Three Things You Need to Know - September 25, 2017

Trump vs. the NFL.

President Trump went to war this weekend, and it wasn’t with anyone you might expect. Trump went to war with the National Football League.

It all started on Friday at a rally in Alabama.

The very next day, Trump took to Twitter to explain:

To be fair, Trump is just saying what most of us have been thinking ever since this whole “take a knee” thing began. But with all due respect to the President, private citizens and companies can do whatever they want. We may not agree with it, but they do have that right.

This entire thing is just stupid. There’s no other way to describe it. The President telling a company and its employees what to do is stupid. NFL players disrespecting the flag and national anthem is stupid.

If the players actually wanted to help create change, why wouldn’t they use their fame and go to the local level? Engage local police departments and build relationships. That would actually do some good. But they’re not doing that. This whole thing is a sham. So why is the President of the United States getting caught up in it?

You really can’t blame the players here. They’re just operating under the rules they’ve been given, and no one’s told them not to. The NFL could stop this if they wanted, but they don’t.

The NFL has been jokingly called the No Fun League for a reason. If they want to stop behavior that they feel is unacceptable, like overzealous touchdown celebrations, they shut it down. They could easily stop political demonstrations during their games in the same way they clamp down on everything else.

The NFL is choosing to be political. Is there anywhere we can go anymore to get away from politics?

Now we have a choice. Do we keep watching?

The Tennessee shooter intended for a high body count.

Yesterday morning, a man shot and killed a woman at a church outside Nashville, Tennessee and shot six other people. Thankfully, they are alive.

The suspect is 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, an immigrant from Sudan who came to the U.S. in 1996. Police say he is a legal resident of the U.S.

Sunday morning, Samson drove into the parking lot of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, left his car running and got out wearing a ski mask and armed with two handguns. He shot and killed 39-year-old Melanie Smith in the parking lot, then entered the church through a rear door.

Inside the church, Samson opened fire. He never said a word.

Robert Engle, an usher, tried to subdue Samson. Samson pistol-whipped Engle in the head, but in the struggle, Samson was apparently wounded by his own gunshot.

Engle’s father then guarded Samson while Engle ran to his car to get his own gun. Engle returned and trained his gun on Samson, keeping his foot on him until police arrived.

The six wounded churchgoers are hospitalized in stable condition. Engle is also in the hospital being treated for his head wound and a separated shoulder.

Samson was treated and released from the hospital and has been charged with murder, with additional charges to follow. Church members were surprised to learn of Samson’s identity because he attended the church several times a few years ago.

Police are investigating a motive, including whether race was a factor.

Without all the facts, people are already choosing sides:

"It’s definitely terrorism."

"It’s definitely racially motivated."

"Children of immigrants hate America."

We must resist jumping on the red meat bandwagon. Immigration, terrorism, racial hatred --- all those factors may be at play here, or maybe none of them. As is often the case, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Humans are complicated and evil is real.

But bandwagons won’t solve our root problem of moral decay and they won’t serve this grieving church. Let’s choose love, service, compassion and prayer for our communities and nation today. They’re the only things that will save us from ourselves.

What is happening with healthcare?

Health insurance will become unaffordable for half the country next year. That’s what this ultimately boils down to.

The Senate has until the end of the week to stop this from happening, but the Graham-Cassidy Hail Mary already looks doomed to failure.

Let’s forget the political games for a second. If nothing gets done in the next five days, what happens?

Premiums have already soared over the past couple years, but by 2018 those rates are going even higher. If you live in California, Texas, Florida or Georgia you can expect to see a more than 50 percent increase in premiums this year.

Those in Wyoming have it even harder. Your premiums are going up over 80 percent. Your southern neighbors in Colorado have it even harder, with rates hitting near 200 percent higher than last year.

It’s the same all over the country. In Virginia, a 180 percent increase. In Indiana, 117 percent. New Mexico, 84 percent. And on and on and on.

The Affordable Care Act deems health insurance unaffordable if its cost exceeds 8 percent of your family's income. With these premium increases, over half the country will be forced to pay for something, by the government, that they can’t afford.

While the political theater and games play out in Washington D.C. this week, here is what’s actually at stake: Families are about to be pushed to the brink. How is your Senator voting?

MORE 3 THINGS

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."

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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.