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.

This is without doubt The. Most. Gozno. Episode. Ever.

My sampler for the episode.
A suitable whisky for a foggy Saturday evening.

So there we were, armed with a fresh bottle of 10-year-old Ardbeg Islay whisky (not quite as peaty as Laphroaig or Talisker), and all set to plunge back into political philosophy again and escape yet another thrashing at the hands of Lucretia, but then the Supreme Court laid an egg, politicians acted stupidly again about COVID (in other words, as they usually act), and news came out about the further adventures of our favorite fictional professor, the archeologist Indiana Jones, giving rise to speculation about whether a film about the aging academic would include the by now obligatory Title IX complaint.

“Lucretia” and I had fully intended to work through our long-promised (or is it that threatened?) and now thrice-postponed seminar on the philosophical roots of leftist snobbishness and condescension, but we got diverted—strange that this keeps happening—by some notable campus news stories from last week. Naturally there were several stories of colleges disgracing themselves, capitulating to the student mob in the usual cowardly fashion (Haverford, Smith), but one university (yay Chicago!) showing how to tell the whiny mob to stuff it. So we ended up talking shop about the whole scene.

But wait—there’s more! The financial unsustainability of higher education is starting to show up in significant layoffs at last: employment is higher education institutions is down more than 10 percent since COVID hit, taking total college employment to a level not seen since before the housing crisis of 2008. Several universities are now starting to shrink core tenured core faculty positions, and closing down some liberal arts departments. But before you say “good riddance,” we note that the politicized departments of “gender studies” and such aren’t on the chopping block, and that we risk cutting down the tall trees and leaving the zoo animals unaffected.

At one point during the livecast recording of this week’s episode on Zoom, a commenter said the score was “Lucretia 6, Hayward 0,” so naturally I thought I was only behind by two field goals, and thus easy to make up in the 4th Quarter. But then the commenter clarified that he was using soccer scoring, which meant that I was getting crushed. “Ask Paul,” he added unnecessarily. Oh well.

What led to this ignominious rout? I foolishly tried to make the case that not all statistical anomalies (like the occasional clusters of twins born in small towns from time to time) are proof of something wrong, including voting, but Lucretia wasn’t having any of it, and to be sure while statistical anomalies may be just that, when you have several “anomalies” all trending in the same direction, pattern recognition takes over. But what are the legal remedies? It is not clear we can count on the courts to correct the counts.

At least the Supreme Court delivered one clear remedy for religious liberty this week, and our second whisky shot this week went beyond this ruling to talk a bit about the police power generally, and why many legal histories—but also Chief Justice John Roberts, alas—get this wrong.

After getting a review of new and unpronounceable whiskies out of the way (such as the one posted here) along with the miseries of the week just past that compel several drams of whisky, “Lucretia” and I had planned to talk about an obscure but profound essay from way back in 1973 that explores the serious philosophical roots of how today’s progressive left is best explained by the left’s formal commitment to snobbery. No really—we were! We had a whole seminar on “snobbish snobology” ready to go (is there a more fitting angle for single-malt whisky fanatics?), but we got diverted to—what else?—the election postgame show.

Among our questions and issues: What needs to be surveyed to make out a prima facia case of election fraud? And what kind of evidence is necessary to prove it? Given the low and continually falling trust in our leaders and institutions, is it any wonder that people (including apparently one-third of Democrats according to one poll) don’t think this election was on the up-and-up? We kick around the possibilities, and then ask our listeners: would you like us to do a live taping of the podcast next week? We could have a virtual happy hour under the new lockdown, though of course you’d have to bring your own whisky. Let us know.

Charles Lipson

Can American democracy walk and chew bubble gum at the same time? Charles Lipson thinks so, arguing in the Wall Street Journal today that normal transition activities can and should take place even as President Trump pursues his legal challenges to the election results. Lipson, professor emeritus of Political Science at the University of Chicago, is no shrinking violet when it comes to thrashing the left; he’s been arguing for months that the FBI attempted coup against President Trump is the biggest scandal in American history, nonetheless thinks that proceeding with a normal transition process will “show that amid deep political division, we can rely on constitutional norms, procedures and institutions.”

This week Steve and “Lucretia” survey the dismal scene of uphill recount prospects (and why game theory says Trump should fight on even past January 20), the impending COVID tyranny (“Lockdown II: This Time It’s Personal!”), and the latest social science nonsense, and decide the only sensible thing to do is pour another whisky and contemplate whether the long-term “Trump dividend” will offer a better return than the 30-year Treasury, or the “soft power dividend” that looks to be coming back under a prospective Biden Administration.

Among other highlights is Steve’s prediction of how and why Trump will haunt the waking dreams of liberals for at least the next 50 years, and Lucretia’s skepticism that Republicans have learned the right lessons from the Trump Show. And yes, the prospective change of scene means the Power Line Show may need to adopt a new tag line. Listen to the end to hear why, and what we’ll change to.

Hoo boy! I’m not sure three whiskies are enough this week. Fortunately I procured a relatively cheap Islay single malt—Finlaggan—to get me through the travails of Election Overtime.

The election is still a fast moving scene, so I decided that “Lucretia” and I should take a longer term view of the scene, and ponder the “metaphysics” of the election, which are not comforting to the left. In fact it is likely that “wokery” cost the Democrats badly. Above all, don’t count out Trump, both for his chances of yet coming out on top, and more figuratively for the immense and enduring impact he has had on American politics. There are reasons to be happy, even while being outraged at the brazen attempt to steal an election right before our eyes.

As we go live we see the news that the Supreme Court has ordered late ballots in Pennsylvania to be sequestered, which no doubt is giving liberals flashbacks to Florida 2000. Here’s John Yoo’s article that we mention in our hectic conversation. Meanwhile, I need to refill my glass, and fetch more popcorn for the Democratic Party infighting starting up.

If Trump wins the electoral college again on Tuesday while losing the popular vote (perhaps by a bigger margin than he did in 2016), the left will lose its mind. Well that’s a given, but they’ll really lose their mind about the electoral college. After hoisting a couple of toasts to the passing of Sean Connery and a second sour whisky shot for Britain going back on COVID lockdown, “Lucretia” and I get down to business reviewing the republican case for the electoral college, and why it is a great institution that makes our political system better. Far from being an archaic relic, it is more necessary than ever in a country that the left calls “diverse” but which it actually views through perverse homogeneous lenses.

Michael Uhlmann

Better late than never, “Lucretia” and I team up to review what’s going on in the news along with drinking to the confirmation of Justice Barrett, but are most interested in thinking a bit about what is “metaphysically” wrong with the election scene, with poll after poll showing a solid Biden lead against lots of sense perception—and several historical examples—that argues for a different outcome. And so this became a crossover episode of the podcast, since I decided to pin down Henry Olsen, who I abuse for starting a competing podcast (ahem), and for his corrupt views about European “football.”

We did our best to refrain from too many #MeToobin jokes, but Chelsea Handler’s stunning echo of Joe Biden (“if you don’t vote for me, you ain’t black”) that we play right at the beginning is pretty revealing of the bedrock identity assumptions of the left these days. Talk about losing your grip.

Steve settles in with some Japanese whisky while “Lucretia” abandons her “whisky cougar” ways with a bona fide Glenlivet 18 so we can celebrate Amy Coney Barrett’s start turn driving Democrats to embarrass themselves last week. The hearings illustrate what’s wrong with the “side of history” liberals, as expressed in an especially lazy column from Nick Kristof in the New York Times, and a series of coordinated tweets from Democrats trying to assail constitutional originalism, but mostly succeeding only in exposing their own invincible ignorance.

The main event of this episode is reviewing our pick for Article of the Week, Bari Weiss’s essay “Stop Being Shocked” in The Tablet. It’s a great essay, with its bracing warning of the existential threat to Jews from the new illiberalism, but it has two problems: it get Trump wrong (though Lucretia proposes that this may be tactical cleverness), and its focus on the precariousness of Jews under the rising assault from the social justice left may not go far enough in forecasting the menace facing everyone. Guess who foresaw the problem of the Jews a decaying liberal democracy 60 years ago? Yup, that L– S—— guy again.

If you aren’t following Mark Perry’s Carpe Diem blog every day you’re missing out on one of the best sources for common sense analysis of current economic and social controversies. Mark, an economist at the University of Michigan and scholar at AEI, specializes in debunking economic fallacies (such as the perennial feminist talking point that women only earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns), but he also has hit upon a sure fire method to make life miserable for campus diversicrats: file Title IX complaints against college programs that discriminate against men. So far he’s filed more than 200 such complaints, and has an excellent track record in making colleges and universities back down from egregiously discriminatory practices.

We also talk about his other specialty—using Venn diagrams to illustrate hypocrisy and inconsistent thinking mostly by liberals—as well as some of the economic mysteries of our time, such as why the relentless money-printing of the Federal Reserve hasn’t touched off inflation.

The basics.

This week’s recap starts off with a challenge to find the most unpronounceable scotch whisky you’ve never heard of (like Poit Dhubh, which is unavailable in the U.S.), plus a review of the 10 health benefits of drinking scotch whisky (some of which need a controlled experiment to validate properly, which we’re happy to conduct ourselves).