Three Things You Need to Know – February 9, 2018

The Senate Circus Show

Last night might have been one of the weirdest and silliest nights our government has seen in quite a while. You easily could have watched CSPAN last night and actually been entertained. If last night’s theatrics had a musical score it would have been somewhere in between circus music and the Benny Hill theme.

The Senate agreed two days ago on a long-term bipartisan budget deal that is the equivalent of a massive raging dumpster fire. This set the tone for last night’s silliness when Rand Paul stood up in front of Senate Republicans and called them out on their hypocrisy. Paul didn’t pull any punches. He - straight up - called them all hypocrites and warned that quote “a day of reckoning is coming.”

Rand Paul’s right and every Republican in that very room agreed with him back in 2011 when they all fought Democrats to install debt caps. This new budget obliterates those debt caps AND sets the precedent for this to get even worse in the years to come. Did Republicans suddenly have a change of heart or did they never really believe in fiscal responsibility to begin with. Spoiler alert… it’s the latter. The truth is that they just wanted to win in 2011 by imposing debt caps, and they just want to win now by erasing them.

So BRAVO to Rand Paul for actually saying out loud what some on the Senate floor were probably thinking and feeling. Paul kept his criticism going long enough to delay the vote which actually caused the government to shut down a little after midnight. In the end, it was a valiant but losing effort. The Senate voted 71-28 to pass the deal. It then shot over to the House for a quick vote to try and avoid the shutdown extending into Friday.

Over at the House, Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues not to show their hand until they knew how many Republicans would vote YES. As the pressure mounted she finally declared that she wouldn’t vote, because of DACA of course, but that she wouldn’t hold anyone else back from voting. One by one Democrat YES votes started flooding in. Is Pelosi auditioning for an acting gig? Neither her theatrics last night nor her 8 plus hour long DACA speech, had any value beyond pure theater.

I’m telling you, last night was kind of entertaining. If you were bored and nerdy enough to watch CSPAN at 2 am (don’t judge) you were either laughing, crying or downright pissed off. What else beyond a good movie or a BAD ineffective government can deliver on all that in one night?

The Dow Drop Part Deux

After nine years of stock market growth, the smooth sailing is finally getting choppy.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 1,032 points. It’s the second day this week that the Dow has lost over a thousand points. Monday’s point loss was the largest single-day drop on record. Yesterday’s was the second-largest.

The next two biggest single-day point drops on record happened in 2008.

The Dow has now dropped into “correction” territory, which means it is down 10% from its highest point of over 26,000 on January 26. The Dow hasn’t been in a Correction since February 2016. It would have to drop another 10% to be considered a Bear market.

When the market is in a “Correction,” it often indicates that investors are turning pessimistic about the markets. However, a Correction doesn’t mean the market is unraveling. Since 1998, there have only been 10 Corrections (including yesterday’s). Only two of those corrections continued the decline into Bear markets.

Everyone is scrambling for an explanation for this week’s shaky market. No one knows whether this volatility will last days or weeks. Investors seem to be nervous about inflation, and that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates faster than originally thought. The fear about inflation is driven by the increase in wages, which are rising at the fastest rate since 2009.

While the market is definitely acting weird this week, it seems more out of place than usual, simply because the Dow has risen to unprecedented levels in the last year. We’re not used to volatility, so any shakiness at all seems more disconcerting than it might in a more average year. Many analysts think this volatility is long overdue and nothing more than a healthy correction.

If nothing else, this week has been an interesting test case in the psychology of investors. The market has been doing so well for so long, people are in panic mode that it can’t possibly continue.

Racially Motivated Olympic Coin Toss?

A coin toss is causing controversy today.

You heard me. A coin toss.

Here’s what happened.

Two athletes were nominated by the United States Olympic team to be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

Shani Davis, an African American male five-time Olympian and Erin Hamlin, a white female four-time Olympian were tied for the position.

Both received the same number of votes from the representatives.

So, how do you handle a tie like this in the most objective and pragmatic way possible?

You flip a coin.

Erin Hamlin won and Shani Davis played the race card on Twitter writing:

“TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018”

Excuse me?

How can Davis possibly think that a coin toss was racially motivated?

What is the answer here? Should the Team USA have given Davis the position just because he is black? No. Did they give it to Erin just because she is a white female? No.

Should we start banning coin tosses in sports?

It’s the luck of the draw. It is the most non-biased and objective way you can pick something.

Davis was obviously still upset about not being flag bearer because he skipped the Opening Ceremony this morning.

What a sore loser. I’m glad he didn’t represent America at the Olympics today. He’s got a bad attitude—something even four shiny Olympic medals can’t hide.

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.