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'American Sniper': Middle America's $100M blockbuster powered by a heartland audience

- The Washington Times

How did this movie galvanize the national audience and bring in $26 million every 24 hours following its recent debut? Here is an explanation, which also illustrates why both Republicans and Democrats ardently pursue the middle class: Both side know the undeniable and traditional force of its bedrock power. "Middle America turned out in force to see American Sniper," points out Hollywood Reporter analyst Brian Porreca.

Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee, addresses a crowd of supporters while introducing New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown at a farm in Stratham, N.H., in this July 2, 2014, file photo. Romney told a small group of Republican donors that he's eying a third run at the White House. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Hey, Mr. Romney: Lose the suit, speak the truth and grab the bully pulpit

- The Washington Times

Now that Mitt Romney must face cranky critics and the rigors of the campaign trail, he might consider changing his approach to a White House run. "I have a solution for Romney. He should throw caution to winds — be the president now," says Roger L. Simon, founder of PJ Media. "Why do I say that? Because America doesn't have a real president at the moment and we are at war with radical Islam."

All political signs would indicate Mitt Romney is primed for another long haul presidential campaign, such as this scene from the 2012 race. (Associated press)

Mitt Romney fires up the election machine

- The Washington Times

There's a big to-do list on Mitt Romney's desk now that he's advanced into the I'm-maybe-sort-of-running category of presidential hopefuls, which is viable enough to command major news coverage — and a poll, of course.

A French army soldier patrols under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015. France on Monday ordered 10,000 troops into the streets to protect sensitive sites after three days of bloodshed and terror, amid the hunt for accomplices to the attacks that left 17 people and the three gunmen dead. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Even after Paris attacks: Worries about terrorism in America 'little changed' since 9/11

- The Washington Times

"In the aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris — and months after the start of U.S. airstrikes against ISIS — there has been little change in the public's worries about an imminent terrorist attack in the United States. One-in-four are very worried about a domestic terrorist attack happening 'soon,' while about four-in-ten (39 percent) are somewhat worried; 36 percent are not too worried or not at all worried. That balance of opinion has not significantly changed since last July. The long-term trend on terrorism concerns has been fairly stable, except on a few occasions, since the fall of 2001," reports a Pew Research Center survey released Monday.

Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul share the stage on behalf of  the Republican Party. Both will speak on conservative strengths at an upcoming summit. (Associated Press)

Cruz, Paul, Lee, Labrador and 20 more: Conservative stalwarts fight for Main Street

- The Washington Times

While news outlets bustle with activity over terrorism and the incoming White House agenda, a core group of conservative lawmakers continue to stay focused and fight the good fight. The two-day Heritage Action Conservative Policy Summit begins Monday in the nation's capital, showcasing over 20 Republican lawmakers with much on their minds — including Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul, and Reps. Jeb Hensarling, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Raul Labrador, Todd Rokita and Tom Price.

Bruce Willis is selling his Sun Valley ski estate, built in 1984 on Flying Heart Lake in Hailey, Idaho, for $7 million. (Associated Press)

Mavericks? Independents far outnumber Republicans and Democrats - and it's recordbreaking

- The Washington Times

Republican, Democrat — and Maverick? We already know that Americans are weary of Congress, the White House, gridlock and government. Now that ire has inspired voter defections: The number of self-described 'independents" is at a record high level says substantive new Gallup research. "An average 43 percent of Americans identified politically as independents in 2014," says analyst Jeffrey M. Jones, who also reports the number is the highest since the pollster began tracking the phenomenon in 1988.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appears to be edging closer to announcing a White House run. (Associated Press)

And so it begins: Jeb Bush's first fundraiser

- The Washington Times

Jeb Bush, both the brand and the man, has officially launched. Mr. Bush now commands a spiffy new political action committee named The Right to Rise, which promises a leg up for small business, free enterprise, a strong defense and entrepreneurship. Its mission cites hard work and earned success as the "central moral promise of American economic life." The group espouses tempered optimism about future opportunity, "but we know America is falling short of its promise," Mr. Bush says.

Voters head to the polls at Benton Harbor High School on Election Day Tuesday, November 4, 2014, in Benton Harbor, Mich.(AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell)

Out with the old, in with the new: Voters say GOP needs a 'fresh face' in 2016

- The Washington Times

Americans appear to have as case of dynasty fatigue - they are leery of another Bush or Clinton in the White House. But voters are also cautious about going with a new but unknown quantity, particularly in an age when the nation's opportunistic foes seek signs of unsure leadership. Some strategists warn against supporting maverick and insurgent candidates. Others applaud them. A new poll, however, reveals that much of the public is receptive to a "fresh face" for the GOP in particular.

FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2010 file photo, a student uses an Apple MacBook laptop in his class in Palo Alto, Calif. New warnings are emerging of a security flaw known as the "Bash" bug, which cyber experts say may pose a serious threat to computers and other devices using Unix-based operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Expert's warning: Likelihood of future cyberattacks on U.S. emanating from Cuba is '100 percent'

- The Washington Times

"Apparently the United States has not yet learned its lesson of the downside of giving away communication technology to Communist regimes, and will once again pay the price. In a year or two when Cuba gets advanced broadband circuits promised by President Obama, the likelihood that we will see attacks on U.S. public and private networks emanating from Cuba is 100 percent," predicts James W. Gabberty, professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City.

Franklin Graham.

Democrats, atheists — never a dull moment even at Christmas...

- The Washington Times

"The holiday season is filled with food, traveling, and lively discussions with Republican relatives about politics — sometimes laced with statements that are just not true. Here are the most common myths spouted by your family members who spend too much time listening to Rush Limbaugh — and the perfect response to each of them," says the Democratic National Committee in a holiday message that includes talking points for health care, pay equity, climate issues, economy and immigration for those who have a "Republican uncle."