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Michael Medved: Losing Ground In The Happiness Rankings


The Sustainable Development Solutions network, an initiative of the UN, is out with its yearly “World Happiness Report,” in which respondents around the globe were asked how close their current circumstances came to their “best possible life.”

The United States placed 14th of the 155 surveyed nations—well ahead of Germany, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom, but behind Norway, Denmark, Switzerland and Israel. The U.S. has been sinking in the rankings since those rankings began in 2012, and when America finished 11th. In terms of specific measures of happiness, the U.S. has moved up in health, life-expectancy and per-capita income, but we’ve lost significant ground in social support, a sense of personal freedom, and perceived corruption of government and business.

The Happiness Report hardly shows American “carnage,” or a national utopia, but it does reflect the worrisome conviction that our political and economic institutions now slow our progress and undermine sense of well-being.

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David Davenport: Young People Robbed Of Individualism


America used to be a land of “rugged individualism.” People came to this country so that the key decisions about their lives would no longer be made by kings and queens, or the church, or their social class, but rather for themselves. Individual freedom was promised by the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution.

But today individualism in America is in trouble. Not only has government taken over more and more of our money and decision-making, but young people are being coddled, first by helicopter parents, then in “safe spaces” in their college campuses. College used to be a time when kids went off to establish their own values and beliefs. Now we protect them from “micro-aggressions” and “trigger words.” We cleanse the campus of so-called controversial speakers and any real diversity of ideas.

Is it any surprise that young people are more open to socialism, for example, when we coddle them from birth through college? This does not bode well for America and its future.

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Democrats Gear Up for Gorsuch Hearing

Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill

Gorsuch confirmation hearing begins today (PBS).  From another story:  While Democratic leaders have revived their public criticism of Neil Gorsuch in recent days, liberal advocacy groups have all but abandoned efforts to defeat his nomination through public opinion — with scant paid issue advertising or public rallies (Fox News).  And another: While supporters of the 49-year-old Colorado appeals court judge say he is calm and reasonable, his confirmation hearings may be anything but (CBS News). Democrats liked him in 2006 (Fox News). From the Wall Street Journal: Democrats have dug up so little on the supremely qualified Supreme Court nominee that they’ll be huffing and puffing and pretending to body slam the judge around the hearing room. It’s mostly political theater (WSJ).

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David Davenport: Bad News From the Index of Economic Freedom


The 2017 Index of Economic Freedom has been released and it contains some bad news for Americans.  The U.S. dropped 6 positions in the ranking of economic freedom around the world to #17, its lowest level since these studies have been published.  While most nations of the world increased their economic freedom, the U.S. saw a significant decline, rated now not “free” but only “mostly free.”

The main contributor was a new category in the study called “fiscal health.”  This shows that a shocking 38 percent of our gross domestic product now goes to government and also emphasizes our growing national debt and deficit.

Milton Friedman, the greatest economist of the 20th century, said that the country that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither, but the nation that puts freedom ahead of equality will end up with a great measure of both.

Clearly we need more economic growth, less government spending and less debt.  In other words, more freedom.

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Media Help Tear Down AHCA


From Ari Fleisher: Why are some press saying Ryan is trying to “ram” health bill through the House? It’s going through 4 committees. Worst “ram” I’ve ever seen (Twitter).  Some are offering an amendment to the current plan “focused on repealing Obamacare and bringing down the cost of premiums” (Washington Examiner). Hugh Hewitt explains “With some outside-the-box thinking, some dealmaking and a little humility, the AHCA can be saved” (Washington Post). Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner explains why Rand Paul’s version is worse than Obamacare (Forbes).  From Kimberly Strassel: From the moment Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled his ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, the media have declared it a doomed project. The newspapers have run out of synonyms for division, disunity, discord, conflict, struggle, mess. Since the only thing the media enjoy more than bashing Republicans is helping Republicans bash each other, the cable stations have offered a nonstop loop of a handful of GOP naysayers and grandstanders (cue Rand Paul ) who wish the bill ill (WSJ). Charles Krauthammer looks at the mess Democrats have created (National Review).

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THR 3/18/17: Special Edition on the American Health Care Act

Opioids Tariffs

In this special edition of the Townhall Review, we take a closer look at the American Health Care Act–the Republican bill that will repeal significant portions of the failing Obamacare law and replace it with free market solutions. First up, the Hoover Institution’s Lanhee Chen speaks with Michael Medved about the strengths of the bill. Chair of the House Budget Committee Diane Black joins the Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss the difficult task of crafting a bill that will survive the reconciliation process. Dennis Prager brings cool and sedate reason to the Democratic fury over the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report. Mike Gallagher continues the conversation on the CBO outlook with Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of House Ways and Means Committee. Dennis Prager talks with the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel about why it’s so important the Republicans pass this bill. Hugh Hewitt interviews House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about the process of making this bill a law. Larry Elder wraps up the program by looking at why the costs of health care have risen so dramatically.

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Rove: GOP Must Pass This AHCA Bill

From Karl Rove:  Yes, passing the bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare will cause political problems—but not doing so will create far bigger ones. Failure would demonstrate that Republicans don’t keep their promises and can’t govern. It would gravely wound the new administration (WSJ).  From Daniel Henninger: …if health-care reform fails under media-driven Beltway pressure, the same timid people will next block the historic tax-reform bill with the same tactics. They will peck it to death with misgivings. Political courage used to have a postelection shelf life of about 12 months. Now it has the life cycle of a moth.  He concludes: If this bill fails, there is only one Plan B. It will be a single-payer system enacted after 2020 with votes from what’s left of the Republican party after—Donald Trump is right about this—they get wiped out in 2018 and lose the presidency two years later. After blowing it on ObamaCare, why would anyone vote for them again? (WSJ).  Democrats, meanwhile, aren’t offering any alternatives (Townhall).

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