Commentary

Jerry Bowyer: Economic Growth and American Greatness


It appears that the economy is slowing down and that markets are signaling even further weakening. I’ve been an economic optimist since the Trump election—especially when he made broad-based tax cuts a priority. But I did warn that the effects of the tax cuts would be short-term unless he continued to push in a pro-growth direction.

But after the cuts, the president instead pivoted towards increasing taxes on international trade. Make no mistake: tariffs are taxes. And as such, they choke growth.

And that’s exactly what has been happening.

Economic growth has gone from a sizzling summer of over 4 percent to an average fall at under 3 1/2 percent and the winter looks like it might be cooling down to under 3 percent.

If—in the president’s language—we want to make America great again—and we really want to beat China, growth is the way to do it.

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Medved: Hollywood Thanks Satan for Shoddy Work


This is Michael Medved at MichaelMedved.com for Townhall.

Christian Bale won a recent Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for playing Dick Cheney in “Vice,” and on claiming his prize he said, “Thank you, Satan for giving me inspiration for playing this role.” “Vice” is an inept, incoherent dud that portrays its subject as a one-dimensional, diabolical monster, ignoring a real-life record of achievement as White House Chief of Staff, five term Congressman, Defense Secretary and two-term Vice President.

The obsession with demonizing conservatives produced this misbegotten mess, smearing a patriotic public servant who retired a decade ago, and going so far as to suggest he didn’t deserve the heart transplant he received in 2011.

By classifying this pitch-dark film as a “comedy” its producers cheerfully shrug off any sense of historical or artistic responsibility and, as Bale darkly suggests, serve Satan.

I’m Michael Medved.

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Jerry Bowyer: The Israel-Brazil Alliance?


The first thing the new Brazilian President did after his inauguration was to turn and hug Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That—and the fact that Netanyahu was there at all—is extraordinary. It was Bibi’s first trip to anywhere in South America.

Adding to the sense of solidarity with Israel was the sound of the Shofar horn being blown by a rabbi.

Bolsonaro has made friendship with Israel a cornerstone of his administration: He, too, has promised to move their Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Our friend George Gilder has argued in his book The Israel Test that someone’s attitude towards Israel reveals their attitude about entrepreneurship.

Because of his approach to market capitalism, his approach to Israel and the Middle East and his efforts to deal with cronyism and corruption, Brazil’s stock market has been the best performer in the world.

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Albert Mohler: Understanding the Rise in Claims of Transgender Identity


Could the transgender revolution really be fueled by a social dimension?—a social contagion?

That’s what a current—and now very controversial—peer-reviewed study has found. The headline from the Economist in London was this, “Why are so many teenage girls appearing in gender clinics?”

The author of the academic study discovered that there is a clear social dimension, a contagion of what’s called gender dysphoria, particularly among adolescent girls and young women.

So: What does it mean?

It means the recent spike in transgender identity may be attributable in large measure to the influence of other young women in the same place at the same time within a definable set of relationships or going to similar places on the internet.

You may have sensed this already by observation and intuition.

Now: The academic research supports it.

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Michael Medved: Finding the Message in the Miraculous


On the last Sabbath of 2018, Jewish communities around the world read aloud a Biblical passage that, coincidentally, suggests a means to find guidance in 2019. In Exodus, Chapter Three, Moses tends sheep in the wilderness and spots a bush that burns brightly but isn’t consumed.

The text not only describes this wonder, but records the reaction of Moses. “I will turn aside now and look at this great sight,” he resolves. And only then, the Bible says: “God saw that he turned aside to see, and God called to him….”

In other words, the Divine voice addressed him in direct response to his sense of wonder, his open eyes and open heart. In the year ahead, may we “turn aside to see” the miraculous developments in our world and listen for the deeper messages they’re sending us.

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Michael Medved: An Outrage Should Inspire Bi-Partisan Action


In Central California, a gang-connected illegal immigrant shot and killed a local cop who, with his wife, had just celebrated a newborn son. The 32-year-old shooter already had two drunk driving arrests and bragged on social media about his street gang membership. The Sheriff’s office that arrested him complained about California’s “sanctuary policies”—not because they deliberately protect criminals, but because they block cooperation between local authorities and federal immigration officials to apprehend the bad guys.

This tragic loss ought to persuade Americans—left, right and center—to rethink an obnoxious obstacle to law enforcement. It should also inspire bi-partisan efforts to draft new laws to keep firearms out of the hands of illegals; even the strongest defenders of the Second Amendment must recognize it was never meant to protect gun rights for those who live in the country illegally.

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David Davenport: Popular Vote Power Play


Democrats are frustrated that they have lost the presidency in the Electoral College twice in the 21st century.  But instead of amending the Constitution, they are going to courts and state legislatures.

Four lawsuits claim that votes for the losing candidate in a winner-take-all electoral vote are not counted equally as required by the 14th Amendment.  Of course all the votes are counted at the state level, as the Constitution provides, so this should be a losing argument, but these days who knows?

At the same time they seek to pass the National Popular Vote Bill in state legislatures requiring electors to cast votes for the winner, not of their state vote, but of the national popular vote.

If you want to change the Constitutional requirement of electoral voting, it should be done by a proper amendment, not an end run or a legal power play.

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