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The McLaughlin Group

Issues: U.S. Navy Problems / Chinese Third World Projects / Home Sales and Millennials

Participants:
John McLaughlin, Host
Pat Buchanan, Author and Columnist
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast
Clarence Page, The Chicago Tribune
Tom Rogan, National Review/Opportunity Lives

Taped: Friday, May 6, 2016
Broadcast: Weekend of May 6-8, 2016

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ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP, the American original. For over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Issue One: Secrets Away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TV AD ANNOUNCER: Around the world, around the clock, in defense of all we hold dear back home, America’s Navy.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): The U.S. Navy is the most powerful maritime force in history. And every day, its skilled and dedicated personnel defend the nation.

But the U.S. Navy has a problem.

Enter Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin. News broke that Mr. Lin, a U.S. naval flight officer, specializing in electronic signals intelligence, faces charges of adultery, prostitution, and providing classified intelligence to Taiwan, and possibly also China.

But this scandal is only the tip of the iceberg, because in 2016 the Navy remains roiled by the so-called Fat Leonard scandal, in which a number of senior officers have been charged for accepting kickbacks from a private maritime supply contractor. And note this oddity, a possible target of investigators, current director of naval intelligence, Vice Admiral Ted Branch, has had his security suspended since late 2013.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: is the Navy in crisis, Pat Buchanan?

PAT BUCHANAN, AUTHOR & COLUMNIST: I would say no, John, but it is under great stress, and the reason is that we had just about a 600-ship under Ronald Reagan. It’s about half that size and after the Cold War, we now have the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea and the South China Sea, and all these places to police by the U.S. Navy, and the challenges to it from both China and Russia are growing dramatically.

And secondly, even with countries like Iran, anti-ship weapons, anti-ship missiles are very sophisticated, are being developed. For example, some could be in the South China Sea, which represent a real threat to our aircraft carriers.

So, in terms of strength, the United States Navy is the most powerful on earth, but in relative terms, other nations are growing in strength.

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Go ahead, Eleanor.

ELEANOR CLIFT, THE DAILY BEAST: I wouldn’t use the word "crisis," and I think the U.S. Navy still dwarfs the capacity of any other navy force in the world.

And, OK, it’s not good when you find a spy, a potential spy, in your ranks and that’s being investigated and they’re being very quiet about it. So, we don’t know how far that goes.

But the Fat Leonard scandal is typical kickbacks. It’s money, and I don’t connect that with the strength of the Navy. And so, I say, no, the Navy is not in crisis. Whoever the next president, they’re probably want to look at the capacity of our forces, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with our navy.

MCLAUGHLIN: So, you don’t think the Navy is underfunded?

CLIFT: No. Well, I think the military is making the case, that under the sequester budget, that they’re not getting enough money. But I would not single out the Navy.

I think, again, U.S. military dwarfs -- I think we’re bigger than the next 10 countries combined. This is not a problem.

MCLAUGHLIN: Do you know Robert Gates?

CLIFT: I sure do.

MCLAUGHLIN: In his memoir "Duty", President Obama proposed to cut $1.2 trillion total cuts, and DOD represents 20 percent of the total budget. So, he’s lamenting that.

TOM ROGAN, NATIONAL REVIEW/OPPORTUNITY LIVES: Well, I think --

CLIFT: Well, he was the former defense secretary, I think? Yes. They always want more.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, you don’t remember Gates?

CLIFT: I do remember him. Yes, he served both President Bush and President Obama.

ROGAN: He’s done just about everything, hasn’t he? Director of Central Intelligence, great patriot. I’m a big fan of Bill Gates. But --

MCLAUGHLIN: Are you as much of a patriot as he is?

ROGAN: I would like to think in my heart I am, but there’s not a chance in the universe that I -- he has proven it by action. And I think he’s --

MCLAUGHLIN: But you have not?

ROGAN: Well, he’s one of the few people in this city, for example, who you think is just about respected by everyone.

I think the problem with the Navy, though, that you have here is that where the Navy, for example, junior officers, has very strict requirements for qualifications. They have to study very, very hard, very intellectually rigorous, very well-trained crews that make it their profession.

At the senior levels, and the best example there is Ted Branch, who’s the head of naval intelligence, his security clearance has been suspended. He should not be in that role, that dishonors that Navy, I think, because it puts two different levels. One, for the flag ranks, the admirals, and one for the junior officers, or other people. There has to be consistency.

But I do think in terms of whether U.S. Army and Marines have evolved over through Afghanistan and Iraq in terms of reforming today to deal with asymmetric threats. The Navy needs to do that as well, I think more focusing now probably on submarine force stuff because as Pat says, those carriers, one missile from China, you’ve got 5,000 dead American sailors.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Yes.

CLIFT: I’m waiting for the Navy crisis to be introduced into the presidential contest.

ROGAN: Right.

CLIFT: Then, I’ll begin to pay attention.

(LAUGHTER)

PAGE: Yes, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

What I see as problem, and a number of other people do too, I believe there have been seven flag-level officers named so far in this scandal, and no nothing resembling discipline, or punishment, or whatever for any of them. That means you got a culture that just essentially tolerates corruption, that’s a danger. It doesn’t sound like a crisis, but we don’t know who else might be involved in this, and so much of a lid is on this right now.

But I think if you don’t show that you really care about cleaning up, that sort of atmosphere that leads to people getting kickbacks, I suppose outright bribery in this case.

BUCHANAN: You know, when you’re talking about the Navy, I mean, John, with the largest expenditures in the next seven or eight countries, but half of that is pay and benefits. Secondarily, the United States is basically an island continent. So, we have to have a Navy all the way across the other side of the Atlantic and the Persian Gulf and the other side of the 7,000-mile Pacific Ocean.

There aren’t Russian warships floating around the Gulf of Mexico, but we’re sitting there in the Baltic Sea, and our destroyers and others. And you’re right there in their backyard. So, I think, you know, the United States, quite obviously, if you’re going to be a global power, we’re the ones that need a gigantic navy.

ROGAN: Right.

PAGE: Well, that’s the debate, isn’t it? How much of a global power do we want to be? How much do we want to take care of these protected duties? How much should our --

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN: Good question. What are we doing in the Baltic Sea? Why can’t the Germans and the Brits and the others, it’s not that big a sea.

PAGE: That’s right.

BUCHANAN: Why can’t they manage that, and why are we ticking off the Russians in Kaliningrad.

ROGAN: There, we’re dealing with Poland -- Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, right, who we are supporting.

BUCHANAN: Why don’t the Germans put some ships in there?

ROGAN: They absolutely should. And I say, pull out the bases in Germany unless they do, and go to Poland.

MCLAUGHLIN: Is the Navy overextended?

PAGE: Well, that’s the debate, you know, because --

MCLAUGHLIN: And is it underfunded?

PAGE: Oh, the two work together, don’t they? I mean, you got to decide what are you duties going to be? What is your mission? And then, what kind of navy do you have?

BUCHANAN: That’s Clarence’s point. Clarence’s point is, look, if we’re going to defend everybody on earth, every country deep in Eastern Europe, and the southern and eastern Black Sea and the Indian Ocean, and the Korean Sea, and the South China Sea --

CLIFT: We’re going to honor --

BUCHANAN: -- you’re going to need a bigger navy.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: We’re going to honor our treaty commitments. And so far, I haven’t heard one squawk out of the any of the presidential candidates that this is a problem. So, let’s -- we have so many other issues to worry about.

PAGE: That’s still old etiquette, that you do not criticize the level of spending when you’re running for president, whether a Democrat or Republican.

CLIFT: OK, fair enough.

PAGE: But it needs to be analyzed.

ROGAN: I think one of the great advantages that we still have, which comes from that investment and training and stuff that goes on behind the scenes. That’s where a lot of the funding goes, is that in the event of a conflict, because of the synergy of the different services, very -- I think people struggle to understand -- one of the big lies in Europe, for example, is that the Americans have all the kit but none of the skill.

Actually, they have all the kit but also the skill, to become, for example, to become a submariner, the qualifications, the engineering, I mean, you’ve got to be essentially a nuclear physicist and a very effective potential warrior.

BUCHANAN: A sub mariner a submariner also?

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: Submariner, sub mariner, whatever, take your pick.

CLIFT: I think he’s been checking that out as a career option.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: I can be under the water, yes.

PAGE: You might be too tall, I don’t know.

ROGAN: Maybe, yes, yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: I’m working on the assumption that we are in agreement that the Navy is overextended and underfunded.

ROGAN: Yes.

MCLAUGHLIN: And we all agree that that is a yes answer.

Issue Two: Chinese Bridges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The waterway that connects the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean is increasing its capacity through the construction of a third lane, in conjunction with the deepening and widening of its navigational channels, to allow the passage of large, neo-Panamax vessels.

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Seven years in the works and 102 years after the canal first opened in 1914, upgrades to the Panama Canal are nearly finished. The upgrades will allow super large, quote/unquote, "Neo-Panamax" transport vessels to navigate the 48-mile route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. That increased trade will increase efficiency and reduce shipping costs.

Panama’s government will also benefit from higher canal toll revenues. But note that later this year, construction will begin on a Chinese-funded Nicaraguan Canal to compete with the Panama Canal.

And with Arctic ice melting, the coming years will also see new trade routes opening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Is the Chinese canal through Nicaragua a viable project? I’d like to ask engineer Pat Buchanan.

BUCHANAN: John, it is -- it’s doable, but it’s not cost effective to build it, especially when you got to Panama canal now taking very, very large container ships, and it’s a very efficient canal. And this is an incredible project that would take digging through Nicaragua, longer lanes, even with Lake Nicaragua, than it would take through Panama. I think it would be redundant.

I think the Chinese talks to the hat a lot, and I don’t think they’re going to go building that canal. But they’re welcome to try. Maybe the Nicaraguans will make some money if they can get them in there.

CLIFT: Well, there are journalists have gone in search of the beginnings of this canal and they found nothing. And you can look throughout the continent with Africa, the Chinese have made all kinds of promises and supposed commitments to build these enormous projects and they haven’t delivered on virtually anything.

Their economy is slowing, so I don’t know if they’re going to pull this off. But when they do go into these areas, they generally bring their own workers. They really don’t do much to benefit the local area, and I think people are beginning to understand that the Chinese are not great as partners in these kind of big construction efforts.

BUCHANAN: They’re selfish and self-interested, you’re telling me.

CLIFT: Well --

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: The government, not the people. The people are wonderful.

ROGAN: I also think that one of the issues -- and that’s right, that’s the Chinese in Africa, they burn bridges and our opportunity -- regardless if you have debates about free trade or more protectionist policies. One of the great advantages the United States has is the way you have a rules based system of engagement, not with China, because obviously they do not obey the rules.

But for example, developing economies in Africa and Southeast Asia, Philippines, Vietnam, the United States can offer something to those people, that is tangible and real because they say, not only do we get that business relationship with the United States, but we get protections in terms of law. So the trading relationships are more balanced, where the Chinese can simply come in, pick winners and losers, pull out, or do whatever, and leave the people to rot. And the Chinese don’t care about that.

PAGE: I’ve seen some of those -- well, a couple of those projects over in Africa. In fact, they not only bring their own materials and their own people, but they build their own compounds there.

ROGAN: Right.

PAGE: So, they don’t even mingle with the local population. So, it’s very contained economic environment as far as that’s concerned.

A lot of this may just be a public relations really, China’s ventures into the third world, to appear to be a new empire.

BUCHANAN: You know, and you take a look what’s happening to China today, they are tremendously over-extended at home. They started all these things that they can’t follow through. And they got a real crisis in that economy, and I think projects like building the Nicaraguan canal are well down at the bottom.

I think they’re going to have to retrench to a degree and have everybody -- and China’s a tremendously powerful country. It’s second in the world. But I think they’re, in many ways, a communist Chinese party is overextended and that country is overextended.

PAGE: And they’re just as paranoid as ever. Just as fearful as they ever were of some kind of uprising occurring and they still have too big of a gap between rich and poor over there. It’s extraordinary.

CLIFT: Yes, right.

MCLAUGHLIN: They got other problems. According to "Forbes", principal backer is Wang Jing, and he lost 80 percent of his fortune in the Chinese stock market last year. The 172-mile canal has to have multiple delays and may never be built --

CLIFT: So, that’s the Panama Canal, that is one of the world’s wonders, and you’ll remember, I believe Ronald Reagan, built his presidential campaign on it’s, we paid for it, we built it, it’s ours. And Jimmy Carter, of course, had turned the Panama Canal, turned it back to the people there. And a lot of Democrats lost their seat in the Senate over that. But it was the right thing to do.

BUCHANAN: Well, I was in that debate with Reagan. I was in second for Reagan when he debated Buckley and George Will was Buckley second. And we bought it --

CLIFT: Bought it?

BUCHANAN: We used to say, we stole it fair and square.

(LAUGHTER)

CLIFT: OK.

PAGE: That was the line.

CLIFT: Better put.

ROGAN: I think what China is going to do with those economic difficulties, is they can’t compete with that low wage economy now, right? That they get undercut, in terms of those cheap products that they sell to the world, by Vietnam and the Philippines. But I think what they’ll do is what they’re doing in the South China Sea, which I tend to think is a big problem because all those global trade routes going through there. If they own that, they can essentially --

BUCHANAN: Well, that makes sense to them, just like eventually the Americans drove the British Navy out of the Gulf of Mexico and out of the Caribbean and basically took over, and the Brits wisely had the great rapprochement. They said, look, let the Americans have it. We’re going to the need the Americans for our problems in Europe that are coming up.

It was brilliant diplomacy and part of the British empire from about 1900 to 1914.

ROGAN: Right. What about those countries in Southeast Asia that would become under Chinese dominion? And the trading relationships we have them that could affect American wallets --

BUCHANAN: I think the Chinese, if they want those islands and they’re willing to fight for ‘em, my guess is, eventually, they’re going to go to the Chinese.

CLIFT: Well, so far, they’re not willing to fight. Everybody is avoiding that kind of confrontation.

ROGAN: Because we’ve given it to them.

CLIFT: Right.

MCLAUGHLIN: Let’s try this. Will climate change make the Northwest Passage a trade route?

BUCHANAN: It already is. I mean, it’s more than -- it’s more and more -- you can pass through there more and more months and weeks for a year now and it is warming up and the Russians are up there. And a lot of folks are going north of Canada and it’s an easy route from --

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes.

BUCHANAN: -- Europe to Asia.

MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on, just to inform Pat, new research and geophysical research, letters, 2015, that’s the geophysical research letters, 2015, it says Arctic ice will remain too thick for routine shipping for decades. Even then, icebergs will be problems. Picture the Titanic.

What do you think of that?

BUCHANAN: No, I think that’s -- it’s already, the Northwest Passage is being used more and more. There are problems attendant, and it’s not all year round, all of it. But, John, it is widening and it is -- you can use it longer and longer.

CLIFT: Yes, the impact of climate change is being felt throughout the globe, and Pat may think it’s a natural –

BUCHANAN: It’s beneficial.

CLIFT: No -- maybe beneficial temporarily in some places, but it’s going to create a lot of disruption and we should point out that the Paris accord was just signed recently at the U.N. A number of nations coming together under the leadership of President Obama and the Chinese president, the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases really drove that treaty and that’s very good.

MCLAUGHLIN: Will technology like 3D printing reduce the need for shipping? What do you think of that?

BUCHANAN: I know, I think what’s in containers, you know --

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: Right, it’s hard to print, that’s what I thought.

BUCHANAN: You can’t get over, it’s Toyotas --

ROGAN: Big consumer goods, yes.

BUCHANAN: I don’t think you want a printing machine yet --

ROGAN: What’s interesting with this opening up trade routes, it’s the U.S. Navy that we’re just talking about, it’s their opportunity again to say why they are relevant. And the question is how they will reform to be able to protect those routes.

But it’s not just about the South China Sea. For example -- and this is the global responsibility thing. South China Sea, to the Baltic, to the Arctic, you know, you see what’s very interesting now is the level of military training exercises.

The U.S. just sent an attack sub up there to break through the PR exercise, Russians planting flags, Norwegians --

BUCHANAN: Russians have their ships in Murmansk again.

ROGAN: It’s the great game again, isn’t it? The 19th century has returned.

BUCHANAN: Yes.

PAGE: And the jets are buzzing our ships, which is troublesome.

BUCHANAN: Our ship is sitting there again in the Baltic Sea, right near Kaliningrad.

PAGE: Right.

BUCHANAN: What would we do if Russian ships were sitting off Pensacola, Florida? You think some navy guy might buzz that?

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: Well, I don’t think we would. I think we had to sort of float around and wave at them, and say no --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Will Panama reap the economic benefits of broadening the canal? Yes or no?

BUCHANAN: Well, undeniably, it’s going to get some benefits, and frankly, I hope there are a lot.

CLIFT: Yes.

ROGAN: I think very big benefits.

PAGE: Yes, and they’re ahead of the game right now. Ironically, there’s also reports about El Nino causing a slowdown in the expansion of the canal. There’s another case where climate is having an impact.

MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. Arctic shipping is many decades away, if ever. And the Nicaraguan canal is more a pipe dream than a project.

The Panama and Suez Canals remain vital to world shipping.

Issue Three: Millennial Malaise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): Offering a capital investment and removing the need to pay rent, home ownership is crucial for social mobility. But it’s an ambition easier said than done.

In a recent report, Andrew Woo of the Apartment List Company raises key concerns about millennial home ownership. Ownership by millennials, Mr. Woo explains, continues to decline each quarter and across the nation. Thirty-seven percent of millennials have saved -- get this -- nothing for their first home purchase.

But for THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP’s millennial viewers seeking to buy a house -- Jack, James and Samantha -- listen up, the most affordable city for a down payment is Detroit, Michigan. The most expensive city: San Francisco, where Apartment List calculates the average millennial renter needs 28 years to save enough for a 20 percent down payment on a property.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCLAUGHLIN: Question: what can be done to make millennial home purchase more affordable? Pat Buchanan?

BUCHANAN: Well, John, I think one of the problems you’re addressing here, first, is that millennials -- people who buy homes are -- used to be when Clarence and I were younger, there are folks who are building families, they’re bringing kids into the world and they want to move into a community.

A lot of the millennials are putting off marriage to an older age. They’re enjoying the good life, if you will, of the cities, gentrification is taking place, they prefer to rent, and mobility, and be able to move. They’re not putting down roots the same way our generation did. It’s a dramatic change and it’s one of the reasons I think, and also the housing prices going up, it’s quite obvious what is happening, you know?

And there’s another point here, which is that people come -- kids coming out of college and a lot of kids, they’re not doing as well moving up as well as we all seemed to do back in the ‘50s and early ‘60s when you got out of school.

CLIFT: Well, there are a number of distinguishing features of the millennial generation. First of all, it’s a huge generation, 80 million, the biggest obviously in history. And they have enormous student debt. So, they come out of school, the ones who are fortunate enough to go to college, and they owe a lot of money.

They’re also not very acquisitive. They don’t really see the value in owning a lot of different things. And so, they want to be mobile.

Then, they get around to buying houses at some point, but maybe the housing market ought to think about more affordable housing, more apartments in cities. I mean, that’s how people want to live, and they want to live in walkable communities.

The suburban house with the lawn and the red picket fence, that’s not everybody’s dream anymore, right? Well, I have red picket fence. And so, that’s why I call it red.

(LAUGHTER)

PAGE: The problem is, the apartments are part of the problem. The apartment rent is so expensive.

CLIFT: Right.

PAGE: It’s just incredible. Let’s turn to a young person and ask, am I right?

ROGAN: Well, yes. But, look, I think one of the things is that, you know, when I first came out, very lucky, and I still live there, because the rent is so slow, because there’s so many of us crammed in. But it allows -- I would say that’s something that millennials should do. Don’t go to the nicer place.

Go somewhere pretty unpleasant and just push for through it, save some money and then give yourself the chance to buy a property.

But I would say one of the other things that I find troubling is, well, number one, what we can do in California, it’s very hard to get construction permits. So, it’s hard to increase supply. That would help, we should reform that.

But also, I think there is this trend in our society, unfortunately, towards wealth transfers away from young people -- Obamacare is the best example, towards older citizens. And the problem with that, is that obviously, that drain is going to continue.

And the final point I would say, yes, we do need to get an absolute grip on college tuition.

But one of the things we should say to people is go and be a technical skills person, you know, learn the trade, plumbing, the Germans do this very, very well.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: -- get a great income.

MCLAUGHLIN: What’s the average age of today’s first time homebuyer? Average age first time homebuyer?

I ask you, you seem so knowledgeable, Rogan.

CLIFT: I’m guessing early 30s, I don’t know.

ROGAN: I don’t know.

MCLAUGHLIN: You don’t know?

CLIFT: Early 30s, mid 30s.

PAGE: On the mid 30s, yes. That would be my guess.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mid 30s?

PAGE: Mid 30s.

CLIFT: Yes. That’s what I would say as well.

MCLAUGHLIN: Mid 30s?

PAGE: I stole that from Eleanor.

CLIFT: He stole that from me.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN: At least mid 30s, yes.

ROGAN: What is it?

CLIFT: It’s not the right answer, though, I can tell.

BUCHANAN: Are you going by home buyers or apartment buyers? Does that qualify?

ROGAN: I see --

BUCHANAN: But if it’s a home in the suburbs, it’s in the 30s.

MCLAUGHLIN: Nice, clean question expecting a nice, clean answer.

(LAUGHTER)

ROGAN: What’s the answer?

BUCHANAN: Thirty-seven.

ROGAN: That’s what I thought.

MCLAUGHLIN: Three-O.

PAGE: Three-O, 30.

CLIFT: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

ROGAN: That’s going to be in the Midwest, though. That is not in the big cities.

BUCHANAN: Sure, John.

MCLAUGHLIN: The average age of today’s first time homebuyer, 30. Now, if you want to modify with Midwest, are we going to west and south and north and East Coast?

ROGAN: We’re qualifying it.

PAGE: Or city versus suburbs, sir.

BUCHANAN: They’re coming out of college and they’re paying eight years of rent.

MCLAUGHLIN: Is home ownership still the key to social mobility? Yes or no, Pat Buchanan?

BUCHANAN: No, I don’t think home -- well, look, social mobility if you got it, you got a good job, you’re going to have a good apartment and all the rest of it. And everybody, except for the homeless folks, has got somewhere to live.

CLIFT: Also, the 2008-2009 crash I think, partly, that was the result of the housing bubble where home ownership was vastly oversold. And I think younger people are not that -- they’re not that thrilled with the idea of owning their own house.

ROGAN: I think the key for social mobility is and always will be education. Education, education, education.

PAGE: That’s it. But that crash showed that home values are vulnerable. They can go down and very rapidly. So, it’s caused a lot of people to be a little slower about investing --

(CROSSTALK)

MCLAUGHLIN: It took you a little longer. You’re crowding me out here.

PAGE: Sorry about that.

MCLAUGHLIN: The bottom line is: are millennials better off buying or renting? And the answer to that is --

(CROSSTALK)

CLIFT: Too close to call.

PAGE: Too close to call, right.

ROGAN: That’s the go-to, right?

PAGE: There you go.

MCLAUGHLIN: Too close to call for this week.

But wait a minute, I think we got a flash here. No, no flash. Next week.

(LAUGHTER)

MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions, Pat?

BUCHANAN: Bernie Sanders will demand and get a primetime speaking slot at the Democratic Convention and use it to launch what is basically a revolution of the left, the neo-socialist left, inside the Democratic Party, which will be enduring.

MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

CLIFT: I think I’m going to have to second that, but refine it a little bit. He will go back to the Senate as the senator from Vermont and he will join forces with Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. And if the Democrats gain control of the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York will be the majority leader and you got a powerful, legislative making and maybe passing core that will assist the Democrats who’s on the White House, and I’m not going to name names.

MCLAUGHLIN: Tom?

ROGAN: Yes, I think in the coming weeks and indeed months, we’re going to see a much more relentless, an uptick in U.S. and Allied operations against senior leaders of Daesh or ISIL, which is very positive, and it shows what we can do when you have people on the ground gathering intelligence and attacking some very deeply, unpleasant people and securing innocent lives because of that. It’s going to be positive.

MCLAUGHLIN: Clarence?

PAGE: I predict that after 2020, when the Harriet Tubman $20 bills become released, which I approve, digital dollars, like Apple money, will begin to make paper money obsolete.

MCLAUGHLIN: I predict the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when it meets in June.

Bye-bye!

END