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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Columns

Trump’s budget betrays two critical campaign promises

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On Sept. 7, 2016, Donald Trump made a specific promise to an audience at the Philadelphia shipyards: “to build a Navy of 350 surface ships and submarines.” On March 2, Trump, now president, added to the specificity of that pledge by promising to increase the number of aircraft carriers to 12. The White House budget unveiled Monday breaks both of these promises. It’s a big deal to walk on this pledge, which is why, if the president does not correct his error, Congress should reject the budget and substitute its own plan. A 350-ship fleet is key for both national security and...

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Comey’s firing isn’t like the ‘Saturday Night Massacre.’ It’s pretty straightforward.

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Long ago and far away, when I was a young special assistant first to Attorney General William French Smith and then to Attorney General Edwin Meese, the young staff would automatically stand up whenever William Webster, then head of the FBI, walked into a room. At Friday morning roundtable briefings in the attorney general’s massive conference room, when Webster spoke, everyone leaned in. He had the bearing, the competence and the character of the nation’s top and most trusted cop. Last summer an old D.C. hand took me to one of those Beltway places of lore for lunch and a cigar and talked...

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‘The Fourth Way’

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Hearings on President-elect Trump’s Cabinet nominees open this week and all should be concluded after a day or two with positive committee votes and rapid floor votes of confirmation. Not a single nominee appears yet to be in any way endangered, and while interest groups on the left are furiously fundraising off of cries of alarm and doom, the “Reid Rule” adopted by Senate Democrats in 2013 means the GOP’s majority in 2017 will give the new president the team he wants, and quickly. It also means that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will also be speedily...

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Memo to the young DC job seeker

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So you want to join the Trump Administration? Be a special assistant to a Cabinet secretary? Carry a briefcase in the White House? I get it. I did too, out of law school and fresh from a clerkship in 1984. And I was lucky — very lucky — to work for two great attorneys general, William French Smith and Edwin Meese, and then White House Counsel Fred Fielding and his deputy Dick Hauser as they served as the personal lawyer for Ronald Reagan. Heady stuff when you are in your 20s. Of course you want to do such things. Ambition to serve at the highest levels of the most powerful government in...

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Memo To PEOTUS @realDonaldTrump: #FasterPlease and #TheFourthWay

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There’s been a lull in the pace of the stand up of the Trump Administration and the left is using it to try and define the new president and his team.  The response should be #FasterPlease and #TheFourthWay: More appointments at every level and a bigger, broader agenda that surprises and delivers —#TheFourthWay. The incessant mentions of the popular vote, the factually wrong attacks on various nominees but especially Rex Tillerson for State, Betsy DeVos for Education, Andy Puzder for Labor and Scott Pruitt for EPA, the attacks on the wealth of some nominees, the insistence that...

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Winter isn’t coming

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One more week of Beltway Christmas parties, followed by a week of faith, and football, and then the nation’s capital reconvenes in a still-stunned state. No less an American icon than Henry Winker — from “Happy Days” to “Arrested Development” to a sleigh full of fine films — tweeted a question last week: “Why does our political underpinning seem so ‘shifting sand unsettling’ at his moment?” A good question, that, and one we will discuss together on Monday’s program, but here’s a first whack. First, never before in modern...

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