Presidents are defined by rhetorical moments: Reagan and Kennedy at the Berlin Wall; George W. Bush rallying the nation after the 9/11 attacks. And Donald Trump? So far his presidency hasn’t been one of major addresses. Hoover fellow Peter Robinson, author of Reagan’s famous speech at the Brandenberg Gate, discusses the art of presidential wordsmithery in this age of shock tweets and nonstop news cycles.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to North Korea’s release of an American hostage, express concern over troubling reports of his health condition, and marvel at how former NBA star Dennis Rodman seems to provide intelligence on North Korea that our own spies can’t uncover. They also discuss the rumors NewsMax CEO Chris Ruddy stirred up during a PBS interview about President Trump possibly firing special prosecutor Robert Mueller. And they question Megyn Kelly’s decision to host conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars on her new Sunday night show on NBC.

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for June 13, 2017 – it’s the Those Damned Old People edition of the show. We set out clearly and distinctly, at the top of the show, to delineate clearly our topics. and then we just talk about James Comey and the failing battle against the deep state.

We do, after all, talk about TrumpCare. Question number one in that context is: does the folderol of the Russian collusion theater actually make a difference on the progress — or lack thereof — of Trump’s legislative agenda? Seems like Paul Ryan thinks that even if the White House burns down the folks on Capitol Hill, they will continue moving forward (though no doubt at their glacial pace). To wit, it looks like, all of a sudden, certain liberal outlets (e.g., Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo) are getting frantic that Obamacare is actually about to be repealed and replaced. I have no idea if this is the good repeal and replace, the dreaded Obamacare-lite repeal and replace, or something in between. But I am not particular. Any repeal and replace will make me happy — just a question of degree.

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Is it science fiction, fantasy, or a time-travel steampunk adventure story? Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland have included all of this and more in their new novel, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Stephenson and Galland discuss what they mean by “D.O.D.O.,” its connection to the extinct bird, and the difference between magic and technology. Stephenson also explains why his books run so long: This one comes in at about 750 pages, making it one of his shorter efforts.

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Kevin and Charlie discuss the U.K.’s general election, Alex Jones, and any digression that will get them away from politics.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s CNN interview, in which she states that the Senate Judiciary Committee should investigate former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for potentially politicizing the Hillary Clinton investigation. They also react as Feinstein goes on to change the Democratic Party narrative from collusion with Russia to President Trump’s obstruction of justice. And they express little sympathy for Wisconsin Democrats accusing Republicans of partisan redistricting and Jim unloads on liberals who consistently claim an act is unconstitutional if it does not fit with their agenda.

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In the first COMMENTARY podcast of the week, Abe Greenwald and I survey the wreckage of Theresa May and point out that her disastrous showing represents the fourth major election in a year in which publics have rejected the idea that political professionalism is something to be sought in a leader. Why? They’ve forgotten, or have never learned, what the world was like until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Give a listen.

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Special guest host and Georgia Smart Girl Cheryl Lavette interviews congressional candidate Karen Handel about the upcoming special election in GA-06. Karen sets the record straight about her opponent, Jon Ossoff, and the falsehoods he and his campaign are peddling.

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Stephen Miller (aka @RedSteeze) bought a ticket to Wonder Woman and the internet lost its collective mind. Alamo Drafthouse intended the viewing to be women-only … until Stephen decided to join them. The Conservatarians co-host returns from vacation to talk about his trip to the movies, the international media coverage it garnered, and the people on the right and left who tried to co-opt it.

Jon’s song of the week is “Lawman” by Girl Band, and Stephen’s is “Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist. You also should subscribe to this podcast and give it five-star, glowing reviews on iTunes!

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Long Parkcasting

We’re all over the globe physically and all over the map topically this week as we cover the British elections with our guests Toby Young from The Spectator (read his take on the election here) and we’ve got the great Andrew McCarthy on Comey, the NSA, and Trump’s legal conundrums. Also, Rob is in a park in London. Yes, in a park. Now, that’s devotion.

Music from this week’s podcast: Werewolves Of London by Warren Zevon

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David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America point out former FBI director James Comey’s evaluation of how untrustworthy much of the media was when reporting on Russia and the 2016 elections. They also discuss the major political disaster that befell British conservatives in the snap election Thursday, badly weakening the party and strengthening the position of the Labour Party’s far-left leader. And they decry Bernie Sanders’ blatant disregard for the 6th Amendment when questioning President Trump’s nominee for deputy budget director about his Christian beliefs.

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In this episode of Viewpoint, AEI’s Danielle Pletka sits down with David Makovsky, the Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who has spent a career working and fighting for peace in the Middle East. In this interview, he dives into the diplomatic and military events of the neighboring Arab nations, United States, Israel and Palestinians surrounding the Six-Day War, and offers his thoughts on the future of the Middle East peace process.

The Six-Day War, otherwise known as the June War, between Israel and its neighbors, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, marked a turning point in how Arab countries would see the Jewish state for the next half century, and had lasting implications for US-Middle East relations more broadly. Despite being heavily outnumbered and out-armed, Israel won the war, which lasted from June 5 – 10, 1967. Israel seized control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. All of these, besides the Sinai Peninsula, remain disputed territories today.

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Welcome to this special, Corbyn-Might Maneuver edition of the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast with our British-Irish-U.K. correspondent William Campbell coming to us (naturally) from Berlin to give us the lowdown on the shocking outcome of the British Parliamentary elections.

William is staying up until three in the morning just so we can podcast the news before anyone else! And here is our scoop: Britain is a bloody mess! The Tories failed miserably. But Labor didn’t win either. So what does *that* mean?!? Do they call another election? Can Jeremy Corbyn actually become Prime Minister? Is the Brit’s answer to Bernie Sanders ready for the job?

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It’s Comeypalooza on this installment of Law Talk, as Richard Epstein and John Yoo react to the former FBI director’s congressional testimony. We won’t give it away here, but the professors’ diagnosis is sure to surprise you. Then: Was Robert Mueller’s appointment as independent counsel necessary?; a disagreement on the proper use of the impeachment power; Which cabinet secretary should be packing his bags?; Understanding the 25th Amendment; and the legal and political implications of withdrawing from the Paris agreement on climate change. All that, plus Yoo in the south of France, Epstein in Chicago, and Senik ties the knot.

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What is it like to the White House correspondent for a major newspaper, especially in the age of Donald Trump? Reporter Maggie Haberman’s experience goes to a time long before the 2016 election, familiar with the President since her days at the NY Daily News and the NY Post before she made her move to Politico in 2010.

Maggie talks to Jay and Neal about her experience as a reporter, her process when putting together a feature, and what it’s like to cover Washington while working out of New York.

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Jay is away this week. Charlie Sykes and Peter Wehner join Mona to evaluate the impact of the Comey hearings and discuss the broader questions facing conservatives in the age of Trump.

Music: Brahms. Variations on a theme by Paganini

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