Three Things You Need to Know – February 5, 2018

The Memo is Released

The FISA memo bomb has been dropped. It pretty much confirmed everything Republicans had been talking about in interviews for the past two weeks. If you watched cable news last week you pretty much know everything that’s in the memo. Is that why the information was a little - I don't know - underwhelming? For being billed as a memo full of classified information, I struggled to find anything in it that could be considered damaging to national security. That makes the Democrats, FBI and DoJ look kind of ridiculous in trying to block it’s release.

But it also makes Republicans look a little ridiculous in all the build up and hype that led up to Friday’s release. Now, don’t get me wrong, the information within the memo is interesting. The GOP is accusing the FBI and DoJ of lying to the FISA court in order to get a warrant for former Trump advisor Carter Page. They claim that the Steele Dossier was listed in the initial FISA application, but the roles of Fusion GPS, the DNC and the Clinton campaign were never mentioned. If that’s true then the FBI and DoJ were knowingly trying to pass off partisan opposition research as actual intelligence, AND they hid the truth from the court, not once, but four times.

This all looks really bad, but it’s also only half of the story. Democrats have written their own rebuttal memo, and a vote for its release is expected later today. We can also expect to hear from the FBI AND DoJ at some point as well. Will The Great Memo Wars of 2018 reveal anything new, or will it descend into a giant “liar liar pants on fire” slap fight? Either way, more transparency is still the answer. So get ready for a flood of memos. This is either going to be very enlightening, or brutally painful.

Powerful Super Bowl Ads

A beautiful newborn baby cries and fidgets in her hospital bed. She is perfect. A nurse lifts her up to comfort her. It’s revealed that the child is missing both legs below the knee and one arm.

She is still perfect.

Toyota hit the ball out of the park with its compelling Super Bowl commercial about Paralympic Gold Medalist Lauren Woolstencroft. In 60 seconds, we saw her birth, her struggles to use her mechanical limbs, her failures, and her victories.

People who believe in eugenics see no quality of life for those born with deformities. How can they possibly think that after watching Lauren thrive and go on to win eight gold medals?

In that one minute, Toyota showed the world that all life matters. It’s important to note that no cars are mentioned in the ad, because that wasn’t the point. Toyota is transitioning into a “mobility company” and they wanted to show that the technology they are developing will help humanity.

Dodge also opted to showcase their new technology, but the carmaker was heavily criticized for their commercial.

The commercial featured a new Dodge Ram truck helping bring supplies and volunteers to communities hit by natural disasters. The controversial part? Dodge used Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech on serving in the background.

People were outraged that Dodge would use MLK’s words to sell cars.

I don’t see it that way.

I think anytime Martin Luther King Jr’s words are broadcast and remembered is a good thing.

We need to hear his words, especially now.

Yes, Dodge is selling their new Ram, but they are also selling what you can do with that vehicle: Serve others.

In 120 seconds, the Toyota and Dodge commercials conveyed the message that advancements in technology can be used for good—it’s up to us to use it that way.

The Gender-Neutralization of 'O Canada'

If progressivism is a disease, Canada is terminally ill with it. The U.S. prognosis is probably critical condition.

On Wednesday, Canada’s Senate approved changing a line in the English version of their national anthem, “O Canada,” to make it gender neutral. The second line of the anthem will now be “True patriot love in all of us command” rather than the oppressive, insanely offensive old version, “True patriot love in all thy sons command.”

Now that their anthem isn’t sexist anymore, Canadians can finally feel free to sing it again.

Somehow, I doubt the Canadian senators checked with the people because that’s not how progressives operate. I bet most Canadians would’ve preferred leaving the anthem alone. They’ve had the song that way for over a century and no one died of sexism because of it.

Canadian feminist author Margaret Atwood was one of the people behind this effort. She wrote the novel The Handmaid’s Tale. You can look that one up for insight into her feelings on tradition, faith, and conservatism. She’s real subtle.

This is the dark side of progressivism everywhere – it presumes to know what’s best for the people. But it’s always the agenda of a few, forced on the majority. Or sometimes the agenda, or feelings of just one individual. Progressivism thinks it is promoting more freedom, when often it is tyranny. So, you get things like Michelle Obama dictating to your local school what cafeteria food it can serve. Or one mother in Webster Parish, Louisiana who recently got student-led prayer banned at her daughter’s high school.

Respect for tradition as a stabilizing, enriching agent in society is one of the key diverging points of the Left and Right in the U.S. Decades of progressivism chipping away at things like religion, the flag, the Constitution, and patriotism in general, all the way to Obama’s apologizing tour of a presidency, has created an enormous backlash from heartland Americans. To the point that a whole section of Trump’s State of the Union speech was a lecture on respecting the flag, anthem, and motto. It’s just sad that we’ve sunk so low that the State of the Union has turned into a pep rally about who has more team spirit.

It’s easy to laugh at those Canadians for wimping out on their anthem. But progressivism is a persistent disease, so don’t think it can’t happen here.

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.