Glenn Beck: Comrade Barack!

GLENN:  You know what, look.  Here's the amazing thing.  I saw an interview with her today and she was like, what?  I've already said Barack Obama will be a great candidate.  He can win.  He can win.  I will win, but he can win, and I'm going to be right behind him if he's -- I bet you are.  I'm going to be right behind him the whole time if he's the candidate.

I don't understand this.  It's not like the guy is even Ted Kennedy.  The guy is a Marxist.  Oh, I'm sorry.  I should -- I should clarify this.  Please, somebody, explain to me how you're not a Marxist when you say things like capital gains.  Capital gains tax has been shown time and time again.  Even your opponent, Mr. Obama, has said that she won't raise the capital gains tax because it has been shown that it hurts revenue when you increase the capital gains tax.  So it will actually hurt the revenue if you raise that.  Will you still raise it?  Answer?  Let me get the exact answer.  I love that.  "I would look at raising the capital gains tax for the purpose of fairness."  For the purpose of fairness?  I'm sorry.

STU:  I just didn't know that Barack Obama, he was always targeting his tax cuts and tax increases in favor of the wealthy because I'm sure he knows that 79% of people who pay capital gains have incomes under $100,000.

GLENN:  Hold on just a second.  Comrade!

STU:  Yes, comrade.  Good day today, isn't it?

GLENN:  Well, kind of iffy.  I mean, looks like Barack Obama, this thing is going to come down -- you know what's amazing, Stu?  This thing is going to come down to a bar fight.  That would be kind of fun to watch, wouldn't it?  Just put the two of them in, just breaking bottles, pshhhh, come on, you want a piece of me!

STU:  Yeah, you could pay per view it, pay down some of the national debt or start some new programs.

GLENN:  Whoa, whoa.

STU:  One of the two.

GLENN:  Wait a minute.  Why don't you charge the people who are not going to watch the pay per view bar fight.

STU:  Yeah, people choosing to pay, what kind of system is that?

GLENN:  You want to watch it, so you pay for it.

STU:  That's ridiculous.

GLENN:  Hello!

STU:  And everyone pays the same price regardless of income?

GLENN:  That's ridiculous.  Why charge everybody $5.95?  There are people watching it who can afford far more than $5.95.  In the interest of fairness.

STU:  Those people want to give that money.

GLENN:  That's right.

STU:  They want to give that money so other people can watch.

GLENN:  They don't even need it.  They don't want it.

STU:  Oh, they hate money.  They think it's icky.  You know your parents used to tell you not to put your hands in your mouth after you hold money.  This is the thing.  It's gross.

GLENN:  You know, here's the thing.  Barack Obama is a damaged candidate.  You know, I said, when was it, a year ago, I said if this guy is who he appears to be, you know, if there aren't actual skeletons in his closet, this guy can sweep.  I don't think the guy can sweep anymore because there's too much out there that, wait, wait, wait, wait, can you just answer this question for me?  Did you hear about him in the Waffle House?  What was the question they asked him on the waffles?  It was -- oh, oh, how is it you want to meet with Iran and Syria but you don't want to meet with Hamas because he blasted Jimmy Carter?  He just looked at the reporter and said, can I eat my pancakes?  I just want my pancakes.  "Okay."  He waits for a while, he's eating the pancakes.  "Okay.  Can you tell me how it is -- " "Can I just eat my pancakes!" "Yes, sir."  And then when he finished the pancakes, he gave extra pancakes to people who couldn't afford pancakes because he clearly didn't want all those pancakes.  He didn't need all those pancakes.  He practically hates pancakes.  So he paid $700 for his stack of pancakes.  He got one.  And then he gave the other pancakes to those who really don't appreciate pancakes.  They used to when they had to work for pancakes but now they're like, pancakes, you can get pancakes any place.  I like that when they come into the pancake house and they're like, pancakes, free pancakes again?  Can't I have anything else but free pancakes?  Hello!

Meanwhile Barack Obama is there at the pancake counter going, how much are the pancakes?  I just had one.  $750 for one pancake?  Jeez, pancakes, could I get a steak with the pancake!  I'm sorry.  I guess maybe it's Tax Freedom Day and maybe that's what it is that's setting me off.  Tax Freedom Day.  This is the day where you are free to now pay for food and gas.  You've worked since the beginning of January.  If you are the average person, you have worked since the beginning of January until today to be able to pay for taxes.  I believe why this is really hacking you off -- Stu, why is this hacking you off?  Why does Tax Freedom Day hack you off?

STU:  Well, because you have to work for four months to earn any money at all.  And then, of course, when you have that money, you spend it on other things that are taxed.

GLENN:  Yeah.

STU:  Or you save it and then your gains will be taxed.  You know, there's a lot of different irritants.

GLENN:  Dan, why are you kind of hacked off at tax day, Tax Freedom Day?

DAN:  I just, same reason as Stu, exactly the same.

GLENN:  So just, you know, just the fact that it's after actual tax day, you know, it falls after actual tax day.  I think we should sink the two and watch it move but here's why it really hacks me off.  If you know who pays taxes and how the taxes are actually paid, you'll know that 50%.  This is a lie to, what, 48% of the population?  So when they say the average person, no, no, not the average person.  Because the average person, 48% doesn't pay any taxes.  They don't pay any tax -- I'm sorry, except for the food tax, sales tax, gas tax, you know, all of the other taxes that you pay, on everything you buy.  Except for those taxes, 48% don't pay it.  It's Tax Freedom Day for a lot of people, but I bet you it's not tax -- well, I know it's not Tax Freedom Day for you, Stu, it's not Tax Freedom Day for you, Dan.  It's probably not Tax Freedom Day for anybody who works for me, not Tax Freedom Day.  I get the extra added benefit of celebrating Tax Freedom Day and Christmas on the same day, which is very, very nice.

STU:  You have to take into account, too, what is it?  Something in the neighborhood of, you know, 30, 40% actually would have their Tax Freedom Day before January 1st because they are actually getting money back.

GLENN:  You get money.

STU:  So you are actually in a way profiting from the government, as bad as that is.

GLENN:  And that goes back to this basic idea of fairness.  He wants to take money not because it's revenue.  This is Marxism.  I've never heard a candidate that had a chance actually espouse Marxism but that's what this guy is doing.  He will not cut the capital gains or leave the capital gains where it is even though it will hurt the economy, even though it will hurt the federal tax revenues, he won't do it because of fairness.  If there isn't something, oh, I don't know, communist Russia about that, I don't know where there is.  I think this guy is damaged goods for the fact that his -- he's exposing himself to enough people.  You know, this guy has not been vetted.  Even the media.  Did anybody see the media last night?  They were doing everything that -- I would flip over to Charlie Rose for, like, 10 seconds.  I was trying to get to sleep, and I flip over to Charlie Rose and he's got some boring suit and it's like, oh, my gosh.  I couldn't find anybody more boring than Charlie Rose, but they found him.  Oh, what a surprise, it's on PBS.  My tax dollars paying for him!

So anyway, this guy gets on and he's like, well, you know, I just think Barack Obama, he's just an exciting candidate and, you know, there's just a lot to be said for Barack Obama and, you know, people just, they're interested in change.  Well, good, because that's all you'll have in your wallet, change.  I think this guy, because of his relationships with people that are not in the mainstream by any stretch of the imagination, the fact that he is the most liberal in congress, I think the Democrats are going to do it to themselves again.  I think the Democrats are going to lose against John McCain.  That's amazing.

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.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.