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Charter Schools Fight To Expand In Chicago

With political battles both in Springfield and between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools, education reform in Chicago and Illinois is an uphill battle – and students and parents suffer. On this installment of Against the Current, Dan Proft explores the ins and outs of that uphill battle with Andrew Broy, the president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. Broy explains the political hurdles charter schools need to jump over to expand in Chicago and across the state, while also detailing how they can provide better options for students and parents.

What can be done politically to offer more school choice in the state? How and why did Chicago become the first U.S. city to cap its number of charter schools? Proft and Broy discuss this and more in a detailed discussion on education reform and how to improve the status quo.

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A Manufactured Crisis?

CPS is threatening to close schools early because they've run out of money, despite the fact that the district spends 20% more per pupil than the state average. They've filed a lawsuit to get the money they say they need. Can Chicago taxpayers Follow the Logic?

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The Pursuit Of Truth

Conservative author Ann Coulter prevented from speaking at Berkeley. A parade in Portland cancelled amid threats of riots over a county GOP organization's participation. Are there any solutions for the sprawl of liberal intolerance? Is liberal censorship the new normal? Has the attitude toward this intolerance shifted at all in academia since a professor was attacked by protestors at Middlebury? Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars, gives Dan and Amy his assessment (while he still can).

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Are You Going To Let The Government Take Your Home?

There are two systems of home valuation in Chicago and Illinois: the actual market and the government. The latter bears little resemblance to the former as the government destroys your home equity. 

Dan & Amy discuss the latest EXCLUSIVE regional property tax analysis, where they look where no one has before: Chicago's South Side. Read the full analysis here.

View previous regional reports here:

North Shore

Lake County

DuPage County

South Suburban Cook

McHenry County

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Fully Engaged

Mike Gallagher, Host of The Mike Gallagher Show on AM 560 The Answer, joins Dan & Amy to discuss his sit down with the President to review his first 100 days in office. What did Trump confide in Gallagher? How have the President's first 100 days gone? What should we expect next?

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The Next 100 Days

Every long-lasting, successful organization has accountability mechanisms up and down the chain of command.

100 days in, we are about to find out if the Trump-led national GOP will be successful and their legislative majorities long-lasting.

Legislating—where direct benefits are conferred or removed--is where discipline is required and unity of purpose is displayed.  

Legislating is where we separate the flag-wavers from the flag-movers.

Legislating is where moral precepts are translated into law.

On this measure the next 100 days for President Trump and congressional Republicans will be much more significant than the first 100.

$20 trillion in debt and five times that in unfunded liabilities were not racked up by the federal government overnight and will not be paid down overnight.

But those numbers do demand bold action on spending and growth. The former must be restrained so the latter may be unleashed.

The imperfect Obamacare replacement 2.0 and the less imperfect tax relief plan are good places to start—legislating.

For if the party fails to hold itself to account, external Captain-Bligh-style accountability will come next year in primary and general elections.

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There Would Be No Reason To Hire A Man

Dan & Amy are joined by Dr. Amy Farmer Derick, owner of Derick Dermatology, to discuss the Illinois General Assembly's most recent mandate on employers. Legislators passed a bill aiming to curb wage discrimination against women by barring employers from asking for wage history. Dr. Derick explains why this is bad for her business and the 150 women she employs. And with mandates like this, is it any wonder Illinois lost 9,000 jobs in March?

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What They Do To Win

Instead of working to solve the fiscal crisis, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz is pushing a political distraction typical of the type of feckless politician that she is. Pat Hughes explains in this edition of 'Two Minute Warning.'

I’m Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas’ Two Minute Warning.

This week, Democrats in the House passed a bill that forces taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

After nearly two years without a budget, the state has over thirteen billion dollars in unpaid bills and is months behind in paying social service providers and vendors for their work; forcing some to take out loans, put their homes up as collateral, and cut the services they provide.

Democrats, who have caused this mess, are desperate to keep their political base from turning on them.

So, instead of working to solve the fiscal crisis, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz is pushing a political distraction typical of the type of feckless politician that she is.

Feigenholtz and her Democrat House colleagues passed a sixty million dollar expansion of Medicaid and state employee insurance that forces taxpayers to pay for elective abortions, even of healthy unborn babies. Feigenholtz wants to use limited state resources to fund this new mandate.

Governor Rauner---to his credit---has vowed to veto the bill.

I’m pro-life. Morality demands that from me. Morality informed by my life experiences, my Catholic faith and the indisputable science of DNA.

But I realize that other people don’t see it the way I do and consider themselves pro-choice.

But there is some common ground. A strong majority of Americans agree that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions against their will. A Knights Of Columbus-Marist Institute poll shows that sixty-two percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

Moreover, even if you fall into the significant minority of those who want people like me to pay for abortions against our conscience----WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY.

And that’s why Governor Rauner is going to veto Feigenholtz’s legislation, even though the Governor is decidedly pro-choice. But that isn’t enough for Sara Feigenholtz. She and her fellow Democrats are looking for a political win. And they will stop at nothing to get it.

They distract. They blame. They divide. They frighten. That’s what they do.

Here is what we do: We stand up to them. It is up to us – all of us – to remove as many of them from State government as we can in 2018. If we don’t, their grip on our money---and our morality---will only tighten.

You’ve been warned. 

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Dollars And Sense: Opportunity Tax

What happens when a wanna-be governor proposes a new payroll tax? Pat Hughes explains in this edition of Dollars and Sense.

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Betsy Devos' First 100 Days

Is the Supreme Court poised to strike a blow against Catholic-bigoted Blaine Amendments? Why did religious liberty have a good week at the Court? What is the status and outlook for federal education reform after Betsy Devos' first 100 days? Will we see a federal tax credit for scholarships for low-income students? Dan & Amy discuss with Rick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute & author of the new book: “Letters to a Young Education Reformer.”

Hess joined Dan for a recent episode of Against The Current where they offer more on these topics and the future of the school choice movement.

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Goodwin: Political Correctness Is Ruining Our Strategy To Defeat Terrorism

What are the implications of the French Election? Is Marine Le Pen the French equivalent of President Trump? Is President Trump too concerned about ratings? NY Post columnist Michael Goodwin recaps the French Election and helps Dan & Amy assess the upside and downside of President Trump's obsession with cable news networks. And they discuss Goodwin's recent column: "Political correctness is ruining our strategy to defeat terrorism."

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What's Their Problem?

Alt-Left protestors from The People's Lobby invaded the Heritage Foundation's lobby following the release of their Annual Budget Blueprint. What was their actual disagreement with the policy recommendations? How did security handle the trespassing protestors? Were any members of Congress (or their convicted felon husbands) in attendance? Was lunch served at the after-party? Daily Signal reporter Melissa Quinn shares her firsthand account of the event with Dan and Amy.

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Taking Down bin Laden

Six years ago, US Navy Seal Robert O'Neill fired the shots that killed the mastermind behind the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Why did he decide to break the silence around his mission? What was the night of the raid like? What was going through his mind in the moments before he fired the shots that killed bin Laden? Have there been threats on his life since the night of the raid? What kind of research, planning and training went into the mission? O'Neill, author of the new book “The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior” recounts his incredible story with Dan and Amy.

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The Real O'Reilly Factor

Dan & Amy talk with Andrew Klavan about his most recent column, "The Real O'Reilly Factor." Klavan argues that the end of Bill O'Reilly signals the end of Fox News.

What is the quality of Conservative content? Why isn't there another Fox News? Dan & Amy discuss these questions and more with Klavan who is a screenwriter, essayist & author of “The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ.”

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Father Scalia On His Dad And His Faith

Dan & Amy are joined by Father Paul Scalia, the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, to discuss the importance of faith and family in his dad's life. Father Scalia discusses his dad's legacy and shares his thoughts on the search for truth, as well as his new book “That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion.” And they dismantle the myth that just because something is legal, it is good.

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David French On Free Speech, Trump's Presidency, Foreign Policy & More

Conservative voices have been shut down on college campuses throughout the country, and few have had keener insight on the issue than National Review's David French. On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft goes one-on-one with French to examine how and why this is happening in a wide-ranging discussion on culture, politics and free speech.

They also discuss some of the nation's most pressing foreign policy issues, with French giving his perspective as a military veteran himself. And French tells the rarely-told story of how he was briefly recruited to run for president in 2016, and offers what he thinks are the positives and negatives of the Trump administration so far. This, and more, in this in-depth conversation on Against the Current.

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The Art Of Dealing With The Axis Of Evil

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reports that Iran's nuclear ambitions represent a grave risk to the rest of the world. Is he accurate? How should Trump deal with Iran? What should we make of Trump's willingness to negotiate on trade with China for help in dealing with North Korea? How will the six terrorist attacks in Paris over the past 3 years impact the French Presidential election? Cliff May, President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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The City That Works... For Whom??

Do Chicago's Feudal Lords (Aldermen) know better than private citizens and businesses what benefits their wards? They think so, and Tiny Dancer agrees. These are the representatives Chicagoans elected, so what's the problem? What could possibly go wrong? How much more will people put up with? What will it take for a shift to occur? Faisal Khan CEO of Project Six and Former Legislative Inspector General of the Chicago City Council joins Dan and Amy to discuss.  

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Is Corruption Worse Than You Think?

Ken Buck, Representative for the 4th Congressional District in Colorado and author of “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think” joins Dan & Amy to detail how the corruption in DC is deeper than we think and thus draining the swamp is more challenging than we think. And they discuss Peggy Noonan's most recent article.

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Cortes: They Are Incredibly Optimistic

Are we going to see tax reform? Will we see Obamacare replacement 2.0? Why is the narrative changing every hour? Where will the arrows land? Dan and Amy pose these questions, and more to Steve Cortes, Fox News Contributor and former Donald Trump Hispanic Advisory Council. And Cortes explains why his sources in the White House are optimistic.

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