Benjamin Parker of The Weekly Standard (who also happens to be related to Mona) joins NTK to discuss his interview with Vladimir Kara-Murza and the free speech climate on his college campus. Jay and Mona then discuss the cyber bullying of Jeff Sessions, the crazy White House, and some rare good international news.

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There are 22 comments.

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  1. Ricochet Store Contributor
    Ricochet Store
    @ricochetstore

    • #1
  2. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    Mona, I am sure that you are justifiably proud of Benjamin. He is, obviously, a brilliant, articulate young man. It was wonderful to hear a person of his generation speak so fluently. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    Your assessments of Trump are point on. I have tried to accept him, tried to believe in him, but he continues to be exactly what I expected him to be when he began his run for the nomination. He is an arrested, adolescent bully. I have never known a bully who wasn’t a coward. He is intellectually stunted, ignorant, and interested only in his own agrandisement. Now he has his own little mini-me, Scaramucci. He is running his administration in a manner I read that Hitler ran his, set up everyone in opposition to each other, have them compete for his approval. It is all ego gratification, and it is appalling. If it wasn’t so funny to watch it would be tragic. What is tragic is that we waited for 16 years for a real, conservative administration, and this is what we ended up with.

    • #2
  3. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    Mona, I am sure that you are justifiably proud of Benjamin. He is, obviously, a brilliant, articulate young man. It was wonderful to hear a person of his generation speak so fluently. Thank you for sharing him with us.

    Your assessments of Trump are point on. I have tried to accept him, tried to believe in him, but he continues to be exactly what I expected him to be when he began his run for the nomination. He is an arrested, adolescent bully. I have never known a bully who wasn’t a coward. He is intellectually stunted, ignorant, and interested only in his own agrandisement. Now he has his own little mini-me, Scaramucci. He is running his administration in a manner I read that Hitler ran his, set up everyone in opposition to each other, have them compete for his approval. It is all ego gratification, and it is appalling. If it wasn’t so funny to watch it would be tragic. What is tragic is that we waited for 16 years for a real, conservative administration, and this is what we ended up with.

    These are exactly my thoughts. A little harsh-sounding, I know, but our president had every chance in the world to try to prove we Trump-Skeptics wrong. When he started winning primaries, he could have boned up on the issues. He could have stopped his reckless, immature, and bombastic, not to mention hurtful, rhetoric. And, when he did win, he could have come up with a plan for his presidency. He could have a man, like the one he has now, as his chief of staff, to keep things moving. He could have made up his mind, from day one, to see that he nominated the best men and women to staff ALL the departments fully. He didn’t do any of this, because he is not capable.

    I was glad he won. Although I did not vote for him (nor did I vote for Hillary), I thought he might do what I just outlined. He has bungled a huge opportunity. I cannot for the life of me understand why any real conservative cannot see this. It was our duty to support him, as good Americans, yes. But he has let us down. If the Democrats can, they  will impeach him. He won’t be thrown out, but it will be an ongoing stain. And true historians, I believe, will record that that the year 2017 saw us march toward greater State Control!

    • #3
  4. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    I listened to Bill Bennett’s show this morning. He had a Trump apologist on. It was the most masterful job of of attempting to spin manure into gold, but I am afraid I learned long ago that trying to polish a turd is a fool’s errand. The rationalizations seemed an attempt to give rational, logical reason to irrational, erratic behavior completely devoid of anything resembling rational forethought. That Bennett chose not to challenge these statements showed how completely he has sold out his ideals.

    • #4
  5. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    I listened to Bill Bennett’s show this morning. He had a Trump apologist on. It was the most masterful job of of attempting to spin manure into gold, but I am afraid I learned long ago that trying to polish a turd is a fool’s errand. The rationalizations seemed an attempt to give rational, logical reason to irrational, erratic behavior completely devoid of anything resembling rational forethought. That Bennett chose not to challenge these statements showed how completely he has sold out his ideals.

    Again, Eugene, you are spot on. Aside from Dennis Prager, Bill Bennett may be the most disappointing of the Trump embracers.

    I actually do think Prager is worse, because at least Bennett doesn’t spend a third to his whole time on the air trying to convince people that Trump belongs on Mount Rushmore. How do people, who spent their whole careers telling people how to get the best out of life, by doing what God expects of us, for example, go on touting a man who is the direct opposite of what these men have been saying? Tis a puzzlement!

    I do want to say what I didn’t before: Ben Parker was a joy to listen to. She is justly proud.

    And she made me laugh with her crack about Ben Shapiro. I love Shapiro, but he does speak awfully fast! :-)

     

    • #5
  6. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Thank you so much George and Eugene. You help me maintain my sanity.

    • #6
  7. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Mona Charen (View Comment):
    Thank you so much George and Eugene. You help me maintain my sanity.

    Thank YOU, Mona!  Clear thinking, by you, Jay, and all we Trump-Skeptics are our best hope of surviving this testing period, and, one day, REALLY moving our views to the fore.

    • #7
  8. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    Ditto!

    • #8
  9. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Need to Know, pre-Trump, used to be one of my favorite Ricochet podcasts. But now it is just endless Trump bashing. The condescension to those of us who voted for Trump was front and center in this show.

    There are millions of us who grew up and live outside the Beltway and NYC, who can’t name drop Toscanini or play cello. Good for you guys – I admire your intellect and skills. But many of us have different skills and likes. As Trump, I am not like you, but am a conservative, even a social conservative (yes Jay we still exist).

    As a former fan, do me a favor please. Listen to the latest Examining Politics podcast with Salena Zito and YSU professor Paul Scracic. You’ll find a different perspective and hear about those of us who grew up working in factories and living in small towns.

    Mona: you and Jay are smart and clever people, offer us some solutions to problems rather than just incessantly whining about Trump. You are becoming old and stale. But Jay’s rants about Trump still make me laugh.

    • #9
  10. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Need to Know, pre-Trump, used to be one of my favorite Ricochet podcasts. But now it is just endless Trump bashing. The condescension to those of us who voted for Trump was front and center in this show.

    There are millions of us who grew up and live outside the Beltway and NYC, who can’t name drop Toscanini or play cello. Good for you guys – I admire your intellect and skills. But many of us have different skills and likes. As Trump, I am not like you, but am a conservative, even a social conservative (yes Jay we still exist).

    As a former fan, do me a favor please. Listen to the latest Examining Politics podcast with Salena Zito and YSU professor Paul Scracic. You’ll find a different perspective and hear about those of us who grew up working in factories and living in small towns.

    Mona: you and Jay are smart and clever people, offer us some solutions to problems rather than just incessantly whining about Trump. You are becoming old and stale. But Jay’s rants about Trump still make me laugh.

    With all due respect, Scott, I think you are just plain wrong. It would take more time and room than is available here to thoroughly analyze all you’ve said, but a few things…

    I cannot play any instruments, do not like opera, or even enjoy much of Classical Music, although I admire the talent and class of that sound. And, even though I grew up in New York City, I did it in the smallest Borough, Staten Island, and still consider myself a Staten Islander, living in Jersey.

    I do understand why many people voted for Trump. Washington DOES condescend to many of us. We’ve been ignored. But Trump is the answer?? He is a New Yorker, for Heaven’s sake! He makes fun of people; he calls them names; and he thinks of himself as a victim, hardly conservative trait.

    Matter of fact, he was a liberal for most of this life. And he played the Washington game. He gave money to Hillary, before he ran against her. He said, upon election, that he wants to forget about her. Now, he is back to wanting to prosecute her? He has ill grace towards Sessions, made a fool of himself with the boy scouts, and put up with that new guy – The Mooch – tearing people to pieces he didn’t like.

    I don’t want all this in my president. I want a person I can look up to. Not some ego-driven adolescent, who makes our country look bad to the world.

     

    • #10
  11. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    But Trump is the answer??

    No, and I didn’t say that.

    As for being wrong, I praise God every morning that Hillary Clinton isn’t President and I think that makes me right. I’m Catholic and a conservative. I had no choice in voting. Either Trump or Clinton was going to win. Trump ran on a pro-life platform. I had no choice. I voted to limit evil. So far, so good.

    Trump gets voters like me. I’m a farmer – I grew up on a farm and worked in a factory in high school. The other side cares not one wit for people like me. Trump does.

    As for a person you can look up to in politics – good luck with that. As Jay loves to say: politics ain’t beanbag. It’s a nasty business.

    • #11
  12. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    As for being wrong, I praise God every morning that Hillary Clinton isn’t President and I think that makes me right. I’m Catholic and a conservative. I had no choice in voting. Either Trump or Clinton was going to win. Trump ran on a pro-life platform. I had no choice. I voted to limit evil. So far, so good.

    I agree with this. Totally. I’d leave out the evil part, though. But, Hillary was not good for this country, for many reasons. I could have never have voted for her. But neither could I vote for Trump. I live in Jersey, and Hillary was gonna carry this state, no matter what I did. So I left that lane blank.

    I am sure you are good and smart man, Scott, and an excellent farmer. I wish you the best. But I think you are deluding yourself. Trump cares about Trump. As a man in touch with our Lord, I am sure you don’t like the way Trump uses and abuses people, and then throws them away when they are of no use.

    He is also setting back the causes that you and I care about. By not being familiar with the issues, by always getting into fights with people, to sooth his fragile ego, and by  bringing politics into a speech to the Boy Scouts (for God’s sake!), he is responsible for his low poll numbers, and may lose us The House. He might even be impeached (although not thrown out). If these things happen, we will have Trump to blame, primarily. We will have squandered the best chance we’ve had in years to get our agenda advanced. And we will back on these years as having seen the biggest advancement of leftist insidiousness than even we saw during the Obama.

    I look up to people like Ben Sass, possibly Ted Cruz, and Jonie Ernst, in Senate, among others in politics. And I think Marco Rubio would have made a fine President.

    • #12
  13. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    But I think you are deluding yourself. Trump cares about Trump. As a man in touch with our Lord, I am sure you don’t like the way Trump uses and abuses people, and then throws them away when they are of no use.

    I am under no delusions about the man, George. One thing I can agree on with Jay and Mona is that he is a jackass. I don’t see him as a savior or the only one who can fix things. We elected the man and we the people are smarter than many elites give us credit for. His election is showing us that politicians are all windbags and liars – he among them. His over the top showmanship has done one great service to this country so far – exposing the MSM for the liars and sycophants that they are. Do you listen to Andrew Klavan’s show – he explains Trump best I think.

    • #13
  14. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    I am under no delusions about the man, George. One thing I can agree on with Jay and Mona is that he is a jackass. I don’t see him as a savior or the only one who can fix things. We elected the man and we the people are smarter than many elites give us credit for. His election is showing us that politicians are all windbags and liars – he among them. His over the top showmanship has done one great service to this country so far – exposing the MSM for the liars and sycophants that they are. Do you listen to Andrew Klavan’s show – he explains Trump best I think

    I give you credit for meaning well, Scott. You are a gentleman, who does not trash people who disagree with you. Unfortunately, some on Ricochet do that. I do predict, however, that one day you will awaken in belief that Trump was not the man to lead this country. I want to be wrong. I want to think that Trump will wake up one day, repent of the terrible wrongs he has committed, and start to lead this country  in a way we deserve to be led. I shall hope that with all my heart & pray for it. I just think, as of now, it is a forlorn hope. God forgives people who want to be forgiven, and, as Trump himself said, he has never asked anyone for forgiveness.

    I do partially take your view about much of media. But they have been mostly this way my whole life. And I am 63.  They had scorn for Reagan, and HE was a GOOD man.

    • #14
  15. Mona Charen Contributor
    Mona Charen
    @MonaCharen

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Need to Know, pre-Trump, used to be one of my favorite Ricochet podcasts. But now it is just endless Trump bashing. The condescension to those of us who voted for Trump was front and center in this show.

    There are millions of us who grew up and live outside the Beltway and NYC, who can’t name drop Toscanini or play cello. Good for you guys – I admire your intellect and skills. But many of us have different skills and likes. As Trump, I am not like you, but am a conservative, even a social conservative (yes Jay we still exist).

    As a former fan, do me a favor please. Listen to the latest Examining Politics podcast with Salena Zito and YSU professor Paul Scracic. You’ll find a different perspective and hear about those of us who grew up working in factories and living in small towns.

    Mona: you and Jay are smart and clever people, offer us some solutions to problems rather than just incessantly whining about Trump. You are becoming old and stale. But Jay’s rants about Trump still make me laugh.

    Dear Scott,

    If I’ve ever given the impression that I feel superior to people who don’t like classical music, I regret that. There is no right or wrong in matters of taste. As for playing the cello — ha! I’m terrible at it.

    I do have contempt for Trump, you’re not wrong about that, but not for those who voted for him. It was a terrible choice. But I don’t understand this complaint that because I despise Trump that this means I have no sympathy for people who live in small towns or who work in factories. It is precisely because I respect people and think well of them that I think they deserve decent leadership. When Trump said that he would bring back the lost manufacturing jobs of the 1960s, it was pure demagoguery. He can’t. He won’t. It was a shallow and cynical ploy for votes. Just as I hated it when Obama said “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” I hate it when Trump makes ridiculous promises. And that only scratches the surface. His shamelessness, cruelty, and incompetence are on display daily. I wish I never had to comment on him again, but he is the president, so I feel an obligation. I’m sorry you’re tired of it. I am too.

    But whatever you think about our podcast, I hope you understand that this has nothing to do with snobbery. It’s just about truth.

     

    • #15
  16. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Mona Charen (View Comment):
    But whatever you think about our podcast, I hope you understand that this has nothing to do with snobbery.

    I am sorry if I gave that impression re snobbery (from my Toscanini and cello comment). The condescension I feel at times stems from the fact that I voted for Trump and somehow that makes me an idiot – Jay constantly sounds disgusted (maybe it is just frustration) that there were Americans who voted for Trump. Look at where we are – we have the House and Senate and we still can’t get off high center re repeal of Obamacare. I am just sick of politicians – all of them. It’s sort of fun to watch the Trump show.

    I also search for truth. Listen to Salena Zito in the podcsast I linked to above – I’d like to hear your thoughts on what they have to say. As for manufacturing jobs – certainly many have been replaced by automation but FoxConn building a plant in WI is good news and Mary Kissel and the WSJ’s Asia correspondent (I cant’t remember his name) talked on their most recent foreign edition podcast talked about this and how other manufacturing may be moving back from China.

    If nothing else, I know that the ponds on my farm in OH and ranch in TX are safe from being taken over by the EPA – that makes it a win for me (and also pro-life issues, energy – I worked for XOM for 33-1/2 years). I see a lot of positive.

    • #16
  17. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Listen to Salena Zito in the podcsast I linked to above – I’d like to hear your thoughts on what they have to say.

    I’ve listened to the Podcast, and found it interesting. It cemented an idea I had. First of all, I like Salena. Ms. Zito makes an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s show a lot, and she a fine lady, representing the people that I imagine buy into the things Trump is saying.

    I should say that I am unfamiliar with Ohio, Scott, or the other states that comprise the middle of the country. I have always worked in either NY or NJ, have no friends or family that live in these middle states environs. So, there is no reason to visit them. I am sure they are fine places, though, and maybe fate will have me visit them yet one day.

    I believe the reason the avid Trump supporters always support him is because they think that Trump-Skeptics do look down on them. They are tired of this, and want to show people they are not to be trifled with. Maybe there are some of those, who look down on them. I am not one. I do not think Mona and Jay are. I don’t think a lot of Trump-Skeptics are.

    My idea is this: Many avid supporters of Trump like the IDEA of Donald Trump: This man who is not a politician, who made a success in business, and who says many of the things that the supporters want to hear, and says them in the way they can relate to. We who are the Skeptics think of the REALITY of the man Donald Trump. We see a man who made many mistakes in business, who never had a real idea in his life, but who played the system for all that it was worth. He gave money to politicians, mostly Democrats, so that they could tailor legislation, and regulations, to make him get ahead in his business. Speaking for myself, I further see a man who has an ego has won’t quit, who is not loyal to anyone who can’t help him, and who doesn’t give a fig about putting anyone down who dares to challenge his constant need for reaffirmation of his worth. I am deeply offended by this.

    I think these two ways of looking at Donald Trump can never be reconciled. That is too bad, because there is a lot of good in the people of both sides, and if we could all stop and realize this, maybe America can come together again!

    • #17
  18. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Glad you listened George. Good reporting shares a different perspective. This country needs more of Youngstown and less of D.C.

    • #18
  19. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    I’m glad that Trump doesn’t claim to be less presidential than Washington.  I’m not sure that he is aware of Washington’s virtues and if he was, I’m not sure he would respect them.  At least on this point, Trump is honest (he indeed thinks he’s more presidential than Washington), even he is wrong (he is not actually more presidential than Washington.)

    To be fair, how many other people and politicians –to the extent the terms do not overlap–respect Washington’s virtues?

    • #19
  20. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):
    To be fair, how many other people and politicians –to the extent the terms do not overlap–respect Washington’s virtues?

    I dearly hope they do.

    I just despair at times that, in the world we now inhabit, more and more people show signs of not respecting anyone – only their own arrogance!

     

    • #20
  21. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    I dearly hope they do.

    I just despair at times that, in the world we now inhabit, more and more people show signs of not respecting anyone – only their own arrogance!

    Among the many things that people don’t know about Washington is his second inaugural address, the shortest inaugural address, which I post in full:

    Fellow-Citizens:

    I am again called upon by the voice of my Country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavour to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of United America.

    Previous to the execution of any official act of the President, the Constitution requires an Oath of Office. This Oath I am now about to take, and in your presence, that if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly, or knowingly, the injunction thereof, I may (besides incurring Constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn Ceremony.

    That last sentence in particular impresses me.  Some will see it as humble and some will see it as haughty, but it the sentiment of a man who pledges act to according to high standards and wants to be held accountable to that pledge.  We do not live in those times anymore.

     

     

    • #21
  22. George Townsend Inactive
    George Townsend
    @GeorgeTownsend

    Quinn the Eskimo (View Comment):

    George Townsend (View Comment):
    I dearly hope they do.

    I just despair at times that, in the world we now inhabit, more and more people show signs of not respecting anyone – only their own arrogance!

    Among the many things that people don’t know about Washington is his second inaugural address, the shortest inaugural address, which I post in full:

    Fellow-Citizens:

    I am again called upon by the voice of my Country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavour to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of United America.

    Previous to the execution of any official act of the President, the Constitution requires an Oath of Office. This Oath I am now about to take, and in your presence, that if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly, or knowingly, the injunction thereof, I may (besides incurring Constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn Ceremony.

    That last sentence in particular impresses me. Some will see it as humble and some will see it as ohaughty, but it the sentiment of a man who pledges act to according to high standards and wants to be held accountable to that pledge. We do not live in those times anymore.

    Thank you very much, Quinn. I do see this as being humble. And I agree with you that we see an awful lot of the other stuff you mentioned. I, frankly, see this haughtiness as an offshoot of the Self-Esteem movement. We have been taught for decades that this moronic movement is so right that we have grown up believing it, no questions asked. Now we are reaping the whirlwind!

     

    • #22
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