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Tag Archives: Obama

Iran Deal, Hostage Release and Elections Give Trump a Big Week


Townhall Review – May 12, 2018

Congressman Mike Gallagher talks with Hugh Hewitt about President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens and Hugh Hewitt look at the Iranian reaction. Michael Medved examines former President Obama’s reaction complaining that the pullout was a “serious mistake” and accusing Trump of being “so misguided.”  As President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un get ready for their upcoming meeting, three hostages held by North Korea were released and Mike Gallagher celebrates that news. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley speaks with Hugh Hewitt about the rapid-fire federal judge confirmations. Michael Medved looks at how the low unemployment has created new employment problems for some cities…not enough workers. Dennis Prager has his take on the prom dress controversy and how the young lady who posted innocent pictures of her dress had no idea the storm it would create. Michael Medved looks at the reworking of school history textbooks to include the historical contributions by the LGBT community.

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Michael Medved: Partisanship Trumps Policy in Reacting to North Korea


Reactions to White House plans to meet with Kim Jong-Un highlight the damaging impact of partisan polarization and obsessive Trump hatred.

Had Barack Obama arranged to negotiate with the brutal North Korean dictator, some of the same Democrats now deriding Trump would have hailed their hero as a bold visionary, deserving of a second Nobel prize.

Some of the voices that blamed Trump for incendiary rhetoric leading toward needless war now attack him for reckless concessions in pursuit of peace. Of course, this new initiative could still collapse in a U.S. setback, but Americans should give the president broad support to strengthen his hand. Yes, Trump true-believers can sometimes embarrass themselves by claiming the president can do no wrong, but his die-hard critics damage our politics by insisting that he can do no right.

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Hugh Hewitt: What to Hope for From a North Korea Summit


President Trump has agreed to go to a summit with the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jung Un. Those who have watched three previous administrations fail to curb the North Korean nuclear program are stunned and wondering out loud what could possibly come of such a meeting.

If Donald Trump comes back with any concessions it will be a major win for his foreign policy even as the destruction of the physical caliphate of ISIS achieved under his watch is in sharp contrast to the fecklessness of the Obama years. We are watching the renewal of a policy of peace through strength, and a key part of that is the massive budget increase passed by Congress earlier this year. After 8 years of appeasement, American power is back and deployed around the globe. It may be enough to bring calm to the Korean peninsula, or it may not work. Either way, it is preferable to the appeasement that marked the Obama years.

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Michael Medved: Poll Shows Conservatives Outnumbering Liberals

Opioid

A new Gallup Poll offers encouragement and challenges for Republicans. In the national survey, Americans who describe themselves as “conservatives” still outnumber self-defined “liberals” by significant margins—35 percent to 26 percent. What’s more, in 39 of the 50 states, conservatives top the other side decisively. In only nine states—all of them on the coasts—do liberals enjoy an advantage.

With such lop-sided recent results, it’s hard to imagine that the November elections would even be close, or how Obama, Clinton and other liberals could even come close to the presidency.  The answer is that many Americans who call themselves conservative feel so disgusted by petty squabbles and dubious personalities in our politics that they don’t even bother to vote.

It also explains the Democratic scandal-mania: liberals like concentrating on trashing Trump’s personality rather than responding to conservative policies that remain broadly popular.

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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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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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Lanhee Chen: The Long-Running Russia Disinformation Campaign

Tax Reform

This past week, executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

For well over a decade, the Russians have spread disinformation and sought to influence the outcome of elections throughout Europe and elsewhere.

The obvious question is, “Why hasn’t more been done to respond to this threat?” Although multiple administrations bear the blame for this failure, it was the Obama administration that, for years, consistently underestimated the threat from Russia.

For example, Politico reported that, in 2014, President Obama’s national security team received reports warning about Russia’s capacity, history, and interest in disrupting political systems in Europe. It should have been clear that those capabilities could be used to attack the United States. But nothing was done.

Russian efforts to undermine American democracy did not end with the 2016 election. Put simply, this is one of the reasons why they continue to represent a serious threat to our national security. Now is the time to act quickly and decisively to ensure the integrity of our democratic system.

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