The opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump and a surge of support for Bernie Sanders precisely when he needs it most.

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Guest podcaster Eli Lake is with us to talk about the opening of the impeachment trial, the inability of the New York Times to make a decision, and his own blockbuster article, “The FBI Scandal,” which you should read. Give a listen.

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The final debate before Democrats caucus in Iowa might have been the most boring debate of the 2020 primary cycle, excepting the feud between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Also, new revelations about Rudy Giuliani’s conduct and the Senate GOP’s apparent willingness to entertain new witnesses throws a new wrench into the impeachment process.

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How on earth can people blame Donald Trump for the fact that Iran shot down a passenger plane taking off from its own airport in its own airspace? We take up this question on today’s podcast, as well as how significant the Bernie Sanders polling surge is. Give a listen.

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Trump seems to have taken Iran’s calibrated response to the U.S. strike that took out Qasem Soleimani as an opportunity to take the temperature down in the region. Will cooler heads prevail? And does the Democratic narrative, which suggests that Trump is itching for a war with Iran, make any sense?

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Today we take up the aftermath of the killing of Qasem Sulemani and the American political response to it as well as the politics of the coming impeachment trial. And we pay tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb, who passed away last week at the age of 97. Give a listen.

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A special episode of the COMMENTARY podcast unpacks the events of the last several weeks in the Middle East, culminating in a targeted strike on Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Qasem Soleimani.

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The shock over the violence against Jews on the streets of New York City and in its suburbs might be welcome but, we ask on today’s podcast, where were people when all this started two years ago? Where were the media? Where were the Jewish organizations? We also discuss Iran’s shenanigans in Iraq and how the Democratic party is slouching toward nominating Joe Biden. Give a listen.

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The COMMENTARY podcast attempts to predict the future. What will be the biggest events of 2020? Who will become the Democratic presidential nominee? Who will win the presidency? What trends will shape the way we live in the next decade? And how wrong were all the predictions we made last year?

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The reasons Democrats gave for impeaching Donald Trump are many and various and we try to go through them systematically to see which ones hold water and which just seem factitious. Then we ask: Should reporters appear to be celebrating “Impeachmas”? The ensuing controversy might shock you. Give a listen.

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A piece we published on Friday by our own Noah Rothman kicked up a social-media dust storm over the weekend—the view of Noah’s critics being that it is illegitimate to question associations between Bernie Sanders, his campaign, and anti-Semites. We disagree. At length. Give a listen.

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As impeachment looms, the bigger story of the week is the Justice Department’s inspector general telling the Senate and the world of the myriad problems he uncovered with the probe into the Trump campaign in Russia. Did Michael Horowitz’s work vindicate the idea that the whole thing was a “hoax”? And what about the way liberals, especially liberal Jews, melted down at word that Donald Trump was going to include those targeted by anti-Semitism among the discriminated-against under the terms of the Civil Rights Act? And what about the British elections? Give a listen (PS—there was trouble with Christine Rosen’s mic so she participated less than usual).

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We indulge our inclination toward pessimism in this episode. Does impeachment matter if most of the country is evaluating the matter not on the facts in evidence but by relying on negative partisanship? Can the American project abroad be sustained if it is being terribly managed, as indicated by the nearly 20-year effort to mislead the public into believing the effort create sustainable civil society in Afghanistan wasn’t a manifest failure?

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With Nancy Pelosi calling on her committee chairs to produce articles of impeachment, it seems Donald Trump is sure to face a trial in the Senate. But have the politics of impeachment gotten away from Democrats? Also, what does Kamala Harris’s exit from the presidential race say about the Democratic Party?

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American pride in the country is on the decline. What is driving this lamentable phenomenon, and can it be reversed before it has a pernicious effect on our common national purpose? Also, is Joe Biden’s campaign yet another experiment designed to see just how out of touch the Acela Corridor can be?

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We dive into the question no one asked but to which Mike Bloomberg thinks he’s the answer. Does he have a shot and, if not, what is he thinking? Also, breaking down the Democrats’ impeachment strategy and analyzing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous BBC interview.

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Looking back on a dramatic week of impeachment inquiry proceedings, the Democrats’ position with voters appears to be deteriorating. Is it too early to judge the inquiry’s effectiveness and, if not, does that suggest that the process will fizzle? Also, the confusing and probably incomplete story that led to the resignation of Navy Sec. Richard Spencer and the difficult choice Trump will have to make regarding the protests in Hong Kong.

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John is out for this episode of the COMMENTARY podcast, but the gang soldiers on in his absence. Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate was a strong night for the candidates polling in the low single-digits and a middling one for most of the field’s frontrunners. Will it matter to Democratic voters? Also, the hosts unpack a day of impeachment hearings and a series of revelations that were none too good for Donald Trump.

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The first week of public hearings on impeachment concludes with the sense that maybe Democrats are just trying to make the case that Donald Trump is a bad and mean guy instead of making the case that he should actually be removed from office. And Mayor Pete surges… or is the story that Elizabeth Warren is falling? Give a listen.

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So how did it go? We talk about the first day of the impeachment hearings before going on to talk about Turkey, Gaza—and Abe Greenwald’s remarkable December COMMENTARY cover article, “The Failure at the End of History.” Give a listen.

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