Utah Senator hopes candidates appeal to Constitution during GOP debate

The final GOP presidential debate of 2015 happens tonight on CNN. Joining Glenn to talk about what he hopes happens at the debate was friend of the program, Utah Senator Mike Lee.

Lee told Glenn he would like to see a larger discussion of how we can solve our nation's problems by adhering more rigidly to the U.S. Constitution.

"The candidate who can make the best pitch for that I think will stand to gain the most from the American people," Lee said.

Glenn laughingly told Lee that sounds like "riveting television" right there, to which the senator delivered a surprisingly matter-of-fact, yet powerful response.

"Well, it is," Lee said. "There's nothing more appealing than someone who is willing to say, 'Look, I don't have all the answers. And because I don't have all the answers, I'm going to look to that 228-year-old founding document written by the hands of wise men raised up by their God to that very purpose.'"

He went on.

"That's the kind of discussion we need to have more of, and I think the American people, regardless of their traditional political ideologies and their partisan affiliations, that's where they want the discussion to go," Lee said.

Listen to more of the interview or read the transcript below.

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.

GLENN: One of the real good guys in Washington, DC. One of the very few that we -- we totally trust, which every time somebody burns us, we say we're never going to trust anybody totally ever again. But this guy we do. And he's the senator from the great state of Utah. Welcome to the program, Senator Mike Lee. How are you doing, sir?

MIKE: Doing great. Thank you very much, Glenn.

GLENN: Okay. So the NSA. Can we just start here? Do you think the NSA has actually ceased in your own state of Utah the data collection?

MIKE: Yes. This is what the USA Freedom Act did. I was proud to author and introduce the USA Freedom Act as a sponsor in the Senate. And that ended the process of bulk data collection. So now, rather than sucking up every American's telephone data without a warrant, the FBI goes to the court. Gets a court order, based on a showing that they need to get calling data connected to a particular number that is itself related to a terrorist investigation. Then they go to the phone company and get the data they need. There is a big difference for privacy purposes and a big difference for Fourth Amendment purposes. And the USA Freedom did a lot to correct that problem.

GLENN: So can I ask you how many billions of dollars that data collection facility in your own state cost?

MIKE: It was not cheap. I don't know the exact price. But you're correct to express it in --

GLENN: Billions.

MIKE: Words that start with a B rather than an M.

GLENN: Right.

MIKE: This is an enormous facility.

GLENN: Right. And are we using it as a storage hangar now? I mean, I just don't believe that the United States government and with all the black ops that happened and with all the black ops money that the NSA has just shut that thing down.

MIKE: No, they haven't shut it down. It's important to remember that a lot of what the NSA does has nothing to do with domestic communications. A lot of what they do involves collecting information about communications going on with people outside the United States. And that's a different category altogether. The USA Freedom Act dealt with domestic communications and metadata connected to those communications.

GLENN: So we were told that the NSA -- that this was vital. And, in fact, anybody who voted for this bill, Ted Cruz included, and I believe Ted cosponsored or coauthored with you on this.

MIKE: Yes, Ted was a cosponsor and a very hopeful supporter of getting it past. We were grateful for not only his vote, but also for his assistance in getting this -- this issue out there. Getting the argument out there, that this is a problem.

I spent years explaining why it's a problem. I even wrote part of my book, Our Lost Constitution -- it focuses on the Fourth Amendment aspect of this and how this problem has its roots going back 250 years to pre-revolutionary colonial times and at corresponding times in Britain when we had the use of general warrants underway. And why general warrants were incompatible with what we later developed as our Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

GLENN: Okay. So Ted has been thrown under the bus. You have been thrown under the bus. Anybody who voted for this, as somebody who just doesn't support -- somebody that doesn't want to keep America safe. But I look at what happened in San Bernardino. We had all the information at our fingertips, without the NSA. But when we had the NSA, what happened to all that great technology that was supposed to save us?

MIKE: Well, that's just the point. We were no safer as a result of collecting information under the old system, under section 215 of the Patriot Act. Bulk data collection didn't make us more safe. It made us less free in the sense that our privacy interest protected by the Fourth Amendment were being infringed without our knowledge, without our consent, and contrary to the spirit if not to the letter of the Fourth Amendment. But no one can point to a single instance in which that former system, under the Patriot Act, prevented a terrorist act.

And no one can point to a single instance since the passage of the USA Freedom Act where we've been made less safe. So really what it did, among other things, the old system, was it made it harder to find that needle in a haystack. They created a much bigger haystack. And our current system, the one devised by the USA Freedom Act narrowed the haystack and keeps the NSA focused on what's most relevant.

GLENN: Money runs out to fund the government I think tonight or tomorrow night. Tomorrow night. Why is it, Mike, that we keep putting ourselves in this situation?

MIKE: It -- it really is disappointing. It is one of the most frustrating things associated with serving in Washington, with being a member of the United States Senate. I knew that this place had a lot of problems. This is one that is much, much worse than I anticipated when I got here. The fact that we're operating a 4 trillion-dollar government and the fact that we operate it on the basis of one binary decision a year, we --

GLENN: Right. Fund it or don't fund it.

MIKE: Right. Fund it or don't fund it. Fund everything basically as is or fund nothing at all and shut it all down. That is an absolutely preposterous way to run any organization, especially the most powerful nation on earth and its government.

And, you know, I would like to have seen us put an omnibus spending package, if that's how we were going to do it, on the floor weeks, if not months ago to allow individual members to offer amendments to improve it so that it's an open, publicly debated process. Instead, what I'm predicting is that we'll get stuck with probably a 1500 to 2,000-page deal. One that spends roughly a billion dollars per page and that we'll only have hours, if not minutes to read it before we have to vote on it. And that's wrong. That is absolutely wrong

GLENN: Whose fault is that?

MIKE: Well, this is a process that has evolved over the course of years. We've had Republicans and Democrats who have been involved in it. But any time you've got that process moving forward, people who vote for bills like that, vote for bills that they can't possibly read, that they can't possibly know the contents of, is in one way or another responsible for the problem because that's what perpetuates the problem.

GLENN: You going to vote for it?

MIKE: Not if I don't have an adequate opportunity to review it certainly. And depending on what's in it, I may have other reasons to oppose it as well. With any bill, I wait until I see it to make a final decision. But I know in advance, if I don't have time to read it before it's time to vote, I will vote no every single time.

GLENN: Paul Ryan, is he a help, a hindrance, or nothing?

MIKE: Well, look, we will see -- we will see whether this kind of thing continues under his watch. We've got to keep in mind that before he became speaker, a lot of this was in process anyway. A lot of this was in the pipeline. And if this kind of thing continues to happen on his watch, I don't think that's going to be good for him. I -- I hope that he will make sure that this doesn't happen again. Never ever again on his watch.

GLENN: You're running for reelection. Now, let's just play this out. You're running for reelection. And you're the only person that I've -- that I've ever endorsed. And you didn't ask for my endorsement. And you could clearly tell me not to endorse you, if you think that would help you. Anything to help you. But I've never endorsed anyone before, but I've endorsed you.

Now, but let's play this out. Ted Cruz becomes president. One of the Supreme Court justices kick it. And he says, "I want you to be the Supreme Court justice." What do you say?

MIKE: Well, I don't think I know any lawyer, certainly I don't know any law gig who wouldn't be highly flattered by even a hypothetical like that being asked. And I would count myself among those who would be highly flattered by something like that. I would be very grateful. We'll see what happens.

PAT: Can you imagine, Mike, at your age, how the left would react to you being nominated for the US Supreme Court? I mean, you could have 50 years on the court, and I think they would just be delighted with that.

GLENN: Oh, I think --

PAT: Would be delighted.

MIKE: Yeah, it's interesting. I don't think I would be their first choice.

PAT: No. I don't think so.

GLENN: I will tell you, I've had a conversation with Ted about you and others. I said, "We need people like Mike on the Supreme Court, but I don't think anybody has the guts to say -- they'll look and they'll triangulate, "Well, who can I get on," where the left just doesn't move.

PAT: No.

GLENN: And he just smiled at me and he said, "Well, I have the guts." And I believe him. I believe him. So I'm hoping to see you in robes some day and not a bathrobe.

MIKE: Well, thank you. That's kind of you.

GLENN: Yeah.

MIKE: They say black is a flattering color.

PAT: Slimming. I think it's slimming.

MIKE: Yes, exactly right. We all need that.

But, by the way, Glenn, I wanted to mention to you, Sharon and I read The Immortal Nicholas over Thanksgiving. We loved it. It was a fantastic book. Thank you for sending it to us.

GLENN: Oh, thank you so much. Thank you. You bet. Thank you.

Okay. So tonight, the debate on CNN, what are you hoping happens? What are you hoping that we talk about?

MIKE: I would like to see a fulsome discussion tonight of how we need to adhere more rigidly to the Constitution, of how a lot of the problems that we've got in Washington relate to the fact that we have ignored the most important features of the Constitution, namely the structural protections in our founding document. The vertical protection, which is federalism, the principle that says most of the powers should remain close to the people at the state and local level. And the horizontal protection, which we call separation of powers. We flip both of those principles on their heads. And I would like to see more of a discussion of that, of the structural deviations from the Constitution and how we need to restore those. The candidate who can make the best pitch for that I think will stand to gain the most from the American people.

GLENN: I will tell you this, Mike, that sounds like riveting television right there.


MIKE: Well, it is. Actually there's nothing cooler from the standpoint of the typical, rank-and-file Republican primary presidential election voter. There's nothing more appealing than someone who is willing to say, "Look, I don't have all the answers. And because I don't have all the answers, I'm going to look to that 228-year-old founding document written by the hands of wise men raised up by their God to that very purpose. And I'm going to return us to that. And here's how I'm going to do it. I'm going to put the law-making power back in Congress where it belongs, instead of delegating it to executive branch agencies, where people who are not elected by the people and not accountable to them are making them. And I'm going to put most of the power back, close to the people. If you're from Vermont and you want a single-payer health system, knock yourself out. Do it through the state system, not the national government."

That's the kind of discussion we need to have more of, and I think the American people, regardless of their traditional political ideologies and their partisan affiliations, that's where they want the discussion to go. And that's what intuitively understand when the argument is made.

GLENN: So tell me about this. Because I think we have a real problem with immigration in our country, and I think that we have really bad guys in our country and we have no idea. And my gut tells me, "Shut the system down and cleanse it all. You know, get all the -- fine all the people that have overstayed on visas. Get them out of here. Find out who is here. Then look at how we're vetting everybody and reopen the immigration system."

Donald Trump said we should -- we should stop all Muslims from coming in. Constitutionally speaking, can he even do that?

MIKE: Strictly constitutionally speaking, there have been times when distinctions have been made on religious affiliation, particularly when taking -- when agreeing to take certain persecuted religious minorities. It's also been suggested that for similar reasons, perhaps the government might be able to do that. But I don't think that is the right approach for a variety of reasons.

Number one, as you point out, you've got to fix the problem more holistically than that. And I don't think religious paths, when you're talking about solutions necessarily the way to go. In part because they're incompatible with how we've traditionally treated religion in this country. And part because they're easy to cheat. So I think what you may be suggesting, at least what I tend to believe is that given the security threats that we face right now, we ought to, at least with respect to certain regions of the world that are volatile right now, we have to just halt all immigration until we figure out how to make sure that those who are coming in from those parts of the world present no threat to us.

As some have suggested in the past, when you look at reforms like this, you might analogize it to a leaky basement. If you've got water in your basement, you got to figure out where the leak is. You got to fix the leak before you start bailing out water. And sometimes you've got to turn off the water main for a while while you diagnosis and then address the problem. And I think that's what we ought to be doing here.

GLENN: Senator Mike Lee, always good to talk to you, sir.

PAT: We should get to the real issue though before we get off the phone with Mike. And that's, of course, you attended BYU. Your father was the president at BYU. Who should be the next head coach of the football team at BYU?

MIKE: I was hoping that either you or Glenn might take it.

GLENN: Do you wear black? Because if it's slimming, I'll take the job.

MIKE: That's right. That's right. Look, our friend who is at the Naval Academy, whose name I routinely butcher --

PAT: Niumatalolo?

MIKE: Yes. I think he's an ideal candidate for the job, and I hope he takes it. I think he would do a great job.

PAT: Yeah. Yeah. All right. Appreciate it.

STU: Breaking news.

MIKE: That is, if the two of you aren't willing to take it together.

GLENN: Oh, I think I'd do wonders.

PAT: I'm not sure if the university will be willing to take us.

GLENN: No, I don't think the university would be willing to take us in any capacity.

PAT: Not even allow us on campus.

GLENN: No, not even janitorial service.

Mike, thanks so much.

MIKE: They do need more of a conservative voice on the political science faculty. As an alum of that faculty, I can vouch for the fact that the student body that's fairly conservative, a faculty that is less so. So, you know.

GLENN: Big time less so. Big time less so.

MIKE: Yeah. Yeah.

GLENN: Thank you so much, Mike. Appreciate it.

MIKE: Okay. Thank you.

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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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.