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Clint Eastwood: ‘American Sniper’ is an ‘antiwar statement’

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In the wake of antiwar criticism from the left and pro-war praise from right about his film American Sniper, director Clint Eastwood told those gathered at Saturday’s Producers Guild Award Nominees Breakfast that his film makes “the biggest antiwar statement any film can.”

Eastwood insisted that the film was an “antiwar statement” because it depicted “what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back to into civilian life like Chris Kyle did.”

“One of my favorite war movies that I’ve been involved with is Letters from Iwo Jima,” he continued. “And that was about family, about being taken away from life, being sent someplace. In World War II, everybody just sort of went home and got over it. Now there is some effort to help people through it. In Chris Kyle’s case, no good deed went unpunished.”

Eastwood described how he and the film’s star, Bradley Cooper, visited with Kyle’s family to see “what they were like.”

“I went down there and met the mother and father and their grand-kids,” he said. “It was of great value to [Bradley] because he could get into the history of the family and their feelings about the whole situation. It was a very pleasant experience from beginning to end.”

He did not mention how the film’s depiction of the Iraqi people, who are there — as British comedian and social activist Russell Brand discussed last week — merely as a backdrop to “American military might, American military power.”

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Real Time host Bill Maher said of the film’s box office success that “The Hurt Locker [only] made $17 million, because it was a little ambiguous. And thoughtful — and this one is just ‘American hero, he’s a psychopath patriot and we love him.’”

Conservatives, meanwhile, have been extolling the film’s virtue and the heroism of its subject, Chris Kyle. “The movie gives America something it’s lacked since the start of the war — a war hero on a truly national, cultural scale,” David French wrote at the National Review.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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