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The Collapse of Labor and Britain’s Choice

Monday, April 26, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The ongoing collapse of Labor’s standing in polls as the election approaches in Great Britain should serve as a warning to Democrats in the U.S. about the impact of massive deficits on a politician’s standing with the public. Voters know that soaring deficits mean austerity and worse, and British voters are preparing to give the party behind the red ink an enormous drubbing.

Republicans as well should take note of the ups and downs of the campaign in the UK. “David Cameron is the empty, hollow marketing man who has done what all the focus groups suggest,” Mark Steyn noted on last Thursday’s program, “a man who doesn’t believe anything, but who has done what the focus groups suggest, and moved the so-called Conservative Party to the center.” The passive approach to the election which waits for the other guy to fail has seen the Tories’ lead dwindle and the prospect of a hung Parliament rise. Cameron’s team still has time to provide sharper contrast with both Labor and the Liberal Democrats, but the LD leader Nick Clegg is a very smooth communicator. “[I]f 300 million Americans couldn’t see through that obvious hooey,” Steyn asked, “[W]hy should 60 million Britons be any smarter?”

The trouble is that the world needs a strong and growing Britain,especially as Europe struggles to escape the global recession and the fallout from Greece’s woes. Hope that Cameron gets his and the Conservatives’ acts together in the next week and that the voters there recognize they cannot afford a vote for style anymore than the Americans could.

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Lindsey Graham Abandons Cap-and-Tax

Sunday, April 25, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

For reasons explained here, John McCain is very happy that Lindsey Graham has abandoned his sponsorship of cap-and-tax 3.0.

Now if all Republican senators stay together in refusing to be drawn into a debate or negotiations over immigration reform, the focus of the country can remain where it ought to be: On the extraordinary mistake that is Obamacare and on the spiraling spending that threatens to give the country a fiscal stroke.

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The Colt McCoy Era Begins In Cleveland

Friday, April 23, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Terry Pluto, America’s finest sportswriter, on the selection of Colt McCoy to be the Browns’ QB of the future.

The Steelers owned the ’70s. The Browns will own the ‘teens.

McCoy’s interview after his injury in the national championship game showcased a young man of great faith and character who will be a joy to watch over his career. It is a wonderful thing to cheer for athletes who are genuine role models for young men and women as well as great competitors.

And it is a real bonus for McCoy to have fans like those of northeastern Ohio and a writer like Pluto to chart his progress, both on and off the field.

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C.J. Box and the Novelist Interviews

Friday, April 23, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Today’s program features an extended interview with novelist C.J. Box, whose Joe Pickett novels are a tremendously entertaining introduction to the modern mountain west, with its variety of subcultures and high profile conflicts. (The transcript is posted here.) Each of Pickett books is a great thriller, but they all also convey enormous amounts of quality information on the controversies that define a lot of the region. Open Season, for example, is a page turner built on the federal Endangered Species Act. The ESA and related environmental statutes such as the Clean Water Act and CEQA have absorbed most of my law practice over the past two decades, so I am a difficult audience to impress when it comes to the details of the operations of the various laws, but Box learned the field and built a great story around the strange consequences of the laws’ operations.

Open Season (A Joe Pickett Novel)

Other books in the series treat the tension between development and the traditions of the region, conflicts over hunting and global warming, third generation ownership of the ranches that define the mountain states’ histories and many other “front page” controversies, and of course, Yellowstone’s volcanic past (and future?) –the subject which first brought Box and me together.

Read the Pickett novels in the order in which they are written as they occur in real time over a decade in the life of the protagonist. The sequence:

  1. Open Season (2001)
  2. Savage Run (2002)
  3. Winterkill (2003)
  4. Trophy Hunt (2004)
  5. Out of Range (2005)
  6. In Plain Sight (2006)
  7. Free Fire (2007)
  8. Blood Trail (2008)
  9. Below Zero (2009)
  10. Nowhere to Run (2010)

Pickett’s excellent Blue Heaven (2209) is a stand-alone mystery set in northern Idaho, which has won many of the key awards in the genre.

Blue Heaven

Friday’s interview is the latest in a series of long-conversations with novelists including Robert Ferrigno, Vince Flynn, Rich Lowry, Piers Paul Read, Steven Pressfield, Daniel Silva and Brad Thor. These long-form interviews are departures from the standard format, based on my belief that these authors are popular because they are tackling big issues even as they inform and entertain. Your comments on this approach and especially on the Box conversation are welcome at hugh@hughhewitt.com.

The website for CJ. Box is www.cjbox.net.

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