Mona and Jay begin with a guest, Charles Lane. (Jay is late but butts in when he arrives.) They talk about the midterm elections and about Central America. Chuck has done extensive reporting from Latin America, as well as several other regions around the globe. Today, he is an editorial writer and columnist for the Washington Post. After Chuck leaves, Mona and Jay continue to talk about the elections, and about language, and about music, etc. Mona says it’s one of her missions in life to mix it up with lefties. Jay says – as he has many times before – “You’re a better man than I.”

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Jay and Mona talk about the eternal curse of anti-Semitism, executive orders – who’s for them, who’s against them and does it depend entirely upon whose ox is gored? Left wing and right wing violence. And the most underrated flavor.

Music from this week’s show: Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre

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In this (typically) wide-ranging hour, Mona and Jay talk about the caravan, up from Central America: Is it salted with Middle Eastern terrorists? They also discuss our northern neighbor, Canada, which has just legalized pot: What effect will that have? Other subjects include Steve King, George Soros, Nikki Haley, John Bolton, and Emmanuel Macron. Mona mentions Tchaikovsky, so the show goes out with some of his music: the Scherzo from his Symphony No. 2, played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel.

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Charlie Sykes joins Mona to chew over the past week and exult in a new project they’ve helped to create. Then Mona and Jay review the lessons of the Khashoggi story, the “woman thing,” Betsy DeVos, and much more. It’s a wide-ranging discussion!

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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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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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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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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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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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Jay joins from The Sound of Music land to discuss the daily spectacle with Mona: John Brennan’s security clearance, NDAs, “historic” candidates, “zombie Reaganism,” killer sports, misbehaving judges, and of course, music.

Music from this week’s episode: Nessun Dorma by Aretha Franklin (from the 1998 Grammy Awards)

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Will Ocasio Cortez meet Ben Shapiro in debate? Does anyone care about issues these days?

Jay and Mona speak of Rubio’s evolution, the Manafort case, how conspiracy theories are like pornography, and raindrops on concert goers.

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Political philosopher Yuval Levin joins Mona to talk about our dysfunctional Congress. Later,
Jay and Mona consider the Koch/Trump war, the press, the mob, the out of touch elites, the Democrats, and an enduring musical theme: Mission Impossible.

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Jay and Mona consider the pitfalls of calling balls and strikes. How do you measure harm from lying? They touch on two good Republican congressmen, and one who went tragically bad. They talk about the FBI, and the Mafia, and end with two musicals. 

Music from this episode: The Room Where It Happens by Hamilton: An American Musical

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President Trump batted his lashes at Vladimir Putin and then faced a backlash. Charen and Nordlinger consider NATO, useful idiots, Bill Browder, our “foe” the EU, and more.

Need to Know listeners have been hearing Mona talk about Wine Access for some weeks now.

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Great judges are made not born. Jay and Mona praise the Federalist Society for giving the nation a pool of highly qualified, conservative judges, and President Trump for appointing them. Yale Law students can’t handle it. Is Jim Jordan a victim of the deep state? Should we abolish ICE (er, no), and more.

The podcast is strummed out, over the Blue Yeti’s objections, to John Denver.

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This week, Mona’s book, “Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense,” is published. Jay wants to question her about it. So he does. A conversation on crucially important subjects, ending with a song: “Love and Marriage,” by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn, sung (impeccably) by Dinah Shore.

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The world is bursting with issues, and, in a quick-paced ’cast, Mona and Jay discuss a few of them: family separation at the border; Trump and North Korea; and the doings of Emmanuel Macron in France. As you know, “Need to Know” begins with the Sabre Dance, which is from a Khachaturian ballet called “Gayane.” This particular episode goes out with another beloved Khachaturian piece, the Waltz from “Masquerade” (a play). Haunting and stirring bugger.

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Two cropped up in the discussion — one unmentionable, the other not. Jay and Mona covered North Korea, Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee, sarcasm on Twitter, the economy, Trey Gowdy and much more. A meaty meal!

Music from this week’s show: From Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Op. 130

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Two Megans are featured this week: the great Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle, and the newest member of the Windsor clan, Meghan Markle. The trio of McArdle, Nordlinger, and Charen tackle the welfare state, the NFL, the abortive Korea Summit, and graduation season.

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