As VP, George HW Bush Enjoyed A Rare Relationship With President Ronald Reagan

In the wake of George H.W. Bush’s passing, people are remembering his life and career. While he was eventually elected president, many forget that he first served as Vice President to Ronald Reagan. The two had a complicated relationship as they began as competitors. According to the New York Times, both Reagan and Bush were vying for the Republican party presidential nomination. While the two weren’t exactly best friends to begin with, Bush officially was on Reagan’s bad side after he famously referred to the policies Reagan was advocating for as “voodoo economics.” When Gerald Ford ended up declining Reagan’s offer to be vice president, however, Reagan turned to Bush.

A report on the official Senate website states that Reagan thought Bush lacked “spunk” and was unable to handle criticism. Reagan changed his tune when Bush became vice president, and appreciated that Bush rarely disagreed with him. His loyalty to Reagan during his presidency never faltered. One instance that displayed Bush’s respect for Reagan was when Reagan was shot. Bush was in Dallas, Texas at the time and immediately flew back to Washington upon hearing the news.

It was suggested that Bush travel to the White House by helicopter after landing at Andrews Air Force Base in hopes of creating a dramatic scene that would encourage Americans and make for good television. Bush refused to do this and believed that “only the President lands on the south lawn.” Instead, Bush opted to helicopter to his residence at the Naval Observatory and traveled to the White House from there.

The two had lunch together every Thursday and would talk about everything “from affairs of state to small talk,” according to Bush. Reagan learned to trust Bush, and Bush never revealed Reagan’s secrets. Reagan repaid him for his loyalty by helping to campaign for him when Bush ran for president again in 1988. Needless to say, the way Bush spoke of Reagan in public afterwards came nothing close to his “voodoo economics” comment.

”He was a wonderful man, a wonderful, warm human being,” Bush once said of Reagan. “He was so darn kind to me, and also to Barbara.”

Once Bush was elected presidency, Reagan gladly passed the torch to him and left Bush a heartfelt message.

”George, I treasure the memories we share and wish you all the very best,” the note read. ”You’ll be in my prayers. God bless you and Barbara. I’ll miss our Thursday lunches.”

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McMafia Season 2 release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know about the renewal of the AMC international crime thriller

AMC confirmed the return of the international crime thriller McMafia for Season 2 back in July during the Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour. AMC’s announcement came after the BBC confirmed the Season 2 return of McMafia to BBC One earlier in May.

The series creators Hossein Amini and James Watkins were delighted when the BBC first made the announcement on May 2.

“We are so thrilled with how McMafia has resonated with audiences across the world,” they said.

— BBC One (@BBCOne) May 2, 2018

AMC renewed McMafia for Season 2 despite the fact that the show’s ratings took a tumble in the U.S. where it concluded its first season run on April 23. The season premiere, which aired on February 26, scored a rating of 0.14, while the season finale scored 0.04.

McMafia Season 1 averaged 0.07 in the 18-49 demographic and had an average season viewership of 295,000, compared with AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 9 which scored a 2.03 rating and averaged 5.231 million viewers and Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 which was rated 0.78 and drew 2.265 million viewers.

McMafia is one of the lowest-rated shows on AMC, surpassing only Loaded Season 1 which scored a 0.06 rating and had an average season viewership of 207,000.

A show’s rating is one of the most important predictors of whether it will stay on the air. One can, therefore, conclude that the AMC executives considered other factors when they decided to renew McMafia for Season 2.

McMafia was a huge hit with the British audience on BBC One. The debut episode (January 1) on BBC One drew 9.8 million viewers, while the finale episode (February 11) drew 6.31 million viewers.

McMafia Season 1 averaged about 7.1 million viewers on BBC One. The BBC also revealed that the Season 1 premiere had been streamed on its iPlayer service more than 3.4 million times.

With the BBC and AMC having confirmed the crime thriller for Season 2, there is evidence of renewed interest in the U.S., and fans worldwide are looking forward to another season of a deep dive into the world of global organized crime.

Ahead of the announcement of the official premiere date, we bring you everything we know so far about McMafia Season 2, including release date, cast, plot, and more.

McMafia Season 2 release date

Although the BBC and AMC have confirmed McMafia for Season 2, both networks have not announced an official premiere date. The eight-episode Season 1 of the series started running on the BBC on January 1 and ended on February 11.

The series premiered on AMC on February 26, while the season finale aired on the U.S. TV channel on April 23.

Although an official premiere date has not been announced, fans expect that McMafia Season 2 will be hitting their TV screens by the summer of 2019.

We will update readers when AMC announces the premiere date for McMafia Season 2.

McMafia Season 2 details

McMafia is an international crime thriller, starring James Norton as Alex Godman.

McMafia is created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins. Watkins also directed all the eight episodes of the first season. The series is co-produced by BBC, AMC, and Cuba Pictures, in collaboration with Twickenham Studios.

BBC Worldwide distributes the series internationally.

The BBC was able to sell the series to Amazon in several territories across the globe and to the Russian TV channel Pyatnitsa! (Friday TV), despite the fact that the Russian embassy in London previously criticized the show.

Amini and Watkins are returning as executive producers for McMafia Season 2. The pair co-executive produced McMafia Season 1, alongside Nick Marston, Robyn Slovo, Matthew Read, Dixie Linder, Ben Hall, and Misha Glenny.

Glenny has also been confirmed to be returning as co-executive producer for McMafia Season 2.

The BBC first announced plans for the series in October 2015 and revealed in April 2016 that Norton had been cast in the leading role of Alex Godman. Additional casting announced in November 2016 included Alex’s parents, played by Maria Shukshina and Aleksey Serebryakov, and David Strathairn as a shady Israeli businessman.

McMafia Season 1 was filmed across the world in major cities, such as London, Moscow, Zagreb, Belgrade, Tel Aviv, and Cairo.

The series creators were conscious of the significance of the timing of the release of the series amid rising tensions between Russia and the West.

“McMafia’s blend of topicality and killer storytelling struck a chord with audiences and significantly added to the discourse around Anglo-Russian relations,” Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said.

McMafia is inspired by journalist Misha Glenny’s bestselling non-fiction book McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld. The BBC international correspondent’s book documents the rise and global spread of mafia organizations around the world.

The book focused especially on the Chechen Mafia in Russia, which rose after the fall of the Soviet Union (USSR) and spread its influence and power from Moscow to other Russian cities through franchising.

Amini and Watson’s McMafia TV series adapts and fictionalizes selected stories from Glenny’s book while trying to avoid distorting the facts as presented in the book.

McMafia  has received mixed reviews, with some viewers describing it as boring and insisting that there was no need to renew McMafia for Season 2 because Season 1 was a “self contained drama.”

Other viewers complained that they could not follow the show’s portrayal of organized crime, especially plotlines that were hinged on complex financing and money laundering maneuvers. The Sun also reported that many viewers complained about poor audio in some episodes and accused the cast of “mumbling.”

— Sharon Thompson (@sharontwriter) January 1, 2018

— Sophie Elizabeth (@SophEHT) January 1, 2018

— LindiMiss (@LindiMiss) January 1, 2018

The Sun’s TV critic Ally Ross offered a harsher assessment of the series, describing McMafia as a “disaster waiting to happen.”

But many other viewers were happy about the news that McMafia is returning for Season 2.

— Sarah Johnson (@SJ_UK1) May 2, 2018

McMafia became the subject of a legal tussle earlier in the year after Wilf Varvill, a British writer, accused the BBC of breach of copyright and filed a claim in the U.K. High Court. According to The Telegraph, Varvill alleged that McMafia’s storyline was the same as his 2007 short film Londongrad.

It is also widely claimed that McMafia influenced U.K. legislation through a law that was drafted to make possible the seizure of foreign assets obtained illegally.

McMafia Season 2 will likely also consist of eight episodes, and it is expected to go into production very soon.

McMafia Season 2 trailer

The BBC and AMC have not released an official trailer for McMafia Season 2. However, fans are hoping that the networks will drop an official trailer for the upcoming season early next year.

We will update fans when a trailer for McMafia Season 2 becomes available. Meanwhile, enjoy the BBC’s Season 1 launch trailer, released on November 2, 2017.

Also watch AMC’s promo video released on January 13, 2018.

McMafia Season 2 cast

Amini and Watkins have indicated that they plan to continue telling stories that “cast more light on the shady intersections of transnational criminals.” However, no casting announcements for McMafia Season 2 have been made.

The silence has led to speculation that since Season 1 appeared to have been a “self-contained drama,” McMafia Season 2 may introduce a new story, new characters, and a new cast.

This means that even if Norton returns for McMafia Season 2, he may not be the protagonist.

However, Glenny’s return to McMafia Season 2 as executive producer has been confirmed. It indicates that the writers plan to continue using his book as source material and that they plan to continue tapping into his expertise on the subject of international organized crime.

Norton has also expressed interest in reprising his role. He shared in an interview with Variety, ahead of the BBC’s Season 2 renewal announcement, that he enjoyed making the show and that he was ready to reprise his role in Season 2 because he believed the series has a lot more stories to tell about his character.

If the writers choose to continue to focus on Norton’s character Alex Godman, the entire main cast for Season 1 could return for McMafia Season 2.

McMafia Season 1 starred James Norton as Alex Godman, Juliet Rylance as Rebecca Harper (Alex’s girlfriend), David Strathairn as the shady Israeli businessman Semiyon Kleiman, Faye Marsay as Alex’s sister Katya Godman, Aleksey Serebryakov as Alex’s father Dimitri Godman, Maria Shukshina as Alex’s mother Oksana Godman, Oshri Cohen as the bodyguard Joseph, Merab Ninidze as the Russian mafia boss Vadim Kalyagin, and David Dencik as Alex’s uncle Boris Godman.

James Norton is known for his role as Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley (TV series 2014- ) and as Andrei Bolkonsky in War and Peace (TV Mini-Series 2016). He also played Sidney Chambers in Grantchester (TV series 2014- ) and appeared in Black Mirror (TV series 2011- ).

Faye Marsay is known to fans for her role in Game of Thrones (TV series 2011- ) as The Waif. She appeared in The White Queen (TV Mini-Series 2013) as Anne Neville. She also appeared in Doctor Who (TV series 2005-) and Black Mirror (TV series 2011- ).

McMafia Season 2 plot

The series stars James Norton as Alex Godman. Alex is the British-educated son of a Russian mafia boss living in exile in London.

Alex tries to escape the family business as a self-made hedge fund manager, but he soon finds himself forced to make a choice between pursuing a crime-free life and returning to his family roots in the dangerous world of organized crime.

McMafia gives viewers an intimate look at the hidden world of organized global crime syndicates. The storyline follows Alex’s descent into the world of organized crime after he is faced with a difficult choice between protecting his loved ones and escaping his family’s past connections with the criminal underworld.

Alex’s struggle, which starts off as a tale of survival and revenge, soon becomes a story about his struggle to resist the lure of wealth and glamorous lifestyle obtained through corruption and crime.

Unable to resist, he finds himself being drawn deeper and deeper through his family business into the world of crime where he encounters the Mafia and international drug cartels.

McMafia Season 1 showed Alex pitching a plan and concluding a deal to flood the European markets with heroin.

Amini and Watkins have promised that McMafia Season 2 will start off from where Season 1 left off to “cast more light on the shady intersections of transnational criminals and their enablers in finance, law, intelligence agencies and even in governments.”

This could mean that McMafia Season 2 will follow Alex’s rise in the criminal world, and possibly also his eventual downfall. Alternatively, the writers could tell a different story based on Glenny’s book, but with different characters and a new cast.

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WATCH: Best of WWE SmackDown – highlights from the Tuesday night show

Check out the best SmackDown had to offer, with our bite-sized highlights reel of the pick of the action.

We’ve put together the best the blue brand had to offer as a contract signing resulted in a reluctant tag team partnership with TLC pay-per-view event just around the corner on Sunday, December 16.

Click on the video above to relive the magic and don’t forget – WWE SmackDown is repeated on Sky Sports Arena at 10pm on Wednesday night.

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Best horse racing tips for today's action at Market Rasen, Wincanton, Leicester and Chelmsford from Tom Bull

However, it make sifting through the cards slightly easier and I've got some mud-lovers who can dig their way to victory on Thursday.

Market Rasen

1.55 Blakerigg – Returned from an absence with career best form last time out, beating a fairly competitive field with ease.

A wind op clearly made a big difference to him and he could have plenty more in the tank even after a 9lb rise.

Brian Hughes is flying at home moment with ten wins from his last sixty rides and his mount certainly won't be found wanting in the saddle.

There should be more to come now that he's had a run to blow away the cobwebs and this a very winnable contest.

Wincanton

1.30 Cobolobo – Produced a fine performance on seasonal debut to finish a neck-second to last year's Albert Bartlett winner Kilbricken Storm and there should be another big effort in him now he's had a run.

Jonjo O'Neill has started this campaign better than the last couple of years and his challenger is another who looks to have been improved by a wind operation.

He gets to run off the same mark as that second and could be feasibly treated now running in his first handicap over the larger obstacles.

This is a hot little race but he's open to plenty of improvement.

Bully's Wednesday Bankers

1.55 Market Rasen – Blakerigg

1.30 Wincanton – Cobolobo

1.40 Leicester – Loveherandleaveher
7.00 Chelmsford – Breden

Leicester

1.40 Loveherandleaveher – Nicky Henderson couldn't really have found a better opening for his impressive point winner.

Not seen since unseating at Newbury nearly a year ago, his six-year-old mare has clearly had her issues.

However, she's got bags of potential for her top trainer and this is a really weak contest.

It would be disappointing if she wasn't capable of making a winning start to the campaign.

Chelmsford

7.00 Breden – The one to be on here is Linda Jewell's contender, who won with his head in his chest last time out and looks nicely treated off just a 5lb higher mark.

He seemed to appreciate returning from a break that day and the one concern is that he's usually better first-time out.

However, he was so dominant that day that he should be very tough to beat, particularly considering the strength of his record on synthetics.

Follow @tombull4 on Twitter for all his thoughts every day of the week

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Ashley I. on Revealing She Almost Froze Her Eggs: 'People Were Interested'

An open book! Ashley Iaconetti recently opened up about a very personal decision she almost made to freeze her eggs — and revealed to Us Weekly that she wasn’t nervous, thanks to other women in Bachelor Nation.

“I feel like so many girls have,” Iaconetti, 30, told Us at the 29Rooms opening at the Reef in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 4. “Even in Bachelor Nation, like Kaitlyn [Bristowe], Carly [Waddell], Whitney [Bischoff] and Andi [Dorfman].”

The Bachelor in Paradise alum added: “They all did it together and they talked about it so openly, so I was, like, ‘Oh no, that’s a really good idea if you hit 30.’”

Iaconetti also dished on whether she was truly considering that option before she started dating her now-fiancé, Jared Haibon.

“[I was] definitely serious,” the reality star told Us. “If I was approaching my 30th birthday being single, I definitely was — and not knowing that Jared’s feelings had turned — that was definitely going to be my birthday present to myself.”

The Virginia native — who got engaged to Haibon, 30, in Puerto Vallarta in June — first opened up about freezing her eggs during the November 26 episode of her “Almost Famous” podcast.

Iaconetti also told Us at Tuesday’s event — where the exhibits were created in partnership with GLAAD & The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, ACLU, Amazon Prime Video’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Pantene, Plan B One-Step and Smirnoff — that “people were interested.”

She added, “it would’ve make me feel so much better and not in a rush to not find anyone.”

The former Bachelor contestant and Haibon met while filming season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise in 2015.

With reporting by Emily Marcus






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BMG Overhauls U.S. Repertoire Team, Zach Katz Stepping Down

BMG is splitting its US repertoire organization into three units, the company announced today. In its new structure BMG’s three key US offices: Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York, will effectively have the same status as countries such as the UK and Germany, reporting directly to worldwide CEO Hartwig Masuch.

The company cited its recent growth, which has seen revenue double in three years, as the reason for the move, but also because Zach Katz (pictured above), the company’s current US President of Repertoire and Marketing, he will step down from company at the end of the year in order to take up an unspecified new role.

Effective January 1, 2019, BMG US will comprise three distinct units:

  • LOS ANGELES, where Thomas Scherer has been promoted to EVP, Repertoire & Marketing, Los Angeles.
  • NASHVILLE, where Jon Loba, EVP BBR Music Group, and Kos Weaver, EVP BMG Nashville, will formally take joint control of BMG’s repertoire operation in the home of country music;
  • NEW YORK, where John Loeffler is appointed EVP, Repertoire & Marketing, New York.

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “The US represents more than 50% of BMG’s business. To give you a sense of scale, if it was a country, our Los Angeles operation would be our biggest territory some way ahead of the UK, Nashville would be our third biggest territory just ahead of Germany and New York would be sixth biggest, just behind France.”

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“Putting this new structure in place will empower local management and enable us to better deliver our mission of offering artists and songwriters a genuine alternative to the established companies.”

Regarding Katz’s departure, Masuch said, “Zach has made a substantial contribution to BMG over the past six years,” says Masuch, “most notably in helping our US operation make the transition from an acquisition-driven start-up to an organically-driven music publishing and recordings company which genuinely delivers on its core values to its clients. I have immense respect for the commitment he has given BMG and salute his multitude of achievements.

“Zach is above all a close friend and I am convinced we’ll work again together in the future.”

Says Katz, “I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Hartwig, for believing in me over the years and believing in the US team. Under his management, BMG has grown exponentially and achieved more in the past 10 years than most companies could ever dream possible. I am positive the greatest years of BMG still lie ahead with the company’s new US leadership group at the helm.”

Under the new structure Thomas Scherer will head the repertoire operation in Los Angeles. Scherer, a 30-year veteran of the music industry, joined BMG in 2008 as one of the original employees at the company headquarters in Berlin. In his previous role as EVP Frontline Publishing, US & Global Writer Services, he was responsible for BMG’s Los Angeles and New York teams, as well as the international publishing creative teams.

In Nashville, Kos Weaver and BBR Music Group’s Jon Loba have jointly been appointed to oversee the office and lead the publishing and recorded music teams based there. Kos Weaver joined BMG to run its Nashville publishing operation in 2013. Loba joined BMG in January 2017 following the company’s acquisition of BBR Music Group.  The new joint management structure comes ahead of BMG moving its publishing and recorded music teams together into a new Nashville location in 2019. In New York, John Loeffler will be responsible for BMG’s music publishing and recorded music operations in the Big Apple, including S-Curve Records.

Said Masuch, “In a fast-growing company like BMG, one of the great challenges is to ensure you have the optimum structure for each stage of development. This structure prepares the ground for BMG’s next phase of the growth in the US and I would like to congratulate Thomas, John, Kos and Jon as they take on these exciting new roles.”

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