Three Things You Need to Know – February 27, 2018

Ther Is Something Rotten in the County of Broward

There’s something rotten in Broward County.

The actions of the sheriff and his deputies that arrived at the Stoneman shooting is becoming even more convoluted.

Last night, Laura Ingraham reported that she had a source who revealed why the officers didn’t initially enter the high school.

To lose precious seconds because of a lack of body cameras is outrageous. We didn’t have body cameras five years ago. What would the officers have done then?

Scot Peterson, the deputy who stayed behind a concrete stairwell during the rampage, also defended his actions yesterday. He issued a statement through his lawyer claiming he “heard gunshots but believed those gunshots were originating from outside of the buildings on the school campus. The Sheriff’s office trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law…Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue.”

Maybe Peterson is telling the truth. It’s quite possible he complied with all his training.

But if this is the case, it seems like strict adherence to the rules and regulations cost people their lives.

When does making sure a body camera is operational more important than saving a life?

When does making sure you are in compliance with an outdoor gunfire situation more important than tracking down a mass murderer?

Look, we weren’t there that day. We don’t know what really happened. These could all be feeble attempts to cover the Broward County Sheriff Department’s actions. They could be telling the truth. We’ll never really know.

Right now, we are desperately searching for someone to blame for the Stoneman tragedy—when we already have that person in jail. Let’s remember to not be too judgmental as we continue our search for the truth of what happened that day.

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear DACA Case

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s appeal to quickly end the DACA program.

The White House made the unusual request of the Supreme Court after two lower-court judges issued injunctions last month, blocking President Trump from ending DACA.

In case you need a quick refresher on DACA, former President Obama created the program in 2012 – outside the legislative process – through an Executive Order. It’s a program that allows illegal immigrants, who came to the U.S. before they turned sixteen, to apply for a permit that keeps them from getting deported and allows them to work. Around 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” applied for this DACA permit.

Obama claimed this program was not a path to citizenship, just a temporary measure to help out these young immigrants until Congress got its act together to pass permanent immigration legislation. He did a lot of Executive Ordering like that.

I know this is a shock, but Congress never passed anything. So, Dreamers were allowed to renew their two-year permits for an additional two years.

President Trump inherited a gigantic DACA mess from Obama. Trump is continually blamed for being anti-immigrant, but the Left forgets a key part of the narrative here, that several states were threatening to sue the government over DACA. Facing that pressure, Trump announced last September that the program would end in six months. That deadline is next week.

In the meantime, if your DACA permit was set to expire before the March 5 deadline, you were given one month to apply for renewal. Those who did so, got two more years of permit protection. But a Federal District Judge in Northern California blocked the plan to end DACA, ruling that the Trump administration must keep accepting renewal applications past March 5th.

The Trump Administration then asked the Supreme Court to step in to allow DACA to end on the original deadline. The Court did not issue any opinion on the matter, it just refused to deal with it right now. That means absolutely nothing about DACA has changed. The legal battle will roll on in the lower courts, and the DACA program will continue as it has since Obama decreed it in 2012.

Of course, Congress could step in at any time and actually pass some kind of immigration reform legislation. And hell could also freeze over.

The Dueling FISA Memos

We finally got the next piece of the FISA gate puzzle. Democrats finally released their rebuttal memo on Saturday. It turned out, pretty much, exactly as expected. It’s becoming painfully obvious why these over hyped and air quoted “bomb shells” are being released over the weekends. By and large, they’re not telling us jack squat. Pundits and analysts on both the left and right receive the reports on Friday or Saturday, each side declares it the ultimate coup de grace, and by Monday or Tuesday the general lack of anything substantial causes the story to fizzle out.

To recap, the Republican memo alleged that the FBI and DOJ abused surveillance powers by lying - by omission - to the FISA court. The memo claimed that the FISA warrant justification was based purely off of information in the infamous Steele Dossier, but the fact that the Dossier was paid for by Democrats was kept hidden.

Now, here’s the problem with the Republican memo. We know there MUST have been corroborating info, besides the Steele Dossier, that the FBI and DoJ used to justify a FISA warrant. Don’t get me wrong, using the Steele Dossier and concealing who funded it from the FISA court is bad, but there’s no way the court would grant a warrant based purely off the Dossier and a Yahoo news article. That sounds funny, but that’s actually what the Republican memo suggests.

I said immediately after reading the first memo that, in order to get the full picture, we needed to see the Democrats response. We finally got it over the weekend. The Democrat memo says, basically, exactly what we figured it would. They DID acknowledge that the Steele Dossier was used, but they downplay its importance and point to additional sources of information. If you’re curious what that additional information is, good luck trying to decipher it. It’s easy to find in the 10 page report. Just flip through the pages and look for the big black redacted bars.

So basically, the Republican memo talks up the importance of the Steele Dossier in the FISA request, but downplays additional sourcing. The Democrat memo DOWNPLAYS the importance of the Dossier, but TALKS UP the additional sourcing. And around the partisan circle we go.

So, what questions should we now be asking? After both memo’s, the only thing we know for sure was that YES, the Steele Dossier was used in SOME capacity. The question now is, what effort did the FBI make to verify Steele’s sources? That right there would tell us whether the Bureau and DoJ acted in good faith OR if they abused their power. I got a feeling it’s probably a little of both. We really won’t get the full picture until the actual FISA application is released… if it ever does.

Until then, take two aspirin. This is going to be long and painful.

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.