Mona Charen | Podcast
93
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102. Yes, We Have No Ice Cream

Mona and Jay range widely in this episode – even more widely than usual. They talk about Congressman Steve Scalise and his current trial. The talk about Bob McDonnell, the ex-governor of Virginia, and his literal trial. They talk about Obama and NPR – a match made in heaven (or somewhere). They talk about Cuba, Mario Cuomo, and Jonathan Gruber. Is there more to say about Gruber? Oh, yes, considerably more. They talk about the head ayatollah in Iran – who tweeted “Black Lives Matter.” Too bad no lives matter in Iran. Venezuela has run out of ice cream. More specifically, they have run out of milk. Nice going, chavistas. Jay nominates a Man of the Year – already, for 2015. The nominee is a hero. So are Valladares and Sharansky, whom the hosts discuss. There is some talk, at the beginning and the end of the podcast, about The Merry Widow, Franz Lehár’s enduring hit. The ’cast goes out on the beloved duet from that operetta, “Lippen schweigen,” sung by Gedda and Rothenberger. Don’t miss any more Charen and Nordlinger. Please subscribe to this podcast here. 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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101. Castro Catastrophe

The liberated President Obama, liberated from the voters that is, has done something morally shameful in the name of realism – restoring diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Jay and Mona make short work of the claims that this will liberalize the vicious regime of the Castro brothers. This is a betrayal of the Cuban people. Jay, but not Mona, would have gone to see “The Interview” before the North Korean tantrum and cyber attack, but in the wake of it, both would consider it a patriotic duty to go now – if it were showing anywhere. They are not impressed with Obama’s limp response and ponder what a real president would have done. Who’s to blame for the cold-blooded murder of three police officers over the weekend? The killers, yes. But there’s much more to it. The podcast closes with one music question Mona forgot to ask Jay on their 100th podcast (trust us, you need to hear this show) — his favorite cello moment — and goes out with one that means a lot to Mona. Jay’s choice, of course, is musically sophisticated and erudite. Mona’s is ballet music. Yes, you may indeed subscribe to this podcast here. Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Advertisers! 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...

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100. Happy Hundredth

Mona and Jay are a hundred years old today—or rather, they have just recorded their hundredth podcast. They had lengthy discussions about how to mark their “centenary.” In the end, Mona asked Jay questions about music. And the podcast is replete with musical examples, or clips. Sample question: “What is the most comforting music you can think of?” Another sample: “What is the most rousing?” A playlist, typed up by Jay, is here. And Jay insists on making this statement: “Mona and I want to ‘shout out’ to our producer, the Ricochet maestro Blue Yeti, the best in the business, and a peach of a guy, which is gravy.” Jay also wants to say this: “In books, I believe, they call them ‘errata.’ After our podcast, I rushed to Google to see what mistakes I had made. 1) Beethoven received his Broadwood about ten years before he died, not in his dying days. What he received on his deathbed was the complete works of Handel (which it comforted him to leaf through). 2) Beethoven’s dear teacher in Bonn was Christian Gottlob Neefe, not Christoph Neef. 3) Victor Kiam owned Remington, not Norelco. I’m sure there are more mistakes, but I’m going by the principle of three strikes and you’re out . . .” A final word: “Scrutinizers of the playlist will see that we left out a clip. We’ll address the relevant question, and play the clip, in a future podcast.” The iTunes link for this podcast is here. Subscribe! Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Advertisers!  This podcast is brought to...

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99. Taking to the Streets

Linda Chavez, survivor of a thousand insults and worse (mostly, but not alas exclusively, from the left) joins Jay and Mona to talk about Ferguson, the New York asphyxiation case, and our never ending race preoccupations in America. Linda Chavez is widely believed to be either a first or second generation American. She can, in fact, trace her family back hundreds of years here. She’s been a brave champion of the battle against quotas and for equal opportunity and delivers her views about Hispanics. Hint: They’re assimilating very well.Jay and Mona then offer further thoughts about the race cases in the news, the hatred that characterizes one of our political parties, the great Rob Portman, the not great Clintons, taking to the streets, the British royal family, and Hollywood music. We close with a bit of Erich Korngold’s violin concerto. He wrote many things for the movies – though not this. Yes, you can subscribe to Need To Know in iTunes here. 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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98. Faster, Please

Mona and Jay have a guest this week: Michael Ledeen, that scholar and champion of freedom. He talks about Iran, primarily. The Khomeinist regime has been a curse on humanity—especially the Iranian people—for 35 years. Its downfall will be a great day. The hosts join Ledeen in his trademark refrain, “Faster, please.” Mona and Jay then discuss President Obama’s abuse of power, his “climate” pact with China, and several other matters. Jay is exceptionally shouty and worked up; Mona is naturally more levelheaded but still impassioned. The podcast goes out with a stretch of the Shostakovich Eighth, written in the dead of the war. Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Sponsors! Great food makes people happy and brings them together. Great food makes any holiday feast or gift even more memorable. This holiday season – Click, Don’t Cook…order and serve award-winning food shipped directly to you, when you want it from FoodyDirect.com…Just Click, Ship, and Enjoy! Use the coupon code RICOCHET10 at checkout to save $10 on your first order from FoodyDirect.com 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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97. You Say “Karibeyun,” I say “Karibeean”

In the first Need to Know recorded before a live audience (on the National Review cruise), Jay and Mona dissect the meaning of Jonathan Gruber’s comments (revealing what we already knew, but still). Jay offers insights on Obama’s single-mindedness. Public opinion be damned, he will pursue his vision of the good. And speaking of leftist agendas, casting a glance over his shoulder as the boat passes Cuba, Jay notes that the Nation magazine plans a trip there. Even now. Incredible. There’s much more, including whether you have to be a governor first to be a good president, Hillary’s heart of hearts, and of course, a little music. Do join 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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96. Happy Days

Warning: This podcast may induce feelings of elation, giddiness, and possible trouble sleeping. Jay and Mona, gloomy to the point of depression in 2012, revel in Tuesday’s results. There are so many things to celebrate: the failure of the war on women; the rising number of Hispanics and Asians voting R; the sound defeat of turncoat Charlie Crist. Each race is savored, turned this way and that to catch the light, and enjoyed. Mona condemns those who vote only in presidential years, but praises the essential stability of American politics. There’s much to chew over. Jay is not a joiner, but he’s a Republican, and sings the praises of several new (and some old) Republican stars. We close with reflections on the greatest singer in the world, and a story about why one of the greatest composers in the world never wrote a cello concerto. Join us. Music from this week’s episode: Happy Days Are Here Again by Barbara Streisand. 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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95. Election Eve

Mona and Jay’s guest is Jason Riley, author of the new book Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed (use the coupon code RICOCHET for 15% off). There is enough in this subject for 100 podcasts, but Jason, Mona, and Jay make do with approximately half a one. Then the hosts traverse other subjects: including the Obama administration’s unremitting hostility to Israel, or at least to its prime minister. They also talk about children and politics, and of course next Tuesday’s elections. Jay is excited for victory, and overexcited. Even Mona, the cool-as-a-cucumber intellectual, is rather looking forward. The ending music, in honor of Halloween, is Camille Saint-Saëns’s ghoulish little masterpiece Danse macabre. 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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94. Name Rec

Jay reports from his annual trip to the Oslo Freedom Forum this week, where he met, among other extraordinarily brave and inspiring figures, 21- year-old Yeonmi Park, an escapee from North Korea. Her story – of starvation, and rape, and terror — is the kind that makes you feel guilty for the ample meal you just consumed and the comfortable life you enjoy. But we do live in the comfortable west, and as Jay and Mona next discuss, it may be about to become a little more palatable – at least politically. The absurd “war on women” trope that succeeded in 2012 and 2013 is falling flat this year – along with the gender gap among women. They analyze and relish the demise of this most insulting of appeals. The left is attempting to remove Gideon Bibles from America’s hotels. Jay and Mona consider counter-strategies. They take a moment to despise supercilious debate moderators who lecture the candidates as if they are children, note the reappearance of Monica Lewinsky, and marvel (not in a good way) that it is now official doctrine of the U.S. military to fight climate change. Talking politics leads Mona into jargon – which Jay instantly seizes upon. Can’t get away with that on this podcast! In tribute to real cigar-chomping pols, we close with “Politics and Poker” from the 1961 Broadway show “Fiorello!” Help Ricochet by Supporting Our Advertisers! For 15% off any title, go to EncounterBooks.com and use the coupon code RICOCHET at checkout. This week’s featured title is Please...

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93. The Curling of Hair (and Smoke)

Mona and Jay have a guest this week, Greg Lukianoff, who discusses free speech on campus—more like the suppression of. Examples will curl your hair, if your hair is still curlable, after all these years of free-speech erosion. LukianoffThen the hosts range widely, as is their wont, discussing issues both political and cultural. Political issues include Ebola, or the politicization of (and racialization of). Cultural issues include this curious question: Shouldn’t it be possible to buy a pair of sneakers or a shirt without attending what amounts to a rock concert? (Jay fears he is turning into Andy Rooney, the paradigmatic curmudgeon.) Another cultural matter: Did you hear that an opera company in Australia dropped Carmen from its schedule? Yes—because the opera “promotes smoking.” True, Carmen works in a cigarette factory. But she is stabbed to death in the end by Don José. Does the opera promote murder? The podcast closes, naturally, with the Smokers’ Chorus from Carmen. We hear how Bizet evokes the curling of smoke, up into the air. 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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