Three Things You Need to Know – March 5, 2018

And the Oscar for Best Hypocrite Goes to...

Ah, another awards show, another chance to display the fake morality of the elite and privileged.

Celebrities chose to wear orange label pins at the Oscars last night to support gun control on behalf of the organization “Everytown for Gun Safety.” The organization is an advocacy group that raises awareness about gun violence prevention.

They stated that the pins are “a reminder that there is more we all can and should do now to prevent future acts of gun violence.”

Here’s a thought, Hollywood. Instead of wearing pins…how about you lead by example and stop promoting gun violence in your movies?

Did the Academy not realize that the majority of last night’s winners ALL featured gun violence?

Here’s just a starting list for you.

Allison Janney won for best actress in a supporting role for the film “I, Tonya.”

That film features a husband and wife who frequently shoot at each other. One time, the husband succeeds.

Sam Rockwell won for best actor in a supporting role for the film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. His character blows his head off with a gun.

Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” won for best original screenplay. That movie literally ends with a murder-suicide by rifle.

And director Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic fantasy, “The Shape of Water” took home the most awards including best picture.

There’s tons of gun violence in that movie. There’s even inter-species gun violence!

The hypocrisy of the Oscars is disgusting.

The Academy Awards need to take the huge plank out of their own eyes.

You can’t be against something if you promote it as “art.”

Gun Control Has a New Backer --- The Ayatollah of Iran

Gun control advocates have a new ally in their quest to upend the second amendment. You might expect this person’s zip code to come from Hollywood, New York or some liberal think tank in D.C., but you’d be just a little off. This person’s pulpit, and support for American gun grabbers, comes from... Tehran, Iran.

The Ayatollah of Iran went on a Twitter rant on Saturday - which is a platform banned by his people but not it’s proselytizing leaders, but I digress - but he echoed every major talking point you’re hearing now from today’s gun grabbers. He wrapped up his twitter sermon with, what he probably considered, the ultimate uppercut to America’s Second Amendment. Quote:

“No one dares apply the clear solution to the promotion of guns and homicide in America. What’s the solution? It’s to make guns illegal.”

If you’re anti-second amendment, you now have a friend in someone that calls himself “Supreme Leader.” And if anyone knows what this argument is REALLY about, it’s him. Guns helped the mullahs of Iran pull off their coup back in the 70’s, but one of the first things they did, AFTER obtaining power, was to take all those guns away from the people that put them in power. Guns are now banned in Iran, and the clerical regime rules with absolute control and unchecked power.

You see, that’s what this is really all about. Power and control. It enabled the Ayatollah in Iran to effectively turn his country into a slave state. They have the power to tell you how to dress when to eat, how to style your hair, and what you can or can’t say. Don’t like it? Well, that sucks to be you… you’ll have to deal with being thrown in a detention camp without due process, without the need of being formally charged, and with no formal date of release.

This is what the founders of our country feared, and this is why they built certain protections into the Constitution to protect us. The Second Amendment being one of the most important. Iran is a perfect example of what’s possible when the government no longer fears their own people.

So, to the Ayatollah standing at his Twitter pulpit in Tehran, thank you for weighing in on America’s gun debate. Thank you for taking a side. But most importantly, thank you for reminding us why we have the Second Amendment to begin with. To protect ourselves from people like YOU.

The Mueller Investigation Just Went Down Another Rabbit Hole

At this rate, Robert Muller’s special counsel investigation is going to take ten years.

Over the last several weeks, Muller’s team has been questioning George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman with close ties to leaders of the United Arab Emirates. Investigators are trying to determine whether the U.A.E. tried to buy political influence during Trump’s presidential campaign and administration.

They’re also trying to determine how George Nader has influenced White House policy. During the first few months of 2017, Nader had several meetings at the White House with Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner about American policy in the Persian Gulf.

Nader is something of a Middle East mystery man. During the Clinton presidency, he was a back-channel negotiator with Syria. With Clinton’s permission, he tried to secretly work out a peace deal between Syria and Israel. During the 1990s, he also ran a magazine called Middle East Insight, which sometimes ran editorials by Middle Eastern leaders, like President Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Rabin of Israel, and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

Nader fell off the radar for a while, but by 2016 he had somehow become an adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates. Just after Trump’s inauguration, Nader met Elliot Broidy, a major Republican fund-raiser who also owns a private security firm. With Nader’s help, Broidy’s security firm landed several hundred million dollars’ worth of contracts with the U.A.E.

Last fall, Broidy had a private meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office. Afterward, Broidy sent a memo of the meeting to Nader at an encrypted email address. In the memo, Broidy said he advised President Trump to have a private meeting outside the White House with the U.A.E.’s crown prince. Broidy also encouraged Trump to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson because of Tillerson’s support of Qatar.

A copy of this meeting memo was sent to The New York Times by, “someone critical of the Emirati influence in Washington.” A spokesman for Elliot Broidy didn’t deny the memo’s contents, but says Qatari agents hacked Broidy’s computer and stole the memo.

What any of this has to do with Muller’s Russia investigation is anyone’s guess at this point. Regardless, it’s yet another rabbit hole in an investigation that has dragged on for almost a year. Sooner than later, Americans want some real answers. For the sake of the country, and our sanity, we need this resolved.

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This compromise is an abomination

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Three decades ago, "The Art of the Deal" made Donald Trump a household name. A lot has happened since then. But you can trace many of Trump's actions back to that book.

Art of the Deal:

In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.

People laughed when he announced that he was running for President. And I mean that literally. Remember the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner when Obama roasted Trump, viciously, mocking the very idea that Trump could ever be President. Now, he's President.

You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.

This empire-building is a mark of Trump.

RELATED: 'Arrogant fool' Jim Acosta exposed MSM's dishonest border agenda — again.

The most recent example is the border wall. Yesterday, congress reached a compromise on funding for the border wall. Weeks of tense back-and-forth built up to that moment. At times, it seemed like neither side would budge. Trump stuck to his guns, the government shut down, Trump refused to budge, then, miraculously, the lights came back on again. The result was a compromise. Or at least that's how it appeared.

But really, Trump got what he wanted -- exactly what he wanted. He used the techniques he wrote about in The Art of the Deal:

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.

From the start, he demanded $5.7 billion for construction of a border wall. It was a months' long tug-of-war that eventually resulted in yesterday's legislation, which would dedicate $1.4 billion. It would appear that that was what he was after all along. Moments before the vote, he did some last-minute pushing. A national emergency declaration, and suddenly the number is $8 billion.

Art of the Deal:

People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate passed the legislation 83-16, and the House followed with 300-128. Today, Trump will sign the bill.

It's not even fair to call that a deal, really. A deal is what happens when you go to a car dealership, fully ready to buy a car, and the salesman says the right things. What Trump did is more like a car dealer selling an entire row of cars to someone who doesn't even have a licence. When Trump started, Democrats wouldn't even consider a wall, let alone pay for it.

Art of the Deal:

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.

He started the wall on a chant, "Build the wall!" until he got what he wanted. He maneuvered like Don Draper, selling people something that they didn't even know they wanted, and convincing them that it is exactly what they've always needed.

As the nation soaks in the victory of the recent passing of the historic First Step Act, there are Congressmen who haven't stopped working to solve additional problems with the criminal justice system. Because while the Act was impactful, leading to the well-deserved early release of many incarcerated individuals, it didn't go far enough. That's why four Congressmen have joined forces to reintroduce the Justice Safety Valve Act—legislation that would grant judges judicial discretion when determining appropriate sentencing.

There's a real need for this legislation since it's no secret that lawmakers don't always get it right. They may pass laws with good intentions, but unintended consequences often prevail. For example, there was a time when the nation believed the best way to penalize lawbreakers was to be tough on crime, leading to sweeping mandatory minimum sentencing laws implemented both nationally and statewide.

RELATED: If Trump can support criminal justice reform, so can everyone else

Only in recent years have governments learned that these sentences aren't good policy for the defendant or even the public. Mandatory minimum sentences are often overly harsh, don't act as a public deterrent for crime, and are extremely costly to taxpayers. These laws tie judges' hands, preventing them from using their knowledge and understanding of the law to make case relevant decisions.

Because legislation surrounding criminal law is often very touchy and difficult to change (especially on the federal level, where bills can take multiple years to pass) mandatory minimum sentences are far from being done away with—despite the data-driven discoveries of their downfalls. But in order to solve the problems inherent within all of the different laws imposing sentencing lengths, Congress needs to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act now. Ensuring its passing would allow judges to use discretion while sentencing, rather than forcing them to continue issuing indiscriminate sentences no matter the unique facts of the case.

Rather than take years to go back and try to fix every single mandatory minimum law that has been federally passed, moving this single piece of legislation forward is the best way to ensure judges can apply their judgment in every appropriate case.

When someone is facing numerous charges from a single incident, mandatory minimum sentencing laws stack atop one another, resulting in an extremely lengthy sentence that may not be just. Such high sentences may even be violations of an individual's eighth amendment rights, what with the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. It's exactly what happened with Weldon Angelos.

In Salt Lake City in 2002, Weldon sold half a pound of marijuana to federal agents on two separate occasions. Unbeknownst to Weldon, the police had targeted him because they suspected he was a part of a gang and trafficking operation. They were oh-so-wrong. Weldon had never sold marijuana before and only did this time because he was pressured by the agents to find marijuana for them. He figured a couple lowkey sales could help out his family's financial situation. But Weldon was caught and sentenced to a mandatory 55 years in prison. This massive sentence is clearly unjust for a first time, non-violent crime, and even the Judge, Paul Cassell, agreed. Judge Cassell did everything he could to reduce the sentence, but, due to federal law, it wasn't much.

The nation is facing an over-criminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties.

In cases like Weldon's, a safety valve for discretionary power is much needed. Judges need the ability to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums, depending on mitigating factors such as mental health, provocation, or physical illness. That's what this new bill would allow for. Critics may argue that this gives judges too much power, but under the bill, judges must first make a finding on why it's necessary to sentence below the mandatory minimum. Then, they must write a clear statement explaining their decision.

Judges are unlikely to risk their careers to allow dangerous criminals an early release. If something happens after an offender is released early, the political pressure is back on the judge who issued the shorter sentence—and no one wants that kind of negative attention. In order to avoid risky situations like this, they'd use their discretion very cautiously, upholding the oath they took to promote justice in every case.

The nation is facing an overcriminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties. Mandatory minimums have exacerbated this problem, and it's time for that to stop. Congresswomen and men have the opportunity to help solve this looming problem by passing the Justice Safety Valve Act to untie the hands of judges and restore justice in individual sentences.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She's a writer for Young Voices, and her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Washington Examiner.

New gadget for couples in 'the mood' lets a button do the talking

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new romantic gadget for couples that is sure to make sparks fly. For those with their minds in the gutter, I'm not talking about those kinds of gadgets. I'm talking about a brilliant new device for the home called "LoveSync."

This is real — it's a simple pair of buttons for busy, modern couples who have plenty of time for social media and Netflix, but can't quite squeeze in time to talk about their... uh... special relationship.

Here's how it works. Each partner has their own individual LoveSync button. Whenever the mood strikes one partner, all they have to do is press their own button. That sets their button aglow for a certain period of time. If, during that time window, their partner also presses their own button, then both buttons light up in a swirling green pattern to signal that love has "synced"...and it's go time.

According to the makers of LoveSync, this device will "Take the Luck out of Getting Lucky." It brings a whole new meaning to "pushing each other's buttons." It's an ideal gift to tell your significant other "I care," without actually having to care, or talk about icky things like feelings.

If you find your significant other is already on the couch binge-watching The Bachelor, no problem! You can conveniently slink back to your button and hold it in for four seconds to cancel the desire. No harm, no foul! Live to fight another day.

Have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children.

No word yet on whether LoveSync can also order wine, light candles or play Barry White. Maybe that's in the works for LoveSync 2.0.

Of course, LoveSync does have some pitfalls. Cats and toddlers love a good button. That'll be a fun conversation — "Honey, who keeps canceling my mood submissions?" And have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children. "Yeah, kids, that button just controls the lawn sprinklers. No big deal."

If you've been dialing it in for years on Valentine's Day with flowers and those crappy boxes of chocolate, now you can literally dial it in. With a button.

Good luck with that.