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There are a variety of things happening in the world but none that I feel compelled to specifically write about. So, here’s an open thread for the topics at hand. There’s a plane crash which may be linked to terrorism, there’s Ted Cruz enrolling in an Obamacare plan, and there’s Rand Paul coming out in favor of increased defense spending.

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Rand Paul and defense spending from Time:

Just weeks before announcing his 2016 presidential bid, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is completing an about-face on a longstanding pledge to curb the growth in defense spending.

In an olive branch to defense hawks hell-bent on curtailing his White House ambitions, the libertarian Senator introduced a budget amendment late Wednesday calling for a nearly $190 billion infusion to the defense budget over the next two years—a roughly 16 percent increase.

Ted Cruz on Obamacare from CNN:

Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare.

The newly announced Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday that he will sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act — a law he has been on a crusade to kill.

“We’ll be getting new health insurance and we’ll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we’ll be on the federal exchange with millions of others on the federal exchange,” Cruz said.

Asked whether he would accept the government contribution available to lawmakers and congressional staffers for their health care coverage through the ACA, Cruz said he will “follow the text of the law.”

“I strongly oppose the exemption that President Obama illegally put in place for members of Congress because (Senate Minority Leader) Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats didn’t want to be under the same rules as the American people,” Cruz said, before repeating: “I believe we should follow the text of the law.”

Rand Paul says he polls best against Hillary, from Politifact:

In an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who asked about his chances at a win, Paul said, “I think when you see my polling, the polling that’s out there so far, nobody is doing better against Hillary Clinton than myself.”

“Also though, when you poll people not just against each other, but against the other side, that shows which candidate has the best chance of picking up the independent vote,” he added. “And right now I’m the only one that beats Hillary Clinton in certain purple states. I’m the only one that also scores above all the other Republicans in whether or not I can beat her.”

We wondered if Paul really is doing the best in polls against Clinton in a hypothetical 2016 general election match-up.

Bobby Jindal chastises the GOP field but names no names, from The Advocate:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal didn’t mince words during an appearance on Fox News’ Fox & Friends Wednesday morning.

The next U.S. president should want “to do something not just be somebody,” Jindal told the hosts, taking a clear swipe at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who announced this week that he’s seeking the 2016 Republican nomination.

Jindal traveled to New York City this week for fundraising for his Believe Again super PAC and stopped by the Fox News studio to talk about his own possible presidential aspirations and the qualities he believes the next president should possess.

Saudi Arabia is moving forces into Yemen which is falling apart, from the Associated Press:

Saudi Arabia began airstrikes Wednesday against Houthi rebel positions in Yemen, vowing that the Sunni kingdom will do “anything necessary” to restore a deposed government that has been routed by the Iranian-backed group.

In an unusual tableau, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States announced the rare military operation by his country at a Washington news conference about a half-hour after the bombing began. The strikes started at 7 p.m. EDT, he said.

Loud, house-shaking explosions could be heard in the Yemen capital of Sanaa and fire and smoke could be seen in the night sky, according to an Associated Press correspondent whose home is near the military airbase in the capital.

Germanwings plane crash from CNN:

Audio from the mangled voice recorder of Germanwings Flight 9525 reveals the captain was locked out of the cockpit while the co-pilot appeared to make a deliberate attempt to destroy the plane, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said Thursday.

The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight “activated the descent” of the plane when he was alone in the cockpit, Robin said. That can only be done deliberately, he said.

From what investigators have found, it seems the co-pilot “wanted to destroy the aircraft,” the prosecutor said.

However, as of now, there’s “nothing to allow us to say that it was a terrorist attack,” he said.

There are some topics. Please add more and discuss anything and everything. If I’m lucky, someone will announce a candidacy or someone will have a scandal this morning so I’ll have something to post.

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