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Ebola To Romney To Steyn: The Tinker To Evers To Chance Of 2014*

Monday, October 20, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

First, here’s my Monday Washington Examiner column on Ebola and the necessity of common sense travel restrictions.  Much of it comes out of the counsel of the very, very calm, very respected health care systems lawyer Lowell Brown –one of my law partners– who has three decades of experience representing hospital systems behind his observations of the current situation.  The Administration’s reaction to Ebola has to account for the costs of not imposing the travel restrictions –not a travel ban, but common sense restrictions for a disease estimated by WHO to reach 10,000 new cases a week by December.  Those costs are already high and climbing, burdening an already stressed American hospital system.

Second, at the the “Townhall 2014″ forum tonight in Glendale, Calfiornia, before approximately 1,200 conservative activists who paid a fairly expensive ticket price to come in, the Ebola concern is very low.  So is the enthusiasm for immigration reform legislation in a 2015-16 GOP-majority House and Senate.  In fact while about 20% of the audience pronounced themselves very concerned over Ebola, only 10% favored the hypothetical GOP majority taking the initiative and putting an immigration reform bill before the president in early 2015.  Michael Medved and I strongly advocate such a course, provided the bill is a good one and, in my case, that means an-impossible-to-avoid construction of at least 1000 miles of double-sided, high fencing along the border.  The GOP has a huge opportunity here to present the president with a long immigration reform bill he simply cannot veto, one stocked with key legislative victories like the Keystone pipeline and repeal of the medical device tax while also providing regularization for most of the illegal population, but not citizenship, but getting such a bill past the very skeptical base of the GOP will mean turning to conservatives to actually draft the bill, not to the usual suspects.  If the usual suspects want a bill and not simply attention, they will bow out of the way and let the conservatives draft that bill.

Third, at the very same forum which is skeptical of Ebola fears and very skeptical of immigration reform legislation, 50% of attendees want Mitt Romney to run for the White House again again.  This result surprised every participant –Katie Pavlich, Michael, Dennis Prager, Ben Shapiro, Elisha Krauss, Brian Whitman and me.  Again, these are hard-core conservative enthusiasts, willing to pay for a ticket to a show featuring conservative media folk, very opposed to immigration reform and hostile to Common Core.  I had expected another 10% to 20% showing in the Romney-run-again? poll, but while the enthusiasm of the non-Romney people seems focused on Ted Cruz, it is safe to say that it isn’t just “Establishment Republicans” driving the Romney 2016 bus.  Lots and lots of deep red conservatives are on it too.

I’ll talk about all this on Monday’s show with none other than columnist-to-the-world Mark Steyn, who is marking launch day for his wonderful new book The [Un]Documented Mark Steyn with a long interview with me commencing at 7:21 Eastern and ending at 9 PM.  (That’s 4:21 to 6 PM Pacific for the Steelers fans.) Listen online if you can’t hear it in your car.  A vast draft of undiluted Steyn heading your way tomorrow, probably enough to immunize you against Ebola panic.


*”Baseball’s Sad Lexicon”

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon[a] bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double[b] –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

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The Weeked To-Do List, And A Conversation With Dr. Ben Carson About Ebola

Friday, October 17, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Well that was an interesting chat with Dr. Ben Carson.  Audio and transcript coming asap and will be posted below.  But first, the to-do list for the weekend.

If you like in Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire or North Carolina, the four closest Senate contests at this point, go to the websites of Cory Gardner, David Perdue, Scott Brown or Thom Tillis respectively, and offer to walk a precinct or spend a few hours at a call center.  Throw yourselves into the final two weekends of the campaign.

If you live in Arizona, do the same for the Doug Ducey campaign, and in Florida, for Rick Scott.

If you don’t live in any of those six states, visit their websites anyway and see if they need virtual volunteers, or leave a last donation behind, even five bucks or $50 or $100.  It matters.  Enromously in the closing days.

Call your friends and family in those states.  Email them.  Here’s a suggested short note:

Dear ____

I am writing in the hope of reminding you that election day is November 4 and ____ is running for ______ in your state.  Seriously, I never do this, but I am so concerned for the country and the need to change direction and rebalance government.  We just have to add some common sense into the D.C. equation, and especially get Harry Reid out of a position of power.  he has badly, badly ill-served the country, and we just can’t have two more years of this with ISIS and Ebola and a weak economy crippling us and the world.

Eras where one party has controlled the White House and the other party both houses of the Congress have been spectacularly productive in the past, and could be again with a GOP sweep on November 4.  I have no idea for whom you intend to vote or even if you intended to vote at all.  A lot of folks are just disgusted.  But we can’t keep drifting this way towards chaos.  Please consider voting for ____.  Call me if you’d like to discuss it.

As for the news, watch to see how Ron Klain staffs his effort.  (See this post.) Watch Meet the Press which improves with each week and is rapidly regaining altitude as Chuck Todd brings balance asnd serious questions to the table with an excellent mix of guests.  Hopefully by Monday Klain will have explained to the president that a travel ban on non-U.S. passport holding residents from the three countries in which the hot zone is located may not enter the U.S. unless they have been elsewhere for at least 21 days.  This is not draconian, not international trade destroying, and consistent with reducing risk of new cases at the margin which matters quite a lot as the U.S. is the key responding country and needs to be focused on getting aid to Africa, not obsessing over cases that got through here.  Every non-essential traveler from that region denied entry to the U.S. reduces risk, and risk mitigation is the essence of public health.  The biggest obstacle to this is the embarrassment the president thinks he will suffer, though in truth the political disaster of his handling of this is already baked deep into the November 4 cake and cannot be removed.  He screwed up, big time.  Just like with those pesky “jayvees” of ISIS.

I had a civil email exchange with Tom Formann of CNN over his reporting of the difficulties of travel ban, and Tom declined to come on the show Friday though admittedly the invitation arrived on Friday afternoon after his report aired and the fellow might actually have dinner with his wife planned.  But it wasn’t good reporting because it didn’t fairly deal with the obvious benefit of a common sense approach to travel restrictions from the hot zone and how they differ markedly from the travel bans connected with SARs.  Hopefully the reporting will improve but the sense lingers that Beltway media is still trying to protect this hapless president from the political consequences of his serial ineptitudes.

And be sure to watch the Bucks on Saturday crush Rutgers, the Irish takes on the Seminoles and the Browns beat the Jaguars on Sunday behind Brian Hoyer.  Even after weeks that are horrible on lots of levels, there is always Bucks, Irish and Browns football to give us a diversion.

But then send a few more emails during the games on Sunday night.

Finally, Dr. Ben Carson joined me on Friday’s show to discuss the Ebola cases.

The audio:


The transcript:

HH: I am joined by Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

BC: Thank you. Always good to be with you.

HH: Dr. you’re such a well-established and well-regarded national figure, the professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. You’ve won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You did the National Prayer Breakfast. You wrote One Nation. If President Obama called you up right now and said Dr. Carson, we need a surgeon general who will command respect and will generate calm, would you please serve, would you accept that?

BC: No. No, because I would, if I were going to serve in that position, I would have to serve under someone that I trusted.

HH: If he said I will not interfere with the guidance you give, we need someone to rally the country around being calm and appropriately prepared, you really, you’d say no to the president of the United States?

BC: Yes. Absolutely. Continue Reading

Ron Klain and the Staffing of the Ebola Tsardom

Friday, October 17, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Much criticism online about the president’s appointment of Ron Klain, which I think is very premature.

President Obama was clearly going to want someone he knows and trusts if we are on the cusp of a domestic as well as an already obvious international crisis.  It is too late to change the politics and the electoral fallout of the bungling by the president and his team of the Ebola virus’ arrival in the U.S. –the 21 day period of exposure for new cases to surface will not conclude until after the election, and the cruise ship fiasco has delivered the verdict on the president’s incredible “leading from behind” mishandling of this.

Phase two of the national response does need to be bipartisan, though, and if Klain appoints qualified center-right professionals with unquestionable expertise and experience as key deputies with real authority to help organize and think through the response, like Tevi Troy or Yuval Levin, to assist in the response, Klain can in a stroke defuse the suspicion that what we will get will be a PR strategy and not a disease containment strategy.  Watch that space closely this weekend.  We will know by next week if the effort is genuinely a crisis control effort, or simply yet another blunder along the way of a president who has always put politics ahead of everything else.  Epidemics, like hangings, may concentrate the mind wonderfully.  We will see.

“Glass Jaw,” Houston’s Putin-Like Mayor, And WMD In Iraq –Again

Tuesday, October 14, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Off to Tucson for a Doug Ducey event Wednesday and then on to Dallas Thursday night for an Alliance Defending Freedom event with Ross Douthat and the Benham Brothers.  I’ll be able to broadcast tomorrow thanks to my friends at KVOI in Tuscon, but I’ll be on stage with Ross and the brothers on Thursday and Mark Larson will be sitting in for me to keep you abreast of the latest campaign and Ebola news.  No doubt I’ll be talking on Wednesday’s show and on Thursday night about the outrageous assault on the First Amendment by Houston’s own version of Vladimir Putin, Mayor Annise Parker, who has decided to start issuing subpoenas for sermons of the city’s pastors she has tangled with over the trans-gendered bathrooms issue.

There will also be time to review this big story from the New York Times on the, wait for it, WMD we found in Iraq.

But most of Wednesday’s show will be taken up by a conversation with Eric Dezenhall about his his important, riveting and indeed at times profound new book Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal. Dezenhall is founder and CEO of Dezenhall Resources, Ltd, one of the nation’s leading crisis management firms, and I have already advised the leadership of two boards that the book will be must-reading for every board member in America, for CEOs, officeholders and candidates for both jobs as well as their staffs.  It is an advanced course in nightmares for companies and individuals –the kind you hope never to have to live through but for which you ought to be prepared.

Think of Glass Jaw as a reputational earthquake preparedness kit. You shouldn’t be without it.


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