Commentary

Davenport: Republican Disruptors Not Uber Successful

Republicans are becoming the party of disruptors. The Freedom Caucus in the House was successful at wearing out Speaker John Boehner and running off his likely successor Kevin McCarthy.  Meanwhile, in the presidential campaign, Republican disruptors are winning. The three outsiders—Trump, Carson and Fiorina—have a collective 54 percent in support, with all the rest who have been officeholders at 39 percent.

Silicon Valley companies have made disrupting a popular business model, reinventing entire industries. But they first develop a better idea which in turn disrupts a market. Take Uber as the classic case:  by developing more convenient and comfortable ways for people to get around, they disrupted the taxi industry.

Unfortunately Republicans have only half the disruptor DNA. They tend to want to shut down the government and get their hands on the levers of power, but they aren’t presenting new, better ways of doing things.  It will take a new House Speaker like policy wonk Paul Ryan, and successful presidential candidates who know how to govern to turn things around.

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Medved: Embrace of “Socialism” Reflects Dangerous Ignorance

A new poll about public attitudes toward socialism and capitalism helps explain the surprising popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders—despite his proud identification as a “democratic socialist.”

The YouGov survey showed 49 percent of Democrats said they looked favorably on socialism, while only 37 percent had a favorable opinion of capitalism—the system that has made America the envy of the world. Even worse, more Democrats—by a 3 to 2 margin—described themselves as socialists than described themselves as capitalists.

Results for Republicans showed a clear majority said who said they were capitalists, but political Independents seemed badly confused. A full 70 percent said they were neither socialist nor capitalist, or weren’t sure where they stood. This poll doesn’t show  Americans leaning left as much as it shows them leaning ignorant—not understanding that socialism means stifling government control of economic activity, and apparently unaware of this discredited system’s long history of wrecking economies and threatening liberty.

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Disregarding Decency, Liberty and Sanity in Jerusalem

The Palestinian Authority has honored those who perpetrate stabbing attacks against Jews as “heroes” and “martyrs”—despite the fact that victims of those attacks are almost always small children, old women, and other innocent civilians. Even worse, the justification for these terrorist atrocities is suppression of religious liberty—not its defense.

On Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, site of the ancient Temples described in the Bible, only Moslems are now allowed to pray; any worship or prayer by Jews or Christians is strictly forbidden.

The present Palestinian rage has nothing to do with defending Al Aqsa Mosque, which has never been violated or threatened, but with worries that some Jews and Christians might someday say their own prayers nearby. Meanwhile, the Israeli government has constantly re-affirmed its commitment to the status quo with its current ban on non-Muslim prayers.

Palestinian hysteria (with this latest wave of terror attacks) shows contempt for decency, liberty and sanity as well.

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Affirmative Confusion

Sex education is undergoing a shift in many schools across the country.

Jennifer Medina of The New York Times recently examined the internal contradictions, indeed the absolute implausibility, of the new sexual standards.

California is one of the first states to try out this new sex ed. The main shift is from a “no means no” standard to a “yes means yes” standard for consent. A woman must now give “affirmative consent” at every step of a sexual encounter.

One of the tests of any form of sex education is how in the world you could teach this to teenagers with a straight face. And this isn’t working.

John F. Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University’s Law School, admits “the standard is not logical. Nobody really works that way. The problem with teaching this to high school students is that you are only going to sow more confusion.”

Having removed any moral framework for sex, they’re trying to reduce everything to what’s called affirmative consent, but consent is no substitute for sexual morality.

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A False Positive for Hillary

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

At the first Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders told Hillary Clinton that he was “sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

Where was Bernie Sanders when the GOP needed him to declare in a highly public way to Richard Nixon that the country “was sick of hearing about your tapes”?

Hillary Clinton won the debate, for sure, but it was a false positive.

She tried out answers on her national security-compromising server and her litany of half-truths.

But they will not help her at all this week when she appears for hours and hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi to answer focused, precise questions from experienced prosecutors.

Committee Democrats may try and throw themselves on the fire for Clinton as Sanders did, but it won’t stop a patient prosecutor. Answers will be had about Clinton and her server and her deleted and recovered emails.

Sanders is not the boss of the committee, the Congress, the FBI, future debate panelists or participants or even voters.

Clinton did a happy dance after that first debate.

It won’t last.

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Mohler: Bad News, Indeed

A recent headline announced the news that Playboy will cease the publication of nude photographs of women in its magazine.

Good news? No. Not so much.

Playboy acknowledged that its decision had nothing to do with any admission that pornography is morally wrong. Instead, the publishers of the magazine were acknowledging that their product was no longer commercially viable because pornography is so pervasive in the Internet age that no one need buy their product.

It was one of the most morally revealing admissions of recent times. Playboy has outlived its ability to transgress and to push the moral boundaries. As a matter of fact, it was a victim of its own tragic success. Pornography is such a pervasive part of modern society that Playboy is now a commercial victim of the very moral revolution it symbolized and promoted for decades.

Hugh Hefner’s moral philosophy is now mainstream in America, and the current Playboy CEO can claim “that battle has been fought and won.”

Any morally sane person must recognize that as horrifyingly bad news. Bad news, indeed.

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Hewitt: Open Memo To Paul Ryan

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

I am hereby re-issuing my open memo to Paul Ryan:

Congressman Ryan, I am hoping—praying, actually—that you agree to be the speaker of the House.

You can help lead a country desperately in need of leadership. The “hard core” of the Freedom Caucus cannot number more than 20, if that. You can dictate terms. But more than that, you can use this period to rally and unify the caucus around a sense of shared purpose and real urgency.

Lay out your program to the GOP members assembled, name your team and your proposed way forward from now through the next 17 months.

If you get 225 or 230 votes, the deal is done and you are on the way to an amazing speakership. If they turn you down, walk. The majority will be lost anyway in 2016 if hostage taking spreads from the Caliphate to the Congress.

It would work. It has to. A rump group of at most a score of ideologues cannot be allowed to destroy the GOP. Please step up. Every responsible conservative will support you.

Yours truly,

Hugh Hewitt.

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