Republican Debate: The Media Bashing Monster

I regretfully did not watch the debate last night because I was watching the World Series. However, the good news I was able to record the debate and watch it this morning. Let’s talk about the World Series because during the conference series I said that I hoped the Blue Jays would win over the Royals. My reason was that the Blue Jays are power hitting team similar to the Cubs. The Mets’ strength is pitching especially their starters. The Royals even before seeing the two games already played versus the Mets, I saw they could be a potentially dangerous opponent. The Royals with their contact hitting and situational genius are the Mets worse nightmare. That is what we are seeing in the World Series. Unfortunately, as a Mets fan I have to concede to the Royals because the Mets have no answer.

I also have another reason for bringing up sports before going into the nitty gritty of politics. I was watching the Herd on fox sports 1 and he was talking about the similarities of sports and politics. It is a very similar world where winners and losers are created through a contest, both being of physical and mental in nature.  Both worlds are built on big money and big time publicity. Both drive the conversation of the media. Rarely ever do sports and politics mix but as an analogy I feel they work perfectly.

In this debate, we saw countless candidates bash the media especially coming from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Interestingly enough, these two stand to gain the most from doing so. Mr. Trump kept quiet because as I have written before, Trump has the media to thank for the success of his candidacy. Almost everyone including pundits and others feel that Cruz and Rubio are the hold the line establishment republicans. One could also include Jeb Bush in there due to his large amount of endorsements. I will come back to Bush later. I thought Cruz and Rubio both put on strong performances. They were able to grab a lot of air time. They also made their points and plans clear. The more I listen to Rubio the more I actually like him.  I that think Rubio sometimes makes sense. He also has a legitimate shot especially if Carson or Trump fall apart.

As for Jeb Bush, it seems the end is near. This article that I have linked is a very interesting one because it breaks down the performance of Bush compared to the other candidates. Bush just couldn’t seem to gain any traction or talk time. Foreign policy was not Bush’s biggest fault in this debate. (They barely touched it) Chris Christie was another surprising candidate to me. Christie helped push Bush near the edge with his blast about fantasy football. Christie literally told him, “Look, who cares about fantasy football, if they want to play let them” I thought Christie along with Mike Huckabee also put on a strong performance. Huckabee has never been my favorite candidate. He’s a little too much into religion and pushing it on others. The problem is not that he is religious but that he is willing to criticize and tried to convert anyone who isn’t. Let’s face it, Huckabee, this country is moving away from not towards to god. Fewer people attend church every Sunday now than ever in the history of this country!

Before I move on to Rand Paul’s performance, I want to rant and rave about this fantasy football thing. I believe each candidate nailed it when they said government should not be involved. However, I do believe that unregulated gambling is above the law. These daily fantasy companies definitely stretch the rules. I don’t care if people want to gamble all their money away. The problem I have is that they might actually just be blind robbing people. I read articles that their commercials which are annoying as hell, fleece the regular person who would want to play. The word ‘fleece’ means trick in this case. They show these people who are actually professional gamblers that win millions. Its not right. At least portray the reality of the game. I think that regulation to make sure there is no false advertising and there is no insider advantage. Also stop playing so many damn annoying commercials!

Pheww.

Ok then, Rand Paul’s debate performance was lackluster because he got very little air time. It seems like my man Rand always the shaft on air time. Either way, when he did get a chance to talk, he made it count. He set some things straight about taxes, the fed, and healthcare. I love how everyone says Dr. Carson is sooooo fucking great. Bullshit. I’d take Rand Paul as my doctor any day of the week. Excuse my french. For one thing, I do like Rand’s tax plan as I have written in previous posts.  I think Rand is a dark horse candidate. Despite the media ignoring him, he is still doing well. Also unlike other candidates, Rand is a class act and polite. I think its going to take more than no media attention to kill his campaign. Give me any candidate against Rand and I’ll take Rand’s view on the issues 80 percent of the time. Vote Rand.

Now let’s turn our attention to the two clowns in front. Dr. Jykell and Mr. Hyde. Aka Dr. Carson and Mr. Trump. I thought they both underperformed. I feel like Trump’s punch lines have gotten old and stale. He has been saying the same things about the same issues. Its boring. I know that they have worked in the past. I would also place the blame on the moderators who literally asked him the stupidest questions (fittingly). While Trump struggles to find a new tune to scream, Dr. Carson just finds new ways to look like a novice. I just can’t get over Dr. Carson’s inability to explain his views on issues. I also feel like  he has no clue what he is talking about. Seriously. Especially with foreign policy, I rather have Jeb Bush. (Rand Paul over anyone else) There is a big part of me that wants to see both of these candidates get lost. They might be outsiders but I don’t think they can run it properly.

The only two people whom I didn’t mention is the Ohio governor John Kasich. I felt like he did a lot of talking. Unfortunately it was always the same thing. “I have a proven record and a plan to fix Washington.” (Repeat 7 times) OK Mr. Kaisch WE GET IT. ugh. We know that you did it in OHIO. If Ohio is so great then why can’t Lebron James fix the Cavs? Riddle me that. I digress. And Carly Fiorina. Carly seem to do okay. My opinion about her hasn’t changed. The moderators went after her HP experience. The only thing I do want to say is that if her and Hillary Clinton got in a fight, a big cat fight. I think my money is on Hillary. Clinton probably beats the shit out of Bill Clinton all the time. After all, Monica kinda made them look bad. hahahaha

To bring this post full circle, I am going to use a little sports analogy. With so many candidates in the Republican field the candidates have a distinct disadvantage. Hillary Clinton has it pretty easy as a frontrunner because other than Bernie Sanders there is no other legitimate threats. (Let’s face it, Bernie is hardly an enemy basically supporting Clinton in that debate) Meanwhile the Republicans face a longer and tougher road. In sports, usually better tested teams tend to win. However, the game is a little different. The problem that Republicans face is divided support at this moment. Meanwhile Hillary enjoys a strong lead with most of the support split between her and Bernie. If Republicans want to go for the victory, they will need to focus on maybe two candidates to push behind. The two strongest candidates both outside and establishment. The more voters behind the Republican nominee the better. The nomination is like a goal line stand, your just trying to punch in the touchdown. But you don’t want to use all your energy there, because the election is a marathon with the game going into overtime. Regardless of sports or politics, there is only one thing that matters, winning.

Thanks for reading!

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Debates, Candidates and Polls

The third Republican Debate is coming soon on October 28th on CNBC. The amount of candidates still in the running will force a JV debate to occur once again. I came across a few interesting pieces on FiveThirtyEight. One of these highlights who might be in the JV debate or who may not make it. It seems that Lindsey Graham may not make it to the debate stage at all.

CANDIDATE CNBC’S POLL AVERAGE FOR THE DEBATE
Donald Trump 23.8%
Ben Carson 18.7
Carly Fiorina 9.5
Marco Rubio 9.3
Jeb Bush 8.3
Ted Cruz 7.2
Mike Huckabee 3.5
Chris Christie 3.2
John Kasich 3.2
Rand Paul 3.0
Rick Santorum 0.7
Bobby Jindal 0.5
George Pataki 0.3
Jim Gilmore 0.0
Lindsey Graham 0.0

These are the polling numbers as averaged by CNBC. The rules for this debate are that you need to have at least one percent in of the national polls.  Jim Gilmore and Lindsey Graham both have big zeros. I have never heard of Jim Gilmore. So who cares? However, Lindsey Graham seem to perform strong in the last debate.  So I am a little surprised that he might fall off the debate stage. (Not literally) I just want to comment on how interesting this chart actually is.  It shows a good rundown of each candidate is doing. Of course, Trump is leading with Carson trailing by about 5 points.  My horse (candidate) in the race is doing good old 3 percent. Typical for a libertarian conservative.  Unfortunately, the best candidates aren’t even close to the top. Moving on…

I found another interesting piece on fivethirtyeight call “Stop Comparing Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders”. I recommend reading it. The quick summary of it is that Trump will not have staying power or experience to win a republican nomination. Meanwhile, Sanders is a veteran of politics and has a better staff and more experience. They also point out that Trump is going up against a large field of candidates. Bernie only has one to two opponents, one being Hillary Clinton. If Joe Biden were to run then he would have two. It’s a really interesting narrative to look at despite the vast differences.

I think that the author, Nate Sliver is correct in saying that they should be compared. However, despite their huge differences in one-one political experience, they are microcosms of their respective parties. Let’s first take Bernie Sanders. Sanders is a self proclaimed Socialist. He votes democratic on nearly on bill. He is a Washington insider being a senator since 1991.  He has been in politics his whole life. The democratic offers much of the same with each candidate. If you look at Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or even some of the other candidates they all have years of political experience. This is what the democratic party is basically brought to the election. Now contrast their candidate profiles against the profiles of the leading Republican candidates.  Donald Trump is a business man. Never run an election campaign. Trump has never been in politics. He is an outsider. The same could be said for second place Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. All the candidates with political experience like Jeb, Cruz, Rubio, and Paul are all failing to get voter traction.

Of course, this a generalization of all candidates so its bound to have inaccuracies. But my point is that each party is aiming something different with the candidates put forward. It seems to me that typically the parties will go against in each other or in the opposite direction. Republicans want an outsider to win the Presidency. Democrats want an insider to win the Presidency. As a libertarian, I see that their both after the same thing, control. It doesn’t matter who becomes President from what party because either way its given that congress will be elected mostly in the opposite party.

I have talked about Congress and their ability to stop bills from making any progress. Congress also makes the government seemingly non-productive. People always wonder why President Obama turns to executive actions? Congress refuses to help him pass anything. So in a way I can’t blame Obama for using executive orders. (although I may disagree with the laws that are passed) I think that regardless of who wins this election, we should really look at congress. I can only hope that if an republican gets elected that their will be a republican controlled congress and vice versa. Otherwise I believe that things will continue to be as they are.

Let’s face the reality that comparing Sanders and Trump may be futile as many doubt they will get the nomination. Not to say that Sanders cannot overcome Clinton. Also not saying that Trump could gain staying power. Stranger things have happened in elections.

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I always look forward to these debates. I remember last election watching Obama and Mitt Romney debate. I thought it was the most intellectually entertaining event. Right now, I feel like the Republican debates are just a circus because of sheer number of candidates. So I’m hoping that maybe a few will drop out between now and next year. Its hard to make good predictions and comparisons with so many candidates. Its also hard to gauge who is doing good and bad. I found that with the dem debate it was easier to see who was doing well and who was falling on their face. Also a smaller number of candidates means more focus on issues. (With Republicans this is a shaky point)

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Looking to do a historical piece about an past election. Obviously it will require some research. So keep on the look out for it. I want to see if theres any historical precedent for this election. With 44 presidents there has been a lot of races. If you have any suggestions on what I should write then drop me a line gsmit006@plattsburgh.edu.

Thanks for Reading!!!!

Retired Doctors running for President and Planned Parenthood controversy: Punny?

It is fitting that I paired these two topics in this same post. Planned Parenthood and Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson. Before I start my rant about Dr. Carson, let me just clarify my bias by saying that I hate him probably more than Donald Trump. If you have read any of my other posts at least Trump has some respectable ideas with the exception of immigration. I swear to you that Dr. Carson is a cancer not a candidate! (Pun intended!) He might be a neurosurgeon but he is certainly NOT smart. He might be doctor but I think he has been prescribing himself drugs! I just cannot get over some of the comments he has made. For starters lets take this one: “Hitler Could Happen here“. He nearly compared President Obama with Hitler. Even I don’t love Obama but he certainly hasn’t purposely perpetrated a mass genocide of an ethnicity. Obama may have started a few wars but he hasn’t triggered World War 3 yet.  Jeez. If you read toward the bottom it gets worse! When asked about an emergency response to a natural disaster such as Hurricane Joaquin hitting the east coast. (Fortunately Its been forecasted to go northeast, thankfully.) His response? I. DON’T. KNOW. Let that sink in.

Am I overreacting to these statements made by Dr. Carson? Maybe. But still even Trump has not gone THAT far. Regardless of what he meant, he just doesn’t sound too smart. A presidential candidate should be polished and able to think critically about situations that could potentially threaten millions of lives. The answer to the hurricane hypothetical scares me the most. I think that he needs to think of an answer to how he might respond to a natural disaster because they do happen.  As for the Hitler comment, I just think that he is going a little too far. I get that people need to wake up before America turns into a dictatorship of hell. It’s not that I don’t agree either. It’s just he could have put it a little less bluntly.  However, I can also see how a dictatorship might be beneficial to America. We need a strong leader. We don’t need genocide or mass killings. That story is played out way too much.

Moving out to a different topic, Dr. Carson made some comments on the Syrian refugee crisis. As you can imagine once again, Dr. Carson totally missed the point of taking refugees. His islamophobia has clearly gotten the best of him. He fears that some of the refugees might be “extremists” and try to hurt America. Unfortunately, not all muslims are extremists and certainly not ones who are refugees in country where the extremists are ones forcing there to be refugees. If anything these poor Syrian people who are fleeing are more mad at Russia and President Putin. Putin has been intervening in the civil war in Syria. This intervention has been very controversial especially since President Obama has been strongly against it.  It’s not clear what Putin’s goals are but the point remains that Dr. Carson clearly is not understanding the situation in Syria. Dr. Carson should learn not to stereotype people because it’s not very nice and plus it tends to make them hate you even more.

I will end my rant about retired doctors running for president. My last two cents is that Dr. Carson is missing a few marbles. I guess its been working since his fundraising and polls have gone up.  Personally if you consider Dr. Carson a good candidate; I would take another look. For sake of us not putting another idiot in office.

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Onto a more serious topic that affects one gender and sex almost 100 percent more than the other. Thanks to evolution or god or biology (whatever you believe) the female body is able to give birth. It’s both a miracle and a curse. Too often couples or females find themselves cursed. They get knocked up for various reasons ranging to accidents to rape. Regardless of the situation there is a government-funded program to help out. I won’t even touch abortion with a ten foot pole. (pun intended) The reason is arguing about abortions is like apples to oranges. In reality, the arguments you used for against are totally different things. It makes absolutely no sense.  That said I am pro-choice and I mean that by I believe that a woman should be able choose based on her circumstances.

That being said there was a big time argument over planned parenthood among the republican candidates. They only thing they agreed on was that it should be shutdown. (I disagree)  The center of controversy started with Carly Fiorina. She stated there was videos of fetal body parts being sold. Afterwards there was clamor about the videos not being real. Turns out they are real but they don’t really support her argument. Either way I really don’t care. The bigger issue is that republicans wanted to cut off funding for planned parenthood. Even going so far to shut down the government to do it. I think that planned parenthood should be the least of their worries. It really boggles my mind.

One result of their crazy attempt to shut down planned parenthood was the resignation of John Boehner. Boehner was the speaker of the house and will be out on October 31st. His resignation is a clear that the republican party is in a deep divide. Fortunately for women everywhere, he wasn’t going to allow a government shutdown in process of de-funding of planned parenthood. Boehner may not have been the best speaker, known for his orange glow and crying. However, you have to consider the lack of bipartisan work in congress over the past few years.

It’s hard to put into words the condition that troubles our government. Especially Congress, the inaction is just incredibly debilitating. In addition to the government dysfunction, we have these attempts to cut off important programs that actually do good for people. I understand cutting out Obamacare but why not cut things like the contracts with Halliburton, Lockheed Martin and Boeing just to name a few. Why not hold the Department of Defense accountable?  Why not retool the SNAP and food stamps program? Why not make welfare a little more true and transparent with things like drug testing. All I want to say in conclusion to a post that has been a LONG time coming, is that we need to further examine the issues that truly trouble our country. No matter who gets elected to president, they will almost certainly face the hardest times ahead of America. The future is so uncertain. The world dynamics are different now, it’s no longer the 20th century.  Globalization has taken full effect on our economy. The world is changing quickly. We need to respond and respond with changes that improve lives.

Thanks for reading!!!

The Trump Tax Plan

I am surprised that I have held off this long without a Trump post. However, his new tax plan has intrigued my interest. Right now Trump still holds a small lead over the other candidates. His lead is shrinking fast though to contenders like Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. I sort of figure Trump wouldn’t be able to sustain such a massive lead. The scary part is that Carson and Fiorina are both so-called “political outsiders”. I consider them to be just as scary in a presidential role as Trump. My problem with Dr. Carson is that he is not really politically smart. His comments lately have been more outrageous than Trump. The sad part is that he can get away it. Due to certain social constructs. As for Fiorina, she’s a hard-line conservative that reminds me of Michelle Bachmann. She seems like she might be psychotic and unfortunately we need someone stable in the oval office. However, despite lack of quality candidates there is plenty to discuss. Especially, surrounding Donald Trump’s newly minted tax plan. Tax plans are controversial to say the least.

I did a brief look at Rand Paul’s tax plan. I was a little surprised because Trump plan does have similarities to Paul’s. Admittedly Trump and Paul don’t exactly like each other. Rand Paul outlines a plan that includes a 14.5 percent flat tax and similar to Trump’s plan the first $50,000 of taxable income would not be taxed for a married couple. Where Trump’s differs is that he would still install levels of tax increases. He also claims to eliminate loopholes for the rich. (without saying what loopholes?) Here is a breakdown preview: (Read the full version here)

Income Tax Rate Long Term Cap Gains/ Dividends Rate Single Filers Married Filers Heads of Household
0% 0% $0 to $25,000 $0 to $50,000 $0 to $37,500
10% 0% $25,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $100,000 $37,501 to $75,000
20% 15% $50,001 to $150,000 $100,001 to $300,000 $75,001 to $225,000
25% 20% $150,001 and up $300,001 and up $225,001 and up

This chart is actually within the text of Trump’s long version of his tax plan. The basic premise of his new tax code is to throw out the old one which has 7 different levels and many loopholes. Trump wants to install a simpler and more streamlined tax code that allows for some relief for lower incomes.  Trump also highlights near the bottom about his plan for corporate taxes which he plans to lower to 15 percent which would be a little less than half of the current rate (35%). However, I feel that Trump fails the corporate tax rate because many companies end up not paying any taxes. I hear many candidates both from the right and left that claim high corporate taxes are the cause of businesses leaving. This is a lie. Let me explain it simply.

Many business get loopholes or deductions because of government programs or because of a good lobby. Lobbyists tend to wield lots of power with congress and can often get corporations off the hook from taxes. This is legal. However, companies will pay lobbyists fairly good money. Part of the problem is that businesses that make less income or depend on a small profit margin are hurt more by high taxes. Companies that are larger and make billions think about Exxon Mobile in this case, they could care less about the tax rate because they don’t pay much taxes. So, in reality any tax plan that cuts corporate taxes is helping small businesses. The larger corporations are moving overseas because of increased wages, increased costs of healthcare and increased operating costs overall.  I may not be a professional businessman but I can tell you that business has one goal and that is to make money. I feel like people forget that.

I’m not trying to sound like some evil corporate capitalist exploiter but unfortunately that is how the world of business works. Coming back to Trump tax plan, I think it’s a good start. It’s definitely surprising to see him do something that might actually work.  It’s also scary. The Trump tax plan is alright considering the sketch-ness of his other plans–especially immigration.

I just want to come back to why companies leave the US. Above I said “The larger corporations are moving overseas because of increased wages, increased costs of healthcare and increased operating costs overall.” I forget to mention that some business have seen a decrease in customers or a change in market. These could also put a business in trouble aside from high taxes. One struggling business that I happened to experience is Mcdonald’s. Mcdonald’s is the classic case of a billion dollar corporation with 36,000 outlets in the world. The gold arches has struggled in recent years. The main problem is that the market for fast food has recently become über competitive. Just to name a few competitors, Subway, Starbucks, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Panera Bread…etc etc. In recent years, the fast food market has become crowded with more healthier and environmentally conscious options. Mcdonalds has tried numerous times to change it menu, its restaurants and its reputation. Yet still Mcdonald’s is losing money and its profits.

I always consistently hammer liberals and people who believe in a 15 dollar minimum wage for being unrealistic. Moving away from Mcdonald’s business model of franchisees (Its been calculated that Mcd’s could rise it prices and still be fine) which are hurt by an increase in wages, but more importantly high wages tend to make companies either move or go out of business. I think some people confuse about how business work in the most simplest form.

A. A person or group start a business

B. Person or People grow business (Larger than they can handle on their on own)

C. Business Owner hires help to run business

D. Business Owner collects profits after operating costs (employee wages, healthcare, retirement, bills, stock, cleaning, transportation..etc..etc)

E. Business Owner invest money back into business OR keeps profit as salary

The basic premise is that employees get a share of the profit. However there is no moral code or set percentage of that profit that is due to the employee. It is up to the employer.  The exception being that the federal government sets the floor wage of $7.25. (Constitutionally the states and local gov’ts can set wage as high as they want). I do believe in a fair wage. But I think you have to be fair to a employer in the respect that not all employees deserve the same wage. Even I don’t expect to work for higher wage than someone who is more qualified than me. I used to work at Mcdonald’s making $7.50/hour when I first started. My boss made around 50,000 a year. (Despite being good friends he never was exact) My work was much different than his. He ran the Mcdonald’s from the business side plus dealing with the day to day operations. He regularly spent 12 hours or more a day in that place. Sure, the work was physically demanding but the skill level was nowhere near that of a person doing management and business operations. (Boss has 25 years of experience and two associates now for reference below)

My bottom line is that a person should earn a salary that covers one of two things or both:

Education level: Dropout, High school, Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate (Medical or Academic or Law)

Experience: 0-2, 3-5, 5-8, 8-10, 10 or more (years)

Granted, for me I would fit into the Bachelors degree category with 0-2 years of professional experience. I’d say it would be acceptable if an employer paid anywhere 25,000 to 35,000 a year. Obviously all values depend on your career path and the field your in.

Regardless, my argument will fall on deaf ears. In the end, I feel like Trump is going in the right direction with his tax plan. My gripes about the nitty gritty details is something that will be glossed over in every debate. I hope that I can bring more attention to things that are true cause of our problems. There is no easy fix but we need to realize what is really going on in order to even try to fix anything.

Thanks for reading!

Republican Debate: Round 2

The republican debate aired last night on CNN. The debate set records for viewership on CNN with 23 million tuning in to hear what the candidates had to say. One of those 23 million viewers was me. I watched the whole debate from 6pm to 11:30pm. It was quite a show. The early debate offer just a preview of what was to come.

I only want to touch two of four candidates in the first debate. Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. I thought both men had a good debate. Pataki was the more of a surprise. The formerly disgraced governor of New York seem to come out strong. He was able to bounce back the attacks from the likes of Santorum and Jindal. Pataki was also more moderate in views and was able to soften the hard political rhetoric. I thought that he performed well. Lindsey Graham was thought to have won the first debate. I will say that Graham was able to use humor to his advantage, making many good one liners. He was also very aggressive pushing his hawkish foreign policy plan to put boots on the ground to fight ISIS. I felt like his push for boots on ground might not be as well received as many think. I feel the American is going to hesitate to send in troops without a good cause. However, all the candidates in both debates strongly push the idea that Obama’s foreign policy has made the US weaker. The American people are definitely weary of another war. The test for Graham will be to show that his plan would actually work and be worth the cost. Overall, the first debate was entertaining and interesting with only 4 candidates.

The second debate had a long list of candidates. A quick google search of the republic debate will give you winners, losers, and analysis of every candidate! I took the liberty of writing down some quick notes about what went on during the debate. In order to keep this blog post from becoming very long  and boring, I want to just list the candidates names (not all of them) and then put a few short points about their performance in the debate. After this list, I want to highlight some themes and similarities across each candidate.

Donald Trump- Held strong despite personal attacks on his background and business failures, Was passive aggressive, calmer than the first debate, still wasn’t specific enough in his plans for immigration and leadership in foreign policy, would write off social security for himself.

Rand Paul- A few good rebuttals especially at Trump, Bush, Christie. Made some quietly good points, Wasn’t aggressive enough.

Carly Fiorina- Took on Trump, overcame personal attacks especially for business failures, articulated her views quite well.

Jeb Bush- Not aggressive enough, his family history was used against him in foreign policy, bashes Hillary Clinton about guns, admitted to smoking marijuana.

Chris Christie-Against marijuana legalization, bashes Hillary Clinton

Ben Carson- Went against Trump, not aggressive enough, didn’t make impact but also didn’t lose anything.

Marco Rubio- strong points on gun control: criminals ignore laws. Not aggressive enough.

Ted Cruz: Too quiet and not aggressive enough.

The overall themes of the debate were mainly on foreign policy, immigration, supreme court justices, economics and gun control. On foreign policy, almost all the candidates are for boots on the ground to stop ISIS. They all are against the Iran deal. They all want to stand up to Russia and Valdmir Putin. These ideals are all great for rhetoric but they are in reality much tougher. I’m skeptical that an American army intervention will stop ISIS. The Iran deal should be fine as long as we retain the ability to reapply sanctions. Standing up to Russia is a bit harder because Putin is not afraid to play hardball. Any candidate faces many problems around the world.

On the topic of immigration, the conversation centered on birthright citizenship and whether or not it should be repealed. This means changing the 14th amendment. If you aren’t familiar with process of repealing an amendment to the constitution his a brief rundown. First, the senate and house of representatives must both pass another amendment to repeal the 14th. Each house needs 2/3 vote. Then if it is passed the amendment goes to states. The state legislatures have pass the amendment. If 2/3 of the states vote for the amendment it passes.  If not, then it goes back to congress. I personally feel repealing the 14th amendment has little chance to work. Neither will a wall as Trump wants. The immigration issue could remedied by an in and out system to keep track of who is here and who is not. Some of candidates endorse this. The problem with immigration will be the costs of it.

On the topic of economics and taxes, the strongest candidate was Rand Paul. He gave some very concrete numbers and logic on the way to fix the economy. The other candidates like Trump and Fiorina were just talk. They probably don’t have the understanding that some of the other career politicians have of government budgets. This is not to say that Trump or Fiorina can’t manage. However, most candidates in line with Rand agree that some kind of flat tax is the best. I think they are on the right track but its more than just taxes that need to be cut.

On the topic of supreme court justices, the conversation circled around the reappointment of Justice John Roberts Jr. The controversy among republicans is that he kept Obamacare as law and repeal marriage laws for gay marriage. I thought Obamacare should have repealed. However, gay marriage was a good call. I think that any justice will have a mixed bag of good and bad decisions. I think it was a moot point because new appointments always come up.

On the topic of gun control, the candidates disagreed on how to do gun control. Marco Rubio made a really good point on gun laws. He basically said that criminals ignore gun laws just like any other law. I believe that Rubio made an excellent point. Despite his otherwise weak performance, he is right that criminals ignore laws. I strongly support more background checks and mental health evaluations. I  think that banning guns will not work because banning drugs hasn’t worked, people still use heroin and cocaine. So its purely logical.

My last takeaway from this debate is that President Barack Obama came out relatively untouched. The candidates were obviously skeptical of Obama’s moves as president.  The person who was attacked the most by far was Hillary Clinton. Trump was also attacked a lot but he was able to deflect it. Hillary got slammed for her foreign policy, social issues and corruption. I can’t say I was surprised to hear her bashed so hard. Hillary hasn’t yet offered response except trolling Trump for slamming Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish. 

This debate certain set some records in entertainment value. It has set up an interesting political fight for the republican nominee. I am looking forward to the democratic debate as I anticipate Trump and GOP bashing. I love debates and cannot wait for more to happen.

Thank you for reading! More on political fallout from the debate!