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President of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev on the cover of Time Magazine, Feb. 21, 1964.
President of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev on the cover of Time Magazine, Feb. 21, 1964.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:00 PM
The Brezhnev Doctrine said that the Soviet empire could only expand and never give back its gains. A domestic version of the doctrine has long applied to the welfare state — and never so brazenly as in the debate over the Republican health-care bill.

Its reforms to Medicaid are portrayed as provisions to all but forcibly expel the elderly from nursing homes and send poor children to the workhouse. Bernie Sanders has called the bill “barbaric,
  • GETTING THE MESSAGE/Exodus 2:16-22
    In this story we pick up where Moses has fled from Pharaoh. Moses had rescued an Israelite from an Egyptian, killing the Egyptian. He had supposed the Israelites would see his divine calling to deliver them (Acts 7), but they did not. Pharaoh sought to kill Moses, so he left Egypt, traveling a long way to Midian near the Mt. Sinai area, out of the reach of Pharaoh.
  • DUNCAN/This do in remembrance of Me
    Turn to Luke 22:14-19. When we looked at the first part of this chapter, we said that it was the last Passover. Let me remind you of where this is happening. Jesus and His disciples are in an upper room somewhere inside the city walls of Jerusalem. Jesus is within yards of the temple, and the temple mount is the mountain where God provided a ram for Abraham as a substitute sacrifice for his son Isaac. It is where David offered sacrifices after God stopped the angel of death that he had sent as a punishment for David’s numbering of the people. This is a place full of significance.
  • This article appeared on Washington Examiner on June 26, 2017.

    The Trinity Lutheran case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that a Missouri policy excluding church-run preschools from a particular grant program was unconstitutional, has always seemed like an easy one to me. After all, what happened here sounds awfully un-American: a church was denied a government benefit simply because it’s a church. I’m not sure why a state should subsidize private institutions’ playground resurfacing — the benefit at issue here — but if it does, it has to make such funds available to all on equal terms.
  • BROOKS/GOP rejects conservatism
    ASPEN, Colo. — There is a structural flaw in modern capitalism. Tremendous income gains are going to those in the top 20 percent, but prospects are diminishing for those in the middle and working classes. This gigantic trend widens inequality, exacerbates social segmentation, fuels distrust and led to Donald Trump.

    Conservative intellectuals were slow to understanding the seriousness of this structural problem, but over the past few years they have begun to grapple with the consequences. Basically, many conservative intellectuals have come to terms with income redistribution.
  • CANNON/Bill rescues ObamaCare
    This article appeared in the New York Post on June 24, 2017.

    Senate Republicans have released their supposed ObamaCare-repeal bill, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” Like its counterpart, the House-passed “American Health Care Act,” the Senate bill would not repeal ObamaCare. Indeed, it’s not even fair to call it a partial repeal or “ObamaCare-lite.”

    Indeed, the bill would actually expand ObamaCare in significant respects.
  • GETTING THE MESSAGE/Exodus 2:11-15
    In this passage we learn that Moses has grown up. The New Testament comments on this stage of Moses life in Acts 7 and Hebrews 11. We will take those comments into consideration in our study. Moses has grown up in Pharaoh’s house but is aware of his Hebrew relations. He is now 40 years old so he has spent a long time in two households; a privileged Egyptian with Hebrew roots.
  • DUNCAN/Prepare the Passover
    Turn to Luke 22:1-13. In the passage before us today we find ourselves on the day of the preparation for the Passover lamb. Jesus and all His disciples will celebrate what is the last Passover—not just the last Passover of His life but the last Passover, because the sign of Passover is going to be completely fulfilled in Him.  Fourteen hundred and seventy years or so before this night, Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and they had been literally saved by the Passover lamb. The lamb was prepared and slaughtered, and its blood was spread on the doorposts of the houses in which the children of Israel resided, and when the death angel came to take the lives of the firstborn of Egypt, Israel was spared. The exodus, the miraculous escape from Egypt, was made possible by the blood of the Passover lamb.
  • REYNOLDS/B.A.T. tax no free lunch
    This article appeared on Investor’s Business Daily on June 16, 2017.

    House Republican leaders Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, are still pushing their year-old scheme of a “border adjustable tax” (BAT) to exempt exports from their proposed 20% corporate tax while disallowing firms any deduction for the cost of imported parts, materials or inventories.
  • CATO/The Afghanistan mistake
    This article appeared in the New York Daily News on June 18.

    After President Trump gave Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced it will send an additional 4,000 troops to the embattled nation. Mattis, who has acknowledged that the United States is “not winning in Afghanistan right now,” is believed to favor a more aggressive strategy that would require thousands more troops beyond the 9,800 already deployed.
  • BROOKS/Trump’s right about Russia
    I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces “raising serious questions” (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas.

    Now I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep in the weeds. But I do remember the intense atmosphere that the scandal created. A series of bombshell revelations came out in the media, which seemed monumental at the time. A special prosecutor was appointed and indictments were expected. Speculation became the national sport.
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