Did President Obama Save the Economy?

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I want to be wrong. And I'm going to take the president at his word; that his plans have stopped the decline.

I personally think he is mistaken and that sometime starting after the New Year you'll start seeing how bogus this is, but here are the headlines:

• "Positive U.S. Economic Data"

• "U.S. Recovery Buoys the Bulls"

• "U.S. Stocks Rise"

• "The GDP Is Up"


Obama had this to say: "We can see clearly now that the steps my administration is taking are making a difference... blunting the worst of this recession and helping to bring about its conclusion."

Now, here are some pesky "oh gee, there goes Glenn again" facts:

Yes, the GDP was up, but unemployment continues to heads towards double digits and currently stands at 9.8 percent.

And while they — rightly so — pat themselves on the back and celebrate the GDP increase of 3.5 percent, I would just like to point out that number was inflated by stimulus money.

They patted themselves on the back again on "cash for clunkers" — again, let me point out, stimulus money.

They are also touting the fact they have "created or saved" 650,000-some jobs with stimulus funding. I would love to give you credit for that, but I don't know how to measure a "saved" job? Even David Gregory, is skeptical on that one:


DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS HOST: OK. What is a saved job? How do you measure that?


GREGORY: It's not something an economist recognizes as an actual fact.


So, while it's fantastic you "saved" 650,000 jobs, how do you explain the 2.7 million jobs lost since the stimulus?

How about this: Do you know anyone — anyone — who's out there saying: "Times are great. My small business is expanding"? Do you know anyone saying: "I just can't keep up with all the job offers"?

I don't either.

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For all the "fixing" government does, there's not much to show for it. And they seem to be doing more "buying" than fixing. Federal government owns or controls 30 percent of private wealth in America.

Government has a 60 percent stake in GM. The Obama administration pumped $58 billion into saving the struggling company. Great for Detroit, right? Well, Joe Biden did re-open a GM plant... in Wilmington, Delaware, to make green cars that no one wants. Politicians have stepped in to give "reprieves" to failing dealerships around the country.

But meanwhile Ford has a different strategy. They decided to focus on something crazy called "cutting costs" and posted $1 billion in profit.

Government wants to "fix" or "heal" the planet. But the Earth god himself, Al Gore, whose net worth (including two houses) in 2000 was under $2 million, now he's worth hundreds of millions and stands to make even more as energy prices "necessarily skyrocket" (to quote President Obama) and government forces us to go green. And if he loves the Earth so much, why does he eat meat? Finally, someone asked him that question:


DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS HOST: Here's Glenn Beck giving a challenge to you about cows and methane:


GLENN BECK: I'm siding with PETA on this one. Once again asking Al Gore if you really want to save the planet, Al, why don't you put down the cheeseburger and pick up the veggie burger? Time for, maybe, soy milk and tofurkey.




And if they really care about the planet so much, why are they pushing a cap-and-trade system that won't curb emissions and will just make Americans pay for them? This is the system that Enron lobbied for — that should raise a flag or two... or 50. Is it really about the planet or a special interest: MSNBC's parent company, GE and Jeffrey Immelt, who stand to make a fortune on the smart grid and other green initiatives.

GE also stands to make a ton of profit on health care with their "health imagination" program. So is it really about "fixing" health care? We can find that answer by looking into the people Obama turns to most on health care:


THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA: Before debating health care, I talked to Andy Stern and SEIU members.


He consults Andy Stern and SEIU. That wasn't just campaign lip service either. Andy is the leading visitor to the White House — more than Oprah Winfrey; 22 visits in all. Andy Stern, a guy who's helping redesign our system. He must be a free-market capitalist, huh? A straight-talking straight-shooter. All around good guy, the kind you'd want designing the free market system, right?


ANDY STERN, PRESIDENT OF SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION: What we're working towards is building a global organization, because — workers of the world unite, it's not just a slogan anymore, it's a way we're going to have to do our work.


Workers of the world unite. Where have I heard that before? Oh, that's right: The Soviet revolution.

I'm sure it was just a slip of the tongue. Even though he tweeted that Van Jones "deserved a more spirited defense," he couldn't be another one of those big government, re-distribution of wealth guys, right?


STERN: There are opportunities in America to share better in the wealth to rebalance the power and unions and government are part of the solution.


Oh boy, another big government Marxist around the White House from the unions. But they aren't thugs. No mobster knee breaking tactics going on there, right?


STERN: We're trying to use the power of persuasion and if that doesn't work, we're gonna use the persuasion of power because there are governments and there are opportunities to change laws that affect these companies.



STERN: We took names. We watched how they voted. We know where they live.


Wait, these videos must have been from a sketch comedy show. There's got to be some explanation. Surely, the man whom Obama said this about:


OBAMA: Before debating health care, I talked to Andy Stern and SEIU members.


Couldn't have just said... what was it again?


STERN: We're trying to use the power of persuasion.

Share better the wealth. Rebalance the power.

Workers of the world unite, it's not just a slogan anymore it's a way we're going to have to do our work.


Well, the phone is here, Anita. We still haven't given up hope that you'll call. The president can't agree with any of this. He loves America. He loves capitalism. He would never want to spread the wealth around:


OBAMA: Everybody is so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody.


Oh boy, maybe the tapes were doctored? I'm just trying to help.

This administration's agenda has nothing to do with "fixing" anything. The results indicate that and everything the president says — and those around him, like George Soros, the radical left guru, say — seem to back that up:


GEORGE SOROS, BILLIONAIRE: The system we now have has actually broken down only we haven't quite recognized it. And so you need to create a new one and this is the time to do it.


America, can I ask you a question? How do your friends explain this? They just call me fat or bigoted or ugly or whatever. But no one can explain and the White House doesn't call.

We should have a contest to see how long it takes the White House to actually speak my name; they'll say "5 p.m." or "Fox" or "some right-wing commentators." But if I were that wrong, wouldn't you want to say my name? Like I do: Barack Obama, Andy Stern, Anita Dunn, Ron Bloom, John Holdren, Van Jones, Mark Lloyd, Cass Sunstein.... Are they playing a really unique game of Taboo where they can't say my name?

If I'm wrong, why wouldn't they call me?

Here's two other names they won't say: Cloward and Piven. Go look them up right now. This is what they are doing: It's a collapse the system and replace it with a system of guaranteed annual income for all the workers.

Workers of the world unite!

They need to do it this way, because they know you'll never willingly give up their freedoms. You are going to be "nudged" into it. If they can't nudge you, they'll push you into it. What was it Andy Stern said?


STERN: We're trying to use the power of persuasion and if that doesn't work, we're gonna use the persuasion of power because there are governments and there are opportunities to change laws that affect these companies.



STERN: We took names. We watched how they voted. We know where they live.


They just need a final emergency.

But don't mark my words; mark the words of George Soros:


SOROS: The system we now have has actually broken down only we haven't quite recognized it. And so you need to create a new one and this is the time to do it.


It's about the things you and I believe in. Progressives think they know better than you and they want to control every aspect of your life. The "smart grid" isn't about saving energy or helping the planet. It's a way to make one person (the rich guy) pay more and another (the poor guy) pay less. They like to call it "social justice" or fairness; I like to call it Marxism: Spreading the wealth, equaling things out, keeping our most vulnerable on the dole.

But whatever you call it, there is one thing it's definitely not: America. I told you Monday, buckle your seatbelt, find the exit closet closest to you and prepare for a crash landing. Be prepared, it's coming. Most likely after Christmas, you'll start seeing the effects of what they are doing to the economy.

We will survive and we will thrive, because Americans are not the people that do this:


WJR RADIO DETROIT HOST: Why are you here?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: To get some money.

HOST: What kind of money?


HOST: Where's it coming from?


HOST: And where did Obama get it?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I don't know, his stash? I don't know. I don't know where he got it from but he's giving it to us to help us. We love him. That's why we voted for him. Obama! Obama!


Those are people who have been abused by the system. They've been taught they need government. They've been taught to be slaves and their master is Washington. Well, the truth shall set you free. It's coming. I saw a little bit of it on my way into New York.

I could see the USS New York. It's an amazing ship, but even more amazing when you know the story behind it. It wasn't forged with just any old steel. In the bow of this mighty ship lies 7.5 tons of steel that came from the wreckage of the World Trade Center.

I talked with some of the people who actually worked on that ship; it was a big deal to them. They were weeping as they built it. They took great pride in building that ship. That's what we need. We need to take our tragedies and turn them into triumphs. Instead, we wallow in it. But that's where America needs to go.

Of course, everyone will say "Oh, Glenn Beck is saying build a giant war machine!" You're damn right! You can keep your reflection ponds and flower vases. The terrorists kicked our ass that day. What do you say we take that steel, build a giant ship and finish the job?

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.