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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

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The host interviewed Dennis Prager yesterday (Hughniverse subscription required) about his extraordinarily controversial tweet.  The discussion has continued into today as Dennis has written his column in response.  This is an extraordinary thing to watch.  Dennis keeps trying to explain himself, but no one is listening.  Dennis continues to tell people that they are misunderstanding, entirely failing to acknowledge that they have good reason to do so.  It seems like everybody is talking; everybody is reacting, and nobody is listening.

Such is a human failing, common in most conflicts, and grossly exacerbated by the internet, and Twitter in particular.  Whenever we take to the internet, whether to blog, to post on Facebook, or to tweet, we are in a hurry to say something.  How often do we listen?  And when we react, how often are we reacting to what we think someone is saying instead of what they actually are saying?  Listening is hard, and it is even harder when reading.  This Prager kerfuffle is really little different than the thousands of personal conflicts I have seen erupt, and occasionally grow completely out-of-hand, on Facebook or other social media.

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South Dakota Senator John Thune on What’s Next in the Senate on Obamacare Repeal

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The audio:

07-18hhs-thune

The transcript:

HH: I’m joined by the third-ranking Republican in the United States Senate, John Thune of South Dakota. Good morning, Senator, it is great to talk to you, though I am deeply disappointed in your caucus.

JT: You and me, both, Hugh. Thank you, it’s always nice to be with you.

HH: I will never understand refusing to debate…

JT: Right.

HH: People go to the Senate in order to debate, and I will never understand abdication of Constitutional duty. They could have voted against the bill, right, in the end if they didn’t like it.

JT: Correct. Yeah, that’s the most frustrating part, is we can’t even get on the bill and have that conversation, and unlimited number of amendments, and an unlimited number of votes. Everybody would get a chance to shape the bill once we get on it. But yeah, so…

HH: Well now, explain to us what Senator McConnell has announced in detail. What is the plan, and what is the schedule?

JT: Well, I think that he wants to keep on the schedule as soon as Senator McCain returns, and to call the bill up, and to try and get on, now, a full repeal. I mean, a lot of our members have been saying the reason they can’t vote for this is because it’s not full repeal. We have most of our members who 18 months ago voted for a full repeal bill. And so I guess this is an opportunity for everybody to see if that’s what we, what we want to do, and then allow a transition, a couple year transition in order for us to replace it at some later point.

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Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on What’s Next in the Senate on Obamacare Repeal

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The audio:

07-18hhs-cotton

The transcript:

HH: Joined now by United States Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas. Good morning, Senator.

TC: Good morning, Hugh. How are you?

HH: I’m terrible. I think American health care is in deep trouble. The Obamacare death spiral is continuing. And the Senate effort has collapsed. What happens next?

TC: Well, Hugh, you’re right that the American health care system is still groaning under the weight of Obamacare. That’s why we can’t simply accept failure as an outcome. I am pleased to see that Senator McConnell has said that we’re going to move forward with the very bill to repeal Obamacare on which 49 Republican senators voted just 18 months ago in December of 2015. And I know that both John Kennedy and Luther Strange, two new Republican senators over the last year, would vote for that bill as well, 51 votes.

HH: So will you vote to take up the House bill with the guarantee that the first amendment is full repeal?

TC: Of course, Hugh. I don’t see how any Republican senator who voted just 18 months ago for this very piece of legislation could now flip-flop 18 months on with Obamacare still inflicting so much harm on Americans, and the fact that we campaigned on this for four straight elections. So I’m pleased to see that Senator McConnell, after much hard work trying to craft legislation that could win the votes of 50 senators is now going to return a bill on which again, 49 Republican senators have already voted, and Luther Strange and John Kennedy will vote.

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Morale in the Administration

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The audio:

07-18hhs-carson

Partial transcript:

HH: Let me close by asking you about President Trump. Obviously, he’s a builder. He’s a developer. He ought to be concerned about the housing shortage, and he probably has a skill set to advance that. How often do you talk to him, meet with him and talk about housing shortages in hyper-hot markets, if at all?
BC: Occasionally, but honestly, he’s got his hands full with a lot of international things right now. And you know, whenever I have an issue, I talk to him about it. He does have a lot of knowledge in this area. It’s pretty amazing, quite frankly. He knows all of these codes and all the things. It’s pretty amazing.

HH: And so what do you make of the state of the Trump administration, of which you are a part, given the scandals, the controversies, the back and forth, the Donald Trump Jr. meeting? How do you feel six month in, the administration overall, is doing?

BC: Well, you know, I think, you know, progress is being made. I can tell you that any administration that would come in with this kind of criticism and scrutiny would look bad. There’s no question about it. And I think that’s part of the goal of some who are out there. But it doesn’t matter, because in a way, the fact that all of this attention is being focused on the President, it gives the rest of us an opportunity to get things done without all the criticism. So that’s…

HH: Are you feeling energized? Do you have the same energy as when you arrived? Or has the Washington swamp slowed you down and left you, you know, knee deep in mud and muck?

BC: The more of the swamp, and the more of the swamp creatures I see, the more energized I become, because you recognize that we have a responsibility to the people. Would I rather be retired and enjoying life? Probably, but at the same time, when I look back at the fathers of our country and some of the people who have sacrificed so much so that we could have what we have today, there’s not too much that any of us can give.

HH: Dr. Ben Carson, always a pleasure. I hope I see you over on MSNBC some Saturday morning soon. We’ll talk about adults with developmental disabilities and their housing needs, and many other things. Have a great week ahead, Dr. I appreciate you taking time to talk to me.

BC: Thank you. Take care.

End of partial transcript.

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