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The Downside Of A Two Party System

Should we reconsider our country’s two party system? Is there still an opening for Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, in the center left lane for the Democratic presidential race? Should President Trump invite the press for a tour of the detention centers on the border? Is Joe Biden a man without a party? Senior political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, David Drucker joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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GOP Blueprint For 2020

Did Trump lay out the blueprint on immigration to clarify the GOP’s position heading into 2020? Why aren’t Republicans addressing the backdoor government take over of the private health insurance market? Are Republicans getting jumpy as Trump cranks up the trade war with China? Anchor of Special Report on Fox News, Bret Baier joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Dan Proft Talking “Blue Tornado” On Beyond The Beltway

Should the 2018 midterms be more appropriately dubbed a “blue tornado,” touching down some places, but not a wave across the country? Should either party pander to suburban women as a special class? Why is the DC press corps eulogizing the Republican Party even though the GOP still holds the majority in the country? Dan Proft joins Bruce DuMont as a panelist on Beyond The Beltway.

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Kavanaugh: Exceptional And Unflappable

How did Kavanaugh perform in the circus like atmosphere during his confirmation hearing? Does it make sense to hold these hearings anymore? Is Sasse’s frustration with the Republican Party and the Trump White House shared amongst his colleagues? Why is Obama taking credit for the economic success we are experiencing now? Columnist for Bloomberg View and senior editor for National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Republicans’ Defeatism

Do Trump and Cuomo both think America isn’t that great unless they are in charge? Republicans talk about defeating what Democrats want to do, but what is their conservative policy agenda? Does that include pushing off border security funding? Associate Editor for Commentary Magazine, Noah Rothman joins Dan and Shaun Thompson to discuss.

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Centrist Democrats Out Of Ideas

Trump successfully gained the support of newcomers to the party but did he sacrifice other chunks of the Republican base in the process? Do we ever get a straight answer from Trump or his team? Do Democrats even know what socialism is? National Review Columnist, Jonah Goldberg joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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The Far Left And The Press

Are we going to see an increasing acceptance of socialist platforms? Will the Democratic Party’s move to the left help or hurt the Republican Party in the upcoming November elections? Is the D.C. press corps doing their job as journalists? Should Trump declassify the Carter Page Fisa documents for the American public? Washington Examiner Reporter, Salena Zito joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Battle For November Heats Up

What are the implications of a socialist winning a primary over what some thought could be the next Speaker of the House? Are the Democrats in a competition to see who is the most against Trump? Is the new RNC ad featuring the leading faces of the left a typical move for a party already in power? Associate Editor at Commentary Magazine, Noah Rothman joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Is The GOP Officially The Party Of Trump?

With the defeat of Trump critic and GOP Congressman from South Carolina, Mark Sanford, the victory of Corey Stewart for the GOP Senate nominee in Virginia, and the problems Mitt Romney is having in Utah, is the GOP officially the Party of Trump? Does the party no longer stand for ideas, but for Trump alone? Does Trump make current GOP legislators’ jobs harder? Senior Political Columnist for Washington Examiner, Tim Carney joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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What's The Future Of The IL GOP?

Who will lead the Illinois Republican Party to better electoral outcomes to advance conservative reform policies in the state? If GOP insiders have their way, they'll maintain control. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone hear the details of a rigged process to elect new leadership for the state party, and a lawsuit challenging just that. They also discuss a debate on the future of the party between Proft and former GOP Chairman Pat Brady. And at the local level, Proft and Timpone talk to Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau on his fight for good government.

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Elder And Proft On Kanye, Race, And Trump

Is the Democratic Party detrimental to black Americans? Can the GOP convert minorities without dismantling the welfare state? What effect does the left-leaning media and academia have on culture and opportunity? In this special episode of Against The Current, Bestselling Author and nationally syndicated talk show host Larry Elder, 'the Sage of South Central' joins Dan Proft for an in-depth discussion on race, culture and identity politics in America. Elder also explains Trump's likeness to Reagan and why Kanye is good for conservatives.

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Following the Logic of Illinois' Political Leadership

Are the problems in Illinois due to a lack of bi-partisanship or a little too much collusion? State Representatives Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) and Mark Batinick (R- Plainfield) join Upstream Ideas to talk about Following the Logic in Springfield.  

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Mark Shaw On The Need For New GOP leadership

Struggling electorally and lacking clear vision on policy, the Illinois Republican Party could be in need of new leadership. Lake County Republican Chairman Mark Shaw thinks he can offer that, in replace of current Chairman Tim Schneider. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Mark Shaw tells Dan Proft exactly what he thinks the Illinois GOP needs to be successful politically and on a policy front. Proft and Illinois Policy writer Joe Kaiser also talk to state Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Wood, about his efforts to ease Illinoisans' high property tax burden. And Proft and Kaiser discuss new developments in the Chicago mayoral race, as well as suburban lawmakers position on the Democrats' progressive tax.

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Tax Freedom Day

Is Illinois banging on the door of New York to become the worst state financially? Does Illinois have to become a right to work state in order to compete nationally? With the departure of Paul Ryan, where is the Republican Party headed? CNN Senior Economist, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Can Sister Jean Pray For The RNC Too?

Sister Jean from Loyola University has taken center stage as the cinderella team makes their way to the Final Four. Can Sister Jean also pray for the Cubs and the Republican Party as we head into the 2018 midterms? RNC Finance Chairman and co owner of the Chicago Cubs, Todd Ricketts joins Dan and Amy for a preview of the Final Four, Cubs, and 2018 midterms.

View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Sister Jean...not seen, as I said, a run by a person of the cloth like Sister Jean's since at least Bishop Pickering in Caddyshack, and hers is ending off better, at least so far, as Loyola faces off against Michigan in San Antonio this coming Saturday. Jacobson: I know! They've won 14 straight, we're hoping to make it 16. *Game Sound plays from tape* Jacobson: Yeah, and that hero for that game was Ben Richardson, so they trade off who is the hero every game. Which is great, because that's what makes them a great TEAM. Proft: Great team basketball, well-coached by Bennett Academy alumnus... Jacobson: Oh, I'm sorry, who? Proft: Porter Moser. Jacobson: Yeah. Proft: Not good enough for Illinois State, huh Redbirds? Huh, Redbirds? Would you like to extend and revise your review of one Porter Moser? *strained* How would you like Porter Moser to be coaching your team NOW? Jacobson: They had a great homecoming for them yesterday at the Genteel Center and...oh, Porter Moser, ear-to-ear smiling. Moser (from tape): This group on stage is what's RIGHT about college basketball! They're high-character, they're unselfish, and I tell you what...this could be an unbelievable ride and journey for our university! But NOW, it's an unbelievable ride for our country! Proft: Porter Moser giving credit to his mentor, Tony Barone, coach of Creighton where he played, and also Rick Majerus, where he was an assistant before taking the job at Loyola. Jacobson: And Rick Majerus actually talked him into taking the job. Moser (from tape): I've been blessed with two mentors, Tony Barone and Coach Rick Majerus. Coach Majerus, he was adamant, he said "You've gotta take this job!", you know, he said we were building something there, Chicago area, Jesuit school, so I think he'd be happy with the type of kids we got, and how we play the game. And that's what he would love about this. Proft: And, of course, Sister Jean is entertaining offers, probably, I suspect, the Cubs have already extended an offer for her to be one of their Goodwill Ambassadors this season. I don't know, but we could go to the source on this. We're pleased to be joined by Cubs co-owner, but also newly-minted Chairman of the RNC Finance Committee, Todd Ricketts. Todd, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. Ricketts: Hey guys, thanks for having me. Jacobson: So, are you gonna have Sister Jean throw out the first pitch on Opening Day, huh? Ricketts: Well I would just...well, I don't know about that, we'll wait till the season's over before we start having talks about that. But, I do...I do say to Sister Jean before each game, "Will you pray for the Cubs too?" Proft: Exactly! Ricketts: And I would just go on to say...like, the whole Sister Jean Bobblehead...yeah, that's not NEW. Right? Like, we've had those, we had those in the past, so it's important for people to know that she's been a big part of our community for a long time. Proft: Oh, no question. Actually, I dug up a Tribune article from June of 1971, where she gave a commenc...she gave an address to the graduating class at Mundelein College. So, maybe a commencement speech or two, she's still got in her, this year, starting at Loyola. Ricketts: Yeah, she definitely still has it in her, that's for sure. Jacobson: So, are you gonna go to the game on Saturday? Ricketts: Oh, of course, of course. I've been down, we were in St. Louis, we were in Dallas, we were in Atlanta, we'll be in San Antonio again. Proft: And, do you know Porter Moser by any chance, or have you gotten to know him? Ricketts: I do, you know, I joined the Board of Regents at Loyola about the same time as we hired Porter, and I've always thought he was a good coach. I didn't know that he was as special as we're finding out, but if you go back and look at the Loyola games when he first got there, we played good teams, and we NEVER got blown out. We were in every game that we lost, even though we lost a lot of them, we were always in the game, and I've always felt that Porter was a great coach, and now we're seeing that when you get just the right mix of kids, and we got...it's a special group, they're all great kids. Jacobson: And don't you love that they're all so humble? They kind of remind me of the Cubs. Ricketts: A little bit, a little. These guys, you know, the only people who are surprised at where we are right now are the people who haven't been paying attention to us for the last couple of years. Which is...this group of kids, they've been doing it, we just didn't get all the wins we wanted in the last couple of years, but it really just came together this year. We feel really great about it. Proft: Well, you know, when an 11-seed goes to the Final Four, you know...Jim Malanga at George Mason, then he goes on to the University of Miami, Shaka Smart at VCU then goes on to the University of Texas. So, Porter Moser...how you gonna keep him around, Todd? Ricketts: Well, you know, I think Porter's pretty happy here in Chicago. Obviously, the hometown kid and, you know, his family's here, they're kind of entrenched in the community. So, there's a lot of things that are keeping him here that aren't necessarily contract and dollars... Jacobson: *quietly* Damn... Proft: Tony's got FILTHY money floating around... Ricketts: Yeah...you know, those conversations have to wait until the season's over, and let's hope it lasts until Monday night. Jacobson: Okay. Well, his contract is up this season, right? Or is... Ricketts: No, he's got a couple more years on his contract, but you know, I think everybody understands that, you know, obviously those things aren't etched in stone, and the conversations are going to take place. Proft: There you go. So, who do you want them to face in the Championship Game? Is that Kansas, or Villanova? Ricketts: Well, you know, those are both tough teams...it's a tough call, because those are...they both present some challenges. But, I would point out that I believe the athletic director at Kansas now is I believe the athletic director who fired Porter at Illinois State. Proft: Oh boy! More vengeance, I love it. Jacobson: Yeah, let's build up the drama! Proft: And the kid, the point guard, Custer...he's from Overland Park, Kansas, isn't he? Ricketts: Yeah, he and Ben Richardson, they played high school basketball together. Proft: Oh yeah, that's right! That would be sweet! Anna would be...and you could beat Bill Self, former Illini coach! Boy, that could be real fun! Ricketts: Yeah, there you go. You bet...Ben and Clayton, they've been going to school together since they were in first grade. So they've known each other their whole lives, and they've played basketball together their whole lives, which is probably a lot of the reason why they act like one person on the court. Proft: And so, alright, so and we're switching gears a little, a bit more sports talk here, the Cubs...uh wait, you open on the NINTH at home? When's your home opener? Ricketts: Yeah, that's right, it's that Monday, the 9th, we've got a little bit of a long road trip to start the year. We're starting off in Miami this week, and a couple of pit stops on the way back to Chicago for the 9th, and again, another team, another special group. I feel very good about the talent level we have this year, and the attitude, so barring some catastrophic injuries, I think we're going to be right back in the mix this year. Jacobson: Right. Now, you took a new position recently as the RNC Finance Chair. How is it going, is it more than...is it what you expected? Ricketts: No no, it's actually really really great fun and I feel pretty good about that too. I...I steal this line from the mayor, who says "When the President calls you and asks you to do something, you have two choices; you can say Yes, or Yes, Sir." And so I chose to say "Yes, sir", and you know, I've been working with Rana for the last month or so, just trying to gather up the resources for the midterm elections. Proft: In some ways, we got a preview of Loyola Basketball, we got a preview of Cubs 2018, so give us a preview of GOP 2018 and midterms, particularly with some of the decisions of late, like the one on Friday that's got some Conservatives rankled. Ricketts: I'm sorry, which one are you talking about? Proft: The signing of the Omnibus spending bill on Friday that's got some Conservative rankled. Ricketts: Oh, that's right. I was watching basketball so I didn't... Jacobson: See? Ricketts: So, I feel...I actually feel pretty good about it. You know, obviously every time the President heads into a midterm in their first term, they lose some seats in the House. And this one, you know, the challenges are the same, I think we probably will lose some seats in the House, but we've got a 23-seat advantage right now, and we just have to make sure we don't lose more than 23 seats, that's really what we're going to be focused on, and working hard to make sure that doesn't happen. Proft: Alright, he is Todd Ricketts, Cubs co-owner, Loyola Board of Regents, RNC Finance Chairman...he doesn't get much sleep. Todd Ricketts, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Ricketts: Oh yeah, we're just gonna keep the winning going, all across the board. Proft: At least SOMEBODY's doing it in this state, and it's fun to watch! Thanks, Todd. Ricketts: I will talk to you guys later. Proft: See ya.

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James Marter GOP Candidate For Congress

James Marter entered the ring to primary incumbent Representative Adam Kinzinger in the 16th congressional district. Marter enters the ring with Dan and Amy to discuss what got him into the race and how his strong conservative values separate him from his opponent. Are Illinois voters ready to stoke the revolt?

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ATC W/ Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

On this edition of Against The Current, Sen. Ted Cruz sits down with Dan Proft to discuss the lessons he took away from his POTUS run, his assessment of President Trump's performance eight months in, the four policy priorities he identifies for the GOP-controlled Congress and whether free market conservatism is still where the center of gravity exists within the party. Cruz doesn't just take the positions. He makes the arguments. And he does so on this special installment of Against The Current.

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