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Chalres Krauthammer On Selling A Million Books And Our Narcissist-in-Chief

Monday, September 15, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Dr. Charles Krauthammer joined me in the first segment today to discuss the astonishing fact that his non-fiction collection of essays “Things That Matter” has sold more than a million copies, as well as to muse some more about President Obama’s ongoing collapse:




HH: I am beginning with Charles Krauthammer today, because this morning on a conference call with Michael Medved, Michael announced to me that Charles’ book, Things That Matter, had sold a million copied. And then I read that Pete Wehner at the Ethics And Public Policy Center said that’s unprecedented. I actually, Charles, just told Michael that’s not possible, because collections don’t sell a million copies.

CK: Well, they don’t sell at all, actually. And everybody’s kind of in shock. You know, it is, as far as we can tell, there’s never been a non-fiction collection that has ever sold a million copies, which would mean, Hugh, that Things That Matter is the best-selling collection of non-fiction since Marcus Aurelius, but we can’t be sure, because their final sales results from Byzantium and Thrace have not yet come in. So we’re withholding judgment on that one.

HH: And he might make a comeback at any time now that iTunes is out there. But that is remarkable, and I have a theory about this. Things That Matter has in its first chapter, and I’m doing this from member, I don’t have the book with me, my copy’s at home, is that politics are sovereign. That was the theme of your original…

CK: Yes.

HH: And that is becoming truer by the day. And I think people who see that realize you’re on to something.

CK: Well you know, I wrote in the introduction that I really wanted to do a collection of my non-political stuff, because in the first half of the book is all these weird, wonderful things in life, everything from meditations on Rick Ankiel to Winston Churchill and Woody Allen, and I wrote about chess and baseball and physics and Halley’s Comet and all that, just stuff I really enjoy. But as I wrote, you’re right, in the introduction of the book, a very long autobiographical introduction. And at the end, you can’t really do that. I have spent 30 years of my life writing mainly about politics, and the reason is, and the reason I left medicine, I was a doctor once, to do this, it’s for the same reason, because you know, all the other things that matter, the beautiful things in life, they can flourish, they can be wonderful, they can be thriving. You get your politics wrong, and everything is wiped away. And we see it all over the world. We see it historically, of course, Germany, 1933. You see it today in North Korea. Compare it with South Korea. South Korea got their politics right, and they’re thriving. They’re free, prosperous. North Korea, you know, this is a slave culture with the people spiritually and materially totally deprived. This is all about politics. So in the end, the book is a compromise. It was half politics, and half fun, and I’ve always loved part of it… Continue Reading

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Part 2 of Romney 3.0

Sunday, September 14, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My Monday Washington Examiner column focuses on the reaction to the Friday Politico Magazine article I co-authored with Robert C. O’Brien on the buzz around as return of Mitt Romney to the lists of possible 2016 contenders.

The Politico piece has, as of this posting, generated more than 1,700 comments.

Oh, and the Browns won their home opener for the first time in a decade.


Saturday, September 13, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I hope the Brendon Gleeson-led all-star cast of “Calvary” brings the audiences Calvary deserves.  It is one of the most complex, provocative and thoughtful assessments of the aftermath of the Roman Catholic Church’s abuse scandals as has been offered in any medium, and one of the most balanced putting as it does an innocent and wonderful priest at the center of  a small Irish town wracked by all the troubles one could imagine for any such village in the aftermath of Ireland’s epic economic collapse which occurred contemporaneously with the shudders of the abuse scandal in that country and across the globe.  It will not cheer you up or do anything other than oblige you to consider points of view that you perhaps haven’t –those of the victims, those of the innocent and especially those of the good priest laboring to do his job in the midst of the fallout of the awful evil.

“Calvary” is the kind of film that leaves a theater silent at the final credits,” wrote Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput in his review of the movie, and that is exactly how our theater reacted.  “Calvary” has an understated power – a blend of everyday pain, faith, despair, humor, candor, bitterness, and forgiveness,” Chaput continued, “that brands itself onto the heart with spare simplicity.”

“It’s also the best portrayal of a good priest in impossible circumstances I’ve seen in several decades,” he added.

He is right on every point, and he leaves much to be discovered by the movie goer as is right.  But among many heart-breaking scenes are two –one where the priest played by Gleeson chats with a young girl walking along a road only to be confronted by an angry father, and another where Aiden Gillen (Game of Throne’s “Little Finger,” here playing an atheist doctor) recounts a story central to his denial of the existence of God– which pack enormous wallops into scant minutes.

Gleeson ought to receive many nominations for his work in the film, though the subject matter may keep crowds away.  Whatever your point of view on faith and the Catholic Church, go and see it.


An Interesting Story For A Saturday Morning About Marco Rubio

Saturday, September 13, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Just popped up at 9:06 AM eastern on the New York Times feed: “Eyeing 2016, Sen. Rubio Stresses Border Security”

A very smart move by Rubio who has been building his portfolio of national security and foreign affairs speeches and positions, anticipating the turn towards international unrest that the campaign for 2016 is already taking and which MTP’s Chuck Todd and I discussed on yesterday’s show.

The rub will be the specificity with which Rubio and others discuss the long, strong, double-sided border fence with paved road between the two fences.  The country has built interstates, for goodness sakes, it can build an easily patrolled, nearly impregnable fencing system on the southern border.  Though 2000 miles long, only about half is passable, and a 1,000 mile effort is nothing compared to Interstate 10 which is 2,640 miles, I-90 is 3,100 miles, I-80 is 2,899 miles, and I-40 is 2,555 miles.

Americans want a patrolled double fence along the passable areas.  The GOPer who gets specific –with funding, timetables, construction design specifics such as two-sides, 12 feet high, paved road running between the sides, and who blows off the stupid “ladders and tunnels” rhetoric wins this debate. Instantly.  I hope Senator Rubio leads the way.

When I pressed Representative Paul Ryan on the subject a few weeks back –there was no mention of a fence in his discussion of border security in his new book– this is what ensued:

HH: You don’t talk about [a fence in the book]. Is that responsive to the grassroots?

PR: Oh, no, I mean, I guess I should have just assumed, I assume they know a fence. I mean, it’s implied. And to me, a fence is, I voted for the fence. It hasn’t been completed. I voted to streamline the rules to clear the barriers so that the fence can be completed. So that’s part of securing the border. You know, you can put any great level of detail of policy in a book like this. When I mean secure the border and do everything you need to do to secure the border, which is what I say, that’s what I mean.

Most GOP candidates and electeds say the same thing “Borders security first” without laying out any specifics on the border fence.  This rhetoric is a recipe –a sure-fire recipe– for cooking up suspicion among voters for whom border security means first and foremost a long, strong, double-sided fence with a road between the two fences.  When it is possible to be very specific and the rhetoric and the legislation is not, then the disbelief becomes cynical suspicion.  I haven’t read Senator Rubio’s remarks today, but I hope he and Congressman Ryan and every GOPer running for the presidency gets very specific about a timetable and the particulars for a fence, and that if immigration reform is attempted in early 2015 with the GOP in control of Congress that any bill has as Title One the provisions on the fence construction plan the completion of which will be a condition precedent for all the rest of the bill.  That is border security first, and it will be rewarded by the GOP’s grassroots, independents and even security-minded Democrats.

What follows a fence in the bill could be regularization of the non-criminal illegal population and vast humanitarian aide to the newly arrived as discussed here.  But the fence has to come first: The visible expression of an invisible but very firm resolve to make our borders real and secure.

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