National Review's Radio Free California Podcast

National Review

A show about the perilous state of the Golden State—and what that means for you, wherever you live. California is the hothouse lab of the Left, the nation-state creating the statist policies, art, and lifestyles of the future – and generating the political dollars to make them a reality in a community near you. Hosts Will Swaim (California Policy Center) and David Bahnsen (The Bahnsen Group, Fox Business News commentator, conservative activist) beam this weekly show internationally, from mostly undisclosed pirate-radio platforms west of the Sierra Nevada.

[Intro music graciously provided by Los Angeles-based Metalachi, the metal/mariachi soundtrack of the near-future. Find them at]

All Episodes

Contact:dbahnsen@thebahnsengroup.comwill@calpolicycenter.orgFollow Us:@DavidBahnsen@WillSwaim@TheRadioFreeCAShow Notes:Gavin on Twitter: “America today: you can break the law, carry around weapons built for a military, shoot and kill people, and get away with it,” Newsom claimed on Twitter. “That’s the message we’ve just sent to armed vigilantes across the nation.”Kamala on Twitter: Rittenhouse verdict is a failure of justiceDid Merrick Garland commit perjury while testifying about “terrorist parents”?Ivy Getty’s San Francisco wedding Is why we need a wealth tax80 looters simultaneously broke into a Nordstrom near San Francisco, police say: ‘Clearly a planned event’ in weekend filled with looting incidentsBetty Yu on San Francisco crime surgeShellenberger: Why we must arrest drug addictsCalifornia fentanyl deaths spiked during the pandemic. What Biden wants to do about itThe House that Kobe Built now Crypto Center

Nov 23

59 min 48 sec

Contact:dbahnsen@thebahnsengroup.comwill@calpolicycenter.orgFollow Us@DavidBahnsen@WillSwaim@TheRadioFreeCAShow NotesVP Harris in Paris on the science of inequalityGiant California retirement fund CalPERS votes to use leverage, more alternative assetsCalifornia pension regs blunt Biden infrastructure planNewsom extends emergency authority‘Winter is coming’: COVID spiked last holiday season, Gov. Newsom reminds CaliforniaThe fast-food model lets corporations escape liability. California might chart a new courseAB-257 Food facilities and employment.(2021-2022)AG Rob Bonta launches housing strike forceRivian, the government unicorn

Nov 17

37 min 24 sec

Irony alert: Governor Gavin Newsom canceled his flight to Glasgow’s climate meet-up and then appeared at the lavish San Francisco wedding of oil-heiress Ivy Getty — and then magically makes natural gas “carbon neutral.” Sean Penn finds himself in the crosshairs of the National Labor Relations Board. Surveying epiphenomena of this sort, the city of Oroville declares itself a constitutional city that won’t tolerate government overreach. Even the New York Times worries about the damage California does to the progressive brand. Bonus track: Cato’s Michael Tanner has a wishlist for California lawmakers. Music by Metalachi. Follow Us:@DavidBahnsen@WillSwaim@TheRadioFreeCA Show Notes:Inside Ivy Getty’s fantasy wedding weekend in San FranciscoAbout that lavish Getty wedding where Gavin Newsom returned to the spotlightGavin Newsom says kids asked him to stay home from UN conference to trick or treat As an employer, Sean Penn’s emotional outburst was dumb, but the NLRB’s response is dumberHow lagging vaccination rates could keep the Bay Area’s Black students out of schoolCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom proclaims natural gas zero-carbon‘I’m so shocked.’ New records reveal depth of probe into California Office of AIDS fraudTwitter: Cal teacher says she’ll teach whatever she wants because she can’t be firedSan Diego Shipyard targeted for ‘environmental racism’‘Constitutional Republic City’: Oroville City Council votes to declare COVID independenceNYT Video: Blue States, You’re the ProblemEzra Klein: California is making liberals squirmCato Institute: “Project on Poverty and Inequality in California”Contact Michael Tanner:

Nov 11

1 hr 25 min

San Francisco finds new and interesting ways to kill people and opportunities. Xavier Becerra takes California’s most lethal drug policies national on the Joe Biden Medicine Show. Your hosts also compare the Newsom recall with Glenn Youngkin’s big win in Virginia and consider Inglewood High School’s 106-0 football victory over Morningside. Music by Metalachi.Contact:dbahnsen@thebahnsengroup.comwill@calpolicycenter.orgFollow Us:@DavidBahnsen@WillSwaim@TheRadioFreeCAShow Notes: 'How the country is going to move': Harris bids to nationalize governor's race at McAuliffe rallyVP Kamala Harris touts 'great wins' in deep blue areas after bad night for DemocratsEven in San Francisco, progressives are seeing a backlashSan Francisco housing project for homeless rejectedOverdose deaths are so high that the Biden team is embracing ideas once seen as tabooNewsom glosses over California’s sluggish recoveryWhy didn’t California’s unemployment office heed past audits? Because real efficiency means fewer union jobs.California is the supply chain’s weakest linkLA City Council approves fines for slow container movement at Port of LACalifornia has too much solar power‘It was a classless move,’ Morningside coach says of Inglewood scoring 106 points

Nov 5

45 min 12 sec

In this special Halloween edition of RFC, David and Will consider the materialization of Psychomagnotheric Slime throughout California politics — why good-government reforms die young, why a state-run bank would be horror show, why transformative union leaders find themselves without power, why VP Kamala Harris wants to make it easier for unions to control federal government employees, why Governor Gavin Newsom saved one special group from vaccine mandates, and many more creepy stories. Music by Metalachi.Contact:dbahnsen@thebahnsengroup.comwill@calpolicycenter.orgFollow Us:@DavidBahnsen@WillSwaim@TheRadioFreeCAShow Notes:Cato’s Project on Poverty and Inequality in CaliforniaState lawmaker calls for ban on live ammunition and real guns on California movie setsA public bank would be bad for CaliforniansGarland defends DOJ memo despite NSBA letter being withdrawnWill Swaim: Garland’s attempts to silence parents nothing new for CaliforniansUS Commission on Civil Rights to Garland: You’re outta line when you threaten parents CSBA letter to NewsomCalifornia union moves to strip Local 1000 president of powers. He calls vote illegitimateLeader of California’s largest union resigns amid tax fraud, embezzlement chargesSEIU’s dirty little secretGavin Newsom, who said Democrats should ‘lean into’ vaccine mandates, asks court to halt one — for wealthy backerNewsom signs bill to provide health insurance to striking government workers VP Harris unveils steps to boost unionzation of federal workersHooray for Terry McAuliffe and abortionKamala Harris’ campaign ad for Terry McAuliffe jeopardizes churches’ nonprofit status, say expertsSan Francisco has become a shoplifter’s paradiseIconic Target store on Mission Street to close amid shoplifting tidal waveCalifornia families hire private security as crime tsunami overwhelms local policeBay Area’s In-N-Out fanboying should have ended long before vaccine newsTwo SF prosecutors quit, join effort to recall District Attorney Chesa BoudinRobert Kaufman: The mob that canceled Junipero Serra will soon devour everyone

Oct 28

1 hr 5 min

Netflix execs handle/mishandle an employee walkout over the streaming service’s latest Chappelle special. In-N-Out tells San Francisco no, its employees won’t play the role of “vaccination police.” Elon Musk says he moved Tesla HQ to Texas in part because of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s tweet in which she swore at him. President Biden shows how little his administration understands California’s mismanagement of the nation’s largest ports. Bonus: The return of Kamala’s Korner! Music by Metalachi.Contact:dbahnsen@thebahnsengroup.comwill@calpolicycenter.orgFollow Us:@DavidBahnsen@WillSwaim@TheRadioFreeCAShow Notes:Babylon Bee: If you want to sell men feminine hygiene products, do it with pictures of monster trucks and pro wrestlersIn-N-Out defies San Francisco vaccine mandate: ‘We refuse to become the vaccination police’Tesla HQ from Palo Alto to TexasTesla’s Elon Musk suggests Texas HQ move inspired by tweet from California DemocratTrans Netflix employees will stage walkout to protest controversial Chappelle specialBari Weiss: We got here because of cowardice. We get out with courage.Kamala Harris ripped for ‘climate crisis’ messaging after Air Force Two jauntBiden tries to tame inflation by having LA port open 24/7Unions have made supply chain problems worseMore on California’s dumb truck regs and impact on portsMetalachi live shows

Oct 21

44 min 22 sec

Government mismanagement of California’s forests is making Americans everywhere sick. San Francisco is killing its black residents. Gavin Newsom makes mail-in ballots permanent, hands over Manhattan Beach property he says was stolen from its black owners in 1924, signs off on ethnic studies requirements for high schoolers, bans stealthing, and says we’re ready for a state-run bank.

Oct 14

1 hr 11 min

The Southern California oil spill reveals the immediate need to drill on land. U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland pours gasoline on the fire of public debate around masks, vaccines, and racial reckoning in the nation’s public schools. L.A. will require vaccination proof for all indoor spaces. A UCLA business prof suspended for “racism” fights back. Activists target a San Jose State anthropologist for her study of Native American remains, and school administrators surrender. Music by Metalachi. Contact: Follow Us: @DavidBahnsen @WillSwaim @TheRadioFreeCA Show Notes: Garcetti signs COVID vaccine mandate for indoor spaces starting Nov. 29 Oil spill hits Huntington, Newport, Laguna beaches Garland taps FBI in response to ‘disturbing spike’ in threats against educators Why I am suing UCLA San Jose State: Professor smiling with Native American skull ignites fiery debate A California park’s name, rooted in racist history, is permanently changed

Oct 7

37 min 3 sec

Governor Newsom uses communities incinerated by wildfire to promote climate-change policies that will do little to mitigate the impact of decades of bad forest management, and then says he’ll make California a destination for abortion tourists. And we’ve got questions — like what does Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) know about running an Amazon warehouse? Does Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’s gender matter? And what do Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters and Alejandro Mayorkas have in common? Bonus track: Will talks with California Policy Center data analyst Brandon Ristoff about the truth behind the California Exodus. Music by Metalachi. Contact: Follow Us: @DavidBahnsen @WillSwaim @TheRadioFreeCA Show Notes: ‘I’m ready’: Rep. Karen Bass makes run for Los Angeles mayor official Bass’s police union bill undermines Dems’ commitment to reform Maxine Waters: Border agents ‘whipping’ migrants ‘worse than what we saw with slavery’ Kamala Harris says footage of Border Patrol evokes images of ‘slavery’ Gov. Newsom signs $15 billion climate, wildfire package at Sequoia National Park Newsom’s office ‘micromanaged’ PG&E’s independent state regulators As lawmakers indefinitely postpone wildfire oversight hearing, internal emails reveal Cal Fire chief ordered key doc pulled from internet Newsom signs bills allowing children to hide sex operations and abortions from parents Newsom signs law requiring California warehouses to disclose quotas, provide bathroom breaks Does Elizabeth Holmes’s gender matter? Brandon Ristoff’s “Book of California Exoduses” Email Brandon Ristoff at

Sep 28

1 hr 20 min

San Francisco mayor London Breed says she had to dance maskless in a nightclub, and blames the “fun police” for documenting the moment. How Newsom explains his recall win. L.A. County kills oil drilling (to kill working-class jobs). California liquor licenses remain a prerogative of the rich (because the poor shouldn’t drink). Newsom signs bills to end single-family zoning. Bonus: The only sitting U.S. senator to die in a duel was the California abolitionist David Broderick. Music by Metalachi. Contact: Follow Us: @DavidBahnsen @WillSwaim @TheRadioFreeCA Show Notes: The Broderick–Terry duel My going maskless is different, says SF mayor, because “I was feeling the spirit!” “Let’s get down” (the London Breed dance mix) Newsom: Recall win shows Dems should ‘stiffen our spines’ on Covid action Newsom will remain California’s governor. Poor guy. Elder says no fraud in election L.A. County takes first steps to end urban oil drilling Liquor-license rules are crippling restaurants at the worst possible time Crony capitalism: State probes county’s sale of Coliseum site share to Oakland A’s Newsom backs denser zoning for single-family neighborhoods Land-use bill promotes freedom and property rights

Sep 22

1 hr 2 min