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There Is Always A “But…”

Sunday, February 19, 2017  |  posted by John Schroeder

Ask a liberal their favorite Bible verse and most of the time you will get one of the ones about caring for the poor, and there are a lot of them.  I do not dispute nor disagree with them.  Yet there is always a, “But…” that I seem to get cut off before I can deliver.  The old Testament spends massive amounts of time establishing and protecting private property.  Clearly the Biblical view of caring for the poor is a matter of charity, not compulsion.  It is a matter of sharing out of an open and loving heart, not taking for redistribution through mandate.

Most Christians are aware that Jesus said He came, “not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it,” as we so often hear quoted when someone seeks leniency in the application of some moral prohibition.  And yet, so often, you never hear such things when it comes to the application of the moral mandates like feeding the poor or caring for the elderly and widows.  Jesus came to change our hearts such that obeying the moral prohibitions would be a matter of expressing our nature, and so with the mandates.  I am always struck about by much energy we put into morality when we should be focusing our energy on allowing Jesus to alter our nature such that morality requires no effort.  How do we do that?

I think one answers lies in the liberal’s least favorite Bible verse, “For you always have the poor with you…,”  But we really should consider the verse in context:

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.  But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste?  For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”  But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.  For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.  For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.  Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

In a nutshell, Jesus rebukes the disciples for worrying about the poor and the servants morality towards them instead of focusing on Him.  And therein lies the answer to our question – we need to focus on Jesus. Continue Reading

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CBS News John Dickerson On The Elite media, President Trump And The Public’s Opinion Of Both

Friday, February 17, 2017  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

John Dickerson, host of CBS News’ Face The Nation, joined me for a short but interesting review of yesterday’s press conference by President Trump, with a particular focus on what the president had to say about the media:

Audio:

02-17hhs-dickerson

Transcript:

HH: California is going to be washed out to sea if you believe local news today, and I simply do not believe that from the West Coast. I’m joined by John Dickerson, CBS News host of Face the Nation. John, if we’re not here on Sunday, I’m sorry I didn’t warn you, but the local news is a little alarmist about a storm headed our way.

JD: Well, you know, I guess they pay only a smaller penalty for being alarmist than if they say it’s going to be bright and sunny and everybody then gets caught in the…

HH: Exactly.

JD: So they’re playing the odds, Hugh.

HH: They’re playing, no one ever remembers the storm watch you didn’t have. John Dickerson, Mike Dubke of Crossroads Media named White House Communications Director overnight. If you say Crossroads, that means Crossroads PAC, which means Karl Rove, which means Mike Dubke is of the old GOP establishment. And a lot of Trump originals are upset with this. I think it’s a good move showing a maturing White House. What do you think?

JD: I think it could very well be a maturing White House. It could also be, one of the things I hear again and again, I mean, they’ve got a lot of slots to fill, and they are not filling, this position was hard to fill. And I heard the pitch they were making for it, and it was not always on the merits of serving the country. And it’s hard to fill these slots. We’re seeing it’s hard to fill the National Security Advisor slot, and so which is not to take anything away from Mike Dubke. I’m just saying that you can’t be a purist if you’re a Trump loyalist. You’re going to have to bring in people from the wider circle. Continue Reading

Oroville – The More We Learn, The Worse It Gets.

Thursday, February 16, 2017  |  posted by John Schroeder

As what could be, even under normal circumstances, catastrophic levels of precipitation begin in Northern California, and we continue to receive reassurances from the powers that be, there are some people doing some excellent investigation into just how the Oroville dam got into this mess.  The particular source of interest today is a British newspaper, The Daily Mail, under the sensationalist headline:

 It ain’t over yet: California’s crumbling Oroville Dam will be hit by a FOOT of rain as engineers race to repair erosion after years of ‘patch and pray’ quick-fixes

There is a lot of coverage out there with such attention grabbing headlines. I usually go past them pretty quickly because I am more interested in information than in impact – but this piece contained some pretty amazing information.  Here’s the meat:

Earlier it was revealed cracks in the main concrete spillway have been included in site reports since 2009 but crews have been resorting to quick-fix concrete solutions to try to stop them from getting worse. 

The repairs that have been going on for years were labeled shoddy by Robert Bea, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at University of California, Berkeley. 

‘It’s ‘obvious those repairs didn’t work.’ We don’t have details on the repairs, but they put cement into the cracks and troweled it over. I call it “patch and pray.”

Inspectors with the state agency that both operates and checks the dam, the nation’s tallest at 770 feet, went into the half-mile-long spillway in 2014 and 2015 and did not find any concerns.

‘Conditions appeared to be normal,’ the inspector wrote in reports from both years. The most recent report which deemed the dam safe was in August last year when a team of inspectors checked it from only from afar.

The inspection was ordered as California was enduring a five-year drought which meant that until last year, the spillways had gone largely unused.

I would call that repair technique just “pray.”  But that takes a little explanation. Continue Reading

Meet The Press Chuck Todd’ On D.C. Dysfunction At Both Ends of Pennsylvania Avenue

Thursday, February 16, 2017  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

NBC’s Chuck Todd, host of Meet The Press, joined me today to preview what we will be discussing Sunday (I’m heading back east to be a panelist on the show):

Audio:

02-16hhs-todd

Transcript:

HH: Got a call yesterday, could I fly back to D.C. to be on Meet the Press with my friend, Chuck Todd, and I said you bet, an opportunity to blast the Senate Republicans, the weak-kneed, no spine, round heeled Republicans. I’d absolutely, and the NSC is going to be taken over by NeverTrumpers by Sunday, Chuck. Why not come back for that?

CT: (laughing) Wow, well, Duane warned me. He warned me. He said Hugh’s on fire this morning.

HH: I’ll tell you, the Republicans, the only ones they’ve been down on are Betsy DeVos, Andy Puzder and Scott Pruitt, the ones who’ve the most for the Republican Party. And the weak-kneed, it’s not McConnell. McConnell tried to get Puzder through.

CT: Yeah.

HH: It’s Susan Collins, etc. Do you think they realize how this looks out in the world not surrounded by the Potomac, Chuck Todd?

CT: Well, I think you’re right. I think the base isn’t happy about things like that. But I think you have to, I think, you know, I put the Puzder issue on Mike Flynn, believe it or not, in this respect.

HH: Oh, interesting.

CT: I think that you now have a, you now have a little bit of blood in the water, and I think now it is easier for Senate Republicans to feel as if they can buff the President. I think if there is no Mike Flynn situation, if there is now, you know, basically White House in turmoil, if this White House had finally been able to get its competency act together in the last week, then you’re in a situation where Senate Republicans have a little more respect, collectively. I’m just saying it becomes harder to do things like this. I think the entire environment in Washington, where basically the Trump White House is, nobody fears it, and everybody is just scratching their heads on the organization of it, I think that is contributing to this environment, and makes it easier for the Murkowski’s and others to walk away. Continue Reading

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