- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Don’t break out the potassium iodide tablets and Geiger counters quite yet. Though nine-out-of-10 likely U.S. voters are tracking the news of Japan’s ongoing nuclear disaster, the majority — 56 percent — say they are not concerned about radioactive fallout drifting to these shores. This is amazing, considering the often alarmist and inaccurate coverage from some news organizations. Meanwhile, 43 percent of the respondents disagree, and are getting nervous.

Thank you, Rasmussen Reports, for a nuclear cultural moment. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Monday and Tuesday.


After all the hubbub over resignations at National Public Radio in recent days, legislation is now on the table that would annhilate the broadcaster’s federal funding. That would be H.R. 1076, a bill introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn to “prohibit federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content.” The House is expected to vote on it Thursday.

“I wish only the best for NPR. Like many Americans, I enjoy much of their programming,” says the Colorado Republican, who previously led efforts to strip federal money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“I believe that they can survive, even thrive, in the free market without the crutch of government subsidies,” he adds.


“No.” “No.” “No.” “No.”

(Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s one word replies to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after he asked whether she would serve a second term in office if President Obama is re-elected, and if she would want to be secretary of defense, vice president, or run for president again.)


“The Obama administration has made it clear that it intends to pursue unconstitutional legislation like Obamacare, job-killing policies, new regulations and increase federal spending at a level that paralyzes our nation’s economic health,” says former U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle, in announcing she plans to run for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Dean Heller, Nevada Republican.

“I look forward to working with the many other conservative voices currently serving in Congress. This campaign and subsequent election will be about hitting the ground running,” she observes.


Ireland’s newly elected Taoiseach (otherwise known as the prime minister and head of government) Enda Kenny — deemed “Edna” in one recent Reuters gaffe — arrived in Washington on Wednesday and already has met with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley whose kin hail from County Galway, and Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, whose family comes from County Mayo. Mr. Kenny breakfasts Thursday with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., then ventures to the Capitol for lunch with House Speaker John A. Boehner and a friendly visit with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat.

Toward’s day’s end, Mr. Kenny and spouse, Fionnuala, arrive at the White House bearing a crystal bowl brimming with shamrocks. An Oval Office meeting and evening reception follow, this serenaded by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland.

And naturally there’s a poll to reveal how Americans feel about the Irish. From Zogby Interactive: 79 percent have a favorable opinion of Ireland and 42 percent will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Specifically, a third wear green, 18 percent eat Irish food, 12 percent drink an Irish libation and 9 percent visit an Irish pub.

*The phrase means “A hundred thousand welcomes” in Gaelic.


“If Haley Barbour runs for president, he’ll be a formidable candidate … His charisma, personality and excitement for retail politics will make him an ideal candidate for New Hampshire, should he decide to run.”

(Republican political handler Mike Dennehy, on his new client, Mr. Barbour, who journeys to the Granite State for a big visit on March 27).


There is some order in the chaos: In the last 24 hours, 14 U.S. Navy ships and 17,000 sailors and Marines have arrived in Japan to provide disaster relief, flying 113 helicopter and 125 fixed-wing sorties to move supplies and aid in search and rescue.

U.S troops delivered 129,000 gallons of water, 50,000 individual water bottles, 4,200 pounds of food, 93 assorted vehicles, two fire trucks, multiple high-pressure water pumps and 19 electrical generators. Way to go.


Spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, peas, beets, mustard greens, Swiss chard, turnips, leeks.

(Among the vegetables planted by first lady Michelle Obama and a host of youthful helpers in the White House kitchen garden on Wednesday afternoon).


• 61 percent of Americans favor lowering domestic spending to reduce the budget deficit.

• 71 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

• 49 percent overall favor lowering defense spending to reduce the debt; 33 percent of Republican and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

• 30 percent overall favor raising taxes; 20 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats agree.

• 30 percent overall favor changes in Social Security and Medicare to reduce debt; 36 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,525 adults conducted March 8-14.

Yays, yeas, nays, neighs to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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