Three Things You Need to Know - January 18, 2018

The 2017 Fake News Awards

And the award for the least shocking report on the planet goes to…The GOP and President Trump.

Yesterday, Trump and the GOP put together something called the “Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.”

The report was filled with unflattering headlines from the usual suspects. ABC News, The New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post.

Look, those publications are never going to be nice to the President. They are owned and operated by liberals for the most part. Why does this fact seem to escape Trump and the GOP?

You can call them out on their bias all you want, but the truth is it’s not going to make them change, believe me I know.

It’s the American people’s responsibility to use their brains and think about where their news is coming from and to read both sides of every story.

Not to mention a “Fakes News Awards” report coming from the White House makes me a little bit uncomfortable. In their effort to control the narrative on Trump, they are throwing free speech under the bus. Just because an article is negative about the President doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be read or published.

Calling out fake news is what an entertainment show, like this one, does. We call out biased and bad reporting all the time. But Trump and the GOP should really have more important things to do. I would advise Trump to stop worrying about what people think of him and let his actions speak louder than their lies.

California violates first amendment aggressively promoting abortion

Free speech is on trial again at the Supreme Court. This time it’s related to abortion and the stakes could not be higher.

The case is National Institute of Family and Life Advocates vs. Becerra (Becerra is California’s attorney general). It’s about a new California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs, in prominent places, to inform women that California offers low-cost, or in some cases free, abortions. The signs must include a phone number for abortion clinics.

California could do all the abortion clinic advertising it wants of course, but it is forcing those who are firmly against abortion to promote the abortion industry. Not only is California clearly violating free speech, it is aggressively endorsing the murder of unborn children over efforts to protect them. What have we become?

It’s kind of like forcing marriage counselors to post advertisements for hitmen, you know, that way their clients always have the option of just having their spouse murdered instead of working on the marriage.

If you crack open this legal door, imagine all the other insane positions that government could force us to start endorsing. This is the Fairness Doctrine on steroids. Imagine mandatory signs inside your church promoting atheism, except that atheist gatherings would not be required to promote your religion.

Two hundred twenty-six years after passage of the First Amendment, you’d think our freedom of speech would be secure. But apparently, the Freedom of Speech part still isn’t clear to the state of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They’re only interested in protecting speech they approve. And not only protecting it, forcing people who disagree with their position to endorse it! It is absolute tyranny.

The people who run these non-profit, pro-life pregnancy centers are humble, loving, caring, genuine, hard-working people. Their mission is helping women and saving lives. They’re unsung heroes on the frontlines of the American holocaust – 21st-century Paulinas – saving people from being murdered.

Apparently, these pro-life pregnancy centers are a little too good at saving lives, because their government is going out of its way to persecute their crazy notion that the baby growing inside you is an actual human life, with inherent value, that deserves protection.

This decision should be a no-brainer for the Supreme Court. Pray that they do the right thing.

Stolen 'NOC' list brings movie plot to real life

A stolen CIA “NOC” list, it’s the plot line in almost every Hollywood spy movie. The good guys have to catch the bad guy before the names and locations of every undercover operative is outed and killed. In the movies, the good guys usually win, but this is real life.

A former CIA officer was arrested on Monday and charged with “unlawfully possessing national defense information.” He was caught red-handed with two notebooks containing the names of CIA assets and the locations of covert facilities in China. He was illegally carrying a NOC list, but he’s suspected of much worse.

The New York Times reported last year that the CIA was losing agents in China at an alarming rate. Since 2010, the Chinese government had all but completely destroyed US spying operations on the mainland. The CIA had a mole, and all the evidence pointed directly at the man arrested this week.

The damage done to the CIA in China was catastrophic, but even worse was the number of lives lost. All in all, he’s responsible for the deaths or imprisonment of twenty American agents. Say what you want about Snowden. He’s definitely a traitor enjoying the protection of Vladimir Putin, but at least he didn’t get anyone killed.

If Doc Brown and Marty McFly traveled here from the year 1985 and looked at the news headlines, they’d see a world that hasn’t really changed all that much. Now granted, the music is a lot worse and the clothes are a lot better, but they’d probably assume the Cold War was still raging.

Despite Cindy Lauper and neon shorts, the world of 1985 was kind of a scary place. Aldrich Ames was a CIA agent selling secrets to the Soviets. Because of him, multiple CIA assets were killed. Korean airlines flight zero zero seven had been shot down just two years prior. Nuclear tensions were at their highest. Both sides looked willing to press the button.

Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it? It’s been thirty-three years. Have we learned nothing? Three decades and life is just as cheap now as it was then. The only difference between then and today is that, with our technology, we can betray, kill and threaten each other more efficiently.

The bad guy was eventually caught, but the human toll he inflicted makes this story ultimately a tragedy. Likewise, the redundant cycle we’re in is also a tragedy. How do we break it? Both as individuals and as a nation, we can not navigate the ship following pure self or national interest. Principles and values are our true north. If we don’t make a course correction, we’re in for another three decades of nothing but the same.

MORE 3 THINGS

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.