A sign of the times as Friday looms. An inventive Inside the Beltway reader - and federal employee - has developed a 99-cent smartphone application to offer his fellow federal employees "operating status" information about a potential government shutdown, should Republicans and Democrats continue to wrangle over the budget.
"Like whether they need to show up for work on Monday," he says, supplying this website: http://market.android.com/details?id=air.com.CarrSolutions.GovShutdown.
Oh dear. Heavens. Some are vexed indeed with the Democratic National Committee's decision to name Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida to lead the party, now that former chairman Tim Kaine has stepped down to run for U.S. Senate in Virginia.
"Way to go, DNC. You found the candidate who best fit your profile for DNC chairman: a junkyard dog who is mean, nasty, shrill, able to screech at a moments notice, aggressive, and of course able to manipulate the facts and always uncompromising," says Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, an interfaith policy group.
"If there is anyone out there unaware of just how out of touch the retro-liberal Democrats are, Mrs. Schultz will underscore that fact," Mrs. Lafferty adds. "She has a record that stands out as one of the most radical ... of her party. That makes her the woman most appropriate to lead it."
THE MIGHTY CHRISTIE
Yes, they still get warm and fuzzy feelings over Gov. Chris Christie. New Jersey voters continue to give the Garden State leader "sturdy" approval ratings. A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll finds that 51 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the way Mr. Christie is handling his job as governor; 41 percent disapprove.
"Hes not the Teflon governor," says poll director Peter Woolley. "Right now, he looks like the armored governor."
Massachusetts residents can actually opt for a higher tax rate, something that conscientious liberals should jump at, in theory. So far, the state's Department of Revenue has received 1,971,000 returns. Of those filers, exactly 862 checked the box to pay at the old, higher rate (5.85 percent) rather than the current rate (5.3 percent).
"This is an old tradition in Massachusetts: liberals running up the tab and then when the check arrives - hey, come back here you ponytailed carpetbagger," quips Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr. "We already know the most liberal states contribute the least to charity per capita. The louder the liberals talk about the need to pay more, the faster they flee from helping out the most vulnerable members of society."
He adds, "Those 862 people ponied up an extra $69,188. That works out to about $80 per person, which means their average income is - $16,000. The verdict is clear. These moonbats wouldnt pay a nickel to see an earthquake. They toss around quarters like manhole covers. And theyre getting stingier here in the midst of what their lying media claim is our 'economic recovery.' "
1040 AFTER FIVE
We're waiting for the "Refund-Tini", but no matter. The Texas de Brazil restaurant franchise is now offering the "Tax-tini" for patrons worrying over 1040 forms and Tax Day woes. The $7 libation features tequila, pomegranate and lime juices plus pomegranate liqueur and is available in locations in 11 states until the end of April.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS
CNN is debate hungry, and the Grand Old Party is only too happy to oblige. The network has added a third Republican presidential debate to its schedule this year, pairing with the Western Republican Leadership Conference to host a debate at the swank Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas on October 18.
The network also co-hosts a debate with the New Hampshire Union Leader in Manchester on June 7, and with the Tea Party Express in Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 12, at the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.
The Western Region includes Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. All will play an "important role," said former Nevada congressman Jon Porter, now chairman of the conference.
PEACE = MONEY?
Lawmakers are noticing the U.S. Peace Index reported in The Washington Times on Wednesday. The research contends that a peaceful nation has a better economy. The massive, semi-annoying but nonetheless interesting study ranked the relative "absence of violence" in all 50 states based on statistics alone, claiming a more peaceful U.S. could save $361 billion a year.
"The index sheds much-needed light on yet-unrealized savings," says Rep. Michael M. Honda, California Democrat, who asserts that the "answer" is in the research. Judge for yourself here: www.visionofhumanity.org.
"The unfortunate tendency for many in America is to pursue policies that primarily react to violence, not aim to prevent it. As a result, not only is America less economically prosperous, it is less peaceful. The way forward is to learn from what the index is telling us. A peace dividend is possible," Mr. Honda declares.
POLL DU JOUR
• 68 percent of likely U.S. voters say changes to Medicare and Social Security should be approved by a vote of the American people.
• 22 percent say this is unnecessary.
• 64 percent believe "America is overtaxed"; 24 percent disagree and 11 percent are undecided.
• 59 percent say a federal tax increase should be approved by a vote of the people; 26 percent say it's unnecessary, 15 percent are unsure.
• 71 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of Democrats favor a vote.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on April 3 and 4.
• Catcalls, the polite pitter-patter of applause to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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