Three Things You Need to Know - January 30, 2018

Andy's Ouster at the FBI

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, otherwise known as “Andy” in the infamous “insurance policy” text messages between Struck and Page, is leaving the Bureau. Anyone saying this is no big deal is seriously fooling themselves.

McCabe’s ouster comes the same day his boss, Director Wray, reviewed the classified memo prepared by the House Intelligence Committee. Some Congressman are even saying the memo shows KGB like behavior by the FBI. Others say it shows evidence that the controversial Steele Dossier was used as an excuse by the FBI to get a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. For a refresher, the Steele Dossier was financed by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign. Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned Steele to compile the dossier, was also working for someone else during that same timeframe… the Russian government.

As if that doesn't look bad enough, CNN reported late last night that Director Wray sent out an all-employee email yesterday evening hinting that McCabe’s dismissal had to do with an incoming Inspector General report investigating the handing of the 2016 Hillary Clinton email investigation.

And the hits just keep on coming. Was the House Intelligence Committee memo ON TOP OF the incoming Inspector General report the final hit that ultimately knocked McCabe out?

What the heck is going on at the FBI? We know McCabe’s wife received a campaign donation from a Hillary Clinton political action committee when she was running for the Virginia State Senate back in 2015. Did that payment buy his loyalty? We also know that Struck and Page were close to McCabe as revealed in their text messages. I refuse to use the words “Secret Society” here, but were these Three Amigos (McCabe, Struck and Page) the… uh… not spoken of - but definitely not secret - club… but definitely not society?

The House Intelligence Committee memo drops sometime this week. We’re about to find out if this is all just partisan hype or, as Struck says, something “ there there.”. This is feeling more and more like a Looney Tunes cartoon the further we get into this. So on that note… Stay tuned.

The 'Opportunity Zones' of the New Tax Plan

Was that Republican-backed tax plan evil or what?

At least that’s the official line from Democrats, that the plan is all about lining the pockets of companies and rich people. And how trickle-down economics is a myth invented by Republicans to make you poor and miserable. Democrats have repeated basically the same lines since Andrew Jackson. And the media helps repeat that message over and over.

Not that this tax plan was a brilliant overhaul of the system. It’s a very mediocre plan that could’ve been a lot better. But there is one part of the tax plan, which almost no one has talked about, that is designed to help some of the most economically depressed areas of the country.

This stealthy part of the tax plan is buried on page 130 of the bill. It allows states to designate certain regions within their borders as “Opportunity Zones.” These will be areas with high poverty, unemployment, and slow business growth. Businesses and venture capitalists that invest long-term in these “Opportunity Zones” could save a ton of money through avoiding capital gains taxes.

Over the last five years, the U.S. economy has grown and added jobs, but the growth has been mostly in large cities. From 2010 to 2014 – prime Obama years – more businesses closed in rural America than opened.

Investors will be allowed to create “Opportunity Funds” for the designated zones around the country to seed new businesses, expand existing businesses, or develop real estate. If investors maintain their investment for ten years, they avoid paying capital gains taxes altogether.

The chairman of President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers said if this plan works, “We’ll look back ten years from now and say this was one of the most important parts of the tax bill, and one we didn’t talk nearly enough about.”

There are plenty of ways to be cynical about a provision like this. Maybe it’s a corporate scheme to take rural America for a ride while avoiding taxes. Or maybe it really is what it sounds like – the government actually cracking open a window of opportunity, for private business to do what it’s best at, and in the process help parts of the country that need a boost. What a concept.

The 'Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act' Fails in the Senate

At five months in the womb, babies have 10 fingers and 10 toes. They can yawn and stretch. They can also feel pain.

Despite this scientific fact, the Senate voted against the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” which would ban late-term abortions on babies at 20 weeks.

46 out of 97 Senators decided they wanted to continue the debate on the bill rather than pass it.

It’s not a perfect bill by any measure. It still allows babies conceived by rape or incest to be aborted and it draws a hard line at 20 weeks.

Does that mean a 19 week and six-day-old baby conceived by rape doesn’t feel pain?

That baby absolutely feels pain.

And even if there was some point in the womb where babies don’t feel pain, does that mean it’s ok to kill them? Just because it doesn’t hurt, is it ok to take that life? No. Period. We shouldn’t be dismembering and sucking babies up with a vacuum. Abortion is and always will be a hideous and barbaric act no matter what gestation period it occurs or how that baby came to be.

As a society, we need to reject abortion wholly and completely. But this bill was a step in the right direction.

It showed a glimmer of hope that maybe we are beginning to realize the sheer horror and murder of abortion.

I have no doubt humanity will realize what an atrocity abortion has been.

And that realization will serve as a gruesome blemish on mankind’s history.

Let’s hope we open our eyes sooner rather than later.

MORE 3 THINGS

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

Schedule a private tour or purchase general admission ticket below:

Dates:
June 15-17

Location:

Mercury Studios

6301 Riverside Drive, Irving, TX 75039

Learn more about the event here.

About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

Some of Mercury One's core initiatives include assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. When evil prevails, the best way to overcome it is for regular people to do good. Mercury One is committed to helping sustain the good actions of regular people who want to make a difference through humanitarian aid and education initiatives. Mercury One will stand, speak and act when no one else will.

Support Mercury One's mission to restore the human spirit by making an online donation or calling 972-499-4747. Together, we can make a difference.

What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

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.