Inside the Beltway: O’Bama on Irish-Americans

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“They endured prejudice and stinging ridicule. But through it all, these new citizens never gave up on one of our oldest ideas: that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter in the American story. So they raised families and built communities, earned a living and sent their kids to school. In time, what it meant to be Irish helped define what it means to be American.”

(From President Obama’s official proclamation recognizing March as Irish-American Heritage Month)

SEQUENTIAL SEQUESTER

So far, the White House has turned the sequester into a dramatic tableau for the Democratic cause, and with shameless zeal. Passing in review like scenes from a play: the relentless blame game with Republicans as the culprits, followed by President Obama’s scare tactics with Republicans as culprits. The script evolved into a call for party loyalists to share their personal sequester horror stories, despite the fact that the sequester had not descended yet. And now, as a finale for this cliffhanger, a public petition orchestrated by Organizing for America, the aggressive grass-roots movement that grew out of Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign. It, too, is on message.

“Congressional Republicans are refusing to compromise — all because they don’t want to close tax loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, vacation homes, and corporate jets. Seriously. This has very real consequences,” says Chairman Jim Messina in a public outreach for the effort.

“On the chopping block are 10,000 teaching jobs, more than 70,000 kids’ spots in Head Start, $35 million for local fire departments, $43 million to make sure seniors don’t go hungry, and access to nutrition assistance for 600,000 women and their families. That’s just a few of the things we’ll lose,” he predicts.

BASHING BENEDICT

Bad pope jokes, and scandal. Even as the frail former pontiff exited the world stage, the “big three” broadcast networks went overboard with tacky coverage and liberal agendas, at Pope Benedict XVI’s expense. And someone has counted the incidents, one by one. Since the pope’s resignation announcement, ABC, NBC and CBS characterized the Catholic Church as “troubled” 122 times or involved in “scandal” 87 times, says a study from the Media Research Center.

Coverage also pushed for the church to be more liberal, calling for the church to “modernize” 32 times, to change its stance on women seven times and on gays 13 times, the study found. Then there was the funny stuff.

“The resignation of the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics is the time for making jokes. The networks ran jokes from late night shows about the Pope seven times and even brought on comedian George Lopez to give his sacrilegious perspective,” the study said.

“The networks reminded people of faith that so-called journalists will use any chance to undermine conservative beliefs in family, marriage and life,” observes Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for the research group.

THE ESCARGOT FACTOR

In a week of great partisan strife, there is one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on. They won’t eat snails. This revelation comes from Public Policy Polling, a serious pollster that normally dwells on political races down to the very last crosstab. The group recently polled 500 registered voters on their taste in foods of all persuasion, to discover that the parties disagreed on much, from fast food to beer.

The shelled tidbit, though, brought them together: 7 out of 10 members of both parties said they would not eat snails. Similar numbers of Republicans and Democrats won’t eat caviar, either. Sushi presented a partisan difference. Two-thirds of Republicans would refuse it, compared to 48 percent of Democrats.

“Most voters say they would not be willing to eat sushi,” the poll analysis says, noting that 57 percent overall would also refuse it.

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