- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- U.N.: Afghanistan slow to enforce law protecting women
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
Inside the Beltway: Ted Cruz control
As Americans mull their disgust with Congress and the White House, one lawmaker is getting positive buzz. That would be Sen. Ted Cruz, who is striking a presidential pose, and in these times, it's never too early. National Review columnist Robert Costa reports that the Texas Republican is indeed interested in entering the 2016 race, and is considered a rock star among those true to bedrock conservative values.
Mr. Cruz is no weak-kneed moderate, and there's the charm for those GOP strategists who fear that a fastidious centrist would wither under the hardball Democratic campaign, which is already up and running. Mr. Cruz, however, remains cool.
"It is a continued source of amazement that the simple fact that I am working hard with like-minded Senators to keep my promise is seen as newsworthy and cause for wild speculation," he wrote on his Facebook page in the aftermath.
"Politics abhors a vacuum. Thus, as warts are revealed on the top-tier contenders, the possibility of additional serious contenders emerges," writes Power Line analyst Paul Mirengoff, who has some advice for Mr. Cruz.
"My view can be summarized in three words: come on in. This doesn't mean that we don't need to learn more about this newcomer to the national scene. We know he is super-smart, super-articulate, and strongly conservative. I'd like to know more about his views on foreign and defense policy and his ability to connect with a broad range of voters," Mr. Mirengoff continues. "But I have seen enough to want to see more."
THE 60-SECOND CHRISTIE
"We elected Chris Christie. He made the tough decisions to get New Jersey back on track. Taxes cut, spending cut, government made smaller and smarter. Working with Democrats and Republicans, believing as long as you stick to your principles, compromise isn't a dirty word. But the most important thing he did has little to do with numbers, statistics or even politics. He made us proud to say we're from New Jersey."
— Narrative from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's first re-election campaign ad, released Wednesday.
"I'm not seeking publicity. I'm seeking meaningful work."
— Paula Broadwell, onetime mistress to former CIA director David H. Petraeus, updating the state of her life to News 14, a North Carolina cable channel. Mr. Petraeus has announced he will be a visiting professor of public policy at the City University of New York beginning Aug. 1.
FEW REPUBLICAN FEMINISTS
"Has feminist become a dirty word?" demands a new Economist/YouGov poll. It is an unsettling question for those who ascribe to the 1970s-era activism of, say, Betty Friedan or Gloria Steinem.
"Feminism is a mixed bag in the eyes of most Americans. Overall, 28 percent consider themselves to be feminists, 72 percent do not," the poll says.
Among contemporary women, 38 percent consider themselves feminists, compared to 18 percent of men. And there's partisan divide: "48 percent of Democratic women but just 14 percent of Republican women would label themselves feminist," the survey says.
Things are not so promising even among women who grew up in the 1960s and '70s. Forty-one percent of Baby Boomers ages 45 to 64 say they are holdout feminists. Among women older than 65, it's 28 percent. About a third of those ages 30 to 44 are feminists; the number is 42 percent among the 18- to 29-year-old set.
Americans also apparently associate feminism with things other than, say, equal rights. "When given a neutral dictionary definition of feminism, as 'someone who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes,' 57 percent of Americans proudly proclaim themselves feminists," the poll says.
"Due to the tremendous number of applications we receive, it may take up to 6 weeks to respond."
Advice to prospective applicants to Pet Food Stamps, a nonprofit group that supplies pet foods to financially strapped people who must "choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table."
DRAWING THE LINE
Libertarians are not happy with circumstances surrounding the April 15 terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon.
"Regardless of the severity of the crime, upholding individual rights is paramount. We call for ensuring that all criminal suspects, including alleged terrorists, are Mirandized and offered the right to an attorney before questioning. We also call for ensuring that all such interrogations be, without exception, properly monitored and videotaped," says Geoffrey J. Neale, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee.
"We are further troubled by reports of martial law tactics, including the alleged orders issued by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for residents to stay inside their homes and for stores to stay closed. Visiting homes to inquire of suspect sightings or politely requesting that residents stay off the streets — without any threat of force — is a reasonable measure," Mr. Neale continues.
"However, threatening force in any way is a breach of our constitutional rights and is unacceptable. Going forward, we call for laws that impose criminal penalties on any government official who oversteps his or her authority or who in any way diminishes our constitutional protections," he concludes.
POLL DU JOUR
• 81 percent of Americans favor expanded camera surveillance on streets and in public places.
• 79 percent favor use of facial recognition technology to scan for suspected terrorists in public places.
• 61 percent are concerned that new government policies will restrict civil liberties.
• 49 percent are not willing to give up some civic liberties to curb terrorism in the U.S.; 40 percent are willing.
• 40 percent are worried they will be a victim of terrorism.
• 38 percent favor expanded government monitoring of cellphones and emails.
• 32 percent say the government "can prevent" terrorist attacks.
Source: A CNN/ORC International poll of 606 U.S. adults conducted April 30.
• Astute observations, muddled afterthoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Author
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