Franken-Moore Nexus? Tax Reform Omission; CFPB Solution; 12-7-41

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, December 7, 2017. Whatever is happening today in our nation’s fractious capital, or in violent hotspots around the world, today’s date is a reminder that this country has experienced truly dark and frightening days and that we saw our way through even if it took a long time.

For Americans living on this date 76 years ago -- and their numbers dwindle each year -- the fact that Pearl Harbor was attacked on a Sunday added to the perfidy of the attack. In his riveting book “December 1941,” author Craig Shirley set the scene this way:

“Sunday in America was a day for relaxing, whether you followed the fourth commandment or not. It was a day for church, for family meals, for reading the newspapers, listening to the radio, going for long walks, for afternoon naps, for working in the yard and visiting with neighbors. Sunday, December 7 was different.”

I’ll have more on what happened next in a moment. First, I’ll point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters and contributors, including the following:

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Franken Departure Could Pressure GOP on Moore’s Fate. Caitlin Huey-Burns and James Arkin explore possible fallout from Democrats’ increased calls for the Minnesota senator to step down.
Democratic Senators Urge Franken to Resign. James and Caitlin have that story too.

Tax Reform’s Unhealthy Omission. At RealClearHealth, Scott Flanders calls for equalizing the tax treatment of individually purchased and employer-sponsored health coverage.

“Unaffordable” Health Insurance Is the Myth That Won't Die. RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny contends that the main barrier to plummeting health insurance prices is a lack of entrepreneurs matched with capital and economic freedom.

Life Wasn’t Better 50 Years Ago. Also at RCM, Allan Golombek contests that popular view, and offers a long list of reasons why.

Time to Depoliticize Financial Reform. At RealClearPolicy, Kyle Burgess suggests a way out of the CFPB leadership controversy.

Reagan's 1986 Tax Reform vs. Trump's 2017 Tax Reform. Also at RCPolicy, the bipartisan organization No Labels spotlights key differences between the two.

Fixing Space. At RealClearDefense, Rep. Mike Rogers hails a new procurement process for the Air Force Space Command.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like “Gigi”? At RealClearLife, Thelma Adams considers how to evaluate classic films like 1959’s Best Picture winner in light of modern cultural standards (and the Roy Moore controversy).

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That the Japanese Imperial Navy managed to move a huge attack force across 4,000 miles of open water without detection was, and remains, a source of incomprehension and controversy. A couple of things can be said with certainty, however. First, being caught so out of position reflected a troubling lack of imagination in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. government. By that, I mean that Japan’s technical and operational capabilities were underestimated by Americans in charge of national security -- who should have known better -- and that this dismissiveness owed itself, at least in part, to attitudes of racial superiority.

A second point is that Japanese stealth depended on naval skill and discipline, and in fleet commander Isoroku Yamamoto, Japan had an officer up to the task.

The invading armada refueled at sea on December 3. After that, the orders were for radio silence, only to be broken on the morning of the invasion with the code words “Tora! Tora! Tora!” (“Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!”) if the surprise element of the attack had worked.

That very call went out a few minutes before 8 a.m. In Hawaii, residents could see and hear the attacking planes. On the mainland, the news was first conveyed by CBS broadcaster Webley Edwards, who interrupted his popular program, “Hawaii Calls,” with a terse bulletin. “Attention. This is no exercise. The Japanese are invading Pearl Harbor.”

“Tora! Tora! Tora!” would become an infamous phrase in the United States, but Yamamoto’s fleet, as the decorated Japanese admiral himself soon realized, had awakened the tiger in the hearts of tens of millions of Americans. Pearl Harbor roused an enemy who would be neither cavalier nor passive any longer.

Carl M. Cannon 
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Bureau Chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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