You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HOLA OBAMA

"President Obama's speech in El Paso was a big farce, purely a political appearance. It is offensive to Latinos when the president talks in generalities rather than detailing specific plans for border security or guest worker programs, then blames Republicans for problems. President Obama needs to engage Republican leadership, he needs to work on consensus building," Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, tells Inside the Beltway.

"The president knows Latinos are angry at him. His popularity is plummeting, down to 47 percent among Latinos, a Gallup poll said at the end of April. They just don't believe him. What we're seeing here is the official start of President Obama's re-election campaign in the Latino community," Mr. Aguilar says.

"The president has again called for amnesty for illegal immigrants without offering a single proposal to actually improve the security of our borders," observes Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. "After nearly two-and-a-half years in office, President Obama has yet to present the American people with a comprehensive plan for securing the border against illegal immigration. Implying that 'we've done enough, the border is secure,' does not make it so."

DIRTY JOBS, SENATORS

He's been a sausage maker. And a maggot farmer, crab picker, cow midwife, buoy cleaner, hair removal technician, lightning rod installer and camel nanny. But mudslinger? Not yet. Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe may see both sausage making and mudslinging on Wednesday when he appears before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation as a "witness" at a hearing titled "Manufacturing Our Way to a Stronger Economy." Also appearing: Stephanie Burns, CEO of Dow-Corning Corp., and Leo W. Gerard, international president, United Steelworkers.

"Mike Rowe is all about creating respect for hardworking Americans. That's why he's come to Washington," a spokesman advises.

NAVAL GAZING

"Regarding the use of base facilities for same-sex marriages, legal counsel has concluded that, generally speaking, base facility use is sexual orientation-neutral. This is a change to previous training that stated same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property," wrote Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, the U.S. Navy's chief of chaplains, in an April 13 memo to Navy chaplains.

"The Defense of Marriage Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. The law of the land is that the federal government defines marriage as between one man and one woman. This new guidance from the Navy clearly violates the law. While our president may not like this law, it is unbelievable that our Navy would issue guidance that clearly violates this law. While a state may legalize same-sex marriage, federal property and federal employees, like Navy chaplains, should not be used to perform marriages that are not recognized by federal law." (Rep. Todd W. Akin, Missouri Republican, in a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, signed by 62 other lawmakers.

BIRTHERS, DEATHERS

"With the birther ranks declining after President Obama released his birth certificate it seemed like there was some potential 'deathers' — folks who think Osama bin Laden wasn't really killed last week — would become the next great American conspiracy theory. Alas, that is not the case. Our national survey found that 85 percent of voters really do think that bin Laden is dead with 8 percent unsure and only 7 percent convinced that he is still alive," says Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling.

"To put that into perspective on the conspiracy theory spectrum, a national survey we conducted in September of 2009 found that 10 percent of Americans thought — or at least said they thought — that Barack Obama was the Antichrist, to only 79 percent who could rule out the possibility. Eleven percent on that survey said they weren't sure. So we've got more voters who think the president is the Antichrist than think Osama bin Laden is still alive," Mr. Jensen concludes.

THE HERMANATOR

Donald Trump's popularity as a presidential candidate may be waning say some pollsters. But Herman Cain, the businessman and former talk radio host, is a rising star among 2012 White House hopefuls, says a new National Review online poll: 84 percent of the 10,000-plus respondents gave Mr. Cain a positive review.

JOBS, MORTALITY

Hey. Be nice at work.

"People who have a good peer support system at work may live longer than people who don't have such a support system," says a 20-year workplace research project published by the American Psychological Association. "This effect of peer social support on the risk of mortality was most pronounced among those between the ages of 38 and 43. Yet similar support from workers' supervisors had no effect on mortality," the study said; it appeared in the May issue of "Health Psychology."

POLL DU JOUR

• 65 percent of U.S. voters oppose the creation of "sanctuary cities" that offer a haven to illegal immigrants.

• 18 percent are undecided, 17 percent support the creation of such cities.

• 59 percent of voters overall favor a cutoff of federal funds for sanctuary cities.

• 79 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters agree.

• 45 percent of Democrats disagree and support the funding.

• 58 percent of voters overall think the Justice Department should prosecute sanctuary cities regardless of congressional action.

• 26 percent are opposed to legal action and 16 percent are not sure.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted May 7

Soaring rhetoric, brief statements, noise to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.