Three Things You Need to Know - January 18, 2018

The 2017 Fake News Awards

And the award for the least shocking report on the planet goes to…The GOP and President Trump.

Yesterday, Trump and the GOP put together something called the “Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.”

The report was filled with unflattering headlines from the usual suspects. ABC News, The New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post.

Look, those publications are never going to be nice to the President. They are owned and operated by liberals for the most part. Why does this fact seem to escape Trump and the GOP?

You can call them out on their bias all you want, but the truth is it’s not going to make them change, believe me I know.

It’s the American people’s responsibility to use their brains and think about where their news is coming from and to read both sides of every story.

Not to mention a “Fakes News Awards” report coming from the White House makes me a little bit uncomfortable. In their effort to control the narrative on Trump, they are throwing free speech under the bus. Just because an article is negative about the President doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be read or published.

Calling out fake news is what an entertainment show, like this one, does. We call out biased and bad reporting all the time. But Trump and the GOP should really have more important things to do. I would advise Trump to stop worrying about what people think of him and let his actions speak louder than their lies.

California violates first amendment aggressively promoting abortion

Free speech is on trial again at the Supreme Court. This time it’s related to abortion and the stakes could not be higher.

The case is National Institute of Family and Life Advocates vs. Becerra (Becerra is California’s attorney general). It’s about a new California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs, in prominent places, to inform women that California offers low-cost, or in some cases free, abortions. The signs must include a phone number for abortion clinics.

California could do all the abortion clinic advertising it wants of course, but it is forcing those who are firmly against abortion to promote the abortion industry. Not only is California clearly violating free speech, it is aggressively endorsing the murder of unborn children over efforts to protect them. What have we become?

It’s kind of like forcing marriage counselors to post advertisements for hitmen, you know, that way their clients always have the option of just having their spouse murdered instead of working on the marriage.

If you crack open this legal door, imagine all the other insane positions that government could force us to start endorsing. This is the Fairness Doctrine on steroids. Imagine mandatory signs inside your church promoting atheism, except that atheist gatherings would not be required to promote your religion.

Two hundred twenty-six years after passage of the First Amendment, you’d think our freedom of speech would be secure. But apparently, the Freedom of Speech part still isn’t clear to the state of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They’re only interested in protecting speech they approve. And not only protecting it, forcing people who disagree with their position to endorse it! It is absolute tyranny.

The people who run these non-profit, pro-life pregnancy centers are humble, loving, caring, genuine, hard-working people. Their mission is helping women and saving lives. They’re unsung heroes on the frontlines of the American holocaust – 21st-century Paulinas – saving people from being murdered.

Apparently, these pro-life pregnancy centers are a little too good at saving lives, because their government is going out of its way to persecute their crazy notion that the baby growing inside you is an actual human life, with inherent value, that deserves protection.

This decision should be a no-brainer for the Supreme Court. Pray that they do the right thing.

Stolen 'NOC' list brings movie plot to real life

A stolen CIA “NOC” list, it’s the plot line in almost every Hollywood spy movie. The good guys have to catch the bad guy before the names and locations of every undercover operative is outed and killed. In the movies, the good guys usually win, but this is real life.

A former CIA officer was arrested on Monday and charged with “unlawfully possessing national defense information.” He was caught red-handed with two notebooks containing the names of CIA assets and the locations of covert facilities in China. He was illegally carrying a NOC list, but he’s suspected of much worse.

The New York Times reported last year that the CIA was losing agents in China at an alarming rate. Since 2010, the Chinese government had all but completely destroyed US spying operations on the mainland. The CIA had a mole, and all the evidence pointed directly at the man arrested this week.

The damage done to the CIA in China was catastrophic, but even worse was the number of lives lost. All in all, he’s responsible for the deaths or imprisonment of twenty American agents. Say what you want about Snowden. He’s definitely a traitor enjoying the protection of Vladimir Putin, but at least he didn’t get anyone killed.

If Doc Brown and Marty McFly traveled here from the year 1985 and looked at the news headlines, they’d see a world that hasn’t really changed all that much. Now granted, the music is a lot worse and the clothes are a lot better, but they’d probably assume the Cold War was still raging.

Despite Cindy Lauper and neon shorts, the world of 1985 was kind of a scary place. Aldrich Ames was a CIA agent selling secrets to the Soviets. Because of him, multiple CIA assets were killed. Korean airlines flight zero zero seven had been shot down just two years prior. Nuclear tensions were at their highest. Both sides looked willing to press the button.

Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it? It’s been thirty-three years. Have we learned nothing? Three decades and life is just as cheap now as it was then. The only difference between then and today is that, with our technology, we can betray, kill and threaten each other more efficiently.

The bad guy was eventually caught, but the human toll he inflicted makes this story ultimately a tragedy. Likewise, the redundant cycle we’re in is also a tragedy. How do we break it? Both as individuals and as a nation, we can not navigate the ship following pure self or national interest. Principles and values are our true north. If we don’t make a course correction, we’re in for another three decades of nothing but the same.

MORE 3 THINGS

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?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


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"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


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…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-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?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


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…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


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...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


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…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


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…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


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…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-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…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


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…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


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"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-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…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


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…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


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.