Republicans continue being challenged to rethink long-held positions — ostensibly by members of their own base. In the immigration debate, for example, prominent Evangelicals have urged Republicans to embrace immigration reform. Meanwhile, retired military officers — typically considered a reliable part of the Republican voting bloc — are now sounding the alarm on climate change.
From an article in the Wall Street Journal:
The military must do more to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate, including updating war plans and building more ships to operate in the Arctic, a report by a group of retired military officers will say Wednesday.
The report by CNA Corp., a nonprofit research group that frequently does work for the Navy, says the military must be more aggressive as it prepares to deal with everything from increased numbers of natural disasters in the Pacific to expanded shipping in the Arctic. [Wall Street Journal]
The focus isn't on combating global warming, but instead, on military preparation. Still, this news could have political consequences. In the PR business, this is called "man bites dog." (It's not a story if a tree-hugging hippie warns about global warming; it is a story when a decorated military veteran does.)
And according to a survey I was provided (conducted by pollster Alex Lundry), 79 percent of Republicans believe that "strengthening national security with energy independence" is an important reason to take on climate change — and 74 percent of Republicans say "preventing the U.S. from going to war over oil" would be a good enough reason to do the same.
While this report certainly doesn't mean the global warming alarmists are correct, it is yet another example of how conservative orthodoxy is being challenged on all sides — and how Republicans (see Marco Rubio) are increasingly finding themselves forced to answer difficult questions about topics that were once automatic winners. Matt K. Lewis
On Saturday, New Orleans residents commemorated the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people and cost $151 billion in damage across the region.
"We saved each other," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told dignitaries at a memorial for the unidentified and unclaimed dead, The Associated Press reports. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken."
Residents and activists gathered for speeches and a parade in the city's Lower 9th Ward at the site of one levee that had broken. In Mississippi, also hit hard by Katrina, coastal church bells rang out to remember one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history.
Presidential hopeful and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) spoke to a crowd in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Saturday about the need to crack down on legal immigration enforcement.
He rejected competitor Donald Trump's idea to build a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexican border, but suggested if he becomes president, he'd use FedEx's package tracking strategies to more closely track people entering the country:
The minute they come in, we lose track of them? So here's what I'm going to do as president: I'm going to ask Fred Smith, the founder of Federal Express, to come work for the government for three months at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and show these people. We need to have a system that tracks you from the moment you come in, and then when your time is up... however long your visa is, then we go get you. We tap you on the shoulder and say, "Thanks for coming. Time to go." [The Star-Ledger]
While this isn't the first time Republicans have used FedEx rhetoric to talk immigration policy, Smith's daughter, Samantha, serves as Christie's campaign spokeswoman.
Christie also criticized President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers on Saturday, calling the U.S. under Obama's oversight "a nation of lawlessness," The Star-Ledger reports. Julie Kliegman
Researchers at an archaeological site in Catalonia, Spain, discovered an inner part of a cave that may have been used for sleeping, the first such area linked to a Neanderthal site, Archaeology reports.
The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology archaeologists say the sleeping area found at Abric Romaní is distinctive from other parts of the cave because it features a lower density of artifacts. They also found a hole near a wall that may have been used to heat water 60,000 years ago.
— Archaeology Magazine (@archaeologymag) August 28, 2015
The potential bedroom and water-heating system were found among 10,000 Neanderthal artifacts researchers found at the site in August. Julie Kliegman
In a tease for her upcoming Elle UK cover story, Miley Cyrus said she identifies as pansexual, which means she considers herself attracted to people of all gender identities.
"I'm very open about it — I'm pansexual," she said. "But I'm not in a relationship. I'm 22, I'm going on dates, but I change my style every two weeks, let alone who I'm with."
The pop star and upcoming VMAs host had described her fluid sexuality similarly, without using the word pansexual, in a not-safe-for-work photoshoot with Paper Magazine in June.
"I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age," she said. "Everything that's legal, I'm down with. Yo, I'm down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me. I don't relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl."
You might say she's just being Miley. Julie Kliegman
Uber hired the two men who gained notoriety after remotely hacking a moving Jeep Cherokee in July, the company said Friday. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will join the company's Pittsburgh-based Advanced Technologies Center, which has been upping its research on the technology behind self-driving cars, Reuters reports.
Miller and Valasek join the same center where Uber hired away dozens of Carnegie Mellon University's top scientists and researchers earlier in 2015. The company, valued at more than $50 billion, also announced Tuesday a partnership with the University of Arizona focused on mapping research and safety technology for self-driving cars.
For what's believed to be the first time in history, the U.S. Open women's singles final sold out before the men's singles final, ESPN reports.
There's one reason why: Serena Williams. A victory for the tennis goddess and upcoming tournament's top seed would make history by completing her 2015 Grand Slam sweep, a feat no woman has accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1988. Williams has 21 Slam titles to her name, just three fewer than record holder Margaret Court.
Seats for the women's final, which doesn't even sell out some years, are trading at three times their usual value, according to the United States Tennis Association.
Open play begins Monday. Julie Kliegman
A ghost of Republican Party past sat down with its current presidential frontrunner Friday night. Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, both known for their colorful, unpredictable sound bites, were surprisingly tame throughout the One America News Network interview, which was more lovefest than hard-hitting policy chat.
"They need someone to fire all those political correct police," Palin said by way of introducing Trump. Trump later called Palin a "terrific person" and also praised her family. He's said before he'd love for Palin to join his administration should he win office.