Three Things You Need to Know - December 7, 2017

Franken Stepping Down

December 7th, a Day of Infamy on so many levels. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, AND today - in 2017 - Senator Al Franken will show the world what it looks like to be thrown under the bus. Now to be clear, he deserves every bit of what he’s getting. Character matters and Franken clearly doesn’t deserve the title of United States Senator. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think groping and fondling women against their will is conduct becoming an elected official. An immoral man won’t suddenly become moral just because his secret has been outed. He can’t just sit in front of a mirror and say… “look, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it people like me” and wait for the ethics committee to declare no harm no foul.

However, Franken is clearly the sacrificial lamb here. Do I doubt the sudden newly found scruples of the Democrats? Absolutely. Franken’s announcement was conveniently chosen a full day AFTER a whole slew of Democrats called for his retirement. The intent was clearly to allow a good portion of the party to be able to say, “Hey, this guy really is bad. We decided to to do the right thing for women and for America.” Um yeah. I’m sorry but if you were really sincere and cared about the safety of women you would have done this after the first woman came forward, ok the second, well maybe after the third, fourth, fifth… YOU WAITED FOR THE SIXTH COMPLAINT!

I don’t think this was for the safety of women or for morality at all. What made this even more convenient was that all this comes just a couple days after Republicans, en mass, decided to start endorsing Roy Moore again. The motive for this announcement today seems clear. Franken was thrown under the bus as a sacrificial lamb to regain the moral high ground they’ve been losing since September. And I’ve got to tell you, with the way the GOP has been handling things lately, the Left will not only own the high ground, they’ll be entrenched and fortified in it with concrete bunkers.

Look, it’s absolutely justified to have Franken step down, but it’s also justifiable to call the Left out for their motivation here. Regardless the Democrat’s intentions, if the GOP doesn’t focus on character, and if they continue to handle things like Roy Moore the same, they can kiss the moral high ground goodbye. Character matters, and if the GOP doesn’t start acting like it, December 7th 2017 might be known as their new “Day of Infamy.”

US Officially Recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

Two words: Donald delivered.

Yesterday afternoon, Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and vowed to move the US embassy to the Holy City.

I’m really proud of Trump today. It was a brave move—one that he will be praised and remembered for-- if he follows through it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m optimistic--with a dash of skepticism. Trump signed the same national security waiver signed by Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, which will allow the administration to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for an additional six months. White House officials dismissed this move as “unavoidable because it would take several years to move the embassy staff to a new facility in Jerusalem.”

I can live with that as long as the embassy is moved before Trump leaves office.

The international community can yell and condemn America for recognizing reality all they want. They are wrong. This is a historic step against anti-Semitic hostility in the region and Trump deserves credit for being a strong leader on this. If this is any indication of where Trump is going in the future, I am excited to see what 2018 brings.

Facebook Targets a Younger Demographic

Do you want your six-year-old using Facebook?

This week, Facebook launched a new app called Messenger Kids. It’s an app for children to use on tablets or smartphones, but parents can control it from their Facebook account. Facebook says it’s addressing a need for a messaging app designed specifically for kids, but with the level of controls that parents want.

The app targets users as young as six-years-old. But don’t worry – Facebook says it spent months talking to parenting groups, behavioral experts, and families to develop the app. So it’s safe and probably even healthy for your child. According to Facebook, this “opens up a new world of online communication to families.”

Maybe so, but it also opens a whole new can of worms for American culture. Are we not distracted enough already? Now we need our six-year-olds walking across the playground with their nose in a screen? This app just gives kids one more technology thingamajig to bug Mom and Dad about. And right before Christmas too. Thanks, Facebook!

Another drawback – doesn’t this just provide predators, hackers, and Vladimir Putin with another point of attack?

Facebook says there are no ads in the app and that your child’s information won’t be used for marketing purposes. But that’s all this is, one giant marketing app. It’s marketing Facebook! It’s a massive recruiting tool. Facebook wants to hook kids on their social media product for the long term. You must be 13 to have a regular Facebook account. Facebook says it will not automatically convert Messenger Kids accounts to adult accounts when a child turns 13. But if this plan works, they won’t need to. The kid will already want to be a customer for life.

Part of me wants to resist any new app or technology specifically designed to hook my kids. On the other hand, this is their new reality. It wasn’t for my generation, so that’s why a lot of this stuff seems foreign. 66% of kids age 6-12 have their own smartphone or tablet now. Do we allow our kids to use these kinds of apps to help them be able to swim with the tide? And if so, what age is appropriate?

Each new gadget and app raises new questions. But the technology moves so fast we don’t have time to answer them before the next development.

MORE 3 THINGS

I'm going to introduce you to what is by far the most annoying trend on social media involving a particular emoji. The annoying online trend features the clapping emoji 👏 in 👏 between 👏 each 👏 word.

The technique is most often used — unironically — by the social justice types to express indignation or condescension.

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It's meant to imply that the person who is writing the message is so much more "woke" than you that they are righteously allowed to clap in your face. Just looking at it is enough to test your blood pressure. Among the most recent standouts is the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson's decision to play a transgender character, which LGBTQ advocates would view as a good thing, right? You know, her being an ally to their cause and all. Here's one of the myriad tweets that sums up the feeling:

For weeks, the social justice types had been raging about Johansson, who was slated to portray a crime kingpin who was born a woman but identified as male in the film Rub & Tug.

In an interview with NPR — naturally — a trans activist had this to say about it:

Casting male actors to play trans women and female actors to play trans men really reinforces the idea that trans men are really women who are pretending to be men and tricking people into thinking they're men as opposed to the truth, which is that transgender men are living authentically as themselves. And we look like men and we feel like men, and we are perceived as men, and there's no reason, like, women should be playing us.

Listen to the full interview here:

Boy, if it weren't already confusing enough…

In response to this so-called backlash, Scarlett Johansson released a statement to her critics, noting to "tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."

But, finally — as most people do these days — she buckled. She released the following statement:

In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive.

What's the source of all this outrage? Because, we all know that the small but vocal mob — who the mainstream media has for some reason given a platform, and whose voice is louder than the rest of ours — is able to bully until they get what they want.

There's no winning.

Let's say that Scarlett Johansson had refused the role to begin with, on the grounds that she will not play a transgender character. You can guarantee the same crowd that's outraged now would be in fits. There's no winning. The best we can do is treat those around us with respect, live humbly and, for heaven's sake, don't clap between every damn word.

We should all be praying for success at the Trump/Putin sit-down

ALEKSEY NIKOLSKYI/AFP/Getty Images

92 percent of the world's nuclear weapons are in TWO countries: the U.S. and Russia. And as I'm speaking right now, the leaders of both countries are sitting down at a table to try and figure out how to coexist with one another. Sounds kind of important right? And even though the media will slap-fight each other to death today in an attempt to turn the Trump/Putin summit partisan, what's happening right now in Helsinki is probably the least most partisan thing happening right now… like anywhere. As in, the entire planet.

If there was ever a time to be partisan… this isn't it. To any Democrat, Republican or mainstream media pundit looking to turn this into some gotcha political narrative… what the hell is wrong with you? The last time the U.S. and Russian presidents sat down for a summit was in 2010… eight years ago! Here's a small rundown of how "cold" our relationship has been since then.

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Russia still has troops in Georgia after their invasion during Obama's first term. Keep in mind, Georgia was a country considering joining NATO. That invasion was Russia's coming out party. It was a warning to the world that things were about to change, and they were just getting started. They would then invade, steal and annex Crimea from Ukraine. They'd also invade, destabilize and wage war in Eastern Ukraine. That war is still going on to this day, but rarely does the media talk about it anymore. And the backdrop to that invasion and silent war was an accusation from the Russians that the United States deliberately encouraged the fall of the Ukrainian president and government.

Meanwhile, Russia continues supplying troops and equipment to their side, and we are now providing military training and anti-tank missiles to ours.

And Ukraine is just one of the proxy wars currently being fought between the two nuclear powers. Syria is the other. In April, we admitted to killing nearly 200 Russians in that conflict.

Over the past four years, over 700 Russian citizens and companies have been sanctioned, 35 diplomats have been declared persona non grata, 2 Russian diplomatic compounds have been closed, one consulate and two diplomatic annexes. Oh… and Russia has ejected over 700 U.S. diplomatic staff.

Between cyber attacks and indictments on Russian intelligence personnel, tensions have never been higher.

Between cyber attacks and indictments on Russian intelligence personnel, tensions have never been higher. Russia currently maintains an arsenal of 6,600 nuclear weapons. We have 6,450. The next closest nuke holders are France with 300 and China with 280. It's not even close. Between Washington and Moscow, there are over 13,000 nuclear weapons pointed at one another.

Forget partisan politics. The two toughest kids on the block just met for a sit-down, and we should all be praying for their success.

It's not just the Twitter mobs, the Leftist extremists and the flagrant fourth-wave feminists who want ICE abolished. As we've seen, there's a growing number of politicians who want to see it as well.

Cue Alejandro Alvarez, who in his 32 years has managed to cultivate his brand as a "serial immigration violator." Alejandro has been deported 11 times. Well, he's facing deportation once again, after allegedly "slashing his wife with a chainsaw." His wife is in recovery and is expected to survive.

RELATED: The cost of unchecked illegal immigration is very real, and very high

Around 3:00 pm last Wednesday, police arrived at Alejandro's. When they arrived, they found Alvarez's wife suffering from "traumatic physical injuries, believed to have been inflicted by a chainsaw." The couple's three children were huddled in fear inside the home. Alejandro's wife was rushed to a nearby trauma center for an emergency surgery.

Alejandro fled the scene of the crime, but was eventually hauled in by police and booked under "suspicion of attempted murder, child endangerment, hit and run, and grand theft auto."

Sounds like the kind of guy who should be in our country illegally, right?

ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley noted that "Immigration officers have lodged a detainer against Alvarez, requesting that local authorities notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement before his release to allow them to take the man into custody."

This is the new reality.

This is the new reality. The immigration agency has to ask for permission, to file requests, to have illegal immigrants who are guilty of crimes dealt with. Luckily for Alejandro, Los Angeles is a sanctuary city, so maybe he'll get another pass and be back on the streets in no time.

UPDATE: Here's how the discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Why is nobody talking about this?

Alabama law enforcement officials say that an illegal immigrant and an immigrant in the United States on a green card are responsible for the brutal murders of a grandmother and her 13-year-old special needs granddaughter in what investigators say is violence related to Mexican drug cartels.