Could the balance of power tip towards freedom and away from establishment GOP?

Matt Kibbe joined Glenn on radio today to analyze the announcement that several Republicans would be challenging John Boehner for Speaker of the House, most notable Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

"I still think the odds are against us because nothing like this has ever been done before," Matt said. "But, remember, just two years ago in January, there was a failed attempt to replace John Boehner that was secretive. They had the votes, and it fell apart on the House floor. This strategy is different. You have a number of members that have publicly come out and said, I will not vote for John Boehner. Louie has come out and said he is willing to be an alternative. Which he didn't last time. No one did."

While Louie's chances for success are up in the air, Matt feels like he is changing the way Washington works simply by issuing the challenge.

"Well, this is a game changer because it shifts the balance of power away from this inside game. The way things used to work. You just didn't go after the leadership because the leadership controlled the money. They control whether or not you get the committees. They basically control whether or not you get to be reelected. These ten or so folks that have come out, they're making it safe for everybody else to be true blue. That's what's different," he said.

Disclaimer: We're sure that people will only think Glenn had Matt onto the show because FreedomWorks is a sponsor. They are. It's not.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment:

Glenn: Louie Gohmert is running for Speaker of the House. Even if it's not Louie, let's make sure John Boehner is not Speaker of the House. But Matt Kibbe is on from Freedom Works.

Matt, how real is this Louie Gohmert run for Speaker of the House tomorrow?

MATT: You know, it's very real. I still think the odds are against us because nothing like this has ever been done before. But, remember, just two years ago in January, there was a failed attempt to replace John Boehner that was secretive. They had the votes, and it fell apart on the House floor.

This strategy is different. You have a number of members that have publicly come out and said, I will not vote for John Boehner. Louie has come out and said he is willing to be an alternative. Which he didn't last time. No one did.

Ted Yoho said he's willing to run against Boehner. So this is a public campaign with a lot of very gutsy guys sticking their heads out knowing Boehner will come after them. But the point is: Grassroots America has an opportunity to weigh in this time.

GLENN: I'm looking at the list of just the people you rate, of the, you know, top 50 people in Congress. Steve Pearce. He voted against Boehner, but hasn't -- do you have any information on like Justin Amash or any of these guys?

MATT: All those guys are on our target list. Right now we have a target list from 40 to 70 guys. Remember, we only need 29 to do this. That is a doable number.

Right now I'm personally aware of nine people that have either come out already or will come out today against Boehner. But we haven't really started. We haven't started targeting the incoming freshmen, many of whom explicitly said they won't vote for John Boehner for Speaker. We haven't targeted these high percenter performers in very Republican districts, where doing the right thing is not only the right thing, but it's the safe thing to do.

GLENN: How many incoming people were there that said --

MATT: Well, there's 50-plus new incoming guys coming in. I think I can count about a dozen that actually ran against Boehner in order to win their seat.

STU: Brat and Palmer said they will vote against Boehner. So you have those two.

Stutzman may be a tenth after the initial nine that I saw come out.

So, you know, Matt, looking at this list, if you have just the people who have come out, the people who voted against Boehner last time, and the people you rate at 100 percent, Freedom Works rates at 100 percent, you're already at 21. And you go to your 95 percent people, you're at 35.

GLENN: Right. And you have 50 percent new people -- fifty new people coming in. You get ten of those --

STU: Yeah, you're in great shape.

GLENN: I mean, what does this mean if this happens, Matt?

MATT: Well, this is a game changer because it shifts the balance of power away from this inside game. The way things used to work. You just didn't go after the leadership because the leadership controlled the money. They control whether or not you get the committees. They basically control whether or not you get to be reelected. These ten or so folks that have come out, they're making it safe for everybody else to be true blue. That's what's different.

But I think it's really up to the listeners right now to make those calls to post on Facebook to make it abundantly clear that this is a must-do thing if we're going to shake Washington up.

STU: Can you explain the process a little bit? Obviously if Louie Gohmert gets 29 votes, he doesn't become Speaker of the House. Why is 29 votes so important? And what happens afterwards?

MATT: The next Speaker will have to get a majority of all of the members voting, and that's likely to be the entire Congress. We're missing one because -- because the Republican that just resigned. But that really doesn't change the numbers.

One of the big misinformation pieces out there is that if you vote against Boehner, you're helping Nancy Pelosi. The only way you help Nancy Pelosi is if you vote for her or if you vote present. She cannot get a majority if Republicans split their vote between Louie Gohmert and John Boehner.

Now, if we get that 29 --

GLENN: So if you're spineless and you don't want to take a stand, you are helping Nancy Pelosi.

MATT: Yes.

GLENN: But even if you vote for Boehner, have the balls to do it, man. Stand up.

MATT: Yeah. You have to put your -- and this is a public vote. And the voters will get to see where you are. But if Boehner doesn't get the majority, it goes back to the Republican conference. And there will be a fight for who the next Speaker will be because Boehner will be done at that point, and it will not just be Gohmert, but you'll see guys like Jim Jordan likely or some other conservatives throw their hat in the ring.

And I just think -- I think you got to shake things up. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you'll get the same result.

GLENN: The people who caused the problem won't be the people who fix the problem. And John Boehner is part of the problem. And I'm increasingly concerned about this progressive movement in the Republican party. I mean, I saw the that Mike Huckabee is throwing his hat in the ring or he's at least leaving Fox to, you know, decide -- to study. Of course, he's going to run. And I think he will run, quite honestly, to hurt Ted Cruz. I don't think that's his feeling.

But I'll bet you some of the advice he's getting is motivated by that. If you take in, you put Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, they start to split that Christian vote. And that allows -- that allows somebody like maybe Rand Paul to be the stronger one. And then the media takes Rand Paul out by doing two things.

By one, saying that he's too radical. And then two, by being passive-aggressive and saying, you know, Rand Paul, we don't really know who he is. He's certainly not in lockstep with those religious people. And we don't even know where he stands on Israel. And that will just kill him. And I think that's what they're doing. They're just chopping us up into little bitty pieces. We have to start standing together and say, enough is enough with this progressive Republican party. Enough is enough.

Call your -- call the congressmen now. I want you to pick up the phone, and I want you to call your congressmen, and you tell them. If you vote for John Boehner, not another dime, not another sticker, not another campaign, not another vote, nothing. Don't you -- you lose my email address. You lose my phone number. I'm done with the G.O.P. if you put John Boehner in one more time. I'm done.

Here's the switchboard number. (202)224-3121. Go on Facebook. Go on Twitter. Call the local office. But you have about 24 -- when does this vote come down?

MATT: Sometime Tuesday. Probably in the late morning.

GLENN: Is this --

STU: Not a lot of time to try to put this together.

GLENN: Give me a percentage of change this is. How big of a deal is this?

MATT: Oh, if we get -- if we get this done, this is -- this is radical change because what it does is it makes the next Speaker, no matter who it is start to pay attention to the American people. John Boehner's biggest problem is his only audience is the lobbyists and the Republican conference that votes for him. He doesn't care about anything else. And this goes back to that see change you're talking about. The new politics goes directly to the American people. It's more democratized. The only way -- the guys that you elect are going to keep their principles, is if we step up and defend them and force them to be as good as they can be.

GLENN: Okay. This is it. (202)224-3121. Thanks, Matt. Appreciate it. Matt Kibbe from Freedom Works.

Front page image courtesy of the AP.

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.