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Inside the Beltway: Stalwart Americans

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

"As a result of the Boston Marathon bombings, will you change the way you lead your everyday life?" asks a Fox News poll. The answer: 81 percent said "no."

"How worried are you that terrorist attacks might take place where you live or work?" the poll also asks. The answer: 65 percent of the respondents said they were not worried.

"Which of the following best describes how you feel about the bombings?" the poll asks. The answer: 58 percent of the respondents said they were angry; 27 percent were worried.

"How confident are you that government authorities will catch those responsible?" Answer: 79 percent say the bombers will be caught.

AND IN SUMMATION

"The defeat of Manchin-Toomey anti-gun power grab is a victory for peace and civil liberties. Constitutional rights don't require permission slips. The language of the Second Amendment is perhaps the starkest and most absolute in the Constitution."

Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican, on the defeat of the universal background check proposal for gun sales in the Senate on Wednesday.

A MERE 844 PAGES

Heaven forbid that the press and public somehow equate immigration reform with health care reform. Both are lengthy, after all. Ever-vigilant, Sen. Marco Rubio has gone on myth patrol to prevent just such a damning thing circulating through the press.

"The myth: The immigration bill will be well over 1,500 pages," the Mr. Rubio proclaims.

"The fact: The 'Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013' is 844 pages long," he clarifies.

Mr. Rubio has offered a link to all 844 pages at his website (Rubio.Senate.gov), along with summary and question sections. The Florida Republican and his colleagues are not going to be hurried, either.

"The bill will not be rushed to Senate floor for a vote," they note in a summary. "Most bills in Congress are given only a few days of consideration before they're brought to a vote and sometimes even less (like the fiscal cliff bill that passed on New Year's Eve, only a few hours after it was written and introduced). That is wrong, and Sen. Rubio has said he would not support this legislation if it was rushed through."

FOR THE LEXICON

"MarcoPhone."

That is the suggested name for free, taxpayer-funded satellite phones for U.S. border residents, says Javier Manjarres, a conservative Florida blogger who uncovered the program after a close reading of the aforementioned immigration reform bill. He believes that illegal immigrants could also get a MarcoPhone, as outlined in section 1107 of the legislation:

"An individual is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the individual demonstrates that he or she regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region [and] is at greater risk of border violence due to the lack of cellular service at his or her residence or business and his or her proximity to the Southern border. Grants awarded under this subsection may be used to purchase satellite telephone communications systems and service that can provide access to 911 service; and are equipped with global positioning."

PLEASE SHUT UP

"There have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."

The FBI's advice to news organizations following erroneous stories from CNN, The Associated Press and other sources that a suspect had been apprehended in the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings.

PALMETTO POLITICS

These are not happy days for Mark Sanford, the disgraced former South Carolina governor once poised to run as a Republican favorite in the race for the U.S. House seat once held by Sen. Tim Scott. There's woe along the campaign trail for Mr. Sanford, newly engaged to the Argentine woman who prompted him to divorce his wife Jenny Sanford two years ago.

For one, the National Republican Congressional Committee has also dropped Mr. Sanford from its supportive embrace, even as he debuts a $100,000 attack campaign against Democratic opponent Elizabeth Colbert Busch on local airwaves. The candidate has also been charged with trespassing on his former spouse's property and has been ordered to appear in court May 9, two days after the upcoming special election.

"It's an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court. I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14-year-old son because as a father I didn't think he should watch it alone," Mr. Sanford explained Wednesday, noting that he'd tried to contact Ms. Sanford, who has had no public comment on the situation.

Meanwhile, the House Majority PAC, a Democratic group, is now on the prowl.

"Mark Sanford may claim to be a fiscal conservative, but as governor he flew around the world in high style, even jetting to the dentist and a hair dresser and stuck South Carolinians with the $400,000 bill," says spokesman Andy Stone, who says his organization has produced its own attack ad titled "Air Sanford."

POLL DU JOUR

• 52 percent of Americans say the federal government should "redistribute wealth" through taxes on the rich in the U.S.; 26 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of conservatives, 75 percent of Democrats and 76 percent of liberals agree.

• 45 percent say wealth should not be redistributed; 72 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of conservatives, 22 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of liberals agree.

• 33 percent of Americans overall say distribution of wealth in the U.S. is "fair"; 60 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of conservatives, 14 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,005 U.S. adults conducted April 4 to 7 and released Wednesday.

• Dramatic vignettes, arias and refrains to jharper@washington times.com.

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