Three Things You Need to Know – February 20, 2018

Le Pen to Speak at CPAC

The European far-right is coming to CPAC. Just one hour after Mike Pence leaves the stage, Marion Le Pen, the 28 year old photogenic ‘It girl’ from France’s National Front, will address the conference. This encapsulates every reason why we are so frigging screwed. I’ll come back to that.

First, who is Marion Le Pen and the National Front? Marion is considered the “third Le Pen.” Her grandfather, Le Pen number one, founded the party primarily as an anti-communist movement. On the surface that may not sound too bad, but his platform was extreme nationalism, racism, and anti-semitism. If you’re just tuning in, I’m not describing the Nazis - well I guess I am - but this all about Grandpa Le Pen. He recently called Jews dying in Nazi gas chambers as a minor “detail of history,” and that France and Russia need to team up to defend the “white world.”

You can imagine how these views didn’t go over too well with most Frenchmen. Enter… Le Pen number two: Marine. Marine took it upon herself to polish up the party’s image and make them more mainstream. She tuned down the racist rhetoric, kept extreme nationalism, but turned the National Front away from free-market capitalism and towards Socialism. Hmm… extreme nationalism and socialism. National… Socialist? Marine even proposed abortions on tap with full public reimbursement.

If you’re just tuning in, again, I’m not describing the Nazis. This is FRANCE’S NATIONAL FRONT. Their poster girl, Marion (Le Pen number three), will actually be on stage this week speaking to conservatives. And she’s not like her watered down aunt Marine, she’s more akin to the O G… grandpa Le Pen.

I mentioned this before, but this is why we’re screwed. The right currently has three sides to it. Those that are drifting to the left, the conservative minority, and those drifting towards the far or alt-right. Now, look at the serious issues that people have been screaming for their government to address. Immigration? Silence from the left, silence from the mainstream right, silence from many conservatives. What about job loss in middle America? Silence all around.

It is absolutely ridiculous that the only people giving voice to real issues are people on the far left and far right. The deafening silence is driving movements like France’s National Front to become more mainstream. They’re beginning to co-opt into what used to be conservative only groups. Last year it was Milo, this year it’s Marion Le Pen, who’s next? Richard Spencer?

The trajectory we’re on is dangerous and out of control. The far and alt-right is actively trying to weasel its way into mainstream conservative circles. If we don’t put our foot down now, we’re in danger of losing it all.

There's a Reason 16-Year-Olds Can't Vote

Sixteen-year-olds should never be allowed to vote.

Yesterday, several on the Left decided to use the protests by teenagers in Florida and Washington, DC as an opportunity to promote the idea that 16-year-olds should be allowed to vote.

One law professor from the University of Kentucky tried to make a serious case in an article for CNN: “The real adults in the room are the youth from Parkland, Florida, who are speaking out about the need for meaningful gun control laws. They are proving that civic engagement among young people can make a difference. The ironic part? They can’t even vote yet.”

The protests from the devastated high school students of Parkland, Florida are an understandable, visceral reaction to the worst kind of tragedy. They need time and space to vent their grief and anger. The adult role right now should be to comfort and support them as they work through this trauma. Not exploit their tears for political gain.

What we’re seeing this week is a gut-level reaction from traumatized kids, not well-reasoned, “civic engagement.” America has a lot of smart teenagers, but it has even more who don’t know what “civic engagement” means, who their Senator is, or even how to do their own laundry.

Another law professor from Harvard said teens “have far better BS detectors” than adults, so we should give 16-year-olds the right to vote. These professors make it seem almost as if 16-year-old voting rights are being suppressed.

The voting age wasn’t lowered to 18 until the 26th Amendment passed in 1971. The logic then was that if you’re old enough to be drafted, you’re old enough to vote. So, is the criteria now that if you’re old enough to carry a placard you’re old enough to vote? Sorry, but at least in 1971 there was a logical reason for the age change. This one is just knee-jerk reaction.

Why is the Left suddenly so interested in allowing 16-year-olds to vote? Because they’re the perfect untapped voting bloc. Progressives love an emotionally-driven, peer-pressured voter who can be told what to believe rather than thinking through issues for themselves.

Teens and college kids typically lean to the Left until they get out in the real world, start making their own money, see how much of it is drained away in taxes, and finally realize Progressivism is the exact opposite of the freedom it promises.

Concealed Carry on Campus

Patrick was a sophomore at Columbine High School when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris massacred their classmates.

He was one of the lucky ones. He walked away with his life that day.

He vowed to live a life of service after God granted him that blessing.

Patrick went on to join the Army and served a tour in Iraq. When he came home, he was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives—where he has served his constituents since 2014.

Every year since he was elected, Patrick has introduced legislation to remove restrictions on concealed carry in schools.

In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas shooting and the renewed call for gun control, Patrick is pushing his legislation just as hard.

Under current Colorado law, anyone who has a concealed carry permit "may bring firearms onto school property, but must keep them locked inside their vehicles."

Patrick doesn’t think that law goes far enough.

His act would allow every law-abiding citizen who holds a concealed carry permit the right to defend themselves and others at all times.

Patrick argues that “Time and time again we point to the one common theme with mass shootings, they occur in gun-free zones. As a former Columbine student who was a sophomore during the shootings on April 20, 1999, I will do everything in my power to prevent Colorado families from enduring the hardships my classmates and I faced that day.”

Now, people will argue that more guns equal more violence, but they forget that the vast majority of guns are in the hands of responsible and good people.

The reality is that we are bringing nothing to a gunfight with evil every day.

Let’s give ourselves, and our children, a chance with an equal contender.

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.