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“The progressive label seems to be gaining popularity in American politics, with numerous high-profile political players and groups using it either as a substitute for ‘liberal’ or as a nuanced alternative to it,” Ms. Saad notes. “Given the high degree of public uncertainty about what the term means - as well as the lack of opposition to it from the political center - that could be a successful strategy, at least if the goal is to avoid being pigeonholed.”

OIL SLICK

Tracking former President George W. Bush’s visits to the golf course was sport for some journalists, until Mr. Bush simply put a stop to it all, because of the grave nature of White House business during his presidency. Not so President Obama, who has golfed, or gone fundraising or socializing during tense moments stateside, overseas and particularly in the Gulf, where the BP oil spill continues.

To keep up with it all, the Republican National Committee has launched a snappy new interactive website to highlight Mr. Obama’s penchant for “golf over Gulf.” See it here: actnow.gop.com/ golforgulf/.

“President Obama’s frustrating tendency to hit the links rather than devote his undivided attention to providing a solution to the worst ecological disaster in American history represents an unacceptable lack of seriousness and focus,” says RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele. “How much further out of touch can President Obama get?”

Not to be outdone, the Democratic National Committee has created a website to track “BP Republicans” who they say are defending the oil company. See their offering here: www.bprepublicans.com.

POLL DU JOUR

c 72 percent of federal employees are “satisfied or very satisfied” with their jobs.

c 68 percent say their personal appraisals on the job were “fair.”

c 59 percent describe their workload as “reasonable.”

c 55 percent are satisfied with “senior leaders” on the job.

c 51 percent are “comfortable” disclosing rule violations on the job.

c 50 percent say they have enough people, materials and budget to get the job done.

c 31 percent said “steps are taken” to deal with poor performers on the job.

Source: An Office of Personnel Management survey of 263,000 federal employees conducted in February and March and released Monday.

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