Three Things You Need to Know - October 23, 2017

The Underwear Bomber's Prison Blues.

Christmas Day, 2009. A man smuggled chemicals onto a Northwest Airlines flight with 289 passengers aboard.

This feat required the precision of a master technician and the stealth of a magician. One does not simply waltz onto a plane with a carry-on full of deadly, flammable liquids. Too obvious. You might be mistaken for a terrorist. No, this top-secret mission required months, or even minutes, of careful planning. It also took a steady hand – sometimes two – for the chemicals would have to be concealed where no government agent would think to explore.

The man made it through airport security with his concealed chemicals intact. Too easy. He thought of Richard Reid, the failed shoe bomber. Amateur. The flight from Amsterdam to Detroit seemed to last forever though. His nether regions were cramped and uncomfortable. He stashed the secret chemicals within the cotton confines of his underpants. He thought it was brilliant!

Finally, the plane descended toward Detroit. The man covered himself with a blanket and tried to light his skivvies. There was lots of smoke, but no fruit of the boom – just a burning sensation where you never want to feel a burning sensation.

Before he knew it, Umar Farouk and his singed underwear landed in maximum security federal prison with a life sentence for his “brief” attempt at mass murder.

And now he has a new burning sensation – a burning desire to communicate with his fellow citizens of the world. Except he says the U.S. government is keeping him down, violating his First, Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights. Because now he cares about stuff like freedom and American Constitutional rights.

Last week he sued Uncle Sam for “prohibiting him from having any communication whatsoever with more than 7.5 billion people, the vast majority of people on the planet.”

He also says solitary confinement is inhumane and that he’s not allowed to pray with fellow Muslims. Apparently, life in prison is proving to be even more restrictive than tightie-whities for Umar.

Mugabe the 'Goodwill Ambassador' --- Really?

48 hours.

That’s how long the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, held the position of “Goodwill Ambassador.”

The World Health Organization chose Mugabe because they thought he would be an “advocate for fighting diseases such as cancer and diabetes in Africa.”

Thankfully, someone at the World Health Organization returned to sanity and rescinded the appointment just two days later when they remembered, oh yeah, Mugabe is a violent, tyrannical despot.

To think that someone who helped spread a raging cholera epidemic in his own country would “fight diseases” is insane.

This is a man that has killed thousands of his own citizens for political dissent, destroyed Zimbabwe’s healthcare program, and eviscerated the agriculture system. His forced seizure of white-owned farms collapsed the economy and has led to devastating poverty and mass starvation across the country.

Mugabe is single-handedly responsible for reducing the life expectancy in Zimbabwe from 62 years to 36-the lowest in the world.

Believe me when I say, this is a man incapable of anything “good.”

This is a guy who aspired to be like Adolf.

Mugabe actually said, "I am still the Hitler of the time. Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold. Ten times, that is what we stand for."

How could the World Health Organization be so stupid?

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time the United Nations honored Mugabe.

In 2012, the UN endorsed him as a “Tourism Ambassador.”

That title is ironic because Mugabe’s been banned from traveling to most parts of the world because of his atrocious human rights violations. Not to mention, there is nothing to “tour” in his own country of Zimbabwe except devastation, poverty, and disease.

If our intergovernmental organization insists on appointing Mugabe to something, it should be Ambassador to the Deepest, Darkest Recesses of Hell. I can get behind that appointment.

The Safety Den.

There is no safe space from partisan politics anymore – not even a Cub Scout den.

Eleven-year-old Cub Scout Ames Mayfield from Broomfield, Colorado, has been kicked out of his den. According to his mother, Lori, he was asked to move to another den because of the questions he asked a Republican State Senator who was speaking to his den.

Ames asked Republican Vicki Marble why she won’t support, “common-sense gun laws.” He also said, “There is something wrong in our country where Republicans believe it’s a right to own a gun, but a privilege to have health care.”

That sounds exactly like every eleven-year-old I’ve ever been around. They all speak just like that.

Ames read his “questions” and lots of stats to the State Senator from stapled documents. He read for almost two-and-a-half minutes before the Senator was able to respond. Naturally, Ames’ mom captured the whole thing on video and then posted it on social media.

None of us are perfect parents, but perhaps Mrs. Mayfield could’ve thought ahead a little bit, that posting those videos online might stir up controversy and get local media involved. Maybe she could’ve predicted that this whole thing might rub some Cub Scout leaders the wrong way.

Unless all this attention is precisely what she hoped for young Ames, and maybe for herself. After all, people might be more inclined to let a child finish their ridiculously long essay on pro-gun control and pro-government health care, than they would be inclined to listen to a middle-aged mom

with an ax to grind.

But I have to ask Mrs. Mayfield, was it worth it to deny your child his experience at Cub Scouts? Is he better off for being your political mouthpiece? I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure he’d rather be playing with his friends at Scouts than home memorizing liberal talking points with you.

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."

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?

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.