Glenn to Sen. Jeff Flake: I respect you, but you’re talking to me like I'm a 3rd grader

Glenn has always been a fan of Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) because of his fiscal conservatism and spending discipline. But Sen. Flake raised some eyebrows when he chose to join the so-called ‘Gang of Eight’ with the likes of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Schumer to pass ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform.

This morning, Sen. Flake joined the radio program to discuss the latest developments in the immigration legislation, and it is safe to say things got a little heated. Glenn’s primary concern with the Gang of Eight’s proposal is the four Republicans are making too many concessions and not getting enough in return. Sen. Flake, meanwhile, attempted to defend the policies.

Glenn pointed out that Sen. Flake recently remarked “nothing focuses the mind like a bad election,” and “for a variety of reasons, its time” to take action with immigration reform. “I saw your quote,” Glenn said. “Is this being pursued for political reasons or security reasons?”

“Keep in mind, I've been pushing for immigration reform during my entire 12 years in the House of Representatives,” Sen. Flake responded. “I'm not a Johnny-come-lately just because of an election. I think that this makes good policy sense. And what makes good policy sense is usually what makes good political sense as well.”

Sen. Flake went on to explain what he sees as one of the most important part of the bill, spending an additional $500 billion on more manpower at the border. “That’s just the start,” he said. “We recognize we need better and more fencing, more manpower, more surveillance.”

Considering the promise of a better, more secure fence has existed for several decades now, Glenn could not accept Sen. Flake’s notion that this time around would be any different. “What is it now that the fence is going to get built,” Glenn asked.

“Well, it isn’t built now. Like you said, it isn’t complete,” Sen. Flake said “We do need more fencing. There are certain areas of the border that fencing does not make sense – it makes more sense to have surveillance and other things, rather than a barrier like that.”

“I respect you. I like you. I think you have done a great job in Washington. I think you're one of the few that have kept your soul while there,” Glenn reiterated. “But you are talking to me on this issue like I'm a third grader. Like I don't understand that we do need to do something on the border.”

“Could you please, without doing Washington double speak that sounds like John McCain from 1987, tell me how we are actually going to deal with this,” Glenn continued. “How you would believe the Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham actually are going to do anything this time?”

Sen. Flake explained that simply building a fence will not solve the problem. Instead, the bill will implement a ‘second border’ through e-verify.

“If people can’t work here, fewer will come to live here,” he said. “We’ll have a legal framework for people to come and return home. You combine that with the employer enforcement, and finally being able to determine if a Social Security number is not just valid but is not used by 12 other people around the country at the same time. That's improvement. That's a good thing.”

Furthermore, Sen. Flake explained that the ultimate goal should not be sealing the border but securing it. “Yuma, for example, every morning between the hours of 4 and 8AM you have 10,000 legal crossings of the border in one port, one land entry. And that’s a good thing because they come and work in our fields and return home. And so what we need is a secure border. We have a better situation than we did a few years ago. It needs to be much better still. But in order to do that you need not only reinforcements on the border and to strengthen the border. You need the workplace as well.”

In addition to the problems American’s face at our southern border, the Boston Marathon bombing has proven there is currently an equal, if not greater threat coming from overseas – those entering the U.S. on student visas, work visas, etc. “We have 15,000 people from hostile Muslim countries on student visas that haven't shown up to their schools,” Glenn said. “How are you going to enforce that?”

“That’s exactly it. 40 percent of those here illegally now didn’t sneak across the border. They came on a student visa or vacation visa or tourist visa that have overstayed,” Sen. Flake said. “We don't have an entry, and exit system. We know when they enter. We just don’t know if or when they leave. That’s a problem. It’s a huge problem that we have. And until we have an entry, exit system that works, we're going to have this problem.”

“That is provided for in the bill. And funding is provided to bring it about,” he continued. “I'm not saying any system is going to be perfect. You're going to have people sneaking across the border or overstay visas. But you’ve got to have an entry, exit system that works. That’s what we are trying to do with this bill.”

Stu was still concerned, however, that the comprehensive nature of the bill allowed for a path to citizenship that resembled amnesty too much.

“Amnesty is an unconditional pardon for a breach of law. This is not an unconditional pardon,” Sen. Flake explained. “Those who're illegally and wish to stay will have to pay a fine… If you want to have RPI status, come out the shadows and work, then you have to pay the fine in order to get RPI status. That's the bottom line. If you're unwilling to do that then you can't get on this path.”

But Pat wasn’t buying it. He referenced previous legislation from the 1990s that required similar fines that ended up being virtually impossible to enforce. People who avoid the fine will continue to live in the shadows, just as they do now, which means nothing will change as a result of this bill.

“It's a long, arduous path. It really is,” Sen. Flake reiterated. “I submit that they will come forward… I think the vast majority of them will. If you take the flip side of that and say they won’t come forward, then what are we to do now? Why is the situation today, which is de facto amnesty, better than trying something like this?”

Glenn said that he will not be on board with the Gang of Eight’s plan until something is done about the border. Sen. Flake was quick to remind Glenn, however, that the only way to get something passed in a polarized Congress is to compromise.

“When you do a bill that can get through Congress, you do make compromises. There are things that I don't like necessarily about this bill,” Sen. Flake said. “But the reality is there are only 45 Republican and 55 Democrats, and in order to get something through the Senate that will go a long way towards fixing the border and the situation we have now – you're not going to have the exact bill that you want.”

“I do respect you,” Glenn said to Sen. Flake. “And there are not a lot of people that can come on the show and take this line of fire and do it with grace. You haven’t convinced me. But thank you for coming on.”

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.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!