Inside the Beltway: Congress bottoms out in Gallup job approval poll

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Would the 40th president have liked the idea? The chances are good that such an exuberant and canny device would have appealed to “the great communicator.”

“The app is the only way to receive exclusive content about the president as well as be able to get access to the Reagan library’s audio tour when you’re on our campus,” Mr. Heubusch adds.

MATTHEWS VS THE ‘FESTERING’ TEA PARTY

Of interest to Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, Teaparty News Network editor Todd Cefaratti, Tea Party Express director Amy Kremer and Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, among many. A pivotal little quote from MSNBC host Chris Matthews:

“I have a sense talking to people, not just from the South but from New York state for example, the tea party’s still growing,” he said in a conversation with Michelle Goldberg, a contributing writer to The Nation.

“We here at MSNBC may offer a different point of view some, most of the time. But I got to tell you I sense it’s still out there and festering. I don’t think the center in the Republican Party that survives these years has the strength to take it on,” Mr. Matthews concluded.

BAGTOPIA

It would be nice if all those earnest, virtuous plastic bag bans in cities and towns across the nation were actually good for the environment. They are not, at least according to a close study of several local programs revealing that the amount of garbage, level of recycling and waster disposal costs are actually going up in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and the nation’s capital. All have either restricted, banned or taxed the bags.

“San Francisco banned plastic bags in 2007, claiming in part that the ban would decrease the overall amount of garbage collected. In fact, garbage and recycling rates rose more than 78.6 percent in the city between 2005 and 2013,” says the new study from the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit research group.

“Advocates of bag bans insist that plastic bags harm the environment. In fact, plastic grocery bags are actually more environmentally friendly than alternatives, making up just 0.6 percent of all litter. According to the EPA, plastic bags account for less than 0.5 percent of the entire waste stream,” the analysis notes.

“Bag bans are bad for the environment,” says H. Sterling Burnett, who led the research. “The alternatives — paper bags and reusable bags — use more energy, use more resources, produce more greenhouse gases and produce more waste and pollution than plastic grocery bags. In short, plastic bags are the green alternative.”

POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of Americans say the typical lawmaker does not understand the U.S. health care system and health care laws.

70 percent oppose requiring younger, healthier people to pay more for health insurance if it helps pay for older, less healthy people.

55 percent would prefer to remain in the health care system in place prior to Obamacare; 34 percent would prefer Obamacare.

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