Cracking Up

GLENN: Glad we can all rally around John McCain. It's great. We've got amnesty right around the corner, we have the closure of Guantanamo Bay, we have less information from terrorists, we have a 50-cent a gallon gas tax coming thanks to McCain/Lieberman, more assaults on the First Amendment, possibly the fairness doctrine although I don't know how we could make a case for the fairness doctrine because the media today is going to start to make the case that Rush Limbaugh and everybody on talk radio's completely irrelevant.

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Here's the real case on talk radio. Our listeners are not zombies. We don't have zombies listening to us. We have thinking individuals. We have smart, educated, wealthy individuals that listen to our programs. Not all of them, but I know because I've seen the stats on the top three, they are wealthy, successful, educated people. Wealthy, successful, educated people generally aren't zombies. So they're not zombies. So why would we need a fairness doctrine? I love this. We're so powerful, we can change everything and that's why they need to shut us down with the fairness doctrine and yet now they will make the case that we're completely irrelevant. Well, let's go with we're completely irrelevant. Let's carry that banner: Talk radio is completely irrelevant because as long as they believe that, there won't be a fairness doctrine.

Now here's might have favorite story of the day. Running as a conservative, John McCain rolled up huge victories last night, New York, New Jersey and beyond. Running as a conservative is what helped him win in New York and New Jersey. Running as a conservative. Because they love them. Let me just say this. Running as a conservative helped him roll up huge victories last night in New York and New Jersey. I've got to tell you if I believe one more conservative on the streets of New York and New Jersey (laughing). Right now you walk up in the street and you see somebody who's -- it happened this morning with me with Pat Buchanan. Pat Buchanan comes into the elevator. I'm in the elevator and Pat's in the elevator and I look at him. I'm like, Pat (crying), the conservative. We hugged each other for a while. "I feel so alone (crying)." There are no conservatives in Manhattan! They've all been locked away. They have all gone insane. All the conservatives are rocking back and forth some place in Bellevue going, I just don't get it, I just don't understand it. And New Jersey? That's how John McCain won big in New Jersey because of the conservative stance he took?

Now, here's the best part of the story. Running as a conservative, John McCain rolled up huge victories last night in New York, New Jersey and beyond but if history is any guide, the McCain that we've seen of late on the campaign trail is the most conservative John McCain we will see. He's taken a commanding lead now in the GOP primary and packaging himself as a true conservative committed to limited government to slash federal spending and avowed conservative Supreme Court justices. His claim, he claims the mantle of Ronald Reagan, even claims the mantle of Barry Goldwater, conservatives' crash version of Reagan. But as McCain clinches the GOP nomination, he will now begin his leftward lurch.

So John McCain now is going to go left. Oh. Who would have seen that coming? How far left is he going to go? I think he's already there. Quote, quote: Stu, who was the flip-flopper?

STU: Well, Glenn, I've learned, if I've learned one thing from political advertising, it's that Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper.

GLENN: Yeah. John McCain's not a flip-flopper, right?

STU: No. Straight Talk Express.

GLENN: Stu.

STU: Yes?

GLENN: I don't think I can do this job anymore (crying). I don't. I don't think I can do this job anymore. I really done.

STU: We need to get Pat Gray on the phone, see if he feels like maybe doing an hour and a half or so today.

GLENN: I just don't know how to do it anymore without going insane.

STU: You need to stop letting it bother you.

GLENN: It's not bothering me.



STU: It is bothering you. It's driving you insane.

GLENN: It's not bothering me. I don't know how to make sense of it anymore. This is my job. My job is to try to make sense of stuff. I can't make sense of this.

STU: Who told you that it makes sense? What person came to you and said this world makes sense? That person doesn't make sense.

GLENN: Listen to this. Listen to this next sentence: John McCain will now return to his lifelong positions as soft on illegal immigration, skeptical of tax cuts and favoring strong federal control over things like campaign financing.

STU: Well, Glenn, I mean, think about it.

GLENN: I need a psychiatrist on the phone.

STU: I think --

GLENN: I need a psychiatrist on the phone right now. I need a psychiatrist. Clear the phones.

STU: Clear some phones and just --

GLENN: I need an actual board certified --

STU: I love this idea.

GLENN: There's not been any kind of, you know, real bad lawsuits in your career.

STU: We can tell you over --

GLENN: You don't work out of the basement of your house.

STU: That's probably fine even.

GLENN: No.

STU: We tell you over and over again that you're crazy but you need to hear it from a professional.

GLENN: This is media. This is the media. What has the media been telling us? "Oh, no, he's a real conservative. Oh, no, no, he's not a flip-flopper, no." Now they are saying this whole sham that he put up as a conservative, now he's going to shed it. He's going to dart left and he's going to go back to his lifelong positions, the ones that we've been trying to point out have been lifelong... which one of us is insane?! I want to know.

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.

The social power of 'Reddit' is helping teens of anti-vaxxers get vaccinated

Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Reddit certainly earns its motto as "the front page of the internet," with roughly 540 million visitors monthly, the third most-visited website in the U.S., sixth worldwide. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Reddit is a largely anonymous platform. People's faces are masked, their names are disguised. Which makes their hidden humanity all the more impactful.

On Reddit, both news and serious information are threaded in among gifs of cats and posts about Call of Duty, but that doesn't make it any less important. For many people, Reddit signifies the town hall where news is passed along or stomped into obscurity.

It gives you a healthy read of our society as a whole.

RELATED: Forget Rabies, 'Woke' Hipsters in Brooklyn Skipping Vaccines to Prevent 'Dogtism'

A recent Pew Poll found that Reddit leans left politically at a rate higher than the general public. Most users are young men, whose extensive internet use gives them a gatekeeping authority over what information should be considered important. From there, it spreads through the rest of the internet and helps shape public opinion.

So, it makes a lot of sense that Reddit has become a sort of makeshift safe place for children who grew up with parents who refused to give them vaccinations. Of course, Reddit also vehemently mocks the anti-vaccination folks, for better or for worse, often the latter, but that's a subject for another day.

The Daily Dot recently published an article on this strange intersection of ideology and nerd culture. "Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice."

The article follows Ethan, whose parents are staunchly against vaccinations:

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn't sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?" Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December. Ethan's post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice. "Good on you for getting your vaccinations," one user responded. "It's never too late and you're not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can't get vaccinated.

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn't cover the shots. "People were really supportive, and that was really cool," he said. "I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about." Ethan is not alone. "More and more teens are turning to places like Reddit to seek out information on where and how to get vaccinated, and if it's too late."

Whatever your opinion on vaccinations, there's a positive message to all of this. A human message. Hopeful. Proof that, in an increasingly caustic world, people can turn to one another in times of need.

Whatever your opinion on vaccinations, there's a positive message to all of this. A human message. Hopeful.

Now more than ever, that is crucial.

Given the social power of Reddit, it is often characterized as a tool for politicians or political movements. Throughout the forum, various political ideologies gather and organize like factions in some ideological war. A political thread on Reddit is like a Facebook comment section at its most hostile, arrogant or confident, but with no identities attached to the attacks, rants or opinions. When you find yourself riled into a debate, it's easy to wonder who's behind the replies, especially the more vicious ones.

People often characterize it as a hive-mind message board full of circlejerk memes and jokes about SpongeBob. This description isn't entirely wrong, but it is shallow and incomplete. At its core, Reddit is humane. Its users, for the most part, are compassionate. If it were an experiment on human nature, the results would be gratifying.