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THEY DREW THE NEWS

Who’s buzzy? What was it that drew journalists to “political newsmakers”? Arduous drama, scandal, inner mettle perhaps.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism did the counting from a cross section of print and broadcast stories to find that, naturally, President Obama was the dominant figure in the most number of stories so far this year, with 2,046. In second place: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, with 328, followed by former Rep. Anthony D. Weiner (234) and House Speaker John A. Boehner (221).

Sarah Palin trumped her rivals in the presidential-hopeful category with 155 stories, followed by Donald Trump (140), Newt Gingrich (136), Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, (121) and Mitt Romney (120). Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in last place with 110.

FRUGAL NEIGHBORS

Far from Capitol Hill, the academics tend their theories about the debt-ceiling aftermath.

“The issue is more about the path of government spending than the debt itself. Those who want merely to raise the debt ceiling believe more spending will help promote recovery. Those who oppose the increase believe the growth of government is why the recovery is so sluggish. Thus, there is not much room for compromise,” says Florida State University economics professor James Gwartney.

“Americans should learn from Japan and Canada. Japan responded to a recession in 1990 with increases in government spending financed by debt, and the result was a lost decade,” he continues. “Canada responded to a similar debt crisis in the late 1990s by reducing government spending and shifting the federal budget toward a surplus for more than a decade. The result was the fastest growth among the G-7 nations.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 50 percent of Americans say the agreement reached between President Obama and Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling is neither a step forward nor a step backward for the U.S. economy.

• 50 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of liberals, 52 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of conservatives agree.

• 46 percent of Americans disapprove of the agreement between Mr. Obama and Congress.

• 28 percent of Democrats, 35 percent of liberals, 64 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of conservatives agree.

• 17 percent overall say the agreement will “make the economy better.”

• 29 percent of Democrats, 22 percent of liberals, 8 percent of Republicans and 10 percent of conservatives agree.

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