Nebraska senate candidates Shane Osborn & Ben Sasse face off in back-to-back interviews

Primary season is in full swing, and Glenn has spent the last several months highlighting some of the small government, liberty minded candidates who are challenging big government Democrats and Republicans around the country. One such race is underway in Nebraska where two seemingly strong candidates are set to face off in the May 13 primary to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE). FreedomWorks initially endorsed former Nebraska state treasurer Shane Osborn but rescinded that endorsement last month. It then threw its support behind Ben Sasse, who had already been endorsed by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

On radio this morning, both Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse joined the program in separate interviews to respond to recent criticisms and accusations and to explain why they are the best person for the job.

“We have really never done this before, but we think there are a lot of great candidates all across the country. These are the people we prayed for. These with the people we have worked for, slaved for, fretted over. We have said: Where are the good people? They are all over the country now,” Glen said. “Today we want to highlight Nebraska. And there's two candidates there. We actually like both of them, and you should decide which one you like best. So we'll do an interview with Shane Osborn, then we'll have Ben Sasse on a little later on. So you can compare and say, ‘This is the one I want.’”

In February, former Nebraska state treasurer Shane Osborn spoke to Glenn about his military service, his campaign, and what he believes are the most important issues facing the country. Glenn found himself impressed with Osborn’s stance on the debt, energy independence, and veteran affairs. This morning, Osborn initially came across a bit defensive about reports he is affiliated with progressive Republicans like Mitch McConnell, but he settled in once he started talking about the issues.

Pat asked Osborn to outline some of the differences between he and Sasse. Osborn chose to focus on the work he has done for the people of Nebraska in the past.

“It's not just the military service and putting the country first… In my time as treasurer, I kept my promises. I cut my budget – didn't slow growth – cut it nearly 12% over four years. Never been done in our state – probably any other state. I reduced the staff by over a quarter. I made the office so much more efficient that we won the National Treasury Marquee Award,” Osborn explained. “I brought transparency to Nebraskans. For less than $40,000 and a lot of college interns, we created NebraskaSpending.gov, where Nebraskans can see where the money is being spent. That's thing we need in Washington, D.C. So I'm running on a record of being a proven conservative. I have shrunk government. I know how to do it… Talk is cheap, Glenn. I think actions speak louder than words.”

Glenn found himself agreeing with much of what Osborn had to say about the threat of Russia and the dangers of amnesty as part of an immigration reform bill. But one of the last things Osborn said made Glenn a little uncomfortable.

“One other plug, I have Grover Norquist doing town hall with me at 8:00pm CT. So hopefully, we'll have about 20,000 to 40,000 Nebraskans on that. I am happy to have Grover helping me out,” he said. “I've known [Norquist] for years. I think Americans for tax reform do a lot to help the movement on simplify case. We need a flatter tax code.”

While most Americans know Norquist for his position on tax reform, anyone who is a fan of the program knows Glenn has serious concerns over his connections to Islamists.

“He had me up until [he said], ‘I've got a great thing with Grover,’” Glenn said. “I'm sorry. Grover is everything they have said he is – a very dangerous, bad, bad guy.”

You can learn more about Osborn’s campaign HERE.

After a break, Glenn returned to speak with Ben Sasse. When Glenn spoke to current president of Midland University last month, he referred to Sasse as a man who has “the Constitution running through his veins.” This morning, Sasse responded to some of the allegations waged by Osborn in addition to offering his position on some of the biggest issues facing our country.

Glenn is quite skeptical of the university system, and asked Sasse what differentiates him from, say, Glenn’s favorite president (sarcasm) Woodrow Wilson, who once served as the president of Princeton University.

“Assure me that you are not going to turn into a ‘I know better than everybody else’ kind of

Woodrow Wilson progressive and a guy who doesn't have the experience with the free market system,” Glenn said. “Help me out.”

“Amen. That’s the right kind of skeptical question our founders would relate to,” Sasse said. “I am a college president because I'm at 130-year-old school that was going bankrupt, and I do turn-around stuff, so my background is private sector. And I am in my fifth year as a college president in my hometown is because this special school was closing, and we had a crisis that was big enough that we could fix things. And now we put kids first and we have gone from the brink of bankruptcy to being the fastest growing college in the Midwest right now.”

As Sasse explained, turning things around included recognizing that students are “customers” who “ought to be at the center of institution.” Whether or not those students are learning is “what the school exists to do.

“We don't exist as a jobs program for those among us who have historically been employed there,” Sasse said. “So we had 45 majors and minors, but 84% of the students majored in only about seven departments. So we had 38 departments that were economically unviable. We had some departments that had more professors than kids. You don't need to be a math major to realize that doesn't work. So we had to end tenure at our school.”

With his education background in mind, Glenn asked Sasse where he stands on Common Core.

“I'm opposed to Common Core… It was going to be a voluntary state-based program. Nebraska is, fortunately, one of only nine states that haven't adopted the Common Core standards,” he said. “But ultimately it will be a weapon of political correctness for the government to force certain standards on local communities that are going to be about political correctness and the agenda of the left.”

Glenn couldn’t let Sasse go without asking him the now infamous question: How is your soul?

“You know, I'm a committed Christian. I believe I'm a sinner, and Jesus is my hope and redemption,” he said. “So I feel pretty good about my soul – not because of me, but because I believe in what Christ has done for me. So it's good.”

You can learn more about Sasse’s campaign HERE.

“That was like a debate,” Stu concluded of the back-to-back interviews. “We almost had like a debate on the air for the last hour, except they were separate from each other. That was fun.”

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

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

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

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?