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Citizens and legislators rebel against American flag desecration while Americans themselves continue to be patriotic. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A patriotic flap: American Legion, lawmakers step up to protect Old Glory from desecration

- The Washington Times

It's quite an ironic flap: Disarm NYPD, a New York-based anarchist group that burned an American flag in a Brooklyn park earlier this week, ultimately needed the protection of the New York Police Department themselves. When the anarchists lit Old Glory on fire in a portable barbecue, a group of bikers, military veterans and assorted opponents descended to stop the process.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate, holds the record for the most frugal lawmaker. (Associated Press)

Rand Paul, the most frugal lawmaker of them all

- The Washington Times

As White House hopefuls strike their presidential poses, the meticulous National Taxpayers Union Foundation continues to pore over their voting records, which brings us to Sen. Rand Paul, the latest subject of the organization's research. No spender is he. During his first two terms in Congress, the Kentucky lawmaker actually proposed savings agendas that would cut $483.8 billion per year, on average, from the federal budget.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton steps onstage to address an audience at Trident Technical College during a campaign stop Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Hillary's July Fourth fundraising blitz -- all 26 of them

- The Washington Times

So the nation's birthday is coming up. What better time than to raise a cool million or two in the name of 2016? That appears to be the plan for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign this week, which features five major fundraisers in four states in the days leading up to July 4.

Gov. Chris Christie revs up his "Tell It Like It Is" campaign tour; his bid for the White House gets underway Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Chris Christie hits the accelerator, Bridge-gate in the rearview mirror

- The Washington Times

He wants Bridgegate in his rearview mirror: A determined Gov. Chris Christie proclaims his intent to run for president Tuesday with all the proper trimmings. He's released a heartfelt video about his mother's wisdom and family ties. Then the straight-talking, classic Jersey boy heads back to his old neighborhood -- back to the gymnasium of his high school alma mater in the town of Livingston -- for his long awaited declaration.

Ben Carson is among seven presidential hopefuls at the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado.

GOP presidential hopefuls in Colorado for conservative summit - and a marijuana policy grade

- The Washington Times

Here's another one of those bodacious weekend events, and this begins Friday: The two-day Western Conservative Summit, staged at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver by Colorado Christian University. "There's a rebirth going on in America. Be part of it. After decades of slipping to the left, citizen patriots have re-engaged in the public arena, and our political discourse has been enriched by their voices," the organizers advise the 4,000 incoming delegates. A marijuana policy group also has plans.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared his intent to run for the White House. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Bobby Jindal in for the long march: GOP presidential hopeful No. 13 promises honesty and energy

- The Washington Times

He's in whether his critics like it or not. "We have had enough of talkers, it's time for doers. I'm not running for president to be somebody, I'm running for president to do something," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told his fans upon announcing he was running for president on Wednesday. The news drew sharply contrasting reactions; Mr. Jindal is not doing well in the polls, registering as low as 1 percent on a new CNN poll.

In this Monday, June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they wave the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/File)

Terror threats against U.S. homeland reach 'unprecedented levels' says House report

- The Washington Times

Here's one way to stay vigilant: House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul has just launched the "Terror Threat Snapshot" - a regular monthly feature that tracks the "escalating and grave threat environment" facing the U.S. The lawmaker is specific. The inaugural snapshot reveals that there have been 24 ISIS-linked plots or attacks against Western targets in the first half of 2015, up from 19 in all of last year.

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush with Jeb Bush. One analyst said that link may be one of the reasons that two-thirds of Republicans describe Jeb Bush as qualified for the presidency.
(Associated Press)

Americans find Jeb Bush likable -- but still a 'Bush' and possibly a RINO

- The Washington Times

He's like the friend of a friend. Voters know Jeb Bush; he seems familiar, though public impressions of the Republican presidential hopeful are still mixed. One-thousand Americans were asked to describe Mr. Bush in a single word of their own choosing -- and here are the top-10, verbatim, based on how many times they were cited: Bush, family, likable, liberal, conservative, moderate, RINO, good, honest and OK -- this according to an Economist/YouGov survey.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has a new mission: He hopes to ensure Hillary Clinton will not win the 2016 election. (Associated Press)

John Bolton takes on Hillary Clinton: 'I plan to hold her accountable for her own failures'

- The Washington Times

The Republican National Committee puts it this way: "The Clinton machine rumbles on." Indeed, Hillary Rodham Clinton's quest for the White House is akin to an all-terrain vehicle on the campaign trail -- rolling over bumps, skirting ditches, and even airborne at times. Despite the rough ride, it relentlessly covers the territory, on course for the prime destination. Yes, well. Mrs. Clinton's critics, meanwhile, are weary of it, and thinking tactics.

The climate, the pope, the skeptics

- The Washington Times

The world is now privy to the Vatican view on global warming, thanks to overeager journalists who reported details from an encyclical by Pope Francis on earthly environmental matters, before its official Thursday release. A tacky practice. The contents, though, are already drawing commentary.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Trump rumples the Republicans, tantalizes the press

- The Washington Times

Before departing for the Iowa heartland, new and improved GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump left behind one message for his enthusiastic fans and determined critics: "Let's make American great again." He also advised that his personal skills as negotiator, self-made entrepreneur, family man and unapologetic rich guy would come in handy on the global stage.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Associated Press) **FILE**

Hillary Clinton's moment of truth in New York City -- just a speech, or some answers?

- The Washington Times

Bill Clinton will be there, Bill de Blasio will not. New York City's Democratic mayor is skipping an event that includes a marching band, happy Democrats, a backdrop of skyscrapers and spirited speechifying that taps the wisdom of Franklin Roosevelt and spouse, Eleanor. We're talking Hillapalooza here. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally makes it official on Saturday at high noon, on an island at the lower end of Manhattan, aiming to persuade the nation that she is a sage populist destined for the White House.

Sen. Lindsey Graham will take a break from the campaign trail Thursday and to the U.S. Capitol to formally introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act before the U.S. Senate. (Associated press)

Lindsey Graham sets aside 2016 to step up for the unborn

- The Washington Times

He's off the presidential campaign trail for the time being, and on to cause close to his heart. On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham heads to the U.S. Capitol to formally introduce the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act before the U.S. Senate. He will be joined at a press conference by pro-life leaders who support legislation meant "to protect children after five months," -- more than halfway through pregnancy, when the baby can feel pain. The coalition points out that even fetal surgeons acknowledge this phenomenon by "routinely anesthetizing their small patients before surgery."

David Petraeus is among those representing America at the annual Bilderberg Conference, which gets underway in Austria on Thursday. (Associated Press)

David Petraeus among the Bilderbergers

- The Washington Times

There's a fair amount of fuss about the Bilderberg Conference, which gets underway in Austria on Thursday and attracts titillating media coverage, angry protesters and public curiosity about the idea that 140 powerful people from 22 nations are meeting to figure out what the world should do at this alarming juncture. Henry Kissinger, David Petraeus, James D. Wolfensohn and Richard Perle are among those representing America. "USA" and "US elections" are on the organization's 15-item to-do list, along with Russia, terrorism, globalization and cybersecurity -- but there's nothing on climate change.