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Mitch Perry Report for 1.14.16 — And the winner is?

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Shortly after 8:30 a.m., the Oscar nominations will be announced from Hollywood, and yes, I actually give a fig.

As an inveterate moviegoer, I still get excited about what the Establishment thinks about the product it puts out every year. Interestingly, while the Oscars are still among the most viewed television broadcasts globally every year, they always seem to drop in the ratings most years.

This year, Chris Rock is hosting, but what I’ll be interested to see today is if the Star Wars film gets a Best Film nomination.

Granted, I haven’t seen the new J.J. Abrams version, and may not. The point is, the reason the Academy expanded the number of Best Movie nominations from five to 10 some years ago was to include more films that people actually see, like Star Wars, which of course, has blown through all box-office records. The idea being, people can watch the show because they’ve seen at least one movie!

(Update — Star Wars did not get a Best Movie nomination. View the complete list here-

Now on to tonight in North Charleston, South Carolina, for the latest GOP presidential debate.

You’ve noticed by now, I hope, that despite all the pregame hype, the debates haven’t really affected the race much. OK, to a certain extent, Ted Cruz has been helped, I’d admit.

But what about Marco Rubio? No candidate has received better reviews for his debate performances, and the last time I looked, the Florida junior Senator is hoping to finish third in Iowa.

Donald Trump has actually been relatively low-key in more recent debates, which works for him. Since there really doesn’t seem to be anything that he says that ever backfires on him anyway, Trump continues to “win” these debates according to pundits because, well, I’m not sure why, but that’s what the folks on the telly tell me.

I actually dig watching Chris Christie in these encounters. But again, where’s he looking in the polls?

Lindsey Graham and Carly Fiorina have also received high marks, and where are they? Graham is back to his regular job as a Senator, while Fiorina has been relegated to the 6 p.m. Happy Hour debate tonight.

One prediction: You’ll hear a lot about the recent incident with Iran and the U.S. sailors that they kidnapped for a day.

I’m already looking forward to the next debate in two weeks, where we’ll get the return of Fox News Megyn Kelly asking questions of Trump and the rest of the field.

In other news …

Florida Republican Matt Gaetz‘ bill that would regulate Uber and Lyft passed a committee in the House yesterday, and now goes to the floor for a final vote. Yet there’s no Senate companion bill that would get it to Rick Scott’s desk.

Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity has come out in support of Gaetz’ ride-sharing bill. 

Speaking of that bill, Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission Chair Victor Crist says that there better be a bill out of Tallahassee this session, or he threatens … well, he’s threatening something “radical” if the Legislature fails to act.

Although some conservatives are bashing Jeb Bush and Right to Rise for the ad that depicts Marco Rubio and his “flip-flopping'” boots as somehow a sad denouement of his campaign, I think it’s a classic. The former Florida Governor went on Morning Joe yesterday to defend it, and added a few shots at his supposed friend.

Seminole-based state House Republican Larry Ahern thinks the Legislature should send a statement to Washington telling them to declare war on ISIS, ISLE, al-Qaida, and any other group espousing Islamic radicalism.

Members of the Florida Legislature like Richard Corcoran want to put term limits on judges, something only one other state in the union does (New Mexico). An activist group yesterday condemned the proposal.

And can’t get enough of omnipresent political reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann? Then hope you’ve got Showtime, to see the dynamic duo do their thing on pay cable beginning this weekend.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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