Financial crisis? What crisis? Obama spending $2 billion to visit Mumbai

UPDATE:  These numberss, originally reported by an Indian news agency, are now being disputed by multiple media outlets. The correct numbers are unclear but will be updated once the information becomes available.

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GLENN: There's something else wrong. This New Delhi trip really, really bothers me. Not in the way that it's just costing $2 billion for ten days so he can see the Festival of Lights.

PAT: That part bothers me. I'm bothered by that.

GLENN: $2 billion so the president can go to New Delhi.

PAT: We know the president needs security and they're renting out the Taj Mahal hotel and if that's what you need to do for security, but why do it in the first place?

GLENN: Why does he have to go there?

PAT: Is there an international crisis? You can bring all of India to Washington for less than $2 billion.

STU: Gotomeeting.com is something I have heard of.

GLENN: Seriously why are we going? The only answer I get is that he wants to see the Festival of Lights. No, it's $2 billion. We have 34 warships. Have you seen this? I mean, we have the president of the United States riding around on a girl's bike with a pink helmet on and now in New Delhi, they have decided to remove all of the coconuts from the trees in case one falls from the tree and hits him in the head.

PAT: Can't he wear his pink helmet?

GLENN: Let him wear his pink helmet. I'm telling you, there's something wrong with this trip. I never seen have you ever seen the president ever seen the president go over for a vacation where you needed 34 warships?

STU: It's not really a vacation. He has to have some meetings scheduled or something.

GLENN: I'm sure he has meetings. What?

STU: They're a big trade partner.

GLENN: It sure is. What?

STU: I don't know the details of his schedule.

GLENN: $2 billion.

STU: That's a lot of money.

GLENN: Remember when a billion was a lot of money? $2 billion, 34 warships. We are sending. He's traveling with 3,000 people. I went on vacation in a town of 1,600. I could have taken two of the towns I went on vacation with in the mountains, two Driggs, Idaho and I could have taken them on a plane and gone to India and I could have done it for less than $2 billion.

STU: $2 billion, jeez, that's over a day of quantitative easing we could have for that. That's an entire day.

GLENN: Seriously? I want an answer. What are we going over for?

STU: Yeah, I don't know. And that's the

GLENN: Jeff is in the back and said it's our relationship. It's called the phone.

STU: Tweet them.

GLENN: There's no reason. Are you kidding me? When did we have a complete lack of common sense? Here when my first daughter was born, I was very poor and so were my parents, and when Mary was born, she had complications. She was born with cerebral palsy and she was having strokes and freaking out. Well, my folks could not afford I couldn't afford to send them to bring them down and they couldn't afford to close the Bakery, but they did. Why? Because their children were in crisis. Now it took them a long time to be able to make that back up. They did it because their children were in crisis. So Sometimes you spend $2 billion. This isn't one of those times.

STU: What's so important?

GLENN: What's so important that we're spending $2 billion and I will tell you something else, risking the president's life. This is not a safe part of the world. The reason why we have 34 warships there is because this is not a safe part of the world.

PAT: Anybody remember what happened in Mumbai two years ago with the terrorist?

GLENN: I would like a security expert to tell me the risk of the president's life. First of all, if you have to have 34 warships, is there anyone I know the Secret Service, I know the Secret Service, I know these people, there is no way the Secret Service is saying this is a cool trip. Will anyone verify with the secret Service? Is the Secret Service totally cool with this, are they? The protectors of the president, you can't tell me the secret service is saying, yeah, Mr. President this is no big deal. If they have 34 warships going and they're totally cool with it, if there is no threat to the president, can we scale back it the 34 warships? But I can tell you that they take their charge very seriously as does the military. There's no way they're going to go in some place with, A, too much stuff. I mean, you want to talk about I mean, this is P. Diddy with $2 billion. You want to talk about an entourage. That's something the entire world sees. There's no way, well I was going to say protocol in this office, they could be like hey, you know what tell them a joke how dumb Indians are and they're running slurpy stores. Yeah, from Joe Biden. This audience knows clearly how bad the protocol office is so maybe they don't notice. It will be cool. We'll roll in with 34 warships and people will think that's cool. They're taking coconuts down for us. I don't think so. The world will notice this and it's grotesque in its nature unless it's needed. I believe it's needed which brings us back to the original question, why are we going?

STU: They had a terror threat there very recently. We just had a bomb that was disarmed 17 minutes before it was supposed to explode. There's a lot of action out there.

PAT: May I bring up the most important issue, global warming. 34 warships. He is flying by helicopter Marine One from the city airport to the Indian Navy's Helibase and from there, he drives down in a Lincoln Continental, the presidential limousine.

GLENN: It's not a Continental, it's a Cadillac.

PAT: Two jets armed and a fleet of over 40 vehicles will be part of the convoy. Global warming.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. That's his convoy. Hang on just a second. 40 cars is his convoy. You don't get 3,000 guests into 40 cars.

PAT: That's true. They said around 800 rooms have been booked for the president and his entourage.

STU: You don't put 3,000 people in 800 rooms unless people are bunking up.

GLENN: What am I missing here?

STU: There's a huge global conference going on there, you would understand to some degree.

GLENN: No, if we were saying, we're going to launch the new world order in India, then maybe he has to attend.

STU: I know all the international groups, they have big conferences and you expect them to go. Really what is the big event? I'm sure he's got stuff planned over there. There's nothing on that scale.

GLENN: Security drills have been carried out at the hotel where the president will visit. Really, really? Have they? Have they changed the security procedures? They're doing drills. Let's good. Let's educate everybody. We've done the drills all right. Have they changed the itinerary from the other three times he was supposed to go? Have they changed it up at all? Have they done any of it? What did you say, Jeffy?

JEFFY: Of course they have, he's the president.

GLENN: Somebody in the press should ask. Somebody in the press should ask. They won't answer my questions. Somebody should ask. Why is the president of the United States spending $2 million going into this much risk.

STU: 2 billion.

GLENN: I'm sorry, $2 billion going to this much risk, why are we jeopardizing the safety of the president of the United States? And I see how much money we are spending. If he's not at risk, why are you spending it is? If he is at risk, why is he going? Why? The festival of Lights. The press is fine and comfortable with what the president says. He wants to experience the Festival of Lights. Let them eat cake.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.