Power Line https://ricochet.com Wed, 05 Aug 2020 08:47:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Ricochet Audio Network Ricochet.com support@ricochet.com https://cdn.ricochet.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/powerline-podcast.png Power Line https://ricochet.com no episodic 2020 by Ricochet.com The Power Line Blog's Podcast 174309703 204. The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Flight 5 The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Flight 5 204 Sun, 02 Aug 2020 15:15:39 +0000
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America's newspaper of record--which is the Babylon Bee of course--is out with the headline, "Biden Campaign Says He Is So Close to a VP Pick He Can Smell Her." The Bee really needs to stop scooping the New York Times. In any case, in this episode of the weekend happy hour Lucretia and I survey the box canyon Biden has got himself into by pledging to pick a woman running mate who essentially has to be a woman of color. And we give our predictions of who it will be when (and if) Biden clears his head.

Then we move on to the wider issues behind Trump's tweet about possibly postponing the election. We get into some details about voting, mail-in and provisional ballots, ballot counting, precinct management, and other aspects of the matter that have drawn surprisingly little attention from the non-stop media panic about the election, and believe me, you'll be wanting a double-shot of whisky after you hear us.

Finally, a lightning round of shots, along with some spiffy grilled hamburger recipes to go with your weekend (or weekday) whisky. Nearby is a before and after pic of Lucretia's bacon-wrapped stuffed burger recipe in action. Remember--always drink your whisky neat, and don't forget to milk the soft power dividend! (I forgot these reminders at the end of this episode, but at least I didn't drunkenly mangle it like last week.)


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785361 Power Line 45:15 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-three-whisky-happy-hour-flight-5/
203. Avoiding “Suicide by University,” with Arthur Milikh Avoiding “Suicide by University,” with Arthur Milikh 203 Sat, 01 Aug 2020 18:24:00 +0000
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I'm starting to come to the view that having K-12 education and colleges and universities shrink because of COVID-19 might be one of the bits of good news arising out of the pandemic. Our universities are the principal source of the noxious ideas that are plaguing the country right now, and decades of conservative attempts to reverse this slide or reform campuses have proven largely unavailing.

Arthur Milikh

An article by Arthur Milikh in National Affairs recently caught my eye: "Preventing Suicide by Higher Education," in which he argues that conservatives should move to outright opposition to our universities, before they take the country down any further, and so I knew I had to have him on our podcast to kick around his ideas. He also has an excellent article on "';Hate Speech' and the New Tyranny Over the Mind," which we also discuss in our conversation here.

Arthur has served as the associate director of the Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at the Heritage Foundation, but as of just this week has joined the Claremont Institute's brand new Center for the American Way of Life in Washington DC, from whom we'll be hearing a lot more shortly. Along the way in our conversation we mention the Claremont Review of Books, and if you aren't yet a subscriber, you can sign up here.

You'll want to listen all the way to the end--extra fun and very topical exit music this week!


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785169 Power Line 42:21 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/avoiding-suicide-by-university-with-arthur-milikh/
202. The Three Whisky Happy Hour, with Guest Bartender John Yoo The Three Whisky Happy Hour, with Guest Bartender John Yoo 202 Sat, 25 Jul 2020 19:59:55 +0000
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Lucretia and I are already departing from our nascent Islay-Highland-Irish whisky flight format because we have a guest bartender and malt master on with us for this weekend's episode--John Yoo! John not only knows the deep history of fine Japanese whiskies, but also the Constitution and presidential power. He has a terrific new book coming out on Tuesday, Defender in Chief: Donald Trump's Fight for Presidential Power.

The book explores how John came to change his mind about Trump, seeing in Trump's conduct in office a clear pattern of defending the proper constitutional prerogatives of the presidency, and helping to restore the separation of powers to their intended dimensions. Along the way Lucretia baits John about whether the Supreme Court was a good idea in the first place, and Steve likes John's "hypothetical"idea for having Trump designate all of his hotels and properties as national monuments.

Not to worry--we still find time for some whisky pairings (especially with John's favorites from the McDonald's menu), why Roger Stone should have turned down Trump's commutation of his sentence so he could have launched the greatest prison reality TV show of all time, and how John is already going to have to revise the paperback edition of the book in light of events of recent weeks. Memo to the White House: You'll want to read this book, and also listen to John's suggestions about how to defend the legality of sending Federal officers to Portland.

Settle in with your own whisky for an extra-long happy hour, and there's a reward for everyone who makes it all the way to the end, as the effects of three whiskys on Steve become apparent, and Lucretia coins a new term for our audience" whiskeners."


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782797 Power Line 1:11:33 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-three-whisky-happy-hour-with-guest-bartender-john-yoo/
201. The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Flight 3 The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Flight 3 201 Sun, 19 Jul 2020 17:33:11 +0000
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The estimable New York Post reports on a clear example of "expert" junk science that purports to prove that "men should limit alcohol to just one drink per day." This is clearly the first step to full communism, plus an obvious ham-handed attempt to shut down our brand new Three Whisky Happy hour. Lucretia and I counter with the supreme wisdom of Lady Thatcher, who once wrote a friend, "Scotch is one British institution which will never let you down." (In other words, just like Rick Astley.)

Anyway, "Lucretia" (Power Line's International Woman of Mystery) and I are not deterred by this fake news and used it as an excuse to run long with this episode and refill our glasses often with a flight of Highland and Japanese malts, pondering whether keeping our public schools locked down this fall might actually backfire on the left; the broader significance of the drive to reverse a previous diversity-promotion tactic--blind auditions for symphony orchestras--because they aren't producing the "right kind" of diversity; and a lightning round where we beat up on the Lincoln Project, whether violent protestors should be sent to Gitmo, and why the media is ignoring the epidemic of suspicious church fires in Europe.

We also take note of "toxic masculinity whisky," which we recommend pairing with your Black Rifle Coffee. And remember always to drink your whisky neat while you're milking the soft power dividend.


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780664 Power Line 48:31 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-three-whisky-happy-hour-flight-3/
200. Happy 200th To Us! Happy 200th To Us! 200 Sat, 18 Jul 2020 16:59:16 +0000
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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.


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780360 Power Line 52:19 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/happy-200th-to-us/
199. The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Flight #2 The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Flight #2 199 Sat, 11 Jul 2020 19:26:00 +0000
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Steve and "Lucretia" are back with another "Three Whisky Happy Hour" to end the week, dishing out a sweet Irish whisky to go with our idea for the attack ad we hope the Trump campaign will run against the Democrats, a mild American bourbon whisky for the uneven Harper's magazine statement opposing "cancel culture;" and a bracing peaty/smoky Scotch whisky to ponder the question of whether universities have passed the point of no return, such that conservatives ought to give up trying to reform them and now seek simply to destroy them instead, as Arthur Milikh argued a few months ago in National Affairs. We take up these subjects, and our whiskys, in the proper way, which is neat. Cheers!


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778111 Power Line 32:48 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-three-whisky-happy-hour-flight-2/
198. A Few Minutes with Gov. Kristi Noem A Few Minutes with Gov. Kristi Noem 198 Fri, 10 Jul 2020 22:45:56 +0000
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Gov. Kristi Noem

The centerpiece of this week's show is an in-depth interview John Hinderaker conducted this week with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who has charted her own course in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in her state, refusing to shut down the state's economy, and getting out ahead of the virus with a common sense approach. Gov. Noem is getting high marks for her steady and independent leadership, gaining her a place on the "great mention" list of potential presidential candidates in the future. She says she has no such plans at the moment, but you never know!

Steve Hayward sets up the interview with some background conversation with John about the history and political changes in South Dakota and other plains states over the last few decades. In short, this is not George McGovern's upper midwest any more. And then Steve talks a bit with Kathryn Hinderaker (who is somehow related to John!) about her observations about the darkening campus scene, about which she has lots of experience as a recent graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota.


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777934 Power Line 45:58 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/a-few-minutes-with-gov-kristi-noem/
197. The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Take One The Three Whisky Happy Hour, Take One 197 Sat, 04 Jul 2020 16:14:38 +0000
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By popular demand we're bringing "Lucretia," Power Line's International Woman of Mystery, back to the show, and we've decided to start our own "Three Whisky Happy Hour," because why should Greg Corombos and Jim Geraghty have all the fun (and the booze) with their Three Martini Lunch. As Lucretia is a champion whisky drinker, we decided to offer up American bourbon, Scotch (the more bracing Islay and Highland single malts), and Irish (sweeter) whisky varieties to match up with the crazy, outrageous, and sweet stories of the moment--in today's case, more egregious cancelings, the Redskins' capitulation, and the overdue arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, and what we think the sequel is likely to be besides six more months of Jeffrey Epstein memes.

This inaugural episode ends with some cooking and drinking tips for the July 4 holiday, including the best way to annoy your nearest climate change fanatic. (Hint: It involves grilling.)


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775939 Power Line 23:45 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-three-whisky-happy-hour-take-one/
196. Needed: “A Gaullist Moment with Churchillian Fortitude”—Dan Mahoney Needed: “A Gaullist Moment with Churchillian Fortitude”—Dan Mahoney 196 Thu, 02 Jul 2020 22:20:51 +0000
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Daniel Mahoney of Assumption College has a short and compelling essay up today at Real Clear Politics on "What Does Our Nation Mean to Us? Rejecting the Culture of Hate." I decided to post our regular weekly podcast a couple days ahead of schedule to match up with Dan's article because it meshes perfectly with the conclusion of our wide-ranging conversation about the roots of our present discontents.

With everyone comparing the dismal events of this year with our previous annus horribilis of 1968, I wanted to walk through the other great eruption in May 1968 in France. A lot of Americans don't know much about that episode, and its powerful and lasting impact on French intellectual and political life. Few Americans know more about French politics and intellectual life than Mahoney, and along the way we survey some leading French thinkers then and now, some well-known like Raymond Aron and Pierre Manent, and some less well known, like Claude Lefort.

But ultimately we conclude with some reflections on the deep crisis of the moment here in America, and with Dan's rousing charge: "We need a Gaullist moment and we need Churchillian fortitude." Listen here for more, but also see his article mentioned above.


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775393 Power Line 1:04:10 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/needed-a-gaullist-moment-with-churchillian-fortitude-dan-mahoney/
195. Toppling Teddy Roosevelt the Right Way, with Jean Yarbrough Toppling Teddy Roosevelt the Right Way, with Jean Yarbrough 195 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 19:17:37 +0000
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When I heard the news that the nihilist mob plans to take down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt astride his horse in front the Natural History Museum in New York City, I knew I had to ring up Jean Yarbrough, the Gary Pendy Sr. Professor of Social Sciences at Bowdoin College, and author of the best book on TR's political thought and legacy, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition.

As one of the creators of the Progressive movement a century ago, TR's record and legacy is a mixed bag, with a lot to criticize. Prof. Yarbrough walks us through how to think about TR, balancing his admirable traits alongside his more doubtful ideas. If TR is going to be toppled, let's do it the right way.

Yarbrough connects the current statue smashing with broader currents and undertows of our intellectual scene today, in particular the egregious 1619 Project, about which we have had lots to say (and we're not done!). And then at the end I draw out some thoughts from Prof. Yarbough about one of her principal teachers in graduate school, the "terrifying" (as Jean calls her) Hannah Arendt.

 


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774904 Power Line 55:29 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/toppling-teddy-roosevelt-the-right-way-with-jean-yarbrough/
194. Power Line’s Fab Four on Our Crazy World Power Line’s Fab Four on Our Crazy World 194 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 20:45:01 +0000
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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.

John Hinderaker is in the host chair for our VIP videochats. Take it away, John.


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773230 Power Line 45:57 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/power-lines-fab-four-on-our-crazy-world/
193. “Apocalypse Never,” with Michael Shellenberger “Apocalypse Never,” with Michael Shellenberger 193 Sun, 21 Jun 2020 17:29:23 +0000
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This week's guest is Michael Shellenberger, the founder and president of Environmental Progress, and author of an important new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. Most books about the environment typically feature breathless panic about how the world is coming to an end. Michael's book is a rare outlier that debunks the extremism of most such apocalyptic claims, which too often are the predicate for not just bad policy, but counter-productive policy when it comes to environmental improvement in poor nations.

Michael began his intellectual and political odyssey on the left, and has by degrees migrated to the center, along the way coming to support nuclear power as the most important current alternative energy source for limiting greenhouse gas emissions. But the book goes well beyond the issue of climate change to lay out a vision of what Michael calls "environmental humanism"--a conception of environmental protection that puts humans beings at the center of the story, a welcome contrast to the often explicit misanthropy of many modern environmentalists.

I'll add as a personal note that I've known--and learned much from--Michael for more than a decade, and our episodic collaborations have been one of the more rewarding experiences of my professional life.


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771138 Power Line 53:30 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/apocalypse-never-with-michael-shellenberger/
192. “The Coming of Neo-Feudalism,” with Joel Kotkin “The Coming of Neo-Feudalism,” with Joel Kotkin 192 Sat, 13 Jun 2020 12:58:38 +0000
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Joel Kotkin is one of America's premier analysts of urbanism, urban economics, demographic change, and social trends. His brand new book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class, turns upside down the conventional liberal narrative about why the middle and working classes are under pressure. It's not capitalism and markets, but their perversions, especially in the hands of the tech oligarchs of Silicon Valley and through the overregulation of basic occupations and industries that prevent aspiring people from attaining a middle class standard of living, especially on the left-leaning coastal regions of the country.

It does not take much imagination to make out the connections between the maladies Kotkin explains here and the riots and protests from the left of the last two weeks, but he thinks the real rebellion that we need is from the middle and working classes against this stifling neo-feudalism--a rebellion from the middle, so to speak, that will need to be both cultural and political.

 


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768156 Power Line 52:28 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-coming-of-neo-feudalism-with-joel-kotkin/
191. “The Sixties Never Ended”—Fred Siegel Reflects on Our Mob Rule Moment “The Sixties Never Ended”—Fred Siegel Reflects on Our Mob Rule Moment 191 Wed, 10 Jun 2020 20:54:19 +0000
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When our cities start to come apart and people say it seems like 1968 all over again, that can only mean one thing: time to get in touch with Fred Siegel. Among Fred's many fine books is The Future Once Happened Here: New York, LA, DC, and the Fate of America's Big Cities, which explained the high cost of incompetent liberal rule of our major cities in the 1960s and 1970s, which included soaring crime rates, physical decay, and economic decline. Reversing urban decline was one of the great achievements of the last 25 years, but it appears we may be about to throw it all away, and start a new cycle of leftist urban rule and decay.

Why has this happened? It can't be just because of one shocking instance of police malfeasance. There must have been something latent in our political culture that has been triggered. Fred's explanation: "The sixties never ended." Are we fated to repeat that cycle, and now have to look forward to 10 or 20 years of unleashed leftism? We treat these and other questions, including the question of whether our universities have passed the point of no return, and what must be done to counter their increasingly malign influence on America as a whole.


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767208 Power Line 44:17 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-sixties-never-ended-fred-siegel-reflects-on-our-mob-rule-moment/
190. Riots, Viruses, “Epistocracy,” and Other Social Diseases Riots, Viruses, “Epistocracy,” and Other Social Diseases 190 Wed, 03 Jun 2020 22:23:32 +0000
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Funny how the COVID-19 crisis has nearly disappeared from the news, after having been the subject of wall-to-wall media attention for three months. Riots have a way of doing that, though the mass rioting doesn't seem to have concentrated the mind of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio very much, fueling further rumors that he really has shot his brains with his heavy reported dope-smoking.

In this special, two-segment edition I catch up with Kelly Jane Torrance, who is nowadays an editorial board member of the great New York Post, and frequent panel guest on "Mornings with Maria" on Fox Business (tomorrow morning, June 4, in fact). Being a brand new resident of Manhattan is shock enough, but to move right before a pandemic quarantine and then rioting is asking a lot!

Then in the second segment you get treated to a recent short talk I gave by Zoom to the Liberty Forum of Silicon Valley, in which I speculate about the potential long-term effects of the political responses to the COVID-19 crisis. I employ the term "epistocracy," which means "rule of the experts," as it is clear there is a drive on the claim more authority for our supposed expert class. Now that's a social disease pandemic we definitely don't need!

Although I only post my opening remarks here (about 15 minutes), if you are interested in hearing (seeing really) the whole event, which included a long question and answer session, the event has been posted in its entirety on YouTube below.


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764298 Power Line 48:15 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/riots-viruses-epistocracy-and-other-social-diseases/
189. Ross Douthat on “The Decadent Society” Ross Douthat on “The Decadent Society” 189 Sat, 30 May 2020 22:40:48 +0000
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"Decadence" is one of those familiar terms that is trivialized or rendered comic by overuse--perhaps you'd say from decadence itself. And while most people think decadent is mostly a synonym for "sumptuous," it has a wider and deeper meaning, which is the subject of Ross Douthat's new book, The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success.

Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times and author of several fine books analyzing the current American scene, looks at several markers of a decadent civilization and culture, from falling birthrates, slowing economic growth, declining innovation, sclerotic institutions, and cultural stagnation. Is there a way out of this dead-end road, or is America fated to become the modern-day Rome? Steve Hayward covers these and other aspects of the question in this entirely non-decadent conversation.

(Exit music today is Chris Squire's cover of the classic Pink Floyd tune "Comfortably Numb," which also happens to be the title of chapter 5 of Ross's book.)


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762859 Power Line 49:19 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/ross-douthat-on-the-decadent-society/
188. “This Cannot Go On”—The Breakdown of Higher Education, with John Ellis “This Cannot Go On”—The Breakdown of Higher Education, with John Ellis 188 Sat, 23 May 2020 17:46:53 +0000
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John Ellis

John M. Ellis, distinguished professor emeritus of German literature at UC Santa Cruz, is out with a terrific new book, The Breakdown of Higher Education: How It Happened, The Damage It Does, & What Can Be Done About It. This slim book makes for depressing reading indeed, covering the landscape of our ideologically corrupt colleges and universities. What needs to happen to change things? Is the financial crisis of higher education brought on suddenly by the coronavirus a reason for hope that college leaders might cut some of the nonsense out of necessity? Are more robust campus policies to protect free expression sufficient to the scale and nature of the problem? (Likely not.)

But along the way we take a detour into some of Prof. Ellis's earlier work, especially his important 1989 book Against Deconstruction, which delivered a significant body blow to that malignant intellectual fad. In fact I think it is no exaggeration to say that Prof. Ellis's book, along with a handful parallel efforts, went far in derailing that noxious fad. Alas, it has been succeeded by even more perverse postmodernist hermeneutics (Just saying that almost gives you an intellectual hernia), forming much of the basis of the insidious identity politics of the present moment. Prof. Ellis offers some great war stories about fighting against the deconstructionists back in the day. And I offer a few of my own thoughts in my show summary at the end.

 


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760711 Power Line 45:58 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/this-cannot-go-on-the-breakdown-of-higher-education-with-john-ellis/
187. Freedom of the Press in an Era of Fake News, with Zach Wood Freedom of the Press in an Era of Fake News, with Zach Wood 187 Sat, 16 May 2020 20:48:14 +0000
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Zachary Wood

This episode flips the format, with my guest interviewing me for a change. Zachary Wood is a graduate of Williams College, where he was the president of a student group called "Uncomfortable Learning," whose mission was to invite to campus outside speakers with a heterodox perspective (which is code for "conservative" for the most part). Invitees included Charles Murray, Christina Hoff Sommers, David French, John Christy, and others. For this transgression against campus orthodoxy, Zach was dressed down by the president of William College, and further instructed that he should "be careful" about what he wrote in the student newspaper--a story he tells in this article published recently by the National Association of Scholars.

From this experience Zach has understandably become concerned about free speech generally, and freedom of the press in particular, and when Zach told me that he was interested in recording some interviews and conversations with people (starting with me) on free speech and free press issues, but didn't yet have an online platform ready to launch, I decided to offer him an episode of the Power Line Show to start things rolling. As journalism was my first career right out of college back around the time of the Boer War, we thought it would be fun and informative to go through some long-term perspectives on modern media.

Zachary R. Wood is an Assistant Curator at TED, as well as a former Columnist and Assistant Opinion Editor at The Guardian, and a former Robert L. Bartley Fellow at The Wall Street Journal. His recent work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostHuffPostThe NationThe Weekly StandardTimes Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed. In 2017, he gave US Senate testimony opposing the recent string of college speaker disinvitations and in defense of viewpoint diversity. He's planning to attend law school in the not too distant future.


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758369 Power Line 47:21 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/freedom-of-the-press-in-an-era-of-fake-news-with-zach-wood/
186. Trumping Obama’s Legacy, with Charles Lipson Trumping Obama’s Legacy, with Charles Lipson 186 Tue, 12 May 2020 22:19:42 +0000
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Barack who? Is it just me, or is Obama the incredibly shrinking president, destined already to be remembered in the same league as John Tyler or Warren Harding? Charles Lipson, emeritus professor of politics at the University of Chicago, is out today with a terrific article at RealClearPolitics, "Trump's Methodical Destruction of Obama's Legacy," that walks through how President Trump is step-by-step dismantling Obama's presidency, culminating with last week's revelations about the FBI and Justice Department going after Michael Flynn in ways that may yet become one of the greatest scandals of presidential abuse of power in our history.

We also talk about the election scene and why neither of us can conceive of Joe Biden winning the election--all things being equal, which they may not be, and we even indulge a little sports talk at the end.


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756982 Power Line 51:46 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/trumping-obamas-legacy-with-charles-lipson/
185. Breaking: Facebook’s “Supreme Court”? (With a Side of the Flynn Case) Breaking: Facebook’s “Supreme Court”? (With a Side of the Flynn Case) 185 Thu, 07 May 2020 21:23:51 +0000
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Michael McConnell

John Hinderaker joined me today to co-host this special edition of the show. Yesterday Facebook announced the creation of a 20-member oversight board that some media accounts describe as a "supreme court" to advise and in some cases rule on what kind of material can be taken down from the popular global site. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about this idea for a while, saying saying in 2018 that he wanted to create "some sort of structure, almost like a Supreme Court" for users to get a final judgment call on what is acceptable speech.

Two members of the oversight board caught our immediate attention as both are long time friend and readers of Power Line: Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School, who will co-chair the oversight board along with Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a former prime minister of Denmark; and John Samples of the Cato Institute. And we were fortunate to get both Mike and John to join us today to walk through how the oversight board will operate, and what kind of free speech law and principles should apply to a global platform.

John Samples

But wait--there's more! In the middle of our taping the news broke that the Justice Department had dropped the prosecution of General Michael Flynn, despite Flynn having pled guilty to charges way back in 2017. Our own Scott Johnson, who has been following the case and updating readers on a daily basis as the Justice Department case against Flynn unraveled, joins us at the end to give his reaction and sum up this scandalous episode, offering some speculation about what might be the next shoe to drop.


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755169 Power Line 59:06 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/breaking-facebooks-supreme-court-with-a-side-of-the-flynn-case/
184. The 1619 Project Pulitzer and Other Outrages: A Phil Magness Omnibus The 1619 Project Pulitzer and Other Outrages: A Phil Magness Omnibus 184 Tue, 05 May 2020 21:02:29 +0000
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Phil Magness

When the news broke yesterday that the New York Times';s egregious "1619 Project" had won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, I knew the only thing to do was get Phillip W. Magness on the line. Magness, a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, is the author of a brand new and indispensable book answering the factual errors and gross interpretive distortions of the 1619 Project, entitled The 1619 Project: A Critique.

But there's more to the Magness portfolio on my mind just now. I regard Phil as the LeBron James of the conservative-libertarian community, because he is playing monster defense against bad ideas from all corners, and dunking hard on a lot of lefties who richly deserve it, from the authors of the 1619 Project to the Thomas Piketty/Emanuel Saez/Robert Reich/Gabriel Zucman distortions about income inequality that informed Elizabeth Warren's proposal for a wealth tax. Phil has dug deep into the data the equality crusaders have assembled and exposing their methodological weakness.

Last but not least, Phil has also been following the coronavirus crisis, and has been posting a lot of observations on the defects of our understanding of the virus itself, and pointing out the poor calculations of the tradeoffs involved in the extreme lockdowns we have chosen as a remedy. He even breaks some news along the way, so listen to the end as we walk briskly through all three of these topics.


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754316 Power Line 40:52 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/the-1919-project-pulitzer-and-other-outrages-a-phil-magness-omnibus/
183. Do Lockdowns Save Lives? The Data Say No Do Lockdowns Save Lives? The Data Say No 183 Mon, 27 Apr 2020 20:51:42 +0000
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Joe Malchow

The Wall Street Journal this morning includes an article from T.J. Rodgers, the retired founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductors, with the provocative title, "Do Lockdowns Save Lives? In Most Places, the Data Say No." Rodgers mentions in the first paragraph that much of the statistical work behind his article was done by our own Joe Malchow, who is Power Line's Wizard of Oz behind the curtain who keeps up the tech side of the site.

I've been wanting an excuse to do a podcast with Joe for the longest time, and so here it is. In addition to going through the statistical evidence we have already that the total lockdown in most states don't bear a lot of relation to the infection outcomes, we also talk about Sweden's choice of an intermediate path, with only light shutdowns and quarantines, and with results that are better than many hard hit U.S. states and European countries, and worse than some others. If trends continue and Sweden remains in the middle of the statistical distribution, it will be a massive reproach to the total and prolonged shutdowns that are crippling our economy, and may come to be seen as the single most costly economic mistake in American history.


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751783 Power Line 30:38 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/do-lockdowns-save-lives-the-data-say-no/
182. Earth Day at 50, with Terry Anderson Earth Day at 50, with Terry Anderson 182 Wed, 22 Apr 2020 19:39:58 +0000
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Terry Anderson

It's Earth Day today--and not just any old Earth Day, but the 50th anniversary. It's passing rather more quietly than in many previous years because the coronavirus crisis is eclipsing everything at the moment. But a lot has changed since the first Earth Day. Not only is the environment in the United States, and in most places around the world, in much better condition than it was in 1970, but our perspectives on environmental policy has changed somewhat for the better since then, too. Environmentalists used to say openly that "Economics is a form of brain damage," but today the centrality of economics to sound environmental policy is grudgingly conceded by even the most Malthusian holdout greenies.

One of the key thinkers behind this change in perspective is Terry L. Anderson, the co-author (with Don Leal) of one of the most significant books of modern conservative-libertarian intellectual thought: Free Market Environmentalism. The book has gone through several editions since it first appeared in 1992, has been translated into multiple foreign languages, and is widely used in college classrooms. Terry is currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, and was one of the co-founders and long-time executive director of PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, which is one of the premier intellectual nodes of contrarian environmental thinking. Terry also does a lot of research and writing on native American culture and economies, with similarly unique insights and observations.

And don't miss Terry's article on Earth Day up today at The Hill.


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750017 Power Line 37:51 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/earth-day-at-50-with-terry-anderson/
181. Eight Reasons to End the Lockdowns ASAP Eight Reasons to End the Lockdowns ASAP 181 Wed, 15 Apr 2020 21:34:11 +0000
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Last week Dr. Jonathan Geach, an anesthesiologist treating some COVID-19 patients in Tennessee, wrote an article on Medium that created a sensation: "Eight Reasons to End the Lockdowns as Soon as Possible." Dr. Geach joined us today to review the article, and, since the COVID-19 story is moving so fast, preview a sequel on "Moving Goalposts" that he is readying for publication.

In addition to walking through the adverse health tradeoffs of an extended economic shutdown, Dr. Geach explains a few new theories about the dynamic of how COVID-19 works, and offers his perspective on some of the new treatments being considered, and why. He goes into much more technical detail than most news reports, but not so technical that a non-specialist can't follow it.

 


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747534 Power Line 38:07 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/eight-reasons-to-end-the-lockdowns-asap/
180. From the White House Press Room to the Hospital Emergency Room From the White House Press Room to the Hospital Emergency Room 180 Sun, 12 Apr 2020 17:34:46 +0000
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This week's show features two guests who just happen to be married, which certainly makes recording convenient! Our first guest is Debra J. Saunders, the White House correspondent for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and former opinion columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. President Trump called on Debra last Friday in his daily virus briefing, and beyond the immediate story I was most interested in talking with Debra about what it's like covering this White House, what it's like in the press briefing room when the cameras aren't running, and how broadcast journalists operate differently than print journalist. We also speculate some on the general political scene, which is likely going to be unpredictable right up to election day.

Wesley J. Smith

Then I turn the discussion to medical ethics with Wesley J. Smith, who is the chair of the Center for Human Exceptionalism at the Discovery Institute. The author of 14 books including Culture of Death and The War on Humans, Wesley writes frequently for National Review, the American Spectator, and other publications about ethical issues involved with animal rights, euthanasia, and biotechnology. Our conversation focuses on how the current pandemic may affect broader trends in medical ethics. And also the bad behavior of the Chinese, which goes far beyond concealing the origins and scope of COVID-19 in Wuhan.


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746485 Power Line 50:32 No full https://ricochet.com/podcast/powerline/from-the-white-house-press-room-to-the-hospital-emergency-room/