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Most english people wouldn’t even now that Sinatra “my way” is a cover of Claude François the orginal of this song.
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Story 1: Obama Promises More Executive Orders On Guns — What is Next? — A Czar of Religion and Gun Free Zones — Oregon Community College Mass Public Shooter Identified As Chris Harper Mercer — John Lott Is Right — More Guns Less Crime and Less Gun Free Zones — More Alive People — End Black and White Genocide! — Videos
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Oregon college shooting: gunman identified as Chris Harper Mercer in school shooting – TomoNews
UCC Shooter Named As Chris Mercer Harper
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Oregon shooter ordered a girl to BEG for her life then shot her as she pleaded, survivor recalls
- Chris Harper-Mercer ‘shot a female student after promising to spare her’
- He also ‘ordered Christians to crawl to him to be shot’, a survivor recalls
- And he carried on shooting an army vet after he said ‘it’s my son’s birthday’
- Also shot a woman as she tried to reason with him about his motivation
- His only bizarre act of mercy was to spare a boy after giving him a parcel
- The parcel contains a lengthy manifesto, police officers have confirmed
The Oregon shooter who killed nine and injured nine ordered a girl to beg for her life before shooting her anyway, a survivor recalls.
Chris Harper-Mercer prefaced his murderous rampage by handing an envelope to one boy, told him to stand in the corner and said ‘you’re the lucky one’.
However, his mercy extended no further.
In a chilling account from 18-year-old survivor Lacey Scroggins, Harper-Mercer turned to one girl and said he would spare her if she begged for her life. As she pleaded, he shot her.
The 26-year-old killer also ordered his Christian classmates to crawl into the middle of the room to be shot dead, Scroggins’ father, Pastor Randy Scroggins, revealed.
Cruel: Chris Harper-Mercer ordered a girl to beg for her life then shot her as she pleaded, a survivor recalls
Lacey Scroggins (pictured with father Randy) has also told of how she survived the shooting after the body of her classmate Treven Anspach fell on top of her after he was shot, hiding her from Mercer
Each victim was asked their religion. If Christian, they were shot dead. If not, they were shot and injured.
Scroggins survived by lying under the dying body of her friend, Treven Anspach, her father revealed.
Randy Scroggins received a phone call from Anspach’s mother while speaking with The Associated Press.
TIMELINE OF A MASSACRE
10.38am: Police first report a shooting taking place on Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon
10.40am: Dispatcher reports that somebody is outside classroom doors firing into the room, and that at least one woman has been shot
10.44am: Two hero cops run into the building without backup and start exchanging fire with Chris Harper-Mercer
10.48am: Cops radio back to dispatch saying ‘suspect is down’. It was initially thought that one of them had shot him, but today it was revealed that Mercer killed himself
‘He saved my girl. I will forever call your son my hero,’ he said, adding that he would mention her son, who turned 20 last month, during his Sunday church service and ask for prayers.
‘I’m so sorry for your loss.’
A memorial fund has been set up for Treven on GoFundMe.
It is not known what was in the envelope Harper-Mercer handed over to the spared boy, but police have confirmed they retrieved a several-page manifesto he wrote from the scene.
Law enforcement sources, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the existence of the manifesto saying it was an attempt to leave a message for police. The sources said that the document had been left at the scene by Harper-Mercer, but wouldn’t say how they received it.
Harper-Mercer is believed to have walked on to the community college campus at around 10.30am before making his way to Snyder Hall where he opened fire on a writing class.
It is not known exactly how events inside the classroom unfolded, but the first police report of a shooting came through at 10.38am.
Six minutes later, authorities say two cops responded without backup and began exchanging fire with Mercer, who was still inside the classroom.
At 10.47am the cops radioed the control room to report that the shooter was down. It was initially believed that Harper-Mercer was shot by cops, but authorities have now revealed he shot himself.
Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, 16, who survived the shooting but is still in critical condition in hospital, has recounted how the killer gave one of her classmates a package before telling him ‘you get to be the lucky one’
Meanwhile tributes and donations have flooded in for Chris Mintz, 30, an Army vet who was shot seven times after attempting to charge the gunman as he made his way into the classroom
Fitzgerald’s mother Bonnie Schaan, speaking outside hospital today, reported her daughter’s account – saying murderer Chris Harper-Mercer sent the boy with the envelope to the corner of the room before opening fire
In the time it took cops to catch up with the gunman he managed to kill nine people and wound another nine, including Chris Mintz, 30, an Army-vet who is reported to have charged Mercer before being shot seven times.
He is reported to have shot Mintz even as he lay on the floor, begging him not to fire because it was his disabled son’s birthday.
Mercer was found to be in possession of three handguns, a rifle and body armor at the time of his death, but had another nine weapons stored elsewhere on the campus and at his home – all of which he obtained legally.
The 26-year-old shared a house in Oregon with his mother, Laurel, who it has since been revealed used social media to brag about her own arsenal of weapons, and defended Oregon’s open-carry laws.
In a Facebook post, she spoke of how she would often take an AK or AR assault rifle and ‘sling it over my shoulder… when the mood strikes’.
It appears that Mercer had an equal passion for firearms, despite neighbors describing him as a ‘paranoid’ and ‘childlike’ character who would often fly into fits of anger.
Reina Webb, 19, told Mail Online that on one occasion, when he believed the tires on his bicycle had been slashed, he ran around swearing and shouting ‘like it was the end of the world.’
Sheriff announces names of Oregon college massacre victims
A NURSE, MATURE STUDENT, A QUADRUPLET AND A FORMER DRUG ADDICT WHO HAD MANAGED TO TURN HIS LIFE AROUND: THE OREGON VICTIMS
The tragic victims of Oregon’s mass shooting were identified on Friday as relatives, friends and co-workers tried to come to terms with their tragic loss.
19-year-old student Lucero Alcaraz was the first to be identified by relatives. Her older sister, Maria Leticia, posted a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook saying the first-year UCC student had aspired to be a pediatric nurse.
‘Lucero, I miss you I wish you were here,’ Maria Alcaraz wrote. ‘I can’t sleep. I never got the chance to tell you how proud of you I was.
‘You would have been a great pediatric nurse. I was so proud of you for getting you college completely paid through scholarships and you made it into college honors.
Lucero Alcaraz, left, was one of the first victims to be identified. She was training to become a pediatric nurse. Lucas Eibel, right, was also named among the dead – he is a quadruplet and just 18 years old
‘You were going to do great things love. I ache so much right now..I need you..’
‘I don’t know how I will make it through this …I don’t know if I can ever relieve this pain. Rest in piece sister…I’ll see you soon.’
The second victim was identified Friday as Jason Johnson, whose mother spoke proudly of her son’s new-found commitment to turning his life around.
Tonja Johnson Engle told NBC News the 33-year-old had struggled with drug addiction but completed a six-month rehabilitation program and enrolled in Umpqua Community College to continue his education.
‘He started Monday and he was so proud of what he had accomplished, and rightly so,’ Johnson Engel tearfully told the station. ‘The other day he looked at me and hugged me and said, ‘Mom, how long have you been waiting for one of your kids to go to college?’ And I said, ‘Oh, about 20 years.’
The heartbroken mother said she last saw her son alive as he was leaving for class Thursday morning.
‘Love ya,’ Jason told her after giving her a kiss. ‘I’ll see you this afternoon.’
20-year-old Treven Anspach, pictured left, was named as one of the victims by friends and relatives while Rebecka Carnes, 18, pictured right, was also killed. Her step-father said they were at a loss for words
The deaths of two more UCC students, Lucas Eibel and Rebecka Carnes, both 18 years old, were confirmed by their families.
Carnes’ stepfather, Aaron Chandler, told the station KATU: ‘We are at a loss for words.’
The New York Times reported the 18-year-old was a star softball player in high school and was studying to become a dental hygienist. Carnes had just began classes at UCC on September 28.
Lucas Eibel, also 18 years of age, was a quadruplet. According to the Roseburg News-Review. Lucas, his two brothers, Mitchell and Cole, and sister Alexis graduated from high school this year.
‘We have been trying to figure out how to tell everyone how amazing Lucas was, but that would take 18 years,’ his family said in a statement.
‘Lucas loved FFA, volunteering at Wildlife Safari and Saving Grace animal shelter. He was an amazing soccer player. He graduated Roseburg High School with high academic marks.’
A friend of 20-year-old Treven Anspach confirmed to People Magazine that he was among the victim’s of Thursday shooting rampage.
Jesse Milbrat, also 20, told the publication he and Anspach were former schoolmates and co-workers at Roseburg Forest Products.
Jason Johnson’s mother confirmed he was one of the dead. She said the 33-year-old had struggled with drug addiction in the past but was proud to have turned his life around
‘He was a hard worker and a damn good basketball player,’ the friend said. ‘He deserves way better.’
Milbrat last saw Anspach in May before leaving for the Army.
‘The last thing he said to me was, ‘Good luck and thanks for your service’,’ he said.
Kim Dietz, 59, was the oldest victim of the tragedy. Divorced with one daughter she was in a lecture when Chris Harper-Mercer burst in.
A friend, Natalie Robbins, 38, said she heard of Mrs Dietz’ death from a fellow student immediately after the shootings – news confirmed in a phone call two hours ago from the 72-year-old’s former husband.
‘Kim and I had a lot in common despite the differences in our ages,’ said Mrs Robbins.
‘She had come through a nasty divorce and she didn’t have much education.
‘She would help me with math. She was an open person, a lovely person and I watched her bloom over the two terms we studied together.
‘Each term she got more comfortable [with me] and we shared many happy moments and a few tears too.’
Kim Dietz, 72, is the oldest victim identified so far, she was a mature student at the Oregon college
Recent high school graduate Quinn Cooper, 18, was also named as a victim.
His family described him as a ‘funny, sweet, compassionate and such a wonderful loving person. He always stood up for people. Quinn and his brother Cody are inseparable.
‘I don’t know how we are going to move forward with our lives without Quinn. Our lives are shattered beyond repair. No one should ever have to feel the pain we are feeling.’
18-year-old ‘funny, sweet and compassionate’ Quinn Cooper, left, was killed as was lecturer Larry Levine, right
Teacher Lawrence Levine, 67, was also killed in the shooting. Eyewitness reports suggested it was his class that Chris Harper-Mercer targeted in the massacre.
‘He was the sweetest, most gentle, kind, thoughtful and creative person. My heart is broken,’ said David Furman, a lifelong friend.
He also enjoyed writing mystery novels according to a former student with whom he had a romantic relationship.
Sarena Dawn Moore, 44, was one of the victims identified in Thursday’s mass shooting
Sarena Moore, 44, was a Seventh-day Adventist according to her Facebook page.
She also loved animals, sharing pictures of horses and dogs.
Moore, who also worked at her church, had two sons who lived in the area.
Her brother, Rick Goin, was not yet ready to speak about his sister’s death.
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Here Are The 23 Executive Orders On Gun Safety Signed Today By The President
President Obama has signed 23 executive orders designed to address the problem of gun violence in America. The following are the items addressed:
Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rule-making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effectiveuse of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to developinnovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
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Story 1: War and Peace in The Middle East — Heads Up– Bombs Away — Putin’s Bright Red Line — Obama Leads From Behind — Kerry Talks Deconfliction — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Glares In Silence Vows To Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program — Sounds of Silence
Reduce the risk of collision between (aircraft, airborne weaponry, etc.) in an area by coordinating their movements.
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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu Slams Iran In Speech At UN | Iran Nuclear Deal | Iran threat to Israel
Netanyahu glares at U.N. for 45 seconds after berating its silence on Iran threat to Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu glares silently at the United Nations for 45 seconds after berating the organization for their silence in the wake of Iran’s continued threats against the Jewish state.
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Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA
By By Laila Bassam and Andrew Osborn
Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground offensive in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, Lebanese sources said on Thursday, a further sign of the rapid internationalization of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake.
Russian warplanes, in a second day of strikes, bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the CIA, the group’s commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in a Middle East conflict for the first time since the Cold War.
The U.S. and Russian militaries were due to hold talks via video link to seek ways to keep their militaries apart as they wage parallel campaigns of air strikes in Syria, a U.S. defense official said.
Russian jets struck targets near the cities of Hama and Homs in western Syria on the second day of their air campaign.
Moscow said it had hit Islamic State positions, but the areas it struck are mostly held by a rival insurgent alliance, which unlike Islamic State is supported by U.S. allies including Arab states and Turkey.
Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal rebel group which is part of the Free Syrian Army, told Reuters one of the targets was his group’s base in Idlib province, struck by around 20 missiles in two separate raids. His fighters had been trained by the CIA in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, part of a program Washington says is aimed at supporting groups that oppose both Islamic State and Assad.
“Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar,” Haj Ali said. He said the Russian jets had been identified by members of his group who once served as Syrian air force pilots.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said later that Moscow was targeting Islamic State and did not consider the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army a terrorist group, adding that they should be part of a political solution in Syria.
The aim is to help the Syrian armed forces “in their weak spots”, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Two Lebanese sources told Reuters hundreds of Iranian troops had reached Syria in the past 10 days with weapons to mount a major ground offensive. They would also be backed by Assad’s Lebanese Hezbollah allies and by Shi’ite militia fighters from Iraq, while the Russia would provide air support.
“The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisers … we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more,” one of the sources said.
So far, direct Iranian military support for Assad has come mostly in the form of military advisers. Iran has also mobilized Shi’ite militia fighters, including Iraqis and some Afghans, to fight alongside Syrian government forces.
SAME ENEMIES, DIFFERENT FRIENDS
Russia’s decision to join the war with air strikes on behalf of Assad, as well as the increased military involvement of Iran, could mark a turning point in a conflict that has drawn in most of the world’s military powers.
With the United States leading an alliance waging its own air war against Islamic State, the Cold War superpower foes, Washington and Moscow, are now engaged in combat over the same country for the first time since World War Two.
They say they have the same enemies – the Islamic State group of Sunni Muslim militants who have proclaimed a caliphate across eastern Syria and northern Iraq.
But they also have very different friends, and sharply opposing views of how to resolve the 4-year-old Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 250,000 people and driven more than 10 million from their homes.
Washington and its allies oppose both Islamic State and Assad, believing he must leave power in any peace settlement.
Washington says a central part of its strategy is building “moderate” insurgents to fight against both Assad and Islamic State, although so far it has struggled to find many fighters to accept its training.
Moscow supports the Syrian president and believes his government should be the centerpiece of international efforts to fight extremist groups.
It appears to be using the common campaign against Islamic State as a pretext to strike against groups supported by Washington and its allies, as a way of defending a Damascus government with which Moscow has been allied since the Cold War.
The Russian strikes represent a bold move by President Vladimir Putin to assert influence beyond his own neighborhood: it is the first time Moscow has ordered its forces into combat outside the frontiers of the former Soviet Union since its disastrous Afghanistan campaign in the 1980s.
In the second day of strikes, Russia said it launched eight sorties with Sukhoi warplanes overnight, hitting an ammunition depot near Idlib, a three-storey Islamic State command center near Hama and a car bomb factory in the north of Homs. None of those areas has a large presence of Islamic State.
Al-Mayadeen, a pro-Damascus television channel based in Lebanon, said the jets carried out at least 30 strikes against an insurgent alliance known as the Army of Conquest. The alliance includes the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, but not Islamic State.
The station later said Russian forces had also struck Islamic State positions in Raqqa province in the east. This could not be immediately confirmed.
The Russian and Iranian intervention in support of Assad comes at a time when momentum in the conflict had swung against his government and seem aimed at reversing insurgent gains.
“The Russian strikes are a game changer. Damascus is off the hook,” a diplomat tracking Syria said.
The Army of Conquest in particular has been advancing against government forces in northwestern Syria, supported by regional countries that oppose both Assad and Islamic State.
Russia says its air strikes, unlike Washington’s, are legitimate because they have Assad’s blessing, and more effective because they can coordinate with government forces to find targets.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi of neighboring Iraq, where Washington is also leading an air war against Islamic State while Iran aids government forces on the ground, said he would be open to Russian strikes as well.
In Syria, insurgent-held Idlib province is of particular strategic importance to the government because it is close to Assad’s heartland on the Mediterranean coast, where Russia also has its only Mediterranean naval base.
A Syrian military source said on Thursday that Russian military support would bring a “big change” in the course of the conflict, particularly through advanced surveillance capabilities that could pinpoint insurgent targets.
Putin’s gamble of going to war in Syria comes a year after he defied the West to annex Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, drawing U.S. and EU economic sanctions while igniting a wave of popular nationalist support at home.
He appears to be betting that decisive action to aid Assad will improve Russia’s position at future talks on a political settlement, safeguard its control of the naval base and limit the influence of regional rivals like NATO member Turkey. It could also help his image at home as a strong leader willing to challenge global rivals, first and foremost the United States.
US, Russia hold military talks to avoid mishaps over Syria
The Pentagon held talks with Moscow officials Thursday to try to avoid mishaps between the two military powers, though it wasn’t clear how fruitful the effort was amid a second day of Russian bombing in Syria.
US military officials were furious Wednesday after Russia only gave them an hour’s vague “heads-up” it was about to begin bombing. The warning didn’t specify when or where the strikes would occur, only that coalition planes should avoid the area.
With a US-led coalition carrying out near-daily plane and drone strikes in Syria, the new reality of Russia flying sorties in the same air space has left the Pentagon worried about planes crossing paths and sparking a major international incident.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Defense Department officials spoke with Russian counterparts for about an hour via video in what he said was a “cordial and professional” exchange.
He gave few details but said officials discussed which international frequencies could be used if a pilot was in distress and what language aircrews should communicate with each other in.
“We made crystal clear that at a minimum the priority here should be the safe operation of the aircrews over Syria,” Cook said. No follow-up calls had been scheduled yet, he added.
The United States has repeatedly stressed the urgent need for Russia to communicate with it about when and where it plans to fly its fighter jets and bombers. In military jargon, such discussions are known as “deconfliction.”
Russia on Wednesday launched its first air strikes in Syria, marking its explosive arrival in the 4.5-year-old conflict that has claimed some 250,000 lives.
Strikes continued Thursday with Russian warplanes hitting opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Russians currently have at least 32 warplanes deployed in Syria, US officials say.
Putin’s Jets in Syria Are a Threat to the U.S.
Putin just deployed an array of jets and missiles to the Middle East. But they’re not the kind of weapons he’d need to fight ISIS. They’re built for countering another major power.
On September 30, Russian lawmakers unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s plan to begin combat operations in Syria—and hours later Moscow’s warplanes in the region began attacking what the Russians said were ISIS militants.Right before the bombs rained down, a Russian general arrived in Baghdad warned the U.S. military planners to keep America’s own warplanes out of the way. U.S. officials said they would not alter their flight plans.This is the beginning of a dangerous new phase of the international intervention in the Syrian civil war. Not only has Russia tried to order U.S. forces to step aside, it actually has the firepower to back up its demands. Some of the 35 warplanes Russia has deployed to Syria are specifically designed for fighting foes like the United States, not ISIS.Seemingly out of nowhere on September 21, they appeared at an air base in Latakia, a regime stronghold in western Syria—28 of the Russian air force’s best warplanes, including four Su-30 fighters and a number of Su-25 attack planes and Su-24 bombers.Soon six more Su-34 bombers and at least one Il-20 spy plane followed, part of a contingent of Russia forces reportedly including some 500 troops plus armored vehicles and SA-15 and SA-22 surface-to-air missiles.For U.S. and allied officials observing the deployment, there has been plenty of cause for confusion…and alarm. It’s not just that, more than four years into Syria’s bloody civil war, Russia has decided to jump in and make things more complicated.No, it’s what kinds of weapons—planes and missiles, especially—Moscow decided to send, and what those weapons say about the Kremlin’s ultimate plan in Syria. Many of them don’t seem to bewell-suited to fighting ISIS. They’re built to battle adversaries like the United States.To be clear, 35 warplanes and a few surface-to-air missiles aren’t a lot in the grand scheme of things. There’s no shortage of military aircraft flying over Syria five years into the country’s bloody civil war.Every day some of Syria’s aging Soviet-made planes—from the 300 or so that have survived four years of combat—take off from regime airfields to bomb ISIS militants and secular rebels slowly advancing on Syria’s main population centers.Meanwhile hundreds of jets from the American-led international coalition have been waging, since the fall of 2014, an intensive air campaign against ISIS and al Qaeda targeting just the militants.What’s weird and alarming about the Russian contingent is that it’s not really optimal for attacking lightly armed insurgent fighters. Surface-to-air missiles areonly good for destroying enemy aircraft, which Syrian rebels do not possess. And the Su-30s are best suited for tangling with other high-tech forces.Who in region possesses these high-tech forces? The United States, for one. Israel, too. Why, the United States, of course. Russia’s warplanes and missiles in Syria could pose a threat to America’s own aircraft flying over the country—all in order to carve out and preserve a portion of Syria that the United States can’t touch.Officially, Russia has deployed its forces to Syria to reinforce embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and help defeat the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
“There is no other way to settle the Syrian conflict other than by strengthening the existing legitimate government agencies, support them in their fight against terrorism,” President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with American news networks ahead of his September 28 meeting with President Obama at the United Nations in New York City.
“There are more than 2,000 militants in Syria from the former Soviet Union,” Putin said. “Instead of waiting for them to return home we should help President al-Assad fight them there, in Syria.”
Sure enough, Su-25s, Su-24s, and Su-34s are capable ground-attack planes, roughly equivalent to U.S. Air Force A-10 attack jets and F-15E fighter-bombers.
But that’s only a portion of the Russian air arsenal. The problem is, the Su-30s are next to useless for fighting ISIS. The Sukhoi fighters are primarily air-to-air fighters—and some of the best in the world. Besides Russia, China also flies versions of the twin-engine, supersonic Su-30 and has even begun outfitting them with new air-to-air missiles that U.S. Air Force Gen. Herbert Carlisle has repeatedly described as one of his biggest worries.
In a series of aerial war games in the last decade, India’s own Su-30s have tangled with—and reportedly defeated—American and British fighters in mock combat, sparking minor controversies in both countries as their respective air forcesscrambled to explain why the Russian-made planes weren’t necessarily superior to U.S. F-15s and British Typhoon jets.
It’s obvious why Russia, China, and India, among other countries, would deploy Su-30s to counter heavily armed enemies possessing high-tech fighters of their own. But that doesn’t explain the Russian Su-30s in Syria. “I have not seen [ISIS] flying any airplanes that require sophisticated air-to-air capabilities,” U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the military head of NATO, told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28.
Moreover, Breedlove said Russia didn’t need to deploy the SA-15 and SA-22 surface-to-air missiles to Syria if its mission is to help Assad beat ISIS. “I have not seen ISIL flying any airplanes that require SA-15s or SA-22s,” he said, using one of several acronyms for the militant group.
Breedlove said he suspects Russia is trying to set up what the military calls a “anti-access, area-denial,” or A2AD, zone in western Syria. Moscow has recently established these zones in the Baltic region and in the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014. “We are a little worried about another A2AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,” Breedlove said.
The point of these zones is to give Russia exclusive access to strategic regions, Breedlove claimed. In the case of western Syria, an A2AD zone helps to ensure that Moscow can send forces into the eastern Mediterranean, which NATO has dominated since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.
Russian access to the Mediterranean via Syria requires that Assad’s regime survives, however. In that sense, Moscow’s strategic aims dovetail with the Syrian regime’s goals. Thus the Su-25s, Su-24s, and Su-34s very well could end up joining Damascus’s air war on the rebels and militants. The Su-30s, however, will probably be guarding against a very different enemy.
Of course, high-end warplanes can be repurposed to fight lower-tech foes—the U.S. has done just that, in its decade and a half bombing Afghanistan and Iraq. And many militaries deploy air-to-air fighters merely as precautions. A small contingent of U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighters, which can carry bombs but are best at aerial fights, plays a leading role in the coalition air campaign targeting ISIS.
The F-22s act as “quarterbacks,” according to Carlisle, using their sophisticated sensors to spot targets for other planes and also protecting those planes against Syrian fighters and missiles. To date, the Syrian regime has not attempted to interfere with the U.S.-led bombing runs, but the F-22s keep flying.
But neither has the coalition tried to interfere with the Syrian air force’s attacks on opposition fighters—yet. U.S. Army Special Forces have been training, at great expense, a small number of Syria rebels the Pentagon had hoped could form the core of a reinvigorated, secular rebel force that can knock back ISIS.
The problem is, many rebel trainees in the American program have made it clearthey prefer to fight the regime first. Many have dropped out of the program in the face of Washington’s demands, compelling the Pentagon to remove them from the training effort. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Congress, using the administration’s preferred acronym for ISIS, that he wants recruits “to have the right mindset and ideology, not be aligned with groups like ISIL…[and] to fight ISIL.”
“It turns out to be very hard to identify people who meet both of those criteria,” Carter added.
Worse, once the recruits complete their training and go to fight ISIS, the U.S. military will have “some obligations” to protect them, Carter said. If U.S.-trained rebels turn their weapons against the Syrian regime and Russian warplanes bomb them, would that compel American F-22s to attack the Russians—and then force the Russian Su-30s to intervene?
It’s not hard to see how Russia’s support of Assad could run afoul of America’s support for secular Syrian rebels—and how Moscow’s effort to establish an aerial foothold in Syria could draw U.S. and Russian jet fighters into battle with each other.
Don’t pretend for a moment that that terrifying notion hasn’t crossed the minds of generals and politicians in both Moscow and Washington.
Russia has sent over 50 military aircraft to Syria: ministry
Russia has sent more than 50 military aircraft as well as marines, paratroopers and special forces into Syria, where it has launched air strikes against Islamic State militants, the defence ministry said on Thursday.
“More than 50 warplanes and helicopters are part of the Russian airforce striking Islamic State targets in Syria,” defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told the Interfax news agency.
Russia on Wednesday waded into the multi-front conflict, launching air strikes against what Moscow said were IS militants battling its Soviet-era ally Syria.
In the run-up to the strikes, Russia had expanded its naval facility in the port city of Tartus and established a military base in Latakia, the stronghold of the beleaguered regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Konashenkov said marines, paratroopers and special force units would be mobilised to protect Russia’s military assets.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a broad UN-backed coalition to fight IS jihadists as he addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time in a decade.
Moscow has been pushing for a broader coalition to fight the Islamic State group to include allies of the Assad regime, an idea that the West has rejected.
Putin’s proposal is seen as a direct challenge to US President Barack Obama who has vowed to crush IS and called on countries to join the United States in its campaign.
Moscow has ruled out joining the US-led coalition.
“Theoretically, it would look nice (to join the US-led coalition) from a political point of view, but I think that we have difficulty understanding the principles on which the coalition is acting,” foreign ministry official Ilya Rogachyov said.
“On the basis that the coalition currently exists, we are unlikely to join,” he told the state news agency RIA Novosti.
Russia has appointed Lieutenant General Sergei Kuralenko to represent Russia at the Baghdad-based intelligence task force Moscow is setting up with Iran, Iraq and Syria, a defence ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
Here’s how the Russian Air Force moved 28 aircraft to Syria (almost) undetected
- David Cenciotti, The AviationistSatellite imagery released in the last couple of days has exposed the presence of 28 Russian aircraft at al-Assad airfield, near Latakia, in western Syria.The photographs taken from space gave us the possibility to identify the combat planes as 4x Su-30SMs, 12x Su-25s (based on their color scheme, these are Su-25SMs belonging to the 368th Assault Aviation Regiment from Budyonnovsk) and 12 Su-24M2s along with about a dozen helicopters, including 10 Mi-24PN, Mi-35M and a couple of Mi-8AMTSh choppers, from the 387th Army Aviation Air Base Budyonnovsk.One of our sources with IMINT Imagery Intel experience, who has had access to the imagery in the public domain, noticed something interesting on one of the Su-30SM: the first on the left (the one closer to the runway threshold) should be equipped with a KNIRTI SPS-171 / L005S Sorbtsiya-S mid/high band defensive jammer (ECM) at the wing tips. To be honest this is almost impossible to verify unless more high-resolution images become available.
Whilst satellite shots provided much details about the deployed assets, they obviously didn’t help answer the basic question: how did they manage to reach Syria undetected?
According to one source close who wishes to remain anonymous, the Russian combat planes have probably deployed to Latakia trailing the cargo planes that were tracked flying to Syria and back on Flightradar24.com, something that other analysts have also suggested.
There is someone who believes that during their ferry flight, some if not all the formation (each made of a cargo plane and four accompanying fast jets), may have made a stopover in Iran before flying the last leg to Latakia. This would also explain why some Il-76s (with an endurance that would allow a non-stop fly from Russia to Latakia) were observed stopping at Hamadan on Sept. 18-19, just before the Sukhois started appearing on the tarmac at Latakia.
Also interesting is the activity of several Israeli aircraft, including a G550 “Nachshon Aitam,” a sort of mini-AWACS equipped with 2 L-band antennas, on both sides of the fuselage, and 2 S-band antennas, on the nose and tail of the aircraft.
The G550, a so-called CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) asset, flew a mission over the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon on Sept. 20 (and could be tracked online on Flightradar24.com…). Just a coincidence?
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Story 1: Trump Pulls Trigger on Second Position Paper Covering The Second Amendment — Attacks Obama and Holder Gun Grabbing Efforts — Supports Millions of Americans With Concealed Carry Permits — Wants Mandatory Five Year Sentence With No Parole Or Early Release For Felons Who Use A Gun – Project Exile — Was Anti-Muslim Questioner A Democratic Dirty Trickster? — Videos
PROTECTING OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
Donald J. Trump on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.
The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.
It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative. Here’s how we will do that:
Enforce The Laws On The Books
We need to get serious about prosecuting violent criminals. The Obama administration’s record on that is abysmal. Violent crime in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and many others is out of control. Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop.
Several years ago there was a tremendous program in Richmond, Virginia called Project Exile. It said that if a violent felon uses a gun to commit a crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years – no parole or early release. Obama’s former Attorney General, Eric Holder, called that a “cookie cutter” program. That’s ridiculous. I call that program a success. Murders committed with guns in Richmond decreased by over 60% when Project Exile was in place – in the first two years of the program alone, 350 armed felons were taken off the street.
Why does that matter to law-abiding gun owners? Because they’re the ones who anti-gun politicians and the media blame when criminals misuse guns. We need to bring back and expand programs like Project Exile and get gang members and drug dealers off the street. When we do, crime will go down and our cities and communities will be safer places to live.
Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense. To make America great again, we’re going to go after criminals and put the law back on the side of the law-abiding.
Fix Our Broken Mental Health System
Let’s be clear about this. Our mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Too many politicians have ignored this problem for too long.
All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help. But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.
And why does this matter to law-abiding gun owners? Once again, because they get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen. When one of these tragedies occurs, we can count on two things: one, that opponents of gun rights will immediately exploit it to push their political agenda; and two, that none of their so-called “solutions” would have prevented the tragedy in the first place. They’ve even admitted it.
We need real solutions to address real problems. Not grandstanding or political agendas.
Defend The Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners
GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.
BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer – which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.
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Donald Trump Has A New Gun Plan, And It’s Just As Crazy As You Think
Donald Trump imagines a world where regular citizens can buy automatic weapons; where gun owners can hide their weapons in any state; where there are no expanded background checks for gun purchases; and where citizens fight crime with their own assault rifles.
That’s at least according to Trump’s position statement on guns, which he released on Friday. In it, the Republican presidential candidate laid out a vision on the Second Amendment similar to the one held by the National Rifle Association, which opposes new gun control measures and advocates instead for stricter enforcement of existing laws.
“The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear,” Trump’s statement reads. “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”
A few parts of Trump’s statement focus on concealed carry, or the right for gun owners to walk around in public with their weapons hidden. He advocated for a federal law that mimicks a driver’s license — in other words, if you get a concealed carry permit in one state, it should be enforceable in other states. Currently, there is no federal law addressing this — though all 50 states allow concealed carry with some type of permit, each permit has different terms, and is only enforceable in the state in which it was given.
This position is particularly personal to Trump. “Our personal protection is ultimately up to us,” his statement reads. “That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well.”
Personal protection was another theme of Trump’s plan, which advocated “empowering” citizens to defend themselves and fight crime with their own weapons. “Here’s another important way to fight crime — empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves,” his plan reads. “Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time.”
Not only does Trump want citizens to fight crime, but he wants them to have better, more powerful guns to do it.
“Gun and magazine bans are a total failure,” he wrote. “Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like ‘assault weapons,’ ‘military-style weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans.”
“Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice,” he added. “The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.”
This isn’t totally new ground for Trump, who has been pro-gun for a long time. But he wasn’t always against some of these restrictions. In 2000, Trump criticized Republicans for “walk[ing] the NRA line and refus[ing] even limited restrictions” on guns. In the same year, he also said he supported banning assault weapons and expanding background checks. “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun,” he said at the time. “With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”
His previous positions can be seen in Trump’s own business dealings. A ThinkProgress investigation in August revealed that, despite Trump’s current advocacy for gun-free zones, a number of Trump’s hotels and golf courses are gun-free zones — even for guests with concealed-carry permits.
Instead of placing restrictions on firearms or endorsement more stringent background checks, Trump’s new plan focuses on expanding access to mental health care — though it does lack specifics on how much funds should be allocated, and what type of treatment programs should be focused on. Instead, it just says this: “We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help.”
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina won Wednesday’s second Republican presidential debate, according to voters who watched the Simi Valley showdown polled by Morning Consult.
It was a performance that vaulted Fiorina into the top tier of a crowded field. A plurality of 29 percent of registered voters who watched the debate said Fiorina won, just higher than the 24 percent who said real estate mogul Donald Trump came out on top. Seven percent said retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson won the debate, while 6 percent each chose former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Who won Wednesday’s debate?FiorinaTrumpCarsonBushRubioChristieHuckabeeCruzKasichPaulWalker08152330
||Who won debate?
A huge 46 percent plurality said Trump won the first debate, held August 6 in Cleveland. Nine percent chose Carson.
Trump continues to lead the Republican primary field. Thirty-six percent of registered voters who watched the debate said they would choose Trump, compared with 12 percent for Carson and 10 percent for Fiorina. Rubio placed fourth, at 9 percent, followed by 7 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 6 percent for Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
Republican Presidential Primary ContestTrumpBushCarsonRubioHuckabeeWalkerCruzPaulChristieFiorinaKasichSantorumJindalGrahamPataki7/27/20158/3/20158/9/20158/16/20158/30/20159/7/20159/13/20159/18/2015010203040
But Fiorina’s upside potential is growing. Nineteen percent of voters said the businesswoman would be their second choice, followed by 15 percent who said Carson was their backup, 12 percent who chose Trump and 10 percent who chose Bush.
Fiorina’s favorable ratings have jumped in recent weeks. Among self-identified Republican voters, 56 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Fiorina, up from 37 percent who said they had a favorable opinion of Fiorina in a Morning Consult poll conducted just before the debate. In that survey, 36 percent said they didn’t know enough about Fiorina to form an opinion; after the debate, just 16 percent said they had no opinion.
Self-identified Republicans see Carson in the most favorable light. More than three quarters, 76 percent, of Republicans who watched the debate see Carson favorably, while 67 percent see Trump favorably and 60 percent say the same about Rubio.
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of __ (Republican votersonly)FavorableUnfavorableBushPaulHuckabeeCarsonChristieWalkerRubioCruzFiorinaTrumpKasich0255075100
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) clocks in with the highest unfavorable rating. Just 38 percent of Republicans who watched the debate see Paul positively, while 48 percent have an unfavorable impression. Bush and Christie are both seen favorably by just 50 percent; Bush has a 46 percent unfavorable rating, and Christie’s stands at 45 percent.
And while some Republican candidates complained they were overlooked on Wednesday’s debate stage, a huge 65 percent majority of voters who watched the debate said CNN’s moderators treated the candidates fairly. Just 24 percent said the moderators were unfair. More than three quarters of those who watched said their reaction to the debate was very or somewhat positive.
The Morning Consult survey polled 504 registered voters who said they watched the Republican primary debate and that they plan to participate in their state’s Republican presidential nominating contest. Of those voters, 69 percent identified themselves as Republicans, and 28 percent called themselves independents.
The poll carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.
POST-DEBATE POLL: TRUMP INCREASES LEAD; FIORINA LEAPS, CARSON SINKS
Wednesday’s Republican primary debate and has only good news for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. While the poll’s sample size is small (with a 4.4% margin of error), the poll’s trend is worth noting.
In this same poll, prior to Wednesday night’s debate, Trump sat at 33% support. Dr. Ben Carson sat in second place with 17% support. Today Trump enjoys 36% support. Carson is still in second place but with just 12% support.
Trump’s lead increased from +16 points to +24%. That’s an +8% jump.
With their shared status as outsiders, it appears as though Carson’s support went to Fiorina. Prior to the debate the former-Hewlett Packard CEO had just 3% support. She now sits in third place with 10%, only -2 points behind second place Carson.
Overall, the Republican Establishment is the Big Loser here. Non-politicians Trump, Carson and Fiorina command 58% of the vote, and that piece of the pie is only growing larger.
Rubio also enjoyed a boost from 2% to 9%. This puts the Florida Senator in 4th place. Texas Senator
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 96% is in 5th place with 7% support. Everyone else is bunched up at 6% or below.
A plurality of 29% believe Fiorina won the debate. Trump came in 2nd with 24%. Carson came in 3rd with just 7%.
Fiorina’s favorability rating jumped from 37% to 56%. Her unfavorable sits at just 28%. Carson does best on this question with a 79% favorable rating. Trump comes in 2nd with 67%. Only 30% see Trump as unfavorable.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 93%, and John Kasich scored the worst with 38%, and 40% favorable ratings, respectively. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker are all tied up with a 50% favorable rating.
A snap poll released Thursday showed a much different outcome.
2016 candidates pounce on Trump’s response to anti-Muslim question
Democratic and Republican presidential candidates alike roundly criticized GOP front-runner Donald Trump on Friday for failing to correct a man who inaccurately identified President Obama as a Muslim and “not even an American.”
Also on Friday, Trump pulled out of a conservative gathering in South Carolina, citing a “significant business transaction” that demanded the candidate’s attention. Trump’s campaign said the decision to cancel has “nothing to do” with the anti-Muslim question. Nearly the entire 2016 GOP field will be in attendance at the gathering.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham – one of Trump’s many rivals in the GOP nominating contest – called the real-estate mogul’s actions “very inappropriate.”
“You need to look the guy in the eye and say, ‘Listen, I don’t agree with you, I don’t appreciate what you said, this is not the way I’m going to campaign, this is not who I am,’” Graham said.
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The remarks came less than 24 hours after Trump not only let slide, but even seemed to encourage, a questioner at a rally in New Hampshire Thursday night when he raised Islamophobic concerns about Obama’s nationality and religion.
“We have a problem in this country – it’s called Muslims,” the questioner said. “We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even American. We have training camps growing when they want to kill us. My question: When can we get rid of them?”
Rather than clarifying that Obama was in fact a Christian, born in Hawaii to an American mother, however, Trump – who gained notoriety in 2011 as a leader of the so-called “birther” movement – egged the questioner on. “We need this question,” he interjected, laughing. “We’re going to be looking into that,” Trump added.
After the event, Trump’s campaign told reporters that the candidate was responding to the “training camps” portion of the question. But the White House saw Trump’s response as a pure political ploy to secure votes from a particular segment of the GOP.
“The people who hold these offensive views are part of Mr. Trump’s base,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday. “Mr. Trump himself would be the first to tell you that he’s got the biggest base of any Republican politician these days.”
Thursday’s exchange stood in stark contrast to one in the 2008 campaign, during which the GOP presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, grabbed the microphone from a woman who called Obama “an Arab.” McCain interjected, “No, ma’am.”
Graham on Friday cited that moment as an example of what GOP leaders should do in those situations.
“You have to push back,” Graham said. “We are trying to be the leader of a nation here. You got people like this in even country, in every party, and it’s a chance for you to display your character. And we are looking for a leader who will push back against this kind of hateful stuff on both sides of the aisle.”
Graham wasn’t the only Republican White House hopeful with strong words for Trump. Speaking on NBC’s “TODAY” earlier on Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he “wouldn’t have permitted” the questioner’s rhetoric.
“Donald Trump has to decide how serious a candidate he wants to be, and how he handles different problems like this are going to determine that in they eyes of the American people,” said Christie. “I’m not going to lecture him about what to do.”
RELATED: Christie calls out Trump for staying silent over anti-Muslim question
Democratic presidential candidates were also quick to condemn their potential challenger in the general election. Front-runner Hillary Clinton called Trump’s response to the questioner – or lack thereof – “disturbing, & just plain wrong” on Twitter. Similarly, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted that Trump “must apologize to the president and American people for continuing the lie that the president is not an American and not a Christian.” Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, meanwhile, tweeted: “Shame on you,@realDonaldTrump. ‘Muslim’ is not a slur. You cannot scapegoat your way to the presidency.”
But not everyone was so convinced of Trump’s wrongdoing. Retired neurosurgeon and fellow Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson gave Trump the benefit of the doubt Friday, telling reporters at an even in Greenville, South Carolina, that perhaps Trump simply misheard the question.
“Certainly, one must always analyze the question carefully. That’s something I have come to learn, because sometimes you just go into answering mode without thinking about it,” Carson said. Asked whether Trump should have corrected the questioner, Carson added: “I suspect that if he gets that question again, that’s exactly what he’ll do.”
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Story 1: The Second Republican Candidates Debate for 2016 Presidential Nomination — And The Winners Are? First Place: Donald Trump, Second Place: Carly Fiorina Third Place Tie: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — Delegates Count, Debates and Poll Numbers Are Snapshots — Videos
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Senator Rand Paul’s full highlights from the CNN Republican Debate where Paul showed how he is different from the other candidates and the strongest on protecting the Constitution. Paul was asked about foreign policy issues, birthright citizenship, Iraq War, marijuana, Ronald Reagan, vaccines, lower taxes, and President Obama’s Iran Deal. Paul was joined on stage with Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker.
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Who Won the Second Republican Presidential Debate?
The GOP rivals squared off at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and a surprising victor emerged.
DAVID A. GRAHAM, YONI APPELBAUM, MOLLY BALL, RUSSELL BERMAN, PRISCILLA ALVAREZ,CONOR FRIEDERSDORF, TYLER BISHOP, MARINA KOREN, AND MATT FORD
What did the nation learn about the Republican candidates on Wednesday night?
First, viewers learned that the presidential contenders are delighted to take swipes at each other all night, if given the opportunity.
Second, they learned that the performance that elevated Carly Fiorina from the happy-hour debate in Cleveland to the main stage at the Reagan Library was no fluke—she’s a skilled speaker.
Third, they learned that the listless performance Jeb Bush delivered last time around was no fluke either. The wounded former frontrunner once again seemed unsure how best to handle the crowded stage or the slugfest the debate became.
What they didn’t learn was a great deal about policy. That was a result of a couple, related problems. First, the rules of the debate allowed anyone who was mentioned by a rival to offer a rebuttal. But that often just led to a sideswipe at a third rival, producing a daisy chain of rebuttals, as the topic of conversation drifted farther and farther away from the original question and toward a series of recriminations already familiar from the campaign trail. Second, and relatedly, the moderators allowed themselves to be rolled over by the candidates over and over—the inmates taking over the asylum, perhaps.
When policy did sneak in, the answers were often predictable: As it happens, the Republican candidates hate Planned Parenthood and the Iran deal; don’t think President Obama has an effective foreign policy; and don’t like ISIS.
But there were some notable moments, especially—surprisingly—on the back nine of the nearly three-hour debate.
A surprising and fascinating fight broke out over the lessons of the Iraq War for foreign policy, as Marco Rubio and Chris Christie represented the hawkish wing of the party, squaring off against Rand Paul, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump, who trumpeted their own opposition to the Iraq War and warned against foreign adventurism. One lesson here is that the Republican Party has a real split over the legacy of the Iraq War. As my colleague Matt Ford noted, there’s a real possibility that the Republican nominee in 2016 will have opposed the war, while the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, voted for it.
A second intriguing moment came as the candidates lined up to bash a somewhat surprising goat: the conservative chief justice of the United States, John Roberts. His Court’s rulings to legalize gay marriage and uphold the Affordable Care Act—the latter of which he supported—have made him a target for activists on the right. Ted Cruz tried to tie Jeb Bush to Roberts, who was appointed by George W. Bush; Bush, in one of his best moments of the evening, quickly turned and cornered Cruz, forcing him to admit he had publicly backed Roberts’s nomination.
Things got weird on taxation, too. Several candidates openly argued for regressive taxation systems; Mike Huckabee espoused the Fair Tax, saying, “We ought to get rid of all the taxes on people who produce,” while Carson decried progressive taxation on the wealthy. But Donald Trump—the Republican frontrunner!—delivered a defense of progressive taxation as a matter of fairness that was clearer and more concise than you’ll hear from almost any Democrat these days.
Of course, this nitty-gritty isn’t what many people were looking for from this debate: They were looking for a fight! (That includes moderator Jake Tapper, who promised, and delivered, confrontation.) They got it. Who came out on top?
Fiorina was the clear winner. She came with a store of zingers, notably directed at Trump. “Mr. Trump said he heard clearly what Mr. Bush said. I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she said of his various misogynistic comments. It was perhaps the first moment in the two debates that Trump seemed truly flustered. More importantly, Fiorina repeatedly delivered clear, crisp, bullet-pointed answers to questions about policy—showing up her rivals, who tended to speak in more sweeping generalities. Often, those proposals didn’t add up once you looked at them closely. For example, her “plan” for Iran involved bringing the rest of the world back around to reinstituting a sanctions regime against Tehran, something that most experts reject as unrealistic. No matter: On a stage where no one seemed as sharp, it was enough to impress.
Ben Carson also delivered a strong performance, again using the calm, affable demeanor that’s become one of his great strengths. He was reassuring and friendly in most cases, and offered details—like explaining the kind of fence he saw in Yuma County, Arizona. He remains shaky on foreign policy, however, meandering through a confusing answer about how he would have responded to 9/11.
But what about Trump, the man everyone was watching? One lesson of the campaign so far is that it’s dangerous to judge his performance’s effects. The other candidates didn’t hesitate to take shots at him, but few besides Fiorina landed clean blows. Meanwhile, Trump maintained his typical demeanor. The frontrunner came out of the gate strong—when the first question invited Fiorina to take a shot at Trump, he used his rebuttal to take on not only her but also Rand Paul, seemingly out of nowhere. Mixing it up works well for him. His answers on policy, especially foreign policy, were characteristically vague or incoherent, but when has that hurt him before? More dangerously for Trump, he seemed to fade from view late in the debate. But if what he’s been doing works for him, this debate seems unlikely to radically affect his trajectory.
Bush seemed mostly to be in disbelief at the things Trump was saying as he stood beside him, and maybe at the temerity of the moderators who made him deal with it. (Understandably.) Bush was up and down, but it’s hard to believe that this was the pugnacious fighter his campaign promised to deliver ahead of the debate. Perhaps his most passionate moment came in defense of his brother, former President George W. Bush. But even that was bumpy: He claimed that his brother “kept America safe” from terror, overlooking 9/11, the one important moment at which Bush did not prevent an attack. Jeb Bush also still doesn’t seem to have a good answer to questions about how he differs from his brother and father, nine months into his candidacy. That’s a problem, given the low esteem in which those two administrations are held by both conservative activists and the general population. Raising his voice for what was clearly intended to be a strong finish, Bush flubbed his lines. This just isn’t a format that works well for him.
The rest of the slate are the candidates who stood to benefit the most from a strong debate performance: those who are muddled in the middle of the field, neither failing nor rising, but not especially buzzy. Marco Rubio, whose stock remains high among political pros but whose polling has stagnated, continues to shine on the debate stage, but never completely broke out. Rand Paul delivered a far stronger performance than he did in Cleveland, mixing it up with Bush and others, though it’s not clear that it matters anymore; he may already be dead in the water. Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Chris Christie also delivered solid performances, but none of them looked like gamechangers. Mike Huckabee rightly complained that he didn’t get many questions, but he didn’t do much with the ones he did field.
The real mystery of the night was Scott Walker. It’s been a rough couple of months for the Wisconsin governor, who was once hailed as a top-tier candidate but has since stumbled and lost his momentum. He’s slipped into single digits in Iowa, which was meant to be his launch pad. Ahead of this debate, Politico even argued that this “might be his last chance.” It’s wise to be wary of such definitive arguments, but Walker did need a strong performance, and he didn’t get it. He often seemed befuddled, didn’t offer many memorable answers, and—perhaps most damningly—seemed to totally vanish from the stage for long periods of time during the debate. Leaving the debate Wednesday, the Walker campaign will have to look for another moment on which to pin its hopes for a turnaround.
CNN’s Republican debate: Winners and losers
Last Modified: Wed Sep 16 2015 22:52:12 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time)
With expectations low, Bush’s several stand-out moments and overall improvement over his performance in the first debate sealed his spot as one of the night’s winners.
CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter said Bush’s references to his family were immediately beneficial for him.
“I think the most interesting subtext with Jeb Bush in this debate is his newfound willingness to defend his family,” said the former Ted Cruz aide. “His best moment of the debate I think is when he came out and reminded everyone that his brother kept America safe. On the same hand, I think that will haunt him in the long term because I think tying himself to his brother’s legacy is bad in the long run.”
On Thursday morning, Carpenter said the former Florida governor should have been more forceful in demanding an apology from Trump for comments that real estate developer had made about Bush’s wife in the past.
“He could have been stronger and I think a lot of women were thinking that,” she said on CNN.
While Bush and Fiorina milked their standout moments from their tiffs with Trump, the New Jersey governor snagged his by using a key moment to make his opponents look narcissistic and portrayed himself the adult in the room.
“While I’m as entertained as anyone by this personal back-and-forth about the history of Donald and Carly’s career, for the 55-year-old construction worker out in that audience tonight who doesn’t have a job, who can’t fund his child’s education, I’ve got to tell you the truth. They could care less about your careers, they care about theirs,” Christie said. “Let’s start talking about that on this stage and stop playing — and stop playing the games.”
Earlier in the night, Christie suggested the problem with the debate was “we’re fighting with each other up here” over how to approach defunding Planned Parenthood even though “we agree.”
And that’s when Christie — who’s been accused of being too moderate — gave his best performance yet to prove his conservative credentials.
“She (Hillary Clinton) believes in the systematic murder of children in the womb to preserve their body parts…in the way that maximizes their value for sale for profit,” Christie said.
5 memorable moments from the debate
Trump faced a barrage of attacks from a field of contenders clearly more prepared, and eager, to take on the brash billionaire. Those who pulled punches in the last debate — like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush — didn’t hesitate to tackle Trump, eager to regain their faltering standings in the polls.
The result was mixed as Trump had both memorable highlights and cringe-worthy lowlights. But as the front-runner trying to hold on to the lead as retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s numbers grow, it’s difficult to see how Trump wasn’t at least partially wounded by Thursday’s performance.
Trump stumbled in responding to Fiorina’s deft answer to his comments about her face, awkwardly calling her “beautiful” after suggesting her looks would keep Americans from voting for her.
Former Bush aide and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro spoke highly of the move.
“I thought it was brilliant, because he surprised us all with his answer,” she said on CNN. “He shut it down.”
And when Bush attacked him for a “lack of judgment” and “lack of understanding about how the world works,” Trump resorted to an oft-used tactic of tying Bush to his brother’s presidency suggesting that “your brother’s administration gave us Barack Obama because it was such a disaster … that Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have been elected.”
Bush’s quick answer — that his brother kept the country safe — knocked Trump off balance as the crowd roared in approval.
Trump’s stamina tested in GOP debate
However, Trump hit his high notes when he was on the offensive, delivering some of the standard fare that his supporters likely devoured. He said he never attacked Sen. Rand Paul on his looks though “there’s plenty of subject matter right there” — and he took on both Fiorina and Walker’s records with numbers to back his rhetoric.
And as he faced questions over foreign policy and his flubbed response to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who was one of the debate’s questioners, Trump smartly pivoted to Hewitt, insulating himself from further attacks from his rivals.
Trump managed to escape the main question over his knowledge of various terrorist groups and their leaders by pointing out that Hewitt had recently conceded to a misunderstanding between the two when Hewitt spoke of the Quds Forces, which Trump misheard as “Kurds” — leading to crosstalk between the two, not between Trump and a fellow candidate.
Conservative analyst Mercedes Schlapp said Trump was silent for more than 30 minutes of discussion n serious policy issues.
“There was a point when he was speechless,” she said. “You could tell he was so uncomfortable talking about any of the issues except for immigration.”
Odds of Trump nomination drop after debate
There wasn’t much daylight between the Ohio governor’s first and second debate performances.
But Kasich’s second performance lacked the umpf that defined his first appearance on the debate stage when he barely squeaked into the top-tier and impressed political observers just weeks after launching his candidacy.
Fact-checking the candidates
Paul continued to throw things at the wall on Wednesday — still nothing appeared to stick.
The libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky once again went for Trump’s jugular. When he was asked whether he would trust Trump with the nuclear codes, Paul gave a firm answer: absolutely not.
But with each attack, Paul failed to do what candidates must do to break out in a debate: Pivot to his own strengths. Instead he simply pointed out Trump’s weaknesses.
Paul’s strongest moments came when he defended his libertarian point of view on foreign military interventions and drug and criminal justice reform. But while those audiences likely played well to his libertarian base of support, Paul appeared the odd one out as he discussed foreign policy amid a field of foreign policy hawks.
Walker came out swinging at the start of the debate, clearly eager to take on the front-runner after dipping in the polls in recent weeks off a strategy that largely avoided confronting Trump.
“We don’t need an apprentice in the White House. We have one there right now,” Walker said of Trump in what was clearly a prepared zinger — one that drew an approving nod from Bush.
Walker then took on Trump’s attacks about his tenure as governor and then defended his opposition to the minimum wage, but soon faded from the stage.
He delivered his responses with more zeal in a performance that topped his first debate night, but didn’t come away from the night with any breakout moments that may prove necessary as Walker looks to regain his footing in the race.
Graphic: Who attacked whom at the debate?
The second Republican debate was all Carson’s for the taking: the retired neurosurgeon’s appearance comes off a recent surge that has rocketed him to the No. 2 spot in the race.
But instead, Carson played it safe, clinging to his calm and measured demeanor, avoiding the food fights unfolding alongside him and injecting his trademark good humor into his responses.
It wasn’t for a lack of opportunities: Carson got several openings to knock Trump, but refused, even when Trump put forward some sketchy scientific backing for his views on vaccines.
A few zingers could have delivered the bump Carson needs to overtake Trump in at least one of the early states where he has been slowly catching up to the billionaire front-runner.
But Carson may get there anyway: his unorthodox appeal on Wednesday shied away from the spotlight-charging moments that often define presidential debates — not unlike his first debate performance.
Mike Huckabee & Ted Cruz
While both delivered solid responses to the questions they received, neither former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee nor Texas Sen. Ted Cruz seized opportunities to stand out on the crowded 11-candidate stage.
They didn’t want to take on Trump and both revealed an unwillingness to engage their fellow candidates on key policy issues.
The result? They faded into the background.
Candidates repeatedly attempted to distance themselves from the Beltway and paint themselves as anti-establishment, said former Obama aide David Axelrod.
“So Washington was a big loser in this debate for sure,” said Axelrod, a CNN senior political commentator.
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Day at Night: Ayn Rand, author, “Atlas Shrugged”
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ayn Rand (; born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, Russian: Али́са Зино́вьевна Розенба́ум; February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-born American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935–1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful in America, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead.
In 1957, she published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own magazines and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism, and rejected altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights. In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for some Aristotelians and classical liberals.
Literary critics received Rand’s fiction with mixed reviews, and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy, though academic interest has increased in recent decades. The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings. She has been a significant influence amonglibertarians and American conservatives.
Rand was born Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum (Russian: Али́са Зиновьевна Розенбаум) on February 2, 1905, to a Russian Jewish bourgeois family living in Saint Petersburg. She was the eldest of the three daughters of Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and his wife, Anna Borisovna (née Kaplan), largely non-observant Jews. Zinovy Rosenbaum was a successful pharmacist and businessman, eventually owning a pharmacy and the building in which it was located. With a passion for the liberal arts, Rand later said she found school unchallenging and she began writing screenplays at the age of eight and novels at the age of ten. At the prestigious Stoiunina Gymnasium, her closest friend was Vladimir Nabokov‘s younger sister, Olga. The two girls shared an intense interest in politics and would engage in debates at theNabokov mansion: while Nabokova defended constitutional monarchy, Rand supported republican ideals. She was twelve at the time of the February Revolution of 1917, during which she favored Alexander Kerensky over Tsar Nicholas II.
The subsequent October Revolution and the rule of the Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin disrupted the life the family had previously enjoyed. Her father’s business was confiscated and the family displaced. They fled to the Crimean Peninsula, which was initially under control of the White Army during the Russian Civil War. She later recalled that, while in high school, she determined that she was an atheist and that she valued reason above any other human virtue. After graduating from high school in the Crimea at 16, Rand returned with her family to Petrograd (as Saint Petersburg was renamed at that time), where they faced desperate conditions, on occasion nearly starving.
After the Russian Revolution, universities were opened to women, allowing Rand to be in the first group of women to enroll at Petrograd State University, where, at the age of 16, she began her studies in the department of social pedagogy, majoring in history. At the university she was introduced to the writings of Aristotle and Plato, who would be her greatest influence and counter-influence, respectively. A third figure whose philosophical works she studied heavily was Friedrich Nietzsche. Able to read French, German and Russian, Rand also discovered the writers Fyodor Dostoevsky, Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand, and Friedrich Schiller, who became her perennial favorites.
Along with many other “bourgeois” students, Rand was purged from the university shortly before graduating. However, after complaints from a group of visiting foreign scientists, many of the purged students were allowed to complete their work and graduate, which Rand did in October 1924. She subsequently studied for a year at the State Technicum for Screen Arts in Leningrad. For one of her assignments, she wrote an essay about the Polish-American actress Pola Negri, which became her first published work.
By this time she had decided her professional surname for writing would be Rand, possibly as a Cyrillic contraction of her birth surname, and she adopted the first nameAyn, either from a Finnish name Aino or from the Hebrew word עין (ayin, meaning “eye”).
Arrival in the United States
Cover of Rand’s first published work, a 2,500-word monograph on femme fatalePola Negri published in 1925.
In the autumn of 1925, Rand was granted a visa to visit American relatives. She departed on January 17, 1926. When she arrived in New York City on February 19, 1926, she was so impressed with the skyline of Manhattan that she cried what she later called “tears of splendor”. Intent on staying in the United States to become a screenwriter, she lived for a few months with relatives in Chicago, one of whom owned a movie theater and allowed her to watch dozens of films for free. She then set out for Hollywood, California.
Initially, Rand struggled in Hollywood and took odd jobs to pay her basic living expenses. A chance meeting with famed director Cecil B. DeMille led to a job as an extra in his film The King of Kings as well as subsequent work as a junior screenwriter. While working on The King of Kings, she met an aspiring young actor, Frank O’Connor; the two were married on April 15, 1929, around the time her last visa extension was set to expire. She became a permanent US resident in July 1929, and became an American citizen on March 3, 1931.Taking various jobs during the 1930s to support her writing, she worked for a time as the head of the costume department at RKO Studios. She made several attempts to bring her parents and sisters to the United States, but they were unable to acquire permission to emigrate.
Rand’s first literary success came with the sale of her screenplay Red Pawn to Universal Studios in 1932, although it was never produced. This was followed by the courtroom drama Night of January 16th, first produced by E.E. Clive in Hollywood in 1934 and then successfully reopened on Broadway in 1935. Each night the “jury” was selected from members of the audience, and one of the two different endings, depending on the jury’s “verdict”, would then be performed. In 1941, Paramount Pictures produced a movie loosely based on the play. Rand did not participate in the production and was highly critical of the result. Ideal is a novel and play written in 1934 which were first published in 2015 by her estate. The heroine is an actress who embodies Randian ideals.
Rand’s first published novel, the semi-autobiographical We the Living, was published in 1936. Set in Soviet Russia, it focused on the struggle between the individual and the state. In a 1959 foreword to the novel, Rand stated that We the Living “is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write. It is not an autobiography in the literal, but only in the intellectual sense. The plot is invented, the background is not…” Initial sales were slow and the American publisher let it go out of print, although European editions continued to sell. After the success of her later novels, Rand was able to release a revised version in 1959 that has since sold over three million copies. In 1942, without Rand’s knowledge or permission, the novel was made into a pair of Italian films, Noi vivi and Addio, Kira. Rediscovered in the 1960s, these films were re-edited into a new version which was approved by Rand and re-released as We the Living in 1986.
Her novella Anthem was written during a break from the writing of her next major novel, The Fountainhead. It presents a vision of a dystopian future world in which totalitarian collectivism has triumphed to such an extent that even the word ‘I’ has been forgotten and replaced with ‘we’. It was published in England in 1938, but Rand initially could not find an American publisher. As with We the Living, Rand’s later success allowed her to get a revised version published in 1946, which has sold more than 3.5 million copies.
The Fountainhead and political activism
During the 1940s, Rand became politically active. Both she and her husband worked full-time in volunteer positions for the 1940 presidential campaign of Republican Wendell Willkie. This work led to Rand’s first public speaking experiences, including fielding the sometimes hostile questions from New York City audiences who had just viewed pro-Willkie newsreels, an experience she greatly enjoyed. This activity also brought her into contact with other intellectuals sympathetic to free-market capitalism. She became friends with journalist Henry Hazlitt and his wife, and Hazlitt introduced her to the Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises. Despite her philosophical differences with them, Rand strongly endorsed the writings of both men throughout her career, and both of them expressed admiration for her. Once Mises referred to Rand as “the most courageous man in America”, a compliment that particularly pleased her because he said “man” instead of “woman”. Rand also developed a friendship with libertarian writer Isabel Paterson. Rand questioned the well-informed Paterson about American history and politics long into the night during their numerous meetings and gave Paterson ideas for her only nonfiction book, The God of the Machine.
Rand’s first major success as a writer came with The Fountainhead in 1943, a romantic and philosophical novel that she wrote over a period of seven years. The novel centers on an uncompromising young architect named Howard Roark and his struggle against what Rand described as “second-handers”—those who attempt to live through others, placing others above themselves. It was rejected by twelve publishers before finally being accepted by the Bobbs-Merrill Company on the insistence of editor Archibald Ogden, who threatened to quit if his employer did not publish it. While completing the novel, Rand was prescribedBenzedrine, a brand of amphetamine, to fight fatigue. The drug helped her to work long hours to meet her deadline for delivering the finished novel, but when the book was done, she was so exhausted that her doctor ordered two weeks’ rest. Her use of the drug for approximately three decades may have contributed to what some of her later associates described as volatile mood swings.
The Fountainhead eventually became a worldwide success, bringing Rand fame and financial security. In 1943, Rand sold the rights for a film version to Warner Bros., and she returned to Hollywood to write the screenplay. Finishing her work on that screenplay, she was hired by producer Hal Wallis as a screenwriter and script-doctor. Her work for Wallis included the screenplays for the Oscar-nominated Love Letters andYou Came Along. This role gave Rand time to work on other projects, including a planned nonfiction treatment of her philosophy to be called The Moral Basis of Individualism. Although the planned book was never completed, a condensed version was published as an essay titled “The Only Path to Tomorrow”, in the January 1944 edition of Reader’s Digest magazine.
Rand extended her involvement with free-market and anti-communist activism while working in Hollywood. She became involved with the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a Hollywood anti-Communist group, and wrote articles on the group’s behalf. She also joined the anti-Communist American Writers Association. A visit by Isabel Paterson to meet with Rand’s California associates led to a final falling out between the two when Paterson made comments to valued political allies, which Rand considered rude. In 1947, during the Second Red Scare, Rand testified as a “friendly witness” before the United States House Un-American Activities Committee. Her testimony described the disparity between her personal experiences in the Soviet Union and the portrayal of it in the 1944 film Song of Russia. Rand argued that the film grossly misrepresented conditions in the Soviet Union, portraying life there as being much better and happier than it actually was. She wanted to also criticize the lauded 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives for what she interpreted as its negative presentation of the business world, but she was not allowed to testify about it. When asked after the hearings about her feelings on the effectiveness of the investigations, Rand described the process as “futile”.
After several delays, the film version of The Fountainhead was released in 1949. Although it used Rand’s screenplay with minimal alterations, she “disliked the movie from beginning to end”, complaining about its editing, acting, and other elements.
Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism
In the years following the publication of The Fountainhead, Rand received numerous letters from readers, some of whom it profoundly influenced. In 1951 Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City, where she gathered a group of these admirers around her. This group (jokingly designated “The Collective”) included future Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a young psychology student named Nathan Blumenthal (later Nathaniel Branden