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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."

Not so crowded: The main GOP debate on Thursday features six candidates, including Sen. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, seen here in a previous showdown. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The GOP debate: And then there were seven

- The Washington Times

The GOP presidential debate field is finally shrinking, down to seven on the main stage at the sixth Republican prime-time debate on Thursday, this one hosted by the Fox Business Network. The A-team for the bout: Donald Trump, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, plus Govs. Chris Christie and John Kasich -- who both have displayed surprising resilience in a volatile White House marketplace. The contenders met the qualifying popularity threshold in 17 national polls conducted through mid-December.

The countdown is underway for CPAC, which begins exactly seven weeks from Wednesday. (American Conservative Union)

Cheer up: The CPAC countdown now underway

- The Washington Times

It is a reassuring glow on the horizon: That would be CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, now exactly seven weeks off and bustling with intense plans and a clear sense of mission. The ever-growing speakers roster includes Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Reps. Jim Jordan and Marsha Blackburn, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and John R. Bolton. Some 200 speakers typically appear at the three-day event, now scheduled for March 2-5, staged once again at the sparkling Gaylord National Resort on the banks of the Potomac River a few miles south of the nation's capital.