Glenn Beck: And the Palin bashing begins

GLENN: Let's go to Erick Erickson. He is with redstate.com and working on Project Leper which I just, I love the name of that, Erick. Tell me about Project Leper.

ERICKSON: Well, Glenn, first I hear what you're saying and, no thank you, I'm a happily married man.

GLENN: I don't think I've said that in a long time. God bless you, Erick. Thanks, man.

ERICKSON: Project Leper, there's this effort underway right now, McCain staffers who are trying to hitch their ride to a 2012 candidate already are out just smearing Sarah Palin. The leaks they are going with as well are so absurd claiming that Palin didn't know what NAFTA was, that Palin thought Africa was a country instead of a continent: They're just bizarre. We do know that one of the smears in chief as some of the other people in the McCain are calling her is Nicole Wallace who was picked to be Palin's PR person on the campaign -- in fact, I'm told by two different people on the campaign that she was in the office several weeks before the election raling against Palin because Palin wouldn't keep to the talking points. According to Newsweek, by the way, the talking points were that the McCain campaign didn't want to talk about Bill Ayers and Palin made them forcibly made them talk about Bill Ayers.

GLENN: Boy, that sucks. Here's the thing. I think Sarah Palin did go rogue a little bit because I think that she knew, "Look, I'm not going to be trashed by these people." I think she got the impression when she finally got in there -- you tell me Erick, what you think. I think she got in there and she realized I'm going to have my career destroyed by these people because of their advice and how they want me. And you know what? You picked me, you picked me for a reason. I'm not going to be your little chew toy to chew up and then spit off onto the side when you lose. I'm not going to be blamed for it. I think she did go rogue.

ERICKSON: I absolutely think you are right. In fact, if you read some of these profiles, you know all the reporters write the long "Behind the scenes" looks after the campaign's over, they're sworn to secrecy. They didn't want her to talk about Bill Ayers. She had to force them to talk about Joe the plumber. It's bizarre that they were so out of tune with this. Palin was the best thing that happened to this campaign. She excited the base and now these people who are preparing for 2012 are trying to throw her under the bus because they had already hitched a ride elsewhere. A lot of them are former staffers to other candidates who didn't get the nomination and now they are hoping their guy is set up for 2012.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me what Project Leper is.

ERICKSON: Project Leper is we intend to continue writing about the people on the McCain campaign who were sabotaging Sarah Palin and make them political lepers so when 2012 rolls around, they are not going to be able to work for their chosen 2012 candidate.



GLENN: Who is it? Do we have any names?

ERICKSON: We know Nicole Wallace is one of the people smearing. I've heard Steve Schmidt. I haven't been able to confirm that one yet.

GLENN: Who are they? Because I don't know.

ERICKSON: Steve Schmidt was the day-to-day manager of the McCain campaign. Nicole Wallace was McCain's press person who was put in charge of Sarah Palin's -- by the way, Nicole Wallace handled the beautiful communication shop of the Bush administration before she was put on for Sarah Palin.

GLENN: Oh, she was really good then.

ERICKSON: Yeah, exactly.

GLENN: Yeah, she was very good.

ERICKSON: So we just, we want to make sure people know in 2012 these are the people out trying to smear Sarah Palin. You just don't do that. You don't run a presidential campaign and then the day after it's over start hurling blame on the candidates who put themselves out there and saw their families attacked and their lives smeared.

GLENN: Erick, what do you think, why do you think about the idea that Sarah Palin, that there's a lot of people within the Republican party that don't like her because they know she ain't going to put up with any of that kind of crap? She is not a system person. She'll keep the good stuff but she will dismantle all the bad stuff. She is not going to play anybody's game.

ERICKSON: I totally agree with you on that. If you look at a lot of the people who are upset with her, it's this old guard D.C./New York establishment who has always wanted those people as part of the base but has never wanted those people in charge of the party. Well, she's one of those people and now she's in a position to lead the party and they feel threatened.

GLENN: Is it true that John McCain said to the conservatives, you know, when they said you've got to stand up for some of these things and he said, back off; I've already given you people Sarah Palin. Have you heard that?

ERICKSON: I haven't heard that but it would not surprise me. I mean, she really was -- this is one of those things that proved Karl Rove was right in 2000, in 2004. You go to the war with your base. McCain did not. So he had to go pick Sarah Palin to bring the base along.

GLENN: And yet that is, they are blaming it on this because they are saying if Sarah Palin wouldn't have been on the ticket, if it would have been somebody like Joe Lieberman, maybe he would have won. But if it would have been somebody like Joe Lieberman, you would have had Democrats and socialists running. I mean, you would have -- half of the country would have said, well, now I don't have anybody to vote for.

I mean, I have to tell you if I heard once, I heard 1,000 times from people, and I never said this, never said this on the air because you just don't say these things, but I heard a million times from people, "I'm going to vote for John McCain and, you know, I mean, he's old. Maybe we get Sarah Palin in the first term." You know what I mean?

ERICKSON: Exactly. I mean, the McCain campaign seemed to think their strategy was to win with moderates and independents, the mushy middle. You don't win elections like that. I'm a political consultant. I've run races for 10 years. You go into the campaign by uniting your base and then picking off enough of the moderates and independents to build the 50 plus 1 coalition. You don't go in without your base and go try to get the mushy middle that everyone else is fighting for and then pick off some of your base to come along, too.

GLENN: Do me a favor, Erick. You stay in touch with us and make sure that we're alerting our audience about Project Leper as well. I want to make sure that we rat these -- I mean, you know, it's time that -- forget about the Democrats. Democrats can police themselves. It's time that the Republicans really answer to the conservatives, and I don't mean the conservatives like, "Oh, those are religious right crazy whack jobs." I mean the people that believe in the Constitution and believe in freeing people from the shackles of government. So anything we can do to help and anything you are doing in that line, you let us know, will you, Erick?

ERICKSON: I sure will. Hey, Glenn, real quick, let me tell you your advice on having family game night changed my family and is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard anybody give on the radio.

GLENN: Really?

ERICKSON: Yes.

GLENN: Tell me how it changed your family.

GLENN: Yeah, we played Leapfrog in our living room in our hallway just earlier this week and I mean, it's like I can't believe I'm playing Leapfrog but you play Leapfrog but you lay down on the floor and you laugh and you have a good time and it just does change your family. Thank you. I appreciate it.

ERICKSON: Absolutely.

GLENN: Appreciate it, man. We'll be watching redstate.com.

Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving for radical leftists. This charade goes on year after year, where decent folks across America try to enjoy and celebrate Christmas, and a few militant progressives disapprove. It's exhausting. We get it, you don't like Christmas. And that's totally fine. But entire communities of people who do like to celebrate Christmas are tired of their celebration being held hostage by an extreme minority—sometimes just one person—getting offended.

This year, a self-described “Unintentional Grinch who stole Christmas" is in the lead to win Scrooge of the Year. The principal at Manchester Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska sent her teachers a memo this week outlining all the Christmas-related items and activities that will not be allowed in their classrooms.

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The banned list includes:

  • Santa
  • Christmas trees
  • Elf on the Shelf
  • Singing Christmas carols
  • Playing Christmas music
  • Making an ornament as a gift
  • Any red and green items
  • Reindeer
  • And, of course, candy canes. Not because the sugar will make the children hyper, but because, as the principal explains, the candy cane is shaped like a “J" for Jesus.

She writes, “the red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection." In case you try to cheat, different-colored candy canes are not allowed either.

Why is this principal going out of her way to delete any trace of Christmas in her school? She explains:

“I come from a place that Christmas and the like are not allowed in schools…"

Her list, “aligns with my interpretation of our expectations as a public school who seeks to be inclusive and culturally sensitive to all of our students."

What about being culturally sensitive toward students who do celebrate Christmas?

Kids will survive if they're accidentally exposed to a Santa.

The irony here, for this principal and others who hate Christmas and the Christianity that undergirds it, is that Christmas has long existed on two parallel tracks. You've got the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ on one, and you've got the Santa Claus, secular mythology on the other. That means there is more than enough about the Christmas season that has nothing to do with Jesus if that's your thing.

You don't need a totalitarian list of forbidden things to protect the children from a 2,000-year-old holiday. Kids will survive if they're accidentally exposed to a Santa, or a Christmas carol, or—heaven forbid—a manger scene.

Avenatti bails on 2020 presidential run, leaving Biden as 'most qualified' — really?

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon

Well, that de-escalated quickly. Michael Avenatti, lawyer of Stormy Daniels, announced he will not run for president in 2020 after all. That takes the number of Democrats planning to challenge Trump down to around 724.

In a statement, Avenatti said he would still run, but he decided not to out of respect for his family's “concerns." He didn't list their concerns, but said:

“We will not prevail in 2020 without a fighter. I remain hopeful the party finds one."

Speaking of — if you've been wondering who's the most qualified person in America to be president, wonder no more. It's former vice president Joe Biden.

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How do we know? Because ol' Joe told us so, at a book tour stop in Montana. The 76-year-old says he'll make a decision about a 2020 bid within the next two months, which is campaign-speak for “I'm definitely running, so get out your checkbooks."

Biden admitted:

“I am a gaffe machine, but my God what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can't tell the truth."

Yeah, about that… the first time Biden ran for president, in 1987, he was actually pulling ahead of the Democratic pack until his campaign got snagged on plagiarism. He got caught lifting entire sections of a speech by Neil Kinnock, a British Labor Party candidate who ran for Prime Minister and lost to Margaret Thatcher. It wasn't just the fact that Biden copied exact sections of Kinnock's speech, he also stole biographical facts from Kinnock's life and tried to pass them off as his own — like saying his ancestors were coal miners.

The most qualified person in the country to be president? Maybe in the mind of Joe Biden.

Perhaps in the pre-Internet era, Biden thought he could get away with it. But he didn't. An adviser for Michael Dukakis' campaign saw a tape of Kinnock's speech and put together a side-by-side comparison video of Biden's plagiarizing, then sent the tape to the New York Times. As reporters dug further into the story, they found that Biden had also lifted large portions of speeches by Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

Those revelations led Biden to admit he got an “F" for a course in law school after he plagiarized five pages for a term paper. Biden was caught in more lies about his academic credentials and enough embarrassments mounted that he finally withdrew from the race.

The most qualified person in the country to be president? Maybe in the mind of Joe Biden.

Saturday Night Live writer Nimesh Patel, an Emmy-nominated comedian, is the latest victim in campus culture's wacky game. Patel is the first Indian-American writer for SNL, so by the usual standards of identity politics, he should be safe. Not the case. All of the rules went out the window when he was performing a stand-up comedy set for an event called "cultureSHOCK: Reclaim" at Columbia University hosted by the Asian American Alliance.

He joked that being gay cannot be a choice because “no one looks in the mirror and thinks, 'this black thing is too easy, let me just add another thing to it.'"

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For one, that's less of a joke and more of a statement. It's exactly the kind of safe, pro-LGBT statement that you would think campus feminists and trans activists would squeal with glee to hear.

According to Columbia's school paper, student organizers, offended by Patel's joke, rushed the stage 30 minutes into the set and told Patel that he needed to finish his set and say a few closing remarks.

Patel argued that his jokes were not offensive, and that they were actually much-needed insights into the real world. He also made it clear that he stands in solidarity with the Asian American Alliance.

They still cut his microphone off and booted him off stage.

Patel hasn't commented on the uproar, but here are a few comments from people who were in the audience:

The Columbia Spectator quoted three students who were in the audience. One of them said:

“The message they were trying to send with the event was opposite to the jokes he was making, and using people's ethnicity as the crux of his jokes could be funny but still offensive... He definitely wasn't the most crass comedian I've ever heard but for the event it was inappropriate."

Another student said:

“I really dislike when people who are older say that our generation needs to be exposed to the real world. Obviously the world is not a safe space but just accepting that it's not and continuing to perpetuate the un-safeness of it… is saying that it can't be changed," said Jao. “When older generations say you need to stop being so sensitive, it's like undermining what our generation is trying to do in accepting others and making it safer."

The radical version of leftism that has overtaken college campuses... will eat their own without thinking twice.

The third student wasn't bothered by the jokes:

“While what some of the things that he said might have been a bit provoking to some of the audience, as someone who watches comedy a lot, none of them were jokes that I hadn't heard before and none of them were jokes that elicited such a response in my experience."

The third student is a little ray of hope in all of this, but I'm afraid that people like her are increasingly outnumbered and unwilling to speak up.

The jokes were clearly not racist or homophobic. If anything, they seem to have been designed to pander to overly sensitive campus activists who all too often cry “racist" and “homophobic" and all their other insults.

It just goes to show that the left, particularly the radical version of leftism that has overtaken college campuses, will stop at nothing to push its postmodern narrative. They'll spare nobody. And they will eat their own without thinking twice.

Forbes recently described student loan debt as the $1.5 trillion crisis, adding that "Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category - behind only mortgage debt - and higher than both credit cards and auto loans," which is affecting 44 million borrowers in the U.S.

There's also the cultural effect that college is having, the indoctrination that young people are being subjected to. More and more powerful people are recognizing that college as an institution is a problem.

Last Friday, Peter Thiel gave a keynote speech at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Collegiate Network editors' conference. He told a roomful of 100 students:

Universities today are as corrupt as the Catholic Church of 500 years ago. At some point, if it's 100 to zero, you start to suspect you're in North Korea. Does the unanimity mean you've gotten to the truth, or does it mean you're in a totalitarian state. We have this illusion that all sorts of important decisions have been decided.

He added:

We are not on the losing side of history. The other side is on the losing side. The reformation is going to happen, and it won't come from within, but from the outside.

Thiel has worked actively to bring about the change that he's talking about here. The lawsuit he led against Gawker helped topple their empire of filth and lowest-level journalism. He has also created The Thiel Fellowship, which "gives $100,000 to young people who want to build new things instead of sitting in a classroom. The idea that we are on the losing side is a form of psychological warfare."

We're not on the losing side. Not in the slightest.

And he's right. We're not on the losing side. Not in the slightest. We're on the up-and-up. Things are only going to get better from here.