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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Peter Wood is the president of the National Association of Scholars. He is also an anthropologist. Jay is an old anthro major. So, they talk anthro major to anthro major, so to speak. What happened to this once-proud field? They also talk about higher education. And lower education. And online education, for college students. Is that a bright prospect? A dim one? Toward the end, Jay asks Mr. Wood what he likes to read, in his off hours. In all, an absorbing conversation with this scholar and gentleman.

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Over the Wall, the R’s and the Dems are playing a game of chicken. That’s one thing Mona and Jay say about this shutdown drama. Who’s going to swerve away first? Is the border a genuine national emergency? Then our hosts talk about Tucker Carlson’s monologue heard ’round the world, or certainly ’round the Right, as Mona says: What are the limits of government? What can government do for people? What should it? Also included in this episode are the greatness of California (whatever its problems), the malice of dictators, the glory of music, and other vital subjects. Have a listen.

Music from this week’s episode: The Allegretto from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, played by the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell

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In a sportscast, Jay asks David French and Vivek Dave about last night’s championship game – Alabama vs. Clemson. Or should that be Clemson vs. Alabama? They also debate the college-football playoff system: Should more teams be involved? Later, there is talk of the NFL – including the dreaded double doink (a field-goal attempt that doinks once, doinks again, and then fails). Finally, the NBA, and the eye-rubbing wonder of James Harden. By the way, does he travel? (Big-time.) Also, is Steph Curry the greatest shooter of all time, hands down? A lively, interesting podcast here.

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Michael Rubin is a wide-ranging authority on the Middle East, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In this “Q&A,” Jay simply picks his brain: about Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Rubin has a lot to say, and he says it very, very clearly. At the beginning, Jay asks him about his background: Rubin grew up in a family of veterinarians. He was allergic to dogs and cats, however. The black sheep in the family, he became a historian of the Middle East.

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David French joins Jay and Mona to explode myths (“Flynn was framed!”) and analyze where things stand with a president unmoored. Secretary Mattis is gone, but Steven Miller goes on and on.

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Jay ends this podcast with a recording by an American tenor — a man who sings “O Holy Night.” He once made a living as a big-rig truck driver. And bounty-hunter. Preceding this seasonal musical treat, you have talk of Syrians, Saudis, business titans, football players, and others. Come along and Jaywalk.

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You can access the full archive of Jaywalking at NationalReview.com/podcasts, where you can listen to four episodes per month for free, or get the entire back catalogue with an NR Plus membership. Visit NationalReview.com/subscribe for details.

How goes college football? What about the playoffs? What about the latest retirement of Urban Meyer? How goes the NFL? What about Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Colin Kaepernick? How goes college basketball? Is the season too long? Or just right? How goes the NBA? Is there trouble in the paradise of the Golden State dynasty? How’s LeBron working out in L.A.? Jay has with him two gurus, and two great guys: David French and Vivek Dave. Enjoy.

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Jay is back. Mona and Jay lament the passing of the Weekly Standard, note the president’s ISO for COS, ask about the wall, talk a little Russia, a little Flynn, and Cohen, and praise the free press and Hedy Lamarr.

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On last week’s National Review cruise, Jay sat down with Kevin D. Williamson and asked him to talk – about conservatism, cities, Bush 41, Twitter, “elites,” social-media mobs, restaurants … Every word is interesting. And if one happens not to be – well, that is interesting in itself.

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Jay is referring to a moment in an Art Tatum arrangement (of a famous Dvorak piece). He plays that moment, and a Latvian folk song, and “The Kiss,” an Italian number. Also, he talks about U.S. politics, the fate of Europe, porn, and other pressing issues. An appetizing smorgasbord.

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You can access the full archive of Jaywalking at NationalReview.com/podcasts, where you can listen to four episodes per month for free, or get the entire back catalogue with an NR Plus membership. Visit NationalReview.com/subscribe for details.

There are few things Jay likes to do more in life than talk with Rob Long, and he got to do it on last week’s National Review cruise. Sitting in a lounge, Jay asks Rob about books, music, TV, standup, food … They talk about Groucho, the Stooges, Gleason, Pryor, Johnny, Letterman, “Cheers,” “The Simpsons,” “All in the Family” … Pork chops, ham, pig’s feet … Jay could not have had a better time, and you might agree with him. Enjoy an hour with this unique American – a Ricochet eminence – Rob Long.

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Returning to “Q&A” is Richard Brookhiser, the historian and journalist – Jay’s colleague at National Review. Brookhiser’s latest book is “John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court.” Jay talks with Brookhiser about the man and the Court. What was Marshall like? What about his education? (Any, of a formal nature?) What about his slaveholding? What about his relationship with Jefferson? Further questions are, Is the Supreme Court a “co-equal branch”? A “political” branch? What’s a conservative justice, and what’s a liberal justice? Who are your favorite justices? Has the Supreme Court become all too important? Aren’t these battles over nominations crazy-nuts?

Rick Brookhiser is as about as informed, judicious, and articulate as you can find.

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On “Take the ‘A’ Train,” for one thing. And on elections, foreign relations, sports, etc. Jay takes a little tour, in the style of this podcast. It concludes with a song from Mexico.

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You can access the full archive of Jaywalking at NationalReview.com/podcasts, where you can listen to four episodes per month for free, or get the entire back catalogue with an NR Plus membership. Visit NationalReview.com/subscribe for details.

With good reason, people are wanting to know about Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince in Saudi Arabia. Jay’s guest today is Rami Khouri, a veteran journalist and teacher, associated with the American University of Beirut and the Kennedy School at Harvard. He talks about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, whom he knew. And about U.S.-Saudi relations. And about the Arab world more broadly. He has a lot of experience, and a lot to impart.

Khouri is from an old family in Nazareth (yes, that one). He is also a proud Orangeman: a graduate of Syracuse University. As Khouri points out at the beginning of the podcast, it was a rough weekend for the school, in both football and basketball. But things will look up.

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Mona went splat and broke her wrist, but still shows up. She and Jay talk trade, Amazon and its critics, election fraud, Deep Fake fraud, Jim Acosta, entitlements, and the passing of three notable men.

Music from this week’s episode: “Sea Murmurs,” by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, played by Brinton Averil Smith (cello) and (his wife) Evelyn Chen (piano)

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Jay ends this podcast with a chorus, a heavenly chorus, carrying us off into the eternal blue. Before we get there, however, there is talk of economics, foreign policy, political philosophy, and more. There’s also more music: including a bit of Callas in Carmen.

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You can access the full archive of Jaywalking at NationalReview.com/podcasts, where you can listen to four episodes per month for free, or get the entire back catalogue with an NR Plus membership. Visit NationalReview.com/subscribe for details.

Robert Kagan is one of America’s best scholars of foreign policy. He has now written a book with a remarkable title: “The Jungle Grows Back” (here). In other words, if you leave liberal democracy untended, the jungle will grow back – as it seems to be doing now. Kagan talks with Jay about this and many other issues: personal, national, and international. A compelling conversation.

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