- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hola. President Obama’s trip to Cuba will likely warrant glowing coverage from a friendly press; Mr. Obama was accompanied by his family and lawmakers for the universally hailed “historic” occasion. Some don’t buy into the feel-good moment, though.

“I have a word for the people of Cuba who will witness the gaudy spectacle in Havana: America has not forgotten you,” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas noted in a tweet Sunday.

The Republican National Committee deems the excursion a “historic mistake” with an agenda.

“By visiting the island before seeing more progress in the liberty and freedom and possibilities of ordinary Cubans, he legitimizes an oppressive regime and abandons the people he says this policy shift is all about. Cuba is going backwards as the Castro regime’s repression has worsened since the renewal of ties. The president’s trip is not about Cuban liberal movement, it is about legacy,” says the organization.


The White House is deft at building buzz anywhere. Before departing for Cuba, President Obama filmed a “skit featuring a popular Havana-based Cuban comedian known as ‘Panfilo,’ who, as part of his comedy routine, regularly attempts to place calls to the President. While Panfilo’s attempts are typically thwarted, he encountered success on Friday,” said Politico writer Sarah Wheaton, in the official White House pool report.

Mr. Obama spoke in English and Spanish in the four-minute segment for the very popular “Panfilo” show — regularly viewed by two-thirds of the population each Monday night.


A Military Times survey recently revealed that GOP front-runner Donald Trump is the first choice for president among active-duty troops who appreciate “outsider” appeal. Now another analysis finds Mr. Trump has won over troops — and their families as well.

The New York Daily News conducted a meticulous study of U.S. census figures and local voting data to find Mr. Trump in the lead: “Many members of the military and their families who live in and near military bases have enthusiastically supported the real-estate mogul,” states the analysis, which covered 13 military bases in nine states that held primaries.

“Trump was the clear front-runner, winning 38 percent of the 3,236 votes cast so far in the Republican primaries. Trump won at seven bases,” the researchers found, citing Fort Benning, Georgia, as a particular stronghold. Mr. Trump tied with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas among voters at Fort Jackson in South Carolina; Mr. Cruz won the precincts covering the other five bases.

“I love Trump right now,” one Navy sailor told The Daily News. “He’s just brutally honest, and I like brutally honest.”

On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders triumphed over front-runner Hillary Clinton in the Military Times survey; in the Daily News analysis, Mrs. Clinton emerged as the victor.


“We understand the frustration some members of the GOP establishment must be feeling over the rise of Donald Trump. Trump’s success (compounded by Ted Cruz’s success) is putting the old order on trial,” writes Newt Gingrich and noted presidential historian Craig Shirley in an essay for Time magazine.

But that doesn’t mean the “Party of Reagan” is kaput, they note.

“Reaganism is alive and well in America and in the GOP. It remains the dominant philosophy among center-right Americans. It is the old, Washington-centered GOP establishment that is threatened with diminution at best and extinction at worst,” the authors continue, adding, “Reaganism is staging a strong comeback. Even today, many of the candidates for the 2016 nomination have invoked Reagan’s policies in detail and with fondness.”

The authors later note, “Reaganism is not dead. It’s just that millions of Republican voters who identify with Reaganism believe that, at a time when the bureaucratic state is stretching the limits of its powers everywhere we look, the Trump-Cruz outsiders are far more likely than the comfortable Washington establishment in achieving Reagan’s vision of a freer, stronger and more prosperous America.”


The Raab Collection, a dealer in historical documents, has acquired a newly discovered, unpublished letter of future president Ronald Reagan written on Aug. 12, 1946 — “showing him decrying the infiltration of the Democratic Party and Hollywood by Communists and sympathizers,” the organization says.

The letter, written on stationery belonging to his first wife, Jane Wyman, was sent to an Eastern European author and is deemed “among the most revealing letters Reagan wrote, presaging his transition from Democrat to Republican years later.” The value: $17,500.

“The evolution of Reagan from a liberal Democrat to a conservative Republican had profound consequences for our country and the world. In this remarkable letter we see the earliest stirrings of that and also his power of words in advocating his position. It shows just how early he was looked to as a leader in the crusade against communist influence in the United States,” says Nathan Raab, a principal for the collection.

“Believe me I don’t want to be a ‘Red Baiter’ or go on a ‘witch hunt’ but if the liberal cause is to win in the fight against native Fascism it must first stand up and be counted as opposed to communism,” Reagan wrote.


68 percent of Americans say information on a terrorist’s locked iPhone will yield helpful material; 75 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

58 percent overall are concerned about their privacy in the government war on terrorism; 51 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 56 percent of Democrats agree.

50 percent overall say Apple should unlock the iPhone; 56 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

40 percent overall say the government balances privacy concerns and national security needs; 36 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CBS News poll of 1,022 U.S. adults conducted March 11-15.

Cranky diatribes, ballyhoo to [email protected]

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