Three Things You Need to Know - January 9, 2018

Vindication for the Bundys

It all went down four years ago. Cliven Bundy and his sons refused to pay federal grazing fees, and then stared down government agents as they attempted to confiscate their cattle. It kicked off an armed standoff with many people fearing outcomes like Ruby Ridge. After the situation cooled, Cliven, two of his sons and a militia member were arrested, and - in the words of Cliven Bundy - they’ve been “political prisoners” ever since.

Yesterday, a federal judge threw out the government’s case against the Bundy’s and set them all free. Judge Gloria Navarro used the words “flagrant” and “reckless” in describing how the government withheld evidence from the defense. It turns out, the information federal agents was withholding was information regarding:

  • Records about surveillance at the bundy Ranch
  • Maps about government surveillance
  • Records about the presence of government snipers
  • FBI logs about activity at the ranch leading up to the standoff
  • A 2012 law enforcement assessment that found the Bundy’s posed no threat
  • And Internal Affairs reports about misconduct by BLM agents

Wow. Imagine if we went to war with a country, our soldiers misbehaved and the CIA tried to cover it all up. That’s kind of what this all sounds like.

Although the outcome for the Bundy family turned out happy, this story is troubling for three different reasons. Number one: the Bundy’s and everyone involved in the standoff enabled this to escalate way out of control. It should never have gotten as far as it did. But… Number two: the government, likewise, went off the rails with the way they dealt with this. A massive surveillance operation, snipers, out of control BLM agents, and then trying to cover it all up?

Number three - and this is the most important - this story is much larger than the Bundy’s, the misconduct of government agents, and most of the other headlines you’ll see about this today. This story is mainly about one thing: The federal government has NO business managing public land. Judge Navarro called the government’s actions in handling the Bundy case a “reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations,” but I contend that the entire premise for the government seizing land and then charging private citizens to work on it is ALSO a “reckless disregard for Constitutional obligations.”

To Washington D.C., you have NO RIGHT meddling or managing public land. It belongs to the 321 million people that live here. We neither want your help there nor do we need it.

Google's Ideological Echo Chamber

Remember James Damore? He was the senior software engineer at Google who was fired last August for his internal memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”. His memo criticized Google’s diversity policies that he said actually result in reverse discrimination and suppress conservative political views.

The memo got a lot of media attention at the time, mainly because Damore’s memo was painted as being sexist. You see, Damore dared to point out that men and women have biological and personality differences that may account for different professional and personal priorities. What a Neanderthal.

He said Google’s culture of bias included programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race, and that they prioritized “diversity” candidates.

Well, Google didn’t like that very much, so they canned Damore. It was a ridiculous overreaction by Google. By firing Damore, Google basically confirmed the criticism in his memo. No one at Google or in the media seemed to appreciate the respectful, well-reasoned arguments Damore made in his memo. Instead, they only had blind rage toward his discussion of gender.

Now Damore is fighting back. Yesterday he filed a class action lawsuit against Google. His claim? You don’t hear this every day – that Google “unfairly discriminates against white men who have perceived conservative political views that are unpopular with its executives.”

Another former Google employee, David Gudeman, joined Damore in the lawsuit, and they are really going for the jugular. The suit alleges that Google uses “illegal hiring quotas to fill its desired percentages of women and favored minority candidates” and that the “presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during companywide weekly meetings.”

Google’s unhinged response to the Damore memo is the end result of progressive extremism. When you promote “diversity” as the end-all, be-all of virtues, and then you fire someone for actually being diverse, you violate your own ultimate virtue. It is insane hypocrisy.

But don’t point that out at your workplace. It might just get you fired.

Oprah 2020?

Everyone is going gaga over the fantasy of Oprah Winfrey running for president in 2020 after her Golden Globes speech.

Some people called her speech about sexual assault victims “empowering.”

British actress Kadian Noble would call it hypocritical.

She claims that Harvey Weinstein used his relationship with Oprah to seduce young actresses like herself.

Weinstein would cavort around parties with Oprah by his side—duping young women into thinking he was a charming and safe person to be around.

He used Oprah to make him look like a good guy.

To Oprah’s credit, she may have been unaware that she was being used as a wingman for Weinstein’s sordid intentions, but that seems rather impossible to me.

Oprah has been friends with Weinstein for decades. She co-produced “The Butler” with him just a couple years ago.

She couldn’t even bring herself to blame him personally at the Golden Globes saying "If we make this just about Harvey Weinstein, then we will have lost this watershed moment.”

How can Orpah, who is a multiple rape survivor herself, not be utterly disgusted by Harvey Weinstein?

Because he is her friend.

Just like Bill Clinton is Oprah’s friend.

During the Golden Globes Juanita Broaddrick tweeted Oprah about never once mentioning her story about Clinton raping her even though Bill had been on her show many times over the years.

How can someone who so passionately called for sexual abuse victims to have a voice, silence them with her own actions and relationships?

If Oprah does decide to run in the future, I think she will have a lot of explaining to do.

There is an old proverb that goes like this: “If you want to know a man, look at his friends.”

If you want to know Oprah Winfrey, look at her friends.

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.