Commentary

Mohler: A Miracle of American Democracy

Headlines

Today marks one of the miracles of American democracy. A new President of the United States will be inaugurated. On the steps of the U.S. Capitol, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Do not miss the majesty of this moment. All Americans should celebrate the great gift of America’s democratic traditions and the pageantry that solemnizes this occasion.

We will witness a peaceful transition, with President Donald Trump entering the occasion and President Barack Obama leaving it. The only gunfire will be a celebratory 21-gun salute. Too many other nations mark a transition of power with a military coup or overthrow. Not here. Not in America. Since President George Washington yielded office to President John Adams there has been a peaceful transition of power in the American presidency. This is something for all Americans to celebrate.

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No Pro-Life Women Allowed

Headlines

The fact that abortion is the central article if not the only article of the feminist creed was made very clear this week in a controversy that erupted about the soon-to-take-place Women’s March on Washington.

Alexandra DeSanctis reports in National Review, “The Women’s March on Washington has removed the pro-life group New Wave Feminists from its list of official event sponsors after backlash from feminists arguing that pro-life women are not welcome in the feminist movement.”

Jessica Valenti of The Guardian insisted, “We need to stop the myth that feminism is simply ‘anything a woman does.’ Feminism is a movement for justice—abortion access is central.”

Well, central indeed. By the afternoon, the organizers of the Washington March had fallen on their sword, offering a public apology and asking all pro-abortion friends to join them in the March and to please, please, please forget the controversy yesterday had ever taken place.

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Hewitt: Deductions Worth Defending

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

This is Hugh Hewitt for Townhall.com.

In a recent interchange on my radio show, Speaker Paul Ryan declined to debate with me the merits of eliminating or capping the tax deduction on home-mortgage interest. He did it with a chuckle, noting that he and I had crossed verbal swords on this subject many times.

I point it out because some key GOP voices don’t seem to hear what defenders of that deduction are saying. Nor do they seem aware of why other deductions—like those charitable contributions—mean so much.

In Trump country there is a great attachment to these deductions, and there will be great hostility to any move to eliminate or even cap any of them.

Capping the mortgage interest deduction would hurt every homeowner—even those whose interest payments fall below the cap—because housing is one market, and by reducing the value of the most expensive homes, you reduce the value of every home.

I don’t want to see Republicans squander another chance to realign politics.

To that end: They should not touch the deductions on mortgage interest and on charitable giving.

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Puzder: Exactly the Type of Person We Want

single-payer

It seems like Donald Trump has struck a nerve with liberals.  Some of his senior personnel appointments are causing them to scream bloody murder. But that’s how we know Trump is doing the right thing.

Consider, for example, his nomination of CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. Puzder has had a remarkable business career and in recent years has been deeply involved in thinking about and commenting on the very policy issues that he’ll help oversee in the Trump Administration. He is exactly the type of person we want in Washington running the Labor Department.

But some liberals and union bosses are complaining about the pick because they know that Puzder will act to turn the tide against the ever-increasing role of the federal government in our nation’s economy and he won’t be a rubber stamp for the labor unions.

Those are precisely the reasons why he will be a great Labor Secretary.

The Senate should confirm him without delay.

 

 

 

 

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Medved: Taxpayers Fund a Murderer’s “Completeness”

Marijuana

In an outrageous abuse of the legal system, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in California has successfully sued the state to get “gender reassignment surgery” costing taxpayers close to $100,000. Shiloh Heavenly Quine was convicted for his role in the brutal 1980 crime spree that included kidnapping, robbery, and first degree murder. The 57-year-old inmate insisted that the radical surgical procedure would give him “a drastic internal completeness” to relieve his suicidal depression.

The idea that taxpayers must provide such procedures to maximize prisoner happiness is ridiculous. What other expensive, elective surgeries should public funds be forced to provide? If we’re obligated to fund such treatment for imprisoned murderers, can we do any less for law-abiding citizens? Americans should hope that the new Trump administration makes judicial appointments to the federal bench that prevent such expensive idiocy in the future.

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Davenport: A Tale Of Two Trumps?

Abraham Lincoln appointed three men who competed against him for the presidency to his cabinet, creating a talented and now famous “team of rivals.”  Donald Trump’s cabinet has its own unusual flavor, creating a kind of dual presidency.

 On one hand, Donald Trump himself and appointees like businessman Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State represent a pragmatic “get things done” approach to government.  On the other hand, the appointment of several traditional conservatives to posts at Energy, the Environment and the Office of Management and Budget signal a shrinking of the federal role.

All this represents a dualism in Trump himself.  On one hand, he is a pragmatic businessman lacking a strong political philosophy.  On the other, he ran as a Republican, chose traditional conservative Mike Pence as his vice president, and stocked his cabinet with several conservatives.

Which Trump will win out?  I think on economic matters, Trump will be pro-growth, but on social and other matters, the role of the federal government, if not its size, will shrink.

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Mohler: Sowell’s Vision

Headlines

Thomas Sowell—the economist and columnist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University—announced recently that he is retiring.

He’s been writing a column since the early 1970s—and when it comes to thinking in terms of worldview Thomas Sowell, has been one of the most significant figures now alive. In this area of worldview analysis, his most important book was 1987’s “A Conflict of Visions.” Sowell began, and I quote, “One of the curious things about political opinions is how often the same people line up on opposite sides of different issues….” The issues vary, he continues, “yet the same familiar faces can be found glaring at each other from opposite sides of the political fence, again and again.”

His conclusion: “They have different visions of how the world works.”

That’s Sowell’s way of saying they have different worldviews, and that worldview is so fundamental that it determines everything else.

Thomas Sowell has ended his writing career at age 86. He will be missed.

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