Glenn's Chief Researcher Shares Firsthand Stories From Harvey Devastation

Tropical Storm Harvey peaked as a Category 4 hurricane and was the biggest hurricane to hit Texas in half a century. Days after the hurricane hit Houston, flood waters are still rising thanks to record rain that has flooded neighborhoods and pushed tens of thousands of people out of their homes. According to state officials, nearly 49,000 homes have been damaged by the flood, CNBC reported.

TheBlaze researcher Jason Buttrill returned Wednesday to talk about his experience volunteering in Houston on radio.

Teams of volunteers were organized into boat crews complete with gear for search-and-rescue operations. Jason’s group was working in Katy, Texas, one of the hardest hit areas. He talked about the tense environment and what it was like to be surrounded by emergency responders.

“What kept going through my head was like watching Independence Day or you know, an alien invasion movie because there were tons of people coming out, there [were] only rescue vehicles and like police and stuff like that going in,” he said of the surreal experience.

Glenn theorized that officials’ disagreement over an evacuation plan worked out for the best since people driving out of the area likely would have been stranded if they’d tried to evacuate.

“That may have turned out to be a great blessing because you would have had probably a million people trapped in their cars on these highways and nowhere to go,” he said.

GLENN: We just had some really critical information that we should pass on to you.

STU: We hate to disappoint the audience, but sometimes people are disappointed. This one comes in from Twitter @worldofStu.

I was disappointed Jeffy didn't go cover the storm. He went blow away in high winds, and he's very buoyant in case of flooding.

I could have used him. Where were you at, man? Come on.

PAT: Isn't that good? That's good.

GLENN: Jason went out, who is a head writer or researcher for the Glenn Beck Program. And we're glad to have you back safe and sound. You and Sean went out yesterday.

You -- you couldn't actually get close to anything because you were dumb enough to drive a car -- who even has a car in Texas that is headed towards Houston?

JASON: Yeah. So we rented a very high-mobility Hyundai that --

GLENN: Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah.

JASON: So we didn't expect to actually have to actually maneuver when we got down there in this Hyundai. We were going to jump into the vehicles with the rescue group that we were with.

GLENN: Yes.

JASON: But they had full-on boat crews. They had tons of gear. All this stuff. So like at the last minute, they were like, "Guys, follow this convoy down to the actual boat put-in area, and you can just follow us down there." So were like, okay. You know, we'll try. We got -- so we started going down towards Katy, Texas, which was the hardest hit area at that time yesterday.

PAT: Wait. Katy was the hardest hit area?

GLENN: Yeah. You didn't hear this?

JASON: At that point, yeah. So they pulled up a map that morning. And they were like, these are all the areas. Some program they were using of all the people throwing --

PAT: Wow. That's where I lived.

JASON: Was it really? Oh, my gosh.

PAT: Uh-huh.

GLENN: It's a huge suburb -- it is the main suburb -- if you work in Houston, it's the main suburb. And it's fairly -- it's not like hoity-toity. But it's affluent.

PAT: Parts of it are very nice.

GLENN: Yeah, parts of it are very nice.

PAT: Uh-huh.

JASON: The feeling driving down there was kind of hard to describe. What kept going through my head was watching Independence Day or, you know, like an alien invasion movie.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.

JASON: Because there were tons of people coming pout. There were only rescue vehicles and like police and stuff like that going in. All the radio stations, most of the radio stations were tuned to the emergency broadcast thing.

GLENN: System, yeah.

JASON: So you're seeing that.

PAT: Wow.

JASON: So as you're driving down, you can actually see -- we would get to a certain area, after we broke apart from the main group. And we were trying to work our way through the back roads. We would get to a certain area. And then all of a sudden, you would see, you know, all the way up to the houses, all the way to the front doors, you know, the water's creeping in. The waters were sweeping over it -- like, you could just see the tops of trucks that had just gotten stranded in some of these intersections. You could not move.

GLENN: So, Jason, as you were going down there, you know, the big controversy over the weekend was, the city and the state had an argument, evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.

The argument from the city was not, no, we shouldn't evacuate because it might cause more problems. It was, no, I don't know if we need to do it yet, if I'm not mistaken. Kind of the same thing that happened in New Orleans.

However, that may have turned out to be a great blessing. Because you would have had probably a million people trapped in their cars on these highways. And -- and nowhere to go. That's what happened, you know, in -- in all evacuations. And the last time it happened in Houston, people were stuck in traffic. They ran out of gas. And families were trapped in their cars.

Now, imagine, five, six, seven, eight, some places, 12 feet of water. Would that have been much worse, do you think?

JASON: Oh, my gosh, yes. I think -- to go off that point, I think they were doing it right. It seemed like it was efficient the way they were doing it. They had two stages, as we were listening to the emergency broadcast.

There was the -- there was the suggested evacuation, saying that, okay. In these areas, water level is rising. We suggest you evacuate. But it wasn't mandatory.

The places that were dire, those were under mandatory evacuation. So it was going in like stages. So you could -- there were certain areas that you had to get out in mandatory evacuation. They would leave. So those were the people we were seeing cruising down the freeway or getting out of there.

But it was managed. The other places that we suggest you evacuate, that was actually kind of surreal. And you can see how people actually -- you wonder -- you know, when you see these news broadcasts, how these people -- why did they stay in their homes? Like, how did it get to this point?

I could actually get that now. Because you go into some of these villages on the outskirts of Katy. And you've seen these neighborhoods, Pat. They're just like our neighborhoods, like the neighborhood I live in. There are people that are walking their dogs down the sidewalk. They're looking at the waters rise. You know, and there's kids, you know, building little toys and that's going into it. They didn't feel threatened at the time, while water is gradually, gradually rising.

But I can sympathize with them. Because I'm like, well, if it's not really -- if it's not coming up to my door, I'm probably not leaving either. Because I have all my stuff in here.

PAT: We went through many storms and several hurricanes and never flooded in Katy. So especially Katy residents would probably be like, well, that's not going to happen here.

GLENN: So I was just talking to a guy about -- because I can't take the tornadoes here anymore. I just can't. It freaks my children out. And so I want to build a storm shelter. And I want to build a storm shelter also for the library that I have. I don't want it sucked up into the sky.

And so I'm talking to this guy. And he said, "You know, don't build the -- where do you want to build it?" I said, "I don't know where we could go." And he said, "Well, I suggest you build it in your garage." And I said, "Well, wait. Why?"

And he said, "Because if you build it where you have to go outside -- think of this, usually it will be in the middle of the night. And you'll have to get everybody up. And you'll have to go outside, get dressed. It will be raining. Blah, blah, blah. And then nothing will happen, and then you'll get wet coming back in, and then you'll all go to bed. And what will happen, one or two storms down the road, you'll say to the kids, "You know what, let's just stay here in bed. And we'll all go if it gets bad." And then you're sucked up into the sky.

And the same thing happens here with these hurricanes is you've gone through them over and over again. Nothing happens. And you're not seeing -- it doesn't connect with you that that's going to happen to you or your neighborhood.

And then all of a sudden -- you were driving yesterday, and you would drive down the streets. And you were trying to get places. And by the time you went, "Okay. Well, that's blocked," you'd turn around, and you would realize, "I'm trapped. I can't get out now."

JASON: That was the most claustrophobic feeling, and that's what the rescuers are having to put up with this too. I had never heard of this, in some of these situations.

Because usually it's like, after the fact, the waters had risen. They pretty much leveled off, and then rescue workers go in. It's still rising, even up to this day. So as we were getting to certain points, water was rising behind us. So we were like, well, how the heck do we get out of here. At one point, we just stopped beside the road and scratched our heads and said, "We might be stuck out here for a night."

Like, this car is getting swept away. You know, one of the coolest on that -- that little conundrum of trying to get out, I saw one of the coolest things I saw out there.

So we got to a certain point, just before we had to evacuate and get out of there, to where we got to a point to where we were going to try to turn around. The water level was rising about halfway up under one of the homes.

And you saw a long line of cars. People were just pulling up into people driveways. It's like, why are all these cars pulled into people's driveways and yards?

Well, what it was, was that was kind of like the point of no return. All the neighborhood -- the people and the residents of these homes, they were driving up, basically metaphorically to the fire. Whatever they had, they had blow-up boats, they had floaties, they had canoes. And they were like, this way.

And they were going right up there, and they were throwing in their own, and they were going to help out their neighbors. I got chills seeing that. I wanted to stay there and watch. But, again, we would have gotten swept up with it too. But that's what they were willing to do for their neighbors. It was amazing.

GLENN: Right. And they were driving their car. And everybody was walking away, going, my car is lost. It's just like -- that's not going to -- I'm never going to see that again.

JASON: Yeah. Yeah.

GLENN: It's really remarkable. Jason, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

JEFFY: I mean, the company that rented Jason's car, he didn't care.

(laughter)

STU: That's a fair point.

JEFFY: Thanks, Glenn.

Glenn Beck: Adam Schiff is a LIAR — and we have the proof

Image source: Glenn Beck Program on BlazeTV

On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck didn't hold back when discussing the latest in a long list of lies issued by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during the Democrats' ongoing endeavor to remove President Donald Trump from office.

"I'm going to just come out and say, Adam Schiff is a liar. And he intentionally lied. And we have the proof. The media being his little lapdog, but I'll explain what's really going on, and call the man a liar to his face," Glenn asserted. "No, I'm not suggesting he's a liar. No, I'm telling you, he's a liar. ... Adam Schiff is a lying dirtbag."

A recent report in Politico claimed Schiff "mischaracterized" the content of a document sent to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as evidence against President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Read more on this here.

"Let me translate [for Politico]," Glenn said. "House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff lied about a text message exchange between two players in the Ukrainian saga. And we know it, because of the documents that were obtained by Politico."

A few of the other lies on Schiff's list include his repeated false claims that there was "significant evidence of collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election, his phony version of President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine, and his retracted claim that neither he nor his committee ever had contact with the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower. And the list just keeps getting longer.

Watch the video below for more details:

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On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere discussed recent reports that former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, wasn't the only family member to capitalize on his connections to land an unbelievably lucrative job even though he lacked qualifications or experience.

According to Peter Schweizer's new book, "Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite," Joe Biden's younger brother, Frank, enjoyed the benefit of $54 million in taxpayer loans during the Obama administration to try his hand at an international development venture.

A lawyer by training, Frank Biden teamed up with a developer named Craig Williamson to build a sprawling luxury resort in Costa Rica, which claimed to be on a mission to preserve the country's forests but actually resulted in the decimation of thousands of acres of wilderness.

The then-vice president's brother also reportedly earned hundreds of thousands of dollars as the front man of a for-profit charter school company called Mavericks in Education.

The charter schools, which focused on helping at-risk teens, eventually failed after allegations of mismanagement and a series of lawsuits derailed the dubious business venture.

Watch the video below to get Glenn's take on these latest revelations in the Biden family corruption saga:

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Ryan: Bernie at the disco

Photo by Sean Ryan

Saturday at El Malecón, we waited for the Democratic socialist. He had the wild white hair like a monk and the thick glasses and the booming voice full of hacks and no niceties.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The venue had been redecorated since we visited a few nights before when we chatted with Castro. It didn't even feel like the same place. No bouncy castle this time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A black curtain blocked the stage, giving the room a much-needed depth.

Behind the podium, two rows of mostly young people, all holding Bernie signs, all so diverse and picturesque and strategic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Lots of empty seats. Poor showing of Bernie fans for a Saturday afternoon. At one point, someone from Bernie's staff offered us seats in the audience, as if eager to fill up those seats however possible.

There were about 75 people in the dancehall, a place built for reunions and weddings and all those other festivities. But for a few hours on Saturday, August 10, 2019, it turned serious and wild for "Unidos Con Bernie."

Photo by Sean Ryan

People had been murmuring about Sanders' speech from the night before at Wing Ding. By all appearances, he had developed a raving lust to overthrow Trump. He had even promised, with his wife just out of view, that, were he elected, he'd end white nationalism in America. For good.

El Malecón lacked its previous air of celebration. It had undertaken a brooding yet defiant spirit. Media were sparse. Four cameras faced the podium. Three photographers, one of whom had been at nearly all the same events as us. A few of the staffers frowned at an empty row of chairs, because there weren't that many chairs to begin with.

At the entrance, Bernie staff handed out headsets that translated English to Spanish or Spanish to English, depending on who the speaker was. The translators stood behind the bar, 20 feet from the podium, and spoke into a lip-ribbon microphone.

Bernie's staff was probably the coolest, by far. As in, they looked cool and acted stylishly. Jeans. Sandals. Careworn blazers. Tattoos. One lad had a black Levi's shirt with lush crimson roses even though he wasn't a cowboy or a ranch-hand. Mustaches. Quirky hats. A plain green sundress. Some of them wore glasses, big clunking frames.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The outfits were distinctly Bernie. As Bernie as the tie-dyed "BERNIE" shirts for sale outside the club. Or later, at the Hilton, like a Grateful Dead cassette stand.

Immigration was the theme, and everyone in the audience bore some proof of a journey. Because America offers life, freedom, and hope.

Sanders' own father emigrated from Poland to America at 17, a high school dropout who could barely speak English. As a Jew, he'd faced religious persecution.

Within one generation, Bernie Sanders' father contributed to the highest stratum of American society. In one generation, near hopelessness had transformed into Democracy, his son a congressman with a serious chance at the presidency.

Photo by Sean Ryan

That's the beauty of America. Come here broken and empty and gutted and voiceless. And, within your lifetime, you can mend yourself then become a pillar of society. Then, your son can become the President of the United States of America!

Four people gave speeches before Sanders. They took their time, excited and nervous. They putzed. Because how often do you get to introduce a presidential frontrunner?

All the native English speakers jammed their earpieces when the woman with the kind and dark energy took the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She mumbled in Spanish and did not look up and said that, when her parents died, she couldn't go home for the funeral. She fought back tears. She swallowed hard to shock herself calm. And the room engulfed each silence between every word.

It felt more like a therapy session than a political rally. A grueling therapy session at that. Was that what drew people to Bernie Sanders, that deep anguish? That brisk hope? Or, rather, the cessation of it, through Sanders? And, of course, the resultant freedom? Was it what gave Sanders a saintlike ability to lead people into the realm of the confessional? Did he have enough strength to lead a revolution?

Photo by Sean Ryan

While other frontrunners hocked out money for appearances, like the studio lights, Sanders spent money on translators and ear-pieces. The impression I got was that he would gladly speak anywhere. To anyone. He had the transitory energy you can capture in the writings of Gandhi.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'm not saying he's right or wrong — I will never make that claim, about any of the candidates, because that's not the point of this, not the point of journalism, amen — what I'm saying is he has the brutal energy of someone who can take the subway after a soiree or rant about life by a tractor or chuck it up with Sarah Silverman, surrounded wherever he goes.

Without the slightest fanfare, Sanders emerged from behind the black curtain. The woman at the podium gasped a little. The room suctioned forward when he entered. In part because he was so nonchalant. And, again. That magnetism to a room when a famous or powerful or charming person enters. Not many people have it. Not many can keep it. Even fewer know how to brace it, to cull it on demand. But several of the candidates did. One or two even had something greater.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'll only say that Bernie had it with a bohemian fervor, like he was a monk stranded in a big city that he slowly brings to God.

"We have a President who, for the first time in my lifetime, who is a President who is a racist," he shouted. "Who is a xenophobe and anti-immigrant. Who is a sexist. Who is a religious bigot. And who, is a homophobe. And, what is very disappointing is that, when we have a President, we do not necessarily expect to agree with him, or her, on every issue. But we do believe that one of the obligations is to bring people to-geth-ah. As Americans."

Photo by Sean Ryan

After listening silently for several minutes, the audience clapped. Their sweet response felt cultish. But, then again, what doesn't feel cultish these days? So this was cultish like memes are cultish, in a striving-to-understand kind of way.

"The essence of our campaign is in fact to bring people together," he said. "Whether they're black, or white, or latino, or Native American, or Asian-American. We understand that we are Americans."

At times, this meant sharing a common humanity. Others, it had a slightly more disruptive feel. Which worked. Sometimes all we want is revolution. To be wild without recourse. To overthrow. To pass through the constraints of each day. To survive. The kind of rowdy stuff that makes for good poetry but destroys credit lines. Sanders radiated with this intensity, like a reclusive philosopher returning to society, from his cave to homes and beds and fences and maybe electricity.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But, as he says, his revolution would involve healthcare and wages and tuition, not beheadings and purges and starvation.

Seeing the Presidential candidates improvise was amazing. They did it constantly. They would turn any of their beliefs into a universal statement. And Sanders did this without trying. So he avoided doing the unbearably arrogant thing of pretending to speak like a native Guatemalan, and he looked at the group of people, and he mumbled in his cloudy accent:

"My Spanish — is not so good."

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is the same and the opposite of President Trump's Everyman way of speaking English like an American. Of speaking American.

Often, you know what Sanders will say next. You can feel it. And, anytime this happened, it brought comfort to the room.

Like, it surprised no one when he said that he would reinstate DACA on his first day in office. It still drew applause.

But other times, he expressed wild ideas with poetic clarity. And his conclusions arrived at unusual junctures. Not just in comparison to Republicans. To all of them. Bernie was the Tupac of the 2020 election. And, to him, President Trump was Suge Knight, the evil force behind it all.

"Donald Trump is an idiot," he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Everybody loved that. Everybody clapped and whooped and some even whistled like they were outside and not in a linoleum-floor dancehall.

"Go get 'em, Bernie," someone in the back shouted.

This was the only Sanders appearance with no protestors.

"Let me say this about the border," he shouted. And everybody listened to every thunking syllable. He probably could have spoken without a mic. Booming voice. Loud and clear. Huddling into that heavy Vermont slug accent.

They'll say many many things about Bernie. One being, you never had to lean forward to hear him. In person, even more so. He's less frail. More dynamic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Despite the shoddiness of the venue, there was a sign language interpreter. Most of the rallies had a designated interpreter.

"If you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't be living in poverty," he shouted, provoking chants and applause from the audience, as if he were talking about them. Maybe he was.

An anecdote about the people at an emergency food shelf blended into the livable wage of $15 an hour. He shifted into his spiel about tuition-free college and pointed at the audience, "You're not doing well," then at the kids behind him, "they are." He craned his head sideways and back. "Do your homework," he told said.

Laughter.

Half of the kids looked like they hadn't eaten in days. Maybe it was their unusual situation, a few feet from Bernie Sanders at a stucco community center.

Before the room could settle, Sanders wove through a plan for how to cancel debt.

Did he have a solution?

Tax Wall Street, he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And he made it sound easy. "Uno dos trey," he said. "That's my Spanish for today."

A serious man, he shoved through his speech like a tank hurtling into dense jungle. He avoided many of the typical politician gimmicks. Proof that he did not practice every expression in front of a mirror. That he did not hide his accent. That he did not preen his hair. That he did not smile for a precise amount of time, depending on the audience. That he did not pretend to laugh.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He laughed when humor overtook him. But it was genuine. With none of the throaty recoil you hear in forced laughter.

"I want everyone to take a deep breath," he said. And a palpable lightness spread through the room, because a deep breath can solve a lot of problems.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he roused some more. "Healthcare is a human right," he shouted. "A human privilege," he shouted. He told them that he lives 50 miles from the Canadian border in Burlington, Vermont, and healthcare works better up north.

Each candidate had a bad word, and Sanders' was "corporate."

Photo by Sean Ryan

At every speech, he mentioned "corporate media" with the same distrust and unpleasantness that conservatives derive from the term "mainstream media." Another would be "fake news," as popularized by Sanders' sworn enemy. Either way it's the same media. Just different motivations that irk different people.

But the discrepancies varied. Meaning two opposing political movements disliked the same thing, but for opposite reasons.
It sounded odd, Sanders' accusation that the media were against him. The media love Bernie. I can confirm this both anecdotally and judiciously. Yes, okay, in 2016, the media appeared to have sided with Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sanders was publicly humiliated. Because Clinton took a mafioso approach to dealing with opponents, and Sanders was her only roadblock.

Imagine if a major political organization devoted part of each day to agitating your downfall. And then you fail. And who's fault is it?

Sanders wanted to know: those negative ads targeting him, who paid for them?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Corporations, of course. Corporations that hated radicals like him. And really was he so radical? He listed off the possibilities: Big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies.

Because he had become a revolutionary, to them. To many.

He said it with certainty, although he often didn't have to say it at all. This spirit of rebellion had become his brand. He would lead the wild Americans into a utopia.

But just as quickly, he would attack. Trump, as always, was the target.

He called Trump the worst president in American history.

"The fates are Yuge," he shouted.

The speech ended as informally as it had begun. And Sanders' trance over the audience evaporated, replaced by that suction energy. Everyone rushed closer and closer to the man as Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" blared. Sanders leaned into the podium and said, "If anyone wants to form a line, we can do some selfies."

Photo by Sean Ryan

It was like meeting Jesus for some of the people.

There he was, at El Malecón. No stage lights, no makeup, no stylist behind the curtain. Just him and his ideas and his erratic hand commotion.

Then a man holding a baby leaned in for a photo. He and Sanders chatted. And, I kid you not, the whole time the baby is staring at Bernie Sanders like he's the image of God, looking right up at him, with this glow, this understanding.

Bernie, if you're reading this, I'd like to suggest that — if this election doesn't work for you — you could be the next Pope.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

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