Three Things You Need to Know - December 13, 2017

Roy Moore Only Has Himself to Blame

Doug Jones has 22,819 thank-you cards to send this Christmas.

Jones won Alabama’s special Senate election last night, becoming the first Democrat Senator from that state in 25 years.

Doug Jones won because there were over 22,000 Alabamians who used their votes to protest with write-in candidates. 22,000 people who were not willing to choose between the lesser of two evils. A better Republican candidate than Roy Moore would have received all those write-in votes and probably a lot more.

In his rambling victory speech, Doug Jones said, “This entire race has been about dignity and respect.” Uh, which race was he watching? Because the Alabama Senate race was only about Leigh Corfman, Beverly Young Nelson, and whether or not you believed their stories of abuse by Roy Moore 40 years ago.

Roy Moore beat himself. This election was a unique perfect storm of Moore’s questionable past, coupled with the #MeToo cultural momentum, which cast enough doubt about Moore that many voters were conflicted and he didn’t get the support he needed. This was a single-issue election in the end – the issue was Moore’s past, and he did not do nearly enough to convince voters of his innocence.

Even if none of the Moore allegations had ever surfaced, he was never a good candidate. The Republican Party is at a crossroads – are they going to continue supporting candidates endorsed by Steve Bannon, or aim much higher?

Doug Jones’ victory is a gift to the Republican Party, a blessing in disguise. The only question is whether the party will be smart enough to see it that way. Now they won’t have to deal with the added drama of whether or not to expel Roy Moore from the Senate. This is an opportunity to take stock and reset. To understand what went wrong (and why they should actually be thankful it did). To realize that they don’t want to be the party of Steve Bannon. To remember that character does matter.

North Korean Diplomacy

Have you ever wondered what high stakes diplomatic negotiations sound like? Here’s a live listen into the negotiating table between North Korea and the United States.

That’s some high-level stuff right there.

The current situation with North Korea is this: we are now two weeks past the biggest ICBM advancement the North has ever made. They now have the ability to hit the entire continental US with a nuclear bomb. You’d think the State Department would be in overdrive trying to talk Kim Jong Un down. Is that what’s going on? This is a quote from Rex Tillerson on his plan for engaging the North Koreans in diplomacy. He said:

“We can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a roundtable. Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards.”

In other words, this is what diplomats between the two countries are currently talking about:

NOTHING IS BEING SAID. Tillerson’s statement is the diplomatic equivalent to a husband trying to get his wife to stop giving him the silent treatment... “Honey? Are you awake? You’re right and I was wrong. Talk to me now? Please?”

It seriously sounds like we are now willing to accept negotiations without preconditions. That means we’re also probably willing to accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, because any conversation going forward won’t include Kim Jong Un disarming his nukes.

I seriously hope there’s some uber angle or master plan at work here, because if this is all we’ve got up our sleeve - with North Korea arming and aiming ICBMs at our homeland - diplomatic crickets are not going to get the job done. And when diplomacy fails, that’s when the real nightmares begin.

The Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster has announced their 2017 Word of the Year: “Feminism.”

The dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and the "organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests."

But I’m not really sure that’s an accurate definition.

In fact, Merriam-Webster, I do not think you know what that word means.

Here’s how I would define feminism: “Leftist activism that is fueled by perpetuating the victimization of women.”

The feminist movement has never been concerned with actually achieving equality between the sexes. They are not even concerned with the equality of women. The activists who label themselves feminists don’t seem to care for all the baby girls who are aborted every year. They only seem to care about their mothers. Why? Because adult women can vote and babies cannot.

Like it or not, feminism herds women into a voting block that can be manipulated by the left. It treats women as a group to be conquered, not as unique individuals.

Feminism has always been a collective movement that needs women to believe they are inherent victims; That they are incapable of changing their lives and circumstances without politics and marching outside together against something or someone.

Women don’t need anyone to be empowered. They already have the power to determine their futures. And they certainly don’t need Feminism to fight their battles for them.

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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