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Senate Votes To Privatize Its Failing Restaurants

GLENN: Try this on, from the Washington Post. Year after year, decade upon decade, the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants wait a minute. The U.S. Senate's network of restaurants? They have a network of restaurants? Is this like a chain? Is this like the Senate's Chili's? The network of restaurants has lost a staggering amount of money. Since 1993 the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants has lost more than $18 million, and an estimated $2 million this year alone. We're only six months into the year. They've lost $2 million, in their chain of restaurants. I didn't even know they had one. Why do they have a chain of restaurants? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

The financial condition of the world's most exclusive dining hall why do they have the world's most exclusive dining hall? The Senate won't make its payroll next month. Who do you have working at these coffee shops? Your payroll's $250,000 for the month? The embarrassment of the Senate food service. Last week in a late night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would for the first time put it under control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit's new hires. Oh, no! The House is expected to agree its food service operation has been in private since the 1980s and the President's signature on the bill would officially end four decades of taxpayer, for their lunch! You have got to be kidding me.

Dianne Feinstein, she says it's catering. Candidly I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be. There are parts of government that can be run like a business, that should be run like a business. There are parts of government that can be run like a business? Excuse me? All government should be run like a business. What party tell me I'm saying this seriously. I want to hear right now what part should Stu, what part of government should not be run as a business? Help me out. Come on. Go. Go ahead. Just one. Just one. All I want is one part that shouldn't be run like a business.

STU: I don't know.

GLENN: Give me one. Give me one.

STU: Potentially the

GLENN: Yeah. Here's one, the treasury. You don't want to run that like a business. You want to pay 5 cents to make a penny. That's what it costs, 5 cents to make a penny. Why are we making pennies? Maybe we should go back to wooden, wooden pennies, wooden nickels, what do you say? Do you know how much money someone like you could do you know how much money you could save? You could go in, you, me, Stu, anybody, your grandmother could go into Washington and save so much money. That's all you'd hear. You need lights? All right, we'll leave the lights on. I don't know if we should. I don't know if we even should leave the lights on in Washington. Stu, I have never seen hello and welcome back to the program. I have never seen a story, I don't think. We have to send this out. Dan, in the newsletter today can we send out the Senate votes to privatize its failing restaurants?

DAN: Absolutely. I already have it sitting here. It's unbelievable.

GLENN: I've never seen a story like this, never. I didn't know that they had a network of restaurants. I didn't know that they had been losing $18 million since 1993. I didn't know that they were losing $2 million this year alone.

DAN: I love the fact that, like, when you look at this again, think of people. This is a chain of restaurants. Think of people running an entire country of healthcare. Think of how good of a job they would do at that. And then look at, like and you want to talk about because we always talk about how, you know, innovation and everything else comes from private companies. Look at my favorite line in there is that in 10 years they only came up with 20 new menu items. Can you imagine a normal restaurant only adding two new menu over an entire series of restaurants, from coffeehouses to upscale dining to normal lunch places, all of these places, they only came up with two new ones a year. A year! What would they do for medicine? We would have leeches all over us every time.

GLENN: Oh, we would have leeches and baby aspirin. You go in and your head's split open and they would be like, "We have some bayer baby aspirin. Do you want that?" I don't, thank that's going to work. Flintstone chewable? Well, not actually Flintstones. They are just really cheap aspirins that didn't come out right in the aspirin factory. So they are kind of shaped oddly. We just tell people that they're flint stone chewables. They are not actually even chewable but chew them because we can't afford the water.

STU: It's like a bucket of pills, you know?

GLENN: Just try this one. What's your favorite color? "I kind of like blue." "Good, try this one, it's a blue pill." I think I know what those blue pills do. "No, you don't. The rest of the world has those blue pills. We can't afford those blue pills. That doesn't work."

I love reading the rest of this story. Past 10 years only 20 new items have been to the Senate menus. Even revenue in the once profitable indicator for example division has been decimated. When Democrats took power last year, Feinstein ordered several studies. Why do you need several? How about one study? "Yeah, Senator, your cafeteria sucks, blows chunks." "Well, I think I need another study on that one." "Yeah, Senator just did another study. Whew, whew, whew, really still sucks, really very, very suck a licious is what one customer said. She ordered several studies including a hiring consultant to examine management practices before deciding that privatization was the only possibility. You know she wept. That's why there were several studies. "Oh, you need to privatize this whole thing." Next! "Yeah, you need to privatize this thing." Next!

In a closed door meeting with Democrats in November, she practically she was practically heckled by her peers for suggesting privatization. Listen to that. That's how much they hate the capitalist system. Heckled by her peers for saying we shouldn't be in the restaurant business. Our founding fathers would have taken out their flintlocks. What the heck do you mean you're in the restaurant business? Quoting: I know what happens with privatization. This is from Sherrod Brown, Democrat from Ohio. What happens with privatization, Sherrod? "I know what happens with privatization." It becomes profitable? It actually is better? It's a more enjoyable experience? I know what happens with privatization. Workers lose jobs. They lose jobs. The next generation of workers make less in wages. These are some of the lowest paid workers in our country, and I want to help them.

By the way, the wages of the approximately 100 Senate food service workers average $37,000 annually. They are working in a coffee shop making $37,000 annually. That's pretty sweet. Oh, and you have federal benefits, too. So that doesn't suck. In the final days of negotiations, Feinstein rolled her eyes and took a deep breath before explaining the ordeal that the Senate restaurant has become for her. "It's clearly not the sort of thing that I ran for the Senate to do, but someone has to do it. I know none of us want to privatize the restaurants," even though by one estimate Restaurants Associates, a private restaurateur would turn a large profit within three years and would begin paying the government not only in taxes but in commissions to the Senate, they would pay the Senate $800,000 a year, and Democrats scoff and heckle. That's fantastic. Oh, I can't wait until they have total control. Won't it be great? We can all eat like bums. We can all be really, really frustrated. Oh.

Oh, by the way, here's one other completely unrelated story. There's a new study out. 1/4 of New York City residents have herpes. According to the study, 26% of city residents have the virus that causes genital herpes, an incurable sexually transmitted infection that could cause painful genital sores and could double a person's risk for HIV. The study showed that the rate is higher among women than men, 36 compared to 19%. It was higher among blacks than whites, 49% versus 14%. What does the city say we should do? Give out more condoms. They have been giving out you go on the subways in New York, they will hand you condoms. You're like, no I mean, I'm just riding to work. I didn't have any romantic stuff planned here on this particular train, but thanks.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.