Mona Charen | Podcast
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111. Why George Will Is Optimistic

Need 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 attacks 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 motionnightmare — 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. But there’s always Bach. The podcast closes with a snippet from his first cello suite played by a Canadian beauty named Denise Djokic. Subscribe to Need To Know with Charen and Nordlinger on iTunes or on Stitcher. Help Ricochet By Supporting Our Sponsors! This podcast is brought to you by…us! Not a Ricochet member? Join us and get a free month. Click here and get your first month on us.  Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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110. Forever Hillary

Mona and Jay welcome Shannen Coffin, the crack lawyer, who explains what Hillary and her team have 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. Subscribe to Need To Know with Charen and Nordlinger on iTunes or on Stitcher. Help Ricochet By Supporting Our Sponsors! This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shave. For the finest shave at the best price, got Harrys.com and use the coupon code NTK at checkout. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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109. Some Cops May Be Racists, But . . .

The 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? Hillary Clinton may be sunk. Too soon to say of course, but 2016 speculation is beginning to be enjoyable. There is also Iran, constitutional order, the UN, the exceptional Senator Tom Cotton, and a little tribute to Dorothy L. Sayers. Music from this week’s episode: Yesterday (The Beatles) – The 12 Cellists of The Berlin Philharmonic Subscribe to Need To Know with Charen and Nordlinger on iTunes or on Stitcher. Help Ricochet By Supporting Our Sponsors! This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shave. For the finest shave at the best price, got Harrys.com and use the coupon code NTK at checkout. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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108. Now or Never

Mona 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. In Russia, as in Cuba, being a critic of the government can be bad for your health. Mona and Jay discuss this, plus a remarkable admission from a climate guru – the outgoing chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Toward the end of the ’cast, they talk about the late, great, and funny Stan Evans. And Jay mentions an opera called “Mona,” by the American composer Horatio Parker. The opera was composed in 1911, and the ’cast goes out with an excerpt. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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107. 50 Shades of Jay

When you think of Need to Know, pulp fiction, especially of the sexual variety, is probably not the first thing that pops 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 Help Ricochet By Supporting Our Sponsors! Acculturated.com is where pop culture matters! Read the best young conservative writers on the web on books, comics, culture, fashion, movies, games, music, sports, tech, and TV. Featuring the writing of Emily Esfahani Smith, Abby Schachter, R.J. Moeller, Mark Judge, and many more. This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shave. For the finest shave at the best price, got Harrys.com and use the coupon code RICOCHET at checkout. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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106. ‘Thanks, Obama’

In 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. In honor of the season – and the weather in much of America – the episode goes out with “The Battle on the Ice” from Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky.” Help Ricochet By Supporting Our Sponsors! This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shave. For the finest shave at the best price, got Harrys.com and use the coupon code RICOCHET at checkout. Acculturated.com is where pop culture matters! Read the best young conservative writers on the web on books, comics, culture, fashion, movies, games, music, sports, tech, and TV. Featuring the writing of Emily Esfahani Smith, Abby Schachter, R.J. Moeller, Mark Judge, and many more. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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105. Binge Answering

Some 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. Music from this week’s episode: From the Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8, by Johaness Brahms Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors! Acculturated.com is where pop culture matters! Read the best young conservative writers on the web on books, comics, culture, fashion, movies, games, music, sports, tech, and TV. Featuring the writing of Emily Esfahani Smith, Abby Schachter, R.J. Moeller, Mark Judge, and many more. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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104. Q&A, Round Two

In 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. Mona and Jay aren’t through yet: There’ll be a third round of listener questions. Thanks to all for their curiosity and participation. Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors! Acculturated.com is where pop culture matters! Read the best young conservative writers on the web on books, comics, culture, fashion, movies, games, music, sports, tech, and TV. Featuring the writing of Emily Esfahani Smith, Abby Schachter, R.J. Moeller, Mark Judge, and many more. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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104. Inquiring Minds

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). The podcast ends with the final pages of Beethoven’s Fidelio overture (as this opera comes up in the discussion – early). Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors! Acculturated.com is where pop culture matters! Read the best young conservative writers on the web on books, comics, culture, fashion, movies, games, music, sports, tech, and TV. Featuring the writing of Emily Esfahani Smith, Abby Schachter, R.J. Moeller, Mark Judge, and many more. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed. ...

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103. Just Don’t Call It Islamic!

How to account for President Obama’s decision regarding the great rally in Paris last Sunday? Not just to absent himself, but not even to send a high ranking American? Jay and Mona note that Obama has long been keen to declare an end to the war on terror. The Islamists have not played their part though, as the corpses testify. Jay offers a biting rebuke to those (including, alas, Pope Francis) who chose this moment to make a point about freedom and responsibility. Conversation turns naturally to immigration and assimilation. Are Americans really better at assimilating new arrivals or does it matter that Europe is flooded by Muslim immigrants, a significant minority of whom are unwilling to adapt to the norms of pluralistic democracies? The Muslim mayor of Rotterdam said it well – if unquotably on a family podcast. And kudos to President Sisi of Egypt, who said at considerable risk what the Obama administration trembles even to think – that there is a problem with Islamic extremism. Jay and Mona touch upon 2016 – Mona thinks one name that’s circulating is unrealistic – and conversation turns to Venezuela, life without World War II veterans, the plot to assassinate members of Congress, and much more. Jay has read a new biography on Francisco Franco. What should conservatives make of him? They close on a lighter note – musical and otherwise. Subscribe to Need to Know in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe...

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