The 20th anniversary is known as the “China anniversary,” and can you still use that if your predominant mode is breaking China? In any case, the Power Line crew assembled for a live (by Zoom) VIP webcast this week that featured a rare appearance by our technical director Joe Malchow, who is usually our behind-the-screen Wizard of Oz figure.

Among other things, Joe shared a sacred relic, a signed copy of Tom Wolfe’s last novel, as it turned out Wolfe was an occasional Power Line reader. We decided after the hour was over that our general readership might enjoy the conversation (though everyone should still sign up to be a Power Line VIP member—new premium VIP content coming soon!).

A lot has changed in 20 years, from the technical aspects of websites which saw Power Line early on coping with the problem of site crashes from sudden surges of traffic (we were one of the first to figure out how to cope with that), to changes in the format and character of the online media world. We still have “blog” in our title because of the difficulties of changing domain names. The term has become archaic, but like ’57 Chevys, maybe it will come back into fashion again. We also review a number of milestones along the way—no, not that one, because we’ve told that story too many times by now, instead focusing on more recent topics, such as why Scott Johnson’s picture is on a dartboard in the employee break room at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Owing partly to travel schedules that prevent our normal and proper Friday evening happy hour to debrief the week, combined with the shocking leak of the prospective Supreme Court opinion in the Dobbs case, we decided to declare a special mid-week happy hour with Scott and John joining in the libations, along with a special guest, the noted Whisky-McRibb pairing expert, John Yoo, coming to us from outside his favorite squash court in San Francisco—all recorded before a live audience on Zoom (and thank you to everyone who tuned in).

We begin by revisiting several predictions we made about the Dobbs case in our podcast of December 10, where we not only nailed the dynamic of the likely decision based on how the oral argument went, but also discussed the probability that the opinion would leak, in an unprecedented attempt to blow up trust and public esteem for the Supreme Court. In fact, as the show notes for that episode record:

We also speculate on whether there might actually be leaks from somewhere inside the Court ahead of the decision—something that rarely or never happens—because the liberal justices are desperate to do anything to derail an overturning of Roe (which, Steve argued to John, is the “McRibb sandwich of modern jurisprudence: a compressed confection of offal cuts slathered with sauce to disguise its true awfulness”).