ADF

Commentary

Albert Mohler: A One in 1-Million-Year Flood?

Billy Graham

And still the rains come, falling catastrophically upon Houston, Texas, the larger Metropolitan areas and the entire region of the Texas Gulf Coast.

As of Sunday (yes, Sunday), 9 trillion gallons of water had already fallen from the storm, enough to fill the Great Salt Lake twice according to Matthew Cappucci of the Washington Post. Now, over 20 trillion gallons are expected.

In order to equal the amount of water already rained on Houston, the Mississippi River in its entirety would have to drain into that city for nine days straight.

By the time the rainfall has fallen, at least some in the actuarial business for insurance companies are saying that it might be a one in 1-million-year flood that is now falling on one of the most highly populated areas of the United States.

Right now we continue to be concerned for and to pray for those whose lives are so affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath and we pray that help can come and can come quickly.

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Hugh Hewitt: President Trump and Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Senate

It’s no secret that how a president responds to a natural disaster can affect his fortunes. President Barack Obama’s reaction to Hurricane Sandy contributed significantly to his 2012 reelection. President George W. Bush’s fumbled response to Hurricane Katrina was part of a ruinous sequence of events in 2005 that destroyed his second term’s political momentum.

So, here’s some specific advice for President Trump.

First, watch all of the coverage closely. Speak with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long often. If you must tweet, tweet only about the storm and its impacts. Act as a concerned family member would when news of a family tragedy arrives but details are few.

And some advice for my colleagues in the media: Be very slow to politicize this storm. It looks to be quite awful in its impacts.

And, crucially, if people express online or on air that they are praying for the victims of the storm, ditch the snarky assaults on such traditional expressions. Prayer’s not a sentiment. It’s a real and often cherished act and gift.

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Davenport: Win or Lose, The ACA Has Federalized Health Care

Compromise

No matter how the efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare turn out, I’m sorry to say that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has federalized health care forever.

It has changed the conversation so that, instead of debating whether the federal government should or constitutionally may take over health care, we are instead debating how.

As political scientist James Q. Wilson pointed out, once Congress has entered a field of regulation, the legitimacy of federal action is established and is rarely debated again. Sadly, in the case of Obamacare, this was accomplished by a straight party-line vote of Democrats.

Surprisingly, in that same time frame, the federalization of education policy was also accomplished, but is now turning back to the states. There was such an outcry over Common Core and federal testing that teachers and parents changed the law in Washington.

Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen with an entitlement like healthcare, which has now—almost certainly—been federalized forever.

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Lanhee Chen: A Plea for Nuance in Polarized Times

Tax Reform

The views held by the protestors in the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia—the voices of white supremacy, neo-Nazi organizations and the KKK—have no place in our society.

But make no mistake: There are other—credible—voices on the political right in America today that have been marginalized on college campuses and other venues across our country. I’m thinking of voices and organizations that advocate for the life of the unborn child or for religious liberty, which have been shouted down or categorized as hate groups.

There is no moral equivalence between the views of white supremacists and the views held by those protesting against them. And the mainstream media should also be willing to differentiate between those white nationalists and, for example, today’s champions for religious liberty.

Many progressives may not like them, but they do not deserve to be mixed together with the vile hatred we saw in Charlottesville.

Nuance isn’t popular in today’s politics, but let’s not lose sight of the differences where they matter.

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Michael Medved: The Real Reason the South Left the Union

Opioid

Tragic recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia raise new questions about an old debate. Why did Southern states leave the Union in the first place, resulting in a war that killed more than 700,000 Americans?

Mississippi, the 2nd of 11 states that ultimately seceded from the federal government, gave a clear explanation in its 1861 declaration of secession: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest in the world,” the delegates affirmed.

They saw slavery as essential to their survival, claiming that, “none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun … and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” While individuals who fought for the Confederacy may have been decent and even noble, no one should pretend the Confederate cause was honorable.

As the great Mississippian and Nobel Prize-winner William Faulkner famously declared, “The past is never dead. It’s not even passed.”

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Jerry Bowyer: Time For Idle Hands to Get to Work

Jordan Peterson

Virtually all Americans agree that the KKK is a vile, racist group has no place in contemporary public debate.

What constructive action can we take?

If you really hate the KKK, then cut taxes. Data show that poor economic performance enflames racial tension. According to Gallup polling, after the Bush tax cuts racial anxiety went down. But since 2010 anxiety has been rising—rapidly. One reason for that is that the U.S. has been growing at half its historic rate.

When JFK proposed tax cuts in the early 60s, those cuts were opposed by southern segregationists. Senator Robert Byrd threatened a filibuster if Kennedy put forth both a tax cut and a civil rights bill. He knew that lowering taxes would increase growth, causing businesses to hire more African Americans.

Our growth-less recovery has helped spawn high unemployment among youth and minorities—fueling a spike in extremist groups of both left and right.

It’s time to cut taxes and get those idle hands to work.

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Hugh Hewitt: The White House West Wing (Staff) Renovation

U.S. Senate

The exit of Stephen K. Bannon completes a restructuring of the West Wing that began almost as soon as the president took office and is now apparently complete. Like the physical renovation of the West Wing, it was noisy, not very attractive … but it was necessary.

What is needed now are successes in cooperation with Congress—beyond confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the Veterans Affairs reform bill, and the 14 Congressional Review Act laws that were all enormously significant—but those were low-profile victories, and it seemed like Gorsuch was half a year ago.

What is needed above all is either a tax bill or resurrection of the health-care fix. Slashing the corporate tax rate is probably the easiest (and perhaps most economically significant) bit of legislation to accomplish—but so too must arrive the repeal of the Budget Control Act, which has devastated national security via the “sequester” and hamstrung a key Trump promise, that of a 355-ship Navy.

The staffing reset—along with a rhetorical reset from President Trump himself begun last week—can help get things moving.

 

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