Inside the Beltway: Herding Republicans

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Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

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HIS SHARE OF THE TASK

“Portfolio is happy to announce that retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s memoir, ‘My Share of the Task’ has been rescheduled for publication on Jan. 7. The book was originally scheduled for November 2012, but had to be delayed until the security review by the Department of Defense was completed,” says a spokeswoman for Portfolio Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA.

“Gen. McChrystal spent nearly two years working closely with military officials to make sure he followed all the rules for writing about the armed forces, including special operations. He was extremely careful not to include any information that would endanger any military personnel or their mission.”

The four-star general was, incidentally, former commander of the U.S. and NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan. Mr. McChrystal resigned and later retired following a controversial article published two years ago in Rolling Stone magazine, to be replaced by then-Gen. David H. Petraeus.

MAYBE NEXT TIME

About 88 percent of Americans who voted in the presidential election support national standards for voting, including the hours polls are open, who is eligible to vote, and the design of ballots, according to a new poll by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Currently, rules and procedures differ from one community to another.

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents also support consistent standards, as do voters from “all races, genders, incomes, and geographic regions,” the survey found.

“On the heels of an election that required some Americans to endure a long line to cast their vote and others to face confusing new requirements, the message from this poll is clear. Our democracy and our electorate deserve better rules and procedures for efficiently administering federal elections,” says MacArthur President Robert Gallucci.

POLL DU JOUR

• 45 percent of Americans favor reducing the federal budget deficit with an equal balance of spending cuts and tax increases.

• 24 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of independents agree.

• 40 percent of Americans overall favor reducing the deficit primarily through spending cuts.

• 69 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of Democrats and 34 percent of independents agree.

• 11 percent overall favor reducing the deficit primarily through tax increases.

• 5 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of Democrats and 9 percent of independents agree.

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