The idea for this episode was born on Twitter. Someone wondered if Charles Murray would be willing to do a podcast with journalist Steve Sailer, who, like Charles, is willing to confront openly the most delicate aspects of race and class in America—and gets the same treatment from liberals everywhere: complete demonization.

I offered to host, and Charles and Steve, who have never met, agreed.

This week Lucretia really takes it to Steve for his advanced case of DMLAS (Deficient Meat Loaf Awareness Syndrome—and we’re not talking the baked dish here), which surely must make the next edition of the DSM.

But from there we quickly pivot to a recap and demolition of the highlights of this week’s news, starting with Biden’s disastrous press conference, but moving quickly to the heart of the matter—that Biden’s errors stem from the luminous lightweights he listens to that have appealed to his narcissism. (Yes, we’re pointing at you, Jon Meacham! Meacham is reported to be the person who wrote Biden’s appalling lines about how everyone who doesn’t agree with him is Bull Connor.)

Both Steve and Lucretia get through three different whiskys each in this gala episode, recorded with a live audience on Zoom, celebrating the Biden-Harris administration’s worst week in office yet, though as the noted political analyst Homer Simpson might say, “their worst week—so far.”

It took Jimmy Carter three years to hit bottom in the summer of 1979, when even The New Republic declared that he had “packed it in” with his pathetic performance in the “malaise” speech. It’s only taken Biden one year to sink to Carter-levels of incompetence and public disapproval. At least he had a plausible Vice President, even if he was a bit dull (get it—Walter Mondull, as Rush used to call him). Mondale, by the way, considered resigning in July of 1979 he was so distraught at Carter’s collapse. Sadly we have no such hope that our current Vice President might consider the same step.

Dr. Roy Spencer of NASA and the University of Alabama at Huntsville is one of the nation’s most accomplished climate scientists, having won awards for his work developing the satellite monitoring system that provides some of the best weather and climate trend data available. But because he is modest about what climate science actually knows about the future, he dissents from the extreme apocalypse scenarios beloved of the doomsayers of environmental religion.

Google has recently demonetized his website, Dr.RoySpencer.com, claiming that his site makes “unreliable and harmful claims” about climate, but without offering a single specific instance. It is another clear-cut case of ideological censorship by big tech. I decided to catch up with Roy to see whether Google has offered any explanation, and also to ask for his latest perspective on recent climate science assessments. (Not to be missed his is fine book Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor.)

We open this first episode of the 3WHH of 2022 with the existential question: why is Lucretia so mean to Steve? Actually she has a really good reason, but you have to get all the way to the end for the reward—or is it a redemption? (Steve attempts to mellow Lucretia with a Snickers Bar of an op-ed in the middle, with some success.)

In any case, we try to offer some original and comparative perspective on the relentless leftist narrative about January 6, which somehow reminds Steve of . . . climate change. (You’ll just have to listen to learn the parallel, but it works!)

With today’s leftist Ahab-like obsession with the “insurrection” of January 6, it seems like as good a time as any to post the lecture I gave last summer in Budapest (cue scary Dracula music here) last summer on “What’s Going on in America?”  My summary answer: America is having a nervous breakdown. Slightly longer summary: we’ve seen this before in many ways, and sometimes worse, such as in the 1960s.

However, some things about the present moment are much more ominous than in the 1960s, such as how leftist postmodern dogma, which is indistinguishable from nihilism, has settled at the core of nearly all of America’s institutions, including big business and the churches. Recovery from this will be more difficult than it was in the 1970s and 1980s.

For what turns out to be the 300th Power Line podcast as well as the last episode of 2021, we decided to revert to full three-whisky mode with a live audience on Zoom, and an extended conversation with historian Richard Samuelson about the left’s distorted and impoverished understanding of democracy. Steve had his usual Islay peat bombs and Lucretia polished off a bottle of Glenfiddich, while Richard, who is under quarantine with an actual case of the Omigod variant, had a soothing toddy.

In between recalling what the Founders thought about democracy (and especially John Adams’s contributions, since Richard is an Adams expert), Steve offered up his lexicon of what certain terms mean for liberals:

Today’s episode offers up our picks for losers and winners of the year. I won’t spill them here—you’ll just have to listen to find out—but they do fall within the obvious range, though Steve’s winner of the year provides the pivot for answering a listener question about energy. Plus we offer yet another new “Let’s Go Brandon” exit music tune—this one from ab ad hoc country group strangely named “FJB.” I wonder if those are the initials of the individual singing artists?

Today’s minicast takes in the observation of an unlikely source—Nate Silver—about how our politicized “public health” establishment worked assiduously to delay the approval of COVID vaccines last year until after the election so as to help defeat Trump, even though this delay might have cost many thousands of lives.

The historical record notes that George Washington used to include ample supplies of whisky to distribute to voters and campaign workers in the elections of the 1790s, so the subject of election integrity is perfect for this week’s one-off Whisky Shot casts.

Steve and Lucretia review what is gradually coming into sharper focus: the very targeted intervention of nearly $500 million from Mark Zuckerberg decisively swung the election to Joe Biden. Changes in voting rules because of COVID helped, but without the supercharged efforts funded by Zuckerberg through left-wing groups maximizing turnout in key Democratic urban strongholds it is more likely than not that Trump would have been re-elected.

The week after Christmas is the interregnum where we attempt to resume a more moderate level of eating and drinking before the football-anchored binge of New Year’s Eve, and so instead of one three-whisky podcast, Lucretia and I decided—for this week only—to do a short, daily single-shot whiskycast, focusing on just one topic for just 20 minutes or so. So you can binge-listen, even if you can’t binge-drink. We try to be equally intoxicating.

Today’s episode takes up an academic question raised by a listener about a stray comment of Steve’s about how the twain shall never meet between philosophy and political philosophy.

Okay, this episode, intended as a respite from all-issues-all-the-time for the holiday week, also doubles as pure James Lileks bait. Back when Ken Green and I were resident scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, lunchtime conversation often turned to science fiction, and especially our favorite hobby horse—how much we both hated “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” TOS is the only Trek worthy of honor! And William Shatner’s voyage into space this year proves that, as Ken puts it, “Shatner wins!”

But we also branch out beyond the Trek world to talk of other science fiction adaptations, including whether Dune is filmable at all, whether Fox TV might have actually done us a favor by canceling the great Firefly before Joss Whedon could screw it up with his political correctness, why Babylon 5 and Eureka are the best sci-fi shows  most people missed, why Steve thinks The Expanse will not age well, along with the two big questions: DC versus Marvel, and why do libertarians tend to be such huge sci-fi fans in the first place.

We do take a few minutes to look at some recent developments in the world of climate change (speaking of science fiction), as Ken was once an official reviewer for the IPCC on its climate science reports. Plus, you’ll also learn a quick hack for instantly identifying a TV show or movie that has been filmed in Canada. News you can use! And happy holidays.

For what may be our last episode of the year (since next weekend in Christmas),Steve is quaffing Bunnahabhain for this week’s peaty Islay whisky, mostly in the vain hope that “Bunnahabhain” could be added to the National Spelling Bee, just for grins and giggles. But after the usual whisky reviews and insults, we get down to business with special guest “Adam Mill,” whose fine work you can take in regularly at American Greatness. “Adam Mill” is a pseudonym for a lawyer based in the midwest who, like our own “Lucretia,” needs to preserve a modicum of anonymity against the Bureau of Cancellations. He took the name from Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, which means that not only is the Three Whisky Happy Hour the only podcast with two pseudonymous contributors, but with “Lucretia,” the only podcast that combines ancient and modern pseudonyms.

Since it’s the holiday season, we decided to review a few of the key stories of 2021 (chiefly January 6 and its bizarre and infuriating aftermath, and the palpable collapse of the Biden presidency in its first year), and then “Adam Mill’s” predictions for 2022.

This week’s episode is going up a day early as we had to call Happy Hour for Thursday evening on account of scheduling problems, and Steve and Lucretia welcome to the bar the noted Bourbon drinker and McRibb connoisseur John Yoo. (He’s also apparently a law professor somewhere.)

We review a few of the tea leaves from last week’s Supreme Court oral argument in the Dobbs case, but use this momentous case to talk more broadly about the whole problem of stare decisis (“let the decision stand”) in our jurisprudence. Along the way we entertain some seriously heterodox views, such as the proposition that Brown v. Board of Education never actually overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson. It it has done so, we wouldn’t have the messy regime of quotas and affirmative action today.

This special end-of-semester episode features Steve and Lucretia  reflecting on the latest academic hoax that Steve highlighted earlier in the week on Power Line (here and here), and which may have contributed to Higher Education Quarterly having to retract the fake article on how “right wing money” is supposedly pushing colleges and universities to the right and intimidating faculty and administrators. The study was so ludicrous that only a liberal (and apparently the academic “peer reviewers” who signed off on the article) could have believed it.

This opens up a wider window into the question of why leftists—especially on campus—are such miserable, unhappy, and intolerant people, and why they behave tyrannically, increasingly turning our campuses into Stasi-like institutions worthy of East Germany. (Just this week, Columbia University put out a video, posted below, calling on students and staff to “report” people who use incorrect pronouns because of the “harm” and threat to safety such unpure speech acts represent. Suggestion: Why don’t we simply just call everyone “comrade” and solve everything at once.) The answer requires taking seriously the nihilism of the modern left which cannot tolerate any disagreement or challenge to their position because it threatens their very being, while conventional or moderate liberals have been swept too far by the premises of supposedly progressivism to offer effective resistance to the extreme left. Warning: Expect cameo appearances from Harry Neumann and Harry Jaffa along the way!

As Monty Python used to say, “And now for something completely different.” I decided to do a one-off episode about my favorite topic with which to annoy anyone of taste and refinement—a reflection on prog rock, which Jody Bottum once aptly described as “rock and roll gone to college.” It turns out that 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of some of the classic albums from the golden age of Prog Rock, include “Fragile” and “The Yes Album,” Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung,” “Nursery Crime” from Genesis, and “Acquiring the Taste” from Gentle Giant.

Steve Hackett

Back in the sixties Ronald Reagan liked to quip, “A liberal’s idea of being tough on crime is giving longer suspended sentences.” Today’s liberals don’t even bother with lenient sentences; instead, in our current “defund the police, empty the prisons” mania, they don’t even bother charging many crimes or applying significant bail, as we saw in Wisconsin a few days ago.

This week Steve and Lucretia decided to go back to the classics on this issue: James Q. Wilson, Edward Banfield, Heather Mac Donald, and . . . Aristotle (because of course everything needs to go back to Aristotle whenever you can), though Lucretia offers a zesty side dish of modern social contract theory. (Short version: When it comes to crime, “Government—you had one job!”)

This week’s review of the news begins with the two huge stories that broke Friday—the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse (which is causing grief counselors for leftists to work overtime again), and the House passage of Biden’s so-called “Build Back Better” spendathon.  The latter story may seem like a Biden/Democrat triumph, but in fact a closer look shows that this may come to be seen as the week when the wobbly wheels of the Biden administration began to come off completely.

Lucretia and Steve review the whole scene, starting with the reaction to the Rittenhouse acquittal, but then moving to Steve’s theory about what the civil war inside the White House over Kamala Harris really means, and the warning signs all of this should be sending to Democrats. As Thomas Byrne Edsall advised in the New York Times, Democrats shouldn’t panic right now—they should be “going into shock.” (Ditto from Ruy Teixiera—another rare progressive who gets it.)

Steve actually turned up for this week’s show with three different whiskys in hand (Finlaggan, Lagavulin 8, and Bunnahabhain 12—in other words, Islay All the Way!), along with a sampling of the worst-reviewed whiskys ever, though these reviews pale in comparison to the reviews this episode’s panel gives to Democrats just now.

Historian Richard Samuelson joined Steve and Lucretia for this week’s show—which was recorded on Veterans Day with alive audience on Zoom, a day earlier than normal—to go over an all new, 21st Century Democratic Misery Index, the most outrageous part of the farcical “infrastructure week,” the strange reactions to the news of the founding of the University of Austin, and the new malicious deceptions of the New York Times‘ 1619 Project.

We also range over the strange news that some dunderheads in Britain actually think it is news that John Locke read Thomas Hobbes, the Rittenhouse trial, Kamala in Paris, and at the last, the results of a viewer poll intended to settle the Steve-Lucretia feud about peaty whisky, where Steve’s peat bombs narrowly edged Lucretia’s Highland style by less than 2 percent. But there are allegations of voting irregularities, so there may need to be a recount.

This week’s edition of the Three Whisky VERY Happy Hour revels in schadenfreude over the spectacle of the left freaking out over the election results on Tuesday. As political philosophers we try to go beyond the usual political punditry to get at the heart of the matter, explaining why the left’s dime-store Hegelian historicism (“the side of history”) that informs their moral smugness makes it necessary to charge that the only reason they lost was that Americans are irredeemably racist. Keep it up Dems: I’m sure you can lose even more votes next time with that line.

The episode is extra long, but there was so much to celebrate that even Lucretia’s normally coal-black soul was brighter than usual (“I only wore black once this week,” she admits). In addition to the election results, we also have some quick examinations of the latest COVID news, especially the madness of the employee vaccine mandate that is certain to backfire, the feeble results of the COP 26 climate hootenanny, some cautions about falling for a possible bait-and-switch in the Biden “Build Back Better” plan still bouncing around the House now that the “infrastructure” bill has passed (hint: it’s not about the spending—it’s about raising taxes), the final straw in cancel culture, and a few observations what special counsel Durham’s arrest of Igor Danchenko, who sounds like a minor character out of Rocky & Bullwinkle. And of course some new whisky reviews!