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Rational Radio Daily with Steele and Ungar


Michael Steele and Rick Ungar keep you up to date with the latest breaking news and headlines. We like to have fun and we like to get things done. We are the home of Rational Radio.

Michael Steele and Rick Ungar keep you up to date with the latest breaking news and headlines. We like to have fun and we like to get things done. We are the home of Rational Radio.
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Michael Steele and Rick Ungar keep you up to date with the latest breaking news and headlines. We like to have fun and we like to get things done. We are the home of Rational Radio.




"Where are all the deficit hawks? Where are ANY of the deficit hawks?"

Congressman Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), the vice-ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, joins Rick Ungar and guest co-host Rick Tyler to talk about the state of play on tax reform now that the Senate has passed a budget resolution. Dr. John Abromeit, a history professor at SUNY Buffalo, jumps on with the guys to discuss a surprising new poll that says economics may not be the primary driver of populism.

Duration: 00:39:16

"The blitheness with which we are talking about war with North Korea...this is just crazy."

A recent NBC News/Survey Monkey poll revealed that 72 percent of Americans fear that the U.S. will enter a major, armed conflict in the first term of Donald Trump’s presidency. The poll revealed that 54 percent of Americans fear the conflict will be with North Korea. Smaller percentages fear wars with ISIS, Russia, Iran or China. Former CIA Director John Brennan recently stated that there’s a 20-25 percent chance that the United States will go to war with North Korea. Malcolm Nance, a...

Duration: 00:25:25

What did the FBI know and when did they know it?

In 2009 and 2010, the FBI uncovered evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were pursuing a campaign of bribery, extortion and corruption of U.S. nuclear contractors and government officials, possibly including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Russians did this to ensure the federal government’s approval of a partial sale of Uranium One, a Canadian uranium mining company, to Rosatom, a titan of the Russian nuclear industry. The deal was approved by the Obama...

Duration: 00:40:57

"The president of the United States shouldn’t be at war with a major sports league."

In his Politico op-ed, “How the NFL Lost to Trump”, National Review editor Rich Lowry details how President Trump’s surprisingly shrewd grasp of cultural battles allowed him to outmaneuver NFL coaches, players and owners in the national debate that exploded around Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. “Donald Trump doesn't play three-dimensional chess, as his supporters insist,” Lowry wrote. “Sometimes, even the rules of checkers seem to elude him. But he has an...

Duration: 00:36:58

"This epidemic knows no party and knows no bounds."

Why would a West Virginia town of 400 people need a supply of nine million opioid pills? Scott Higham of the Washington Post, along with his colleague Lenny Bernstein, did a joint investigation with 60 Minutes in order to find the answer. The group’s reporting revealed that Congress, at the urging of lobbyists for three of the biggest pharmaceutical companies, passed a law limiting the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to curtail suspicious behavior by drug providers. In essence,...

Duration: 00:38:55

"You're going to save $7 billion a year, but you're going to pay out A LOT more...over 10 years it's about $194 billion."

President Trump signed an executive order yesterday directing the federal government to stop all subsidy payments to insurance companies that are part of the Affordable Care Act. At the signing ceremony, the president beamed, saying, “This will cost the federal government virtually nothing.” According to the Congressional Budget Office, that is not the case. The CBO’s initial scorecard on President Trump’s order shows that while the government will save around $7 billion a year in CSR...

Duration: 00:39:23

"Even as it's getting better [in Puerto Rico], there are some steps back."

Early this morning, President Trump tweeted, “We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. [Puerto Rico] forever!” The president was roundly criticized for his comments, which stood in stark contrast to his messages of support for Houston, Florida and other states ravaged by hurricanes. Politico national security reporter Jacqueline Klimas, who has spent time reporting on the ground from Puerto Rico,...

Duration: 00:35:38

"We're siding with the 86% of Americans that want the Dreamers to stay."

Last month, President Trump appeared optimistic about working out a bipartisan solution that would protect Dreamers. However, Trump's most recent demands in the DACA negotiations may scare off Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and any Democrat who sought a bipartisan deal. Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) discusses the president's hard-line demands and the future of DACA. Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post, reviews President Trump's speech on tax reform and...

Duration: 00:22:52

"There's no denying that climate disruption is harming our economy."

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt triumphantly declared that the war on coal is over in a speech earlier this week in Hazard, Kentucky. Mr. Pruitt announced his intention to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions, arguing the plan exceeded the administration's authority and "treated coal communities unfairly". John Coequyt, global climate policy director for the Sierra Club, strongly disagrees with Pruitt. Mr. Coequyt explains why the...

Duration: 00:31:02

"What happens when democracy leads to outcomes that we're not comfortable with?"

What happens when Islamists come to power? This is one of the pivotal questions in Shadi Hamid's new book, "Rethinking Political Islam". Hamid, a senior fellow in the Project U.S. Relation with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution, and co-author William McCants examine the wide variety of Islamist movements across the Arab world and how these groups interact with democratic and western ideals. What does it say about us as a democratic society when we condemn Islamist groups who...

Duration: 00:16:44

"Across the country, only 1.5% of abortions are after 20 weeks."

The House of Representatives passed Rep. Trent Franks' (R-Ariz.) bill to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy last week. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stated the same day that he'd introduce a companion bill in the Senate. Dr. Cheryl Axelrod, an OB-GYN at the Midwest Center for Women's Health Care, criticized the bill in an op-ed published by Medium and Vox. Dr. Axelrod writes, "As an obstetrician and a woman who has had a second-trimester abortion, I must emphasize the damaging...

Duration: 00:28:29

"This isn't how you protect people!"

Michael Steele and Rick Ungar take President Trump to task for the president's "calm before the storm" comments. They also knocked the media for playing into the president's game. Blaise Misztal, the director of the national security program for the Bipartisan Policy Center, joined the guys to talk about whether he thinks President Trump will certify the Iran deal next week and what the impact of that decision could be.

Duration: 00:34:20

"You have to be better than what angers you."

New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer joined Rick and Michael to talk about his new book, what we can learn from Gandhi and the impact of peaceful protests.

Duration: 00:17:13

"There is a power struggle for control of the Republican Party going on."

Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, told a group of Republican donors earlier this week that they should consider jettisoning any Republican members of Congress who don't back President Trump's agenda. While donors "didn't bat an eye" according to David Drucker of the Washington Examiner, congressional Republicans were livid over the comments. "I really think there's a power struggle for control of the Republican Party going on," says Drucker, the senior political...

Duration: 00:33:07

"There's a pressure on people in the media to fill the air."

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, Andrew McCarthy, a contributing editor for National Review and a former federal prosecutor, joined Rick Ungar to talk about the news cycle of gun control debates and why we can't seem to find common ground on guns. Steve Bannon is beginning to form a political coalition with the Mercer family to support their populist and anti-establishment agenda. They plan to rival the powerful network established by the Koch brothers. Ken Vogel, a New York Times...

Duration: 00:30:18

"This is a humanitarian crisis the likes of which our country has never seen."

President Trump unleashed a tweetstorm over the weekend directed at both the American citizens of Puerto Rico and the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz. On Saturday morning, the president tweeted, "Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort." The backlash against the president was strong, swift and loud, with many condemning...

Duration: 00:27:42

"This will blow a massive hole through our federal deficit."

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned today amid mounting criticism for costing taxpayers over one million dollars for his use of charter planes and military aircraft. In the wake of this lavish spending, Congressman Ted Lieu of California joined with other House members to introduce the "SWAMP FLYERS" Act, a bill that seeks to ban private jet travel by members of the president's cabinet. Congressman Lieu (D-Calif. 33) joined Michael Steele and Rick Ungar to explain why he...

Duration: 00:29:19

"Tax cuts never pay for themselves."

President Trump announced a new blueprint for tax reform yesterday in a speech in Indianapolis. The president said he sought to create a "middle class miracle" with this reform plan, which many pundits and politicians are saying is actually a massive tax cut program. However, earlier today on Good Morning America, Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn admitted that he can't guarantee there won't be tax increases for middle-class Americans. Where is the miracle? Where are all the deficit...

Duration: 00:35:18

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on infrastructure: "We don't have a presidency to waste."

One of the more inventive ways President Trump sought to fund his one trillion dollar infrastructure plan was by cultivating private-public partnerships on the local, state and national level. These partnerships seek to marry private-sector money and resources to public-sector projects. President Trump these initiatives would be a key source of funding, but after months of researching viable ways to create these partnerships and establish funding sources, he told the House Ways & Means...

Duration: 00:26:54

Senator Rand Paul's vision for healthcare

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today there would be no vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill, citing a lack of support amongst the Republican bloc. While there are whispers around Capitol Hill that the bill will be back with revisions and amendments, is repeal and replace officially dead? Where does this leave the future of healthcare reform? Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of three Republican senators to come out publicly against the bill, wants to create a system of co-op...

Duration: 00:33:46

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