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Tag Archives: Townhall.com

Hugh Hewitt: Agony in the Wake of Florida Shooting

U.S. Senate

How can the slaughter of high school students be so polarizing? It is agonizing beyond any writer’s ability to convey, but a political football to begin another round of pro- and anti-Trump throwdowns?

 

I didn’t see that coming out of the sorrow from the Florida shooting.

 

It was like an instant replay of reactions that we witnessed after the massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas and every awful massacre since Columbine.

 

It has left commentary without a purpose. If everyone — always — makes the same demands, nearly instantly; without any room for consideration of the specifics of the murderer’s motivation and history, it’s hard to imagine what “change” will avail.

 

A place to start for us would be hearings.

 

I got the idea from my NBC colleague Chuck Todd. I put it to Education Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions. They both agreed.

 

If hearings occur, we need one more promise: for everyone to actually hear the viewpoints presented.

 

Let’s stop the outrage and just listen.

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Lanhee Chen: A Spending Problem

single-payer

President Trump earned significant praise for his first State of the Union Address—and for good reason. It presented an affirmative vision for what unified Republican governance can accomplish. It also laid out policy priorities to keep the homeland secure and strengthen our economy. One thing that was missing, however, was any mention of our growing deficits and national debt. Washington is spending more money than it has and more than it should—and lawmakers from both parties seem perfectly content to continue on the path we’re on. This spending requires us to borrow money from foreign adversaries, hurts our economy’s ability to grow and leaves our kids and grandkids with the bill.

 

A change in course is desperately needed. Indeed, reining in spending is never politically easy. That’s why it will take a leader willing to buck trends and attack the special interests—and perhaps even some in his own party—to get the job done.

 

Here’s to hoping that Donald Trump can be that leader.

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Albert Mohler: The Education Bill and the Future of Religious Liberty

Billy Graham

Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. And we should all sit up and take note.

Sometimes legislation that looks almost innocuous is anything but; sometimes legislation that will have historic and long-lasting effect doesn’t go by any name that would get the citizens’ attention; and sometimes it’s almost as if politically it’s moving under the surface without much attention at all.

This reauthorization is an entire clash of worldviews in one piece of legislation. It’s to the credit of the Trump administration that the over-500-page bill is loaded with respect and concern for the future of religious liberty in the United States, and, most specifically, the future of religious liberty on American college and university campuses.

Now, all of this might look routine, but the result can turn out to be anything but routine.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the future of religious liberty will have a great deal to do with the final state of this bill.

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Albert Mohler: A Government Ministry of Loneliness

Billy Graham

One of the saddest headlines I’ve seen in a very long time comes to us in the New York Times. The headline article: “U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness.”

 

A 2017 report indicated that “more than 9 million Britons often or always feel lonely.”

 

The extremes of age are identified as two very urgent problems: loneliness amongst the young and loneliness amongst the aging.

 

The breakup of the family, and especially the demise of the extended family, will explain why so many especially amongst the elderly are cut off. And the advent of social media helps to explain the impact of loneliness in epidemic proportion amongst young people.

 

But the sad reality is that when a government establishes a minister for loneliness it’s an affirmation of a problem; it’s not likely to be a step towards the solution.

 

To put the matter bluntly, government can’t be our friend. When human connection breaks down at a most fundamental level, no government can solve the problem.

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Hugh Hewitt: The Ongoing Carnival of Venom

U.S. Senate

Addiction was the story of 2017. No: Not addiction to opioids, though of course tens of thousands of families are still mourning the death of a loved one to the scourge coursing through the United States.

 

No: Not addiction to the toxic combination of power and lust fueling the sexual misconduct scandals that burst onto the public stage in the name Harvey Weinstein.

 

And no, not an addiction to President Trump, either on the part of his adoring legions or his “worst enemies.”

 

No, the centerpiece addiction of the past year—which is widespread and still growing—is to outrage itself, to the state of being perpetually offended, to the need not only to be angry at someone or something, but also to always and everywhere be, well, hating.

 

We are all trapped in this ongoing carnival of venom, a national gathering of unpleasant souls.

 

This year, let’s throw the trend into reverse. The best way to start is a long look in the mirror.

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The Tax Bill Needs Follow-On Spending Cuts

Compromise

Although a tax cut may have been a nice Christmas gift, it needs some follow-on spending cuts to work.  At best, Republicans have eaten their dessert first, waiting to eat their spending cut vegetables later; at worst, they will have increased the federal deficit by another trillion dollars or more.

 

By most estimates, even stimulating economic growth will not fully pay for the tax cut.  Republicans will now have to undertake the politically courageous step of cutting federal spending.

 

It will be difficult to make spending cuts without touching Medicare or Social Security, which President Trump has said are off limits. Meanwhile there is pressure to undo the sequester, automatic cuts on spending no one liked, but which have at least kept spending growth down.

 

Ideally, Republicans would have disciplined themselves to do tax and spending cuts at the same time. Tax cuts may come and go, but the federal debt remains forever, it seems. And—without spending cuts—it grows.

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Hugh Hewitt: A Blockbuster Revelation At The FBI

FISA

The Washington Post recently reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had previously been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was also “a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint another special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

A special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report—and it should come from someone without ties to the president or his opponents. They do exist, such men and women.

Former federal judges make excellent candidates.

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