Three Things You Need to Know – February 1, 2018

Here comes the memo

Fight Club has made its way to Washington DC. The three fighters - Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff and the FBI - have been trading punches and dropping bombs over the past 24 hours as if everything rides on this one memo. The document that’s got everyone so hot and bothered, allegedly, shows abuses by the FBI and DoJ during the Russia investigation.

The FBI came out swinging yesterday saying they have quote “grave concerns” over the accuracy of some of the information within the memo. Put another way… this memo is full of crap.

Devin Nunes immediately threw back a counter combination saying:

“Having stonewalled Congress’ demands for information for nearly a year, it’s no surprise to see the FBI and DOJ issue spurious objections to allowing the American people to see information related to surveillance abuses at these agencies.”

So basically… Oh yeah, well you just don’t wanna the people to know the truth!

All went quiet for the rest of the afternoon. The fighters seemed content to circle the ring... BUT THEN, at 9pm last night, Adam Schiff came out of nowhere with a flying superman punch. In an official statement, that he also tweeted, Schiff accused Nunes of showing an edited copy of the memo to the White House without consulting the rest of the Committee.

Nunes was on the ropes, but he came back swinging saying basically… dude, we added some commas, dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s, and fixed a few minor things the FBI suggested.

All this was as of late last night. An official with the Trump administration has said the memo will “likely” be released sometime today. We’re either going to see the mother of all political bombs, or a let down that would rival one of the many James Comey testimonies.

Whether this memo is partisan or not (it is), whether the Democrats are scared of political blowback (they are), and whether the FBI is nervous about losing credibility (you better believe they are), what we now need is full transparency on all sides. So by all means, release the Nunes MOAB, but also release the Democrat rebuttal memo, AND the FBI should do the same. Let’s get all the information and make up our own minds.

I get the feeling that all the political back and forth over this memo is little more than pre fight trash talk between two boxers. The louder they are - and the more they try and build up hype - usually reveals a boring fight when it’s all said and done. But we’ll all find out for ourselves very soon.

Trey Gowdy is not seeking re-election

House Republicans are going to have to find a new favorite prosecutor.

Yesterday, Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina announced he will not run for re-election this fall. He has been a Representative since 2010. Basically, it sounds like Gowdy has had enough of Washington.

As a Congressman, Gowdy gained prominence in 2012 when he was chairman of the special House panel that investigated the attacks in Benghazi and found a lot of fault with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of the crisis.

Through their Benghazi investigation, the House panel discovered Hillary’s extra special private email server, which she used for government business. You know, the email server that is one of multiple excuses Democrats use to explain away Hillary’s impossible loss to Trump.

Republicans in Congress liked the cross-examination skills Gowdy brought to the House from his background as a prosecutor. Unlike many of his colleagues in both parties, Gowdy knew how to ask tough, precise questions.

Most recently, as House Oversight Committee Chairman, Gowdy has been concerned with the integrity of the FBI’s investigation into possible Russia-collusion. He is particularly concerned about the text messages between two FBI agents who were close to the investigation that reveal their anti-Trump bias.

Speculation is that Gowdy is leaving Congress for a possible Federal Judgeship, but so far, his office maintains that he’s returning to private law practice in South Carolina.

The National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman said, “Trey Gowdy exemplifies the persona of a public servant.”

On the other hand, the Democratic Congressional Committee spokesman said Gowdy’s tenure “made a mockery of Congressional oversight.”

And that dichotomy is probably exactly why Gowdy’s getting out of the game.

Yesterday Gowdy said, “I enjoy our justice system more than our political system. As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.”

“Seeking and rewarding fairness” – yeah, that doesn’t sound much like politics at all. No wonder Gowdy’s leaving it all behind.

There was way too much complicity in the Larry Nassar case

The Meridian Township Police Department in Michigan will publicly apologize to one person today.

It’s an apology that is 14 years too late.

Brianne Randall-Gay filed a complaint with the police department against disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2004, stating that he touched her inappropriately during a routine exam.

The police investigated and took Nassar’s word instead of Brianne’s. Nassar claimed the then 17-year-old “misunderstood the treatment because she was not comfortable with her body.”

They believed him and dropped the case.

If someone had believed Brianne that day, how many assaults could have been prevented?

It could have stopped more than a decade worth of emotional and physical torture for so many girls.

But no one stood up for Brianne and Larry Nassar went on to sexually assault more than 100 girls under the guise of medical treatment.

For the last couple weeks, famous faces lined the courtroom, patiently waiting to speak about their assault at the hands of Nassar.

He was ultimately sentenced to 40-175 years in prison after pleading to criminal sexual conduct involving girls under the age of 16.

Nassar is a despicable person who more than deserves his sentence. The biggest tragedy of all is that so many people were aware of the situation.

The biggest lesson we can learn from this story and from the many people who have come out in the #metoo movement is that “not to speak, is to speak.”

Complicity in evil acts is evil itself. We can all do a better job at being brave and speaking up when we know something is not right.

MORE 3 THINGS

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

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.