Water Cooler


The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • The grassroots group Moms Demand Action is calling for its 100,000 members to march for "gun sense" during the Fourth of July. (image from Moms Demand Action)

    Moms Demand Action march against the gun lobby on July 4

    By Jennifer HarperPublished July 1, 2013 Comments

    Fireworks and barbecues do not lead the activities of Moms Demand Action this week. "Having gun sense is patriotic," declare organizers from the 100,000-member group founded last December after the Newtown shootings. Its membership will march in more than than a dozen cities on Thursday, including Houston, Chicago and the nation's capital. "Celebrate your love for your country and your children this July 4th! As mothers, we're coming together to Declare Independence from Gun Violence - and from the gun lobby that contributes to our national epidemic," the group says in its outreach. Code Pink and another group - MomsRising - have already staged multiple protests this year against the National Rifle Association. The activist mothers at Demand Action, meanwhile, will also contact legislators this week. "The most important thing we can do is incredibly easy - just call your representative. The other side is calling five times as often ...

  • ** FILE ** Aida Castillo places a sticker on her blouse indicating that she had voted during the early voting period, on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Las Vegas. In the heavily Hispanic neighborhoods of Las Vegas, unemployment is high and home values are down. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

    Reince Priebus to Latinos: the GOP has changed

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 30, 2013 Comments

    The Grand Old Party has changed. No really. That was the earnest message from Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who took his claim to the annual National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference, which ended Sunday in Chicago. Republicans have "reshaped" their outreach, Mr. Priebus told the group, which represents some 6,000 officials. Republicans get community; they get neighborhoods and churches. They get immigration and educational reform plus economic opportunity. "In America, it doesn't matter where you come from; it matters where you're going," Mr. Priebus noted. Then there is the 24 million member Latino voting bloc to consider. In the 2012 election, 70 percent voted for President Obama. The Pew Hispanic Center now predicts the numbers will double by 2030, and projects that Latinos "will account for 40 percent of the growth in the eligible electorate in the U.S. between now and 2030." That's one big ...

  • Major General George Gordon Meade Equestrian Monument by H. K. Bush-Brown, dedicated in 1896. (image from the Gettysburg Foundation)

    9,500 reenactors, 375 horses, 300,000 spectators arrive for 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 29, 2013 Comments

    It's not exactly party time. Dramatic observance? Well, yeah. More than 300,000 curious, enthusiastic, reverent and occasionally overwhelmed Americans and international visitors are expected to descend upon Pennsylvania to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg, fought 15 decades ago from July 1 to July 3, 1863. By the battle's end, the Union's Army of the Potomac repelled the second invasion of the North by the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia, and more than 51,000 Confederate and Union soldiers were wounded, missing, or dead. Folks can't forget that these days. The region around the battlefield began a one-week commemoration of the historic events on Saturday; it is good for the local economy, and good for those with imaginative interpretation skills. There are 400 official events, countless hotel and inn specials, hallowed trail walks, ceremonies, speeches, silent moments, a culinary tour - this conducted right at the Gettysburg National Military Park. "The fare ...

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted this photo in honor of George H.W. Bush's birthday.

    Eight 'unbelievable things' Nancy Pelosi has actually said

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 28, 2013 Comments

    The National Republican Congressional Committee has assembled a compendium of Rep. Nancy Pelosi's, uh, commentary in recent days. Yes, there's video. Yes, "We have to pass Obamacare to find out what's in it" is included in the list of all time greats from the California Democrat, compiled by the organization's online guru Matt Gorman. Find it all here  

  • ** FILE ** This Jan. 26, 2012, photo shows former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaking in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

    Bush/Palin 2016 called 'the GOP's only chance'

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 28, 2013 Comments

    Earlier this year, Jeb Bush told ABC that both his father George H.W. Bush, and brother George W. recommended he run for president in 2016. Mama Barbara Bush is not keen on the idea, declaring in April that "the nation's probably had enough Bushes." But in the constantly shifting equations of potential Republican hopefuls for future president and vice president, the former Florida governor's name has been tied with another former governor: Sarah Palin. The pair have now been framed as a "the GOP's only chance" in the race by American Thinker contributor Michael Sheppard. "Would Jeb Bush have as good a chance, or better, than any other prospective GOP candidate? Most certainly he might. As a popular governor of Florida, married to a Hispanic, and who garnered a good proportion of the Hispanic vote, Bush would be in a strong position to carry the state," he says, reasoning that ...

  • If Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to run a successful campaign for president, she "needs not only to manage expectations but also to show she can manage her husband," according to Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson. (Associated Press)

    Hungry? Here comes the 'Inaugural Stop Hillary 2016 Luncheon'

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 27, 2013 Comments

    The feisty online push to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the White House is only a week old, and already they've got spiffy new bumperstickers. And they're eager to socialize. StopHillary2016.org - organized by Matt Rhoades, former point man for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign - went active June 21. And naturally, an "Inaugural Stop Hillary 2016 Luncheon" is planned for early next month in Manhattan. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg can't be too pleased. Will there be standard Republican power fare on the tables? Say, petite beef filets and a portion of sea bass, fancy potatoes, maybe a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and bacon crumbles? Surely a fleet of miniature deserts emblazoned with "SH2016" would be appropriate. Yeah, well. Mr. Rhoades will host the affair, says CNN's Peter Hamby, who got a hold of an invitation. There will be fundraising, and the presence of America Rising, the new ...

  • Gay Republicans on Supreme Court marriage rulings: 'We're not done yet'

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 26, 2013 Comments

    "Today's ruling is a victory of conservative principles and admonishment of government overreach," says Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest Republican organization for gay conservatives and their allies, following the U.S. Supreme Court's concurrent rulings on the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. "Civil marriage strengthens families, supports stability, and allows greater opportunity for couples to live without the crutch of government assistance, and now with Section 3 of DOMA rightly relegated to the dustbin of history, same-sex couples in civil marriage partnerships in those states that allow it can engage in the full spectrum of federal rights previously denied them," Mr. Angelo continues. "Now the fight continues in the states, and Log Cabin Republicans will continue to be on the front lines to take the conservative case for marriage to Republicans across the nation. History is on our side, and ...

  • Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin leaves the stage carrying a 7-Eleven 'super big gulp' cup after speaking during the final day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Fort Washington, Md. on March 16, 2013. The drink was a reference to an effort in New York City to ban sodas and sugery drinks from being sold in containers larger than 16 ounces, an effort that was struck down recently by a state Supreme Court judge.
(T.J. Kirkpatrick/Special to The Washington Times)

    Hail the Big Gulp: 69 percent of Americans reject Bloomberg's drink ban

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 26, 2013 Comments

    Lift those 16-ounce glasses high? There is not a single demographic in the nation that agrees with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on big drinks in his town. It is something that all ethnicities, political parties and income brackets agree on. "Americans, by 69 percent to 30 percent, say they would vote against a law that limits the size of soft drinks and other sugary beverages served in restaurants to no more than 16 ounces," reports a Gallup poll released Wednesday. Naturally, Republicans have stronger feelings, though: 78 percent would vote down the ban, along with 71 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats. Three fourths of conservatives, 70 percent of moderates and 57 percent of liberals agree, along with 75 percent of "non-Hispanic whites" and 57 percent of "nonwhites," Gallup found. Mr. Bloomberg's administration is appealing a lower-court ruling made in March that struck down his ...

  • Mayor Donnalee Lozeau of Nashua, New Hampshire is among those mayors who don't want to be part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun efforts. (photo from the city of Nashua, New Hampshire)

    A pair of mayors bolt from Bloomberg's anti-gun group

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 25, 2013 Comments

    Not all mayors want to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the well-funded and aggressive activist group founded in 2006 by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. There's not a single mayor in the states of Alaska, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming who has signed up, in fact. Some who did join have second thoughts, and are dropping out of the group, convinced that the organizers are overstepping their original intentions of simply curbing illegal firearms. Nashua, New Hampshire Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is one of them. She is not happy with the organization's $1 million campaign against Sen. Kelly Ayotte, following the Republican lawmaker's vote against expanded background checks for private gun purchases. Mr. Bloomberg's group is spending $12 million on advocacy ads to push gun control efforts and target certain public officials they disagree with. "I simply cannot be part of an organization that chooses this course of action ...

  • A new White House video reveals that climate change is much on President Obama's mind (image from the White House)

    Here comes the sunny skies: President Obama pivots to climate change

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 23, 2013 Comments

    There's been so much stormy weather around the White House in recent weeks that it's no wonder that President Obama has heeded the radar and returned to the familiar, vapid region of climate change. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama heads to Georgetown University in the nation's capital to remind his green-minded pals, global alarmists and fierce critics alike that he has not forgotten a promise of five months ago. "In my inaugural address, I pledged that America would respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of our children and future generations," the president says in a new video that is punctuated with nice piano music and outdoor imagery that Al Gore would certainly approve of. "This Tuesday, I'll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go - a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, ...

  • U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives for a speech at Brandenburg Gate where he is to deliver a speech in Berlin Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Obama is on a two-day official visit to the German capital. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    'Incompetent' and 'liar' among most frequently used words to describe the president: Pew Research Center

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 21, 2013 Comments

    One gauge of a president's favorability is the assorted descriptors the public volunteers to a pollster about the leader of the Free World. The Pew Research Center has tracked the assorted description of President Obama over the years, and has this to say: "The survey finds that the one-word impressions people have of Obama have changed a great deal throughout his presidency. Terms like incompetent and liar now are among the most frequently used words to describe Obama. In April 2009, when his job approval was at 63%, these words were rare," Pew says. "Some positive descriptions - such as good and honest - continue to be used often to characterize impressions of Obama. And the word socialist is used about as often today as it was in Obama's first year in office."

  • Cruz control: Texans would elect Ted Cruz as their president over Chris Christie, Rick Perry

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 20, 2013 Comments

    Looks like there's still Cruz control afoot. Sen. Ted Cruz continues to captivate voters in the Lone Star State, who see White House potential in the Texas Republican. Mr. Cruz is the favorite in a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll of potential presidential candidates with 25 percent of the vote, besting Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and Govs. Rick Perry and Chris Christie of New Jersey. "What you're seeing here with the Cruz number is that he has become the pre-eminent rising conservative in Texas," said poll co-director Jim Henson. "What we're witnessing in the numbers is Cruz running ahead and reaching back for the baton, and Rick Perry has the baton. The only question is whether Rick Perry is ready to hand it to him." Mr. Perry, incidentally, has been courting major manufacturers and retailers in New York City all week, selling Texas as a business-friendly state. The ...

  • In this Oct. 18, 2012, photo, bottles of wine are seen on hand at the Decatur Area Arts Council in Decatur, Ill., for the new series called "Cocktails and Creations" that encourages adult participants to bring drinks to class. The program combines the elements of food and drink with creating a piece of art in a relaxed atmosphere. (AP Photo/Herald & Review, Lisa Morrison)

    Hungry to schmooze: Republicans and Democrats spent $7.7 million to eat out in Washington in 2012

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 19, 2013 Comments

    Well, maybe they had a few choice culinary moments and gained a lobbyist. Or a pound or two. Republicans and Democrats favor their own eateries in the nation's capitol and between the two parties, they dropped $7.7 million at assorted spots around town last year - this according to a painstaking study by the Center for Responsive Politics. Throughout the 2012 election cycle, Democratic candidates and party committees spent about $3.1 million at their 10 most popular restaurants and hotels that included the National Democratic Club, Charlie Palmer Steak and Liaison Capitol Hill. The Grand Old Party was a tad more grand than their rivals. Republican candidates and committees spent almost $4.6 million, dallying over dinner at the Capitol Hill Club, Bobby Van's Steakhouse and Grill and the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar. "As all good fundraisers know, it takes money to make money," noted Adrian Vallens, a blogger and ...

  • The Georgia-based Tea Party Patriots represents some 3,200 local tea party groups. (Tea Party Patriots)

    Glenn Beck on Washington: 'I despise that city'

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 18, 2013 Comments

    It portends to be a fierce demonstration: The Tea Party Patriots will assemble at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday for an "Audit the IRS" rally in support of conservative groups that were subject to uncomfortable scrutiny by the federal agency in recent years. The tea partyers will have some high profile company. Independent media maven Glenn Beck plans to be there, despite his own misgivings about visiting the veritable heart of big government. "There are many things I don't believe in anymore, and Washington is one of them. And I despise that city now. Because it has just become a symbol of corruption to me, a symbol of grotesque growth, where the rest of us are suffering in the rest of the country," Mr. Beck told his radio audience, upon announcing that he was going anyway, and would speak at high noon. "I will go and stand," Mr. Beck declared. ...

  • **FILE** Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg speaks at the Real Estate Board of New York on Thursday, May 30, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Mayor Bloomberg's food composting edict could create a Manhattan feast - for rats

    by Jennifer HarperPublished June 18, 2013 Comments

    Wilted lettuce, egg shells, potato parings: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg hopes local city folk will compost their kitchen scraps in the name of green-minded citizenship, or, uh, incur a fine. "This is a rotten idea for the Big Apple," says Jeff Stier, the New York City-based director of risk analysis for the National Center for Public Policy Research. He's quick to point out that his group supports voluntary composting. "In fact, we already have voluntary composting where residents can send kitchen scraps to gardens around the five boroughs," Mr. Stier notes. "But we live in a big city, not on a farm, and while composting is a great idea in certain circumstances, it doesn't make sense to mandate that all New York residents save their rotting food," he says. "Consider the increased risks from disease-carrying vermin, a problem the city still hasn't conquered, from all of the pre-compost material ...

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