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David Davenport: We’re Number 45

Compromise

For nearly 50 years now, Freedom House has published its annual survey of the freest countries in the world. This year’s report contains some troubling news.

First, with an increase in authoritarian regimes and populism, overall freedom in the world declined in the past year.

Second, the United States, after dropping a point in freedom last year, lost another point this year. Where would you rank the U.S. among the freest countries? Number one or two, certainly in the top 10? No, the U.S. is now tied for 45th.

Though we are still rated as “free,” the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. Burdened by over-regulation, with attacks on our political system from within and without, American democracy is seen as troubled.

Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” When it comes to freedom, we should never be content to say, “we’re number 45.”

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Michael Medved: Why Millennials Prefer Marxism To Capitalism

Opioid

Recent articles have marveled at the fascination of today’s “millennials” with socialism, but a new survey shows even more alarming disregard for the capitalist system behind America’s prosperity and power.

Polling data from YouGov showed 51% of Americans in their twenties would prefer to live in a country that was “Socialist” or “Communist”; only 42% chose to live under “Capitalism.” In other words, a majority of young people reject the land of liberty that produced them. An amazing 23% even classified the genocidal dictator Stalin as a “hero.” This reflects the fact that Millennials have scant memory of the bad old days of Marxist tyranny: after all, they were 3 or younger when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Empire collapsed.

That’s why high school and college history teachers must take time from their relentless attacks on America and its values and give appropriate attention to educating a new generation about the tens of millions of dead or suffering victims of Marxist/Socialist “experiments.”

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David Davenport: Balancing Religious Rights With Health Care

Compromise

This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

Public policy is full of difficult dilemmas, tough cases where there are strong interests on both sides.  Such dilemmas are not usually solved as much as they are managed.

That’s why two federal departments recently expanded the rights of religious employers.  During the Obama years, the federal government had required religious employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans even when contrary to their religious beliefs.  And the government had limited the rights of religious employers to hire or favor people who shared their beliefs.

This action properly swings the pendulum back in favor of religious rights, which are protected by the First Amendment.  Civil rights are also constitutionally protected, which is what creates the tension.  In the end, both rights are powerful, but neither is absolute.

A liberal president pushes too far in one direction and a conservative administration appropriately pushes back.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court may well have to decide how to manage this difficult dilemma.

I’m David Davenport.

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Texas Shooting Leaves America Stunned Once Again

Opioids Tariffs

Townhall Review — November 11, 2017

Hugh Hewitt speaks with Congressman Mike Walker to discuss the tragic shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Mike Gallagher speaks with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who believes that “thoughts and prayers” actually do matter. Suzanna Hupp, author of “From Luby’s to the Legislature: One Woman’s Fight Against Gun Control”, speaks with Mike Gallagher on the gun control debate surrounding this latest crisis. Michael Medved interviews his brother, Jonathan Medved, a prominent business leader in Israel on what terrorist prevention tactics the U.S can employ that have been working in Israel. Dennis Prager looks at why the most common issue among American born and bred mass killers is mental illness, and if it should matter. Michael Medved interviews Erica Komisar, a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst and parent guidance expert on why the first three years of a child’s development are so crucial. Wrapping up the show, Medved looks at a new study that finds many Millennials, if given the choice, would choose socialism or even communism over capitalism and why they find Joseph Stalin a hero.

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Hugh Hewitt: No GOP Civil War

U.S. Senate

There’s been a lot of chatter about it, but: there is no GOP civil war. The meme of such a conflict is currently off the front pages, but it will return. When it does, recall that it just isn’t true.

Yes, there’s a loud, persistent group of Never Trump critics who apparently never learned the concept of “sunk costs.” And, yes there’s Steve Bannon, who knows that there’s power and profit to be found in exploiting the anger. But this doesn’t amount to a civil war, only a series of skirmishes on the fringes of the party and among its chattering Manhattan-Beltway class estranged from President Trump as it is.

More than 80 percent of GOP voters approve of President Trump. The president has many critics who, like me, will ding a decision here or there and wish he’d knock off tweeting completely. But the solid majority of Republicans prefer winning some and losing some to always losing. The GOP regulars know that the way forward is by adding seats, not throwing them away.

And all the noise in Manhattan inside the Beltway won’t change that.

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Michael Medved: Instinctive Reactions To Mass Shootings Destructive And Disappointing

Opioid

Whenever we experience a hideous slaughter like the recent assault of a Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the left indulges in annoying and irrational instinct: calling urgently and self-righteously for minor tweaks in gun laws that would have done nothing to actually avert the horror.

Meanwhile, the right displays its own quirks: refusing to discuss any alterations in firearms regulation-as if our current rules were perfect and immutable. We’d do much better if our national leaders-in both legislative and executive branches brought together all sides to discuss reforming the bureaucracy and better enforcement of current laws to make it harder for the mentally ill or criminally violent to get deadly weapons.

Even those of us who staunchly back the Second Amendment should acknowledge that the deranged shooter in Texas should never have acquired his fearsome arsenal, and government should have done a better job in restricting his access to guns.

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Lanhee Chen: Congress Should Give Opportunity To The Laboratories Of Democracy

Tax Reform

A consensus is emerging on Capitol Hill about the need to fund Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies, which help working-class Americans buy health insurance. The question is what fundamental reforms conservatives should get in return.

In my view, they should focus on giving states greater flexibility to design their own health reforms. There’s actually a part of Obamacare that allows states to receive federal money in a lump sum and to waive or revise many of Obamacare’s most noteworthy provisions, including its mandates, the structure and administration of subsidies provided by it and covered benefits . Conservatives should focus on making it easier for states to qualify for these waivers, so we can move away from the one-size-fits-all system that Obamacare created.

We are on the cusp of a rare health care bipartisan agreement. Still, conservatives will (and should) insist on fundamental changes to Obamacare as part of the deal. In so doing, they should aim for an approach that will truly give more states the opportunity to become what Justice Louis Brandeis once called “the laboratories of democracy.”

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