As potential 2016 candidates gear up for White House bids, it’s important for them to look the part. So here it is: a definitive gallery of presidential hopefuls looking their most presidential.
He wants to make it to Hollywood
A Bruce Lee impersonator is gaining Internet stardom in Afghanistan, thanks to his Facebook page and imitations of famous Bruce Lee moves and poses.
“I want to be a champion in my country and a Hollywood star,” Abbas Alizada, or “Bruce Hazara,” as his Facebook page calls him, told Reuters.
Alizada trains twice a week to achieve his goal. From a poor family of 10 children, Alizada’s parents couldn’t afford to send him to a martial arts academy, but a trainer mentored him anyway. Now, he wants to make it to the big screen and bring some good press to Afghanistan in the process.
“The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war … I am happy that my story is a positive one,” Alizada said.
More than 50,000 affected by storm blackouts
More than 21,000 PG&E customers were without power in San Francisco early Thursday morning, CBS reports, and there was no estimate of when the power will be restored. PG&E later said the outage was affecting more than 50,000 people.
The region is getting drenched by a storm that the National Weather Service predicted would be one of the area’s “strongest storms in terms of wind and rain” in five years. More than four inches of rain had already been reported in Sonoma County before dawn, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The odds were 1-in-1,680,000
It sounds like the beginning of a tasteless joke: “A sex offender walks into a 7-Eleven…”
And it ends like one too: The sex offender buys a lottery ticket, and wins. That’s what happened this week when Timothy Poole, a convicted sex offender, won the $3 million lottery jackpot in Florida after buying a $20 scratch-off ticket, ABC reports.
Poole, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to attempted sexual battery involving two victims under the age of 12, will get to keep his winnings.
He made a distress call on Thanksgiving day
A fisherman landed in Hawaii on Wednesday after surviving twelve days adrift at sea.
Ron Ingram was sailing from Molokai to Lanai when on Thanksgiving day his boat began taking on water, according to Hawaii News Now. He wasn’t found in a 12,000 square-mile search, so search activity was suspended December 1.
But on Tuesday morning, the 67-year-old fisherman surfaced with a distress call and was picked up by the Coast Guard.
“Twelve days, man. He’s a champ! He’s tough!” Zakary Ingram, Ron’s son, said to Hawaii News Now.
Shake it off
The cast of Frozen will just have to let it go — Taylor Swift’s 1989 is catching up to the Frozen soundtrack as 2014’s biggest seller.
According to the New York Times, Frozen, which was released in late 2013, has sold almost 3.4 million copies since January. 1989 has been out for six weeks and totaled over 2.7 million sales.
1989 is at the top of the Billboard albums chart again this week, bringing its total up to five weeks at number one.
A lawyer says not much
The Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program included a lengthy section outlining ways in which former CIA director Michael Hayden misled Congress. It’s against the law to lie to Congress, but proving that Hayden did that would be so difficult that it would verge on impossible, says a D.C. lawyer specializing in white-collar government litigation.
There are two statutes of U.S. Code that govern perjury before Congress. Section 1621 of Title 18, often called the “general perjury” statute, prohibits individuals from lying to Congress while under oath, while Section 1001, also known as the “false statement” statute, covers testimony given while not under oath. A person convicted of perjury could face fines up to $100,000 or up to five years in jail.
But the narrow language of the statutes makes convictions extremely hard to come by. “The perjury statute is a technical statute,” explains Mark Hopson, managing partner at Sidney Austin LLP’s Washington office. “It is especially difficult, if not impossible to prosecute statements that may be misleading or evasive but subject to an arguably truthful interpretation.”
The proof is in the numbers. According to Reuters, lawyer P.J. Meitl conducted a study in 2007 and found only six people who were convicted of perjury or related charges before Congress, going back to the 1940s. Two of the most famous convictions arose from the Watergate scandal during Richard Nixon’s presidency.
In another notable conviction in recent memory, Clair George, a high-ranking CIA official in the 1980s, was found guilty of lying to Congress about his knowledge of the Iran-contra scandal, though he was later pardoned. And one of the highest profile cases in recent years ended in acquittal: legendary baseball player Roger Clemens was charged with lying to Congress in 2008 about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, but he was acquitted of all charges.
Hayden denies that he lied to Congress. But even if he were deliberately evasive or deceptive, it’s likely that he wouldn’t be convicted of any crime.
It’s that time in the election cycle when presidential hopefuls get coy about making a decision.
But that means it’s getting harder for a likely candidate to pretend that they’re not interested in being the leader of the free world. One way to do that? By arguing that being president isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Here’s how some potential 2016 candidates have been knocking the presidency.
Being President is Too Stressful
Ben Carson: “I’m not sure that anybody wants to put themselves in that kind of horrible and stressful situation, that has never been a goal of mine.” (POLITICO)
Hillary Clinton: “I’ve known a lot of presidents over the course of the last many decades … And it is such a hard job … It is such a challenging job … you can easily lose touch with what’s real, what’s authentic, who you were before you were sworn in to office.” (POLITICO)
My Family Won’t Like Living in the White House
Chris Christie: “Patrick goes to a great school that he really likes, and he kind of sat down and figured out that he’d be in the middle of high school if I ran for president and won. He said, ‘Well, I’d be able to keep going to my school, right?’ Like, well, no. I mean, we have to move…to the White House? In Washington. You’d pretty much have to come with us. And that pretty much put him off; he’s off the bandwagon now. [And] Sarah would be in the middle of college. Not so much in favor. You know, the whole idea of Secret Service agents living in your dorm?” (NJ.com)
Jeb Bush: “Can I do it where the sacrifice for my family is tolerable?… It’s a pretty ugly business right now. So I’m not saying, ‘Oh, woe is me.’ Don’t get me wrong. There’s a level under which I would never subjugate my family because that’s my organizing principle, that’s my life. I think people kind of appreciate that. So, I’m sorting that out.” (POLITICO)
Running for the White House Isn’t Fun
Paul Ryan: “I don’t feel the need to be out there, putting my toe in the water. I don’t see the point in it. It’s not fun, and I don’t think I need to.” (Washington Post)
It’ll Ruin My Looks
Scott Walker: “I say this only half-jokingly, that you have to be crazy to want to be president. Anyone who’s seen the pictures of this president or any of the former presidents can see the before and after, no matter how fit, no matter how young they are, they age pretty rapidly when you look at their hair and everything else involved with it.” (The Hill)
More than just waterboarding+ READ ARTICLE
The debate over the CIA’s interrogation and detention program became very graphic Tuesday with the release of a Senate report.
After reviewing more than 6.2 million documents, Senate investigators went into detail on some of the specific things done to detainees under the program, which critics say amounted to torture.
Not every method was used regularly and some may have been used only once. But here’s a running list of the methods outlined in the report:
- Forcibly shaving a detainee (p. 72)
- Waterboarding one detainee more than 183 times (pg. 85)
- Pureeing a detainee’s lunch tray of hummus, pasta, nuts and raisins and putting it in his rectum (pg. 100)
- Forcing detainees to stand on broken feet (pg. 101)
- Forcing a detainee to wear a diaper with no access to a bathroom (pg. 53)
- Playing loud music 24 hours a day (pg. 53)
- Handcuffing a detainee to the ceiling for 22 hours a day so he couldn’t lower his arms (pg. 53)
- Forcing a detainee to sit naked on a cold concrete floor (pg. 54)
- Depriving detainees of sleep for up to 180 hours (pg. 165)
- Threatening a detainee with a gun and an electric drill (pg. 69)
- Threatening detainees’ families, including telling one detainee that his mother would be sexually abused in front of him (pg. 70)
- Forcibly bathing a detainee with a stiff brush (pg. 70)
- Keeping detainees in isolation for years (pg. 80)
- Dousing detainees with cold water (pg. 105)
- Keeping detainees in uncomfortably cold temperatures (pg. 105)
- Forcing detainees to subsist on liquid diets (pg. 165)
- Putting insects in a confinement box with a detainee (pg. 409)
- Carrying out mock executions (pg. 59)
- Covering detainees’ heads with hoods (p. 53)
- “Walling,” or slamming detainees against the wall (pg. 40)
- Administering facial and abdominal slaps (p. 42)
- Blowing cigarette smoke into a detainee’s face (pg. 190)
- Dragging a detainee blindfolded through the dirt in a “rough takedown” (pg. 190)
The CIA’s interrogation and detention programs occurred under President George W. Bush, but even he had reservations, according to a Senate report.
The Senate report released Tuesday says that the CIA did not brief President Bush on specific interrogation techniques until April 2006 and that he expressed reservation about one technique then.
According to footnote 17 on page 18 of the introduction:
According to CIA records, when briefed in April 2006, the president expressed discomfort with the “image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go to the bathroom on himself.”
Footnote 179 on page 40 elaborates that the account of Bush’s discomfort came from en email from a psychologist working as a CIA contractor, who was given the pseudonym “Grayson Swigert” in the report, about a June 7, 2006, meeting the contractor had with the director of the CIA.
The footnote goes on to note that the CIA did not dispute that account, but went on to say that agency records were incomplete and that Bush said in his autobiography that he discussed the program with CIA Director George Tenet in 2002 and “personally approved the techniques.”
Bush first publicly acknowledged the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program in September of 2006.