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Commentary

Davenport: Congress Needs to Step Up Its Game

Compromise

While everyone was evaluating Donald Trump at 100 days, we also should have been grading Congress.  With significantly lower approval ratings than the president, Congress has done very little.

With the same political party controlling the White House and Congress, how can that be?  The answer is that Republicans in Congress are no longer following their leaders but instead are beholden to political caucuses.  The moderate Tuesday group and the conservative Freedom Caucus now hold as much power as the Speaker of the House or a committee chair.

Leaders no longer even try to work with members of the other party, instead settling for party-line votes on everything.  Only five times in history has the president’s party avoided losses in mid-term elections, so Republicans now have about a year and a half to get it together.  Otherwise what should have been a period of power and influence will have been wasted.

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Lanhee Chen: An Opportunity For The Senate

Tax Reform

The effort to repeal and replace Obamacare has now moved to the United States Senate, where our elected representatives have the important responsibility of improving upon the American Health Care Act—the reform legislation that passed the House a few weeks ago.

There will likely be disagreements between Senators over key issues, like how best to ensure access to coverage for those with preexisting health conditions; how to make health insurance more affordable for those who don’t get it through their employers or the government; and how best to reform to Medicaid, the state-federal health program targeted at low-income Americans.

These are significant issues, but Senators can and should find a way to address their differences. Getting to “yes” will likely involve compromise and movement away from an ideal position. But Senators shouldn’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. They have been given a golden opportunity to repeal Obamacare and replace it with market-based reforms that will lower health costs.

Here’s to hoping that they don’t squander it.

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Greg Thornbury: Comey’s Obligation

Has there ever been a public official who has gone from good guy to bad guy in both the eyes of the Left and the Right—faster and more often—than former FBI Director James Comey? I think not.

Why? It all depends on what he’s saying at the moment.

When news broke that Comey had written a memo and other communications in the aftermath of President Trump’s purported request for him to call off the investigation into Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s contact with Russian officials, the media went into hysterics.

Congressman Chaffetz from Utah, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has written Acting FBI Director McCabe for the documents.

But here’s my question. If such a memo existed, why didn’t Mr. Comey inform Congress on the two recent occasions he testified before them?

Congress, it’s time to make public all documents that are not classified to clear up this whole jumbled affair. You owe it to the American people.

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Michael Medved: Contrasting Views On Wealth And Poverty

Opioid

A Pew Research study shows sharp contrasts between Republicans and Democrats in attitudes toward wealth and poverty. By more than three-to-one, Republicans say hard work, rather than a person’s advantages, explains why people are rich.

Among Democrats, only 29 percent agree about the value of hard work, while 60 percent say financial success comes from “advantages in life.” In explaining poverty, 56 percent of Republicans cite “lack of effort” but only 19 percent of Democrats agree with them.

Surprisingly, ideology has more influence on attitudes toward wealth and poverty than does current economic status. Nearly a third of low-income respondents admit “lack of effort” explains poverty, while 37 percent of high earners see their good fortune as based on undeserved “advantages in life.”

These results suggest that our approaches toward rich and poor stem more from world-view, values and inclination—rather than current standing or personal experience.

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Michael Medved: Dem’s Gloom May Seal Their Doom

Opioid

The Democrats used to bill themselves as the party of unshakable optimism with jaunty, confident presidents like FDR or JFK, or the “Man from Hope” himself, Bill Clinton. But a new Pew Research study shows the party of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “High Hopes” is now the party of “Eve of Destruction.”

The percentage of Democrats who say they feel “little or no confidence in the country’s future” nearly tripled in the past two years—from just 12 percent to 34 percent. Meanwhile, Republican spirits have soared—with 59 percent expressing “a lot of confidence” in America’s future—up 19 points since Trump’s election.

In politics, optimism generates energy and attracts votes while panic and negativity tend to repel the electorate. In every presidential race in the last 90 years, the more cheerful, positive, ebullient candidate has prevailed. That suggests the Democrats’ current gloom will only serve to seal their own doom.

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Hewitt: Media Hysteria Over Comey

U.S. Senate

President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

No, this isn’t comparable to Nixon’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” of Watergate fame. There are no tapes, no subpoenas for presidential documents, no resignations from the Justice Department, but instead recommendations from the Justice Department. In short, the overwrought media has toppled into hysteria again.

This is, simply, the rightful determination by the president that he no longer had confidence in James Comey, supplemented by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation that Director Comey should not have publicly discussed the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Agree or disagree with that decision by Comey not to prosecute Secretary Clinton, that kind of decision-making is not what the FBI does. Ever.

So President Trump on the advice of Rod Rosenstein and on his own gut decided it was time for James Comey to go.

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Mark Davis: After Comey

Comey

Reactions to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey are falling along predictable lines. There’s a strain of conservative comments that this was overdue, even though his late October re-opening of the Hillary Clinton e-mail case may have contributed to Trump’s win in November.

That’s the recently expressed belief of Hillary herself, but now her political allies cry foul at Comey’s dismissal. Why: With the election over, the left had only one wish for Comey’s FBI—that he would one day emerge with evidence to prop up the currently empty suspicions about a Trump-Russia connection.

But Comey was damaged goods.

An FBI Director should avoid becoming the focus of every story about what the Bureau does and does not do. Comey’s inability to do that leads to the bottom line:

He had it coming.

What the nation needs now and what President Trump should provide quickly is a new director—someone with impeccable credentials—who can get on with the business of the Bureau.

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