Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Repeal Begins

Tax Reform

For almost seven years, Republicans have worked to repeal and replace Obamacare. Now, with the GOP in control of both house of Congress and the White House, the time has come for action.

This week, House leaders introduced legislation that will repeal some of the worst parts of Obamacare: its mandates, taxes and expansions of federal control—replacing it with reforms that will lower health costs and expand choices for consumers.

The House bill ensures that those with preexisting conditions who act responsibly will never be charged more for or denied coverage; it gives states greater freedom to cover the uninsured; and it expands access to health savings accounts, which put control in the hands of consumers, not bureaucrats.

Is it a perfect plan?  No.  But will improve our health care system?  Absolutely.

The fight over the Republican health reform is just getting started, but now is the time for conservatives to come together in support of this critical effort.  Congressional Republicans and President Trump deserve our help.

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Greg Thornbury: Nothing New Under The Sun

Greg Thornbury on WikiLeaks

When President Trump informed the media via Twitter that he would not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, he became the first Commander in Chief not to do so in 36 years. This followed on the heels of Mr. Trump saying that the media was the enemy of the American people.

But as the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us, there’s nothing new under the sun. Who was the last president to ditch the Correspondents’ Dinner? That would be Democrat Jimmy Carter, who did not go to the event twice in his four years in the White House.

Nixon excused himself from the festivities too … twice, and called the press the enemy.

The press thinks they are entitled to access to the POTUS. The President thinks that access should mean more favorable coverage.

But it would certainly help if both sides worked toward giving the American people what they deserve: more reliable and more balanced news.

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Owen Strachan: A Reasonable Step in the Right Direction

double standard, parental, generosity and respect. Vice President Pence

The decision of the Trump administration to overturn President Obama’s “transgender bathroom policy” and instead to correlate bathroom usage with one’s biological sex is not a victory for any political group. It is a victory for common sense. It is an affirmation of basic human sanity.

There are many celebrities speaking up about this decision—presenting the decision by the Trump White House as a violation of “transgender rights.” Though this rhetoric sounds fearsome, the decision is a reasonable step in the right direction.

We should offer compassionate help to people who experience gender dysphoria. We should not, however, change public laws or require schools to overhaul their restroom structure (as the Obama administration did). This, in point of fact, is compassionate. It protects little boys and girls from tremendous and damaging confusion that occurs when a child of the opposite-sex enters their bathroom. Children of different sexes should not share bathrooms, and they certainly should not have the federal government telling them they must do so.

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Michael Medved: Trump Turns

Marijuana

For most Americans, Presidents Day counts as a trivial holiday but this year it looks as if Donald Trump made the most of the occasion. Perhaps he saw results of new historian polls and noted that the five all-time greats shared common characteristics. Lincoln, Washington, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt and Eisenhower all made a priority of finding allies in the pursuit of their governing agenda. They displayed determination and optimism rather than erratic plunges into apocalyptic gloom.

President Trump channeled that positive spirit in his speech before a joint session of Congress, emphasizing aspiration over anger, cooperation over confrontation.

Yes: it’s just one speech, but an enormous television audience helped President Trump refocus the administration on a coherent program of common sense, conservative reform. His GOP colleagues should feel relieved, while Democrats struggle to cope with a new Trump who’d rather make deals than wage twitter-wars.

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Greg Thornbury: Just Saying No Is not Enough

Greg Thornbury on WikiLeaks

When President Trump addressed a joint session of Congress this week, pundits—both on the left and right—agreed: this was a very fine moment for the new Commander-in-Chief.

The speech was filled was highlights for President Trump, but the best ones came when he said things any proud American should love, and the response of Democrats? Revealingly, they sat silent, hands folded, like an old Saharan Sphinx.

One laugh-out-loud funny moment came when the President announced a new partnership with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to help jumpstart the businesses of female entrepreneurs.

When the camera panned to Elizabeth Warren, she looked confused, and muttered, “What?!?” She looked like she wanted to applaud opportunities in new capital markets for women, but just couldn’t bring herself to do it.

That awkward response shows the dilemma of the Democratic Party. Just saying “no” to Trump is not enough.

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Mark Davis: Presidential Trump

Comey

It was something to behold.  We’ve seen many Donald Trump speeches, but never anything quite like his address to a Joint Session of Congress.

It had a State of the Union feel, but with more people paying attention.  There was suspense—would this be campaign-rally Trump filled with self-praise? Inaugural Trump with daunting assessments of the crises we face?  What we got was an uplifting, unifying Trump.

From his very first words—a rebuke against hate—through themes of American jobs, borders and restoration of our global stature, it was definitely Trump’s agenda, but presented in a welcoming way that left skeptics and even critics asking, “Where has this guy been?”

When he paid tribute to the widow of fallen SEAL Ryan Owens, he brought a nation together. We all knew the address to Congress would come from President Trump; what we know now is how effective “Presidential Trump” can be.

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Michael Medved: Trump’s Habit: Turning Obstacles Into Advantages

Marijuana

Even his harshest critics recognize President Trump’s habit of turning obstacles into advantages. In the primary campaign, the fact that 17 well-qualified Republicans ran against him was supposed to make his victory impossible. But it served to divide more cautious, mainstream voters while giving Trump an unbeatable edge among all those who hoped a non-politician might deliver dramatic change.

Similarly, the fact that pre-inaugural polls showed only a minority with high expectations for Trump’s White House could easily work to the new president’s advantage as he confounds dire predictions by opponents and the press.

Barack Obama had an approval rating of 81 percent when he took over the presidency so there was nowhere to go but down—and he lost Congress in a landslide two years later. For Trump, media skepticism about his abilities leaves him nowhere to go but up—and even modest success in achieving some of his initial goals should allow him to exceed expectations and build critical momentum.

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