Stu finds his happy place, tries to keep sanity among insane news

Stu filled in for Glenn on TV last night and gave a solid monologue that featured him trying his best not to let the aggravating news of the day ruin his mood. It proved to be harder than it sounds, given the extremely frustrating news breaking this week about the increasing NSA scandal and immigration battle.

Tonight, I want to begin with the immigration bill. The bill has Republicans divided. It’s 1,076 pages, fully endorsed by Barack Obama. That should be enough to unite Republicans against it, right?

Normally, I would’ve read the bill, of course, before hammering it, just to be sure this wasn’t an actual attempt by Obama to cede some ground and compromise, but I value my time. And all you have to do is listen to the way supporters are talking about it to know that passing this bill is like buying a lifetime subscription to progressive porn.

Of course, Obama’s version of compromise over the years has been I’m totally willing to compromise as long as they are willing to accept every one of my ideas. We can work together. I’ll write the bill. You vote for it. I mean, Obama couldn’t even bring himself to approve a bill opposing the slaughter of babies born after botched abortions. Remember that Gosnell guy? I mean, Obama didn’t want to ban all of that because he was more concerned with the oh-so-slippery slope that leads to more babies remaining alive. And Lord knows we can’t be punishing people with babies. I mean, that’s not right.

You don’t have to see every aspect of this bill when you see what supporters are saying about it. Marco Rubio has had some good moments in the past, but now he’s part of this Gang of Eight, and that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Even the Heritage Foundation is calling him out. Here’s a rising star of the GOP pushing amnesty. Progressives must think they’ve died and gone to heaven.

What is Rubio thinking? Did the NSA get to him? Are there Rubio wiener pics out there somewhere they’re holding him hostage with? And by Rubio wiener pics, I don’t mean Rubio with Anthony Weiner, although I guess you never know, and who am I to judge? Look, I’m trying to follow Glenn’s lead here and build bridges with those whom I disagree, find areas we unite on and start from there. I’m really trying, but they’re just being so stupid – really, really stupid.

You want me to take you seriously on immigration reform, and you come at me with it’s not amnesty or anything like that. It’s just a pathway to citizenship, and that pathway to citizenship isn’t conditional on securing the border, and it doesn’t punish anyone who’s broken the law, at least not beyond a slap on the wrist. Really? What kind of bridge can I build with that?

The only bridge idiotic progressive ideas like that make me want to build is a bridge to a remote, uninhabited island off the coast of Belize. And when I get there, I will blow the bridge up so I never have to hear them again – ever, ever, ever, ever again.

You might notice here that the whole be nice and be like Mahatma Glenndhi thing is kind of going a little bad right now. It’s something I need to work on a little bit, but I’m going to keep trying. And this could help. I did catch a little MSNBC last night. One of the hosts, it was either Chris Maddow or Rachel Hayes – I couldn’t tell by looking at them – said something that actually sounded sane.

VIDEO

Chris Hayes: In the abstract, do you think it’s okay for the government to be able to access millions of Americans’ phone records and Internet activity as long as those tools are just for catching terrorists, and they’re never, ever abused? You would be tempted to say yes. That’s totally okay. But there’s a pretty major sticking point, and that is the as long as it’s not abused part, because history tells us that is not actually a thing, a non-abused massive governmental surveillance apparatus. That is not what Dr. Martin Luther King tells us.

I love that. That is not actually a thing. It’s quite an impressive admission by a Progressive, since Progressives usually believe government should be in control of as much as possible. Unless I forgot that I took heroin for the first time last night or something, this was actually a good, honest argument made by Hayes on MSNBC. He made good points, points you’d agree with.

Moments like that make me feel like building Gandhi bridges again, like we can get somewhere. Maybe there is some hope, but then I went on Twitter, and it’s back to work on my bridge to Belize. “One of the most disturbing details hinted at but not quite confirmed is the idea that the NSA is ‘storing’ everything it collects.” That’s a great point, but not quite confirmed?

Chris, I mean, come on. Don’t tell anyone. This is the NSA’s 1.5 million square foot data collection superstructure in Utah. Yeah, I’m pretty sure the “data collection” in the title refers to data collection. Now, I’m not going to go down this road. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going down negative town. A guy on MSNBC actually did a really good monologue about the size of government, and I’m complaining. It’s ridiculous. I need to find my happy place. I’ve just got to be glad.

Honestly, when someone this blinded by Obama love is starting to turn, it’s a miracle Obama’s approval rating isn’t even lower. It’s finally starting to drop. Right now, his approval rating stands at 47%, but his approval rating should be more like 4.7%. He’s a borderline superhero for enduring what he’s endured – Benghazi, the AP scandal, the Fox News scandal, the drone stuff, the IRS targeting conservatives scandal, the NSA thing.

And his best excuse is usually like, Yeah, it wasn’t me. I just found out about it, you know, in the news. I was watching the news, and I saw it, just like you. Not to mention the new normal is gas permastuck at three to four bucks a gallon, and unemployment is north of 7%. Who is still supporting this guy? He never had Conservatives. He never had Libertarians. What about Progressives? They were whining about Bush surveillance programs, and Obama has just grown them.

By the way, welcome to our gigantic NSA audience listening to the show and reading the e-mails we send during the commercial breaks. Liberals should be mortified as well. I mean, he’s arming radical extremists in Syria. Gay activists, he’s done nothing for you except say he likes you. Where’s the proposal to legalize gay marriage if you’re so concerned, Mr. President?

Environmental activists, he’s done nothing for you either. Where’s the cap and trade he was promising you all the time in the campaign? Who’s left? Can we build bridges with the left on some things, yes. Here’s Chris Hayes again, talking with of all people Julian Bond.

VIDEO

Chris Hayes: There’s been some polling that suggests that Democrats have had quite a change of heart on this issue, and I think part of that is just the natural way that trust works in a political system. People are inclined to trust Barack Obama if they’re Democrats for all sorts of reasons. They feel their world views align.

What do you have to say to folks that find themselves conflicted by the news this week but have a tendency to trust someone like Barack Obama, who they feel is a good person with a good vision, and they voted for, and they support?

Julian Bond: I’m conflicted too. I have a lot of trust. I want to trust, but I’ve seen this happen before. I’ve seen us go down this road before, and I’m afraid we may well go down this road right now. I don’t see anybody stopping it or telling me that we’re not doing it. Just telling me to trust people is not enough for me.

Yes, even if it’s your guy, when government is too big, you’re going to end up in an ugly place. I’m not sure why the left can’t apply that logic to healthcare, taxes, the IRS, global emission schemes, and everything else, but I’ll take it. That’s someone on MSNBC who was at least honestly considering the facts and talking about the truth as he sees it. And then you have the other side, this idiot.

VIDEO

Chris Matthews: His whole life has been crystal clear and clean as a whistle and transparent. We know his whole life through all the great, excellent education he’s had, the good work, pro bono work he’s done throughout his life. He’s never been a money grubber. He’s never done anything wrong in his life legally, ethically, whatever. His family is picture-perfect, the way he’s raised those daughters. Everything is clean as a whistle, and yet they just refer to him as evil. They just refer to him as – I just gotta believe it’s ethnic with these people. They’ve just got a problem with this guy being president.

If only we racists had some other basis to oppose this president on, like 800 scandals happening simultaneously. You’re so onto us, Chris. There are no bridges to be built there. But tonight we have the latest on all the scandals Chris Matthews doesn’t know anything about, including the NSA, where the smear campaign on Edward Snowden is already going on, reporting, you know, there’s reports attacking his credibility, attempting to poke holes in his story.

He spoke from hiding this week and said he’s neither a traitor nor a hero but an American. After the girlfriend he abandoned was identified by the media – kind of appears he’s not as smart as we all thought he was. But the administration is standing by PRISM, arguing that it’s not a snooping program but a data management tool. Belize sounds so, so, so, so nice right about now.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.