Arthur Brooks is one of the luminaries of the conservative world. An economist and public-policy analyst, he is the longtime president of the American Enterprise Institute. He will soon decamp for Harvard. His latest book is “Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt.” He and Jay talk about this, and related subjects. And not-necessarily-related subjects, including music. Brooks was a professional French-horn player before turning to other pursuits. Over the course of this lively and unusual conversation, he and Jay make some points, tell some stories (including on themselves), and express their mutual admiration.

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Bjorn Ihler is an expert on counter-extremism and he works for peace, human rights, and mutual

Bjorn Ihler

understanding. He had a highly, highly unusual experience eight years ago: He survived the horrendous massacre in Norway, in which 77 people were killed. Today, he talks with Jay about the massacre in New Zealand. He has plenty to say, as you can imagine. There are parallels between the two massacres. Bjorn, incidentally, is the husband of Asma Khalifa, the Libyan woman with whom Jay recently did a “Q&A,” here. Together, they founded the Khalifa Ihler Institute.

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Benjamin Parker of The Bulwark joins Jay and Mona to discuss the anti-Semitism kerfuffle in the Democratic Party, reparations for slavery, Joe Biden (how dare he call Mike Pence a nice guy), and the age issue.

Music from this week’s episode: “Sleeping Beauty” Waltz (Tchaikovsky)

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David Luhnow is the Latin America bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal – and one of Jay’s favorite journalists. Luhnow is immensely knowledgeable, and he imparts his knowledge in clear, balanced terms. Though an American, he was born and raised in Mexico. His brother Jeff has an interesting job, and he’s very good at it: general manager of the Houston Astros. David and Jay start out by talking a little baseball. Then they get into the nitty-gritty: murder, dictatorship, freedom, and the burden of history in Latin America.

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All eyes are on Venezuela — to the extent they’re on Latin America at all. But spare a glance for Nicaragua. The Nicaraguans are going through hell right now as the dictator, Daniel Ortega, has cracked down hard. He has made a special villain out of Felix Maradiaga — Jay’s guest on this “Q&A.” The regime has good reason to fear and hate Maradiaga: He is a bold and thoughtful advocate of democracy. In this podcast, he takes us through the Nicaraguan situation, past, present, and even future. A most illuminating interview. A bracing one, too.

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Asma Khalifa is a young woman from Libya — a Berber. She is also a human-rights activist and democracy leader. She is one of Jay’s favorite people. He says he considers her a heroine. Jay recorded this “Q&A” with her in Mexico City, where she was participating in a meeting of the Oslo Freedom Forum. During the Libyan Civil War, she sided with the rebels, against Qaddafi. She volunteered to be a field nurse. She saw terrible things, atrocities. She did not like the hatred that was filling her heart. That was not her, she reasoned. So she did something extraordinary. She requested to treat enemy forces, Qaddafi’s men, for a while. She has an amazing experience to relate. Also in this podcast, Asma Khalifa talks about Syria and other vital matters.

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Madeleine Kearns is a young journalist from Scotland. She works at National Review. She has recently been on an unusual beat: transgenderism as it relates to children. She has written, “… some American children are on irreversible cross-sex hormones as young as 12 and have double mastectomies as young as 13.” When you hear about these cases, she says, you want to ask, “Is this really happening?” It is. Jay Nordlinger talks with her about it: a fascinating, appalling subject. Maddy Kearns would rather not be covering it. But someone has to do it, she says, and what happened is this: “I learned too much to be able to walk away in good conscience.”

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In an earlier episode, Jay talked with Charles Hill. Now he talks with another Grand Strategist at Yale, Professor John Lewis Gaddis, who is best known for Cold War history. His biography of George F. Kennan won the Pulitzer Prize. Jay talks with him about Kennan, of course — and about Paul Nitze and many another Cold War figure. They also talk about figures more recent, including George W. Bush. In addition to politics and history, they talk about campus life — and about Professor Gaddis’s upbringing in small-town Texas. You don’t have to pay tuition at Yale to sit with JLG. Click on this ’cast.

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Jay’s guest is a legendary teacher at Yale University: Charles Hill, a retired Foreign Service officer and a diplomat-in-residence, among other things, at Yale. He is especially known for Grand Strategy. In previous times, he was an aide to Kissinger, Shultz, and, at the United Nations, Boutros-Ghali. With Jay, he talks about his upbringing in New Jersey, his life in the arena, his career in the academy, and the fate of the world.

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Is that the standard now? Jay and Mona consider the travails of Virginia’s governor, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Elizabeth Warren and many others in this age of shame and shamelessness. They also talk Green New Deal, Kim Jong Un, and much more.

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Jay does a sportscast — but with a twist at the end: a discussion of Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., with two experts on the subject: David French and Sopan Deb. David is one of Jay’s regular sports gurus, and so is Vivek Dave. They are both present. Sopan is a ringer, a guest guru: a writer for the New York Times, a stand-up comedian, a musician, and more. The gang talks about the NBA, including the Boston Celtics (Sopan’s team), recent trade action, the All-Star game (worth watching?), and Charles Barkley (a classic American). Then there is talk about the Super Bowl: Is Tom Brady the GOAT? How about Coach Belichick? Furthermore, what about the Super Bowl ad that relates directly to Vivek? Finally, there is the sci-fi flight. Come along for the ride.

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Beholding the government-shutdown fiasco, Jay recalls an old term: “goo-goo.” He and Mona discuss “the wall and the cave,” the Democratic field so far, and “The Three Amigos.” They also ask if the U.S. remains serious about NATO. Mona recounts a personal experience of Roger Stone.

Music from this week’s show: Fazil Say plays his famous jazz version of Mozart’s “Rondo alla turca,” live and in concert.

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Eric Edelman is one of our top diplomats (retired though he may be) and one of our top foreign-policy thinkers. In a long career, he was ambassador to Finland and ambassador to Turkey. Before that, he was an assistant to George P. Shultz. Some years before that, he was a doctoral student at Yale, writing about post-war Italy. Jay reviews some pressing concerns with him, past and present, though mostly present – and future. Edelman is a cool thinker in a hot world.

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A loaded question. There is lots of agreement and some disagreement with this honest man. Then Jay and Mona launch into the news of the week: Bill Barr, the wall, Brexit, left-wing conspiracy theories, and a mini-debate about Ann Coulter.

Music from this week’s episode: Misirlou – Greek Version

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Megha Rajagopalan is a foreign correspondent for BuzzFeed News. She is one of Jay’s favorite reporters. She grew up in Maryland, and for years reported from China. She is now in the Middle East. She and Jay talk mainly about China: the pleasures and perils of reporting from there; the mass round-up of the Uyghurs; the ability of ordinary Chinese to find out the truth about their country; and so on. At the end, Jay asks Megha why she wanted to be a journalist in the first place. You will enjoy getting to know this young woman.

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