By most accounts, the third GOP debate was a circus which strangely pitted the Republican candidates banding together to fend off their foes–not the Democrats, but rather their moderators from CNBC.

To shed light on the proceedings–if there was any of political value–we turn to a fine panel. In studio, Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky of American Thinker, Larry Sabato of the Center for Politics and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Jonathan Last and Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard.

As you know we are always keen to keep abreast of all of the latest political news. One member of our Political A-Team is Joseph Morris, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General and all-around polymath. We brought him to the show to discuss the upcoming election and the candidates on both sides, the troubles in the Middle East, and a vast range of other topics.

It’s no secret that Russia is and has always been a propaganda state. Their efforts to control information and influence public opinion at home and abroad are are aggressive and extensive. But Putin’s Russia has a greater goal: to control the internet–the greatest tool in bringing about a total surveillance state.

But there’s another side to Big Comrade. It’s a legion of brilliant programmers and hackers who serve as a counterbalance to Putin’s goal of totalitarianism. It’s an epic struggle waged not with guns and bombs, but with mouse clicks and websites, disinformation, misinformation and leaks.

What a week it’s been in the political world. Hillary Clinton was back on the Hill again testifying about Benghazi. U.S. troops engaged in the Middle East. Assad visited Putin in Moscow. Putin’s troops continued their assault on ISIS. A wave of terror and retaliation once again grips Israel. Joe Biden dropped out of the race for the American presidency. And there was much more.

To help us make sense of all of this we turned to Art Cyr of Carthage College, Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post, Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard, and Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner. What a week it was, and what happened will surely lead to more reasons for ongoing discussion.

Often when studying history we focus on the major figures. This is no less true in American history, where we may discuss founding fathers, maybe Lincoln, or the great generals of our wars. But one man who was very much a major figure who has been overlooked with the passage of time is Henry Clay. Clay spent time in both the House and the Senate and ran for the presidency on multiple occasions. But his true talent was as a compromiser when he served as Speaker of the House.

Harlow Giles Unger has written many fine books on stalwarts of American history, and has just published this work on Clay.

And then there were five. Will there be a sixth soon? At any rate, the first Democratic debate is in the books and we are here to bring you the finest analysis of what transpired. Who has taken the lead? Who fell on their face? What issues will take the fore as we move forward?

To discuss, we bring to you three politically minded men from different backgrounds: Richard Baehr, chief political correspondent at American Thinker, Benjamin Epstein is an Associate Professor of Political Science at DePaul University, and Chris Robling is a political strategist and principal of his own consulting firm.

Most people know the name Rod Blagojevich. But his brother RobertFundraiser A from the title of his new book–was also square in the crosshairs of the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. He has plenty to say about his ordeal, his brother, corruption, and the justice system.

Also joining is a longtime friend of the program Dick Simpson. A former Alderman, he’s now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and much published. His latest, Corrupt Illinois, is pertinent to this discussion and a good study of the seamy underbelly of Chicago and Illinois politics.

Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups are being butchered in the Middle East. This is not up for debate. It is a fact. Who are the Assyrians? Why are they being targeted? Who are the Yazidis? Why are their women and children being tortured, forced to marry ISIS fighters, and driven from their homelands?

We bring to you guests who have been there and done it. Juliana Taimoorazy was forced from her native Iran and found asylum in Europe before coming to America and founding the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. Yousip Canon was a mathematics teacher in Iraq who ran afoul of the Hussein regime and imprisoned for participating in an Assyrian political party. Robert Nicholson heads the Philos Project in New York who are working to aid Assyrians and others. And Murad Ismael is Operations Manager for Yazda, a Yazidi relief agency.

With the news of yet more shootings at American schools, we thought it time to move beyond the debate on guns. What is wrong in American culture that has led us to this disturbing phenomenon? The patient is clearly sick. What are the causes that have manifested themselves in this, seemingly, uniquely American symptom of violence?

To explore such a higher aim we turn to culture critic Michael A. Walsh, who traveled this road a bit in his book The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. Also joining are Mark Hemingway of the Weekly Standard, and Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, who has studied mental illness in-depth as well as publishing a recent and influential critique of psychiatry. All have salient and sometimes poignant thoughts on the situation.

Russia has moved militarily into Syria, ostensibly to fight ISIS, though those in the know say its true aim is to bolster the Assad regime. Whatever the case may be, the red line was crossed by president Assad a long time ago and ISIS has done nothing if not grown in strength over the past several years.

So we have a bit of a standoff between Putin’s Russia and Obama’s America. Whatever the motives may be, some things remain certain: the Syrian people still suffer, ISIS still grows in power, influence, and ability to cause mayhem, and the Middle East is a shambles.

This program has never made secret its support of the State of Israel. Once again, Israel finds itself in a precarious national security setting as the debate rages on the recent Iran nuclear deal and the migration catastrophe that is engulfing huge swathes of the Middle East.

To discuss the current state of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, we brought in three experts: namely Roey Gilad, Israel’s Consul General to the Midwest; Spertus Director of Doctoral Programs Joshua Shanes; and Alan Solow, a high-profile attorney, philanthropist, and tireless advocate of many Jewish causes and organizations.

Jay Nordlinger is that most valued sort of journalist: a true intellectual. Not only does he cover politics as the Senior Editor of National Review, he’s also a fine music critic.

Nordlinger has a curiosity that lends itself well to writing books. He recently asked himself what might have become of the children of some of history’s most devilish dictators. That question has produced great fruit in the form of his latest, Children of Monsters. Some of the offspring of these mass murderers turned their back on the family business, while others happily towed the line and became maniacal outliers in their own right.

The second GOP debate is in the books. Carly Fiorina is, by most accounts, the big winner, with Donald Trump still standing tall.

We turned to several members of the Political A-Team, namely Richard Baehr of the American Thinker, Dr. Charles Lipson of the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago, and Joseph Morris, former Assistant Attorney General under President Reagan.

Gilbert Gaul is a two time Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist who has now turned his eye toward the business of college football. Now that the new season is underway, we thought it time to bring him on to discuss his fantastic new work, Billion Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football. It is a truly eye-opening account–some say indictment–of the strange intersection of academics, athletics, money, and amateur sports.

Rick Telander is a legend in his own right. A former college football player at Northwestern University, he is also an acclaimed sportswriter and senior sports columnist at the Chicago Sun Times. He, too, wrote a fine book about the business of college football in The Hundred Yard Lie.

Every child has heroes. The firefighter, the police officer, the soldier. History is rife with tales of the heroic warrior or the quiet and stoic figure who stood tall in the face of oppression. What is a hero? Can anyone be a hero? Must a hero engage in battle against tremendous odds and to emerge victorious?

Tod Lindberg is a political expert, writer, thinker, and professor and has written on the topic of heroes in his latest book. He answers many of these questions, visiting great heroes of history to show how the ancient and modern model of a hero has changed, and what qualities of those heroes persist throughout history.

A good politician knows how to deliver a speech that pulls at the heartstrings. An effective politician knows how to work in a joke or some clever wordplay to put the people at ease. And then there’s the political gaffe, which can sink a campaign or make a mockery of one’s rule.

Rich Rubino is a fine political reporter, pundit, and author who has given us a great collection of odd and obscure political facts in a previous work. He has just published a collection of humorous political quotations that is great fun. He joined Milt to share some of his favorite.

One of the great humanitarian crises of this still young century is the mass of refugees seeking asylum in Europe. They have blazed trails from various war-torn nations and are knocking on the doors of Germany, France, Hungary and others in the hopes of finding new lives in the new world.

To help us understand how we got here and where we should go next is a fine panel of analysts, historians, and scholars. Marina Henke, a German by birth and international relations professor at Northwestern, Erik Tillman, also a political scientist from DePaul, joined Milt in studio. Via phone, our old friend Richard Friedman and fellow DePaul professor, history, Tom Mockiatis.

Dick Ciccone is one of the members of Milt’s Political A-Team. He’s also a decorated war veteran, a college professor, a fantastic author, journalist and newsman, and a helluva golfer. He spent decades in the business, including as managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. He’s one of the most fascinating people to ever have appeared on the program, with a sublime understanding of Chicago, words, and the political landscape of America.

We realized that we hadn’t yet delved into the mind of Dick Ciccone, and it was high time that we did it. What emerged was a truly remarkable look into the evolution of the newspaper business, journalism, and American politics.

Joseph Califano is a politician, educator and public servant with decades of experience. He was Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, he was with the Defense Department, and he was–and still is–one of the champions of the anti-drug crusade.

But he may be known most for his time working alongside President Lyndon B. Johnson as his top domestic aide. He wrote a magnificent account of his time with LBJ in his acclaimed book, The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years. This insider’s account goes a long way to dispelling many of the myths about Johnson, and casts light upon this giant of the American presidency. Johnson was a remarkable man in many ways. Much of the landscape of the federal government came from his presidency. This account with Milt was remarkable for its historical value and the portrait of the man Johnson at work.

It’s nearing the time that we must check in with the political world on a regular basis. As of this writing, Donald Trump still leads the GOP race, seemingly to the chagrin and exasperation of top pollsters and major news networks. Hillary Clinton is embroiled in an email scandal, and Joe Biden may challenge her.

For these and many, many other topics, we turn to Richard Baehr, Chief Political Correspondent for American Thinker (one of our regular stops on the internet), Richard Ciccone, former editor of the Chicago Tribune and now adjunct professor of American Studies and Journalism at Notre Dame, and Scott Stantis, the immensely talented and highly-decorated cartoonist at the Chicago Tribune