Even a Small Chance of Calamity Should Be Taken Seriously

Plus... a message from Sarah Palin.

Leading The Bulwark…

What Is To Be Done?

Bill Kristol explains that “when the stakes are so high, then even a small chance of calamity should be taken seriously.” Read his three suggestions for how to prepare for the coming days ahead.

If you haven’t signed up for Bulwark+, give it a whirl:

On the Pods…

Tim Miller’s Not My Party is back. If you’re younger than Tim, subscribe on Snapchat. If you’re old like me, watch it here. This is the best episode so far:

Chris Yogerst on Hollywood, the Senate, and Hitler

On Sonny Bunch’s The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, he talks to Chris Yogerst about his new book, “Hollywood Hates Hitler: Jew-Baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation into Warmongering in Motion Pictures.” Chris is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the department of Arts & Humanities. He has written for the Washington Post,Hollywood Reporter, and most frequently at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Josh Kraushaar: Take A Deep Breath

On today’s Bulwark Podcast, Josh Kraushaar joins Charlie Sykes to discuss pandemic and political panic, why President Trump thrives on chaos, and what the SCOTUS vacancy might mean for Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden. Plus, a discussion on presidential debate noise.

From The Bulwark Aggregator

In today’s Bulwark…

The Strongman Cometh

Jonathan V. Last: The precipice is here. Donald Trump just told you.

(Editor’s Note: No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Art director Hannah Yoest is.)

Donald the TruCon

Tim Miller: Trump may get his third SCOTUS seat but risks losing his presidency in the process.

Trump’s Desperate, Extraconstitutional, and Probably Illegal Ploy to Lower Drug Prices

James C. Capretta: His pre-election maneuver would have shocked the political world had it been attempted in a previous era.

Since the item has run, Trump is pushing forward with the plan, but with taxpayer money.

Resurrecting the Refugee Resettlement Program

Linda Chavez: While we were distracted, President Trump succeeded in effectively pausing the important strategic and humanitarian program.

We’re so happy that thousands of you have joined and become members of Bulwark+. Thank you to those who have signed up, and thanks to those who donated in our early days to get us this far.

There’s always time to sign up, and you can start right now:

Or, if you have a friend with a birthday coming up, a child or grandchild who would appreciate a gift of Bulwark+, we have gift subscriptions, too:

Give a gift subscription

Sorry, no complimentary American flag pin or small swag. We’re still a small operation without a subscriptions department and respond to readers ourselves. I’m at swift@thebulwark.com if you have any questions about Bulwark+ or if you’d just like to chew the fat. Or ask for BBQ recipes.


Buckle up, friends, I have leading off in the top slot, a self made video from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin that is 100% real. I don’t know if she’s talking to a hunting camera or a cellphone in a tree, but… Let’s roll tape.

At first I thought Palin was offering her house to Sen. Lisa Murkowski in exchange for a vote. That’d be illegal of course but you never know. Palin eventually gets to her point, which is that if Lisa Murkowski, who won a write in campaign for Senate and is known for her work for native Alaskans, Palin is going to give up her house and challenge her.

Ask Joe Miller how that worked out for him, but if you still don’t believe this video is real, go to her Instagram.

Socialist hoaxes are deadly. But apparently only if you think they are hoaxes. RIP.

Now, that’s a bat flip… Jordan Luplow walks off my Cleveland Indians for the second night in a row.

Computer? Enhance:

The British Burrito. Then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney is reported to have said in 2012: “Britain is a tiny island that makes stuff nobody wants.” I have found proof that Mitt Romney is wrong, because I want this burrito. Or at least a recipe for it. Don’t worry, I have you covered on the recipe front.

Judges pushing for bad policy. I’m a bit leery about a conference of judges sending Congress ideas for bills. This one is flat out horrible, as Politico reports:

The letter sent to House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders did not contain specific legislative language, but did offer a non-exclusive laundry list of information judges want authority to suppress. It includes judges’ home addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account details, home and mobile phone numbers and vehicle registrations.

However, the list also covers details on judges’ “investment property,” any “family member’s employer,” and “religious, organization, club, or association memberships.”

The proposal urges Congress to create a legally mandatory takedown mechanism that would give anyone 48-72 hours to remove such details “from the public record” if a judge requests their deletion. The Judicial Conference asked lawmakers to give judges and the government the right to sue to force compliance. The proposal also called for “limited criminal enforcement authority.”

Not only are these proposals insane, they’re likely unconstitutional… but that’s the problem with judges asking Congress, outside of a ruling, to do X or Y. It creates a chicken or egg quandary. These are likely the same judges that would be ruling on challenges to a request they made to Congress, should it become law.

It likely won’t.

But would be illegal for me to tell you, were that the law, that Amy Coney Barrett’s husband is a partner at SouthBank Legal in South Bend, Indiana. Why should you care about that? Maybe you should. Maybe you shouldn’t. I don’t know. It’s easy to find this sort of thing. And it should be.

Not only are these proposals likely unconstitutional, they would have a chilling effect on those who would want to enter the judiciary and extend special protections that shouldn’t exist for anyone in America.

I’m a relative nobody and I’ve been doxxed. I’ve worked for lawmakers who have had people bang on their door in the middle of the night. Going with some European “right to be forgotten” would basically create a Streisand Effect for judges.

Yes, a judge’s son was murdered. Her husband wounded. These solutions will probably cause more harm than good.

A better solution would be to focus law enforcement protection efforts for judges when warranted and utilize the United States Marshals Service, Judicial Security Division. Give them more money.

But don’t make it illegal to report on things that could very well highlight conflicts of interest.

If you give judges this sort of power, it will be abused.

TikTok is bad. The latest in a never ending series.

It’s your right to protest… But really, as much as you (and me) don’t like Trump, this is not a classy thing to do.

What did you do this pandemic? Grill out? Zoom with friends? Home improvement? John Koenig sends this WSJ story about how an engineer exposed massive flaws in what data folks call “The Number Cruncher’s Bible.”

Dr. William Conlon writes… About my Washingtonian story about the SM-1 nuclear reactor at Fort Belvoir.

I wish I had paid closer attention when you announced your intention to write about the Ft. Belvoir reactor.  I would have liked to help make your article a little bit more accurate (figure captions in particular).

I have two connections to the reactor.

1.  As an Army ROTC cadet at RPI and aspiring Nuclear Engineer, I toured SM-1 in the Spring of 1972.

2.  My Nuclear Engineering Ph.D. mentor, John Tully, was Chief Mechanical Engineer at ALCO responsible for this design.  We talked about it a lot.

Here's an article I wrote about John and his reactor.

Dr. Conlon is a nuclear engineer, and he was kind enough to share this old infobooklet from ALCO from his mentor John Tully. It is really cool.

The Chaos Agent. Writing in Commentary, here is Noah Rothman:

The president’s latest inflammatory comments are typically exasperating. “Win, lose, or draw in this election,” Trump was asked on Wednesday, “will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?” The correct answer—indeed, the path of least resistance—to a question involving “peaceful” anything is a perfunctory “yes.” But that was not the answer the president gave. “Well, we’ll have to see what happens,” Trump replied. Like an impressionist painting, the stream of consciousness that followed this ominous evasion is open to interpretation. But there was no ambiguity about the president’s intention. He wants Americans to fear that he might not leave quietly if the election doesn’t go his way.

Behold, SkyNet for your house. I can understand the practical uses of this, but really it is just asking SkyNet to come kill us all if you’re going to bring a semi-autonomous surveillance drone inside your house.

Libertarians do libertarian things. I have a lot of libertarian leanings. Many of my friends are of that ilk. I agree that votes are earned and not given, so when I hear my libertarian friends say: You know, you don’t have to vote for either of the two big parties. I feel ya. I didn’t in 2016. First time ever.

But when the 2020 Libertarian Party nominee is putting Alan Dershowitz out there as a potential supreme court pick?

That’s it for me folks. Thanks for all the feedback and requests to come to yesterday’s BBQ. I’d love to have an Overtime BBQ at some point for D.C. / Cleveland / Saint Louis area readers, but we have to beat COVID-19 first.

You know how to reach me: swift@thebulwark.com.

Subscribe if you haven’t:

And tell your friends: