TSA Agent: We’re not safe

An expose on the TSA confirms what we already knew instinctively: we are not safe. When the supervisors are most concerned about whether or not their screeners are chewing gum (a big no no apparently) you know we’ve got issues. Not only that but felons are getting jobs at the TSA. Brilliant. 

More on this story at TheBlaze.

Transcript of the segment from radio is below:

GLENN: All right. Let me go to the story up on TheBlaze. A former Newark TSA agent tells us the obvious: We're not safe. If you've ever flown in or out of Newark, New Jersey, you know that. This is not going to come as a shock to you. But if you've never been to Newark, hey, congratulations on that. That's a very good thing. But if you've never been to Newark, I swear to you I have been where the person, they check your driver's license and this even they don't even look up to match your face on the license. They don't do it. They never look up.

PAT: You'll put the bag through the machine and nobody even looks at the monitor. Nobody's even looking at it.

GLENN: Okay, so ‑‑

PAT: They are talking to each other.

GLENN: This is an expose, the employees, this is from a former TSA employee. There are those employees who could never keep a job in the private sector who are working at the TSA in Newark. I wouldn't trust them to walk my dog, and these are the people that Janet Napolitano says ‑‑ she constantly says these are the first class, first line of defense in the war on terror. If that's true, you're dead if you fly out of Newark, New Jersey. I mean, I almost ‑‑ but I just wanted to get through. I almost had a ‑‑ I almost had a scene because I'm standing at this, you know, check‑in line and I had flown in and out of Newark over and over again and where they check your ID, right behind them is a plate glass window and it looks to the skyline of New York where the World Trade Centers would have been. And so you're ‑‑ and this woman didn't even look at my face. And I about snapped. I about snapped. And the guy standing next to me said, don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. Because he could feel it coming. And what I wanted to say was, "Turn around for me. Don't even look at my face. Just turn around and see that place right in the skyline where the buildings should have been? Could you at least look at someone's face as they're going through? What is the point of looking at their driver's license if you're not matching it with the person who just handed it to you?" But they're $15 an hour employees. And in Newark, New Jersey, who's living on $15 an hour?

PAT: Guy tells the story about one screener who didn't come to work for four weeks. Just didn't show up for four weeks. When he finally reappeared, he asked for another week off. The answer was no, you just took four weeks off. So what did he do? He took another week off and still didn't get fire.

GLENN: Well, they can't replace them.

PAT: They can't replace them.

GLENN: Who's going to work there? Do you know how low your self‑esteem would be if you had any ‑‑ you know what one of the big things with the TSA guys, according to this, according with the supervisors, according to a former TSA employee in Newark, one of the big things that drives the employers nuts is gum‑chewing. And so they go and they check the employee: Are you chewing gum? And they had one guy ‑‑ this TSA employee said, "I witnessed the boss coming over and saying, "Open up your mouth. Open it up." It's a mint, jack. It's a mint. "Open it up. I want to see it." And made him open up and show him that it was a mint and not gum. I mean, that's what you are worried about: Gum‑chewing? It's a pretty nasty, pretty nasty look at the bottom of the barrel.

STU: Yeah, Marsha Blackburn, the congresswoman, released a TSA report of the 50 most dangerous officers. I mean, there's ‑‑ we're talking offenses like rape, you know ‑‑

GLENN: Oh, this is the one from last week where they were ‑‑

STU: I think this is.

GLENN: Yeah, last week where they're talking about how they are employing now former criminals.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: Felons. Felons. Not misdemeanors. Felons are getting a job at the TSA. That's exactly what I want to do. I want to put felons, I want to give them a badge and have them ‑‑ I mean, because they can ‑‑ they are beyond reproach. There's no way, there's no way, you know, a bunch of ex‑felons are going to, you know, take money making $15 an hour, take money and let somebody on the plane with something nefarious. No way.

STU: And this is the problem. There's a lot of good TSA employees and they do a lot of good things but you have people ‑‑ when you have the government or union running these things, you get people who are convicted of child pornography and keep their jobs. Private businesses don't allow that.

GLENN: Yep.

STU: They get rid of you when you do crap like that. When you steal from passengers, they get rid of you. When you're through the government, it's such a process to do that, it becomes completely inefficient and you have lists like the 50 most dangerous officers.

GLENN: Well, you know what? The cities that don't have ‑‑ do we have a list, Jeffy? Can you stop looking at your cancer screening? Do you have breast cancer?

STU: No.

GLENN: Seriously maybe you have breast cancer.

JEFFY: No, I felt for lumps this morning. I'm good.

GLENN: Did you? Good. Could you look, could you look at the cities that have said we don't want TSA?

STU: San Francisco's one of them.

GLENN: San Francisco is one of them.

STU: You know, you'd think of all places San Francisco would love the government intervention but even they have opted out of it. You can opt out.

GLENN: No, no, people who like government intervention are generally those, those people that want government intervention elsewhere but not for them.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: They will accept everybody else, but we're smart enough to live on our own. Did you hear, if you are ‑‑ if you're a federal worker or if you have any kind of, you know, retirement plan, if you're a teacher or a cop or anything else, what's the one city you want to live in? Because they're giving I think double the amount to the, actually putting it into the kitty. Everybody else, nobody's getting ‑‑ they are not putting anything into your kitty now anymore. You're not getting your healthcare. You're not getting your retirement benefits, gang. I got news for ya. It doesn't work. The system doesn't work. It won't happen. Because there are too many people on retirement and not enough people coming up. They need like 12‑to‑1 and we're already down to, like, 8‑to‑1 and another five years it will be down to 4‑to‑1. You just can't afford all the retirement. And so what they've been trying to do is, "Hey, put all this money in for investment because then it will grow." But nobody's putting the money in for investment anymore except for one city. And it makes sense: Washington, D.C. If you work in Washington D.C., you have the best chance of getting your retirement. Now, why is that? Well, you want the people in Washington D.C., you want the Feds to be fat and happy. That's why they make more money, almost double. When you include the benefits, almost double the amount of money that you make is made by a federal worker. Almost double. And it is ‑‑ it's shockingly horrifying that these are our public servants. But if you're trying to get somebody who is loyal to the money and will work through anything and will fight the hardest to make sure there's no cuts, you want the federal workers to be the ones. Keep growing that base fatter and fatter and fatter and make sure the ones who impose all the laws, the ones who really are the ones who enforce it, make sure it's enforced, make sure they have their retirement covered. Everybody else, you're on your own.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.