Nation, world for Jan. 16, 2015 – Sharonherald

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2015 6:00 am

Nation, world for Jan. 16, 2015

Some in GOP fear perceptions of Romney could linger into ’16

CORONADO, Calif. — Even among Mitt Romney’s longtime supporters, one fear about his potential return to presidential politics stands out: the lingering perception the former private equity executive cares only about the fate of wealthy Americans.

Romney knows it, too. In his so-far private conversations about a prospective third run for the White House, he has told would-be backers that improving the lives of poor and middle-class Americans would be at the top of his 2016 agenda.

“What he was most passionate about in our conversation is breaking the cycle of poverty in this country,” said Bill Kunkler, one of Romney’s past top national fundraisers, who received a call from Romney this week. “That really, really bothers him.”

There are concerns among Republicans that Romney is a two-time loser in the race for president whose “turn” has come and gone. But in interviews with several Romney supporters, many pointed to what political professionals describe as his empathy problem. Among voters who wanted a president who “cares about people like me,” only 18 percent supported Romney in 2012, compared with 81 percent for President Barack Obama, according to exit polls.

Those low marks came after a campaign filled with high-profile missteps tied in some way to money. The son of an auto company chief executive who made a fortune in finance measured in the hundreds of millions famously described corporations as people and highlighted his close friendships with the owners of professional sports teams.


Yosemite rock climbers enjoyed coffee, chocolate, whisky

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Day after day, the two Americans who completed what had been considered the world’s most difficult rock climb bloodied their fingertips, endured bruising falls and balanced their bodies on handholds as small as coins.

But while living for more than two weeks on a sheer granite wall, they still enjoyed a few comforts sent up from the Yosemite Valley below: coffee, Indian food, chocolate and an occasional nip of whisky.

Now they hope their feat inspires others to follow their own passions.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson became the first to free-climb the Dawn Wall on the famous El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Unlike climbers who need more elaborate equipment, the pair relied entirely on their hands and feet and physical strength, using ropes and harnesses only for safety in case of a fall.

Speaking Thursday to reporters, both men said they had been touched by the number of people who drew inspiration from their journey up a half-mile of pale stone.


And the nominees are … ‘Sniper,’ ‘Selma,’ ‘Boyhood,’ ‘Birdman’

The Oscar nominations added intrigue if not diversity to an Academy Awards race by favoring one late-season release (“American Sniper”) over another (“Selma”).

The flip-flopping of fortunes, however, did little to dislodge the humble coming-of-age epic “Boyhood,” which has steadily grown into the movie to beat in a little-seen Oscar field, closely followed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s backstage ego trip “Birdman.”

The two films solidified themselves as favorites with best-picture and best-director nominations. “Boyhood” chalked up its expected six nominations, including supporting nods for Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke. And “Birdman, (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” landed a co-leading nine nominations, including best actor for Michael Keaton.

“I don’t care how much people tell you: ‘It’s gonna happen.’ When it happens, you’re thrilled,” said Keaton about his first nomination.


‘In Dog We Trust’ rug will raise money for animals

LARGO, Fla.  Is “In Dog We Trust” your motto?

If so, a sheriff’s office in Florida has a rug for you. The Pinellas County sheriff’s office said Thursday it will auction off a rug that had “In Dog We Trust” on it instead of “In God We Trust.”

The forest green rug with the sheriff’s gold badge was in the entrance area for a couple of months when the error was discovered Wednesday by a deputy.

Proceeds from the auction will go to a local animal rescue organization.

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the rug will head to the auction block because the story garnered so much attention.

The Associated Press

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Friday, January 16, 2015 6:00 am.

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