Stephen Harper was prime minister of Canada from 2006 to 2015. Jay routinely referred to him as “the Leader of the West.” Harper has just published a new book, “Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption.” Its themes are populism, conservatism, and current passions. Harper came of age with Reagan and Thatcher (and so did Jay). This is a different moment, though, and Harper has thought deeply about it. Jay talks with him about all this, plus some other issues—including U.S. perceptions of Canada, the nature of Pierre Trudeau, and Harper’s remarkable encounter with Putin. Stephen Harper is not to be missed: not only a superb practitioner of politics (witness his decade-long premiership) but also a superb analyst of politics.

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Jay talks about music, especially loud music. (You get some Verdi and Wagner in this episode.) He also talks about hero-Nobelists, North Korea, and more. No earplugs required.

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Togo is a little country in West Africa, wedged between Ghana and Benin. For more than 50 years, it has been ruled by two dictators, father and son, one after the other — as in Syria and elsewhere, as Jay points out. This regime is opposed by a remarkable young woman named Farida Nabourema, who is Jay’s guest. Wait’ll you hear her story, her thoughts, and her spirit. You could almost feel sorry for the dictatorship.

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That’s the song they play at the end – sung by Tony Bennett, whom Jay passed on the streets of New York the other day. Before they get to the moon, so to speak, Mona and Jay talk about North Korea, the Kavanaugh drama, and a host of other issues, including a perennial: personal responsibility. Who wants to take it? Noble and rewarded are those who do. 

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Jay starts out with a little music, including the one about the bee. Then he gets into some political issues — before ending with golf, tennis, and, again, music.

 

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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.

Jay begins this episode with Alec Baldwin and ends it with a reflection on colors — especially blue and red. In between are some grave subjects, but also light. You hear Kiri Te Kanawa sing “Come to the Fair,” for example. There’s some Ella Fitzgerald, too.

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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.

Leyla Hussein is a leading campaigner against FGM, which stands for “female genital mutilation.” She has lived in Britain for many years but started out in Somalia – where she herself underwent this brutal practice. She was seven. Jay interviewed her a year ago, at the Oslo Freedom Forum. He saw her again a few days ago at another session of the forum – and she was agitated by news she had just received from home, i.e., from Somalia: the deaths of several young girls from FGM. Instead of “deaths,” you could say “murders.” Jay said to her, “Want to talk about it?” She said yes, so he turned on his tape recorder and Leyla talked for a few minutes – passionately and truthfully, as usual. Hear this extraordinary woman.

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Jay wanted to talk some things over with Kevin D. Williamson, and Kevin obliged. They talk about issues of concern to them both: what makes an economy go (and stall); the whys and wherefores of immigration; the effects of trade; the nature of poverty. They talk about other issues too, including (gulp) Playboy clubs. KDW is a wonderful thinker and gent, and these qualities come shining through in this podcast.

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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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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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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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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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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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