Nanny State


Nanny State by David Harsanyi

GLENN: All right, you sick twisted freaks. It is Friday and you want to see the future. You want to really see what's coming and it's with all of them now. John McCain has got the nomination. So it's between now -- I know, not technically. You know, I was thinking about rooting for Mike Huckabee just to prove how powerful talk radio is. You know what I mean? Just throw all of our support behind Mike Huckabee, that way everybody could say, look how worthless they really are, just for laughs.

Anyway, so you have John McCain that's going to be the nominee, you have Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and they are all taking us the same way. They are all going to take us, especially on global warming. David Harsanyi is here. He's the author of the book Nanny State. He writes for the Weekly Standard and National Review, he's got a great article in Fusion magazine that you can get if you go to GlennBeck.com.

David, I never, ever would have thought that the Government would say you can't have this kind of food, or, McDonald's, you must not use these ingredients, you know, unless they are like, we want our special sauce with Ajax, you know, unless it was poison. What are the things on the horizon that you see? What's next?

HARSANYI: Well, I'm not sure if you heard in Mississippi the other day there were some legislators who wanted to pass a bill that restaurants would have to deny obese people entrance to eat food there. That didn't pass, but it always starts that way. It always starts with throwing something out there and then seeing, you know, what's going on. And in ten years it will be law.

GLENN: I mean, I'm just trying to think. I mean, what kind of -- you want to talk about a bouncer that better be able to hold his own weight, so to speak. I mean, it's not like a Wal-Mart where you're going to say, sorry, you can't come in, fatty. I mean, who is going to say, who is going to stand there and -- do you walk on a scale? How would that even have worked? "I'm sorry, you're too fat to have that sandwich."

HARSANYI: I was wondering. What if the guy's trying to get in to eat a salad or something? Maybe he is trying to do the right thing. Maybe there's unhealthier food at home and he is trying to do the right thing? It's just ridiculous and that's how most nanny laws are. They don't make sense. They are counterproductive. Like I mentioned, Twinkie taxes. But the smoking, I think they should just ban smoking because that's where we're headed anyway and the difference is with prohibition you can repeal that in one shot. Here you have a million little laws. So it's going to be very difficult to ever come back from this stuff.

GLENN: Here's what kills me. They say smoking is bad and so what they want to do is they want to raise all the taxes to penalize people to stop smoking. They are doing it in New York City and it's working. However they are using this tax to fund all of these new healthcare programs for children, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, has anybody thought this through, that if your tax works, you can no longer fund the children's healthcare program!

HARSANYI: Not just that. I mean, in New York they have already created undergrounds where cigarettes are sold on the Internet and elsewhere in black markets because that's what happens when you make something cost prohibitive in price and people can't buy it. But I think that you're right. I mean, it doesn't make any sense. We're helping kids with tobacco taxes all the time. What does that tell them?

GLENN: This is crazy.

HARSANYI: We're going to need to keep people smoking if --

GLENN: That's what it's going to be. It's like, "Daddy's only smoking because I love ya." It's insanity.

HARSANYI: Well, you know, that's for 35-year-olds --

GLENN: I know, I know.

HARSANYI: That's where we're headed.

GLENN: David, any one of the three candidates worse than the others? If you had to rank them?

HARSANYI: I'll tell you one thing. Huckabee is my least favorite only because he was a terrible nannyist in Arkansas, but --

GLENN: Really?

HARSANYI: Yeah, because he lost like 200 pounds and he decided everyone else should lose 200 pounds as well. He started rating restaurants for health and stuff like that. And he also, he was for a national smoking ban. That's what he said initially. I don't know. I think he's changed his tune on that, but they are all terrible. I don't know what to tell you. It's very, it's disconcerting that we can't come up with better people to lead this country.

GLENN: We can but for some reason they just never win. The name of the book is Nanny State. David Harsanyi, he has already written in the March issue of Fusion magazine. He talks about our coming nanny state. Don't miss it. You can grab that at GlennBeck.com where you can find his book, Nanny State. David, thanks a lot.

HARSANYI: Anytime. Thanks.

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?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

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

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

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

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

RELATED: Want to cure millennials' financial woes? Reform the payroll tax.

That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.