Commentary

Michael Medved: The Oprah Infatuation: Dems Place Personality Over Policy

Opioid

The unbounded enthusiasm for Oprah Winfrey’s prospective presidential run illustrates the Democrats’ tendency to prioritize personality above policy. Nobody knows where Oprah stands on issues of the day, or what style of governance she’d favor, but Democrats know she is a popular personality and that’s enough for them. Barack Obama enjoyed similar popularity among Democrats: his brief pre-White House career displayed few practical achievements or even a coherent philosophy, but inspiring speeches about hope and change gave him an almost magical appeal.

In approaching President Trump, of course, Democrats also prefer to ignore substance and to concentrate on style: they emphasize the president’s volatile personality and dismiss his undeniable record of first year accomplishment. Liberals would rather scold the latest presidential tweet than consider the booming economy or the lowest black unemployment rate ever measured. The GOP shouldn’t help them in this effort, but must focus relentlessly on the nation’s pressing issues rather than the president’s personality.

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Lanhee Chen: After Tax Reform: Return to Health Care

Tax Reform

Tax reform legislation signed into law by President Trump in December, which will lower taxes for most Americans this year, unfortunately did nothing to stop billions of dollars in new taxes under Obamacare from hitting millions of Americans in the wallet.

One example is the Obamacare health insurance tax, which is being paid for directly by consumers, in the form of higher premiums. So millions of us will take a direct hit, even though most people who will be paying for the tax increase don’t even realize it.

Over the next 10 years, individual market beneficiaries will pay over $2,000 more in premiums; families getting their coverage through small employers will pay over $6,000 more; and Medicare Advantage members will pay over $3,000 more.

Although Republicans did not create ObamaCare, they are in a golden position to end this tax and help bring down premiums. A failure to do so may hurt congressional Republicans when they come before the voters in this November’s midterm elections.

And that’s a risk they shouldn’t take.

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Hugh Hewitt – A DACA Compromise: Do it and Move On

U.S. Senate

Just under 800,000 people received permits to stay and work under the DACA program. President Trump has announced the program’s end. It now falls to Congress to decide the fate of the “dreamers.”

 

A legislative deal between these competing interests is obvious: regularization of the 700,000 who can show they have not been involved in violence or criminal enterprise; a significant investment in border security, including the 700-plus miles of wall; an explicit rejection of “chain migration” entitlement or preference for the dreamers; and an end to the absurd “diversity visa lottery.”

 

This compromise is not amnesty. A long, strong fence and additional security measures aren’t the Berlin Wall, nor are their proponents totalitarians. After all the posturing and the rhetoric is done and said, my take is that a large majority of Americans can agree on this plan. Can Congress get its act together and, in a bipartisan fashion do an obviously good thing? Just do it, and then move on. What a concept.

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Albert Mohler: The Moral Confusion of Our Culture

Billy Graham

The moral confusion of our culture was appallingly illustrated in a recent article in the New York Times: “Is your child lying to you? That’s good.”

 

The author, Alex Stone, refers to research suggesting that the children who learn how to lie the earliest are the children who turn out to be smarter. It takes a certain amount of intelligence, after all, to learn how to lie.

 

Your child isn’t lying? Well, don’t worry. The article supplies exercises you can do with your child to speed up the process of learning how to lie.

 

Stone goes on to suggest that one of the worst things parents can do is to punish a lie. Instead, he encourages parents to pay children to tell the truth.

 

We really are living in a world turned upside down when parents in a major American newspaper are told to celebrate when their toddlers lie and are offered tactical advice about how to teach them to lie.

 

It’s a catastrophe. It’s a moral world turned upside down. And that’s no lie.

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Michael Medved: A New Monument to Black Confederates

Opioid

Two Republican legislators in South Carolina proposed a new monument on the state Capitol grounds to honor Confederate soldiers—this time commemorating black fighting men who went to battle for the South.

This idea is both ill-considered and offensive. First, the estimated 6,000 African-Americans who did fight for the Confederacy were mostly slaves, and forced to do so—many deserted when the Confiscation Acts and Emancipation Proclamation offered freedom to those who crossed Union lines. Second, black soldiers represented less than 1 percent of the 750,000 white Confederates—and a tiny fraction of the 200,000 blacks who served the Union military.

Finally, it makes no sense to construct new memorials to those who fought against the United States in an effort to destroy our country. Yes, there may be romance and sentiment associated with the South’s “Lost Cause” but conservatives who want support from people of color must unequivocally acknowledge that this Lost Cause deserved to lose.

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Hugh Hewitt: The Ongoing Carnival of Venom

U.S. Senate

Addiction was the story of 2017. No: Not addiction to opioids, though of course tens of thousands of families are still mourning the death of a loved one to the scourge coursing through the United States.

 

No: Not addiction to the toxic combination of power and lust fueling the sexual misconduct scandals that burst onto the public stage in the name Harvey Weinstein.

 

And no, not an addiction to President Trump, either on the part of his adoring legions or his “worst enemies.”

 

No, the centerpiece addiction of the past year—which is widespread and still growing—is to outrage itself, to the state of being perpetually offended, to the need not only to be angry at someone or something, but also to always and everywhere be, well, hating.

 

We are all trapped in this ongoing carnival of venom, a national gathering of unpleasant souls.

 

This year, let’s throw the trend into reverse. The best way to start is a long look in the mirror.

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A Cancer Growing on Congress

Compromise

There is a cancer growing on Congress.  It is the curse of party-line voting.  The biggest legislation of the Trump administration is the tax bill, passed with only Republican votes.  And the biggest of the Obama administration:  Obamacare, again passed on a party-line vote with only Democrats.

Party-line voting has grown dramatically in the last 40 years.  In the 1970s, party unity voting was around 60 percent but today it is 90 percent.  Sadly it has become the new normal.

Such partisanship is cancerous because it cuts out all the people and ideas of one political party. And it leads to rushed votes, without the expected give and take and amendments of a quality legislative process. It also leads to weak laws because what can be passed by one party’s vote can be undone later by the other party’s vote.

This is no way to run a government.  I vote for more collaboration and less hyper-partisanship in 2018.

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