Three Things You Need to Know - December 11, 2017

Thank Goodness Alabama's Election Is Tomorrow

There's one great thing about the Alabama special election that most people aren't talking about.

But first, over the weekend, the media was frantic about Roy Moore's absence on the campaign trail.

Instead of making one last push to win over voters, Moore was found at the Army-Navy football game watching his son play.

How dare he prioritize football and family over the circus?

One of Moore’s accusers, Beverly Nelson, lawyered up with Gloria Allred and presented a key piece of evidence against Moore: a signed yearbook. Late last week, she admitted that she wrote half of the inscription in the yearbook.

Oops.

Does that confirm she lied about the whole incident? Not exactly-but, it's difficult to take her seriously after this. If you want credibility you have to be outwardly honest, not just wait until you get caught. Also, if you want credibility - never go to Gloria Allred.

The people of Alabama will reveal how they really feel about Roy Moore tomorrow.

But, again, there's one great thing about the Alabama special election that most people aren't talking about - and it's incredibly important.

Mercifully, tomorrow it will finally be over.

CNN's Fake News

I wasn’t sure it was possible for the mainstream media to lose any more credibility… and then Friday afternoon happened. CNN - “The Most Trusted Name in News” - broke into their regularly scheduled programming with the mother of all scoops. They had undeniable proof that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russians. An email was now in their possession showing that the DNC hacked emails had been offered to the Trump campaign on September 4th. That’s TEN DAYS BEFORE Wikileaks began releasing them online.

There it was. The uppercut they’d been looking for. Social media began to explode from the jubilation. CBS picked up the story claiming that multiple sources had come forward verifying this email and its contents. MSNBC, not to be outdone here, rolled out their own “intelligence and national security” correspondent who was also claiming “multiple sources” were confirming this bombshell. It appeared the media had beaten the Muller investigation and proved collusion with one damning email. Bette Midler and the View ladies were probably getting their Save the dates ready for the impeachment party.

Oh, there’s just one small problem here. All of this… the CNN breaking news, the ensuing social media hysteria, and the follow-up stories on CBS AND MSNBC were all FAKE NEWS. The date on the email - the smoking gun - was September 14th… not the 4th. That means, whoever sent the Trump Team this email, was merely showing them what Wikileaks had already published. The entire point and angle to this “coup de grace” news story was bogus and based off of a lie.

Fake News… that term gets thrown around a lot lately. To qualify being called “fake news”, the information in question has to have been delivered deliberately with the intention of misleading the public. Mistakes are not fake news, but this story WAS NOT a mistake. Multiple sources were cited by CNN, CBS and MSNBC, and they were all confirming the September 4th date. Answer me this. How can multiple sources, with an obvious high level of access, all give the same bogus date to three different news outlets? This wasn’t a mistake. This was a deliberate attempt to influence American opinion.

The question now is, who’s behind all this? Well, we know the House Intelligence Committee has access to these emails. Was this an attack by Democrats within the committee? Whoever it was, they appear to be powerful. There’s a rule in journalism that calls for the outing of a source if they intentionally try to mislead you. So far, the quote “multiple sources” are being protected. Why?

To the media: look, we get it. You don't like the Trump administration. In many cases you have good reason to feel the way you’re feeling, but can you try and show just a sliver of professionalism here? How about checking your information before going public… you know, BASIC STANDARDS OF JOURNALISM. We already have Russian intelligence services attempting to sway public opinion via cyber warfare, internet trolls, and social media ads. We don’t need you spreading fake news along with them.

John Lewis' Boycott

Being President is impossible.

It’s a never-ending stream of lose-lose situations. Like President Trump visiting the opening of the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi this weekend. For Trump, it was damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Can you imagine the outcry if he had declined the invitation to speak at the museum opening? Yet he did speak at the opening and got nothing but criticism and protests from black leaders for his effort.

President Trump attended the museum opening at the invitation of Mississippi’s Republican governor, Phil Bryant. Trump took a brief tour of the museum, then gave a short speech. It was fine, a normal presidential thing to do. Speaking in general, and promoting better race relations is not Trump’s strengths. This was a missed opportunity for him to do more to try to heal division and change the perception that he is racist. He could have done better in this situation, but at least he was there. He made an attempt.

Similarly, Georgia Representative John Lewis could have and should have, done more. As soon as he heard the President might attend the museum opening, he announced he would boycott it. The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi also boycotted. How does this help heal racial division? Why would you squander an opportunity to improve relations with a president they consider to be set against them? For the sake of the wider community, why couldn’t you set aside your hate for the president for a few minutes and at least pretend to get along?

It’s amazing that some Civil Rights icons, like John Lewis, seem to have forgotten the larger lessons of love and forgiveness that Martin Luther King Jr. taught us. If you can’t set politics aside for the opening of a Civil Rights Museum, and just before Christmas, then you’re never going to be able to set aside politics.

We desperately need to get over ourselves, lose some pride, and reach out to our neighbors, yes, even those who don’t vote the same way we do. We are so entrenched on our political teams that it’s making us crazy. We won’t even entertain the idea of having a conversation with someone from the other side.

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but Christmas is a pretty good time for that.

MORE 3 THINGS

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Pat Gray discussed the Trump defense team's arguments in the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

"This is different than what the Democrats were doing," Glenn said of the Trump team's impeachment defense. "We know the case of the Democrats, they just kept going over and over and over, for three days, the same stuff. The Republicans, at least on Saturday, did not ... and I thought it was really, really good."

Glenn added, "The president's defense was very compelling."

Watch the videos below to hear Glenn's top takeaways from the president's defense team:

Part 1: Why the president's defense is 'very compelling'

Part 2: Top takeaways from president's impeachment defense

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Americans are getting crushed by healthcare costs. In 2018 alone, we spent $3.6 trillion on healthcare — that's more than $11,000 per American and nearly a fifth of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It's on everyone's minds, which is why it has taken center stage in the Democratic party's primary. Of course, the solutions offered by the current crop of presidential candidates would do nothing to help alleviate that enormous spending. In fact, it would only add to it — what with Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All and Joe Biden's proposed ObamaCare expansion.

However, what also deserves attention in discussions about plans that increase the government's role in health care is how religious organizations would be affected. Faith-based hospitals and health care sharing ministries (HCSMs) play an important role in America, often serving as a critical provider and/or facilitator of payments for medical services in many states. If plans like Medicare for All were implemented, these groups would be at risk of going bankrupt or being severely curtailed due to the elimination of choice that comes with these proposals.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives. And more Americans should consider them.

Instead of imposing a top-down and expensive health care system overhaul, faith-based providers and groups should be allowed to continue offering a variety of plans that work as high-quality, often cheaper alternatives.

As mentioned, one such option is a health care sharing ministry. In this model, individuals contribute money into a pool managed by a religiously or ethically-affiliated organization, and costs for medical treatment are shared by people who adhere to that organization's belief system. Typically, applicants are required to sign a statement of faith in order to be accepted. It's basically like a subscription service: consumers pay a set amount of money into the ministry every month. Then, when they have a medical need or incident, they submit a claim to the ministry. Members whose claims are approved are reimbursed by the ministry from that pool of funds. Note, these ministries don't cover procedures they deem immoral.

Because providers are often getting paid in cash under this model — and typically within 90 days — patients are able to negotiate significant discounts, in some cases slicing procedures' costs to a fraction of the initial price. Insurance companies, by comparison, tend to not pay dollar for dollar on claims, and certainly not in cash. Additionally, insurance companies usually have onerous paperwork requirements, forcing doctors to spend half of their time on electronic health records and desk work. This increase in demand for administrative work is partly responsible for the United States leading the world in administrative costs in healthcare.

There are various types of HCSMs, each offering different benefits depending on what the individual needs — and a lot of savings on monthly plans. Take Christian Healthcare Ministries, for example. It's resulted in enormous savings for its members. Whereas the average healthcare plan can cost about $400 a month on the low end (with high deductibles), CHM plans can run between $78-172 a month for a single person. These kinds of plans are particularly great options for people who are relatively healthy and young, where the need for doctors and prescription drugs is less likely.

HCSMs have seen explosive growth in popularity recently. In 2014, there were only approximately 160,000 members. By 2018, membership ballooned to about 1 million HCSM members around the United States who have shared over $1 billion in medical expenses. But unfortunately, many people still feel locked into the traditional — and expensive — health care insurance model. HCSMs provide a way out, and, depending on their belief system, people should research them and see if there's one that best suit their needs. If more people deviate away from the traditional health care insurance market, insurance companies would be incentivized to adjust their pricing. That won't be possible, of course, if plans like Medicare for All are implemented.

Health care is one of life's biggest expenses, and voters are understandably desperate for a plan that cuts costs without compromising quality of care or access to it. Alternative options to health care insurance such as HCSMs are practical, free-market solutions that saves money. Americans should sift through these options before subscribing to plans that will only break the bank.

James Czerniawski is a Young Voices contributor. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCz19.

Bill O'Reilly: Adam Schiff is in 'wonderland' during the Senate impeachment trial

Image source: BlazeTV video screen save

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, Bill O'Reilly gave his latest take on the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and explained why he thinks House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is like "Alice in Wonderland."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

youtu.be


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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to discuss the latest developments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Cruz, Thursday was a "very consequential day" in the otherwise tedious and redundant impeachment proceedings.

"Yesterday, the House managers effectively threw Joe Biden under the bus," Cruz said. "They doubled down on what they started doing on the first day of arguments, which was making their entire case ... based on the proposition that there was zero evidence to justify investigating Burisma [the Ukrainian natural gas company that paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, $50,000 a month to sit on the board]."

Cruz went on to explain that every time the Democrats, namely House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), rehash the "zero-evidence" argument, they open the door for Republicans to present the overwhelming evidence that contradicts those claims.

"That proposition, that there's zero evidence to investigate Burisma, is utterly and completely absurd. So, I'm looking forward to Saturday when the president's lawyers will begin presenting his case. Because what the Democrats have done, is they have opened the door to this. And I hope the president's lawyers will stand up and systematically lay out the case," Cruz said.

"They've been arguing that Hunter Biden is completely irrelevant to this case. Well, the House managers have now, through their arguments, made Hunter Biden not only relevant — he was always relevant — but critical now," he continued. "They built the entire case, like a house of cards, on the proposition that there was no reasonable basis to investigate Burisma. And that's just absurd."

The two also discussed Cruz's new podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which he records with Daily Wire host Michael Knowles each night following the Senate trial.

"Last night's podcast went through systematically ... all of the overwhelming evidence of corruption from Burisma that any president, not only had the authority to investigate, but the responsibility to investigate," Cruz said. "And that, ultimately, is why President Trump is going to be acquitted at the end of this process."

Watch the video below for more details:

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