On this episode of The Big Show® we take you back to last night’s 74th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner where Rob offers a first hand report. The guest of honor was former Defense Secretary (and Marine Corps legend) James Mattis and, of course, the main topic in the hall was the current situation in Syria with Turkey and the Kurds. (The General’s full remarks can be watched on the Fox News Facebook page.)

Then it’s off to the City by the Bay with Heather Mac Donald, where she recounts buying fentanyl on the streets and how a great American city has fallen hostage to its homeless population.

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Let’s just disclose this right upfront: we had some pretty big technical issues during the production of this show (Skype went down during the Andy McCarthy segment — Andy is preparing a criminal complaint against them on our behalf) and James Lileks could not get his computer to recognize his mic (he blames a cheap Chinese dongle — oh, the humanity), so apologies, this is another Lileks-defecient show (kudos to @hangon for winning the Lileks Post of The Week honors for his post The New Energy Economy: An Exercise in Magical Thinking). That said, as previously mentioned, we’ve got the great Andy McCarthy (you must buy his new book Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency) on all of the legal machinations around impeachment, and political consultant to the stars (and NR contributor) Luke Thompson on why Trump did nothing wrong in his phone call with Zelensky and some expert analysis on the Senate races coming up next fall. Also, Peter Robinson is worried about Liz Warren; and finally, does the window seat control the window shade or should there be darkness throughout the cabin? We hash it out, but tell us your thoughts in the comments. Special note to Ricochet members: don’t forget to vote in this week’s Long Poll to the right (or below if you’re on a mobile device) of this post. What? You’re not a member? JOIN TODAY.

Music from this week’s show: Shot With His Own Gun by Elvis Costello

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Some weeks, we have to hunt hard for topics. Other weeks, well, they rain down like a monsoon. The latter describes this week and to provide an umbrella we’ve got the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s White House correspondent Debra J. Saunders on the political topics (and a bit on San Francisco) and The Skeptical Environmentalist himself, Bjørn Lomborg, who at this moment, is the world’s second most famous Scandinavian authority in climate. Also, a new poll question (answer it!) and Lileks make a cameo appearance to award Ricochet member Kevin Creighton the highly coveted Lileks Post of The Week.

Music from this week’s show: How Soon Is Now by The Smiths

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This week, Bolton bolts, we debate the debate with The Washington Post’s Henry Olsen, kick around the culture with The Atlantic’s Andrew Ferguson, we’ve got a new Long Poll question for you (but you have to be a Ricochet member to vote), Lileks awards the coveted Member Post of The Week, and some thoughts on the 18th anniversary of 9/11.

Music from this week’s show: My City of Ruins by Bruce Springsteen

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Here’s what we don’t discuss on this week’s show: not a word about Sharpie markers, maps, or the tracking of certain weather events. Nope, not a word. Here’s what we do talk about: The WSJ’s Kim Strassel stops by to talk about Comey, Mueller, and an investigation that went far off the rails (P.S. feel free to pre-order her new book, which she will discuss in more detail on the show next month). Then, we debut a couple of new features: first, The Long Poll (we’re still working on the name…). Look for it on the top right of the page, vote, and help Rob fulfill his dream of mainstream media mentions from his elite media buddies. Then, say hello to Lileks’ Post of The Week, in which James himself selects a member written post for Ricochet Podcast fame and glory. Who wins this week’s coveted mention? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

Music from this week’s episode: Hurricane by Lin Manuel-Miranda from Hamilton

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Our final podcast of the summer and it’s a full one: first up, a deep dive into the IG report on James Comey. Then, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was murdered at Parkland High School joins to discuss his advocacy on her behalf and his forthcoming book, Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies that Created the Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students. It’s a sobering but important segment. Then, we lighten things up considerably with our mate Toby Young (if you’re not listening to London Calling, his podcast with James Delingpole, you are missing out), who attempts to convince us that Boris Johnson is NOT dismantling British democracy. Finally, Peter Robinson attends a swanky Bar-b-Que, and James Lileks sends his daughter to college. Life goes on.

Music from this week’s show: Time Waits For No One by The Rolling Stones

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Another busy week (is there any other kind?) and our intrepid podcasters cover it all: is The New York Times‘ 1619 Project the definitive (new) history of the United States? Spoiler alert: no. Hoover Institution and self-titled Grumpy Economist John Cochrane joins to discuss the possibility of a recession, and later, our own (well, by marriage) Seth Mandel (OK, he also edits The Washington Examiner Magazine) stops by to discuss the President’s uh, unusual language when discussing members of the Hebrew faith, and why Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar really do employ anti-Semitic tropes on a regular basis. Finally, should we all start eating plant-based “beef”? Our podcasters debate and their opinions may surprise you.

Music from this week’s show: All That Meat And No Potatoes by Louis Armstrong

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Hey, don’t laugh — we could do it (and another President reportedly thought about it too). So yes, we discuss that, a troubled Congressional trip to the Holy Land, the great Kevin Williamson on his new book The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in an Age of Mob Politics, and the WSJ’s Bill McGurn on the turmoil in Hong Kong (he knows the city well — he lived for ten years. Also, how did the name Ricochet come to land upon this blessed website? You’ll have to tune in for the answer to that one.

Music from this week’s show: Fight the Power by Public Enemy

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You have questions, our podcasters have answers. We also have a little Rank Punditry® on the current news cycle, some spots, a few laughs. Oh, just listen. You’ll like it. Really.

Music from this week’s show: Questions by Jack Johnson

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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.

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When something happens across the pond, we immediately call on the great John O’Sullivan to explain what it all means. He stops by for a complete data drop on the appointment of Boris Johnson to 10 Downing Street. Also, is Mueller time finally over? And does it kill impeachment? All answers lie within the confines of today’s Ricochet Podcast.

Music from this week’s show: A Foggy Day by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald

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Due to some scheduling issues, we’re a couple of days early this week but that doesn’t mean we’re scrimping on the content. James is taking this week off, so Rob and Peter drive the bus themselves (as Peter mentions in the show, do check out James’ Twitter feed). We’re not scrimping on the guests either: we’ve got Washington Post chief political correspondent (and former Ricochet podcaster) Bob Costa on The Squad, Nancy, Bernie, 2020, and more. Then, Law Talk co-host John Yoo stops by to discuss the passing of Justice John Paul Stevens, some of the recent SCOTUS rulings, and to call out Rob Long for his many imperfections. Finally, Rob and Peter give some binge TV tips. What are you watching? Tell us in the comments.

Music from this week’s show: The Wayfarer by Bruce Springsteen

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This week, we’re fortunate to be able to access the deep mind of one of the country’s great thinkers and writers, George Will on the occasion of his new book, The Conservative SensibilityWe conduct a long and wide-ranging conversation with him covering everything from the meaning of conservatism, President powers, progressive regulation, and much more. Take our advice: pour yourself a tall, cool drink, put on the earbuds and take this one in. Also, next week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Was it a good use of government spending or a boondoggle? We debate. And finally, James talks a bit about the passing of a great American: Ralph J. Lileks.

Music from this week’s show: Keep Me In Your Heart by Warren Zevon

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A very busy week to cover on this week’s show (even though one of our hosts is already vacation mode — and we apologize in advance for his sometimes spotty audio). We’ve got Jonathan V. Last (his Democratic Power Rankings are a must read) to parse both of the Dem debates, and the NY Post’s Sohrab Ahmari on the crisis on the border and yes, his criticism of David French and a branch of Conservatism in general. Also, the SCOTUS rulings, and Peter Robinson buys a car.

We’re off next week for the holiday. Have a safe and happy one, all!

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This week, we reunite the cast and they tell us a bit about their summer trips (or swanky conferences). Then, the EPCC’s Henry Olsen joins us for some rank punditry® on 2020 and Trump’s re-election chances, as well as keeping the Senate and winning back the House. Also, Iran, China, Italy, and yes, Costa Rica.

Music from this week’s show: Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu) by Dean Martin

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Only a very few guests warrant two segments on the Ricochet Podcast aka, America’s Most Trusted Podcast® and one of those people is the great Norman Podhoretz (around these parts, we call him “The Podfather). We talk to Norman (who’s a sprightly 89) about his recent conversion to a supporter of the President, the history of the Conservative movement, how he may have singlehandedly invented the hippy, and much more. Norman is a walking, talking museum of American politics of the last 70 years, and we highly recommend this interview. Also, are aliens among us (or at least above us)? A Ricochet Podcast investigation.

Music from this week’s show: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Soundtrack by John Williams

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This week on America’s Most Trusted Podcast®, we kick off with some home grown commentary about the ongoing Pelosi-Trump drama. Then, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s White House correspondent extraordinaire Deb Saunders joins for an extended and more detailed chat on the same topic. Later, Dr. Bill McClay stops by to discuss his new book, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story  which is all about the way history textbooks weirdly seem to only promote one point of view (guess which one). We close with a bit of talk about why Florida may be America’s greatest state and the what the hosts are doing for the three day weekend.

Music from this week’s show: Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen 

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We go long on this show (and we’re not just talking about one of our hosts, either). First up, the mayor of New York City wants to be your President. That’s good for the city (keeps him away for long stretches of time), and probably good for the current occupant of the White House too. Then, our good pal and co-podcaster Andrew Klavan joins to discuss his recent adventure at Stanford University and then sticks around for a detailed discussion about the pro-life bill that just passed in Alabama. Then, we remember architect I.M. Pei, and when James heads to airport, Peter and Rob talk more about the pro-life issue and its place in American life.

Music from this week’s show: You Can’t Be Too Strong by Graham Parker

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This week on America’s most beloved political podcast, we get deep in the weeds on impeachment: can it happen, how would it work, and the politics surrounding it. But first, we travel to Venezuela where our intrepid correspondent Annika Rothstein, who tells a harrowing story that we won’t spoil here (yes, we know the audio on her segment was sub-par — socialists run lousy telecommunications operations. Go figure.). Then, if you want to understand a possible Constitutional crisis, you should ask a Constitutional law professor. Luckily, we have John Yoo on speed dial (kids, ask your parents what speed dial is). He delves into the legal ramifications of impeachment and contempt of Congress before he had to rush off to his next TV hit. Do read his Washington Post op-Ed for more detail. Finally, we wrap up with another edition of our “Handicap The Democratic Field” segment. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who’s going nowhere fast? We break it all down for you (spoiler alert: It’s been a bad few weeks for Beto).

Music from this week’s show: Matilda by Harry Belafonte

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Most Ricochet Podcasts follow a longstanding format: A little chat with the hosts, a couple of guests, some closing thoughts, a tune, and we’re out. But when you’ve got our old friend and current White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow on the podcast just hours after some very strong economic news, well, you throw out your format and let Larry drive the bus. We talk to him about the economy, about the Fed, and a bit about his health (spoiler alert: he’s doing great). Also, we belly up to the Barr, and Rob Long gives his take on the current cold war between Hollywood writers and their agents.

Music from this week’s show: Hats Off To Larry by Dell Shannon

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