Good grief! “Lucretia” and I take a week off, and everything goes to hell. Minneapolis starts rioting again, and Democrats in Washington start their own riot over court-packing. Meanwhile, the officer who mistook her service revolver for a taser and shot Daunte Wright was publicly identified within 48 hours (Kim Potter), lost her job, and now faces criminal charges, while we have passed Day 100 since Ashli Babbit was shot in the U.S. Capitol on January 6 without learning the identity of the person who fired on her. Although the DC Coroner ruled that Babbit’s cause of death was a homicide, the Justice Department says no charges will be filed, and our supine media seems to have forgotten their own question about “the public’s right to know.” Strange times.

Anyway, we look at the riot question through the lens of Edward Banfield’s classic chapter in The Unheavenly City, “Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit,” and end this episode with the suggestion that classic rock may yet save us all.

Winston Churchill wrote that “No two cities have counted more with mankind than Athens and Jerusalem. Their messages in religion, philosophy, and art have been the main guiding lights of modern faith and culture.” For Easter and Passover Steve and Lucretia decided to take up the Jerusalem side of this theme with the help of a forgotten figure who was a major influence on the young Churchill—the American politician Bourke Cochran. In particular, in a 1910 speech Cochran, a Catholic, gave a marvelous synoptic account of how Christianity planted the seed of modern democratic equality.

From there we wander off into territory best described in Mark Twain’s famous line, “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” In this case, Steve takes note of several recent articles about Michel Foucault, the ur-philosopher of the post-modern left, and wonders whether we might have misread him, or whether there might be some mischief to be made by noting some aspects of Foucault that the left ignores or overlooks. (This is the case made by partially by Blake Smith at im1776.) Plus, is Foucault perhaps the left’s biggest mistake?  It will likely not surprise listeners to learn that Lucretia is . . . not persuaded.

Finally, we review some new whiskies, update our magic number for “Who Shot Ashli Babbit” and look back at the unjust persecution of Scooter Libby as an example of how long the truth can be suppressed, ponder the apparently infinite stupidity of Boston University honors graduate AOC, and then wonder about what President Biden’s misbehaving dog says about him.

Last night we had one of our special live Zoom events for Power Line VIP subscribers, but a gremlin seems to have prevented many VIPs from getting timely notice of the link to the event. So we decided to post up the audio of the event for VIPs who didn’t get a link or who were unable to join us for whatever reason–and for any curious listeners who want to hear what they’re missing!

Scott was under the weather, so “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery (and somehow “America’s Sweetheart” to some whisky-drinking regulars) took Scott’s place on short notice, as we survey several topics, from the Chauvin trial, the chaos and crisis at the souther border, the rigor mortis of (P)resident Biden, and several other topics, as well as taking listener questions.

So we’re a day late getting this episode ready because we went on location, and recorded live in a real bar, located in an undisclosed location in the Free State of Texas. Here as we do show prep I’m having a glass of Oban 14, and Lucretia is having some Glenlivet, and for our recording segment I switched to one of her favorites, MacCallan 18, which, I had to admit, I liked a fair bit, even if it isn’t a peaty Islay malt. Score another win for Lucretia I suppose, though by now isn’t this getting monotonous?

Helen Andrews

In honor of “President” Biden’s attempt to imitate Chevy Chase imitating Gerald Ford on the steps of Air Farce One, this week’s episode launches with some appropriate custom bumper music (the headline should give you a clue), and then “Lucretia” and I resume arguing whether our format should put metaphysics ahead of malts—in other words, business before pleasure—or whether whisky malts are metaphysical, rightly understood.

We don’t—and won’t ever—resolve this existential problem, but we do take a break from deep texts and new subjects to address some questions and objections to last week’s show, not from our enemies, but from some of our friends like historian Fred Siegel and the late, great Sir Roger Scruton. Just what is the relationship between historical context and changes in human consciousness and the generation of new ideas? Truth may not be time-bound, but new insights and the new circumstances that give rise to them do happen in time. So the role of history can’t be ignored completely.

So for this episode “Lucretia” and I were going to discuss, and ask for audience input on, whether we should change the name of our format to “Cocktails Against Communism,” but owing to some technical glitches that we seamlessly fixed over an extra glass of single malt so that you won’t even be able to guess where the patches are, we completely forgot! Maybe next week.

In the meantime, we decided to take up some listener suggestions that we flip the usual format and go straight into our weekly classroom seminar on political thought, and save the whisky banter and comments on news of the week for the end. Some people said they thought we’d be more lucid if we proceeded with a lower blood-whisky level, while other self-effacing listeners said that, as they drink whisky vicarously with us every week, they lose their own capacity by the time the seminar segment rolls around.

This episode rolls out our new motto for the 3WHH format—”The podcast dedicated to meta-malts and metaphysics!” “Lucretia” isn’t so sure, but we’ll roll with that until we change to a sports-talk format, which will happen on the 4th of Never.

Anyway, after reviewing a surprisingly busy week in important whisky news, we introduce three new short regular segments: the Magic Numbers; “Circleback Mountain,”* and “What’s My Beef?” (Mine is the promiscuous overuse of “paradigm shift,” and Lucretia is spitting mad about the Dr. Seuss travesty.)

This week has something for everybody, as our three segments (we actually stick to format this week!) range from Mr. Potato Head (now Zir Potatx Head apparently) to Winston Churchill, with a detour to throw some rotten tomatoes at Smith College, and then on to a sequel of sorts to last week’s seminar, in which we point out how today’s leftist racism is the direct descendant of the “scientific racism” of the Old Confederacy. And as a special bonus, we manage to work in some vintage humor from Jay Leno at the very very end.

And we do this while beta-testing custom Three Whisky Happy Hour glasses that we hope will be offered through a Power Line swag store at some point soon. These glasses are, as we note at the beginning, very heavy in design, and can double as a self-defense weapon.

First up, we celebrate a major literary achievement, the republication, for the first time in 120 years, of the unabridged edition of Winston Churchill’s third book, The River War, his account of the reconquest of the Sudan in 1898. We explain how Churchill actually withdrew and suppressed the original edition, and published a much shorter version that people have been reading ever since. But the original edition is a masterpiece (we explain why he suppressed his own book), containing especially some bracing statements about Islam, among other things. This masterfully restored two-volume edition( same as the original) comes with copious annotations from editor James Muller, and it even contains the fold-out maps of the very rare original edition (which has always been hard to find, and costs many thousands of dollars to buy even if you could find a copy). We share a couple of favorite passages, and then move on to. . .

This week we shake up the format a bit, and skip over our gratuitous whisky reviews and commentary on the top news stories of the week, and head straight in to the classroom for our long-postponed seminar on constitutional originalism, rightly understood. We do this by focusing in on four “mystery passages” about constitutional interpretation from prominent jurists, and ponder what are some obvious difficulties with these statements. Audiences are usually surprised at the big “reveal” of who said each of the four statements.

Bottom line: jurists need to think a lot harder about some basic questions of political philosophy. Curious listeners can find more background on the whole matter here and here, for starters.

Then at the end we save a few minutes to update last week’s news item about whether France is going to save America, and some personal reminiscences about Rush Limbaugh.

Well, we had planned to continue our tutorial on the natural law basis for genuine constitutional originalism, but we two professors reverted to form and didn’t prepare! And we’ve got standards, so we’re not going to fake it. Instead, we got distracted by the news of the week, including FranceFrance!—deploring the wokeness of American university culture and calling it a threat to French culture. Can it really be after all this time we actually might want France to invade America again?

And is there some kind of trial going on in Washington? We keep hearing rumors and whispers, but what’s really going on? We settle on the conclusion that the current impeachment is a perfect example of what Dan Boorstin called a “pseudo-event.”

Another week, another dismal article in The New Republic (a former magazine) to beat up. We promise not to make a habit of this, lest TNR get an anti-stalking injunction, but this week’s TNR howler, “Originalism Is Dead; Long Live Catholic Natural Law,” is so stupid that we had to smack it around as another stepping stone to our ongoing conversation about constitutional originalism. Key question: if Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Jefferson were placed in the same room together, would they understand and agree with each other? The left, mired in historicism, thinks not. Harry Jaffa knew better.

Speaking of Harry, I did look up the quote I paraphrased (badly) in last week’s episode on his 1991 warning that the end of the Cold War was going to make the left more dangerous. The full article is here, and here’s the concluding paragraph:

What episode offers you “spice that ramps up the palate, carried forward by the full body, hearty proof, and mouth-coating texture”? This edition of the Three Whisky Happy Hour, if the latest reviews of our choices in the Whisky Advocate are any indication. Alas, we remain unable to resolve our “peat-versus-sweet” single malt debate. In any case, we know the magazine is just a shill for Big Whisky, and we have some suggestions for a better periodical title.

Speaking of periodicals, Lucretia and I take aim at a lugubrious article in The New Republic (a former magazine) that reveals what’s really behind the left’s need to attack the 1776 Commission report, and by implication bolster the 1619 Project’s wrecking crew. As listeners know, the 1619 Project caught a lot of flack from major “mainstream” liberal historians like Sean Wilentz and Gordon Wood, so what does the left need to do? Destroy liberal historians. That’s what William Hogeland attempts in “Against the Consensus Approach to History.”

Almost exactly a year ago I had Spencer Case on the show from Wuhan, China, where he had a front row seat to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spencer is now back in Wuhan, finishing up a post-doc fellowship at Wuhan University, where he is working on two books and a pile of academic articles. Spencer has also started his own podcast, Micro-Digressions, and it is worth a listen if you have even a passing interest in philosophy.

In this episode we not only talk about Spencer’s ordeal getting out of China last year, but his ordeal getting back into China a few weeks ago, and what Wuhan is like today. From there we take a brief tour of heroes and villains among modern philosophers.

By popular demand from listeners, “Lucretia” takes over hosting duties this week and gives Steve another thrashing about election fraud issues. But along the way we review the extremely ominous first 72 hours of the the Harris-Biden Administration, and conclude that the Harris-Biden presidency is going to be several notches to the left of the Obama Administration.

On the never-ending question of the integrity of the November election, about which listeners weren’t convinced by last week’s episode with Henry Olsen, we discuss the statistical analysis of John Lott, whom Steve describes as a “level-six statistical regression ninja,” along with a respectful critique from three well-qualified political scientists. The statistical fine points are difficult for a layperson to follow, leaving us . . . right where we started: circumstantial evidence is like a smoke from a gun floating in the air with no one around—we don’t know who fired it, etc. Lucretia doesn’t let Steve off the hook on a single point, causing still more liver damage.

Settle in with your favorite single malt for this extra-long episode that offers a deep dive into the election results with Henry Olsen, the Trump-sympathetic analyst who concludes that Democrat voter fraud did not determine the outcome of the election. He fields a lot of fastballs and curveballs from me and “Lucretia” about why so many Americans can harbor reasonable doubts that the election was run fairly—about why this election seems, as I put it, “metaphysically wrong” and challenging to basic sense perception. Henry runs through a lot of numbers that are equally challenging for the Steal narrative. He agrees that the COVID-induced voting liberalization is problematic, and that we still need to get to the bottom of a lot of problems. And if we don’t, future elections will be even worse.

We also unveil on this episode the first “Attack Ad” of the Three Whisky Happy Hour campaign; you’ll just need to listen to hear who gets attacked first!

I was caught up short yesterday when I spotted, on the generally very pro-Trump American Greatness website, William B. Allen’s article entitled “Let Us Impeach Him.” It pays to read past the headline of this article, because the argument is not what you think: it’s not a “get-him-out-office-as-fast-as-we-can” manifesto. Rather, Prof. Allen argues that we should take our time and impeach Trump after he leaves office, thereby allowing scope for a full and complete public debate over the entirety of the Trump years—especially the bad faith of the Democrats and their corruption of our constitutional order.

This might not go as well for Democrats as you might think, and given that the left is going to be trying to use Trump’s ignomious end of his term against us for months and years to come, maybe the best strategy is to emulate King Theoden’s final counsel at the Battle of Helm’s Deep, and “ride out to meet them” head on. An impeachment battle might just provide the opportunity to turn the tables on the Democrats (and there are hints a few of them know it).

Lucretia and I decided to pour triple shots and host an open bar episode of our regular whisky-drenched dialogue with two special guests, Power Line co-founder John Hinderaker, and Charles Lipson, frequent contributor to The Spectator and other publications. Partly this is because Steve wanted some company in the weekly “getting-thrashed-by-Lucretia” moments. And also because we taped this episode with a live virtual Zoom audience of Power Line VIP members, which kind of made it an open mic edition.

Naturally there was only one topic: how to think about this disastrous week in Washington, and where do we go from here? Steve and Charles are critical of Trump, while John and Lucretia urge us not to look beyond the massive hypocrisy and bad faith of Democrats and the media (but we repeat ourselves). What messages and strategies ought conservatives—and the reeling Republican Party—adopt going forward? What does the political landscape look like now that the Democrats control the Senate? Do we really want to repose our fate into the hands of Joe Manchin?

For anyone looking for some welcome comic relief from the dreadful scene of this week, here is the episode for you!

M. Stanton Evans

We begin the New Year by examining three breaking news stories (to go with three shots of whisky, of course), all of which add up to the conclusion that the liberal learning curve is flat. First, Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler is finally starting to understand that Antifa is an anarchist group that you can’t reason with like a teenager. Second, Nancy Pelosi’s fancy home in San Francisco was vandalized by leftists, which seems redundant since the Speaker is quite skilled at political vandalism without outside help. And third, we compare and contrast political and media interest in two military-related scandals: the infamous “Tailhook” scandal of 30 years ago, and the news out just in the last few days that West Point is not going to enforce its honor code on 73 cadets who were caught cheating on an exam.

From there we introduce what is likely to be a series or a running segment for several weeks to come on “the vindication of Donald Trump.” Let’s just say “Lucretia” and extend our usual dispute about whether conventional Republicans are pathetic or merely seem to be.

This week’s whisky

In another wide ranging episode (our last for the year), “Lucretia” and I review the best and worst Christmas movies, the best and worst Christmas music, the rank order of the best Will Ferrell movies, whether blended whisky is ever acceptable, why Finnish rock music sounds like a whale being tortured, and whether we can deduct the cost of our whisky under the tax changes of the COVID relief and omnibus spending bill Congress just passed.