This week, in an unparalleled act of commitment, we persisted and Naomi Wolf is our guest this week. It’s a fascinating, surprising, and yes, hopeful conversation and we’re very grateful she agreed to join us. But see what you think. Then, the delightful Deb Saunders –on hiatus from covering the White House– joins us to talk about how the current White House is covered vs. the last one and the differences between covering the two. Also fascinating if less surprising.  Also, Rob Long shares his name with someone more famous than him (for the the time being), James updates us on his SQUIRREL! issues, and Peter is wants more productivity in his life.  We’ll try and get to that soon.

Music from this week’s show: Will The Wolf Survive? by Los Lobos

Hello, Ricochet Podcast listeners This is a special preview of Rob Long’s weekly commentary podcast Martini Shot. To subscribe to the show, search for “Rob Long Martini Shot” on your favorite podcast platform or go to and click on the subscribe links.

In this episode, Rob is re-reading David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” but it’s not working out so well.

This week, Ricochet editor and podcaster to the stars Troy Senik stops by to talk about his new venture, Kite and Key Media, which produces explainers about issues in the news. So you could argue that this show is an explainer about explainers, but we are not going to be that meta. We also delve into the news of the day, including good governors and bad, what the heck is going on with President Biden, and some speculation on where the Republican party and the Conservative movement might be headed. Yes, we were supposed to have another guest this week, but that didn’t work out (maybe next week), so thanks to Troy for hanging out with us. Please return the favor by frequenting his new site?

Music from this week’s show: For The Benefit of Mr. Kite by The Beatles

This week, Steve Hayward sits in for Rob (just a scheduling issue, not a Big Trip) and we’ve got British free speech advocate Laurence Fox and our good and very smart friend Dr. Jay Bhattacharya  back to give some advice and comment on the state’s emerging plans to re-open. Also, a recent survey has some surprising results and Steve and Peter defend a maligned movie.

Music from this week’s show:  The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) by Ylvis

This week, we go it alone. And by that we mean no guest, just our guys performing some Rank Punditry® on the news of the day, energy on Texas, WandaVision (well, James tries to talk about it), Rob’s recently completed trip to Kenya, Peter’s sojourn in Wyoming, and various other personal and political points of interest. We’ve also got new Lileks Post of The Week, courtesy of David Foster (our apologies on the tardy jingle, David), and Rob tells us how to get forbidden cheese past U.S. Customs. Information for life.

Music from this week’s show: Ladysmith Black Mambazo – (Mbube) The Lion Sleeps Tonight

This week, we’ve got Powerline’s Steve Hayward sitting in for Rob Long (who’s busy being lionized) as we bid a sad so long to Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh. Then, Ayaan Hirsi Ali stops by to discuss her new book Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights. Also, be sure to visit her new website and subscribe to her new podcast. Also, Ted Cruz defies The Wall and goes to Mexico, a break down of the latest McConnell v. Trump cage match, and one of our hosts is very excited about Perseverance landing safely on Mars and one of them responded with a big “meh.” Care to guess which is which?

Music from this week’s show: My City Was Gone by The Pretenders

This week, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) –soon to be Citizen Portman– stops by to discuss impeachment, working with the Biden administration (or not as the case may be), his plans for the future, why he decided to throw in the towel in terms of the Senate, and yes, how this year’s popcorn crop is looking at his farm in Ohio. Also, Rob Long is going on safari (really!), Peter Robinson is looking forward to a Rocky Mountain High, and James Lileks wants to go on a cruise, thanks to Rushbabe49’s Lileks’ Post of The Week winning missive (yes, it’s back).

Music from this week’s show: Stand On It by Bruce Springsteen

This week, Jason Riley stops by to talk about his new documentary, Thomas Sowell: Common Sense in a Senseless World, which aside from being great, is also free to stream on YouTube. So the second you finish this podcast, we expect you will watch it.  But before we get to Jason, we visit with Steve Krakauer, who writes the must-read Fourth Watch newsletter about all things media. We talk about liberal bias (we can confirm that it exists), why Texas may be the next media capitol, and whether print really is dead. Also, the guys make their Super Bowl picks, James’ daughter is quarantined in Boston, and Rob explains why the old Hollywood studio system likely won’t be coming back. 

Music from this week’s show: A Little Bit ‘O Soul by Sound Explosion

This week, Robin Hood is back, and this time he’s running a Wall Street retail brokerage firm. But the whole “take from the rich, give (or more accurately, keep) for the (relatively) poor” thing is still in effect. To discuss, we’ve got WSJ columnist Gerard Baker who explains and opines on it. Then our favorite Congressional correspondent on the planet, the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio drops by to tell us why Nancy Pelosi thinks the call is coming from within the House, why impeachment is not going to fly, and how much of Biden’s agenda will get through Congress. Also, some thoughts on Ohio Senator Rob Portman decision to hang it up, and another edition of What Are You Watching?

Music from this week’s show: Eat The Rich by Aerosmith

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, Antonia 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 Antonia 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