The Weekend Jolt

NR Insider

It’s the Plumber, I’ve Come to Fix the Sink

Dear Weekend Jolters,

I’ve told this before to some but here we go again: Back when I was NR’s Publisher, my son — then five or six and wondering why Mr. Munroe, ace plumber, had come one afternoon to fix the two synchronized-leak toilets at Casa Fowler — asked why I hadn’t fixed them. “Well John, I was at work when they broke.” He wasn’t buying: “But aren’t you the plumber of National Review?” And all this time I thought the kid’s hearing was decent: “No John, I’m the publisher of National Review. Do you really think I go to work every day and fix toilets?”


And of course, various occasions have proven John right. Forget the watch: I’m half expecting that when I retire I’ll get a Golden Plunger, because at NR HQ, when too much water flows, or not enough, eyes and emails find their way to me.

Like today. It’s Friday at 7:53 a.m. and, let’s just say it has been, well, one of those mornings. There was a sink eruption at 6:37 a.m. As I try to get Weekend Jolt figured out, the super (Tony) and his sidekick (Ziggy) are in here now, mopping, fixing the pipes, but if that garbage-truck-in-July smell lingers till Christmas, I wouldn’t be surprised. This day is definitely not sponsored by Febreze.

My original subject line for this missive was going to be a groaner like Scold Franken, Censor Moore. But it’s too early for that. So I fall back on today’s chaos for inspiration. Which reminds me about the threats faced by sink-fixing plumbers.  

Before We Get to the Editorial . . .

Tomorrow is the last day of the Fall 2017 webathon. Explained in detail here. Please consider giving. Do that here. Thanks so much to all who have pitched in.


Just one this week past, and in it we pay some compliments to the Senate’s “improved” tax bill. From the editorial:

Conservatives should not ignore the importance of keeping the federal deficit under control, nor the risks of repealing the mandate without broad-based health-care reform. But Republicans are taking important steps toward achieving a worthwhile goal, and their efforts are worth conservative support.


1. Brand new folks, for NRO anyway: The Jamie Weinstein Show. The new episode is an interview with Mark Cuban. The wannabe-POTUS, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Shark Tank star tells Jamie in a marathon interview that he is seriously considering a 2020 bid and spews plenty about his stances on various political issues, his relationship with Steve Bannon, his influences, and much more.

2. The Bookmonger this week finds John Miller mongering with David Ignatius about his just-released thriller, Quantum Spy.

3. This week’s episode of The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg stars — Jonah Goldberg! Flying solo, NRO’s founding editor discourses on the sexual misconduct wave moving through Washington, and explains how it’s all Bill Clinton’s fault, and if that doesn’t hook you, then stick around for the Bigfoot erotica at the end.

4. Hillsdale professor Benedict Whalen johns JJM for the new episode of The Great Books, delving into Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

5. Geraghty and Carombos dump a cold pitcher of their Three Martini Lunch over the deserving head of Minnesota’s groping, election-stealing Senator, Mr. Franken.

6. All hail The Editors: On the new podcast, Rich, Charlie, and Michael Brendan Dougherty discuss Roy Moore and Donald Trump Jr.’s correspondence with Wikileaks.

7. The Liberty Files is particularly important this week, as David and Alexandra discuss SCOTUS’s decision to hear National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Xavier Becerra, the vital First Amendment case, with lead lawyers David Cortman and Kristen Waggoner from Alliance for Defending Freedom.

8. God is good: He has made Brit big-brain Daniel Hannan and Jay Nordlinger my pals. This week, the two got together for Jay’s Q&A podcast to brilliantly discuss all sorts of stuff.

9. Scott and Jeff and guest Michael C. Moynihan turn the new episode of Political Beats into a chatfest on The Smiths, the once-upon-a-time English rock band.

Nine NRO Pieces You Must Read or I am Going to Tell Mom

1. From Rich Lowry’s new column, on how Roy Moore is really Steve Bannon’s textbook candidate. Here is a slice:

For the former Trump operative, the Alabama Senate candidate’s tattered credibility is a feature, not a bug. If Moore had well-considered political and legal views, good judgment, and a sterling reputation, he’d almost by definition be part of the establishment that Bannon so loathes. Since Moore has none of those things, he’s nearly an ideal representative of the Bannon insurgency.

2. Kevin Williamson gazes at the personage named Al Franken and sees a little man. And a putz. Preach it Brother K:

In the case of great men, we have to consider their careers whole. Gandhi had some very weird personal habits and a lot of very stupid ideas about politics and economics, but he was right about his One Big Thing. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., too. We are lucky that Jefferson wasn’t as influential as he might have been among the Founding Fathers, given that he harbored some truly insane political ideas. It’s a difficult thing to do, which is why good historians and good biographers are so valuable.

Happily, in the case of Senator Al Franken, we don’t really have to do very much of that. He’s a putz.

3. Andy McCarthy makes a strong case for why the people of the Arizona 9th should elect Seth Leibsohn.

4. Now that every drop of juice has been drained from Bill Clinton, David Harsanyi checks out liberals’ late-breaking concern for his tomcatting and worse. From the piece:

Although it wasn’t said aloud often, the actions of the entire Democratic Party confirmed Burleigh’s position, in spirit if not in action. The Clintons were counting on it. An unhealthy veneration for presidents and a deep disdain for the other side induces people to rationalize the worst kind of votes. It is the same calculus some partisans use when defending Moore or Sen. Bob Menendez. But it takes no “courage” to speak up later — certainly not decades later; certainly not when your purpose is transparently partisan. This isn’t a reckoning as much as it is a face-saving.

BTW, KDW looks at the WJC phonies too.

5. Victor Davis Hanson lauds America’s indispensable friends.

6. On the California / free speech / free worship / abortion cases that SCOTUS will hear, David French explains why they’re so dang important for Constitutional law.

7. Jibran Khan, NRI’s new Thomas Rhodes fellow, gloats that “Nancy MacLean’s Deceitful Democracy in Chains Fails to Win National Book Award.”

8. Kyle Smith thinks Al Franken is a gift to Republicans. From his piece:

Franken might be able to shake this off if he could depend on conflicting memories. But he can’t. Because of that photo. The sex-abuse scandal is becoming, to cultural history, what Watergate was to political history. It is gigantic. It is era-defining. And among the dozens of famous people implicated in it, the Franken photo is the most damning and irrefutable evidence yet to emerge. It’s a tableau of our time. It is the photo of our moment. It’s the kind of smoking gun you couldn’t use in a Law & Order episode because it would be too blatant. It will never disappear from the national consciousness.

9. What I love about Kat Timpf pieces is that the headlines say it all. ”Professor: Add ‘Weight-Based Microaggressions” to School Diversity Curriculum.”

And now that the fat lady has sung, we move on to –

Five Pieces from Other Friendly Sites that Should Merit Your Attention

1. At First Things, Gerald McDermott wonders profoundly if Pope Francis is a liberal Protestant. From his piece:

Those of us who continue to fight for orthodoxy, in dogmatic as well as moral theology, miss those days when there was a clear beacon shining from across the Tiber. For now, it seems, Rome itself has been infiltrated by the sexual revolution. The center is not holding.

2. Lebanon’s fall would be Iran’s gain, writes John Bolton for Gatestone Institute.

3. At The Federalist, Mary Rose Somarriba tops Kat Timpf in the headline department: “Christians Against Masturbation” Spokeswoman in Old Louis C.K. Video Now Seems Surprisingly Insightful. Damn I cannot stand him.

4. More from Gatestone: Giulio Meotti writes that in the last 20 years, “French suburbs have not only become ‘concentrations of poverty and social isolation,’ but have gone from being some of France’s most densely populated Jewish areas to ‘lost territories of the Republic.’” Chilling stuff.

5. She, He, Ze, Sie/Zie, Zie, Ey, Per, They. What you have just read are the pronouns being taught at the University of Oklahoma’s “Gender Alley Program.” You have got to read this article by Daniel Payne at The College Fix.

BONUS: Yeah, your health-care premiums are going to go up in 2018. A lot. Thanks, ObamaCare. On average, by a smidge over 27%, but depending on the state you live in, the hike could skyrocket as much as 81%. Freedom Partner has created this premium-increase-tracker map so you can find out just how bad the hit will be in your neck of the woods. Keep the Kleenex handy.

Also Mom Says . . .

. . . to follow me on Twitter. And if you don’t, she’s gonna tell her mom (although that might prove difficult without a Ouija Board).


Bobby Doerr, a skinny kid from Los Angeles, was 19 when he took the field at Shibe Park in Philadelphia as second baseman for the Boston Red Sox on the afternoon of April 20, 1937. He banged out three hits against the A’s. Against the same team, on the same field, on the night of Sept. 7, 1951, Doerr took what was the final swing — he ground out to end the first inning — of an exceptional major league career, spent entirely with the Bosox, and interrupted for Staff Sergeant Doerr’s wartime service. He missed all of 1945, and his call-up in September 1944, in the thick of a close pennant race (WJ readers will recall it was won by the St. Louis Browns), is argued to have cost Boston a trip to the World Series. He did make it to the big show once, in 1946, and hit .409 (nine hits, one homer, three ribbies) but the Sox lost in seven games to the Cardinals. A Hall of Fame member, considered by many baseball’s best-ever fielding second baseman, this man who played against Gehrig and alongside Williams went home to the Lord on Monday, a few months shy of his 100th birthday. Robert Pershing Doerr was the oldest living former major leaguer, and the last man living who had played in the 1930s. When no one had a clue what steroids meant. Rest in Peace.


Email me at I dare you.

A dios

There is a National Review friend with a very special intention about a difficult pregnancy. Will you say a prayer please? Thank you.

God bless and have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Jack Fowler


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