- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
Inside the Beltway: The 9 percent
The press has amplified 1 percent, 99 percent and 47 percent in recent days as a succinct measure of political culture and public opinion. Here is a fourth measurement to add to the collection: 9 percent. That is the number of Republicans who approve of Congress, this according to Gallup. Things are pretty tepid elsewhere: 15 percent of Americans overall and 17 percent of Democrats give the lawmakers a thumbs-up.
And while the public is more or less following the debates on gun control and immigration, the anemic economy, unemployment and the federal debt still rivet Americans' attention.
"A substantial boost in Congress' approval may ultimately depend on whether the overall economy improves and whether Congress passes legislation to help reduce the federal debt," observes Gallup analyst Alyssa Brown.
BUMPER PATROL 1
"If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted. Vote Pro-Life!"
New campaign bumper sticker from Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican.
April 15 is an occasion of note for tea partyers and fiscal conservatives, who have staged noisy anti-tax day rallies since 2009 to mark the day. Monday is no exception. About 1,000 people are expected to gather near the U.S. Capitol in the name of "New Fair Deal Action Day," promoting a legislative package that ends corporate handouts, crafts a flatter tax code, downplays the entitlement mindset and passes authentic spending reform. FreedomWorks is organizing the event, which has attracted the likes of Republicans Sen. Mike Lee and Reps. Justin Amash, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo and Tom Price, among multiple speakers.
"It is an effort to work with Congress to write reform legislation, and to build an engaged constituency of citizens outside the beltway," says Matt Kibbe, president of the 4 million-member grass-roots group. The big doings will be "live tweeted at the hashtag #NFD," an organizer advises.
Former presidential hopeful and "9-9-9" guy Herman Cain isn't done yet. He'll be in the nation's capital Monday "to discuss how to collectively expose the damaging effects of the current administration on the black community, the effects of which are worse than the national negative impact of bad policy," a source says.
Among those who will meet with Mr. Cain at a historic hotel a block from the White House: neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, talk radio host Armstrong Williams, National Black Chamber of Commerce president Harry Alford, former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, Christian Cultural Center founder A.R. Bernard, Congress of Racial Equality spokesman Niger Innis, pro-life activist Alveda King and conservative analyst Star Parker.
BUMPER PATROL 2
"Gun control is hitting your target repeatedly."
Bumper sticker spotted in McLean
Does Jerry Brown have Rick Perry envy? The California governor likely pines to have the Texas governor's knack for attracting business investors to his state, bolstering the "Texas Miracle economy" using the time-honored fiscally conservative tradition of less regulations and fewer taxes. Plus Lone Star enthusiasm.
"Texas is still wide open for business!! Come on down," Mr. Perry proclaimed in a recent tweet to a Colorado gun manufacturer disenchanted with the state's stricter gun laws.
Mr. Brown, meanwhile, is in China with a 75-member delegation for two weeks, seeking similar success. Yes, the governor signed a nonbinding trade agreement with Chinese officials Friday, opened a California trade office in Shanghai, then took a river cruise with the local Communist Party secretary which included "a discussion of acupuncture and harmony," according to the local press.
But it's going to take more than that. An alarming number of Californians are leaving the Golden State, which has the highest taxes, unemployment, energy costs and poverty rates in the nation, according to Forbes magazine. It was deemed the "worst state to do business in" by Chief Executive magazine for the past eight years.
"California has managed to do this during its rebound, its good years, according to Jerry Brown who, if not Governor Moonbeam in his second coming as the state's leader, is clearly not in touch with life on Planet California," observes Forbes analyst David Davenport, who notes that a recent Mercatus Institute study finds that when residents flee California, they're bound for "red states" where fiscal conservatism flourishes.
"Earth to Jerry Brown: California, you have a problem," Mr. Davenport adds.
POLL DU JOUR
• 60 percent of likely U.S. voters say abortion will be a factor in determining their future votes.
• 53 percent say they are pro-choice; 69 percent of Democrats agree.
• 40 percent of voters overall say they are pro-life; 62 percent of Republicans agree.
• 51 percent of voters overall say abortion is "morally wrong most of the time."
• 45 percent say there should be a mandatory waiting period before a women can have an abortion; 76 percent of all pro-life voters agree.
• 42 percent overall disagree with a waiting period; 66 percent of all pro-choice voters agree with that.
• 39 percent overall say it's "too easy" to get an abortion; 79 percent of all pro-life voters agree.
• 23 percent overall say it's "too hard" to get an abortion; 39 percent of all pro-choice voters agree.
Source: A Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters conducted April 9 and 10.
• Cheers, jeers and fears to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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