Three Things You Need to Know - September 14, 2017

ESPN Has Made Its Choice

It’s your First Amendment right to call the President a white supremacist if you want to.

ESPN host Jemele Hill took to Twitter this week and called President Trump a “white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

She didn’t back down from there. In fact, she doubled down:

ESPN neither fired nor suspended her. They gave her a very mild slap on the wrist.

That’s interesting given ESPN’s history in handling these types of cases. Both Doug Adler and Anthony Federico were fired for ridiculous comments that were taken wildly out of context.

Curt Schilling was actually fired for doing the exact same thing. He made a political comment on social media.

But here’s the difference. Schilling’s comment didn’t fit the progressive narrative. Hill’s did.

This, of course, has everyone yelling "double standard!" But actually, ESPN has been pretty consistent here. They’ve chosen their audience, and they’re giving their tribe exactly what they think they want.

All media is going through massive disruption right now. It’s caused ESPN to lose over 13 million subscribers over the past couple of years. That forced the company to lay off over 100 employees just a few months ago.

The entire industry is scrambling to find their niche. We are at the precipice of massive change and ESPN is just one of many companies attempting to find an identity.

ESPN has made it abundantly clear. They’ve made their choice. They’ve found their audience. They’re just giving their tribe what they want.

Now we have a choice. Watch ESPN or change the channel to Fox Sports.

Update on the DACA Deal

Donald Trump promised to make deals.

The president had a dinner meeting last night where he apparently struck a deal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi --- again.

His supporters are furious and the White House is starting to walk it back.

The deal reportedly “enshrines the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security.”

The deal does not include funding for the wall.

So Democrats achieve their policy goal of turning DACA into law.

And Republicans get --- what exactly?

A commitment from Democrats to work on a border security package. Right.

Positive side-note: if we’re going to live by DACA, it’s better that Congress passes it into law than it being an executive program.

But back to the deal made --- two things are true:

1. Making a deal isn’t bad if you get something good out of it.

2. Trump got nothing good out of this deal.

Democrats will always promise to “work on a border security package” they also will always do nothing.

A good deal would have included real immigration reforms or real border enforcement or something --- anything.

Look at it from the Democrats' angle --- if Trump reverses himself, they get to call him cruel and paint him as the bad guy trying to hurt these young adults affected by DACA.

If he keeps his word, they get their policy goal and the GOP gets a promise to work together.

Someone got played and it wasn’t Chuck or Nancy.

Why Is Berkeley Bracing?

When it comes to feeling offended, we choose whether or not we’re going to indulge that feeling.

Tonight, Ben Shapiro will speak at UC Berkeley. Shapiro speaks at colleges all the time, without all the ruckus, so his appearance at Berkeley would probably go unnoticed by most of the country if it wasn’t for headlines like this in the LA Times:

“Berkeley braces for right-wing talk show host Ben Shapiro’s visit.”

UC Berkeley will have a perimeter closed off outside the building where the oh-so-intimidating Shapiro is speaking. The university will also have counseling services available for students because they’re “deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have on individuals’ sense of safety and belonging.”

If a student gets their feelings hurt by Shapiro’s speech, it will be because the student chooses to get their feelings hurt.

If protesters turn violent and set fires, it won’t be Shapiro’s fault. It will be because protesters choose to lash out. Don’t they have anything better to do, like their class assignments or something?

The Left fails to understand a fundamental thing about how to deal with a person or group they don’t like: the more they fret about said person or group, the more attention they draw to them. Growing up, they must not have had the mom who told them that if they ignore the younger brother pestering them, he’ll eventually stop. We can choose not to engage.

It’s not like Shapiro, Ann Coulter or Steve Bannon are pining to speak at the University of Nebraska or something. They’re going where the attention is. If Berkeley students hate these speakers so much, the best way to get rid of them would be to stay home. Don’t protest. Just ignore them.

But they won’t do that because they actually like the conflict and chaos.

Choosing to be offended is good for business.


Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?

There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…

But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…

John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...

Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…

A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...

Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…

And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…

When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…

"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…

At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…

Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…

This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…

It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.