Left Justified

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US and South Korea Engage in Military Exercises to Send Message of Strength to North Korea

November 12, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in News and Media

USS Ronald Reagan traveling through the Straits of Magellan, to San Diego, CA, in a transfer move.

This past Saturday marked the beginning of four days of naval exercises specifically targeted to show the military muscle of the United State and South Korea in opposition to that of North Korea.

The drills began off the eastern coast of South Korea, just while the President of the US, Donald Trump is in Asia for diplomatic discussions with national leaders. One of the main topics for discussions among Trump and Asian leaders is the nuclear threat North Korea is developing.

A battle group composed of three aircraft carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and the Nimitz will enter the drill area and remain there until the exercises are completed on Tuesday.

In addition to the carrier group, 11 US Aegis ships will join with seven South Korean naval boats, including their own two Aegis ships. The Aegis designation refers to the specialized missile tracking and guidance systems on board.

The aim of the drill, aside from sending a warning to North Korea, is to enhance the partners’ aerial striking capabilities. But the main message is the one sent to North Korea by displaying the two countries’

“strong will and firm military readiness to defeat any provocation by North Korea with dominant force in the event of crisis,”

said a military spokesman for South Korea in a statement.

Poll Shows Trump Approval Heading South

October 30, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in News and Media

Donald Trump Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The latest poll, conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, shows that only 38 percent of Americans believe President Donald Trump is doing a good job. This was his lowest rating yet since he was inaugurated. The numbers who believe he is doing a poor job are almost 60 percent of those polled.

The biggest drop was found in the group of independent voters whose approval plummeted from 41 percent in September down to 34 percent in October. The numbers reveal that Trump has the lowest approval rating of any previous modern president. During the first fall of Obama’s, GW Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s presidency their approval ratings were polled at 51 percent, 88 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

The individual issues those surveyed were asked about included Trump’s handling of the NFL national anthem player protests, health care, the days after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and North Korea. In each of these crisis Trump’s score was 59 percent, 57 percent, 54 percent and 51 percent, who disapproved of his responses.

The poll surveyed 900 respondents during four days from October 23-26, half reached by cellphone.

John Castle Recipient of Happy Warrior Award

October 22, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in News and Media

Former Governor Alfred E. Smith calling on the Secretary of the Navy Charles Francis Adams. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The 72nd annual Alfred E. Smith dinner took place on October 19, 2017 in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton Midtown Manhattan hotel. The yearly event brings the country’s most outstanding religious, political and business leaders together to support non-profit organizations that benefit New York’s children most in need of assistance.

The dinner honors the memory of the first Catholic to be nominated by a major US political party as the Democratic candidate for president in 1928. As a governor of New York, Smith was known as the “Happy Warrior” for his optimistic attitude and positive outlook as he labored to solve some of the most difficult problems confronting society at that time.
Every year the organization honors one person as the newest “Happy Warrior,” and this year John K. Castle, Chairman and CEO of Castle Harlan Inc, was that special person.

Actress and producer Patricia Heaton broke ground at this year’s dinner as the first woman to emcee the event. Vice Chairman of the organization, Mary Callahan Erdoes, introduced John K. Castle, mentioning that he has participated in the dinner for the past 38 years.

“During those 38 years, I’ve heard a lot of bad jokes,” Castle said. “And, unfortunately, a fair number of those ‘bad jokes’ got elected,” he gibed.

Also appearing at the dinner were the New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who gave the keynote address, and Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio, who recited the invocation.

Cardinal Dolan’s closing remarks included praise for those in attendance:

“…this event is really all about virtue; the virtue of a wonderful politician named Alfred Emanuel Smith, whose service to God, this state, this city, this one nation under God, was legendary. The ‘Happy Warrior,’ who stopped smiling only for a few moments when confronted with rejection and bigotry because of his own ethnic background and deep Catholic faith when he ran for president.

“The virtue of Jack Castle, who this evening received the award named after that ‘Happy Warrior.’ The virtue of Patty Heaton, our emcee this evening, whose joy and commitment to God and country are so luminously radiant.

“The virtue of a national leader, admired by all sides for his own patience, determination and sense of duty, whose own faith and patriotism, love of family and loyalty to friends—and I’m sure honored to be one of them—is so uplifting, Speaker Paul Ryan.”

Mr. Castle received his BA from MIT, his MBA from Harvard, and is the CEO and chairman of Castle Harlan.

California Governor Brown Vetoes Bill to Force Disclosure of Candidates Tax Returns

October 16, 2017 by Gail Nussbaum in News and Media

Governor Jerry Brown at an Oct 31, 2010 Rally in Sacramento California. Photo courtesy of Amadscientist.

Although California Governor Jerry Brown might agree, at least in theory, with fellow Democrats desire to see President Trump’s tax returns, he nonetheless vetoed the legislation his state’s legislature passed to force such disclosures in the future.

Saying that such a requirement, that presidential candidates submit their last five years’ worth of 1040s to California state officials before they can have their names on the ballot, would send California down a “slippery slope” of unconstitutional requirements, making it more difficult for candidates to participate in elections.

“While I recognize the political attractiveness – even the merits – of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner,” Brown wrote in his veto message. “First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”

Other states, along with California, have such legislation dragging along, but their constitutionality and legal force are highly speculative. In the past the US Supreme Court has determined that states are not allowed to add to the needed requirements for US Senators or Congressmen. California’s counsel has also published the position that such a presidential disclosure bill is likely unconstitutional. Other legal experts disagree and say that such a law could be approved by SCOTUS.