Three Things You Need to Know – March 6, 2018

Political Dumpster Fire

If you’ve ever been curious what a dumpster fire looks like, all you had to do was tune in to MSNBC or CNN yesterday and watch the two networks interview former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg. What progressed throughout the day is hard to describe. It was almost as if Nunberg was having a complete and total meltdown, the media was aware of it, and they put it on display just to show everyone how crazy this former Trump aide actually is.

Nunberg has, let’s just say, a little bit of history with the Trump team. He’s been hired by the campaign, fired, then rehired, fired again, and he’s had public squabbles with Trump staffers like Corey Lewandowski and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Some might say, when it comes to Donald Trump, he has a dog in this fight.

Nunberg was questioned by Muller’s investigators recently as part of the Russia investigation, and he did what anyone with an axe to grind or a dog in the fight would do… he ran straight to the mainstream media. What followed was one of the most sensationalized crap shows I’ve seen in a long time. At no time did he give any evidence, but - in interview after interview - he implied that Muller quote “may have” something on President Trump, BUT - and this really makes his point strong here - quote “I don’t know that for sure.”

Hmm, ok Sam, if you don’t know then why say anything at all? Maybe because all this is some crazy drunken sideshow? He pressed on with Jake Tapper. If you were hoping for something more substantial to back up his allegations, you - instead - got this doozy of a statement: “They know something on [Donald Trump] … I don’t know what it is, and perhaps I’m wrong, but he did something.”

What?! They know something… I don't know what… maybe I’m wrong… but uh yeah, he totally did something.

This was a total meltdown. In between making wild baseless accusations, Nunberg took personal shots at members of the Trump team, AND voiced his intention to ignore a subpoena from Robert Muller. Now, how does that make sense? If your goal is to hurt Trump and his team, wouldn’t you be all onboard cooperating with the Russia investigation? Of course he would, and the media knows this. They knew exactly what they were doing in putting this guy on the air all day yesterday.

Nunberg had no business being interviewed. His accusations were baseless, he had clear motive to want to hurt Trump - who in his words said “treated me like crap” - , and his wild bravado about defying Muller was obviously meant to grandstand. The media knew this, but they ate it up like a kid eating lucky charms on Saturday morning. They weren't looking to report any news. All they wanted to do was livestream a public meltdown from a guy that used to work for the President.

If Nunberg dodges Muller’s subpoena, throw his butt in jail. And to the media - and I feel like I have to say this every day - I’ve just about had enough of you.

Thad Cochran Will Resign April 1st... No Joke

Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi has announced he is retiring at the end of this month due to health issues. He is 80-years-old and the tenth longest-serving Senator in U.S. history. He has been a Senator since 1978, when he was the first Republican to win a statewide election in Mississippi in over a century.

Cochran’s retirement means both Mississippi Senate seats will now be up for grabs this November. If Cochran had been a strong conservative, his longevity might be a good thing. Unfortunately, he has been a classic, big government, spendthrift Republican instead. And to make it worse, he is Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

For conservative voters interested in replacing establishment Republicans with actual conservatives, a Mississippi state senator named Chris McDaniel provided a spark of hope when he almost beat Cochran in 2014. McDaniel is currently running a primary challenge against the junior Mississippi Republican senator, Roger Wicker (who is another old-school establishment guy). The timing of Cochran’s announcement stinks for McDaniel, and true conservatives, because McDaniel might have a better shot at winning the special election to replace Cochran than he would in unseating Roger Wicker.

By waiting until yesterday to announce his resignation, Cochran basically forced McDaniel to race against Wicker. Still, it’s possible McDaniel could switch races and run for Cochran’s seat.

Now, Republican Mississippi governor, Phil Bryant, has ten days to appoint an interim senator to replace Cochran in April. Conservatives shouldn’t get their hopes up – those close to Governor Bryant are already saying he won’t pick Chris McDaniel to be Cochran’s temporary replacement.

President Trump and Mitch McConnell are encouraging Governor Bryant to appoint himself as the interim senator. They’re paranoid about a race with McDaniel turning out like the Alabama Senate special election last November, in which a reliably Republican senate seat was lost to Democrat Doug Jones.

Then again, Cochran did set his resignation date as April 1st – so maybe he’s just trolling Chris McDaniel for April Fools.

SuperShe Island

How would you like to go on an exclusive wellness retreat off the coast of beautiful Finland?

There is a private island where you can escape your daily worries, the daily grind of life, oh and of course, the male gaze and toxic masculinity.

It’s called “SuperShe Island.”

Owner Kristina Roth has just created the ultimate “female only” island.

Kristina bought the island to offer a safe space for women to network and learn from each other without the critical male eye watching their every move.

She’ll only take 10 applicants at a time. She says she will pick attendees based on their personality—and of course, their reproductive organs.

She says, "The number one thing that's important for me is that you have an amazing personality — like upbeat, cool personality — because you're on an island. That's what's going to make it fun and exciting for everyone."

I don’t think Kristina understands what happens when you put a bunch of girls on an isolated island. I’m going to take a guess that it’s not going to be all sunshine and lollypops.

Incredibly, Kristina’s SuperShe Island is getting bashed for not being truly feminist.

Some are bashing the retreat as “a rich white woman’s island just for rich white women.” What about minorities and trans people?

Kristina responded by claiming, “If you identify as a woman then that’s great. We’re not exclusive.”

So, men technically can apply.

But why would anyone ever want to?

Men and women have coexisted since the beginning of time. Quite frankly, we need to continue if we want the human species to survive. It’s unhealthy, unfair, and dare I say sexist, to promote the idea that men and women should literally isolate themselves from each other.

MORE 3 THINGS

Has anybody else noticed how politicized sports have gotten? The NFL is practically three berets away from a socialist revolution. They seem more concerned with dismantling social norms and protesting than with playing football. The Minnesota Vikings announced yesterday they will host a summit and fundraiser for LGBTQ inclusion in sports.

According to LifeSiteNews, the LGBTQ inclusion summit will "include speeches, interviews, and panel discussions with a variety of athletes, coaches, and activists who are homosexual or transgender" and "will be hosted at the team's recently-completed TCO Performance Center."

The summit marks the latest in the NFL's continued advocacy for LGBTQ rights and initiatives. Last year, the league launched NFL Pride, in a bid to "heighten sensitivity to the LGBTQ community" and reinforce "commitment to an inclusive environment in which all employees are welcome."

RELATED: New NFL policy will punish players who protest the national anthem

Fair enough. No one should be harassed or discriminated against in the workplace, but is that really what this is about? Because it kind of seems like there's more going on here. Kind of seems like there's a political, ideological slant to it. At the very least, it's virtue signaling.

The summit is "part of a settlement agreement the Vikings made after [former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe], who is straight, filed a lawsuit against the team in 2014 for allegedly creating a hostile work environment for homosexual and transgender people."

So, yeah, virtue signaling.

Ultimately, the NFL is a private business and, as we saw with the National Anthem kneelers, they can conduct their business however they like, and in turn the consumers can decide whether or not to keep giving them their money.

Mostly, the situation is just strange. Can you imagine how well this partnership would have gone over in the 1970s? Moreover, at what point does being LGBTQ come up during sports? How have we landed in this strange place, where politics and gender and race must be represented within every single interaction?

It's also worth mentioning that most people don't care if an athlete is gay — with the possible exception of transgender athletes, but that's another topic entirely. This tolerance has actually been confirmed by studies and surveys throughout all kinds of sports, in various countries throughout the world. Even countries with, shall we say, a far less tolerant view of the LGBTQ community than we have here in the USA — even people in those countries believe that it doesn't matter. People watch sports to see athleticism, to enjoy the unpredictable fury of sports at its finest.

People watch sports to see athleticism, to enjoy the unpredictable fury of sports at its finest.

Overwhelmingly, regardless of the sport, people do not care about the athletes' sexuality — in fact, most of us would rather not know. We don't watch golf to muse the social significance of gender norms and sexuality. We don't go to a baseball game to meditate on the evils of the patriarchy and the terrors of cultural appropriation. If an athlete is good, who cares what their orientation is? It's certainly not a new idea that LGBTQ can perform in sports. Typically, what sports fans care about is talent. Is the athlete good?

I guarantee that if Liberace rose from the dead tomorrow morning and was suddenly able to play basketball as well as 90s-era Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls fans would not complain if he joined the team. I think it's fair to say that most people like sports better when they aren't swamped with politics. Keep the politics elsewhere, especially these days, when it's nearly impossible to escape the increasingly intolerant politics of the Left.

Perhaps they could learn a lesson from our friends, the Ancient Greeks. It's no secret that the Ancient Greeks indulged in, well, LGBTQ activities. They were quite fond of the various activities. But they also built a civilization of tremendous importance to humanity as a whole. Philosophy, art and, yes, sports. When they were charged off to war, they didn't slap a Rainbow flag bumper sticker on the back of their chariot. Their sexuality did not define their identity. They were multifaceted human beings, able to go to war or to the theater or to the town hall as a citizen, because citizenry was what mattered, personhood and selfhood. More importantly, they lived in a time when people cared about self and tribe over sexuality and gender. Identity was selfhood, not sexuality.

At the end of the day, who cares if the Minnesota Vikings want to host an LGBTQ event? But they should expect to see an increase in shoulder-padded men traipsing across the stage on Broadway.

UPDATE: Here's how the discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Most people like sports better when politics aren't involved

Breaking down the announcement that the Minnesota Vikings will be hosting a summit and fundraiser for LGBTQ inclusion in sports.


Stop trying to be right and think of the children

Mario Tama/Getty Images

All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.