When it comes to ancient Greece, Athens gets all the attention–but Sparta deserves most of the credit for the defeat of the Persians during the classical period, says author and Ricochet contributor Paul A. Rahe in his new book, The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta: The Persian Challenge.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Rahe argues that the West owes much more to the Spartans than 300 (which is an excellent movie) and accuses many historians of overrating the importance of Athens. He explains why he calls the Persian invasion a “jihad” and whether the Spartans have any lessons to teach Americans in the 21st century.

When you say Paris this week, one thinks of jihadi killers – but that’s not what President Obama thinks about. He’s looking forward to the great summit on climate change set to begin there next week. Jay and Mona welcome Steve Hayward, the right’s most astute analyst of the folks he has christened the “climatistas,” to fill us in on what to expect. Will it be a second Kyoto? More end runs around Congress perhaps? Steve explains what it means to be a “luke-warmer” on climate.

Next, the conversation moves to John Kerry and his staggeringly gross comments about the terrorists and murder (some are “understandable” apparently), an update on the collective nervous breakdown on American campuses, memories of Bill Buckley’s unsuccessful mayoral race in 1965, whether you should shake hands with a dictator, and what will happen if the Republican party actually nominates you know who.

Last week’s podcast concluded just before the attacks in Paris began, so this week, we’ve assembled a couple of guests who can help us make sense of it all and divine what response the U.S. should make both the terrorists and the refugees soon to be arriving en masse.

Herb Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. He’s also the dad of Ricochet editor Tom Meyer. Walter Russell Mead is the Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship at the Hudson Institute, the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest. He’s also someone’s dad. Finally, should tipping be discontinued? Tune in to find out.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review sigh as FBI Director James Comey suggests the government can’t do anything else to vet Syrian refugees.  They hammer Hillary Clinton for saying Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism.  And they rip Hillary Clinton and her campaign for threatening legal action against the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles  if it didn’t remove video of comedians mocking her when she visited the club last week.

On this show we again investigate the events of another devastating attack on the French capital. We’re joined in studio by W. Rand Smith of Lake Forest College, a political scientist who studies French politics and Daniel S. Kamin, adjunct professor of International Relations at DePaul.

Via phone we check in with Fred Kagan of American Enterprise Institute and Fred Burton, VP of Intel at Stratfor.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review like a new poll showing Hillary Clinton losing badly to all four top GOP candidates in Colorado.  They also discuss multiple reports of Syrians fraudulently posing as refugees in an effort to reach the U.S.  And they enjoy the demand of student protesters that Princeton scrub all references to former Pres. Woodrow Wilson.

The world changed on All Saints Day in 1755, when a massive earthquake, tsunami, and firestorm struck at the heart of the Portuguese empire, reports Mark Molesky in This Gulf of Fire: The Destruction of Lisbon, or Apocalypse in the Age of Science and Reason.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Molesky explains how this cataclysm shaped scientific and intellectual history, launched the world’s first international relief effort, and revealed the enduring role of faith in European society. He also speculates on what would happen if similar earthquake were to take place near Europe today.

When are we ever going to understand that Islamist terrorists really mean it? This is the theme of a special Paris edition of Radio Free Delingpole starring the go-to expert at dark times like these – Douglas Murray, Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society. Douglas has been warning for years that attacks like the one on Paris were coming. How did he know? Because unlike so many politicians and commentators who find it more seductive to bury their heads in douglas-150-250-0the sand, Murray listens to what the Islamists are saying, studies what they do and finds little reason to believe that peace and love are about to break out soon if only we light a few more candles and get James Taylor to sing You Got A Friend again – maybe this time with the whole Laurel Canyon crowd. So: who’s to blame? Where do we go from here? Are Britain and the US next on the list? And is there any damn thing we can do about it? Douglas has all the answers…

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud the French for rooting out terrorists in their country and for an aggressive bombing campaign in Syria.  They also hammer Secretary of State John Kerry for saying the “rationale” for the ISIS attacks against Charlie Hebdo was easier to understand because it had published material offensive to Muslims.  And Jim laments Bobby Jindal’s withdrawal from the 2016 campaign and rips Republicans who turned on Jindal for actually cutting spending.

Ben Sasse was elected senator from Nebraska last year. He has just given his maiden floor speech: detailing what is wrong with the world’s “greatest deliberative body.” He and Jay talk about this.

Why is the Senate broken? What is the responsibility of the people themselves? What about entitlements? And the “administrative state”? And the new reality of employment? And cyberwar?

This week, Larry Kudlow and Tim Pawlenty discuss the terrorist attack in Paris and the Obama administration’s tepid response. Also, Larry and Tim parse the tax plans of both the Democratic and Republican candidates. Spoiler alert: neither are up to snuff.

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What do Martin Luther, Albrecht Durer, and the Shroud of Turin have in common? They all play a part in the new comic novel by Christopher Buckley, The Relic Master.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, the author of Thank You for Smoking explains why he wanted to write a story about the market for holy relics in 16th-century Europe, which turns out to be almost as funny as 21st-century America.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein for stating that ISIS is not contained, is growing significantly and needs to be destroyed.  They also slam Pres. Obama for dismissing the ideas that American leadership and America winning are critical to defeating ISIS.  And they react to new emails from Huma Abedin telling a colleague that Hillary Clinton is “often confused.”


With the presidential election season in full swing, candidates in both parties are unveiling sweeping tax reform plans. But what’s smart public policy and what’s mere political posturing? To help find out, I chat with Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute on this episode of Ricochet’s Political Economy podcast.

Dr. Veuger received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a teaching fellow there before joining AEI. He is a regular contributor to The National Interest and U.S.News & World Report. He also serves as a board member of the Altius Society and as the chairman of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Netherland-America Foundation.

Like the rest of the civilized world, we were horrified by the weekend’s events in Paris. Immediately we moved to bring you the most sober and informed analysis possible.

In this episode, we’re joined by two fine academics who study terror and its machinations — John Allen Williams of Loyola and Barry Kellman of DePaul — in studio. Via phone we talk to Daniel Greenfield, who has some very strong assertions toward Islam and the role of the faith in terror, and to the inimitable Victor Davis Hanson, who had a timely article on the tragedy.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review shudder at reports that ISIS communications have advanced to the point that intelligence efforts to infiltrate have “gone dark” thanks in part to the revelations from Edward Snowden.  They also slam President Obama for moving full steam ahead with his plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.  And they are glad to see University of Missouri police considering charges against the media professor who tried to stop the press from covering campus protests.

Ed. Note: This podcast was recorded before the events in Paris on Friday.

Mona and Jay devote most of this podcast to the lunacy on campus – although it’s more than lunacy. It’s hatred, ignorance, and intimidation. It is profoundly un-American and undemocratic.

As the terror attacks in Paris unfolded, John, Scott and Steve hosted Episode 29 of the Power Line Show. The attacks threw both halves of the show into sharp relief. We started by interviewing Dan Polisar, author of in important article in titled “What Do Palestinians Want?

Polisar reviewed years’ worth of public opinion polling of Palestinians. He found several common themes; a common denominator is a lack of contact with reality. As twisted as Palestinian culture is, what we saw in Paris tonight reflects an even more virulent version of the same ideology.

Because we have to, we spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the recent events at college campuses around the country. Luckily, we have a Yale grad on the show to help us parse all of the cruel injustices taking place in New Haven. Then, the Mad Dog himself, National Review’s Kevin Williamson joins to discuss his new Encounter Broadside The Case Against TrumpFinally,  all the way from Japan, the great Mort Kondracke Skypes in to discuss his new book Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America and his terrific rebuttal to the New York Times review of the book.

Music from this week’s episode:

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud Neil Cavuto’s dismantling of the free college arguments of the Million Student March.  They also sigh as some Republicans are still trying to find a path for Mitt Romney to join the race and save the party from the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  And they react to Donald Trump calling Iowans and other Americans “stupid” for believing Ben Carson’s personal story.

On the pop-culture Richter scale, Gary Gygax deserves a place alongside Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, says Michael Witwer, author of Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons and Dragons. In other words, Gygax was a 12th-level genius.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Witwer explains the  significance of D&D (as players call it). He also describes what Gygax was like as a man: a high-school dropout who read voraciously but was not prepared to run a business. Finally, Witwer says a word about the politics of his subject: Gygax was a fervent Republican who become increasingly libertarian as he grew older.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss the FBI expanding its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails to probe whether she or any aides made false statements, which is a felony.  They also slam MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for suggesting Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t Hispanic and are actually Cuban nationals.  And they unload on the University of Missouri protesters for claiming the first amendment right to free speech creates a hostile learning environment for them.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review applaud the clear, direct questions in Tuesday’s debate and the substantive discussions that followed.  They also cringe as Donald Trump has to be told China is not part of TPP and discuss how Trump and Ben Carson tend to get quiet as the discussions get more detailed.  And they slam John Kasich for his belligerent personality and his liberal answers on everything from immigration to bank bailouts.

With so much going on in politics and the culture, at the moment, there was a bounty of topics to choose from for this episode, but with our characteristic discipline, we stuck to a recap of last night’s debate, the bizarre events at the University of Missouri and Yale, and some free GLoP media consulting for the remaining Republican presidential candidates.

The boys close with some of their favorite TV shows, movies, and Vines (yes, you read that right) of the current season.

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: