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“There is one guy who is kind of deserving, we ought to try to get home. And that’s the Marine who accidentally carried his guns into Mexico. So here’s what I’m thinking. Mr. President, you love to trade people. Why don’t we set up a trade? But this time, instead of five Taliban, how about five Democrats? I’m thinking John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi. Couldn’t we send them to Mexico?”

— Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, to 7,800 delegates at the Texas Republican State Convention on Friday.

“Senator Paul’s suggestion is completely out of line. Comments like this are just the latest example of the GOP politicizing important national security matters to feed to their base. Try for a little more civility going forward.”

— A direct reply from Michael Czin, press secretary of the Democratic National Committee.


“For more than two centuries, Americans have saluted Old Glory in times of trial and triumph. Generations have looked to it as they steeled their resolve, and an unbroken chain of men and women in uniform has served under our flag. From the banks of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to European trenches and Pacific islands, from the deserts of Iraq to the mountains of Afghanistan, they have risked their lives so we might live ours. When we lay our veterans to rest, many go draped with the stars and stripes upon them, and their families find solace in the folds of honor held tightly to their chest. Because of their sacrifice, our Nation is stronger, safer, and will always remain a shining beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.”

“With a familiar design that has evolved along with a growing Nation, our flag stitches the ideals for which America was born to the reality of our times. It reminds us that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges. As we prepare to meet the great tests of our age, let every American draw inspiration from this symbol of our past, our present, and our common dreams.”

— From President Obama’s official proclamation for National Flag Week, which began Sunday, and Flag Day, which is Saturday.


Now we know. The Democratic National Committee is considering Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia, Phoenix and New York City as potential hosts for their 2016 presidential convention. The organization wants all good Democrats to vote on the choice.

“The convention is going to be more than just where we’ll nominate the 45th President of the United States — though that’s pretty important. It’s going to be a celebration of who we are and the values we share as Democrats. And, trust me, it’s going to be a whole lot of fun,” predicts Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Grand Old Party, meanwhile, is rolling. The Republican Party already has narrowed down its own convention choices to Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and Kansas City, and is also soliciting votes with a noteworthy designation in the pitch: “Your opinion matters as conservatives make history in 2016. Which city do you think should host the next Republican National Convention?”


67 percent of Americans say Hillary Clinton is a strong leader; 40 percent of Republicans, 94 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents agree.

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