For our 200th podcast, we assembled all four Power Line Beatles, John, Paul, George and Ringo Steve and Scott, to kick around various current topics, including Steve’s own experience with cancel culture, the state of the presidential race, whether the United States might actually break up after this election regardless of who wins, and above all some reflections on 18 years of Power Line, where we have (according to our site meter) posted over 57,000 items.

This special episode is a crossover event, edited down from a live VIP chat session held late in the week, in which we took audience questions. So once you’d paid your Ricochet monthly dues, you should consider becoming a Power Line VIP subscriber, too. You not only get ad-free access to the site, but invitations to participate in special events and occasional premium content.

On Wednesday, “The Beatles” (John, Paul, George and Ringo Scott, and Steve) got together for a live online VIP chat session, covering everything from the riot scene, the fall election, statue-tipping, The NASCARash, and other sports. A lot of VIP members who couldn’t make the show asked if we’d make available a recording, and we decided to make a highlight reel into a podcast and offer it to the public. If you’re a VIP member, we thank you, and if you’re not, here’s a sample of the live, interactive meetup you can participate in for just a few dollars a month.

I edited the show down by more than a third, cutting out not merely redundancies, but an interminable reminiscence of the Minnesota Twins move from DC to Minnesota back in the ancient of times. Some other episode perhaps.

Our final episode of 2019 brings together the entire Power Line gang—John, Paul, Scott, and Steve, along with “Ammo Grrll” Susan Vass—for a look at the current scene and a look ahead to next year. Consisting of excerpts from a recent Power Line VIP member live video chat, John Hinderaker hosts as we review the farce of impeachment, the state of the Democratic nomination contest (including how big a buffoon Joe Biden is), what blue states might actually be in play for Trump (including even Minnesota?!?!), along with a detour into the confused Israeli political scene, and culminating in a constructive proposal from Susan for replacing “The View” on ABC with a show a sane person might actually want to watch. Happy new year, and best wishes from the Power Line crew.

Justine Damond

Scott Johnson has been covering the trial of Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was charged in the fatal 2017 shooting of Justine Damond. This afternoon the jury returned a guilty verdict on the counts of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. This trial has been closely watched because of the suspicion that officer Noor was accredited as a police officer for political reasons—a potential aspect of the story that did not come out in the criminal trial, but may yet emerge in the civil suit Damond’s family has pending against the city of Minneapolis.

Getting Power Line’s own “fab four” (John, PaulGeorge and Ringo, Scott and Steve) together at once is almost as hard as getting The Beatles back together, even though all of the Power Line Fab Four are still living. But we did better than that: For our special year-end wrap-up and prediction show, we also assembled “Yoko Ono” (Susan Vass, aka “Ammo Grrrll”) and “Brian Epstein” (aka, Joe Malchow, who really is our Supremo Producer). We reviewed a few loose ends from the political news of 2018, talked about the politics of Silicon Valley, and made predictions for 2019, which hopefully no one will write down because they will surely be wrong, as most predictions are. Ignore the argument at the end between Steve and Joe about which California appellation produces the best red wines. Joe is wrong.

Scott Johnson joins host Steve Hayward this week for a podcast book party celebrating the launch of a collection of columns from “Ammo Grrrll,” Power Line’s Friday morning humor writer, Susan Vass. Ammo Grrrll Hits the Target is a collection of the first year of Susan’s Power Line columns, which have become a hit with readers. Susan is a retired stand-up comic, and this episode talks about the terrifying world of comedy club performances, where “you either kill or you die,” as Ammo Grrrll puts it; why comics are the most needy performance artists—even more than singers (though she explains why “all singers are chick singers”), and how she got the nickname “Ammo Grrrll” in the first place. She also explains the difference between her previous home in Minnesota, which is “snarky nice,” and her current home of Arizona, where people are truly more polite because more Arizonans are armed. We celebrate some of her best columns on weight loss and sex, because of course we do.

Only Paul Mirengoff’s vacation to Europe this week kept the entire Power Line crew from assembling to kick around a few loose ends of the Kavanaugh saga. John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson joined Steve Hayward to analyze the prospects for the FBI investigation this week, the likely outcome at the end of it, and how it may affect the election only a month away. Scott and John also have kept a close eye on Keith Ellison’s run for attorney general in Minnesota, observing that the abuse allegations against him are the least of his problems.

“Darkest Hour,” the new Churchill biopic that comes out in general release this week, has generated some controversy about its accuracy and depiction of Churchill in the crucial weeks of May 1940. Steven Hayward, who liked the film, and Scott Johnson, who disliked it, argue it over and break it down for us, and end with a list of Churchill books everyone should read.

Tonight, John, Scott and Steve got together to talk about the strangest political season of modern times. Questions abound: Does Trump still have a chance? Will tomorrow night’s debate matter? Will the Hillary Clinton scandals that have come out recently give Trump a shot in the campaign’s waning days? How about the Senate? Can the Republicans hold it? If Hillary wins and the Senate is 50/50, will control of the Senate depend on a special election in Virginia? What about the House? Is there a danger that the Democrats could retake the House as well as the Senate? And, finally, if Hillary wins following a virtually issues-free campaign, will she have a mandate to govern? Or will she be a lame duck from the day of her inauguration?

The episode winds up with an interview with Senator Ron Johnson, the man standing in the way of Russ Feingold’s return to the Senate. The interview should be more than enough to convince you to go here and contribute to Johnson’s campaign.

This edition of the Power Line Show offers our quick reacts to the opening of the fractious Democratic National Convention, Scott’s bonding with Charlie Rangel at a Trump health spa in Florida (!!), and our interview with Yuval Levin, author of Our Fractured Republic.

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In their first episode, John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff, and Steven Hayward are joined by Michael Barone to dissect the numbers behind the GOP’s historic election. Is President Barack Obama the gift that going to keep on giving to Republicans?