In Memory of First Lady Nancy Reagan

PKT4186-304654RONALD REAGAN  1989 Nancy Reagan at Claridges Hotel in London.
1989 Nancy Reagan at Claridges Hotel in London.

Written by Juliana Simone

July 6, 1921 – March 6, 2016

The former First Lady of whom many consider to be the most beloved President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, passed today in Bel Air, CA at the age of 94.

Born in New York City as Anne Frances Robbins, to an actress and a used-car salesman, after her parents’ divorce early in life, she was adopted by her mother’s second husband, a neurosurgeon in Chicago. Becoming known as Nancy, she took her step-father’s last name of Davis, and went on to graduate private school and Smith College.

Following her mother’s career footsteps, Nancy Davis acted on stage, in television and in film, appearing in eleven movies, including her last with Reagan. She met her future husband, Ronald Reagan, when he was serving as the President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was stunned to find her name on a list published in the newspaper of communist sympathizers, and called him for help. It turned out to be a mix up of two women with the same name.

Ronald_Reagan_and_Nancy_Reagan_aboard_a_boat_in_California_1964wikipedia

Within relatively a year, they married and had two children. Ronald had two former children from his first marriage to actress Jayne Wyman. Maureen, died of cancer in 2001. Michael Reagan, adopted by Ronald and Jayne, is a conservative political commentator and published author today. After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, Michael was the one child the respected two-term Republican President always stood and waited for a hug from after a visit.

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Former President Ronald Reagan is kissed by his wife Nancy in  their Bel-Air home in Los Angeles, Feb. 6, 2000, on Reagan’s 89th birthday. The White House was informed that the 93-year-old president’s health has deteriorated, a person familiar with Reagan’s condition said Saturday, June 5, 2004. (AP Photo/File)

Nancy and Ronald Reagan’s close relationship gave them fifty-two years of marriage. Nancy adored her husband and was very protective of him throughout his years as the Governor of California, and later as the President of the United States. Ronald equally cherished his wife, and the two always held hands, shared love letters and had affectionate names for each other in private.

Nancy, as First Lady, is remembered for her war on drugs, and her slogan to youth and others to “just say no.” She also worked diligently raising money for the Alzheimer Foundation and as an active member of the Reagan Library.

Personally, she was well known for her haute couture, which consisted of red gowns designed by American fashion designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrara for evening wear, and Chanel inspired suits for day time business.

The fine former First Lady will be laid to rest alongside her husband in Simi Valley, CA, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

File photo of former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan touching the casket of her husband former U.S. President Ronald Reagan as it lies in state on Captol Hill in Washington
Former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan touches the casket of her husband, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan as it lies in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington in this June 9, 2004  REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

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Simi Valley, Calif. (June 7, 2004) – – Nancy Reagan holds onto the flag that covered the former president’s coffin as she departs the internment area following services at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Jon D. Gesch

Quoted many times with the great insight a woman of her caliber would have, aside from the great love of her husband, this one was maybe the most true, surmising the life she and her husband led together:

“The movies were custard compared to politics.”

President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan share a kiss {photo: news.wabe.org}
President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan share a kiss {photo: news.wabe.org}

Romney Packs CPAC and Argues Conservative Case

Former MA Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney
Former MA Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney

February 10, 2012

Written by Juliana Simone

Washington, D.C. – The Marshall Ballroom at CPAC 2012 is similar to a strip of beach with the tide flowing in and out at different peak hours. It ebbs and flows with the crowd according to whomoever is taking or leaving the stage. When a big draw comes on, attendees, press and campaign staff come crushing in to pack every imaginable corner of open space. After they leave, whole aisles of CPAC supporters stand up to walk out in single file and the droves who were standing in the back cram through the exit doors to leave first. The best thing about the duller moments in the CPAC agenda is the Wi-Fi suddenly flies at MACH speed. When the masses descend, the Wi-Fi lags dramatically, if not dropping the connection all together from the maximum capacity of users plugging their laptops into every imaginable outlet.

Though all of the Presidential candidates have had this effect the last couple of days, the two winners, if you will, were definitely Rick Santorum who preceded Mitt Romney, and then the former MA Governor himself who came on a short time after the former Senator. I will give Romney the win in terms of the media, who seemed to only have been here to see him, as they swarmed in like bees to double the amount of press in the media balcony and spill over onto the staircase filling each step and hanging against balcony rails. Since many of them were Main Stream Media reporters, they naturally looked pained to have received this assignment, wrote few notes, and made it clear they were unimpressed with his speech at the conclusion.

I write all this to preface the impact Romney had on the room when his speech came up on the schedule. For those who find him wooden or flat his magnetism was felt even if you prefer another candidate to Mitt. Even if its more physical than intellectual its charisma nevertheless. A keen businessman who does not apologize for his success, he recognized this was the room beyond most others where he had to emphasize the word conservative and make it clear he is indeed conservative despite what his distractors say. He made his case.

Amusing CPAC with his opening words, “Obama really is a good community organizer – and I want to thank him for this – but, I don’t think this is the community he hoped to organize” he declared with amusement. Laughter.

“This country we love is in jeopardy” he said changing tones. For two or three years we’ve suffered (under a) weak leader with bankrupt idealogy. “This is the last gasp of liberalism’s great failure. It’s not enough to show how they failed but to show how we will lead. Conservatives all agree departing from these founding principles would depart from our purpose. We’re not just proud to cling to our bibles and guns but to our constitution,” the candidate affirmed.

Government doesn’t exist just for the people but it’s been made a success by the people. Politicians have fallen under the spell of Washington. They begin to see government as the solution to every problem. Government knows better. Government can do better. Barack Obama is the poster child for the arrogance of government. Cheers. Romney pointed out this can be a nation of and by Washington or of and by a free people.

The former Governor told on-lookers my path to conservatism came from my family and my life’s work. He talked about his grandparents coming to America from England for a chance at religious liberty, how his father couldn’t finish college but worked hard in a car company (Chairman and CEO of AMC) to later become the Governor of Michigan, and how he met his wife Ann and had five fine sons. “These conservative constants have shaped my life.”

In talking about his career as a businessman he noted, “In business if you’re not a fiscal conservative you’re bankrupt.” (Applause) He said he became successful as a businessman by eliminating waste, balancing budgets, by starting new businesses, and turning away broken ones. “I’m not ashamed to say I was successful doing it,” he beamed to more applause.

Talking about his years as Governor of Massachusetts, he noted how he took office with the state in a three billion dollar deficit, had a 85% democrat majority in his legislature, cut taxes nineteen times, balanced the budget all four years he was Governor, made 800 vetoes, cut entire programs, and put two billion dollars in a rainy day fund before leaving office. “I served in government but I didn’t inhale,” he laughed. “I want to get my hands on Washington, D.C.”

Continuing his review of office in Massachusetts, once nicknamed “Taxachusetts” he said on his watch we prevented MA from becoming the Las Vegas of the marriage act. Romney says he believes marriage is defined by a relationship between a man and a woman.

“I was a severely conservative Republican Governor. I was on those front lines and expect to be again.” There are two choices for America. Candidates with two different backgrounds.

Leadership is sharing credit when things are good and taking responsibility when they’re not. Romney was proud to tell the audience he is the only candidate who hasn’t served a day in Washington. “To get America back on track we need bold and sweeping reform. We borrow forty cents of every dollar we spend. It’s reckless, immoral, irresponsible, and it will end under my Presidency.” He said before he agreed to spend any money he would first ask, can we afford it, and then can we really risk borrowing money from China to pay for it?

 

Ed.: This article written and reported by Juliana Simone, also appeared on Ameriborn News Network, a CT internet news site taken down in October 2015.

Super Tuesday: What the Results Mean -Establishment long knives all out for Trump

March 3, 2016

Written by Juliana Simone

Everyone’s read or heard the results by now:

Businessman Donald Trump won seven states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.  The numbers vary, but according to the New York Times, Trump now has 319 delegates, gaining 237 Tuesday night. He was in the lead before Super Tuesday with 81 delegates from wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa.

Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz won three: Alaska, Oklahoma and Texas. He now has 226 delgates, with a gain of 209. The state of Texas on Super Tuesday, had the largest amount of delegates to award at 155. Cruz, like Rubio, going into Super Tuesday were tied with 17 delegates each. It’s interesting Alaska went for Cruz, when their former Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, had just endorsed Trump for President. But Cruz was also endorsed by Palin, and she stumped for his Senate win in Texas.

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio finally won one something with a win in Minnesota, which was a caucus and not a primary. He also was able to inflate his flagging delegate numbers from 17 to 110 with Tuesday returns. He came in second in Virginia, losing to frontrunner Trump by 3%.

Kasich came in second in Vermont with 30% of the votes tallied after Trumps 33%. He gained six votes yesterday, coming into this important primary day with 19 delegate votes. He now has 25.

Revered Dr. Ben Carson did not win a state and with Super Tuesday had eight delegates, and gained three at the final count for a total of eleven delegates. These results produced a statement from his campaign released this afternoon:

I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit.  Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America.  I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of “We the People” will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.

I appreciate the support, financial and otherwise, from all corners of America.  Gratefully, my campaign decisions are not constrained by finances; rather by what is in the best interests of the American people.

I will discuss more about the future of this movement during my speech on Friday at CPAC in Washington, D.C.

So what do these results mean? For starters, the assault on Donald Trump by the RNC and its leadership, in addition to the state party leaders who quickly tow the line, is really a disgrace and more proof the Republican Party will never be able to pick the candidate who can actually win an election when it comes to our nations’ highest office. It’s more important to them to control the choice, regardless of what their actual registered voters believe, so they can maintain power and essentially keep their jobs.

This history with party leadership, is what has led the public to casting so many votes for any anti-establishment candidate. For those U.S. citizens paying attention, they are choosing Trump, to yes, as his campaign slogan states, “make America great again.” Tired of politics as usual, with the elected officials driving around in their limos, flying to events in chartered jets, staying safe with their security details, and living the high life on taxpayer’s dimes attending cocktail parties and cutting occasional ribbons at some local event to keep it real with their actual constituents, the general public is sick of this decades old pattern, and want someone from the outside who does not drink from this well.

The media has blatantly been against Trump from the beginning, way back to the first Republican Presidential primetime debate in August of 2015, with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly foaming at the mouth on her first question to Trump.  She addressed him believing she was still a prosecutor, not mentally making the transition she was now simply a debate moderator and journalist, who should not appear biased. Thinking their daily diatribe could quickly eliminate him that evening, or soon after time, they’ve dug deeper as his popularity has grown.

The only Republican candidate they perhaps despise more than Trump, is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who dropped out of the race for the nomination more recently. Christie, a strong, bright alpha-male who made it clear to the media on assuming office during his press conferences, he was not going to address their questions that bore only progressive agenda for a daily soundbite. As a result, they made a mountain out of a mole hill on a non-story, that involved a Christie staffer who organized two lanes on the Tappan Zee Bridge being closed for a short while during rush hour, when in the media’s view,  the Mayor of Fort Lee, a Democrat, did not endorse Christie for President.

This high profile story dictated by the media, actually makes no sense since no Republican, or few and far between, would expect any Democrat to endorse the Republican candidate over their own party’s candidate for any office. Nevertheless, the staffer was fired, and Christie, who always maintained he knew nothing of the call to the DOT, was cleared of all charges in this small incident. The mainstreammedia, however, dragged it out for weeks as a top news story.

Guns still aimed at Christie, his endorsement of Trump couldn’t have been better news for the media’s narrative…it kept him in their sights while they were lamenting his pulling out of the race, so he could no longer be daily fodder for their vitriol.

To their delight, Christie stood behind Trump on stage Tuesday evening, which oddly allowed collective hours of commentary ensued on how Christie even appeared in the background. Totally bizarre. Rush Limbaugh noted this today, as well, during his nationally syndicated talk radio show, and asked, well, what was he supposed to do?

To anyone normal watching, obviously not jumping jacks. I suppose like so many anchors on network shows, the botox could have kicked in, and he could have worn a frozen smile or stern frown.

Voters should see what the media has done to Christie over his years in service as a Governor, a candidate for the President of the United States, and now colleague of Donald Trump, that this is what they will continue to do to anyone anytime unless things change in Washington. More importantly, voters should notice how there is hardly any equal time given to Democrat President nominee Hillary Clinton, who is laden with so many scandals, the dedicated broadcast time could fill at least a year of discussion.

Moving on to Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who is placing second in the Republican challenge, and like Trump, is controversial in that his party does not want him to get the nomination either, as someone who bucks the status quo of how things get done in Washington. Cruz, has his devoted fans and an education a minority of Americans will achieve. Most reading this piece know his history, as Canadian born to an American mother and Cuban father, a Harvard Law graduate who went on to be the captain of the Harvard debate team, earning the highest of praise from even Professor Alan Dershowitz, a staunch liberal,who publicly acknowledges Cruz is one of the best debaters he’s ever seen.

The negatives with Cruz today, are some foul play outcries from competing campaigns that say he has used social media, robo calls and public remarks to mislead voters prior to primary dates in hopes of switching their votes. His likability is also considered, as D.C. colleagues argue he does not get along with any of his fellow legislators and has few allies there. Cruz supporters would say this is a good thing. How this resonates with voters and delegates is a more serious concern.

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, as of Super Tuesday, had the one state of Minnesota under his belt, interestingly the only state Ronald Reagan did not win in his landslide victory in 1984. For someone perceived by party insiders and Rubio himself, as the candidate most like Reagan, this is an odd note. Minnesota also chose Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders over the presumed nominee Hillary Clinton. Rubio is under-performing among voters despite the push he’s getting from Washington and party supporters. His answer to this, he told the press as polls closed, was it did not matter as only the delegate count at the Republican convention mattered, so he was staying in the race because it was up to the delegates to pronounce the nominee, not the people.

This comment, illustrates how voters in terms of party nominees, have little to do with who the nominee is that appears on the ballot. In published stories weeks ago, former First Lady, New York State Senator and SOS Hillary Clinton, already had the Democrat superdelegates sewn up in the bag, so it ultimately didn’t matter how much of the youth vote competitor Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders had, or how many states he eventually wins during the primary process. He will not win the nomination at the National Democrat Convention. The fix is in for Hillary and had been before Bernie even knew that much about the process.

The question is, will Sanders supporters roll over in the traditional democrat way regardless of outcome, and just say, ‘­­­­­­okay, not happy it’s not Bernie, but we’ll just vote for Hillary instead.’­­­­­

1,237 delegate votes are needed at the Republican Convention. Although even higher numbers were expected for Trump on Super Tuesday, he still was way ahead of any contender even with the RNC and their state leaders nipping at his heels.

In terms of funding, anyone who has ever worked or volunteered for a campaign, or their state party, a primary argument for choosing a nominee is always the money – who has the most funds or can raise the most funds to use them to get elected?

Many unqualified candidates have been given the nod because they could bankroll their campaign regardless of outcome. Additionally, the usual party insiders with multiple lost races on their resumes, can be rehired or business contracts can be signed that will leverage support and votes.

With Trump, within the Republican Party, has anyone heard mention of how much money he has to spend? How he could even top the Clinton’s with all of their questionable donations to their foundation and typical donators like George Soros and other liberals? The only large treasure chest the public ever heard about on the Republican side was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s, who spent over one hundred million dollars for naught.

He had the Bush family influence behind him, but in regards to the so-called political wizards backing him, they somehow failed to recognize what the general public did. In a Bush vs. Clinton race, Clinton would win – no matter how damaged a candidate she is, for two reasons.

One, the mainstream media hammered the Bush name for years, tarnishing it among the younger generations and uniformed voters, however wrongful the message was, and two, the mainstream media will never hammer the Clinton’s on the innumerable crimes, lies and corruption under any elected office they’ve held, or Hillary alone on anything unethical that’s plagued her throughout her career even before ever going to Washington.

For once, the Republican Party establishment needs to stop meddling with the nominee and start endorsing the candidate favored by the public. Their current excuse for not standing behind Trump is because if he wins the nomination, the U.S. Senate and Congress will lose the majority’s they hold today. But to anyone who follows politics, we’ve seen the majority gifted to these legislators in the past two elections, has amounted to little to nothing.

The power they were bestowed they did not act upon, and left them lamely and publicly shrugging their shoulders, basically asking, what can we do? So, this argument holds no water at all. Ultimately, it just sounds like they’re worried about keeping their jobs and the luxurious lifestyle that goes along with it. So much for “We the people…”

The momentum from the GOP establishment to stop Trump is in full swing.

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, competition for the nomination for President with Trump, spent every moment speaking in public up to Super Tuesday, insulting Donald Trump with words and comments that made him look anything but Presidential. With catty remarks about Trump’s bad spray tan and small hands, he also continually calls the successful businessman and Wharton Business School grad, a con-artist. Rubio, is not problem free and should have taken a higher road to appeal to the public.

On Super Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, came out publicly to pick up the media’s latest anti-Trump message that former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke had endorsed him, and basically say the Republican Party could not have anyone as their nominee who did not reject any group that is built on bigotry, as the party of Lincoln. The story turned out to be false, like so many mainstream media attack pieces, with Duke himself saying he’d never even endorsed Trump. Regardless, Trump said innumerable times in every venue, including a press conference he disavows any endorsement from Duke.

This Thursday morning, 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, also took a turn at trying to tear Trump down from becoming the nominee, and urged voters to vote for three good candidates still in the race: Rubio, Cruz or Kasich. “Dishonesty is Donald Trump’s homework,” Romney said, giving examples of contradicting statements the front-runner has made on what he’s supported over the years. Romney scolded Trump for his insults, conduct, use of profanity, and lack of conservatism.

Donald Trump greets Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, after announcing his endorsement of Romney during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Donald Trump greets Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, after announcing his endorsement of Romney during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Romney has demanded Trump release his tax returns. Romney said it’s an issue to him personally, since he was repeatedly asked to produce his tax returns when he was running. In tweets on Twitter, Romney has called Trump a phony and a fraud and claims his domestic policies would put the nation into recession. One tweet included this: “He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.”

Critics of Romney making these tweets and calling for this press conference today, wonder why Romney never came out this strongly against his Democrat opponent in 2012, Barack Obama, and if he had, maybe he’d be President today and would have spared the country of four more years of Obama’s bad policies.

Remember when Romney was running for President, he was happy to receive Donald Trump’s endorsement and had completely contrary things to say about Trump at that time, in that they were all positive. For me, Romney is just another Republican doing the Democrat’s work for them and another who failed to honor Reagan’s eleventh commandment where no Republican should speak ill or another Republican.

We’ll have to see what else Washington will pull out of their hat next as they continue to attack the popular front-runner. An older argument the GOP maintains today, is that Trump’s background is a problem. I’ll take his background over Hillary Clinton’s any day.

Lastly, “likability.” A very important component to anyone who knows or works in politics and something that still holds fast and true. If you don’t have it, it does not matter how long your resume is, how many colleagues you have in D.C., how much money you have, or how hard you try…the public either likes you or they don’t. True, Trump has his haters, but Clinton certainly does, too. As the only Republican candidate bringing in cross-over votes from democrats and independents, which are unquestionably needed to win the general election in November, clearly he has many more supporters than adversaries.

Oscar Black Out: 2016

February 28, 2016

Written by Juliana Simone

Comedian Chris Rock (photo: eonline)
Comedian Chris Rock (photo:eonline)

Hollywood, CA – Sunday night’s airing of the 88th annual Academy Awards, the highest award ceremony presented to those who work in the film industry whether in front of the camera or behind, received the second worst ratings to date. (Editor: Other reports are saying third worst. In an eight year low, 34.5 million or a viewing of 23.4% according to households)

Each year, they have steadily declined among worldwide viewership. Worst ratings on record were in 2008, when Jon Stewart hosted and only 32 million tuned in to be the lowest on record. As far as Nielsen can track, 1998 was the best year for viewership, when the film “Titanic” won for best picture of the year, with 55 million viewers.

With no NFL Super Bowl, debate among President Candidates or a final episode along the magnitude of a popular long-running show like “The Soprano’s” airing simultaneously during the broadcast, analysis has to strike this reason from the menu. What’s left?

To advertisers, the aforementioned declining ratings, but that’s business, and does not address the people at home tuning in. The films that were nominated? The actors who were nominated? Always a consideration, as a respectable blockbuster in terms of returns does beef up the interest. But none of the films listed under more than one category for ‘best’ had the buzz of former winners over the decades. Still, for the millions of people who used to love to watch the Oscar’s, regardless of how much a film earned, we’ll have to strike this off the menu, as well.

Granted, the late comedienne Joan Rivers was no longer on the red carpet to provide hours of pre-show off color comments and rude remarks about celebrities attire, acting abilities and private lives. This maybe could have kept a slim margin of fans from tuning in who only liked that part of the exhibition.

Traditional day of the week, Sunday, and starting hour, 8-9PM; for forty-hour a week people living in the Eastern Time Zone, who have to get up early for an eight hour work day, a true devotee could hang in until midnight to see the best picture winner. So, for film enthusiasts, program scheduling gives us another strike.

The Oscar’s have always had teasers preceding the show of what viewers could expect from this year’s ceremony. Advertisements and promotions would either feature a popular host, such as comedian and film actor Billy Crystal, or clips from a movie that reached millions around the world in terms of vast revenue and enthusiastic reputation. 2016? Bleak results.

Which leads the dismal ratings to the message. When the Academy of Motion Arts, announced the nominees for Oscars, and none of them were African American, the Academy voters were called out as prejudiced by some in the black community. Long-time members of the Academy, found this charge both insulting and false, and some notable Oscar winners made contrary statements to this charge. Boycotts called upon from both sides ensued saying they would not be attending the ceremony.

Outspoken comedian Chris Rock was the emcee of the award show, and industry people in addition to viewers, expected the black actor to turn the live venue into a show emphasizing that no black Americans were nominated for Oscar’s because of bigotry. Particularly, prejudice among the veteran Academy voters, whose majority of votes choose both the nominees and the winners in each category.

This year’s message was one that neither resonated with the general viewing public, or the Hollywood A-list. Anyone watching, whether a regular viewer or not, had to notice none of the seats in the room, even in the front rows, had any A-list actor or actress watching the ceremony.

There was no Jack Nicholson wearing his traditional black shades and big smile; no multi-Oscar award winning Meryl Streep; no old-school trophy winners like Ford, DeNiro, Hoffman, Dreyfuss, Caine or Pacino. The next tier was absent as well: Clooney, Pitt, Jolie, Aniston, Fiennes, Willis, Cruise, Depp; The youngest tier also was missing – Johannson, Stewart/Pattinson/Lautner, Hedlund, Radcliffe.

The only people in the room were people who were nominated for an Oscar Sunday evening, were presenting, or who were affiliated with a film that was up for an Oscar. Short list. Matt Damon, Michael Keaton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Theron and Russell Crowe.

Rock, thought it was okay to announce the first two presenters with this introduction, “You want diversity? We got diversity. Please welcome Emily Blunt and somebody whiter, Charlize Theron.” Imagine a Caucasian Master of Ceremonies introducing two female African American actresses, and suggesting one of them was blacker. Al Sharpton would still be on our television today demanding someone to give back their Oscar, or that they were never hired again or the movie would be boycotted.

Both women admirably took Rock’s comment in stride, didn’t bat an eye and continued with the job at hand, reading their lines, opening the envelope and announcing the winner.

As a gimme, most Academy people not on hand but watching, and viewers in the know, would have given Rock one cause-oriented commentary as host, to make a statement and move on, but unfortunately, the message continued throughout the entire broadcast at every opportunity, shortchanging many award recipients who had little to do with the discussion.

Black comedian, actress and Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, joined Rock throughout the night in different skits as a cynical commentator dressed as a cleaning woman.

Ironically, most of the actors who participated in the opportunity to insult the Academy, peers, colleagues and perspective audiences, have earned millions of dollars from this industry, including multiple awards, accolades and continual work in the entertainment business – whether on Broadway, or through film, television, publishing, live appearances, etc.

Interestingly, among the top five highest grossing actors of all time, are Samuel Jackson at number two, Morgan Freeman at number four, and Eddie Murphy at number five. (source: IMDb)

To call Hollywood biased against minorities is a bit of a stretch. Ask any family going movie fan, young or old, let alone a conservative; or a liberal, happy to see all of these corners of the human experience exposed. Barrier after social barrier has been broken by filmmakers, whether the audience was going to approve of the story or not. Social acceptance of anything beyond the norm, or former norm, is something they gravitate towards when exposing stories to the majority, regardless of outcome.

The only downside for the studios, something they originally may not have considered, was low viewer turnout and negative box office receipts. Perhaps they consoled themselves with the idea that pay-per-view or DVD rentals at the time would make them even, if not profitable. Regardless, the end-all message seems to be more important at times to Hollywood and its foreign contributors, even if it has to trickle down to Independent Film with a more cult following than blockbuster status.

Sadly, the Hollywood agenda has taken the thrill out of newly released movies that used to keep the masses standing in line for a ticket, however cold the evening or long the wait. The only films to witness this kind of enthusiasm anymore is a formula that’s always worked before – like another episode of a long-running action/adventure series like “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones” or “James Bond.” Or, even further back in time, classic films like “Gone With The Wind,” “King Kong,” “The Ten Commandments,” and “Rear Window.”

As much as Hollywood has had the advantage of dictating their message on Americans who simply wanted to go watch a film, modern technology has taken that away from them today.  In today’s society, consumers possess screens of any size at their fingertips 24/7, whether through their smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, cable TV, or Internet options like Hulu and Netflix. This myriad of choices today now rests with the audience and not the studios.

In conclusion, if African Americans want to say the Academy Award members didn’t choose one member of their race for an Oscar this year, and continue to argue it was due to their race without considering the idea that others may have deserved the nomination more, then they can leave it up to the people. Viewers of film every day have the choice of picking their favorite films as mentioned earlier, through so many formats. If the movies they participated in are better than those the Academy recognized this year, the numbers will be available, which should appease the objectors.  Additionally, the residuals will be so high, income will be the reward no one seemed to want to address during Oscar night 2016, regardless of a gold statuette.

Trump Train Stays on Track: Third Consecutive Primary Win

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Donald Trump in Nevada after primary win (photo: todayszaman)

Continue reading Trump Train Stays on Track: Third Consecutive Primary Win

Rubio Voting Record vs. Campaign Talking Points

Really thorough research in these articles about Rubio’s voting record vs. his current campaign stump speech.

Big topic on syndicated talk radio today:
http://dailycaller.com/…/what-really-happened-when-marco-r…/
Click on the “report” link within this article which brings you to www.eagleforum.org and has transcribed debate speeches and talking points from Senator Rubio. This information reveals how these candidate’s words are different than his actions.
Though Florida U.S. Senator Rubio is admirable in many ways, it is important to read in these two publications where he stands on stage and on the Senate floor. However, like any Republican candidate seeking the highest office in the United States of America, as President, would be better than any Democrat alternative, what candidates say and how they actually perform is of note.

CPAC 2013: Michele Bachmann

Written by Juliana Simone

 

March 16, 2013

MicheleBachmannCPAC2013dresstwitter
U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann 2013 (2007-2015) (photo:Twitter)

 

{Editor’s Note: After hearing a nationally syndicated talk radio host today struggle to remember this fine former U.S. Representative and candidate for President, with the finest respect, I had to add this impressive and extremely accomplished woman to my archived articles category. As a media person at this venue, I was fortunate to be among a small group of reporters she talked in a private room after her speech. She outperforms the current 2016 Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, by leaps and bounds, and as a female, would be far more worthy to attain the coveted title of the first female President of the United States.}

 

National Harbor, MD – The United States Representative from Minnesota, who is the Tea Party Caucus Chairman, opened her speech on Saturday focusing on the Benghazi scandal where our Ambassador from the United States was assassinated overseas along with three others. Rep. Bachmann told the convention that President Obama knew about the attack in the first hour and then went AWOL; he then went to Vegas to meet with Beyoncé and K.C. to talk about his campaign.

Michelle Bachmann reminds fellow conservatives that soon after this tragedy, Barack Obama then says in a speech to the United Nations, “the future must not belong to those who insult Islam.” Bachmann clarifies he should have said to the U.N. assembly after the Benghazi incident, “the future does not belong to the low-life murderers who kill innocent Americans!” (Cheers)

In a clear and rapid summary, U.S. Representative Bachmann clarified the many things that are wrong in our country under Obama and his administration right now:

Six trillion more in debt is a war on our youth; the President borrows millions from our enemies; federal bureaucrats earn higher salaries than anyone without a government job; seventy cents of every dollar that’s supposed to go to the needy and poor goes to the government and their salaries. She asked supporters, “How does he show he cares for the poor?”

Describing the First Family’s life of excess to viewers, she described how on Air Force One the Obama’s keep five chefs. In the White House home, they keep two film projectionists on hand night and day to run a movie for the Obama’s if they suddenly feel like taking in a movie. They have a paid dog walker on staff. The 2012 Republican Presidential candidate asked “Why are we paying for this when we can’t even get a disabled vet into the White House for a tour?”

(Cheers)

Talking about caring, she described President Dwight Eisenhower, the former WWII General, who wiped out polio in the United States by distributing the vaccine to the populace. Comparatively, she noted five million American’s suffer from Alzheimer’s today and a cure can be found if money were dedicated to this cause. To distribute that cure would cost one hundred seventy two billion dollars right now – but in the future, when millions more will have contracted Alzheimer’s, the amount to cure these patients will be twenty trillion – a figure greater than our entire debt today. All the money will be spent on care.

Scientists tell us we can have a cure for Alzheimer’s in ten years if we only cared. The same for Parkinson’s and other diseases – they could be cured if our government cared. But greedy litigators and over-taxation is more important than this. “We need big innovation and big ideas, not big government to solve this,” she declared.

“The people who call themselves progressive are the last to want progress. We are the ones who actually want progress.”

“We’ll make sure your sister has the gun to keep her safe,” she promised in regards to the second amendment and current gun law proposals in Washington. She added we are the ones that care about [cures and medicine.] “It’s our duty to pay forward for the next generation. We do it because we love; we do it because we care; this is who we are – we care,” she said resolutely in her parting words.

CPAC supporters are quite familiar with the fact that the Congresswoman’s powerful speeches continue to strike a nerve with the Democrat Party. House Minority Leader U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi for years has made it a partisan objective of the highest priority to get Bachmann out of Congress. Bachmann is as conservative and constitutional as Pelosi is liberal and in-step with her colleague’s goal of rewriting the Founder’s constitution.

U.S. Rep. Bachmann stands resolutely on some of the toughest positions the government takes on  – issues many legislators won’t address as retaining their seat in Washington is their most important goal. After Bachmann’s striking appearance at the CPAC convention Saturday, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is hinting to reporters that she is number one on their list for defeat in 2014. Bachmann’s voice for freedom is one the left wing would love to mute, and her voice is one of the last that should be silenced – as a citizen, as an American, as a Congresswoman and as a potential future President of the United States.

 

Ed.: This article written and reported by Juliana Simone, also appeared on Ameriborn News Network, a CT internet news site taken down in October 2015.

Trump Wins South Carolina Primary: Rubio Places Second Over Cruz by a Small Margin; Bush Drops Out

Written by Juliana Simone

TrumpwinSC
photo:cnbc.com

 

With 99% reporting, businessman Donald Trump wins the South Carolina primary.  More notable he won the conservative vote. At this time, his return is 32.5%, and coming in second, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, with a small percentage over his colleague Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Rubio’s returns are at 22.5% vs. Cruz’s return at 22.3%. The second and third finish could change after a 100% return, but at this time, Rubio has already taken the stage and thanked voters for his second place finish. He also said in this speech, he expects to beat frontrunner Trump for the nomination. Right now, the network news anchors are calling the second and third finish as too close to call.

Out of due respect, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, did leave South Carolina to attend Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral this morning. He had served as a law clerk under Scalia for one year in the late nineties, and has maintained a relationship with him for over a decade. Did his time away to show respect to Justice Scalia cost him the slim margin of votes that put U.S. Senator Rubio in second place tonight? Hard to say. One would not hope so, as this was a fine reason to briefly leave the campaign stump and attend a parting ceremony for one of the finest conservative voices in American history on the Supreme Court.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s numbers at this minute are showing at 7.8% over Ohio Governor John Kasich’s at 7.6%. Bush took these results to bow out, and gave a moving speech in regards to his elimination after a strong last push for votes that included his brother, former President George W. Bush, stumping for him in this campaign. Dr. Ben Carson came in not far behind Bush or Kasich at 6.9%. He has recently maintained he will stay in it until the end.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it is important to perceive Donald Trump’s win shows that 62% of voters show they’re dissatisfied with government today. Gingrich also noted Trump continues to learn every day as a candidate for the better. In regards to Rubio, he said he needs to continue to wrap up the establishment choice, and Cruz needs to continue as a “cheerful warrior” admiring his attending Justice Scalia’s funeral today.

As far as the Democrat primary in Nevada went, former First Lady, New York Senator and SOS Hillary Clinton is being declared the winner at 52.6% with her opponent Bernie Sanders at 47.3%. Although the Clinton campaign sees this as a big win, it’s not by a large margin as with her previous results in Iowa and New Hampshire. Regardless, superdelegates in the Democrat party determine who the nominee is, and Clinton’s history, however perceived, has most in her pocket. However many vote for Sanders, ultimately Clinton will exceed his popularity at the national convention when the party’s superdelegates give her the win.

The speech former SOS Clinton gave in regards to Wall Street deserves more discussion as it was quite hypocritical in regards to her tie with this group. More later.

Rest in Peace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Scaliabirthdeathyearprofilephoto

 

Washington, D.C.

 

Written by Juliana Simone

 

The flag draped casket bearing the Supreme Court Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia, (Born March 11, 1936) considered to be the one person who understood The Constitution of the United States better than anyone, and a legal giant in his role in serving thirty years as a Justice, was carried up the stairs to the Supreme Court building this morning where it will lie in repose. Supreme Court police officers carried him to his resting place in the High Court. His fellow eight Justices, a hundred law clerks, grandchildren, and children, including his son, a Catholic Priest who led the mass, were present.

Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, serving thirty years as the first Italian-American Justice, and described as brilliant in terms of his depth of knowledge, Scalia was a considerable voice on the Supreme Court who continually held many conservative views. He supported the death penalty, upheld the second amendment and was pro-life, arguing there was no constitutional right to abortion. He believed states had the right to pass legislation on whether or not to permit abortion, but a devout Catholic, he tried regularly to persuade his colleagues to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

To review his voting record: https://ballotpedia.org/Antonin_Scalia

 

In terms of politics, Scalia also weighed in with the majority vote to put an end to the Bush Vs. Gore case deciding there should be no more recounts of “hanging chads, dimpled chads, etc.” the Gore campaign kept trying to sift through and count to make Gore win the Presidential election in 2000 in the state of Florida.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonin_Scalia

 

Though his sudden death is an ongoing mystery that has brought expert analysts forward to examine the details of how he died, when he died, and why his death did not warrant an automatic autopsy before being immediately taken off of the premises and embalmed, there are many investigating today what may be a different story than the one presented to the press.

President Barack Hussein Obama has said he will not attend the funeral of this fine and revered Justice, which has been met with negative public review, but he and his wife did make a brief appearance today at the Supreme Court building ceremony where the Associate Justice Scalia was lying in state.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/19/supreme-court-justice-antonin-scalia-repose-funeral/80581572/

The lame duck President, who would be the first President in eighty years to try and appoint a new Supreme Court Justice, Obama still plans to do so regardless of history, citing it is his right under the Constitution. As a President who has cared little about the Constitution since first elected in 2008, it’s interesting he now uses this document to use it to his advantage. Unfortunately, for the sitting President, under the Constitution, Article II, a President can nominate anyone, (perceived as fit for the role or to their liking) but it is up to the U.S. Congress to accept any nominee. Therefore, without their consent or vote, the suggested nominee by the President will not be confirmed.

With so much at stake for the future of our country, the majority of Americans today would agree the new appointed Supreme Court Justice should be left to the newly-elected President in November. For Justice Scalia and the rest of the United States, let’s hope our next President will nominate someone who has the same clarity and soul to maintain his fine Constitutional record.

Associate Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia had this to say in 2012 at a Living the Catholic Faith conference: “God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools … and he has not been disappointed. … If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

Update: Mourners for Justice Antonin Scalia will come together Saturday at the nation’s largest Catholic Church in Washington to pay their final respects. Justice Scalia’s sons and sons-in-law will carry his flag-draped casket in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the funeral Mass this morning. Scalia has nine children, one who is a Reverend.

Dignitaries including former Vice President Dick Cheney, current Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress and all eight of his colleagues, who are the sitting justices of the Supreme Court today will be in attendance. Justice Clarence Thomas plans to read from the New Testament, while Leonard Leo, executive director for a conservative legal group, The Federalist Society, will read a passage from the Old Testament.

Over six thousand people stood in line yesterday at the Supreme Court building for the opportunity to pass Justice Scalia’s casket and honor his memory as one of our nation’s foremost conservatives. It is notable that Scalia rested on a funeral bier that first held the casket of President Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated in April of 1865.

 

On President’s Day: A Summary of the South Carolina Presidential Candidate Debate

Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Ohio Governor John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Carson, February 13, 2016 observe moment of silence for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Greenville, South Carolina (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Ohio Governor John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Carson, February 13, 2016 observe a moment of silence for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Greenville, South Carolina (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

 

Greenville, S.C.

Written by Juliana Simone

Appearing Saturday evening in a debate broadcast by CBS, were six candidates still seeking the Republican nomination to compete against the next Democrat nominee for the important role of becoming the next President of the United States. Participating on stage were: Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

It seemed at times more like theater than a debate. Exchanges between the men could be described as hitting below the belt whenever necessary. All alpha males, understandably, as the field narrows, verbal fisticuffs have to come out to mark the differences between policies and experience among these men still in the running with the highest polling numbers. Fortunately, more good notes came out than bad in terms of overall exchange of ideas.

It seemed five of the six candidates mostly abided by former President Ronald Reagan’s eleventh commandment, which was that no Republican shall speak ill of another Republican, unless they were directly attacked by the sixth candidate, Donald Trump, whose derogatory comments and accusations flowed freely throughout the entire debate. Perhaps the other men still seeking their Party’s nomination do not see Trump as a fellow Republican, so the eleventh commandment did not apply to him.

Trump has switched his party affiliation as a voter a few times in the state of New York and has been a registered Democrat for many years throughout his adult lifetime. However, his years as a registered Republican from voter registration records back in the mid to late eighties, exceed the amount of years he was a Democrat. He also was registered with the Independent Party for less than two years. Now a registered Republican once again, he explained soon after announcing his candidacy, he made this switch because he wanted to serve as President of the United States as a Republican.

In writing my articles, I make a point not to listen to or read other commentary until I’m finished so my own perspective isn’t tainted. Watching only the first few minutes after the South Carolina debate to get the gist of who the usual analysts would target for negative or any positive commentary, it seemed this debate their primary focus was on Jeb Bush.

Mainstream media talking points and post-debate analysis always follow the same page, so one of their items tonight was the negative view of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his using debate response time to defend his brother, father and mother.  Is there anyone else with family in the game? No. It is rare in this country when elected Presidents come from prior office-holding bloodlines, but this should not have to make the former Governor spend any of his time as a candidate taking insults about his father or brother who both served previous terms as Commander In Chief in the White House.  He had every right to say he was proud of his father and brother and how they served as Presidents of the United States. Bush said Trump had the gall to bring up his mother, Barbara Bush, and that she is the strongest woman he knows. Trump said, “She should be running.”

The media and social media commentators on Twitter and Facebook who clearly don’t like the Bush family, also found his defending his family amusing, weak and childish as some apparently wrote. The audience in South Carolina did not agree with the media pundits or the jeering tweeters, and they applauded and cheered loudly when Jeb stood up for his family. I agree. It would look odder to let some loud outspoken guy insult them and say nothing, in my view. Back in colonial times, Bush could have walked across the stage and slapped Trumps face with a glove, and called for pistols at dawn. But trashy remarks are the trend these days, and gentlemanly behavior is unknown or unembraced.

The mainstream media always prefers to use these Republican debates as venues where they can pit upstanding candidates against one another, and make them announce in a televised forum their rival’s weak points, rather than address their opposing party’s weaknesses.

There is no question that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders don’t hold a candle to any of the original sixteen announced candidates for the Republican Party nomination, or to the last six standing, but the liberal media gives Barbara Walters style questions to the Democrats during their debates asking softball questions such as who someone’s favorite President is or coming up soon what is their favorite tree.

If the media doesn’t have the nerve to ask Democrat candidates these questions directly, why then are none of these informed and vocal Republican candidates asked serious questions about their Democrat opponents? Why were they never asked about former First Lady, New York U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s current email scandal that is under intense investigation by the FBI? Or about her inability to answer an Ambassadors plea for help in Benghazi which he sent thirteen times with no answer from our government who should have given an immediate response? Why were they not asked about Senator Bernie Sanders socialist agenda for America today if he is elected in November? The usual censorship of any negative portrayals of the Democrat candidates presided in this ninth debate now.

Who won? Opinions always vary on this, but in trying to remain objective, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio had a good night as did his fellow state colleague, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Rubio did a good job at illustrating how conservative he is, to counter those who feel he’s a closet moderate and establishment choice; Bush did a polished job of showing his knowledge about many of the issues covered in these two hours, even while being engaged constantly by Trump’s negative comments; Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz also performed well, making it very clear he was the strongest Constitutionalist on the stage who would stand by this document as President and also was the true conservative.

Dr. Ben Carson still had a few unique perspectives he’s delivered throughout this run, as well as getting out some endorsements he’s achieved since his campaign began from respectable sources. Ohio Governor, John Kasich, who given some new life with a second place finish in the previous New Hampshire primary, also did well if the message a voter is looking for is safe and congenial. Kasich seems the most even-toned in delivery. Frontrunner businessman Donald Trump, did not have his best showing, by being too belligerent while reciting some common liberal talking points as someone running for the Republican nomination.

One of the most significant things that occurred during this debate, was the moment of silence dedicated to Supreme Court Justice Scalia who passed away suddenly at the age of 79. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 he was the longest serving Justice for thirty years. A fine conservative, who was pro-life on abortion arguments, upholding of the Constitution and what the Founders intended, and admired for his intelligence, he is considered irreplaceable.

Some highlights from the forum: (for those who missed this debate, a full transcript can be found on-line as well as the entire video on CBS)

When the Candidates were asked if President Barack Obama in his final year of holding office as a lame duck President should have the right to appoint his replacement, Rubio and all other candidates on stage agreed that no, it should be up to the next President of the United States to make this important decision.

Donald Trump said Scalia’s passing was a tremendous blow to conservatives, and that Obama will try to appoint someone to replace Justice Scalia whether he was okay with it or not, but he hopes the Republican Majority Leaders in the House and the Senate will stop it, even if it’s just delay, delay, delay.

Kasich said if he were President we wouldn’t have the divisions we do in our country today.  He wished it wasn’t partisan, and wished that President Obama would put the country first for once, but since he didn’t believe this would be case, then yes, the next President elect should appoint the new Supreme Court Justice.

Dr. Carson pointed out the constitution doesn’t address this particular situation and reminded viewers that when the constitution was written the average age of men at the time of their death was fifty, so he feels this needs to be looked at again. He added he saw people making nasty remarks and felt it was a shame. He fully agreed a new judge should not be appointed at this time under Barack Obama.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (FL-R) said, “Scalia understood the Constitution better than anyone.” He said it has been over eighty years since a lame duck President appointed a Supreme Court Justice.  (cheers from the audience) He continued (Senate Minority Leader) Reid and Obama would ram down our throat a liberal Justice as they have already.

Former Gov. Bush said we will nominate someone with a proven record. He regretted too many Judges are appointed without established records and thought more time had to put into who was nominated. He said he is a lover of liberty and limited government and he will fight for that nomination.

“I’m an Article II guy in terms of the Constitution,” he declared. In his view, Obama will not have a consensus pick when he nominates someone.

Texas Senator Cruz said, “Justice Scalia was a legal giant.  He was somebody I knew for twenty years. He was a brilliant man. He was faithful to the Constitution. He changed the arc of American legal history.” His concerns were that we are now one Justice away from rulings on abortion, reversing the Heller decision on the second amendment, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller and religious liberties of millions of Americans. He told the South Carolina people they needed to decide who to nominate and confirm as the most principled Constitutionalist to the court as the next President of the United States.

 

Moving on to National security, the panel started with front runner in the polls, businessman Donald Trump. He was reminded he said if elected he’d get up to speed very quickly on foreign policy, so what three questions would he ask of his appointed leaders.

Trump answers, “What we want to do; when we want to do it; and how hard do we want to hit.” He replied we’re going to have to work very hard to knock out ISIS and learn who our real allies are. He said we are spending billions of dollars in Syria and maybe that should be moved to Russia. The Iran deal was the worst deal he’d even seen. (Applause) He reminds viewers and the audience he was always against attacking Iraq and was for keeping the oil.

Rubio replied his three questions would be, number one, what are we doing in the Asian-Pacific region, where both North Korea and China pose threats to the national security of the United States. Number two is what are we doing in the Middle East and the growing threat of ISIS, and the third is rebuilding NATO in Central and Eastern Europe in regards to Russian President Putin, who is now threatening the territory of multiple countries.

Rubio is asked by the panel what the hardest thing he has had to decide that shows he’s been tested in a crisis and can respond as President.

Rubio reflects, “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make in Congress is when you are asked by the president to authorize the use of force in a conflict. You’re now putting your name behind a military action where Americans in uniform could lose their life.

In 2014, Obama said he would not take military action against Assad unless it was authorized by the Senate beginning on the Committee of Foreign Relations, where I am one of its members. it was hard, because you looked at the pictures. As the father of children, I saw the images of these little children– gassed and poisoned by their own leaders.

We were angry. There was the sense that we needed to seek retribution. I looked at Obama’s plan. Barack Obama’s plan, which John Kerry later described as “unbelievably small,” – I concluded that that attack would not only not help the situation, it would make it actually worse.

It would allow Assad to stand up to the United States of America, survive a strike, stay in power, and actually strengthen its grip. And so it was a difficult decision to make. When we only had a few days to look at it, I voted against Obama’s plan to use force; it was the right decision.”

To Ben Carson, the panel asks the retired neurosurgeon about his belief he’s had to answer more 2AM emergency calls than anyone else, so to explain how we would respond to a crisis as someone who’s done amazing political work but has no political foundations.

Dr. Carson asks to go back to the issue of appointing a Supreme Court Justice nominee. He observes that there’s some left-wing media they will try to make hay on that and then jests, “thank you for including me – two questions already.” (cheers) He then says that we are in a situation we’ve never been in before in terms of danger and that’s where judgement comes in.

Kasich said we need to arm the people in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom and that any attack against NATO countries were against us. In an idealistic view, he observes “I think we have an opportunity as America to put something really great together again. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Jordanians, the Gulf States, it’s– they all know they’re at risk.” Saying we need to look into the attacks being made in Europe, France, Belgium, Germany and Britain they’re all being threatened by radical Islam. “The world is desperate for leadership.”

Bush says we need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad and create a stable Syria so four million refugees aren’t a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. He differs with Trump, saying Trump believes Putin is helping take out ISIS, but Putin is attacking the team we’ve been training and supporting. He says as President he would restore the military and not allow Iran to move towards a nuclear weapon.

“You’ll get along with Putin” he says to Donald Trump.

Trump states how wrong Jeb Bush is and says, “You have to fight ISIS first…they’re chopping off heads…these are animals…you have to knock them out.” Trump notes the boos coming from the audience when he speaks are coming from Bush lobbyists. He continues, “We’ve been in the Middle East for fifteen years and haven’t won anything.” He mentions former competitor for the 2016 Republican nomination for President, Senator Lindsey Graham, in prior debates used to always talk about going back in and spending more. He scoffs and says he had a zero in the polls. Rebuild our country, he sums up.

Short barbs continued to pepper the debate dialogue between Trump and Bush with Bush remarking, “This is a man who thinks Hillary Clinton was a great negotiator in Iran; we’re living in dangerous times.” Trump answers, “New Hampshire” and “thirty-four million”…

Senator Cruz explains the three greatest threats to our security is a Nuclear Iran, so he would shred the Iranian nuclear deal on day one; as CIC he’d utterly defeat ISIS through air power and arming the Kurds who can be boots on the ground, and not allowing politicians to decide what needs to be done but military expert judgement who will carry out the objectives of the CIC.

The panel notes to Cruz that the Kurds can only do so much with their territory and it’s small and if they make it to big it starts war with the Arabs. Cruz responds we have Kurds in both Iraq and Syria fighting ISIS now and winning. ISIS is using American weapons they seized in Iraq, and Obama refuses to arm the Kurds. We need to arm them. Cruz points out in the first Persian Gulf War we would be doing 1,100 air attacks a day and now we’re only doing 15-30 a day because the Commander in Chief isn’t focused on beating the enemy.

Trump is reminded former President George W. Bush will be helping his brother Jeb Bush campaign in South Carolina this week. You’ve often said you were opposed to the Iraq War and in an interview in 2008 you told Wolf Blitzer you didn’t know why Nancy Pelosi didn’t impeach him, which you thought would have been a wonderful thing, because he lied, and lied to get us into the war.

Trump responds saying he is a businessman and self-funded, and that all he has tonight in the audience is his wife and son. (Cheers) He says he gets along with everyone, but the war in Iraq was a big fat mistake. He complains when Jeb Bush announced his candidacy for President, he was asked if the war in Iraq should have been fought, and that it took him five days to respond and say it was mistake, it wasn’t a mistake, finally deciding it was a mistake. Trump says the war in Iraq cost two trillion dollars, thousands of lives and we don’t even have it. Iran is taking over Iraq with the second largest oil reserves. So George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, “but that one was a beauty.” We should have been in Iraq.  We have destabilized the Middle East.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush tries to get in saying it’s his turn. Trump gets in one last liberal mantra and belief despite evidence to the contrary, and says, “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew they were none.” (Booing)

The moderator agrees when a member of the debate’s brother is named he can rebut – Bush says he should be able to five or six times then.

Jeb Bush says, “Here’s the deal. I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all the problems that he’s had.” (Applause and cheering) He says he doesn’t care about what Trump says about him, its blood sport to him and he’s happy he enjoys it. “But I am sick and tired of him going after my family. My Dad is the greatest man alive in my mind. (Cheering and Applause) While Donald Trump was building a reality TV Show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. I’m proud of what he did. (Cheering and applause)

Trump interjects the World Trade Center came down…more bantering between the two with the audience booing Trump and Jeb concluding this isn’t about my family or his family but who South Carolina families that need a Commander In Chief who can lead.

Kasich joins in and says in regards to the in-fighting on stage, “This is just crazy. This is just nuts.” He continues with his thoughts on foreign policy and states that Colin Powell, who is one of our most distinguished Generals in modern times thought there were weapons of mass destruction there. (Applause) Kasich says he doesn’t believe the U.S. should involve itself in civil wars and reminds viewers he served on the defense committee for 18 years and was called to the Pentagon by defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on 9/11 to deal with serious problems we were facing. He summed up saying we should not be the policeman of the world, but when we go, we mean business, do our job, and tell our soldiers once they’ve done their job to come home.

Marco Rubio with another great statement this debate states, “I thank God on behalf of my family, George W. Bush was President of the United States on 9/11 and not Al Gore.” (Cheering and applause)  He said President Bush kept us safe, and not only did he keep us safe, no matter what you want to say about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was in violation of the U.N. resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn’t do anything about it. George W. Bush enforced what the international community refused to do, and again he kept us safe. I am forever grateful for this.

Trump continues with blaming Bush in another burst. “How did he keep us safe with the World Trade Center? (Cheers and applause) I lost hundreds of friends. The World Trade Center came down under his reign. He kept us safe? That’s not safe.”

Rubio rebuts and says, “The World Trade Center came down because (President) Bill Clinton didn’t kill Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance.” (Cheers)

Jeb Bush rescinds his invitation to Donald Trump to be a guest at the rally Monday. Trump doesn’t care and says he doesn’t want to go.

Dr. Carson is asked if he’s too nice to be tough on terrorists and about his calling on the loosening the rules of engagement for the military which could lead to more civilian casualties.

Carson says he wasn’t particularly in favor of Iraq because he’s studied the Middle East and their countries are run by dictators and have been for thousands of years. And when you go in and remove one of them, you’re going to have chaos. “We were able to stabilize the situation. It’s the current administration that turned tail and ran and destabilized the situation.” (Cheers and applause)

Carson says in terms of the rules of engagement, “Obama’s said we shouldn’t bomb tanks because there may be people in there or the environment might be hurt. That’s just asinine thinking.” He suggests we have to be able to assess what is acceptable and what is not.

Before cutting to commercials, a quick and heated exchange followed but all were good points:

Donald Trump: “The Iran deal, it’s one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It’s a disgrace.” Senator Marco Rubio adds, “The constitution is not a living and breathing document. It is to be interpreted as originally meant.” Governor Jeb Bush: “We need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad.” 

Governor Kasich and Jeb Bush then get into a banter about their policies on Medicaid and large government.  Bush refers to the Cato Institute, the libertarian public policy research organization, who makes lists that show the standings of candidates on their voting records and/or policies and place them by rank who in their view does the best or worst, and brings up Cato has Kasich on the bottom of the list on these issues and he is on the top.

Kasich responds by first noting Medicaid grew twice as fast under former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s first term as his, and that President Ronald Reagan also expanded Medicaid five times to give people an opportunity to get a job.

Bush states under his tenure as Governor of Florida he was responsible for nineteen billion dollars in tax cuts. (to read analysis of this statement: http://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2015/04/07/how-much-did-jeb-bush-cut-taxes-in-florida/#51f1b02813fc )

Jeb Bush is asked about his proposed tax on hedge fund managers. It’s noted The Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative tax group you’re probably aware of, has said, “No Republican should be for higher taxes on capital gains.” many conservatives wonder if this proposal of yours would undermine that philosophy but undercut your projection of 4% economic growth annually under your presidency.

Bush replies: It won’t have an impact on hedge fund managers paying ordinary income.  It’s not just hedge fund people but people that are doing the business of investing other people’s money. Getting capital gains treatment is not appropriate. They should be paying ordinary income. That’s their business. They’re grateful to be able to make a lot of money. We lower the rates. It’s not the end of the world that private equity people and hedge fund folks are getting capital gains treatment for the income they earn pay ordinary income like everybody else in this room. That’s not a problem at all.

What we need to do is to reform the tax code to simplify the rates to shift power away from Washington, D.C. and that’s what I did as governor of the state of Florida. $19 billion of tax cuts. Seven out of the eight years Florida led the nation in job growth.

Moderator Major Garrett: Very good. (Cheers)

Dr. Carson says in regards to the Cato Institute, Cato said he had the most pro-growth tax plan as did WSJ and it’s based on real fairness for everyone. He specifies it starts at the 150% poverty level, but even the people below that have to pay something. Everyone has to have skin in the game. (applause) He adds his plan deals with the corporate tax rate and it makes it the same for everyone else. But in terms of Medicare and Medicaid, his main goal is to get rid of Obamacare.

On immigration, Donald Trump is asked for a humane solution for those who “remain in the shadows.” Trump says, “We have no borders. People are flooding across. Five don’t have borders. We don’t have a country.”

Senator Rubio says you have to go back to 1986, after legalizing three million people and saying that was it and now they would secure the border, it didn’t happen. People lost trust in the government. They want to see the wall built, additional border agents, E-verify, and entry-exit tracking…Americans are reasonable people, but want to see who passes background checks, who pays a fine and taxes if they want a work permit. This can’t be done until illegal immigration is under control once and for all.

The panel asks Senator Ted Cruz if he would deport people. Cruz sites, “Everyone’s against illegal immigration in a Republican primary, but they don’t walk the walk. He reminds the audience of his record and says he stood with Senator Sessions and was against the Rubio/Schumer plan. Addressing Rubio’s record, Cruz says Marco supports citizenship for twelve million people here illegally, he was for in-state tuition, and on Univision, the Spanish speaking network television station, he said he would not rescind Barack Obama’s amnesty plan. (Cheering and Boos)

Rubio and Cruz got into a spat, where Rubio chided Cruz, saying I don’t know how he even knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t even speak Spanish… Cruz replies to Rubio brazenly in Spanish to counter. Regardless, everyone knows Rubio said this on Univision because it was reported and translated after the fact. Cruz gets back on point and says without him and Jeff Sessions the bill would have passed.

Bush says somewhat amused, he has to find his inner (Governor) Christie, listening to two U.S. Senators argue over two bills that don’t pass.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in prior debates as a fellow candidate that U.S. Senators did nothing but talk all of the time and got little done, unlike Governors who have to lead and make decisions every day.

Bush said, in regards to illegal immigrants, the reason people come here is because they’re unhappy about their countries and where they come from. They’re not all rapists like you know who said…
Trump rebuts Bush and says he never agrees with Rubio or Cruz but here he does. “Bush is so weak on illegal immigration and everyone knows it.” Bush makes a return remark. Trump tells him to go spend more money on commercials. Bush says to Trump, “It’s weak to disparage women and minorities…”

Kasich steps in and says this is the ninth debate and some of these attacks are personal. He suggests they just talk about what we’re here for. He says, in terms of his position of illegal immigration, he’s for sealing the borders, a guest-worker program, make them pay a fine for staying. It’s too hard to track eleven and a half million and get them out of their homes.

Carson adds, “Please read my immigration policy on my website because it makes sense.” He feels too many government agencies consider how much they cost. Two trillion. Twenty-four thousand per family – same money as poverty level of a family of four.

Senator Cruz asks, who’s been hurt the most? He says under Obama it’s been our most vulnerable and that we have the lowest amount of workers since 1977. Young people, Hispanics, African-Americans and single moms. Two-thirds of jobs come from small businesses. Lift the burdens on small business so you have jobs, and we need welfare reform to get people off of welfare and back to work.

Donald Trump is asked to comment on taxes in South Carolina. He responds that he does not like the idea of using Executive Orders, China bought the Chicago Stock Exchange, refers to the air conditioning business Carrier is moving to Mexico, and concludes, “We’re killing ourselves with trade pacts.”

Trump is again addressed by the panel, and is told Presidents have to be firm but flexible, and that he has been flexible on issues like Hillary Clinton and abortion, but his response is Ronald Reagan changed his mind, too. He’s asked why when he changes his mind he’s like Ronald Reagan and when Senator Cruz changes his mind on immigration, he has a huge character flaw? (laughter)

Trump agrees you have to be flexible in life, even when fighting a war because plans change. He says Ronald Reagan was a “somewhat liberal Democrat” who became a “somewhat pretty strong conservative.” He said older and wiser now, he feels he’s a “common sense conservative” because he doesn’t agree with all conservative views. He thinks people agree with him based on the response he’s getting.

Trump is asked which conservative idea does he not agree with.

Donald Trump replies these people hit me on Eminent Domain. He said he doesn’t love it but it’s strongly needed. He makes an example of Jeb Bush saying he was using eminent domain to build a parking lot, but it was going to be a small office tower that would have employed people. This was private eminent domain. He says they used private eminent domain to build a stadium in Texas.

The moderator says to Bush, he must mean your brother. Bush, says, yes, and this is something I don’t agree on with my brother. I don’t think eminent domain should be used for stadiums of parking lots for limos. Short spat between Trump and Bush again. Bush continues that he thinks eminent domain is okay for transmission line, pipelines, highways and bridges – to Trump: not to try and steal an old ladies home for a parking lot for high rollers at a failed casino. (Cheers)

Senator Cruz says flexibility is a good thing but not on core principles. He says, he likes Donald Trump, he is a good entertainer, but his policies for most of his life have been very very liberal. Cruz says most of his life he was pro-choice, supported partial-birth abortion and even now said he would keep funding for Planned Parenthood.

Trump yells at Cruz and calls him a liar, worse than Jeb Bush. He lied about taking votes from Ben Carson in Iowa, (Cheers) and today we got robo calls saying I’m not going to run in South Carolina, so to vote for Ted Cruz. He’ll say anything. He’s a nasty guy. “Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.”

Cruz is asked to respond to Trump’s remarks. He says he’s surprised to see Trump defending Carson now after he called him pathological and compared him to a child molester, both of which were wrong. Trump says, he just quoted from his (Carson’s) book. The two then argue over where and when Trump said he was going to continue Planned Parenthood. Cruz says he can watch it on the video on his website. Cruz says if Donald Trump is the President of the United States he’ll support liberal’s to the Supreme Court.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush says, “Reagan didn’t tear down people like Trump, he tore down the Berlin Wall.”

Ted Cruz remarks nobody who cares about judges will vote for Donald Trump who supported Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Jimmy Carter.

Senator Marco Rubio smartly changes topic and speaks about ending poverty and believes Governor Niki Haley would do a better job. Back to immigration, he says people want to see the wall, e-verify and enforce the law – then we’ll talk about what to do. He finished his time saying “anyone here on stage is better than what’s on the other side. We should not tear each other down.”

Dr. Carson is asked to please tell people something not politically correct. He talks about the economic collapse and how our country is nineteen trillion dollars in debt, the Feds have to keep rates low, and Sanders and Clinton think taking the rich’s money will solve everything.

To John Kasich: You’re the Democrat’s favorite Republican. Why?

Kasich says because he can grow the economy and believes in a trained workforce. Blue-collar Democrats have been left by the liberal Democrats – they see hope in me.

Donald Trump is asked who is someone why can tell him he is wrong? Donald says, “My wife.” He adds he does listen to people – experts. I’ve spent three million dollars on my campaign and Bush has spent forty-two million – special interest money.

The moderator tells Donald they wish he wouldn’t use profanity as often as he does. Donald says sometimes I use profanity…you all said I said something the other week. I did not. I’m trying not to.

Of note here, as someone who lived in Manhattan for nine years, that is just how people talk there. Maybe not as much now as the city’s been cleaned up a great deal and is only affordable to those with very high incomes for the most part – but pre-2000, every sentence spoken has a profanity in it. Just like the southerners have their expressions and lyrical twang, in New York City and its surrounding Burroughs, just about everyone swears. Everyone is so used to it, no one notices. I had to retrain myself how to speak without using profanity when I moved away.

Jeb Bush interjects for another heated interaction between the two and announces that we need a proven leader, someone who doesn’t cut and run, who’s been bankrupt four times!

Trump rebuts I have never been bankrupt four times. I never went bankrupt. Never. Let’s talk about Florida. He puts so much debt on Florida, it crashed as soon as he left as Governor. It’s my second home. He was not a good Governor.

Bush argues back while he was Governor Florida was one of only two states with a triple bond rating, that personal income was up by four percent, and they had one of the best economies.

Rubio takes a turn and gives another excellent statement in this debate, and says, “The President of the United States I grew up under was Ronald Reagan. This is the worst President of the United State we’ve had in thirty-five years. Before that, it would have been Jimmy Carter. Reagan was able to turn our country around. I hope our next President of the United States is even half of what Ronald Reagan was.”

In closing remarks, where all six candidates tried to use this last camera time and opportunity to specifically address South Carolina voters, Ohio Governor John Kasich was called on first.

Kasich gave a positive speech saying he was going to send a lot of power and influence to every town. “I believe we’re all part of the big mosaic.”

Dr. Ben Carson tells viewers “This is the first generation not expected to do better than our parents.” He talked about spiritualism and politics and how to tear down the United States based on Stalin-like policies. He reminded voters “don’t let the media pick your candidates.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush asked, “Who do you want sitting behind the big desk?” He promised he would unite this country around current purposes, and would not focus on polls but keeping you safe.

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio gave a very conservative and sincere closing statement. Domestically, he warned our culture is in trouble and he believes that life begins at conception and marriage is between a man and a woman.  Internationally, he observed our allies don’t trust us, and our adversary’s don’t fears us.

Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz asked if voters wanted another business as usual legislator. He proclaimed he would repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS, establish a flat tax and secure our borders.

Businessman Donald Trump closed with his final remarks that politicians are all talk and no action. He reminded the audience that we’re nineteen trillion dollars in debt – and that they all voted for it. He surmised how as a country we don’t win with health care, ISIS, anything.  Using his campaign slogan, he promised we will make America great again. He reminded South Carolinians he has no lobbyists or special interest groups contributing to his campaign. “I’m working for you, not anyone else.”

 

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