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“Our users are not only changing how they want our statistics, they’re changing how they access them,” the bureau explains.

ISSA AND COMPANY

Interesting. Amid much speculative news coverage of Egypt and its changing role in the Middle East comes an event Tuesday sponsored by an Egyptian philanthropist that has drawn Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent; Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, and retired Adm. William J. Fallon, former commander of U.S. Central Command. The trio is part of a panel addressing “Beyond Government Diplomacy: How Can We Address East-West Challenges” at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a monumental stronghold right there on Constitution Avenue in the nation’s capital.

The event — which also includes discussions about art, “early globalists” and “Orientalist travelers” — is sponsored by the Egyptian businessman Shafik Gabr “as part of his new foundation’s mission to facilitate exchange between the Arab world and the West.”

And the eats? The 20-item reception meal afterwards includes fennel and coriander lamb with pomegranate glaze, butternut squash bisteeya with cardamom cream, potato crusted halibut, strip steak with cippolini onions, dolmas, guinea fowl, baba ghanoush, vegetable tagine with saffron couscous, rolled baklava and honey lemon basbousa.

POLL DU JOUR

• 39 percent of Americans say they are “optimistic” looking ahead to President Obama’s second term.

• 10 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of conservatives, 60 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of liberals agree.

• 29 percent of Americans overall say they are “afraid”; 61 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of conservatives, 5 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of liberals agree.

• 15 percent overall are pessimistic; 26 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of conservatives, 2 percent of Democrats and 4 percent of liberals agree.

• 15 percent overall are enthusiastic; 2 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of conservatives, 32 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 1,023 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 16 to 18.

Snappy retorts, polite applause to jharper@washingtontimes.com.