Glenn talks to Joe the Plumber


Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream

GLENN: 888-727-BECK, 888-727-BECK. Joe the plumber is on the phone. Joe, some of us have written three New York Times best selling times. Who do you think you are, just picking up a pen and writing some sort of drivel?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Mmm...

GLENN: Joe, you obviously have seen the New York Times review, haven't you?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Yeah, I saw that. I kind of laughed about it.

GLENN: Have you ever seen -- you should wear that as a -- I'd have T-shirts made with that review on it. Have you ever, have you ever read anything so full of hatred?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Unfortunately, yes. I have received a couple of letters and I've had some composed. I've seen a couple of letters out there. What amazed me is I haven't done anything of late. So why stir everything back up again. I understand the book and everything. Just, that wasn't news. I mean, just more or less this guy's opinion and he just wants to stir the pot, you know. I was a reporter (if I was a reporter in New York Times, I think I'd actually go for something a little bit more hard hitting myself.

GLENN: Well, I have to tell you it makes me want to go out and buy your book just to piss the New York Times off. What a bunch of snobs. First of all, who's the publisher? Who published your book?

JOE THE PLUMBER: PearlGate Publishing, a small company out of Austin, Texas.

GLENN: Oh, well, what do they know then. They don't know literature.

JOE THE PLUMBER: No, but they do know struggle and strife, you know, a small company trying to get into the publishing business. That's a pretty hard road to --

GLENN: They're not too big to fail. You know what I'm saying? This won't be a company that we'll have to bail out. I mean, nor would we, nor should we when so many great companies like the New York Times need to be bailed out.

Joe, tell me about the book.

JOE THE PLUMBER: Oh, essentially it goes through the 2008 election, you know, what transpired a little bit as far as me. It gives you an inside look. You know, I like to think I'm a little bit more educated than some out there in politics just because it's interesting to me that, you know, Washington talks about knowing your government and, you know, and actually keeping it in check and so I've always been interested in it, and getting the inside look, though, I honestly felt even more dirty after I had been on the campaign trail and seen some things that take place. It was scary, man.

GLENN: Like what?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Well, I spoke to John McCain pretty in-depth and, you know, I'll tease you here. A lot of liberals are going to love that passage. Right now I'm painted as the right-wing conservative nut, but I'm just an American wanting, you know, what every other American wants and that's, you know, honesty from our elected officials which, you know, has not happened in a very long time. So it's just a straight talk about John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, some other people I met along the way.

GLENN: Well, okay. Let's take them one by one. Tell me about John McCain, something that I don't know.

JOE THE PLUMBER: Well, something you don't know, actually it's probably stuff that you've already guessed and has already been painted in the different media spotlights. Just, well, you know, the bailouts. When I was on the bus with him, I asked him a lot of questions about the bailout because most Americans did not want that to happen, yet he voted for it. At the same time he's talking about how he's going to make somebody famous if they even think about putting pork in the bill? We all know how much pork was in the $700 billion bailout package. And why did he vote for it? And I asked him pretty direct questions and some of the answers you guys are going to receive, you know, they appalled me, absolutely. You know, I was angry. In fact, I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him.

GLENN: Really?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: Why didn't you get off the bus?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Honestly because the thought of Barack Obama becoming President scares me even more.

GLENN: Okay. Now, let me just -- 

JOE THE PLUMBER: I almost -- 

GLENN: Let me play devil's advocate here and let me play the New York Times, except I'll be fair. Isn't that part of the problem, Joe, that people will sell out their values because they will say, "No, well, I just don't want that; so I'll take this, I'll settle for this." Isn't that the problem with our system of government right now is we've settled for so long, we keep getting something that we don't want and it just gets worse and worse and worse.

JOE THE PLUMBER: Well, and that's exactly right. I mean, you know, hopefully I wasn't too big a proponent of that, this -- what do you call it -- tripping post, if you will. There isn't somebody. Neither campaign put out a -- no, I'm not going to speak for the Democrats but I mean, the Republicans didn't put out a candidate for us to really vote for. It's the lesser of two evils. When you get to that level, you've compromised your principles, you've compromised your values so often and you owe your soul to whatever special interest group or lobbyist has padded your campaign finances and everything else that you no longer are your own man. So you can no longer stand on your own feet because they've been cut out from underneath you years ago.

GLENN: What did you think of Sarah Palin?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Sarah Palin's absolutely the real deal. You know, I only got to spend a short amount of time with her but, you know, it was been asked if I felt any presence when I was with John McCain or Barack Obama. You know, with Sarah Palin, I don't want to say I felt a presence but she definitely had energy and she definitely went to work for American people, and it disgusts me on how often they try to bash her just for her sincerity. It's just, you know, she really wants to work for America and I mean, I wish people would listen to her and let them, and let her work for us. You know, she wants to serve us. She's not looking for power.

GLENN: Don't you think that people would listen to her but between the people in Washington that won't let go of power and the people in the media that also don't want to let go of power, they need to destroy her because she'll destroy their power structure.

JOE THE PLUMBER: Oh, their way of life, absolutely. I mean, she would curtail that. She would bring in, you know, common sense answers to -- you know, you were just talking about how you need to be a genius to run a system that, well, when you can't run it. I mean, you need to break it down, really scale it back and start over a little bit. Maybe back where our founding fathers are at. I mean, you know, for example, you know, Hillary Clinton, the whole deal with her as far as becoming Secretary of State. You know, it's kind of against -- well, it's not kind of. It's against the Constitution right now where it stands. But they're talking about getting around it. You know, seems like every time they want to do something, if something's in the way, they will get around it. What are we teaching our children? What are we teaching people, just even ourselves? You know, if something's in the way, we're going to get around it? It's there for a reason and I mean very good reasons. Our country's been the greatest country in the world for a very long time, yet these people think they're good enough or smart enough and they will get around it so that way they can serve? They don't want to serve. They just want that power is all it comes down to, Glenn.

GLENN: Well, I think you are right on the money. I will tell you this in talking to one of my guys who's deep in the Constitution, he's saying that she can't have two offices. That's the problem. She can't occupy the two offices and then two different branches, but it's kind of iffy on that. It's not really clear. And if she gets rid of her office, then it should be fine. But she couldn't be a senator and Secretary of State. That's the real problem there.

JOE THE PLUMBER: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: You would still have a problem with that?

JOE THE PLUMBER: No, I wouldn't. You know, I have no problem with her being -- well, I don't want to say that. I mean, you know, will ultimately she become Secretary of State? I don't question that. It's just the fact that I believe I was watching Hannity and Colmes. You know, they had one of their guys on there saying that they will get around it and it will be okay. That's the problem I have is the fact that, you know, if the Constitution gets in the way, they will have a lawyer or judge get around it. Kind of like God in their country. Gosh, it's hard following them, we'll get around it. We'll just take this part of the Bible out because it's hard. They are always looking to get around something, you know? Life is not easy, and to be a good person you've got to work hard at it. And people just want to kind of get around it and, you know, it's just not -- that's not the moral fiber that this country was built on.

GLENN: Joe, you're just a regular guy. You just, you know, feel what you feel. You are hanging out with normal people, unlike our politicians. You listen to this program, if I'm not mistaken, right?

JOE THE PLUMBER: You are absolutely correct.

GLENN: Okay. What do you think is coming our way if things don't change in Washington? What do you think's -- where are we headed?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Well, I mean, you know, I'm not comparing anybody. You know, I don't want you to stir up a hornet's nest here but, you know, when Adolf Hitler had come to power, one of the first things he did was take guns away. You know, we're a country that doesn't really listen to history. Let me go that route. And so we seem to, our country repeating the mistakes that other countries have already made and they are bogged down in now and, you know, some of the things that our current elected President Obama is suggesting really goes down a socialist road and that's just -- 

GLENN: So but I want to ask you, because I see where we're headed. I mean, they are talking about nationalizing the car industry now.

JOE THE PLUMBER: Oh, Lord.

GLENN: I mean, you want that crappy car, what was it, the Zil or whatever it was that they made over in Russia, that's where we're headed. But what I want to ask you more is what do you feel from the average person? How is the average -- is the average American going to take a socialized state, a huge nationalized state or are they going to want to reset the Constitution?

JOE THE PLUMBER: Well, you know, it really depends on the other 2/3 of Americans that didn't vote, Glenn. They are so disenfranchised with the political system currently, they don't feel they have a voice or that their vote even counts. So they stay home on election day. It really depends on them people, if they are going to actually get off their duff and become educated and get involved. As of right now, yeah, everyone who has their hand out. So you know, I see a lot of people out there who would much rather let the state take care of them and screw everybody else. "I want to look out for me." It's no longer "I want to look out for my country, I want to look out for my neighbor," I want to look out for me and only me. Very selfish.

GLENN: Very quick, last question. Are you going to run for office?

JOE THE PLUMBER: I'm going to do my national watchdog group. Hopefully I have more of an impact in that process than congress. Congress would be one voice amongst many and that's going into the snake's den, so to speak. That would be real hard, Glenn. I'm not real sure about that.

GLENN: Strengthening your local community is the way to go. Joe the plumber, thank you very much. The name of the book is Fighting for the American Dream.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.