TSA saga: What's wrong with this story?



Czar-At-Large Brian Sack takes a look at the new TSA guidelines. Czar-At-Large is a weekly production made exclusively for the Insider Extreme. Not an Extreme member? Learn more...


GLENN: I'm glad to see that Obama did not divert Air Force One to see Chavez on his way home.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: I wonder if he got the pat-down. I don't think he --

PAT: I don't think so.

GLENN: I don't think he did. I don't think he did. He knows that it's an inconvenience -- 276. He knows that it's an inconvenience for --

PAT: All of us.

GLENN: Us. Not him.

PAT: For all of us.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You with respect to the TSA.

GLENN: Mmm-hmmm, mmm-hmmm.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me first of all make a confession. I don't go through security checks to get on planes these days. So I haven't personally experienced some of the procedures that have been put in place by TSA.

GLENN: I don't think that's a confession.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created --

GLENN: Yes.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: -- a whole security apparatus around us.

GLENN: Yes.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: -- that causes huge inconvenience --

GLENN: That he has to do.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: -- for all of us.

GLENN: For all of us.

PAT: For all Of us.

GLENN: Well, not for him.

PAT: Well, not for him.

GLENN: Not for him, and let's be fair. Not for John Boehner, either. Did you know that?

PAT: No.

GLENN: Yeah, John Boehner doesn't have to go through this, either.

PAT: Why?

GLENN: Because, and I'm quoting, the speaker of the House is not considered a threat. Did you meet our last speaker of the House?

STU: I would say that there are security, actual terrorists that have higher approval ratings than congress. So I would say it's possible.

GLENN: I would say yes. I mean, I think a locality of people would consider congress a terrorist. I think John Boehner should go through. I think everyone should have to go through this. You're an American citizen, aren't you?

PAT: They should not get special treatment.

GLENN: They should not get special treatment.

PAT: But they do.

GLENN: Well, I mean, I don't mind the president not getting it because it's his plane.

STU: Right. And Boehner, you know, can fly privately as well. He has the right to do that when he takes over, but he's not, right?

GLENN: Correct.

PAT: He says he's not.

GLENN: Everyone should, everyone in congress -- you don't get a special pass. If you are -- you know, that's the problem with healthcare. You know why they don't care about healthcare? Because they don't have to live by it. Everything they do they should have to live by, period.

PAT: I thought it was interesting what Hillary said, too.

GLENN: Oh, yeah, I love the Hillary quote. Listen to this.

VOICE: Final question, my time is up. But would you submit to one of these pat-downs?

HILLARY CLINTON: Not if I -- not if I could avoid it, no. I mean, who would?

GLENN: (Laughing).

PAT: (Laughing).

GLENN: Oh, man.

PAT: Oh, man.

GLENN: She is so great.

PAT: Oh, that's great.

GLENN: No, I mean, not if I have to, and I don't have to.

PAT: Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something. I avoided patting her down at all costs as well.

GLENN: (Laughing).

PAT: (Laughing).

GLENN: Oh, man.

PAT: You don't know how hard that was. (Laughing).

GLENN: (Laughing). Lucy! Oh, man. The worst.

PAT: Ah.

GLENN: The worst.

PAT: The elitism. Of course, none of them have to do it.

STU: Well, no one has to do it. I mean --

PAT: You really do. You really do.

STU: You don't have to do it.

PAT: You really do.

GLENN: You have to go through the scanner, yeah.

STU: Right. She said the pat-down. So she is saying if she could avoid it, she would go through the scanner I think was the --

GLENN: Well, would she go through the scanner?

STU: Well, no one asked her that but that's an interesting followup.

GLENN: Here's the thing. Here's the thing. Let's look at a couple of examples. Did you hear about the guy who, I guess is no longer a guy and now is a woman? Or was a woman and is a guy? I don't know how it worked, but somebody went through one of the scanners and apparently all the people, you know, looking at the scan, all the TSA people were laughing at him or her, whichever.

PAT: I didn't hear about that.

GLENN: Yeah, happened this weekend. I mean, how do you, how do you think he feels?

STU: I mean, I don't -- is that in the TSA policy or is that just some of the --

GLENN: No, no.

STU: -- employees acting like they do in every profession when they see something they don't like? Unprofessional, but --

GLENN: It's very, very good.

STU: I didn't say it was good. I just said it happens in every line of work with every person and every employee.

PAT: The guy with bladder cancer.

GLENN: How about the guy with bladder cancer that wet himself and left in tears because of this, okay? How about the --

STU: That was very sad. I mean --

GLENN: At least I can give stories, you know, they are not like, "You know, let me tell you something in this nation about our doctors that are cutting feet off of patients." I mean, these are actually happening.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: These are --

STU: Examples?

GLENN: These are happening.

STU: Yeah. The question, though, is more, is it systemic, is it happening all the time

GLENN: No.

STU: There are anecdotal stories.

GLENN: No, it's not happening all the time. But I mean, when's the last time we made somebody wet themselves? Let me ask you this: When's the assist time we made a terrorist wet themselves?

STU: Yeah. Well --

PAT: Probably never.

STU: That's true.

GLENN: Well, no. No, no. I think we have.

PAT: Maybe a few times. Maybe a few times.

GLENN: I think we have. I think we have. Oh, let's relish that for a minute. Okay, now back to the real world. I mean, we're making American citizens wet themselves.

PAT: Then there's that weird story with the little boy who's got a shirt off and they are patting him down.

GLENN: Something's wrong with this story.

PAT: There's something weird about that, but -- because you don't know the story behind it.

GLENN: Well, here's the thing about this TSA thing. There's something wrong here. I don't know what it is. Is anybody with me on this? There's something wrong.

STU: I'm definitely with you on this.

PAT: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: NBC is reporting this story as if Obama were a Republican.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: It's everywhere on NBC. The latest poll shows 81% don't really care. That's a problem. That's a problem.

PAT: I find that hard to believe. If you've ever flown and you have to go through one or the other, uh, it's going to be a problem for most Americans, I would think. I mean, even you have a problem with it, Stu, and you usually don't have a problem with this kind of stuff, right?

GLENN: No, he's going to go through -- no, he's going to go through the scanner.

PAT: But you still have a problem with the scanner, right? I mean, you're not excited about being --

STU: I'm not excited about it.

GLENN: Are you fine with your -- you're fine with your wife --

PAT: Being exposed like that.

GLENN: -- being exposed. Now, remember the things that you are seeing -- according to Jason Chaffetz, he says that this is not -- what you are seeing is not real. He's seen the -- he's seen the actual classified photos. Because it's all classified because they are -- you know, they're citizens.

PAT: Yes.

GLENN: So he's seen the classified photos. He says it's absolute pornography. He said you can see absolutely everything. And they can save it and they can send it from the machine.

PAT: Didn't he say you could see the sweat on their back?

GLENN: Oh, yeah. He said it is so crystal clear, if somebody's sweating, you can see the sweat come down their back.

STU: And I know, and he's very against it. I haven't seen the photos. It's hard to judge from that perspective.

GLENN: Just take him at his word. I mean, he is an honest guy.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: If that is the way it is, you're fine with your wife getting something like that?

STU: It doesn't seem like something I'd like. I mean, you know, I -- no, I'm not fine with it. Also --

GLENN: If you think Facebook is a problem. Try my wife. Try my wife. Try me. Glenn Beck going through one of those scanners. Do you think my photo is going to be deleted?

STU: Right, exactly.

GLENN: Do you think my wife's photo is going to be deleted?

PAT: Nope.

GLENN: Nope. Do you think my children's photos are going to be deleted?

PAT: Nope.

GLENN: Nope.

STU: Look, no one wants to deal with it but I mean, the question, of course, was on the pictures that we have seen for these people and the question was, do you want this added level security and it was 81-15. I think there's a problem with the poll because, you know, you're talking about --

GLENN: It's a false choice.

STU: It's out of context and it's sort of --

GLENN: It's a false choice. Do you want added security? Yes.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: Yes,

PAT: I think that's how most people --

GLENN: I want to be the safest they can be on a plane.

PAT: Everybody wants smart security, though. They keep talking about this Smart Grid. Let's have some smart security, can't we? One day in this, in America? Wouldn't it be nice?

GLENN: No, I don't think we're going to get that, no.

PAT: We're not going to get it.

GLENN: No.

PAT: We're not going to get it.

STU: But you're right, Glenn, I think there is something weird going on with the story. NBC's reporting it like crazy. You know, it's odd the way it's being reported. Then there's example after example after example of these stories that we documented on the blaze of stories that came up that were not true or were old.

PAT: Which was weird.

STU: Or were completely out of context, which is really weird in the reporting of it.

GLENN: There are news sources that I trust. There are news sources that I trust that I don't trust on this story.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: I have read stories on credible websites that you look at them and you say, wait, why are they linking here? What is that? Why -- this story is, this is three years old.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: And no reference to this is a three--year-old part of this story that doesn't -- it doesn't make any sense.

PAT: Yeah --

GLENN: It doesn't make any sense. If you want to show these videos and say here's a child that was in line and they're crying and, you know, so you know, this is a 4-year-old videotape. It's still relevant because it shows that this was happening and this is happening.

STU: And it's only getting tougher as far as screening.

GLENN: Yeah, it's only getting tougher and it's only getting worse, but you identify that. And these websites are not doing that and I don't understand. There's something wrong.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: Something wrong here.

STU: Yeah. I can't tell if it's just, you know, this desire to come up with a new story because everyone's bored of talking about the old ones.

GLENN: No.

STU: Because there are really important things going on and we keep talking about, you know, a small percentage of travelers who are a small percentage of Americans in airport. I mean, it just seems bizarre.



TheBlaze: New ‘Fig Leaf’ Underwear Hides Your Nether Regions From TSA Machines


GLENN: Right now you have the scanner-proof underwear that you can see at TheBlaze.com that has the fig leaf over all of the strategic points. I don't want pictures of me in the fig leaf underwear, either.

STU: That's capitalism winning again right there, though.

GLENN: It is. It is. May I give you my theory real quick on what this could possibly be? The left is wanting a fight but so does the -- the uber left wants a fight. Not the average citizen. Not the, you know, the Democrat, the average Democrat that hasn't woken up yet and doesn't understand that the Democrats are over. It is the Democratic Socialists of America now. So the average Democrat doesn't want to fight, but the socialist and the Marxists and the revolutionaries, they do. And so they want to ramp this up. So I would understand how you can ramp that up because you want the government -- remember, who's -- gosh, whose plan was it? I can't -- was it Saul Alinsky, was it Soros? Whose was it? It was Soros' plan, I think it was, that, you know, wants the disconnect and the distrust of government. Well, this makes you do it. But also the uber right wants it as well. The anarchists, the ones who want to reset everything. So you have to be very careful because those of us who are in the middle -- and what I mean is those of us who do not want to see the destruction of the United States would like to find a way to ease it back into the right place, we're not -- I don't think we're being represented in this story. And that's just a theory. I could be wrong on that, but there are too many websites on the right that are getting this story radically, radically wrong. And I just don't believe they're all, what, they're all taking drugs? They're all drunk? They're all, "This is okay, just run this story." It doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense. So watch yourself on this 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."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.