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NFL: Everyone Should Stand for National Anthem, But There Will Be No Change in Policy
Charles Payne: No pun intended—maybe slight pun intended—but they punted, right? I thought they hired this guy to be a tough guy, to take the fall for the owners, to go out there and to be the public face and to say and do things that maybe collectively they didn't wanna do in public. Instead, he was pretty mealy-mouthed about all of this, Roger Goodell. The good news is it feels like the way he kept talking about only 6, only 4 players… maybe this will fade back to what it was originally… and you get a handful of them but they made a huge mistake. The fans have already voted on this through watching television and also some who come to the games dressed as empty seats—they don't like it. Protest anywhere else except during the national anthem.
Kennedy: No, and Goodell said that some of them articulated some really important points. My question is, why now? Because criminal justice has been in the toilet for a long time—there's been a lot of disparity in sentencing, and mandatory minimums, and bail amounts and all sorts of stuff for generations. They've had a lot of time and it just seems convenient that Colin Kaepernick was the impetus, so you have to make sure—if you are the players—that this isn't just an empty gesture…that now you move on to something else. Move on to action. Go and meet law enforcement, bring together kids from inner cities with police officers so they can find some common ground and learn to trust people that are trying to keep the peace in their communities.
Adam Lashinsky: There's multiple reasons why ratings might be down, including that the public is turning off a little bit on football with this concussions issue and what have you and cord cutting broadcast television. This is a problem in general. I think Goodell was between a rock and a hard place, and I think he made the best of a very difficult situation. I don't disagree with anything Kennedy said—that would be great if we could move on, but he couldn't be in a position of restricting the free speech of these players. I think, by the way, they will move on. They will find other voices for this sort of protest other than the national anthem.
Ben Stein: These guys are a bunch of sulking big babies. They don't know what they're talking about. There's no institutional racism in America at all anymore. If they want to do their free speech thing, God bless them—let them do their free speech thing. But let's ignore them like they're bad babies and we don't want to hear them crying off in the corner. Yes, Adam, there's racism. I agree there's racism—there's racism in every human being's heart, but there's no institutional racism in America anymore. It's gone, garnished.
President Trump Touts Dow Closing Above 23K for First Time Ever
Kennedy: I think we have to be very careful to give the president too much credit, because he'll also have to take the blame if the market does in fact correct itself. If we are in the middle of some sort of massive bubble, that could be politically perilous for him. That would be a doozy, wouldn't it? If he actually got the hallmarks of his agenda passed by this lazy, bloated, do-nothing Congress—and we saw the economy set up for great success, but the market still crashed—how would we explain that? How do you explain that when you run again in 2020?
Charles Payne: It's hard not to believe that in the next 4 years, perhaps 8-year term, he won't have a major pull-back correction to deal with. Even a bear market is possible, but I do believe he should talk about some of the drivers of this stock market. Give an example: over the last 3 months, Wall Street's earnings consensus on caterpillar has gone up 24 percent for next year. In other words, the wheels of the economy are already moving and I'd love to hear him continue to talk about what we're already seeing in manufacturing, what we're already seeing in certain industries—the needle has moved and that's one of the reasons the market's moving.
Ben Stein: I buy the fact that business is optimistic again. I give a lot of speeches to businessmen and they say they feel as if the shackles have been removed, as if no one is stepping on their oxygen tube anymore while they're in the operating room, as if that skies are blue—and they can't point to anything specific except no more big, drastic regulations. They just point to the fact that coming out of Washington, the breeze is at their back and not blowing them in the face anymore. That is a huge, huge thing. The business community of America is the main engine of growth in America. It's not as Elizabeth Warren said: people building a highway or driveway or bridge. It is the business community, and when they start feeling optimistic that means everything…and if Mr. Trump had something to do with that, which I think he did, he deserves a lot of credit.