Water Cooler

WATER COOLER

The Water Cooler is written by Washington Times staffers.

  • Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a rally at the World War II Memorial in Washington Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, as Senate leaders have taken the helm in the search for a deal to end the partial government shutdown and avert a federal default. The rally was organized to protest the closure of the Memorial, subsequent to the shutdown, and lack of access to it by World War II veterans who traveled there on Honor Flight visits. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tea party brews up a 2016 presidential straw poll - and Cruz is in the lead

    By Jennifer HarperPublished December 10, 2013 Comments

    It's never too early for a nice juicy straw poll, particularly if it’s of the presidential variety. The Tea Party Patriots have already drawn 250,000 voters to a survey listing potential 2016 hopefuls of interest to liberty-minded folk. The grass-roots group intends to drawn a million votes by March. Who's leading this early, early match-up among undeclared candidates? In front, it's Sen. Ted Cruz; the Texas Republican has garnered 40 percent of the votes. He's followed by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky with 21 percent, who is publicly wrestling with a White House run despite misgivings from his wife. In third place is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 10 percent. And yes, Sarah Palin is on the roster, drawing 6 percent of the votes. Just under a quarter of the voters indicated they were either undecided or have someone else in mind. The poll is the proverbial shot across the ...

  • Illustration: Dangerous drugs by John Camejo for The Washington Times

    Americans just say yes: members of Congress should be subject to random drug testing

    by Jennifer HarperPublished December 6, 2013 Comments

    Should our lawmakers be exempt from random drug tests? Guess not. A hefty majority of Americans - 78 percent - say members of Congress should be subject to such monitoring; 86 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats agree. So says a YouGov survey of close to 1,000 people released Thursday. "Sixty-four percent of Americans support requiring welfare recipients to submit to drug tests, but even more are in favor of requiring congressmen to also prove that they do not take illegal drugs," says Peter Moore, an analyst with the pollster. Only airline pilots draw a stronger reaction, with 87 percent of the respondents supporting random tests for pilots. Meanwhile, another two-thirds overall say lawmakers who are "arrested and convicted of possessing a small quantity of cocaine" should resign; 72 percent of the GOP and 67 percent of Democrats agree. And there's a price: only 4 percent overall would ...

  • ** FILE ** The American flag flies above the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo)

    70 percent of Americans say U.S. has lost world respect; 80 percent of GOP, 56 percent of Democrats agree

    by Jennifer HarperPublished December 4, 2013 Comments

    It's complicated: The public is weary of the U.S. role as the world's policeman, but it also frets about the nation's declining prestige on the global stage and disapproves of both President's foreign policy practices and any attempts at nation building overseas. Yet Americans approve of aggressive participation in the world economy and favor drones in the military arsenal. A wide-ranging Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday reveals that 53 percent of Americans say the U.S. is "less important and powerful" than it was a decade ago, a sentiment shared by 74 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats. Another 70 percent say the U.S. is less respected by other countries than in the past; 80 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Democrats agree. Few want the U.S. to be a wuss, however; 56 percent say the U.S. should attempt to remain the planet's only "superpower"; 63 percent ...

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
John McCain is greeted by President Nixon in Washington in September 1973, after Mr. McCain spent more than five years in a Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp known as the "Hanoi Hilton."

    For the gift givers arsenal: politically incorrect guides that praise America

    by Jennifer HarperPublished December 3, 2013 Comments

    What? A book that lauds the heroism of Vietnam-era warriors, the Founding Fathers and American history with not a trace of touch-up from liberal academes? Indeed, Regnery Publishing is now offering 25 "Politically Incorrect Guides" on a variety of pivotal subjects which have born the brunt of much revisionist and/or progressive interpretation over the years. Not here, though. "In the beginning, the Bible was regarded as the 'Good Book,' but today it is under relentless attack from left wing audiences, novelists, and screenwriters to justify their own political agendas," the publisher says of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible" by Robert Hutchinson, who refutes all the skeptics in this volume. "To listen to today's leftist historians and liberal media, the Vietnam War was a tragic and dismal failure for the U.S. Yet, as author and Vietnam veteran Phillip Jennings shows in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War, ...

  • A child looks longingly through the locked gates of the National Zoo in this shutdown photograph posted on the social media site, Reddit.

    70 percent of Americans fear another government shutdown in January when the money runs out

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 27, 2013 Comments

    A disconcerting reminder: The federal government is only funded for the next 49 days. The money runs out exactly seven weeks from Wednesday, on Jan. 15 to be exact. But no one is thinking about this as holiday time bustles in - or are they? The public is poised for the worst, apparently: 70 percent of Americans now believe it is "likely" that the government will shut down again, according to a new Harris poll released Tuesday. Republicans are more apt than Democrats to agree with this, 79 percent to 64 percent, respectively. Memories of national parks and historic monuments unceremoniously shuttered for the duration of the the last shut down must be still fresh. No one has forgotten that pesky debt ceiling, either. Fifty percent of the respondents say it should not be raised again, while one-quarter disagree. "There is a huge partisan difference here," reports Regina Corso, senior ...

  • Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

    Are you the parent of a girl? Then you're likely a conservative Republican study says

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 26, 2013 Comments

    "This study asks whether biological daughters affect political party identification, traditional views of women, or opinions about abortion and teen sex. We find that female offspring promote identification with the more conservative Republican Party, but this effect depends on social status. There is no evidence that daughters promote liberal views of women and less consistent evidence that they influence views of abortion or teen sex," state Dalton Conley of New York University and Emily Rausche, of the University of Kansas. Both are sociologists. Their new findings published in the Sociological Forum suggest that parents with daughters are more likely to be Republicans. The research disputes previous studies that found parents of daughters tended to be Democrats. "Their findings are consistent with a recent study that found boys who grew up with sisters in the house were more likely to identify as adults with the Republican Party," says Rich Morin, an ...

  • Lady Gaga arrives at the 2013 American Music Awards, on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

    President Obama lands on the "25 Least Influential People of 2013" with Snowden and GaGa

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 25, 2013 Comments

    President Obama is on the list. So is Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Edward Snowden and the wee royal infant Prince George. This is not the list to be on, though. They are among the "25 Least Influential People of 2013," according to GQ magazine. Mr. Obama is No. 17 on the roster. "I have spent the majority of this man's presidency watching bad things happen, then hearing a thoughtful speech about how we have to make sure the bad things never happen again, and then watching as nothing gets done," says Drew Magary, who made the determinations. Anthony D. Weiner is No. 2, while Dennis Rodman wins first place by merit of his visit this year to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Also named: celebrity chef Paula Deen and Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone, who decided to put a picture of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover ...

  • White House press secretary Jay Carney throws his hands up when asked about President Obama's plans for the following week during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Carney took questions regarding the budget and partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Irked news organizations challenge White House taxpayer funded ‘monopolistic propaganda’

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 22, 2013 Comments

    Oh, the acrimony. Close to 40 major new organizations are protesting an increasingly insular White House which exercises control over its brand and image with the finesse of a Madison Avenue PR shop. "We write to protest the limits on access currently barring photographers who cover the White House. We hope this letter will serve as the first step in removing these restrictions," says The Associated Press, Fox News and the White House Correspondent Association - among many - in a letter hand-delivered to White House press secretary Jay Carney. Naturally, Mr. Carney and company rejected the premise, and the journalists covered their own story. The hubbub, in fact, prompted some 200 assorted accounts within a few hours. The journalists and photographers cite seven major events in 2013 when photography was prohibited and an official image was supplied. The restrictions, they say, mar transparency. "Imposing limits on press access, as ...

  • President John F. Kennedy (Courtesy U.S. Archives)

    An official cover-up of the truth' in the JFK assassination? Even political rivals agree on it

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 21, 2013 Comments

    The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy has drawn enormous press coverage, official recognitions, endless investigations and dramatic re-enactments. But the nation, perhaps, is not yet satisfied with any of the answers or revelations. Six-out-of 10 Americans - 62 percent - think there was "an official cover-up" regarding the truth about the Kennedy assassination, this according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. It appears to be something that even political rivals can agree upon: 62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of conservatives, 58 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of liberals also believe a cover-up has been part of the history. Another 62 percent of Americans feel that the assassination was part of a "broader plot." Again, there is across the board agreement among opposites: 61 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of conservatives, 63 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of liberals agree. The poll found ...

  • A poll says contemporary voters may pine for what would have been: Here's Mitt Romney's "transition" White House website, which disappeared when he lost the 2012 election to President Obama. (Romney Readiness Project)

    "Miss me yet?' Renewed voter interest shows the phrase now applies to Mitt Romney

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 20, 2013 Comments

    "Smaller, simpler, smarter. Believe in America." That was the official motto of "Office of the President-Elect," a website launched by Mitt Romney's campaign in late October 2012. It was publicly visible for a time, but quickly deactivated after Mr. Romney lost the election. Now the public appears to have had a Romney renaissance of sorts. They just might miss him, or the president he could have been. Among registered voters, Mr. Romney bests President Obama in a theoretical rematch, 49 percent to 47 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Mr. Romney also won independents - 49 percent compared to Mr. Obama's 39 percent. Among women, Mr. Romney received 46 percent of the vote, Mr. Obama 49 percent. The pair tied among all Americans, 47 percent to 47 percent and there were predictable partisan divides. Mr. Romney won 90 percent of Republicans, Mr. Obama 89 percent Democrats. Distinct ...

  • FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 25, 1963 file photo, 3-year-old John F. Kennedy Jr. salutes his father's casket in Washington, three days after the president was assassinated in Dallas. Widow Jacqueline Kennedy, center, and daughter Caroline Kennedy are accompanied by the late president's brothers Sen. Edward Kennedy, left, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy. (AP Photo/File)

    61 percent of Americans still insist the JFK assassination was a conspiracy

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 19, 2013 Comments

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy continues to draw the attention of Americans for myriad reasons five decades later. One factor persists: the majority of the public continue to believe that there was a conspiracy at work, and most have notions about who was behind it. A Gallup poll has the numbers: 61 percent of Americans believe that "others besides Lee Harvey Oswald" were involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; 52 percent believed that theory in 1963. 81 percent believed it in 1976, and again in 2001. 30 percent now believe that Oswald was solely responsible for the assassination; 29 percent believed that theory in 1963. 11 percent believed it in 1976; 13 percent in 2001. 13 percent think the "others" in the conspiracy were gangsters or involved in organized crime; 13 percent say it was "the U.S. government". The answers were volunteered, not gleaned from a ...

  • "I'm convinced that 'the fix is in' and that without a huge effort starting right now, Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States," Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio says in a fundraising message for Stop Hillary PAC. (Associated Press)

    A predicted scenario: 'Obamacare expanded into Hillarycare'

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 14, 2013 Comments

    He has been called one of the toughest law men in the nation. That would be Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has become concerned about the 2016 presidential election. "I'm convinced that 'the fix is in' and that without a huge effort starting right now, Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States," proclaims the feisty Maricopa County officer in a fundraising message for Stop Hillary PAC, an equally feisty political action committee launched in July. "Her henchmen - James Carville and Harold Ickes - are busy greasing the skids, raising millions of dollars, buying off the competition, all designed to install her in the White House without a fight," Sheriff Arpaio continues. "I don't have to tell you the damage a Hillary Clinton presidency will do to the America we know and love. Building upon the dangerous Obama legacy, President Hillary Clinton will cement the disastrous ...

  • In this Oct. 14, 2013, photo, the U.S. Capitol is seen as a partial government shutdown enters its third week, in Washington. As talks between Republican and Democratic leaders lumber on in Washington, the American public sees an economic crisis looming if Congress is unable to raise the country’s debt ceiling. But the people seem just as conflicted on the issue as their elected representatives.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Rock bottom: Congress gets the lowest approval ratings in Gallup history

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 13, 2013 Comments

    A moment of dread, disquiet and despondency? This must be it: "Americans' approval of the way Congress is handling its job has dropped to 9 percent, the lowest in Gallup's 39-year history of asking the question," reports Frank Newport, director at the pollster. These results are from a Gallup poll conducted Nov. 7-10. Congress approval fell to 11 percent in October during the government shutdown - which appears to have inflicted lasting damage."Americans' views of Congress have not recovered, but instead have edged lower," Mr. Newport says. "Public displeasure with Congress is equally rampant across political groups, with Republicans (9 percent), independents (8 percent), and Democrats (10 percent) giving the institution similarly low approval ratings." Things have never been particularly happy between the public and lawmakers, however. Congress, has an average approval rating of 33 percent since 1974. The best rating - 56 percent - appeared in 2001, "the rally ...

  • Creative Cakes owner Spencer Biles, carrying one of his creations into the Silver Spring company's display room, faces a daunting demand for cakes for Saturday, considered the most auspicious wedding date in decades.

    Want to help the economy? Get married

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 11, 2013 Comments

    Go on ahead and get hitched. The economy will benefit - at least according to one major pollster which has tabulated the numbers. "Married Americans report a daily spending average of $102, followed by $98 among those who are living in domestic partnerships, $74 by divorced Americans, $67 by those who are single and never married, and $62 by those who are widowed," states a new Gallup tracking poll of 136,000 U.S. adults. "The U.S. marriage rate has declined in recent years, but recent Gallup analysis shows that it is possible that the marriage rate in the United States will go up in the future, based on a pent-up demand for marriage. Based on the spending habits of married Americans compared with their single counterparts who have never married, such a change could be expected to give a boost to the economy," the pollster explains. "Similarly, an increase in the ...

  • A conservative asks: When did 'white trash' become the new normal?

    by Jennifer HarperPublished November 8, 2013 Comments

    Has America become hopelessly tacky thanks to reality TV, celebrity gossip, baby daddies, tattoos and trailer parks? Someone has at last sounded a tasteful alarm about a trend that has permeated just about everything, including politics. "When Did White Trash Become the New Normal?" asks a new book by Charlotte Hays, director of cultural programs for the conservative Independent Women's Forum and a political commentator for The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard, among other news organizations. The genre is evolving from the days of, say, a rusted out Ford Fairlane on the front lawn. "Old white trash" meant having a shotgun wedding, Ms. Hays says. "New white trash" means wearing a designer bridal gown that doesn't hide the baby bump. She is methodical in her book - from Regnery Publishing, incidentally -examining white trash cuisine, raucous manners and other indicators that the nation is in some sort of ...

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