This episode begins with a meditation on “the people” – that phrase in the mouths of politicians left and right. We also hear some music: variations on “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” Jay then talks about immigration, sports, and some other things. He ends with The Parade – the parade ordered up by President Trump, who was inspired by Bastille Day in Paris. Jay says, if there is to be a parade, at least let the music be good. We then hear some John Philip Sousa – specifically, a march that bears the name of a newspaper. It steps lively!

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Prof. Gabriel Rossman of UCLA joins NTK to offer reflections on being a conservative in academia – and also on invitations to provocateurs like Milo. 

Jay and Mona then analyze the Mueller indictments, Russian interference, domestic divisions, crime, and the origin of a famous expression.

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The wry and witty Andrew Ferguson joins NTK to report on The Post, which he had just seen, and on the Washington world, which he’s seen through the years.

Jay and Mona then speak of Rob Porter, bias, Riccardo Muti, and much more.

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Riccardo Muti has arrived in New York for two concerts with his Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Taking advantage, Jay has recorded a “Q&A” with him on a variety of subjects: musical, personal, and social. Muti is one of the leading conductors of our day, having studied with Antonino Votto, a lieutenant of Toscanini. He was also nurtured by Nino Rota, known to many of us as the composer of the “Godfather” music.

Among the topics Jay discusses with Muti is his famous, enviable hair (the latter’s, that is). Muti sums it up as “la forza del destino” – a matter of destiny. So, this “Q&A” closes with Maestro Muti conducting the overture to Verdi’s opera “La forza del destino.”

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Lawrence Brownlee is one of the leading tenors of our time. He has sung on opera and recital stages all over the world. Tomorrow night, he will sing in Chicago, wearing the same boots that Pavarotti once wore (in Bellini’s “Puritani”).

A kid from northeastern Ohio, Brownlee is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He has sung the national anthem at Pittsburgh and other NFL games. And, yes, he interpolates the high note at the end of “the land of the free.”

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Ioan Grillo is a British journalist long resident in Mexico. He gets into the nitty-gritty – and the bloody. He is the author, most recently, of Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields and the New Politics of Latin America. Jay talks with him in a Mexico City park (with birds chirping all about, and at least one helicopter overhead). They talk about Mexico, the rule of law, bad guys, good guys, the USA, Trump, and more. Jay gets Grillo to describe at least one narrow escape. He is a gutsy journalist, and an excellent talker.

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Benjamin Wittes of Lawfareblog joins a special NTK that includes David French to analyze the release of the Nunes memo and the state of our intelligence community in the Trump era.

David, Jay, and Mona then opine on the State of the Union speech, the state of conservatism, and the unpredictable nature of courage.

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From the “secret society” to banned memos to shady “informants,” the infotainment wing of conservative world went into full baying mode this week. Jay and Mona also talk about Hillary’s aide, Kenneth Starr, disobeying presidential orders, “Young People’s Concerts,” and the poor little team that must do its best against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Jerome A. Cohen is a law professor, a China scholar, and a friend to Chinese democrats and freedom-seekers. For many years, he has been at New York University, and before that he was at Harvard. He clerked on the Supreme Court for Warren and Frankfurter. With Jay, he talks about the Chinese Communist Party, the Christian church in China, Falun Gong, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and many other issues.

How did he get bitten by the China bug? Well, it really started with Dean Rusk.

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David Frum believes there is something deeply wrong with the American system — the American political system — and he sums up the problem in the word “Trumpocracy.” His new book is “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.” As Frum says, the book is more about the “ocracy” than about the man. Jay talks with the author about many aspects of the current era, including how we got here and where we go. An exceptionally stimulating conversation.

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David Byler crunches numbers about the 2018 elections and explains his impressive degree. Jay and Mona then talk deportation, immigration, and telling it like it is. They also ask who deserves credit for serving in the Trump administration. They close with music jokes.

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Jay says that he likes a performer who rolls his own — that is, who writes music, in addition to performing it. He plays a fair amount of music on this show — and talks about the latest brouhaha over immigration, that sh**storm. He further talks about Trump’s tweeting. (“Tweet on, Mr. President,” he says.) He ends, however, the way he began, i.e., with music — played by a British heroine.

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Charlie Dent is a longtime congressman from Pennsylvania. He is a Republican, born and raised in Allentown. Billy Joel wrote a song about the town. With Jay, Congressman Dent talks about that and much else. He talks about what it’s like to be a politician, what it’s like to be a congressman, what it’s like to be a Republican in the Age of Trump. A very interesting and candid conversation.

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Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, put Jay in mind of Frederick the Great, the Prussian king — so we hear a flute sonata by that versatile monarch. Jay also tells a story involving “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” — so we hear Benny Goodman play that famous melody on his clarinet. (We also hear Helen Forrest sing it.) Last, Jay eulogizes Ed Rowny, our great arms-negotiating general. Rowny idolized Paderewski, the Polish pianist and statesman — so we hear Paderewski in revolutionary music by his countryman, Chopin. A typically eclectic “Jaywalking.”

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Marina Nemat is an Iranian dissident, a former political prisoner, and now an exile. She is the author of the blockbuster memoir “Prisoner of Tehran.” She and Jay have known each other for some years, through human-rights circles. In this “Q&A,” Jay asks her about the protests going on in Iran: what they mean, for the protesters, the regime, and Iran as a whole. She is a brainy, articulate woman who speaks with great passion – and from painful experience.

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The new year begins with a behind the scenes book that President Trump is attempting to suppress. Jay and Mona consider its merits or faults. This leads to a discussion of conservative virtues and Burke v. Paine. They then move on to Steve Bannon, Mitt Romney, Sweden, the British health service, and parties.

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Yuval Levin answers that question and others. He is the editor of National Affairs and the author of “The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.”

With Jay, he talks about those terms, “Right” and “Left.” He talks about how he himself became a conservative. About the teachers who influenced him. He talks taxes, health care, etc. Jay asks him about his favorite Founders. And favorite presidents. Also about his pastimes.

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