- - Monday, March 28, 2011

CONGRESS

Voters still have feelings of discontent

Despite a Republican takeover of the House this year, voter discontent with the federal government and the leaders of the two main political parties remains high, a new poll shows.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 69 percent of likely voters remain at least somewhat angry with the current policies of the federal government, up from 65 percent in August. Only 25 percent don’t share that anger.

The findings include 38 percent who said they were “very angry,” compared with only 12 percent who said they were “not at all angry.”

In Rasmussen surveys since September 2009, those “angry” at the government has ranged from 66 percent to 75 percent, while those who said they were “very angry” has run from 33 percent to 46 percent.

The survey also showed that 57 percent of voters said neither Republican nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today, while 28 percent disagree. Fifteen percent said they were undecided.

The national telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters was taken Saturday and Sunday. The margin of error is plus/minus 3 percentage points.

HOUSE

GOP lawmaker defends Obama

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and Marine combat veteran who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, says President Obama made the right choice in attacking Libya to impose a no-fly zone and aid rebels seeking to overthrow Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

“President Barack Obama made a decision that is consistent with his role as commander-in-chief, in fact, a judgment that conformed to calls from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle,” Mr. Hunter wrote in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune last weekend.

Mr. Hunter said the president did abide by the War Powers Resolution, countering the charges of other members of Congress that the president exceeded his authority in approving the mission. Mr. Hunter said the sort of consultation and debate members of Congress wanted would have meant losing the element of surprise and jeopardizing the mission.

Congress was gone on a 10-day vacation when Mr. Obama gave the go-ahead for military strikes on Libya. Two days after those attacks began, he sent Congress a letter informing lawmakers of his decision, which is in accordance with the War Powers Resolution.

Still, some lawmakers are irked that the administration discussed details of the operations with foreign allies and NATO, though not with Congress itself.

Despite his support, Mr. Hunter said that Mr. Obama does not have “an unrestricted authorization or blank check” to act under the War Powers Resolution, and that Congress does have a role going forward in weighing in on military action.

NEW YORK

Ferraro funeral Mass on Thursday

NEW YORK | A funeral Mass for Geraldine Ferraro is set for Thursday morning in New York City.

Mrs. Ferraro, the first woman to run for U.S. vice president on a major party ticket, died Saturday of multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. She was 75.

The funeral will be held at the Church of St.Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan. It will be limited to friends and family. No press coverage will be permitted.

Mrs. Ferraro’s family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to several charities, including two multiple myeloma research foundations.

MISSISSIPPI

Huckabee could opt for run by summer

CLINTON | Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday it will be at least this summer before he decides whether to run for president again, and he’ll only enter the 2012 race if he thinks he can win.

At the same time, Mr. Huckabee praised two-term Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, another potential Republican candidate for the White House.

“One of his greatest assets is, he is maybe the most brilliant political strategist in America today, bar none. In any state,” Mr. Huckabee said during a speech at the Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College in Clinton.

Mr. Huckabee said Mr. Barbour would be “an amazingly strong” presidential candidate because of his fundraising skills and national contacts. Mr. Barbour was Republican National Committee chairman from 1993 to 1997 and chaired the Republican Governors Association from June 2009 through November 2010.

“If he doesn’t run, I would love to have him and his Rolodex be my chairman and develop my strategy should I run. No one I’d rather have on my side,” Mr. Huckabee told reporters.

Mr. Barbour has been hiring consultants and traveling to early contest states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. He says he could announce a campaign in April.

FDA

Vitamin solution poses risks

Federal health officials are warning consumers not to use Soladek vitamin solution because it may contain dangerously high levels of vitamins.

The Food and Drug Administration says it has received seven reports of serious health problems among people who used the product, including vomiting, diarrhea and kidney malfunction. The agency also says it has received information showing that samples of Soladek contain unsafe levels of vitamins A and D.

Soladek is marketed by Indo Pharma, a company based in the Dominican Republic. The solution comes in a vial and is labeled in Spanish.

The FDA said the product violates U.S. law because it claims to treat various medical conditions, including rickets and infection, but has not undergone regulatory review.