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Former President George H.W. Bush famously hated broccoli. And Michelle Obama? Yes, there is a vegetable that even the nutritionally conscious first lady cannot abide.

“Beets. I am a believer there is a beet gene. People who love beets love them and people who hate beets cant stand them. Neither the President nor I have the beet gene,” Mrs. Obama tells Ladies Home Journal, in an issue to be published next week,

THE UPBEAT

Memo to politicos, White House, everybody: “Thinking about religion makes you calm under fire. It makes you less distressed when you’ve made an error,” says University of Toronto psychologist Michael Inzlicht, who made this conclusion after measuring the brain waves of test subjects in trying circumstances.

“We think this can help us understand some of the really interesting findings about people who are religious. Although not unequivocal, there is some evidence that religious people live longer and they tend to be happier and healthier,” he says, noting that his unusual study has been published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

POLL DU JOUR

64 percent of Americans approve of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s job performance.

56 percent approve of Defense Department Secretary Robert M. Gates.

45 percent approve of President Obama.

43 percent approve of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs

39 percent approve of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

33 percent approve of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

22 percent approve of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

Source A Clarus Research Group Poll survey of 636 registered voters conducted July 26 and 27.

Rants, raves, squeaks to jharper@washingtontimes.com.