How much of a threat does Russia pose to the U.S. in 2015?

Buck: Thanks for staying with us. We’ve talked a bit about national security threats that we’re expecting in 2015 coming out of the Middle East. We’ve talked about the philosophy of jihad and the Islamic State, Iran and its nukes or its quest for nukes, the war that continues in Afghanistan. So we’re going to move our focus now from the Middle East to what we could call Eurasia. We might even throw in some other dictators into the mix.

Let’s talk Russia-Ukraine for a second. It seems to me that if you had, and Jim, we’ll start with you, if you had told someone at the beginning of the year that Vladimir Putin would annex Crimea and run an insurgency in Eastern Ukraine and by the end of 2014 going into 2015 would have 80% support among his own people despite economic sanctions that have actually caused an imminent recession as well as all sorts of capital flight, people would say no way. That’s the reality we face, so what does that tell us about where we are right now going into a new year?

Jim: Well, we kind of actually came close to that. We did predict that Ukraine was going to be a flashpoint in 2014, so check the box there.

Buck: You mean you.

Jim: Well, me and Putin.

Buck: Jim is allowed to do a national security victory dance apparently, but I mean for the rest of the world that didn’t think Putin was going to go this…to the wall.

Jim: See, here’s the problem, right, so you keep saying the word Ukraine, and it’s not the Ukraine. It basically is unending from the Nordic down through the Adriatic. Putin is pushing everywhere, and so this is the big question in D.C., and this is the parlor game, right, is the economy has totally tanked. I don’t talk about how much the ruble has fallen anymore because it keeps falling, and I’m wrong when I say that, right? The economy is actually contracting. It’s in terrible, terrible shape, and the question is well, what’s going to happen? Is Putin going to get more or less dangerous?

So, the Council on Foreign Relations and the President of the United States would like you to believe well, Putin is going to be constrained now. Don’t pay attention to the rhetoric. He’s going to have to pull his horns in because he can’t afford this. First of all, there’s no evidence of that, but there’s lots of evidence for the opposite. He’s actually gotten more aggressive. You can find confrontations in the Nordic countries, in the Baltic countries, in Lithuania. He just gave Bulgaria a death sentence. He pulled the South Stream Pipeline. It was going to be their big economic boom. He just pulled that out from underneath them.

Buck: So he’s throwing punches all over the place, in different ways. Stephen, do you see that changing at all in 2015 or just getting worse?

Stephen: No, I think it’s going get worse, because the history teaches us that dictators don’t rise just when there are strong economies and don’t just start invading their neighbors when there are strong economies. It’s the sense of desperation. It’s the vacuum that’s occurring in their culture, so I think Putin’s going to be more dangerous because he’s going to start trying to use foreign endeavors to heal and outstrip the economic problems at home. So I think we’re going to be far more destabilized.

Sara: I don’t even think he really cares about the economic problems at home. I think he is very self-centered. He’s a narcissist, and I think he believes in what he has to do to expand what was for him the former Soviet empire. You know, this is where we misjudge. We always try to analyze people the way we see ourselves. I think that Putin does not see the world in that light.

And I remember at the very beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, I had spoken to the major archbishop who had come from Ukraine here. He had spoken with the vice president. I said what did you tell Vice President Biden? And he said to me I told Vice President Biden that Vladimir Putin was going to invade Ukraine. I told him that he will invade Ukraine this year, and he didn’t really believe him. And I think that the sense of like oh well, this is just not going to happen is still in the mind of this administration.

Buck: Putin has said that he refuses to be the bear that is chained down and given berries and honey; that in fact he must go out. This is actually what he says, so the bear is loose in 2015.

Sara: Without a shirt on.

Jim: There’s another part of this story that people really aren’t talking about, and it’s really the most insidious part, which is the disinformation and the propaganda that Moscow is shooting out everywhere. They fund environmental groups in Western Europe to protest against energy projects that compete with Russian energy projects. They complain about the rise of fascism in Western Europe, and then they fund the fascists, so they have fascists to complain about.

Buck: This is straight out of the KGB playbook, actually.

Jim: Absolutely. They are all over the place. Look, I would love for Putin to kind of, you know, call a timeout, but there’s just no evidence that that’s going to happen.

Buck: But Cuba is going to get much better in 2015, right, Jim? Cuba is going to be your…this is going…am I taking…? No, I am not taking him to his happy place. Tell me Cuba 2015, what does it look like? We’ve had the loosening of things. He’s tapping out on Cuba.

Jim: I mean, this is a really simple one. This notion is oh, we’re going to open up Cuba, and everything is going to be fine. Look, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, these countries know how to steal money. Any money that goes to their country, the government is going to take a piece of it, and it’s going to make them better and more powerful. And look at who their friends are—Russia, all the people that were on the map that we’re talking about.

Buck: Any country that’s in red there pretty much, with the exception of Israel, is a friend of…

Jim: The little funny shorthaired guy in North Korea with the haircut that just said he’s going to blow up the White House, that’s the guy that the Cubans tried to send arms to last year.

Buck: Right. Stephen, anything on Cuba?

Stephen: Yeah, you know, it’s intriguing to me that everything that we’ve been talking about is exactly what you would expect when U.S. foreign policy implodes, when we don’t know how to use our strength, and the one thing we tend to point at as any kind of victory is simply Barack Obama legacy hunting. Cuba is a Barack Obama legacy hunting. The rest of it though is what you would expect to happen when the U.S. simply does not show up, does not take strong steps, and does not use its defense apparatus the way it can. And so as a result, there’s a vacuum, and Putin is just stepping into it. He’s just feeding off of American weakness and playing that throughout the entire of Europe.

Sara: And Obama’s legacy hunting with every one of our enemies. He doesn’t try to legacy hunt with one of our allies, like try to build stronger relationships, try to reinforce certain areas of the world, try to lead. No, he leads from behind, and I think this is the problem that we’ve been seeing. This is why, just like Jim said, Cuba is going to take advantage of this. Why wouldn’t they? The Russians took advantage of us, and it wasn’t just in those areas of the world. I mean, how much has Russia been involved in Syria and Iraq and playing games with Iran?

Buck: And that’s an important part about Cuba too is that we said Cuba is friends with all these different countries, but there are relationships, for example, between Venezuela and Cuba that now that Cuba is in better shape, it will mean that the regime in Venezuela will be in better shape and vice versa, so by pushing in one place, you actually create a reaction elsewhere, and I think with the Maduro regime, we see people, there’s lines for people getting toilet paper and water in a country that has the largest oil reserves in the world.

It’s a shame that the administration threw a lifeline to Cuba because it’s not just for Cuba. It’s for all of Cuba’s buddies that they send doctors to and they send intelligence to. They have intelligence officers serving all over the world.

Jim: Yeah, well, it’s leading of a kind. You know, the first lemming off the cliff, he thought he was leading.

Buck: Well, there’s leading, and there’s leading. So, we’re going to talk a bit about threats coming from the east, from Asia, in 2015. Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.

Front page image courtesy of the AP.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta was confronted at CPAC by The Federalist reporter David Marcus with a valid question: "When are you guys going to start covering Cuomo?" His answer — or, really, lack of an answer — perfectly demonstrates why he was earlier surrounded by CPAC attendees chanting, "CNN sucks!"

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday, Glenn and producer Stu Burguiere react to a video clip of the exchange with Acosta, as well as the mainstream media's double standards when it comes to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Watch the video below:

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Glenn Beck can't help but wonder, "What is wrong with us?" in light of the Left's latest move — canceling six Dr. Seuss books due to "hurtful and wrong" illustrations — that takes America one step closer to complete insanity. And now, school districts are jumping on board after President Joe Biden seems to have dropped Dr. Seuss from the White House's annual "Read Across America Day" proclamation.

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn argued that deleting books is the perfect example of fascism, and asked when we as a country will finally realize it.

"They are banning Dr. Seuss books. How much more do you need to see before all of America wakes up? ... This is fascism!" Glenn said. "We don't destroy books. What is wrong with us, America?"

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


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Former Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard and Glenn Beck don't agree much on policy, but they're in lockstep on principles.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Tulsi spoke with Glenn about one of her last acts in Congress, introducing the "Protect Women's Sports Act," which she says would "strengthen, clarify, and uphold the intent of Title IX to provide a level playing field for girls and women in sports." But since then, the Biden administration has gone in the opposite direction, and has supported allowing biological men to compete in women's sports.

Watch the video clip below to hear why Tulsi took a stand for female athletes:


Watch the full interview with Tulsi Gabbard here.

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Later this week, former President Trump will attend CPAC and give his first major policy appearance since leaving office. Sources close to the President reveal he will focus on "the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

The future of the GOP is a question that demands real discussion before elections in 2022 and 2024. Right now, I can see three possible answers for how you act:

  1. Those in power and senior positions will ignore the reasons behind Donald Trump winning in 2016. They will be vindicated in their minds because they outlasted him, as they view DC as a job for life. These leaders will go back to business as usual and seek forgiveness from the left, hoping for unity and acceptance in the future.
  2. The second outcome is another section of the party that is understandably very angry over the left's Presidents treatment. They still support and believe in Trump. They think it's time to take off the gloves and treat Biden/the left exactly how they treated Trump.
  3. The few policy positions offered in public will be centered solely around opposing the left. They will also make the case how the left suck, are dangerous, and how you need them in power. The next four years are merely a countdown for Trump to run again and right the wrong of 2020.
  4. The third outcome is very similar to the second, but with one key difference. While they appreciate everything Trump accomplished while in office, they feel it's time to unite behind another candidate.
Question

Which of these three positions will work best for the American people? Which helps built a political base for elections in both 2022 and 2024?

If you seek to help save America, it is critical to do some soul searching. Whether you love or hate him, Donald Trump got 75 million votes and made advancements in key demographics. What did he do well that you can develop further? In what areas was he poor, and how can you improve?

I want to raise six principled points everyone on the right should be forced to consider in the run-up to 2024.

1 - Understanding American Exceptionalism

FACT: America is an exceptional nation. If you read enough of world history, you will find ample evidence that America acted in ways that made it unique and significantly different from other countries in the past and modern times. These reasons must be understood and promoted through the culture and body politic.

One of those reasons is the layout of your Declaration of Independence. If you look around politics today, you will see people on all political sides telling you what they hate, why the other side is the enemy, and how they must be defeated.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also made that case against the English when he listed 27 grievances against the King. So how is the layout key? It took Jefferson 357 words to get to those grievances. Your Declaration is your mission statement: it tells everyone in the world what America aspires to be. It states the belief that all were created equal, all had certain rights that come directly from God, and that it is the government's job to protect rights -- not give people rights.

The left is successfully painting everyone on the right to be a terrorist who enjoyed the Capitol Hill riots. If you ever want to win another election, it will be critical to explain what you stand for to the American people.

After all, ask yourself which makes you the most passionate to vote - removing someone from office or voting for a vision and change you believe in?

2 - The Constitution

Is there a better place to start this vision than the Constitution? Yes, it is mostly ignored today by those in power and is only referenced by politicians and media when it fits a narrative.

The Constitution is a beautiful and complex document but is primarily based on a straightforward principle. The government should be extremely limited in its power, but it should be as close to the people as possible where there is a clear need for government. Who can argue with this principle?

Who wants someone they have never met, dictating how they live their life?

This is why the Constitution grants the President no real power, and gives Congress 18 clauses of power, listed under Article 1, Section 8. Any and every power not mentioned there belongs at the state level.

3 - Finances

The power structure in DC has changed many times over the last twenty years, with both parties having the opportunity to rule the different federal branches. There have been two periods where one party controlled all the power in DC:

  • 2008-2010: Obama / Dem
  • 2016-2018: Trump / GOP

Despite these changes, your government continually grows, you continue to spend money you don't have, and in ten out of the last thirteen years, you have added over $1,000,000,000,000 to your national debt, which now sits just under $28 trillion. Does this seem sustainable to you? Of course not, but sadly your finances only get worse.

America has revenue of over $3.2 trillion every year, yet DC has not passed a budget since 2008. Can you imagine any business running that way? Do you think Apple, Amazon, or Disney have a budget? It is time to get America on a path to financial sustainability, work towards a balanced budget, and explain to the American people how you will achieve it.

4 - Taxes

Do you remember discussing taxes during the Tea Party?

We used to make the simple moral case to the American people: any money you earn is yours, you should use it to plan your life, and the government has no right to take it from you. This was so successful around 2012 that Herman Cain ran for President with one primary policy: the 9-9-9 plan.

If America is to return to prosperity after Covid, lower taxes and a simpler tax code must be a central theme.

5 - Cutting Government

Look at the size of the US government in 2021. Are you happy? Can you name the numerous departments? Is it now the freedom-loving Americans' position that agencies like Education, Energy, EPA, and Commerce are constitutional bodies of government and are well-run?

How about the IRS, which targeted Tea-Party groups under President Obama? Do they deserve support, or is it time to start sharing a vision of the departments that should be abolished?

This principle used to be a big part of the Conservative platform. It played a massive role in 2012 when Rick Perry ran for President. His campaign was destroyed in 45 short seconds when he could not remember the three agencies he would abolish.

Maybe it's time to refresh this debate but change the parameters. How about we discuss the agencies that should be kept?

6 - Bill of Rights

Today, the Bill of Rights is under constant attack. The far-left/woke mob hates free speech, and they seek to cancel anyone with an opposing view. However, the attacks on the Bill of Rights don't always come from the left.

America has a second amendment that guarantees you the right to bear arms. The last time the GOP held both houses of Congress and the Presidency, they banned bump stocks - but who really NEEDS a bump stock?

As the years have passed, some have admitted they are open to red flag laws. Is this still the case?

While the second amendment may be under attack, it is clear the fourth amendment is dead. Regardless of which party holds power in DC, the NSA is given continuous ability to spy on Americans. The simple, principled case from Rand Paul of "get a warrant" always falls on deaf ears.

The Bill of Rights should be a unifying document for most Americans, as the principles are self-evident and a significant part of any freedom platform going forward.

Conclusion

America will face significant challenges over the coming years. As the government continues to grow, the far left get more hostile, and central planners seek a great reset. If you share my concern, then now is the time to forget our tribes and ignore the debate on who should be President in 2024.

It's time to work hard to build a platform by raising a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels. We must share a clear vision to the American people of a bright future where they are free, prosperous, and can pursue their happiness.

When the platform is built and successful, people can identify the best candidate to run in 2024.

"First, you win the argument, and then you win the election." — Margaret Thatcher

Jonathon Dunne is a keynote speaker, weekly podcast host on Blaze Media, and published author on major platforms such as The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Libertarian Republic, Western Journalism, and Constitution. Since 2012, he has reached millions with his message of American exceptionalism.

You can find him on social media – Facebook, Twitter, MeWe