Three Things You Need to Know – February 13, 2018

Susan Rice: CYA Agent

Imagine for a second, it’s the last day at your job. A new boss was hired and you decided it was time to move on to greener pastures. You and your old boss had a pretty good working relationship. The two of you collaborated on several projects together, and even saw your way through a few different scandals. Possibly the biggest potential scandal was, after learning of your boss’ imminent forced departure, the two of you gathered those most loyal and planned to undermine the next boss.

On your way out the door on the final day, a creeping feeling begins to itch at the back of your conscience. Did you do everything you could to complete the plan and cover your tracks? Just before your access to the corporate email server goes off, you compose an email to yourself that you know will be found by the incoming regime. It’s a last ditch effort at undermining the new boss, but more importantly it implies you did nothing wrong. You hit send, get up, and walk out the door for the last time.

In a nutshell, this is what appears to be what Susan Rice (Obama’s former National Security Advisor) did just before she walked out of the White House on Inauguration Day.

Yesterday, Senators Grassley and Graham sent a letter to Susan Rice asking her to explain an “unusual” email they found that was sent by her on her last day of work. The email was sent to herself, via the NSC official server, on January 20th, but it was explaining a meeting that took place on January 5th. The email describes an interaction between Obama, law enforcement and the intelligence community, and how the outgoing administration was considering withholding information regarding the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump team. Forced in, not once, but twice were comments Obama allegedly made that stressed the need to do things “by the book” and that he was ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY not trying to insert himself into law enforcement activities.

First of all, why did Obama feel the need to tell the FBI to go “by the book” twice in such a short time? Aren’t the FBI’s investigations always done by the book? Isn’t that implied? Why did Rice write that Obama made it clear that he wasn’t trying to influence the investigation? Could it be that Obama, Rice, and the entire outgoing administration were engaging in an off the books operation to smear Donald Trump?

On March 1st the New York Times ran a story with this headline: Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking. This was a damning article back in March. It implied that the Trump team was in danger of scuttling valuable information that would prove Russia interfered in the election. The article goes on to explain that the Obama administration proceeded to launch an operation of leaks to Congress, leaks to other agencies… leaks all over the place. But that was almost a full year ago. If you reread that article, the vast majority of the information that the Times claims Obama was leaking sounds like it all came from one place… the Steele Dossier.

Was the former President and his staff, engaging in a leak operation of opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC? Did the FBI know about this? Was this email from Susan Rice a last ditch effort at covering their tracks? If just one of these questions is YES, you can forget Watergate. This will be the biggest scandal in our nation’s history.

The Open-Ended DACA Debate

Don’t look now, but the Senate has begun an open-ended debate. I thought that’s what the Senate did all the time, but apparently, this is some special thing.

Can you imagine if the company you work for, or the business you run, operated like Congress? It would be a disaster. Our Founders designed a great form of government, but over time, it has morphed into this colossal slog where competence goes to die.

The latest example? Congress’ inability to get anything done on immigration. Specifically, what to do about DACA.

The mainstream media story you’ve been getting for months is a simple narrative that goes like this: President Trump hates immigrants, so he ended the DACA program so that he can start personally deporting every last Dreamer. What this simple narrative forgets to include is that DACA exists only because President Obama spoke the program into existence, completely outside of Congress and the Constitution.

So, DACA is the urgent problem before Congress because it’s a mess that was created by Obama, then Trump decided to end it, and the deadline when DACA permits will start expiring is now just over three weeks away. Congress has saved this issue until the very last minute. Shocker.

Their method for dealing with the issue at hand is a weird Hail Mary. Yesterday, the U.S. Senate began what they call an “open-ended debate” to figure out what to do.

“Whoever gets to 60, wins,” chirped Mitch McConnell, as if this debate thing is some fun board game they found in a Senate closet and dusted off to solve immigration.

The first DREAM Act was introduced in 2001. It never passed. It’s been seventeen years without meaningful immigration legislation. Immigration is the giant stadium beach ball that gets smacked around the stands of Congress year after year. And now all the sudden, with the clock running out, they’re going to have an “open debate”?

The point of this open debate format is to try to build a bill from scratch on the Senate floor. That sounds kind of like the way the universe was supposedly formed – utter chaos until just the right particles suddenly collided and out pops good ol’ Mother Earth. Yeah, that will work.

Regular Americans are held to a much higher standard of competence in their jobs. If only their representatives in Washington were held to the same standard.

Envelope With White Powder Mailed to Trump Jr.

Men clad in hazmat suits marched through Donald Jr and Vanessa Trump’s Manhattan apartment yesterday.

They initiated decontamination procedures while Vanessa was taken to the hospital.

Earlier in the day, she received a curious letter in the mail. She opened it and a white powder spilled out.

Vanessa instantly felt nauseous and started coughing uncontrollably.

Thankfully, the powder was found to be not hazardous and Vanessa and the other two people who were in the house with her are doing fine.

This isn’t the first time an insidious letter containing white powder was sent to the Trump’s.

In 2016, police investigated a similar letter sent to Eric Trump and two letters containing the powder was sent to Trump Tower.

As you can imagine, some people condoned the fear tactics against the Trump family.

Like the Socialist Party. They tweeted from their official Twitter account, “Disgusting people attract disgusting behavior.”

Not a surprising response from them. Socialists have always condoned violence and underhanded deeds.

Whether you hate them or love them, the Trump family doesn’t deserve these threats.

Don’t lose sight of humanity. Don’t hate people just because they have a different perspective than you. Embrace them and try to learn from them. Everyone is worthy of respect. That's something Socialists have never understood.

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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.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“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."