Bachmann: NSA scandal a "false narrative"; Glenn: She's not dead to me but in ill health

The House rejected an amendment today to defund the NSA program that collects information on Amercan's phone records following a fierce debate on privacy rights and terrorist threats. Among the people who argued to continue the program was Congressman Michele Bachmann, one of the few politicians that stands on the side of the Constitution over big government. Not surprisingly, Glenn was very surprised by her stance and reacted to her stunning testimony on radio this morning.

Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan offered an amendment "as an addition to a $598.3 billion defense spending bill for 2014, would have canceled the statutory authority for the NSA program, ending the agency’s ability to collect phone records and metadata under the USA Patriot Act unless it identified an individual under investigation," according to TheBlaze.

During the debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann said:

We need to deal in facts, and the facts are real, and the facts are these:  The only people who have benefitted from the revelation of classified information by someone who worked for this government, who intentionally and unauthorized declassified some of the most sensitive national security information that we have, the only result is that those who are engaged in Islamic jihad will have been benefitted.  And those that we seek to protect have not.  Consider this:  There is more information contained in the phone book that sits at home on your kitchen counter about each one of us than the information that is in the national security database that we're talking about today.

Your name, your address is in the phone book.  Your name, your address is not in this national security database.  No other nation in the world has the advantage that the United States of America has on national security.  No other nation!  And we, by this amendment today, would agree to handcuff ourselves and our allies by restricting ourselves?  Let it not be.  Let us not deal in false narratives. Let us deal in facts that will keep the American people safe. When you look at an envelope, when a letter is put in the mail, is there a privacy right as to what's been written on that envelope? No, there isn't. Where there is a privacy right is what's contained inside that envelope. That's a Fourth Amendment right. Is there a Fourth Amendment right to the record that you called someone on a certain day? No, there isn't. That's a record. But there is a Fourth Amendment right to what's in that phone call.

Watch the full video at the bottom of the page 

While listening to the audio, Glenn wrote "Michele Bachmann is not dead to me.  But she is in very ill health." on the radio studio's chalkboard.

"She's not dead to me, but she is in ill health. She has to ‑ this has got to stop. I have no problem - I would say on this whole speech if she would take away the false narrative. And that no one is storing (information)," Glenn said.

"She could say: Look, they are storing, and I'm concerned about it. Nobody's reading your stuff, but they are storing. They are keeping record. They are keeping record on every single American," Glenn said.

"What do you think the Utah data storage center is for, Michele? Please don't treat me like a moron. What are they storing in there? They are not storing eggs and meat and they don't have, like, a little veggie tray in there. They are storing our records, our information. They have more information, and this universal healthcare is going to make the NSA look like a rookie. They are storing information on every single American. All of our ‑‑ all of our movements, all of our e‑mails, and all of our purchases, all being stored. We know that."

"Now, if you want to make this point, here's how you make the point: Look, I'm on the intelligence community ‑‑ I'm on the committee. I get secret reports and I'm telling you right now this country is about to come undone. This country, the American people don't know what a precarious situation we're in. And while I am gravely concerned about the NSA, I happen to think that we are in bigger trouble because it is a more clear and present danger of the people who are coming in here and want to kill us than it is on the NSA. I'll deal with that one later. We can have a completely sane and rational conversation," Glenn said.

"But please don't deal in your false narrative about false narratives," Glenn said, "And if you'd like to get Michele Bachmann, I owe it to her to say that to her face. "

Glenn said that Michele Bachmann is right on many, many issues and stands for the things she believes in, but he disagreed with her strongly on this issue.

Watch her comments below:

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?