Glenn Beck: Little Pink House


Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage

by Jeff Benedict


GLENN: From Radio City in Midtown Manhattan, third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. There is a new book out called Little Pink House: The True Story of Defiance and Courage. For anybody who says, "I can't win, we'll never beat them, the government's out of control, I'm going to unplug, I'm done, I'm so angry, I'm going to act on my anger," this is a book for you. The true story of defiance and courage, one woman fighting for her Little Pink House, fighting eminent domain. In quite possibly the worst ruling of the Supreme Court, something that has dismantled your right to property more than anything else has been the key lo case," and everybody has missed the story except Jeff Benedict. Jeff Benedict is with us now. Hi, Jeff, how are you?

BENEDICT: Hey, it's great to be with you, Glenn.

GLENN: So remind everybody the story. Tell the story in a nutshell on what happened. Start with the woman bought this house.

BENEDICT: The nutshell story, Glenn, is Suzette key lo went through a divorce in her early 40s, was looking to start life over, had never owned anything in her life, she found a ramshackled cottage on Long Island Sound, buys it, moves in and doesn't realize that the governor at that time, John Rowland and his chief of staff Peter Ellef were in talks with Pfizer Corporation --

GLENN: Hold on just a second. You mean Governor Rowland, the one that went to prison for corruption?

BENEDICT: That's the one.

GLENN: Just want to make sure I -- there's a lot of governors going to jail for corruption. Just wanted to make sure I had the right one.

BENEDICT: He's one of them. He basically makes a deal with Pfizer which was not illegal. He just, he promised Pfizer that if they would build in New London a global research headquarters that the state would clear 90 acres of land around it and that it could be remade the way Pfizer wanted it, which was five star hotel, health club, spa, stuff like that.

GLENN: Sure.

BENEDICT: The city starts going after these homes and some people sell out of fear, some people sell because they want to get the money, but there's a neighborhood that's been there for 100 years, a lot of Italian immigrants. Suzette key lo is the new person in the neighborhood. They don't want to go and when they tell the city they would like to stay and keep their homes, the city's response is simply, well, then we'll just take them. And they condemned these properties even though they are not blighted and so starts the battle.

GLENN: Now, here she is, a woman who has never owned a piece of property before. She, I would imagine just like anybody, would say, "Well, wait a minute, you can't do that." What was it about her that said, "Take a stand"?

BENEDICT: I think the reason I focus so much on her background and who she is is when you realize where she came from, she grew up in a single parent home in the woods of Maine. She was dirt poor as a child, had chocolate water for breakfast, wore socks for mittens. She had never had anything. She has children at a very young age and she's a great mother. She raises her sons. The bottom line is after two failed marriages and a pretty tough life, in her early 40s she finally has something. It's a home. It's that basic thing that I think most Americans want is their own space and a place to live. And she earned it. She paid for it. And she fixed it up and improved it and made it an attractive place and all of a sudden a city comes along and says, "Well, we're going to condemn it because we think we can do something better with that property." And I think that it was, for her it was very personal.

GLENN: Okay. They offered her $70,000. She bought it for $53,000. Why wouldn't she just sell it?

BENEDICT: Well, first of all, when she bought it, it was a mess. I mean, she put a lot of sweat equity into it that I think made it worth more than that. But it was not about that. It was about a place that you could go at night and feel safe, a place where she could start her life over. She loved her neighbors, and I'm not sure, Glenn, you can put a price on having wonderful neighbors in a close-knit community. A lot of communities in America aren't like that anymore. This is a community where most people had been there for -- their families had been there for three generations. Nobody locked their doors. It was safe. That stuff is hard to put a tag on.

GLENN: Okay. Let me play devil's advocate.

BENEDICT: Sure.

GLENN: She did put a price on it. It was $442,000. She finally sold the house for $442,000. If it wasn't about money, if it was about, you know, the neighborhood, et cetera, et cetera, why when they came to her finally and said, "Okay, 442," did she sell it?

BENEDICT: Well, that was after the Supreme Court ruling seven years later and the Supreme Court said you have to get out, she couldn't stay there anymore. At that point the new governor of Connecticut, Jodi Rell who had inherited this mess, she basically had her agent go to these holdouts and said, look, open the checkbook no matter what it takes, get them out. And all of them got sums that were in that area. And I think probably they could have even got more when you look at what happened to them and their properties over an eight year battle.

GLENN: Okay. Here is the part, Jeff, that I found in the book interesting because there was no effort to hide their identity, there was no effort on their part to say, "Hey, just keep this between us," but as they started -- as she would lose case after case and they started to -- I mean, let me see if I can find it here in the book. The part where it's in the Supreme Court and they are going back and forth on, you know -- I want to understand this right. It's between O'Connor and Scalia, right?

BENEDICT: Yes.

GLENN: And they are going back and forth and they are having this conversation of, "Wait a minute, I just want to understand the City of New London's position here. You can take property away from somebody if they're paying more taxes and Sandra Day O'Connor's expecting them to say no, and they say yes. And Scalia says, wait a minute, so if you have a Motel 6 and a Ritz Carlton wants to come in, you can take that property from the Motel 6 and the city said, well, yes, if they are paying more property tax, significantly more, yes, we can.

BENEDICT: Yeah, there's this great back story there, Glenn. It's unbelievable. But the lawyers for the city actually had an internal fight over how to answer that question because they knew it was going to come up. They didn't expect it to come from O'Connor, but it did come up from O'Connor and the lawyers didn't agree. And the bottom line was the lead lawyer who argued the case said, "You know what, I'm just going to answer it the way it is because I don't want to get bogged down here." And he shocked O'Connor when he said yes and that's why Scalia jumped in and goes, "Wait, wait, let me just make sure I get this clear. You're saying that you can take from A and give to B if B can pay more taxes?" Yes. And it just, it stunned everyone.

GLENN: So how did they win after this?

BENEDICT: Well, you have to ask Ginsburg and Breyer and Souter.

GLENN: I mean, it's incredible.

BENEDICT: Yeah.

GLENN: So here it is, the case where the government now for money can take your property, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pursuit of happiness was changed from property for slave reasons. The North didn't want to put property there because they knew then the South would always have this argument, the property's in there and slaves are property. So they changed it to pursuit of happiness at the last minute, but they always meant property. You have a right to life, liberty and property. Now they can take it from you. When she started to lose, tell me about the phone calls and the letters she started to get.

BENEDICT: Oh, it was incredible, Glenn. There were people calling -- when this Supreme Court decision was announced, that day she started getting deluged with phone calls, e-mails, letters from not just around the United States but literally around the world. But many people from the Midwest, from the West, from the South started calling up and saying to her, "Look, welcome up there and surround your house. We'll protect it, we'll defend it." I mean, people, they were so shocked that this could happen. And it's funny because Suzette and I just were in Texas last week and we ran into a lot of people down there who were very familiar with the decision and they are still outraged about it three years later. You can't believe that this could happen in America.

GLENN: I tell you, Jeff, you want a story of stories, you go down in Texas and you do a story on the Republic of Texas and how these people are not going to see a republic destroyed. I tell you, these Texans are serious about their personal rights. They are serious about what's going on in today's world.

BENEDICT: Agreed.

GLENN: So these people, they would offer to come up and she said, "No, no, no, that's quite all right." Was it shocking to you on how open these people were, how open and willing they were to stand up and say, "Bulldozer can run me right over. They ain't coming and touching the house"?

BENEDICT: I think what it -- and what it indicated to me, Glenn, I think I knew this before but I appreciate it a lot more now is how much homeownership and private property rights matter to Americans, to all of us because none of these people knew her. They didn't know the neighborhood. And the fact that so many people were willing to defend it. The reason she told people not to come is quite frankly Suzette was scared. She was terrified at what could happen if that area became -- they could have had a serious uprising there and the governor of Connecticut, I think the reason that the governor took the approach "Let's just spend a lot of money here," they knew they had a pickle on their hands. The Supreme Court was saying they have to go, the city wouldn't back down and there were literally hundreds if not thousands of people who were promising to come down there. Some people were promising to bring guns to defend this house.

GLENN: So what is the message that is applicable to today and the message of empowerment?

BENEDICT: I think it's simple. Whether you are talking about little public board of education in your town, a zoning decision, no matter what it is, when someone tells you it's inevitable, it can't be stopped, it's a done deal, this book tells you that's not true. These are people who had no power and no money and they stood their ground for eight years, and although they lost a 5-4 decision, that effort has in turn cost 43 states in the United States in the last three years to change their eminent domain laws or pass constitutional amendments to ban the Supreme Court decision from applying in those states. If that doesn't give you inspiration to stand up and do the right thing, I don't know what does.

GLENN: The name of the book is Little Pink House: The True Story of Defiance and Courage. It is really a story for our time and you'll find yourself in the story some place. Jeff, thanks a lot, man, I appreciate it.

BENEDICT: Thank you, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet. Name of the book again, Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.