Personal, unedited account of a dangerous mission to rescue 55 children from human traffickers

The article below is the personal, unedited account from Mark Mabry of his experience with Operation Underground Railroad and their mission in Colombia. Mark is a former employee of Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze, and he has volunteered time to work with OUR. 

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By Mark Mabry

To keep the deal alive, Raul ratcheted up the intensity of his texts:

I have a special gift for you Jefe. I call her “Lady”.

 She is ‘fresca’.

She is a virgin, just for you.

She is eleven.

 Pablo responded in kind:

 I cannot wait.

This could be a beautiful arrangement. 

Raul writes back:

I will not fail you boss.

I believe God has put us on this path together.

 Pablo agrees:

So do I. 

Big child trafficking deals are actual deals just like slave trading two centuries ago. Text messages are the new quill and paper. Cell phone pictures are the new auction block.

Here are some facts of this deal.

Fact One: Pablo is actually Paul H., a billion dollar fund manager from the United States. He’s in his forties with three teenage sons…Two weeks ago he visited Colombia and was introduced to Raul at a rooftop restaurant.

Fact Two: Raul is about 31. He’s handsome, networked, and smart. He used to be involved in cyber fraud and also worked for a Latin American drug cartel until being placed under house arrest. Shortly after he was released in 2012 his cartel was wiped out by rival cartels in Mexico. He survived, disappeared into Colombia, and started to freelance in high-margin child sex trafficking and tourism. He’s a staple of the Cartagena party scene.

Fact Three: Lady, the eleven year old, really is a virgin. For over a year, Raul has fed her a steady diet of hard porn, live sex demonstrations, drugs, alcohol, promises reserved for the rich, and threats reserved for the captive. The technical term for this training is “grooming”.

Sex with a virgin child costs around $1000. After that, her rate will decrease with age. Her ability to service several clients a day will have to increase in order to capture the precious few years of youth.

10:00 AM, Saturday Oct 11:  Baru Island, Colombia.  Pablo waits for Raul at a remote beach house. He stands on the dock outside, his blonde hair is fund-manager standard, high and tight- he looks like Richie Rich, thirty years later, in resort wear.

10:05 Three boats pull up. Raul disembarks the 40 foot speedboat with a group of adults.  He waits for the two tour boats that were traveling in the convoy to dock and empty out. Raul finds Lady and walks her down the dock to the large room designated for the kids.

Lady’s form fitting shirt reads Sleepy Head andis actually a pajama top. Her black Colombian hair is streaked with amateur pink dye. Lady is skinny, flat chested, and walks without any hip action.

Raul, wearing jeans and Sunday shoes, has only met Paul one other time, on a Cartagena rooftop restaurant about two weeks ago. Prior to that, all of the contact was with Tim, the “party organizer”who diligently learned about all of Raul’s ‘inventory’even traveling to Cartagena on numerous occasions…all to serve “Jefe”.

Raul finds Tim and Paul.

You will love Lady, but I have additional gifts for you Jefe. says Raul.

Behind Raul’s smile was a gift of four, 11 year-old virgins, (3 girls and a little boy). By today’s rates, it’s a $4000 goodwill offering.

Fuego, Raul’s street man, prods the kids toward the house…to await the party.

Paul’s 15 friends make catcalls from the beach. Music blares from a Bluetooth speaker on a card table. Some of the guys play poker and drink. One guy flies a remote control drone out over the ocean, but most of them are content to watch and snap pictures on their iPhones.

In all it was a 54 victim parade- most of them were 9th grade or under.

Raul motions to Tim, his American contact, who was brokering the deal. Send them back to prepare for the party.

15 waitingroom

Three beautiful American women escort the children back to a large room with several beds. These were the same three women who greeted and inspected the kids at the shipping dock in Cartagena 45 minutes prior. It’s customary at a child sex party to have someone to groom and clean the kids -babysit them- between sessions.

Fact Four: Tim has organized child sex excursions for about a decade. The price tag on this trip would be about $65k, not including $20,000 for a full day with 54 kids. (The actual price would have been $24,000 had Raul charged for the additional for virgins).

But before you jump to any conclusions about Tim, understand one more fact.

The sex excursions that he’s organized have all been to rescue the children and bust the bad guys. Tim founded Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) over a year ago, and the organization acts just like the name sounds. Prior to OUR, he worked in the Department of Homeland Security solving crimes against children from child trafficking to child pornography. But Tim wanted the freedom to move more nimbly and even to free kids outside of the U.S. government’s jurisdiction. So Tim left the government to push the issue faster. His speed to save has skyrocketed and the efficiency of dollars spent to children saved has increased exponentially. He was also now an equal opportunity catcher of bad guys, every body is game, not just Americans.

Increasingly donors have come forward and funded missions, some for as little as $15,000 and other missions exceeding $100,000. Every child has a price though, and in the dark world of child trafficking, a kid’s freedom -or captivity- most often comes down to the guy who can come up with the cash.

This was my second mission as an embedded journalist. My first mission was in Haiti, 6 months ago. I’m finding increasingly that “journalistic detachment” in matters involving the rape of children is a joke… and that the process of pealing back layers of child sex trafficking involves moving beyond the confusing exterior of 13 year old girls groomed for sex and dressed for the part. It involves seeing this evil for what it is, the same thing that it was for hundreds of years with African slaves…  flesh selling flesh.

Tim architected this particular plan from it’s inception months ago as part of the largest one-day sting operation in child trafficking enforcement history. In fact, concurrent missions were being conducted by trained OUR operatives in Medellin and Armenia, Colombia. And so far, all three missions were going exactly according to plan.

Back on the little island, the men retired to an outdoor dining area to discuss plans for a luxury hotel built for child sex tours. Paul would finance it and Raul would run it. Seven other Colombians sat at the table too.

In addition to Raul, there was an older man, a cocaine guy.

Then there was Fuego, Raul’s street guy. Nothing was too hard for Fuego to get. He wore a Che hat at the dock. Tim congratulated him on the great hat and Fuego explained, Che was a revolutionary, so am I. I’m a revolutionary dealer of the Chicas”.

(Interesting side note, Tim traded Fuego hats at the dock that morning and wore Che for the rest of the mission.)

There was a striking Colombian woman who claimed the title, Princess of Cartagena. She was about 5’10”slender with perfect ebony skin. She walked like a Colombian woman.

The Princess had her business partner too. They were both about 25 years old. A bunch of the kids were there contribution to the day. They recruit kids from poor neighborhoods with a convincing “modeling agency”scheme throughout Central and South America.

The other two Colombians, Marcos and Hector, are Tim’s street guys. They’re locals who were there to perform due diligence on Raul’s operation and report it to Tim.

Another fact, Marcos and Hector are CTI agents.

Tim, fluent in Spanish, steered the conversation where it needed to go in order to make clear the intentions Raul and his partners.

It would be Paul’s job to talk business while Tim got what he needed. So while Paul napkinned the business model, The Princess of Colombia laid down the ground rules for the man and child orgy that would commence upon arrival of the sizeable Cocaine order.

Princess’s Rule Number One:

Several girls and one man is okay.

Several boys and one man is okay.

Boys and Girls and one man is still permissible.

But, several men on one girl or boy is not allowed.

Rule Number Two: The men must wear condoms.

When pressed on the condom issue, the Colombian men backed off with a wink, but the Princess stood by her ethics.

Those were the rules.

Tim hands $10,000 worth of Pesos to Paul, who shuffles them with his thumb. Raul, Fuego, and the other Colombian traffickers stared at the money. Paul informed them that since they seemed like stand up business people, the remaining $10,000 was on its way. It would be delivered when the party started…presumably any minute.

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Back in the bedroom, most of the kids laid around. Others made last second adjustments like shaving. One boy changed into a leopard speedo. They knew the drill and were trained to act the part.

The virgins were in a different room with their American handlers. Lady was crying. The little virgin boy, face buried in a pillow, asked if anyone had cocaine or alcohol, and explained that is what they usually gave him to prepare. Jen, a trained OUR operative and deadly Krav Daga fighter, comforted him. The American women’s cover as “preppers” for the party, is standard procedure in such affairs. But these women were extensively trained in high-stress environments, their shadow role was that of comforter to the kids.

In fact, each time the 11 year olds had their moments of nervous breakdown, a woman was their to comfort them. They all sat on a bed conversing with the American women: Chelsie, Krista, and Jen. The kids were nervous expressing it through a 14 year old translator who was learning English in Jr. High.

They tried to calm the girls with assurances that they’d be okay at the end of the day. Even with the assurances however, the kids had no inkling that freedom was closing in from about a mile away.

Chelsie, is actually Chelsie Hightower, 7 season star of America’s Dancing with the Stars. She laid with her arm around one of the little girls and stroked her hair. “You’re a good girl,”she told her.

Krista, who is an RN, Crossfit gym owner, and young mother, tried to help the kids see a vision of life outside of this current hell.

Jen walked among the older kids, kept in an adjacent room, asking about their lives- all while knowing something about them that they did not know themselves. There lives were about to radically change.

Here’s another helpful fact.

Fact Five: a 30 man Colombian SWAT Team had established a 300-yard perimeter around the property. Another two boats were rapidly approaching the sand carrying 30 Colombian Army soldiers with guns drawn. C.T.I (The Colombian FBI equivalent) had replaced all of the waiters at the house and had even been on the three boats that dropped them off. Another boat full of Colombian social service and child psychologists was on its way as well.

The American I.C.E. Attaché, Fernando, stood by in Cartagena should any American support be requested. His passion for the cause is another glimmer of hope in the kids favor of which they are unaware. Tim and Fernando had worked on cases together for years.

The entire beach house was wired with mics and hidden cameras, all warranted by the Colombian government and admissible as evidence in court.

In the dining area, the sex hotel negotiations dragged on as Paul drug Raul and The Princess through the deal points yet again.

Raul, completely unaware of the approaching convoy, left the table momentarily and interrupted the girls’preparation, to show the virgins to Paul. Tim left with him.

When he reached their room, Lady was still crying.

“Wipe your tears,”Raul told her, “and smile”. She did.

Tim suggested that maybe Lady could sit this one out. She was clearly petrified.

Tim’s suggestion made Raul more determined and tension in the room rose.

Raul pulled Lady outside to see Paul. Her hands continued to shake as she sniffed, played with her long braids, and wiped her eyes.

In the dining area, she stood in front of Paul. The little boy was next to her.

“She’s okay,”Raul eyes her seriously. “She’s just excited.”

“Fine,”Paul waved them back to the room.

After the kids left, they got right back to business. Seemingly inspired by Lady’s beauty, Paul made a proposition.

“Why not $5000 for the virgins at our hotel?”he asked Raul. “People would pay it.”

“Oh yes, Jefe.”Raul nodded as he spoke.

There were other things that Raul was unaware of as well, like the fact that Tim Ballard’s sex parties always ended the same way…and that at Tim’s instruction, Paul had been stalling now for 30 minutes for operations to get in place.

In fact, Paul, both of Tim’s Colombian street guys, Jen’s husband Joe (also a deadly Krav Daga expert), and Jimi (a former Marine and the current Crossfit national brand manager) and everyone else on the island except for the 6 of the Colombian traffickers had already rehearsed this scenario. They had trained extensively for it.

And now, it was go time.

“Bring in the Vino!”Tim shouted to the waiters with a smile.

Army boats hit the beach about 100 yards away. Thirty armed agents leaped out of the boat and stormed the compound.

“Bajar en la planta!”they shouted.

Raul ran toward the beach and forrest.

Paul ran. Tim ran. Everybody scattered.

21 Beach

Raul was heading down the beach when Tim, still in character, grabbed his shirt and forced him to turn around… He ran with Raul (as if he knew a better escape route), right into the waiting arms of the several hidden CTI agents who were huddled at the doorway of the kitchen.

Soon, all of the Colombians and Americans were on the ground, legs and arms spread, faces in the dirt.

The Princess of Cartagena had collapsed on the table and audibly wept. Fuego hit the ground with a scowl. The drug guy tried to crawl under the table, but the bench was in his way.

“Who the hell called the cops? I knew you were a traitor Raul!” Tim yelled from the ground.

The groups were separated according to the plan laid out by the head of CTI, 24 hours prior. Colombian Child Protective services entered where the kids were sequestered and the American girls were taken out to join the rest of the team face down on the beach…arrested.

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The roll of the women in the mission was to keep an eye on the children and make sure that they were okay until the arrival of the local authorities, at which point they have a scripted exit.

Flashback: Days earlier, realizing that his time under cover was growing short, and that this would likely be his last time face to face with an operation, Tim lamented, “I hate that I always leave being the bad guy to the kids. I would love them just once to know that we’re the good guys. That we were here to free them.”

After several minutes, Raul and his team were escorted off the island by a Navy boat. Tim’s jump team, called Operation Underground Railroad, wiped the sand off of their faces and embraced. They were careful not to let the kids see them celebrate, as it safer  to maintain cover, but it was too late this time. Several of the girls had emerged and learned that Raul, Fuego, The Princess, her partner, and the cocaine guy were being arrested.

Inside of the room, an accidental breach of protocol, a Child Protective Services agent explained to a confused child, pointing at the women and the OUR team, “Those ones are the good guys”.  Word spread and the kids began to wander out of the room. Some asked for the restroom, only so they could come out and smile and wave at the team.

Child Protective Services quickly pulled the kids back inside the room and the jump team of Americans was ushered to the boats.

…but Child Protective Services forgot something- the window.

Walking back to the boat, the American girls passed the screened window where the youngest kids were sitting. An 11 year old came and pressed her hand to the screen…others came too.

The women and girls whispered back on forth. Smiling.

Tim approached behind the American women and was granted the one thing he’d always wanted.

One little girl kept her hand on the window and he reached out to touch it. Tears flowed down her cheeks…Tim’s too.  She probably didn’t realize the personal price Tim had paid to get her back home, and back into the fifth grade… unraped.

She is free…and so are her friends.

As the Operation Underground Railroad team boarded their getaway boats a noise rose from the house. Kids laughing. But with the revving engines, the noise changed…into kids cheering.

10 FreedomBoatDelivery

Note from the Author

I was three feet from him when Tim met the little girl at the window. I had a camera in each hand. My instinct was to shoot, but something told me to keep it at my side.

So I did.

Front page image via Mark Mabry

It's time for our April 29, 2019 edition of our Candidate Power Rankings. We get to add two new candidates, write about a bunch of people that have little to no chance of winning, and thank the heavens we are one day closer to the end of all of this.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history.

Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes.

The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

20. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (Last week: 18th / 13.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

A former staffer of Wayne Messam is accusing his wife of hoarding the campaign's money.

First, how does this guy have "former" staffers? He's been running for approximately twelve minutes.

Second, he finished dead last in the field in fundraising with $44,000 for the quarter. Perhaps hoarding whatever money the campaign has is not the worst idea.

His best shot at the nomination continues to be something out of the series "Designated Survivor."

Other headlines:

19. Marianne Williamson: 17.1 (Last week: 17th / 17.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Marianne Williamson would like you to pay for the sins of someone else's great, great, great grandparents. Lucky you!

Williamson is on the reparations train like most of the field, trying to separate herself from the pack by sheer monetary force.

How much of your cash does she want to spend? "Anything less than $100 billion is an insult." This is what I told the guy who showed up to buy my 1989 Ford Tempo. It didn't work then either.

Other headlines:

18. John Delaney: 19.7 (Last week: 15th / 20.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Good news: John Delaney brought in $12.1 million in the first quarter, enough for fifth in the entire Democratic field!

Bad news: 97% of the money came from his own bank account.

Other headlines:

17. Eric Swalwell: 20.2 (Last week: 16th / 20.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The Eric Swalwell formula:

  • Identify news cycle
  • Identify typical left-wing reaction
  • Add steroids

Democrats said there was obstruction in the Mueller report. Swalwell said there “certainly" was collusion.

Democrats said surveillance of the Trump campaign was no big deal. Swalwell said there was no need to apologize even if it was.

Democrats said William Barr mishandled the release of the Mueller report. Swalwell said he must resign.

Democrats say they want gun restrictions. Swalwell wants them all melted down and the liquid metal to be poured on the heads of NRA members. (Probably.)

16. Seth Moulton: 20.6 (NEW)

Who is Seth Moulton?

No, I'm asking.

Moulton falls into the category of congressman looking to raise his profile and make his future fundraising easier— not someone who is actually competing for the presidency.

He tried to block Nancy Pelosi as speaker, so whatever help he could get from the establishment is as dry as Pelosi's eyes when the Botox holds them open for too long.

Moulton is a veteran, and his military service alone is enough to tell you that he's done more with his life than I'll ever do with mine. But it's hard to see the road to the White House for a complete unknown in a large field of knowns.

Don't take my word for it, instead read this depressing story that he's actually telling people on purpose:

"I said, you know, part of my job is take tough questions," Moulton told the gathered business and political leaders. "You can ask even really difficult questions. And there was still silence. And then finally, someone in the way back of the room raised her hand, and she said, 'Who are you?' "

Yeah. Who are you?

15. Tim Ryan: 21.6 (Last week: 14th / 20.7)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When you're talking to less than sixteen people in Iowa one week after your launch, you don't have too much to be excited about.

Ryan did get an interview on CNN, where he also talked to less than sixteen people.

He discussed his passion for the Dave Matthews Band, solidifying a key constituency in the year 1995.

Other headlines:

14. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.2 (Last week: 14th / 25.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard torched Kamala Harris in fundraising!!!!! (Among Indian-American donors.)

No word on who won the coveted handi-capable gender-neutral sodium-sensitive sub-demographic.

She received a mostly false rating for her attack on the Trump administration regarding its new policy on pork inspections, a topic not exactly leading the news cycle. Being from Hawaii, the state which leads the nation in Spam consumption, she was probably surprised when this didn't go mega viral.

Other headlines:

13. Andrew Yang: 27.2 (Last week: 12th / 27.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Yang has a few go-to lines when he's on the campaign trail, such as: "The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math." Another is apparently the Jeb-esque "Chant my name! Chant my name!"

Yang continues to be one of the more interesting candidates in this race, essentially running a remix of the "One Tough Nerd" formula that worked for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

I highly recommend listening to his interview with Ben Shapiro, where Yang earns respect as the only Democratic presidential candidate in modern history to actually show up to a challenging and in-depth interview with a knowledgeable conservative.

But hidden in the Shapiro interview is the nasty little secret of the Yang campaign. His policy prescriptions, while still very liberal, come off as far too sane for him to compete in this Stalin look-alike contest.

Other headlines:

12. Jay Inslee: 30.4 (Last week: 11th / 30.4)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If you read the Inslee candidate profile, I said he was running a one-issue climate campaign. This week, he called for a climate change-only debate, and blamed Donald Trump for flooding in Iowa.

He also may sign the nation's first "human composting" legalization bill. He can start by composting his presidential campaign.

Other headlines:

11. John Hickenlooper: 32.2 (Last week: 10th / 32.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

John Hickenlooper was sick of being asked if he would put a woman on the ticket, in the 0.032% chance he actually won the nomination.

So he wondered why the female candidates weren't being asked if they would name a male VP if they won?

Seems like a logical question, but only someone who is high on tailpipe fumes would think it was okay to ask in a Democratic primary. Hickenlooper would be better served by just transitioning to a female and demanding other candidates are asked why they don't have a transgendered VP.

Other headlines:

10. Julian Castro: 35.7 (Last week: 9th / 36.2)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Lowering expectations is a useful strategy when your wife asks you to put together an Ikea end table, or when you've successfully convinced Charlize Theron to come home with you. But is it a successful campaign strategy?

Julian Castro is about to find out. He thinks the fact that everyone thinks he's crashing and burning on the campaign trail so far is an "advantage." Perhaps he can take the rest of the field by surprise on Super Tuesday when they finally realize he's actually running.

Other headlines:

9. Kirsten Gillibrand: 38.1 (Last week: 8th / 37.8)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gillibrand wants you to know that the reason her campaign has been such a miserable failure so far, is because she called for a certain senator to step down. The problem might also be that another certain senator isn't a good presidential candidate.

She also spent the week arm wrestling, and dancing at a gay bar called Blazing Saddle. In this time of division, one thing we can all agree on: Blazing Saddle is a really solid name for a gay bar.

Other headlines:

8. Amy Klobuchar: 45.1 (Last week: 7th / 45.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar is attempting a run in the moderate wing of the Democratic primary, which would be a better idea if such a wing existed.

She hasn't committed to impeaching Donald Trump and has actually voted to confirm over half of his judicial nominees. My guess is this will not be ignored by her primary opponents.

She also wants to resolve an ongoing TPS issue, which I assume means going by Peter Gibbons' desk every morning and making sure he got the memo about the new cover sheets.

Other headlines:

7. Elizabeth Warren: 45.3 (Last week: 6th / 46.0)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Elizabeth Warren is bad at everything she does while she's campaigning. I don't really even watch Game of Thrones, and the idea that Warren would write a story about how the show proves we need more powerful women makes me cringe.

Of course, more powerful people of all the 39,343 genders are welcome, but it's such a transparent attempt at jumping on the back of a pop-culture event to pander to female voters, it's sickening.

We can only hope that when she's watching Game of Thrones, she's gonna grab her a beer.

Other headlines:

6. Cory Booker: 54.9 (Last week: 5th / 55.5)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Booker is tied with Kamala Harris for the most missed Senate votes of the campaign so far. He gets criticized for this, but I think he should miss even more votes.

Booker is also pushing a national day off on Election Day—because the approximately six months of early voting allowed in every state just isn't enough.

Of course, making it easier to vote doesn't mean people are going to vote for Booker. So he's throwing trillions of dollars in bribes (my word, not his) to seal the deal.

Bookermania is in full effect, with 40 whole people showing up to his appearance in Nevada. Local press noted that the people were of "varying ages," an important distinction to most other crowds, which are entirely comprised of people with the same birthday.

Other headlines:

5. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 60.2 (Last week: 4th /62.6)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Kirsten Gillibrand gave less than 2% of her income to charity. The good news is that she gave about seven times as much as Beto O'Rourke. Robert Francis, or Bob Frank, also happens to be one of the wealthiest candidates in the race. His late seventies father-in-law has been estimated to be worth as much as $20 billion, though the number is more likely to be a paltry $500 million.

He's made millions from a family company investing in fossil fuels and pharmaceutical stocks, underpaid his taxes for multiple years, and is suing the government to lower property taxes on a family-owned shopping center.

He's also all but disappeared. It's a long race, and you don't win a nomination in April of the year before election day. If he's being frugal and figuring out what he believes, it might be a good move.

But it's notable that all the "pretty boy" hype that Bob Frank owned going into this race has been handed over to Mayor Pete. Perhaps Beto is spending his time working on curbing the sweating, the hand gestures, and the issues with jumping on counters like a feline.

Other headlines:

4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9 (Last week: 3rd / 62.9)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

When we first put candidates in tiers earlier this year, we broke everyone into five categories from "Front Runners" to "Eh, no." In the middle is a category called "Maybe, if everything goes right," and that's where we put Pete Buttigieg.

Well, everything has gone right so far. But Mayor Pete will be interested to learn that the other 19 candidates in this race are not going to hand him this nomination. Eventually, they will start saying negative things about him (they've started the opposition research process already), and it will be interesting to see how Petey deals with the pressure. We've already seen how it has affected Beto in a similar situation.

The media has spoken endlessly about the sexual orientation of Buttigieg, but not every Democratic activist is impressed. Barney Frank thinks the main reason he's getting this amount of attention is because he is gay. And for some, being a gay man just means you're a man, which isn't good enough.

When you base your vote on a candidate's genitals, things can get confusing.

Other headlines:

3. Kamala Harris: 68.6 (Last week: 1st / 69.1)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There are a couple of ways to view the Harris candidacy so far.

#1 - Harris launched with much fanfare and an adoring media. She has since lost her momentum. Mayor Pete and former Mayor Bernie have the hype, and Kamala is fading.

#2 - Harris is playing the long game. She showed she can make an impact with her launch, but realizes that a media "win" ten months before an important primary means nothing. She's working behind the scenes and cleaning up with donations, prominent supporters, and loads of celebrities to execute an Obama style onslaught.

I tend to be in category 2, but I admit that's somewhat speculative. Harris seems to be well positioned to make a serious run, locking up more than double the amount of big Clinton and Obama fundraisers than any other candidate.

One interesting policy development for Harris that may hurt her in the primary is her lack of utter disgust for the nation of Israel. There's basically one acceptable position in a Democratic primary when it comes to Israel, which is that it's a racist and terrorist state, existing only to torture innocent Palestinians.

Certainly no one is going to mistake Harris for Donald Trump, but a paragraph like this is poison to the modern Democratic primary voter:

"Her support for Israel is central to who she is," Harris' campaign communications director, Lily Adams, told McClatchy. "She is firm in her belief that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, including against rocket attacks from Gaza."

Just portraying the rocket attacks as "attacks" is controversial these days for Democrats, and claiming they are responses to attacks indicates you think the Jeeeewwwwwwwws aren't the ones responsible for the start of every hostility. Heresy!

Someone get Kamala a copy of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' before she blows her chance to run the free world.

2. Bernie Sanders: 69.2 (Last week: 2nd / 68.3)

CANDIDATE PROFILE

If Bernie Sanders hates millionaires as much as he claims, he must hate the mirror. As a millionaire, it might surprise some that he donated only 1% to charity. But it shouldn't.

It's entirely consistent with Sandersism to avoid giving to private charity. Why would you? Sanders believes the government does everything better than the private sector. He should be giving his money to the government.

Of course, he doesn't. He takes the tax breaks from the evil Trump tax plan he derides. He spends his money on fabulous vacation homes. He believes in socialism for thee, not for me.

Yes, this is enough to convince the Cardi B's of the world, all but guaranteeing a lock on the rapper-and-former-stripper-that-drugged-and-stole-from-her-prostitution-clients demographic. But can that lack of consistency hold up in front of general election voters?

If Bernie reads this and would like a path to credibility, clear out your bank account and send it here:

Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Funds Management Branch
P.O. Box 1328
Parkersburg, WV 26106-1328


Other headlines:

1. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.: 78.8 (NEW)

Joe has run for president 113 times during his illustrious career, successfully capturing the presidency in approximately zero of his campaigns.

However, when the eternally woke Barack Obama had a chance to elevate a person of color, woman, or anything from the rainbow colored QUILTBAG, he instead chose the oldest, straightest, whitest guy he could find, and our man Robinette was the beneficiary.

Biden has been through a lot, much of it of his own making. Forget about his plagiarism and propensity to get a nostril full of each passing females' hair, his dealings while vice president in both Ukraine and China are a major general election vulnerability— not to mention a legal vulnerability for his children. But hey, win the presidency and you can pardon everyone, right?

His supposed appeal to rust belt voters makes him, on paper, a great candidate to take on Trump. The Clinton loss hinged on about 40,000 voters changing their mind from Hillary to Donald in a few states—the exact areas where victory could possibly be secured by someone named "Middle Class Joe" (as he alone calls himself.)

No one loves Joe Biden more than Joe Biden, and there's a relatively convincing case for his candidacy. But we must remember this unquestionable truth: Joe Biden is not good at running for president.

He's a gaffe machine that churns out mistake after mistake, hoping only to have his flubs excused by his unending charisma. But, will that work without the use of his legendary groping abilities? Only time, and a few dozen unnamed women, will tell.

Also, yes. Robinette is really his middle name.

If only Karl Marx were alive today to see his wackiest ideas being completely paraded around. He would be so proud. I can see him now: Sprawled out on his hammock from REI, fiddling around for the last vegan potato chip in the bag as he binge-watches Academy Awards on his 70-inch smart TV. In between glances at his iPhone X (he's got a massive Twitter following), he sips Pepsi. In his Patagonia t-shirt and NIKE tennis shoes, he writes a line or two about "oppression" and "the have-nots" as part of his job for Google.

His house is loaded with fresh products from all the woke companies. In the fridge, he's got Starbucks, he loves their soy milk. He's got Ben & Jerry's in the freezer. He tells everyone that, if he shaved, he'd use Gillette, on account of the way they stand up for the Have-Nots. But, really, Marx uses Dollar Shave Club because it's cheaper, a higher quality. Secretly, he loves Chic-Fil-A. He buys all his comic books off Amazon. The truth is, he never thought people would actually try to make the whole "communism" thing work.

RELATED: SOCIALISM: This is the most important special we have done

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism. They use their status as corporations to spread a socialist message and encourage people to do their part in social justice. The idea of companies in America using socialism at all is as confusing and ridiculous as a donkey in a prom dress: How did this happen? Is it a joke? Why is nobody bursting out in laughter? How far is this actually going to go? Does someone actually believe that they can take a donkey to prom?

Companies have adopted a form of socialism that is sometimes called woke capitalism.

On the micro level, Netflix has made some socialist moves: The "like/dislike" voting system was replaced after a Netflix-sponsored stand-up special by Amy Schumer received as tidal wave of thumb-downs. This summer, Netflix will take it a step further in the name of squashing dissent by disabling user comments and reviews. And of course most of us share a Netflix account with any number of people. Beyond that, they're as capitalist as the next mega-company.

Except for one area: propaganda. Netflix has started making movie-length advertisements for socialism. They call them "documentaries," but we know better than that. The most recent example is "Knock Down the House," which comes out tomorrow. The 86-minute-long commercial for socialism follows four "progressive Democrat" women who ran in the 2018 midterms, including our favorite socialist AOC.

Here's a snippet from the movie so good that you'll have to fight the urge to wave your USSR flag around the room:

This is what the mainstream media wants you to believe. They want you to be moved. They want the soundtrack to inspire you to go out and do something.

Just look at how the mainstream media treated the recent high-gloss "documentary" about Ilhan Omar, "Time for Ilhan." It received overwhelmingly bad ratings on IMDb and other user-review platforms, but got a whopping 93% on the media aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly what the media wants you to think of when you hear the word socialism. Change. Empowerment. Strength. Diversity. They spend so much energy trying to make socialism cool. They gloss right over the unbelievable death toll. BlazeTV's own Matt Kibbe made a great video on this exact topic.

Any notion of socialism in America is a luxury, made possible by capitalism. The woke companies aren't actually doing anything for socialism. If they're lucky, they might get a boost in sales, which is the only thing they want anyway.

We want to show you the truth. We want to tell you the stories you won't hear anywhere else, not on Netflix, not at some movie festival. We're going to tell you what mainstream media doesn't want you to know.

Look at how much history we've lost over the years. They changed it slowly. But they had to. Because textbooks were out. So people were watching textbooks. It was printed. You would bring the book home. Mom and dad might go through it and check it out. So you had to slowly do things.

Well, they're not anymore. There are no textbooks anymore. Now, you just change them overnight. And we are losing new history. History is being changed in realtime.

RELATED: 'Good Morning Texas' joins Glenn to get an inside look at Mercury Museum

You have to write down what actually is happening and keep a journal. Don't necessarily tell everybody. Just keep a journal for what is happening right now. At some point, our kids won't have any idea of the truth. They will not have any idea of what this country was, how it really happened. Who were the good guys. Who were the bad guys. Who did what.

As Michelle Obama said. Barack knows. We have to change our history. Well, that's exactly what's happening. But it's happening at a very rapid pace.

We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased.

I first said this fifteen years ago, people need clay plots. We have to preserve our history as people preserved histories in ancient days, with the dead see scrolls, by putting them in caves in a clay pot. We have to preserve our history. It is being systematically erased. And I don't mean just the history of the founding of our country. I mean the history that's happening right now.

And the history that's happening right now, you're a problem if you're a conservative or a Christian. You are now a problem on the left, if you disagree and fall out of line at all. This is becoming a fascistic party. And you know what a fascist is. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican or an independent. If you believe it's my way or the highway, if you believe that people don't have a right to their opinion or don't have a right to their own life — you could do be a fascist.

Christianity might seem pretty well-protected in the U.S., but that's not the case in many parts of the globe.

On Easter Sunday, suicide bombers made the news for killing 290 innocent Christians in Sri Lanka and injuring another 500. On Tuesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre. Of course, the Western world mourned this tragic loss of life on a holy day of worship, but we forget that this isn't an isolated incident. Indeed, Christians are discriminated at extreme levels worldwide, and it needs to be brought to light. And whenever we do highlight brutal persecutions such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, we need to call them what they are — targeted attacks against Christians. Sadly, many of our politicians are deathly afraid to do so.

RELATED: Hey media, there is absolutely a war on Christians!

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that Christians are harassed in 144 countries — the most of any other faith — slightly outnumbering Muslims for the top of the list. Additionally, Open Doors, a non-profit organization that works to serve persecuted Christians worldwide, found in their 2019 World Watch List that over 245 million Christians are seriously discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Sadly, this translates into 4,136 Christians killed and 2,625 either arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, or detained without trial over the year-long study period. And when it comes to churches, those in Sri Lanka were merely added to a long list of 1,266 Christian buildings attacked for their religion.

These breathtaking stats receive very little coverage in the Western world. And there seems to be a profound hesitation from politicians in discussing the issue of persecution against Christians. In the case of the Sri Lanka bombings, there's even a reluctance to use the word "Christian."

After the horrific Pittsburgh Synagogue and New Zealand Mosque shootings, Democrats rightfully acknowledged the disturbing trend of targeted attacks against Jews and Muslims. But some of these same politicians refer to the Sri Lanka bombings with careless ambiguity.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face?

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, for instance, certainly did — calling the incursions "attacks on Easter worshippers." Understandably, the term confused and frustrated many Christians. Although, supporters of these politicians argued the term was appropriate since a recent Associated Press report used it, and it was later picked up by a variety of media outlets, including Fox News. However, as more Democrats like 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Dan Kildee continued to use the phrase "Easter worshippers," it became clear that these politicians were going out of their way to avoid calling a spade a spade.

So why is it so hard for our leaders to acknowledge the persecutions Christians face? For starters, Christianity in democratic countries like the U.S. is seen differently than in devastated countries like Somalia. According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans are Christian, with 66% of those Christians being white and 35% baby boomers. So while diverse Christians from all over the world are persecuted for their faith—in the U.S., Christians are a dominant religion full of old white people. This places Christians at the bottom of progressives' absurd intersectional totem poll, therefore leaving little sympathy for their cause. However, the differing experiences of Christians worldwide doesn't take away from the fact that they are unified in their beliefs.

By refusing to name the faith of the Sri Lankan martyrs, politicians are sending a message that they have very little, if no, concern about the growing amount of persecution against Christians worldwide.

Martyrs don't deserve to be known as "Easter worshippers." They should be known by the Christian faith they gave their lives for. Decent politicians need to call the tragedy in Sri Lanka what it is — a vicious attack on the Christian faith.

Patrick Hauf (@PatrickHauf) is a writer for Young Voices and Vice President of Lone Conservative. His work can be found in the Washington Examiner, Townhall, FEE, and more.