Three Things You Need to Know - January 16, 2018

Evil hiding behind closed doors

David and Louise loved each other. And they loved Elvis.

That was clear from their family Facebook page.

Pictures from their three vow renewal ceremonies revealed they made a tradition of going to the Elvis Chapel in downtown Las Vegas.

David, Louise, their 13 children, and the King all look very happy in those photos.

As with every Facebook page, though, you’re not getting the whole picture.

Today, the world sees the Turpin’s images in a new light.

And they look dark and twisted.

On Sunday, authorities responded to a 911 call by one of David and Louise’s daughters.

She frantically explained that she had escaped the family home and begged the police to rescue her siblings who were starving and chained to their beds. The girl claimed to be 17 years old, but was so malnourished she appeared as small as a ten-year-old.

When the police arrived at the Turpin’s home they found the girl’s 12 brothers and sisters chained and padlocked to their beds. They were filthy and emaciated. The children ranged in age from 2 to 29. They were so famished, deputies were shocked to learn seven of them were adults.

David and Louise were unable to immediately provide a logical reason why their children were restrained in that manner.

The children were taken to the hospital and are in the care of Child Protective Services. The Turpin’s were arrested and booked on charges of torture and child endangerment.

In the age of social media, it’s getting more difficult to know what is real and what isn’t. We all have the ability to edit and manipulate our own narratives. Because of Facebook, the Turpin’s friends and family had no idea that they were hideous monsters who tortured their children.

But David and Louise are not alone. This is not the first time or the last time, we will be shocked by the dichotomy of how people present themselves and what the actual truth is.

The Turpin Family provides us with a horrible cautionary tale that we all need to understand going forward. When it comes to social media, you are not seeing the full picture.

Irainian facing deportation from Sweden because she's Christian

It’s been known as the most refugee-friendly country in the world. Upon arrival, immigrants to Sweden are given free housing, money, language lessons, and even a salary while they SEARCH for a job. Ah the Swedes… they certainly are the world leaders in tolerance and acceptance. That is, unless you’re Christian.

Aideen Strandsson was a popular TV and movie actress back in her home country of Iran. One day she witnessed a woman getting stoned to death and decided that she had had enough. Not long after, she had a dream of Jesus and decided right then and there to convert. It had to be in private of course. In Iran, converting to Christianity can be deadly.

Sweden was taking in lots of immigrants and refugees, so she decided to immigrate on a work Visa. It was then that she decided to make her conversion public. Leaving the Islamic faith is illegal in Iran and punishable by death, but Swedish immigration recently has decided to deny her asylum request and block her from getting a job. UN AND Swedish immigration policy states that an immigrant can not be denied asylum if the seeker faces imminent danger upon arrival back at their home country. Strandsson was a public figure and she’s already getting threats. If she gets deported, she faces imprisonment, rape and execution. All because she’s a Christian.

Kind of an odd story from the most tolerant and accepting society on the planet. Especially given the recent investigation done by the Swedish newspaper Expressen. They uncovered a program the Swedish Government was running to protect ISIS terrorists arriving from Syria. Apparently these poor jihadists were having a hard time finding jobs. Their pictures and starring roles in propaganda videos were scaring off employers. Imagine that. The Swedes fixed all that with brand new identities and protected status. So why are they keeping and harboring terrorists, but sending Christians home to die?

There is a global war being waged against Christianity. In some places, like here in the United States, the war is being fought against our ideology. In other places, like Iran, the war is literally life and death. We’ve come full circle. A return to the first century. Like then, the time has come to show the world that the church is more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about people. Millions of Christians live under the constant threat of persecution and even death. It’s time we all stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Never again is now.

The Desirability Bias

I’ve got some good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?

According to researchers at the University of London, it doesn’t really matter which one we hear first, because we’re more likely to believe the good news. It’s called “desirability bias.”

Desirability bias is when you consider information more credible because it pleases you. It helps explain the whole social media-fake news phenomenon – we believe something more when we like that thing and want it to be true.

Researchers at the University of London set up a study just before the 2016 presidential election. They surveyed 900 voters who supported either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The voters disclosed which candidate they supported and predicted who they thought would win.

Researchers then randomly separated the voters into two groups. They gave the first group polling results that indicated Trump would win, and the second group results indicating Hillary would win. With this new information, participants were asked to update their prediction.

The result of the study was clear: desirability bias changes people’s minds. People believed the polling results that they were given only when the poll indicated their candidate would win.

So, if you were a Clinton supporter who thought Trump would win, and you received polling results suggesting Hillary would win, you were far more likely to change your prediction to Hillary winning. That is desirability bias – letting the outcome you actually want, affect your belief about something.

The lesson for politics is pretty clear, and it’s something that seems to be a lost art on both sides of the aisle – if you want to persuade people, you have to find a way to get them to want to agree with you. Ronald Reagan largely understood this art. He was called, “The Great Communicator” and he won 49 states in the 1984 election. We can’t fathom a candidate appealing across the aisle even half that much today.

We saw Obama supporters blinded by desirability bias for eight years, and now we’re seeing the same thing with Trump’s base. We must move beyond this concept of the presidency as the ultimate bully pulpit. That is not what the executive office was designed to be, and it won’t help heal our division.

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This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.

President Donald Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his campaign promises so far. From pulling the US from the Iran Deal and Paris Climate Accord to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the president has followed through on his campaign trail vows.

RELATED: The media's derangement over Trump has me wearing a new hat and predicting THIS for 2020

“It's quite remarkable. I don't know if anybody remembers, but I was the guy who was saying he's not gonna do any of those things," joked Glenn on “The News and Why it Matters," adding, “He has taken massive steps, massive movement or completed each of those promises … I am blown away."

Watch the video above to hear Glenn Beck, Sara Gonzales, Doc Thompson, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray discuss the story.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

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“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."