The distinguished British historian and biographer Andrew Roberts has just released Churchill: Walking With Destiny, which the New York Times (along with several other prominent publications) has called “the best one-volume biography of Churchill ever written.” Steve Hayward borrowed a page from Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars” and interviewed Andrew during a car ride (maybe we should start a rival series, “Historians in Cars”?), about historical writing in general, the secret behind Andrew’s truly extraordinary productivity as a writer (it was only four years ago that he came out with a massive biography of Napoleon), and his favorite Churchill jokes.

The bumper music this week is highly appropriate: “Fools Overture” by the 1970s progressive rock group Supertramp, which features a few sentences from Churchill’s “fight on the beaches” speech of June 4, 1940, and lyrics by Supertramp keyboardist and lead singer Roger Hodgson that evoke those epic times.

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This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, concerning the widespread practice of “civil asset forfeiture,” in which law enforcement will seize your property upon arrest (sometimes even without an arrest and criminal charge) and keep the money or asset for themselves. By coincidence this week Steve Hayward ran into the person who helped to make this case (and many others like it) possible—William “Chip” Mellor, the founder and long time president of the Institute for Justice. Steve walks Chip through another “origin story” of how he came to dedicate his career to the cause of economic liberty, and reviews some of IJ’s most famous cases, including especially Kelo v. New London, the 2004 Supreme Court case that challenged the abuse of the “eminent domain” power. The Kelo case got the Hollywood treatment in Little Pink House, which everyone should buy on DVD or see on their favorite streaming service.

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The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is out with a new report this week on Police Use of Force, and you know what that means—another sprightly dissent from commission member Gail Heriot. You can read Gail’s take on the report, and how the media misrepresented her views (as usual) here. Gail Heriot is professor of law at the University of San Diego, and has a long track record in the area of civil rights. Steve Hayward sat down with Gail recently to talk through the current state of civil rights, the work of the often politicized U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and how the “mismatch” hypothesis in college admissions has been vindicated, even if the media refuse to admit it.

(Closing bumper music this week is “Find Your Cloud” from Papadosio.)

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Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’d be wrong: the first rule of Conservative Fight Club is that you never shut up about Conservative Fight Club! In this recent lecture for the William F. Buckley Jr Program at Yale (originally titled “Varieties of Conservative Experience” in homage to the famous William James title), Steve Hayward explains the five major subdivisions on the right, and how they differ from—and argue with—one another. In addition to the theoretical differences, Steve explains how you can keep them straight by what kind of fiction they read: traditionalists read Jane Austen; libertarians read science fiction (when they aren’t reading Ayn Rand); neoconservatives read Saul Bellow and Philip Roth; religious conservatives read C.S. Lewis and Tolkien; American conservatives read Mark Twain, and take in the western films of John Ford.

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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.

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We’re up early with this week’s edition of the Power Line Show, because Steve Hayward (his voice finally back to about 90 percent) cornered Henry Olsen to get Henry’s Jedi-like outlook on the mid-term election next week. Henry’s not ready yet to make many specific calls—his detailed race-by-race forecast will go up at National Review Online this Sunday night or next Monday morning—but right how he thinks it looks good for the GOP in the Senate, close in the House, and bad for governorships. As a special bonus, we end with a few of his sensible thoughts on how to improve major league baseball.

(Bumper music this week: “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” [something we ask ourselves just about every time we call Henry Olsen] by the Arctic Monkeys, and “Rosalee” by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.)

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While Steve Hayward continues to nurse his voice back to full strength, this episode of the Power Line Show offers another of Steve’s Yale lectures on conservative philosophy, this time on the topic “Edmund Burke: The First Conservative.” Unfortunately Burke wasn’t available for an interview, so it’s just Steve’s introductory thoughts on why Burke’s writings remain highly relevant to our own times and troubles.

(Bumper music at the end this week is “Recreational Chemistry” by moe.)

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A slight departure for the Power Line Show this week: Steve Hayward has lost his voice (bringing cheer to his critics and enemies), and couldn’t do the author interview planned for this week, so John Hinderaker stepped in to host this episode with special guest. . . Steve Hayward! Just how does that work, you say? Well, Steve is currently giving a series of periodic lectures on conservatism at Yale under the auspices of the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, and in lieu of our usual interview, we decided to drop in Steve’s first lecture on “Conservatism and Its Enemies.” Yes, the title is an homage to Karl Popper’s most famous title, but the theme of the talk is actually an attempt to get away from the central “friends vs. enemies” theme of that other famous Carl (Schmitt), and figure out instead how left and right can better “achieve disagreement.” Another enigmatic phrase? You’ll just have to listen to find out how it works.

End bumper music this week is Perpetual Groove, “All This Everything, Pt. 1.”

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Herbert Meyer, a senior CIA official during the Reagan years and occasional contributor to Ricochet, suffered a serious bicycle accident recently and remains hospitalized. Herb was one of the first persons in the Reagan Administration who began to think out loud what Reagan had thought more privately—we can win the Cold War with the Soviet Union! With several new books about Reagan and the Cold War in recent months, Steve Hayward decided to dust off some archival recordings with Herb from a few years back that hold up better than ever, and provide lessons for today on how good intelligence work is done. Please keep Herb in your thoughts and prayers as you listen to this remarkable man and his fascinating stories.

(Closing bumper music this week is “Forgiven, Not Forgotten” by The Corrs.)

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The Power Line Show takes a break from the All-Kavanaugh-All-the-Time format of recent weeks, and sits down with historian William Anthony Hay, author of a brand new biography of Robert Banks Jenkinson. What? You’ve never heard of Robert Banks Jenkinson? You might recognize him better by his “stage name,” Lord Liverpool, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1812-1827, during the windup of the Napoleonic wars and the War of 1812 with the United States. Will Hay brings to life this forgotten but very important figure, and ties in what lessons Liverpool offers for today. (Liverpool was perhaps the first Euroskeptic, so we end our conversation with thoughts about Brexit, naturally.) The book, by the way, is Lord Liverpool: A Political Life. Highly recommended.

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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.

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With the Kavanaugh-Ford sexual assault controversy reaching a climax in the next few days, Steve Hayward decided to check in with “Lucretia,” Power Line’s “International Woman of Mystery,” and Julie Kelly, frequent contributor to American Greatness and other sites, to see what they make of the situation. To say they are “not impressed” with Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh would be a Cat 5 understatement. Hoo-boy are they unimpressed! Just listen and you’ll see what we mean.

New opening bumper music this week: the studio version of “Mexico” by moe., and ending with Helen Reddy’s most expected song for this particular moment.

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This episode features the address Steve Hayward delivered this week to the Friends of Ronald Reagan at the California Club in Los Angeles, reflecting back on how Reagan weathered two tough mid-term elections and what lessons it might hold for Trump and Republicans this November. Dennis Quaid, who has signed recently to star as Reagan in an upcoming biopic, was in the audience, which prompted some conversation about one of Quaid’s early breakout roles in “Breaking Away” (1979). No refund if you don’t like this episode!

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Between the incessant controversy about Russia hacking our elections, and the recent recommendation of several U.S. science academies that we return to paper ballots, we thought it was high time to devote an episode to cyber-security issues. And we have just the person for the topic: “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery. In addition to being an expert on the Constitution, “Lucretia” also runs a cyber-security program at a major university. In addition to talking about the national security angles of cyber-security, Lucretia also walks us through basic risks each of us face as regular uses of the internet. (Hint: You really may want to think about covering up your laptop camera!)

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With two more weeks of primary election results to pick over, Steve Hayward checks in with Henry Olsen to see how things look. Florida increasingly appears to be the most interesting battleground state, with very competitive races for both governor and U.S. Senator. Henry also puts down his political polling data and puts on his Bill James hat to look ahead to the baseball playoff season starting a month from now. Also soccer, but we don’t really care about soccer. It’s a weenie Eurosport.

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After receiving a query from a young person about why the U.S. didn’t aim for victory in Vietnam, Steve Hayward decided to put the question to Mackubin T. Owens, a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam and long time professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Mac has also written for National Review, the New York Post, and numerous other publications, as well as several fine books on war. His many reviews of Vietnam books—both good and bad—can be found at the Claremont Review of Books. Steve and Mac also discuss the portrayal of Vietnam in popular culture (especially the “demonization” movies of the 1970s), as well as the best and worst books about Vietnam.

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Will the November election produce a (Democratic) blue wave or a (Republican) red tide? Pre-election opinion polls this year seem more volatile than ever, and beyond the horse-race aspect, there are lots of problems with opinion polling in the age of cell phones and the internet. Steve Hayward sat down with Karlyn Bowman, public opinion specialist at AEI and author of recent article on “Is Polling Broken?” in National Affairs, to talk about the condition of opinion polling today. Bottom line: polling may not be completely broken, but there are a lot of loose pieces that need reassembling.

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Steve Hayward, just back from a regional meeting of the National Association of Scholars, sits down with Warren Treadgold, author of brand new book, The University We Need, which offers a bold idea: because colleges and universities are so far gone and likely unfixable, the time has come to found a brand new elite university that not only departs from the dreary orthodoxy of campus leftism, but also departs from the standard modes of university structure and governance. Treadgold, a professor of Byzantine Studies at St. Louis University, also offers a brief introduction to that fascinating field.

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In this very special episode, Steve Hayward uses some unaired material from a long interview with the late Peter Schramm of the Ashbrook Center. Peter passed away in August 2015, and left a legacy of brilliant and inspirational teaching to a generation of students at Ashland University. This Hungarian immigrant is best known from his lecture and essay on how he became an American, “Born American, But in the Wrong Place.” In this wide-ranging conversation, Steve and Peter talk about education, classroom teaching, great books, American exceptionalism, and also immigration, where Peter offered some prescient thoughts about the incompetence of Republicans in handling the issue—very timely meditations for today.

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If a thuggish regime fell in the forest and the New York Times didn’t report it, did it make a sound? This week Steve Hayward talks with Kelly Jane Torrance of the Weekly Standard about what is going on in Iran, where the Trump Administration’s heavy pressure may be straining the regime to the breaking point. But the mainstream U.S. media seem to be ignoring the tidings of increasing unrest and instability. Kelly Jane keeps close tabs with the Iranian resistance in Europe and the U.S. and is well positioned to fill in the gaps.

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