Tonight’s GOP Presidential debate is a critical test, not only for the candidates, but for the mainstream media. After a series of ambush questions, sucker punches, and low blows in prior debates, we are being assured that finally sanity will restored and the American voting public will be treated to the fair, substantive questions and reasoned answers that we deserve.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus characterized the new approach as follows:

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review cheer the decision from a federal appeals court ruling that Pres. Obama did not have the authority to take unilateral action on immigration last year.  They also cringe as a Jeb Bush Super PAC targets Marco Rubio for being too pro-life.  And they unload on the insanity at the University of Missouri.

Is Washington killing you? That’s the question Darcy Olsen raises in her new book, The Right To Try: How the Federal Government Prevents Americans from Getting the Lifesaving Treatments They Need.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Olsen describes how she got involved in a national movement to help severely sick patients, what she’s trying to accomplish, and how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stands in the way.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review cheer Ben Carson for calling out the media’s frothing pursuit of his record but also chide Carson for being sloppy with the facts on some key moments in his life.  They also shudder as Hillary Clinton suggests she would use the military much like President Obama does but take some solace in knowing she is probably lying.  And they slam Yale University for apologizing that students don’t have enough “safe spaces.”

Welcome to the first edition of a new podcast featuring James Delingpole and Toby Young. We’ll be producing this show on a monthly basis (more frequently if it catches on). In this premiere episode, James and Toby discuss Spectre, the new James Bond movie and the series’ evolution in general, kick around a few of their other favorite action movies in the British spy genre, meditate on The Walking Dead, James introduces heterosexual audiences to The House of DVFand wrap up with a distinctively British view of the Kardashians and what they mean for the culture at large.

Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors!

In a recent post, Ricochet member anonymous posits that the U.S. has become “an unserious country.” Today, we do our best to dispel that notion just a bit (despite the disturbing image above from EJHill) with our guests economist Russ Roberts from the Hoover Institution as well as his legendary EconTalk podcast and Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen (read his new book Cheney One on One)In our attempt to be serious, we cover inequality, Ben Carson’s many controversies, Kentucky’s new governor, the Bush-Cheney squabble, and the upcoming debate. Also, don’t miss James Rosen’s spot on impersonation of Barack Obama. Seriously.

Music from this week’s episode:

There’s much going on in the world at the moment, and instead of bringing you a themed show, we thought we’d look to those whose writings on it we admire. And, of course, a little music.

First up to join is Bret Stephens, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign-affairs columnist at the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, America in Retreat, has been quite influential. He and Milt talk about ‘The Tyranny of a Big Idea‘.

What if Dick Cheney were to participate in the modern-day equivalent of the Frost-Nixon interviews? Now he has, in Cheney One on One: A Candid Conversation with America’s Most Controversial Statesman, by James Rosen of Fox News.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Rosen describes how he sat with Cheney for 10 hours as they talked about everything from the events of 9-11 to the former veep’s views of the Tea Party. Rosen also offers a unique theory on why Cheney is so disliked by so many liberals.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review shudder as intelligence experts believe it’s likely ISIS or some other terrorist group smuggled a bomb onto the doomed Russian airliner.  They also scold Bernie Sanders for deciding now that Hillary’s emails are an issue for concern.  And they shake their heads at the massive protests of Donald Trump’s appearance on Saturday Night Live.  No podcast Friday.  We’ll be back Monday.

Dan Rather was once the voice of establishment liberalism. He reigned on the CBS Evening News and on 60 Minutes. Was he different from the rest of the liberal pack? Only in this respect: He got caught. The person who caught him is our guest, Scott Johnson of Powerlineblog.com. Scott reviews the history of “Rathergate” in light of the movie bearing the absurd title Truth.

Jay and Mona then speak of Hollywood’s other distortions of history, the “land of enchantment” New Mexico, Bernie Sanders, the CNBC debate, the perils of serving as a police officer, the moment in American history when the middle class sought to improve itself, and the wonderful life of Fred Thompson, RIP. It’s vintage NTK. Not to be missed.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer the election of a conservative governor in Kentucky, the GOP holding the Virginia Senate and voters rejecting liberal initiatives in Houston and Ohio.  They also groan as TransCanada asks for its Keystone XL pipeline request to be to be postponed and they slam the Obama administration for its endless delay in deciding on the pipeline.  And they unload on the Department of Education for forcing an Illinois high school to allow a male who “identifies” as a female to dress and shower with the girls on his team.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough for pointing out that every one of the top network television news positions is held by a liberal and has been for 50 years.  They sigh as the Republican candidates turn frustration over the CNBC debate into a circus of endless demands.  And they slam New York Times “conservative” columnist David Brooks for saying he will move to Canada if Trump wins.

Fresh from his epic name check in the last Republican debate, Larry Kudlow (and Tim Pawlenty –not name checked) recap the debate and give some insight on what to expect for the next one. Also, how the candidates might improve their debating styles, and another look at a new category in American politics: the billionaire populist.

Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors!

One of the most important conservatives of the 20th century now has his definitive biography, in Russell Kirk: American Conservative, by Bradley J. Birzer of Hillsdale College.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Birzer describes the life and legacy of Kirk, how he became the first researcher to gain complete access to Kirk’s papers, and what Kirk would think of the conservative movement today, a generation after his death.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are cautiously pleased with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s vows to champion conservative solutions and stay away from immigration while Obama is in office.  They also slam Bill Gates for suggesting we need to abandon the free market to address climate change.  And they pay tribute to the late Sen. Fred Thompson.

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald joins John and Steve to discuss her poltically incorrect (and therefore quite thought provoking) new piece in City Journal titled, “The Decriminalization Delusion.” Heather describes the “phantom bias” that the press and academics are trying to root out, because, as she notes in her article,

“At the state and city levels, hardly a single criminal-justice practice exists that is not under fire for oppressing blacks. Traffic monitoring, antitheft statutes, drug patrols, public-order policing, trespass arrests, pedestrian stops, bail, warrant enforcement, fines for absconding from court, parole revocations, probation oversight, sentences for repeat felony offenders—all have been criticized as part of a de facto system for locking away black men and destroying black communities.”

Why do so many people enjoy feeling afraid? Margee Kerr tries to make sense of this paradox in Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, she describes why people seek out haunted-house attractions. She also explains her book’s epigraph from Edmund Burke: “Terror is a passion which always produces delight when it does not press too close.” Finally, she names the scariest movie she’s ever seen.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer Marco Rubio for defending his description of Hillary Clinton as lying about Benghazi and eviscerating Charlie Rose’s efforts to defend her.  They’re also worried that Pres. Obama is still not serious about wiping out ISIS with his very limited deployment of special forces to Syria.  And they react to the women of “The View” referring to Carly Fiorina’s smile as “demented” and a “Halloween mask.”

It’s a very scary Halloween episode of HWX, with Brian Ward of Fraters Libertas and Paul Happe of Nihilist in Golf Pants.

Topics addressed include:

By most accounts, the third GOP debate was a circus which strangely pitted the Republican candidates banding together to fend off their foes–not the Democrats, but rather their moderators from CNBC.

To shed light on the proceedings–if there was any of political value–we turn to a fine panel. In studio, Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky of American Thinker, Larry Sabato of the Center for Politics and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Jonathan Last and Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard.

Got a post-debate hangover? We’ve got the cure with this week’s installment of the world-famous Ricochet Podcast. On deck for today’s installment: Ricochet Editor-In-Chief Jon Gabriel sits in for James Lileks and we welcome two powerhouse guests — Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) who recaps the debate, the House, Iran, and yes, mayonnaise.

And then, our old pal David Limbaugh checks in with another typical low energy podcast hit. Come on David, perk up!

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are glad to see a unified GOP conference as Paul Ryan is elected speaker and are optimistic in his potential as speaker.  They also hammer CNBC for its horrible management of Wednesday’s GOP debate and loved the rebuke from Ted Cruz.  Jim calls out Ben Carson for lying about his connection to Mannetech.  And, of course, we have a blimp reference.

Around Halloween, I like to read horror stories. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the greats–think “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”–and now he’s available in The Annotated Poe, a new collection of stories, poems, and annotations from Harvard University Press.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, editor Kevin J. Hayes explains how he selected the table of contents, what he has tried to accomplish with the book’s annotations, and where he ranks Poe among the best American writers. He also replies to the famous put-down from Henry James, who claimed that “enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection.”

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud House Republicans for pursuing impeachment charges against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  They also scold House Republicans for contributing to the resurrection of the Export-Import Bank.  And they have no patience for the campaigns griping about their green rooms prior to the presidential debate at Colorado University.

That was the title of a book by Bob Novak in 1965, about the previous year’s election. In this new podcast, Mona and Jay talk about Trump, the GOP, and the Right. They also talk about Hillary: her brazen lies about Benghazi, and her quaint charges of sexism. Because Bernie thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen, you know?

Speaking of women – or something in that ballpark – Mona brings up Caitlyn Jenner, who is Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year. She also addresses the Great Bacon Panic of October 2015.