N2K_001bNot since Roe v. Wade has the Supreme Court committed such a brazen act of judicial jujitsu. Stealing the powers granted to the states and, thereby, to the people, five lawyers decreed that their policy preferences will be the law of the land.

Jay and Mona discuss process, and why it matters, and ask whether we might as well just accept reality – judges are legislators. Since they clearly cannot resist abusing their power, let’s amend the Constitution and elect justices of the Supreme Court.

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ntk-logoIn this episode, “Need to Know” provides a special treat: a Unknownlittle immigration debate between Ann Coulter and Clint Bolick. Ann is the author of “¡Adios, America!” Her view of immigration is that it’s wrecking America. Clint is the author, with Jeb Bush, of “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.” The two of them are excellent representatives of the immigration split on the right.

After the debate, Mona and Jay do a little jawing, about Twitter mobs, tourism to Cuba, the late Allen Weinstein, and other things. The podcast closes with warm memories of Priscilla Buckley. Actually, the ’cast closes with a bit of “El Salón Mexico,” a Copland hit.

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ntk-logoThe word crazy leaps to the lips this week as Jay and Mona consider the elite’s celebration of Bruce Jenner’s dysphoria. His unhappiness is sad, but the culture’s rush to celebrate and endorse his delusion that he is, in fact, a woman, is the crazy part. Also, do we never simply avert our gaze from these things?

While Jay and Mona are often gloomy – and with good reason – there are flashes of blue sky duly noted this week. The abortion rate is down, as are Hillary Clinton’s approval ratings.

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NTK FeatureThis week, Mona and Jay talk about human rights, and those who suffer and fight for those rights. They further talk about the current “draw Muhammad” fashion, or practice. Okay, but outside mosques?

They then get to a couple of presidential candidates: Rand Paul, who has some curious views about ISIS, and Hillary Clinton, who is corrupt and dishonest up to her eyeballs. Is the Democratic party really going to stick with this piece of work? Maybe Republicans should hope.

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ntk-logo2013-0104-EPPC-Portraits-Ed-Whelan-0131-300x300-150x150Ed Whelan, sage of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and creator of Bench Memos, joins us to talk gay marriage, Justice Ginsburg’s ethics, and constitutional interpretation.

Jay and Mona then chew over the whole “if you knew then what we know now” way of evaluating public policy. They go on to consider the question of racial and ethnic quotas in university admissions. A consortium of Asian American groups is suing Harvard and other schools for discrimination. Also, are kids from Harvard et al really noticeably smarter?

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ntk-logoThose were some of Jay’s thoughts as he trooped around Istanbul. Need to Know doesn’t go for small-fry issues. So this week, it’s the rise and fall of empires! Do Americans appreciate and understand their past? Should we teach American history “virtues and all”? Certainly the left seems to have abandoned one of the key tenets of the founding – a belief in the near sanctity of free speech. Jay and Mona have a good deal to say about the left’s hypocrisy and cowardice on this score. They also discuss the British elections, the NHS, America’s duty to brave Iraqis who put their lives on the line for us, and much more. We close with one of Tchaikovsky’s most memorable melodies – the opening of his Piano Concerto #1. It got panned by critics when it debuted (the subject of a Great Courses lecture), but listeners can decide who has the last laugh.

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ntk-logoThe sagacious Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum drops by to discuss foreign policy, the daniel-pipesnature of Islam, and other matters. Jay is surprised that Pipes is not more gloomy. As one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet about the Middle East, he is well worth sitting up and paying attention to. He’s even worth ending a sentence with a preposition for.

Jay and Mona then consider the, ahem, appearance of impropriety wafting from the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton juggernaut. It all rests on one thing, they agree – the press.

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ntk-logoNo guest this week but Jay and Mona have no shortage of matters to discuss. It ranges from Hillary’s odd invention of immigrant grandparents (Rubio envy?) to Jeb Bush’s integrity. Plus, is there a time to defy the right?

If there’s an Iranian fatwa against building nuclear weapons, why can’t anyone find it? And if it doesn’t exist, shouldn’t someone demand to know from President Obama why he keeps referring to it?

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NTK FeatureThis episode begins with Peter Wallison, who talks to Mona and Jay about the crash of 2008 and how to prevent another crash. A lot of people consider Wallison a guru. You’ll see why.

UnknownThen Mona and Jay take up some other concerns: Rand Paul and his presidential candidacy; the University of Michigan and “American Sniper”; Mitt Romney and the NCAA basketball tournament; conservative affection for the late Senator Moynihan.

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ntk-logoMona and Jay talk about the issue of the hour, the issue before which all else pales: Iran’s imminent acquisition of the Bomb. They talk about other issues as well: such as the Arizona-ization of Indiana. How quickly Indiana has been made a pariah state. Another issue is Senator Menendez: who has been indicted while Lois Lerner has not. This smells like politics, and not of the upright kind.

The hosts engage in some wild speculation about Harry Reid, who has just announced his retirement from the Senate. Does his face look like the face of a man who has lost a bout with a piece of exercise equipment? In any case, the podcast goes out with some playing by a young Chinese piano sensation who comes up in the conversation – no, not Lang Lang, but Yuja Wang. (We have her playing the arrangement of Mozart’s Rondo alla turca by her brilliant Russian colleague Arcadi Volodos.)

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UnknownNeed to Know welcomes the incomparable George F. Will to talk politics, history, baseball (ya think?), and more. The focus is on threats to free speech, which are multiplying in American life, and poisoning the universities. Despite it all, Will remains basically sunny about America’s prospects, and explains why.

Jay and Mona then consider, among other topics, the Obama administration’s increasingly naked ntk-logoattacks on Israel – at the UN human rights commission, at the Pentagon (which declassified a report about Israel’s nuclear program), and elsewhere. They analyze the Iran negotiations – a slow motion
nightmare — and consider that France is now more hardline than the US. Jay recounts a particularly ugly moment of mob hatred at the New York Philharmonic.

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ntk-logoMona and Jay welcome Shannen Coffin, the crack lawyer, who explains what Hillary and her team 1774have been up to. (Coffin has nothing to do with cocaine, or the funeral business. He is merely a top-notch lawyer.) Then the hosts talk about the Israeli election, which the Obama administration is less than thrilled about. The discussion turns to the Iranian dictatorship, which the hosts aren’t so thrilled about.

They further discuss President Obama’s rhetoric: wherein Gov. Scott Walker is a foe of “working Americans.” Sometimes Obama sounds like a street-corner Marxist. How come? Additional topics include the musical-plagiarism case pitting Marvin Gaye’s family against Robin Thicke and his co-composer, Pharrell Williams. In Jay’s view, the Gaye family’s new riches are ill-gotten.

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NTK FeatureThe theme that never ends in America – race, racism, false charges of racism, possible racist motives and so on, ad infinitum world without end, amen is back this week. Two officers were shot in Ferguson. Jay and Mona consider the evidence, and reflect on the deeply dishonest and profoundly dangerous lies spread about Michael Brown’s death. Still, there are aspects of the Ferguson police department’s behavior that are troubling.

While on the (never ending) subject of race, Jay and Mona note that Harry Reid has been accused of racism for endorsing a white senatorial hopeful when a more correctly hued candidate was available. How do you like them apples, Harry?

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NTK FeatureMona and Jay begin their latest episode with Netanyahu’s speech and the fate of the earth. Then they get down to less apocalyptic subjects: such as the Clintons’ ongoing venality. If America keeps rewarding this couple, what can you do?

The Oscars presented several political moments. One of them was the claim that American women lack equal pay and equal rights. Mona swats this one, for the thousandth time. Also, Harry Belafonte was hailed at the Oscars as a humanitarian. Cuba’s political prisoners would beg to differ.

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N2K_001bWhen you think of Need to Know, pulp fiction, especially of the sexual variety, is probably not the first thing that hymowitz__hirespops into your mind. But Jay and Mona welcome The Manhattan Institute’s Kay Hymowitz to talk about the national (actually international) phenomenon that is 50 Shades of Grey. There’s some sociological gold to be mined here, and we take a stab at it, as it were. We then consider whether, on balance, the “full Bulworth” phase of the Obama presidency will be the ruin of us all or perhaps lay the groundwork for a new conservative era of reform. Jay and Mona ponder Clinton Inc., Khameini’s movie criticism, the Bush dynasty question, and many other matters. Do join us!

Music from this week’s episode:  I’m Just Wild About Harry by Peggy Lee

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NTK FeatureIn this week’s episode, Mona and Jay are by turns appalled, flummoxed, irritated, amazed, and repelled by President Obama. The emotions are the same from episode to episode, but the particular occasions for those emotions change. Mona and Jay talk about the “Crusade” remarks, the selfies, and more. (The entire Obama presidency might be described as a selfie.)

Mona and Jay discuss a variety of other subjects as well, including the late Arnaud de Borchgrave, journalist and personality extraordinaire.

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N2K_001bSome people binge drink. Others binge on television. Jay and Mona binged on listener questions. This third installment covers a number of musical issues: Is modern music worthwhile even if you want to cover your ears? Where does Brahms rank among the greats? Was Mark Twain’s quip about Wagner funny? What are some great movie scores?

They discuss the universities, how to inoculate kids against prevailing intellectual fashions, abortion, some grammar matters, beautiful buildings, and more. Mona gives a surprising hat tip to Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus.

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NTK FeatureIn this podcast, Mona and Jay do Round Two of questions from listeners (and answers from them, the hosts). They discuss Reaganism—what is it? The jihad—how to combat it? James Taylor, the MSM, and more.

Someone has asked them to describe blunders in their careers—they answer. Someone else wonders how this podcast came to be in the first place. The episode ends with “Uptown Girl,” the Billy Joel hit, which comes up in the ’cast, positively.

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If Ricochetti don’t like the questions on this week’s Need to Know, they have only themselves to blame: The questions all come from listeners. They will like the questions, though, because there’s not a lemon in the bunch. Readers ask Mona and Jay about the fate of the West, the fate of the world, music, football, and much else. After the ’cast was recorded, Blue Yeti expressed astonishment that Jay quoted The Simpsons – to which Jay said, “Hey, you have to get up pretty early to out-Simpsons me” (or words to that effect).

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