This afternoon Paul, Steve, and John got together for a guest-free edition of the Power Line Show. Topic number one was, of course, last night’s GOP debate in Iowa and the state of the races in both parties.

Steve and Paul ventured predictions on New Hampshire. They found time for a few more stories in the news, including the latest on Hillary’s home email server, possibly the worst IT decision in the history of the computer. The question, though, is whether anything short of indictment can derail the Clinton Express, given the Clintons’ already low reputation for honesty, transparency and so on. And, should Hillary unexpectedly be indicted, do the Democrats have a Plan B?

As the first elections of 2016 approach, Professors Epstein and Yoo are talking politics in the faculty lounge. Is a President Trump or President Hillary the more menacing idea? Is Ted Cruz eligible to be president (the answer’s not as clear as you might think)? Is Hillary more likely to end up in a courthouse than the White House? And is the Supreme Court about to strike a blow against public sector unions? All those topics plus the most important question of all: is Peyton Manning or Cam Newton going to take home the Lombardi Trophy? On that front, Justices Epstein and Yoo issue a split decision.

“Omaha!” EJHill!

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud Ted Cruz for refusing to embrace ethanol subsidies and mandates in Iowa. They slam Cruz for his terrible joke about leaving the stage and they discuss the GOP bloodbath over immigration flip-flopping. And they wonder why Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum allowed themselves to be used by the Trump campaign.

Just a few hours before the last pre-Iowa caucus debate, Jay and Mona talk Trump. Whose fault is it that he has risen so high? Will he show up at the Iowa debate? Was it smart or a blunder to skip the debate? And how in the world is it possible that everyone – even the hosts of Need to Know – find it hard to speak of anything else?

Other topics do come up though – CNN’s unconscious concession about guns, Cheryl Mills’s unconscious concession about wages, Harry Reid’s endorsement, the WASP “establishment” (may it rest in peace) and Jay’s encounter with a movie star. Do join us.

This week, we settle all family business (so the saying goes) as after 18 months of jabbering about the election, voters in Iowa are actually going to the polls. To get the best insight into this long awaited event, we go to two experts actually at Ground Zero, aka Des Moines. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York weighs in on the race and National Review editor Rich Lowry describes the aftermath of his magazine’s Against Trump edition and how it is reverberating through the corn fields.

Attention Ricochet Members: Going to be in New Hampshire next weekend? Join us for a first meet-up of 2016! Details here.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review welcome new, unimpressive poll numbers for Hillary Clinton.  They staggered as to why evangelicals are flocking to Donald Trump despite his life and political positions being a giant middle finger to traditional values.  They marvel at Trump’s ability to plan an event that may well eclipse the debate he’s skipping and the RNC’s inability to stop other networks from airing it.  And they mark 30 years since the horrific Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

A Catholic Defends the Building of Walls


11046501_945163158856145_935163790258088775_nNo, I’m not here to report that Marco Rubio has started espousing a Fortress America policy. I’m not even the Catholic in question here, as I’ve become deeply skeptical of our political will to secure the nation’s southern border. But, in a pleasant turn of events, Bishop Robert Barron — the Church’s apostle of the New Evangelization and the recently-installed auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles — spoke powerfully to the importance of cultural preservation in the context of last Sunday’s reading from Nehemiah.

The Biblical passage chronicles the return of the Israelites from exile to the city of Jerusalem, and the actions taken by their leadership to restore the city and its people. Nehemiah and Ezra set out to renew the moral, spiritual, and intellectual strength of the people by reading the entirety of the Torah to them, but also the structural integrity of the city by rebuilding its walls. As Barron puts it (beginning around 4’45”):

Israel had to preserve itself … from the world — they had to have their own integral identity — precisely because they had a great mission in the world and for the world. If Israel lost its way, if its walls were breached, if it lost its identity and integrity, then it couldn’t be a sign of Yahweh for the sake of the world. It’s a paradox that people will often miss, I think. Identity for the sake of the mission. Separation, if you want, but for the sake of connection.

Raif Badawi is the Saudi political prisoner, sentenced to ten years and a thousand lashes. His is one of the most famous, or infamous, cases in the world. He is a very brave man: a man who has sacrificed a lot for human rights and democracy.

His wife is Ensaf Haidar. She lives in exile, with their three children. They found asylum in Canada.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review explore the good, bad and crazy dimensions of Donald Trump’s decision to skip Thursday night’s debate.  They look forward to a debate without Trump.  They fear more candidates will follow Trump’s lead in future debates.  And they slam MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for saying Trump’s exit from the debate means people won’t want to watch “two Cubans” debate.

Did you ever think you believed the innocence of the subject of “Making a Murderer” because the theme music said you should? The Ramble takes a look at documentary soundtracks, and veers off into something you might not have considered: the Golden Age of Objective News Fanfares.

Brian Ward and Paul Happe of HWX return for a special midweek, pre-Iowa caucus podcast extravaganza.  Topics addressed include:

*  What Are You Drinking?  Featuring a new release from Badger Hill Brewing, Minnesota Special Bitter and a classic from New Belgium, Snow Day.

robert-gordon-168x210Not only is this an historically weak recovery, but there are deeper signs of trouble. A big one: Productivity growth — a key indicator of technological innovation — has been basically flat since the Great Recession.

Are things ever going to get better? Or as singer-songwriter Merle Haggard once put it, “Are the good times really over for good?”

I discuss the long-term prospects for the US economy and American workers in this week’s podcast with economist Robert Gordon of Northwestern University. His research asking whether U.S. economic growth is “almost over” has been widely cited, and he was named by Bloomberg as one of the nation’s ten most influential thinkers. He is also author of the new book “The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War.”

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review enjoy watching Hillary Clinton claim people keep calling her untrustworthy because they are liars who want to stop her from bringing positive change to America.  They sigh as Italy covers up nude art and refuses to serve wine at a state dinner so as not to offend the Iranian president.  And they get a get a kick out of Hillary Clinton continuing to insist she did nothing wrong with her private server.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review plow through the snow to enjoy the possibility of Michael Bloomberg launching an independent White House bid.  They also shudder as the FBI probes Hillary Clinton and her State Department subordinates for taking highly classified information and pasting it into emails on Clinton’s non-secure server.  And they react to Donald Trump saying he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and he wouldn’t lose any supporters.

Christopher Dickey, son of the great American poet James Dickey, and a leading international journalist, wrote a book in 2009 predicting much more terrorism to come.

He was, to say the least, prescient and his analysis seems to remain relevant down to the present time of escalated Islamist assault upon the West and its national cultures. Or does the murderous regime of the Islamic State Caliphate represent a qualitative as well as quantitative change?

Britain’s most dangerous podcaster is back with his first show of 2016, and it’s a doozy as James Delingpole is joined by the irrepressible Milo Yiannopoulos (follow him on Twitter @Nero). 

For all those looking for a media personality who supports Trump — look no further. Milo is your man. James and Milo also discuss a number of other topics that we won’t spoil for you here. Suffice to say that you remove all small children from the room before listening to this show (don’t worry, it is CoC compliant, though). Consider yourself warned.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review discuss National Review devoting an entire issue and calling on 20 different conservatives in an effort to convince voters to reject Donald Trump.  They also salute the hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists descending on snowy Washington for the annual March for Life.  And they slam Secretary of State John Kerry for casually conceding that Iran will spend some of his billions in unfrozen assets on terrorism.

It’s been a while since the men of GLoP did a mostly politics-centric podcast, and with the primaries looming, now seems like the time to do it. So, strap yourself in for an audio romp through the state of the race, both on the right and on the left. Also, what happens if Hillary is indicted? A GLoP investigation. And why hasn’t the press been tougher on Trump? Another GLoP investigation. Also, Star Wars reviews and Rob gets a Yiddish lesson. Oy vey.

Also, be sure and join us for our live show in Manchester, NH on Saturday February 6th. Register here!

… or Nordlinger-Kristol? Tongue in cheek, Bill Kristol suggests such a ticket if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee – because Reagan conservatives will need someone to vote for. “Neither Trump Nor Hillary,” in a slogan that Kristol is spreading.

He is Jay’s guest on “Q&A.” They talk politics, of course: Hillary, Bernie, Donald, and others. They also talk about the media. Does media bias matter as much as it used to? Is it still the advantage for the Democrats, and disadvantage for the Republicans, it once was?

amelia-hamiltonRicochet Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel and KTAR-FM’s Jim Sharpe welcome writer Amelia Hamilton to explain the impact of school choice on Big Education and liberals’ unhinged reaction to her updating of “Little Red Riding Hood” for the NRA. Jon and Jim also discuss Planet 9, polonium-210, and the delicious Pollo Asado combo platter at El Chapo’s Mexican Hideout.

You can subscribe to the podcast here.

Music is “Step On” by Happy Mondays, Photoshop by Jon, and thanks to KTAR for the kind use of their studio.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review love watching the Democrats quickly abandon their insistence on no more debates and hastily add one on Monday to help a stumbling Hillary Clinton.  They also roll their eyes as Bob Dole says he’d prefer Trump over Cruz.  And they separate fact from fiction and spread the blame over the Flint water crisis.

Mona and Jay welcome a guest, Fred Barnes, the veteran political journalist. Jay remarks that, year after year, Barnes is a source of good sense. Indeed, a model. So it proves on this podcast. He discusses the presidential campaign, especially Hillary Clinton.

UnknownThen Mona and Jay discuss the campaign, especially the agonizing GOP primaries. Bob Novak wrote a book, after 1964: “The Agony of the G.O.P.” Mona and Jay concert on Trump, basically. They differ sharply on Cruz. They both like Marco (though Jay’s for his friend Ted). Other candidates get honorable mentions.

This week, Larry Kudlow and Tim Pawlenty debate New York values, discuss the doomsday scenario Trump verus Sanders in the general election (no problem– Trump beats Sanders 49 out of 50 states). Meanwhile, John Kasich is polling 2nd is New Hampshire and stocks are sinking. Is it a bear market? Is it a recession? Finally, with both Putin and Trump selling their own perfumes, it’s high time that consumers got the chance to smell like Tim and Larry. Tune in for a very special offer.

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After a week off, we’re back and putting our best foot forward with guests Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) and our good friend and podcaster Professor Richard Epstein. The Senator talks to us about Iran, Guantanamo, and his controversial “endorsement” of Bernie Sanders. Speaking of Sanders, our hosts explain why they admire him and wish Republicans would emulate him. Yes, you read that right. Later, Richard Epstein stops by to explain why Ted Cruz can run for President despite being born in Canada and the surprising chances the gives that a certain Democratic Presidential candidate gets indicted. Finally, a long time ago in a far away place (Switzerland), Peter Robinson had dinner with David Bowie. Yes, you read that right too.

Music from this week’s episode:

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are amused to see the Clinton campaign accusing Republicans and the intelligence community inspector general of conspiring to accuse Hillary Clinton of having beyond top secret emails on her server.  They also blast Republicans for attacking Ted Cruz for his opposition to crony capitalism in ethanol and they discuss why tea party darling Sarah Palin would endorse Donald Trump.  They react to news that a Fast and Furious gun capable of downing helicopters was found with El Chapo.  And they mourn the death of Ben Carson staffer Braden Joplin.