Jim Geraghty from National Review

GLENN: Oh, yeah. Hello and welcome to the -- I'm glad you're here. We have Jim Geraghty on from National Review. Hello, Jim, how are you?

GERAGHTY: Hello, Glenn, how are you?

GLENN: Very good. How surprised were you at the results last night?

GERAGHTY: On the Republican side more or less in line with what I expected.

GLENN: Sure.

GERAGHTY: But on Democratic side, boy, oh, boy. You know, not only did every single poll have Obama up, the range was from 5 to, like, 13. And the other bizarre thing was that all of the anecdotal evidence was pointing at Obama, too. There were huge crowds, there were reports of dissent in Hillary Clinton's campaign, Bill Clinton was whining on the campaign trail and little did we know that the crying worked.



National Review Online’s Jim Geraghty, who writes the TKS blog on National Review Online


GLENN: Well, isn't that amazing to you? So okay. So Jim, let me just be a really -- let me be a bad human being here for a second and you can claim you weren't a bad human being and you probably weren't. But when I first saw it, my first thought -- and this is why I think we need to get out of the Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton cycle because we just don't believe the best of each other anymore. My first thought was how did they rig that because it was so far out of line with all of the evidence of what was coming. And I'm not saying that they did rig it. I don't believe that. But that was my first gut reaction. What really did happen?

GERAGHTY: That is a million dollar question today, Glenn, and I've got to tell you I was hearing conspiracy theories from people who don't usually traffic in conspiracy theories. Unfortunately you'd have to believe that, you know, the swath of the New Hampshire, you know, Secretary of State's office, et cetera, were all in on this and --

GLENN: Hang on just a second. Let me ask you this. I don't want to go too far down this road but let me ask you. Were there a lot of Chinese food delivery people voting in New Hampshire?

GERAGHTY: (Laughing.) You know, I've got to check with my source, Norman Shu right now.

GLENN: All right. Call Wong Fo and find out if there was a lot of Chinese delivery at the voting polls last night.

GERAGHTY: Bizarre, and I'm sure every pollster in the State is looking over it and trying to figure out what they did and stuff like that. I think the answer if you really look over these numbers is going to be that the Clintons had a really, really good turnout effort and Barack Obama, now they are going to say, well, you know, maybe they were a little overconfident, maybe -- because they had a good turnout effort in Iowa maybe, you know, everybody assumed they had just as good a machine in New Hampshire and maybe that just wasn't the case. Yeah, I think maybe we're underestimating here is that very, very rarely do you have the same kind of win New Hampshire and Iowa. There's kind of a contrarian state that runs through the Granite State and I think they decided we don't want this race to be over, we don't want Barack Obama, so we'll just keep this race going for Hillary.

GLENN: I will tell you, too, that there's -- I think that, I mean, thinking people, -- well, then again maybe not. I mean, what are your options. I was going to say thinking people, if you don't like Hillary Clinton, you look at the other candidates. John Edwards, I mean, why not just wear the little red star. The guy is turning into a frickin' communist. Am I wrong? I mean, he's --

GERAGHTY: I think of him as a wholly owned subsidiary of the AFL-CIO and various other unions.

GLENN: Okay, same difference. I mean, you've got this workers, you know, party kind of mentality that he's going for. Barack Obama is just, he is a vessel. You know who I think Barack Obama is? He is -- you know how -- remember in the 2004 election how the unnamed Democratic candidate was beating George Bush but then as soon as they said, yep, there's the candidate, it's John Kerry, it fell apart? Barack Obama is this -- is almost the unnamed candidate. You like the idea, I think he's got a lot in common with Ronald Reagan not in ideology but in hope and "We can be better than this" and people want that. But then when they really start to look at his experience and some of his policies, is there a possibility that that's what happened?

GERAGHTY: No, I think you hit the nail on the head is that if you listen to a Barack Obama speech, if you are a conservative like I am, there's not a heck of a lot that you disagree with when he talks about telling people, you know, to have the audacity of hope and dreaming and optimism and, you know, our best days are ahead of us. Look, that's all great stuff. It's only when you look down into his record and you look at the policy he's recommending and you realize -- I think my favorite one was that in this Illinois state legislature he preserved the right of burglars to sue someone who shoots them as they break into a person's house. It's a law regarding the Castle doctrine and firearms ownership and Barack Obama felt it was very important if you break into someone's house and they shoot you that you have a right to sue them. This guy, not as moderate as his rhetoric.

GLENN: I just say I have the audacity to happy that I can shoot a burglar when they come into my house.

GERAGHTY: There you go. I hope you have the audacity to shoot (inaudible).

GLENN: I hope you recover but if you don't, oh, how audacious of me to shoot you in the head.

GERAGHTY: Well, maybe you ought to finish him off just to make sure he doesn't sue. But yes. It's one of those things where -- notice he is not campaigning on that. He is not, you know, campaigning on policy.

GLENN: He is not really campaigning on anything. He's campaigning on hope.

GERAGHTY: Yeah and, you know, this vague sense of change. I think what we've seen this last couple of days is that every single person is not just a person who wants to bring change. They are a full-fledged agent of change. Apparently some of these people were undercover but they were secret agents of change and you get the feeling the way they talk about it, you are waiting for change to be some sort of acronym for some Smurf-like organization with (inaudible) calling the shots.

GLENN: I have to tell you not all change is good, man. Ship travel was pretty good and then somebody said, hey, let's launch the Hindenburg. Not necessarily good every step of the way.

All right, we've got a couple of minutes. Let's talk about John McCain. I saw the exit numbers on John McCain and it shows that people who are voting for him are voting because of the Iraq war. How is it you can forget about McCain/Feingold, McCain/Kennedy, McCain/Lieberman, McCain everything?

GERAGHTY: They really thoroughly question -- I'll share with you, Glenn, the most bizarre statistic I've heard and I just saw this on CNN's website. Among Republicans who describe themselves as against the war, John McCain beat Ron Paul. Now, Ron Paul is outright against the war and wants to bring took place home immediately. John McCain is the architect of the surge and perhaps one of the most pro war, strongest supporter of U.S. efforts over in Iraq and --

GLENN: But see, you know what, that makes sense to me, Jim, because I don't think Americans, I don't think conservative Americans -- and I would put a lot of Ron Paul supporters into this, that they are the uber libertarian kind of conservative American that's tired of the bullcrap. They are not necessarily against the war. They are against losing a war. They are against not fighting to win. That's the only thing John McCain and I have in common and that is the guy says let's go -- if we're going to do it, let's go and kick their ass.

GERAGHTY: That's true. As I look at this, I'm noticing the question, do you disapprove of the war and I suppose some people could interpret of disapproving of the way the war's being fought. So maybe that's -- maybe it's a different interpretation there. But you are right. I think, you know, clearly the war was a central point of McCain's candidacy and part of his appeal in New Hampshire. I was fascinated. Last night I was watching his, I say concession speech. It was his victory speech and he had -- I caught the end of it and I caught the end. It was about the war on terror and it was completely nonpolitical. It was entirely about we are going to --

GLENN: 15 seconds. 15 seconds.

GERAGHTY: Sure. I thought it was brilliant. Half my readers agreed with me, half my readers thought it was absolutely terrible and one person described him as Nyquil in a suit.

GLENN: Jim Geraghty.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?