Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly surprised at President Trump’s State of the Union address, in which he extolled the greatness of America, condemned socialism and late term abortion and found several issues where bipartisan cooperation seems plausible. They also cringe at some other moments in the speech including Trump’s contentions that investigations of him will hurt the economy, that you can negotiate peace with the Taliban, and that another summit with Kim Jong-Un is a good idea. And their jaws hit the floor as Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admits to dressing up in blackface while in college, just days after calling on Gov. Ralph Northam to resign.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome news that military and police are starting to defy President Maduro and that more influential nations are recognizing Juan Guiado as the interim president. They also wade through Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s shifting explanations for the racist photo in in his medical school yearbook and Northam defying both parties by refusing to resign. And they give thumbs down to most of the Superbowl ads for being too serious and too obvious in their efforts to be woke, saving their biggest eye roll for the Washington Post.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer President Trump and other leaders in the western hemisphere for recognizing a new leader in Venezuela as the corrupt, socialist regime crumbles there. Jim unloads on the media for often being more interested in generating outrage – and more clicks – than getting a story correct. And they get a kick out of another obscure Democrat running for president and the DNC trying to plan for debates with 20 or more candidates.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss President Trump’s latest offer to secure the border and end the partial government shutdown and how the tide is turning against Democrats for refusing to negotiate. They also roll their eyes as Kirsten Gillibrand and Joe Biden are profusely apologizing for holding positions years ago that anger the progressive base of the Democratic Party now. And they react to signs that Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan may be positioning himself for a primary challenge against President Trump.

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It’s our last show for 2018, sadly there’s just not that much to talk about. Darn. Nothing going on, no controversy, no conflict. Just some old friends (and Ricochet editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel) shooting the breeze for 70 odd minutes. Enjoy and we’ll see you next year.

And please: if you’re not yet a member — JOIN RICOCHET!

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This week, the finer points of cast iron skillets, Yorkshire pudding, and oh, yes, the burgeoning French revolution, courtesy of Claire Berlinski in Paris, the state of Brexit with Toby Young in London, and the demise of the Weekly Standard in Washington D.C. with our hosts, who have been reading it from day one.

Music from this week’s podcast: Murder By Numbers by The Police

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Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of reports that Elizabeth Warren and her team are still trying to do damage control over her DNA stunt. They also unload on the mainstream media for insisting that every kind word said Wednesday about the late George H.W. Bush was somehow an obvious rebuke of President Trump. And they react to news that Trump is at least contemplating a change in running mates for 2020.

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Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will not run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. They also react to the new that the longtime conservative magazine “The Weekly Standard” may soon be shutting down. And they’re deeply disappointed that Michael Avenatti won’t be around to cause chaos in the 2020 Democratic primary season, although making sure Avenatti has zero chance of becoming president is probably a good thing.

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Daniel Foster of National Review Online and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the French people for forcing their government to suspend implementation of new fuel taxes, although their tactics leave a lot to be desired. They also shake their heads as Congress punts any tough spending decisions to Dec. 21 and appears unwilling to do much of anything to rein in spending. And the liberal site Slate draws an avalanche of condemnation for trashing the late Pres. Bush’s service dog, suggesting there should be no sentimental reaction to the dog since Bush only had him since June.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start popping the popcorn as Democrats start squabbling with each other over 2020. Rahm Emanuel calls Beto O’Rourke a “loser” and many Democrats are very frosty with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for leading the charge against Minnesota Sen. Al Franken last year. They also shake their heads in the wake of Michael Cohen’s guilty plea as the president who says he only selects the best people winds up calling Cohen weak and not very smart. And they react to the story of a Southwest Airlines employee mocking a girl named Abcde but also point out the girl’s mom is setting her daughter up for a lifetime of teasing and frustration. They also share some of their favorite stories about unusual names.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer Neil Gorsuch and other Supreme Court justices for blasting civil asset forfeiture in an Indiana case that may soon limit the government’s ability to seize property from suspected and convicted criminals. They also sigh as Jeff Flake forces the cancellation of committee votes on two dozen judicial nominees because he can’t get a floor vote on legislation to protect special counsel Bob Mueller. They also imagine the sanctimony primary between Flake and John Kasich as both seem interested in launching irrelevant 2020 presidential campaigns. And they react to Stormy Daniels revealing that attorney Michael Avenatti has filed suits and made statements in her name that she never approved and that Avenatti won’t tell her how he’s spending the money many people have donated to her legal cause.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are cautiously optimistic that at least some border wall funding could be coming in the lame duck spending bill. They also applaud National Review’s David French for blasting the media’s perpetual outrage at President Trump, even as his administration carries out some actions and policies of the Obama administration, which the media adored. And they enjoy the GOP win in the Mississippi Senate race while also slamming MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace for suggesting that nooses found on the state capitol grounds were a form of racial intimidation until her own guest explained Democrats put them there to protest Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up all crazy martinis Tuesday. They begin with a report from the UK Guardian newspaper that Paul Manafort met multiple times with Julian Assange in London, including early 2016 when Manafort was about to become chairman for the Trump campaign. They also get a kick out of Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke abandoning his pledge never to run for president in 2020 just three weeks after making it. And they wonder whether taxpayers will wind up on the hook again as President Trump tries to stop General Motors from shuttering five plants and laying off thousands of workers in the U.S.

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