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Jeb v. The Rest

Tuesday, December 30, 2014  |  posted by Garrett Fahy

by Brian Fahy & Garrett Fahy

In politics as in life, past is prologue. Thus, a Bush is the first candidate to announce that he may be running for president, this time in 2016. Jeb Bush’s announcement to seek the most consequential job on earth, made in the most underwhelming fashion — a Facebook post — has put the nation on notice: the 2016 presidential race has officially begun. Continue Reading

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The Future Of Broadcast News And Punditry

Tuesday, December 30, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I hope you had a chance to listen to yesterday’s show.  Guest hosting for me was Lanhee Chen, the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; director of Domestic Policy Studies and lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University and a lecturer in law at Stanford Law School.

Not your typical guest host, but very much where I think the future of broadcast news and punditry is headed.

Lanhee was crisp, fast-paced, on top of breaking news stories, and surrounded by expert guests he had selected.  Of course he was assisted by the best team in radio with Duane, Adam, Marlon, Tony and Danielle, but nevertheless, “You can’t put in what God left out” to borrow from Chariots of Fire.  Lanhee is a natural, and gifted at communicating news with analysis thrown in.

So what makes Lanhee a great pundit?  It helps that he earned his PhD in political science from Harvard University, his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School, and his AB magna cum laude in government from Harvard College, that he is a member of the State Bar of California, was the senior policy advisor to Mitt Romney and is presently consulting with would-be GOP presidential nominees who seek his help on key issues of the day. Lanhee has been around the biggest track of all.  Experience counts.

But it was curiosity, not credentials, that made him sparkle yesterday.  In the course of the show I tweeted out that it was better for guest hosts not to show up their regular hosts and urging that he mumble more, but in all seriousness it dawned on me that within a decade or at most two, there will be no room on the airwaves for the ill-informed or the deeply biased.  Information flows are too fast for the slow, too complicated for the dense.  Every cable channel will have to jettison their good-looking but dim-witted anchors and correspondents and find good-looking, smart people.  In this regard Fox News has led the way with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier, CNN with Jake Tapper, and NBC with Chuck Todd, but look for more network execs to realize that the public is increasingly sophisticated about who is delivering the news.  Stupid or biased –or worse, both– don’t stand a chance against the new wave of hyper-smart, energetic anchors and commentators –like Lanhee.

Stephen Hayes, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will on Fox, and Bill Kristol on NBC and a new generation led by Lanhee and a handful of others will be delivering the news and analysis when I am in retirement in my ’70s, God willing, and it will be far more interesting and useful than when I was in my teens being fed by Uncle Walter, John Chancellor and Washington Week In Review.  Firing Line was the breakthrough, and expect it to be the norm in another generation.

Viewers want value, breaking news, and speed.  The world is huge but smaller every day, and stories three thousands miles away matter, and so does timeliness.  Only anchors and analysts with the capacity to absorb and consider the vast sweep of information will –and should– prosper.  They will.

Common Core and The 2016 GOP Nomination

Sunday, December 28, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My Monday column for the Washington Examiner will focus on the same subject as does the lead op-ed in today’s New York Times opinion section: Common Core.

The early link to my column is here.  The link to the Times’ column, “Rage Against The Common Core,” is here.  Read them both and listenNew Year’s Day for a comprehensive look at the issue that will drive a lot of candidate’s forums in the next year as a dozen or more Republicans fan out across the country looking for votes and dollars.

The Hoover Institution’s Lanhee Chen sits in for me tomorrow but I will be back Tuesday through the balance of the week.   Don’t miss Lanhee on tomorrow’s broadcast as Mitt Romney’s former senior policy advisor is now helping out any number of the would-be GOP nominees from his post in Palo Alto.  For an early understanding of what will shape the year in Congress and on the campaign trail, listen Monday.

What News Does White House Leak At 5 PM The Friday After Christmas….

Saturday, December 27, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I covered this on my show Friday.  I suspected a story like this one was coming, buried deep in the news dump day of the year.

Perhaps the new Senate Armed Services Committee will work with its House counterpart and the Appropriations Committees of both chambers to block?

Read these three graphs from the CNN story carefully:

Once a detainee is deemed no longer a risk, they are either transferred back to their country of origin, or a third country that is willing to take them.

Sixty-four of the 132 remaining detainees have been ruled eligible for transfer.

Of the 64 eligible, 54 are from Yemen. But the United States is not willing, at this point, to send them back to Yemen because of concerns that the government — under pressure from al Qaeda and Houthi militants — cannot ensure they do not join al Qaeda elements there. The administration for the last several months has been trying to find a country that will take the Yemenis and provide security and human rights assurances for them.

So, breaking it down: Gitmo terrorists can only be released if they are “no longer a risk,” but the 54 Yemenis cannot be released to Yemen because they are a risk.  Check.

Then there are the president’s four reasons for pushing closure:

“It is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world, the fact that these folks are being held,” Obama said. “It is contrary to our values and it is wildly expensive. We’re spending millions for each individual there. And we have drawn down the population there significantly.”

Any evidence anywhere for #1?  Australia, France, ISIS-land?

What “values,” the president should be asked, are compromised by holding terrorists indefinitely?

#3 says Gitmo is too expensive, but what value is put on the lives they will take if they return to battlefield, and what cost will the killers we don’t cost incur wherever else they go?  KSM isn’t coming stateside after all.

Finally the last reason –“we have drawn down people there significantly”– is no reason at all, but in fact an indictment of the increasing difficulty in justifying the release of the hardened terrorists left at Gitmo.  Only the hard core are left, but POTUS wants them shipped off to, to kill and maim another day.

In short, an absurd, serial set of non-sequitors, about par for this president’s command of logic and persuasive argument. Windy and without logic or fact to back it up.  The new Congress should block him not only from closing Gitmo, but from expending money to relocate prisoners –a classic appropriations’ rider.  Given the way the world is going, we are going to need the facility for decades into the future, and a full throated defense of the necessity as well.


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