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Today's Commentary: Are the rich paying their fair share? -- Bill Maher defends Laura Ingraham -- Have decency and civility become obsolete? -- Chuck McCann RIP -- Mike Rowe's "S.W.E.A.T" -- Additional Mike Huckabee commentaries
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When the GOP tax cut bill was first proposed, Democrats attacked it the way they attack virtually all Republican proposals: by claiming that letting Americans keep a little more of their own money instead of it giving it to Washington would make millions of people “DIE!” That proved about as easy to sell as Nancy Pelosi’s condescending claim that a $1000 bonus and an dollar-an-hour raise (thanks to the tax cut) was “pathetic” and “crumbs.” So they fell back on another one of the handful of well-worn tunes in their repertoire: that it’s “not fair,” it’s “tax cuts for the rich” with a disproportionate share of the benefits going to the highest earners, and a “scam” under which the middle class would pay more.
At the time, the tax tables had yet to be written, but now, the new system is in place. So how does that latest scare tactic stand up to the facts? Not so well. A tax specialist from the Tax Policy Center (which is a joint venture of the left-leaning Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, so not a rightwing partisan outfit) crunched the numbers, and simultaneously crunched the left’s arguments into dust.
Bill Maher defends Laura Ingraham
By Mike Huckabee
Conservatives often ask me why I appear on liberal shows like “The View” or “Real Time with Bill Maher.” But how can I possibly hope to win people over to my view if I don’t engage with them? That doesn’t mean both sides yelling at once, but actually holding a civil conversation. You might be surprised to hear that some of the people who disagree with me the most are quite friendly and cordial about having me on their shows, and we do occasionally find common ground. Besides, I’ll take whatever forum I can get to reach their audiences, because some of those folks desperately need to hear a different point of view.
I’m glad to see that one of my points of agreement with Bill Maher is on condemning the “Twitter mob” mentality that seeks to gin up Internet pressure on corporations to pull their ads from TV hosts who don’t toe a particular political line. In this case, Bill actually defended Fox News host Laura Ingraham from the exodus of advertisers drummed up by teenage anti-gun activist David Hogg, who was upset that Ingraham talked about his alleged difficulties at getting into college (of course, Bill first had to exercise the standard virtue-signal of assuring everyone he thinks Ingraham is a horrible person before defending her right to free speech.) He noted that Hogg chose to put himself in the public arena, and when you do that, you risk being criticized.
Have decency and civility become obsolete?
By Mike Huckabee
Saturday night, there was a four-alarm fire in a residential apartment on the 50th floor of Trump Tower in New York City. Tragically, one person was burned to death and six firefighters were injured putting it out. Fires high up in skyscrapers are a nightmare scenario, so while we pray for the victims, let’s also thank God that it didn't become even worse.
Unfortunately, ‘60s rocker David Crosby seemed to think that the deadly emergency was a proper event to politicize, since he tweeted at the news, “Oh boy…Burn, baby, burn.” He quickly deleted it. Sadly, some other people who don’t have the excuse of decades of drug use affecting their brains had similar reactions.
Chuck McCann RIP
By Mike Huckabee
When we lose one of those familiar faces from the days when TV used to bring us together instead of tear us apart, I like to stop for a minute and pay tribute – partly because those folks deserve it for bringing so much joy to us over the years; and partly because they often never received recognition at the time, or were unjustly overlooked in their later years. So let’s take just a moment to pay a final tribute to one of those entertainers, Chuck McCann, who died of heart failure Sunday in L.A. at 83.
McCann never became a big star, but there was hardly a day over the past 70 years when he wasn’t making people laugh, in front of a camera or live audience or behind a microphone. His dad worked for CBS Radio and got him his first voiceover gig at age seven. He was a comic, actor, comedy writer, puppeteer, kids’ show host and the go-to guy when sketch shows needed an Oliver Hardy impersonator. He appeared on just about every network show of the past half-century. His career stretched from “The First Family,” a classic 1962 vinyl LP poking fun at JFK, to a recent podcast poking fun at President Trump. More famous comics considered him the funniest person in the room. Children who never knew his name loved him from Saturday morning shows like “Far Out Space Nuts” and his voices on countless cartoons. His face might be most familiar from his many TV commercials, but he went unseen in his most iconic role: the voice of Sonny the cartoon bird who was “cuckoo for Coco-Puffs!”
In a business where so many people have 15 minutes of fame and disappear, how does someone stay so busy for so long? Chuck McCann was talented, funny, and famously nice to everyone he met. But maybe most importantly, to him, show business wasn’t about ego or money: he just loved to work. He told TVParty.com in 2007, “I did everything. I never closed doors. I have just as much fun doing a 30-second commercial as I do making a movie.”
That’s a good lesson for everyone, not just those in show business. If you read today’s story about the mom who complained about Mike Rowe’s work ethic pledge for scholarship applicants, she should consider whether she wants her son to have a lifelong career and earn the admiration and respect of his co-workers, like Chuck McCann, or live in her basement for the rest of his life.
There are a lot of obituaries online with many photos from McCann's long career, so I think I’ll link to this personal tribute from his friend and colleague, writer/cartoon producer Mark Evanier:
Mike Rowe's "S.W.E.A.T Pledge"
By Mike Huckabee
This Facebook post from a mother objecting to Mike Rowe’s “S.W.E.A.T. Pledge,” the statement that he requires applicants for his Work Ethic Scholarship Program to sign before they get free money to learn a trade – and Rowe’s response to it – are actually both reposts from a year ago. But as Mike notes, he gets many similar complaints -- and as I’d note, the values expressed in it that the mom objects to are so eternal and worthy of regular reinforcement – that even if you’ve seen it before, you’ll want to read it again. I hope this lady’s son doesn’t agree with her attitude, or he’ll have plenty of time to reread Facebook posts from his permanent residence on her couch.
By the way, if you’re a fan of Mike Rowe, a reminder that he has a terrific show on TBN called “Somebody’s Gotta Do It.” It airs on Saturday night right after another pretty good show called…what’s the name again?...Oh, right: “Huckabee.”