Settle in folks, this is a long one (and not in the Rob sense of the word). First up, Powerline’s Steve Hayward (and the host of the Powerline Podcast available on the Ricochet Audio Network) drops by to discuss the inauguration and preview the Biden administration. Then, a segment we have been looking forward to for a long time. Avi Loeb is a Professor of Science at Harvard University and the longest serving chair of Harvard Astronomy Department. His new book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, posits that an alien craft visited our solar system in 2017. He makes a compelling and science based case for it, and if he’s correct, it’s one of the most –if not the most– significant scientific discovery in human history. You heard it here first, folks. Finally, Anontia Okafor is the host of the Speak-Easy podcast,one of our newest shows and one of our best. We talk to her about her passion for guns and the 2nd Amendment and why Kamala Harris becoming Vice President is significant to her, even though Anontia disagrees with almost all of Harris’ policy positions and politics. We urge you to listen to her 4 minute long solo edition of Speak-Easy on this topic. It’s enlightening and moving. 

Music from this week’s show: Waiting For The UFOs by Graham Parker and The Rumor

Another in a seemingly endless series of very busy weeks but we’ve got you covered. First up: The Oracle himself, Governor Haley Barbour. He’s got a perspective of 50 years in politics, so we thought we have him on to see what he thinks of the last few months. Prepared to get schooled. Then, as freedom of speech on digital platforms –like the one you’re reading right now– is now one of the most important issues facing society, we thought we have on someone who is on the front lines of the debate. Meet Venture Capitalist and fierce 1st Amendment advocate David Sacks (and be sure to watch the extended cut David’s segment in our new members only feature, Rob Long’s Six Dumb Questions which can be found here). Also, impeachment, Pelosi, and yes, Rob Long predicts the coming re-unification of the Republican Party. You heard it here first.

Music from this week’s show: Man Out of Time by Elvis Costello

We discuss the events of the week, we talk to AEI’s Yuval Levin about leadership in a populist age and Andy McCarthy about the 25th Amendment and pardons. One of our hosts is dealing with a medical issue which he discusses here and in some members only content with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (available here). Keep calm, carry on, and be nice to each other. This too shall pass.

 

Last one of the year, people. And what a year it’s been; but hey, let’s not get into that now. To help us put a bow on 2020, we asked our official election law analyst, John Yoo to stop by to delve into the latest suits filed and what options are left (hie National Review piece published earlier this week worth reading before you listen to his segment). Then, we wanted to end things on a happy note, so we asked our podcasting colleague Arthur Brooks, host of Ricochet’s Art of Happiness podcast to help us reset our attitudes and psyches for 2021. We also asked to give some TLC to a certain misanthropic member of this crew. Did it work? Only time will tell. Finally, we do some spelunking of bad Christmas tunes (and some good ones, too) courtesy of Lileks Post of The Week winner @cliffordbrown. Also, are people with grad degrees doctors? What say you?

Thanks for sticking with us through a turbulent and yes, often contentious year. We very much appreciate the listens and your feedback. We wish everyone a happy and healthy Christmas break and we’ll see you back here on January 8th.

This week on the Big Show, one guest: John O’Sullivan. We booked him to fact check this season of Netflix’s The Crown as he was a speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher and was a witness to much of what occurred in the show (and what didn’t). But that wasn’t the only topic we covered with John. We also had a long and shall we say lively conversation about the Trump legal team’s efforts to overturn the results of the election. We think Mr. O’Sullivan represented the views of many of our members and listeners, much to the consternation of one of the hosts of this podcast (guess who?). Also, Peter Robinson discovers The Beatles forty years after the fact and then immediately proceeds to blame them for a lame Christmas song written decades after the band broke up. Also, a new Lileks Post of The Week courtesy of @majestyk and a short but thorough primer on why streaming killed the movie theater star.

Music from this week’s show: Her Majesty by The Beatles

We’re back from the holiday break and have Georgia on our minds. As such we welcome Erick Erickson, host of “Atlanta’s Evening News” on WSB AM/FM, and he joins to us to analyze “suitcase-gate” and give us his take on January’s double US Senate election in the Peach State. (Erick’s podcast is available right here on Ricochet.)

Then we talk to old friend Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. As the Covid-19 vaccination comes to market, what’s the best way to do it? Who gets priority and who shouldn’t be bothered?

Two weeks after the election and we’re still deep into re-counts, ballot challenges, and other legal machinations. To help us sort it all out, we asked Powerline’s Steve Hayward to sit in for Rob Long and (as John Lennon famously said) give us some truth. And to give us even more truth, we welcome Sean Trende , Real Clear Politic’s Senior Elections Analyst. He takes us through many of the legal cases and we try to get some explanation for much of the polling that turned out to be dead wrong. Then, a gear shift as welcome Antonin Scalia. No, it’s not a supernatural event (talk about burying the lede), Nino (as he likes to be called), is the great jurist’s grandson and he works in the James Madison Program at Princeton and hosts Madison’s Notes, a terrific new podcast that coincidentally is carried right here on Ricochet. Finally, several of us on this podcast are residents of California. Last week, our Governor Newsom attended a dinner that gave him indigestion. But not for the reasons you might think. And yes, we’ve got, a new Lileks Post of The Week, courtesy of Ricochet member Ekosj. Say that three times fast.

Music from this week’s show: The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow) by The Jam

This week, John Yoo, the Ricochet Podcast Senior Election Fraud Analyst and the Joan and Ray Kroc McRib Scholar at Hamburger University sits in for Peter Robinson and kicks the show off with a deep dive on where we stand with all of the current court cases and challenges around the election. Then, Avik Roy (listen to his American Wonk/COVID in 19 podcast right here on Ricochet) stops by to science us on the recent resurgence of COVID cases cropping up across the country. Then, National Review’s Jim Geraghty (do yourself a favor and subscribe to his must read Daily Jolt newsletter) visits for a bit to talk about Georgia, polling, and to drop a few impressions. Finally, mad props to Ricochet member @markcamp for winning the coveted Lileks Post of The Week badge for his tome, Was Perry Mason a Great TV Series? We’ll let you decide. Thanks to all who joined us for the live video version of the show. We apologize for Rob’s sweater.

Music from this week’s show: Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis

Is it the dawning of a new era or are we continuing the one we’re already in? The answer was not clear when we assembled today at 9AM Pacific Time (the best time zone, as everyone knows), but we do our best to pundit all of the facts we knew when we rolled tape clicked record. But before we start that, Rob Long has a statement he’d like to make. And Peter Robinson has some thoughts on why the race may not really be over. On that topic, we are lucky to have John Yoo, Esq. back on to take us through the myriad election laws on both the state and the Federal level. Then, Arizona native (and Ricochet Editor-In-Chief) Jon Gabriel calls in from his car to explain the finer points of voting with a Sharpie and why that matters and offer his theory on how that state’s Presidential race is going to wind up. Finally, we go across the pond to Budapest to tap the mind of one the most cogent political observers we know: John O’Sullivan. From his perch in Budapest, he has a perspective and a point of view that is perceptive and unique. And he sounds so urbane when he delivers it, we can’t resist. Finally, wind up with some thoughts and insights on polling and why it was so off this cycle.

That’s a wrap on the 202o election cycle, folks. We thank you for sticking with us. We know (boy, do we know…) that you didn’t always agree with what you heard on this show, but we hope you weren’t bored and that once in a while you gained an insight or two. We have some interesting plans for the show going forward (including offering members the ability to watch it –warts and all– live on Zoom as we record it) and some very cool guests. The future starts now.

This is it, folks — the last Ricochet Podcast prior to the 2020 election. What a long strange trip it’s been (no, that is not the closing song, but we thought about it). To wrap this election season up, we give you another in a series of spirited debates between The Founders® –that’s Peter Robinson and Rob Long for you newbies– in which James Lileks once again tries to be moderator/peacemaker. We’ll let you tell us who persuaded you and who didn’t. Then we call upon two of our most reliable prognosticators to help us sort through the end of this cycle. First up, Byron York (listen to his podcast, The Byron York Show, right here on this very audio network) live from what looks to be the fulcrum of this Presidential election — the political hot zone known as Pennsylvania. Lots of anecdotes, stats, and informed hunches related in this segment. Then, Luke Thompson aka the Smartest Political Consultant We Know joins to parse the polls, preview the key House and the Senate races and generally impart electoral wisdom. We’ve got a new Lileks Post of The Week courtesy of Ricochet Member Preston Storm (and a rare cameo appearance from a low level Ricochet employee who can’t seem to push a button when required). Finally (and we do mean finally), we wrap things up with some predictions from our hosts. Leave yours in the comments. And don’t forget to vote!

Music from this week’s show: Que Sera Sera by Sly and The Family Stone

As you may be aware, we had a Presidential debate last night. The President did well, we all agree on that. Will it move the polls? Do the polls matter? We discuss. Then, Hoover’s Shelby Steele and his filmmaker son Eli Steele have made What Killed Michael Brown a provocative new documentary about race and the impact of the events in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. The film is streaming on Amazon (not without controversy — we discuss this on the show) and we implore everyone to watch it. Then, first time guest Susan Ferrechio, the Washington Examiner’s Chief Congressional Correspondent stops by to give us the low down on her mano-a-mano match with CNN’s Brian Stelter (take our advice and watch the clip) and discuss media bias the the prospects of holding the Senate and re-taking the House. Yes, we have a new LPoW courtesy of Jenna Stocker (and we remembered to add it to the description). Finally, a few thoughts on Jeffrey Toobin (we assure you that our Zoom call was squeaky clean), and we reveal why there are no pumpkins in the Robinson household.

Music from this week’s show: Susie Q by Creedence Clearwater Revival

We’ve got some debates town halls to cover, we’ve got a good old fashioned social media shadow banning scandal, Joe Biden’s son is bad at influence peddling, we had a Supreme Court nominee sail through her hearing, and we get into the nitty gritty on the 1619 Project. But most importantly, we spend some quality time with Kim Strassel, she of the Wall Street Journal, and one of the most ardent supporters of the President. We of course talk about that with her, also the Senate, the previously mentioned big tech/media controversy.

Music from this week’s show: Amie by Pure Prarie League

With a little over three weeks to go before the election, we thought it would a good time to have a heart to heart discussion with our good friend Victor Davis Hanson. the Classics professor, the military historian, the farmer, the cultural observer, and the author of The Case For Trump, his best selling book that came out in 2017 and was re-issued earlier this year. It’s the most cogent case we’ve seen for the re-election of the President. In this one on one conversation, Peter Robinson takes Victor through all the reasons to cast a vote for Donald Trump and challenges Victor with a few reasons not to pull the lever for him. It’s an enlightening and informative hour and should be required listening (if we do say so ourselves) for all voters, especially those who are still undecided. Have at it.

 

We know you like it when the hosts get into it and we know you like it when one of them gets triggered by a certain Chief Executive. So –no spoilers!– we think you’ll enjoy the opening segment of today’s Big Show. But stick around, because we want to introduce you to two members of the media we think you ought to be aware of. First up: Alex Berenson, once a card carrying member of the elite media (the New York Times) and now a novelist who does some independent journalism on the side. His work on COVID over the past six months (available on Twitter and on his website is not to be missed. Then, meet Andrew Beaton, who covers sports for the Wall Street Journal. His no nonsense reporting on COVID and sports and the impact of the social justice movement is not to be missed. But that’s not all: we’ve got a new Lileks Post of The Week, courtesy of @DoctorRobert (it’s about oboes). Finally, we lost a great one this week. Well, those of us who were aware  of him did. Guess which one of our podcasters is not really aware of the contributions to the culture Edward Van Halen left us?

Music from this week’s show: Dance The Night Away by Van Halen

The news cycle these days is crushing — warping time upon itself like a black hole. So how does America’s Most Balanced Podcast® respond? By booking a third guest, of course. On today’s lineup, we’ve got Casey Mattox;the Vice President for Legal and Judicial Strategy at Americans for Prosperity, a group dedicated to (among other things), getting Amy Coney Barrett through the nomination process. You can help by visiting their website UniteForBarrett.com and signing a letter that will be sent to your Senator. Do it! Then, our good friend (and fellow board member) Dr. George Savage stops by to give us an M.D.’s perspective on the President’s condition and what his course of treatment might be. Finally, Henry Olsen, he of the Horse Race podcast right here on this network visits and dispenses some punditry on how the President’s health may affect his re-election effort. No spoilers here, sorry. Finally, the Lileks Post of The Week is back and it’s a doozy: did Harry Truman actually approve the use of the use of the A-Bomb at the end of WWII or did the military just deploy like a new submarine or aircraft? We get into it and then some.

Music from this week’s show: Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)  by John Lennon

Another jam packed week means another jam packed show: We’ve got the Ricochet Podcast’s Senior Court Packing and Confirmation Correspondent, John Yoo to help us sort out the coming SCOTUS confirmation hearings, and we’ve got Lt. General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army, ret. to talk about his new book, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free WorldAlso, a Ricochet Podcast Presidential Debate Preview and the weirdest Emmy’s ever.

Music from this week’s podcast: Roar by Katy Perry

This week on America’s Most Benevolent Podcast®, another super-sized episode. First up, the Middle East is breaking out in…peace. That’s good, right? Well, depends who you ask. We discuss. Then, our good pal Dr. Jay Bhattacharya joins to bring us up to speed on the coming vaccine, the (very treacherous) intersection of politics and medicine, whether or not the lockdown was a mistake, and more. The Lileks Post of The Week makes its triumphant return with a terrific post by @kirkianwanderer, Say Goodnight, Blue Eyes”: George Burns on Best Friends. Finally, are you as confused about the social media app Tik-Tok as Peter Robinson? If so, Rob Long is here to explain it to you. Maybe he should make a short video about it?

Music from this week’s episode: What Time Is It by Marshall Crenshaw

This week, the rare single guest show. But when that guest is Senator Ben Sasse, he has enough brain power to fill two segments and that’s exactly what the does on today’s episode. Mostly, we discuss his WSJ Op-Ed, Make The Senate Great Again, which is a manifesto on how to fix the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. Also, some thoughts on Woodward v. Trump and the less than great mayor of the City That Never Sleeps.

Music from this week’s show: The Sand Hills of Old Nebraska by Ole Rasmussen

Well, it’s crunch time now: we’re into the final lap of the election and things are going to be intense for the next 8 weeks or so. But first, some personal business: one of our intrepid cast is sending his youngest child off to college. Is his purpose in life now over? We discuss. Then Mr. Flight 93 himself, Michael Anton joins to discuss his new book, The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return and to warn everyone that if Joe Biden wins, the country will turn into California (but without the weather, the beaches, and the surfing). For those of us who live in the Golden State, it’s a weird way to sell a book (it’s not that bad here), but hey, Michael’s gotta eat too. Then, something of a departure for America’s Most Beloved Podcast® — a sports segment! And if we’re going to do a sports segment, then we’re going to get one of the best in the business to help us. That would be the great Sally Jenkins — columnist for The Washington Post. We talk about college football, political activism in sports, and what’s it’s like to enter the family business when your dad was one of the all time legends. Finally, Nancy Pelosi gets a blowout and it blows up. Perfect.

Music from this week’s show: I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair by Ella Fitzgerald

It’s the Republican National Convention week, or as pundits on the right call it — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and whatever other major holiday you want to thrown in there. We break it all down: the pluses, the minus, the hits and the misses. And we make some predictions for the next couple of months. As you’re hear, we recorded this show on Zoom in front of an audience of our beloved Ricochet members. We’ll be doing a few more of these on Zoom before the election, so if you’d like to participate, join us!

Music from this week’s show: Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones