Misha and John discuss whether the coronavirus pandemic will help or harm China’s standing in the world.  They begin by welcoming Misha’s new book, Asia’s New Politics: Essays on Reshaping the Into-Pacific, out this May from Hoover Institution Press.  They turn to the lessons from the different responses to the pandemic in China, East Asia, Europe, and the United States.  They argue over whether China’s public relations campaign to defend itself will succeed, whether China’s relative power and influence in the world will increase or decrease because of its public health failures, and what policies we should adopt toward China now.

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Every other faculty lounge in America may be closed, but Professors Epstein and Yoo are still showing up to work. On this episode: what are the legal ramifications of the coronavirus? Can Catholic charities be excluded from providing adoption services because of their refusal to place children with same-sex couples? Is there any hope for President Trump’s libel lawsuits against the New York Times and Washington Post? Is encouraging an illegal immigrant to stay in the country a crime? Is the Supreme Court about to make a game-changing decision on abortion? And is getting hit by a foul ball about to be grounds for a lawsuit? All that plus the professors struggle with virtual classes, dish on tell-all books, and continue their annual tradition of making the nation’s most unreliable World Series predictions.

Rob Long is off this week, Law Talk’s John Yoo is sitting in. We’ve got Henry Olsen (he of The Horse Race podcast right here on this network) to chat about Super Duper Tuesday, Joementum!,  and whether we’ve seen the last of the Socialist. Then, our friend and advisor Dr. George Savage stops by the tell us all about the Corona Virus — who’s got it, who doesn’t, what we can do about it and what we can’t. Yes, we’re sick of this topic too. Also, Chuck Schumer says something dumb, why are so many old white guys running for higher office, are  some people are too damn sensitive, and another edition of What Are You Watching?

Music from this week’s show: My Sharona by The Knack

It may be the winter session in the faculty lounge, but things are heating up as professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo clash on a number of today’s topics. On the docket: Was Mitt Romney justified in his impeachment vote? Is President Trump wrong to override the Justice Department on the Roger Stone case? Can states punish members of the Electoral College for defying the will of the voters? Can state and local governments resist the feds’ efforts to curb illegal immigration? And do the sign-stealing Houston Astros have to pay up for ruining a pitcher’s career? All that plus the gang weighs in on Korean cinema, back tattoos, and one of the professors (shouldn’t it be obvious?) getting shushed on a film set.

Misha and John return for their first show in the year of the rat. They discuss the coronavirus epidemic sweeping China, and they observe that Beijing’s ineffective response is adding to the growing distrust of the government among average Chinese. They next address Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide victory in the Taiwan 2020 presidential election. Misha and John close with their thoughts on the phase I US-China trade deal and likely next steps in the economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

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In a Law Talk first, Professors Richard Epstein & John Yoo and host Troy Senik are gathered in the same studio to kick off their tenth year of the podcast. On this episode: Can Congress rein in President Trump’s power to pursue military action against Iran? What was Nancy Pelosi trying to accomplish by withholding the articles of impeachment? Can the Justice Department compel Apple to create a backdoor on encrypted devices? And is Utah’s effort to rescind a personalized license plate a potential First Amendment violation? All that and more as the faculty lounge reopens for 2020.

Welcome to the first podcast of the new decade*, the new year, and Ricochet’s 10th anniversary year! Great, we won’t have to write that again. This week, Ricochet Podcast Chief Impeachment Pundit and McRib Analyst John Yoo sits in for Rob Long to parse impeachment, the legal issues surrounding the Iran crisis, and we’ve got Luke Thompson, the Smartest Political Consultant in America in the guest slot to give us an overview on Iowa, New Hampshire, Bernie-mentum, how the Republican hold the Senate and maybe even take back the House. Finally, thanks to @gumbymark‘s post One-Hit Wonders of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s  (this week’s Lileks Post of The Week winner)  we choose our favorite one hitters. What’t yours? Also, Megxit is a thing and we tell you why it probably won’t happen.

Music from this week’s show: I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls

It’s the holiday season in the faculty lounge and the subpoenas are hung by the chimney with care. On this episode, Professors Epstein and Yoo do a deep dive into the strengths and weaknesses of the impeachment case, the shortcomings of the Inspector General’s report on the Russia investigation, and the greatest legal question of our time: can you impeach an ex-president? All that plus Richard breaks down the economics of Christmas, John calls for civil disobedience in the Berkeley food scene, and Franklin Pierce finally gets called to account.

Impeachment is on the syllabus as the faculty lounge reopens its doors. In this episode: Does the Democrats’ pivot from ‘quid pro quo’ to ‘bribery’ add up? Has the first week of witnesses changed either professor’s mind? And when exactly would a White House have the authority to hold up foreign aid? All that plus analysis of what’s most likely to compel the release of the Trump tax returns (hint: it’s not the case that looks headed for the Supreme Court) and the strange case of the Equal Rights Amendment, which is either one vote away from being added to the Constitution or already dead on arrival. We’ll let the professors explain.

Misha and John return after an extended sabbatical. They discuss the burning issue in Asia — the democracy protests in Hong Kong — with Jillian Melchior of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. After playing out the scenarios for how the Hong Kong protests end, Misha and John take up Misha’s recent article on the collapse of pork production in China and the political pressure of rising food prices on the Xi regime.

It’s a lively session in the faculty lounge as professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo parse the case for impeachment, and analyze some of the biggest cases coming before the Supreme Court: will a new lineup of justices change the Court’s approach to abortion regulation? Will a ruling about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deal a blow to the administrative state? Are gay and transgendered employees protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act?All that plus a detour into antiquities law, a (partial) endorsement of imperialism, a POTUS busted for speeding, and an answer to America’s most burning legal question: could the president literally shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not pay a price?

The men of Law Talk reconvene between their respective journeys to Greece and there’s a very full docket. On this episode: could President Trump’s conversations with Ukraine lay the predicate for impeachment? What’s the proper role for the U.S. in the Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict? Is the FDA within its rights to crack down on vaping? Should California be able to go its own way on regulating automobile emissions? Can the president solve West Coast homelessness? And why has New Mexico made it a little more dangerous to get married?

Once a year we throw open the doors of the faculty lounge and let the Law Talk audience ask questions of Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo. This year’s result: a conversation that touches on everything from acquiring Greenland to whether John Adams was a constitutional scofflaw, from whether federal courts have gotten too trigger happy with injunctions to which foods make the professors wretch. Most importantly: which class did Richard struggle with in law school? The answer will … not surprise you at all.

Xi Jinping is usually touted as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. How has he pulled power into his hands, and is there a reaction to his strength? Richard McGregor discusses this, as well as looks back at his popular book The Party, ten years after its publication. Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea are falling into a trade war; is it about economics or the poor political relations between the two? How low will relations between America’s two closest allies sink?

It’s summer and when people go on vacation, we like to mix things up a bit, with James off this week, we called on our friend and fellow podcaster John Yoo to sit in. That was a fortuitous choice as our guest is Mollie Hemingway, former Ricochet editor, Fox News contributor, and co-author the the best selling book  Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. We get the inside dope (yes, that’s the word) on Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and the aftermath and lasting effects. Also, was Ronald Reagan a racist? And is Baltimore really that bad? We ask native son Rob Long for an answer.

Hoover Institution fellows Misha Auslin and John Yoo interview John Pomfret, the former Washington Post and Associated Press reporter in China.  Pomfret discusses his response to an open letter in the Washington Post, signed by dozens of leading US foreign policy and China scholars, criticizing the Trump administration for making China “an enemy.”  He explains “why the United States doesn’t need to return to a gentler China policy.”


Presidents Trump and Xi meet at the G-20 meetings in Osaka and decide to restart trade negotiations, and then President Trump took a remarkable step across the DMZ into North Korean territory.  Misha and John address these developments, and also the massive Hong Kong protests, trade developments, and divisions within the US foreign policy community.

It’s time for summer school in the faculty lounge and Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo are reviewing the Supreme Court term that was. On this episode: was the census ruling a backdoor victory for critics of the administrative state? Are critics right that Alex Acosta should have done more to prosecute Jeffrey Epstein? John gives us one weird trick for determining when religious symbols are allowed on government property. And the professors weigh in on the legal repercussions of renegade ice cream licking. All that plus Epstein’s tips for how to defraud grocery stores, Yoo condemns a legendary American political figure to eternal damnation, and we get a faculty lounge review of Maine’s state soft drink.

Hoover Institution fellows Misha Auslin and John Yoo welcome one of Britain’s leading experts on China to the podcast: Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, St. Cross College, Oxford University, and the Director of Oxford’s China Centre. Professor Mitter is the author of Forgotten Ally: China’s War with Japan, 1937-45, and A Bitter Revolution: China’s Struggle with the Modern World.

Professor Mitter discusses the student-led demonstrations of the Tiananmen Square Massacre thirty years later and the 100th Anniversary of the May Fourth Movement. We then turn to the changes in China since Tiananmen and the future of Chinese pluralism after the coming to power of Xi Jinping.

It’s a lively session in the faculty lounge as Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo navigate a minefield of legal controversies: what do Alabama’s new restrictions on abortion mean for the future of Roe v. Wade? What’s the proper libertarian position on compulsory vaccinations? Does Congress have a leg to stand on in its pursuit of Bill Barr? Was Harvard wrong to turn its back on a professor who’s defending Harvey Weinstein? And then, the professors finally answer the question you’ve waited years for: are bans on toplessness unconstitutional? We guarantee you’ll leave disturbed.