Jay and Mona welcome RealClearPolitics guru Sean Trende, who sheds light on where we’ve been (what about those famous “missing white voters”?) and where we’re going. He recognizes the desperate 110950_1_state of the Republican Party but takes the long view – and it’s not apocalyptic.

Mona and Jay then turn to President Obama’s trip to Cuba, and the state of the nation with their usual combination of dismay and hope. Ok, heavy on dismay. But if Sean Trende is calm, all is not lost, right?

This week, Larry Kudlow and Tim Pawlenty have plenty to talk about: the bombings in Brussels, Obama’s Middle East policy, the election, and of course, will Larry answer the phone when President-elect Trump calls? You’ll have to listen to find out.


Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review react to a new poll suddenly showing Ted Cruz with a narrow lead in Wisconsin.  They also rip Obama’s reaction to the Brussels attacks and for continuing to assert that keeping Guantanamo Bay open is somehow more dangerous to Americans than letting detainees go.  And they react to the latest salvo over wives in the Republican presidential race.

The Ricochet University School of Law values diversity — and nowhere is that more evident than in this episode’s topics. Professors Epstein and Yoo tackle the Brussels terrorist attacks, President Obama’s detached attitude towards the ISIS threat, and Donald Trump’s pledge to do “so much torturing it will make your head spin” (note: not an actual quote … yet). Then it’s on to Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court: Is he qualified? Does it matter? Are Senate Republicans inviting a backlash? After that, in a Law Talk first, the professors parse the (legal) details of the Hulk Hogan sex tape and the resulting lawsuit against Gawker. Finally — are you ready for this? — is it possible that Epstein and Yoo agree with Donald Trump about revisiting libel laws? Tune in to find out.

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Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu speaks to the media in Boca Raton, Florida in this October 22, 2012 file photo. Sununu was recovering in Boston on August 24, 2015 after undergoing heart surgery last week, the Republican's office said in a statement. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity/FilesJay’s guest today is John H. Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, the onetime chief of staff to Bush the Elder, and the current and forever politico. He talks about his upbringing: how he came to his views. He talks about the importance of a serious (non-frivolous) education. He talks about free enterprise and some other things that made America great.

He talks about his old boss, GHWB, and the book he has written about that president: The Quiet Man.

Then he and Jay talk about Election ’16: Hillary, Bernie, Trump, Ted, and them. The governor’s views are direct, as always. Jay also wants to know about the governor’s old friend and sparring partner, Soledad O’Brien. Does he hear from her much?

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review discuss Jonah Goldberg’s column suggesting conservatives need to prepare for the end of the GOP as we know it whether Trump wins the nomination or not.  They also slam the Super PAC who put out a racy photo of Melania Trump as reason to vote against her husband – and they slam Trump for blaming the ad on Cruz and threatening to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz.  And they sigh as Sarah Palin prepares to follow in the footsteps of Judge Judy.

The men of GLoP (that’s Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and John Podhoretz) return for another romp through pop culture and a bit of politics. This week, they recall the culturally ahead-of-its-time phenomenon that was “The Dating Game,” explain why SMOD 2016 wins the coveted GLoP endorsement (sorry, Cthulhu), some thoughts on Batman v. Superman, why newspaper (remember them?) humor columnists weren’t actually very  humorous, and yes, grudgingly, they comment a bit on the state of the race.

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On our new podcast, Commentary Editor John Podhoretz and his colleagues Noah Rothman and Abe Greenwald express their deep sympathy for poor President Obama—he got his nice trip to Cuba all stepped on by another terrorist attack getting in the way of the “pivoting” he wants to do in foreign policy. The horror in Brussels raises yet again the specter of a non-assimmilating Muslim population in Europe and complicates questions in the American presidential race. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz seems unable to get out of Donald Trump’s shadow no matter how hard he tries, with parlous end results for him and for the Republican Party. This episode does not end with a joke. Next week’s will.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review enjoy hearing Bill Clinton call the last eight years “awful.”  They react to the horrific terrorist attacks in Brussels and President Obama’s listless response.  And they unload on Obama for his moral equivalence between the problems in Cuba and the perceived flaws in the U.S.

“In the storied history of American politics,” said Bill Clinton of George McGovern, “I believe that no other presidential candidate ever had such enduring impact in defeat.”

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, historian Thomas J. Knock–author of The Life and Times of George McGovern: The Rise of a Prairie Statesman–tells the tale of the left-wing Democrat who lost the presidential election in 1972. He also compares and contrasts McGovern to Barry Goldwater, discusses what today’s Democrats owe to McGovern, and describes what McGovern was like as a man.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review shake their heads as John Kasich says he would consider Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court if Kasich becomes president.  They also rip Pres. Obama for legitimizing Cuba’s repressive communist regime and even posing in front of Che Guevara.  And they unload on Hillary Clinton for suggesting she can be trusted to defend Israel’s security.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review enjoy seeing the lawyers for fired Benghazi Committee staffer remove the accusation that partisanship on the committee led to his termination.  They also react to speculation that Pres. Obama’s increased support for Hillary Clinton means she will never be indicted over her private server.  And they unload on Mike Huckabee for saying conservatives opposing Trump are only worried about their paychecks and need to suck it up and get in line behind Trump.

The COMMENTARY MAGAZINE triumvirate of Podhoretz, Rothman, and senior editor Abe Greenwald are back to bring you the bad news—and it’s really all bad news, let’s face it—about the possibilities for stopping Donald Trump going forward (not that good), the condition of Ted Cruz’s bid for the nomination (not really all that good), what the hell John Kasich is up to (probably not any good), and how Trump has controlled the Republican Party for nine months through threats that are only getting wilder as he gets closer to his goal.

Not to worry: They end with a joke!

This week, we bring you two very different views of the current state of the Republican Party courtesy of two of the smartest observers we could find. First, former RNC chair and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour stops by to remind us to be adults and remember that Donald Trump will be a better president than Hillary Clinton. But later, the great Charles Murray (read his incredible essay “Trump’s America” here) makes the opposite case: Trump will be an unmitigated disaster to be avoided at all costs. It’s a stark contrast in views and — take our word for it — required listening. Where do you fall? Let us know in the comments.  Note: this podcast is quite a bit longer than usual, but we thought this conversation warranted it.

Music from this week’s episode:

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are pleased to see conservatives beginning to coalesce around Ted Cruz.  They applaud the State Department for declaring ISIS guilty of genocide but scold the administration for apparently not planning to do much about it.  And they react to a Trump supporter telling CNN that convention riots could be a good thing and that they would not be negative riots.

Once more, Jay shamelessly exploits “Q&A” to do a music program – this one in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll hear Irish music of various types – performed by John McCormack, Kathleen Ferrier, Bryn Terfel, and noteworthy others.

You get songs, needless to say. But you also get a famous march – “Brian Boru’s March” – and a selection from The Father of the Nocturne, the Irishman John Field.

It’s a very special midweek episode of HWX, with Brian Ward of Fraters Libertas and Paul Happe of the Nihilist in Golf Pants reconvening to discuss the critical issues of our time.  Topics addressed include:

* Barack Obama’s controversial NCAA women’s basketball tournament bracket picks

Mona and Jay have a guest, Russ Roberts, the economist and podcaster. He talks about, among other things, immigration. There is hardly any topic today that generates more liveliness. Roberts is lucid on the subject, and Mona and Jay contribute their own lucidity, in their fashions.

Charles W. Calomiris and Stephen H. Haber, authors of "Fragile by Design," speak at the Hoover Institution's Washington office during a podcast of "Econtalk," hosted by Russ Roberts on Feb. 5, 2014. Photo: Jay Mallin jay@jaymallinphotos.comThen Mona pays tribute to Marco Rubio, who has just ended his campaign. Jay agrees entirely, except for a jot or tittle here and there. Then the topic is the fate of America: What’s it all about, Alfie? How will it turn out?

This week, James Delingpole and Toby Young provide another across-the-pond perspective on the James’ continuing convalescence, the American primaries, whether or not a female President help stoke the moderation of Islamic culture, anti-Semitism on the left in Britain, and more on the looming Brexit.

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Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review discuss Tuesday’s sweeping wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the realities going forward in both parties.  They also assess what went wrong for Marco Rubio in the 2016 race.  And they slam Trump for suggesting he must be given the nomination even without a majority of delegates or there will be riots.

In this comparatively early venture in pessimism about the moral strength of the West, two leading historians of the classical world voice their doubts about whether Europe can (or will) resist the second coming of Islam. They are Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton who joined us in this prescient discussion in 2008.

A few weeks ago, the Iraq War was in the news again, briefly: That’s because Donald Trump went all Cindy Sheehan on the subject. In response, Victor Davis Hanson wrote an important piece – certainly what Jay regards as an important piece: “Iraq: The Real Story.”

VDH-picIn this “Q&A,” Jay talks to VDH about Iraq. Among other things, VHD explains the practical effect of getting Iraq wrong – of allowing a false picture to take over. The effect isn’t good.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review react to Hillary Clinton saying no Americans were lost in Libya.  They also discuss Ben Carson endorsing Trump and saying if he’s bad president it will only last four years.  And they have fun with Trump taking a shot at his friend Chris Christie to discuss how John Kasich has been out of Ohio a lot.

Europe is in the grip of a soft despotism, says Todd Huizinga, author of The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Huizinga describes where the European Union went wrong, what British voters should think about as they consider leaving the EU, and whether the United States is following the EU on the path to unaccountable governance.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss the ugly scene in Chicago Friday as protesters trigger chaos at a Trump rally and spill into the streets.  We unpack the very public dysfunction at Breitbart News.  And we slam John Kasich for his clueless campaign strategy.