Court rules NSA program overstepped their authority

There are over 4000,000 regulations on the books. It’s believed the average American commits three felonies a day. But don’t worry - there’s no way a corrupt federal government will target you! Thankfully, Americans had a small victory for freedom when a federal court ruled the NSA overstepped congressional authority with their collection of bulk phone data under the Patriot ACT. Senator Rand Paul joined Glenn on radio to discuss this huge step towards freedom and other news of the day.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment:

GLENN: Yesterday, the NSA, the Domestic Spying Program was deemed illegal by an appeals court. And we have Senator Rand Paul on the phone with us. Congratulations, Senator Paul. I know this is something you've been working tireless on. How are you, sir?

RAND: Yeah, Glenn, thanks.

You know, about a year ago, I sued the NSA and the president and Eric Holder on this. The Fourth Amendment is very explicit. It says you have to name the person. You have to name the things you want. You got to have probable cause, and then you have to ask a judge for permission. And one of the reasons we did that is, we didn't want to allow general warrants, where you can be rounded up because of your ethnicity, rounded up because of your religion, rounded up because of your political beliefs. It had to be individualized.

It was what John Adams said -- it was the spark that led to the American Revolution. When James Otis fought against these generalized warrants. So, yeah, it's a big deal for the court now to agree and say they're illegal. I really though want this to go to the Supreme Court. And I want the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality on whether or not a general warrant is constitutional or not.

GLENN: This is surprising to me. I don't know enough about the courts. You probably know much more. This is the second US Court of Appeals. And if I'm not mistaken, isn't there two appointees from Obama and one from Clinton. So this isn't like the Fifth Circuit Court. This is -- this is -- you know, the left is part of this court as well.

RAND: I'm not sure of the composition, because I think sometimes there's more judges than that. I think there's actually more judges in the appellate court than the three.

GLENN: I'm saying that the three-panel judge -- the three judges on the panel, Clinton-appointed judge and two Obama-appointed judges.

RAND: Yeah, that could well be on this. And there's more that could be picked. But these particular three, I think you're correct.

The ultimate question though is that: In order for it to be enforceable ruling across the country, it needs to come from the Supreme Court. My understanding is that this decision will be sent back to the lower court. It won't necessarily go to the Supreme Court. So we're still sort of working and fighting to get this to the Supreme Court level. Because there's a really important question here, and that's whether or not a warrant can have somebody's name Mr. Verizon. And I tell people in a tongue-in-cheek way in speeches that I don't know anybody named Mr. Verizon.

So can you put the name of a business and yet get hundreds of millions of individuals' records who do business with that particular business? And I think that's where the question is: Does the Fourth Amendment requirement to individualize, to put a person's name on it, does that qualify, or does this sound suspiciously like a general warrant?

GLENN: So there's really no teeth to this, is there? I mean, there was no injunction. They don't have to stop. This was just like, yep, that's against the law.

RAND: It will have an important ramification for this reason. They're saying that the Patriot Act, as passed, does not cover in a statutory way, does not give authority for this bulk collection of phone records. The reason this is interesting is, is that Senator Wyden and I have a bill to end the bulk collection. But we don't reauthorize any part of 215, and we don't acknowledge that 215 allows this. There's a competing version of this called the USA Freedom Act, and it would actually replace this and give new statutory authority. So there's actually a danger that the reform that lurks out there, if it passes, would actually give affirmative legal justification for this program. So I think everybody needs to really think long and hard about whether the reform that's out there will actually be good or bad. I think it's better just to tell the government they can't do bulk collection, rather than replacing it with something that may give new authority.

GLENN: Two questions. First, have you ever had to run to a trash can to vomit in it every time you hear something like the Patriot Act or the Freedom Act. I mean, it is so -- you know there's trouble whenever it comes out with the Everybody Likes Ice Cream Act, you know it's deadly.

RAND: Yeah, whatever the acronym is, the more benign sounding, the actually more dastardly it is the closer you read the text.

GLENN: Okay. So do you have any confidence at all -- I mean, Mitch McConnell, I'm sorry, but, you know, as we call him here, he's a turtle head. Because he looks like a turtle head. And I defy you to look at him and not laugh because he looks exactly like a turtle. You expect his head to go in past his shoulders. But that's a different story. Notice there's no laughter there. He's very smart.

STU: He's smart.

GLENN: So you -- Mitch McConnell is already trying to, you know, push a clean extension of the Patriot Act. He's not really on the side of -- of you on this. And of us.

RAND: There is a division within the Republican Party. There's also division in the country. But the interesting thing is, when you look at my numbers versus Hillary Clinton in purple states, the reason we're winning the independent vote is because I am for the right to privacy. I am for the Fourth Amendment. And we're getting a large segment of the youth vote and of the independent vote. So I don't know, I think the Republican Party needs to be open to our point of view.

GLENN: But they don't seem to be.

RAND: Well, up here, they're not. In Washington, they're not. But go out anywhere in Texas and go to a large crowd and ask them, do you think the government should be collecting all your phone records without a warrant without your name on it? And I'll bet you 75, 80 percent of Republicans -- I've been there. I've been to Lincoln Day dinners in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston. And when I give those lines, I get a rousing cheer and often a standing ovation saying, the government -- it's none of your damn business what you do on your phone or with your phone records. And so I think the people outside of Washington are different than people in Washington.

GLENN: I know that.

RAND: I'll give you another quick example. I had an amendment that said, no more American tax dollars through foreign aid to countries that persecute Christians. Countries that put Christians to death or put Christians in jail for life. For blasphemy. Interfaith marriage. Or apostasy. And I lost the vote 18-2. Eighteen people in Washington said we should continue it. Two said no. But if I poll that question anywhere in America, it's 99 percent of Americans say, hell, no, we shouldn't send our money to countries that persecute Christians.

GLENN: That's unbelievable. But that would include China as well. I mean, that is -- you want to talk about picking a fight, and God bless you for doing it, but that's a fight-picking question.

RAND: And here's the interesting thing, as rich as China is and as much as we have a trade deficit with them, we do send money to China. Not foreign aid. We send them economic development assistance. Because they really need some economic development over there.

GLENN: Yeah, don't they? Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill that would require congressional authorization on any deal the president would make with Iran. Is the House -- it's going over to the House. Will the House pass this, and does this have any teeth?

RAND: It's a big victory in this sense. The president for the last six months to a year is saying, we don't get any say. He's been he's going to send it directly to the UN. He's been saying, this is an agreement and there's no congressional authority at all. Well, when enough Democrats told him otherwise, all the Republicans were saying otherwise, but when enough Democrats got on board and he knew he would have his veto overturned, he changed his tune, support the bill, and it passed 99-1. Can it stop him? The only thing that can stop him, the only thing that can do anything to the president when you disagree with him is 67 votes. Because it takes 67 votes to overturn a veto. So some people are complaining whether this is disapproval or approval. The bottom line is, any scenario that you want to stop a president that disagrees with you on any piece of legislation or any kind of foreign agreement, it takes 67 votes. But the fact that this was 99-1, there is a chance that there could be 67 votes saying the deal with Iran is not a good deal. This is a good bipartisan way of getting to the next step. Which is, if we were to get rebuked with more than 67 votes, it would be the end of the presidency. He would get nothing done the rest of the year and he would be completely without any capacity to get anything done, which would be good for the country.

PAT: Why is that the case? Why would one vote like that, shut him down so badly?

RAND: I think it's because it's very, very rare that people don't vote in partisan lockstep. So I think if there were a vote that rebuked him. This one was a rebuke, but he changed his mind and said I'm for it. But if the Iranian deal comes forward and people have doubts -- and this is my biggest doubt is that the Iranians are not sincere, credible partners because they tweet out in English the opposite of what apparently the Americans say the agreement means. The other thing that concerns me is when the president's spokesman comes forward, Josh Earnest, comes forward and says, oh, well, it looks like -- yeah, they'll continue to probably be involved with terrorism after they sign this agreement. It makes you wonder, doesn't it, whether or not we're having a sincere two-party agreement here. But I think if that's shot down and the Democrats say this also, it really goes to the heart of whether the president really leads his party anymore.

GLENN: Let me talk to you a little about freedom of speech. And what happened here in Texas. The media was all for the cartoonists in France. And so was I. Even though I disagreed with the cartoons. I personally don't think we should be mocking each other's religion. Those were very offensive cartoons. But they have a right to do it. And so I stood by them. And I stand by them. Same thing with Pamela Geller. I don't necessarily agree with the cartoon contest. And I wouldn't have, you know, done that myself. But she has a right to do that.

The press is coming after Pamela Geller. And saying that, you know, she was just inciting hatred and that it was not freedom of speech. Any comment on that?

RAND: Well, you know, I like the pundits or the constitutional critics that say the First Amendment really isn't about easy speech. It's about speech you find despicable. It's about speech you find offensive. That's the hard thing to allow that to happen in a free society. And I agree with you. I think it doesn't serve any purpose. You can talk about the First Amendment without doing things that are really offensive to other people's religion. But in our country, that's part of one of our basic freedoms is the right to be wrong. The right to be offensive. And the right to say things that people find despicable. Now, you don't you have to pay for them. You don't have to have them in your building, if it's your building.

GLENN: It's the Westboro Baptist Church. It's the Westboro Baptist Church.

RAND: Exactly.

GLENN: I despise the Westboro Baptist Church. But they have a right to say what they want to say. I don't have to listen to them. I don't have I don't want to have them over for dinner. But they have a right to say it.

RAND: Yeah, and that's the hard part about the First Amendment. Because it's easy if I'm saying, hey, what a great guy Glenn Beck is. You love my First Amendment rights. But if I'm criticizing you, it's a little harder. But that's what the First Amendment is about.

GLENN: Right. Let me play a piece of audio here that we found in Al Sharpton. He said this a couple of days ago. This is extraordinarily disturbing to me because of the way we have militarized our police and the way these riots now are being coordinated by people like Al Sharpton. But I want you to listen to what he said when he was talking about the riots in the streets of Baltimore and how they're going to spread.

AL: -- all over the country, which is why we're going to do this march from here to Washington. We need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country. In the 20th century, they had to fight states' rights and to get the right to vote. We're going to have to fight states' rights in terms of closing down police cases. Police must be held accountable.

GLENN: Okay. So here's what he said in case you couldn't understand him. He said. These things are going to happen all around the country. Because it is time we get the Justice Department to take over policing in America. We had to fight states' rights to get the right to vote. Now we need to fight states' rights on policing.

RAND: Well, the interesting thing is, there was a time in our history when, you know, the South was all white and African-Americans were mistreated. And there was a role for the federal government to get involved at one point. This now is not a racial problem because all the government in Baltimore was African-American. And the rioting also. So I don't think the federal government being involved -- I do think there's a problem in our criminal justice system. There's a problem -- we have -- and there's no silver bullet. There's a variety of problems. But there's no excuse for violence or rioting. And the primary thing you have to do in the early stages. You have to have security of people's, you know, person as well as their property. And then over time though, I do want to be part of the dialogue, because I'll tell you one quick story. And this story I think represents why some people and a lot of people in our society feel like they're not being treated fairly.

Kalief Browder was a 16-year-old black kid in the Bronx arrested and kept for three years in prison. He was accused of -- an illegal immigrant. Illegal alien. And he spent three years in jail and was never tried for his crime. Tried to commit suicide. Was kept in solitary confinement. You can see if you're his parents and his friends, you would think something is wrong in America. So that kind of stuff does need to be fixed, and it's part of the unease.

GLENN: Senator, I have to go. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time with us. Senator Rand Paul. You bet.

We just came insanely close to a major incident

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A Russian military plane was just shot down over the coast of Syria. Fifteen Russians were killed. The Russian I L 20 turboprop plane was conducting electronic reconnaissance when it suddenly came under attack by what was called at the time quote "enemy missiles."

Now before everyone starts freaking out… we neither did this nor are we being blamed for it. I think you can imagine the worldwide freak out that would be ensuing right now had this been an accident between the U.S. and Russia. Just imagine if they would have inadvertently shot down one of our planes and killed fifteen of our boys. We'd be calling for blood.

RELATED: Between Russia, Syria, the UN and Trump's tweets --- we could be on the brink of a nasty war

But we had absolutely nothing to do with this and that's not in dispute. So where did these, as the Russians described it, "enemy missiles" come from? It turns out Russia's plane was actually shot down by their ally… the Assad Regime. A Syrian S-200 battery hit the plane as it was returning to a military base used by the Russians in Northern Syria.

But we're not completely out of the woods here, and this is where it gets both interesting and maybe even a little scary. At the same time the Syrian missiles were taking out Russia's plane, four Israeli F-16 fighter jets were striking targets near the Russian base in Northern Syria. Russia is livid. They're calling Israel's actions a quote "deliberate and hostile provocation." The implication here is that the Israeli jets were masking their position behind the Russian plane, in effect using it as cover to commence their bombing run.

The downing of this plane is a tragic accident, but it also shows how dangerously close the world is to a major confrontation.

But as the Russians are accusing Israel of using one of its planes as cover, Iran is doing the exact same thing with their forces near Russian military bases. Russian assets are among some of the most heavily protected areas in Syria. They're the hardest to penetrate. Iranian forces from the Iranian Republican Guard Corps and Hezbollah, are basing their troops - with Russia's approval - near Russian bases. It's the perfect protection and security guarantee for Iran to operate inside Syria… directly on Israel's border.

The downing of this plane is a tragic accident, but it also shows how dangerously close the world is to a major confrontation. The situation in Syria is not sustainable. Iran wants control over Syria and Russia is helping them do it. Israel knows this and can not let that happen. If this course is maintained, this incident surely won't be the last. If Russia begins actively targeting Israeli jets from striking Hezbollah and Iranian forces, how long do you think Israel will allow that? How long will we allow that? This situation is a powder keg. Anything can set it off.

Well that escalated quickly

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In just four days, Christine Ford went from anonymous letter-writer to willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Christine Ford is the California psychology professor who says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982.

RELATED: Confirming Kavanaugh: Welcome to the #MeToo era

It's a serious accusation, which Kavanaugh unequivocally denies. In a statement yesterday, Kavanaugh said:

I have never done anything like what the accuser describes – to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.

Kavanaugh says he is willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee, even though he already spent four marathon days in the hot seat, where Democrats had every opportunity to grill him about this.

Now, Christine Ford's lawyer says Ford is also "willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth," even if that means testifying before the committee. Democrats are also willing to do whatever it takes to tell her story, which is probably why we're hearing about it in the first place.

Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, escalated the rhetoric yesterday, calling Kavanaugh's alleged assault, "attempted rape." Katz seems very convinced by Ford's story. But she wasn't as convinced by one of Bill Clinton's accusers in the 1990s. Katz told The New York Times in 1998 that she didn't think Paula Jones had a case.

The #MeToo movement can be a very one-way street sometimes.

She also excused Al Franken's alleged misbehavior because he wasn't a senator at the time of the incident. Interesting. The #MeToo movement can be a very one-way street sometimes.

For now, Judiciary Committee chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, says the committee's vote on Kavanaugh will go forward this Thursday. But not if Senate Democrats can help it. They were out in force yesterday, calling to delay the vote – at least until they have full control of Congress. You know, desperate times, desperate measures.

The Dalai Lama is a cisgender racist

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At this point, I would fully expect the social just left to start chanting about how fruit is racist. Scratch that. I'm sure they've already made that claim, I just don't even want to look it up to see how bad it is. Recently they blamed President Trump for Hurricane Florence, you know, an act of nature that cannot be controlled by any single person, even if he is the President of America. And now, they're setting their sights on (shuffles deck of cards featuring famous people) the Dalai Lama! Wait, the Dalai Lama?

RELATED: There is no truth anymore

Can you believe we've gotten to this point? That people are actually calling the Dalai Lama a white supremacist and a Nazi? The Dalai Lama. The man with "His Holiness" in his title. He won a Nobel Peace Prize back when winning the Nobel Peace Prize actually went to peaceful people. In 1989, Time Magazine named him one of the "Children of Mahatma Gandhi" and his spiritual heir to nonviolence. His last book is called "The Book of Joy." This does not sound like a Nazi to me.

His crime? He made this statement about the refugees in Europe:

I think Europe belongs to the Europeans. ... Receive them, help them, educate them … but ultimately they should develop their own country.

Adding that:

Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.

And that:

From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily. The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.

Maybe instead of ramping up the blood pressure dial and going into full outrage mode we should listen to the man, or at least consider what he has to say. He is, after all, the Dalai Lama.

Confirming Kavanaugh: Welcome to the #MeToo era

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Welcome to the #MeToo era of Supreme Court justice confirmation.

Last Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein disclosed the existence of a secret letter, written by an anonymous woman alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school in the 1980s.

Yesterday, there was a major twist in this story that everyone who follows Leftist strategy should've seen coming: the anonymous woman suddenly revealed herself to be Christine Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist at Palo Alto University in Northern California. She's a registered Democrat and has donated to political organizations. But she pinky-swears that it has nothing to do with her coming forward with this story just one week before the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on Kavanaugh.

RELATED: THIS is the man plotting to stand in Brett Kavanaugh's way of the Supreme Court

Christine Ford spilled the exclusive beans to The Washington Post because they believe that "Democracy dies in darkness." And of course, if there's anything that Kavanaugh hopes to accomplish on the Supreme Court, it's murdering democracy.

Ford told The Post that during a high school party, a drunk Brett Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, groped her, and covered her mouth to keep her from screaming.

She said:

I thought he might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.

There is no indication that she reported such a harrowing attack to the police.

Kavanaugh unequivocally denies the accusations. The White House released a letter signed by 65 women who say they knew Kavanaugh in high school and vouch for his character. But it won't matter. The Democrats will get their circus this week and Kamala Harris and Cory "Spartacus" Booker will get their chance to remind everyone to vote for them for president in 2020 because only Democrats like women.

It's virtually impossible to prove or disprove her claim. But the political timing of the story drains its credibility.

Christine Ford might be telling the absolute truth about this incident with Kavanaugh. She might also be making up the whole thing for politics sake. Problem is, it's virtually impossible to prove or disprove her claim. But the political timing of the story drains its credibility. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the federal bench by the Senate in 2006. Where was Ford's dramatic story then?

Last year this worked to de-rail Roy Moore's senate campaign, so why not try the same tactic with Kavanaugh? Especially since it perfectly serves the Left's narrative that Kavanaugh plans to destroy women's rights.

Truth doesn't stand a chance when it's up against this kind of hysteria.