Steven Hayward brings you the Power Line Blog's perspective on the week's big headlines. Follow Power Line on Twitter (https://twitter.com/powerlineus) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/powerlineblog). Send any suggestions, tips, and fan mail to email@example.com.
The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Real Prosecutors of Atlanta Unreality Show
We're up a day early with this week's episode because of schedule problems, but mostly to get a drop on the streaming services with our new (un)reality TV show, "The Real Prosecutors of Atlanta," starring Big Fani Willis. OMG, is this not the best television since last week's Super Bowl?
Steve show up, however, with a gin martini instead of peaty whisky, which drew a rebuke from You Know Who, who had three proper whiskies on hand for the episode.
But this episode isn't all fun and giggles. We also rake up the ongoing immigration saga in Washington, complete now with an impeachment! And also analysis of Trump's supposed attack on NATO and surrender to Putin, though some of us think this is another sign of Trump's peculiar genius.
Finally, can we really be so lucky that a week later the Hur report is the gift that keeps on giving?
The Three Whisky Happy Hour: The 25th Hour
The Twenty-Fifth Hour is the 1950 novel by the Romanian writer C. Virgil Gheorghiu that weaves a tangled, early post-modern tale of central Europe and the Balkans in World War II. It is justly forgotten today, but the title is back in a manner of speaking because it highlights the great irony of the Left's Ahab-like pursuit of the Great Orange Whale (to mix literary references).
Anyone else recall back in 2017 how a concerted mob of concerned citizens suggested the presidential disability clause of the 25th Amendment be invoked to remove President Trump from office? Think of it as a 25th Hour moment. This week ended with the 25th Hour being invoked to remove Joe Biden from office because of his obvious and rapidly advancing senility. Yet one more example of how a strategy to get Trump, like the Me Too movement, has circled around like a rogue torpedo to explode in the face of the Left.
The week began with such promise for the anti-Trump crusade. The walls were closing in on the breaking dam that would drown the freshly roosting chickens! Bam: no immunity for you! And the Supreme Court might allow Trump to be banned from the ballot! Except that didn't go according to script. And then the report of the greatest Hur since Ben Hur, declaring that Biden isn't competent to stand trial for the very same "willful" crime for which Trump is being prosecuted, but is somehow competent to remain president? The Left should have taken a lesson from those failed exploding cigars they tried to use on Castro 60 years ago.
But about that disability clause in the 25th Amendment: we take a closer look, and note that Section 4 in particular is not as clear cut and simple as it sounds. Meaning we're likely stuck so long as Edith Wilson. . ., er, we mean, DOCTOR Jill Biden has anything to say about it.
And finally, we close out this week's epsiode with happy 64th birthday wishes to Lucretia, so the exit bumper music is fairly predictable, isn't it? (Though I chose a rendition from an obscure artist just to annoy this week's host!)
The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Civil War and the Fire This Time
John Yoo is where?? Mexico!?!? So after all that talk the last couple weeks saying the situation at the southern border did not constitute an "invasion," now he's in Mexico on some undisclosed clandestine mission. Which makes no sense: they don't even have McRibb there.
Taking John's place this week is Inez Stepman of the Independent Women's Forum, frequent contributor to the New York Post, First Things, The Federalist, and other premier outlets, and co-host of the High Noon podcast on the Ricochet network. She was more than game to join Lucretia in beating up on Steve.
We invited Inez to weigh in on the long-running debate we've been having here about the Civil War, how to understand it correctly, and how presidential candidates like Nikki Haley should talk about it. From the we take a look of David Frum's quixotic attempt in The Atlantic to "uncancel Woodrow Wilson," to which were in heated agreement that David is off his rocker.
Then John Hinderaker joins us to give us the latest news about the firebombing of his office this past week, plus a few summary impressions of the Michael Mann vs. Mark Steyn cage match playing out in court in Washington DC, where John sat in on the trial several days last week. Does this politically-motivated arson fire presage a return to the bad old days of the Weather Underground of the late 1960s?
Thematic exit music this week is "Burning Up My Time" by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.
The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Civil War at the Border Special Edition
This special ad-free edition, posted a day ahead of the usual schedule because of the urgency of events at the southern border, finds the 3WHH hosts engaging in their own civil war over the question of whether states have any remedy when the federal government abdicates is responsibility to protect the border. Steve and Lucretia were in rare accord—well maybe not quite complete accord*—against John's positivist position of federal supremacy uber alles.
Our normally genteel whisky-sipping salon became more of a bourbon-swilling barroom brawl, and indeed we were tempted to call this episode "Showdown at the Positive Law Corral." Steve thinks the crisis over Texas's assertion of its right to defend the border, and the demand of the Biden Administration that Texas back down by tomorrow, represents the kind of "right of revolution" moment contemplated in the Declaration of Independence, especially since the governors of 25 other states have signaled their agreement with Texas.
But the rare concord between Steve and Lucretia breaks down when the subject turns to the Haley-Trump cage match in New Hampshire primary.
(*To paraphrase an old Bill Buckley line, if you think it is hard to argue with Lucretia, just try agreeing with her. It's nearly impossible.)
The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Inside John's Briefs, Plus the Civil War Over the Civil War
This week's episode covers more ground more quickly than a Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes passing attack. Which the Philadephia Eagles won't get to experience because they flopped in the first round of the playoffs last weekend, falsifying one of John Yoo's predictions for 2024 that the Eagles would make the Super Bowl. We're hoping his brief to the Supreme Court in the case of Trump's place on the Colorado ballot is more on the mark.
We mostly skip over the fine points of John's brief and take in a wider look at the entire pool of briefs filed in this case, wondering, for example, why the world needs an Amicus brief from the Ryan Binkley for President campaign. This prompts us into wider still observations about other current issues involving the administrative state, which somehow managed to bring up the Statute usually banned from mention on this podcast, John Locke, and the weaknesses of modern property rights theory.
Which ultimately brings us to the question heldover from the last two weeks: Nikki Haley and the Civil War. It is now apparent that Haley's momentum in the nomination contest halted abruptly with her flub of the Civil War question, and alas some of our friends are still not getting the question right, such as our good friend Dan Oliver. We go over the matter from Square One, and try—not for the first time—to school John on the issue of prudence. Oh, and we also make our prediction for the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries coming up.
The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Iowa Stubborn Edition
On the eve of the Iowa caucuses Monday, we got to wondering just who or what lives up to the description of "Iowa Stubborn" in Meredith Wilson's "Music Man":
And we're so by God stubborn
We can stand touching noses
For a week at a time
And never see eye to eye!
Is it Trump, DeSantis, Haley—or the legions of lawyers waging endless lawfare against Trump? It's a trick question. Lucretia—the host for this week's episode—actually hails originally from Mason City, Iowa, which is the inspiration for "River City" in the Broadway play, which explains a lot about our Lucretia when you think about it.
Anyway, John and Steve declare their picks if they were caucusgoers, but then the episode turns quickly to the latest frontiers of the lawfare against Trump, from which we have an inside perch of sorts: John is busy spending the weekend workng up an amicus brief for the upcoming Supreme Court hearing on the case involving Colorado's attempt to ban Trump from the ballot on grounds he is an "insurrectionist." (Trump, not John.) And since the brief have to be turned in next Thursday for this fast-track case, it's very fresh in mind.
We also consider the latest developments in other Trump cases, too. Did Trump's lawyers really claim that in fact he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue if he was back in the White House. (Short answer: No.) And what accounts for Hunter Biden's reversal of his refusal to submit to a House subpoena for a deposition? Has Texas first the first shot of a new rebellion by taking over part of the souther border? Has the Supreme Court signaled that enough is enough with rampant urban homelessness by granting cert in an appeal of lower court rulings that the homeless have 8th Amendment (that's right, 8th Amendment) rights to sleep on the streets wherever they want? (The Court had previously declined to hear this issue.)
All that and our usual good cheer and raspberries, including the fact that we recorded on Edmund Burke's birthday. To paraphrase the great lyric from our title tune, "Oh, there's nothin' halfway/About the Whisky way we treat you/If we treat you/Which we may not do at all."
Civil War at the Border
A great discussion highlighting the different viewpoints on the border crisis so that individuals can decide for themselves what is right.
If this were a drinking game where we had to take a shot every time Lucretia said “stupid” or “idiot judge” we’d all end up like Bon Scott after 10 minutes. Brutal. Had to turn it off.
John: “Be not afraid” of all things bereft of government watchdogs. Lucretia: Hoping you’re writing a biography or memoir! And Steve: No matter what John and Lucretia say, I relish the ‘all things climate farce’ within discussions. Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan you are all well respected for intelligent discourse and humor. God Bless.