With his old friend Mark Farrell, the golf pro, Jay talks Masters 2017 – the shoot-out between Sergio Garcia of Spain and Justin Rose of Britain. Also, should golf be an Olympic sport? (Rose is the reigning gold medalist – the only one there has been, in the modern era.) Also, whatsamatter with Tiger? And so on. Mark Farrell is a guru and a treat. Even the un-golf-minded might well enjoy.

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Stranger things may have happened, but not lately. Jay and Mona welcome Bloomberg’s Eli Lake to talk national security, Syria, Susan Rice, chemical weapons, Russia, and more. Jay and Mona then find themselves defending our president against some of his disappointed fan boys.

Closing music is from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Op.24.

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With Norman Podhoretz, you can talk about practically anything – so Jay does. They talk about writing, of course. Few do it as well as NPod. They talk about his friend Shakespeare, and his friend Yeats. They talk about novels. (Podhoretz rates “Anna Karenina” number one.) They talk about music and ballet. Even math and science. And also politics, including Trump. And Europe – its fate. And Israel – its.

Lucky him, Jay has had many conversations with this extraordinary man. After this “Q&A,” Jay remarked, “This was maybe the best – along with all the other ones, of course.”

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For ten years – 2006 to 2016 – Toomas Hendrik Ilves was president of Estonia. He grew up in New Jersey. His parents, like many Estonian parents – if they were lucky – took refuge abroad.

With Jay, he talks a little about his life, and the great challenges facing his country, and liberal democracy in general. A name for those challenges would be Vladimir Putin.

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Eliot Cohen is a leading national-security scholar and an adviser to presidents, would-be presidents, and others. His latest book is The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power & the Necessity of Military Force. Jay asks him to take a tour around the world, and he does: beginning with Mexico, moving to Europe, moving to the Far East, and the Mideast, and elsewhere. They wind up talking about the Trump administration, which includes, in senior positions, longtime friends and comrades of Cohen’s. Spend some time with Professor Cohen, and you will have a heightened view of the world: its dangers and its promises.

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The sage George F. Will joins Jay and Mona to discuss the progress of Trumpcare, the condition of our political parties, and what daily lying does to our civic culture.

Jay and Mona then turn to the violence that Putin critics keep encountering, the hate crime hoaxes, Manafort, a rape in Maryland, Bannon, Nowruz, and dogs.

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A friend of Jay’s – a journalist in Washington – described Arthur Brooks as “the most interesting man in Washington, D.C.” Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Earlier in his life, he was a professional French-horn player. Jay talks to him about music – and about enterprise, the poor, nationalism, Americanism, and much else. Jay found this podcast exceptionally refreshing. You may well too.

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Daniel Hannan, the British writer and politician, was honored at the recent “ideas summit” of the National Review Institute. Jay sat down with him there, to talk about Britain, Europe, nationalism, patriotism, Marine Le Pen, Viktor Orbán, Vladimir Putin, and more. Burning issues addressed by a learned, experienced, and thoughtful man.

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A rare in person Need to Know this week as Jay and Mona participated in the National Review Institute’s Ideas Summit. One of the sharpest writers on Earth, Kevin Williamson, drops in to talk about the changing complexions of the Democratic and Republican parties, what it’s like to write for an Indian newspaper, and other things. There is even a dose of pop culture. Good cheer all around.

Music is the Washington Post March by John Phillip Sousa

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Health care is kind of the ball game in American politics. Screw this up, and voters will punish you. Jay and Mona chew over the American Health Care Act and spit out the pieces. Conversation then ranges to a special rapper, Silicon Valley parents, the thug/students at Middlebury College, and more.

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Robert P. George is a famed professor, working at Princeton University. He began modestly, in the hills of West Virginia. He went on to Swarthmore, Harvard, and Oxford. With Jay, he talks about a slew of issues, including abortion, gay marriage, nationalism, refugees, and lawyers. He also talks about the fate of our civilization. If it dies, he says, it will not be from evil but from cowardice (itself a kind of evil, to be sure).

An hour with Robby George is an hour with a genuine teacher and thinker.

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The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens joins to pay tribute to his late colleague Daniel Pearl and consider the state of truth – and dedication to it – in our time. Pearl gave his life for it.

Jay and Mona then consider the Attorney General’s predicament, the state of nationalism around the globe, tribalism and Balkanization at home, President Trump’s much-lauded joint session speech, the “Blacksonian,” and “opera in the outfield.”

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Stuart Taylor is possibly the outstanding legal journalist of our time. His most recent book — co-authored with KC Johnson — is “The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities.” Naturally, he and Jay talk about this issue. A very important issue, legally, culturally, and otherwise. They also talk about recent Supreme Court nominees: Merrick Garland, who didn’t make it, and Neil Gorsuch, who will. And about more.

At the end of the podcast, Jay says that he values Taylor not least because he tackles the hard cases — and is unbending in his search for the truth. He doesn’t care whom it pleases or displeases — he just goes ahead and does it. Very rare.

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No, not the president. Betsy Hart of the Heritage Foundation joins to report on parents pushing back against a public high school’s progressive indoctrination plans.

Jay and Mona then move on to things they love (Jay loves Emma Stone, Mona loves the series “The People v. O.J. Simpson”) and some of the things they hate. There’s some CPAC, Milo, “repeal and replace,” and consideration of the life and meaning of John C. Calhoun. Was Yale right to remove his name?

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Herbert Blomstedt is one of the leading conductors in the world. He was born in America, in 1927. But his family was Swedish, and they moved back to Sweden when Herbert was a child. He has since conducted in Dresden, San Francisco, and many other places.

He is in New York this week, guesting with the New York Philharmonic. Jay sat down with him in his dressing room, for a leisurely, rich “Q&A.” They talk about his upbringing – his pianist mother, for example. And his relationship with composers – Beethoven, for example. And the state of things today.

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James Kirchick is the author of an important new book: “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.” He and Jay talk it over: the nationalist-authoritarians and their “pope,” Vladimir Putin; Madame Le Pen in France; the role of Germany; the importance of Ukraine.

Is Greece a goner? Is the EU anything but a menace? What about the Americans?

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Conservatives are united in praise of Neil Gorsuch, but what do those terms – originalism, textualism, and so forth – really mean? Ed Whelan, former Scalia clerk and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, joins to explain all.

Jay and Mona then chew over President Trump’s week. Flynn, Conway, nuclear holocaust, anti-Semitism, Electoral College tallies, truth, lies, and the rock ’em sock ’em press conference. Other topics include Down syndrome, and the courage and love of parents.

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Jay and Mona are very enthusiastic Betsy DeVos fans, but they are skeptical, to say the least, about the federal department she will now head.

They also cover the president’s immigration order (pro and con), Garry Kasparov and the right, France’s election and Wikileaks, conservative versus liberal isolationism, Roberta McCain, Ben Sasse, and a hummingbird egg.

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Ben Shapiro is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire. He is one of the most prominent conservative journalists in America. The 2016 cycle was a wild ride for him, as for many. He has the distinction – is that the word? – of being the No. 1 target for anti-Semitic hate in his field.

And, as Jay notes, the guy has a spine of steel. (Also a stomach of iron.)

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Michael McFaul is one of the outstanding Russianists in America. A boy from Montana, he made Russia his life’s occupation, and preoccupation. He is a professor at Stanford. And he was U.S. ambassador to Russia.

With Jay, he talks about being a student in the Soviet Union. And developments thereafter (personal, national, and international). He talks about Putin and his rule. About NATO and the West. And other critical questions.

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