Glad you’ve joined us for the Monday martinis! Today, Jim and Greg cheer the people of Hong Kong for leaving no doubt in local elections that they are on the side of freedom and the protesters. They also cringe as figures on the right speak of Trump is near messianic terms, a tactic the left engaged in over President Obama for eight years prior to Trump. They’re both way off base. And as Kamala Harris suddenly declares herself a champion of marijuana decriminalization because it leads to mass incarceration, Jim and Greg inconveniently point out her record and her painfully obvious political calculations.
Back to our usual format with three big stories today! Jim and Greg applaud the Senate for passing legislation designed to sanction anyone found targeting the human rights of people in Hong Kong, but they still wish the demonstrators could get some public support from President Trump. They also react to U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland contending that the Trump administration did demand Ukraine open an investigation into Burisma and the 2016 elections in exchange for President Zelensky to receive an invitation to the White House, and that he believes the suspension of military aid was linked to those demands as well. And they marvel at the media deleting a story about the numbers of migrant children in U.S. detention when they learn the figure is actually from the Obama years.
It’s all good martinis today! Join Jim and Greg as they stunningly applaud former President Obama for telling liberals that just blasting people for not being sufficiently woke actually accomplishes nothing. They’re also glad to see the House of Representatives vote overwhelmingly to blame Turkey for the Armenian genocide committed over a century ago and discuss why that matters now. And they discuss the financial and ethical headaches facing the likely Democratic challenger to Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and guest host Greg Knapp discuss the recent jobs report and the impact on Trump’s reelection chances. They debate the David Brooks’ op-ed in The New York Times arguing Marianne Williamson has the best chance of defeating Trump. And they react to Michael Moore’s plea for Michelle Obama to enter the Democratic primary.
(Gregory Knapp is a Speaker, Coach, and Talk Show Host. You can learn more about him and get a free gift at gregorybknapp.com. His podcast, Find Your Purpose-Live Your Passion is available on Apple Podcasts/iTunes.)
Former Vice President Joe Biden is once again staying very close to President Obama, this time billing his health care plan as Obamacare 2.0 and even promising once again that Americans who like their private health coverage can keep it.
The Obama-Biden administration repeated that promise over and over as part of the debate over the Affordable Care Act. Due to the regulatory changes of the law, plans could not stay the same. Americans were forced into more comprehensive plans and some carriers dropped their customers altogether.
As a result, Politifact named “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” the Lie of the Year in 2013.
Biden is now positioning himself as a moderate in the Democratic field for 2020. He says a Medicare for All approach that would abolish private insurance and leave the government in complete control is a bridge too far. Instead he is pushing a public option – a government-run plan that would compete with private coverage.
“If you like your plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it. If in fact, you have private insurance, you can keep it,” said Biden on Monday.
But what Biden labels a moderate approach Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner sees as a mere stepping stone to government-run health care that kills private sector health coverage.
“The federal government has unlimited calls on taxpayer dollars. It can write the rules that everybody has to comply with. Private plans will not be able to compete, so people will inevitably lose their private plans simply because they will go under,” said Turner.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Turner explain in greater detail how a public option would ultimately force private insurers out of business, what approach she believes is far better than a public option or Medicare for All, and how Americans are approaching this critical debate.
The latest report from the Treasury Department shows a record level of spending for the first nine months of the current fiscal year, and the U.S. is on it’s way to a one trillion dollar deficit by the time the year is through.
According to Treasury, expenditures from October through June totaled nearly $3.356 trillion. Revenues came in at just over $2.6 trillion, leaving the nation with a deficit of more than $747 billion with three more months to go.
One of the nation’s top financial watchdogs says this is a bipartisan problem, noting the deficit was $5.4 trillion when George W. Bush left office. That number jumped to $19.9 trillion when Barack Obama’s presidency ended. Our debt is now headed towards $23 trillion just two-and-a-half years into the Trump administration.
OpentheBooks.com CEO Adam Andrzejewski says the current budget deficit is particularly bad considering the strength of our economy.
“Right now, we’re in a period of great economic expansion. We shouldn’t be running one trillion dollar budget deficits. You run budget deficits during an economic cycle when you slip into recession. You don’t want to run them when you’re in economic growth and expansion,” said Andrzejewski.
Andrzejewski warns Republicans that running against the big government agenda of Democrats is going to be a tougher sell because of their own lack of fiscal discipline.
But with neither party wanting to remove funding for their friends and priorities, is there any room for common ground. Andrzejewski says some ways to trim the fat ought to be obvious.
“The 20 largest federal agencies since 2003, they admit to $1.4 trillion going out the door in improper payments. Just last year, our auditors at OpentheBooks.com found a billion dollars went out the door from these federal agencies to dead people,” said Andrzejewski.
It gets worse. Andrzejewski says another six billion dollars went out in overpayments in student loans and grants and Medicare and Medicaid combined for $80-85 billion in improper payments.
Listen to the full podcast as Andrzejewski lists more wasteful spending projects that are wasting taxpayer dollars and how he encourages citizens to make their representatives pay attention to our soaring deficits and debt.
Republican candidates are talking about how Democrats treated Brett Kavanaugh and what will happen if Democrats take control of the House and possibly even the Senate.
But a prominent conservative columnist says GOP candidates should really have one dominant message: the economy is the best it’s been in generations.
“Are you better off now than you were two years ago? It’s a very simple question, and I think for almost every single American, the answer is, ‘Yes, we are better off than we were two years ago,” said syndicate columnist Deroy Murdock, whose latest column makes the economic argument for keeping Republicans in power.
Murdock says a quick comparison between 2018 and 2016 tells the tale. Economic growth in the first half of 2018 is 4.2 percent, compared to 1.9 percent in 2016. Unemployment dropped from 4.9 percent to 3.7 percent, the lowest since 1969. Female unemployment fell from 4.4 percent to 3.3 percent, the lowest since 1953.
“The economy is up and running and thriving and robust much more than it was just two years ago, thanks to Republican tax cuts, Republican deregulation, a much more positive pro-business and pro-free market tone coming out of Washington, D.C. That is helping Americans from Beverly Hills all the way down to the barrios,” said Murdock.
The Democrats are not conceding the economy as a Trump success story. Former President Barack Obama believes he deserves a good share of the credit.
“When you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it,” said Obama in Nevada on Monday.
Murdock likened Obama’s claim to the person who an’t open a jar but then takes credit for loosening it when someone else opens it. Murdock admits Obama started his presidency with a stalled economy, but says the difference between Obama and Trump on economic results is staggering.
“Things did pick up some under Obama. But it was a bit like being in a car that was going 35 miles per hour on a big superhighway. Now we’re going about 70-75-80, and the guy that was driving us along at 35 miles per hour is asking for a standing ovation,” said Murdock.
Listen here for the full interview as Murdock predicts where our economy would be if Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and discusses how the GOP should respond to the migrant caravan coming to our southern border.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are enraged that someone would send explosive devices to the Obamas, Clintons, CNN, and others and hope that those responsible for threatening or attacking public figures – or anyone else – are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They’re also glad to see Indiana Republican Senate hopeful Mike Braun either closing in on Sen. Joe Donnelly or even taking the lead. They slam MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and others for definitively declaring that there’s no evidence of criminals being part of the thousands of Central Americans headed towards the U.S. border when there is evidence to the contrary. And they weather the final attack ads aimed at their favorite teams ahead of Sunday’s Bears-Jets game.
The Trump administration began reapplying economic sanctions against Iran Monday, the latest consequence of President Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal.
Trump withdrew the U.S. as a signatory of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May, and the new round of sanctions is the first of two rounds of crippling sanctions designed to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons and grant more liberties to its people.
“There’s the difference between the Obama administration and the Trump administration. The Obama administration was trying to placate. The Trump administration is trying to actually change Iranian behavior,” said retired U.S. Navy Captain Chuck Nash, who is also a Fox News military analyst.
This first tranche of sanctions forbids the importing of Iranian carpets, pistachios, and also voids licenses that allows Iran to buy American and European-made aircraft. Another round of sanctions targeting oil and banks is set to take effect Nov. 4.
European leaders are furious with Trump for bringing the sanctions back, but Nash says they have little choice but to go along.
“They were looking to sell a tremendous amount of goods to Iran. Those deals, now that the United States has pulled out, the administration has basically said, ‘Would you like to do business with the United States or would you like to do business with Tehran? Pick one,'” said Nash.
And Nash says the Europeans could not circumvent the sanctions even if they wanted to.
“Look at aircraft for example. There is so much United States technology in aircraft that there isn’t an aircraft manufacturer in the western world who can export to Tehran if the United States pulls the licenses for its technology. It’s embedded in those platforms,” said Nash.
Nash says the sanctions are also meant to make life uncomfortable for another group inside Iran.
“That impacts the bazaaris, which is the mercantile class inside of Iran,” said Nash. “They are the big supporters of the theocratic regime.”
Nash says the bazaaris were key allies of Ayatollah Khomeini during the Islamic Revolution of 1978-1979. But he says if the bazaaris feel the heat, the mullahs will also be sweating.
“When they start shifting because they’re under pressure, if things really start to happen, you’ll get the mullahs’ attention,” said Nash, who notes the Iranian economy is already hurting badly.
“In the last year alone, their currency, the rial, has lost 80 percent of its value. Things have been going south in Iran for years,” said Nash.
He says the mullahs are sure to blame the renewed sanctions for the economic misery in Iran, but Nash doesn’t think the people will believe them.
“The mullahs are trying to tell the people, ‘No, no, no. It’s not our gross mismanagement. It’s not our spending money on militarization instead of working on infrastructure and other things in the economy. No, no, no. It’s the Americans pulling out of the deal.’ And the people aren’t buying it,” said Nash.
Nash says the Iranian leadership has funneled valuable resources into the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which pledges allegiance not to the government but to the Islamic Revolution, similar to how the SS pledged fidelity to Adolf Hitler instead of the nation. That, in addition to the weak economy, is sparking large protests against the the regime.
Nash says Iranian leaders may soon have to make a very tough decision.
“The mullahs are probably going to be able to keep the lid on this but for how much longer? And that’s the equation they have to balance. ‘Can we really let the United States move on to the Nov. 4 exercise of sanctions, which would be the second tranche, where they then put sanctions against our banking industry and our energy sector?’
“When that happens, that could spell doom for the mullahs inside of Tehran,” said Nash.
Listen to “Butina Conned Dems Too, Tariffs Wipe Out Tax Cuts, Trump’s Iran Tweet” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are not thrilled to see that alleged Russian spy Maria Butina conned Obama administration officials, but they do welcome the evidence that Russia was infiltrating everywhere and not just getting cozy with the GOP. They also sigh as the Tax Foundation concludes that President Trump’s tariffs and the tariffs aimed back at the U.S. will gobble up all of the tax cuts for working families. In addition, they fume as Citizens Against Government Waste shows Republicans in Congress are cranking up the spending through pork barrel earmarks again. And while they love Mike Pompeo’s speech casting Iranian leaders as the mafia for stealing from their own people to fund terrorism, they’re not sure Trump’s all-caps tweet Sunday night was the best move.