Inside the Beltway

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Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

What galvanized the nation? It was not the midterm elections, at least according to the Pew Research Center, which gauged public interest throughout 2010 to reveal that the earthquake in Haiti and the Gulf oil leak were tied in first place as the year’s leading stories, “closely followed” by six-out-of-10 Americans.

Health care reform was in third place, followed by the Chilean miners crisis, the midterms, cold winter weather, jobless benefits extension, Arizona immigration law, East Coast snowstorms in February, congressional debate over tax cuts, government response to the Christmas “underwear bomber,” the would-be Times Square bomber, Iraq troop withdrawal, and in last place, the election of Sen. Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican - followed by 36 percent.

A HELPING HAND

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes continues to raise funds to provide emergency aid to severely wounded troops and their families - we’re talking grocery and rent money, Secret Santa gifts for the kids, a Christmas or New Year’s Day meal, mortgage money to avoid foreclosure.

“Many of our troops who have been severely wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq have empty refrigerators,” says retired Army Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub, one of a platoon of former military officers and celebrities who believe in a cause that’s raised more than $22 million for heroes in need. That celebrated roster, incidentally, includes Arnold Palmer, Joe Theismann, Burt Reynolds, Lynda Carter and Billy Ray Cyrus.

(Corrected text:) See the donation details here: www.saluteheroesproject.org.

POLL DU JOUR

- 40 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form somewhere in the last 10,000 years.

- 60 percent of weekly churchgoers, 52 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats agree.

- 38 percent overall believe humans evolved over millions of years with God “guiding” the process.

- 31 percent of weekly churchgoers, 36 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats agree.

- 16 percent overall say humans evolved but God had no part in it.

- 2 percent of weekly churchgoers, 8 percent of Republicans and 20 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,029 adults conducted Dec. 10 to 12.

- Blubbering, cheering, sullen commentary to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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