The Oval: Churchill's Bust

Good afternoon.

When there is a change in leadership in this nation…

On January 20, one president moves out of here.

And a new president moves in.

In between, there are a few hours.

And during those few hours,

A crew comes into this office.

And they do the fastest room makeover you’ve ever seen.

Some things stay.

This desk, the Resolute.

It stays.

But everything else turns over.

They put in a new carpet.

The new president chooses the style.

Light blue or dark… or goldenrod yellow?

They paint the walls a new color.

Cream or eggshell or taupe?

The new president chooses that, too.

They put in whatever the new president wants.

New art.

New curtains.

New photos.

New furniture.

They also move out some things.

Whatever the new president DOESN’T want.

When Bush worked in this space, he liked western art.

Obama had his own preferences.

So when Obama came in, the western art… it was taken off the walls.

Look, that’s the way it goes.

New presidents have the right to choose their art. That’s fine.

But not everything in this office is art.

Some of what you see in the Oval Office…

Reflects more than the artistic tastes of the president.

Some of it reflects the world view of the president.

Take this piece right here. [Bust of Churchill]

A bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

One of America’s greatest friends ever.

Churchill was Great Britain’s leader during World War II.

He saw that war coming.

He warned against appeasement of Hitler.

And when war came, he appealed to America…

To support Great Britain in that great struggle.

In 1941, Great Britain was alone in the war.

America was still neutral…

While Germany’s planes routinely bombarded London at night.

Churchill wrote to President Roosevelt:

“Put your confidence in us.

Give us your faith and your blessing.

And under Providence, all will be well.

We shall not fail nor falter.

We shall not weaken or tire.

Neither sudden shock of battle

Nor the long drawn trials of vigilance

Will wear us down

Give us the tools and we will finish the job!”

Churchill was supremely confident in America.

More confident in America than America was in herself.

Churchill’s mother was an American.

He had visited it…

Gotten to know its people…

And he understood America.

He believed in America.

He knew that America would have to enter the war…

To preserve freedom.

Because he believed that America was a great nation…

…Ready to take its role in the world.

He was like our British uncle.

Caring. Familiar.

But stern.

And he was a lone voice against weakness.

Against timidity.

Against surrender.

After the war, after victory,

He warned us not to let down our guard.

He gave the “Iron Curtain” speech…

And described the Soviet domination over half of Europe…

…and the moral evil of Communism taking root everywhere.

And his voice…

Like a warning uncle…

Was the voice we needed.

In war… as in peace.

So, after 9/11,

Great Britain’s Ambassador to the United States,

Acting at the request of Prime Minister Tony Blair,

Gave this bust to President Bush…

Not as a gift. But as a loan.

A permanent loan, if we would have it.

A loan as long as we needed it…

A loan as long as was necessary…

To inspire the occupant of this office.

To give him strength.

To ward off weakness.

To remind him, that Britain was always an ally.

And a special friend.

But on January 20, 2009, President Bush left.

President Obama moved in.

And shortly thereafter, the British Ambassador was told:

“We don’t need your Churchill anymore.”

“We’re giving it back…. Here…. Take it.”

The British got the message.

Whatever the lessons of Churchill…

Whatever he said to inspire America…

In war…

In difficult times…

In courageous defiance of aggression.

All that was done.

In the past.

And over.

America, our new president, might say…

Was ready to move forward.

Not restricted by its past promises…

Nor even by its founding documents.

Or its longest alliances.

I wonder what Uncle Winston might have said…

About this.

About being kicked out of the Oval Office.

Perhaps he would have seen it as inevitable.

Churchill was a realist, after all.

He understood human nature.

America, like all free nations,

Goes through periods of vigilance…

Followed by periods of weakness.

Certainty of purpose…

Followed by periods of confusion.

I suppose he would recognize what kind of period we’re in now.

I suppose he would have been resigned to his fate.

“I am just artwork,” he might say.

“Just a chiseled piece of marble…

“And in stony silence, I can do nothing…

“Say nothing.

“My power depends on the living.

“And if they need me,

“If they want me,

“I’ll be there.

“But if they don’t…

“It matters not…

“Whether I sit on the shelves of the powerful.

“Or on a dusty box in an ambassador’s library.”

And I think Uncle Winston is correct.

It matters little who sits over here (gesture to the shelf).

What matters …

Is who sits over there (gesture to chair).

Our leaders have a right to find inspiration…

…Wherever they find it.

In history.

Or somewhere else.

But where they find that inspiration…

Tells us who they are.

What they like.

And what they believe.

A president who values the example of Winston Churchill…

Who values having him in this office…

Is someone who understands history.

Understands what Great Britain means for America.

And what American means for Great Britain.

Someone who looks to Uncle Winston…

Values above all…

Those immortal words of his:

We shall defend our island,

Whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on the beaches,

We shall fight on the landing grounds,

We shall fight in the fields

And in the streets,

We shall fight in the hills.

We shall never surrender.

Of course, to be inspired by these words…

Means you must believe them true today.

Are we under attack?

Is our nation at risk?

Do enemies threaten us in our homes and our streets?

If you don’t think so,

Then the words of Churchill mean nothing to you.

Perhaps our current president thinks…

That the words of Churchill belong to history.

And are no longer relevant.

But just watch.

History has a way of waking us up.

America is like Great Britain in the 1930s.

Powerful.

But asleep.

And the threats are building.

So perhaps the current president thinks America is done with Winston Churchill.

But Winston Churchill is not done with America.

And we’ll need him again soon.

Thanks for watching.

May God bless you, and may God bless this republic.

He was not a man who suffered fools…

And he had a long memory for his enemies.

He had a tenacious loyalty to the truth…

And an unyielding faith in the tide of history.

He believed that freedom was the desire of all mankind.

But that freedom would have to be defended in every generation.

He committed to defend the freedom of the British Empire…

And against the threats of fascism…and communism.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

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The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

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On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.

President Donald Trump has done a remarkable job of keeping his campaign promises so far. From pulling the US from the Iran Deal and Paris Climate Accord to moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the president has followed through on his campaign trail vows.

RELATED: The media's derangement over Trump has me wearing a new hat and predicting THIS for 2020

“It's quite remarkable. I don't know if anybody remembers, but I was the guy who was saying he's not gonna do any of those things," joked Glenn on “The News and Why it Matters," adding, “He has taken massive steps, massive movement or completed each of those promises … I am blown away."

Watch the video above to hear Glenn Beck, Sara Gonzales, Doc Thompson, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray discuss the 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.

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“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."