Rand Paul talks to Glenn about Hagel, Brennan, and the sequester

Yesterday, Glenn learned Senator Rand Paul was one of four Republicans to vote in favor of the confirmation of Chuck Hagel as America's new Secretary of Defense. Hagel has a very controversial history, once referring to the United States as the "biggest bully" on the planet and holds a concerning record on Israel and Iran. Needless to say, Glenn doesn't believe this is the man who should be advising the president on national security issues, and wanted to ask the Senator about his decision.

This morning, Rand Paul joined the radio program to explain his decision to vote in favor of Hagel's nomination, where he stands on the nomination of John Brennan as the CIA director, and what's going to happen with the sequester.

"We beg you, help us understand your decision to vote for Hagel," Glenn said to Rand.

"I hope I can," the Senator responded. "You know, a lot of people have been confused by this. I'll try the best I can to try to explain it to you.

First of all I was the deciding vote to filibuster him.  The only way to defeat him was filibuster. The only way to delay him was through filibuster. The only way to get information on him was through filibuster. So we had 41 votes.  I was called and lobbied hard from the other side to change the 41. I was the 41st vote to keep the filibuster going.

Within three days many Republicans announced they weren't going to filibuster anymore, yet we didn't get any information, which is why we have filibustering.  We never had 51 votes to defeat him, but we had 41 for a while. 

We come back the next week and I vote again to filibuster him — i was one of 27, but that's when the game was over. There was no stopping him when 27 voted. 14 people bailed on us, and that's when Hagel was nominated. 

On the final passage I did vote to allow him to go through, mainly because I said all along that the way I treat political appointees is that for the most part I give deference to the President.  I will fight tooth and nail to get information and to get information in advance. But, in this case, I decided that no information came forward that would have eventually disqualified him."

"I can respect that.  You're an advise and consent kind of guy," Glenn responded.

But Glenn still seemed skeptical. Before letting Paul transition into the bigger battle approaching with Brennan, Glenn had a few more on his Hagel decision.

"But why do you vote to support him?" Glenn asked. "Why wouldn't you vote 'present' or 'no'? I mean, you're fine with him? you're fine with Hagel?"

"Well, no. It one of these things where i don't treat it the same as an issue. I treat it as a presidential nomination to a political office," he answered. "I think the president does have the right to form his cabinet. I voted for John Kerry and I got some grief for that,” he continued, “I agree with nothing that Kerry represents … I just have made the decision that on these type of appointees, unless I can find information that they’ve taken money from a foreign government or given us information that was not accurate, then I go ahead and let the president make his political appointees.”

The senator went on to explain that he also had bigger goals in mind. He explained that he wants the Republicans to stick together and help him get information on Brennan and that his role, in being a part of the filibuster team, will now allow him to get help with the Brennan nomination.

Brennan, currently nominated for the position of CIA Director, has made concerning statements about limitations on drones strikes — basically that he doesn't have any. This is something both Glenn and the Senator find disturbing.

But, if Rand Paul is trying to be consistent on his votes, will he vote for Brennan if he makes it through the hearing? That's what Glenn wanted to know.

"I'm going to do everything I can to stop him until there's a public pronouncement from the White House saying that they won't kill Americans on American soil without judicial review," Senator Paul said.

“I think the leverage of the filibuster with this is what I’m using to try to get the White House to admit publicly – and if they do admit publicly that they will not and do not claim the authority to do drone strikes in America – basically I will have created a precedent,” Sen. Paul explained.

Senator Paul went on to add, “Even though it’s not a law, it’ll have been a president admitting that he doesn’t have authority. And no president (Republican or Democratic) likes to ever admit that they don’t have the authority.”

Glenn had one final question for the Senator. And this time he got a answer he really liked.

"Please tell me the sequester stands," Glenn said.

"I think it does," Paul responded.

He added that he has a bill the shows you can do the sequester with zero layoffs. It proves to the President that there are places where spending cuts can occur without job loses — his plan cuts $85billion in one year through not hiring new workers for federal jobs when people retire, cutting foreign aid, and decreasing federal salaries to match the private sector.

"The sequester is just a slow down in the rate of growth," the Senator said. "It's not even really significant cuts over 10 years. The president is parading a bunch of police and firemen who aren't even paid for by the federal government. He's being dishonest with us."

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.