trump administration

Consumer Centric

Should we look at trade through the lens of the producer or consumer? Is General Motors making the right decision? What products are being subsidized by American taxpayers currently? What are the benefits of protectionism? How will the tariff trade war with China end? Mark Perry, Professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan & Carpe Diem blogger for the American Enterprise Institute, joins Dan & Amy with reaction to Trump's tariff talk.


Is This What Winning A Tax War Looks Like?

President Trump says he's "A tariff man" which is to say "a tax man" which is to say he is saying we're going to tax our way to prosperity which is to say he's wrong. Is this what winning the tax war looks like? Why is Trump walking away from his 90-day China trade truce? Is this just another example of Trump's negotiation tactics? Why are steel and aluminum companies' share prices down if Trump's tariffs are helping them? Dan and Amy are joined by Stephen Moore Wall Street Journal Columnist; Chief Economist for CNN & President Trump advisor.


Tariff Man

What did President Trump mean when he tweeted he is "A tariff man"? Did that tweet tank the economy? Why are Republicans running away from free trade? Did the University of Chicago win the Cold War, as George Will has said? Dan and Amy pose these questions and more to John Tamny, Director of the Center for Economic Freedom, editor of RealClearMarkets and author of The End of Work: Why Your Passion Can Become Your Job.


Make The Check Out To Michael Cohen For The Truth

Is the public okay with a slush fund paid by taxpayers for settlements involving elected officials but not okay with Trump using his own money? Is the FBI/DOJ on a different page than the FEC? Has the Mueller investigation shifted to obstruction rather than collusion? Should Trump be getting worried? Columnist at National Review and former U.S. Attorney, Andrew McCarthy joins Dan and Kristen McQueary to discuss.

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Trump Is Winning Ugly

What a contrast, right?

At the same time President Trump was stumbling through his post-game presser with Putin which necessitated a next-day contraction retraction, former President Obama was in South Africa treating the world to his soaring rhetoric thereby reminding us how good we had it.

That’s the DC press corps’ version of events.

Unfortunately for Democrats, Obama’s tawdry sentimentality and Life’s Little Instruction Book maxims hold up about as well over time as do his policies.

Obama got away with congenial disdain for the Bible-and-gun clingers but his political progeny—not to mention his administration’s apparatchiks—are not nearly as adroit.

Obama’s veiled invective is weak tea compared to his former CIA Director’s call for a firing squad.

Obama’s cliché-ridden claptrap lacks the appeal of Adam Schiff’s Manchurian Candidate conspiracy theories or a Business Insider deep dive on bugging soccer balls.

Obama served as a veneer for the Left’s ugliness.

Trump has unleashed it and marginalized Obama as a political asset in the process.

Now Trump leads the Left’s parade of horribles around by their P-hats in full public view.

It’s messy. And Trump is sloppy. But, like the 1983 Chicago White Sox, Trump is Winning Ugly.


The Diplomatic Waltz

How will Trump’s “America First” agenda impact the relationship between Trump and Putin? Is Trump trying to get between China and Russia? What is Putin hoping to gain from meeting with Trump? Author of iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age Bill Gertz, joins Dan and Amy.



Should Strzok still have a security clearance? What is the true reason Strzok did not discuss Trump with the media during the election? Will the FBI be able to recover from this scandal? Is it possible to turn off political bias while conducting an investigation? James Fitzgerald, retired FBI special agent, joins Dan and Amy to discuss.


Political Theater

While the investigation continues, Trump meets with Putin. Are the espionage conspiracy accusations all a hoax perpetrated by the FBI? Is this all just political theater guised as an Russian indictment? Most importantly, will Trump declassify the documents needed to end the investigation? Former Chief Asst. U.S. Attorney and Contributing Editor at National Review, Andrew McCarthy joins Dan and Amy to react to Peter Strzok’s testimony and Russian indictments.


A Circus

Did Peter Strzok’s bias impact the Trump investigation? How much damage has Strzok inflicted on the FBI’s image? Will pressure from politicians influence the outcome and end date of the Trump investigation? Ron Hosko, former FBI Assistant Director, joins Dan and Amy to discuss.


Strzok’s Sad Smirk

FBI agent Peter Strzok’s testimony provokes heated and rancorous political altercations. Does his congressional testimony demonstrate a bias against Trump and has it affected his investigation? Meanwhile, what does Trump hope to get out of his meeting with Putin in Helsinki? Author of The Trump White House, Ronald Kessler, joins Dan and Amy to react to Peter Strzok’s testimony and discuss Trump’s trip abroad.


US Protection Or Russian Pipeline?

Should Trump consider pulling out of NATO after Germany’s pipeline deal with Russia? Should the United States even care about the pipeline deal? Germany needs to decide, the United States’ protection or Russia’s pipeline. Former United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Jed Babbin joins Dan and Amy to discuss the recent NATO summit.


Politics Trump Civility

Americans of all political stripes say they want more civility in politics. Yet recent stories of Trump Administration officials being refused service and verbally attacked in public indicate otherwise. Upstream Ideas asked Chicagoans if they could Follow the Logic.  


Don’t Drain The Baby With The Bathwater



Intimidated by Hillary’s lawyers.

Improper gifts.

Lack of impartiality.

The IG’s report makes Democrats’ dreams of a Trump impeachment inconceivable.

So complete is the Trump vindication that the Left has regressed back to trying to figure out whether or not they’re supposed to like Jim Comey.

Trump should press his advantage here by consummating his anti-ruling-class value proposition.

The public doesn’t want the FBI and DOJ to go away. They just don’t want the senior leadership of those agencies to be conniving political operatives who believe themselves to be above the law.

Both are headed by Trump appointees now. The President should make a very public play to take a very active role in working with Christopher Wray and Jeff Sessions—or replacing if need be—to make the personnel and policy changes necessary for culture change and credibility restoration.

Much of the positive disruption President Trump has brought to the Beltway has been through simply doing what he said he would do as candidate Trump. It confounds the men and women of always.

Trump ran as a law and order candidate. The FBI and DOJ are instrumental institutions to the rule of law and public order in America.

Trump would bedevil his critics once again if chose this moment to be an institutional rebuilder.


Scaling Illinois

Living in Illinois, I know something of the ravages of big government Republicanism.

It’s an approach to governance that sends people scurrying for the exits before the bills come due.

Which is why Trump’s decision to fund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, bump up the subsidies for P-hat-approved art and reward the swamp monsters with increased office allotments was a disastrous one.

Illinois is a model to discontinue not replicate.

In Illinois, the physical exodus from the state has cemented the GOP as the superminority party.

Nationally, the evacuation will be of a partisan nature not a physical one but the result will be the same: Democrat control.

In 2008 and 2012, the nation chose to scale Chicago Democrat governance nationally. It did no better inside the Beltway than it’s done in the Land of Lincoln, an officially-decreed Trump-free zone.

If Trump was looking for a Midwestern model to emulate, he would’ve done better to look to the states he actually won or ask his Vice President.


Team Trump Is Team Russia

The Left is so accomplished at sensationalizing and rewriting history because they so doggedly sensationalize and rewrite the present.

The Nunes memo is one of the better case studies in recent memory.

We have sanctimonious gasbag Jim Comey complaining about “weasels and liars” (translation: House Republicans) for fulfilling their oversight responsibilities of the FBI, reminding us that there aren’t a lot of schools or streets named after Joe McCarthy.

That’s something Comey will have in common with McCarthy.

We have John Heilemann, one of MSNBC’s Russian collusion bots, suggesting that Paul Ryan is a Russian agent.

Because Paul Ryan agrees that the Nunes memo should be released, you see, that puts Ryan on Team Nunes which puts him on Team Trump which puts him on Team Russia which puts John Heilemann in a 1959 Richard Condon novel because he is living in a fictional world.

We have a DC press corps from a bygone era presently being fêted on the silver screen for unearthing government secrets while their descendants decry the notion of being handed a tidy summary of the same.

We have Beltway big government guerrillas who will say and do or not say and not do whatever is required to achieve their singular end: the end of Trump.


Is Nothing Sacred?

In his remarkable press conference, Trump Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly prompted reflection on that which was once sacred and should be but no longer is.

Women. The dignity of every life. Religion. Gold Star Families. Selfless service to country. All once sacred. Now not so much.

Gen. Kelly provided a timely reminder that civilization is not always advancing. The latest point in time is not necessarily the most enlightened. Societies can regress.

The nature of man is immutable. Edifying influences like faith, family and work and the responsibilities associated with each are necessary.

Notions of duty and honor keep us from devolving into a Hobbesian state of nature.

So what is sacred?

The politicization of all things makes state power sacred.

The 41% of nonelderly-headed households who receive entitlement payments makes good intentions sacred.

Banning books and blocking speakers to protect feelings makes conceit sacred.

In other words, the power to distribute other people’s stuff and eliminate dissent has replaced what Gen. Kelly described as sacred and what four Green Berets died on a distant battlefield to protect as sacred.

If you believe their last full measure of devotion for your freedoms was sacred then you might consider fighting to preserve them. 


Bannon’s War

"They’re not going to help you unless they’re put on notice that they’re going to be held accountable if they do not support the President of the United States.”

Those are the words of chief Trump streetfighter Steve Bannon on “60 Minutes” in response to Charlie Rose’s protestation that he is attacking the very GOP leadership whose support the President needs.

Whether or not you agree with all of the component parts of the Trump/Bannon policy agenda—and I do not—Bannon is correct about the mechanics of moving the flag in politics.

As Milton Friedman observed, politics is the art of getting the wrong people to do the right thing. That requires the application of pressure.

A policy agenda is moved mainly by aligning interests not making friends.

And the number one interest of virtually every office-holder is to hold their office.

What the big government press corps in DC describes as “in-fighting” is better understood as an accountability mechanism: you either keep the promises you made or you won’t be in a position to make them anymore.

Members of Congress are not our betters. They are our temporary representatives. All are replaceable. Many are interchangeable.

A political party that has intraparty channels to maintain discipline is a governing party. One that does not will be a minority party until they do. Take it from someone who lives in Illinois.


Is Trump Veering From His Campaign Promises In Afghanistan?

Would the faction of Trump supporters who tolerate no substantive criticism of POTUS like to reconsider their position as Trump has reconsidered his on Afghanistan? Is there a difference between institutional and establishment? Should we always listen to the generals? Have we learned nothing from Charlie Wilson's War? Is Trump looking to horse trade escalation in Afghanistan with the neocons in exchange for support for his domestic policy agenda? Ed Henry, Chief National Correspondent for Fox News Channel and author of “42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story,” joins Dan and Amy to discuss.


View full transcript


Dan Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy, in President Trump’s national address on his change of opinion on Afghanistan policy yesterday, in which he expressed support for an escalation of American presence there, to kill terrorists, not to nation build, he also made a very transparent overture to last week’s controversy over his response to Charlottesville. Amy Jacobson: Yeah, his speech at the beginning did echo a little bit of Charlottesville, he came out and said basically no tolerance for hate, but I was wonder when I heard him talk about that and to say we want a country that’s not at war with itself, did the critics get to him? Did his family? Did everybody get to him?7 Donald Trump: The young men and women, we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home, we cannot remain a force for peace in the world, if we are not at peace with each other, as we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Amy: Was that a moment of contrition? Dan: I don’t know if I go so far as to say contrition, but tis certainly a moment that was orchestrated, or a passage that was orchestrated by General Kelly in conjunction with the staff speech writers to address it without addressing it directly, to address it globally, without addressing it specifically, so that people would pick up on it as we are, and suggest something approximating contrition or recognition and to try and put that past in the administration and focus on the challenges ahead, for more focus on the challenges ahead, and insight on such challenges, we’re pleased to be joined by our fried Ed Henry, Chief National correspondent for Fox News, and the author of ’42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story’, as you know Amy, because you have a signed copy of said book. Amy: I do. Ed Henry: Amy so disappointed you weren’t at the ballpark there a couple of weeks ago. Amy: I know, well Dan was representing the show, but thank you for the book. Dan: Yeah, I’m her ambassador. Ed: You’re a great ambassador. Dan: Yeah, great time was great to see you, and thank you for the signed copies of the book, and I know it’s doing very well and wish you continued success with that, with respect to Trump’s address last night, obviously being received very well by the neo-cons, Graham and McCain and others, do you sense that maybe an ancillary benefit that had to be considered was supporting this escalation, is consistent with in placing trust in the Generals around him, including his Chief of Staff, as well as maybe re-securing more support on the Hill for his domestic political agenda. Ed: It’s a complicated question, because you’re wrapping several things in there, but I think you’re very smartly wrapping it together, because look, this president himself acknowledged last night that his instinct was to stick to his campaign promise, which was to get out of Afghanistan, not to send more troops, even though it seems like a modest number of 4,000 more, I think President Obama in 09, put about 30,000 more, a much more dramatic escalation, so this President could be accused of a middling escalation, because maybe it’s not enough, if his instinct was, as he said himself, to get out, stick to his guns on that, what happened in Charlottesville, may have made that political calculation more difficult, because you’re right, he was losing support, facing criticism from fellow Republicans, if he had then pulled out of Afghanistan, he may have had, I don’t want to say a revolt among Republicans, I don’t want to exaggerate it, but I think that he has been facing a very tenuous political situation, so I think that part of the (4:28), on the other hand, I think we have to give him credit for showing leadership and putting aside some of that political calculus, he himself said look I wanted to get out, but you get behind that desk in the Oval office and you realise if we just have a rapid pull out of Afghanistan, like President Obama did in Iraq in 2011, it’s going to be haven for terrorists all over again, it’s already a difficult situation, let’s not make it worse. So, my bottom line is how many times have we had the critics of President Trump, and there were many, say this guy doesn’t learn anything, he can’t possible grow in office, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, I think last night he showed some leadership and said you know what? I’m going to step up to the plate here. Amy: Well I always questioned the timing of everything, do you think the timing was because of the negative publicity from Charlottesville? Ed: There’s no way of proving that that’s when he did, I think you’re right to raise the question, that this maybe helps him change the subject, from a difficult week last week, and I thought that the way you both handled it a moment ago, before I came on, was exactly right, which was that, again, he’s got critics who if he did not allude to Charlottesville last night, they would say, oh interesting he never mentioned anything about that, oh he doesn’t want to talk about that anymore, then he mentions in there, and they’ll be some people saying well is that politics? Is he trying to turn the page on last week? So you’re kind of darned if you do, darned if you don’t, so I think using the coming together moment of he’s at Fort Myer in Virginia, a military base, that like a microcosm of the rest of the US military, not just the toughest, best in the world, but the most diverse, and it really does look like a patchwork of America, it seems like it would have been a missed opportunity to not mention that the military goes and fights and defends and protects this nation, regardless of race, creed or colour and for all of the missed opportunities this president had last week, and I certainly don’t let him off the hook about that news conference last Tuesday, which certainly could have been handled a lot better, I think last night he handled it well. Dan: And I’m all for president changing their mind, and particularly when they do things I disagree with, and they do something I agree with, like anybody, and trump explained why he changed his mind, which is all fine, that’s acceptable, that nobody knows what it’s like to be president, till you’re president, and so it’s not about changing his mind, it’s the question of whether he’s getting the policy right, whether this is an instance where changing his mind was good, that’s my criticism, not the idea that he’s rethought his position and… Ed: Can I say one thing on that? Dan: Sure, yeah. Ed: I said this on the air last night, and I don’t want to leave it unsaid on your air this morning, which is that while I am giving the president credit for leadership and stepping up as I said, I certainly share scepticism, I seem to hear in your voice Dan, that I didn’t hear a whole lot of details last night, I heard and when I went on Twitter last night during the speech and said look he gets some high marks, but there’s a lot of detail missing here, I kept getting Trump allies saying, you didn’t listen, he said two key things, he’s going to kill terrorists, and he’s not going to nation build, sure but that’s not a strategy, those are slogans, of course we’re going to kill terrorists, of course, the Democratic Republican president, you want to kill terrorists, no one wants to see them thrive, but I think to be fair and balanced about it, he left out a lot of details. Dan: And the other thing is, is this a moment where Trump decided this is a way for me to be counterintuitive, he likes to do things that are unexpected, to play against type. Ed: Well, and I think it gets a little bit back to Amy’s question, which I started answering and then answered some other point son it, which I think she raises a very fair question about the timing of this, because General McMaster, had wanted the President to deal with this policy back, I believe, in May when he was going to the NATO summit, so we could have the policy announced back then and get the allies more involved as he talked last night about really holding Pakistan’s feet to the fire, for example, which I think was another important and positive point he made last night and so he’s been sitting on this policy, why all of a sudden did they roll it out, just in the last 24 hours, unexpectedly, this weekend when they abruptly announced, he’s going to address the nation in primetime, that’s a big deal when the commander-in-chief does that for the first time, I’m not saying it wasn’t warranted, I’m not saying he did it for political reasons, but I think Amy raises up their question, was which is, is this also about changing the point and not just getting the policy right now. Amy: Scene out of House of Cards, or Wag the Dog, today President Trump, after last nights, which I thought too was a pretty effective address to the nation, he’s going back into campaign mode and heading to Arizona, there’s going to be, I’m sure he’s, you know, tens of thousands of protestors, but he’s both publicly scrutinized both of their state Senators, and neither of them are showing up, but what, I know that some of his aides have begged him to cancel today’s event in Phoenix, and he’s of course said no. Ed: Right, and this gets to maybe the two Trumps, of last night, and I’m also hearing critics saying, reacting to what I said on Fox News last night, saying it’s not leadership to read off a teleprompter, that’s what critics used to say about President Obama too, look folks, presidents read of teleprompters… Amy: Get over it. Ed: Yeah and when you’re delivering remarks about Afghanistan policy, you kind of need to be precise and it right, ergo what happened at that news conference last Tuesday, where the president, there was no teleprompter, but veered off the script if you will and dug a deeper hole on Charlottesville, you can’t do that when you’re talking war on peace and I mention that to tie it back to your question, which is the two Trumps, so last night I think he gets high marks, but tonight we’re going to see the unscripted Trump and does he undo some of the goodwill, I think he generated last night, not just with Republicans, but maybe some fair-minded independents, and the Democrats who say look, I don’t really love this Afghanistan policy, but he’s right that we can’t just pull out, we’ve tried that before, tonight, we’re going to get the Trump who’s up there with no prompter and starts gets this fiery crowd out there and feeds off the energy of that, which positive, but also can end up digging a deeper hole if he starts re-explaining what he meant on Charlottesville yet again, we’ll see. Dan: Getting back to his domestic policy agenda, interesting piece on CNBC yesterday, with professional courtesies, and that is with Trump’s troubles, comes better odds for a tax cut, do you sense there’s movement on that? Ed: I don’t sense movement, to be honest, but what I think CNBC is getting at, which is that I think a lot of people can do wrong when for example, a president struggles, like the president did last week on show, so there’s a tendency in Washington, the pundit class to say, aha, the president’s in trouble so he’ll never get tax cuts, well on the other hand when you’re in some trouble, get back to Amy’s point about changing the subject and finding a compromise or a policy somewhere that you can latch on to, maybe, because of a more precarious political position, the president says I’m not going to get a hundred percent of what I wanted on taxes, I better call Chuck Schumer and figure out how I can get 50 or 60 percent of what I wanted, and there’ll be a lot of Republicans not happy that say corporate taxes go down to 24% or 22% instead of a 15% or 20% that he’s been campaigning on, that’s a whole heck of a lot better than the current environment and I think the CNBC would be interesting to the Fox Business audience, would say maybe we take (12:13) now better than no loaf, and then you come back a year, two years from now, later in his presidency and try to finish the job on taxes, and I think maybe, and I underline the word maybe, this president and the White House will learn something from healthcare being tried in one fell swoop to repeal and replace Obamacare and obviously playing into a brick wall you try to do the same thing on taxes, let’s remake the entire tax code in one fell swoop, I think you both know it isn’t going to happen in a couple of weeks, so maybe you should start doing some bit size stuff and rack up some victories and build some momentum. Dan: He is Ed Henry, Chief National Correspondent, for Fox News, and the author of the book that you should pick up, ’42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story’ Ed, thanks as always for joining us. Ed: Have a wonderful day, good to talk to you both Dan and Amy. Amy: Thanks, and he joined us on our Turnkey dot pro answer line.


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Emergence Of Anti-American Movements Sweeping The Country

Trump vs. the GOP. If sides are taken, can either survive? Did Trump lose corporate America or is it impossible for him to lose what he never possessed? Has the civil rights movement been hijacked by anti-American ideology? Where did the Civil rights movement veer out into the wilderness? What should be the conservative answer?  Bob Woodson, founder of the Woodson Center, joins Dan and Amy to discuss predatory government policies, economic opportunities, and toxic ideologies.


McCarthy: Is Mueller's Grand Jury Step One To Impeachment?

Are there any boundaries to Robert Mueller's investigation? Deputy AG Rosenstein says yes. Should we trust Rosenstein's reassurances that Mueller must follow Justice Department regulations? Should we read anything into the fact that Mueller impaneled a grand jury? Is Mueller’s grand jury step one in the impeachment of President Trump? Is there any shred of evidence to support the narrative that Trump committed a crime? Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy joined Dan and Amy to discuss.