, we’ve got another super-sized (and shall we say, impassioned) edition of the Ricochet Podcast. In addition to the robust debaters, we’ve got Deb Saunders (self-quarantined from an undisclosed location) and Arthur Brooks who provides some much needed optimism in these dark days.

Music from this week’s show: Life During Wartime by Talking Heads

This week on the pioneering social distanced produced podcast (we are all at least several hundred miles apart), we of course talk about the virus that went viral. And fair warning: there is some criticism of the President in this show. We also call on our old friend, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, who in an alternate universe, is probably enjoying his second term as President of the United States. P.S. you should read Andy Ferguson’s terrific profile of him in The Atlantic.We talk to him about the virus (natch), how he’s keeping tuition at Purdue under $10K, and the challenges of running a large community in this day and age. Then, the 4th Ricochet Podcaster (as he’s now known), John Yoo stops by to talk about the legalities of governments taking over hotels and medical facilities to treat coronavirus patients. Finally, more talk about life in the Age of Corona and James gives some tips on buying toilet paper.

Rob Long is off this week, Law Talk’s John Yoo is sitting in. We’ve got Henry Olsen (he of The Horse Race podcast right here on this network) to chat about Super Duper Tuesday, Joementum!,  and whether we’ve seen the last of the Socialist. Then, our friend and advisor Dr. George Savage stops by the tell us all about the Corona Virus — who’s got it, who doesn’t, what we can do about it and what we can’t. Yes, we’re sick of this topic too. Also, Chuck Schumer says something dumb, why are so many old white guys running for higher office, are some people are too damn sensitive, and another edition of What Are You Watching?

Music from this week’s show: My Sharona by The Knack

The main topic? What else? The Coronavirus, which is roiling everything from the markets to the political arena and beyond. The Vice President is the new point man.

Then we get down to the nitty gritty of the race for the Democratic nomination with Luke Thompson and talk to a sensible Democrat about the environment as we’re joined by the President of Environmental Progress, Michael Shellenberger, on why nuclear power is the way to go and his new book, Apocalypse Never.

Gotta make this brief as we are very, very busy around here: Peter Robinson? Not here this week. Jon Gabriel sits in for him. It’s really cold in NYC today. We break down the dumpster fire Democratic debate. Then, author and New York Times science writer (no that’s not a typo) John Tierny on his book The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It  We’re positive you are going to like it. Then, our pal Christina Hoffs Sommers from the Femsplainers podcast stops by to talk about Harvey Weinstein, Democratic primary candidate wackiness (and woke-i-ness) and why she thinks Bernie Sanders will be the nominee. Finally, pardon us, but we have to discuss the pardons, and Jon Gabriel humblebrags about reading some really old books. Yawn.

Music from this week’s show: Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson

Yeah, it another really busy week in the Ricochet Podcast Extended Universe (or as we like to call it, RIPEU, or repoo): we had a primary, some candidates drop out the race, we had a former Trump campaign advisor sentencing blow up into a fight between the President and his Attorney General. But we decided to ignore all of that (for at least about 70% of the show) and focus on other matters. First we have a discussion about why things are actually pretty great right now, premised on Ross Douthat’s upcoming book The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success (Ross will be on the show in March to defend himself).

Then, we continue ignoring current events as the great Yuval Levin stops by to discuss institutions and why we need them (you’ll want to buy his book, A Time to Build: From Family and Community to Congress and the Campus, How Recommitting to Our Institutions Can Revive the American Dream). It’s a fascinating conversation, completely devoid of any controversy involving a Tweet. Ahhhh, take me away Calgon. But, all of that bliss comes to a crashing halt when Ricochet Podcast Senior Justice Department and Legal Pundit John Yoo calls in from the tub in his hotel room (not kidding!) to discuss the Barr/Trump/Stone controversy of the moment. Guess we had to do that? Also, Rob Long moonlights on yet another podcast to discuss his hobbies. We recommend it. Finally, mazel tov to @bucknelldad, he’s the winner of the highly coveted Lileks Post of The Week, for his French Court Scrambles the Debate Over What is “GMO” in Foods post. Magnifiqué, mon ami.

A debacle in Iowa, a triumphant State of The Union speech, a rip-off, a socialist, a small town mayor with a big win — you name it, we discuss it on this week’s edition of The Big Show, aka The Ricochet Podcast. To help us sort through it all, we’ve got the great Deb Saunders, White House correspondent for the Las Vegas Review Journal, and Mr. New Hampshire himself, Michael Graham (listeners, please send him some decaf– he needs it). Also, come on down, Ricochet member @nohaaj! You’ve got the highly coveted, much sought after Lileks Post of The Week. Finally, a White House speechwriter reviews the SOTU speech, another Long Poll Question®, and we close with another edition of What Are You Watching? What are you watching? Let us know in the comments.

Music from this week’s show: My Generation by The Zimmers

Do not adjust your podcast app or web browser, you are in fact seeing this week’s Ricochet Podcast drop a day early. And we’ve got a good one for you: Chief Impeachment Pundit John Yoo stops by to grade Alan Dershowitz’s impeachment defense arguments and then The Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel gives no you-know-what’s about the Democrats and their tactics. Also, our crew punditizes (we just made that word up) on the Middle East, Lileks gives Post of The Week honors to @henrycastaigne for his Epic Crossover Event: Dr. Who Battles the Gods of the Copybook Headings, we’ve got a new Long Poll question, and a new jingle! 

Music from this week’s episode: Can I Get A Witness by Marvin Gaye

You asked for more face time with The Founders®, and here it is: our first Question Time show of 2020 (there will be more!). We cover some Ricochet history, get into a feisty debate about abortion, take a brief break with Henry Olsen, host of our new Horse Race podcast to make some hay (see what we did there?) on impeachment and some key Senate races. Also, Lileks opines on the new Star Trek series, and the hosts pick a historical moment they’d like to visit once we achieve a critical mass of members (what are YOU waiting for? Join today!).

Thanks for all the great questions, Ricochet members!

Welcome to the first podcast of the new decade*, the new year, and Ricochet’s 10th anniversary year! Great, we won’t have to write that again. This week, Ricochet Podcast Chief Impeachment Pundit and McRib Analyst John Yoo sits in for Rob Long to parse impeachment, the legal issues surrounding the Iran crisis, and we’ve got Luke Thompson, the Smartest Political Consultant in America in the guest slot to give us an overview on Iowa, New Hampshire, Bernie-mentum, how the Republican hold the Senate and maybe even take back the House. Finally, thanks to @gumbymark‘s post One-Hit Wonders of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s  (this week’s Lileks Post of The Week winner) we choose our favorite one hitters. What’t yours? Also, Megxit is a thing and we tell you why it probably won’t happen.

Music from this week’s show: I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls

It’s our last podcast for 2019, (but evidently not the last one of the decade) and we do our best to cover the ridiculous and the sublime. For the former, we call upon the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, the leading authority on all things impeachment (you should also be listening to his podcast which this week features a fascinating interview with Devin Nunes). We get the skinny on all of the machinations, strategizing, gamesmanship, and a prediction on the longterm effects (spoiler alert: nothing). Also, do not ask Byron about the robo-calling bill Congress just passed, because he doesn’t know a damn thing about it. OK?

Then, a total gear shift as we are joined by Joseph (or if you are friends with him, Jody) Bottum, the author, poet, and all around oracle on all things Christmas (visit his Amazon page and buy a few of his stories, won’t you?). Needless to say, it’s a much deeper and spiritual conversation than the one in the first half of the show.

Around these parts, we strive to provide Class A Punditry® no matter where in the world the news happens. So this week, we jump across the pond to cover last night’s stunning Tory victory in the Mother Country. To do that, we call on our mate Toby Young (he of the London Calling podcast, aka Great Britain’s fastest growing chat show) who takes us through all of the machinations and expectations of this historic election. Then, it’s back home where we get a visit from our newly minted Ricochet Podcast Chief Impeachment Pundit, Professor John Yoo, esq. (if you’re not listening to his Law Talk with Epstein & Yoo and Pacific Century podcasts, you are missing out). The Professor takes us through the week’s events with lots of legal insight and analysis with no spin. We wish our good pal Pat Sajak a speedy recovery by awarding the highly coveted Lileks Post of The Week badge to @PHCheese for his post Get Well Fast Pat Sajak and we’ve got a new Long Poll question for you. Finally, Rob attends a Christmas party with a bunch of frogs, Peter is rocking out on Handel, and Lileks will blow your snow if you ask him. Leave your requests in the comments.

Music from this week’s show: Rose of England by Nick Lowe

Bobby Jindal, former governor of Louisiana, stops by to talk to the full crew about How Trump Wins the Populist Patriots and how that particular group has been ill served by Democrats and Republicans alike and what Republicans can do to win their support. The Jobs Report is out with “unexpectedly high” numbers: 266,000 new non-farm jobs. Remember when the reports were always “unexpectedly low” under Obama? Rob attempts to explain why Obama is responsible for Trump’s great economy even though he hedges his bets by saying presidents can’t control the economy. Then John Yoo, detainee at UC Berkeley, joins the podcast, again, to talk impeachment. John has the most beautiful suggestion for what Trump should do, should there be an impeachment trial in the Senate. You’ll want to hear this one because it’s a winner. Big league. And if you disagree, let us know in the comments.

Finally, congratulations to @garymcvey for winning the prestigious Lileks Post of the Week competition for his post, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: This Never Happened to the Other Fellow. We only hand out 52 of these per year, folks.

We’re down a homme this week (details about that in the show), but we’re still full to the brim on compelling and clever conversation with our guest National Review editor Rich Lowry, who stops by to talk about his new book, The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free. Is America an idea or a nation? Or both? It’s a wide ranging and detailed conversation (as planned, which is why we only have one guest this week) and raises a lot of interesting points about the pluses and minuses of the movement at the forefront of the political debate not only in America, but in many other countries as well. Also, hats off to @drbastiat for winning this week’s much coveted Lileks Post of The Week award for his The Paradoxical Popularity of Progressive Professionals post. Finally, because we have to, we check in on impeachment and wind up the show revealing our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Mmmmm, sweet potato with marshmallows.

We’re off next week. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our listeners, especially the ones who are members, and we’ll see you in December!

Got the full band back together for this one and we’ve got Scott Adams on base (see what we did there?). You know Scott as the Dilbert dude, but you also know that he’s been a staunch supporter of the President since the ’16 primaries. So we wanted to see where Scott’s head is at in the midst of impeachment and well, he does not disappoint. Also, Mike Bloomberg writes a big check, and Ricochet member @cowgirl wins the coveted Lileks Post of The Week for her post Service…As in: When I’m Dead, Use this Music at My Service. What’s your service song? Tell us in the comments.

Also, we’ve got a new Long Poll question for you, and finally, the new Disney + streaming service wants you to know that “older movies have ‘Outdated Cultural Depictions’”. OK, so do most people. Got a problem with that?

Got a Super-Sized show for you this week chocked full of topics and Big Name Guests®. First up, we take a look at the state of California, which appears to be regressing back to the 19th century in real time. Then, Douglas Murray stops by to discuss his new book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity which ponders and answers all of the provocative questions posed by the words in that title. Then, our old friend, fellow Ricochet podcaster, cable news star and human trending topic on Twitter John Yoo joins to clear up exactly what he thinks about Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Did Laura Ingraham trap him into saying something he did not mean to say? Were we as tough on him as Chris Cuomo? Listen, decide, and let us know in the comments. Then, @rushbabe49 wins the highly coveted, much sought after Lileks Post of The Week prize for her The Story That Disappeared post, and yes, there’s a new Long Poll question too. Finally, (and we do mean finally), Obama calls out cancel culture, and President Trump runs a new campaign commercial and you’ll never believe who it impressed.

Music from this week’s show: Cleanin’ Out My Closet by Eminem