Brothers Juan and Andres Hernandez traveled more than four hours here by bus for the chance to reunite with the man they call “Dr. Pablo.”
Fifteen years ago, they were flown to Bowling Green, Ky., to be examined by an ophthalmologist named Rand Paul. Fifteen years ago, Paul had no political aide or press secretary. There had been no 13-hour filibuster, and there was no talk of a possible presidential campaign. No bodyguard named Axel.
Since operating on the Hernandez brothers in 1999, Paul has become the junior senator from Kentucky and a prospective Republican presidential candidate.
He came face to face again with the brothers this week at a local hospital, in front of a chalkboard where someone had written “Bien vinedos” when they meant to write “Bienvenidos.” The doctor and his patients greeted each other beneath the gaze of three television cameras, three photographers, six reporters, a political aide, two press secretaries, conservative activist David Bossie — and Axel, watching closely.
Paul started speaking Spanish, which he had learned as a kid growing up in Texas. Taking out a pencil light, he examined the brothers’ eyes.
“Mire la luz,” he said — look at the light. Paul handed Juan his glasses and asked him to try them on. He asked him: Is your vision better or the same with the glasses?
“No difference,” Hernandez said in Spanish. After a few moments, Paul said he wanted the brothers to visit a nearby clinic for a thorough exam. Then he asked them to pose for a picture.
“Smile!” someone shouted. The brothers stared ahead, seemingly unable to comprehend the political implications of their photo.
Announced a few months ago, Paul’s trip to Guatemala came at a time when other Republicans considering presidential campaigns, includingRep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), are talking more openly about a “compassion agenda,” finding ways to help the poor and less fortunate. Here, before the cameras in Salama, Paul was on that terrain — but a world away from the rest of a GOP presidential field dominated by career politicians. . .
Kneeling in the dirt in a desert somewhere in the Middle East, James Foley lost his life this week at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Before pulling out the knife used to decapitate him, his masked executioner explained that he was killing the 40-year-old American journalist in retaliation for the recent United States’ airstrikes against the terrorist group in Iraq.
In fact, until recently, ISIS had a very different list of demands for Mr. Foley: The group pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release, according to a representative of his family and a former hostage held alongside him. The United States — unlike several European countries that have funneled millions to the terror group to spare the lives of their citizens — refused to pay.
The issue of how to deal with ISIS, which like many terror groups now routinely trades captives for large cash payments, is acute for the Obama administration because Mr. Foley was not the lone American in its custody. ISIS is threatening to kill at least three others it holds if its demands remain unmet, The New York Times has confirmed through interviews with recently released prisoners, family members of the victims and mediators attempting to win their freedom.
Sensitive to growing criticism that it had not done enough, the White House on Wednesday revealed that a United States Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue Mr. Foley — a New Hampshire native who disappeared in Syria on Nov. 22, 2012 — as well as the other American hostages during a secret mission this summer. Mr. Obama said the United States would not retreat until it had eliminated the “cancer” of ISIS from the Middle East. . .
Greg, every time I get a chance to spend some time with a supporter like you, it’s a powerful reminder that we’re all standing together, fighting for a set of values we all share. And it’s also a lot of fun.
This Labor Day weekend, I’ll be in New York for a BBQ and I would like to meet you there. When you donate $10 or whatever you can, you’ll be automatically entered for a flight out to join me.
I can’t wait to thank you in person for everything you’ve done to help Democrats and me out during these past few years.
AUSTIN (KXAN) – An attorney for Rick Perry says the indicted Texas governor will be at the Travis County Justice Complex Tuesday afternoon.
David Botsford told the media gathered at the courthouse that Perry would be in around 5 p.m. The governor will go through the booking process and have his mug shot taken at that point, his lead attorney Tony Buzbee told CNN.
“This is a complete waste of time and money, but he will do everything everyone else would have to do (in this situation,)” Buzbee told CNN. . .
The pope’s 8-month-old and 2-year-old grand-nephews were killed in Argentina accident
Three members of Pope Francis’ family were killed in a car accident in Argentina Tuesday, CNN reports, including his 8-month-old and 2-year-old grand-nephews and their mother.
A Cordoba police spokesperson told news outlets that the pope’s nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, crashed into a truck on the highway at 12:30 a.m. Bergoglio is currently in the hospital under serious condition. . .
A judge isn’t issuing an arrest warrant for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a court official said Monday, and the Republican is planning to continue galloping around the country gearing up for a possible 2016 presidential run — despite being indicted on two felony counts of abuse of power back home.
Perry on Friday became the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted, and is facing charges that carry a maximum sentence of 109 years in prison for carrying out a threat to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit last summer.
Perry has emphatically denied all wrongdoing. His attorneys scheduled a Monday afternoon news conference in Austin to discuss their next moves. . .