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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Columns

If Senate Republicans don’t want the majority, they are doing everything exactly right

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The United States courts, the third branch of government laid out in the Constitution, maintains a website that tracks vacancies among its 890 authorized judgeships. That site is continually updated, but for conservative supporters of President Trump most concerned with the judiciary — and they are legion — its scorecard doesn’t change often enough. I’ve written before that judicial nominations and confirmations are the key metric of success for the Trump “base” and that the greatest impediment to the president’s nominees is the so-called blue slip. But if the Senate’s “old...

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Reshuffle? Reset? Restart? Call it what you want — Trump and the GOP need it.

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British politicians are familiar with the term “reshuffle,” when senior figures in the government switch portfolios or get tossed out or brought into the government. And they’re also very familiar with “coalition governments,” when ruling governments divide jobs and authorities between two or more parties. American politicians could find study of both concepts useful. The executive branch has completed a major reshuffle over the past month. If the White House can match that with a smart policy push, the coalition between the Trump White House and the Capitol Hill GOP, though...

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Combative, but not cruel, Mr. President

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What does it mean to “win” in Washington, or anywhere else in the country? I’ve long described “progress” as the ongoing, incremental expansion of liberty and literacy in stable regimes in or aligned with the West. By that definition, much of President Trump’s administration is “winning.” Still, I worry that Trump’s escalating battle with the media has gone from advancing to impeding efforts to achieve that goal. About that winning: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have become the domestic policy stars of the Trump...

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If GOP senators blow this, say hello to single-payer health care

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The iceberg approaches for the Senate GOP’s ship, but unlike with the Titanic, there is plenty of time to turn. Republicans slowed the engines and thus the speed by postponing a vote until after the July 4 recess, but they are still set to collide with the consequences of breaking a core promise to the voters who sent them to Washington. If the GOP does not disengage the country’s health-care system from the disaster of Obamacare, we are headed for the misery of single-payer. This is the last chance to divert that outcome. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)...

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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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