Zeid Raad al-Hussein is a Jordanian prince and a distinguished diplomat. He was U.N. high commissioner for human rights. Before that, he was his country’s ambassador to the U.N. and the United States. With Jay he talks about his life, the U.N., human rights, and dark places around the globe. An extraordinary interviewee.

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Esther Htusan comes from Burma – or is it Myanmar? That is the first thing discussed in this “Q&A.” Esther Htusan is a journalist who has been forced out of her country. She reported on the persecution of the country’s minorities, especially the Rohingyas. She was part of an Associated Press team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016. The country is now led by one of the great democracy heroes of the age, Aung San Suu Kyi. What happened? Our reporter’s name, incidentally, is pronounced TOO-sahn, like the city in Arizona.

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Is it treason to criticize the president? If so, Mona and Jay are in big trouble. They also take swipes at Beto, Mayor Pete, farm subsidies, and more, while pausing to appreciate a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moment. They end on a bittersweet note — this is the last regularly scheduled Need to Know.

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Jay and Mona do tariffs, mercantilism, the NRA and other grifters, Harvard and Harvey Weinstein, the Uighers, and Franklin Graham’s stunning fundraising gambit.

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Mahan Esfahani is a musician, and an unusual one. He’s not a pianist, violinist, cellist, or even a tuba player: He is a harpsichordist. Jay talks with him about his life and his instrument. William F. Buckley Jr., a devotee of the harpsichord his entire life, would have loved this.

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Diego Arria is a Venezuelan with broad experience – particularly in politics and diplomacy. For instance, he was Venezuela’s ambassador to the U.N. Later, he was a U.N. official, an assistant secretary-general. With Jay, he discusses the latest out of his country: the push for democracy and the furious resistance of the dictatorship. He talks about the young people leading the opposition: Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López. He talks about the role of the United States – and of the regime’s backers, particularly Cuba, Russia, and China. Also: What is the effect of all this on Ambassador Arria personally? A wise, informed, intimately involved voice.

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“Q&A” is a sportscast this time – but it begins with “Game of Thrones,” a topic on America’s mind. Jay’s regular gurus, David French and Vivek Dave, are joined by Sally Jenkins, the renowned columnist for the Washington Post. They talk about the Kentucky Derby – a travesty? NCAA basketball (also a travesty, as well as a joy?). Tiger Woods at the White House. Other athletes at the White House, and NOT at the White House. Baseball and fandom. The NFL draft. And the NBA playoffs, LeBronless as they are. At the end, Jay asks his guests a bonus question: Name a favorite player of yours who is not a star. David, Vivek, and Jay are delighted to have this ringer, this guest star, Sally J.

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Yes, Mona and Jay talk about Kate Smith, recently the victim of a terrible injustice. But they don’t play “God Bless America” at the end. They have Kate Smith in “I’ll Be Seeing You,” that classic (1938) by Fain and Kahal. In the course of the ’cast, they talk about Venezuela, Trump, Mueller, Bernie, and other topics that seize attention.

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Law professor Adam White joins the podcast to discuss the Mueller report, the contours of obstruction, and our trend toward criminalizing matters that deserve political treatment. Jay and Mona then discuss Game of Thrones (briefly!), a midwestern heroine, and more.

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Anne-Elisabeth Moutet is a journalist, a whiz, and a joy. She writes in both French and English. And today she talks with Jay (in English!) about Notre Dame, the “yellow jacket” movement, anti-Semitism, assimilation, and more. They conclude their discussion on an American note: Do Americans — conservatives in particular — give France an unfair shake? If you don’t know Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, you will be glad you made the acquaintance.

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Retirement does not suit Thomas Sowell. He is working away. He tells Jay he wants to die with his boots on. He does enjoy freedom from his syndicated column, however. It means he does not have to keep up with the news as much. His latest book is a revised, expanded version of “Discrimination and Disparities.” As Jay says (and Sowell agrees), he likes to write books that address and correct public misunderstandings – especially when those misunderstandings lead to bad policy. In this “Q&A,” Sowell talks about equality, diversity, IQ, immigration, free enterprise, and a host of other issues. Clear thinking and clear expression are Sowell’s stock in trade.

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Jay and Mona consider the days when Democrats were deregulators (truly), how great our air transport system is (truly), and cheating at golf, among many other things.

Music: Laura Dickinson, Come Fly With Me 

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Last week, Jay took a road trip with Kevin Williamson, from Dallas to Rockdale, a town in Milam County, Texas. They went to Rockdale to see a newspaper editor, with whom they did a podcast. But on the way there, they did a podcast themselves: in which Jay asked Kevin about Texas, America, and the rhythms of life. Go along for the ride – it’s a good conversation, offering much food for thought, and some laughs.

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Carly Fiorina is an experienced person with much to say. She says some of it in a new book: “Find Your Way.” Jay talks with her about this, and about the American scene today: free enterprise; character in office; immigration; the U.S. role in the world; etc. There is also a look-back to the 2016 presidential campaign. A very impressive person, Carly Fiorina, and a superb conversationalist.

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Donald Kagan is someone you can learn from. Many have, over the years. Also, he is a delight to talk to, and listen to. He is an eminent scholar, an eminent classicist – an expert on ancient Greece. He also knows sports and many another subject. Jay talks with him about his upbringing in Brooklyn, his education, the state of the campus, the meaning of conservatism, the fate of America … This is one to maybe listen to twice.

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Jay and Mona pay tribute to a great French pilot and a tough Mossad agent. They also talk of Biden’s flaws, the Democrats’ drift, the Mueller report, and a great show — “1776.”

Music From This Week’s Show:  But Mr. Adams – 1776 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Sally Jenkins is a sports columnist for the Washington Post, and one of the outstanding sportswriters in the entire country. Her father, Dan Jenkins, passed away earlier this month. She wrote a column about him, here. Jay says that it is one of the best columns he has ever read, on any subject. Dan Jenkins worked for Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, and other publications, and wrote a string of best-selling novels, including “Semi-Tough,” “Life Its Ownself,” and “Baja Oklahoma.” Jay is among the legions of Dan Jenkins nuts. He and Sally talk about her dad. And then about sports at large: college basketball, pro basketball, Colin Kaepernick, MLB, soccer, and more. You know what’s a great sport? Figure skating. Dan Jenkins thought so, Sally Jenkins thinks so – and Jay thinks so. If you don’t know Sally Jenkins, you will very much enjoy getting to know her, in this ’cast. Her dad used to ask, “Who can explain the athletic heart?” Both of these Jenkinses are pretty good at it.

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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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The Atlantic’s David Frum joins to discuss his thoughtful article on limiting immigration. Jay and Mona then get sidetracked on several issues and have fun doing so.

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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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