Three Things You Need to Know – March 2, 2018

Dems Are About to Go for the Guns

Democrats are gearing up for a full-on gun grabbing jihad. The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Democrats are about to propose a weapons ban AND gun confiscation powers, and the inspiration didn’t come from anyone on the left. Their new muse is President Trump, and - after his comments on Wednesday - they believe they finally have the power to begin the war on guns.

We don’t know for sure yet what exactly is in the upcoming proposed bill, but Democrats are beginning to talk, just enough, for us to get a clue about what we’re looking at. The details include expanded background checks, the banning of certain kinds of weapons, and a plan to “temporarily” confiscate someone’s guns if they are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

Let’s just take this line by line, shall we? Expanded background checks, also called universal background checks, sound good on the surface. It’s true that we already have a background check system, but Democrats are worried about private sells. Like if you want to sell one of your guns to a neighbor. Currently, you can do that without a background check. If this gets amended, you won’t be able to. My guess is that you'd have to go to a licensed seller, called an FFL, and the background check and transfer would take place there. My only problem is this: if I want to gift my Henry Rifle to my son, would HE have to get a background check? These are the little details that never get disclosed, and I can guarantee you that Democrats won’t even try.

Second, the bill is rumored to contain a ban on quote “certain weapons.” Democrats are all up in arms over assault-style weapons, but the vast majority of them have no friggin clue what they're talking about. Debbie Wasserman Schultz went on CNN yesterday as the poster child for the clueless liberal on guns. She was adamant that we need to keep quote “high capacity, rapid-fire magazines” out of the hands of civilians. Umm… WHAT THE WHAT?! I never heard of a magazine that could fire it’s own ammunition - without the gun - at a high rate of fire. I better look into that before she gets it banned.

She then went on to say that “military-style weapons” should only be available to the military. I am so sick of this argument. She’s obviously referring to the AR-15, but the AR-15 was a civilian rifle FIRST and a military rifle SECOND. The Armalite company sold the plans to the military, who then adopted it with burst and rapid fire. The civilian models don’t have that. It’s actually MORE correct to say that the military is using a CIVILIAN style weapon, but these people have no clue what they are talking about.

Democrats want an all out ban on semi-automatic weapons, which would basically eliminate 80% of the market. That would leave you with bolt action hunting rifles, and John Wayne style six shooters.

And finally… gun confiscation. Democrats are proposing a program where family and law enforcement could petition a court to have someone’s guns taken away if they’re deemed mentally unstable. Answer this, what if that’s extended to anyone on medication? Will simply being on antidepressants now be enough label you full on mentally unstable? What about ADD medication?

We’re headed down a dark path. We need solutions, but this Bill is definitely not it. Let’s HOPE the President puts it where it belongs… in the trash.

Tariff-ying

President Trump is committed to the idea of “America First.” Technically, it’s more like Tweet First, America Second. But either way, he’s about to prove his commitment to American industry again, this time with a controversial new tariff. Because nothing says innovative 21st century trade policy like a protectionist tariff from the President McKinley era.

Trump announced yesterday that his administration will impose a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum imports. The move has been debated inside the White House for months and advisers were split, but Trump is going for it. He sees it as a way to help those struggling industries in the U.S. But it almost never actually helps.

For decades, the U.S. steel industry has lobbied the government to help them compete with foreign steel. But the data is clear that protectionist policy only makes things more expensive for consumers, with few benefits to the protected industry.

Past presidential attempts to give the steel industry a boost have not gone well. In 2002, President Bush placed tariffs ranging from 8% to 30% on steel products. Just one year later, there was so much international backlash and bad economic consequences that he got rid of the tariffs.

Top advisers warned about retaliation from other countries, and the Defense Department warned about how this will affect close allies. But Trump was eager to make the announcement anyway, in a room full of steel and aluminum executives at the White House. He said, “When it comes to a time where our country can’t make aluminum and steel, you almost don’t have much of a country.”

The Stock Market did not take kindly to the announcement – the Dow dropped 500 points. Companies that make products with steel and aluminum are not happy, already warning about loss of jobs in those industries and increased prices for consumers. Hmm, wonder where they got that idea? Oh yeah – history.

Senator Ben Sasse had a surprisingly strong reaction in a statement, saying: “Let’s be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”

Why now? Maybe Trump thought it would end his week of bad press on a more positive note – look, I’m doing something for American workers! If so, that strategy is backfiring.

China Is in the Censorship Business

George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

Winnie the Pooh.

The letter “N.”

These are just a handful of things that have been recently banned in China.

Why?

They promote criticism of Chinese President Chee Chinping, of course.

He has just announced that he is extending his presidency into a lifetime appointment, the first to do so since Mao. And he’s worried that reading Animal Farm will make his citizens question communism.

Winnie the Pooh is apparently a problem because there is a specific image of the bear clutching a honeypot next to the quote, "Find the thing you love and stick with it.”

No doubt Pooh is spouting cynical commentary about Chinping’s indefinite position.

There wasn’t a clear reason why the letter “N” was banned. So, the Chinese government “unbanned” it almost immediately.

This isn’t new to the Chinese people. Chinping has been periodically censoring specific things for years. He controls the media, the government, and almost every aspect of Chinese citizen’s lives.

And it’s only going to get worse from here. He’s looking to be a lifelong dictator. That hasn’t worked out too well for China and the world in the past.

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.