The world is on fire, and President Obama is partying with... Ricky Martin?

Tonight, a bevy of celebrities will overtake the White House for Música Latina: In Performance at the White House. The event, which will kick off at 7pm in the East Room, is in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and will feature Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Natalie Cole, among others. As TheBlaze reported, the event is the second such concert held since the sequester went into effect and the 12th since President Barack Obama took office five years ago.

According to TheBlaze:

This is the 12th such concert since Obama has taken office. The last concert was on April 9 with a “Memphis Soul” theme. It will be the 52nd overall “In Performance at the White House” event, a program which began under President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

The White House said the concert is about “reflecting the influence of richly diverse Latino communities from throughout the Americas. The program celebrates the beauty and diversity of that music.” The concert will be broadcast Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on PBS stations nationally and on Oct. 13 on the American Forces Network.

First Lady Michelle Obama will host a special daytime event at the White House for Washington, D.C. area student about the history of Latin music.

The April concert featured Al Green, Justin Timberlake and Queen Latifah.

“You may be having some real problems and some difficulties in your life, you know, and you might want somebody to pay attention to the economy and help free people up so they can create jobs,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Well, you're not invited to this. But there is a really exciting night happening at the White House tonight. Natalie Cole, Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin are all going to be performing. They are among the list of stars that are going to be performing tonight at the White House. And we've got another gala happening at the White House.”

“But it's only the 52nd overall performance at the White House,” Pat quipped. “Just the 52nd.”

“Who goes to these,” Glenn asked. “What is the point of these?”

“To have a good time, Glenn. Okay,” Pat explained sarcastically. “To have fun. To listen to enjoyable music by the likes of Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, and Natalie Cole.”

“I just think it's a disgrace honestly that we've only had 52 of these,” Stu added somberly. “Why haven't we had 520 of them?”

All kidding aside, Glenn explained why these events in particular illustrate just how out-of-touch this administration has become.

“But the real part of the story is our president is leading the life of King Louie. The same life of being inside of his own little world had his own elite friends. They all come over to his house, they all have parties, they all get dressed up, they all listen to some music, all elitist stuff, and say everything is good in the country. And all of his expensive vacations,” Glenn said. “If you really cared, wouldn't you just feel bad at some point? You talk about these people who are struggling all the time. Wouldn't you feel bad? I mean, at least Jimmy Carter would carry his own luggage because he was like, ‘I'm going to be a man of the people.’ And he wasn't opulent or anything else… It was a ridiculous thing to do, but at least he was trying to connect with people and he wasn't living a double life. He really was that guy in real life. I disagree with everything he did, but he really was that guy.”

“This president tries to make you think he understands poverty and everything else. He doesn't understand poverty. Look at the life that he's leading. Look at what he's doing. He's living a movie star life, and he loves it,” he continued. “Nobody holds anybody accountable… These guys get so out of touch with the American people because nobody will criticize them. In the end the ones who are going to be the strongest are the ones who are being attacked all the time.  Because we've had to figure out who we are. What is it we really believe in? Because nobody wants to be a pariah. I mean, honestly if you could be popular or you could be a member of the TEA Party, which would you rather be? You'd rather be popular. But now which one are you? Because popularity means nothing. And you are smarter than that… This is not a glamorous gig. I don't think anybody wants to be the person that they are right now. You don't want to be the pariah.”

As Stu explained, President Obama has been able to capitalize on that very fact. “And this is how the president wins votes,” Stu said. “Because younger people who haven't put all the thought into decades and decades of research are going to do what feels better. What's easier, what looks good, what their friends do. And they wind up voting for this moron.”

“Right. And so they are just doing it because it feels good,” Glenn agreed. “And you also get the added benefit of a Ricky Martin concert.”

“If we could just get Ricky Martin on our side,” Stu concluded sarcastically, “then the tide would turn. Am I right on that?”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

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?