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RNC Chair Reince Preibus On Agenda 2015

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Reince Priebus is the chair of the Republican National Committee and will speak tomorrow at George Washington University on the subject of the principles that bind together the GOP as opposed to those few issues which divide the party.  He joined me on Wednesday’s show:

Audio:

10-01hhs-priebus

Transcript:

HH: I begin today with the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chairman Reince Priebus, who’s going to give a speech tomorrow that will probably be a major point in this campaign’s closing 33 days as of tomorrow, 34 as of today. Chairman Priebus, welcome back.

RP: Hey, I’m happy to be on the show, Hugh, thanks for having me.

HH: Crowded news environment.

RP: Yeah. Continue Reading

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Understanding The Middle East

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

This, from the Washington Post’s Adam Taylor, is very good.

My conversation yesterday with The New York Times’ John Fisher Burns adds more background from the most experienced foreign correspondent in the world.

But Christian C. Sahner’s new book, Amid the Ruins: Syria Past and Present, is a revelation.  He will be my guest today in the third hour of the show.

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Audio:

10-01hhs-sahner

Transcript:

“Because Ebola is not contagious until symptoms develop…”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Of course I believe the CDC on this point.  And of course fanning panic or even hysteria would be contemptible and immoral.  That  is the key point that the CDC was trying –not very effectively– to make in the presser today.

But because the level of trust is so low in government –IRS, VA, and now the Secret Service to name just the three most obvious answers to the question “Why?– the CDC has to go the extra mile to assure people that anyone who might have contracted the disease that they have been notified, and that they can seek beneficial treatment early in the course of the disease.  Those who have been following the path of the disease in Africa know that this early warning system is crucial to containing the disease wherever it appears.

That means publishing the flight Patient Zero-USA took from Liberia, as well as as many details of his or her movements in Dallas upon landing as they become known.  The protocol that develops in the aftermath of the first unannounced arrival of the disease in the U.S. matters a great deal to establishing credibility of the agency over the long term.  The CDC cannot share too much information.  Since the “R nought” is believed to be around two, journalists have to assume that two people have been infected by Patient Zero-USA.  So who are they, and where did they encounter the patient, and have they been cared for in such a way as to reduce the “R nought” factor to less than 1 in the U.S.?

More information is always better than less when the public’s attention is engaged on the responsiveness of the government to a crisis.  Protect the patient’s privacy of course, but alert everyone who might have come in his or her path, however minimal their risk of developing the disease.  If the CDC is in tune with the vast reach of social media –both responsible and irresponsible– they will have already figured out that misinformation travels much faster than fact, and will have already agreed upon the course described.  If it is “bureaucracy-bound,” the CDC will respond sluggishly and lose the confidence of the public.

Watch that space.  Closely.

John Fisher Burns on Ebola, China, and ISIS

Tuesday, September 30, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Two time Pulitzer winner and chief foreign correspondent for the new York Times, John Burns, joined me to talk about the turmoil in Hong Kong and the Middle East.

Audio:

09-30hhs-burns

Transcript:

HH: I am joined by John Fisher Burns, New York Times’ chief foreign correspondent from London, and John Burns, welcome back, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

JB: Likewise, Hugh.

HH: I want to begin by, ten years ago, you were in Iraq beginning a long run as the Times’ bureau chief there. Flash forward ten years from now. Do you think that the great worry of then will be instability in China or the ISIS revolution that’s unfolding in front of our eyes? In other words, what ought we to be worrying about the most? Or is it even the Ebola story that’s big headlines today?

JB: I don’t think you can make a clear distinction between those two. It seems to me that both of them are long-running and probably insoluble conflicts, there will be repeated upheavals both in China and in the Middle East, and they’re going to shake our world.

HH: Well, that’s not optimistic. John Fisher Burns, weren’t you expelled from China back in the day?

JB: I was indeed.

HH: And so they’re still not very democracy-friendly, are they?

JB: No, and I don’t myself believe that the Community Party of China is capable of reforming itself and accepting anything like genuine democracy. I think that’s one reason why we in the West who have worried so much about the possibility of declining American power and a rising Chinese power, is China the next superpower? If there’s any comfort to be taken from these events currently unfolding in Hong Kong, it might be this, that the Chinese Communist Party might find itself increasingly confronted, and not just in Hong Kong, but in other places closer to the heartland of China. It will resist, the country will become an increasingly fractious place in which a lot of energy, political energy and economic energy is squandered, and I think that the Chinese hopes, and they were made quite clear when Mao died and was succeeded by Deng Xiaoping, the preface was not just to get rich, or even mainly to get rich, it was to restore China as the number one power in the world, as Deng Xiaoping told us it had been at the end of the Ming Dynasty in the 17th Century. So that is their goal, but I personally doubt whether they will achieve it, because they have not even begun, really, to address the principal political problem. What do you do as you get increasingly rich, your people become increasingly educated, and as we’ve seen in Hong Kong, increasingly unwilling to accept top-down government autocracy. Continue Reading

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