The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Kissel joins Need to Know to take a tour of the remaining candidates’ approach to foreign and trade policy. Take your Prozac first.

Jay and Mona then discuss the bathroom wars (Mona’s ready to man – you should forgive the expression – the barricades), CPT, Swiss Muslims and handshakes, backdoor amnesty, Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, and more.

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Donald Trump and his army are not too happy about Colorado. Mona and Jay are not too happy about Trump and his army. They discuss.

They also discuss Ted Cruz, about whom they have sharp disagreements. And Bill Clinton, about whom they are in harmony. And Paul Ryan (ditto).

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The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes joins Need to Know to talk about the critical Wisconsin primary (he’s a native), the state of the Republican race, conservative media, and the condition of the Republican Party.

stephenhayesJay and Mona then consider Bernienomics, the pageant of the presidential primary season, George W. Bush, charity (pro and con), and a visit by a certain political figure to a matzah factory in New York, among other topics. There is the usual complement of stories, book recommendations, plus a bonus – a Bill Buckley quote Mona hadn’t heard before. It’s a good one.

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No guest this week, just Jay and Mona catching up on the overlooked nuggets of the week’s news. They speak of Cruz — does he have an authenticity problem? – and Kasich (who has an ego problem). Jay has an unusual take on Trump’s abortion comments. Lewandowski and the man he serves are subject to a good filleting. And much more.

Music from this week’s show: “The March of the Siamese Children” from “The King and I” by Richard Rodgers, arranged and played by Stephen Hough, piano.

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Jay and Mona welcome RealClearPolitics guru Sean Trende, who sheds light on where we’ve been (what about those famous “missing white voters”?) and where we’re going. He recognizes the desperate 110950_1_state of the Republican Party but takes the long view – and it’s not apocalyptic.

Mona and Jay then turn to President Obama’s trip to Cuba, and the state of the nation with their usual combination of dismay and hope. Ok, heavy on dismay. But if Sean Trende is calm, all is not lost, right?

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Mona and Jay have a guest, Russ Roberts, the economist and podcaster. He talks about, among other things, immigration. There is hardly any topic today that generates more liveliness. Roberts is lucid on the subject, and Mona and Jay contribute their own lucidity, in their fashions.

Charles W. Calomiris and Stephen H. Haber, authors of "Fragile by Design," speak at the Hoover Institution's Washington office during a podcast of "Econtalk," hosted by Russ Roberts on Feb. 5, 2014. Photo: Jay Mallin jay@jaymallinphotos.comThen Mona pays tribute to Marco Rubio, who has just ended his campaign. Jay agrees entirely, except for a jot or tittle here and there. Then the topic is the fate of America: What’s it all about, Alfie? How will it turn out?

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National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke joins Jay and Mona to speak of the campaign, the citizenry, the candidates, the press, incitement to violence, and other matters, including whether he, as an America-loving immigrant, has had any second thoughts about his adoptive nation due to this campaign – or rather what this campaign has revealed about the state of the nation.

Jay and Mona then discuss Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, confiscating other people’s property, and the comforts of music among other topics. The podcast closes with a Richard Rogers song that Jay thinks many an opera composer would have been proud to create.

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It’s the morning after the “small hands” debate. Mona is joined by the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Henry Olsen, an expert on elections and politics. They pick over the pieces of what was once a great American political party. Can it be saved? Is it worth saving? What about a contested convention – is that even possible? How in the world did this happen?

Note: We had some technical difficulties with this show and the recording abruptly cuts off at the 32 minute mark. Do not adjust your listening device. We apologize and promise to do better in the future.

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Barbara Comstock is a longtime conservative political player, and is now a member of Congress. She represents the tenth district of Virginia. She is also a longtime friend of Mona’s. And she is the guest on this “Need to Know.”

Later, Mona and Jay get to talking about the election: and the Big Question, namely Donald Trump, the Republican party, and the future of the Republic. Mona points out that she and Jay have talked a lot aBcZjKPeabout Trump in a lot of podcast episodes.

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Well, maybe not this year, but someday, it could well happen. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, is, after all, one of the new stars in the conservative firmament.

D7idMyaSHe joins Need to Know this week to talk about the coming battle over Justice Scalia’s replacement, the state of the Republican Party (and the party system in general), and across-the-aisle comity, among other topics.

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Mona welcomes the Daily Caller’s Matt K. Lewis to Need to Know this week. They discuss the Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders and socialism, and Matt’s new book Too Dumb to Fail. Matt’s book, a critique of some aspects of the right (“con$ervative” media, for example) couldn’t have been better timed.

MattLewisHeadshotTalk of the right and its woes leads naturally to theRepublican race. Could “con$ervative” media have given us Donald Trump? Is Ted Cruz the only man who can stop him? What is Jeb Bush’s legacy? Can Rubio still come back?

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A liberal has stormed the ramparts of Need to Know! Well, not really. Wall Street Journal columnist and Brookings Fellow William Galston was galston_1x1invited. He’s Mona’s guest on this special podcast. The two discuss the rule of law, the role of evidence in politics, executive power, and Bernie Sanders. There is some disagreement and some major agreement, proving that civil conversation across the aisle is possible even in this most polarized era (and polarization comes up too).

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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.

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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.

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Jay and Mona are back together and conversation ranges far and wide: from rape in Sweden and Germany to immigration to the words “neocon” and “isolationist” and much more. Did Hillary just forget, in the moment, about Bill when she said all women who make accusations of rape are to be believed? Jay speaks of the use and abuse of symbols. There is praise of London — as Samuel Johnson said “If you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.” There is discussion of populism and Trump and immigration pro and con, and some closing thoughts on the damage Obama can still do in the year remaining in his term.

Jay saw and loved Star Wars. Mona confesses to having been a Trekkie. We close with — who else? — John Williams.

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Mona is joined by special guest host Rob Long this week filling in for a vacationing Jay Nordlinger. They consider the state of Christmas observance, conservatism in the age of Trump, the nature of Republican primary voters, weather free market solutions to our problems are what people really want or not, and other reflections on the state of the world. As Rob notes “everyone’s a pundit!” (Though actually running and winning ain’t so easy.)

The podcast closes with some observations about Hollywood from Rob, and some recommendations for your viewing pleasure.

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The podcast begins with Stuart Taylor, co-author of an important book on an important subject. That book is “Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.”

Then Mona and Jay discuss a variety of issues, including, of course, Trump (and the rest of the GOP field). Also, the threat from radical Islam. Will Democrats recognize that threat? If not, why not?

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That’s the way things tend to be framed in 2015 America. The left was all over the Planned Parenthood shooting – and Mona recounts her experience discussing it on NPR earlier this week – but when San Bernardino happened, official organs were reluctant to “attribute motive.” Jay notes some basic truths he discovered long ago about gun control.

The Democrats have painted themselves into quite a corner with their refusal to face the reality of jihadi violence. But then, Republicans may not be able to take advantage of that if they nominate Trump.

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When you say Paris this week, one thinks of jihadi killers – but that’s not what President Obama thinks about. He’s looking forward to the great summit on climate change set to begin there next week. Jay and Mona welcome Steve Hayward, the right’s most astute analyst of the folks he has christened the “climatistas,” to fill us in on what to expect. Will it be a second Kyoto? More end runs around Congress perhaps? Steve explains what it means to be a “luke-warmer” on climate.

Next, the conversation moves to John Kerry and his staggeringly gross comments about the terrorists and murder (some are “understandable” apparently), an update on the collective nervous breakdown on American campuses, memories of Bill Buckley’s unsuccessful mayoral race in 1965, whether you should shake hands with a dictator, and what will happen if the Republican party actually nominates you know who.

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