The Best Thing About John Kerry's Speech? It Will Be His Last.

Biker, gun enthusiast, former bull rider and radio talk show host Mike Broomhead filled in for Glenn on The Glenn Beck Program today, Wednesday, December 28.

Read below or listen to the full segment from Hour 1 for answers to these questions:

• Who wrote CNN's 16-page diatribe on John Kerry?

• When will Democrats accept the election results?

• How will the Obama administration punish Russia?

• What did Hillary expose about the old boy network?

• Will Bourbon Street be safe this New Year's Eve?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

MIKE: Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. My name is Mike Broomhead in Phoenix, Arizona, filling in for Glenn today and tomorrow. Thanks for joining the show. We have a lot going on.

If you want to reach out, social media is the best way to reach out to me. Twitter, I am @BroomheadShow. Don't tweet Mike Broomhead. That's some guy in England who is really upset that he gets my tweets all the time.

So @BroomheadShow on Twitter or the Mike Broomhead fan page on Facebook, best way to reach out to me.

A lot going on in the news. We've heard about the death of a movie star in Carrie Fisher. Big deal because of the Star Wars movies that she's a part of. That may be a part of the conversation this morning.

But so much happening with Israel, the UN, the vote there. The US abstaining. That's going to be a big part of the program today as John Kerry -- I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. What I mean by -- anytime I talk about John Kerry, it makes me angry. But at the same time, it's this final speech in the Middle East. There's good news for America and the rest of the world.

John Kerry will be leaving the post as Secretary of State. And, fortunately, he's such a dolt, he hasn't done much. He hasn't done much damage because I just don't think he's that capable. We'll talk about him.

Harry Reid makes some statements bragging about some of the horrible things he did while he was in the Senate. More good news for America. The Senate will take its next session in January, minus Harry Reid. That's already a great year.

So far nothing but good news. Some of the headlines: President Obama says that they are going to somehow punish Russia for meddling in our elections. You know that 54 percent of Democrat voters -- this is just a poll. And we know that numbers can be skewed. But half of Democrats believe that the Russians changed the vote tally.

Now, the Russian influence had everything to do with emails, if you believe it was the Russians that did the hacking and sent over to make sure it was dropped by WikiLeaks. And if you believe the Russians had a hand in that, that was the extent of what they did in influencing elections. They had nothing to do with hacking into vote tallies anywhere. But 50 percent of Democrat voters -- apparently over 50 percent believed they had something to do with changed the vote tally.

By the way, Jill Stein still not done with protesting elections. At some point, you've got to give up. Don't you? You've got to give up and just say it's over. The electoral college has voted. Joe Biden is going to count those votes pretty soon. You know, on January 20th, Donald Trump is going to be inaugurated as president of the United States.

And I wonder the shoe is definitely on the other foot in America today. I question so many people on the left that I'm friends with. And I enjoyed my friends that think different than me politically. It's one of the things I enjoy the most, is when I have disagreements with people that I admire and I like. Because I would rather figure out how we could be so close to each other and yet so far apart on some issues. And I try to come to the conversation from a position of respect.

I look at Donald Trump moving into the White House, and there are a lot of people on the conservative side who are terrified of a Trump presidency. I've mentioned on this show before. I was filling in here -- and I was honored to be a part of the network for Glenn Beck long before I was friends with Glenn. But I have gotten to know Glenn fairly well.

And, you know, I am not the anti-Trump person that Glenn is, which is -- when I look at somebody I admire as much and knows as much about American history and American politics that I disagree with, I'd rather learn why and what they believe.

But when you look at the pro-Obama crowd, you look at the people in this country that were thrilled with what Barack Obama was doing because Congress would not go along. The Founding Fathers were geniuses in the sense, it was called the great experiment. It still is. Our form of government was never done like this before. Ever.

The House of Representatives being called the people's house, representing very small districts across the country, where individual voices, I mean, supposedly are being heard in the House of Representatives. Those people can be replaced every two years. The house of representative is up for reelection. I'm not giving anybody the civics lesson here. The Senate, every six years. A six-year term. Two senators equally representing every state in the union. Equal power. Two senators from each state doing the business of the states.

That makes up the legislative branch. And the executive branch, the president having veto power. And there is a lot of power that comes out of that office because it is that office. But that power is also not absolute, which is why the Congress is supposed to be the balance.

And to get something through both houses of Congress, to get it signed by them and sent to the White House to become law, and then the check and balance there -- the checks and balance there, of course, are the Supreme Court. We can argue what it's become. And I agree the Supreme Court has become something it was not intended to be. But the Supreme Court is supposed to decide whether or not the laws made by Congress are constitutional. Not good or bad. Constitutional or not.

We realize we now have justices on both side of the aisle over there, that are legislating from the bench, which isn't what they're supposed to do. But in theory, what our Founding Fathers have created, such an amazing thing.

When you have a president that says I have a cell phone and a pen, and if Congress isn't going to go along, I think I've got the power, and the Supreme Court has disagreed with him on some very important facts of his executive powers. And some yet to be determined. When you expand the executive powers and you set the precedent that Barack Obama has, I've asked people on the left before we even had any inkling that Donald Trump was going to be president -- this brash guy that's bucking the system and is going against both parties and all the things he says he's going to do.

I ask people on the left, how are you going to feel if the next president says -- and he's on the far right -- and he says, you know, President Obama was on to something. There is a lot of things that a president can do. He doesn't need Congress for. I'm just going to use executive orders to do everything I want to do. And I'm going to do it the same way Barack Obama did, although it's going to be completely different policies.

You watch how all of a sudden the political left in the next four years is going to become a small government limited power in the executive branch group of people. And when the Democrats are saying we have to stop the ideology and the plans of Donald Trump, which means we have to be an obstructionist, isn't it funny that we -- that the right was told, "You got to work with President Obama. The people elected him. They want his policies in place. So you should go along with what he wants because that's what the American people want." Well, now we're hearing the opposite.

And I'll tell you this, in all fairness, if Donald Trump uses executive powers the way Barack Obama did, I will call him out like I did Barack Obama. Because the Congress is supposed to be included. It never was supposed to -- because if you eliminate them. If you do things by executive order, the Congress either becomes a dissenting voice or a rubber stamp. That's it. Now you've got absolute power. You can't have it. Donald Trump is going to have to negotiate with the Congress. He's got a majority -- obviously a big majority in the House right now. That could change in two years. But right now, a big majority in the House. So it's going to be fairly easy to get some of his policies, when agreed upon through the House.

But with only a two-seat majority, really, in the Senate, it's going to be difficult on some issues. Now, Obamacare has got to be repealed and replaced. That should be easier because there are a lot of Democrats in the Senate that are in places where it's costing a lot of money for Obamacare. So repealing and replacing that may be something they go along with just for their political futures. But other things are going be tougher. And when it requires 60 votes, it's going to be difficult. And there's going to have to be some negotiations.

So that's going to be a part of the discussion today. Here in the first hour, just so we know what we're going to talk about. John Kerry and his final speech in the Middle East before he goes. The president in trying to punish Russia before he leaves office because of their meddling in American elections. And security measures in the United States, big offense like the Thanksgiving Day parade, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, the Boston Marathon. And upcoming in what we're going to see in Mardi Gras in New Orleans. What we are learning about, terrorist attacks, and how we're trying to prevent them here in the US. So we'll get to all these here in the first hour of the program. Once again, my name is Mike Broomhead. I'm in Phoenix, Arizona. I'm in here for Glenn Beck. And this is, of course, the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

MIKE: Thanks for being here this morning. Mike Broomhead, Phoenix, Arizona, in for Glenn Beck. Today and tomorrow I will be in for the Glenn Beck Program. Thanks for being a part of it. And making it a part of your day. It is -- John Kerry will be giving his final speech in the Middle East.

Now, this under the backdrop now of what we've seen in the UN resolution, that we're calling the new settlements in the West Bank by Israel illegal. The US abstaining from that vote, which is ridiculous.

We, from every perspective you can think of as Americans, whether it is -- they are our only and closest ally -- I shouldn't say only ally. Our closest ally in the region is Israel. We are their best friend.

From that point of view, from a faith-based point of view from me personally and for a lot of people within earshot of me right now, we have had a responsibility and a long-standing tradition of standing side by side with Israel.

And nor -- the Israelis claim they have ironclad proof that we were behind the resolution calling those settlements illegal. And the Israelis are going to defy the UN, and they're going to continue to settle in the West Bank. And they're absolutely entitled to do so. And anybody out there that wants to talk about the battles between the Israelis and the Palestinians and you're siding with the Palestinians -- I love that conversation because you are a propagandist and are believing absolutely the wrong things.

The tunnels that are being dug are not being dug by the Israelis. The bombs being lobbed are not being lobbed by the Israelis.

And, you know, we can go through history and talk about a lot of these things. Golda Meir and some of the quotes from Golda Meir. And when I say quotes, I'm probably going to screw it up by a word or two, so I don't mean to paraphrase. But I believe it was Golda Meir that said to the Palestinians, "We can forgive you for killing our children. We can't forgive you for forcing us to kill yours." And that has been the Israeli point of view for decades in this war.

They -- the other quote is, "If Israel were to lay down their weapons, there would be no Israel. If the Palestinians were to lay down their weapons, there would be peace." That is another accurate -- in my opinion, accurate statement.

But for the UN to do what they've done and for the accusation even to come from Israel, that they believe -- let's say that they don't have ironclad proof, that it's just a belief that they have, that the US is behind this resolution. Tells you to what degree other relationship between the United States and Israel has deteriorated over the last eight years.

Jews in America largely vote Democrat, most of the time based on social issues, if not economic issues. Definitely social issues. I don't know for the life of me how anybody -- how any American Jew can vote for Barack Obama and the policies of that office.

But specifically, John Kerry now giving his final speech in the Middle East. And CNN had a story that was written about him that is -- I think John Kerry's wife wrote this and just did it under somebody else's name. Elise Labott from CNN global affairs correspondent, John Kerry's Mission to Save Diplomacy, is the title. It is 16 pages on their website.

And it is -- the first paragraph -- and I don't like to read stories on the air. You can read them yourself. But it starts like this: You can see it in everything he attempts to do around the globe, even conflicts he -- every conflict he weighs into, every crisis he refuses to concede. And as John Kerry prepares to step down as Secretary of State next month, he will carry it with him just as he has for 15 years, a deep-seated belief that America and indeed he can solve some of the world's thorniest problems with the right mix of politics, diplomacy, perseverance, and personal charm.

Now, is that a journalist or is this a biographer?

John Kerry sat down over and over and over again with the Iranians and hashing a nuclear deal that was hated by every other nation in the region, to the degree that the Saudis and the Israelis were working together saying that we will work together to make sure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.

The US has very limited publicly as they could do, solve the problem of the fears by the nations in the region because of the deal by selling bigger arms to those nations, arming nations around Iran to a larger degree so they could defend themselves if the Iranians break the deal. That's how confident we were in the deal. Not to mention that every aspect of the Iranian government, from their religious leaders, the ayatollahs speaking in a public forum, the crowd chanting death to America, their religious leader -- who runs the country, by the way. It's not the government. They take their lead -- they are a theocracy. The ayatollah chanting with the crowd. Yes, of course. Death to America. This while John Kerry is negotiating with the Iranians.

One of the Iranian military leaders said, "No matter what happens in this deal, the Americans will always be our enemy." John Kerry didn't push away from the table. So they're right when they say he perseveres. When the Iranian government was voting on this deal behind the scenes to denounce the US -- they can't sanction us. But it was an anti-American vote going on. And I believe with 200 members they had, it was 199 to one. And while members of the Iranian government were voting on this, in what would be their -- we would have the House came home or the Senate came home, while they were voting in their governmental chamber, the parliamentary chamber, they were chanting, "Death to America." Not all of them. But some of them. And yet we continue to negotiate with the Iranians. Every aspect of the Iranian government, chanting in some way, shape, or form throughout these negotiations, death to America. There's your chief diplomat at work.

When the Iranians captured two US vessels and then took those US sailors, stripped them of their uniforms, showed the videotape of them crying around the world, embarrassed and mocked the United States Navy to the entire world, John Kerry thanked the Iranians for the way they treated our sailors. He was in the Navy.

Remember when he ran for president as a Swift Boat captain? He crossed the Delaware and saluted and said, "John Kerry reporting for duty," and he looked like a dope. This guy was in the United States Navy and thanked the Iranians for their treatment of the United States Navy. There's your chief diplomat being talked about as a saint in a 17-page CNN review.

This administration was going to restore the world's confidence in the United States. Anybody believe that's true? Even on that side of the aisle. From Hillary Clinton and Benghazi to John Kerry and Iran -- and not just the Iranian nuclear deal, but when the two American ships were taken. One of the stories we're going to discuss a little bit later on in the show is the Chinese won an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. They're going to monitor us. They're sending us a message.

How incredible is it that we have become what we have become. Our enemies have no reason to fear us. Think what we've done with John Kerry as Secretary of State under the policies of this administration. We have restored diplomatic ties with Cuba, which is an absolute abomination because of the way the Cuban people are treated. I could spend the next 30 minutes talking about Cuba again. But we've restored that with Cuba -- relations with the Cuban government, while the Cuban people still suffer under that communist regime.

We gave the power back with nuclear weapons and billions and billions and billions of dollars to the Iranians. Even John Kerry had to admit, it's probably going to go and foster terrorism. Nothing about ISIS. It's been a failure.

Coming up in just a few moments, the Obama administration, they're going to punish Russia for election interference. How? We'll talk about that, next.

[break]

MIKE: All right. Thank you for being here. Mike Broomhead in Phoenix, Arizona, in for Glenn Beck today and tomorrow. Thanks for making the Glenn Beck Program a part of your day.

The Obama administration close to announcing measures to punish Russia for election interference. I'm going to get to this in a moment.

I'm in Phoenix. Do a local show in Phoenix, Arizona. One of the listeners, her name is Jackie, is the best producer I've ever had. No offense to my producer. She does a great job. She sends me information all the time. I was talking about Harry Reid a little earlier. Harry Reid talking with someone about his career, said, "As my staff will tell you, I've done a number of things because no one else will do it." What was he talking about? The false accusation about Mitt Romney not paying his taxes. And he admits, whether it was changing the rules in the Senate and basically, you know, using a nuclear option to do what he wanted to do there, when he said earlier in his career, if that ever happened, it would destroy the United States Senate and the intent of the United States Senate. And he did it. Because he wanted to get what he wanted to get through. He justified it 18 different ways. It was wrong. And then as soon as he got booted from power because the Republicans took over the Senate, he said, "This shows America wants us to work together."

Well, here's what he said about what he did to Mitt Romney by lying about Mitt Romney. I tried to get everybody else to do that. I didn't want to do that. I didn't have anything against him personally. He's a fellow Mormon. Nice guy. I went to everybody, but no one would do it. So I did.

So when we talk about American politics, we want to talk about what's happening. And you want to hear about the vitriol of people. It's on both sides. I'm not condoning it on either side of the aisle. I've been very critical of Donald Trump when he was running for president about the way he said things and the way he did things.

But I thought he was a much better option than Hillary Clinton. I voted for Donald Trump. And I have been very complimentary about the way he's handled the transition and the way he's handled things since then in a lot of regards. His victory speech which could have been a moment where the Donald Trump supporters from day one, which I was not, but the Donald Trump supporters day one said he was going to win. And a lot of us, myself included, said there's no way that guy could win. When they were proven right and the rest of us were proven wrong, in a moment where Donald Trump could have had a drain the swamp, lock her up, give the country the middle finger kind of a moment, he was gracious and he was humble. And so were the supporters that night. They kind of followed his lead.

So I'm hopeful -- I'm hopeful for the presidency, and I've been complimentary, as much as I was critical. But anybody on the left that wants to come after a Donald Trump, you know, low-hanging fruit of some of the tweets that have been sent out, look no further than your own party, where they don't like the way things are being handled on the right.

If you remember, it was Harry Reid that called the sitting president of the United States, that time George W. Bush, an idiot, his words. I don't know what happened to Harry Reid. I don't know when Harry Reid became what Harry Reid had become. But I'm glad he's gone.

Harry Reid, John Kerry, they just -- I'm glad they are -- thrilled that they are gone from American politics at least in the short-term. I think we're a better country for it.

And, you know, if Nancy Pelosi would have lost her seat, I think that would have been another great service to the American people. And I just wanted to get that out before I got to the other thing with Harry Reid and some of the nonsense he has spewed before.

By the way, I'm in today and tomorrow. If you are a social media user, I love to interact on social media. You can find me on Twitter. I am @BroomheadShow. Not Mike Broomhead. @BroomheadShow is my handle on Twitter. Mike Broomhead on Instagram. All one word. You can find my -- I'm famous for my blurry pictures I post on Instagram. Or the Mike Broomhead fan page on Facebook if you want to find me there. I would love to interact with you if you have questions, comments. If you want to do that on social media, that would be terrific.

The Obama administration is getting ready to announce whether it's going to be economic sanctions or diplomatic censure. But the president of the United States has every intention of punishing the Russians for interference in American elections.

Now, what they did was hack the DNC, most specifically Podesta and emails. And exposed the corruption in the Clinton campaign.

Now, the accusation was out there, where they also hacked the RNC, but didn't turn that information over, which the RNC says it was never hacked. They showed proof that they were never hacked. Reince Priebus saying they were never hacked. That it was the Democrats. Was this a pro-Trump thing or an anti-Hillary thing? I'm pretty sure it's anti-Hillary.

What's funny, be careful what you hear because as far as I know, nobody denied the validity of those emails. Nobody said it wasn't true. Nobody said they were manipulated.

What they said was they were stolen.

The American media was all over it. And then when Donald Trump won the election, now they're blaming the Russians, and they tried to do everything they could to stop what they were a big part of, from the beginning.

But the president himself had to admit there was no tampering with the election itself. They didn't hack into voting machines. They didn't change vote tallies. They didn't get into any voter databases.

What happened was that they were -- if it was them, and so far, it hasn't been proven that it was. But they're -- and I'm hearing from some very high-level people that they believe it was the Russians. So let's go for arguments' sake to say that the Russians were the ones behind the hack that got the emails exposed through WikiLeaks. What they did was expose the corruption inside the Clinton campaign. That's what sank that ship.

When you see Hillary Clinton saying to the entire world, when I become Secretary of State, there is going to be this huge firewall -- her word -- between my Secretary of State's office and my foundation. And then we find out almost from day one that was never the case.

Even when it came to Haiti, earthquake relief, there was a lot of government grants, money that was out there, given the companies that were there to do relief efforts, whether it was humanitarian aid, humanitarian relief, or it was rescue and recovery and rebuilding of Haiti. And when people were applying for that -- for those State Department grants and State Department funds, there were emails being exchanged, that if you weren't friends of Bill or Clinton VIPs to the foundation, then they were sent to a website to fill out the paperwork.

If they were friends with the Clintons or VIPs, then they were told send them to us at the State Department directly. Those were handled in-house. Those people were given the contracts.

There's your firewall. There's the collusion and corruption that the American people were tired of. If anything else in this election cycle, we learned the good ol' boy network was despised by the American people. And Hillary Clinton exemplified that with her office. Seating at state dinners for donors to the foundation. And meetings being brokered because there were diplomats that couldn't get a meeting with the Secretary of State, but their country or they individually had donated a lot of money to the foundation. So the head of the foundation, reaching out to Huma Abedin and some of the other handlers for Hillary Clinton and saying, "Hey, this is a big donor of the Clinton Foundation, trying to get a meeting with the Secretary of State, and can't do it through the diplomatic channels. Is there anything you can do?" And then the email going back saying, "Yeah, we've given them a few dates. Let us know what works for them."

You know, that's the kind of corruption the American people despise. That's what sank that ship.

So the president going along with the theme -- and all it has to do is keep the American people doubtful. You know, when Al Gore lost and George W. Bush's brother was -- Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida. And, of course, that's why he won Florida. And all that stuff died off fairly quickly. Not this time.

Nobody went quietly into that good night this time. The electoral system in the United States is set up for an express purpose in an express ways. They don't want it to be coastal elections. They don't want LA and New York deciding every election, which they would have.

They tried to get the electors to change. I know one of the Arizona electors received over -- they weren't -- this was not a unique case. They received over 40,000 emails trying to get them to switch their vote from voting for Donald Trump as the people of Arizona had done to anybody else, basically.

And that is not -- that's not the way the American people behave.

We know about the terrorist attacks that happened in Germany and France, where they're not using bombs, they're not using guns or knives, they are using vehicles to just mow down people in crowds. It is just a horrifying way to take human lives. But it just shows you, again, the ingenuity and the desire and the hatred for humanity that some of these people -- in the name of religion -- have. And we saw it in Germany at a Christmas market. We saw it in France.

Well, in America, we've got big events here. And are the Americans learning from what's happened in other countries? The best of a horrible situation is to learn from others -- not mistakes necessarily, but learn tactically from things that happen in other countries.

Well, we've got Mardi Gras coming up. What's happening in New Orleans? What happened at the Thanksgiving Day Parade? What happens now at the Boston Marathon? What are happening at some of these events in America to be one step smarter than we were before and try to prevent the mayhem and the death? We'll talk about that here in just a moment. Again, my name is Mike Broomhead. I'm in Phoenix, Arizona. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

[break]

MIKE: All right. Mike Broomhead in for Glenn Beck today and tomorrow. Coming up next hour, we'll talk about the US inequality keeps getting uglier in a CNN story. Talking about the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. It's a great topic.

And also in the next hour, one of my heroes -- if I could emulate anyone, which I don't ever want to do, but if there's one person whose career I admire, it's Mike Rowe. Mike Rowe has been the voice for kind of the working man in what he does in his television shows and what you see when you hear him on broadcasts. And he's just one of those working class heroes. And it's genuine. It seems very genuine.

If there's one person out there that I would love to be able to meet some day and just have a conversation with, because I think it would be a fascinating conversation, it would be Mike Rowe.

Mike Rowe talks about why there's a lot of jobs out there that Americans aren't taking. And I think he's right on the money with some things. So we'll talk economy big in the next hour.

But to wrap up this hour of the show, Bourbon Street to be pedestrian mall for New Year's weekend. So it's not just Mardi Gras, but over the new year, they are going to be using blockades and trucks, I think, to block the streets where there will be pedestrian traffic only, to stop the same kind of mayhem where a vehicle is used to murder as many people as possible. We've now seen it in Europe a couple of different times. And now we're looking at a different scenario.

If you looked at Ohio State -- and this was the big argument. The stabbing in Ohio State where a guy rammed a building with his car, tried to run people over, then started with knives and started stabbing people before he was killed by a police officer.

Right away, the anti-gun crowd in America -- because the reports were out there. There was a gunman at the Ohio State campus. Right away, it was an anti-gun message. Right away, the gun control crowd was out there once again in full force.

Turned out that he didn't use a gun. One of the arguments I've always had -- and I'm fortunate to live in a place where our gun laws are probably the most lenient in the entire country. And I live in a very safe place. Phoenix, Arizona, if you've never visited, I hope you will someday. It's a beautiful city. And it's safe. The valley -- all the surrounding cities. We call it the valley. Beautiful and safe place. If you can legally own a handgun in the state of Arizona, you can conceal it without a permit.

Now, a lot of people think that's, "Oh, my gosh. How Wild West is that. No training. No -- the offset to that is criminal conceal weapons all the time. They don't have any training. There's not been an increase in death. There's not been an increase in shootings. There haven't been an increase in violence. None of that.

Good people, law-abiding citizens do not brandish weapons on each other. They just don't.

And now we're seeing the terrorists around the world are using guns when it's effective. They're using pressure cooker bombs when they believe that's going to be effective. And now they're using big trucks. We're going to limit the size of vehicles now. That's what they want to do with guns. Let's limit the amount of ammunition in a magazine. Let's limit the caliber. Let's limit the number of bullets somebody can buy.

Let's -- have we really turned into people that believe that that's going to solve a problem? I could go into the grocery store today because New Year's Eve is right around the corner, I could go in to a grocery store with a hand truck. I could buy six cases of beer, four cases of whisky, and 15 bags of ice and roll it out to my truck, and people would look at me and say, "Where is the party?" No one is going to look at me and say, "Oh, look at all the drunks he's going to be creating on New Years Eve. There's going to be death and mayhem in the streets from drunk drivers."

But you roll out of -- of a gun store with a couple of thousand of rounds of ammunition, and they may follow you home.

There is evil in the world, and people that based on religion, right now -- I mean, there's other reasons as well, are just looking to kill the western way of life. And we have to try to stay one step ahead of the way they're doing things. And this is going to be one way to stop people from driving trucks down Bourbon Street and just running people over that are celebrating New Year's Eve. But they're going to come up with a new way to kill people.

We have to double down and be diligent. The joint terrorism task forces around the country are constantly assessing what's going on around the world to improve how they target people, how they watch people, and how they protect the American citizens. So next hour, we'll talk about the economy iniquities, inequalities in our economic status in America, and what we can do to fix it, according to CNN. Stick around. You're going to love what's next.

Featured Image: Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a speech on Middle East peace at The U.S. Department of State on December 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Kerry spoke on the need for a two-state solution and defended the Obama administration's approach to Israel. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

RYAN: Kanye West and the Great Society

Graphic by Alexander Somoskey.

Donald Trump has been name-dropped by nearly every major rapper of the last 30 years, starting with a reference by Beastie Boys on their iconic album Paul's Boutique, the Sgt. Pepper of hip-hop.

He's been mentioned by Jay Z. Ludacris. Young Thug. Nelly. Kendrick Lamar. Juicy J. Rick Ross. Eminem. Big Sean. A Tribe Called Quest. Scarface. Lil Wayne. The Coup. Master P. Ice Cube. Mos Def. Raekwon, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and various other Wu-Tang Clan affiliates. R. Kelly. Pete Rock. Nas. E-40.

And don't forget this surreal moment in our nation's history.

Then-candidate Trump on SNL ... dancing to a Drake parody.(Screenshot from YouTube)

When Bun B referred to Trump on the Chopped-n-Screwed anthem "Pocket Full of Stones," he was keeping with a tradition of rappers admiring Trump. This only changed a few years ago.

But then there's Kanye West, who proudly donned the red MAGA hat after discovering Candace Owens and being called "a jackass" by our nation's first black President. Then Kanye was hugging President Trump in the Oval Office? While wearing a Make America Great Again hat, supposed symbol of white supremacy, Nazism, hate, evil?

(Screenshot from YouTube)

People flipped. Everyone did. Longtime critics suddenly — and bizarrely — embraced Kanye as an ally, while longtime defenders disowned him, abandoned him like nail clippings, often mocking his struggles with mental illness and labeling him, if you can believe it, a white supremacist.

Then, in a moment that changed music history, Kanye released the single "Ye vs. the People."

Ye vs. the People (starring TI as the People) www.youtube.com

In it, he challenges what he sees as the unspoken rule that black Americans have to vote Democrat. He had hinted at the idea on his track "Black Skinhead," from the hauntingly gorgeous album Yeezus, but now he was addressing it head-on, with the passion of a man going to Confession for the first time in a decade.

Why should black folks have to abide by any set of cultural or political or artistic guidelines to begin with? And, he argues, the pressure to adhere to this longheld framework is itself undergirded by a subtle and cleverly masked racism, imposed by a group of people who portray themselves as the champions of race and enemies of white supremacy and destroyers of dumb yokel rednecks with their Rebel flags and monster trucks and fully-automatic AR-15 assault weapons. All of which, it turns out, is some next-level projection.

Kanye also confronts the presence of these expectations and stereotypes in hip-hop. The idea that rappers must invoke a negative persona in order to succeed. And the moment they deviate from that image they are rebuked or ignored, even though the persona is damaging to the black community as a whole. Which is especially ironic given that the people who voice the most outrage tend to be highly privileged, supposedly progressive white folks who love to rant about white privilege and black oppression.

Is it better if I rap about crack? 'Cause it's cultural?
Or how about I'ma shoot you? or f**k your b***h?
Or how about all this Gucci, 'cause I'm f****n' rich?

Best of all, Kanye has answers. And they differ from the erudite solutions offered by, say, A Tribe Called Quest, who, like Kanye, have modeled a healthy, positive image of blackness for the black community.

A central theme within "Ye vs. The People" is empathy as power, rebellion, freedom.

Make America Great Again had a negative perception
I took it, wore it, rocked it, gave it a new direction
Added empathy, care and love and affection
And y'all simply questionin' my methods.

This concept is an extension of the powerful devotion to positive energy that Kanye adopted around that time, a purview he has cultivated into a wild new form of electronic gospel.

But his personal transformation was tough.

That [MAGA] hat stayed in my closet like 'bout a year and a half
Then one day I was like, "F**k it, I'ma do me"
I was in the sunken place and then I found the new me.

This is a struggle that many Americans undergo. Researchers call it the spiral of silence. The idea that the news media and social media present biased opinions as though they are fact, and when the message conflicts with a person's opinions or values, they feel isolated, alone.

Kanye and T.I. during the making of "Ye vs. the People"(Screenshot from YouTube)

As Kanye raps in "Ye vs. the People"

A lot of people agree with me but they're too scared to speak up.

Because we have an incredible ability to sense public opinion. So when we suspect that we hold a belief that rails against acceptable thought, we tend to keep quiet about it. That silence makes the opinion seem even more taboo, resulting in a more widespread silence.

In reality, many of these supposedly taboo opinions are not only popular, they are normal and practical and logical. Healthy, even. And the real danger is in demonizing them. But too many people are afraid they'll be ostracized for expressing their beliefs.

Like how — despite what we've been led to believe — most Americans cannot stand political correctness.

But the small minority of people who champion it are powerful and loud. They're like that cardboard city in North Korea, just visible enough from the border to make it seem like a thriving community. They're the Wicked Witch of the West, or Iago from Othello, or Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants.

So far, they have been successful. Although "success" by their metric is anarchic and primal, all destruction and loudness and people nervous to speak their mind. And the cost of rebellion can be devastating.

By the time Kanye West wrote "Yay versus the People," he had gotten sick of this power dynamic. So he broke the spiral of silence."

*

In the words of German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, "Whoever has language has the world."

Humans alone have it.

But in order for us to know freedom in our world, our language has to be public, shared, active. Because each of us thrives constantly with language, a stream of it always in our mind. Aristotle defined "thought" as the infinite dialogue between the soul and itself. Conversation is the exchange of thought between people. When we converse, we simultaneously release our infinite dialogue and accept the other person's. By speaking, we shape the world and free ourselves.

*

Another way to say it is that Donald Trump might have inspired the song that could very well signify the end of Hip-Hop, which is not only the most popular genre of our zeitgeist, it's the most popular, and successful, form of music in American history, which is the most important era of musical history.

If the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, and Drake literally outpaces the Beatles, then, well, you get the point God forgive me. And Kanye is bigger than Drake. So who better to have the final word on the capacities of Hip-Hop than Kanye West?

Nobody.

Every genre must come to a close. There's a reason why people aren't eagerly awaiting the next great disco album, or flocking to arenas to hear the newest bluegrass superstar, or asking to get their hair done like the latest syringe-armed guitarist of Guns N Roses.

(Screenshot from Instagram)

The great era of Rock 'N' Roll ended roughly about the time Radiohead traded their guitars and drums for synthesizers and sequencers, not long after Kurt Cobain took an insane amount of heroin and cradled a shotgun in his guesthouse, only to be discovered several days later by an electrician. Even worse, Nickelback soiled Cobain's legacy with godawful anthems, and who have their own weird and contradictory and hilarious connection to President Trump.

These days, Rock N' Roll lives mostly via nostalgia, as evinced by the explosion of cover bands. Notice how you don't see any hip-hop cover bands. You will, someday. But, for now, Hip-Hop reigns supreme. And Kanye is the King.

The brilliant Nina Simone once told a reporter that "An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times."

Because music accords itself to the gravity and creative truth of the era. And currently we entrust hip-hop with this complicated maneuver.

But the past year, Kanye has been crafting a new sound through his Sunday services, weekly jam sessions with acoustic musicians and a choir and everyone dressed in white, praying through song, herding us into a better place, looking above for guidance. If it's anything like his track "Ultralight Beam," it will bring calm to our divided culture.

Mark my words: The resultant album will usher in an entirely new era, a magical flash in human history.

So far, hip-hop has been the defiant child of R&B and Electronica, the grandchild of Spoken Word and Steve Reich Minimalism, with tinges of Punk. Not for much longer. Kanye will see to that. And, weirdly, President Trump has helped inspire this transformation.

Meaning, Donald Trump will have had a hand in reinventing music as a whole, in spreading a movement of positive reformation. Love him or hate him, it does not matter. What other politician can make that claim?

There's an optimism to this that Dave Chappelle captured in his now-infamous Saturday Night Live monologue, just days after Trump was elected, asking Americans to at least give the man a chance. And again in his special "Equanimity," when he said

I swear no matter how bad it gets, you're my countrymen, and I know for a fact that I'm determined to work shit out with y'all.

In a moment of now-tired irony, the usual suspects heaped a barrage of hate at Chappelle for these remarks. But their outrage does not matter, in the grand scheme of things. Because it is an incredible time to be alive. It's beautiful. We should never forget that, no matter how petty or outrageous daily life gets.

At the moment, we are a country that is — everywhere, secretly — hurting. But we are Americans. Together. This is America. And, every day, God delights in our greatness and our empathy and our endless gift for love. So open your heart and listen. Say what you need to say.

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday. Check out my Twitter.

RYAN: Michael Bennet, Little League

Photo by Sean Ryan

Every day, life getting shorter. Every day, life going faster. Every day, like a roller coaster. These were the kinds of things that Michael Bennet was saying.

Michael Bennet, God bless him, he seemed like a decent lad. All week he had his family there. He said his campaign was their family vacation. He had had prostate cancer but would you believe he survived?

"Life is getting shorter," he said. "Every day."

Photo by Sean Ryan

He was well spoken. Dry. Talked with an air of consultation. Like you were in his office, and he had things to tell you.

Like a Little League coach who could actually be a coach someday.

*

I would encounter Bennet again the next day, at the Iowa State Fair.

Having just seen Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at a small Baptist church, we ventured to the fair to see Bernie Sanders' riot of a Sunday speech. Bennet was on before him, so I got there early, and I paced off to get a restroom break. The media center is in the basement of the administration building, right by the Political Soapbox stage.

For whatever reason, the first-floor men's restroom has giant windows along the wall, and you can see right out onto the walkway that wraps around the building. I did not realize that this was the path that the candidates take to get to the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And, this far into the 2020 presidential election, they never went many places alone. They had a press swarm and their wives and maybe an old friend who relocated here when the hurricane sank his house.

I was rushing. Panicking, really. Because I heard all the commotion. But nature abides by its own pace. And as I shuffled to the sink to wash my hands, my pants fell all the way down. I was exposed. Out in the open and in such desperation, you clobber yourself outside of time. It was all slo-mo with the Chopped-n-screwed voices as I scrambled to lift my trousers and audibly gasped the words, "Well just no." At that exact moment, that "accidental Renaissance" painting occurred as I locked eyes with Michael Bennet, slowly maneuvering the walkway.

These sorts of things happened, didn't they? There you were in a restroom, at an NFL game or a concert or maybe a bar, and you see someone you work with, or someone from church or school, and you lock eyes for a moment in confusion then revert to cave talk and shrug and get on with what you were doing. But it's weird when only one of you is actively part of the etiquette and allowances of a restroom and one of you is held to a higher standard, for the sake of common decency. Now let's say that you, the restroom occupant, happen to be credentialed press, and the outsider, Michael Bennet, happens to be a candidate for president of America.

Once the herd passed by behind him, I laughed a bit, quietly, because life could be very funny.

*

Onstage, Bennet, a senator from Colorado, gave the performance of a cake falling into a pool. Like he had been ghost-busted. Like he had spent the last two months learning the Fortnite dance moves and now that he had mastered them, suddenly Fortnite was for losers, and Fortnite dances, well, they were even worse.

The Political Soapbox is great because every candidate has 20 minutes. Those 20 minutes were theirs. Most of the time, they got romantic like a Backstreet Boy singing up toward an open window. Occasionally, they lost it. Bennet did neither. He belly-flopped into hay bales.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Remember that the growing crowd had the dangerous feel of a natural disaster. And it was gaspingly warm that day. So neither the crowd nor the environment were ready to give Bennet a freebie.

He gave a ravishing speech, full of neat invective. Then looked up and realized he still had 14 minutes on the clock. Oof. That was most of it, and he'd already done the Floss and the Robot and the Electro Shuffle, and honestly his shoulder was a little stiff from all that dance practice. So he opened the floor for questions.

Now, that was not the greatest idea. For one, this was not the type of place for such a thing. They called it a soapbox because you were meant to live out the phrase "on a soapbox" by ranting and fist-pounding and all other theatrics.

The Bernie Sanders supporters hadn't arrived en masse yet, so most of the people around the stage were clad in Trump gear. And they all had their hands up ready to ask him questions. Well, firebombs, really, masked as interrogative statements. Bennet shouted without breathing, then said, "I want to find a non-male person who has a question."

This did not sit well with the males who did not like the trend of personalizing all things, cautious gendering, and the sudden change of direction so that now they had to just listen.

Most people did not care.

"I do not support Bernie's plan," Bennet shouted. But would you believe the Bernie supporters had literally just arrived, you could smell their hair dye.

They jeered, then acted exactly — and I mean exactly — like the Trump supporters.

"I would rather support free pre-school than free college," he shouted. "Many people talk about... " but the jeering was too powerful. And the Bernie supporters had likely just had quinoa açaí bowls at their pre-Bernie brunch, so they were unstoppable. Well God bless the man for scratching "Give Presidency a Try" off his bucket list. Because at least he had a bucket list.

What did they have? Student debt and a restraining order? They being the growing factions of Bernie and Trump supporters in the audience. You could not see any pavement. It was just people and faces like the Mediterranean in the evening, all the way to the towering walls of the Grandstand.

Looking out at all that chaos, all that latent disaster, Bennet must have felt a deep stirring.

The night before, Slipknot headlined at the Grand Stand, a sold-out show. Rollicking and bursting and howling. How many drumbeats could drummer Jay Weinberg get per minute? At one point, vocalist Corey Taylor unleashed a demonic bellow, then adjusted his mask and looked out to all those people, those devoted fans, because many of them had Slipknot tattoos, and maybe he, like Bennet, indulged a moment for himself, a personalization of the grand setting, then shrieked, then persuaded the audience to lift their hands into the air, maybe toward a constellation of their choosing, and extend their middle finger like it was an egg landing on a pillow, which symbolizes the human condition.




New installments to this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out my Twitter.

President Trump couldn't personally make it to Houston for the 3rd Democratic Debate, so he paid $7,500 for a single-engine Cessna to fly in circles over Texas Southern University campus while pulling a banner that said, "Socialism will kill Houston's economy! Vote Trump 2020!"

For four hours, it chugged around up there. You could hear it everywhere. It was the soundtrack of the night.

You can just imagine Trump's face as he had the banner-plane idea. You can hear him putting in the order. You can see his list of demands. And at the very top, "I WANT THE LOUDEST PLANE YOU CAN FIND!!!"

*

Was that Bret Baier in the aisle, adjusting his reading glasses and thumbing at the strap of his comically small backpack as he crossed the blue-carpeted gymnasium? He looked like the human version of Wisconsin. He was saying something but all you could hear was the plane overhead.

Photo by Kevin Ryan

Bret Baier, the stoic host of "Special Report with Bret Baier" on Fox News and the network's chief political anchor. He's underrated, if you ask me. Legacy. Old-school. He just delivers the news, which is what most people want. He talks the way anchors used to talk, with the American accent unique to news anchors even though he was born in New Jersey and raised in Georgia.

I had spent the last year-and-a-half on a series of in-depth profiles on some of the major countercultural figures of our time. People like Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, and Carol Swain. So my first impulse was to rush over to Baier and profile the guy. Nobody else would, after all. The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper's. But they ought to. The man has a hell of a story.
He joined Fox News a year-and-a-half after it was founded, as the southeast correspondent in Atlanta. A few years later, on a Tuesday in September, nineteen terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners and crashed into America.

When the first plane hit, Fox producers told Baier to just get in his car and drive to New York City. They needed back-up reporters for the next day. When the second plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m., they said, "Step on it, Baier."

He and his producer were an hour outside Atlanta when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Still a good 8 hours away, but closer to D.C. than to New York City. So they re-routed to Arlington, Virginia, as fast as they could. Past a blur of fields full of indifferent cows. Past houses full of people who could hardly talk, people who couldn't describe what they were seeing and hearing, all the smoke and the blood and the office-supply confetti. Past towns that barely moved, gas stations with nobody in them, people sunken into a far-away stare.

Yet there was the sun, with only a few bangles of cloud every so often. America had been paralyzed but the earth kept trucking along, quiet and unbothered. It must have felt strange for Baier, to speed down empty highways — toward literal death and chaos — under a perfect sky, below cascading light and color.

Nature doesn't care if we make it out alive.

*

That day, Baier reported live from a Citgo station across the street from the Pentagon, rubble in heaps of flame behind him. It was like he'd fallen onto a different planet and was reporting back to home.

The next day arrived and it was so quiet everywhere. Nobody knew a damn thing. We could not believe our eyes. We all turned to reporters and anchors for answers. Most often, they blurted out whatever they could.

Something about Bret Baier gave audiences a much-needed boost. Reliable, sturdy. Like he said what had to be said and not a word extra.

Fox kept him in D.C., indefinitely. A friend helped him find an apartment. He never went back to Atlanta. Two weeks later, Fox News appointed him Pentagon correspondent, a position that saw him travel the world, including 13 trips to Afghanistan and 12 to Iraq.

Halfway through George W. Bush's second term, Baier became Fox News' White House correspondent.

Then, a year before he would earn his current position as anchor, Baier became a father. His son was born with holes in his heart — five congenital heart defects. Twelve days later, the boy underwent open-heart surgery. Baier and his wife waited in tiled rooms drenched with flowers and ESPN and drab ultraviolet light, surrounded by machines full of beeps and whirring and beeps and whirring.

Baier's son has since undergone two additional open-heart surgeries, nine angioplasties, and one stomach operation. In an interview with Parents Magazine, Baier said that his son's health problems have "given me perspective about my job, going through policy and politics in Washington, D.C., to see the bigger picture."

*Part of the reason I couldn't tell whether or not it was Baier is he's usually up on the main stage. For the 2012 election, he moderated five Republican debates, and co-anchored FNC's America's Election HQ alongside Megyn Kelly.

The 2016 election would propel him into a much larger role. He anchored three Republican debates, but this time he had to handle Donald Trump.

Baier knew Trump personally, from before the election. They'd played golf together. He described Trump as "a nice guy outside of his TV persona" and never thought Trump would actually make a run for the Presidency. Onstage, Trump was much different. And Baier had been tasked with maintaining control.

A devout Roman Catholic, he appreciates a nice glass of wine and a fine cut of steak. He likes a good joke, too. In January, 2019, Baier signed a multi-year deal with Fox News to continue "Special Report." A few weeks later, he and his family went to Montana for a ski trip. The weekend was wonderful. But they had to get back to New York because Baier was scheduled to appear on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that Tuesday.

Imagine him, again in a car hurtling toward a fateful destination. How he squinted through the frost-pocked windshield and gripped the steering wheel. As he guided the white SUV along the two-lane road to the airport. The land looked haunted, barren, lifeless. Everywhere, the world was frozen white. Snow and ice blanketing the fields, gauze over the sky.

At some anonymous intersection, Baier pumped the brakes, but the tires hit an ice patch, and the SUV spun loose. An oncoming car slammed into the driver's side, launching the vehicle into an embankment, wedged on its side. A man named Zach stopped his pickup truck and helped the family crawl free, and the Montana Highway Patrol rushed them to the hospital.

"Don't take anything for granted," Baier tweeted later. "Every day is a blessing and family is everything. It's always good to remind yourself of that before something does it for you."

Before every debate that he moderates, Baier spends 10 minutes alone, praying.

*

A Freedom of Information Act request in 2011 revealed that Fox News was actually right. That the Obama Administration really did hate them. And had intentionally excluded them from a press pool two years earlier. Then laughed about it.

The documents unearthed snarky emails between various high-ranking aides in the Obama Administration. In one, the Deputy White House communications director bemoaned Baier's reporting on the bias. "I'm putting some dead fish in the [Fox News] cubby — just cause Bret Baier is a lunatic." That same day, deputy press secretary Josh Earnest bragged in an email that "we've demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews."

The Trump administration pulled a similar stunt in July, 2018 by banning a CNN reporter from the press pool. Trump and Fox News had developed a beneficial relationship by then. And CNN was a lifelong competitor, a public enemy.
That night, Baier delivered an official statement, "This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better. As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access."

Fox News rebuked Trump in solidarity with CNN. It was a heartening gesture between two seeming enemies. Fox News were standing up for truth, defending journalism, rejecting tyranny even though the ban would have benefitted them as a company.

Who knows how many books and dissertations and articles have been written about Fox News, usually in relation to bias, usually with a scathing tone. The conclusions differ wildly, yet each one claims certitude.

Generally, academics and journalists have taken a doomsday tone when talking about Fox News. Accusations of evil, fear-mongering, bigotry, hatred, misinformation, propaganda, racism, homophobia, and so on.

Despite these outcries, Fox News has consistently held its spot as the most-watched network in the country. Imagine how that makes its critics feel.

In an August 3, 2018 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Baier said, "the biggest problem is that the people who are most critical of Fox are usually people who have not watched Fox News."

Fox News is composed of two distinct departments. Punditry and straight news. Or "opinion news" and "descriptive news." Consistently, surveys of the public rate Fox News as both the least- and most-biased news network.
Last year, a survey found Fox News to be the second most-trusted television news brand in the country, after the BBC.

In a separate study, Democrats rated its bias score at (negative) -87, while Republicans placed it at (positive) +3. Which is like if, at a football game, one referee said "Touchdown," while the other referee said "Turnover, leading to Touchdown for the Defense." It can't be both, can it?

Public opinion may not be the best metric for understanding Fox News, especially in 2019.

Quantitative studies have offered clearer conclusions. In 2016, a content analysis used crowdsourcing and machine learning to examine over 800,000 news stories published over a year by 15 major outlets, from the New York Times to Fox News. They wanted to chart media bias.

What they discovered is that news outlets are far more similar than we believe. Much of the perceived bias is a matter of separating "opinion news" from "descriptive news." For conservatives, it's punditry. For those on the left, it's op-eds and long form investigative pieces, although the left tends to insist that they're not biased, that they are instead just more apt to tell the truth, even though research has disproven this belief.

The researchers found a much larger bias-divide in opinion news, whereas descriptive news was practically neutral. One of the researchers described Fox News' descriptive news as "guided by similar news values as more traditional, legacy media."

University of California Berkeley sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote that "Fox News stands next to industry, state government, church, and the regular media as an extra pillar of political culture all its own."

Say what you want about Fox News, they play a crucial role in the so-called mainstream media. And, despite what Fox News will lead you to believe, they are definitely part of the mainstream. And they are by no means the innocent victim. And certainly not powerless. And they have all kinds of problems that I will not defend. But we'll talk about that in a later installment, the one about Kamala Harris at a gun control rally, advocating for propaganda.

*

After two months of political events, I suspected that different news networks have their own signifiers, like the distinct stripes and markings on various spiders.

Wall Street Journal reporters tended to carry old-timey notepads and interview any bystander they could find. Breitbart usually only sent one person, and he wandered around with his iPhone, recording every single thing. Politico, prim-suited men who could just as easily work on the stock market.

Most of the reporters dressed like that, in stagey business attire. Prim for a high school job fair. Meanwhile, the photographers, mostly men, looked like professional paintball players. The camera crews and technical staff were the only ones decked in tattoos and wearing sandals and generally not caring about the chaos all around them. On-camera talent were covered in makeup and shrink-wrapped into dresses or suits with chip-clips along the spine.

The Washington Post sent the classiest and most bored-looking people I have ever encountered. They never looked at their laptops as their fingers chopped at the keys, and you assumed they were pretending until you read their stories online. You could spot ABC because their camera crew wore faded red ABC hats. Associated Press looked like they had just come back from a battlefield assignment in Syria, and never donned the same press credentials as everyone else, preferring a tattered AP lanyard. And you always knew when someone was with the New York Times because they announced it to the entire room.

And Fox News? At democratic events, they usually hid. But not that day, in Houston, as Bret Baier walked up the aisle to a table a couple rows in front of me.

Most people arrived in the Media Filing Center several hours before the debate. Fox News got there just slightly after that, as everyone was wiggling in their seats and connecting their laptops to a shared outlet.

There were seven or so in the pack of Fox News, all grinning. They all had white to-go sacks from Chick-fil-A. And the room got quieter, so Trump's plane got louder. It was a double trolling event.

As host of the debate, ABC would be providing dinner. This information was included in the credentials email that all of us had received. So nobody else had brought food with them. No need.

Even better, I was familiar enough with that part of Houston to know that there was not a Chick-fil-A anywhere close to us. Who knew where they'd gotten that Chick-fil-A, but odds are it wasn't warm. Who knew if there was even any food in the bags.

They had brought Chick-fil-A into a building full of national media during the third Democratic Presidential debate. The 2020 election was already full of outrage about plenty of things, and one of them was Chick-fil-A. To some folks, the red chicken logo might as well have been a swastika. That very week LGBT activists had vehemently — cartoonishly — protested the opening of several Chick-fil-A's throughout North America. Chicken sandwiches had become yet another flag on the tug-of-war rope in the Culture War of our country.

To be clear, the political left was anti-Chicken and the political right was pro-Chicken. The media tended to lean anti-Chicken, and frequently wrote about anti-Chicken causes, often scolding pro-Chicken voices, or ignoring the struggles of the pro-Chicken community only to deny any opinion on Chicken at all. That was the cowardly part, of you ask me, the pretending like they weren't activists.

The Democratic candidates definitely leaned anti-Chicken. Sometimes they took it so far that it upset moderate anti-Chicken advocates. Because was it really so bad to eat Chicken? Couldn't you be anti-Chicken but also enjoy Chicken occasionally? Why did everything have to be either "all Chicken all the time unless you hate freedom" or "no chicken ever unless you support hate"?

The fight had spread everywhere. Airports, stadiums, malls, campuses. All had served as battlegrounds for the anti-Chicken versus the pro-Chicken.

The previous President was anti-Chicken. In fact, he may well have enflamed the entire movement. During his tenure, there were nationwide protests that saw pro-Chicken advocates angrily and proudly eating Chicken while anti-Chicken advocates protested outside and occasionally engaged in homosexual affection, which was being threatened by Chicken, according to them.

Every time the pro-Chicken folks bit into a Chicken sandwich, it was like they were gnawing away at the anti-Chicken people themselves. Degrading their identity. Because, for them, it was about the identity.

But the current President, unabashedly proud of his pro-Chicken stance, once served Chicken at the White House to some winning sports team, and the anti-Chicken activists saw it as proof that Chicken and hate go together. And maybe Chicken would even lead to the impeachment of the President they hate, which would mean the Vice President would become the President, but he's one of the most pro-Chicken people in America, so they'd have to impeach him, too. And the Supreme Court, it was overrun with pro-Chicken types.

This election, the Democratic front-runners competed for the bolder plan. They would end Chicken in America once and for all. They would obliterate our evil President and his Chicken Supremacy. Their stump speeches relied on harsh criticisms of pro-Chicken voters, who pretended to find the whole anti-Chicken movement amusing but were secretly enraged by it. In fact, they were certain that the anti-Chicken movement had been systematically silencing them for years, and that they had to fight for their Chicken in order to keep everything that they valued, even all the not-Chicken.

The media and the democrats and Hollywood and academia — all hated the Chicken, because they hated the pro-Chicken people. If they had their way, no more Chicken, ever again. And no more pro-Chicken deplorables. And tonight the anti-Chicken politico-culture complex would prove it, with long rants which get confirmed by glowing articles, calculated takedowns about the merits of anti-Chicken and the evils of pro-Chicken.

Yet here was Fox News, with actual Chicken. And they were smiling. Maybe in part because the police who were guarding us all tended to be pro-Chicken. And this was Texas, after all, an incredibly pro-Chicken state. But there were 49 other states and 14 territories, and all of them were fighting for or against Chicken.

Some experts even said we were on the cusp of a Civil War.


New installments to this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. For live updates, check out my Twitter.

We've heard the catchphrase "follow the money" so often that it's nearly a joke. It gained added attention in the 1976 movie All the President's Men, which follows the story of the two journalists who uncovered Watergate. "Follow the money," their source told them, "and you'll find corruption."

Problem is, corrupters hide their bad behavior remarkably well. They are masters of disguise. But if you look closely enough, you can spot the seams splitting in their choreographed routine.

One technique that magicians use for psychological misdirection is called the false solution. The goal is to distract the audience, to make them believe that they know what's really happening. All the while, the machinations of the actual trick are happening right in front of them, because "implanting an unlikely and unfamiliar idea in the mind can prevent participants from finding a more obvious one."

Billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

I want to tell you a story of tremendous corruption, masked cleverly, using many of the same techniques that magicians have used for centuries. Only it's not a rabbit disappearing into a hat or a coin vanishing behind an ear. It's billions of dollars. Lost. Gone.

And the people responsible are the same people who have been so monstrously worked up about Trump's impeachment. The same people screaming about Trump's malfeasance with Ukraine are actually the ones misbehaving in Ukraine.

It's essentially an elevated, highly organized form of projection. Only instead of one person lashing out at the world, it's an entire political party, right up to the top. The very top. Barack Obama. It's right there on video.

Or how about the audio recording we uncovered, with Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine, openly admitting a connection between the DNC and Ukraine?

So far, the story told by the Democrats and the media has been about Trump and Ukraine. Every so often, you hear mention of Joe Biden's dubious history with the war-torn country.

We were the first to talk about Joe Biden's connections to Ukraine back in April, with our candidate profile on Biden.

It turns out, the whole debacle was much worse than we thought. It stretched further than Uncle Joe. What we found out is that the DNC was working with the Ukrainian government.

This isn't a conspiracy theory. And we have the documents to prove it.

Read on to discover everything you need for a 30-second elevator pitch that you can give to your friend and say, "Look, here's what you need to know. Here's what's really going on."

If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail.

Last night, in Ukraine: The Democrats' Russia I revealed the elaborate misdirection taking place.

I said it last night and I'll say it again: If Trump is guilty, he should go to jail. If anyone is guilty, they should go to jail. Because this is too important to the Republic.

Watch the hands, follow the money.

Here are the documents, video, and audio that we found in our reporting. This is the hard evidence that will help you explain this unbelievable situation to other people.



  • June 2016 State Department memos detailing contacts between George Soros' office and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.




As you can see, we did a lot of research on this, and we've done our best to condense it for you. It still requires you to do your own homework, but there's a tremendous freedom to that.

You are seeking the truth.

You are bucking the mainstream media. You are rejecting them. And you are seeking truth. Because they abandoned truth a long time ago and they certainly aren't interested in recovering it now.