Commentary

Michael Medved: A Great Movie’s Misleading Message

Opioid

The magnificent new Churchill movie, “Darkest Hour,” easily counts among the year’s best, but a crucial scene sends a message the real Sir Winston would have hated.

In the movie, the Prime Minister wavers over starting peace talks with Hitler, and on the way to a cabinet meeting, he wanders into the Underground—London’s subway. He asks the opinions of ordinary Englishmen in his car, and—only when they tell him to keep fighting at all costs—does he convey that message to Parliament in the famous, “we shall fight on the beaches” speech.

It’s a touching sequence, but totally misleading: Churchill never rode the Underground, and never shared the comforting, populist notion that leaders should take direction and inspiration from the common man. Like Reagan, Thatcher or Lincoln, Churchill knew that great leaders must provide inspiration and direction to the masses, not the other way around.

That’s a role today’s leading figures must learn, and embrace.

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Lanhee Chen: Confirm Azar as New Secretary for Health and Human Services

Tax Reform

President Trump has nominated Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

It’s an important job, as the future of Obamacare hangs in the balance and Republicans continue to express their desire to repeal and replace the law.

Azar is highly qualified for the post: He served as the number two official at the department—and its chief counsel—during the George W. Bush Administration. He was a law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. And he’s been a senior executive at one of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

Some Democrats have suggested that this private sector experience makes Azar the wrong person to help conquer the opioid crisis and to lower drug costs. But they’re wrong. It’s precisely his experience inside the industry that helps him to better understand how we can address these pressing concerns. It’s no exaggeration to say that few people understand the health care policy environment better than Azar.

The Senate is now considering his nomination. Here’s to hoping that they move quickly to confirm Azar, so he can get to work as soon as possible.

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Albert Mohler: The Truth About The American Bar Association

Billy Graham

The American Bar Association has recently tipped its hand, showing how very partisan it has become.
Joe Palazzolo, writing at the Wall Street Journal, reports that “tensions between Senate Republicans and the bar association, the largest organization of lawyers in the nation, have escalated in recent weeks after the ABA pronounced a Nebraska lawyer unfit to serve on the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Why? Because of his, “‘deeply-held social agenda.’’

The nominee, Mr. Steven Grasz, said that a member of the ABA evaluation committee who interviewed him repeatedly referred to Republicans and conservatives as “you guys” or “you people” and also asked for Mr. Grasz’s personal views on abortion, the death penalty and adoption by same-sex couples.

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska got it exactly right when he said, “We should completely dispel with the fiction that the American Bar Association is a fair and impartial arbiter of facts.”

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Albert Mohler: Theology: Back in the Headlines

Billy Graham

Theology roared back into the headlines recently but in this case it wasn’t Christian theology but Islamic theology. This has to do with the tragic attack that took place at a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula, where Egyptian officials report that over 300 persons were killed in a mass attack.

What most major news outlets took days to realize is that the reason that members of the Islamic State felt theologically justified in killing other Muslims was that these particular Muslims were Sufis—a branch of Islam considered heretical by most Muslims.

You cannot possibly interpret or understand this horrible news coming out of Egypt without acknowledging the reality of the theological. The problem is that those behind the secular worldview are absolutely certain that theology will virtually disappear, everywhere, but a news story like this reminds us that it hasn’t happened everywhere, yet. And furthermore, theology hasn’t disappeared even very close to the home of the New York Times.

They just think it has.

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Hugh Hewitt: An Opportunity To Uphold A New Standard on Sexual Harassment

U.S. Senate

As the waves of allegations on sexual harassment and sexual assault continue to roll in and as we watch various high profile figures fall, we are facing what could well be a dramatic and positive long-term shift in our culture.

I will admit this:

While I had always assumed that there were a few bad actors out there, I had always thought they were few and far between.

Perhaps I was naïve. I’m now becoming convinced—against my earlier instincts—that the bad actors may be legion.

Perhaps this period of time will be seen in hindsight as a “great purge” of sorts, where—as individuals as well as institutions—we hold perpetrators to account and collectively set up a new standard.

If I’m right—and we all have to hope that I am—the next generation of young professionals will have both a safer work environment and stronger means for recourse if faced with such assaults.

Let’s start by doing all we can to uphold that new standard in our personal and professional lives today.

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Albert Mohler: Robert Mugabe – An Experiment Of The Left

Billy Graham

Robert Mugabe, the strongman of Zimbabwe for the last 37 years, has finally fallen from power. Although he was seen as a liberator when he toppled the government of Rhodesia in 1980, he quickly became the de facto dictator, ultimately killing 20,000 people from an opposing tribe.

Several Western universities awarded honorary degrees to Mugabe in the mid ’80s, only to rescind them when his genocide became apparent.

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal rightly affirms that the Left must be held to account. Stephens says, “Zimbabwe’s tragedy is just a fuller version of a post-colonial story of disastrous ideological experiments accompanied by foreigners who cheered those experiments and then looked the other way when they failed. The world’s poorest countries deserve better than to be the petri dish for Western experts who know too little and a field of fantasy for Western progressives who dream too much.”

On that story, Bret Stephens deserves to have the last word.

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Hugh Hewitt: Sexual Harassment And The Need For Good Reporting

U.S. Senate

We all have to be aware that victims of sexual abuse, assault and harassment are legion, and that each story about a new victim or victimizer potentially impacts all survivors. We know that stories on spouses who flee domestic abuse, for example, routinely inspire other victims to seek help and shelter. That’s why careful media coverage of the recent spate of stories matters so much.

We also have to recall, however, that false allegations do happen. The late Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago’s Catholic Archdiocese was wrongly accused of molestation by a young man who later recanted his terrible charge. The Duke Lacrosse Team was unjustly prosecuted. Rolling Stone infamously defamed a University of Virginia fraternity over an alleged gang rape that did not happen.

It’s a delicate balance between the reality of vast numbers of assaults and a few terrible false charges, a reality that can only be dealt with by close attention to facts and due process, not only in the courts but the media as well.

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