All posts for the month March, 2016
Universities March 31, 2016: Ivy League more selective Princeton, Yale admit less to the Class of 2020
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 31, 2016
Politics March 31, 2016: Ted Cruz jokes would consider running over Trump with his car on Jimmy Kimmel
Ted Cruz jokes would consider running over Trump with his car on Jimmy Kimmel
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 31, 2016 12:31 PM MST
Republican presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz seems to have a sense of humor and enjoys jokes about murder. Cruz appeared on Wednesday evening, March 30, 2016, for the first time on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” where he showed a personal side with possible homicidal tendencies especially when it comes rival GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump.
Joking with Kimmel, they discussed Trump. Kimmel asked who Cruz disliked more Obama or Trump. Cruz answered, “I dislike Obama’s policies more, but Donald is a unique individual.” The two candidates have been waging a war of insults on each other’s wives, with Trump threatening to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz, and posting an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife on Twitter. The assault comes after an ad surfaced before the Utah caucus from an anti-Trump SuperPAC with a nude photo of Trump’s wife Melania from her modeling days, which Trump blames Cruz for but he denies being involved.
Cruz then made a morbid remark, based on Kimmel’s opening monologue Wednesday evening, where Kimmel posted “scary images in car back-up cameras” as an “April Fool’s Day prank.” Cruz said, “I will say I was watching the early part of the show and if I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I would push.” When discussing Cruz receiving more endorsements than trump Cruz responded, “It is a powerful strategy and compared to Donald I am the quiet shy soft spoken one.”
Cruz’s remark about Trump was not his only joke about murder, when Kimmel asked Cruz his favorite cereal, Cruz asked “serial killers?” Cruz’s answer was Müeslix. The rest of the interview was a mix of personal and political. Cruz revealed he had seen all seven Star Wars films, with the latest making him cry, and wanted to an actor as a child, commenting, “I seem like a lawyer-politician? I just play one on TV.” Cruz also recounted seeing a “police officer smoking a joint” at a Pink Floyd concert, he attended at 17. Cruz remembered laughing, “I was 17, and he was in uniform. I mean, this was an officer in uniform. I shook my head and said, ‘Well, it’s Floyd.'”
When it came to political issues, Cruz and Kimmel chose to “agree to disagree.” They debated about Obamacare and Cruz’s suggestion to patrol Muslim neighborhoods to prevent terrorism, which he remarked after the Brussels’ terror attacks last week. Cruz explained to Kimmel his position, “We need law enforcement to work cooperatively with the community to prevent radicalization and to stop terror attacks before they occur.” Kimmel asked, “You’re a strict constitutionalist, isn’t this in direct competition with the Bill of Rights?” to which Cruz replied, “Not remotely.” Disagreeing with the idea, Cruz joked, “I’ll cross you off the list for Homeland Security.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 31, 2016
Universities March 30, 2016: Stanford most selective college only admits 4.69% of applicants to Class of 2020
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 30, 2016
Politics March 29, 2016: FBI to interview Clinton as 147 agents work to wrap email probe before election
FBI to interview Clinton as 147 agents work to wrap email probe before election
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 29, 2016 2:13 PM MST
The FBI‘s investigation into Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s private email server is about to enter its final phase. The FBI is in the process of scheduling interviews for Clinton’s closest aides and Clinton according to a Los Angeles Times report from Sunday, March 27, 2016. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reportingthe case is so important to the FBI that they have 147 agents working on the case hoping to wrap their probe before the general election.
According to the Los Angeles Times story, the FBI is in the process of arranging interviews for Clinton close aides during her tenure at the State Department; they include Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines. Prosecutors will be conducting the interviews, but none has yet to be scheduled. The interviews will include not only Clinton’s former aides but also advisors. A federal prosecutor has notified the advisors of the intended interviews. The FBI is also planning to interview Clinton although neither has it been scheduled.
The interviews are the next step and necessary for the FBI to decide if they want to prosecute the case and who they will charge and indict in the case. The FBI’s interview phase is to find out whether her aides “knowingly or negligently discussed classified government secrets over a non-secure email system when she served as secretary of State.”
David Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer, did not to respond about the future interview. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon issued a statement about the story. Fallon said, Clinton “first offered last August to meet and answer any questions they might have. She would welcome the opportunity to help them complete their work.”
James McJunkin, the former head of the FBI’s Washington field office told the media, “The interviews are critical to understand the volume of information that they have accumulated.” McJunkin says the interview stage means the FBI “are likely nearing the end of the investigation and the agents need to interview these people to put the information in context. They will then spend time aligning these statements with other information, emails, classified documents, etc., to determine whether there is a prosecutable case.”
To accelerate the investigation the FBI has 147 agents working the case, and “running down leads.” A lawmaker told the Washington Post after FBI Director James Comey briefed him. The FBI has such a large number of agents working to be able to conclude the investigation before the general election campaign period. The FBI does not want it too close to the election; this is with the presumption that Clinton would be the Democratic nominee.
Comey has admitted to lawmakers he is working personally on the case and investing all the resources necessary. Comey clarified, “What I can assure you is that I am very close personally to that investigation to ensure that we have the resources we need, including people and technology, and that it’s done the way the FBI tries to do all of it’s work: independently, competently and promptly.”
FBI records official David Hardy told a federal court on Friday, March 25 in a written declaration that the FBI is conducting an “active, ongoing investigation” into Clinton’s email server but did not and is not communicating with either Clinton, her representatives or the State Department on the inquiry. The FBI was responding to a request for records of the investigation, which is a part of an FOIA Freedom of Information Act lawsuit led by Vice News reporter Jason Leopold. Leopold filed a lawsuit that successfully compelled the State Department to release to the public all of Clinton’s emails from her tenure.
Hardy clarified that even though there is some correspondence with the State Department, it cannot be made public. Hardy explained, “Any records responsive [to that request] still cannot be disclosed without adversely affecting the pending investigation.” Leopold also sought any email copy or files the FBI may have retrieved from Clinton’s erased server or her thumb drive, which her attorney Kendall handed over in July to Justice Department. Hardy responded that information cannot be made public because they “are potential evidence in the FBI’s investigation or may provide leads to or context for potential evidence.”
Hardy said in his declaration; the FBI could not publicly say much about the ongoing investigation and the agency would provide U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss a classified statement on the investigation. Publicly Hardy admitted except for the fact that the agency admits to the investigation into Clinton’s private server there is very little information that can be made public about the ongoing investigation.
In his statement, Hardy wrote, “The investigation at issue here is being conducted under the FBI’s assigned law enforcement authorities and in accordance therewith. FBI Director James Comey stated before the House Judiciary Committee on October 22, 2015, that the FBI received and ‘is working on a referral [from] Inspectors General in connection with former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server.”
Hardy concluded, “Beyond Director Comey’s acknowledgment of the security referral from the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community and the Department of State, the FBI has not and cannot publicly acknowledged the specific focus, scope, or potential targets of any such investigation without adversely affecting the investigation.”
The FBI just publicly admitted in February to conducting the investigation that began last July. On Feb. 8, 2016, a letter dated Feb. 2 was released publicly from the FBI’s general counsel James Baker notified the State Department of their probe. The State Department filed it in court as part of the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against their department by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. The letter confirmed the investigation’s ongoing status but did not “divulge details” claiming it would undermine the inquiry. The FBI did not reveal if the probe will lead to a criminal case or is just a “security review.”
The LA Times reports that that “legal experts” do not believe Clinton will be prosecuted, for the private server but “raised questions” “about her judgment.” The State Department and the government did not “ban” private “email system.” Others that have used private email accounts while on the job including Secretary of State John Kerry when he was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, both deal with classified foreign policy related information.
As the LA Times points “The bigger question is whether she or her aides distributed classified material in email systems that fell outside of the department’s secure classified system.” Although after the State Department’s review over 1800 of Clinton’s emails have been retroactively marked classified, the fact they initially did not help Clinton’s case. Still in her position and that of her aides they have to believe any information on them could be classified and sensitive to national security.
The FBI’s investigation will last through the primary season as Clinton still faces a threat for the nomination from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is determined to beat Clinton and has the momentum to do so. Clinton has been lucky, Sanders refuses to make her private server a campaign issue, but she clinches the nomination, the Republican nominee will attack her on it. Through the invisible and primary campaign, Republicans have said: “she should be indicted or disqualified from running for the nation’s top office.”
Democratic pollster Mark Mellman commented on the possible effects on Clinton’s campaign, “This is clearly disruptive to the campaign. It will take her off message and coverage about important aides being questioned is not coverage you’d like to have. However, this issue is largely dismissed by Democratic primary voters and baked into the cake for the general electorate.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 29, 2016
Politics March 28, 2016: Sanders can win Democratic nomination if he steals superdelegates from Clinton
Sanders can win Democratic nomination if he steals superdelegates from Clinton
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 28, 2016 1:15 PM MST
Straight off three major caucuses wins, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is eyeing the superdelegates that frontrunner Hillary Clinton secured even before the nominating contests commenced. After his big primary wins on Western Saturday, Sanders appeared on the political talk show circuit on Sunday morning, March 27, 2016, including CNN’s “State of the Union” and on ABC News. Sanders discussed his possibility to win still the nomination the battle over superdelegates especially in the states were won.
Sanders appeared on CNN‘s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper where he explicitly discussed the superdelegate issue. Sanders told Tapper, “I think the momentum is with us. A lot of these superdelegates may rethink their positions with Secretary Clinton.”
Sanders is hoping the superdelegates especially in the states he won and by large margins will rethink their support for Clinton. Sanders pointed out, “And then you’ve got superdelegates in states where we win by 40 or 50 points. I think their own constituents are going to say to them, ‘Hey, why don’t you support the people of our state and vote for Sanders?'”
Superdelegates are non-binding and can change their decision of who to vote for up until the vote on the convention floor. As ABC News notes, the superdelegates “will face grassroots pressure — and pressure from the campaign — to back the will of their hometown voters.”
In most general election matchup polls, Sanders does better than Clinton against the possible Republican presidential nominee beating them all by larger margins. This includes matchups with frontrunner Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Sanders pointed this out to Tapper showing he is the stronger candidate and should affect superdelegate support. Sanders commented, “I think when they begin to look at reality, and that is that we are beating Donald Trump by much larger margins than Secretary Clinton.”
Sanders won the Alaska, Washington and Hawaii caucuses on Western Saturday, March 26 by huge or as Sanders put it “yuge” margins winning each contest with nearly 70 percent of the vote and more. With the three states, 142 delegates were at stake, including 101 from Washington. Sanders won a majority of the delegates. Sanders made a dent in Clinton’s pledged delegate count. The current count for pledged delegates shows a difference of less than 300.
Even before any of the nominating contests started, Clinton amassed the support of over 400 superdelegates party insiders in each state. A “candidate needs 2,382″ delegates to secure the Democratic nomination. Besides the delegates a candidate garners from state primary and caucuses votes there are 712 superdelegates up for grabs. Superdelegates are party insiders as NPR explains, “they include state and national elected officials, as well as Democratic National Committee members.”
University of Georgia lecturer Josh Putnam described the creation of the superdelegate in a blog post from 2009 on his personal blog, Frontloading HQ. Putnam recounted, “The reason superdelegates came into being in the interim period between the 1980 and 1984 elections was to allow the party establishment an increased voice in the nomination process.” Putnam pointed out that the Democratic Party created superdelegates to be able to override voters only if Democrats voted for a candidate party leaders believed was too “extreme” or could not be elected.
NPR indicated, “political scientists” found “endorsements a candidate racks up in the so-called invisible primary have in the past been a strong indicator of who will eventually win the nomination.” Unlike delegates pledged during primary and caucus votes, superdelegates are not bound to the candidate they promise themselves to and are open to changing their minds.
Clinton as the establishment candidate had long relationships with many of the superdelegates, from her husband former President Bill Clinton’s tenure, and her tenures as a New York Senator and Secretary of State. Sanders has less than 30 superdelegates in his corner. Sanders is an outsider despite serving in the House of Representatives and Senate for over 25 years he did so as an independent and is not a Democratic insider.
Regarding pledged delegates, Clinton’s lead is not an insurmountable lead with delegate-rich states coming up Sanders could still catch up. Clinton has 1243 delegates to Sanders 975 with 2383 needed to win the nomination. Clinton has 469 superdelegates to Sanders’ 29. Most media outlets include the unpledged delegates boosting Clinton’s total.
Sanders told ABC News‘ Jonathan Karl, he realizes he is still the “underdog” in the race, but believes that his campaign “do have a path to victory.” Continuing, Sanders pointed out, “What we showed yesterday is in fact the momentum is with us. We think we’re going to do well in Wisconsin. We think we got a real shot in New York. And then we go out to California. You go out to Oregon. That’s the most progressive part of America.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 28, 2016
Politics March 27, 2016: Sanders sweeps Western Saturday wins big Alaska, Washington and Hawaii caucuses
Sanders sweeps Western Saturday wins big Alaska, Washington and Hawaii caucuses
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 27, 2016 7:31 AM MST
Democratic candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders put a damper on frontrunnerHillary Clinton‘s momentum for the Democratic nomination. On Western Saturday, March 26, 2016, Sanders swept all three Democratic caucuses held, winning by large margins in Alaska, Washington state and Hawaii. Sanders won each caucus with over 70 percent of the vote, garnering the majority of the 142 delegates up for grabs on Saturday. Still analysts are saying Sanders wins barely dents Clinton’s delegate lead, however, if nonbinding superdelegates are removed from the mix the race becomes much closer.
There were big voter turnouts in all three states, which helped propel Sanders to suchsignificant victory margins. In Washington, Sanders won the state’s caucus 72.7 percent to Clinton’s 27.1 percent. His victory in Alaska is being considered a landslide, where Sanders garnered 81.6 percent to 18.4 percent for Clinton. In Hawaii, Sanders also won by a significant margin, 69.8 percent to Clinton’s 30 percent. Sanders will take the majority of Washington’s 101 delegates, and Hawaii’s 25 and Alaska’s 16 delegates.
After his victories in each state, Sanders tweeted his gratitude. To Alaska Sanders wrote, “Thank you, Alaska! Together we are sending a message that this government belongs to all of us.” While to Washington Sanders expressed, “Washington, thank you for your huge support! It is hard for anybody to deny that our campaign has the momentum.”
Saturday evening after the Associated Press declared Sanders the victor of Alaska and Washington caucuses, Sanders delivered a victory speech at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin. Sanders expressed, “We knew things were going to improve as we headed West. We are making significant inroads in Secretary Clinton’s lead. With your support coming here in Wisconsin.” Sanders is campaigning in Wisconsin ahead of their April 5 primary.
Sanders told his cheering crowd of 8,000 supporters, “We are on a path toward victory. It is hard for anybody to deny that our campaign has the momentum.” The Democratic candidate indicated he can still win the nomination, “With your help we’re going to win right here in Wisconsin. So don’t let anyone tell you we can’t win the nomination, or win the general election. We’re going to do both of those things.”
Sanders could win Wisconsin, but he still faces an uphill battle in April as some contests might favor Clinton, including “her home state of New York on April 19” which has “247 pledged delegates” up for grabs. The contests on the April 26 Super Tuesday, are also considered possible Clinton wins and include Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and Maryland. With those contests, there are “400 pledged delegates are at stake.”
Clinton did not personally address her losses and Sanders’ victories. Only her campaign manager Robby Mook sent out an email before the races were called to supporters asking them to “chip in” donations. The email had the subject heading “quick update on Bernie Sanders.” The donation request read, “We haven’t caught up in online fundraising, and our opponent could do very well in today’s caucuses in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Now, I don’t want to paint too gloomy a picture — you’ve been amazing. Thanks to you, we still have a commanding delegate lead, and we can secure this nomination for Hillary with your help.”
None of the candidates campaigned in Hawaii and Alaska. Sanders’ wife Jane campaigned for her husband in both Alaska and Hawaii were she appeared alongside Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Both campaigned extensively in Washington. The Seattle Times endorsed the Vermont senator in early March. Sanders also attracted huge crowds at his rallies, and the capping event was a rally in Seattle’s Safeco Field with 15,000 in attendance.
Clinton knew she would probably not win Washington or Alaska, which she lost in 2008. Clinton, however, had strong ties to Hawaii from her husband former President Bill Clinton first campaign in 1992, and she had the endorsements of Sens. Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, and former Gov. George Ariyoshi.
In Washington, Clinton hoped for a close result, but she did not spend much money or time in the state as Sanders relying more on her endorsements from Democratic leaders in the state. Clinton’s campaign even mailed Washington’s “surrogate affidavits” which are absentee ballots with return postage just to get votes. As CNN noted, “Given those efforts, the size of Sanders’s margins on Saturday served as a warning shot to Clinton.”
Sanders made a dent in Clinton’s pledged delegate count. The current count for pledged delegates shows a difference of less than 300. Clinton has 1243 delegates to Sanders 975 with 2383 needed to win the nomination. Clinton has 469 superdelegates to Sanders’ 29. Most media outlets include the unpledged delegates boosting Clinton’s total, but the count is unfair as they are not binding. Sanders’ campaign shares that philosophy.
Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver spoke to CNN‘s Suzanne Malveaux about the uncommitted superdelegates in an interview on Saturday. Weaver believes, “Superdelegates want to win in November, and as we demonstrate in the second half of this primary season that we have the momentum, that we can carry with large margins these states, and with the public polls which have shown consistently that Bernie Sanders does better against every single possible Republican than does Hillary Clinton — I think superdelegates are going to begin to take another look.” With continued victories and momentum Sanders may still have a path to the nomination.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 27, 2016
Politics March 26, 2016: Cruz denies National Enquirer story alleging he had five affairs blames Trump
Cruz denies National Enquirer story alleging he had five affairs blames Trump
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 26, 2016 10:54 PM MST
After the National Enquirer published their story accusing Republican Presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz of having not one but five affairs, he immediately went into damage control and laid the blame on GOP frontrunner and rival Donald Trump. On Friday afternoon, March 25, 2016, Cruz held a news conference in Oshkosh, Wisconsin after a campaign rally. Cruz vehemently denied the affairs, while at the same time blaming Trump for being behind the story. Cruz called the story “garbage” and a product of “Donald Trump and his henchmen.”
Cruz strongly denied the allegation-telling reporters, “This National Enquirer story is garbage. It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.” There is no proof of the story’s allegations, or that Trump was involved in any way.
Politico describes Cruz’s statement to the press as a “tirade against Trump.” Cruz is blaming Trump because a former advisor of the GOP frontrunner Roger Stone was quoted in the story. Cruz accused Trump and those advising and working with him on planning to destroy his reputation and campaign. As Politico noted, “the Texas senator said that Stone, the architect of myriad sexual allegations against Bill Clinton, had long been foreshadowing this attack.”
Cruz also does not think it was a coincidence that the National Enquirer story was published just a day after Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Cruz in his rant accused, “And I would note that Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him. He’s a man whom a term was coined for copulating with a rodent. Well let me be clear, Donald Trump may be a rat but I have no desire to copulate with him. And this garbage does not belong in politics.”
Cruz and Trump have spent the week waging on the war on each others’ wives. The war on the wives first started earlier this week when an anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome featured an ad on Facebook with a naked GQ photo spread of Trump’s wife, Melania from the time she was a model. Trump blamed Cruz, believing he was behind the attack on his wife.
Trump’s threat to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife ended up not being personal but about her professional career. The Trump campaign accused Heidi Cruz of being connected to the administration of President George W. Bush working as an operative, for the “architect of NAFTA,” being “a member of the Council on Foreign Relations,” and working for Goldman Sachs.” Alice Stewart, Cruz’s spokeswoman issued a statement, “There’s no low the Trump campaign won’t go.”
Cruz’s attacks on Trump seemed like a hyperactive effort to divert attention from the National Enquirer story about him. Cruz went on the offensive and descended to name-calling. Cruz accused, “Donald, when he’s losing, when he’s scared, when Republicans are uniting against him, decides to peddle sleaze and slime. You know, Donald is fond of giving people nicknames. With this pattern he should not be surprised to see people calling him ‘Sleazy Donald.'”
Cruz insisted the National Enquirer story is a rumor that will affect his daughters years later. Cruz pointed out, “Years from now when my daughters Google this, they will read these lies, these attacks that Donald and his henchmen and his buddies at the National Enquirer spread about him.”
The gossip magazine has a terrible reputation but has a good track record when comes to calling out political affairs. Still Cruz emphasized the magazine’s reputation, “By the way, here’s how rumor gets spread. They get their henchmen to put it out on the Internet and then they get the National Enquirer to report. Not based on evidence, not based on facts, not based on witnesses, but based on their reporting that it’s on the Internet after they put it on the Internet.”
According to the National Enquirer story not published online “Republican political operatives” are “investigating” whether it is true that Cruz had five affairs during his marriage with “five different women.” Cruz has been selling himself as “deeply Christian man” in courting evangelical GOP leaders and voters, any rumors of infidelities would ruin support from the voter base Cruz desperately relies on in his fight to keep himself a competitor for the GOP nomination.
The Enquirer writes, “‘Private detectives are digging into at least five affairs Ted Cruz supposedly had,'” claimed a Washington insider. ‘The leaked details are an attempt to destroy what’s left of his White House campaign!’ The ENQUIRER reports that Cruz’s claimed mistresses include a foxy political consultant and a high-placed D.C. attorney!” the story also describes each of the women but does not name anyone.
The story also quoted a former Trump advisor, Roger Stone. Stone told the gossip magazine, “These stories have been swirling about Cruz for some time. I believe where there is smoke there is fire. I have to believe this will hurt him with his evangelical Christian supporters.” Stone left Trump’s campaign last summer after differences as to the direction of the campaign.
Rumors have been speculating for some time that one of the women Cruz may have been involved with is Tea Party activist Katrina Pierson. Pierson is “the national spokeswoman for businessman Donald Trump’s presidential campaign” Previously Pierson was a “consultant for Cruz’s United States Senate campaign.” Pierson responded on tweeter denying any past involvement with Cruz, “Of course the National Enquirer story is 100 % FALSE!!! I only speak to myself, however.”
Another of the women speculated to have been involved with Cruz was his former communications director Amanda Carpenter. During a CNN panel, Carpenter appeared on, Trump supporter and Boston Herald columnist Adriana Cohen went on the attack. Cohen implicated Carpenter saying, “Where we should move to is the National Enquirer story that has reported that Ted Cruz has had affairs with five mistresses, including you’ve been named as well, Amanda.”
Continuing Cohen kept pressing Carpenter to respond, “If we’re going to call Donald Trump’s character into question, I would like Ted Cruz to issue a statement whether or not the National Enquirer story is true, that he has had affairs with many women, including you were named, Amanda. Will you denounce this story or will you confirm it?”
Carpenter could not keep her cool. Instead she called the story “tabloid trash.” Carpenter like Cruz went on the offensive attacking Trump for the story, “It’s categorically false. You should be ashamed for spreading this smut. Donald Trump supporters should be held to account for it.”
Trump responded with a statement published on Friday afternoon. The statement read, “I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not, as yet, read it. I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin’ Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman and then pretend total innocence.”
Trump clarified he had nothing to with the story, “Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz. I look forward to spending the week in Wisconsin, winning the Republican nomination and ultimately the Presidency in order to Make America Great Again.”
Cruz is partially blaming Trump because the GOP frontrunner is personal friends with “David Pecker, the CEO of the National Enquirer’s parent company American Media Inc.” The company denied Cruz’s insinuations saying, “no one influences” their articles “other than our own reporters and editors.” American Media stands by the story saying it has merit, “We stand by the integrity of our coverage and remain committed to our aggressive reporting on such an important topic.” The National Enquirer has close ties with Trump and just this month endorsed him for president in a feature article entitled, “Trump Must Be President.”
Cruz continued his “tirade” on Facebook. Cruz wrote a post claiming the “smears” are “offensive to Heidi and me, they’re offensive to our daughters, and they’re offensive to everyone Donald continues to personally attack. Donald Trump’s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow.”
Cruz’s “tirade” seemed less like a denial and more like a hysterical rant hurling every insult in the book at Trump. Trump even pointed out on Twitter that Cruz was having a meltdown. Trump wrote, “#LyingTed blames @realDonaldTrump for so many things I am starting to think he is having a mental health crisis.”
Although all the GOP candidates throughout the campaign have pledged to support the eventual nominee, Cruz would not commit to supporting Trump if he would clinch the nomination. At the press conference, Cruz insisted, “I will say this: I don’t make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family. And Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee. Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee. We are going to beat him.” Cruz’s chances of beating Trump are not good as the frontrunner has 739 delegates to Cruz’s 465, 1237 are necessary to clinch the nomination.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 26, 2016
Donald Trump spills the beans on Heidi Cruz and her sordid political past
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 25, 2016 3:13 PM MST
When GOP frontrunner Donald Trump threatened to spill the beans on rival Ted Cruz‘s wife Heidi everyone presumed it was a personal attack, they were wrong; it is about the politics and it’s relevant. Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson made the big reveal on Friday, March 25, 2016, in an interview with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. The attack reveal comes after Trump and Cruz spent the latter half of the week embroiled in a fight attacking each other’s wives as the Republican presidential campaign descended to a new low.
Pierson explained to Kornacki “Spilling the beans is quite simple when it comes to Heidi Cruz.” Pierson then went on to point out elements from Heidi Cruz’s professional and political past the Cruz campaign like to ignore. Pierson said, “She is a Bush operative; she worked for the architect of NAFTA, which has killed millions of jobs in this country; she was a member on the Council on Foreign Relations who – in Sen. Cruz’s own words, called a nest of snakes that seeks to undermine national sovereignty.”
Pierson also pointed out that in the private sector, “she’s been working for Goldman Sachs, the same global bank that Ted Cruz left off of his financial disclosure.” Trump’s spokeswomen concluded that Cruz’s wife career contradicts his whole political campaign, “Her entire career has been spent working against everything Ted Cruz says that he stands for.”
When Trump first issued the threat on Tuesday, March 22, the entire political and news world including Cruz thought Trump threat was personal. The big reveal turned out to be relevant to the campaign because Trump wanted to show just how hypocritical and a “liar” Cruz is in his opinion. Even if wives are off limits in campaigns, wives with political pasts that indicate something about the candidate’s positions and future policies can be fair game. It the same as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s former President Bill Clinton’s policies, missteps and scandals are fair game and there is no criticism.
The war on the wives first started earlier this week when an anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome featured an ad on Facebook with a naked GQ photo spread of Trump’s wife Melania from the time she was a model. Trump blamed Cruz, believing he was behind the attack on his wife, although there is no known connection between Cruz and that super PAC. The ad appeared before the Utah caucuses and might have affected Trump’s massive loss in the state as it targeted Mormon voters.
Trump, in turn, gave his threat on Twitter on Tuesday evening before the polls closed. Trump promised, “Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” Speculation abounded about what was deemed a personal threat. Cruz responded later Tuesday evening on Twitter, writing, “Pic of your wife not from us. Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you’re more of a coward than I thought. #classless.”
Trump was not going to let it all go and, in turn, posted on Wednesday, his photos on Twitter with both candidates wives side by side. The two photos contrasted the angry look of Heidi, 43 with the glamorous looks of Melania, 45. Trump included the caption under the photo, “no need to ‘spill the beans’ the images are worth a thousand words.” Cruz responded again trying to take the high road writing on Twitter. Cruz retweeted Trump and proceeded to write, “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”
In a campaign stop in Wisconsin, Heidi Cruz spoke out the Trump campaign. She defended her post fundraising and working for her husband’s campaign. Heidi Cruz said, “Well, as you probably know by now, most of the things, many of the things others say are not based in reality.
I have one job on this campaign, and it is to be helping Ted win this race. And it is, I think, the easiest job in the world, and that is to speak the truth: what I know about my husband, our family, myself.” Mrs. Cruz also denied her husband’s campaign had anything to do with the ad of featuring Melania Trump, “In no shape or form are we related to it,”
Trump, however, insists the Cruz campaign started the campaign down this path and is responsible for the ad. Wednesday Trump tweeted, “I didn’t start the fight with Lyin’Ted Cruz over the GQ cover pic of Melania, he did. He knew the PAC was putting it out – hence, Lyin’ Ted!”
Speaking to the press during a campaign stop touring a factory in Dane, Wisconsin Cruz became vicious towards Trump for attacking his wife. Cruz said, “Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.”Cruz continued his response attacking Trump’s bias against powerful and successful women.
Cruz called Trump a “loud, New York bully,” and pointed out, “Donald does seem to have an issue with women. Donald doesn’t like strong women. Real men don’t try to bully women. That’s not an action of strength. That’s an action of weakness. It’s an action of fear. It’s an action of a small and petty man who is intimidated by strong women.”
Cruz promised he would stop Trump from gaining the Republican nomination. Cruz stated, “I’m going to beat Donald for the nomination.” Cruz then repeated three times, “Donald Trump will not be the nominee.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 26, 2016
Politics March 25, 2016: Birdie Sanders crowd goes wild as bird visits Sanders’ podium at Portland rally
Birdie Sanders crowd goes wild as bird visits Sanders’ podium at Portland rally
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 25, 2016 7:43 PM MST
Social media is going wild for the small bird that visited Democratic candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders‘s podium at a Portland, Oregon rally on Friday afternoon, March 25, 2016. The viral video of the bird being dubbed Birdie Sanders is appearing all over social media with the hashtag #BirdieSanders. Both Sanders the audience and his supporters are seeing a wider significance in the finch’s friendly visit at the crowded rally. Sanders was speaking at the Moda Center ahead of the Washington caucuses on Saturday, March 26.
At Sanders’ rally with over 11000 attendees, there was a number viral moments, but none more than the small finch that wanted to make friends with the candidate. While Sanders spoke about his social democratic positions including “minimum wage, the environment, equal rights, taxes, healthcare” and a free college education, the bird was flying around near the podium.
When the little bird landed in the vicinity of Sanders’, the candidate started to say, “Now you see, this little bird doesn’t know it …” before he was interrupted by the finch flying to the podium sitting down on the top of it. Sitting perched on the podium the bird made Sanders smile and the crowd go wild. As CNN noted, “Sanders couldn’t help but break into a wide grin as the crowd roared with laughter and applause, with many supporters rising to their feet.”
After Sanders smiled at the bird and “shook his head” and the Finch, in turn, looked at the candidate for a few moments, then flew off. Sanders could not help but point out the “symbolism.” Sanders’ told the cheering crowd, “I think there may be some symbolism here. I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace. No more wars.”
The image of the peace candidate spread all over social media, as many compared the gentle Sanders’ who animals love, to a picture of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump being scared by an eagle that looks ready to attack him in his office. Others are comparing Sanders to the beloved Disney princesses.
As the viral moment erupted on social media, the Sanders’ campaign took advantage sending out a tweet to supporters reminding to vote in the three states holding caucuses on Saturday, Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state. The campaign wrote, “A vote for Bernie is a vote for #BirdieSanders. Come out and caucus tomorrow in AK, HI & WA.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 25, 2016
Politics March 25, 2016: Watchdog group discovers hidden Hillary Clinton State Dept email are there more?
Watchdog group discovers hidden Hillary Clinton State Dept email are there more?
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 25, 2016 9:35 AM MST
Although the public might think when the State Department released the last batch of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s email at the end of February, all her emails from her tenure had been accounted for but apparently not. Conservative watchdog groupJudicial Watch released on Thursday, March 24, 2016, another email they uncovered from early in Clinton’s time at the State Department, one that she did not hand-over in December 2014 proving that Clinton might have hidden more emails that could still be discovered.
The emails Judicial Watch found were a chain between Clinton and her State Dept chief of staff, Cheryl Mills Just at the start of her tenure in February 2009. The Feb. 13, 2009, emailfrom Mills discussed Clinton request for a secure BlackBerry to use in the State Department’s offices. The executive offices are considered a “Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).”
Mills informed Clinton she was set to meet the National Security Agency’s (NSA) State Department representative, and that that an official told her the request would be probably granted. Mills wrote that an NSA official “indicated they could address our BB [BlackBerry] so that BB could work in” secure spaces, “based upon some modifications that could be done.” Clinton responded, “That’s good news.” Just days late the NSA denied Clinton’s request and she decided to use her personal device that was not secured and vulnerable to being “hacked.”
Judicial watches release of the email was meant to raise the question whether there are more emails that Clinton did not hand over to the State Department on top of the 55,000 pages she did. Clinton claims that she used her Senate email account until March 18, 2009 when she started using her private email server. Clinton erased another 55,000 pages of emails she claimed were personal and unrelated to her official duties.
Last year, Clinton’s campaign released a fact sheet about her State Department emails. The fact sheet read, “Before March 18, 2009, Secretary Clinton continued using the email account she had used during her Senate service. Given her practice from the beginning of emailing Department officials on their state.gov accounts, her work-related emails during these initial weeks would have been captured and preserved in the Department’s record-keeping system. She, however, no longer had access to these emails once she transitioned from this account.”
Despite Clinton’s explanation other emails from having been discovered from her in the government’s server that she claims were lost. Last September the State Department uncovered a chain between Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus, who at that point was the commander of United States Central Command. The email exchanges were found on the Department of Defenses server last September, and they were dated from Jan. 10, 2009 and Feb. 1, 2009, at the very start of her tenure and were not classified.
Clinton gave a statement under oath that she handed over all her work-related emails to the State Department. Clinton stated in August, “I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” The constant drip of new email discovery put her testimony in question.
The State Department responded with a statement about the new emails saying, Clinton “has previously acknowledged that she emailed with department officials before March 18, 2009, the date of the first email in the collection that former Secretary Clinton provided to the Department in December 2014.”
Continuing, the spokesperson said, “Former Secretary Clinton has also indicated that she does not have access to work-related emails beyond those she turned over to the Department,” the official added while noting that Clinton has confirmed in court proceedings that she gave over all the work-related messages she had. In September 2015, we also asked the FBI to inform us should it recover any records from Secretary Clinton’s server that we don’t already have.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton pointed out the new email shows that Clinton knew she was not using a secure network. Fitton expressed in a statement, “So now we know that, contrary to her statement under oath suggesting otherwise, Hillary Clinton did not turn over all her government emails. We also know why Hillary Clinton falsely suggests she didn’t use clintonemail.com account prior to March 18, 2009 – because she didn’t want Americans to know about her February 13, 2009, email that shows that she knew her Blackberry and email use was not secure.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 25, 2016
Politics March 23, 2016: Cruz and Sanders steal Western Tuesday primary spotlight from Trump and Clinton
Cruz and Sanders steal Western Tuesday primary spotlight from Trump and Clinton
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 23, 2016 3:26 AM MST
Another Tuesday and another night of nominating contests divided among the remaining candidates in the Republican and Democratic presidential race. On Tuesday evening, March 22, 2016, three contests were held on what was dubbed Western Tuesday, a primary in Arizona for both parties, caucuses in Utah for Democrats and Republicans and caucuses in Idaho for Democrats.
The major prize was Arizona with the largest delegate prize of the evening with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton easily winning. Still Republican Texas SenatorTed Cruz and Vermont Senator and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders stole the spotlight and the delegates from their opponents with significant victories, Cruz in Utah and Sanders in Utah and Idaho.
Voters lined up to vote and participate in the major western states contests in one of the most indecisive and divisive primaries in recent history. Lines were long in Arizona despite having early balloting. There were also delays in the Utah caucuses, with long lines, and Democratic Party’s website crashed. The Idaho Democratic caucuses also experienced delays because of long lines. The delays meant results for Utah and Idaho were not known until early Wednesday morning.
Trump had an easy victory in Arizona, with all the 58 delegates in the winner takes all Republican contest. Trump won with nearly 24 percent more of the vote over second place Cruz with Ohio Gov. John Kasich in third. After his victory Trump tweeted his appreciation, writing, “Thank you, Arizona!”
Trump’s win shows he is the one the beat much to the Republican establishment’s dismay. One of which includes 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Romney has started a war against Trump and considering the results in Utah seemed to win a round on home turf. Cruz won Utah trouncing Trump with nearly 70 percent of the vote leaving Trump in third. Cruz passed the 50 percent threshold allowing him to claim the state’s 40 delegates.
Romney mounted a huge campaign since the beginning of the month against Trump waging the latest battle in his home state of Utah. Romney announced he would vote for Cruz in the caucuses and urged his fellow Republican voters to follow his lead going as far to call voters to not even vote for Kasich because it would help Trump clinch the nomination. Romney even recorded a robocall for Cruz. The former GOP nominee still has a lot a sway in the state that has a high population of his Mormon co-religionists. Although not an endorsement, Cruz won with his largest margin of the primary season.
The night was also full surprises for the Democratic race as well. The evening started predictably with Clinton winning the Arizona primary and a majority of its 75 delegates. Clinton won with approximately 58 percent of the vote, with Sanders claiming nearly 40 percent of the vote. Clinton win gain 41 delegates while Sanders will grab 20 more. Arizona has a large Hispanic population, and Clinton has been winning hands down the minority vote.
Clinton seemed to turn her attention to the general election with the decisive win in Arizona, saying in a victory speech delivered in Seattle Washington, “I do believe I am the most ready of anybody running to take this job.” Clinton clearly took aim at Trump, who she thinks she will face in the general election, stating, “The last thing we need, my friends, are leaders who incite more fear.”
Clinton might have been premature in turning her attention from the primary and Sanders, who continual resurges proves he remains a formable threat to Clinton. Sanders washed Clinton out in Utah and Idaho, winning with over 75 percent of the vote in each caucus, with 78 percent in Utah. Sanders will be granted most of the Utah’s 33 delegates and Idaho’s 23 delegates.
Even after losing Arizona Sanders seemed confident he would be triumphant in Utah and Idaho. Speaking in San Diego, California earlier in the evening “When we began this campaign we were considered a fringe candidacy,” Sanders, his voice hoarse from months on the campaign trail. “Well, 10 months later we have now won 10 primaries and caucuses. Unless I am very much mistaken, we are going to win a couple more tonight.”
After his victories, Sanders issued a statement, saying, “I am enormously grateful to the people of Utah and Idaho for the tremendous voter turnouts that gave us victories with extremely large margins. These decisive victories in Idaho and Utah give me confidence that we will continue to win major victories in the coming contests.”
After the contests on Tuesday, on the Republican side, Trump will have 739 delegates, Cruz with 465, and Kasich standing still at 143. Trump would need to win 55 percent of all remaining delegates to clinch the nomination and the 1237 delegates required. Trump still can do it by the June 7 California primary, the last contest. Cruz has an impossible quest and would have to win 86 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination.
On the Democratic side, Clinton will have 1681 delegates, 467 that are superdelegates, while Sanders will have 927 with 26 superdelegates. Sander’s campaign believes it can still beat Clinton Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN, “It’s not an easy path, but it’s never been an easy path.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 23, 2016
Politics March 22, 2016: Clinton, Trump are the most disliked presidential candidates in recent history
Clinton, Trump are the most disliked presidential candidates in recent history
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 22, 2016 7:15 PM MST
They might be their respective parties’ frontrunners, but Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump are also the most disliked to run for president since 1992. According to a new CBS/New York Times poll released on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, both Clinton and Trump have the highest unfavorable rating of any candidate since CBS began the survey, with net negatives in double digits.
Trump is the most disliked candidate in the history of the poll with a 57 percent unfavorable rating among voters and only a 24 percent favorable rating giving him “a net negative of -33.” Meanwhile, Clinton closely follows with a 52 percent favorable rating, with only 31 percent of voters having a favorable view of her giving her “a net negative of -21.”‘ Clinton is more disliked than she was when she ran for the Democratic nomination in 2008 where she had a net negative rating of -2, and a favorable rating of 39 percent versus an unfavorable rating of 41 percent.
Before Trump and Clinton, another Clinton had the dubious honor of being the most disliked candidate. In 1992, Bill Clinton had a negative favorable rating in the double digits at -17 where his favorable rating was only 24 percent with an unfavorable one of 41 percent. Clinton’s opponent, George. H. W. Bush had a net positive rating of 1 but still lost. Clinton’s case shows that a candidate with a negative rating can still win the election, but his case was the exception.
Most of the election winners, however, had net positive ratings Ronald Reagan in 1984 with 20, Clinton in 1996 with 12, George W. Bush in 2000 with 10 and 2004 with 4, Obama had 12 in 2008 and 2012 had a flat 0 rating. The election in 1984 and 1988 were the exceptions where the candidate with more favorable rating lost. In 1984, election winner Reagan had a net positive rating of 20, but Democratic nominee and loser Walter Mondale had the highest net positive rating in the poll’s history with 30. In 1988, Democrat Michael Dukakis had a net favorable rating of 12, while sitting Vice President George H. W. Bush had only a net positive rating of 1.
The Clinton and Trump’s numbers reflect voters’ discontent this election cycle as they look away from the establishment for their favorite contenders. Trump also leading in the polls and delegate counts is one of the most divisive candidates in recent history with protesters clashing with supporters at rallies that are becoming increasingly violent, even towards the candidate. Trump’s greatest adversaries seem to be a member of the GOP establishment who are resisting that he will become the GOP nominee.
Clinton has a past of being divisive her recent tenure as Secretary of State, and her resulting scandal with her private email server does not help her popularity. The 2016 campaign was supposed to be Clinton’s coronation for the nomination; instead, she faced a tough battle with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and only of late has emerged victorious in the fight, leading n the delegate count.
Voter discontent is also extending to American views of the two parties. The Republican Party is seeing their highest negative rating in the history of the CBS poll; with 66 percent have a negative view of the party the GOP and only 28 percent having a favorable view. The Democrats are more divided in the middle with 46 percent of voters having a favorable view of the party.
The poll also looked at potential election matchups between the candidates of both parties. According to the survey, there is only Republican that seems able to beat Clinton, Ohio Governor John Kasich, who does by 4 percent. Clinton, however, beats both Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is second in the delegate count. Clinton would win over Trump by 10 percent, but only by 3 percent over Cruz. Sanders fares even better against Trump winner by 15 percent mainly due to his support from independent voters.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 22, 2016
UC Santa Cruz accidently sends out thousands of acceptances
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 19, 2016 4:04 PM MST
Another university has made the embarrassing blunder of accidently sending out acceptances to students who never even applied. This past Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 4,000 high school students in the Washington DC and Virginia area received emails from the University of California Santa Cruz congratulating them on their admissions, but they never even applied. Washington Post reported on Thursday, March 27 that the Northern California university sent out invites to these students inviting to a reception for newly admitted students.
Patricia Gutierrez, the Regional Admissions Representative for UC Santa Cruz signed and sent the email invite for the reception. The invite read, “Congratulations on your admission to UC Santa Cruz! To celebrate your achievement and to provide an opportunity to learn more about UC Santa Cruz, you and your family are cordially invited to a special reception in the Virginia area on March 28th, 2016.” The reception was being held in Alexandria, Virginia and was going to be attended by Chancellor George Blumenthal and the Director of Admissions Michael McCawley.
The email shocked the students that received it because they never even applied to the school, many had to take another take to make sure it was not spam or a scam, but the email was legitimate, just sent by accident. And what an embarrassing mistake for the school. The Regional Admissions representative mistakenly sent the letter to the list of prospective students rather than the admitted students list.
UC-Santa Cruz’s admissions director, Michael K. McCawley sent a corrections email out to the students on Thursday afternoon. The email said, “It is always embarrassing to have such mistakes occur, and I’m sure you wondered why you received the invitation when you haven’t even applied to our campus. Each year I read about such things happening around the country and try to have protocols in place to ensure it won’t happen to our campus, but obviously those protocols were not followed last night.”
Continuing McCawley apologized and wished the students luck, “While we did have you as a potential applicant for fall 2016, we realize that you didn’t apply to our campus, so please accept my apology for last night’s invitation. Wherever you did apply, I hope you were successful in gaining admission.” The university’s spokesman Scott Hernandez-Jason said that “nearly 60,000 students” applied for the class of 2020 to the US Santa Cruz. The school just started sending decision notifications on Tuesday, March 15.
This is not the first or the last time universities and colleges have made mistakes with sending out offers of admissions, notifications of acceptances online and by email have made the scenarios a too often occurrence. The false acceptances are usually sent to students who were denied or deferred admissions. In the past John Hopkins University, MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fordham University, Vassar College and the University of California at San Diego have previously disappointed applicants who had not been accepted.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 19, 2016
Politics March 19, 2016: Trump strikes back at Romney for voting for Cruz in Utah attacks Mormon faith
Trump strikes back at Romney for voting for Cruz in Utah attacks Mormon faith
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 19, 2016 3:50 PM MST
Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee and current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump are continuing their war. On Friday, March 18, 2016, that war escalated as Romney announced he would vote for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Utah Caucuses on March 22. Romney’s announcement was his latest action in the Republican establishment’s attempt to deprive Trump of the GOP nomination even though he is leading in the delegate count. Trump was not going to let Romney get away with it and at a Salt Lake City rally on Friday evening, Trump questioned Romney‘s religion and Mormon faith.
Trump tried to as CNN put it question Romney’s faith pitting him against Utah’s Mormon majority. Trump said at the rally, “Do I love the Mormons? I have many friends that live in Salt Lake City — and by the way, Mitt Romney is not one of them. Are you sure he’s a Mormon? Are we sure?” Trump’s crowd loudly applauded his remarks.
Trump touted his relationship with Mormons, which includes friends and employees. Trump also continued his attacks questioning Romney support of the other two GOP candidates. Trump said,
“He’s out campaigning with (Ohio Gov. John) Kasich and then he endorses Cruz. People say — are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
Trump also attacked Romney as a failure for the GOP in 2012 losing to President Barack Obama. Trump used his favorite insult saying, “He’s a choke artist, I can’t believe… He choked, he choked, it was so sad, he should have beaten Obama we wouldn’t be working, I could be back right now, I could be back working in New York and doing my deals and having fun and being with my family.”
This is third time Trump has attacked and questioned another Republican’s faith. Trump challenged fellow opponents religion including Ben Carson’s Seventh-Day Adventist faith, and Cruz, who is a Southern Baptist. Since then Carson suspended his campaign, endorsed Trump and is now campaigning for him.
Romney made a speech earlier this month warning Republicans against Trump; he has become the GOP frontrunner’s enemy and another de facto opponent. Questioning Romney’s faith is especially damaging to his credibility with Mormons and other Christians since he was reluctant to discuss his faith during his two runs for the presidency in 2008 and 2012 and other Christians question Mormonism enough.
On Friday afternoon, March 18 Romney wrote a post on Facebook announcing his decision to vote for Cruz. Romney declared, “This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz, and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican.”
Continuing Romney explained the reason; he will vote for Cruz, to force a contested convention. Romney wrote, “The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.”
Although Romney said he is voting for Cruz, he did not endorse him. Last week Romney campaigned with Ohio Governor John Kasich in his home state before the primaries last Tuesday, March 15. The strategy worked, Kasich won denying Trump a sweep of the night’s nominating contests and Ohio’s 66 delegates. Romney also explained why he is not voting Kasich, “I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.”
Romney’s support is a surprise considering Cruz has targeted Romney during the campaign for losing in 2012 and called him part of the GOP’s “mushy middle.” Cruz tweeted his thanks and later told reporters, “I’ll take that, and take that happily.”
Kasich’s campaign did not take the betrayal well, with chief strategist, John Weaver tweeting, “Good to know Ted Cruz is the establishment, K-Street backed candidate. #HelloStatusQuo.” The Kasich campaign also released an ad featuring Romney campaigning with Kasich in Ohio.
As for Trump’s immediate reaction, he tweeted, “Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who ‘choked’ and let us all down, is now endorsing Lyin’ Ted Cruz. This is good for me!” Trump continued in another tweet, “Going to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a big rally. Lyin’ Ted Cruz should not be allowed to win there – Mormons don’t like LIARS! I beat Hillary.”
Currently, the polls are close in Utah; there are 40 delegates at stake. Romney and much of the Republican establishment are hoping and planning for a contested convention to deny Trump the nomination. If none of the candidates reach the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, then delegates are free to vote whom they want on the convention floor. For Trump to win, he would have to win 53 percent of the delegates in the remaining contests.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 19, 2016
Trump’s son sent threatening letter with white powder
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 18, 2016 10:09 AM MST
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump‘s son Eric, 32 has been sent a threatening letter filled with white powder according to news reports on Friday morning, March 18, 2016. The letter threatened that if Trump would “not withdraw from the Republican presidential race, his children would be harmed;” Trump has five children.
The letter was sent to Eric Trump’s home in at 100 Central Park South known as Trump Parc East with a Massachusetts postmark. Eric’s wife opened the letter on Thursday. Inside it contained at the threat to Trump’s children and a suspicious white power. The Secret Service, the New York Police Department and the FBI are currently investigating. A preliminary test showed that the powder was not hazardous, but further tests are being done.
The threat comes as the Republican Party is ramping up their rhetoric against Trump even though he has the lead in the delegate count. Party insiders are planning a contested convention to prevent Trump from winning the nomination. Trump is seeing more resistance and insults from his party than even his Democratic opponents. At the same time, Trump experiencing an increasing amount of violence at his campaign rallies from protesters infiltrating, with one last week even charging at him while he was one stage.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 17, 2016
Obama decides on Judge Merrick Garland for Supreme Court nominee
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 16, 2016 9:08 AM MST
President Barack Obama has made his choice for a Supreme Court nominee to replace conservative Antonin Scalia; federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland. Various media sources confirmed Garland as Obama’s nominee Wednesday morning, March 16, 2016, including Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and CNN. President Obama sent out an email Wednesday morning to his supporters saying he will make the formal announcement at 11 a.m. ET in the White House Rose Garden.
In his email to supporters, Obama said of his nominee decision, “I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time and deliberation to this decision. I’ve consulted with legal experts and people across the political spectrum, both inside and outside government. And we’ve reached out to every member of the Senate, who each have a responsibility to do their job and take this nomination just as seriously.”
Garland, 63 is the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was an appointee of Democrat and former President Bill Clinton. Garland is a graduate f Harvard and Harvard Law School, and a member of the Harvard Law review. Garland was Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, under President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981.
Garland was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton Administration before his appointment to the federal appeals court. There Garland supervised the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing and UNABOM cases.
Senate Republicans have vowed not to vet or have confirmations hearing for any Obama nominee, saying the next president should make the decision. Both Senate Majority LeaderMitch McConnell and the GOP chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley of Iowa have been adamant against any confirmation of a SCOTUS nominee.
McConnell commented on Tuesday, “We believe it’s not an unreasonable position to take to say to the American people in the course of this presidential election that their voice should be heard in this process, particularly where the balance of power on the Supreme Court is going to be determined perhaps for the next 25 or 30 years.”
Obama argues with ten months left in his presidency that it is within his constitutional right to nominate a replacement. Obama said in his email, “I’m confident you’ll share my conviction that this American is not only eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court justice, but deserves a fair hearing, and an up-or-down vote. I hope that our senators will do their jobs, and move quickly to consider my nominee. That is what the Constitution dictates, and that’s what the American people expect and deserve from their leaders.”
According to CNN, Garland is “much older” than the other two judges on that were on Obama’s shortlist, Judges Sri Srinivasan and Paul Watford. He is also considered a consensus candidate. One of his backers has called Garland “the establishment of the establishment.” Obama’s nomination comes 32 days after Scalia’s death, and with careful consideration by the president hoping he offers a nominee Republicans will find it hard to refuse and will look bad to the voters.
President Obama’s announcement comes just a day after Super Tuesday 3 primaries in important states of Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, where Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton cemented their frontrunner status for the nominations. The timing of Obama’s announcement seems to imply the president wants to inject the SCOTUS as a divisive campaign issue. At this time, there are eight justices deciding cases, with equal partisan divisions.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 16, 2016
Rubio suspends campaign after Florida loss to Trump on Super Tuesday 3
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 15, 2016 8:26 PM MST
After losing his home state of Florida, Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced on Tuesday evening, March 15, 2016, that he is suspending his presidential campaign. Rubio, 44 made his announcement in Miami, after GOP frontrunner Donald Trump won winner-takes-all Florida primary by over 20 percent over second place Rubio. Trump won every county except Miami, which Rubio won. Trump won the crucial state’s 99 delegates.
Rubio made the announcement at his Miami rally, saying, “After tonight it is clear that while we are on the right side, this year we will not be on the winning side.” Rubio admitted it was “not God’s plan that I be president on 2016.” Rubio had rented an entire arena relying on a win that would have turned his campaign around; instead, he had only a few supporters. Although Rubio hoped to win, all polls indicated he would lose to Trump.
In his speech, Rubio continued to acknowledge the Republican Party’s problems and veiled his attacks meant for Trump and his frontrunner status. Rubio expressed, “There’s nothing more you could have done. America is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami and we should have seen this coming.”
Specifically referring to Trump, Rubio said, “The Republican Party is not going to allow itself to be hijacked by fake conservatives and people who go around dividing us against each other.” Rubio pointed out that amid the “politics of resentment… I chose a different route and I’m proud of that.” Rubio said, “I ask the American people do not give into the fear, do not give into the frustration.”
Infiltrating Rubio’s rally, was a Trump supporter that heckled, “Trump for President!” the crowd booed, and Rubio could not help but jab the rash of violence at Trump’s rallies, saying, “Don’t worry, he won’t get beat up at our event.” Despite the animosity, Rubio has pledged to support Trump should he become the party’s nominee.
Rubio admitted this past weekend where his campaign went all wrong, it when he recently decided to abandon his optimistic message a “new American century” and turned to petty personal insults attacking Trump. Rubio repeated that he regretted the attacks, but justified, Trump needed a “taste of his own medicine.” Rubio might have had some laughs at Trump’s expense, but Trump laughed last, out insulting Rubio, naming him “Little Marco.”
Rubio’s campaign faced other problems, his inexperience as only a first term senator, and his support in 2013 of the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill when conservatives oppose any form of amnesty. By insulting Trump, Rubio loss support, and struggled in the primaries as Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz amassed victories. Rubio only won three contests, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Rubio was up for reelection for his Senate seat but chose to run for president; now his political career will have to take a hiatus as of Jan. 2017.
The night filled with crucial primaries is being dubbed Super Tuesday 3 or Mini Super Tuesday. There are five major primaries for Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday evening, including Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. At stake is a total of 691 pledged delegates for the Democrats and 367 delegates for the Republicans. Four of the contests are winner takes all for Republicans including Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
On the Republican side, Trump has won four of the contests, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri, while Ohio Governor John Kasich won his home state with Trump a close second. Republicans held the Northern Mariana Islands Republican Caucus earlier in the day, with Trump winning the contest. On the Democratic side, frontrunner Hillary Clintonwon Florida, North Carolina and Ohio but is in a close race with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Illinois and Missouri.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 15, 2016
Education March 15, 2016: Senate confirms new education secretary John King Jr. that will oversee ESSA law
Senate confirms new education secretary John King Jr. that will oversee ESSA law
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 15, 2016 2:42 PM MST
There is a new education secretary after the Senate confirmed acting Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. by a bipartisan vote of 49 to 40 on Monday, March 14, 2016. King will lead the Department of Education in President Barack Obama‘s last year in office and be in charge of implementing the new K-12 education law Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The bipartisan vote is a rarity in the Republican-run Senate, which refuses to consider even a Supreme Court nominee.
Among the 49 Senators voting for King, eight were Republican, which included Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the remaining Senator were Democrats. Except one Senator New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, the remaining Senators voting against King were all Republicans. Eleven Senators abstained including two Democrats.
The Senate’s confirmation comes only five days after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved King‘s nomination with a vote of 16 to 6. The media is seeing this quick confirmation a sharp contrast to the Senate Republican complete opposition to even considering a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last month.
In fact, it was the Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn wanted to go through the confirmation with King, he did not want the whole year to go by with an Education Secretary in the post, especially with the education law ESSA being prepared for implementation. Alexander held the same position during Republican President George H. W. Bush’s administration (1989-1993).
President Obama appointed King as acting Secretary last October 2015 to begin in January 2016, after Obama’s original Education Secretary Arne Duncan decided to step down. King, 41 has a doctorate in education, and is a “former teacher, principal and charter-school founder.” King’s most controversial position was his role as New York State Education Commissioner from 2011 until 2014, where he made enemies with teachers and angered parents as he pushed for teacher evaluations and the implementation of Common Core standards and tests.
In February, two months, after Congress passed the ESSA in December, Alexander persuaded Obama to nominate King for the position. On Feb. 11 when President Obama chose King, he said, “John knows how education can transform a child’s future. He’s seen it in his own life. And his experience, counsel, and leadership couldn’t be more valuable to me and to our country as we work to open the doors of opportunity to all of America’s children.” Continuing Obama said, “There is nobody better to continue leading our ongoing efforts to work toward preschool for all, prepare our kids so that they are ready for college and career, and make college more affordable.”
Chairman Alexander said he first asked Obama to nominate a replacement at the December bill signing for ESSA. Alexander recounted, “I did that because this is such an important year for our nation’s schools. We need an education secretary who is confirmed and accountable to Congress while we’re implementing a law that may govern elementary and secondary education for some time.”
With that same persuasiveness, Alexander told his colleagues on the Senate floor, “This vote is not about whether one of us would have chosen Dr. King to be the education secretary. Republicans won’t have the privilege of picking an education secretary until we elect the president of the United States. We need a United States Education Secretary confirmed by and accountable to the United States Senate so that the law to fix No Child Left Behind will be implemented the way Congress wrote it.”
Alexander reminded them that there will be “six oversight hearings” to implement the new education law, “A law is not worth the paper it is printed on unless it is implemented the way Congress wrote it.” In addition to ESSA’s implementation, King will also be responsible for the “new rules for for-profit colleges.” Those two elements are essential to President Obama’s education legacy.
After his confirmation Obama expressed in a statement, King “will continue to lead our efforts to work toward high-quality preschool for all, prepare our kids for college and a career, make college more affordable, and protect Americans from the burdens of student debt. John knows how education can transform a child’s future. He’s seen it in his own life. And his experience, counsel, and leadership couldn’t be more valuable to me and to our country as we work to open the doors of opportunity to all of America’s children.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 15, 2016
North Carolina police decide against arresting Trump for inciting violence
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 14, 2016 10:44 PM MST
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump‘s rallies are getting rowdy, with confrontations between protesters and supporters, journalists being grabbed, and a protester even charging at Trump while on stage, now North Carolina police were considering laying all the blame on the candidate. Cumberland County sheriff’s office was thinking about pressing criminal charges against Trump because a “protester was assaulted” a rally in Fayetteville last weekaccording to news reports on Monday afternoon, March 14, 2016. The sheriff’s office ultimately decided against pressing charges and made the announcement in a press release Monday evening.
According to the press release, the office determined that the evidence “does not meet the requisites of the law” to “support a conviction.” A protester was “sucker-punched” while police removed him from the rally. The rest of the statement read, “Accordingly, we will not be seeking a warrant or indictment against Mr. Trump or his campaign for these offenses. While other aspects of our investigation are continuing, the investigation with regard to Mr. Trump and his campaign has been concluded, and no charges are anticipated.”
Earlier in the afternoon, the sheriff’s office lawyer Ronnie Mitchell released a statement about possibly charging Trump. The statement read, “We are continuing to look at the totality of these circumstances … including the potential of whether there was conduct on the part of Mr. Trump or the Trump campaign which rose to the level of inciting a riot.” Even Mitchell countered the statement after it was released saying, “It doesn’t appear that we have sufficient evidence to warrant charging him at this time.” Mitchell provides advice to Sheriff, Earl “Moose” Butler (D).
Mitchell explained the charge and what evidence would be required to obtain a conviction for the violation, “‘Incitement to riot’ requires conduct or words which would cause at least three persons who are assembled to engage in disorderly conduct, as that’s defined under North Carolina law. We have not been able to unearth evidence that [any instances] were incited or motivated by Mr. Trump.”
At the rally held on March 9, the “anti-Trump” protester was “sucker-punched when police removed him at the start of the rally. His was not the only incident; there were 100 at the rally, where there were more protesters in attendance. The punch was caught on video. The protester, Rakeem Jones was a longhaired African American man, who was punched by a 78-white man, John Franklin McGraw in a cowboy hat after the protester put up his middle finger to McGraw’s face.
Although the crowd booed, the protester McGraw took it too personally and for punching Jones he is facing assault and disorderly conduct charges. Another charge “communicating threats” was added after McGraw posted a video saying he “enjoyed” punching “that loudmouth .?.?. who was “not acting like an American. McGraw also “threatened next time” “to kill him.”
Despite the increasing violence at Trump rally, which the frontrunner is blaming on Bernie Sanders supporters, Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign called the Fayetteville rally family-friendly. Hicks said, “There was a great feeling of warmth, well-being and even love in the arena.”
Hicks put the responsibility entirely on the protesters for any trouble at the rally. The spokeswoman explained, “In some cases, they used foul language, screamed vulgarities and made obscene gestures, annoying the very well-behaved audience. The people that stood were loud, rude and abrasive.”
Hicks even justified the protester being punched, “On one occasion, while the police were escorting a young man out of the arena, he seemed to lift his hand and make an obscene gesture. We are told a 78-year-old man took great exception to this. It is the protesters and agitators who are in violation, not Mr. Trump or the campaign.
Trump suggested on Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that he might pay McGraw’s legal bills. Trump said, “I’m going to look at it. I’m going to see, you know, what was behind this, because it was a strange event. But from what I heard, there was a lot of taunting and a certain finger was placed in the air. Not nice.”
Trump often tells supporters to “knock the crap” “out of disruptive protesters,” and previously said at a rally, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” This time Trump did not incite the crowd, instead he said, “Hello! Uh oh! Ohh! Uh oh! So early. So early. All right, get ’em out! Thank you. We’re gonna have such fun… We’re gonna have such fun tonight. Get ’em out. Thank you. Do we love our police? Our police are great.” After a later disruption by a protester, Trump was more “forceful” in his words, saying, “Get out of here. Go home to Mom!… Nasty. Nasty. Why are they allowed to do things that we’re not allowed to do? Can you explain that to me? Really a disgrace.”
According to North Carolina law a riot is defined as “a public disturbance involving an assemblage of three or more persons which by disorderly and violent conduct, or the imminent threat of disorderly and violent conduct, results in injury or damage to persons or property or creates a clear and present danger of injury or damage to persons or property. The charge “inciting a riot” is described as “willfully incites or urges another to engage in a riot, so that as a result of such inciting or urging a riot occurs or a clear and present danger of a riot is created.” The charge is a misdemeanor.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 14, 2016
Marco Rubio wins Washington DC; Cruz wins Wyoming primaries
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 13, 2016 2:44 PM MST
Republicans looked to other candidates not named Donald Trump for nominating contestsin Guam, Wyoming, and Washington, DC on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz won Wyoming and Guam while Florida Senator Marco Rubio won Washington, DC leaving Trump out in the cold on one primary day. On the Democratic side,Hillary Clinton won the Northern Marianas Islands caucuses.
Rubio won the Washington DC Republican caucus with 37 percent of the vote and taking in 10 delegates. Coming in a close second was Ohio Governor John Kasich with 35 percent of the vote and nine delegates. Cruz and Trump were completely shut out of receiving delegates, with 14 and 12 percent of the vote respectively. There was a huge voter turnout in DC at their convention that chose both the GOP nominee and the delegates to represent the district at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Rubio’s campaign was excited about their candidate’s win in DC, seeing it as momentum going into Tuesday, make or break for Rubio Florida primary. Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant took to Twitter, writing, “DC’s changed a lot in last decade. It’s a minority-majority city that’s embracing the future. And today voted for it.”
Cruz was the big winner in Wyoming’s county conventions, winning 12 delegates, Trump and Rubio each won one delegate each, while one delegate remained uncommitted. Wyoming elects 14 other delegates at a convention being held on April 16.
Cruz was also the only Republican to win a delegate in Guam; the remaining five other delegates remain uncommitted. Guam does not hold a traditional primary or caucus. Instead the delegates are elected and they decide which candidate they will endorse. Guam’s Republican Party met early Saturday morning. Only Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, a delegate agreed to support Cruz.
On the Democratic side, there was only one contest, the very first Northern Mariana Islands caucuses, which Clinton won early Saturday morning. Clinton won 54 percent of the vote, which was only 102 votes while her opponent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanderswon 34 percent of the vote and 65 votes. The contest had six delegates up for grabs, Clinton received four of them, Sanders got two.
On Tuesday, March 15, there are five major primaries for Democrats and Republicans including Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, Republican will also hold the Northern Mariana Islands Republican Caucus. At stake is a total of 691 pledged delegates for the Democrats and 367 delegates for the Republicans. Four of the contests are winner takes all for Republicans including Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 13, 2016
Malia and Sasha Obama the toasts at their state dinner debut
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 13, 2016 12:45 AM MST
Although the state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle on Thursday, March 10, 2016, was supposed to honor Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeauand his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, first daughters Malia and Sasha ended up stealing the show at their first state dinner. Their attendance was supposed to the White House’s best-kept secret, nobody outside was allowed to know the president’s daughters, Malia 17 and Sasha 14 were going to attend the Canadian star-studded dinner, but Prime Minister Trudeau gave it away in his toast speech.
The world was shocked to see just how grown up the president’s daughters looked after seven years of their father’s presidency. When Obama was elected Malia was 10 and Sasha was just 7 years-old. They grew up distantly, outside, but also in the public eye, with the first couple allowing glimpses while traveling on family vacations, and official photos, and of course, their main duty attending the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon.
Nothing could prepare the public and the media for how mature they looked at their first state dinner. The way the Obama girls looked, the media covered it, and the toasts were given, the state dinner was more like their debut into formal society, rather than a tribute to the Canadian leader visiting. With all their grown-up looks, the media still caught glimpses of the girls behaving as typical teenagers at this very adult event.
Malia and Sacha featured prominently in Trudeau’s state dinner toast speech. Trudeau himself was the child of another Canadian Prime, his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau served from April 20, 1968, to June 4, 1979, and resumed office from March 3, 1980, to June 30, 1984. Trudeau related to the girls and brought it up in his revealing toast. Trudeau recounted, “The memories for me of being a kid and not being old enough to attend these kinds of events with my father almost makes me wish I had gone through my teenage years as the child of a world leader – but not quite.”
The Canadian Prime Minister speaking specifically of the president’s daughters expressed, “It’s touching to meet Malia and Sasha, who are here at their first State Dinner. I admire you very much, both of you, for your extraordinary strength and your grace, through what is a remarkable childhood and young adulthood that will give you extraordinary strength and wisdom beyond your years for the rest of your life. The one thing that you have received from your extraordinary parents is the tools to be able to handle the challenges and the opportunities in front of you. So thank you very much for joining us tonight.”
Their father was even more nostalgic, saying, “When I was first elected to this office, Malia was 10 and Sasha was just seven. And they grow up too fast. This fall, Malia heads off to college. And I’m starting to choke up. So I’m going to wind this – it was in my remarks – and I didn’t – I can’t do it. It’s hard.”
Malia will graduate high school this spring; the White House has yet to announce what college she will be attending. The state diner is not the first time or probably the last President Obama will get misty-eyed over her graduation. Obama calls Malia his best friend and already said he will be wearing sunglasses at her graduation because he will be crying.
The girls were both wearing design by Indian designer Naeem Khan. Malia opted for a classic dress was “champagne-colored silk with a strapless sweetheart neckline and beading on the bodice.” The dress was from Khan’s pre-fall 2015 collection, and even though it is no longer available, it cost a high $17,990 retail. Completing her look, Malia did not wear jewelry, but her hair was “blown out her hair in loose waves” and her makeup consisted of “subtle cat eye and nude lips.”
Sasha’s dress was even more expensive; the dress was from Khan’s 2016 resort collection. The red, black and sheer dress was “sleeveless with mesh and embroidery on the deep red bodice with a touch of white lace,” it also included “threadwork, beading, and appliqué” and it had “a fitted bodice and ball skirt.” The dress has an eye-popping retail price of $19,990. Sasha went with elaborate accessories to go with the more decorative dress, including a ribbon choker, and a double braided updo, but similar low-key makeup as her sister.
Surprisingly, the media has not criticized the over the top prices for both girls’ dresses, considering that the American public just recently named the economy again as the nation’s top problem. Here is hoping, the designer gifted the dresses to the Obamas for the night or else it could end up a scandal for the Democratic president.
In 2014, Joanna Rosholm, the press secretary to the first lady commented on how Michelle deals with the cost of dresses for formal events, “Mrs. Obama pays for her clothing. For official events of public or historic significance, such as a state visit, the first lady’s clothes may be given as a gift by a designer and accepted on behalf of the U.S. government. They are then stored by the National Archives.”
The Obama girls had prime seating, Sasha sat next to actress Blake Lively, most known for the TV show Gossip Girl, along with her aunt and uncle, Maya Soetoro-Ng and Konrad Ng, while Malia sat next to Canadian and former Grey’s Anatomy actress Sandra Oh and Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels. Despite being exposed to all sorts of star power, including their parent living in the White House, Malia and Sacha displayed teenage star stuck and celeb crushes.
In one photo released, Sasha is grinning as she speaks to actor and Canadian heartthrobRyan Reynolds, who came with wife Blake Lively, in the background Malia can be seen giving her sister two thumbs up. On the other hand, in a photo posted on Twitter by Sandra Oh, Malia is comfortably conversing with Trudeau and Oh. After the glamor and opulence of the state dinner prom is going to be a rather tedious affair for Malia, and later Sasha.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 13, 2016
Education March 12, 2016: British universities dominate Oxford tops THE’s best universities in Europe 2016
British universities dominate Oxford tops THE’s best universities in Europe 2016
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 12, 2016 6:41 PM MST
As more American students are choosing European universities because of rising tuition prices at home, the Times Higher Education (THE) annual ranking of the Best Universities in Europe becomes more relevant. According to the British publication’s annual ranking of the top 200 universities in Europe, 46 of them are in the United Kingdom. Times Higher Education released their World University Rankings 2015-2016 on Thursday, March 10, 2016, with the University of Oxford in the top spot.
In the top 10 alone, there are seven British universities including the top three. The top universities consist of the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, which are usual suspects topping international lists, ranking in the top five or top ten. Besides Britain, only Switzerland, Sweden and Germany had schools in the top 10.
Germany has the second most schools on the list with 36 universities. Eleven of Germany’s universities are in the top 50. Germany even has one in the top 10, LMU Munich, which in the 10th spot. Germany also had three other schools in the top 20, “Heidelberg University (13th), Humboldt University of Berlin (15th) and the Technical University of Munich (16th).”
Italy has the third most universities on the list with 19, but only Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa barely squeaked through landing at number 50 on the list. Scandinavian countries were well represented, as Sweden and Denmark having a combined 17 universities on the list. Sweden had 11 schools on the list including the Karolinska Institute in ninth place. Finland had six schools represented with their highest being the University of Helsinki tied for 28th place.
Switzerland saw nine universities on the list including ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which came in at fourth place, the highest on the European mainland. ETH Zurich consistently is the top mainland European university in most international rankings this past year and ranked in some them in the top 10.
Denmark also fared well considering its population with six universities on the list including the University of Copenhagen, which placed at number 33. Ireland also did well with six schools on the list; the highest was Trinity College Dublin coming in at number 78.
There were only two universities from France to make the top 50, École Normale Supérieure, ranked, which came in at 17th place, and École Polytechnique, which placed at number 43. In total, there were 15 French universities in the top 200.
Southern and Eastern Europe, however, did the worst in the ranking. Spain only had five schools on the list, with Autonomous University of Barcelona their highest ranking at number 70. As THE noted, Spain is “the second-lowest country when ranked in relation to its GDP.” Russia fared the worst, with only five universities in the top 200, and one in the top 100, Lomonosov Moscow State University ranking at number 79. THE indicated Russia is the “lowest-ranked country relative to its population and GDP, although it ranks highly relative to its GDP per capita.”
The Times Higher Education looked at five groups of performance indicators for theirranking methodology, with 13 individual indicators. The indicators include, “teaching environment (the learning environment), research environment (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), industry income (staff, students and research) and international outlook (knowledge transfer).”
The universities included have to offer undergraduate degrees and produce at least 200 research papers for the period between 2010-14. A total of 22 countries were included in the top 200. THE looked at “800 universities from 70 countries” to narrow down and create the ranking.
More Americans are looking towards European universities as a cheaper alternative to getting an undergraduate degree. With tuition sky rocking in the US even at state universities, the possibility of a free college degree is tempting. There are 44 European universities that offer free tuition.
According to CNN Money, “All public colleges in Germany, Iceland, Norway and Finland are free for residents and international students.” There are also some private institutions as well that offer free tuition. Many European schools are offering their programs in English just to attract “foreigners.”
In the US, tuition “without room and board” is “$9,410 at public colleges and $32,405 at private colleges.” In comparison, at European schools that do charge tuition, it can be $2,225 a year or less. Room and board costs in the US costs an extra $10,000 and includes dining hall meals. In Europe, however, students have to pay their rent, buy their meals, and they will need to “apply for a residency permit or visa.” Students still find that it still costs less than in the US.
Jennifer Viemont, the founder of the advising service “Beyond The States” told CNN Money, “The cost is what makes people think about going to college abroad, but then they start to see the other benefits like learning a new language, travel opportunities, and being prepared to work in a global economy.”
There are not many stats about the return on investment for a European degree and possible employment after. In 2012, 47,000 Americans graduated from European schools, while 20 million graduated from US schools.
The universities that rank the highest on THE’s best European universities are the ones that attract the most international students and offer programs in Englis, those are partially the reasons so many British universities are on the top of the list while Eastern and Southern European schools are ranking at the bottom.
Best universities in Europe 2016: top 10
1 University of Oxford UK
2 University of Cambridge UK
3 Imperial College London UK
4 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland
5 University College London (UCL) UK
6 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) UK
7 University of Edinburgh UK
8 King’s College London UK
9 Karolinska Institute Sweden
10 LMU Munich Germany
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 12, 2016
Big Super Tuesday 2 night for Trump wins Mississippi, Michigan and Hawaii
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 9, 2016 9:19 AM MST
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is a force of nature, and there is nothing the Republican establishment can throw at him that will stop his momentum. That was the message primary voters in three states sent on Super Tuesday 2 night, on Tuesday evening, March 8, 2016. With four contests up for grabs including Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaii, 150 delegates were at stake. Trump comfortably won three of the contests, Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii adding to his delegate war chest and proving he can win all over the country. Meanwhile, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has been the only candidate to compete seriously win Trump won another contest.
Trump gave a press conference in Jupiter, Fla. instead of a victory speech, which he has been doing for the last three primary days. Press conferences are part of Trump’s strategy to appear presidential to the public and the press. Trump pointed out the establishment’s movement against him was not resonating with voters, and he asked the party to unite so that they could win the election. Trump won Tuesday with evangelical and voters who are “angry at the government.”
Trump also commented on the insults, negatives ads, and the establishment including former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s attacks on his candidacy. Trump said, “This was an amazing evening. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many horrible things said about me in one week…. “$38 million worth of horrible lies… It shows you how brilliant the public is because they knew they were lies.”
Trump gain asked the party to unify around him, “The bottom line is we have something going that’s so good. We should grab each other and we should unify the party.” Trump asked the party to unite behind his candidacy, “Let’s come together, folks. We’re going to win. We’re way up with millions of people. So what I say to the Republicans is embrace it. We will win the election easily.”
Trump also pointed out that he outlasted the other GOP candidates that attacked him, “There has never been more money spent on hitting somebody than was spent on me. Every single one who’s attacked me is gone, and I’m very proud of that, because that’s what we should have for our country.”
So far, Trump has won 14 of the primary contests, outlasting competitors, and the establishment’s attempts to cut him off from a path to the nomination. As CNN pointed out, the GOP opposes his “personality… sometimes vulgar campaign style and his fitness to serve as president.” Trump’s victories should quell speculation that the attacks would make Trump lose steam in the campaign.
Cruz remained competitive, winning the Idaho caucuses by a large double-digit margin over Trump. He continues to assert rightfully that he is the only Republican capable of beating Trump in the race. Cruz received Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) endorsement, which helped propel him to victory. Labrador is a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Cruz, however, faced disappointment in Mississippi, where he had hoped to win over the conservative and evangelical vote.
Except for Cruz, the other two Republicans in the race had a bad night. Florida SenatorMarco Rubio finished in either third or fourth place in all the night’s contests and failed to reach the threshold to add any delegates to his count. Rubio is now counting on his home state of Florida if he is to survive; Florida is a winner-take-all state.
Ohio Governor John Kasich saw his hopes dashed as well; he was banking on a strong finish in Michigan, instead his finished third behind Trump and Cruz. Kasich to is relying on his home state of Ohio, another winner-take-all state to keep him in the game. Both contests in Florida and Ohio, along with Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri and being held next Tuesday, March 15.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 9, 2016
Sanders wins Michigan primary in biggest primary polling upset in history
By Bonnie K. Goodman
March 8, 2016 11:13 PM MST
On what was being dubbed Super Tuesday 2, Democratic candidate and Vermont SenatorBernie Sanders scored the biggest primary polling upset in history winning the Michigan primary after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton consistently polled over 20 percent of Sanders. Sanders won the delegate-rich state on Tuesday evening, March 8, 2016, shocking all the news media when all polls leading up to the vote indicated Clinton was certain to win.
Sanders victory blocked Clinton’s momentum to wrap up the Democratic nomination. The press was in shock calling it “stunning,” “shocking,” an “upset” and “embarrassing” for Clinton. Sanders was leading in the results from the start of returns coming in, but it took the Associated Press, nearly four hours to call the race for Sanders who won by less than two percent of the vote, 50 to 48 percent. Clinton was looking to sweep the contests after her big Super Tuesday wins on March 1, but Sanders campaign still keeps up its momentum.
So far, in this primary season, Clinton has failed except a razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucus and the Massachusetts primary to win any other state except those in the South. Clinton again scored a victory in a Southern state by a wide margin on Tuesday winning Mississippi 82.6 to 16.5 percent. Clinton’s wins in those states have largely been attributed to her overwhelming support from minorities, particularly African American voters. Clinton won nine out of ten African American votes on Tuesday. Sanders is boasting himself as the more national candidate after varied primary and caucus wins.
Sanders victory in Michigan proved his message of economic populism fighting inequality, and Wall Street is resonating with Democratic voters. His victory might bode him well in future important primary states including the rust belt, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. There were 166 delegates at stake for Democrats on Tuesday evening, with 130 just from Michigan alone. Not counting superdelegates, Clinton only maintains a lead over Sanders of nearly 200 pledged delegates. Sanders supporters do not find it insurmountable and are hoping non-pledged superdelegates will be swayed by Sanders’ continued victory in varied states.
Speaking from Miami, Florida where he is campaigning Sanders spoke just before the Associated Press officially called him the winner in Michigan. Sanders said, “What tonight means is that the Bernie Sanders campaign, the people’s revolution that we’re talking about, the political revolution that we’re talking about, is strong in every part of the country. And, frankly, we believe our strongest areas are yet to happen.”
The Vermont senator highlighted his campaign’s poll deficit. Sanders stated, “We started this campaign 10 months ago, we were 60 or 70 points down in the polls. But we’ve seen in poll after poll and state after state, we’ve created the kind of momentum that we need to win. It’s not clear yet who will win this election, but I just want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Michigan who repudiated the polls that had us 20-25 points down a few days ago, who repudiated the pundits who said that Bernie Sanders was not going anywhere.”
Clinton did not personally respond to her loss; sources say her campaign is shocked and “shaken” by the results. Officially, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri responded to the press, “We don’t know how it is going to go. But our strategy is built around accruing delegates and we will come out on top on delegates.” Clinton campaigned hard in Michigan, bringing out her husband, former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea, in addition to heavy advertising, but it was not enough to turn her poll numbers into victory.
Campaigning in Detroit on Monday, Clinton prematurely looked towards the general election. Clinton said, “The sooner I could become your nominee, the more I could begin to turn my attention to the Republicans.” Clinton speaking in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday evening was a bit humbled by the results coming in Michigan. Clinton said, “I’m proud of the campaign that Sen. Sanders and I are running. We have our differences, but I’ll tell ya what, those differences pale when compared to what’s happening on the Republican side. As the rhetoric keeps sinking lower, the stakes in this election keep getting higher.”
Clinton’s strategy of attacking Sanders over his vote against the 2009 auto-bailout backfired while his attacks on her support for the North American Free Trade Deal that her husband signed in 1993 resonated with voters. Detroit has gone from one of the country’s richest city to one of its poorest, and this mindset was reflected in its voting. Sanders won over 80 percent of the youth vote, a majority of the male of the male votes, and of those that believe Sanders is the candidate that understands their problems best. The Democrats are set to debate Wednesday evening, March 9 in Florida. Important delegate-rich states of Florida and Ohio go to the polls on Tuesday, March 15.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 8, 2016