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The DNC is mocking Sen. Marco Rubio's birthday trip to Las Vegas (Image from Democratic National Committee)

Democratic National Committee makes a mockery of Marco Rubio's birthday trip to Las Vegas

- The Washington Times

Sen. Marco Rubio turns 44 with much ado on Thursday, journeying to Las Vegas for a private celebration hosted by Rick Harrison, star of the History Channel's reality show "Pawn Stars." The presidential hopeful will make an appearance at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. Mr. Harrison, meanwhile, is not much of a fan of Obamacare, or the Obama administration's treatment of small businesses. It's still a celebration, however - and one not overlooked by the DNC.

Bill O'Reilly's next book "Killing Reagan" is due out on Sept. 22 (Image from Bill O'Reilly)

Bill O'Reilly pens his next book: 'Killing Reagan'

- The Washington Times

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, relentless author of such best-sellers as "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Jesus," is back into this disquieting but popular theme. "There are four books in the 'killing series' -- Lincoln, Kennedy, Patton, Jesus. Right now 12 million copies of those books are in print," Mr. O'Reilly told his vast audience Wednesday night. "The next book will be out September 22, and the title is 'Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency."

Then-New York Gov. George Pataki (right) is now poised to enter the GOP race for 2016, saying the party needs to veer away from social issues and concentrate more on fiscal responsibility and conservative principles. (Associated Press)

George Pataki next up to announce presidential intent, vows to 'defeat Islamic terror'

- The Washington Times

Another 24 hours, and another Republican hopeful comes to call on American voters. George Pataki will announce his plans to run for president on Thursday morning; with a touch of drama, the former New York governor will journey to Exeter, New Hampshire for his big reveal. The historic town of 9,242 was more or less the birthplace of the Republican Party, founded in 1853 right there in the local Squamscott Hotel.

Saturday night with Rolling Thunder: lots of Harleys, good will, dedication (Photo by Jennifer Harper/The Washington Times)

Perfect Harleys as far as the eye can see - plus dedication and prayers for Rolling Thunder

- The Washington Times

Perfect, spotless Harley Davidsons were lined up by the hundreds around several northern Virginia hotels on Saturday night - chrome polished to mirror finish, American flags in abundance, good will in the air. In 10 hours the nearby Pentagon parking lot would fill up - the only area large enough to use as a staging area for Rolling Thunder's 28th annual "Ride for Freedom," the inimitable event that draws attention to veterans and military issues, plus POWs and those missing in action. The organization took some time together before hand however - to focus on a little business, say some prayers, recognize a few of their own and share a meal.

The late senator Howard Baker's mountainn mansion in Tennessee is going up for auction (Furrow Auction)

Howard Baker's 'mid-century modern' mansion goes up for auction in Tennessee, furniture included

- The Washington Times

Up for auction next month: the Tennessee estate of the late Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr., consisting of a 6,175-square-foot main home, plus cottage, guesthouse, pool and more, all on 11 acres in Huntsville. The home is unmistakably "mid-century modern" in style, with grand river and mountain vistas beyond the huge windows, some streamlined expanses of brick and some sumptuous, old school-style drapes of the era. Baker called this splendid property his "center of the universe," and for good reason.

Fox News has revealed its coverage and organizational plans for the first GOP presidential debate (Fox News)

Fox News announces its plans for the first Republican presidential debate in August

- The Washington Times

The countdown is on for the very first Republican presidential debate, set for August 6 in Cleveland - to be moderated by anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. There will be much fancy interplay with Facebook revealing "how the issues of the day are resonating," plus input on questions for the candidates. Michael Clemente, executive vice president of News Editorial, has also revealed the entry criteria for candidates.

Jimmy Stewart in the 1939 political movie by Frank Capra,  "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (Image from Columbia Pictures, Inc)

82% of voters say ordinary citizens should run for office, not lawyers and professional politicians

- The Washington Times

Mr. Ordinary goes to Washington? Americans still dream that some sensible, honest patriot will surface in the heartland, then run for office and rescue the nation. The numbers: 82 percent of U.S. voters say the nation needs to recruit more "ordinary citizens to run for office rather than professional politicians and lawyers" -- this according to a new Fox News poll. That includes 84 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats.

A rhino, one of the world's most endangered species due to illegal poaching for its horn. (World Wildlife Fund)

$60K a pound: Illegal rhino horn now declared more valuable than gold, diamonds and cocaine

- The Washington Times

Could a human hankering for exotic elixirs, curatives and aphrodesiacs turn rhino horn into a $20 billion a year industry and take out an entire species of animals at the same time? Looks like it. A UCLA study from team of international scientists says so - saying the call for substances derived from animal parts has "drastic implications" for rhinoceroses, along with elephants, hippopotamuses and even gorillas.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, leader of Allied forces in World War II,was one of the few 'political outsiders' who made it to the White House. (Associated Press)

Only four in 200 years: Political outsiders have 'very thin record of success' in White House bid

- The Washington Times

What with Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina already knee-deep in their presidential bids, some wonder what the chances are for non-politicians who pursue the presidency. History has not been kind. "In short, aside from a handful of war heroes, presidential candidates who have never previously held political office have a very thin record of success," reports Eric Ostermeier, a University of Minnesota political professor.

The co-author of 'American Sniper' has pushed the military thriller book genre even further - the "Sniper Elite' novel series.

'Sniper Elite': Navy SEALS inspire new series of military thriller novels - and a movie deal

- The Washington Times

First it was the movie, now it's a series. Scott McEwen was the co-author with the late Chris Kyle of "American Sniper," the best selling book that became an Oscar-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood. But Mr. McEwen is not done yet. Now in bookstores, it's "The Sniper and the Wolf," a novel -- and part of a fictional series titled "Sniper Elite," which adapts real stories of American warriors into what the trade calls military thrillers. The genre is pretty ferocious.

The Libertarian Party has launched a lawsuit against the Presidential Debate Commission to gain access for third party candidates at the official 2016 presidential debates (Our American Initiative)

Libertarian Party sues for access to presidential debates, calls exclusion 'unfair and illegal'

- The Washington Times

Independent and third party candidates have yet to stand on flashy podiums of officially sanctioned presidential debates. Now the Libertarian Party is pushing back. Fed up with its ongoing exclusion - and the valuable national exposure that is beyond their reach - the Libertarians now plans a lawsuit against the "duopoly" of Republican and Democratic candidates who have a guaranteed national forum - when alternative candidates do not.