Bachmann's plea


Congressman Michele Bachmann

PAT: All right. Let's go to Michele Bachmann. Michele, welcome to the Glenn Beck program with Pat Gray and Stu.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Good morning. How are you, Glenn?

PAT: Good morning. We're doing well. Glenn's not doing well. He's not here.

STU: Yeah, congresswoman, he got sick.

PAT: Sick.

STU: And he went home. I think it's because he doesn't have universal healthcare and that's the problem with him. So he's home with his belly hurt.

PAT: Fortunately what you are trying to get the message out for is that there's a really good chance we're all going to have great coverage for free! Right?

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: It's amazing. They have invented a new chocolate cake with no calories. That's kind of the comparison.

PAT: I love that. So now tomorrow, I'm getting the sense, I'm starting to hear pretty good rumblings that there's going to be a lot of people in Washington D.C. tomorrow on the steps of the capitol with you.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Well, we hope so. This is really the eleventh hour when we're calling people to come to D.C. It's not inevitable that Speaker Pelosi's healthcare government takeover is going to pass. And that's why the number one thing people can do is actually come, see their member of congress, look at them in the eyes, especially with other freedom fighters in tow and let them know that the lessons of honor they should not forget at their peril. Take a look at the elections last night. Take a look at the tea parties and town halls. Speaker Pelosi called those Astroturf, that they were just made up. We know differently. We know people really do believe and embrace in the Constitution and the Declaration. They really do love this country. They love free markets, and they don't want government to have cradle to grave control over their healthcare. So to fight that we're inviting people from all over the United States to take their stand. This is a meet up at the steps of the United States Capitol. It's the west steps. They face the Washington Monument. We're asking people to come be here at noon. Arrive early. We're going to have Jon Voight speaking, also Mark Levin will be speaking. Many others will be up on the platforms and what we're going to do, it's not a rally. It's a press conference and then after that we're unleashing everybody to go and find their members of congress in the Rayburn, Cannon, Longworth buildings. There will be information people can take so they can find their congressmen and go into the capitol. Don't bring your pitchforks. Bring your video cameras. Get these members of congress on camera. Ask them what are you going to do about voting on healthcare, keep your hands up on healthcare. And then post those YouTubes on video. I think about all you need to know about how bad this bill is is that members of congress have exempted themselves from it. It's good enough for you, not good enough for them, and they are only giving you 72 hours to read it. So they obviously are embarrassed of their own bill.

STU: This all seems like a lot of work. I mean, I'm kind of lazy and I feel like this sort of thing, does this actually make a difference to someone in congress?

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: Well, the sad fact is that, you know, keep phoning and keep e mailing and keep visiting their district offices. But it's like these people are tone deaf. They really don't believe it. What they do believe is the sight of a freedom loving American. That scares them more than anything. Take a look at the town halls. Some of them were so afraid, they had to bring police in, they turned people away, they had in one place they had thugs brought in. I mean, they were afraid of normal freedom loving Americans. And I think what we need to do is bring those freedom loving Americans, bring the town halls, bring the tea parties here to Washington to the steps of the U.S. capitol and make our voices heard and then actually go find the members of congress. It was great to have the tea party here on 9/12. It was a beautiful sight. The problem is most members of congress weren't here. And it was a great effort that got attention but now Speaker Pelosi has put the hammer down. She's saying, this is it, you are voting for this thing. But I think the better voice and the louder voice is that of the American people. There is no better voice than the American people. And I think it would be very hard for Democrats to say no to real people who show up at their door.

PAT: Michelle, thanks

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: This is just

PAT: You are breaking up a little bit. But thank you for what you are doing now. Thank you for taking a stand. Thank you for asking the American people to show up and take this step because, you know, I've been hearing the last couple of days, "Well, it doesn't matter. They don't listen." Well, I guarantee you if you don't show up, if you don't do this, then you certainly won't have any impact.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: And this will

PAT: It's really our last chance, is it Mott?

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: It is the last chance because we will vote on it or Friday on Saturday.

PAT: All right.

CONGRESSWOMAN BACHMANN: There's no question. So it is 11:59. But this is what will be able to kill it. And you can say to your children you were there on that historic day and you made it happen. And if people can't come, go to the district office of your member of congress and senator and call them. At least do that. But please come here if you possibly can. It's a huge ask. It's a huge sacrifice. But remember, the sacrifice that was made for us 233 years ago is incomparable to what we're asking people to do now to be able to transfer freedom to the next generation.

PAT: We're saving the republic. Congressman Michele Bachmann, thanks.

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.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?