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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders unapologetically describes himself as a "democratic socialist," prompting much discussion about the candidate's political pedigree. (Associated Press)

The real socialists ponder Bernie Sanders

- The Washington Times

As a presidential hopeful, Sen. Bernard Sanders unapologetically describes himself as a "democratic socialist," prompting much discussion among press and public about the candidate's political pedigree. But wait. Mr. Sanders has also attracted the attention of some other socialists, like the New York-based Socialist Party USA, where the motto is, "Let's build a future worthy of our dreams." They too have a presidential candidate in mind for 2016. That would be Emidio "Mimi" Soltysik, who has a thought or two about Mr. Sanders.

Reps. Jim Jordan, left, Justin Amash, center, and Raul Labrador, right, are among lawmakers assembling Thursday for "Conversation with Conservatives" on Capitol Hill.  (AP Photo)

A conservative oasis continues to flourish on Capitol Hill

- The Washington Times

Amid continued political turmoil, there is an oasis of calm and confidence on Capitol Hill, this led by a group of conservatives intent on transparency and purpose problem-solving. They keep calm and carry on. A monthly event titled "Conversations with Conservatives" showcases free market and liberty-minded lawmakers who bristle with conservative credentials and doggedly parse out the important issues of the day before the press.

President Obama's record $4 trillion budget proposal inspired a tidal wave of negative reviews from Republican lawmakers.  (Associated Press)

Reckless, irresponsible, nightmare: Here come the reviews of Obama's 2017 budget

- The Washington Times

"The fact that President Obama has only submitted two budgets on time in his eight years in office clearly demonstrates the importance he places on actually having a budget. It's ironic that he is quick to use his pen and phone, but slow to put forward a fiscal blueprint," declares Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, one of many Republicans irked by the budget blueprint released Tuesday. Mr. Obama, incidentally, departs the nation's capital Wednesday for a weeklong jaunt out west that includes fundraising, an appearance on late-night TV and a weekend in Rancho Mirage, California.

A view of a typical guest room in Donald's Trump's new hotel in Washington, which is opening in September, a full two years early. (Trump Hotel Collection)

Trump's new luxury hotel near White House includes 6,300-square-foot 'Trump Townhouse'

- The Washington Times

Donald Trump's new luxury hotel in the nation's capital is monumental, sumptuous and could prove an effective campaign tool for the Republican presidential front-runner in the future. It's also opening two years ahead of schedule. With much ado, the mighty doors swing open in September, a mere six blocks from the White House. Mr. Trump has dropped $200 million on the redevelopment of this 1899 Romanesque structure -- the fourteenth in his collection of international hotels. Does he have a date in mind, perhaps? At 13,200 square feet, the Presidential Ballroom will also be the largest in town, and a prime spot for an inauguration gala when the time comes on Jan. 20, 2017.

President Reagan riding his beloved horse "El Alamein" at his western home Rancho Del Cielo in 1986. (National Archives)

HAPPY GIPPER DAY: 11-foot statue, 21-gun salute for Ronald Reagan on his 105th birthday

- The Washington Times

Saturday marks what would have been Ronald Reagan's 105th birthday, a significant and heartfelt occasion still celebrated with much ado. Consider the major event at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, complete with the Camp Pendleton Marine Division Band, a color guard, the blessings of a chaplain, a brass quintet, a 21-gun salute, an aircraft flyover, the placing of a White House wreath at the grave site and remarks by Brigadier Gen. Edward D. Banta, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and Marlin Fitzwater, Reagan's press secretary.

Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio took 60 percent of the vote in the Iowa Republican caucuses. (Associated Press)

GOP equation, reality check: 'Two Hispanics and a black man' take 60% of the Iowa vote

- The Washington Times

The insular political press consider themselves a "powerful weapon that benefits Democrats," writes John Nolte, editor-at-large for Breitbart News. "But if this same media truly believed in science and objectivity, the results in Iowa would forever end their relentless smears against conservatives as racists. Tuesday night, one of the whitest and most conservative states in the country -- Iowa -- gave 60 percent of the Republican vote to two Hispanics and a black man."

Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson has begun his campaign for the White House in earnest.

Libertarian hopeful Gary Johnson: 'I reach out to anyone with a vote and an ax to grind'

- The Washington Times

For those voters fatigued with Iowa and already bracing for New Hampshire, there's always Gary Johnson to consider. Let us recall that the Libertarian presidential hopeful garnered 1.2 million votes when he ran in 2012 -- about 1 percent of the total vote. This time around, Mr. Johnson is not jetting from one state to the next like his establishment rivals; his campaign budget is very slim. Nevertheless, the tenacious candidate is presenting his case with considerable verve -- and he's casting a wide net.

Even Gov. Terry Branstad said fellow Iowans are likely to make up their minds who to vote for as late as Monday. (Office of Gov. Terry Brandstad)

The great Iowa stampede now underway

- The Washington Times

Step aside, the last-minute Iowa caucus stampede is underway. Fourteen Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls race though Iowa on Monday — their hoofbeats punctuated by speeches, melodrama, proclamations, accusations, vows, handshakes and all the other hallmarks of a ramped-up campaign. In the 48 hours preceding the vote, the candidates collectively staged 104 town halls and meet and greets; all three Democrats and three optimistic Republicans will stage some sort of "victory" party in Des Moines in the evening. But it ain't over until it's over.

It's the Trump Burger, introduced at Iowa's historic Northside Cafe - containing a third pound of beef - and a half pound of ham. (Northside Cafe)

Behold the Trump Burger

- The Washington Times

Take a half-pound of ham, a third-pound of beef, grilled onions, homemade bread, and what have you got? It's the Trump Burger, now offered at the historic Northside Cafe, located in Winterset, Iowa -- about 15 miles southwest of Des Moines, and the birthplace of John Wayne. The 139-year-old eatery confirmed Tuesday that the new entree is a huge hit. "Customers just love the Trump Burger," a spokeswoman tells Inside the Beltway.

Sen. Ted Cruz has embraced the campaign blitz and will appear at seven rallies on Tuesday alone with Rick Perry, Rep. Steven King and Bob Vander Plaatz. (Associated Press)

Ted Cruz: 'We can shock the political world'

- The Washington Times

It is an old-fashioned, bodacious campaign blitz. Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz has multiple events in 26 Iowa cities and towns through week's end at a critical time: the next official GOP debate in Des Moines is Thursday, the Iowa caucuses are just six days away. Mr. Cruz is embracing the blitz and has plenty muscle.

Jeb Bush appears to be going for a new image, as evidence by his appearance without glasses on ABC News. (ABC News)

Changing the image: Jeb Bush ditches his glasses, gets presidential

- The Washington Times

Score one for Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, who previously vowed he would never take off his "stinking glasses" despite criticism from critics. Has his focus changed? An appearance on ABC News on Sunday revealed the new and improved Jeb, minus glasses, wearing an impeccable dark gray suit and flag pin, hair precisely trimmed, his demeanor calm and direct.

Singer Demi Lovato is among the celebrities hoping to boost Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Iowa. (Associated Press)

The 'Sanders Surge' takes effect: Nervous Hillary taps celebrity pals for help out in Iowa

- The Washington Times

The upcoming Iowa caucuses have drawn keen attention from Hillary Clinton, who is now tapping the talents of famous folks to impress voters in the Hawkeye State -- perhaps due to all those headlines chronicling the "Sanders Surge." Indeed, her rival Sen. Bernard Sanders has gained momentum in multiple polls; he's winning in a recent CNN poll of Iowa voters for example, while a YouGov survey finds that the majority of Americans deem him "electable."

South Carolina state Rep. Mike Pitts has proposed a "Responsible Journalism Registry Law" in his state to establish certain requirements for members of the press. (Associated Press)

Newsflash: Lawmaker seeks 'Responsible Journalism Registry' to rein in shoddy press coverage

- The Washington Times

The news media appear to be psychotic, drunk on spin and hungry for buzz -- reeling across a chaotic landscape inhabited by old-school newshounds and gleeful upstarts alike. Is it time to rein in the free-for-all? One Republican thinks so. On Tuesday South Carolina state Rep. Michael A. Pitts introduced a bill to establish what he calls a "Responsible Journalism Registry Law."