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“I’m interested in all things Chinese and I live a very Chinese life in America.”

So said actor Robert Downey, Jr. upon introducing “Iron Man 3” to a very appreciative Chinese press corps in Beijing on Saturday.

“It’s no surprise the film’s producers are pulling out all the stops to have Downey play to the Chinese gallery. While it’s just the second stop of the ‘Iron Man 3’ international promotional tour, Beijing is probably the most significant appointment on the itinerary, with China having been explicitly targeted as one of the biggest markets for the film,” observes Clarence Tsui, a correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter.


“I carry a gun. A cop is too heavy.”

— Bumper sticker spotted in Kensington by Inside the Beltway reader Frank O’Brimski.


More evidence that the reinvention of the Republican Party is still a work in progress, though time grows short, and 2014 looms. Discord is still percolating between grass-roots and “establishment” Republicans.

“Last Tuesday, the Republican National Committee’s newly hired chief of staff Mike Shields expressed frustration and disdain for service centers to grass-roots activists, describing them as the ‘professional right’ who ‘just send out lies and ask for money,’” says Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, an umbrella organization for liberty-minded fiscal conservatives.

And of course, the group has launched a “Demand an Apology from Mike Shields” campaign.

“Mr. Shields owes every citizen activist working to advance the ideas of individual freedom and constitutionally-limited government an apology,” Mr. Kibbe says, noting that the recent Republican “autopsy” report suggested the party investigate a diversity of ideas.

“Attacking the activist-driven organizations that credibly counter the left’s political machine is not a good start for an RNC that pays lip service to the same grass-roots freedom movement. They can’t have it both ways,” he says.


• 91 percent of U.S. drivers own a cellphone.

• 80 percent say they do not text while driving.

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