Glenn Beck: Obama gift gaffe


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To my special friend Gordon, 25 DVDs: Obama gives Brown a set of classic movies. Let's hope he likes the Wizard of Oz


GLENN: We mentioned it last week. Nobody in America is upset about this. You remember last week we told you that Barack Obama, when Gordon Brown came into town, he decided that he wasn't going to have a press conference. He also decided that there wouldn't be any British flags in the press conference, when they met, there wouldn't be a British flag. What are you even thinking? So there's no British flags. They met in the oval office. This set, the diplomatic core for the English back, the press corps and they didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to spend this. What does that mean? And Barack Obama just said, I'm not going to have a joint press conference. Well, you don't do that. I mean, I've seen him with the president-elect Iceland. Hello, it's Great Britain, our greatest ally. But then he also gave a gift. He gave a gift of a bunch of videos. Well, okay. That's usually not what the president gives. Usually it is a gift to the head of state of something of significance, something of real importance, something that signifies how deep our friendship goes and also says something about our country and our resources and, you know, our heritage. To me it's appropriate that Barack Obama, when he looks to what could be a statement gift that I can give the leader of our greatest ally, what is something that says everything you need to know about America, he goes and gets a bunch of DVDs from movies that we've made. I mean, it's -- and he didn't even get the movies that they can watch over in England. It's not the same technology. So all of the movies that Gordon Brown was given as a gift from our president he can't even watch. And what did we receive as a gift? Barack Obama was given a pen made from the wood of the HMS Resolute. The Resolute was one of their big warships and it went -- these two ships went up and they were going up into I think it was the Arctic Circle, I'm not sure. They went up to the Arctic Circle. The Resolute gets stuck in the ice. So does the other one, but the Resolute never gets out, and the captain of the Resolute says, "Get out of the ship, get onto the other one; we're going home." When he gets home, he's court-martialed because he's left the HMS Resolute, a perfectly good ship, and he abandoned. And so he is court-martialed for it. Well, eventually the ice breaks and America goes up and we pull that thing out of the ice and we sail it over to England and we return her in, like, 1850 something or other as a gift. Well, the Resolute is in service for England and, you know, it signifies our gift to England and we say, please forgive us for everything that we've gone through in the past 50, 75 years. We are brothers. The Resolute is a big deal. So when the Resolute is decommissioned, Queen Elizabeth decides, I'm going to take the wood and I'm going to make two desks. I'm going to make one for me and one for the president. This is as significant as France giving us the Statue of Liberty. So she takes this and she makes it into two desks. It's the desk that -- remember little JFK, Jr., he opens up the trap door and he looks, you know, through it? That's the USS Resolute desk. There's only two of them: One with the queen, one with us. FDR put that door there. This is such a historic desk. He put that door there so it would hide his wheelchair so nobody could see his wheelchair. The door is the only place where the seal has the eagle looking down at the arrows instead of the olive branches, okay?

So what does Gordon Brown do? He comes to meet with the president and he gives him a set of pens made from the wood of the USS Resolute to match the desk that should be in a museum. He gives him a matching set of pens. Barack Obama hands him a basket -- I'm not kidding you, hands him a basket of DVDs that he can't play. Mrs. Brown has children's clothing from, like, the best designer in England, you know, all fit the kids. Michelle Obama goes downstairs, grabs a couple of boxes of Marine One helicopter models and gives them to Mrs. Brown: "Here, this is for you." As bad as this is -- because what this shows is either the disdain of the Obamas for England, and I don't know which one's worse, the disdain of England from the Obamas, and you should see -- Michelle Obama, what she has written about England, you know, they were just, they were the linchpin of the slave trade. She has real disdain for them, at least she did when she wrote her term paper. It may be just that, that she hates white England. I'm not sure. But let's give her the benefit of the doubt and let's say they don't hate England. It shows the arrogance. We have people in the State Department, this is all they do is come up with gifts. The arrogance of this administration. They are obviously not listening to the State Department on something this important as a gift. And the worst part of it is the bust of Winston Churchill, there are two of these. England's working in twos: The HMS Resolute desk and the bust of Winston Churchill. This is the most famous bust of Winston Churchill. England gave this bust to the president for the White House right after 9/11 as a sign of standing together: We will stand together united as one. They gave us this historic bust of Churchill. It has been sitting in the oval office since 9/11. Barack Obama says we're going to box this back up and you guys can take it home with you. Gordon Brown says, "No, no, no. Mr. President, that was a gift from the people of Englan d after 9/11. If you want to keep that in one of your museums, you may keep it in one of your museums but please, no, no, that was a gift. That wasn't to borrow. We didn't just lend that out to you. That's a gift from us." He said, "No, that's okay. We don't want it." And he's sending the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. The people of England are going crazy and they're going crazy because our press hasn't even reported on this. What is this guy doing? What is he doing? Stu's got a theory.

STU: Well, no, it's not even my theory. It's the Telegraph is reporting sources close to the White House saying Mr. Obama and his staff have been overwhelmed by the economic meltdown and the voice of the new president is not getting enough rest. A well connected Washington figure who is close to members of Obama's inner circle express concern that Mr. Obama has failed to so far even fake an interest in foreign policy."

GLENN: This doesn't make it even -- all of the options here are horrible. That doesn't make me feel any better. Here's our number, 888-727-BECK.

(OUT 11:42)

GLENN: 888-727-BECK, 888-727-BECK. I mean, we're just trying to discover in this last break, how do you explain the DVDs and the Marine One helicopter? I mean, you can get them, you can get them not only at the White House gift shop; you can get them at the airport gift shop. I mean, I've been to BWI in Dulles. You can get them there. You can get them at the train station in Washington, D.C. I mean, how do you explain that?

STU: Could this be part of the same signal he's trying to send from immediately after being elected, the first thing he did in a first interview was with Arab television, is it potentially possible that he's trying to send a signal that our -- to the world in a sort of diplomatic way of, look, everything can be reconsidered.

GLENN: Shouldn't he discuss that with the American people? England is our sister country. There is no ally stronger than England.

STU: I agree.

GLENN: Shouldn't we have that conversation? Shouldn't we just know before our president is like, "Hey, by the way, you guys stink. Fix your teeth. Don't Dom over here anymore." What are you doing?

STU: Well, to quote Barack Obama, he won. So no, the answer is no, he does not need to discuss that with you.

GLENN: I can't -- I can't for the life of me unless -- I mean, I've also never seen a president that is on TelePrompTer more than this guy.

STU: Oh, yeah. He can't give it up.

GLENN: This guy, he is never off a TelePrompTer.

STU: He's tried to wean himself and has not been able to.

GLENN: No. Which tells me -- I mean, I've never seen a president do that before. I mean, I've seen presidents give speeches and use TelePrompTers, but I've never seen a president where he can't just speak off the cuff.

STU: Yeah, the word from Insiders in Washington is that it's very, very rare.

GLENN: And very -- why is that? Because it's very, very dangerous if he does it. Why? Because his principles are not to be exposed. His principles. He's either just, he makes Joe Biden look like a genius antigaffe machine or it's because he'll say things and you'll be like, oh, dear God, no, he didn't just say that. Not in gaffes but exposing what he truly believes.

STU: When he goes off -- when he's had problems, he goes off script and all of a sudden he's talking about Joe the plumber about redistribution of all the wealth.

GLENN: What's the problem with that? That's what he said, what's the problem with that? Yes, I'm not socialist. I just believe taking money from you to help -- but isn't that redistribution of wealth? Yes, but what's the problem with that? What?

STU: It's going to help you, Joe.

GLENN: Right. That's why he stays on prompter. So maybe, you know, maybe this is just a sign of why they keep him on prompter because he exposes himself. You know what? If you were playing poker, there are -- what do they call those? Tells?

DAN: They are tells, yeah.

GLENN: This guy is riddled with tells. We should find a good poker -- Dan, you are a good poker guy.

DAN: Yep.

GLENN: Find a good poker guy that can talk to me about the tells of Barack Obama because he's riddled with them.

STU: That's very interesting.

GLENN: Can you find -- do you know anybody off the top of your head that is a poker player that could watch enough of Barack Obama and say, "This is what's happening. "

DAN: Yeah, yeah, I've always been looking for a good excuse to get one of these big poker players on and now we've got it. I met a couple of them actually through here at the studio. We can round one up, I think.

GLENN: At the studio, are you having card games?

STU: Economic collapse. You've got to earn your money how you can, right, Dan?

DAN: That's right.

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.