We still can’t help but wonder what happened to California; and today’s guest has not only been writing about it for years, but is running for governor in hopes of administering a cure. Michael Shellenberger is confident he can take on Gavin Newsom and restore the Golden State to health. (Visit here to donate to his campaign!) He talks about his vision, the growing support he’s receiving, and the big victory for eco-modernists at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

Then Steven Hayward, who’s filling in for Peter, switches from host to the guest chair to talk about his new biography, M. Stanton Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom. The guys also talk about the 70s, and the movies that inspired a lotta lunacy.

The title says it all, yes? Not quite. It doesn’t tell you that everybody’s favorite Peter Robinson is off to Israel, and will therefore be filled in by everybody’s favorite Steve Hayward. And it also fails to tell you that the indefatigably cheery John Yoo is our guest!

The hosts pick John’s brain on everything from the trouble in the Mouse House, to slipping mandates, and on to a sure-to-be controversial SCOTUS decision set for June.

Don’t matter what you call it. Ricochetti are a passionate bunch, and sometimes the fighting spirit takes over. Our first guests are Andrew Gutmann (hosts of the essential Take Back Our Schools podcast) and Ricochet member Michele Kerr who’s had some strong criticisms of the fellas’ takes on public education over the years. For those of you who like a little scrappiness on the flagship podcast: this one’s for you!

Next we bring on our favorite doctor (the kind that doesn’t ask if the bruises are Covid related), Jay Bhattacharya! He explains how he became known as a fringey pseudoscientific quack and the ins and outs of Covid’s last gasp.

Even if it doesn’t normally win popularity contests, we like to keep things candid (but fun!) on the Ricochet podcast. And even if it cost US attorney general Bill Barr some popularity points, we still want to hang out with him! He’s just published his memoir One Damn Thing After Anotherand the gang do what they can to get at all the damn things. Barr proves still-adept at handling himself when things are coming in from all directions.

Rob also talks Ukraine and reassess the way history repeats itself; Peter applauds Elon Musk’s latest undertaking; and James wonders about the “groomer” conversation. Plus, shoutouts to Saint Augustine and Jenna Stocker–just cuz they’re awesome Ricochet members!

Good News! James is back! The whole crew is reunited. Even our guest Matthew Hennessey – a self-professed Ricochet nerd – was missing him. Matt’s got a new book heading our way. It’s called Visible Hand: A Wealth of Notions on the Miracle of the MarketMatthew proves to the hosts that Economics doesn’t have to be mind-numbingly boring. (And our host who’s had the pleasure of reading it goes so far as to say it belongs with Sowell and Friedman! Not too shabby.)

Also, Peter has some thoughts on the comparison of Joe Biden’s “gaffe” to a certain well-known Reagan speech; and the guys managed the nearly impossible feat of talking about the Oscars with little emphasis on a slap-happy star.

Whenever James roams for the week, a dilemma emerges. How do we make up for his erudition and charm? This time we reached out for a northerner from across the pond. Our guest is Niall Ferguson, one of the few men alive truly qualified to explain the subtleties of consensus misinterpretations of history–and the consequences. Are western leaders making foolhardy wagers in Ukraine? And if so, what’s informing them? Tune in to get a take from “the world’s most useful historian.”

Further, Peter and Rob give their unscientific answers to the curiously controversial woman question, their thoughts on our presumed new Supreme Court Justice; plus the state of the Oscars and movies themselves.

What’s the Ricochet Podcast to do when the world insists on calamity? We invite one of the leading historians in the English speaking world and a former National Security Advisor, that’s what. Joining the fellas in our opening chat is Andrew Roberts. He reports from Eastern Europe to tell us about his recent trip to Ukraine, and, as the Churchill expert, to give his take on the comparisons between the hero of World War II and President Zelensky.

Next, lieutenant general H.R. McMaster returns to assess the war in Ukraine. The hosts have him try on a couple strategic hats to help us size up the enemies of the free world. (Be sure to check out his new web series Battlegrounds, available on Youtube!)

Though James-less once more, the founders are back with yet another fascinating discussion about the dizzying crisis in Eastern Europe. With us from his home in Budapest is John O’Sullivan, former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, to discuss the reignited Cold War. He gives us the mood in Hungary, considers the longevity of the West’s newfound resolve, and elaborates on the NATO debate.

Peter and Rob talk shop about writing, deadlines and compartmentalization; plus there are some members events you’ll be excited to hear about!

We jet eastward and then into the ether this week, unfortunately without our pal James Lileks who’s vacationing somewhere on planet Earth. Our first guide is Elbridge Colby, who explains why we better not sleep on the Pacific theater. Then we’ve got Rich Goldberg, host of our new podcast: Cryptonite. He’s here to tell us that even a smart person like you can wrap your head around cryptocurrency.

The founders get a chance to talk about Ukraine… and that’s about it. They had too much fun with our guests and, let’s face it, Tuesday’s State of the Union address wasn’t very memorable.

Is anybody else wondering why we’re seeing more coverage about politicians chattering or journalists ducking from skirmishes than, you know, military movements, logistics and strategy? Our hosts sure do, and that’s why they’re eager to hear from Eli Lake, Bloomberg’s foreign policy columnist. Eli gives his take on the Russian pipe dream, Europe’s need for a wakeup call, and how Biden can get serious about his promise to stand up to Putin (hint: some crow eating would be in order).

On the bright side, our hosts notice that we’ve been relieved of CoViD talk for the past few days; on that note, John Kerry tries to keep our eye on the greatest anti-climate(ick!) consequence of the whole ordeal. And Rob still wants you to join, so you hang out with him and the gang for our members-only events coming down the line!

As always, we’ve got everything you could ask for before starting your weekend. From global “warfare” to matters of taste, Ricochet’s got it all.

First we reconvene with Congressman Mike Gallagher, who shares his take on American defense, energy and the spectacularly bad priorities that have left our armed forces helping our enemies in their propaganda efforts. Then we bring on the one, the only, Vince Guerra–Ricochet member extraordinaire–who takes us through his gift to us all: the Movie Fight Club; where members get to duke it out over who has the best stinkin’ taste. (You’ll have to join Ricochet if you want in on the fun!)

We got a convoy and are headed North this week! First we meet the man who plans to restore sanity to James’s home state, Kendall Qualls. He hopes to combat the juvenile delinquents trapped in grown-up bodies who’ve been running the Gopher State into the ground. Then we head beyond the border to chat with Ezra Levant of Rebel News, who gives us the 411 on the Canadian truckers who’ve got Justin Trudeau shaking in his bossy boots.

The hosts also talk science™ and wonder why she keeps changing her mind; Stacy Abrams revealing photo-op; and, of course, some Super Bowl picks!

UPDATE: Some listeners have had issues with the sound on the original posted recording. We’ve adjusted the levels and re-uploaded. If you’ve already downloaded the show and are having difficulty hearing, all you need to do is delete it and re-download for the adjusted recording. (Or try here.) Enjoy!


There are no secrets at Ricochet: the web’s best place for civil conversations. That’s why we’re happy to have Amy Zegart join us to divulge the details of her soon-to-be-published Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence (pre-order your copy today!)

We rely on Amy’s decades of research on the Intel Community to help us make sense of dizzying changes that have upturned the world of espionage. Ever wonder about how technologies from A.I. to your iPhone have changed the game? Amy’s got answers!

After an informative press conference with Mr. President, who better to take us through last year’s stunning over-performance than Byron York? (Be sure to subscribe to his podcast, available right here on Ricochet!) Among other things, we go over Biden’s plan to get out more; the dilemma of staff shakeups when the boss is the problem; and question of succession.

The hosts also get into the so-called voter rights bill that died, maskgate and the detritus on the Union Pacific railway. And ever wondered what Peter’s favorite Meat Loaf song is? You’ll have to listen to find out!

Apologies for being a tad late today, but thankfully the whole gang is back in action! Today we’ve got Susan Ferrechio, chief congressional correspondent for the Washington Examiner. She takes on all comers: from Democrats playing election projection, to the bored and tired people in charge, to talk of a (collective gasp!) Clinton comeback. Susan has thoughts on all of it. Follow her on Twitter @susanferrechio.

The fellas also chat about Biden’s utterly indecent speech in Georgia; also the tragic passing of Terry Teachout and they ponder a viral thread on the worst drives in America.

We’re back! For the most part anyway–Peter’s out, but Ricochet editor Bethany Mandel is a fitting sub for today’s education-oriented podcast. Our guest is Andrew Gutmann, the man who stood up to CRT pushers in his daughter’s school and became last year’s overnight sensation. (He’s also the co-host of Ricochet’s new podcast “Take Back Our Schools!“)

We go through the pandemic of cowardice which has infected parents and will leave children with indelible side effects. It might not be a fight they want, but retreat is not an option. Thankfully, Andrew and Bethany are here as backboned examples and to take us through our options. (As promised, treat yourself to Bethany’s County Council smackdown–and here’s the whole meeting, where she enters in at 3:00:52)

It has been one year and one week since Rush Limbaugh last sat behind the Golden EIB microphone and broadcast with substantial talent on loan from God. In this final Ricochet Podcast for 2021, James Lileks welcomes James Golden, aka Bo Snerdley to the show and they reminisce about Rush’s rise, the impact he had across the media landscape and more.

See you in the New Year!

It’s our last regular episode of 2021, but fear not! We’ll be back…

With us today is historian Andrew Roberts, author of The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III. Roberts takes us through the many inaccuracies that have captivated modern imagination and loomed over his legacy. We get into George, the man; why Great Britain lost; how the Georgian records are relevant to contemporary culture war debates; as well as some fascinating ‘What ifs?’

It’s a big scary world out there–or so we’re told. But how do we sort what to worry about and what not to? We say: bring on some guys who know their stuff! That’s why Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is back. He wants to keep us calm, despite the return of variant hysteria; he and the hosts talk Omicron and a world limping its way back to normal.

Then, Seth Cropsey, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, joins the gang to take us through the vanishing power vacuum left by the US, Putin’s goals in Ukraine, and the future of American naval power. Abandon all hope? Or can we bounce back? Listen to find out!