Putin Outmaneuvered Obama and Dropped the Mic

Radio and news veteran Mike Opelka, host of Pure Opelka on TheBlaze and editor of FireWire, TheBlaze daily newsletter, filled in for Glenn on The Glenn Beck Program today, Friday, December 30.

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

• How did Putin "alpha male" Barack Obama?

• Is Hillary Clinton the new Nemo?

• Is Mike obsessed with pyrotechnics?

• What has Mike so impressed by the NYPD?

• Who is D.A. Henderson and why is he the most significant person who died this year?

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

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

MIKE: Hello, friends and neighbors. My name is Mike Opelka. And I will be here today and Monday. I will be ending the year on the Glenn Beck Program and kicked off 2017. Coming to you live from the constitutionally protected free speech bunker in the woods of Delaware. The first state to ratify the Constitution.

I'm proud to be here. I'm proud to have returned to the show.

If you don't know me, I hope we get to know each other over the next couple of days. I am part of TheBlaze.com. Have been a part of TheBlaze.com for officially -- well, next week -- officially six years. Next week, I will enter my seventh year as part of TheBlaze.com. Written over 2500 -- almost 3,000 pieces for TheBlaze. And you can see them on TheBlaze.com.

I encourage you to visit TheBlaze, as well as other news sources. I'm a guy who believes that we need to take in as much information as possible in order to understand the whole picture, try and see it from as many different points of view as you can and try and find as much truth as possible because I'm a person who believes the truth has no agenda.

Today -- today I want to do a couple of things. Obviously, we are going to deal with the fact that Vladimir Putin just alpha maled Barack Obama in the biggest way I have seen to date. That's absolutely right.

Putin just alpha maled Obama, dropped the mic, and walked off. What am I talked about? Well, I'll tell you in a minute.

We are going to introduce you to a hero, a veteran, a retired Army vet who is doing something amazing right now. He's doing something. He's not asking for money. He's only ask for attention and awareness. And we're going to talk to him. A real hero.

We're also -- also going to talk with a doctor. I was fascinated by the story this week, you know, heartbroken as well, the story of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds passing away within 24 hours of each other. What a tragic story.

But the speculation that Debbie Reynolds may have died of a broken heart and the theory that, "Hey, could that really happen?" It made me think, "We need a medical professional here." So we're going to talk to a medical professional today and get an opinion on that. A guy who has been -- he's on TV all the time. But he's got an operating practice in different parts of the country than I'm based. And he's a very clear speaker on topics of health.

And as heart disease is still killing more people in this country than anything, we need to be aware of that. So can you die of a broken heart? We'll find out later.

This is also the kiss-off of 2016. So if you want to join me today, you can -- you can talk about what you're not going to miss from 2016. The phone number here -- lines are always open. 888-727-BECK. 888-727-2325. Share your thoughts.

You can tweet at me as well. My Twitter identity is @stuntbrain. That's all one word. S-T-U-N-T B-R-A-I-N. And use the #whatIwon'tmissabout2016. What I won't miss about 2016.

One of the top things on my list, if we could prevent it from happening in 2017, would be man buns. I'm really sick of the man bun. If you only knew how silly it made you look. If you had any idea of how the majority -- and maybe you don't care. And maybe I'm jealous because my hair, which had been very long for years, is gone. Pretty much.

But 2016 has been probably the most troublesome year in my life.

And, yes, there were blessings in 2016. There were new members in our family, our extended family. There were new engagements in our extended family. There were wonderful things happening. I was given the opportunity to do a nighttime show on TheBlaze Radio Network, which I do from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. I hope you will stop in for that.

And so many other things just to be thankful for. But there are things that I am very happy to just wave buh-bye to 2016. So you will be -- I welcome you. I welcome you to share your thoughts about what you won't miss about 2016.

Now, the news from yesterday, we heard for quite some time that Barack Obama was going to retaliate, was going to respond to Russia. And the reports that Russia meddled in our election. And yesterday, we got the news that, in fact, the president was going to give -- and this to me seemed like a game show: You've got 72 hours to get out of the country. Pack your bags and get out, Russia. Thirty-five diplomats or people masquerading as diplomats were told they had to leave. And they were going to close these two compounds. The one 45-acre compound in Maryland. Massive place that the Soviet Union purchased back in the '70s. I wonder what happens to that.

If you tell them they have to get out, I wonder what becomes of that property. Are we allowed to then go in and search it? Are we allowed to see what's been going on in there? What will happen, Russia?

You know what I need, I need to light up the Buck Sexton symbol and see if Buck will call in and explain. I know he's getting -- he's on vacation. But he's also working on something else for today. I think he's filling in for Rush Limbaugh actually.

But this morning, all of the mainstream media sources were reporting, "Oh, my God, Russia is react. Russia is going to react to President Obama telling the 35 diplomats they were expelled. They have 72 hours to get out." And reciprocity was going to happen. And so this morning, the mainstream media was full-on reporting that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had told Putin, "We must retaliate. We must expel 35 Americans from the country."

And I can't tell you how many times I heard this morning the phrase "tit-for-tat." Yes, we get it, Mainstream Media. They're still saying it. But despite the fact that that's not happening.

Lavrov Told Putin, quote, we cannot leave such acts unanswered. Reciprocity is a part of diplomatic law.

And Putin's spokesperson said there's no doubt that Russia's adequate and mirror response will make Washington officials feel very uncomfortable as well.

Little did we know how accurate that statement was. Putin, as I mentioned earlier, has just alpha maled Barack Obama. Totally alpha maled him. And I think this is amazing. Absolutely amazing. Putin basically laughed at Obama and called this -- basically called this an 11th-hour temper tantrum and said Russia won't cause problems to US diplomats. Russia will not deport anyone. Russia has the right to respond, but will not engage in irresponsible diplomacy.

That's one mic drop right there.

Vladimir Putin just told the president of the United States what he did was irresponsible diplomacy. And he saved -- he saved some even bigger shots. He called it kitchen diplomacy. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible kitchen diplomacy, but will plan further steps to restore Russian/US relations, based on the policies of the Trump administration. Boom!

But wait, there's more. Vladimir Putin congratulated Trump and the American people on the New Year, and he did something -- first of all, when Putin says this, you know it's got to tick off the Obama administration because Putin just really -- he really did drop the mic on Obama, call him an irresponsible kitchen diplomacy, his move. But now, every one of those Russian diplomats has got to know that they're being watched even closer. Every one of them has to know -- and let's not forget, earlier in the year, we had a situation where an American diplomat was trying to enter their compound and was tackled to the ground by a Russian police and/or military person because they were claiming they couldn't identify with them. Russia has been messing with our diplomats for a while, and this is a big one. But Putin played an even bigger -- bigger card here.

Not only did he congratulate Donald Trump, the president-elect, and the American people, wishing them a Happy New Year. He invited all of the children of the US diplomats in Russia, all of them to come to the Kremlin and celebrate the holidays.

Obama lost the diplomatic war on the way out. Let's face it, 21 days from today, we will have a new president. Twenty-one days from today, it becomes the Trump administration versus the Obama administration.

He said, Putin, in his exact -- in the translated words, "It is regrettable that the Obama administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family. My seasons greetings to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. I wish you all happiness and prosperity."

Now, part of me believes that Mr. Putin has his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, and he doesn't wish us anything close to happiness. But what he did here was the ultimate checkmate move in this diplomatic battle. It's just a piece of brilliance.

And will I get in trouble for praising a guy like Vladimir Putin? I don't care. That was a great move. Obama was -- Obama and Kerry this week have been so outclassed on both the Russian and Israeli problems. The only words I have for them is, "Bye, Felicia."

If you ever wanted an example of a kakistocracy, a word I've used before, a word Glenn has used before -- government by the worst possible individuals -- you have to look no further than President Obama and John Kerry on the situation of Israel and Russia in the past week.

It's a stunning example of the kakistocracy that we are currently dealing with. It's amazing.

I have to exhale. I know. I got all wound up. We just started the show. Mike Opelka is my name. This is the Glenn Beck Program.

You know, I have so much more to talk about because -- because there are so many things going on in the world today. I want to wrap up some of the memories of the year. We will -- we will recall some of the people who have left us. And since the media is focused on celebrities, I want to focus on some people who -- who left us in 2016 who were big difference makers. People you may never hear about. People the media seems to gloss over because they didn't have a movie out last year or they didn't sell 100 million records. But how about somebody that saved 500 million lives?

One person. You want to know about him? They lost -- we lost them this year. I'm going to stop away from it. When I get back, I will share with you the story of someone the media doesn't seem to be talking about, but we should be. At least I think we should be.

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MIKE: Mike Opelka is my name, filling in for my friend, my boss Glenn Beck on this, the final Glenn Beck Program of 2016. We are discussing many topics, both the latest news and news stories and stuff we won't miss when 2016 finally leaves.

And I think someone is actually call in from Florida. I missed the name. Who is with me today?

CALLER: Hi, I'm Alex. And I'm in St. Petersburg, Florida.

MIKE: Hey, Alex. I'm jealous of your weather and your golf courses.

But what won't you miss about 2016?

CALLER: Well, I guess I'm optimistic to think that it won't happen in 2017. But I'm not going to miss disinformation, truthfulness -- truthiness, or post truth, or whatever you want to call it.

You know, I try to -- I joined every single Trump fan group on Facebook I could find. Not -- I don't comment. I just read. And I tried to understand what they think. Because, you know, I'm very different them. But also similar in some ways. But it seems that the things that get the most likes and the things that are best received are things that, with just a couple minute check -- you know, if you have the ability to check on the internet or, you know, at a computer at the library -- I don't know -- you would find out that it wouldn't be true.

MIKE: That's true.

CALLER: Little things.

MIKE: Yeah.

CALLER: But also huge things.

MIKE: There are many misconceptions and mistruths still being spread. And I think we have to vigilant. And somebody said to me, you know, not just to our own, but also to the snowflakes that we've been mocking. And I'm going to tell you, I'll raise my hand, I mock the snowflakes every day. But what I think we need to do is make sure we educate them. Each one of us has to teach someone.

Alex, I got to jump because I'm up against a hard break, and I have to share this story of a person we lost this year. Thank you for joining the show. Anybody can call in today.

888-727-BECK. 888-727-2325.

The guy I wanted to tell you about -- I know you're all thinking, "Antonin Scalia. You want to talk about Justice Scalia's death." No, that was a huge death. That was a massive death. And thankfully, it looks like we've weathered that storm. And we will have a Supreme Court that with any hope and luck and clear -- clear choices from President Trump, we will have a Supreme Court that will defend the Constitution going forward for decades.

I hope and pray that in my world, Justice Ted Cruz would be a wonderful gift from this new president. But the guy I think we need to salute and say, "God bless, rest in peace," is D.A. Henderson. D.A. Henderson died in August. He was a doctor, a doctor who basically saved 500 million lives.

Wait. What, Mike? How come we never heard of him? Henderson was a guy who led the eradication of smallpox by taking the smallpox vaccine around the world. He decided to do this in 1966. Led the World Health Organization's war on smallpox. And by 1977, the last known case was found in a hospital cook in Somalia.

The disease has been officially eradicated as of 1980. And, yes, we keep examples of it around to make sure that if it pops up, we can fight it off. But rest in peace, Dr. Henderson, you were one of the true heroes.

Now, what are you doing on New Year's Eve? I want to tell you about a really wildfire works show coming out of Dallas, Texas. And it's -- it's fascinating.


MIKE: It is Friday. The last Friday of 2016. My name is Mike Opelka. I'm typically heard on TheBlaze Radio network in the evenings on a show called Pure Opelka, which runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. And Saturday mornings. If you like what you're hearing here, I invite to you join me.

You can also see what I'm up to. If you go to TheBlaze.com and on the web page, there's a button at the top that says Channels, you can click on Channels and follow me. And you will get my -- my updates all the time and see what I'm up to, stories that I'm working on, et cetera. I would appreciate it.

And I would love to have more followers. We have a loyal group of stunt brainiacs who do follow the show and have made it a reality to -- to take it to five days a week -- or six days if you count Saturday's show. Things are -- things are happening here. And I appreciate my buddy Glenn Beck trusting me with his show to wrap up the year.

If you would like to join in the conversation, you can do so at Twitter. My Twitter handle @stuntbrain, all one word, S-T-U-N-T B-R-A-I-N. And the phones are open. 888-727-BECK. That is 727-2325.

I was going to give Glenn a hard time for putting his name in the phone number, and then I realized that my own cell phone number ends in M-I-K-E. So I would be -- I would be -- I would be in trouble if I made fun of him and I did it myself.

So we were supposed to have a guest here. There's a big fireworks show in Dallas, Texas, happening this weekend -- a big fireworks show from the reunion tower.

Are you aware of the Reunion Tower in Dallas, Texas? It's a pretty cool structure. 500 feet tall. And if -- if you are -- if you are watching television and watching the fireworks on TV, CNN, and Fox, and all the networks will cover the fireworks from around the world, typically starting with Sydney, Australia. And you'll see the fireworks coming off the bridge.

In New York, you don't see too many fireworks. You just see the large group of people who would be gathered in New York City.

And, by the way, New York is a little nervous this year. Why? Because ISIS has tried to make New York a target, as they have tried to make many big gatherings this year a target, especially during the holidays, after what we had happen over the Christmas holiday in Berlin. And so around Times Square, there will be 65 sand trucks making effectively a barrier. And there will also be another 100 trucks blocking the -- the square of Times Square, but not just right up close. It will kind of make a protected perimeter.

They've also -- the NYPD, who are just amazing, the NYPD has been checking out all the parking lots in the area, looking for rogue trucks. They've been going to truck rental places to see what's going on. Times Square, which should be filled because the whether is not going to be too cold. Times Square will have probably close to a million people. A million people on -- on New Year's Eve.

And if you've ever been there, it's kind of an amazing thing because you get a million people on the street. And the one thing I don't -- I don't understand is: How do those people stay out there for all day long without really getting to a bathroom? Because they can't.

The bathrooms typically in the hotels and the restaurants that are right there in Times Square, they are kind of on lockdown. And it's really difficult to get past security.

The two times I have worked Times Square on New Year's Eve for broadcast jobs, if you are working and you are overlooking Times Square, you're usually doing it from a hotel. And the hotels get on lockdown at 4 o'clock.

So just being at the hotel, there's eight hours where you can't get in -- you can get out, but it's very hard to get back in. And a million people on the street, in those pens that they have people all locked up, the little metal pens, it's almost impossible to find a bathroom. I don't know how they're doing it.

And I don't want to know. But I -- I will be watching from the comfort of my home. We tend to watch the New Year's Eve broadcast with Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper. I find them funny.

If you don't, I'm sorry, but I think they're entertaining. Now it's getting a little -- a little predictable. And I will tune in.

But after -- after you watch the midnight show on the east coast and you watch whatever pyrotechnics they show you from the east coast, I encourage you to hang out because -- and this is how small the world is: As I mentioned before, I'm broadcasting from the constitutionally protected free speech bunker in the woods of Delaware.

And as I sit here, a neighbor of mine is in Dallas, Texas, not far from TheBlaze headquarters. My neighbor happens to be a pyrotechnics genius, a wizard, a who is capable of putting on an incredible pyrotechnics show from just about anywhere at any time, which is why I tread lightly around him. Because you never know when something is going to go off.

His name is Denis O'Regan, and he's with Melrose Pyrotechnics, the company that is putting together this incredible show tonight -- or, not tonight, tomorrow night, from the Reunion Tower in Dallas. Denis, I know you're working like 24 hours a day, so I appreciate you giving us a couple of minutes here.

How is it going?

DENIS: Hey, Mike. We're doing great. We really lucked out with the weather down here. All of the pyrotechnicians that came down from our Chicago office are really pleased to be here in milder temperatures, and they're getting up in the windy city on that show.

MIKE: Well, you've got a really interesting task here. And as I look at fireworks shows that I've witnessed, both at baseball parks and in being in New York for decades, watching the barges on the East River and watching them just shoot stuff up, you're doing this from a structure that's 500 feet in the air and has a geodesic sphere on top of it. Is this a challenge, a dream, or both?

DENIS: It is absolutely both. It's a great structure. And while we're used to designing and producing shows off of flat or slightly domed surfaces like rooftops and so forth, this is a true 3D opportunity here. Because it's a sphere. And we shoot effects, both radially and tangentially from the sphere, not to mention from the base and from the columns that support the sphere.

It's really so much fun, really.

MIKE: What do you have? A bunch of Spider-Man guys climbing up the side of the tower, putting charges on the building?

DENIS: Well, some of them do wear harnesses, fall protection and so forth. But there is a roof within that sphere. There are three stories within the sphere. There's a restaurant. There's a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in there, and there's an observation deck. And there will actually be people inside of an enclosed space within the sphere, while the show is shooting out.

MIKE: Wow. And this sounds like the biggest undertaking the reunion tower has done in -- in its New Year's Eve stuff. Am I correct on that one?

DENIS: Oh, yeah. It's the biggest show that reunion show has done. We -- we have been -- this is our third year here. But first time we're doing New Year's Eve from the tower. And it's a really nice show. We've just got -- just from a technical standpoint, we've got over 3 miles of cable, connecting all of our modules. We've got 82 positions with numerous pods in each position.

It's very complex. It's taken months to plan every tenth of a second of the show.

MIKE: So months to plan. Tenths of a second will matter. How long will the show with music, pyrotechnics, and lights last?

DENIS: Well, we start a minute out from midnight with a count-up, as we call it, to the ball. Because the ball is not going to move, unless we succeed in spinning it off into --

MIKE: Wow.

DENIS: Getting a little silly there. But, you know, when you're designing a show like that, you let your fantasies take off, and you try to imagine what a viewer would like to see happen as you're -- as you're shooting these effects on angles, you know, trying to make that sphere actually turn.

But, you know, it's -- it's a lot to install. We try to visualize what we might like to see happen. We've designed a vortex coming out of the top of the ball. And numerous chases and waves wrapping the ball. And then chasing up the in to complete the answer. It's about an eight-minute show all totaled from when things get really crazy at midnight. And we will be controlling the time from the atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado.

So it will be exactly midnight. And all of the show is controlled by digital time code and synchronized to an audio track. And there's going to be a satellite up-link and everything else.

MIKE: So, wow, there you have it, Central Time Zone people, you don't get short-changed this year. As a matter of fact, you might just have some of the best stuff you're going to see. It is my buddy, Denis O'Regan from Melrose Pyrotechnics, who is leading it from the Reunion Tower in Dallas, Texas.

Denis, I usually fall asleep about 12:30. I am staying up this year just for you to see your work.

DENIS: Oh, well, thank you, Mike.

MIKE: And I hope it all goes off as planned. I'm sure it will. I know -- Denis' calm demeanor is what makes me feel comfortable in this. I know that inside he's swirling, but his calm demeanor makes me feel comfortable. When he pushes that button, it's (sound effect). It's all going to work. Have a great New Year's, my friend. I'll see you back in the woods.

DENIS: Hey, thanks. Good talking to you, Mike. Take care. Happy New Years.

MIKE: Take care. Happy New Year.

It is amazing, isn't it? That we live in a world where, at any given time, you could walk down the street and run into a friend who is then going off to Dallas to put on the biggest fireworks show, the biggest pyrotechnics production that city has ever seen. And we'll all be able to watch it because CNN is going to carry it live. Which I think is very cool. And I wish my buddy good luck on all of his efforts, but I don't think he needs it.

When we get back, I want to talk about some of the strange stuff going on in the world today. I'm very nervous about my technology listening in on me, especially since a judge just agreed with the police department that if your technology is listening to you, it can be subpoenaed. We'll talk about that when the Glenn Beck Program continues.


MIKE: Mike Opelka is my name. I'm hosting for my buddy today, Glenn Beck, on the Glenn Beck Program. And I posted on Twitter earlier today my question of the day. I'm very nosy. I want to know what people are thinking. But it's usually mundane stuff because I think it is the mundane stuff that tells us more about somebody, how they live their lives, which way the toilet paper goes when you put it on the roll. Does it go over or under? Stuff like that. So I asked today on my Twitter, my Twitter feed, New Year's Eve, are you going out, staying home, or still deciding?

And currently, after just a couple hours, 14 percent of you are going out to party, 77 percent are staying home, and 9 percent still debating, which is fine because you have a day to think about it.

I'm a stay-at-homer. We tend to ride the couch and celebrate. That's why I talked to Denis -- my buddy, Denis O'Regan, just minutes ago, about the fireworks show in Dallas. And how about that Dallas? You guys are getting one of the big shows this year. I think that's very cool.

We are -- we need to do a deep dive on this situation with those -- those devices in your life that are constantly listening to you and the fact that a murder case has been at the center of an argument between -- a privacy argument where the court wants to get a hold of the device that is listening in your home so that when you say, "Search this for me," it's saving those searches. And if the devices are always listening, what is being done with that stuff?

And it worries me because I will tell you, for example, right now, I'm holding an i Phone in my hand. And I'm not -- I don't have anything but the front page engaged. But if I say, "Hey, Siri, what's the weather like?"

SIRI: Okay. The temperature today will range between 26 degrees and 39 degrees.

MIKE: See, she's listening all the time.

So all those devices -- it's very 1984. Orwell was so genius on this. But in order to get into this, we're going to need to bring in a legal mind. So when we come back, I want to talk about this story because a judge rendered a decision on that subpoena for that information, for that data. And I think this is stepping into the Fifth Amendment. This is stepping into our right to privacy as well, our right to be secure in our own thoughts.

But this is essentially dealing with bugging someone. And is our technologies bugging us? Are companies bugging us? We'll get -- we'll get an attorney's point of view on this. Dr. Wendy Patrick will join us next on the Glenn Beck Program. Of course, after the news. Come back.

Featured Image: Russias President Vladimir Putin (L) walks past US President Barack Obama as he arrives to pose for the family photo during the G20 summit on September 6, 2013 in Saint Petersburg. World leaders at the G20 summit on Friday failed to bridge their bitter divisions over US plans for military action against the Syrian regime, with Washington signalling that it has given up on securing Russia's support at the UN on the crisis. (Photo Credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/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?


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.