It’s a very special Tuesday night edition of HWX, with Brian Ward and Paul Happe reconvening to discuss the crucial issues of the day.  Topics addressed include:

  • Santa Claus is coming to town!  Should he be concerned about entering households in states with the Castle Doctrine?Castle-Doctrine-Map
  • Lindsey Graham withdraws from the GOP Presidential race.  Will the kid’s table debates ever be the same?  Including a special tribute to the highlights of his campaign, with an exciting new commercial sponsor.
  • Hillary Clinton and the state of the Democrat party Presidential race,  including Hillary’s reaction to Donald Trump’s recent comments that she was “schlonged” in 2008.
  • A musical tribute to the magical mix that is Christmas and Presidential comments, featuring carols from Bobby Jindal, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
  • A preview of the release of a new holiday music classic, The Hillary and the Ivy, featuring the former first lady’s special touch  on your favorite holiday music.
  • The release of the latest Star Wars movie, and it’s cultural significance.  Also, an analysis of the recent Ipsos poll on how Star Wars characters would do if they were running for President.

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Margaret Thatcher performed one of the great feats of modern statesmanship in 1981, when she overcame her own unpopularity as well as foes within her own party–and became a political hero in the United Kingdom and beyond. Kwasi Kwarteng describes the challenge she faced and history’s verdict in Thatcher’s Trial: 180 Days that Created a Conservative Icon.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Kwarteng takes us back in time and extracts lessons for today’s conservatives. He also relates his single encounter with Thatcher, toward the end of her life. And Kwarteng — a Conservative MP — talks about what it takes for a professional politician to write a serious book.

Kevin_Corinth_300x225Should you give a homeless person money or food, or just keep walking? It’s a quandary many Americans face, especially those who live in big cities. Homelessness raises other questions as well. How can we reduce the problem? How do the data misrepresent the issues? In what cities are there real “states of emergency”? And are shelters for the homeless – a seemingly obvious solution to the profile – actually effective in solving the greater social problems that homelessness embodies?

I sat down with AEI’s Kevin Corinth to get some of the answers. Kevin Corinth is a research fellow in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on homelessness and the programs and policies put in place to assist the homeless. Corinth has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Boston College and a master’s and doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago, where he was also a lecturer.

So take a listen. And for more, see some his research on housing versus shelters here, on homeless families here, street homelessness here, and homelessness and the Christmas Spirit here.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review enjoy Hillary Clinton’s blatant lie about ISIS videos featuring Donald Trump because it reinforces her image as someone who will whenever it suits her.  They also slam Secretary of State John Kerry for telling Iran the tougher new visa waiver rules won’t really apply to Iran.  And they wade into the Cruz-Rubio immigration debate and separate fact from fiction.

Jim Baggott is an influential science writer. A scientist himself by training, he has turned toward a career in the commercial world as a successful author who popularizes complex scientific theories by making them, well, understandable.

His latest, Origins: The Scientific Story of Creation, is a concise history of how we got here, how life has evolved on this planet, and where life may be heading next. Baggott joins us here for an hour. We only wish that we’d had more time.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review welcome the exodus of Sen. Lindsey Graham from the 2016 Republican field.  They also rip President Obama for saying that the American people need to remember that while ISIS can kill us, they can never bring down the nation.  And as Obama identifies the frustrations driving support for Donald Trump, the president completely misses any responsibility he might have for those frustrations – especially as it relates to the economy.

Jay’s guest is Isabella Boylston, a ballerina with the American Ballet Theatre. She has been in California, dancing Clara in “The Nutcracker.” She and Jay talk about “The Nutcracker,” and its enduring popularity, and about some other issues in the ballet too.

School of American BalletTo see a bit of Isabella in another Tchaikovsky ballet, “Sleeping Beauty,” go here. And to see her in a short film called “Snow Day,” go here.

London-Underground-LONDON-CALLINGJames Delingpole and Toby Young are back with another trot through the movies, TV, and other cultural artifacts  they deem worth their attention. This week, they take on The Big Short, Black Mass, middle aged dudes and popular music, the British view of Donald Trump and immigration.

Hey, it’s our last show of the year and we go out with a jump to hyperspace as Rob has already seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, much to James’ chagrin. We also discuss the debates, the upcoming primaries, some of our favorite member posts from 2015, and more.

Thanks for a great year and Merry Christmas to everyone. We’ll see you in 2016.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review sigh as Congress easily approves the omnibus spending bill.  They get a kick out of a top DHS official saying the No Fly List should not be used to ban people from buying guns.  They also groan as former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirms Obama had no ISIS plan and did not take the threat seriously.  And they slam Donald Trump for getting cozy with Vladimir Putin and not seeming at all upset that he kills his political opponents.

BachJay does not do a traditional “Q&A” this time – and not a “Q&A” at all – but a Christmas show.  A show of Christmas music.  He plays seven of his favorite tracks, from Bach to “I Saw Three Ships” to gospel.  Performers include Leontyne Price, George Shearing, and Chanticleer.  A medley for the season.  And a shot in the arm, or wherever it is needed.

This week, Larry Kudlow and Tim Pawlenty discuss Larry’s provocative stance on immigration, opine on the Fed’s rate hike, and, of course, parse this week’s presidential debate.

And yes, there is discussion of Larry’s beauty tips. That’s all we’ll say here.

James Strang was a political boss who became a king, a cult leader who declared himself a prophet, and a con man who tried to establish a personal theocracy on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. He’s the subject of my new ebook, The Polygamist King: A True Story of Murder, Lust, and Exotic Faith in America.

For this special edition of The Bookmonger, the host is the guest — and I take questions from former Ricochet editor Lauren Fink. We talk about how Strang became the leader of a dissident Mormon sect, how he went from opposing polygamy to practicing it, and how he and his colony came to a violent end.

Welcome to The Conservatarians, a brand spankin’ new podcast hosted by Ricochet Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel and KTAR-FM‘s Jim Sharpe. For the premiere episode, Jon and Jim welcome the man who inspired the podcast name, Charles C. W. Cooke, author of The Conservatarian Manifesto and co-host of the popular “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” podcast.

Charles defines the term “conservatarian,” names a few politicos who fit the description, and defends Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from Jon’s praise of Pet Sounds. Other topics include the Paris Climate Conference, the latest perfidy from the EPA, and Hollywood’s ridiculous plan to rewrite Ted Kennedy’s darkest hour.

Wvt135w6People joke about the world being taken over by robots. But when someone as high profile as Steven Hawking says “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” and that “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, can’t compete, and would be superseded” by constantly improving machines, you stop joking and you start to wonder. You ask: What would a world run by robots look like? Will that world materialize in one hundred years? In fifty? How do we ensure robots, AI, and automation support our basic social and economic human needs rather than undermine them?

For that, we turn to Martin Ford, software developer, entrepreneur, and Silicon Valley-based author of The New York Times Bestselling Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future and The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. He has a degree in a computer engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a graduate business degree from the UCLA.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are pleased to see the federal government acknowledge that the Chattanooga attacks were terrorism inspired by foreign groups and that those killed and wounded were awarded Purple Hearts.  They also cringe as the omnibus spending bill turns out to be a massive giveaway to Democrats.  They scold Defense Secretary Ash Carter for using his private email for government business even as the Hillary Clinton scandal was exploding.  And they hammer Bill O’Reilly for saying people want to hear people like Trump say they will go after our enemies, not hear pinhead comments from the likes of Rand Paul about whether things are constitutional.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review cheer the CNN Republican presidential debate for good questions, serious discussions and enlightening exchanges.  They yawn as Chris Christie tries to pretend the people don’t care about a disagreement over the government’s collection of our bulk data.  And they have fun with Donald Trump’s change of heart about whether Ted Cruz is a maniac and that he doesn’t know what the nuclear triad is.

It’s the end of the year, the eve of the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the start of the primary season. That means the men of GLoP must fire up their Skype and bring their punditry skills to bear.

This month, a mediation on what it means to be a member of the “establishment.” Suffice to say, it has a very different meaning than it did 40 years ago. Also, some thoughts about guns, predictions and hopes for The Force Awakens, choices for the best of 2015, and Rob’s medication of choice for the new year. Tune in, turn on, and drop out. See in 2016 for our live show in New Hampshire on February 6th.

The podcast begins with Stuart Taylor, co-author of an important book on an important subject. That book is “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.”

Then Mona and Jay discuss a variety of issues, including, of course, Trump (and the rest of the GOP field). Also, the threat from radical Islam. Will Democrats recognize that threat? If not, why not?

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud Gen. Robert Abrams for ordering a general court martial for Bowe Bergdahl on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.  They also groan as the Obama administration refuses to bomb ISIS propaganda centers due to the fear of civilian casualties.  And they unload on a columnist for the UK Independent for suggesting the West establish diplomatic relations with ISIS to contain its aggression.

fskaplanAnyone following the news knows income inequality is at the front of political debate.

New findings from Pew Research Center show that the middle class has been in steady decline since 1971, and that while median incomes for the middle class have risen 34% since 1970, upper income households have seen a 47% increase. Since 1971, each decade has a decrease in the number of middle-income households, and no one decade signals a rapid decline.

Is the shrinking middle class a critical indication that income inequality is not going away, or is in fact getting worse? What does income inequality actually mean for the economy, or show about the economy?

Welcome to a Law Talk set long ago in a galaxy far, far away. But even from a distance, Professors Yoo and Epstein cover legal issues concerning this planet. This week: the San Bernardino terrorist attack and Trump’s immigration policy — specifically, would it be constitutional to prohibit Muslim immigration? Also, the SCOTUS Affirmative Action case and a defense of Justice Scalia, the DOJ investigation of Chicago police department, and for Star Wars week, a John Yoo special: Was Han Solo legally justified in shooting first against Greedo?  We’d rather kiss a Wookie then tell you the answer here.

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review fume at reports the Department of Homeland Security refused requests from immigration officials to screen the social media accounts of people seeking to enter the U.S.  They also groan as the U.S. commits to massive carbon emission reductions while allowing placing no penalties for nations that don’t comply.  And they laugh as Donald Trump says Cruz should not be president because he doesn’t have the right temperament and insults people in the Senate.

Current events have you pulling your hair out? We’ve got some audio Rogaine for you: Niall Ferguson, author of the newly published biography of Henry Kissinger stops by to give us some perspective on terrorism and international relations. Then, our good pal Larry Kudlow (you listen to his podcast, don’t you?) joins the show to give some perspective on his friend The Donald, the state of the economy, and, his (not yet announced) race for the US Senate.

Music from this week’s episode:

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud the honesty of California Dem Loretta Sanchez, who admits between 5-20 percent of Muslims want a caliphate and to obliterate western norms.  They also react to a new CBS poll showing Americans are evenly divided about establishing a federal database of all Muslims.  And they unload on a liberal magazine’s call for a complete gun ban, even for police.