On assignment in Miami, Jay ran over to Coral Gables to see Jeb Bush. They talked about current issues — the Kavanaugh mess, the Florida election races, Hurricane Florence — and some issues of longer-term concern: the nature of the Democrats, for example, and the nature of the Republicans. Also under consideration are refugees, immigrants, and American identity. Bush talks about the presidential race in 2016 and the presidential race coming up in 2020. At the end, the subject is family — the Bush family, in particular. In this highly interesting hour, Jeb Bush talks politically and personally, both.

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Enes Kanter is an NBA player, a New York Knick. He is also a Turk — and an opponent of the Erdogan regime back home. This opposition has not come without cost. On Monday, Jay talked with Kanter at a special session of the Oslo Freedom Forum in New York. 

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Jay talks words, concepts, and the world – including Syria, Russia, Burma, and Taiwan. He also does a little sports (Tiger Woods). And music. Leo Ornstein lived to 106, in three different centuries. Did he compose in all three of them? Possibly…

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Legal eagle Ed Whelan joins to talk Kavanaugh and its permutations. Jay and Mona then turn to Democrats beclowning themselves, Trump doing the same, armchair analysis of Lindsay Graham, an act of conscience at Google, and tennis stars losing it. 

Music from this week’s show: Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 3, played by Martha Argerich and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado

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Rachel Fulton Brown is a professor of history at the University of Chicago. She is a medievalist. And she has attracted great controversy. Naturally, Jay wanted to talk to her. They talk about being a medievalist. What attracted her to the field in the first place? They talk about “The Lord of the Rings.” And then life in academia, when your views are considered heretical. She is a happy warrior, Professor Fulton Brown, and also a fencer. A woman of parts. And a woman of guts.

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Do you have your piece of the pie? Is an economy, or a society, a pie, leaving us all fighting for crumbs? Jay talks about this, as well as disinvitation, the anonymous op-ed piece, Europe’s politics, the power of talk, and the power of music.

 

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Jim McAdams is a professor of international relations at Notre Dame, and a “Communistologist,” as Jay says. He was seen by millions in a video a couple of weeks ago, broadcast during the Notre Dame–Michigan football game. McAdams is one of the leading authorities on Communism in the world. He is the author of “Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party.” Jay reviewed it here. And he talks with McAdams about a number of issues, including his own background: How did a good American boy get so interested in Communism? Among the other issues are China, Cuba, Gorbachev, the United States, and the fate of liberal democracy. McAdams says, powerfully, that love is under challenge. It must be stood up for.

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Jay talks about Bill Clinton, Louis Farrakhan, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, Theresa May, Howard Cosell, Neil Simon, and more. He ends with Don Cherry, the late singer and golfer — what a combo, what a life.

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The college-football season is underway, and Jay has a special ’cast with David French and Vivek Dave. Each of those guests is a whiz. They talk about Alabama, the 800-pound gorilla of college football. The relative strengths of the conferences. The question of Urban Meyer (Ohio State’s coach). Differences between the college game and the pro game. Whether college athletes should be paid. Etc. A lively episode, full of information and opinions.

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The Weekly Standard’s Michael Warren shares thoughts on who wrote the NYT op-ed and other topics. Jay and Mona then turn to Alex Jones and Rubio, the Democrats who can’t do civility, our overvaluation of the Supreme Court, and more.

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Grant Starrett is a Tennessee lawyer, businessman, and politico. He’s also an old friend of Jay’s (and a return guest). More to the point of the present episode: He’s a big reader, a reading machine. He reads and reads – books. So, with Jay, in this episode, he talks about the reading life: how he does it and why he does it. We all make investments in our time. Starrett has thought a lot about how he wants to invest. And he discusses books at his website, grantstarrett.com. An unusual “Q&A” with an unusual, and unusually bright, guy.

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Mona and Jay talk about the weather, yes. But also a range of other issues, some of them entailing heat. They talk about Ron DeSantis, John McCain, Donald Trump, the Catholic Church, a horrific suicide, and more. The “more” includes two men who lived very useful lives: Neil Simon, the playwright, and Henry Arnhold, a banker. The podcast goes out with a dance by Federico Mompou, played by one of his great champions, the pianist Alicia de Larrocha.

Music from this week’s episode: Frederic Mompou: Canciones y danzas

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The scheduled Maria for a West Side Story had to withdraw — because she was not Latin American. Well, nuts to that, Jay says, as did Leonard Bernstein – “who wrote the frickin’ thing” (as Jay also says). Jay begins this episode with West Side Story, then moves to Austria, the Czech Republic, Russia, and beyond. An episode full of culture and politics, with an occasional dyspeptic tone.

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Ed. Note: To mark the passing of Senator John McCain, we’re reposting this interview Jay Nordlinger did with him in 2015.

Jay’s guest today is John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona and the 2008 Republican presidential nominee. At Jay’s prompting, he covers the waterfront, or at least a fair stretch of it: Iran, Syria, Israel, China, etc. He talks about wars past and present (and possibly future). Did the U.S. betray the people of South Vietnam? Did McCain think he would get out of the cells alive?

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Jay and Mona romp through the swamp Trump brought with him, and pay calls on the execrable Jeremy Corbyn, Duncan Hunter, and others. They wonder what conservatives who live in Virginia should do in November, and Jay tries to convince Mona to run for office. 

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Sir Willard White is an opera singer with a story to tell: from Jamaica, to the Juilliard School, to a knighthood, and beyond. He is as commanding a speaker as he is a singer. With Jay, he talks about his growing up, the decision to sing, the sting of racism, and much more. He even does a little singing — including “Love Me Tender” and “Smile.”

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Jay talks about issues timely and timeless, grave and light. He has help from Verdi and three other composers — including Burt Bacharach (along with his lyric-writing partner, Hal David).

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At the Salzburg Festival this summer, Herbert Blomstedt was a big hit. He was a big hit onstage with the Vienna Philharmonic, and, an hour afterward, a big hit on a smaller stage with Jay. Blomstedt quoted Picasso: “It took me many years to become youthful.” And he described music as a “search for truth.” An inspiring – and fun – conversation (complete with plenty of singing).

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Javier Camarena is one of the leading tenors in the world. He is a guest at the Salzburg Festival, and participated in a series of conversations hosted by the Salzburg Festival Society. The moderator of this series is Jay. This episode of “Q&A” gives you excerpts of the conversation with Camarena. Jay actually had an encounter with this tenor in an opera house years ago – a story that Jay tells toward the end of the episode. It could be that Javier Camarena, in addition to being a bel canto idol, is the politest man in the arts.

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