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Columns

Hebrew Names and Popular Misconceptions

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According to popular misconceptions, traditional Judaism treats women like chattel (property) if not outright like cattle (beasts, obviously). That’s not true, of course, and it’s why people are asking for my mother’s Hebrew name for prayer, not my dad’s. Whenever you pray for mercy, for a special kindness from God, you pray in the name of the mother—in the name of parent who is most likely to grant it to you. That’s the same parent who granted you life. The Hebrew name for...

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Two Bad Habits in Talking about Immigration

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Republicans of all stripes tend to display two bad habits whenever they talk about immigration and those ticks damage the GOP and cripple our credibility. First, we almost inevitably discuss illegal immigration in the context of winning Hispanic votes, as if it were a political problem, rather than a profound policy and ethical dilemma that impacts millions and threatens future character of the country. As soon as advocates of immigration reform say something like “we must do something on this issue to attract...

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Obama’s Not “Doubling Down,” He’s Playing With a Whole New Deck

U.S. President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington

One thing all conservatives should scrupulously avoid is giving Barack Obama credit he doesn’t deserve. Too many leading voices on the right have done that in regard to the sweeping (and utterly unattainable) agenda he cobbled together in his State of the Union Address. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), House whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Financial Services Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and even Fox News have all used the same misleading language to describe the Obama strategy. He’s “doubling down” on previous...

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ALL LANDS “WERE MADE FOR YOU AND ME”?

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Super Bowl ads are sometimes memorable and original but one of the oddest this year came from Chrysler’s Jeep Renegade. It used “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land,” with the original lyrics, but from the second verse on they dropped familiar American imagery and substituted gauzy pictures of China, Brazil, Japan and Australia. The tag line, showing the car, declared “The World is a Gift. Play Responsibly.” This anti-nationalist approach – that no land belongs to anyone in particular, is the...

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Obama on YouTube: Unintentionally–and Disastrously–Revealing

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The most revealing interview of the Barack Obama presidency involved a meeting of the minds between a clutch of YouTube stars and the Leader of the Free World. While most of the press attention focused on loopy comments by the likes of GloZell Green (who offered the president some of her signature green lipstick for his “first wife”), the significant portion of these exchanges came in response to a reasonably appropriate question from 19-year-old Bethany Mota. This one-time fourth place finisher on Dancing...

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A PERSONAL NOTE TO MY RADIO FAMILY

letter photo finalMichael and Diane Medved on January 11th, 2015

All those who listen regularly to my radio show know how much I value the privilege of speaking to this eager, enlightened audience every weekday, year-round. I have been unapologetically fanatical about broadcasting whenever, however I can; in eighteen years of national syndication, I’ve never missed more than four days in a row of regularly scheduled broadcasts. I always knew that it would take something serious to keep me away from the microphone I cherish for an extended period of time. As it turns out, I am...

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Don’t Insult Moderates: We Need Their Votes to Win

Former Florida Governor Bush addresses the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

With John Boehner safely installed for another term as Speaker and Jeb Bush emerging as apparent frontrunner in the presidential race, Republicans activists must break the bad habit of demonizing moderates. Insults to the crucial swing voters who decide every election inevitably undermine GOP hopes for a durable governing majority. With this reality in mind, common right wing complaints that moderates – or “RINO’s” (“Republicans in Name Only”)- deserve blame for past defeats count as both...

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NOT DOUBLING DOWN; A WHOLE NEW DECK

U.S. President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington

Unfortunately, too many conservatives give the president credit he doesn’t deserve regarding his State of the Union agenda. Senator Ted Cruz, House leaders Steve Scalise and Jeb Hensarling, have all suggested that Obama has “doubled down” on his agenda. The blackjack definition for “doubling down” is to “hold your existing cards while doubling your existing bet with only one more card.” But in his State of the Union, Obama requested virtually all new cards, raising issues he and his party never...

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Hollywood Contradictions: Public Prefers Dire Future to Heroic Past

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Hollywood’s intensifying awards season exposes an obvious gap between an entertainment establishment that cherishes heroic stories from the noble past and a movie-going public that strongly prefers comic book visions of a dangerous, demented, dystopian future. There’s less overlap than ever before between the list of biggest movie money-makers for 2014 and the leading candidates for Tinseltown’s top awards, revealing a perplexing contradiction between the movies that insiders choose to honor and the films...

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Poll Gives Edge to GOP Mainstream

Former Florida Governor Bush addresses the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

According to conventional wisdom, strident activists will dominate the Republican primaries, but a new poll suggests otherwise. A CBS news survey asked self-identified Republicans whether or not they wanted to see various candidates run for president. A plurality of GOP voters had negative responses to the candidacy of many candidates associated with the Tea Party wing of the Party—hoping that Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Perry won’t run. Sarah Palin got the worst reaction of all:...

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